Thursday, April 23, 2009

The storyteller (Part I)

I saw on saint-sinner’s blog the other day something called a ‘progressive’ story. I like the idea but I wasn’t quick enough.  Pen Pusher

How it works is that a story is started (see my new opening short chapter below) and then one by one anyone who wants to can add another chapter - as long or short as you want.

To keep it from spider webbing and ending up a hundred different stories this is the plan.

Whoever wants to add to the story says so in a comment “I’m next” and then anyone else who wants to be a part of it has to wait until that person publishes the whole story again after adding their own short chapter.  Again the first commenter on that blog  who wants to add another chapter says “I’m next”  on so on until  everyone gives up or loses interest. We can track the path of the story through the comments I guess.

Who knows if it will work but let’s give it a try.


The Party (by Lou at on 23/4/09)

Everyone in the room looked at each other, embarrassed. What was Theresa thinking? How could she talk to her father like that? Especially on a day like today when everyone was gathered to show him respect for his 50 years of dedicated service to the immigrant community in their city.  The guests started to murmur so Catherine decided it was time to get the formal part of the evening underway to divert attention away from the family spat.

While the MC was making his way to the podium at Catherine’s signal, she let her mind drift. Sometimes this family shocked even her, they seemed to have no idea about what kind of behaviour was expected from a family of their status. Catherine only worked for them and she knew better. She guessed it was probably the money – when you’re rich you get used to acting however you want and people accept it as the eccentricities of the wealthy she supposed. This fracas only served to reinforce the decision that Catherine had made earlier that day. As soon as an opportunity arose she was going to resign. No amount of money was worth the stress of trying to keep this family out of the papers for their bad behaviour.

Theresa and her much older brother Callum had never had any boundaries and that’s where their parents had gone wrong – Tess, as Theresa was best known, was spoilt rotten from the day she was born. Jack was in his mid fifties when his only daughter was born and from that day on he never said no to her about anything. 

With great diplomacy Catherine managed to keep the rest of the formalities on track and by 10.30pm she could start to relax.  Jack and Moira said their goodbyes and Catherine called the car around the front for them.  Catherine herself was looking forward to calling it a night as she’d been on the go since before dawn to make sure the party was a success. Not yet though, Tess was drinking too much and Catherine didn’t want to risk her doing something stupid. Callum looked relatively together for a change so she had a quiet word to him and he agreed to make sure Tess got home before too much longer.

As she was driven home, Catherine contemplated her situation. She adored Jack and even Moira she gave a grudging respect to though a harder woman you’d be pushed to ever meet.  She was roused from her day dreaming  when she noticed her bedroom light was on as the driver rounded the top of the driveway and came to halt beside the front door.  Had she left it on? Perhaps she had, she was in a terrible hurry when she’d left this morning and it had been still dark.

Catherine knew there was someone in the house as soon as she closed the front door behind her.  She could smell her.  A musky perfume, something like her own mother used to wear when Catherine was little.  She shrank back into the corner by the big bookcase, felt in her bag for her cell and dialled 111.

The operator answered. Much too loudly for Catherine’s comfort. “Emergency services, what assistance do you require?”

Catherine whispered in response “I need the police, there’s someone in my house.” She continued “My address is 565 Carroll Avenue, Christchurch and I need…”

As she said this she heard footsteps on the stairs and a small voice saying her name, “Cate, is that you darling?” Catherine recognised her aunts voice, sighed with relief and mumbled an apology to the 111 operator. She closed her phone and took another deep breath to calm her furiously beating heart.  Aunt Liz reached the bottom of the stairs and was searching for Catherine in the darkness. Catherine flicked on the light switch as her breathing returned to normal. 

“What are you doing here Aunt Liz and how on earth did you get in?”

“Goodness dear, you gave me a fright creeping around like that. I remembered where you left the spare key so I let myself in, I hope that’s alright darling. “

Catherine put the jug on and they sat at the small kitchen table and drank strong Darjeeling tea while Liz explained her unexpected visit.


  1. Hmm, interesting, Lou. So many possibilities with what you've started here.

    I'm tempted to give it a go, but creative writing is not really my thing.

    It'll be interesting to see what others add to your story's beginning. I enjoyed reading your opening very much.

    Well done! :)

  2. Thanks T. I tried to add multiple dimensions to create lots of options. I hope someone can be bothered and give it a go.

  3. Hmmm...I continued the story that Saint-Sinner had started in his blog, but I see that an entirely new one has been started. lol. Hugs.

  4. PS: Plus, this same story is ina nother blog. I'm confused. Hugs.

  5. i'm next - but give me until saturday. if i haven't posted by midday your time i lose my spot.... but i do have an idea. (it's midnight here now and i should be in bed)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I just commented but it appears to have disappeared so at the risk of duplicating it, I will add it againa.

    Xanadu - yes as I say at the beginning this is a new one! I wrote it yesterday so not sure how you could have seen it somewhere else?

    Uamada - you're up. Cool.

    Anyone who's interested should watch for uamada's publication and get dibs on the next chapter from there.

  8. Lou...I apologize for the misunderstanding. My bad!!! I actually did see this in another journal, so someone must have copied it from you, but there was no addition to it. Strange! lol. Hope I didn't offend you...that was not my intention at all. Hugs.

  9. Something really weird is going on with my comments or is it only me that can't see them all? It says 8 but I can only see 5. Freaky!!

  10. OK that seems to have jolted things back to normal.

    No worries at all X, I can see how the confusion would arise after all I am plagerising someone else's great idea :-)


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