Finish the Story 2020 #6 – What’s In The Basket

Teresa has started a new; Finish The Story.
First, the rules:
1) Copy and paste the story as you receive it
2) Contribute to or finish the story
3) Tag another person to continue (unless you finish it, of course)
4) Have fun!

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

What’s In The Basket

Evan and Dot woke early Easter morning, jumped out of their twin-sized beds and bolted for their bedroom door.

“Me first,” Evan said, ripping Dot’s hand off the door handle.

Dot scoffed and pulled Evan’s hand away from the door. “Nuh-uh, me first!”

In one swift motion, Evan grabbed Dot’s nightgown and pulled her to the ground. Even though they were twins, Evan had two inches and ten pounds on her. “Me first.”

No sooner had he reached for the door, he began howling in pain as Dot’s teeth sank lower into his bare leg. “MOM!”

Mom and Dad rushed into their room. Evan’s face turned bright red as he spied Dad’s Superman boxers. Dad owned the situation and assumed Superman’s famous pose, glaring down at his daughter. “Dorthy Alice Cooper!”

“What have we said about biting?” Mom finished.

They were always finishing each other’s sentences. Especially when yelling at Evan or Dot.

Tears soaked Evan’s t-shirt more when Dot dug her nails into his butt when she stood.

“He started it!”

“Don’t you dare give me that, little Miss,” Mom said, wagging her finger. “You know what today is, don’t you?”

Dot nodded. “That’s why I wanted to be first.”

Evan’s eyes lit as he sneered at her. “You admit you started it. Oh my gosh! You are so going to get it!”

“Excuse me,” Dad said, gripping Evan on the shoulder. “Is that how we behave.”

Evan winced and shook his head.

“You two know what happens when little boys and girls have been mean to each other on Easter, don’t you?”

Dot and Evan looked at each other in horror. They knew alright. Everyone knew. They gulped and looked at Mom and Dad. “We’re sorry,” they said in unison.

Mom shook her head and looked at Dad who shrugged. “You know what’s going to happen if you don’t mean it. I think the Easter bunny left your basket in the living room.”

Evan and Dot bolted out the door and ran downstairs. Soon, shouts of “me first” and “you’re mean” filtered through the house. Mom sighed and Dad shrugged. “What can you do?”

Evan was the first to reach the Easter basket laden with goodies. There were eggs of all colors, chocolate coins, marshmallow bunnies, and rainbow-colored plastic grass. He slapped Dot’s hand away from his favorite colored egg and reached in to see if there was anything under the grass.

The room started spinning and all he could think of was to grab onto his sister for dear life, hoping she would save him and stop whatever was happening–she didn’t.

With a flash of light and deafening crack, Evan and Dot landed painfully on their bottoms.

Dot was the first to open her eyes. “Where are we?”

Part 2 by Di of Pensitivity101

‘You mean you don’t know?’ Evan demanded. ‘This is all your fault! I’m going to tell………… DAD!!!’
‘It’s no good calling for your parents, children.’ said a voice. ‘They can’t hear you down here.’
Rubbing her sore bottom, Dot stood up.
‘Where are you? It’s rude not to show yourself when you’re talking to somebody.’
The Smile appeared first, then big blue eyes followed by a furry face, an extraordinarily large tabby body and a forked tail.
‘The Cheshire Cat!’ Evan stated.
‘Not exactly. That’s in a parallel fairy tale, and as you can see ‘ it added waving its appendage, ‘ they got my tail completely wrong! Now then………..’
‘Oh no you don’t,’ said Dot bossily. ‘We want to know where we are and why we’re here. And where’s our basket?’
The Cat’s eyes flashed angrily, then it sighed.
‘Esther Bounie wants to meet you and……..’
‘Oh goody,’ Evan interrupted rubbing his hands in glee. ‘We get to meet the Easter Bunny for real. All that chocolate!!’
‘Er no. Esther might be a relation, but she is not the Easter Bunny at all, and certainly doesn’t like chocolate. She’s more of a ………….


Here’s my Part;

askedimpatiently.

rabbit, isn’t it?”

” Well she is a rabbit but she is not friendly, she doesn’t like children, especially!” The cat was getting tired of this conversation and these spoiled children.

“If she doesn’t like children, why does she wants to meet us?” Evan felt that he should contribute to the conversation as well.

“She has a task. She puts sense into naughty and spoiled brats. And that description fits both of you, I believe” The words were barely out of the cat’s mouth when with a sudden whoosh an ugly looking hare appeared in the room. Both kids were startled and a bit afraid too. It looked mean and perhaps was angry too.

Dot clasped her brother’s hand and took a step back. She opened her mouth but no words came out instead………..


I am passing the story to Melanie. Hope she takes it further.

#Keepitalive

#FTS

Finish The Story # 5- 2020 – The Show Must go on

Teresa has started another Finish The Story Challenge

The Show Must Go On

Angela and Rachael paced backstage, everything depended on the audience loving their performance. Angela paused and shook her head, rosy cheeks and puffy eyes giving away her innermost fears.

“Oh, Ang, don’t…stop…you’ll be perfect.” Rachael grabbed hold of Angela’s hands to stop their trembling. “Breath, my dear sister, breath. He won’t let anything happen to you.”

Her eyes shot open as her mouth gaped. “Me? I’m so worried about you! If I sing one wrong note, what might they do?” She started trembling harder as tears streamed down her face.

Rachael smiled, pulling Angela into an embrace. “I am not afraid. I am ready to return home to Mom and Dad, and I’d be so happy to see Thomas again.”

Angela’s gasped and shook her head. “No! No, never say that. What would Mom and Dad think? They fought so hard, so bravely…we can’t let them down. I won’t let them down.”

Rachael smiled and chuckled lightly. “I knew that would get you.” She drew a deep breath, wiped her sister’s face, and grabbed her by the shoulders. “We will show them what we can do. They may be …


…… The best agents in the business, but we are the best talent they have come across. We will show them that we do deserve this chance “

There was a huge applause from the audience and the stagehand gestured to them to let them know that they were next.

The sisters glided to the brightly lit stage, holding hands. At a cue, the music filled the air and Angela started the song. Her sweet voice, giving the perfect accompaniment to the melodious music cast a spell on the audience. Rachel joined her sister and the notes to beautiful song mesmerized the audience. Both of them felt joy rise in their hearts as the song ended and the hall echoed with enthusiastic applause.

They were sure that they would be the winners tonight and would secure the contract as well. But there was an unexpected turn of events ……..


I am tagging Di to take the story further.

Rules:

1) Copy and paste the story as you receive it
2) Contribute to or finish the story
3) Tag another person to continue (unless you finish it, of course)
4) Have fun!

~*~

#Keepitalive

#FTS

Finish The Story # 4- 2020 – Andrei and Eartha

I have been tagged by Susi to continue with the story!

eartha

Teresa is the creator of this challenge;

The rules;

* Copy and paste the story as you receive it.
* Add the next segment or choose to finish it.
* Tag someone for the next installment.
* Have fun and let your imagination roam free.

Here’s how it started:

It all started with a hastily written, albeit vague, note left in an old book.

“To the one I love,
Meet me at our spot.”

Andrei browsed the shelves at Jim’s Used Books, not looking for anything in particular when he spotted a gray and silver spine. Huh. He pulled out the book, tracing the strangely familiar symbol on its cover. No title? No author? Lemon and a hint of peppermint floated in the air as he opened the book.

A small piece of paper floated gently to the floor and caught his attention. A simple handwritten note on tanning paper. His fingers tingled as he picked it up and read it. Without giving the book a second thought, he placed it back on the shelf, tucked the note into his jacket pocket and left the store.

***

Eartha had just settled into the booth at Phil’s Cafe, plugged in her laptop, and opened her latest manuscript draft. There was nowhere better to write a contemporary story than the corner of a busy cafe in the University district. So many snippets of passing conversations ended up in her stories without anyone knowing.

She giggled as a young couple argued over whether pineapple belonged on pizza, and another pair of young men, probably football fans by their non-player jerseys, debated the finer points of surviving a bullet hell.

Jasper brought over her order and smiled. “Someone left this the other day and I asked Phil if I could give it to you since no one claimed it.” He pulled a small, red leather journal with a heart pressed into its cover out of his apron pouch, smiling.

“Really?” She beamed. “Thanks.”

He grinned, nodded, and returned to his work.

She examined the journal and paused before opening it. “What if it’s like personal? That poor person.” Okay. If it is personal, I’m going to find the person who lost it and return it.

As she opened the front cover, a small piece of paper flitted into her lap. Giggling, she picked it up and read the pristine handwriting. Fancy script from long ago. Her smile faded as she tucked the journal into her bag, unplugged the laptop, put it away, and left her untouched pizza on the table with a ten-dollar bill.

***

Andre wandered to the nearest rail line and stood by the long row of windows that overlooked the tracks. Lemon, peppermint, and pineapple tickled his nose. He glanced up and saw a beautiful young lady walking toward him. She paused at the other end of the hall and gazed out across the tracks.

His heart fluttered and the note’s message played in his mind.

The longer he watched her, the more he felt he knew her. Compelled to speak to her, he walked toward her and …

***

… said, “Excuse me, miss, but you look awfully familiar. Have we ever met?”

Eartha looked at the man. She admitted that there was a spark of recognition, but she was unable to recall a time or place. She figured maybe she had seen him around town or perhaps at Phil’s. “I’m sorry, but I don’t believe I know you,” she said.

“My name is Andrei,” he said, “and I know this is going to sound crazy, but a very strange note fell out of a book I picked up at a used bookstore in town. And after reading it, I felt compelled to come here. Then, when I saw you, an overwhelming feeling that you are the reason I’m here came over me.”

Eartha turned pale upon hearing Andrei’s words. “What did the note you found in the book say?” She asked.

Andrei pulled the note out of his pocket and started to read it. “It said, ‘To the one I love.’”

Eartha interrupted Andrei and finished the note, “‘Meet me at our spot,’ right?”

“How did you know that?” Andrei asked.

“I found the same note in a journal that someone handed to me this morning,” Eartha said, showing the note to him. “And like you, I felt the need to come here to this rail station.”

Andrei gazed at the note. “You found this in a journal? May I see it?”

Eartha opened her bag and handed the small, red leather journal with a heart pressed into its cover to Andrei. “Oh my God,” Andrei said as tears started flowing down his cheeks.

***

“Are you alright? This journal must belong to someone you know,” said Eartha.

It took a few minutes for Andrei to calm himself and when he did, he gave Eartha the biggest hug possible. “Let’s go sit down, have a coffee and I’ll explain everything to you. Only if you have time that is.”

“Yes, I have time and I’m always up for a good story. There’s a little coffee shop around the corner if that’s okay with you.”

“Sure, and by the way, I’m Andrei,” as he extended his hand to her.

“Nice to meet you, I’m Eartha.”

Once in the coffee shop seated across from each other, Eartha began the conversation with, “so tell me, who does the journal belong to?” She couldn’t wait to hear what Andrei had to say.

“About twenty-five years ago when I was in the Navy we were stationed in Italy. It was our last night before returning home and the crew and I were in a little bar celebrating. I happened to be looking at the entrance door and …

***

… in walked the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen before. I was instantly drawn to her. She had a mystique about her; it floored me. I desperately wanted to get to know her better. In one hand, she carried this very journal you are holding now and in the other, a mug of peppermint tea with lemon. It seemed odd that she would be in this bar rather than a small coffee shop. That just made her even more intriguing!

As she approached, I stood and offered her a seat at the next table which was empty. I needed to talk to her. I introduced myself and she told me her name was Francesca. What started with friendly conversation went long into the night until closing time. Neither of us wanted the evening to end.

The romantic backdrop of the Italian city streets urged us to remain in each other’s company. It was an easy decision as our relationship seemed to deepen with every word we uttered. I believed I was falling in love with Francesca.

In those days, it was unheard of to make love on the first encounter but neither of us cared about what people thought. We ended up back at her apartment and …


My part;

…… As we were going up the stairs to her apartment, a man was coming down. Francesca stopped suddenly. She turned rapidly and went into the corridor at that level. Hastily she scribbled something in the journal shoved it in my unwilling hand and told me to go. I stood there seeing her disappear in the building, hoping and willing her to come back. When there was no sign of her after waiting for half an hour, I returned to my lodging and looked at the journal. There were a few sentences written on one page and the rest was black. But I couldn’t understand it because it was in Italian. The next day we moved station and somehow the journal was lost in the move. I have never forgotten her, she made such a deep impression on my heart. And I really don’t understand how you have got her journal after 25 years, and what does this not means?

Eartha thought about the whole amazing sequence of events and said, ” I think what must have happened………

I will ask Di of Pensitivity to take the story further.

****

#Keepitalive

#FTS

Finish the story # 7 -The House On The Lake

Teresa has tagged me to take this story a bit further.

The House on the Lake

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 have turned …

To be continued


My part;

….. Dark grey and water came down in sheets. People were scurrying away in the downpour with their bags of groceries clutched tightly under their umbrellas. Susan thought that it would be prudent to get some stuff for her family as well, just in case… What am I thinking! She nervously chided herself and yet she bought some bottled water, cans of soup and other supplies and started home. The umbrella she had was too flimsy and inadequate to handle the rain and she was soaked to skin when she reached her place. She met Dan at the door who was getting the kids inside. She sent an inquiring gaze towards him and was answered by a nod. Dan knew something but didn’t want to say it in front of the kids.

After dinner when they had sent the kids to bed, they discussed the elephant in the room.

“Do you think there is something to be worried about, the rain I mean?” Susan asked him.

Dan looked a bit worried but smiled at her question. “You have heard the rumor too?”

“I was there when the Jacksons were buying water and other foodstuffs in the store today. She said that the rain won’t stop! Do you know what she meant?”

Dan looked uneasy and said…….

I am tagging Melanie to continue with the story. I hope that you will accept the challenge.

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!

#Keepitalive

#FTS

Finish the Story 2019 #5- The Unusual Commute

has challenged me to take the story forward.

Faith stretched and yawned. Somewhere in the house, the kittens were rough-housing and the neighbor’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 …

To be continued


My part;

…… saw that she was surrounded by people dressed up as aliens. It must be some sort of a comic- con she thought to herself, trying to breathe deeply and to calm her heart rate.

The train was going faster than usual and there were very few people getting on when it stopped at different stops. Faith anxiously waited for her stop but to her amazement, the train didn’t stop there. She got up in panic and went to pull the emergency stop button but there was none to be seen anywhere. Neither was any sign of the conductor or the ticket checker. Now Faith was getting frightened. She got up and went to the inter-connecting door to the next compartment. On opening the door she…….

To continue this story, I am tagging Di.

Hope you will take up the challenge.

~*~

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!

#Keepitalive

#FTS

Finish the story- The Forgotten Island 2020- # 3

Teresa has started this story ;

Guidelines:

• Copy and paste the story as you receive it.

• Add the next segment or choose to finish it.

• Tag someone for the next installment.

• Have fun and let your imagination roam free.

Note about time frame: There is a one week time frame per tag to write another installment or accept/reject invitation to contribute. If you accept but cannot contribute within a week, that is fine but please leave the tagging party a note. I check contributing posts for messages between tags to make sure I don’t miss an installment.  (per Teresa Grabs)

The Story so far:

The Forgotten Island

(Teresa starts the tale off):

Night had fallen on the Atlantic, James and Patrick leaned back against the barrels and ropes, looking up at the night sky.

“Did you ever think we’d see this?”

James smiled. “Not in a million years. Always figured the brightest thing I’d ever see in the night sky was the search light.”

Patrick chuckled. “Remember when they were scanning the rooftops for us after we nicked the beer from that little bodega on the corner.”

“Yeah,” James laughed. “That old guy was really nice.”

“Yeah.”

Patrick watched a shooting star fight for it’s life in vain and took a long, deep breath of salty air. “Great-grandpa would be proud, don’t you think?”

“I guess. We’re a lot older than he was though.”

“Yeah, but you know what I mean.” Patrick squinted at his younger brother. “He signed on with the navy when he was twelve, but –“

“And we were robbing little old ladies at twelve. I don’t think that’s the same thing at all.” James kicked Patrick’s foot. “Stupid.”

“Who are you calling stupid?” Patrick stood and raised his fists as a loud siren blew from the crow’s nest.

“Something on the horizon, Captain,” the night watch shouted and pointed.

Captain Young stepped away from the wheel, lifted his spyglass, gasped, and shouted, “…

To be continued…………………………


Here’s Di’s addition:

‘We’ve found it!’
James and Patrick, their banter forgotten, joined the others to stare at the sight materializing out of the grey mist in front of them.   

‘What the hell is that?’  James cried.   ‘If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was Moby bloody Dick and it’s coming right for us!’ Patrick replied.   ‘No it’s not,’ the Captain said with a surprising amount of calm. ‘It’s an island and we’re going to head towards it and land. We can do with supplies anyway.’

The crew were both excited and cautious as there was nothing showing on their maps or charts, and no-one understood how Captain Young seemed to know exactly where they were.   They dropped anchor in the small inlet bay and decided to wait until morning before going ashore. The sky was clear so no bad weather was apparent and they all hoped to get a good night’s sleep.

Next morning, Captain Young was up and ready to leave with the first boat.
Leaving the First Mate on board, it was decided to take two boats ashore so that the second could be filled with supplies and return to the main vessel whilst the Captain and members of his senior crew stayed on the island. 

Jones was a bit miffed about that, but it went with the job so he kept quiet.  James and Patrick were in the second boat and having a laugh about supermarkets and trading with beads for beans. Neither had any idea where or how they were going to find supplies, but their Captain seemed to have all the answers and sent them off into the trees with a few of the others.

It was quite beautiful and eventually they came to a clearing. The water in the pool was crystal clear and as James cupped his hands to take a drink, he heard a scream behind him and turned to see……………………..


Melanie’s addition to the adventure on the lost island.

……There, sitting in a big tree, was the strangest looking bird James had ever seen.  He started to call for Patrick, but something seemed to hold him back.   James was the quieter of the dubious duo, and the one doing most of the following when something was planned.  

He didn’t mind really, it was easier to let Patrick, with his sharp, but evilly bent mind, to lead.   Patrick would no doubt hatch a plot to capture the strange, beautiful bird.  James would be expected to do all the work of course.

James softly backed away from the pool.   Sat down beside the gigantic tree and did something he rarely did, reflected on his life.    He wasn’t pleased by the pictures in his mind … robbing old ladies, stealing beer, committing petty crimes where ever he was.   He took small comfort from the fact that Patrick was clearly the instigator.  But it irked James that he, James, had never done his own thing.

“AUGGGGHHHH!!!” Patrick shrieked as he leapt into the clearing.   James banged his head against the truck of the big tree in shock.  “F%@$!!  Don’t you ever just say “hey” or something?  Do you ALWAYS have to be playing the fool??!” cried James in anger.  Patrick had espied the odd bird, which was shuffling back and forth on the branch.   It uttered another soul piercing scream and flew away.  

“What’s wrong with you?” inquired Patrick, unperturbed.    He took a long drink from the beautiful clear pool and thoughtlessly shoved a few leaves and some loam in it.  “You’re starting to get up my nose!” shouted James.   “You mess EVERYTHING up!  Just leave me alone!”  James stomped off in high dungeon, in search of solitude.

Puberty is difficult for both boys and girls.   Fourteen and sixteen, the brothers were almost past blaming their hi-jinx on puberty, but James was just learning to have his own voice.  It was tough going against his big brother, but it was the better idea, as James would learn.

The two teenagers heard shouting and the sounds of fighting, and ran to the source of the noise.    They were dismayed when they found the beach and saw their Captain …


My part;

…….. And most of the crew that was in the first boat, engaged in fierce fighting with the locals. The weapons they were using were as surprising as the fact that there was a pitched battle. Instead of guns, they had swords and knives. No one seemed to be injured but there were loud battle cries heard from both sides. Was this real?

James and Patrick looked at each other in confusion. They just stayed behind the trees, trying to decide what they should do when a pair of hand gripped both their collars from behind. They were dragged forcefully through the trees. Both tried to resist but whoever had them in his grip was very strong and powerful.

They were released as suddenly as they were grabbed. Turning around, they saw that they were facing a savage looking man.

“Are you Patrick and James McCoy?” He asked

That this stranger knew their full names was such a surprise for the boys that, for a few moment they didn’t say anything. Then Patrick, cautiously said that they might be but who’s asking.

The man gave a huge grin and slapped Patrick on his back.

“What you don’t recognize your own great granpa?”

“You can’t be him, he must have died ages ago” sputtered Patrick.”Why if he were alive today, he would be a very old man not someone like you”

The man, McCoy smiled a evil smile and told them the secret of his long life and that of the forgotten Island they were standing on.

” You see boys, this is a magical place………..


I will tag Ms Jade Li of Tao- Talk

I hope that you will take the story forward with your great imagination.

#Keepitalive

#FTS

Finish The Story # 2- 2020

The Jungle

Image by bere von awstburg from Pixabay

FTS rules:

  1. Copy and paste the story as you receive it.
  2. Add the next segment or choose to finish it.
  3. Tag someone for the next installment.
  4. Have fun and let your imagination roam free.

Note about time frame: There is a one week time frame per tag to write another installment or accept/reject an invitation to contribute. If you accept but cannot contribute within a week, that is fine but please leave the tagging party a note. I check contributing posts for messages between tags to make sure I don’t miss an installment.

The Jungle

Sweat dripped from the tip of Matthew’s nose as he paused under a kapok tree, scanning the thick jungle floor for ants. He didn’t want to go through that experience again. 

“Come along, Mr. Howard,” the guide called, waving his arms. “Camp is just a few more kilometers.”

Matthew sighed and wiped his face with his sleeve. Go find yourself, they said. Travel the world, they said. You’ll have a great time, they said. He groaned as a howler monkey sounded in the distance setting off a cacophony. Sudden movement by his foot startled him. “What in the devil is that?”

Crawling out from under a large fern, a small creature with long brown and white fur paused and looked up at Matthew. 

“Hey, Carlos!” He waited for a response. “Carlos! Guide! Hey!” No response. The jungle that engulfed him had suddenly become very quiet. Nothing stirred except his imagination and growing concern that he was now lost in the rain forest, surely to be eaten by a stray jaguar or wayward tiger. “This isn’t a movie, man.” He chuckled and glanced back toward the ground where the creature was only to gasp when he saw …

To be continued

My part;

….. when he saw that it had grown quite a bit in that short time. It was looking inquiringly at him. It’s large anime type eyes giving him the feeling as if it was understanding what was going through Mathew’s mind at that moment. Mathew started to feel as if he was in a dream world. It cannot happen in real life, he thought. This is a jungle, not a Hollywood movie set. Just then the creature started blinking its eyes in a rapid, Morse code-like manner while pointing towards a clearing in the vegetation. “What the hell!” He thought and started following the creature. The guide was nowhere to be seen anyway.

It a while, they reached a circular clearing in the jungle, over-hung with thick rope-like tree vines. The creature gestured with its eyes and limbs for Mathew to climb up the tree, using one of the vines. When he reached the thick branches, he found a platform had been built there and more of the creatures roaming about there.

Tentatively he landed on the platform testing its strength. It felt solid enough to bear his weight. Mathew was not sure that he was in a dream or reality and made another crazy decision.

Using gestures and simple words he asked his new guide what was happening and where he was. To his intense astonishment……..


I am tagging;

Melanie to take this story further.

#Keepitalive

#FTS

Finish the story- 2020 # 1- The Mystery Coach

Kristian has tagged me for FTS.

F7FB3C29-17B0-40B6-BE01-A1EC65C6BD18

The image is from Peter H from Pixabay.

 

Teresa Grabs, formerly known as The Haunted Wordsmith, has resurrected her Finish the Story prompt on her new blog.

https://maplesswanderer.wordpress.com/2020/01/01/finish-the-story-2020-1/

The idea is that Teresa starts a story and then tags someone to pick it up where she left off. Then that person tags another to pick up where he or she left off.

Teresa tagged Fandango first, click on the link below to see his post:

Finish the Story 2020 #1 — The Mystery Coach

And Fandango tagged me… So here goes.

Part One

Leslie squealed as Alan removed his hands from her eyes. “Oh, Alan! It’s beautiful!” The coach and dirt path seemed a marriage made in time. How had he done this? Surely he didn’t go all the way to Pennsylvania to buy the coach, but she wouldn’t put anything past him.

“I knew you’d love it.” Alan’s red cheeks matched his hair. Whether it was from the cold or love, it didn’t matter, an entire year’s work and effort culminated in the smile on Leslie’s face. Totally nailed it.

Leslie bounced and clapped, kissing him on his cheek. “Take me for a ride! It’s works, doesn’t it?”

“Of course it does, my love.”

They climbed into the coach. Alan chuckled, looking all around for its key, starter button — something, anything.

Suddenly the coach started and they laughed as it lurched. Leslie was sure Alan was doing this, and Alan was wondering how Leslie was operating the coach. It wasn’t until it picked up speed as it went down the trail and headed for a corner that panic set in.

“Alan? Alan! Stop this!”

Alan pushed and pulled at everything he could see within the coach, but nothing slowed their ride. “I’m not doing this.” He glanced toward the trees and wiped his face. “Should we jump for it?”

“Are you insane!” Leslie slugged his arm as tears formed in her eyes.

The coach turned the corner on its own. Leslie and Alan covered their eyes as …

Part Two

… the coach careened down the trail, picking up speed. Leslie was crying hysterically. “Alan, please stop this thing before we both die.”

“I don’t know how,” Alan responded. “I can’t find a brake.” The two clung to each other, sure that this misadventure would end in disaster, as the carriage continued to bound and bounce down the trail.

A few seconds later, the jostling of the delicate coach caused the left rear wheel to come off of its axle. The coach tipped to one side and tossed the two passengers from the carriage like rag dolls.

Fortunately, Alan and Leslie landed on a grassy mound a few feet off the rocky trail. Both were shaken, but neither was hurt, save for a few small cuts and bruises. Once it sank in that they were both okay, they hugged each other. “That was a close call,” Alan whispered in Leslie’s ear.

Leslie pulled away from Alan and gave him a stern look. “Alan, where did you get that haunted coach?” she asked.

Alan shook his head. “Well, it’s kind of a long story. I saw an ad in the paper,” he said. “So I called and …”

Part Three

“… was told it was in a state of disrepair and so if I arranged to pick it up myself, I could have it for just $10. I thought it sounded a bit strange, but I took a leap of faith and hired a pickup truck and drove all the way to Delaware to get it. The person selling it lived on an old farm, with a squeaky screen door and sat outside in a rocking chair chewing tobacco. I thought I’d been transported back in time.”

“You’re pulling my leg,” Leslie said unconvinced.

“No Seriously. After I loaded up the damaged coach onto the truck and gave the strange man his $10, he gave me a sideways glance and said to me, “Beware, it’s bad luck to ride on Sunday’s”. I thought nothing of it at the time, but it’s Sunday today. I think we’re lucky to be alive.”

Leslie looked doubtful but said “Well, how are we going to get home, the coach is busted and we must be a few miles from home. It’s not that busy a road either.”

Alan saw a house off in the distance and pointed it out to Leslie.

“Let’s take a walk over to the house and see if anyone can accommodate us by lending us some tools to repair the coach. Or maybe they could let us use their phone to call some roadside assistance.”

As they walked towards the house, they noticed that it was a rickety old wooden building painted the brightest shade of puce.

“I’ve never seen a puce coloured house, Leslie, have you?” Alan asked sniggering.

“Is that what you call it? I call it Flamingo pink” Leslie giggled back.

“I wonder what kind of fellow lives in a house like this” Alan replied.

Then they reached the front door and knocked…..

Part four- My bit

….. the door opened with a creaking noise and they heard a jolly voice asking them to step inside. A bit intrigued but clueless, they both entered the house. It was bright orange on the inside. Some eclectic taste in home decor. They followed the voice into the kitchen and found themselves face to face with an old man.

He gave them a toothless smile and welcomed them to his home.” I see the coach brought you to the right place. The supper is cookin’ and we will be ready to eat soon”

Both Alan and Leslie were so surprised at this. They looked at each other and then at the old man.” What do you mean by this?”

“The coach brought us to the right place?” Alan was incredulous!

The old man smiled again, and now he appeared to be slightly unhinged and sinister.

” This coach was meant to bring you two love birds to my home because……….

I am tagging Melanie to take this story further.

#Keepitalive

#FTS

Finish The Story #14- 2019

The Island Getaway ~ FTS 2019 #14

Teresa at The Haunted Wordsmith began this Finish the Story.

Teresa started with:

As soon as Liam read the advertisement, he knew the place was for him. Three-story newly renovated home on 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 you keys. That man will take you to the island,” she said, pointing to a man in a small row boat. “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 row boat 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 part:

… 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 ghost writers 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 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 off shore.
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? Afterall, 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’
‘New ideas’
sifted through his head and a plan began to form…………….

Now Here is My Part; 

 ………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 ……….

I am going to tag;

Kristian to take this story further.

 

#keepitalive

#fts

Finish the story #11 -The recruit

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!

The Recruit

As started by Teresa of 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 – By Kristian

“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……

Part Three — by Li, of Tao-Talk

…hooded with a dark opaque fabric.  Adam gasped for breath and had to gather his calm or he would suffocate in the hood.  They drove for about a half hour then he was led along by two to what sounded like a helicopter.  The ‘copter lifted up and started forward.  Just as he was about to relax for a minute he smelled ether and lost consciousness.

Adam woke up with a splitting headache, lying on a cot in a small, spartan room. It had the feel of a hospital about it, and every so often he thought he could hear a voice over an intercom. The air seemed fresh. Filtered. When the government agent said he was going underground, did he mean it literally? There were no windows and no other sounds except the intermittent intercom echoes.

After what seemed like hours, but he wasn’t sure, the door opened and a woman who looked to be about forty came into his room. Her dark hair was in a granny bun, and she was wearing a white lab coat. She was startlingly ugly, with pasty white skin that looked like it hadn’t seen daylight in a long time. She smiled at Adam and he was surprised again to see that her teeth were pure white and even. Her smile brightened her face and was her best feature.

“Hello, Private Adam Ripple. I’m Dr. Bluebell. You’re probably wondering why you’ve been nabbed from basic training, thrown into a van, drugged, and are now being held against your wishes in a small spartan room. I’m going to be frank with you and tell you that the government needs your help. The fate of the planet is hanging in the balance.”

Adam rubbed his ears, then slapped his face over and over again. He did this in dreams when he wanted to wake up, and it worked every time. When nothing happened, Adam knew this was real.

His eyes met Dr. Bluebell’s, who had been watching him. “OK, Doc, I’m no hero, but I’m no coward either. If Earth needs me…”

Part Four By Crushed Caramel;

Dr Bluebell flashed that same becoming smile that improved her face and passed Adam a large folders she had been clutching. ” Here is your assignment Private Ripple, please familiarize yourself with it” With that Dr Bluebell spun around and departed the room leaving Adam alone.

Mel passed the baton to Cheryl, The bag lady

Part Five By Cheryl AkA The bag lady

As she left the room, Adam opened the folder to see what he hoped would be there, an overseas assignment. He hadn’t traveled the earth much and if it was all going to hell, he wanted to see as much of it as he could. Adam thought he would make a good spy if that’s what it took, after all, he had seen all the James Bond movies, all the others he could find, but kept the fantasies to himself. Basic training was hardly a picnic, but if he could endure that and still be chosen for a special assignment, he was excited.

There were forms to fill out, many contract clauses calling for complete secrecy for any mission he completed. Adam signed quickly, felt no need to view “the fine print”. It was his naïveté and abilities that made him the perfect candidate. After filling out every paper, Adam returned to Doctor Bluebell’s office. “Right, then” as she took the folder, “now it’s time to meet the big guy.” Adam was wondering who the “big guy” was, thinking it was a Major or Colonel, and then laughed to himself as “M” came to mind. A huge door slowly cranked open and there he was…

My contribution;

Staring at an unbelievably handsome, and young man. He felt his jaw dropped to the floor. He felt that something was not right here. It seemed that young man was too perfect. He started to observe him more closely. The “big guy” as he was referred to, was definitely not a human. His movements were jerky and mechanical. His voice was clipped and sounded a bit like recording.

“Private Adam, I am talking to you”

Adam focused his attention to what was being said to him.

” This is a very dangerous assignment. Your skill at languages is going to be very useful for us. We will be sending you to the enemy territory as a undercover spy. Your job is to glean as much information as you can about their attack plans. At no time you should try to get in touch with us. We will contact you ourselves.

Adam took all this in with mixed amount of excitement and apprehension.

He was really going to be a spy!

He was told to go to the barrack. On the way back, Adam addressed Dr Bluebell,

“Excuse me ma’am I couldn’t help notice something different about our commander” he couldn’t help but say ……..

I will ask Di, of Pensitivity to take the story further.

#keepitalive

#fts