18 episodes

Totally Made Up Tales is improvised storytelling for the Internet.

We record completely new stories without any advance planning, assembled into episodes of sinister, touching and whimsical tales for the discerning listener.

Totally Made Up Tales Totally Made Up Tales

    • Performing Arts
    • 3.0 • 1 Rating

Totally Made Up Tales is improvised storytelling for the Internet.

We record completely new stories without any advance planning, assembled into episodes of sinister, touching and whimsical tales for the discerning listener.

    Lockdown tales 3

    Lockdown tales 3

    Another set of tales improvised during lockdown.

    • 19 min
    Lockdown tales 2

    Lockdown tales 2

    Another set of tales improvised during lockdown.

    • 21 min
    Lockdown tales

    Lockdown tales

    During the Covid-19 lockdown, we started getting together on Zoom to improvise. Here are some stories we told.

    • 14 min
    Episode 15: The Sailor's Wife, The Ship Awakes, and other stories

    Episode 15: The Sailor's Wife, The Ship Awakes, and other stories

    Our third and final episode of maritime tales. Among some lighthearted shorts, we meet a sailor's wife, and then witness the birth of the ship that's we've heard so much about.
    Music: Creepy — Bensound.com.
     
     
    James: Here are some Totally Made Up Tales, brought to you by the magic of the internet.
    Alternating: Jump over small hoops. It's better than going through them.
    Sweeten your deal with honey. It will help you get sales.
    Mixing your metaphors will lead you to water.
    Walk a long way. You'll clear your mind and stretch your legs.
    James: And now: The Sailor's Wife.
    Alternating: Heather was the wife of a sailor who spent many months away at sea at a time. She survived on hope and her only consolation was her child, Phillip. He was the apple of her eye. Three years old and running around like a maniac. Just the spit of his father.
    One day, Heather and Phillip were playing in the sand when Phillip saw a ship entering the harbour.
    "That is my Daddy's ship," he cried.
    "No," said Heather. "Your daddy is away for another six months."
    "No," said Phillip. "That is my Daddy's ship," and he stamped his foot petulantly.
    Heather caught him up in an embrace. "We'll go and look at it."
    They walked to the harbour wall, Phillip squirming in anticipation.
    "There he is!", he said, pointing to a man walking away from the ship.
    "No," said Heather. "That man is too tall."
    "There!" said Phillip, pointing at a different man.
    "No," said Heather. "That man is too short."
    "There!", said Phillip, pointing at a third man.
    "Well," said Heather, "it is very similar to Roger. I wonder what he's doing back so soon."
    They walked quickly to where the man was standing.
    "Are you my husband?", asked Heather.
    "Are you my Daddy?", asked Phillip.
    "Are you my family?", asked the man, and they embraced.
    "Why are you back so soon?" asked Heather.
    "That is a long story," said Roger, "and one day, I will tell it to you."
    "We met a disaster just as we were passing the Rock of Gibraltar. The Captain saw three figures floating above the deck and one pointed at him and let a fearsome cry. The second pointed at him and spoke words of dread. The third pointed at him and spoke nothing. The Captain locked himself in his cabin and refused to come out, insisting that we return home at once. The First Mate brought us around and navigated us safely home. I do not know when we shall sail again, but this is a terrible portent."
    Heather held his hand and hoped that he would never go away again.
    Phillip also held his father's hand.
    The End.
    Alternating: Attention to detail is a devil's errand, so allow yourself to be sloppy.
    Muster Mister Custer, pester Lester. Faster, Pastor Caster! and foster Coster Gloucester.
    "Splice the main brace," said Jeffrey, and proceeded to get drunk.
    James: And now: The Ship Awakes.
    Andrew: Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang went the hammers against the wood and the sound reverberated around the mighty shed of the shipyard.
    James: They were putting the finishing touches on the latest ship to roll through the George & Brothers Shipyards, at Chatham.
    Andrew: She was a truly beautiful vessel, destined for the merchant marine. Large, imposing, grandiose, sleek, missing only the final pieces of decking and the mast to be fixed and raised.
    James: Spencer, the ship's architect was watching from one side, from the office, as the men swarmed over her.
    Andrew: He turned, from watching the finishing touches being made, to the ship that he had been imagining for so long. Rolled up the plans on his desk, locked the office door, and headed off to meet the ship's new owner.
    James: Over a pint in the Rope and Anchor, they toasted the successful completion of the ship's hull, and looked forward to her launch next week, to join the merchant fleet owned by this particular businessman.
    Andrew: The end of the day came, the foreman blew

    • 15 min
    Episode 14: The Stowaway

    Episode 14: The Stowaway

    Another episode of tales at sea. Following on from the mysterious tales of the Dark Gentleman, we find another curious passenger on board…although will they turn out to be any less disturbing to the crew?
    Music: Creepy — Bensound.com.
     
    Andrew: Here are some Totally Made Up Tales, brought to you by the magic of the internet. This week: The Stowaway.
    James: Martin, the First Mate, thought he knew everything about this ship, as First Mates really ought to.
    Andrew: It was not the largest ship the world had ever seen, but nevertheless it contained many nooks and crannies and corners that men who had served on it across journeys of several months had still not managed to explore.
    James: Martin, however, knew them all. But something was not quite right.
    Andrew: There was a strange energy on board the ship, that was quite different to the masculine peace that settled aboard the boat once the shore was safely left behind.
    James: It reminded him of the one or two times when they'd transported families from Southampton across to the New World looking for a new life.
    Andrew: It was not as strange as the time when the famous occultist traveled with them and disappeared halfway across the ocean, but it was still something not quite right.
    James: Martin didn't like it when things weren't quite right, it upset the smooth running of the ship and it made the men grumble, and that was one of the worst things to contend with.
    Andrew: He decided that he would determine for himself whether there was anything untoward going on, on the ship, but he would do it in a subtle and determined manner.
    James: He drew up a schedule where he could regularly walk every turn and every corner of every deck, both above and below.
    Andrew: He began his exploration and very soon began to have an even more acute sense that there was something either just ahead of him or just behind him, but it was as if, whenever he turned his head, the thing it was that was following him or that he was following — and he could not be sure which it was — had disappeared, and he was left once more alone.
    James: He had first had the sense a day or two out of port, and it continued for a full week, gradually making him more and more frustrated, until one day, Timothy, the old cook, came to him.
    Andrew: Timothy was a grumpy man, perpetually red in the face with irritation, and missing his right leg. He had adapted his kitchen galley successfully so that he could navigate his way around, but in all other areas of the deck he moved on traditional sailor's wooden crutches.
    James: He came to Martin with a complaint about theft.
    Andrew: An entire barrel of biscuits, which he had been intending to use later that week, had disappeared from the kitchen, lock, stock, and barrel.
    James: Martin knew that none of the men would have tried to secrete an entire barrel anywhere else about the ship, it was a ridiculous and foolhardy notion that you could even get away with it, and so he continued his pacing about the decks until he discovered the barrel, now empty, in one of the smaller holds.
    Andrew: Scattered on the floor around the barrel here and there were biscuity crumbs.
    James: Martin spent some time checking the rest of the hold, looking behind the crates and boxes, and underneath the tarpaulins, but he could not find any indication, other than the barrel and the crumbs, that anything was amiss.
    Andrew: Later that day, in the evening, he sat down with the Captain for dinner, and the Captain turned to him with his customary question and said, "Well then, First Mate, what are the news?"
    James: He recounted how Timothy had come to him and his investigation and what he'd discovered, and the Captain looked at him with suspicion crossing his face, "Have you felt a presence onboard ship?" he asked.
    Andrew: "Well sir, as it happens," Martin replied, "I have felt a rather

    • 20 min
    Episode 13: An episode of maritime tales

    Episode 13: An episode of maritime tales

    Our first episode of tales set at sea and among sea-going folk: The Captain's Log, The Dark Gentleman, and other stories.
    Music: Creepy — Bensound.com.
     
    James: Here are some totally made up tales brought to you by the magic of the internet. First this episode: The Captain's Log.
    James/Andrew (alternating)
    Once, the Captain was writing a log entry when he noticed out the window that there was another ship following them. That seemed strange, because no one had charted these waters before him. He did what he would normally do when sighting another ship: he wrote down its bearing and approximate distance, and ordered the bosun to raise more sail in order to get distance between them.
    After darkness had fallen, they changed course in order to lose them. Sailing in the darkness by dead of night, a ship felt like a world of its own. Gliding nearly silently through the black waters, crested with a rime of white catching the moonlight, the crew spoke softly in case they should be overheard by any other beings.
    Sunrise brought a fresh breeze and no sign of the ship, but that very evening it appeared once more. At dusk it was gaining on them, but once darkness fell they changed course to avoid them. Sunrise came again and brought an empty horizon.
    The third night a hush descended on the ship. You could hear a pin drop. From astern there came the sound of a woman crying. Her sobs rended the hearts of the men, so much was it a call to their own loneliness. "Beware!" cried the Captain. "'Tis a sprite!" But the men paid no heed, tacked the ship towards the sobbing, and tried to rescue her. One by one, they jumped into the water over the rail. One by one, they swam towards the heart-rending sound. And one by one, their sounds faded into nothingness. Finally only the Captain and the First Mate remained on the ship. "Don't you go in," said the Captain, but too late.
    Come morning the boat was full of men once more — climbing up the mast, hanging from the spars, and scrubbing the deck. The Captain looked around in great surprise. Returning to his cabin, he made an entry in the log reading:
    July Fourteenth. The crew have been replaced by fairies. God have mercy on my soul.
    Seventeen years later, the floating hull was discovered by a Royal Navy vessel, which determined that the boat had been abandoned, and all aboard had perished.  They found the Captain's log, the final entry still wet.
     
    James: Chase …
    Andrew: Away …
    James: Your …
    Andrew: Demons …
    James: By …
    Andrew: Going …
    James: To …
    Andrew: Sea.
     
    James: Make …
    Andrew: Biscuits …
    James: Using …
    Andrew: Flour …
    James: And …
    Andrew: Weevils …
    James: They'll …
    Andrew: Taste …
    James: Crunchy …
    Andrew: And …
    James: Delicious.
     
    Andrew: Damp …
    James: Will …
    Andrew: Get …
    James: Everywhere …
    Andrew: When …
    James: You …
    Andrew: Are …
    James: At …
    Andrew: Sea.
    That wasn't really a proverb; that was just a fact.
    James: It was just a statement of fact.
     
    Andrew: Rum …
    James: And …
    Andrew: Sodomy …
    James: Neither …
    Andrew: Are …
    James: Welcome …
    Andrew: In …
    James: My …
    Andrew: Navy.
    James: Rum and sodomy. I mean it's really just the Georgian Navy's equivalent of 'Netflix and Chill.'
     
    Setting …
    Andrew: Sail …
    James: From …
    Andrew: Southampton …
    James: We …
    Andrew: Encountered …
    James: Three …
    Andrew: Witches …
    James: Floating …
    Andrew: On …
    James: The …
    Andrew: Surface …
    James: Of …
    Andrew: The …
    James: Sea.
    Andrew: One …
    James: Told …
    Andrew: Us …
    James: That …
    Andrew: Our …
    James: Voyage …
    Andrew: Would …
    James: Be …
    Andrew: Successful.
    James: One …
    Andrew: Told …
    James: Us …
    Andrew: That …
    James: Our …
    Andrew: Voyage …
    James: Would …
    Andrew: Be …
    James: Traumatic.
    Andrew: The

    • 19 min

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