Collaborative story thread

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Collaborative story thread

chris the cynic
For those who have never seen this sort of a forum thread before, here's how it works.  Someone writes something as part of a story, the next person writes something continuing the story, and so on, for ever and ever until everyone gets bored and moves on.

As I recall the first such thread I saw of this sort said that everyone was to write one sentence but, while I do not endorse Barbossa's tactics or negotiation style, they really are more like guidelines.  Plus, I'm the person who once wrote about the epic story of how the trichotomy yin, ying, and yang was reduced to the dichotomy yin and yang in a word association thread, where a post is theoretically supposed to consist of a single word.

So, my position is: write as much as you like, just be sure to take what came before in the story into account.

So, to get us started, I offer an incredibly vague beginning:

-

In the beginning there was chaos, a primordial state that was neither something nor nothing and from which Gaia sprang forth fully formed because, at that time, there were no rules to stop planets, gods, or planet-gods from popping into existence.

But if we followed the story from the beginning, taking into account all of the subsequent generations and the formation of the world we know it would take forever before we got to the point, so let's just skip from the beginning to the beginning of the story.

Our story begins, as so many stories do, with an unlikely hero.
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Re: Collaborative story thread

cjmr
A hero so unlikely, so uncalled for, that the likes of her have not been seen before.  (Or since)

On this morning, however, she doesn't know that today is the day she becomes a hero.  All she knows is the sun is bright, the birds are singing, and she can't find any coffee in the kitchen.

Or even mugs.

Or, well, kitchen.

Somehow, incredibly trite as it seems, her kitchen has gone missing overnight.
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Re: Collaborative story thread

AnaMardoll
The loss of the kitchen concerns her, but not as much as the loss of the rest of the house. The kitchen was important, true: it was there that the foodstuffs were stored, as well as the plateware, and (most importantly of all) the coffee beans. The loss of the kitchen is no small matter.

But the house itself was the source of a roof to keep the rain from her head, an assortment of clothes to keep her extremities at a temperature which is comfortable to her, as well as such varying and sundry things as a bed to sleep on and chairs on which she may sit in her few leisure moments.

Now all that is gone. She has awoken, strangely enough, in what would probably be a meadow in the warmer spring months but which is right now a rather dingy gray-and-brown clearing in a forest where half the trees have already lost their foliage and the other half are clinging sadly to handfuls of crusty brown leaves, having already lost their vibrant autumn colors.

The morning air is chilly, and her concern at this strange turn of events is partially alleviated by the realization that she is wearing the warm clothing -- even down to her shoes -- that she fell asleep in the night before when she came home too tired to even change before bed.

That, at least, is some small mercy in the face of the missing house, kitchen, and coffee beans.
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Re: Collaborative story thread

depizan
The logical solution, of course, was to go back to bed and start the morning over in a more sensible manner.  But there was the minor problem of the lack of a bed.

Deprived of the logical solution, she considered various illogical solutions: she was still asleep (even though she'd never dreamed anything quite so... not dreamlike before), she'd been transported to Narnia (even though she was decades too old for that), she'd been transported to that world from the Joel Rosenberg book (though she hoped not), she'd been transported to Elfland (even worse)...

Then she realized it didn't matter. However she'd gotten there, and wherever there was, she was currently standing in a November wood and she still wanted breakfast.  And coffee.  Especially coffee.

She considered for a moment and began walking west - or at least away from the rising sun.  There would be an explanation, breakfast, and coffee somewhere.  And she meant to find it.
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Re: Collaborative story thread

Ian or Mime Paradox or whatevs
As she walked, she made a mental list of all the explanations she would have to give and who she'd have to give them to.  Her laptop had disappeared with her house, and with it, various documents she had been working on for the past week, and which she'd intended to send to her mini-boss just in time to meet the deadline (she could have done so yesterday, if not for the tiredness).  Also gone with her computer was her third of the report she, Katya and Reza had been working on for their poli-sci class.   They'd all need explanations more coherent than "causality ate my homework".

And then there was the fact that she needed to talk to Brian about how Jordan had made a pass at her last night.  It still pissed her off, particularly since she'd grown to consider the latter a friend, until he'd proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that he wasn't.  And while Esperanza knew that it wasn't her fault--Jordan was perfectly aware she was in a relationship, and she did not, as far as she knew, have the words "Kiss me; I find you strangely attractive" stitched anywhere on her clothing--she couldn't help but feel the slightest bit of guilt.  Bullcrap, she knew, and Brian would likely tell her the same when she told him about it, but there it was.  

Of course, this was all moot if she never saw any of them again.  And right now, that seemed scarily plausible.
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Re: Collaborative story thread

Lonespark
At the edge of the meadow there was a road.  It was dirt with what had possibly once been a half-hearted attempt at a gravel surface.  The road was muddy and there were tracks: footprints, and what looked like a motorcycle.  It would certainly have been a motorcycle on Earth, and this area looked mostly Earthlike, but when houses went missing (or people went missing from their houses contrary to their own intent, like magic) you couldn't assume that, could you?
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Re: Collaborative story thread

Ymfon
Esperanza had never learned how to tell the time by the sun, and the mobile phone that usually served her as a clock was still in her handbag back in her missing kitchen, but she thought she had been walking for about half an hour when the road came to an end in front of the most peculiar-looking gates she had ever seen.

She stopped uneasily at the edge of the trees. Until two years earlier, when her lifelong dream of a degree in political science suddenly became a realistic possibility, she had spent almost twenty years working for the Office of Agricultural Statistics, and over time she'd grown very good at spotting the people who, for whatever reason, might not appreciate a friendly neighborhood government bureaucrat coming to inspect their property.

True, none of them had ever built a sixteen-foot wall out of what looked like glass, much less put in a gate in the shape of jaws complete with interlocking, waist-high fangs, but the general message was all too familiar. The catapults were also a definite clue.
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Re: Collaborative story thread

chris the cynic
Clearly there was only one thing to do: check her pockets.

The first check revealed that, unlike certain other things, her pockets were still there.  This could only be taken as  good sign.

Further checking revealed that there were various things in her pockets which she would properly categorize at a later date.  The important point, the only important point at this point, was that within her pockets she had found a coin.  Or work of art depending on how you looked at it.  On one side it appeared a perfectly natural gold dollar, on the other it was revealed to have been combined with an ordinary quarter through careful carving of metal and combination.

Thus it was an ideal coin to flip, a silver side and a gold side made it so which side had come up was instantly visible.  All that remained was to determine which side would mean continue forward, and which side would mean walk back the way she had come.
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Re: Collaborative story thread

storiteller
She rolled the coin over in her hand, feeling its edges and grooves.  She didn't know how long she stood there, preoccupied with the feeling of the coin as if somehow it would begin to communicate.  Then, seized by a need for action, she flipped the coin high in the air and slapped it down on the back of her hand. The gold side came up.  Forward, of course.  What else could it be? It's not like she had a lot to return to at this point.

Looking up at the formidable gate, she stepped forward and knocked firmly but politely. Fortunately, she stepped backwards, as the jaws that made up the gate opened and closed.  It took her a minute, but she realized they said, "Who is it?" in the daintiest American Southern accent she had ever heard.
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Re: Collaborative story thread

Ymfon
She took a quiet breath to steady her voice.

"Good morning! My name is Esperanza. I'm sorry to bother you, but could you please tell me where I am?"

"This is Kaaje's House," the gate announced. "You'll find the river about sixteen verts back the way you came, but I wouldn't recommend trying to make it before noon; it's practically full daylight already. Just raise your own house anywhere along the road and wait for evening, that's my advice."

"Well actually, that's sort of my problem: my own house has gone missing. Along with my home town, and, not to put too fine a point on it, possibly my home planet."

The gate gave a heartfelt groan. "Oh please, not ANOTHER one! You know, I did try to tell them, when they took over. 'It's not really a job for amateurs, just stick with the minor stuff,' I said. 'Always double-check your calculations,' I said. 'Those safety parameters were put in for a reason,' I said. You really would think they'd have started to listen by now."

"Oh, well. If you don't have any shelter of your own you'd better come inside before something notices you. I don't suppose there's any chance you made a note of your homeomorphic coordinates when you arrived?"

"Sorry, no."
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Re: Collaborative story thread

chris the cynic
Not adding to the story at the moment, just collecting all that has come so far so a newcomer can read it in a single place.

-

In the beginning there was chaos, a primordial state that was neither something nor nothing and from which Gaia sprang forth fully formed because, at that time, there were no rules to stop planets, gods, or planet-gods from popping into existence.

But if we followed the story from the beginning, taking into account all of the subsequent generations and the formation of the world we know it would take forever before we got to the point, so let's just skip from the beginning to the beginning of the story.

Our story begins, as so many stories do, with an unlikely hero.

A hero so unlikely, so uncalled for, that the likes of her have not been seen before.  (Or since)

On this morning, however, she doesn't know that today is the day she becomes a hero.  All she knows is the sun is bright, the birds are singing, and she can't find any coffee in the kitchen.

Or even mugs.

Or, well, kitchen.

Somehow, incredibly trite as it seems, her kitchen has gone missing overnight.

The loss of the kitchen concerns her, but not as much as the loss of the rest of the house. The kitchen was important, true: it was there that the foodstuffs were stored, as well as the plateware, and (most importantly of all) the coffee beans. The loss of the kitchen is no small matter.

But the house itself was the source of a roof to keep the rain from her head, an assortment of clothes to keep her extremities at a temperature which is comfortable to her, as well as such varying and sundry things as a bed to sleep on and chairs on which she may sit in her few leisure moments.

Now all that is gone. She has awoken, strangely enough, in what would probably be a meadow in the warmer spring months but which is right now a rather dingy gray-and-brown clearing in a forest where half the trees have already lost their foliage and the other half are clinging sadly to handfuls of crusty brown leaves, having already lost their vibrant autumn colors.

The morning air is chilly, and her concern at this strange turn of events is partially alleviated by the realization that she is wearing the warm clothing -- even down to her shoes -- that she fell asleep in the night before when she came home too tired to even change before bed.

That, at least, is some small mercy in the face of the missing house, kitchen, and coffee beans.

The logical solution, of course, was to go back to bed and start the morning over in a more sensible manner.  But there was the minor problem of the lack of a bed.

Deprived of the logical solution, she considered various illogical solutions: she was still asleep (even though she'd never dreamed anything quite so... not dreamlike before), she'd been transported to Narnia (even though she was decades too old for that), she'd been transported to that world from the Joel Rosenberg book (though she hoped not), she'd been transported to Elfland (even worse)...

Then she realized it didn't matter. However she'd gotten there, and wherever there was, she was currently standing in a November wood and she still wanted breakfast.  And coffee.  Especially coffee.

She considered for a moment and began walking west - or at least away from the rising sun.  There would be an explanation, breakfast, and coffee somewhere.  And she meant to find it.

As she walked, she made a mental list of all the explanations she would have to give and who she'd have to give them to.  Her laptop had disappeared with her house, and with it, various documents she had been working on for the past week, and which she'd intended to send to her mini-boss just in time to meet the deadline (she could have done so yesterday, if not for the tiredness).  Also gone with her computer was her third of the report she, Katya and Reza had been working on for their poli-sci class.   They'd all need explanations more coherent than "causality ate my homework".

And then there was the fact that she needed to talk to Brian about how Jordan had made a pass at her last night.  It still pissed her off, particularly since she'd grown to consider the latter a friend, until he'd proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that he wasn't.  And while Esperanza knew that it wasn't her fault--Jordan was perfectly aware she was in a relationship, and she did not, as far as she knew, have the words "Kiss me; I find you strangely attractive" stitched anywhere on her clothing--she couldn't help but feel the slightest bit of guilt.  Bullcrap, she knew, and Brian would likely tell her the same when she told him about it, but there it was.  

Of course, this was all moot if she never saw any of them again.  And right now, that seemed scarily plausible.

At the edge of the meadow there was a road.  It was dirt with what had possibly once been a half-hearted attempt at a gravel surface.  The road was muddy and there were tracks: footprints, and what looked like a motorcycle.  It would certainly have been a motorcycle on Earth, and this area looked mostly Earthlike, but when houses went missing (or people went missing from their houses contrary to their own intent, like magic) you couldn't assume that, could you?

Esperanza had never learned how to tell the time by the sun, and the mobile phone that usually served her as a clock was still in her handbag back in her missing kitchen, but she thought she had been walking for about half an hour when the road came to an end in front of the most peculiar-looking gates she had ever seen.

She stopped uneasily at the edge of the trees. Until two years earlier, when her lifelong dream of a degree in political science suddenly became a realistic possibility, she had spent almost twenty years working for the Office of Agricultural Statistics, and over time she'd grown very good at spotting the people who, for whatever reason, might not appreciate a friendly neighborhood government bureaucrat coming to inspect their property.

True, none of them had ever built a sixteen-foot wall out of what looked like glass, much less put in a gate in the shape of jaws complete with interlocking, waist-high fangs, but the general message was all too familiar. The catapults were also a definite clue.

Clearly there was only one thing to do: check her pockets.

The first check revealed that, unlike certain other things, her pockets were still there.  This could only be taken as  good sign.

Further checking revealed that there were various things in her pockets which she would properly categorize at a later date.  The important point, the only important point at this point, was that within her pockets she had found a coin.  Or work of art depending on how you looked at it.  On one side it appeared a perfectly natural gold dollar, on the other it was revealed to have been combined with an ordinary quarter through careful carving of metal and combination.

Thus it was an ideal coin to flip, a silver side and a gold side made it so which side had come up was instantly visible.  All that remained was to determine which side would mean continue forward, and which side would mean walk back the way she had come.

She rolled the coin over in her hand, feeling its edges and grooves.  She didn't know how long she stood there, preoccupied with the feeling of the coin as if somehow it would begin to communicate.  Then, seized by a need for action, she flipped the coin high in the air and slapped it down on the back of her hand. The gold side came up.  Forward, of course.  What else could it be? It's not like she had a lot to return to at this point.

Looking up at the formidable gate, she stepped forward and knocked firmly but politely. Fortunately, she stepped backwards, as the jaws that made up the gate opened and closed.  It took her a minute, but she realized they said, "Who is it?" in the daintiest American Southern accent she had ever heard.

She took a quiet breath to steady her voice.

"Good morning! My name is Esperanza. I'm sorry to bother you, but could you please tell me where I am?"

"This is Kaaje's House," the gate announced. "You'll find the river about sixteen verts back the way you came, but I wouldn't recommend trying to make it before noon; it's practically full daylight already. Just raise your own house anywhere along the road and wait for evening, that's my advice."

"Well actually, that's sort of my problem: my own house has gone missing. Along with my home town, and, not to put too fine a point on it, possibly my home planet."

The gate gave a heartfelt groan. "Oh please, not ANOTHER one! You know, I did try to tell them, when they took over. 'It's not really a job for amateurs, just stick with the minor stuff,' I said. 'Always double-check your calculations,' I said. 'Those safety parameters were put in for a reason,' I said. You really would think they'd have started to listen by now."

"Oh, well. If you don't have any shelter of your own you'd better come inside before something notices you. I don't suppose there's any chance you made a note of your homeomorphic coordinates when you arrived?"

"Sorry, no."
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