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message 1: by Jessica (last edited Mar 10, 2009 01:00PM) (new)

Jessica Donaghy | 34 comments Mod
More than 100 brave Goodreaders ventured into unchartered literary territory by submitting their stories for our first-ever Status Update Writing Contest! Congrats to everyone who participated! We read all the entries and struggled to select just five nominees who displayed not only excellence in storytelling, but also creativity in their approach to using the status update as a new medium of writing. We're announcing the five nominees in our March newsletter and opening the voting to all Goodreads members. Who should win?


(Stories posted alphabetically by author first name).



Drizzly, dewy, drab morning. Afternoon. (12:08 PM)
She sits, silent, staring out the window at the drab and the drizzle. She longs... (12:09 PM)
For what? She almost knows, but only almost. The answer is elusive, like most answers are. It teases her. (12:09 PM)
Plants sweet, seductive kisses on her neck. (12:10 PM)
Her ear. (12:10 PM)
Then vanishes. (12:11 PM)
This day is not unlike any other day. It is breakfast, coffee, laundry, the internet, the cable bill, cat food. (12:11 PM)
But it is also nagging. (12:12 PM)
Not unlike any other day. (12:13 PM)
She is too old to be a girl and too weak to be a woman. Stranded between then and when, she can't step forward. So she does more laundry (12:13 PM)
She watches the load churn and wonders what it would be like to dive in. (12:14 PM)
She would make a wish, fold her hands above her head in a diver's stance, and leap, eyes closed. (12:15 PM)
Inside, she would rumble, undulate, ride the agitator and slide fearless down its spiral. (12:16 PM)
"I am one millimeter tall," she would shout, bubbles floating from between her lips. (12:18 PM)
She would watch the bubbles swim between her pink lace bra and tight blue jeans and up into forever. (12:19 PM)
She would paddle, paddle, paddle to the side of the drum, peer into a tiny hole, and wonder where the water goes. (12:19 PM)
Inside, down, and through the pipes it would go. (12:20 PM)
She would follow. (12:21 PM)
She follows. (12:21 PM)
Inside, down, and through, she follows. (12:22 PM)
A labyrinth of inside, down, and through. Peace is here! Truth is here! Her future is here! Keep swimming! (12:23 PM)
Cold, wet, and promising. It must be here! (12:23 PM)
Miles of swimming, through twisting turning pipes. Where is the end? The answer? It must be here. (12:24 PM)
She swims faster, farther, faster until her lungs burn, her eyes red from the soap and fabric softener, her muscles gelatinous and tired. (12:25 PM)
Keep swimming! (12:25 PM)
"WHERE IS IT?" she cries. She is loud. The pipes quake, crack. (12:26 PM)
She spins... (12:26 PM)
Nothing is here. (12:27 PM)
The washing machine drains, stops. The water is gone. (12:27 PM)
Dizzy, she throws up, lies down fetal, can't cry. Everything is silent. (12:28 PM)
The ground is cold. (12:29 PM)
The answer is elusive. (12:29 PM)
It teases her. (12:30 PM)
Plants sweet, seductive kisses on her neck. (12:30 PM)
Her ear. (12:31 PM)
Then vanishes. (12:31 PM)


message 2: by Jessica (last edited Mar 09, 2009 04:27PM) (new)

Jessica Donaghy | 34 comments Mod

Red Bear swings into the revolving glass door. The rain abandons its mist to become full drops. (11:08 AM)
Red Bear pushes against the door. He runs. He loves to spin counter-clockwise and pretend he is a tornado. (11:09 AM)
A lightning flash develops reality. (11:10 AM)
Red Bear slips through the inner opening, his reign of destruction over. His blustery fury dissipates, spares the...the library. (11:11 AM)
The spring heat outside develops into a bed-ridden old thunderstorm. Red Bear delves in. (11:13 AM)
Quiet, well lit stacks filled with leather bound acquaintances, avalanches, activities, and avenues to adventure. (11:15 AM)
Red Bear and the library know each other. The two have history. (11:16 AM)
Red Bear owes $6.40 in overdue fines. (11:16 AM)
Red Bear needs a new book. A fresh story. A longer tale. But, he can't let the librarian see him. (11:17 AM)
If the library were anything like the Post Office there would be wanted Wanted posters behind the circulation desk, his mug all over them. (11:18 AM)
Red Bear sneaks along the wall and shifts into the stacks like a rustle. (11:19 AM)
brendan is starting Sailing Alone Around the World (Penguin Classics) (11:19 AM)
brendan is on page 46 of Sailing Alone Around the World (Penguin Classics). Friday. Afternoon. The second hand bounces from second to second instead of sliding smoothly along. (12:29 PM)
The last school bell rings. (12:33 PM)
The sun, aloft, pushes himself against the sky like ancient blue lovers. Red Bear runs down the street. (12:36 PM)
The sun sees a red streak start at the center of civilization and shoot inexorably toward the wilds. (12:38 PM)
Red Bear stops running and climbs a rope ladder into an aging treehouse; a book stuffed in his back pocket. (12:39 PM)
Red Bear is now friends with Yellow Pup. (12:39 PM)
Red Bear gave 5 stars to Stowaway: Stephen Biesty's Incredible Cross-sections. (12:44 PM)
Beautiful copse. Endless nature encircles the town, the tree house, Red Bear. (12:45 PM)
Out of the exuberant wilds a plan sprouts, grows, and promises to bear fruit. (12:46 PM)
Red Bear and Yellow Pup tumble into the forest and fields to scrounge materials. Wood. Rope. Canvas. Iron. (12:48 PM)
A pile forms on the toes of the treehouse, along the bank of Finger Bend of the Wishly River. Red Bear oversees the last 2x4 top the pile. (12:52 PM)
A grim smears itself across Red Bears fuzzy, mischievous muzzle. (12:54 PM)
Inevitably, from the misshapen accoutrement piled before him a pirate ship will be born. (12:55 PM)
Yellow Pup and Red Bear share a glance. One wags, one jigs, laughter lubricates the old, setting sun. (12:56 PM)
Red Bear gives five stars to Cha PM): an Piloting and Seamanship. (01:13 PM)
Yellow Pup gives four stars to The Complete Rigger's Apprentice by Brion Toss. (01:15 PM)
The superbly lazy water of Finger Bend flows along the River Wishly expectantly down toward the head of Hook Bay. (01:54 PM)
Ultimately, with a new tidal indecision, the water of Hook Bay empties into the Sea of Advent and the Pleiades Ocean. (01:55 PM)
brendan is on page 89 of Sailing Alone Around the World (Penguin Classics) (01:56 PM)
A gold and maroon painted, square rigged brig presses eagerly on the still waters at Finger Bend. (02:01 PM)
Trim, furled sails; fresh, running rigging; and le-piece-de-resistence, a brass bow-mounted two pounder. (02:04 PM)
The waters press eagerly back, wishing the brig on her way. (02:05 PM)
Red Bear christens her Ursa. A bottle of ginger beer shatters on her stem. (02:08 PM)
brendan is on page 100 of Sailing Alone Around the World (Penguin Classics) (02:09 PM)
Red Bear and Yellow Pup join the group Reading for Pirates. (02:09 PM)
Fair zephyrs tease, tag, and chase each other above playful wavelets. Red Bear stands regally by the ship's wheel. (02:11 PM)
Yellow Pup stands attention on the foredeck and awaits orders. (02:12 PM)
A red paw reaches toward the sun and casually slips down through the air. (02:13 PM)
Yellow Pup blurs around the ship. Sails fall out of their furls and belly out like ice cream-stuffed children testing their seams. (02:14 PM)
Ursa heels easy to port and glides under way. (02:15 PM)
Sun sits on his porch and sips coffee; working up the energy to climb to work. (02:22 PM)
An inevitable sigh sings through full, flaming lips. Sun settles the mug down and bends to work. Day spiels by. (02:24 PM)
The current matures. A blow builds. Ursa and her crew urge forward, downstream toward Hook Bay. (02:26 PM)
Yellow Pup poses at the bow-long ears flap on the wind, a hundred scents traipse through his nose as the sore slips past. (02:28 PM)
Forest wilds thin and become ordered citrus trees and linear maize rows become tidal salt water marshland. (02:30 PM)
Red Bear steadies the helm-a spoke to port, two to starboard-while warm wind fingers twist his tawny fur into curlicues. (02:32 PM)
Yellow Pup moseys aft and relieves Red Bear. They sail ever seaward until a ship worth pirating pops over the horizon. Unspeakable bounties. (02:34 PM)
brendan is on page 162 of Sailing Alone Around the World (Penguin Classics) (02:35 PM)
Inhaling the warmth off the earth like schoolyard bullies, cumulus and nimbus egg each other on in the West. (02:36 PM)
Hook Bay spreads her shoreline like lips and swallows Ursa in forever blue arms. (02:37 PM)
The air stills and skims over pond scum green. (02:39 PM)
Ursa sways more. She sheds her way and slows to a stop. Red Bear hustles on deck. (02:40 PM)

...continued in next post...

message 3: by Jessica (last edited Mar 09, 2009 04:27PM) (new)

Jessica Donaghy | 34 comments Mod
STORY #2 by BRENDAN continued...

Red Bear scratches his chin and scowls at the sky. (02:41 PM)
Three cyclones swirls out of the cloud and slurp loudly the water of Hook Bay. (02:43 PM)
Red Bear and Yellow Pup rush into the rigging to take in sail. Before the wind comes. Before the waterspouts swallow Ursa and her crew. (02:44 PM)
Gemerald fish flop out of the sky in a shower of pungent angry water. They splapt off Red Bear and squilsh to deck. (02:46 PM)
The wind comes. (02:46 PM)
The blow shoves Ursa's rail into the Bay-holds her under. (02:48 PM)
Ursa is young. She is strong. She bellies up and grabs the wind. Her breast breaks the water and she frantically runs downwind. (02:50 PM)
A red blur and a yellow blob cling to her rigging. Screams leave their throats, scare at the tempest winds, and try to crawl back in. (02:51 PM)
Blindly, the adventurers hurtle into uncertainty. (02:54 PM)
Ursa spits a rooster tail of froth and bubbles from under her stern. Miles race under her keel. (05:56 AM)
The young clouds eventually run out of air to spin. The storm gale begins to run out of guster. (05:59 AM)
Ursa lurches forward. SNAP. CRACK. EERCH. (06:00 AM)
A red fuzz plopbt from the rigging to the deck. A yellow fur plibt from the rigging to the deck. (06:04 AM)
Old sun sips another cup of coffee on his porch. Washed, the sky's angel blue bed sheets hang along the line, drying in the simple breeze. (06:11 AM)
Warm, Red Bear shakes the cotton from between his ears. He skips over to Yellow Pup and rubs his belly. Hind legs start kicking. (06:39 AM)
Intense, overriding exhilaration. Red Bear wasn't scared. Yellow Pup wasn't scared. (06:40 AM)
Discoveries galore. Red Bear leaps off Ursa and splish onto a sand bar. Red Bear unfurls a flag and plants it, hands on hips, pose. (06:42 AM)
Red Bear climbs back aboard Ursa. Three long 2x4s leap into the air, arc over the rail and plud to the sand. (07:07 AM)
Yellow Pup maneuvers the levers under Ursa's land-kissed keel. Red Bear takes a running start. Push. Push. (07:08 AM)
Ursa settles down onto a deeper bit of earth. She sighs. (07:09 AM)
Push. Shove. HeaveHo. (07:10 AM)
Ursa pulls away from the kissing sand. She humbles in the water slightly offshore. (07:12 AM)
Ursa gulps seawater like a desert weary traveler. Ursa sinks down. The sea floor cradles her weary frame. (07:14 AM)
Red Bear stymied, shocks his eyes as his pirate ship waves her masts goodbye to the sun. (07:16 AM)
Yellow Pup whispers whimper and growl. (07:16 AM)
A red paw reaches around a yellow neck. (07:17 AM)
Red Bear ends the hug and wanders along the sand bar toward trees. A tidy island slopes out of the water. (07:34 AM)
Red Bear drops a bundle of sticks before Yellow Pup. They borrow some sun shine and light a fire. (07:36 AM)
Out of the exuberant fires a plan sparks, grows, and promises to share warmth. (07:38 AM)
Red Bear and Yellow Pup settle down before the flames to rest up. Tomorrow they reign over lands as far as the eye can see. (07:40 AM)
brendan is on page 210 of Sailing Alone Around the World (Penguin Classics) (07:40 AM)
brendan is finished Sailing Alone Around the World (Penguin Classics) (08:48 AM)
The pages smell like woodsmoke. He brushes aside a hole in the sand and buries the book for the next traveler. (08:51 AM)
Yellow Pup dreams. Red Bear dreams. Tomorrow dreams. (08:52 AM)


message 4: by Jessica (last edited Mar 09, 2009 04:27PM) (new)

Jessica Donaghy | 34 comments Mod

Myrtus and the Ogre (10:04 AM)
Not so long ago in a forest closer than you might think, there lived an ogre. (10:04 AM)
He was large, even as ogres go, and rather more hirsute than most ogres, and he had lived his whole life without seeing another of his kind. (10:05 AM)
He had also never known a day in which he had not been constantly, ravenously hungry. (10:05 AM)
Food, therefore, was one of the two things the ogre coveted most. (The other, of course, was gold. He liked the way it gleamed and clinked.) (10:05 AM)
The forest kept him well supplied of tasty things to eat: rabbits and bears and wandering cows and men and women and lost children. (10:06 AM)
The tastiest in all the wide and deep wood, however, were the Fae. (10:07 AM)
Sweet, they were. Sweeter than kittens and titmice. Sweeter than bloody, newborn foals. Sweeter, even, than virgin maids. (10:07 AM)
And one other thing: the Fae never went off. (10:07 AM)
This was very important, for the ogre had hundreds and hundreds of teeth in his mouth. (10:08 AM)
Some of them were as sharp as knives for tearing thick hides. Others were broad and flat and perfect for grinding stout bones. (10:09 AM)
They did not fit together at all well, his teeth, and often bat wings or ladies' fingers or small rodents would get caught in the gaps. (10:09 AM)
Eventually, the bits would work loose and he would taste them again, seasoned with the bodily fluids of all those he'd eaten since. (10:10 AM)
This pleased him. (10:10 AM)
Sometimes it took a while for a bit to work loose, and it would be sour and rotten, and he would have to gulp mud to get rid of the taste. (10:11 AM)
But the Fae never rotted. (10:11 AM)
The ogre could have a bit of Fae stuck in his teeth for months and it would still taste as fresh and as sweet as the day he first ate it. (10:12 AM)
So, like a child with a box of bonbons, the ogre gobbled up the Fae. (10:12 AM)
No matter how careful they were, no matter the precautions they took, the Fae were never quiet enough nor fast enough to escape the ogre. (10:13 AM)
As they watched their numbers dwindle, they knew they needed to fight back. They needed a plan. They needed a champion. (10:15 AM)
A meeting was called, and representatives from all families of Fae came together: (10:15 AM)
Nixies and pixies; naiads and dryads; sylphs and selkies; elves and brownies and sprites of all elements--fire, water, earth, and air. (10:15 AM)
They came together under a full moon (for that is when their magic is strongest) in a circle of toadstools to protect them from the ogre. (10:16 AM)
In that magic circle, the Fae Queen appeared to them, and they were hushed and reverent and awed by her magnificent beauty. (10:16 AM)
And the Fae Queen spoke to them, and the mere sound of her voice soothed them and made them bold. (10:17 AM)
"Fair folk," she said. "I call upon you to find among yourselves one exceedingly brave and clever and strong." (10:17 AM)
"Brave, for it is a frightening and perilous task to face the ogre. That much is obvious." (10:25 AM)
"Clever, for there is not one among us who can hope to overpower him with sheer strength." (10:26 AM)
"And yet strong, for the fate of the Fae Realm rests upon our champion's shoulders." (10:26 AM)
"In reward for ridding us of this threat to our very existence, this brave champion may ask of me anything it is in my power to grant." (10:27 AM)
She looked out over the gathering, love shining in her eyes, a radiantly beatific smile upon her lips, and asked, "Any takers?" (10:27 AM)
A murmur ran through the crowd, quickly became a whisper, and then died out altogether. The queen's smile faltered. (10:28 AM)
And then, from somewhere in the heart of the crowd, a voice like a tinkling bell said, "I'll do it." (10:28 AM)
Every eye within the toadstool circle turned toward the voice. (10:28 AM)
Their champion rose from the assembly on glowing wings that threw off showers of stardust. She drifted toward the Fae Queen. (10:29 AM)
Her skin was the color of fresh milk. Her eyes shone like sunlight through topaz. Her hair held the rosy hue of strawberry juice. (10:29 AM)
She was no larger than a ripe apple. (10:30 AM)
"You are lovely, child, of that there is no doubt," said the Fae Queen. "But you do not look like a match for the ogre." (10:30 AM)
"Nevertheless," the fairy tinkled, "I am the only one who came forth." (10:30 AM)
The Fae Queen looked out over the crowd once again. Not one in the crowd of hundreds would meet her gaze. (10:31 AM)
"Very well, then," the queen said. "What is your name, so that we may sing it in remembrance all the rest of our days?" (10:31 AM)
"Myrtus," the fairy replied. (10:31 AM)
"Go forth, Myrtus, Champion of the Fae," announced the queen. "Slay the ogre and you shall have whatever you desire of me." (10:32 AM)
Myrtus went forth. (10:32 AM)
The next afternoon, Myrtus drifted from sunbeam to sunbeam until she was snatched up in the powerful grip of the ogre. (10:33 AM)
His prickly palm hairs scratched at her tender thighs, and he squeezed her so tight, she could barely breathe. (10:34 AM)
"Please, dear ogre, don't squeeze me so tight," Myrtus said. "I shan't fly away. You see, I want to be eaten." (10:35 AM)
The ogre shook his head as if flies were buzzing about it--which, in fact, they were. He leaned closer and peered at the captive fairy. (10:35 AM)
"Wuzzat?" he grumbled, in a voice that sounded like tumbling boulders. (10:36 AM)
"I said, I shan't fly away. I want to be eaten." In order to put the ogre at ease, Myrtus went limp. (10:37 AM)
"Why you wanna be et?" the ogre asked. He loosened his grip a bit, but the fairy made no attempt to flee. (10:37 AM)
"Oh, that's ever so much more comfortable," Myrtus said. "Thank you. And to answer your query, it's because I was sent to kill you (10:37 AM)
It took a moment for her meaning to find the rarely used part of his brain that found humor in things, but when it did, the ogre laughed. (10:38 AM)
He laughed, and it tumbled from him like thick, wet logs rolling downhill. He laughed and he laughed and he laughed. (10:38 AM)

...continued in next post...

message 5: by Jessica (last edited Mar 09, 2009 04:26PM) (new)

Jessica Donaghy | 34 comments Mod
STORY #3 by DAVID BORCHERDING continued...

"You?" he said, still chuckling a bit. "Sent to kill the likes of me?" And then the laughter overtook him again, and he couldn't s (10:38 AM)
"Yes," said Myrtus. "So if you could eat me, I'd be ever so grateful." (10:39 AM)
The ogre stopped laughing and peered at the fairy again, one thick caterpillarish eyebrow rising along with his suspicion. (10:39 AM)
"Wutter you, poison er sumthin'?" he rumbled. "Got some little daggers'n such, gonna cut yer way outta me gizzard?" (10:40 AM)
"Oh, no," the fairy said, looking grave. "I know I cannot defeat you. That is why I want to get it over quick. I don't want to suffe (10:40 AM)
"Awright, then, in ya go," the ogre said, and popped Myrtus into his mouth. (10:40 AM)
This was not a part of Myrtus's plan. Not a part of her plan at all. She was supposed to trick him, outfox him. Now she would die. (10:41 AM)
The ogre's thick, hot tongue batted at her as she tried desperately to avoid his sharp, knife-like teeth and his broad, grinding teeth. (10:41 AM)
He tried to swallow her whole, but the stardust from her wings tickled his throat and sent him into a coughing fit. (10:42 AM)
Myrtus thought then that she might escape, but the ogre clapped a hand over his mouth to keep her inside. And then it happened. (10:42 AM)
The ogre, who was used to this sort of behavior from the Fae, finally managed to knock her into his grinders and felt a satisfying crunch. (10:42 AM)
After that, he didn't feel her move again. He prodded at her with his tongue and found her stuck in one of those pesky gaps. (10:43 AM)
"S'good for later, then," he grumbled, and then went off to find a nice mountain lion or a porcupine to eat. (10:44 AM)
Myrtus, however, was not dead. She had managed to avoid getting bitten full on, but had indeed gotten nipped, and that was bad enough. (10:45 AM)
It had crushed and twisted her tiny body tightly into one of the rearmost dental gaps, and she was stuck fast. She passed out from the pain. (10:45 AM)
She awoke, choking, when the blood of a billy goat washed over her. She tried to move, felt another hot lance of pain, and passed out again. (10:45 AM)
This went on for days. (10:46 AM)
Fortunately, the Fae heal faster than other creatures and by the end of the week, the pain had dulled enough that Myrtus could bear it. (10:46 AM)
Once she was able to stay awake, she took stock of her situation. She was wedged sideways, with her right arm pinned beneath her. (10:46 AM)
Her wings were torn off, and her back was twisted and broken. She could feel her legs, but she could not move them. (10:47 AM)
She was stuck firmly between two teeth the size of filing cabinets. No, wait ... not entirely firmly. (10:47 AM)
One tooth moved ever so little. (10:48 AM)
It was stifling and soggy and dark within the ogre's mouth when it was closed, but fortunately, the ogre was a mouth-breather. (10:49 AM)
Therefore, when he wasn't sleeping, a bit of light and fresh air made it's way to where Myrtus lay. (10:49 AM)
During one of these times, the fairy craned her neck, grimacing against the pain it caused her to do so, and examined the loose tooth. (10:50 AM)
The gum below it was black and unhealthy, and the tooth itself was brown and pitted and crumbling. (10:50 AM)
There was another gap on the other side of it, and from what Myrtus could tell, it was larger than the one in which she was stuck. (10:51 AM)
A new plan began to form in Myrtus's head. (10:51 AM)
She gave herself another week to heal. Another awful, nightmare of a week, watching animals and people and her fellow Fae get dashed apart. (10:52 AM)
She tasted their blood and was bathed in their entrails. She wept and vomited and tore at her hair with her free hand. (10:52 AM)
Her hatred of the ogre grew and fueled her and gave her the strength, finally, to push and push and push until the rotten tooth gave way. (10:52 AM)
The ogre, fast asleep, did not feel the tooth tumble from its socket and fall down his throat. He coughed slightly, but that was it. (10:53 AM)
Slowly, carefully, the fairy crawled to the long, sharp teeth. (10:53 AM)
Her wings were growing again. Though not big enough yet to let her fly, she at least was able to see by the dull, red stardust they shed. (10:53 AM)
Examining the sharp teeth in that dim light, she found a loose one. Not easily, she pried it from the ogre's gum. (10:54 AM)
Still, he did not wake. (10:54 AM)
What woke the ogre from a deep, sound sleep was pain unlike he'd ever known. He howled and clutched at his mouth. Something moved. (10:55 AM)
He tried biting the thing, but that only made the pain worse. He dug in his mouth with his own fingers, but that caused more agony. (10:55 AM)
The ogre spat, trying to eject the thing stabbing his gums over and over again, but all that he spit out was his own blood and teeth. (10:55 AM)
He spat again and again and again, and finally the stabbing stopped. His entire mouth throbbed hotly and teeth littered the floor. (10:55 AM)
The ogre thought he saw a red glowing thing scurrying across the floor, but when he blinked and looked again, it was gone. (10:56 AM)
Myrtus hid herself in a crack in the ogre's cave and watched as, for the first time in his life, the ogre wept. (10:56 AM)
The fairy stayed there for weeks, watching the ogre try to put his teeth back. Watching him try and fail to eat without them. (10:56 AM)
He tried to hunt for small things that he could swallow without chewing, but he was slow and weak and getting weaker by the day. (10:57 AM)
Myrtus watched the ogre's skin grow as thin as paper and his coarse hairs fall out. Within a month, she could see the ogre's every bone. (10:57 AM)
By winter, he was dead. (10:57 AM)
Only then did Myrtus return to the Fae Queen, bearing with her the sharp, knife-like tooth she used to bring him down. (10:58 AM)
The Fae Queen stared at the twisted fairy, barely recognizing her as the lovely Fae that had hovered before her all those long months ago. (10:58 AM)
The fairy's once-white skin had turned the color of fallen leaves, and her eyes were the dull gray of pebbles. Her hair thin and brittle. (10:58 AM)
"I have slain the ogre," Myrtus said, in a voice that sounded like the grinding of broken glass. "I have come to claim my reward." (10:59 AM)
"And what is it you wish?" the Fae Queen asked, fearing the answer. (10:59 AM)
"Nothing," Myrtus replied. "I wish only to be left alone the rest of my days, and never to be interfered with, no matter what I do." (11:00 AM)
"If that is what you truly desire, that is what you shall have," the queen said. "No Fae of any family shall interfere with you." (11:00 AM)
The Fae Queen paused. "But should you ever require aid or desire of anything we can provide, all you need do is ask." (11:01 AM)
Myrtus looked up at her with her dull, gray eyes and said simply, "I will not." (11:01 AM)
The fairy left, then, trailing blood-red stardust behind her. She gathered up all the ogre's teeth, and took them high upon a mountain. (11:01 AM)
There she built a castle from the teeth, but found the ogre's teeth were not enough. She needed more. (11:02 AM)
And so Myrtus began to go out each night, gathering the teeth others had discarded and using them to build her ever-growing castle. (11:02 AM)
And she still does, even to this day. (11:02 AM)


message 6: by Jessica (last edited Mar 09, 2009 04:26PM) (new)

Jessica Donaghy | 34 comments Mod

I'd never seen that clown in the bar before. (08:02 AM)
It was a Tuesday, just after eight, and the dinner crowd was whittling down into the core of regulars. (08:14 AM)
A ripple of heads turned as he passed by the tables, taking in the checkered jacket, the subtly mismatched pants. (09:43 AM)
He slid into a stool in front of the television and I put down my magazine. "What can I get you?" "Jack and Coke, please." (09:45 AM)
I nodded and turned briskly to the well to hide my surprise. I don't know what I expected. (12:47 PM)
Certainly something more colorful and fruity, dressed up with an umbrella. A Blue Motorcycle, perhaps, or Purple Hooter. (12:48 PM)
I set the drink in front of him and he nodded his thanks. His red rubber nose barely fit into the highball glass. (12:49 PM)
As he drank, it dipped slightly into his Jack and Coke, giving it a soft, glimmering sheen in the track lighting. (12:49 PM)
If he felt the small sea of eyes darting over him or noticed the lulls in conversation broken by hushed laughter, he gave no indication. (07:06 PM)
"Pardon me, may I have an ashtray?" "There's no smoking in here." (07:07 PM)
I had distracted myself with the baseball game on the TV behind me and turned back to the clown. (07:08 PM)
He nodded and stuffed a cigar back into an inner pocket of his checkered jacket. (07:08 PM)
"You're not from around here, are you, funny guy?" (07:58 PM)
We both turned to Greg, who glared at the clown from his stool at the end of the bar. The clown shook his head. (07:59 PM)
"Can't find a bar in this city that will let you smoke anymore. (07:59 PM)
Might as well be San Francisco instead of Brooklyn." Greg mumbled over his bourbon. (08:00 PM)
"He's right, for the most part. I'm Ben, and this old codger is Greg." "Dexter," the clown nodded at Greg, then me. (08:00 PM)
His smile was more of a grin, bristled with a generous five-o-clock shadow. (08:01 PM)
The facial hair and black-rimmed glasses were framed by shoulder-length brown hair, nestled under a white felt dress hat. (08:03 PM)
Having nothing more to say, we turned back to the game. After a few rounds of Jack and Coke, the clown paid and left. (08:03 PM)
Greg and I exchanged a dubious look. "What do you make of that?" (08:04 PM)
"Maybe the circus was in town," Greg snorted. I did not count on seeing that clown again. (08:04 PM)
But sure enough, the following Tuesday night, he appeared. Same checkered jacket with a different set of mismatched pants. (08:05 PM)
I wondered if he bought sets just to mismatch them. "Jack and Coke, Ben." I nodded and set it in front of him. (08:05 PM)
Greg nodded curtly to the clown's greeting and grumbled into his bourbon something about extending the circus. (08:05 PM)
An hour later the crowd was still light, even for a Tuesday. When two more clowns appeared in the doorway, I frowned in surprise. (08:06 PM)
"Friends of yours?" Dexter turned around to look, then back to me, shaking his head. "Never seen them before in my life." (08:06 PM)
This brought a coarse laugh from the end of the bar, which was cut abruptly by a wheezing cough. (08:07 PM)
"Are you kidding?" Greg barely got it out. "Nope. Never seen them before," Dexter repeated, and turned back to his drink. (08:08 PM)
The other two clowns - female clowns - waved me over to their table. (08:08 PM)
I took their drink orders without a hint of incredulity at their red rubber noses and identical Raggedy-Anne red wigs. (08:08 PM)
Two Blue Motorcycles. I put in extra cherries and an umbrella in each drink. (08:09 PM)
I was telling a joke to Greg and the clown; it was my favorite and I was almost to the punchline. "So the wolf says to Little Red – (08:10 PM)
Suddenly the energy in the room changed, and I looked up to see two more clowns standing in the doorway. (08:11 PM)
"What the --- I turned to Dexter, whose white-painted face was wearing my shocked expression. (08:11PM)
The black duffle bag came out of nowhere, one of the clowns opening the bag and handing something to the other. (08:11 PM)
It happened in an instant, and I heard myself shouting just before the shots began - "EVERYBODY DOWN!" (08:12 PM)
Reaching across the bar, I snatched handfuls of Greg and Dexter and pulled with all I had. (08:12 PM)
Glass sprayed behind us as the popping started, louder than you'd think it would be, (08:13 PM)
booming all around you, inside your chest, everything moving slowly – so slowly – (08:13 PM)
Then we were all three on the floor, wheezing and gasping and cursing behind the bar. (08:13 PM)
Screams and muffled cries. More popping. Then a horrible silence filled the bar. (08:14 PM)
Gingerly, I sat up and looked around. Greg's eyes were watering with effort to keep from coughing. (08:14 PM)
Dexter had propped him up against the beer cooler and was picking a mirrored piece of glass out of his own arm. (08:15 PM)
Their eyes brimmed with a fear bordering on frenzy, which I'm sure mirrored my own. (08:15 PM)
You ok? I mouthed. Nodding. Stay still. More nodding. Footsteps - heavy boots and the crunch of broken glass broke the silence. (10:22 PM)
"All we want is Stevenson. Give him up, and no one has to die," a muffled voice called from somewhere by the tables. (10:22 PM)
Greg and I turned to Dexter. Shaking his head emphatically, he mouthed: Not me! Not me! Sweat beaded over the white face paint. (10:23 PM)
I had an sudden urge to snatch the rubber nose off his face and throw it at the clowns. (10:24 PM)
Tables were being turned over; we could hear whimpers and screams from the people underneath. (10:24 PM)
The clowns were shouting over the noise, shouting for Stevenson. (10:24 PM)

...continued in next post...

message 7: by Jessica (last edited Mar 09, 2009 04:26PM) (new)

Jessica Donaghy | 34 comments Mod
STORY #4 by GILEE CORRAL continued...

Greg leaned over to Dexter, eyes wild. "This is all your fault!" he hissed. "We've never had a clown in here until you came!" (10:25 PM)
Dexter shook his head harder. He had lost his hat, and strands of hair were plastered to his face. (10:25 PM)
"That's ridiculous," he whispered back. "They're not even clowns." (10:26 PM)
"What?!" I grabbed him by the shoulders. "What?" was all I could get out. (10:26 PM)
"They're wearing masks over their mouths. Clowns don't wear masks. Too scary. And the make-up – it's all wrong – (10:26 PM)
The muffled voice shouted over him - "What do we have here? It's a mother----- clown!" it cursed and laughed. (10:29 PM)
I winced at the sound of a woman's startled cry. "Stevenson – come out now, or the clown gets it!" (10:29 PM)
I imagined the gun barrel against her bright orange wig, her painted-on smile running with blood. (10:30 PM)
I scrambled to stand, but was jerked back down with violence. (10:30 PM)
Dexter jumped to his feet and yelled, "I'm here! Let her go!" (10:30 PM)
There was a long moment of silence, broken only by the lady clown's cries. I slowly rose to my feet. (10:31 PM)
The two clown imposters were staring at Dexter. Both had weapons, one pointed at Dexter and one at the back of the lady's head. (10:31 PM)
I could hear Greg wheezing on the floor. I could hear my own heat beat. (10:31 PM)
Finally, one of the clown imposters spoke from behind his grinning, plastic mask. "You're not Stevenson." (10:32 PM)
He turned to his partner. "What the hell is going on here?" Just then, I caught the low wail of a siren. (10:33 PM)
The clown imposters both snapped their heads to the door and instantly the pops started again. (10:33 PM)
More screaming and shouting – I hit the floor. (10:34 PM)
Dexter was slouched over the bar. Greg and I pulled him down and flipped him over. (10:34 PM)
Red spotted his jacket in three places. (10:35 PM)
I took off his rubber nose to help him breathe. It rolled down his chest and blended into the pool of red collecting there. (10:35 PM)
I held him until forever. Until flashing blue lights filled the bar. (10:36 PM)
It took three weeks to clean up the place, of glass, blood and reporters. I took off an extra week just to be sure. (10:36 PM)
In the weeks that followed, I watched our story unfold on the TV behind the bar. (10:37 PM)
The clown imposters were hired by some gang and had hit the wrong bar. (10:37 PM)
Incredibly, the three actual clowns' appearances were unrelated coincidences. (10:37 PM)
We also found out through the news over those weeks more about Dexter. (10:38 PM)
His life was plastered all over the TV stations in Brooklyn – how he lost his wife in a car accident, lost his job as a salesman, (10:38 PM)
the long years of drinking that followed. (10:39 PM)
I felt I knew him better than customers I had served for years. I looked at each one of them with new eyes and wondered. (10:39 PM)
But after a while the bar, and life, returned to a sort of normalcy. Only one thing was different. (10:40 PM)
Every Tuesday night, about that time, Greg or I would turn to the door. And every time one of us would shake his head, or sigh. (10:41 PM)
We were sure that was the last we had seen of that clown. Until last night. (10:41 PM)
"Jack and Coke, Ben." Startled, I looked up into a wholly different face. "Dexter?" He answered with a lop-sided grin. (10:43 PM)
It looked out of place without the make-up and nose. (10:43 PM)
"What happened to your real face?" Greg smacked him on the back, grinning broadly. (10:44 PM)
"I'm keeping a low profile. Those reporters have been vicious." We fell silent for a moment. I cleared my throat. (10:44 PM)
"I was sorry to hear about your wife." "Thank you." Dexter said softly, "That was a long time ago." (10:45 PM)
He drained his drink. I was ready with a fresh one. (10:46 PM)
"I should tell you, funny guy, that the owner has banned clowns from the bar." Dexter looked at Greg, incredulous. "Are you kidding me (10:46 PM)
We shook our heads. "It's true. He says it's bad for business, makes the customers nervous." (10:47 PM)
"I'll tell you another thing, Dexter," Greg leaned in and growled, "That son-of-a----- owner never comes in on Tuesdays." (10:47 PM)
He was right. (10:48 PM)


message 8: by Jessica (last edited Mar 09, 2009 04:26PM) (new)

Jessica Donaghy | 34 comments Mod

I'm going to tell you a story. (07:54 AM)
A story about power... (07:56 AM)
...influence... (07:59 AM) events. (07:59 AM)
She got up in the morning (08:01 AM)
made breakfast (08:01 AM)
fed the kids (08:01 AM)
cleaned up breakfast (08:08 AM)
played tractors (08:40 AM)
played peek-a-boo (08:46 AM)
changed a diaper (08:46 AM)
kissed an owie (08:47 AM)
gave a time-out (08:49 AM)
gave a hug (08:50 AM)
washed some laundry (08:55 AM)
folded the laundry (09:07 AM)
made lunch (09:07 AM)
fed the kids (09:24 AM)
read a book aloud (09:28 AM)
read a book to herself (09:42 AM)
reflected (10:19 AM)
grew (10:33 AM)
taught (10:34 AM)
loved (10:46 AM)
worked (10:53 AM)
made dinner (11:25 AM)
played a game of hide and seek (12:39 PM)
fed the kids (04:52 PM)
brushed some tiny teeth (05:20 PM)
kissed good-night (05:20 PM)
tucked in (07:16 PM)
tucked in again (07:17 PM)
tucked in again (07:17 PM)
and stopped to kiss their sleeping faces one last time that night (07:17 PM)
picked up toys (07:17 PM)
did some dishes (07:18 PM)
talked with her husband (07:18 PM)
watched a show (07:18 PM)
and went to bed. (07:18 PM)


message 9: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (juniperfk) | 5 comments I'm impressed by those who could even figure out how to do this. I couldn't find where/how to post the stories or where to read them, until these five showed up here. The only story here that seems even mildly influenced by the milieu is the last one. All the others use completely standard and familiar story telling.

message 10: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Kunda (satchel) | 1 comments I give a lot of credit to those who figured out how to get a story printed. The fact that it was such a convaluted mess to get one sentence written caused me to lose interest immediately.
Good luck to those who put the time and effort in.

message 11: by Ann (new)

Ann (lovabook) | 7 comments I too, am still finding my way around. The whole site is convoluted, probably because there is so much raffic and it is so popular! When is the next contest? I should have figured it out by then.

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