Monday, May 25, 2009

I told you I'm a Reader, not a Writer

The Rules: (This story virus comes to me from Harriet)

Here’s what I would like to do. I want to create a story that branches out in a variety of different, unexpected ways. I don’t know how realistic it is, but that’s what I’m aiming for. Hopefully, at least one thread of the story can make a decent number of hops before it dies out.

If you are one of the carriers of this story virus (i.e. you have been tagged and choose to contribute to it), you will have one responsibility, in addition to contributing your own piece of the story: you will have to tag at least one person that continues your story thread. So, say you tag five people. If four people decide to not participate, it’s okay, as long as the fifth one does. And if all five participate, well that’s five interesting threads the story spins off into.

Not a requirement, but something your readers would appreciate: to help people trace your own particular thread of the narrative, it will be helpful if you include links to the chapters preceding yours.”

The Story

The ground crunched beneath my feet. Besides my noisy footsteps, I heard only the sound of the gentle crackling fire behind me. Its faint orange light lazily revealed my immediate surroundings. Beyond the glow, there was total blackness. I whistled. I took the small rock I had been carrying and whipped it away from me, expecting a thud, crack or plop — but a soft yelp of a cry answered. (Splotchy)

“Crap! I forgot all about Monster,” I realized. “I must be drunker than I thought,” I spoke aloud to no one in particular, though an owl answered my drunken slur. Ever since my neighbors have been giving me grief for the way Monster chases their cats and poops in their lawn, I haven’t felt comfortable staying in my house. I’m pretty sure my landlady is thinking about evicting me, so I’ve decided to lay low for a while.

To the surprise of no one… (Freida Bee)

The night turned darker. A storm blew in. It was, in fact, a dark and stormy night. Too drunk to worry about Monster’s rock-inflicted head wound, I stumbled back to the campfire, where I found the ghosts of John Fante and Charles Bukowski roasting hot dogs, drinking whiskey and singing sad songs about women. The ghost of Fante whispered in my ear, tales of love and loss, and I found myself walking slowly down the trail to the river, where I suddenly found myself…(Lass)

Falling down an embankment. Instead of rolling into the river, I landed on what felt like a raft. I crawled around it, the storm pelting down on me, adhering my thin clothes to my body like a second, very wet, skin, and discovered that it was indeed a raft. I could feel the huge humps of the logs (smooth and barkless, unlike Monster, the cur!) that had been lashed together with a waxy hemp. A pretty decent job, from the looks of it. Not that I could see anything; the storm had rendered the night blacker than the farthest corner of a monster-filled closet. If I could find where it was tethered to the shore, I could cut it loose, leave this place and all these drunken hallucinations for good. Hell, I could even…..(FreshHell)

…float all the way down to New Orleans! I chuckled softly to myself at the idea of floating all the way down river. I ran my hand over the raft. It seemed sturdy enough. The lashings were so tight I couldn’t even slide my fingernail underneath. The raft was made for real work. Maybe it wasn’t such a crazy idea. “But I’ll need a pole,” I said out loud. Monster whined from the top of the embankment. I scrambled off the raft and back up the steep slope. “C’mon, Monster!” He froze for a moment than followed my zigzag path back down the hill. I spotted a dead tree, not too tall, not too big around, I thought I could just about handle. I grabbed the trunk about shoulder height and leaned forward on it, walking my feet up the bottom of the trunk until I heard it crack and jumped off before I fell on it. It took some hard twisting and turning, but eventually I freed it. Dragging it down to the raft, I turned back to look at Monster, who was snapping at the branch end. “Laissez les bons temps roulez, Monster.” I picked him up and put him on the raft. He sniffed around for a minute, then walked around it three times and lay down right in the middle. I leaned my tree pole against the raft, felt around in the dark for the rafts’ tether, unhooked it, and climbed on, pulling the pole on behind me. I was suddenly very, very tired. “G’night, Monster,” I said, curling up next to dog’s warm body. He thumped his tail once before we were both asleep.

It seemed like only a minute later when I was jolted out of my sleep by a loud crack. I opened my eyes and saw…(Harriet M. Welsch)

Monster, all 95 pounds of him, ascending into the sky at a very fast rate. Then I heard a second crack and felt a rushing wind all around until, WHACK! I landed against a metal grate. I felt Monster's coarse fur under one hand and then suddenly the wind died and we slid from the metal grate onto a smooth, warm surface. I looked up into the face of...uh, could it be? The face was unmistakably that of a young Elvis. "Greetings" he intoned. "Welcome to our ship. Come this way."

I followed his gyrating hips through a doorway and into... (Jeanne)

If you'd like to continue the story, leave your name in the comments and I'll add you to the list of prospective infamous authors here. I'll tag Readersguide and Lemming, in the hope that they have time and would enjoy writing another paragraph where I left off.


Harriet said...

Ha! Thanks for playing along!

Anonymous said...

Yours is the best yet!!