Tag Archives: weaving stories

More writing adventures

A while back, I’d signed up for a collaborative writing project where I’d get a little bit of the last person’s contribution to a story and have to continue it on. I’ve been really busy with a whole slew of things (including interviewing for a new job… and finding one!) and so I’ve only now been able to do the second story. The first part is what I was given… the rest is my addition.

It goes like this:

And with that fury bleeding out of me, I sagged against the wall.

I dropped to the floor in a puddle of self-contempt. There was no simple escape.

He still must go, but I can’t see how.

“You tried to feed me to that… that thing…” his voice rising, petulant.

“I… I didn’t know what I was doing,” I replied, “I’m sorry.”

He sniffed, turning away, his doleful gaze sweeping over me and through the broken window of the cabin and onto the shifting dark spot in the water, just past the pier.

“It still wants one of us, you know,” he said, cocking his head slightly.

“I know,” I replied, squeezing my eyes shut in an effort to ease the throbbing behind them.

I got up then, and unsteadily made my way to the cabin entrance.

“What are you doing?” he asked, panic raising his voice several octaves.

“I’m going in,” I said, “I’m done running from this thing.”

Silent once again, his gaze followed me as I walked through the door.

The shed next to the cabin housed everything from fishing nets and tackle boxes to hunting rifles and life vests. As my eyes adjusted to the dimness of its interior and shifted over the contents, they came to rest on an army surplus munitions box.

“Bingo!” I smiled, as I flipped the lid and found dozens of old grenades that looked like they might still do the trick.

Pulling down the largest of the life vests from the wall, I cut a hole into each compartment. I outfitted each grenade pin with a twist of wire, then poked the wires through the vest’s cloth and tied the largest fly fish hooks to the ends of each protruding wire. With that done, I taped over the opening of each incision I’d made in the vest with duct tape. I tried it on. It was loose, but would do the trick.

“Time for some chum cologne,” I said, as I rubbed handfuls of chum into the vest’s canvas.
I emerged from the shed, a pair of rubber frog feet tucked under each arm and began heading for the pier.

“So you’re really going to jump in?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said, “Care for a dip?”

“I don’t think so,” he replied, “but I’ll watch from the pier.”

I walked to the end of the pier, slipped on the frog feet and, with my fingers slung into the crooks of each of the rigged hooks, jumped into the water.

My heels touched the sandy bottom of the lake and pushed up, my nose breaking the surface of the water first.

“C’mon you creep… it’s chow time!” I yelled.

“Hahahaha…” a voice echoed from the pier, “I have my foot in the water and it doesn’t even notice I’m here.”

The creature circled around me as if sizing me up, looking for the most advantageous part to prey on. The colorful fish bait sticking out from the vest caught its eye and it moved in for a bite.

Grasping all eight hooks I pulled outward, and felt each pin release.

“That’s it, you sonofabitch, take a good bite!” I said, as the creature’s teeth sank deeper into the vest.

I felt the creature stiffen in surprise as I pulled my arms through the armholes and slipped out of the vest.

Shaking its head to free itself of the vest, the hooks held tight.

Still below the lake’s surface, I quickly swam toward the pier to seek shelter behind one of the thick timber slabs before the first of eight successive explosions punctuated the underwater silence.

The creature screeched as shrapnel ripped through it, sending pieces of it slapping onto the top of the pier.

I heard a shriek from above.

“You did it… it ate you and you killed it!” shrieked a voice, almost in awe. Then another shriek, this time of pain.

“Ahhhhh…” he groaned, his body falling against the pier, making the slats of wood rattle from the weight.
I pulled myself up onto the pier to survey the damage. The creature was dead.

Turning on my heels I headed down the pier toward the cabin.
“I need a shower.”

Adventures in writing…

On one of the online boards I participate on, we are doing a collaborative writing project where each participant gets the last sentence of the previous person’s piece and then continues the story in their own words. Here’s the one I received:

    I start to run, calling her name but she disappears and only the cold wind blows around my head…

      And here’s how I continue the story:

        I come to a halt beneath the strange yellow cloud that had been hovering above the spot where she’d vanished. I gaze up to see that at its center is an inverted funnel from which a stream of tiny leaves issues forth, gently floating down to greet my upturned face. For a moment, time stands still and but for the sound of my heart beat echoing in my ears, the silence is so great that I wonder if I’ve gone deaf. Bending down onto one knee, I scoop up a handful of leaves and carefully deposit them into the pocket of my jacket.

          Standing up, my gaze shifts to the houses down the street. I see a red brick chimney jutting out in the distance and recognize it to be mine. My neighborhood. My house. As if of their own volition, my feet begin to move toward the houses, the cloud slowly receding behind me as I make my way home.

            Much later I look out the window and note that the cloud has drifted further down the road and away from town, stalling over a dip in the hills. The pervasive smell of sulphur is disconcerting. After returning home I’d stripped out of my clothes as soon as I’d closed the door behind me. Removing the leaves from my pocket and carefully storing them in a plastic baggie, I’d placed my clothes in the washing machine, set the wash and rinse water temperature to hot and threw in twice the normal amount of detergent. Padding into the bathroom I stepped into the shower. Beneath the stream of hot water I lathered and scrubbed my body’s surface and watched copious amounts of soapy foam spiral down the drain as I rinsed off.

              Still, the acrid odor persisted nevertheless. Searching for relief from the smell, I grab a handful of incense, lighting them all at once using the stove’s gas burner. Silently moving around the inner perimeter of my little house, I strategically insert a stick into the tiny crevices of the walls. With each insertion I mouth a silent prayer to the gods for protection from whatever it is that is happening to me… to us all.

                Returning to the vantage point of my front room window, I gaze out once again at the inky blue of the late evening sky. The cloud remains strangely illuminated, pale and yellow, sparkling from within as if tiny particles were igniting like stars and shooting off erratically in all directions within its limited expanse, streaking little comet trails and then blinking out just as suddenly as they’d alit.