Finish the Story — The Future Is Down Part The Fourth

Teresa, over at The Haunted Wordsmith first tagged Fandango to carry on her latest Finish the Storyprompt. Teresa starts it out, then tags another blogger, in this case Fandango, to add the next part. I will tag someone else to continue the story and so on and so on.

Fandango at This, That, and The Other has tagged Li at Tao Talk to write the next chapter in this Finish the Story Tale:  The Future is Down.

Then Li tagged me!

Finish the Story — The Future Is Down

Here is Teresa’s Part 1 of “The Future Is Down”:

For fifty generations, the people of Haven have lived in the sky. Floating without a care in the world in balloons and ships passed down from father to son and mother to daughter. Everything a person would ever need in their balloons was provided to them. The sky lord saw to that. The people were happy and the sky lord was happy. But, even in a perfect life, there is born in every generation one person who is not content. Ivan was this generation’s adventurer.

When other kids passed their day playing cards or making up stories with their family, Ivan stared below his balloon and wondered. He wondered what was below the clouds. Was it a world filled with giant monsters that could gobble him in a single bite? Or, was it a world filled with tiny fairies that fluttered around towering trees just waiting for him to come play?

The more he looked, the more he wondered. And the more he wondered, the more he dreamed. Dreamed of leaving the sky.

And that is exactly what he did on his thirteenth birthday after receiving his very own balloon.

“Goodbye,” he shouted, waving as he slowly deflated his balloon. “I love you all, but have to find out. I’ll write when I can!”

As his balloon inched its way down toward the unknown, Ivan’s heart raced with excitement. “I wonder what I’ll see first.”

Ivan didn’t have long to wait, for as soon as he was in a cloud bank, he saw…

And here is Fandango’s part 2:

…a huge, noisy, metallic, cylindrical tube zoom right by him, causing his balloon to start shaking and shimmering in the strange object’s wake. “Oh sky lord,” he screamed, as he tried desperately to regain control of his balloon. “What the Haven was that?”

“That was an airplane,” a voice said. Ivan turned to see that a strange looking animal of some sort had landed on the rim of his balloon’s basket. It was covered in colorful feathers and it had long, feather-covered arms that flapped up and down in a rhythmic motion. It had small, beady eyes and a pointy, hard looking mouth. And when it spoke to Ivan, it was in more of a squawk than a voice.

“What in the sky lord’s name are you?” Ivan asked the creature. “And what was that thing you call an airplane that almost knocked my balloon out of the sky?”

“I’ve heard of beings like you who live in balloons far above the clouds,” squawked the feathered creature, “but I thought it was just an ancient myth.”

“I’m as real as you are, whatever it is that you are,” Ivan said.

“I am Hawkeye,” the creature said, “and I am what the surface beings call a bird.”

“The surface beings?” Ivan said. “Tell me more, Hawkeye.”

Here is Li’s part 3:


Hawkeye started scouring the balloon’s basket, then gurgled, “First, I gotta know, what is it that you sky people eat anyway? You don’t have access to the ground to grow things in, and I know you don’t eat air!”

Ivan had no idea what “ground” was. “We have baskets that collect cloud water and our food grows in them. Is ‘ground’ a kind of container?”

“Oh boy, you got a lot to learn, Ivan. I’ll be happy to show you, but right now I’m ravenous. Got any of that food with you?”

Ivan walked over to a covered area and pulled back the woven mat. There was a large woven, water-tight basket filled with water – and living things. Hawkeye saw various-colored fish, several kinds of swimming insects, as well as seaweed in the water and watercress on top. “Right here. What are you hungry for, Hawkeye?”

Hawkeye spied a school of large green minnows. Lifting one leg, he pointed at them. Ivan grabbed his net and one in smooth motion netted a minnow. “Here ya go!”

As Ivan was an expert minnow-catcher, Hawkeye was an expert minnow-eater, so the minnow was airborne for a heartbeat then straight down into the multi-colored raven’s gullet with nary a swallow. “And I thought I was going to be teaching you things!,” squawked Hawkeye, then hiccuped.

As all of this was transpiring between air boy and earth raven, the balloon was descending further towards land. Thankfully it was early morning and so air traffic was light. Clear of the clouds now, a panorama of the unfamiliar was laid out before Ivan. Every new thing he saw he pointed at and asked for an explanation. Hawkeye, who had a limited attention span, soon grew weary of answering the questions.

“Ivan, my good buddy, I think it is time to show you what ‘ground’ is. I don’t know how well you can steer this thing, but can you take it over there?” Hawkeye pointed one of his toes towards a vast park-like area with plenty of open space and plenty of trees along the edge of it.

“Then what?”

“Then you land!”

“What’s land?”

“It’s where the ground is. Just go there and as we get closer and I’ll tell you what to do.”

 

And here is my Part Four:

As the green space came closer, Ivan was surprised that unlike clouds that became fainter the nearer you got, this stuff appeared more solid. In the distance was a large pale blue splodge on the landscape.”

“What’s that over in the distance?” Ivan asked.

“Oh, that’s Lake Superior. That’s wet stuff. Don’t land there, land on the green stuff instead.”

As they descended Hawkeye shouted “Prepare yourself,” but Ivan was anything but prepared as his balloon basket crashed into something green that sprayed brown stuff into the air.

“Now THAT’s the ground,” said Hawkeye.

“Is it always so hard?” asked Ivan.

“usually, although sometimes you hit wet stuff and sometimes the wet stuff seeps into the ground and that makes it soggy and squishy. They call that Marsh or swamp. Stick to the hard stuff, there are a lot fewer alligators ” Hawkeye explained helpfully.

“So now what?” asked Ivan.

“Well, let’s go for a hike, you can walk on the ground and I’ll fly.”

As they walked on the ground, Ivan was just amazed at seeing the trees towering above him and the sold feel of this ground beneath his feet. He was so in awe that he failed to see someone sitting under a tree and staring up at the sky. Ivan fell over this sky gazers legs and discovered again just how hard the ground was.

“Oh, I’m terribly sorry. Are you OK?” said the person with the long legs.

Ivan picked himself up and dusted himself down.

“No, it was all my fault, I wasn’t watching where I was going, I was staring at the trees.”

“Really? I was staring up at the clouds aren’t they amazing? They always make me think of Wordsworth. ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats o’er vale and hill'”

“That’s very poetic I’m sure, though hardly original, and I know for a fact that clouds are never lonely,” Ivan responded.

Then Hawkeye came swooping over “Oh, I see you’ve met one of them ‘humans’, then. I wouldn’t linger talking to one of them. They’re not very nice, you know?”

………….. End of Part Four……….

 

So who shall I pass the baton on to?

How about Rory of the blog A Guy Called Bloke, he always shakes things up a bit!

Borrow the Lyrics Challenge

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

FOWC with Fandango — Poetic

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/original/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/rdp-friday-hike/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/your-daily-word-prompt-superior-july-12-2019/

 

 

 

 

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Finish the Story #11 – The Recruit.

I have been tagged by Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith in one of her brilliant Finish the Story Challenges! I do really enjoy these, you never know where the story will end up taking you.

Click on the link below to see her original post:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/finish-the-story-2019-11/

The Rules:

  1. post the story as you receive it
  2. add to the story (or finish it, up to the writer)
  3. tag another person to continue the story (unless you finished it)
  4. Have fun!

Part One – by The Haunted Wordsmith

Adam was like any other eighteen-year-old boy and soon found himself standing in the middle of the training bay being subjected to the drill instructor’s ridicule. It wasn’t his fault the quarter didn’t flip on the old mattress, but he accepted his punishment anyway. He didn’t have another choice.

Ever since the revolution began, more and more troops were needed. There were even whispered rumors of lowering the age to thirteen if you were from a poor family. The government paid dearly for your life. That money could help support the family.

After completing fifty push-ups and parading around the bay in his underwear, Adam and the other recruits headed outside for training. The morning was dedicated to basic weapons and enemy language skills. Many of the recruits were already fluent, but the training was the same. Adam excelled and only realized his mistake when he was called into the Commander’s office that afternoon.

“Take a seat,” Commander Flint said, pointing toward a chair in the corner of the room.

Adam did as he was told and caught his breath as two governmental agents entered Flint’s office. One look from them and Adam knew he was in danger.

“That him?”

“That is Private Adam Ripple, yes.”

“Come with us,” an agent ordered, flashing his sidearm and a warning glance.

Adam stood. “What is this all about?”

The agents stared at him. The one nearest him replied, “…….

Part Two – My Contribution

“You’re a bit of an anomaly, you know?”

Adam couldn’t help feeling a bit cynical. He knew he wasn’t anything special. He was just a kid from the wrong side of the tracks, sent into the army to get him off the streets and to help fight this war that many now felt was unwinnable.

“Me? Apart from an ability to get myself into trouble, I can’t see what makes me any different from any other shmo around here. I’m pretty ordinary.” Adam laughed nervously.

One of the agents bent down and pushed the dark glasses down his nose, fixing Adam with an Icy blue stare. “There’s many a true word spoken in jest, lad. Two things mark you out. Your ability with languages which is by far the best we’ve seen in some time, and the fact that you could blend in anywhere. You’ve finished at this prestigious military academy” he paused to glance out of the window at the makeshift camp, to emphasise the sarcasm in his words. “You graduate as of today. Tomorrow you’re going underground.”

The agents grabbed an arm each and practically dragged him out of the commander’s office and into the back of a black van.

Before he knew it he was……

End of part two.

 

Now, who shall I consider for the next part? Who enjoys this sort of challenge?

I think I will nominate Li of Tao Talk.

Anomaly

 

Have fun 🙂

 

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/rdp-friday-graduate/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/your-daily-word-prompt-cynical-may-17-2019/

FOWC with Fandango — Anomaly

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/jest/

 

 

 

Finish the Story – The Travellers.

Sadje at Keep it Alive has tagged me in this Finish the Story Challenge, see the post here:

Finish The Story #9-2019

Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith came up with the idea, it is a kind of pass the parcel for stories.

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/finish-the-story-2019-9/

The rules:

 

1. Copy the story as you receive it.

2. Add to the story in some fashion.

3. Tag another person to contribute to or finish the story.

4. Please use FTS as a tag so I can find it or link back to part 1.

5. Have Fun!

The Travelers

Alexander and Alistair waited in line to check on their flight. It didn’t matter how long the line was, or how tired they were of waiting in it, they were happy to be getting away for a week. Life had not been difficult, but it was still nice to finally get away–alone.

Alexander couldn’t wait to show Alistair around Pompeii and Alistair couldn’t wait to show Alexander around his old home. They enjoyed people watching in the airport and passed time telling stories of the old days.

Finally, it was their turn to check in. Alexander sat his luggage in the bin and watched as a scrawny kid retrieved it and threw it on a conveyor belt. He cringed and crossed his fingers that his cologne didn’t break.

It wasn’t until they were standing by the large window at their gate watching their luggage be thrown around like last week’s trash that they noticed it. Something was not right.

“Hey, Alistair,” Alexander said, pointing out to the luggage cart. “Do you see that?”

Alistair followed Alexander’s finger and squinted. “Yeah. What is that?”

“I can’t be sure, but it looks like …

Part two – Paula of Light Motifs II

The luggage on one of the other carts was all black with a lightning bolt logo. And sure enough, a black stretch limo with the same logo pulled up directly to the plane and out tumbled the crazy rockers the Zappers and their entourage.

“Oh no,” Alistair moaned. “Those lunatics will be on our flight!”

Alexander sighed. “Horrible. They always get up to some ridiculous shenanigans, but surely they’ll behave themselves in the air?”

“It’s too late to change our tickets?”

“Well, yes. Our luggage is being flung into the bowels of this tin can as we speak.”

The men stared glumly out the window, their previous good mood soured. When they were called to board, they stood in line without speaking, having mutually decided to stoically bear the flight and have fun after landing, when the nutty rockers had gone.

Women chatted behind them in line. “Oh my God! Did you hear that the Zappers are on our flight? I’m totally gonna sneak into first class to see them!”

“I have such a crush on Nikki Zapper! I bet he does something wild and we have to make an emergency landing!”

Alistair and Alexander looked at each other and rolled their eyes.

But all went smoothly during takeoff, and then as one of the flight attendants was giving the safety presentation, a blond man dressed in black leather popped out of the first class section, grabbed her, and kissed her.

Part Three Li at Tao-Talk

Several people in coach lifted up their cell phones to record Nikki as he laid one on Myra, the flight attendant, ooh-ing and aah-ing as they did. Myra was torn, as she was supposed to rebuff any advances by the passengers, no matter how famous; but on the other hand, she had been a global fan of Nikki and the Zappers for years, using her bene of free flights to see them dozens of times. She even had a likeness of Nikki tattooed in her cleavage. Throwing caution to the wind, she kissed Nikki back and soon they, locked in an embrace, were stumbling towards the bathroom – where they would be the newest members of the Mile High Club.

As they often synched with each other over the years, Alistair and Alexander looked at each other and rolled their eyes.

“Well, I never!” huffed Alistair.

“Indeed!,” puffed Alexander.

“Let the shenanigans begin. Where are those sleepers you packed? Time to take a snooze until the show is over,” said Alistair.

Alexander reached for his carry-on, which was stuffed under his seat, and retrieved enough for both of them. They asked another attendant for a handful of the little booze bottles to wash them down with. Soon they were fast asleep, snoring to beat kingdom come.

Neither one knew how long they had slept, but both were awakened by the throbbing bassline of the latest Nikki and the Zappers tune, “Don’t Harsh My Buzz.” They were shocked to see….

Part Four Teleporting Weena;

…that the lights in the plane’s cabin had been turned off. Being that it was night time, they couldn’t see a thing in the dark. The bass guitar was still pounding out the beat so loud it shook their insides.

Suddenly an explosion of neon-like lights began flickering all around the plane’s interior, as the Zappers launched into their current number one song.  Passengers were crowding into the narrow aisle, and even just standing at their seats, dancing and singing along to the music.

The captain came on the loudspeakers: “Welcome to the party of the year…we present the Zappers for your inflight entertainment. Free drinks for everyone!

A big cheer rocked this unusual concert venue.

“Can you believe this?” Alistair asked as he busted a move right there in his seat.

Alexander looked at Alistair. They were grinning from ear to ear but didn’t roll their eyes at this exciting turn of events.

Cocktails and cups of beer were passed around, as the party continued through the night, 32,000 feet above the ground, but a sudden lurch of the plane made everyone gasp. The plane yawed to the left, then to the right. People screamed and tumbled into each other.

This is your captain…please everyone…sit down and fasten your seat belts…

***

Part Five – Sadje of Keep it Alive

……..we have a pick of air turbulence. It took repeated announcements from the caption to quieten down the passengers who were still hyped up from all the drinking and dancing. Eventually, everyone was seated, the belts fastened and a hush descended on the plane. Suddenly there was a jerk as the plane lost a lot of height very quickly. It was an air pocket that caused the loss in the plane altitude. There were quite a few screams and shrieks from many people.

The pilot came on air again.

I am sorry ladies and gentlemen we are in the middle of a storm right now. Please keep the seat belts on. I am afraid that we have lost power in one of our engines. I am trying to make an emergency landing………..

His announcement was cut abruptly and….

Part Six – My Addition

…the oxygen masks dropped from their concealed compartments above the passengers.

Alistair and Alexander helped each other putting them on and then they squeezed hands.

The atmosphere had gone from one of enjoyment to panic. A few people had begun to get hysterical. Myra the Stewardess was trying to comfort one particularly distressed woman who couldn’t stop crying.

Then there was a loud bang and a hiss as the cabin filled with smoke. Alistair could just see Alexanders face through the haze. His eyes were scrunched tightly together and his grip on his hand was threatening to cut the blood supply from his fingers, but they were together and that was some comfort.

It was the impact of the plane hitting the water that sent luggage pouring out of overhead compartments and a few chairs broke loose, tumbling bodies around like they were dummies.

Myra lay at an impossible angle. Her legs bent backwards and her head twisted.

A figure lay face down in a black leather jacket and the strings of a broken guitar wrapped around his neck.

After the terrific noise of the impact, everything seemed deathly quiet. Alexander’s eyes opened, tears streaming down his face but he fixed Alistair with a desperate blue stare.

They had survived the crash but so many hadn’t.

A panicked voice suddenly came from over the tannoy system.

“This is the Navigator speaking. If there are any other survivors, please come to the front of the plane and make yourselves known.”

Together Alistair and Alexander got up from their chair and slowly made their way down the plane.

They were surprised to see…..

***

OK, I am going to tag Rory, A Guy Called Bloke to have a go at adding some more of this story.

QQ – Ask Me a Question, Anything You Like!

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/rdp-tuesday-haze/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/enjoyment/

 

 

 

Finish the Story Challenge – A New You.

This challenge was started by Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith and then passed to Rory, A Guy Called Bloke. Both of these are definitely in my list of favourite bloggers. Rory has passed the challenge on to me to add to.

Here is Rory’s post:

Finish The Story 2019 – #8

and here is Teresa’s original post:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/03/13/finish-the-story-2019-8/

store-984393_1920

Finish The Story 2019 – #8

Tailoring A New You

The small shop sat on the corner of Houston and Parker for more than a century. Any piece of clothing a person ever needed could be found there. They even sold hand stitched underwear. The Frederickson family owned the shop from the day it opened, and everyone loved the family.
It wasn’t just the customer service, low prices, and great quality that brought customers back for generations – it was the other things the Fredericksons offered. They say a new pair of clothes can change a person, and at A New You, they meant it. One had to be careful when requesting a custom suit – you didn’t want to get your specifications wrong. Why, even one misplaced check mark could have dire consequences on a person’s future.
Take Emilio for example, he …
***
Part 2 – Rory from A Guy Called Bloke

Take Emilio for example, he … had listened to his Father Fausto for years, since indeed when he had been kneehigh to a grasshopper crediting and hailing the Fredericksons or as his Father pronounced it the Frederickshons for their exquisitery and finery in being able to produce something absolutely remarkable from sometimes the most staidest of cloth and if not that then there was this magical element to the garments, you didn’t just wear the suit, the suit wore you!
Fausto, had been a young man when he had first ventured into the German tailors at the bequest of his own Father Gregorio, Emilio’s Grandfather only armed with the words – ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover Fausto, this family are from a long line of magickal tailors. They enthuse the garments with not just love and beauty, nor experience and wisdom but if l didn’t know better, l would say with their very souls and blood, indeed it is almost like wearing another person’s skin, but in suit form. For the best suit anywhere in this world, this is the only place to be”
“The moment you slip inside the fabric, it’s almost like you are a different person. My last bit of advice is you must know what you and who you want and where you want to be in life? Then the master tailor Gunther he will make you a masterpiece of craftsmanship. There will never be anything like it ever again, it will be your one and only suit from the time you start your professional life to the day you stop working, then you MUST take off that suit and return it to the family of the Frederickshons, so that they can destroy it, do you understand what l am saying to Fausto?”
“I think so Father, yes.” Fausto answered rather confusedly.
When Fausto had gone to the family tailors he had been made a suit so fine, so fitting that he never needed another suit ever again in his life, he had wanted to be rich and successful and within a very short time Fausto had become one of the cities most sought out grocers. No one had fruits or vegetables of the quality that Fausto had. No one could ever outsell him, outbid him, outsmart or outfool him. After 50 years he had built up an empire of grocery stalls that was the best in all of the Americas! Fausto had wanted his favourite and only Son Emilio to take on the family business, but Emilio needed his own power suit, his own successful three-piece so he could follow in his Father’s footsteps ………
.….except Fausto hadn’t actually asked his Son what and if he wanted to follow in his Father’s shadow, or if he wanted to lead his own life?
Of course the truth had he been asked was indeed different – Emilio wanted his Sister Alessandra to take on her Father’s business. His Sister had always been keenly astute on that side of the business, she was very taken with fruits and vegetables and herbs, she was a fabulous cook, who knew all the right ingredients to make each dish spectacular – she was in her own rights their families best chef! You see Emilio, well he had other interests, and they didn’t involve cucumbers, broccoli or marrows – he used to play with bananas and pretend they were guns …. and even more recently he had made friends with Alphonse who had even bigger dreams. Alphonse had at one time been a Five Points Gang member and was shrewd, he was also closely associated with the notorious Johnny Torrio. Alphonse himself was a right ‘snorky’, and also used the Frederickshons for his own suits, but he had many made and needed more than one, for his many shades of personality and success. Snorky was the terms for ‘sharp dresser’ and Emilio wanted to be like Alphonse too!
The year was 1923, the location was Chicago and Emilio and Alphonse walked into the Frederickshons Tailors where Gunther upon seeing them, greeting them both, “Emilio, your Papa Fausto said you would be stopping by with your new friend, but l never knew, this was the type of suit you wanted!” Turning to Alphonse, “Mr Capone it is so good to see you again, a new suit is it?”
” Gunther, not at all, l want you to outfit my new boy here, Emilio, tell the man what you want?”
Emilio, smiled a big proud toothy grin and said …..

Part 3 – My Addition

“I want to look drop dead gorgeous” Emilio said. He liked the ladies, but so far in his life, they seemed to realise he was a low life scumbag who liked gangs and violence and so stayed well away.

Unfortunately the Magical Tailor, Gunther, was become a trifle deaf. He was coming up to two hundred years old and was way past retirement age. Being slightly deaf, he failed to hear Emilio’s last word. You would have thought that it would have occurred to him that Emilio’s request was rather strange and therefore he must have misheard, but senility was creeping in, so he crafted the suit according to the very request he had heard.

Within a week of wearing it, Emilio had dropped dead.

The consequences of Gunther’s auditory and mental deterioration were even more drastically displayed when poor Tristram Van De Gould went in for a fitting.

He asked for a waistcoat that would make him appear slimmer, what he ended up with was a straightjacket that prevented him from eating at all. He died of an empty stomach.

If you thought things couldn’t get any worse, you were wrong because next……..

 

And here I pass the story on to….

Paula Light of Light Motifs 2

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2019/03/17/song-lyric-sunday-school/

Rules–
Copy the story below as it appears when you receive it (and the rules please)
Add somehow to the story in which ever style and length you choose
Tag only 1 person
If you choose to not participate or finish the story, please comment/tag this post so that I know.

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/03/17/empty/

 

 

 

 

Finish the Story – The House on the Lake

This story is part of the Finish the Story Challenge that Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith hosts. I was tagged by the lovely Sadje of Keep it Alive,

Finish The Story Challenge 2019#7

The House on the Lake 

Part One from The Haunted Wordsmith –

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/finish-the-story-2019-7/

A house sat perched precariously on the edge of Clearwater Lake. It was a house that should not have stood, yet stand it did. It had been there for centuries and locals swore the same couple lived there the whole time. Locals never knew how right they were until the day the rains started.

“It’s just a little rain,” Susan said, watching the couple pile water and canned fruit into their shopping cart.

The couple looked at the checker and smiled politely. “The rain will not stop,” they said, “we’ve seen this before.”

No sooner had the couple left, Susan but dropped her smirk as locals poured into the shop chaotically looking for food. The once spring storm skies has turned …

To be continued………

Part Two – Sadje – Keep It Alive. 

……..dark grey, the rain increasing in intensity. The deluge continued for that day and night. By next morning the people were getting very concerned and the shopping for groceries and bottled water increased to the extent that the selves were barren of most edible goods.

Some of the locals were thinking of getting in touch with the couple in the hut to get some information about these rains, because some of them had overheard their comment about the rains not stopping and that they had seen it before.

So a group of the local elders went to speak to the couple, at their house at the edge of the lake. But when they got there they were surprised to see that…….

Part Three – My Addition

the couple were missing.

As they searched the house by the lake, the rain continued to fall, splashing into the lake. The wind caused the water to spray against the glass window panes.

Two skeletons were found lying in an upstairs bedroom. The hands were clasped as if they had died holding hands. Next to the body was a leather-bound book.

One of the Elders, Mrs Marianne Penniment, picked up the book and opened it.

The writing inside was elaborate and regal, not like the writing you see now, but like something out of a bygone age, where people wrote with pen and ink rather than biros.

The last entry in the book was telling. It read

“The flood waters are getting higher and we have little food left. There is nothing that can be done now except warn those who come after.”

It was dated April 1869, exactly 150 years before.

The other Elders gathered around as Elder Marianne continued to read from the diary,

it said…….. to be continued.

 

So the rules of the challenge are:

1. Copy the story as you receive it.

2. Add to the story in some fashion.

3. Tag another person to contribute to or finish the story.

4. Please use FTS as a tag so I can find it or link back to part 1.

5. Have Fun!

 

So, who shall I nominate?

How about Li, from Tao Talk?

Dream haibun

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/03/11/missing/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/03/11/rdp-monday-spray/

FOWC with Fandango — Regal

 

 

 

 

Finish the Story #5 – The Unusual Commute

I have been tagged in this challenge by Sadje of the blog, Keep it Alive:

Finish the story 2019#5

Thank you, Sadje, I shall try to do it justice.

Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, started it off, see her post here:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/finish-the-story-2019-5/

 

Rules:

1. Copy the story as you receive it.

2. Add to the story in some fashion.

3. Tag another person to contribute to or finish the story.

4. Please use FTS as a tag so I can find it or link back to part 1.

5. Have Fun!

 

Part one 

Faith stretched and yawned. Somewhere in the house, the kittens were rough-housing and the neighbour’s rooster crowed ear-splittingly loud. There was no use in complaining to the Harvey’s again. She sighed, sat up, and slipped into her slippers. Warm chestnut aroma filtering from the kitchen suggested she was running late. The coffee pot’s timer was set for six, but it felt much earlier. Probably should not have watched the late-late movie, she told herself.

“Tom is always worth it.” She chuckled and set about her morning routine.

By the time she showered and poured her coffee to go, she had decided it was much later than usual. No time for breakfast or yoga. Traffic was light and convinced her even more that she was running behind schedule. She dashed through the terminal and reached the train doors with seconds to spare. They closed behind her and the train lurched forward.

Faith grabbed a hold of the person in front of her to avoid falling over and chuckled. “Excuse me. Sorry. I didn’t mean –“

Without intending too, she screamed as her eyes took in the thing standing in front of her. She released her grip and stepped back.

“Watch it, young lady,” a voice said behind her.

Faith glanced behind her and …

Part Two – 

She uttered a shrill scream. The vision in front of her was unbelievable. The guy, or was it just a gawky teenager, she couldn’t tell because of the clown makeup he was wearing. The costume was all colours of the rainbow and the face was so skillfully made up to resemble a zombie clown. He was grinning at her and with the get up it really looked as if he was ready to devour her with those sharp teeth.

She looked around her and realized that the whole compartment was full of clowns in different costumes and get up. They were all chatting and laughing with each other. It seemed that she had stepped into a nightmare. It wasn’t their fault. Not everyone is afraid of clowns.

She found an empty seat and sat there. Careful to keep her eyes averted from all those clowns. The train was travelling at an unusually fast speed and soon it stopped at the next station. The doors open to let in………….

My Addition – 

…even more clowns. She blinked and rubbed her eyes. She couldn’t believe that everyone getting on was dressed in the same kind of clown outfits as everyone already on the train.

She fumbled in her handbag and took out her asthma spray and gave it two puffs into her mouth.

She felt the tightening in her lungs relax and was able to breathe again, but it didn’t alter the fact that she was in a living nightmare. Her fear of clowns had been something she could usually deal with. After all, as long as you avoid circuses and were careful about what movies you watch, you could normally avoid clowns easily.

Occasionally one of the clowns would look down at her cowering in her seat and grin menacingly at her either with red painted lips or from behind a mask.

One person came up to her and bend down to speak to her.

“Feeling a little nervous are we?” The voice said.

“Well, just you wait until we get to our destination” the man added.

“Wait, isn’t this the train to the centre of town? I’m late already for work” Faith asked.

The man laughed for what seemed like a lifetime and eventually responded.

“Oh no, this is the express train to…….”

to be continued…..

 

So who shall I tag to continue this Clownish tale?

How about…..

Li from Tao Talk? Fancy having a go?

Global Teamwork

 

 

 

Finish the Story 2019 #3 – One Day

I really enjoy these challenges, but apologies for not doing it quicker.

Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith has tagged me in her latest Finish the Story challenge.

See the post here:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/01/15/finish-the-story-2019-3/

Rules:

  1. Copy the story as you receive it.
  2. Add to the story in some fashion.
  3. Tag another person to contribute to or finish the story.
  4. Please use FTS as a tag so I can find it or link back to part 1.
  5. Have Fun!

 

Part one – from The Haunted Wordsmith

Victor tugged at the rigging and twisted the rusty knob on the gas tank. He didn’t like leaving his family’s lives in the hands of a second-hand balloon, but what could he do? Everything was gone already; he was lucky to have found this under all the other rubbish in the dump.

“Here, Papa.” Maddie handed him her small, floral bag filled with all her worldly possessions.

He looked in her eyes and smiled. “Thank you, sweetheart.”

“Is there room, Papa?” Jacob clutched his bag close to his chest. “I don’t really need it if there isn’t.”

Victor took his son’s bag and looked inside. Tears flowed down his cheeks. “There is always room for our dreams.” He tucked the wrapped notebook and Maddie’s bag into a small cubby in the balloon’s basket.

Maddie went in first, then Jacob.

“Victor,” Rose said, wiping the tears from her husband’s face, “we are doing the right thing, aren’t we?”

He held her hand against his cheek and closed his eyes. Silently, he nodded and took a deep breath. “It’s the only way.”

Victor helped her into the basket, then he climbed in and turned the knob on the flame. The family waited and watched as the sky filled with balloons. Friends and neighbors made the same choice they had. Many would, some didn’t. It was the only way.

As the balloon tugged against its last connection to the Earth, Maddie screamed and pointed. Victor turned and saw …

Part two – my Addition

The horde of Invaders, wearing their strange red painted leather armour and waving their jagged swords in the air, come marching over the hill.

No one knew where these strange people had come from. It had only been a year ago when radio waves from space had been received that proved they were not the only inhabited planet in the universe. Then they arrived with their great big ships. First, they took over Washington DC. No one had cared when they publicly executed their President, most people didn’t like him much anyway, but then they started turning people into slaves.

The world had been so divided against each other that they could not stop this mighty external force and now they had made it to California.

America was finished. Only one country now held any chance of resistance. They were going to try to make it to Russia. His grandparents had fled from there to escape Communist ideology and now he was trying to go back. He hoped the little bit of Russian he remembered being taught on his Grandmothers knee would be enough to get by.

Victor jumped into the Balloon basket and cut the rope. The wind picked up and they drifted off, just in the nick of time.

The prevailing wind blew them Northwestwards across Oregon and slowly out to sea.

Rose began dishing out some of their meagre food rations, bread and cheese, when she started laughing, hysterically.

Victor grabbed her arm “What is it?”

Rose looked up into his face and said …….

 

To be Continued.

 

I think I will choose,

Jo, the Creative PTSD Gal, to take this on if she feels up for the challenge. 🙂

Twittering Tales #119: Seer’s Sup

 

I have also included The Haunted Wordsmiths Three Things Challenge

Russian, Leather, Cheese.

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/01/15/three-things-challenge-2019-15/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/01/15/your-daily-word-prompt-ideology-january-15-2019/

 

Finish the Story – A New Dawn, Part Three.

Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, has started a new Finish the Story for January. See here:

She Tagged Fandango who added his Part two, see here:

And Fandango tagged me, so here goes….

F7C858C7-5C5F-4B49-81D4-00ED4A80923B

A New Dawn, Part 1

The snow pelted Jon in the face as he stumbled toward the trees. He looked back at the city lights and brushed his long, wet hair out of his eyes. The lights that once held such wonder and mystique now held only despair and heartache. He remembered the warm spring day he first pulled into the city and saw her on the corner waiting for a bus. Lacey would soon be his girlfriend, then fiancé with a little boy on the way. That seemed so long ago. A time when his life was perfect.

He turned back to the trees and allowed the dark to engulf him. Tripping and running into low-hanging branches reminded him he was still alive – for now. Blinded by the snow, tears, and rage, Jon pushed further into the blackness of despair.

Suddenly the ground gave way and he tumbled into a grove surrounded by dead trees. Blood poured over the side of his face and no matter how much he tried, he did not have the strength to fight to live. He only prayed, as he closed his eyes, that they would be waiting for him.

Robins and other songbirds stirred him. Warm rays from the rising sun warmed him, and as his eyes batted and tried to make out what had happened, a sweet voice laughed.

“Lacey?”

The voice laughed again as Jon rubbed his eyes and sat up.

“No silly,” the voice said. “It’s …”

Part Two – Written by Fandango.

“It’s Matilda and I am your guide.”

Jon could not see the source for the voice. It seemed to be coming from all around him. “My guide? Show yourself, guide. What is this place and why must I have a guide?” he asked.

The guide laughed again. “Oh Jon, everyone who comes here needs a guide. You’d be lost without one. You wouldn’t know what to do next. Besides Jon, you did pray for me. Don’t you remember?”

The last thing Jon remembered was falling down, tumbling into a glade, and feeling battered, bloody, weak, and hopeless. He touched his head, but there was no blood. He looked at his clothing only to discover, much to his dismay, that he was draped in a white silk robe and had leather sandals on his feet. “I don’t understand,” Jon said. “Where exactly am I and why am I dressed this way?”

“All in due time, Jon,” Matilda said in a smooth, calming voice.

“I demand that you show yourself,” Jon said. “Show yourself and tell me what this place is.”

“I am not like a child who should be seen and not heard,” Matilda said. “Quite the opposite, in fact. As to where you are, Jon, a smart man like you should have figured that out by now.”

“Am I dead?” Jon asked. “Am I in Hell?”

“You’re not in Hell,” Matilda said. “And neither are you in Heaven, Jon. You’re in …”

Part Three

“You’re in the place between.”

“Between where?” Jon’s voice started to show the fear that he had been trying to keep concealed.

“Why, between everywhere, of course. I’ll help you navigate your way. Trust me. Every step you take will make you relive every important decision that you ever made and you will see how it affected everything. Step forward now.”

Jon took a step into the bright sunlight. There was nothing beneath his feet, no ground to hold him up, but he trusted the voice and remained hopeful. Then his foot seemed to land on something soft and solid.

A blinding light flashed and he looked out through the eyes of his own childhood. He remembered standing there, looking through the bannisters looking down at his father in a drunken rage. His father’s arm pounding into a pile of cotton clothes that lay at the foot of the stairs. Should he stay hidden, or rush to stop his father. Try to bring him to his senses. The white clothes had begun to turn red.

Violence was in his blood. He’d remained hidden. Later he would be sent to a foster home and his father drank himself to death.

He didn’t want to remember any more. The memories had led him into his own drink problem.

The soft, calm voice came again.

“It’s Okay Jon. It’s over now. Step forward, there is no going back now you can only go forward.”

He took another step forward and this time ……

End of Part Three.

The Rules

  1. Copy the story as he or she receives it.
  2. Add to the story in some fashion.
  3. Tag yet another person to contribute to or finish the story.
  4. Please use FTS as a tag so Teresa can find it or link back to part 1.
  5. Have Fun!

OK. Who shall I nominate.

How about Sadje at Keep it Alive?

I apologise for taking it in quite a dark direction….

Finish the Story – Dec #4 – The Snow Angel,

Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith has tagged me in one of her brilliant Finish the Story challenges.

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/finish-the-story-dec-4/

Rules

  1. Copy the story as it appears when you receive it (and the rules please)
  2. Add somehow to the story in which ever style and length you choose
  3. Be sure to pingback or comment on the original post please. Please use the tag THWFTS.
  4. Tag only 1 person to continue the story
  5. Have fun!

Part One: 

Harriet loved the Christmas season. Everything went up Thanksgiving evening and didn’t come down until New Year’s Eve. People could see her Christmas tree from the other end of the block. 

This year, Harriet’s theme was the snow angel. Her tree was flocked with white, glistening snow and decorated with cherubs and angels of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Tiny angels surrounded snowmen on the mantle and Santa even had a young angel girl riding in the sleigh with him, while Mrs. Claus entertained a Snow Angel Brownie troop back at the North Pole.

Her house was filled with Christmas music and everywhere she looked, there was joy. Everywhere except in her heart. No one knew how lonely Harriet was and how much she longed for company. Oh, neighbors would stop at the door when caroling and families would wave as they walked past, but none came to visit.

Two weeks before Christmas a snowstorm struck the town and left behind nearly a foot of snow. Mr. Chen and Mr. Howard were kind enough to snowplow the neighborhood’s sidewalk. They salted the main walk and all the way up to Harriet’s door. 

“Thank you, gentlemen,” she said as they tossed a final handful of salt on her porch. “Would you like to come in for hot chocolate?”

The two men smiled and made their apologies for not having time, and went on their way. Harriet understood, but was saddened just the same. She closed her front door and went into the kitchen to pour herself a cup. While looking out the back window, she gasped. 

“Well, I wonder who made that,” she said. “It’s a perfect snow angel.”

She looked around for footprints, but there were none. Just a perfect little angel in the snow.

Part two:

Then as she stood there in her pink woollen cardigan, with her slippers slowly getting wet from the melting snow, Harriet, gazed up and saw something amazing, something magical.

As Angel hovered in the sky, just by her old Oak tree, flapping its white’s wings. He was a male angel, who looked quite old and had a lopsided golden halo over his bald head.

“Oh, Excuse me. I do apologise for making an impression in the snow. I’ve not had these wings for very long and I jumped out of your tree, but didn’t get the hang of them in time, so I landed face down in your garden. I am sorry. I’m just so clumsy, I fumble all the time.”

Slightly bewildered, Harriet gaped open-mouthed and just managed to mumble “That’s quite alright”.

“My Names Clarence. What’s yours?” he flew down towards her and held out his hand then awkwardly nearly knocked her over. 

“I’m Harriet,” she said as she shook his hand. It was warm and he had a nice friendly smile, so she decided to be hospitable. “Would you like to come in for a cup of tea?” she offered.

“Well, that’s very kind of you. Yes, I would, very much. I haven’t had a good cup of tea in simply ages.”

As she put the kettle on, she heard banging coming from the living room. He certainly was a very clumsy Angel.

Clarence had knocked over her easel and there was paint all over the floor. He picked up her latest picture, it was a painting of the local park, with the ducks on the pond and some children playing with a toy boat.

“Did you paint this?” Clarence asked.

“Yes, yes I did. Do you like it?” Harriet was so pleased. She had learned to paint at college and had always enjoyed it, but no one had ever come in for long enough for her to show her paintings to. They were mostly of the local area, they usually had children in them.

“I think it is a masterpiece,” Clarence said, “I think you need to share this with other people. In fact, I’ve made up my mind, I am going to……”

To be continued …….


So Who shall I pass the Baton on to? Who would like to have a go? 

How about Sadje at Keep it Alive? 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/masterpiece/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/rdp-thursday-fumble/

Finish the Story Nov #3 – The Map

map-of-the-world-2241469_1920

I have been tagged by Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith in one of her excellent ‘Finish the Story’ challenges. See the link below:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/finish-the-story-nov-3/comment-page-1/#comment-6019

Here are the Rules

  1. Copy the story as it appears when you receive it (and the rules please)
  2. Add somehow to the story in which ever style and length you choose
  3. Be sure to pingback or comment on the original post (here) please
  4. Tag only 1 person to continue the story
  5. Have fun!

Part one – by The Haunted Wordsmith 

The Map

Harold’s father, Trevor, travelled the world looking for antiques for the family store in Boston. “One day you’ll get to come with me, Harold,” his father would say, but that day never came. And it probably would never come. Especially now. Two weeks ago, his father disappeared. His plane landed safely, he checked into his hotel, then disappeared. He never showed up for the appointment at the Owl Emporium in London. The family has not given up though, that’s not like them. Megan and Harold run the shop together just as they had when he was away. It was best to convince themselves that he would be back shortly, then never at all.

The door to the shop clanged early one Saturday afternoon. Harold was manning the shop while his mother bought lunch.

A short man with a grey, Herringbone jacket and a black homburg hat entered the store carrying a long tube under his arm. “Good day, young man.”

Harold was perplexed, but hey, a customer was a customer. “Hi. Can’t I help you find something?”

The man chuckled lightly. “Ah, it is I that can help you find something. It is Harold? Harold Glade is it not?”

Harold searched his memory, but couldn’t find this strange man. The look on his face made the customer chuckle.

“We have never met, young man. You can put your mind to rest. However, I have met your father, and he needs your help.”

“My father?” Harold stiffened and gasped. “How do you know my father?”

“There is no time for that. He is in danger. This map and time compass will help you. You have no time to lose. That’s all I can do to help.”

The customer put the tube on the counter, looked around quickly as if he expected some masked assassin to jump out from behind a set of armor, and ran out the door.

Harold stood there with his mouth agape and opened the tube. Inside was an ancient map and what appeared to be a compass, but neither the map nor the compass looked right. For starters, the compass not only had the four points, it had a dial with numbers on it that ranged from zero to current year. The map shifted and changed place names as Harold turned the time dial on the compass.

“What is going on?”

Just as Harold asked, the door to the shop burst open and three men in black suits stood in the doorway. Without thinking what he was doing, Harold grabbed the map, turned the time dial, and pushed a tiny button on the side of the compass.

His stomach lurched and he shut his eyes until the sudden rush of wind had stopped. When he opened his eyes, he couldn’t believe it. Instead of being in his family’s antique shop, he was …

 

Here is my addition…

Part Two – Tales from the Mind of Kristian

fountain-2955681_1920

… in a beautiful garden. He gaped amazed at all the trees and flowers. The fresh, clean air was nothing like his poor polluted lungs were used to, living in a huge sprawling metropolis. If this was Boston, it was one he was not familiar with, Boston from many years ago.

There were no buildings or people. It was incredibly peaceful, the kind of atmosphere that makes you want to whisper.

Harold wandered around and heard the sound of running water, off in the distance. As he got nearer the trees thinned and he saw a little lake with a fountain gushing in its centre. This was evidence that whatever time this was, there were people around somewhere.

He continued walking around the lake and saw a sundial on a plinth. It wasn’t much good as the sun was behind a thick layer of cloud, but carved on the stone plinth was a year. 1773! Something about that date tickled the back of his mind. He was a Bostonian, born and bred but he had little love of history. The fact that his father owned an antique shop had rather tainted any love of history he may have had.

He took the map out of his pocket and examined it. America was only roughly drawn, it was clear that whoever drew the map knew of the existence of the Americas but didn’t really have any idea what they looked like. It was also clear that whatever this map was meant to help find, he was on the wrong side of the Atlantic to find it. He had to go to the old world, not the new one.

Turning over the map, he saw scrawled in tiny writing on one corner a few words in a familiar hand. It was his fathers writing, written with what appeared to be an old-fashioned quill pen, judging by the scratchy marks.

The writing gave the location of a city in Europe and a date. The date wasn’t 1773 it was even earlier than that. Harold took out the compass and turned the dial to show the coordinates and the date but before he could press the tiny button……..

to be continued…… 

 

I have also included the word prompts from another of The Haunted Wordsmiths Challenges:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/daily-writing-challenge-nov-7/

whisper, little, sundial

 

So, who shall I nominate to continue this story…..

I choose Melanie B Cee from Sparks from combustible Mind.

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2018/11/06/just-a-mite-off-plumb/

Have fun, I can’t wait to read what happens next!