Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Session Fourteen: Topic for 06/30 - 07/05

All right kids and cadets, we've had plenty of time to add to the story chain, and since there are no takers, I think it's high time to move on to a new topic. (As always, however, you're free to post whatever you like, so if you DO end up with a continuation to the story, by all means, post away!)

Now that the internet and I have been reacquainted, here's a late topic, one to wave out June and welcome in July.

I'm sure you've all heard of Post Secret: postcards are sent to the proprietor of the site, who posts a select few on a weekly basis. These postcards are riddled with secrets, confessions, admissions, ideas of that sort. Some are hilarious, and others are terrible, but in theory, they are all honest anecdotes belonging to real human beings. These are real happenings, but they are only small snippets belonging to what must be a bigger picture in at least one person's life.

Visit Post Secret this week and write a piece inspired by one of the postcards currently on display. As the images won't be there forever, make sure to let us know, either at the beginning or the end of your piece, which secret you chose. If your secret isn't told in words (sometimes the postcards contain only images), be sure to describe the card to us.

I know it's a holiday weekend, but I do encourage everyone to make even a small, short, unpolished submission. I know it's daunting to put up a piece you may feel is unfinished or subpar, but a scrap is better than nothing at all, and the nice thing about a scrap is that it leaves a lot of room for development. Endless possibilities and all that jazz.

Enjoy the fireworks, compatriots! To those of you out of the country, have a nice weekend anyway.

Pencils and keyboards at the ready!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Adventure Continues!

I am enjoying the story chain, and so instead of writing up a new topic for this week, I declare that we shall continue with last week's topic until next Sunday! Let's keep this chain going, see where we take it (or where it takes us!).

Have fun, kids.

Mod 1

13-06: Story Chain Part 6

"And even you," Reese continued, "must have figured out who 'they' are by now."

"Humor me," Vincent replied wearily.

The candy kid scoffed. "Really. Really, with all those picture comics and graphic story books I know you got lined up on your wall and under your bed, you don't have a clue." He pulled the potential prophet up from the moonlit ground. In the place where Vincent sat, the flowers hadn't flattened, but kept their uncrushed fullness, rebelling against the weight of his human body. Reese smirked, though not unkindly. "I bet you never read Gaiman. No wonder you're so confused." He clapped a fully informed hand on Vincent's uninformed back. "I'm not playing around. We've got to go. Now. Come on."

"Hey now, hold on man, you haven't told me a damn thing." Vincent pushed Reese's hand away. "Where are we going? Who are 'they'--these people you're talking about? For all I know this is some Dungeons and Dragons bull you're pulling."

Reese sighed, laughing a little. Despite all evidence to the contrary, from where he stood Vincent noted that the candy kid's breath smelled nothing like peanuts and chocolate. More like a curiously strong mint, an unnatural freshness.

"Don't be an idiot, kid." His hand clapped on again. "D&D is a table top game. This is live action, and I swear by the totally rockin' shirt on my back that it's real. If I didn't have to keep you out of trouble, I certainly wouldn't be wasting my time in this podunk one-store neighborhood." Pressing lightly with his palm, he began the walk from their spot on the flower grounds.

"It isn't so bad," Vincent muttered, swelling suddenly with small-town pride. He allowed the other boy to guide the way. "They've got everything you need, you know? Mr. Smiley's kept that store running since before I was born. He's an institution around here."

"Just because something's an institution, that's no automatic badge of honor. You gotta stay out of that store, now that they've organized. Smiley's no good. He's no good and he's up to no good." A sidelong glance. "Why do you think he's got the only store in town open all day, every day? Where's the competition? Not like our town couldn't use the economic boost. No, it's all about his backdoor operations. I shoulda taken the transfer to the Prez Rickard case. Easy job. Oh well." They stopped under a street lamp in an unfamiliar part of the neighborhood. It was a useless convenience in the moonlight. Vincent looked at Reese.

"What are you talking about you goddamn peanut butter cup."

"All I'm saying is that Smiley's on the other side, and you can bet your sweet bippy he's been messing with your head. I wouldn't buy anything from that store ever again, if I were you. Not that it matters. We're skipping town. Strengthening the prophecy antenna. Bringing your dreams to the dreaming place. Don't look so confused; I'll fill you in on the way." Reese grasped Vincent's hands and pulled him into the center of the lamplight.

"The way to where?"

"Where else, you moron? We're getting The Answers."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

13-05: Story Chain Part 5

In the bright moonlight, Vincent could see the ground was covered in flowers. Poppies? Sunflowers? Saffron? He never had been very good at plant identification.

A groan must have escaped Vincent's lips as he came to, for Reese came to a halt, laying him down on the ground with surprising tenderness.

"Are you all right?" he asked with an expression Vincent immediately mentally dubbed "moonie eyes," taking into account both the lighting and the size of his compatriot's peepers.

"I'm fine," Vincent replied, sitting up. "What the hell is going on here? I was heading over to Smiley's, and then you were there, and there all these cats..." He was painfully aware he sounded like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

Reese sighed, like he knew what was coming and dreaded it, but was resigned to go ahead.

"Vincent, there's a lot I need to tell you, but we don't have time for much now," he said with a grave tone, all lunar aspects disappearing from his eyes. "Okay, first, we've been watching you for a while. Two, we're pretty sure your dreams are prophetic. And three--and this is the most important--they've organized."

"Let me stop you right there," Vincent said with a distinct tone of disbelief. "I amnot psychic. My dreams never even make any sense!"

"Oh, I know they're confusing. You probably haven't even noticed the connections yet. But for now, think of yourself as a low-budget Cassandra," Reese said, his eyes darting around for something that in his charge's opinion probably wasn't even there.

Vincent wasn't sure how exactly to feel about that last statement. "Who the hell are you? And who are they?"

"Me? I'm on security. Yours, at least. And even you," he continued, growing frustrated, "must have figured out who 'they' are by now."

"Humor me," Vincent replied wearily.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

13-04: Story Chain Part 4

The world grew dark and Vincent was sitting at his computer. He was chained to the desk, each chain link the outline of a smiley face. He was switching between two windows, talking to his friend about Wal-Mart conspiracy theories in one and playing 3D Foosball 2009, using his wrist flick joystick (Just Like a Real Foosball Handle! (TM)) when waiting for a response. With each flick, a peanut butter cup appeared. After a couple minutes, they began multiplying with each flick. Another minute later, they began piling on the floor and multiplying by themselves, among the cats that had come to investigate. A minute later the piles were getting dangerously large and the cats were getting violent. They began biting at Vincent's Shoes and clawing and climbing the chocolate peanut-butter mounds. The cups were piling dangerously high and the cats were getting dangerously close to toppling them. A popping sound started in the distance, getting louder and closer as the piles became larger and increasingly covered in increasingly angry cats. One pile finally fell and began toppling the others, creating a chocolatey, growling, angry avalanche of horror. The cups and cats seemed to turn their gravitational attention toward Vincent, just when there was a deafening POP and Reese appeared right beside Vincent.
"We're getting you out of here!" he yelled, melting the chain with something from his pocket and pulling Vincent free. With another mighty POP, Reese and Vincent disappeared, leaving the falling, furry towers crashing in on the desk, crushing the computer and joystick under the tremendous weight of chocolate, peanut-butter, and angry felines.

Vincent groaned awake, the world jostling back in forth. After a minute the world came into focus and Vincent found himself slung over Reese's shoulder, being carried over distinctly unfamiliar ground....

Friday, June 5, 2009

13-03: Story Chain Part 3

But before Vincent could make a decision, there was a distinctive POP sound that pulled his eyes away from Reese.

He had turned to the opposite end of the street where a small cat-like figure was rummaging through an open trash can. At least, cat-like in the sense that it was small, slender, and had what appeared to be a short tail that wagged about endlessly.


There was that sound again! Vincent quickly turned around, only this time, where Reese had originally been walking.

But where had Reese gone? He could still smell the stale chocolate and peanut butter in the air but couldn't make out Reese. In fact, it seemed like he was having trouble identifying his surroundings. It didn't feel like he was standing on a sidewalk, nor could he see Smiley Convenience's smiley face adorned store sign.

The pavement, the street, the parking lot, the chocolaty, peanut buttery smell; all of it was turning into a blur as Vincent found himself falling face first into the pavement...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

31-02: Story chain part 2

No, it was an odor. The unexpected, unlikely-yet-unmistakable smell of Reese. You know how there are people in your life that you constantly meet but never really know? They are the tangential members of your life. They are always around when you least expect them, always passing you in the hallway, thinking exactly the same thing you are: who is that guy and why is he everywhere? But neither of you ever stop to ask.

Well, Reese was that guy to the entire town. Somehow he is always at the fringe of everyone's life but not a single person actually knows a thing about him, save one. Inexplicably, impossibly, he carried with him a smell mixed from old, dry peanut butter and stale, dusty chocolate and wore the very same outfit sporting a vintage Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Tee. Thus the name.

The realization crept through Vincent as he figured out what the smell was. Vincent looked around him and spotted Reese making his slow way through the carpark. On their current paths, Reese would cross the street just before Vincent got there and Reese will, once again, run a tangent on a point of Vincent's life.

Vincent felt again the conflict between just letting Reese go his own way and running after him.

Monday, June 1, 2009

13-01: Story chain part 1

Vincent angrily held the power button, abruptly interrupting his friend's IM and shutting off his computer.

"Damn animated smiley faces," he thought to himself, the image of a giant yellow face flashing across the window still fresh in his mind. He shuddered involuntarily.

Finding himself unable to concentrate, he put his laptop aside and lifted himself to his feet. He decided the cool autumn air and the smell of newly decomposing leaves would make a good break from the intense discussion of advanced foosball techniques covering up the essay he had due tomorrow at 9 a.m., and set off down the road to the neighborhood's sole 24-hour joint, the regrettably named "Smiley Convenience," complete with creepy Wal-Mart knock-off logo.

Even thinking of the store brought that damn image back to the forefront of his mind, an image he couldn't shake. He was almost thankful when, kust a minute into his 1-mile journey, he became convinced someone was following him. It wasn't just the leaves rustling a little too long after he walked through them, he decided, nor was it the fact the flickering lights seemed to cast too many shadows.

No, it was an odor. The unexpected, unlikely-yet-unmistakable smell of...