Unfocused me tagged me as part of the viral chain story. I can always use the exercise. So here is my contribution.
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 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)
… wreak my terrible vengeance on the people who had forced me into hiding in this crummy town, so small it didn’t merit a point on the map, so pointless that it didn’t even have a name. The farmers who fought the surrounding land for a living just called it Town; the townies didn’t call it anything except “this shithole” or, if they were ambitious or lucky enough to leave, “that shithole.”
I had come to this shithole after running out on an arrest warrant back home in River. I brought Monster, even though being so … distinctive, he made it harder to hide; I couldn’t just leave him behind. The crooked judge who signed the warrant, the weaselly sheriff who swore out the complaint against me, and most particularly old man Berringer; I’ll get them all.
My plan unfolded before me, surprisingly simple. With this raft, I would simply float down the filthy, slow-moving river to Springfield. The backyards of both the judge and Berringer each extended down to the river; taking care of them would be easy. The sheriff would be harder; even if he weren’t on duty, his home was on the other end of town.
No matter. I’ll figure it out when the time comes. They’ll pay for framing me for…(Unfocused Me)
And so the story continues:
A rifle. That’s what I need. They don’t ask for no background checks or nothing down at the town’s gun store. The owner would sell me a a bazooka with a smile if I could pony up the cash. I’ll have to dig out the old cashbox from the backyard. Better do it at night when nobody is looking. Old Man Parker has been snooping around here lately, can’t have him find my money. Yeah, a three-odd-six, some ammo and the boat.
Drift, shoot and move on.
And now for the next sucker… I mean fellow story tellers.