(Ext. - The darkness is thick on a moonless night. A noiseless mist falls from an invisible sky. It is third watch at a dark stone gate to a small mountain village. Heavy oak doors fill the vaulted frame of the gate, while the reflection of torch flame flickers on massive iron, shutter-strap hinges. A guard shifts uneasily at his post straining his eyes into the black air. Suddenly, he straightens, gripping his weapon tightly. A figure approaches...)
GUARD: Hark! Who goes there? State your name and business.
TRAVELER: The Carnival of Bad History, my good man. (The traveler motions to his companions) We come in the name of truth, rooting out the errors entrenched in our modern conventional wisdom.
GUARD: Conventional...you mean what people think, on the whole?
TRAVELER: Precisely. Now, if you will be so good as to let us on our way...
GUARD: Not so fast, stranger. Bad History sounds like trouble.
TRAVELER: And so it is, friend, so it is! Again, that is exactly the problem we've come to remedy.
GUARD: And just how do you intend to do that, might I ask?
TRAVELER: (producing a handful of damp postbills) By tapping into the collective knowledge of your village, of course! After all, everyone has a story to tell.
GUARD: This is the same collective knowledge you were just deploring a minute ago?
TRAVELER: Precisely, my good man. Now kindly let us pass.
GUARD: (eyes squinting suspiciously) How do I know you're not here to spread even more Bad History?
TRAVELER: Well done, chap, well done. Good question indeed. Well I'm afraid you don't, I afraid you don't. Hmm. Perhaps I can prove it to you. Let me see, yes, well, before we begin would you happen to have the time?
GUARD: Why yes of course. (checking his watch) It's half past two, sir.
TRAVELER: Careful, wouldn't want to get it wet now would we?
GUARD: Actually it's waterproof to 50 metres. Says it right here on the back...
TRAVELER: Ah ha! You see? It's only 1512! Peter Henlein won't create the first pocket watch until 1524, and even then it won't have a minute hand until years later. Half past two, honestly. And waterproof? Who ever heard of such a ridiculous notion?
GUARD: So what's this here on my wrist then?
TRAVELER: Bad history, my fine fellow. Bad history.
GUARD: Hmmmph. (Opening the latch of the door)
TRAVELER: Right. Well, off we go then, off we go. (A band of motley folk, tin cups and tent stakes rattling, trudge past the guard and into the village. The traveler who had addressed the guard lingers briefly at the gate.) God only knows what lot of anachronisms, poor analogies, and water-carrying "wise-men" lie within. It pains me to think of it.
(Ext. - Daybreak on a narrow street in the village. Small postbills have been nailed to every available spot. A small collection of curious travelers and townspeople surrounds the nearest bill, which has been affixed to the doorframe of the village inn.)
Please share these and any Instances of BAD HISTORY with us! All ages and experience welcome. No Story is too short, no Story is too long. Whether it be a INACCURATE PRESENTATION of History, a MISGUIDED USE of History to prove a Point, or an Anecdote about an Historian ABANDONING any Semblance of INTELLECTUAL HONESTY, we want to know.
Send all Compositions to Horatio as soon as is humanly possible! Not much Time remains! All Submissions will be read aloud at DODECAHEDRON, all day long on the FIRST OF SEPTEMBER. Join us and rid the world of BAD HISTORY!