Brief by Meryl Stenhouse

Concept/mechanism

The main character’s grandmother lives upstairs. If she comes downstairs, (which she tries to do quite often) the world will end. Literally. So the main character cannot leave the house. Their father left years ago, but periodically sends money.

Setting/context

A house. Modern times. Has internet and phone. It can be in any country in the world. It must have two levels at least. It can be in the city or country. The colour yellow should feature strongly in the setting.

Characters

A – Main character. Can be any gender or orientation. Between 20 and 30 years old. No job. Never leaves the house.

B – Main character’s sibling. Long-haul truck driver. Never comes home. They communicate via phone calls.

C – Grandmother. Lives upstairs. If she comes downstairs, the world will end.

Theme/Premise/Purpose

Performing a thankless duty.

Plot

The main character’s aunt leaves them a sideboard in their will. The sideboard arrives. Inside is a mountain. The main character slowly comes to realise it is a mountain from another world.

The money that usually arrives from their father stops coming.  Main character struggles to pay bills. The mountain becomes important as an escape from reality, though Main Character can only observe, not interact.

Things are desperate. Main character begs Sibling for help. Sibling mails money through, but Main Character has to leave the house to get it.

While out, gets distracted by life, which Main Character has not had since father left. Apocalypse begins. Main Character rushes home.

Grandmother is in the downstairs kitchen making Main Character’s favourite childhood treat. Main Character has to convince Grandmother to go back upstairs to save civilisation, or let her stay downstairs and watch the world fall apart (but have Grandmother in life again, and snacks!)

What does Main Character decide?

Emotional arc

Whatever you like.

Mood

Dreamy and odd, with a dark undercurrent, like waiting for the bomb to drop.

Conflict

The character is torn between staying home to do a duty no one else will, or leaving and abandoning the world to an apocalypse.


Stories by
Meryl Stenhouse
Caleb Warner
Vanessa Fogg
T. R. North
L Chan
Michael Gardner

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