Saturday, April 10, 2010


col·lab·o·rate–verb (used without object),-rat·ed, -rat·ing. work, one with another; cooperate, as on a literary work: They collaborated on a novel. cooperate, usually willingly, with an enemy nation, esp. with an enemy occupying one's country: He collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.

Does anyone else see anything ironic here? In any case, it has been a while since I have collaborated with someone on a writing effort. Let's do a story chain and see where our imagination takes us. Hopefully the result will be more like the example for #1 and not #2.

A woman, hampered by age and the many ailments that accompany it, hobbled down the sidewalk. Her slow gait almost got her devoured by the throng of the busy city several times, but she perservered, clutching the large black bag she carried tightly to her side...


  1. in one hand, a crumpled slip of paper. Had it not been for the bleached color, the paper and the hand that held it might have been impossibly indistinct, even down to the faded blue lines.
    The spidery scrawl written thereon was quite another matter. It detailed...

  2. ...instructions on how to save the world. But the paper was not meant for her. The woman knew her destination, had willingly risked her life for this most important mission. Her gray eyes glanced in every direction, the sprawling city deliberately ignoring the gnarled hands and run down clothes. She was perfect camouflage to deliver the message to...

  3. ...a person she hadn't actually met yet, though she knew his face well. It was a tragedy really, the fact that they'd never met, since he was her grandson. But that hardly mattered anymore. She stopped at the corner, staring up at the Gothic architecture of the building dominating the intersection. It boasted beautiful, crisp lines and a clean surface that somehow made the other buildings on the street seem that much more dismal. She scrutinized the door until she was satisfied, then made her way through the thinning crowd. The doorman made to get the door for her, but she grabbed the handle defiantly and wrenched it open to find...

  4. ...a wide-open room the size of a football field, covered entirely with quicksand. She was not disheartened--on the contrary, she'd been told to expect this. She'd also been told that there would be a handful of stepping-stones securely anchored at wide intervals across the room, allowing her to pass. What they hadn't told her was that every one of those stepping-stones would be covered in live bear traps. Steeling herself, she tightened her grip on the paper and extended one foot, only to...

  5. realize she didn't have feet. At least, she didn't think she did. She stopped and looked down. A flood of images, thoughts and scenarios entered her mind at once, but before she could make sense of them all, the walls of this great room started moving inward! The stepping stones disappeared into the now solid floor. In a matter of seconds, she found herself immobilized in a dark room. A single light flickered on and the padded white walls were now clearly visible. There was a loud knock at the door...

  6. And she opened it, perplexed that someone would be wanting to enter this room.
    A boy—maybe seven or eight years old—strode past, then turned to stare at her, unmoving.
    "Are you... My grandson?" she asked. She couldn't—wouldn't—allow herself to feel the hope that threatened to burst through walls she’d built. How could he be Tyler? This haunting, sunken face was nothing like the one imprinted on her heart.
    "You're Meg, aren't you?"
    She tucked a wisp of gray hair behind her ear, trying to hide the tremble in her hand. "H-How did you know?"
    His eyes lowered. “Can’t say...” He paused, then stared at her again, an expression of defiance adding life to his features. “I am not your grandson. I’m...

  7. I'm interjecting here to say that Graham cracks me up. :)

  8. ...I'm the pool guy, I do this every Thursday. Heard about the party last night--sand and beartraps and whatnot. I just pulled the plug outside, so you're all set to go," he said.

    "But what about the walls?" the footless old lady asked as the room continued to shrink. The pool guy shrugged.

    "Yeah, I don't really do that. Is the owner around?"


    "Freestyle later, grandma: if the owner ain't here, I gotta give you the bill."

    Furious, the footless old lady reached into her purse and pulled out a..."

  9. credit card she'd enver seen before. Having never been a fan of credit cards, she hesitated until she read the note where the activation sticker should've been. It told her to use as she saw fit, so she passed the plastic card to the pool boy so she could get tot he other side of the ever shrinking room, give her grandson the note, and hear his decision before the scheduled announcement on the evening news. She was up to the task, but a quick glance at her watch told her she only had...

  10. ...five minutes to reach him, and although she had managed to get through this wacky room it would still be nearly impossible to gain access to the President of the United States, or at least what used to be the United States. Still, she had to try.

    Hurling her addled body forward with all the force she could muster, she came to a steel door...

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  12. ...and knocked.

    The door creaked open, revealing...

    (This has been fun to read. :-))