The Challenge is On! How Long Can We Spin This Out For?

It’s a new year and a new month….. which means, time for a new blogging game! Yay! Uh, you guys WERE looking forward to this, weren’t you?

My blog game mascot is NOT amused.

So maybe some of you have noticed by now, but last month I failed to do a blogging game due to time constraints, stress, lack of inspiration, and just plain laziness. I’d originally intended to post one after I came back from vacation and then when that didn’t work out, after Christmas, but by then I figured no one really cared and if we all survived the end of the world, a new month would be here in no time.

And now here we are.

So.

I thought long and hard about what would be interesting and fitting for this time of year, when we’re all still starry-eyed and full of ambition. And then I came upon the idea of a never-ending story. (A never-ending story, baby just say yes~~ oops, wrong lyrics…. sorry, Taylor!) Don’t ask me how that correlates with being starry-eyed and full of ambition, it just does.

What’s going to happen is I’ll start off the story and then it’ll be up to YOU to keep it going. Don’t worry too much about story logic or plot structure. Yes, those things are important if you’re writing a book but we’re not, so don’t be afraid to indulge in your inner fantasies! (Wait. That didn’t sound quite right….) I’m more interested in how this all plays out so feel free to add in random twists, turns, and cliffhangers for the next person to play off of. Or not. It’s all up to you.

When it looks like everyone’s imagination has been exhausted, I’ll wrap the story up and post it in a separate blog in all it’s glory for everyone to see. No, there won’t be a definitive ending (at least I don’t anticipate there will be one) but it’ll be good fun to see how everything comes together. Like an elementary school science project. Get ready to pour, mix, and blow things up, everyone.

There is no minimum or maximum word count so feel free to be as succinct or rambly as you want. You can also come back and add to the plot as many times as you’d like (if you start spamming or hogging the space though, I will have to ask you to step away with your typing hands raised). Most importantly, use your imagination and get creative! No one is going to judge you (you there, stop judging!) so please don’t be shy. Just go with it and see where your brain takes you. This is going to be the best story EVER.

Here we go! I’m not a fiction writer so if you’re cringing at the awful beginning, well, too bad. I never said I was good at fiction.

—-The Story—-

It wasn’t like she didn’t know where she was going. She did. Things just had a way of turning into obstacles or else distracting her so much that by the time she realized she was off track, she forgot what her original intention or destination was.
Like two days ago. She was running late as usual, but stopped by the post office anyways to mail an important package. As she dashed across the street, she caught a glimpse of a very odd sight and unconsciously slowed down for a better look.

What did she see? Did her package get mailed off? Do we even care about that? What’s her name, anyway? Please continue this story!

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58 comments

  1. You’re back with a game…cool! I don’t have much time now but maybe I can come back. ;) Hope you had a great new years. And hope you don’t mind my saying but it should be anyway not anyways… Teehee. :D

    1. Yikes, there’s a rule about that?? Why was I not aware of this before….. geez, how embarrassing! Thanks for the heads up, I’m going to edit that. And I do hope you can come back and contribute! I have a feeling I’ve scared off everyone with this challenge…. :D

  2. Ruthie dropped the package on the ground; standing with her mouth agape. Horror painted her face gray. It was the town’s annual Rhubarb Festival — only there was something atypical about the celebration. Actually, it didn’t resemble the annual festival in any way at all.

    “What is this maddening scene unfolding before my eyes?” Ruthie muttered to herself.

    Everyone was dressed in colorful, sequins jump suits and wearing paper masks. Some stood around talking in bizarre dialects and unfamiliar languages, others walked around the elaborate set up on the hands. It was like a scene from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”….

    Ruthie quickly forgot about the package, and slowly approached the scene…

  3. with trepidation. Perhaps she was going crazy. SHe had been off to the Post office to mail a Christmas package how could it be the Rhubarb festival already?? She felt dizzy. She picked up her dropped package and it changed shapes as she lifted it. Oh, no. An acid flash back. How long had it been since she had one of these. Last time it had been….

  4. during the Strawberry Festival. Now rhubarbs and strawberries were blending together in her mind.

    She held the package away from her body and rushed toward the post office. She had to get it out of her hands. She was frantic. The postmaster took one look at her and…

  5. [...] ← The Challenge is On! How Long Can We Spin This Out For? [...]

  6. …tried his best to explain that shipping a live a iguana was against U.S. mailing regulations.

    Ruthie couldn’t comprehend what the postmaster was trying to communicate to her, and she watched as the man’s facial features morphed, melted, and repositioned. She struggled to reason with the Picasso-like character.

    The colors were vibrant.

    Something out of her peripherals caught her attention, and she turned to find a large, shiny strawberry tugging at her sleeve, and kindly asking her to step out of line.

    As she wandered away from the hoard of people, the ambiance of the busy office began to resemble the sounds of a Madrid bull fighting scene. She found a chair in the lobby area to sit down, and suddenly found herself seated in the box section of some Spanish Colosseum.

    Sitting to the left of her was…

  7. She saw a doctor on his way to a house call. She knew he was on his way to a house call because it was her doctor and he was about to go up the stairs to her mother’s apartment.
    Her mother could charm anyone to do anything, and if she could get a house call out of a doctor, then Serena knew she could do anything.
    She forgot about the package and followed him. What could be so bad that her normally healthy mother needed a doctor’s care?

  8. Ooh, we’ve got a diverging plot scenario going on here! For anyone who replies after this, you can either go off of Adam’s scenario or onthehomefrontandbeyond’s scenario. Your choice! Okay, I’m butting out now.

  9. “What could be so bad that her normally healthy mother needed a doctor’s care?…”
    Then it hit her – no, really, a flying fist came out of nowhere, smashing into her eye. As she doubled over in pain, all she could do was flail about at her attacker.
    ‘Hold it,’ the flying fist of fury yelled. ‘Serena, it’s me!’ Her twin brother, Scott, otherwise known as The Stache for his abnormally large and unsightly mustache. As the pain subsided, Serena stood and glared at The Stache. ‘What are you doing here?’ ‘I had a package to deliver. Then I saw that doctor. And then you punched me in the face.’ ‘Sorry about that. I’ve got this suspicious feeling. Mom is… up to something.’
    Serena stared at her brother and could only wonder… an affair, maybe? Cloning? A murderous plot? Purple-footed grapefruit-banana people? What could it be?!

  10. [...] we get started, here’s a link you should totally go to and participate in: Lillian’s January 2013 Challenge! It’s pretty good. I’m hoping someone follows up on that purple-footed [...]

  11. [...] think it’s about time to wrap up my never-ending story thing as best as I can because I’m sure people are either dying to read the whole thing or dying [...]

  12. ***Following Adam S story line***

    … a man. A really old man. This one slowly turned his neck to stare at her. Then she passed out. She woke up several hours later in a hospital bed. That was a very creepy day.

    This time was different. She wasn’t hallucinating now. But the day before she caught sight of that old man, the last one she saw two days ago. He was taking the bus, and she noticed that fact when she was going out from that cafeteria. Then she became horrified.

    Now, before going out to the street, she took some pills to offset the migraine. After that, she stood in front of the mirror, thinking. Then outside, walking with hesitant steps, she was heading to that bus stop to meet… or, actually, to face that old man and have a talk with him. But she distracted, and, in a way, forgot where was she going.

    1. Then all at once she remembered. The strawberries, the bull fight, the Colosseum. Oh my gosh, I need to get back to the post office, I left my…

  13. Reblogged this on Hasta Que mi Corazón Explote… and commented:
    Este blog post cuenta una historia. Incompleta… estás invitado(a) a completarla.

  14. “Where am I going?” she wondered.

    “Well, if I don’t know, I’d better stop going,” she stops walking and turns to a store front window.

    She notices, then, she is carrying a purse.

    Not feeling, like a purse carrying person, she hopes it is indeed hers.

    To come out of amnesia into a life of previous crime would be depressing.

    She notices a woman inside the store motioning frantically to her.

  15. Ruthie walks timidly toward the beckoning woman. The woman is ancient. Short, hunchbacked, her frazzled grey hair barely contained by a bright blue scarf.

    “You’re the one,” the woman whispers, loud enough to catch the attention of the shopkeeper, “You’re the one we’ve been waiting for!”

    The old woman rips the purse out of Ruthie’s hands, tosses it to the shopkeeper, and both of them dance around the store gleefully, while Ruthie…

  16. slowly backs away from the two people and out of the store. Better not to get mixed up in stuff like that she though. She turned around preparing to walk back home and realized…

  17. Reblogged this on cftc10.

  18. karenspath · · Reply

    with unspeakable horror that the ancient lady was herself in fifty years. What was in that purse that I would want it so badly, she wondered frantically as she ran toward her house.

    Suddenly she became aware the sound of running footsteps had multiplied; she wasn’t alone. Someone followed her. Who could it be? The last people she had seen were her older self and shopkeeper, who was equally old. Neither one of them could run like that.

    Slightly out of breath, her eyes darting around the deserted street, she steeled herself to glance over her shoulder at her pursuer. As she did she saw…

  19. that she had moved house last week, but the address had been written in her purse, and now she couldn’t find her way home.
    Crossing the road to ask a man for directions, she nearly ran straight into the path of a bus because…

  20. My Mushy Brain · · Reply

    …the man was not really a man but a chicken. In total despair, she did not ask the chicken why it was crossing road, but if it had any idea how she could find her way home…

  21. then maybe she should collect her wits and ask anyway. Feeling silly, she started moving slowly towards the chicken but soon realised with horror that it was going to cross the road anyway. Picking up speed she tried to run and catch him before his bony chicken legs hit the pavement, but she was too late. A nerve racking screech rang out as an oncoming car hit it’s breaks, trying desperately to avoid chicken roadkill. Then a sickening thud and silence.
    Ruthie looked away quickly and as she looked down her eyes landed on a large purple egg where the chicken had been. Curiously moving in closer, she noticed the egg was starting to hatch …..

  22. And out came an iguana. Ruthie knew it wouldn’t survive, so she decided to package it up and take it to the post office to send to the San Diego Zoo for safekeeping. She was running late as usual, but on her way across the street, she caught a glimpse of a very odd sight….

  23. and unconsciously slowed down for a better look. She couldn’t believe her eyes. She saw herself standing in front of her, with a package like hers. Dumbfounded, she wanted to run away but she couldn’t move. So, she stood there, like a statue with her mouth wide-open, still thinking of what to do…

    1. sorry.. didn’t know the challenge was over!

      1. Oh no, it’s not over at all! I dearly hope more people continue this because I’m in awe at how brilliantly things turned out. :D

  24. It was the sign for the town’s annual Rhubarb Festival…again. “Wait,” Ruthie thought to herself, “haven’t I seen this before?” Closing her eyes and rubbing her temple, Ruthie tried to shake the feeling of deja vu.

    Upon opening her eyes, Ruthie found herself back in the post office, sitting next to the elderly man. He gave her a quizzical look and turned back to the crossword puzzle balanced on his knee.

    Ruthie looked down at her lap and saw what the man had been staring at. A purse with a strange symbol imprinted on the front. The sight of the worn, brown leather triggered a flood of memories. The time in the hospital, the purple egg and the most chilling, her 50-year-old self tearing the leather bag from her own hands.

    “I got it back!” Ruthie thought triumphantly. She then stopped. “Why would I possibly steal from my own self?” It was then she decided she had to open the bag. She slowly unzipped the bag and saw…

  25. Reblogged this on Jaggi.

  26. JimRichard · · Reply

    When the two men carrying a huge mirror slowly moved on she was able to see the street for what it really was. A slide filled with purple eggs ending at a cliff she couldn’t see over.
    There were many people with nets fishing purple eggs off the slide. Throwing most of them back, but each kept a few. Some would fish out an egg keep it and throw one back from their little pile.

  27. Great idea! I like this game. I’ve already got a picture in my head of where the story could go.

    1. Hey, the sky’s the limit when you let your imagination go crazy. ;)

  28. @Mickae14
    …An entrance to another world. The purse that Ruthie had been holding on her lap the entire time was a Super Mario Brothers warp zone.

    She quickly closed the bag to mute the sound of the video game world. Ruthie held the bag tightly, glanced around the seating area, and quickly hurried to the bathroom with it clutched under her arm.

    She rushed into the last stall, locked the door behind her, and slowly opened the bag again to get a better look. The bright colors and sounds of the cartoon world filled the tight stall where sat hunkered down.

    After finally mustering the courage, she pulled the bag open, stepped inside of it, and slowly lifted it over her head.

    She fell from the sky into the video game land and dropped right on top of…

  29. well done lillian! you made it to the freshly pressed! i had a feeling you would someday, as you write extremely well and you’re very good at inviting bloggers’ participation, like in your very creative blog game above. I’ve truly enjoyed reading it. many congratulations!

    1. Thanks so much, Hibiscus Rosa! That’s such a flattering compliment and I’m equally flattered to have been FP-ed. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed following the challenge this month! :)

  30. Wow, awesome game you have here! Do I just join right in?

    1. Yup! Go right on ahead and continue where the last person left off. :)

  31. of a marshmallow trampoline. She proceeded to get up and jump. She was twisting, turning and she back flipped right off the marshmallow into a purse. Her purse. She desperately tried to climb out but something was tugging at her legs. It was…

  32. … that old man again! Geez, this is becoming really tiring.

    “Miss, are you a’right?” asked the old man seeing down at her face. She was laying on the postoffice floor. Was all of that a dream? That is, did she ever got to a hospital in the first place? <> Ruthie asked herself. The old man leaned back and she caught sight of the crowd around her, staring with curious eyes. She rose from the floor with the help of some gentlemen, and after that, she noticed the crowd were not strawberries, and the postmaster wasn’t strange-shaped. She sighted, relieved.

    “So this is what the marijuana causes in the brain, interesting” she said, thinking aloud, and smiling for herself. The people around her was surprised of those words, and stared at the woman as she walked to the front door.

    “Are you not going to send your package, miss?” asked the postmaster before she opened the door. She turned, look at the package left in the floor, and then she replied “There’s nothing inside…”. Turned back again and left the place.

    Outside, she felt uneasy. Yes, she did say there was nothing inside that box, but she wasn’t sure about that. Recalling, she barely remembered something about a ticking clock and something inside her overcoat’s pocket. So she put her hand inside the pocket. There was a little piece of paper. “12:00 pm” was written on it. She felt she needed to check her clock. 11:59 pm. She stopped suddenly. Something was coming up to her mind, but wasn’t able to remember. The she heard a strong clatter. She turned back and saw…

  33. [...] I first posted my blog game for this month, I was rather dubious at what kind of reception it would get. Would people think it was stupid? [...]

  34. A fireball consume the post office. The force of the explosion shocked the enitre city block. The blast sent a shockwave through the city block shattering every shop window. Ruthie stared at the post office inferno in disbelief. “Oh my god!” She screamed to her self. In her confused and shocked state all she could do was watch. Unable to move as if her legs were cemented into the ground. People rushed past her to the post office to search for surivors. Slowly she began to remember glimpses of her past… Her training at The Farm in Langley, VA…. Her first duty assignment inflitrating a terror group in Yemen. Weapons qualifications, hand to hand training all of it was coming back to her… She knew why there was a bomb in her package…

  35. and she knew what she needed to do next; head over to the field airport across town where an extraction helicopter was waiting for her. But she couldn’t move. She couldn’t think. She could only stare hypnotised at the bright orange and red flames climbing into the sky. In the distance she could hear the sirens coming closer and knew that she needed to get out of there now.

    She saw the bodies in her head, the kindly old Post-master and grieved. When had she gotten so jaded and hard-hearted. Yes, there was a terrorist cell in the building about the Post Office but several innocent people had died today. She remembered being unemotional, unattached and uncaring but now all her defences had come down, and the pain came swooping in.

    What had changed? Why did have have a blackout? And then a face popped into her mind….

  36. [...] To check it out or contribute, click here…. [...]

  37. [...] me lean. Recientemente (ayer), gracias a un tweet de Freshly Pressed de WordPress me topé con un post que proponía un challenge [...]

  38. ….: it belonged to her father. Those hard lines creasing around shrewd, obsidian eyes stared directly into her. Ruthie’s entire being was paralysed as panic coursed her veins. He was unmistakable, and so palpable. Ewan, her son, had the same steely face, but unlike her father, radiated such warmth and security. What in hell did her mind seek from him at this god forsaken moment? Why was this wretched man staring at her? Why had she supplanted real -very real- fear and immediate chaos with a man who caused her nothing but pain in a time so far from this? Palpitations chaperoned her thoughts. And yet somehow, there was something she did not recognise in him- something off, but which echoed a magnetic importance. As she stared harder, his mouth began to contort. A distant siren was now growing louder. Ruthie felt terror when she was sure she should feel nothing more than urgency. Looking down, her watch had just struck four….

  39. A hard face. The face of a man – dark and strong. The face absurdly familiar and yet unknown. His words float to her now like barks from a rabid dog. “Ruthie! Move! Move!”

    “No need to tell me twice – but my head is pounding!”

    Shaking fingers reach to a burning wound above her right eye, the wet stickiness of blood meeting her touch. She can feel the pointed wedge poking from her open flesh, and with a tug pulls the foreign object and stares in disbelief.

    “Did that come from inside me?” She thought in a dizzying whir as noise and colour flashes before her eyes like a computer screen resetting. “What the hell is this?”

    Her mind now clear fills with memories. Old ones – her childhood, her Dad, the Laboratory he worked in, the white mask he would wear over his mouth as he muttered “Now stay still Ruthie, this will only hurt if you wiggle.”

    “Oh my God Dad, what did you do?” Fat tears slide through the stains on her cheeks as the thump of pain meets her chest. Why does all pain end up there, so close to your heart?

    The sound of sirens fills the air like a swarm and pulling herself from the memories her body moves. Survival kicks in and she’s running…

  40. …through a field full of giant rhubarb plants and huge swarms of insects being chased by vast flocks of birds, making great swirling, ever-shifting parabolic clouds in the purple sky. She sees the half-ruined bull ring in the distance, hears the great roars of the crowd and is drawn ever-closer to the twirl of the red cape and the inevitable dance of death.

  41. Anne Baluch · · Reply

    She saw her! … It was like the history again living in the very present. Been 10 good years that mind couldn’t lose a single feature of her face. Same smile, same hazel eyes. Recalling the time both stayed 2gether spending days hanging back at beach and dangling their feet half in water trying to fish. Both very young and full of their innocence. ‘Think I caught a fish, I bet it’s the master of the ocean I found’ 12 year old Anna could’nt contain her excitement.

    Ugh! Sorry giving up… I loved being a part though. Lacking time. Motivating n entertaining post anyway :) will love to see your posts around.

  42. Yeah, great post right there. I am following you now, hope you follow us back! Cheers

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

  43. Reblogged this on QuarterFlip and commented:
    For all of the writers out their, I CHALLENGE YOU!

  44. [...] post is inspired by a most interesting idea at High, High, Higher which I found on Twitter … I think. Anyway, nevermind. That’s the blog where the idea [...]

  45. She saw a star shaped package. One that had a slight rip on the side and what looked like oil stains. As a former Marine she knew oily packages were a bad sign, so she decided to do what any hero would, dive on the star shaped package. The package crushed by her weight made an odd sound. Thru the rip comes… http://rogertharpe.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/the-perfect-love-story/

  46. …a slightly misshapen star-shaped oil can (Ruthie was no lightweight) with the words ‘use me’ written on the label. Ruthie sniffed the contents tentatively…was she supposed to drink the oil, rub it onto her body…what?…WHAT?! Throwing caution to the winds she decides to do both. Ripping off her clothes she smeared the viscous liquid all over her parched skin and swallowed huge mouthfuls. It tasted…it tasted…well, disgusting quite frankly. Rather too late Ruthie noticed that the label was torn (she’d been somewhat over-enthusiastic when divesting the can from it’s packaging) Quickly pulling her clothes back on – ignoring the wolf-whistles of the fire crew who’d arrived to deal with the inferno at the post office – Ruthie desperately searched the remains of the wrapping and found the rest of the label. With shaking fingers she pieced them together…”Use me feed and lubricate the skin of your rare Martian iguana” As her throat began to close and her skin suppurate, Ruthie realised two things…

  47. one, she was going to be very sick. She looked around for a trash can as she starts breathing threw her nose and exhaling out her mouth, trying to stop herself from throwing up in public. She was breaking out in a cold sweat as she reached a sidewalk trash can that was sitting next to a bench. She makes it just in time. As she sits back on the bench feeling so much better, she hears a fireman yell, “Hey someone get a Vet, we found some kind of weird lizard in here..he’s in bad shape.” Ruthie turned towards the smoking Post office. She looks down at the odd oil can she was still holding. It still had oil in it, in fact it was over half full. She slowly gets up and was amazed how much better she felt. She makes her way through the accumulating crowd, up to the roped off police line. “Sir…Sir….” she says as she reluctantly touches the shoulder of a fire fighter standing near the doorway of the post office. He turns. “Yes..Mam?” “Did I hear that a lizard was in the post office?” “Yes…you did….” “I might can help you with that.” she interrupts. He scrunches his face in wonderment. “Really?” “Is…is there something wrong with it’s skin…?” “Yes…how did you know..?” “Put this on it’s skin…this should fix the problem….I hope” She said as she handed the star shaped container with the torn instructions. He took it and read the papers. “How do come to have…”.he looks up. But she was gone. “Hey..where’d she go…any one see the woman that was standing here.” He asked as he searched the crowd for her. She was walking very quickly in the opposite direction, because the second thing she was worried about was getting the heck off that street, and so….she

  48. As Ruthie hurried down the street her cell phone rang. “Hello? Yes, this is she. Oh, I completely lost track of the time. I should be there in about a half an hour. I-I’m sorry to hold you up.” Realizing her car was parked in the other direction, just past the post office, Ruthie decided to take a cab back to her car. She was blocks away and she didn’t feel like walking any further. She caught a cab fairly quickly and headed toward the post office. The cost of the short cab ride was $5.86; the cab driver turned and told her. Ruthie felt her pockets and found her cell phone, a packet of gum, a used Kleenex and her car keys, but she didn’t have anything else. Glancing across at her parked car, she felt a sunken feeling because she didn’t have any money to pay the driver…..

  49. rschultze · · Reply

    The driver immediately saw the penniless expression that he’d seen on so many faces before Ruthie’s, but this time he was determined to get his money back. Normally he would have let her out for free, but this morning he had gotten into a fight with his wife, who blamed him for being a coward and never standing up for himself – today, he would do so. He asked Ruthie what she expected him to do about it, to which she replied “I don’t know”, with a smile. It wasn’t a nervous smile nor a frisky one, but a smile that seemed as unimportant as child labour in India was to the driver, who happened to be not from India, but from Gibson City, a small Illinois town with a population less than three and a half thousands. The driver and Ruthie stared at each other for a while, before the driver decided to drive off, taking Ruthie with him.

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