Friday, 18 February 2011

Plagiarism ?

“Hey, one of my stories has been picked up by a book company, they're gonna publish it, and they've sent me a cheque for two thousand smackarooneys, how does it feel to have a published author for a brother then?”

“Hey bro, that's great, which story is it?”

I flicked the keys and brought the story up onto the screen.

“This one,” I said, swivelling the laptop around so he could read it, “It's called 'Bound homeward'.”

I watched in nervous anticipation as he began to read the fruits of my imagination, in my mind I could already hear the gushing praise that was soon to come.

He turned towards me, a vicious snarl spreading a cross his face....

“YOUR STORY?... This ain't YOUR story, this is MY story, you stole it from my computer didn't you?”

“No I didn't, your stories are full of crap, who the hell would publish any of YOUR drivel?”

He pressed a few keys, then turned his own laptop so I could view the screen.

“Here, read this then you thieving asshole.”

I skim-read through several pages...

“Well, there ARE certain similarities......”

“Similarities? Similarities?... The only similarity is the title, mine's called 'Homeward bound' apart from THAT little similarity the story is a word for word replica, right down to the last capital letter, comma, and full stop. I'm gonna split you in two, you... you... PLAGIARIST you!”

“Look, this isn't helping either one of us, tell you what, I'll split the money with you eh? A grand apiece, eh? How does that sound?”

“I should get BOTH grands... It's MY story.”

“It is NOT your story, I wrote it MYSELF.....”

“Oh yeah? And you expect me to believe that? You really expect me to believe that we both wrote exactly the same story as each other?”

“Well, given what we are, is it really so hard for you to believe that it could happen? Anyway, this is getting us nowhere, do you want half of the money or not?”

He dithered for a few moments, then his face softened as he made his decision.

“Okay, we usually end up sharing everything anyway, sorry I got mad at you.”

“And I'm sorry that you think I stole your story. Pals again?”

“Pals again.”

He went into the kitchen and returned carrying two bottles of beer, handing one to me as he sat back down.

“A toast... Here's to an endless list of best-sellers, and the rewards they will bring bro.” We both said in unison, clinking the bottles together.

My identical twin and I opened our beers, took a long, slow slug, sighed, then leaned back into our chairs, all in perfect synchronisation.

I pondered the fact at how impossibly identical we were in every possible way.

©2011 Stephen. J. Green.


  1. What they don't know is that the story was originally written by their third twin brother who lives chained up in the attic. The clacking isn't a ghost. It's his typewriter.

  2. Haha, yes John, but HIS story was called 'Boundward home' :-)

  3. Good story. I wonder how they'll take the next one that they both write?

  4. Funny!
    Greg Kinnear & Matt Damon played the brother's roles in m head. :)

  5. Eric - It'll probably result in a race to the publishers. :D

    Harry - "Stuck on you" a brilliant film, and a good connection too Harry, I could easily imagine this scenario between those two. :-)

  6. And now I'm wondering who 'bro' number two put in the beer... :D

    Nice one!

  7. Catherine - whatever it was, it would have gone into both bottles. :-)

  8. Oh Steve, I love this. I really hope you plan to expand this into something longer. What will happen next? It almost felt kind of scary to me, like how far will their twin traits take them?

  9. Hi Rachel, thank you, I'll have a word with myself and see what we can come up with between us. :-D

  10. As I was reading this, I kept waiting for you to drop a mirror or something in there, show us it was one person all along. You didn't, but the story still rocks. I love how the two sit down at the same time. Some connections are so strong.

  11. Thanks Stephen, I think with identical twins the similarities go far deeper than appearances.

  12. Instead of giving monkeys typewriters to produce the works of Shakespeare, we can just give twins a laptop each and they'll write the same thing! That's good, all writers should come with a "spare" should the worst happen.

    Raises interesting questions about the source of our inspiration though!

  13. Hi Icy, it would be interesting to see if they had the same typos too. :-)

  14. Oooh the creepy world of twins. I like all the possibilities of double meanings in the story. You know, they being copies of each other and the stories following the same path. I also enjoyed phrases like "I'm going to split you in two"


  15. Thank you Magaly, the story originated from the thought "Is it possible for two writers to write the same story independently?"

    And from there, the idea of identical twins naturally came along.

  16. Is this story about two dogs and a cat? If it is I think they've both got some explaining to do. :) Fun story. Makes me glad I'm not a twin.

  17. And this is probably the defense of every plagiarist out there: "I did write it, honest."

    Which makes the story quite scary.

    Now, imagine discovering someone had stolen your story AND it turned out they were an unknown twin.

  18. Laurita - no, but identical twins I knew when I was young, used to fight like cat and dog. :-)

    Justin - Haha, I'm currently writing a serial about a pink monster who works at an employment office, she's called Ms Kinpy. :-D

  19. A nice and slightly creepy idea.

    My identical twin will be along later to give you exactly the same feedback. The plagiarist. ;) St.

  20. Haha, Thanks Stephen, I'll look forward to his visit. :-)

  21. For some reason I imagined them as conjoined twins until one stood up. LOL!

  22. Hiya Vandamir, thanks for making me laugh, this comment is going to tickle me all day. :-D