Mar 31, 2010

Tell Me a Story


     I simply cannot stop writing. If an idea springs up, I just have to grab it and write it down. To me, it does not really matter if the story isn't finished right then, as long as there is enough of it to remind me of my idea later.

     Do you ever feel this way? I bet some, if not most, of you do. And that is excellent, because I am counting on you to write... right now. Even if you have never experienced the irresistible urge to set your thoughts on paper, you can still help me out.

     You see, I got one of those ideas today. And so now I am writing a short story. I have written the first paragraph and I want YOU to tell me what you would write next. I already know what is going to happen, but because the plot is going to be a little different than "most stories" (I hope), I want to see what you guys come up with. Consider yourself my test lab guinea pig. (Brahahaha!)

     Here is the opening paragraph:

     They came at night. Like gliding shadows, they slipped through the cracks in my windows and door and entered my bedroom. They moved soundlessly, and I had no idea they were coming for me. There was no time to prepare for their attack.

      So, if you care to, comment and tell me what you would write next. What will the main character do as he or she is being assailed by these strange enemies?  I promise not to steal your ideas (as long as your ideas don't unintentionally coincide with my preconceived ones).   ;)

     Once I am done writing the short story, I will post it here... if I ever finish it. There is no promise it will not be forgotten for a year or so, but I will try to finish.

     Come on; tell me your version of the story!

     Post Tenebras Lux!
-ST

P. S. If you are having an imagination cramp (wonder if Barney the dinosaur ever had those?) then you might try writing what you would do if you were in the character's situation. 
    

28 comments:

Barie said...

Next I would observe how odd these enemies look in the red-hued moonlight, how the red beams shone through their shimmering blue-ish black bodies. Then it would go something like this:

I slowly slid over to the edge of my bed, and reached down to grab my sword [which lays conveniently close to the bed on the floor - what can I say? authors can make things mighty convenient sometimes!-] but one of the creatures saw me move and rushed towards me. My fingertips touched the creature, a shock ran up my arm "Jxaflte ona teheiren Enyarthu!" I yelled, thinking fast. My sword burst into light, and with screech the creature backed away. I quickly grabbed the sword before the light faded.
"Come with us," the creatures hissed.
"No!" I ran to my window before the creatures could stop me, "I would die before I'd come with you!" I let myself fall backwards, plumeting down into the sea.
The creatures heard a splash, and their leader turned to the others "We have failed, the human could not have survived that fall. Master will not be pleased."

Totally not creative, I know, sorry. *smiles sheepishly*

Storyteller said...

On the contrary, Barie! That was wonderfully creative! I loved the red moonlight. Bravo!

Squeaks said...

Hmm...Intriguing. Let's see. Since I'm more into the spiritual battle stuff at the moment, I'd probably say something along the lines of...

A dark being slipped his vapor-like hand into my skull. I was asleep, yet I could feel the pain. He strangled my dream...it became a nightmare. I couldn't escape. Two more of the devils held my spirit down to the bed. The sheets felt like leather, the soft pillow was a rock. Sweat poured down my face as I twisted and turned in agony. The nightmare proceeded. Drums beat loudly, voices expanded from wails into screams.

A sliver of moonlight hit the side of my bed. I could see it from the corner of my eye, it passed through the shadow creature near my head (the one with his hand in my skull, manipulating my dreams). It's mouth, if you could call it that, stretched into a silent scream. It dissipated and dissolved into the night air.
The other two slackened their grasp on my soul. It was only a second that I needed and I took it. My lungs filled with sweet air and I yelled out,
"Elohim! Please rescue me! Please...please!" Salty tears slid down my face, onto my pillow, mingling with my sweat.
A creak sounded down the hallway, the shadow creatures let go of my spirit and bounded away into the night. A deep peace filled my heart and oozed into my bones. A soft wind dried the sweat that clung to my nightgown.
The door to my room opened, the yellow glow of lantern light peeped through the blackness.

"Are you ok, Jenny?" My mother's voice. So soft and filled with sounds of security.
"Yeah...it was just another nightmare." I trembled and pulled my covers over my shoulders.
"Why don't we pray?" Mother set the lantern down and we both bowed our heads in reverence to my Saviour.


It's a bit lame, but considering that I just wrote without thinking, I'd say it's ok for a rough draft :P Sounds like you've got an interesting short-story on the go!!

Storyteller said...

Intense, Squeaks! That is great how you had the shadow things reaching into her! Awesome.

Barie said...

The red moonlight was probably the best part of the whole thing, lol.

Squeaks, that's awesome :)

Hannah said...

They came at night. Like gliding shadows, they slipped through the cracks in my windows and door and entered my bedroom. They moved soundlessly, and I had no idea they were coming for me. There was no time to prepare for their attack.

I clutched the bed covers closer to my chest. The wool gave me an odd sense of comfort, yet the scratchiness seemed to tell me of my impending doom. There was no hope left...why didn't I see it coming? I should have known they would have returned--after Liam. They were back for revenge. They were back for blood. My blood.

They would not rest until they had that--until their shadowy fingers slipped around my neck and wrung my throat. Not until my blood dripped from my body; glistening like liquid rubies in the moonlight.

I could feel them gathering. They were clustering, getting closer. I squeezed my eyes shut--trying to shut everything out. There was nothing left for me to do--I was trapped now. I could heart their raspy breaths come oozing from their throats; they were tensed and ready for battle.

Even the shard wouldn't help me now. There were too many of them, and they were too strong. I was so unprepared...hadn't practiced...there was no way...

Or was there? Would I really let myself die in their clutches? Should I not die valiantly--going down fighting? But when I lost--there was no if in this--then they would take it. All the work that was needed to procure the shard; all the lives that were lost in order to save that...would I really risk all of that for the unlikely chance I would win? Would I throw away all that we had worked and labored and died for?

I clutched the shard closer to my chest. I would. I was not strong enough to resist the lure. I would not die like some peasant trash. I would die as who I am--a warrior of Danar. A priestess of Jira. A daughter of Nimareth.

I would die with the shard. And I would die fighting.

Storyteller said...

Hannah, that was sooo great! All that detail in the back story! Wicked cool.

Galadriel said...

I don't think I could beat Hannah's!

Aidan Romero said...

I actually have a scene like this in one of my books. It goes something like this:

I sat quietly, deep in thought, at my desk waiting for the threatened kidnappers to come. I couldn't sleep, not with an abduction threat over my head. SO I lounged in my desk chair watching the swaying of the branches on the floor and looking at the silver moon through the window. Around midnight, I saw two shadowy shapes outside the window. CRASH! They burst through they burst though the window and landed lightly beside the bed. I grasped my two swords that I kept above my desk. Slowly, ever so slowly, I pulled them out. The menacing rasp of steel on leather rang out through the quiet room.
"Looking for me?" I asked as I finished pulling them out. The two looked at me.
"Come with us." One hissed.
"Never!" I spat as I got in a ready stance.

(want the rest?)

Celebrilomiel said...

(Barie - Have you watched Up? "Master will not be pleased" is one of Alpha's lines. xD)

Ooh, I can be a guinea pig without any adverse effects? Win-win situation. ^.^ Though with such an intense starting paragraph, it'll be hard to keep this short.

They came at night. Like gliding shadows, they slipped through the cracks in my windows and door and entered my bedroom. They moved soundlessly, and I had no idea they were coming for me. There was no time to prepare for their attack.

Now, after the fact, I know that I could have been more cautious, could have fought more valiantly - but the wisp-like nature of my enemies thwarts all normal methods of resistance.

I shiver in the unfathomable dark, holding my arms close to my body for what little warmth I can conserve. Water drips somewhere, hollow plinking in some subterranean pool. The intense blackness presses on my eyes, taunting my mind with blindness.

A whisper of movement sounds near me, and I shudder, unable to see.

Shadows wrap around my body, their grip tight and choking. "You come with usssss." Their raspy voices grate on my ears. "Masssster wantss to ssssee you."

The Darkness that envelopes me is tangible. I can feel their grip, and their reek is foul on my tongue. I struggle, but to no avail. When Darkness has you in its grip, alone you are powerless.

As I struggle, their grasp tightens and my lungs scream for breath. Closing my eyes, I try to breathe, but illusions of heat and color swim under my eyelids. I cough and my head lolls back, oblivion relaxing my exhausted muscles.

Squeaks said...

Wow...Hannah, that was awesome!

Isn't it funny how all three of us had the setting at nighttime where our characters were in bed sleeping/trying to sleep? :P I just thought of it now...seemed kinda interesting. I guess it's the shadow-things that are creeping up on you that make you want to have your character become innocent and unsuspecting. It's also hilarious (I find) how all of our characters are willing to fight back. Does that tell you something about how we've stereotyped these scenes? I wonder if it's common for most people to write in that manner automatically. :P Just something to ponder.

Storyteller said...

Wowzers!!! All these awesome stories!!! You guys are amazingly creative! This is so much fun.

Squeaks said...

Wow! I come by to check up on things and it's like gotten really snappy here! Great ideas folks! I absolutely love Celebrilomiel's post...the whisp things from the Berinfell prophecy series are actually the most recent evil creatures that have given me a scare (usually I don't get scared so much with books these days!). That's also funny that you mentioned "UP!"...I watched it during the summer and I totally love the dogs and their little voice box thingy's (esp. Alpha!!! too hilarious!)

@Aidan, That's funny how you have the similar thing in the book you're writing. I'm really starting to wonder about writer's stereotyping now :P

All the ideas are so unique...lol...if I had to vote for one over the other I'd throw my hands up in confusion and quit. They're all awesome!!

Squeaks

Aidan Romero said...

I know, but the shadowy attackers are real people instead of spiritual enemies or anything. The scene ends in a sword fight with the two attackers against Aidan (it's from his point of view)and Aidan's using two swords. But it ends happily when a SWAT team busts through the door.

Celebrilomiel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Celebrilomiel said...

@Squeaks - I think that because ST gave us specifics (they came at night; entered my bedroom), we immediately jumped to the conclusion that if it's night and the character is in their bedroom, they must be asleep, or trying to sleep. The fight-back reaction is pretty typical, too, but if you were attacked, even if you didn't have time to prepare, wouldn't you fight back? Protect yourself?
It would be cool for someone to really get creative and come up with something totally atypical. As I read over the paragraph again, I find a few questions that I had missed when I wrote my little piece. Why does the character need to prepare for the attack? And is there a chance that the character is doing something other than sleeping? If so, what? -shiver of excitement- The paragraph is brimming with possibilities. Makes me want to write another, different story now.

Storyteller said...

Go for it, Celebrilomiel!

Adain, that's a neat ending for that scene. :)

Storyteller said...

Oh, also, writers... Squeaks did some awesome story starters over at her blog if you're itching to write some different stories!

Squeaks said...

Now I didn't want to seem to be a piggy taking up more than my share of space, but since ST gave the go-ahead, I decided to scratch up a better response to this whole thing.

Oh, and Cele, I just noticed the bedroom thing :P thanks for pointing it out!


They came at night. Like gliding shadows, they slipped through the cracks in my windows and door and entered my bedroom. They moved soundlessly, and I had no idea they were coming for me. There was no time to prepare for their attack.

The mother screamed as the attackers barged through the door. One held an automatic rifle up and nodded to the other masked figures.
“Search the room. Bring the baby.” His voice was muffled slightly by the thick black cloth that wound around his head.
“I didn’t do anything. Please, let me keep my baby!” The mother wailed in agony.
“Quiet woman!” The leader barked, “ Or I’ll have to send you to ... heaven.”
He spat the last word out of his mouth in distaste.
“Oh what have I done to you!!??” The mother clutched a bundle to her chest and backed into a corner away from an advancing figure.
“Christians! That’s what! Ruining our peace. Peace that was with us for years. Peace that is now gone. Governments. Trucks. Airplanes. No more peace. No more quiet.” The rifleman shook his fist at the woman. A vase tipped over an ornate wooden dresser and smashed to the floor. One of the henchman snatched her child from her and carried it to the leader.
“We’ll see how much you Christians enjoy seeing an innocent child murdered. Perhaps it will remind you of your Christ.” The man’s brows pinched inwards, then he turned on his heel and exited as silently as he came. His henchmen chuckled quietly, one of them kicked the mother in the knee, and then they too disappeared.
Silence swept over the mangled bedroom.
“God, please forgive them. Take care of my little Isaiah. Jesus, please teach me to love them.” The mother’s shoulders shook as she cried quietly in the dead of night, mourning for what would become of her first baby boy and what had become of those like him. Jesus would comfort her, he would send his Spirit to bring her peace, for she was a woman of great faith.


Squeaks.

Araken said...

I like the first sentence, I do, but I think we have a problem with the point of view; if you had "no idea they were coming," then how were you able to account for their entering your room through the cracks in the windows and doors?

How about this:

A shadow flickered across the wall. Was it a tree branch, or something entirely different? I buried myself in the covers. Maybe if I ignored the movements, whatever was making them would go away.

Storyteller said...

Good call, Araken. I had the same thought while I was writing it, but I reasoned that the main character is telling the story after it has already happened, therefore, she could have figured out how they entered. However, I think it would be best if I changed it, since it sounded funny to you and I wasn't sure about it before (not to mention that the whole story will make more sense now, too). Thanks for pointing that out!

How is this for an edit?

They came at night. Like gliding shadows, they moved soundlessly across my bedroom. I had no idea they were coming for me. There was no time to prepare for their attack.

Storyteller said...

By the way, Squeaks, I love comments; don't stop! :D And your story is heart-wrenching! But with that ending, it isn't bad. Well done.

Squeaks said...

Thanks Storyteller! I've gotten into a bit of a writers block lately...so I don't really have much to say lolz.

Barie said...

Storm, I have seen Up, actually, but I have by no means memorized the lines! I had no idea that was a line from Up when I wrote that piece.

Star-Dreamer said...

[b]They came at night. Like gliding shadows, they slipped through the cracks in my windows and door and entered my bedroom. They moved soundlessly, and I had no idea they were coming for me. There was no time to prepare for their attack.[/b]

Fear gripped my soul as the rustle of black wings flitted about the corners of my room. I screwed my eyes shut and tryed to calm my breathing.

[i]just breath slowly, in and out...[/i]

Every muscle in tensed as something brushed over my forehead. Ice cold wind blew over my entire body.

"You are minnneee..." The voice was unlike anything I had every heard before, like the icy breath of death in the night. Like the sound of black eternity calling to me...

"No," I wimpered. "God, please help me!"

"You are minnneee..."

"No!

(ok, there you go... it's the best I got on short notice. :)

Storyteller said...

Neat, Star-Dreamer! And just a little freaky... ;)

Celebrilomiel said...

Another piece. ^.^

They came at night. Like gliding shadows, they slipped through my door and entered my bedroom. They moved soundlessly, and I had no idea they were coming for me. There was no time to prepare for their attack.

My fingers paused, hovering over the keys as I cocked my head in thought. I wasn’t quite sure what came next, but I wanted it to be as gripping as what I had already written. My characters had come alive last night, and I’d rushed through my day so I could get back to them. Now, as my story neared its crux, every word, every sentence, was crucial and I wanted it all to be perfect. I knew that this was only my rough draft and I didn’t have to be so painstaking, but the right word can make all the difference in the world.

But my character was speaking again, and I didn’t want to miss a word.

Cold metal pressed against my neck, tipping my head back. I met the steely eyes of the man who held the knife and it took all my self-control not to quail before the rampant hate that I saw in their depths.

I shivered with excitement. This was my favorite story yet! The blue-white light from the computer screen lit my eager face as I pressed my lips together, suppressing a grin. I couldn’t wait to show it to my friends.

Words flooded my mind again, the narrative spinning its tantalizing thread through my mind’s eye.

The knife pressed harder against my neck, slicing a shallow cut in my skin. I swallowed, the movement pulsing blood onto the blade.

“We show no mercy.” My assailant’s voice was as flat as his features were impassive.

I licked my lips, silently re-avowing my determination not to tell them anything. My eyes flicked from side to side, gauging my surroundings. A man barred the door, and another the window. Two more stood to my right and left, their blades naked in their hands. Had my life been in less danger, I could have laughed. Did they truly think they needed five men to take me?

“You will give us what we want.” The knife bit deeper into my flesh.

I opened my mouth to speak, but the movement pressed the blade even closer to my throat.

“We have no scruples. Your life is as good as forfeit if you do not comply.” The knife eased a fraction of an inch, giving me enough room to talk.

“And if I do not …?”

The knife slid across my neck, leaving lines that pooled red. I flinched at the pain, thanking Yeshua that it was just skin and not my trachea.

Storyteller said...

Neat, Celebrilomiel! Leaves me wondering what those men are after, and what is the main characters final fate!