I have been tagged by Sadje of Keep it Alive blog, in this Finish the Story Challenge,
Click here to read her post:
Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith began this story:
As soon as Liam read the advertisement, he knew the place was for him. Three-story newly renovated home on a private island in the middle of Hidden Hollow Lake. Owner motivated to sell.
“I will have it!” He scanned the ad for a contact number and phoned it immediately. To his surprise, the agent said the house was his as soon as she answered the phone. “What do you mean the house is mine? I haven’t even made an offer yet.”
She laughed. “Mr Owens, I have been instructed to sell the home to the first person who called, and today is your lucky day. I can meet you on the pier in an hour with your keys.”
“Oh… okay… yeah! Today really is my lucky day, isn’t it?”
Liam rushed around his tiny apartment, threw a few items into a backpack, and caught the train to the pier. Halfway expecting this to be a scam, he was gobsmacked when a professional-looking woman approached him, smiling.
“Mr Owens, I presume?”
“Um, yeah, that’s me.”
“Good. Sign here, please, and I can release your keys to you.”
His hand shook with anticipation as he scratched his name on the form.
“And here are your keys. That man will take you to the island,” she said, pointing to a man in a small rowboat. “Thank you for your business.”
He watched as she walked toward the parking lot and disappeared into the crowd. “How’d she know my name?”
“You ready?” the boatman called.
“Oh, yeah. Sorry.” He climbed into the rowboat and took in the beautiful scenery before him, forgetting all about the sales agent. “This is really pretty, isn’t it?”
The man didn’t respond.
“Ok.” Liam sat in silence until the island came into view. It looked exactly as it had in the advertisement. He rubbed his eyes and pinched himself, convinced it was a dream.
“Get out here,” the boatman said, sternly as they reached the shore.
“Well, thanks, I guess.” Liam stepped out into knee-deep water and shivered as it soaked his pants. “How do I get back?” he asked as the boatman pushed away from the shore.
“There’s a flare in the house should you need it,” he called back, shaking his head.
Liam turned around and saw …
Li at Tao Talk’s part2 :
… a school of sharks swimming straight towards him! As a marine biologist, Liam knew it was unheard of for sharks to swim in a freshwater lake, even though he also knew a small canal connected Hidden Hollow Lake to the Atlantic at certain times of the year. Snapping his focus back to survival, his next thought was to run the 50 yards of knee-deep water before they nabbed him.
As Liam ran 10k every morning, it was no problem outpacing his sea-hunters – or so he thought. Even as his fleet feet touched dry sand he felt snapping jaws latch onto the sole of his shoe. Turning around, he saw a 2-foot tiger struggling to get a better grip on the rubber. Liam was blessed to see a piece of driftwood at hand. He grabbed it and beat the small shark on the head until it let loose and flip-flopped and rolled back into the water.
Unfortunately, in his desperate run for his life, Liam had let go of his backpack. Even now he could see it bobbing farther away from shore. He thought of risking it and going back out, but he could see shark fins circling the pack. His wallet, phone, snacks, a few books, and a couple of changes of clothing were in there. His pockets were empty except for his trusty Swiss Army knife.
The boatman had said something about a flare if he needed it. What kind of place was this?
Liam took a deep breath and looked around. The house of his dreams was another 50 yards. As he got nearer, he saw that the curtains to the windows were open, as was the front door. Curiosity getting the better of him, he ran the final yards. Stepping onto the porch, he heard voices talking inside. Imagine his surprise when….
Paula at Light Motifs’ part:
….he found a bunch of people sprawled over sofas with laptops, iPads, and papers they periodically wadded up in disgust and flung in the corner.
“My agent was right!” moaned one woman. “This is all crap! Every word. I should have become a veterinarian instead.”
Oh no. Liam shrank back in horror. It was too awful to consider. Noooo!
A man stood up. “My poetry is top shelf. If these idiots can’t see that it’s because they’re sheep who want Hallmark card pap. But after I’m dead for another hundred years, well, then they’ll wish they’d appreciated me more.”
Liam’s heart raced with renewed terror. He’d been duped into buying the Ghost Writers’ Grievance Hotel! He’d have to take his chances with the sharks.
“Hey!” The ghost poet pointed at Liam. “Aren’t you that famous publisher’s kid?”
“Me?” Liam’s voice cracked.
The ghostwriters started to float over to the doorway.
“It is him!”
“I saw his photo in the news with Mark Manson.”
“That blogger guy? That’s not real writing.”
“Yes, it is. My friend made thousands on her mommy blog and it was very funny too. Then they turned it into a book!”
“Ridiculous! I’m talking about timeless classics.”
Liam desperately searched for a way to escape these lunatics. But they were all around him now, yapping and jabbering. It was his worst fear.
And then one of them…
Here’s Di’s Part:
…… put a ghostly arm around his shoulders and began to merge himself with his body.
‘Get out of me!‘ Liam shouted pulling at his clothes. ‘How dare you invade my personal space without so much as a by your leave!’
‘Sorry,’ the entity smirked. ‘Just wanted to touch base with the living and get some new ideas.’
‘Well sod off! My ideas are mine and I’ll do with them as I wish to thank you very much!’
With that, he turned on his heel and stalked outside to the echoes of their laughter.
Sprawled on the sand he watched the sharks nibbling at his backpack offshore.
No chance of retrieving that then. He was thirsty and hungry, but to eat he had to face them again.
What on earth was he going to do? Could he welch on the deal? After all, no money had actually changed hands, but the place was perfect for inspiration and he had been toying with the idea of writing a novel.
‘Touch base with the living’
sifted through his head and a plan began to form…………….
Here is Sadje’s addition:
………Liam picked himself up from the beach and assuming a nonchalant attitude walked back to the house. As he entered it he heard mock clapping from a few of the ghosts. Ignoring them he came to center of the living room and said loudly. “I am offering a deal to anyone who is brave enough to take it” there was a hush in the room. Then the poet who had tried to co-occupy his body asked him what was it that he was offering. Liam cleared his throat for theatrical effect and said, “I am offering a collaboration. If you can give me new ideas for my book I will acknowledge your contributions in the book. That way you will achieve the fame you wanted in life, posthumously!”
The room was filled with babbling voices of all the writers and poets. They were excited and intrigued. Liam congratulated himself on his clever idea and went towards the kitchen to get something to eat, leaving them arguing the merits of a collaboration.
As he made himself some coffee and a big sandwich, Liam sensed a presence behind him. The poet and a few other ghosts were there and one of them spoke up “We are happy to take your deal. But we have a condition ……….
Now my addition:
A chill ran down his spine as he felt one of the ghostly forms touch his shoulder.
“What is your condition?” he asked trepidatiously.
The poet grinned, flashing a gap-toothed smile.
“You have to stay here with us on this Island, forever.”
Liam had somehow suspected their request and was willing to go along with it if it will help him realise his dream to become a successful published author. He had no plan to actually keep his word, however. His agile mind went over the idea, what he would gain by it.
“OK, I agree,” Liam said.
The crowd of ghosts cheered so loudly, Liam had to raise his voice to be heard over their din.
“Right, now you need to help me prepare a plotline.”
He had to admit that these literary ghosts had a talent that he could only dream of. The story they collaborated on, was one of the most original, exciting and insightful tales he had ever heard.
However, he had one major problem now……
Right then, who shall I tag?
How about Fandango? Fancy having a go?