Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Well, here we are at Part Four of this incredible writing challenge.  I chose an untitled piece, and I sure can't think of what to call it, so I'll leave that for whoever finishes this up in Part 5.  I really hope someone does too--lots of ways this could end.  So, here is one started by Adrienne, continued by j, continued by Smoph, and lastly, by me.  It comes in now at 803 words.  Please enjoy.


Part 1 of 5 (Adrienne)

The trio looked at the fence in front of them.  It was a simple chain link, but it had to be about ten feet high, and the razor wire on top added another two feet.  He was expecting this, but he was not expecting to have two girls on his coat tails.  He could take care of himself, now he was pretty sure they would all die.

Except for his heavy breathing and the muffled sobs from the girls, it was silent.  The setting sun was hidden by an ominous sky, promising rain at any moment.  He knew what happened when the rain came, so he needed to move fast.  He surveyed the barrier one more time, but froze as the wind brought an all too familiar smell.  He turned to face the direction they were running from.  The trees edging the clearing began to sway as the wind picked up.  He could hear the soft pattering of rain on the leaves.  The air rushed out of his lungs as the storm descended upon them, bringing with it more than just wind and rain.  The three had to move now or accept certain death.

They were coming.

Part 2 of 5 (j)

He picked up one of the girls and hung her on the fence as high as he could reach.  Then he did the same with the other.  Knowing what was coming, he had to take a steadying breath before he started up.  A lost moment was better than panic.

At the top, he threw his coat over the razor wire.  It would help, a little.

He flipped himself over the fence.  He’d taken some damage but it wouldn’t kill him.  For a moment, he thought about leaving the girls.  The things coming out of the woods would find the girls first, give him a bigger head start.

Shit.  When had he gone soft?

He hung himself back over the fence.  The wind tore into him but it was that or what was left of his soul.

He stayed as still as possible while the girls climbed over him.  They were slow.  The sun was probably already down but it was hard to tell with the storm moving in.

Where were they?  Shouldn’t the damn things be on top of them already?

Finally, the girls were over the top.

He pulled himself off, ignoring what he left behind.  Then he dropped down and pulled the girls off the fence.

Part 3 of 5 (Smoph)

What they had to do was find shelter, and fast.  He didn’t fancy being out in inclement weather with these young girls and they were better off hidden from their pursuers.  He could see a barn, edges blurred in the falling dark.  Shelter and a hayloft to hide in were too appealing to pass up.

He set off at a slow jog, the girls struggling to keep pace, their tired feet dragging in the dirt.  He made them go around the barn, through a stand of trees behind, and in through a smaller back entrance with a door that squeaked traitorously.

They waited until it was dark before slowly edging the huge barn doors closed.  With a penlight that grew ever weaker, he showed them the way up to the hayloft, tucked them into some canvas and took watch.  He would wake one to take his place so he could catch a few hours later.  As a precaution, he pulled up the ladder.

An urgent tug on his arm and he was sitting bolt upright, straight from sleep.  Wide blue eyes looked to him out of a terrified face.  Beyond her, there was the squeal of a door on its hinges.  Their hiding place had been discovered.

Part 4 of 5 (me)

“Show yourself.”  The rancher’s voice was deep and menacing.  “I know you’re in here.  I can smell you.”

“Please,” the man said quietly, as he slid the ladder down.  “I have children with me.  We only seek shelter.”

He sent the girls down the ladder; both were crying.  Once he climbed down, he pushed the girls behind him.  He hoped he would be killed first.  He could not bear to witness the murder of innocents.

“I know who you are,” the rancher said.  “You are the ones being hunted.  Do you know what would be done to me if it became known I harbored such as you?”

The man knew all too well.

“I know they’re close,” the man began.  “But, if we move quickly, we can distance ourselves from you.  Or, let the young ones go and I will remain.  When they come, they will decorate you as a hero.”

Both girls wrapped their arms around the man’s legs tightly, tears streaming down their faces.

The rancher stepped back out of the doorway, motioning for them all to go.  The death of these humans would not be on his conscience.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


For Part Three, I picked up an untitled starter from Shane Vaughan, which was added to by Paul Them. Part Three comes in at a total of 594 words.  I'm going to give this a working title of Going Home to make it easier to follow.  I hope someone picks this up to continue.  I can see this one going lots of different ways. Please enjoy.


He is cold. It's always cold around this time of year. The sun decides it's had enough and pops off for a quick solstice nap. Not that he minds. He's used to the cold by now. 

He props his collar up, puffs his scarf to cover all exposed skin; all that dead, gray skin. He tucks his gloves down over the wrists and sucks on the butt of his last cigarette. Damn things never last. His wife used to say it'd give him cancer, not that it matters now. He lowers his woolen packer hat over his brow and stares at his reflection in a shopfront window. He used to recognize himself, now what is he?

It had all happened so fast; the heart attack; cracking his head on the tile floor; the ethereal sensation that he was losing life, as though it were seeping out of a hole somewhere. And then the doctors. The nurses. The scalpel. He saw it all, from outside his body. He watched as they operated, trying so heroically to save his life, but in the end the line went dead.

So what the hell is he doing back on Winthrop street in high Winter, and how did he return?

- - - - -

The door to the shop swung open and closed to a chime of bells. Instinctively, the man flicked his cigarette to the ground and stamped it out. He turned from the window to face a young woman.

“Hello, John,” she called.

John stared at her awhile. He had lived in this town for most of his life and frequented Winthrop Street, but he did not know this woman.

“I didn’t think you’d recognize me,” she continued, beckoning him to join her.

John stumbled forward, his legs stiff and robotic. With each painful step he took, he stared at the red-haired woman before him. She gazed at him with warm eyes and her thin lips formed a half-smile.

When at last he reached her, she took his hand and led him off Winthrop onto Northup Lane. They walked silently past farmlands with overgrown pastures but no horses there to graze; past a lake where a fisher had cast his nets but no fish there to be caught.

They ascended a hill and reached a wooden bench overlooking those vast, empty acres. “Why did you lead me back here?” John ventured.

The woman dropped his hand. “This,” she cautioned, “is your last chance.”

- - - - -

John was confused. Why was he feeling pain and being led through the town he grew up in by this woman? How did she know his name? Would there be no resting in peace for him?

“What’s going on?” John asked, frightened, knowing he didn’t really want an answer.

“Look out into that field, John, and remember. It was a cold November night. You were 17 and out with two of your friends for one last good time before graduation. Do I look familiar now?”

John wasn’t sure how it was possible, but he began to feel sick to his stomach.

“You’re the one we…, I mean the girl they…, I only…” He had blocked out the memory of that night which was now forcing its way back in with a vengeance.

“I know,” she said with a deep sigh. “You only watched what they did. Then, you left town and never looked back. I didn‘t pull through.”

The sudden onslaught of sleet was stinging his face.

“I didn’t…, I’m so…, am I forever damned?” John began to cry.

“Not yet,” she said quietly. “Not quite yet.”

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


This is Part Two of the Terrible Minds challenge.  I chose a dark little scene created by Simon B and added my spin to it.  This now brings this little tale to 396 words.  I'm calling it Jesper, simply so it has a title; although, it can, and most likely will, be changed every step of the way, if it's picked up for Part Three, etc.  I really hope someone does continue this, and I'm sure Simon does too.  I've placed his original starter in bold type and my continuation follows.  Please enjoy.

Jesper was lying on a floor somewhere. He was certain of that.
He managed to open his eyes for a brief moment before they overruled his decision and squeezed themselves shut again. It was bright. He shifted position with a grunt. Body parts were beginning to form an orderly queue to complain about their recent treatment.
Jesper spent a few moments panning for gold in the murk of recent memory. Not even a glimmer. The floor was oddly warm. Under different circumstances it might’ve been quite nice.
After some trial and error, Jesper found a way of squinting that allowed him to survey his surroundings without blinding him. He peered tentatively through his lashes, trying to discern shapes from the resulting fuzz.
He was in a room maybe eight feet by five. The walls, floors and ceiling were brilliant, stinging gloss white. A solitary bulb set crudely into the ceiling was the only fixture Jesper could make out – no windows, no furniture.
A sudden sneeze forced Jesper’s eyes shut again. He lifted an aching arm to wipe his nose with his sleeve and was only momentarily surprised to find there wasn’t a sleeve there at all.
As he brought his right arm closer to his face, the ache became a steadily intensifying pain.  He shut his eyes tightly, then forced them open as wide as he was able.  For a brief moment, he believed a second glance would reveal a more favorable result.  It did not.

From his right shoulder down, his arm was wrapped in several layers of gauze, secured with small metal clips and encased in a clear plastic sheath.  His eyes continued on past the small stump at the end, as if his will alone would cause his obviously absent hand to appear.


Jesper screamed.  He sat up and quickly took inventory.  His other arm remained intact, as did both his legs.  To his great relief, both feet were still attached.  His head felt as if it had been placed in a vice, and the pain in his right arm was so severe that tears were beginning to sneak into the corners of his eyes.

“Please,” he gasped.  “Why?”

“Mr. Riley…Jesper if I may,” the voice was deep and menacing.  “Do not concern yourself about the minor procedure performed.  A mere trifle, Jesper.  A mere trifle.