Friday, January 28, 2011

Group Story: A Winter's Tale

Nearly a month has passed since we shared our New Year's resolutions. Since then, some parts of the world (and perhaps the universe as well) have seen their fair share of cold, ice, and snow. So, before we forget about Come In Character altogether, let's jump-start our creativity with a group story.

For those who haven't yet participated in such a collective tale, group stories can be a real treat. Normally, we focus on one particular genre – such as romance, science fiction, or horror – but this time, it could be fun to mix genres.

So, what do you say, authors and characters, are you up for the challenge?

If so, here are the first few lines of our little winter's tale:

As she sat beside the flickering hearth, warming her damp hands and feet, the petite, middle-aged midwife glanced toward the bay window that, in summer, would overlook the overflowing vegetable garden. Despite the outer darkness, Mathilda could still see the snowflakes falling, as they had for hours, and even with the fire, it seemed that she might never stop shivering. Suddenly, though muffled by the wind, the porch creaked and a knock sounded through the front door.

“Who could be here at such an hour,” she thought, a mite concerned. “And in this weather?”

28 comments:

Galadriel said...

The door swung open, revealing a figure so bundled in wraps that the gender could not be known. Indeed, for all she knew, it might have been an alien or a corpse risen from the grave--except for the multi-colored scarf wound around the neck. Only humans would have the awful fashion sense to think of putting red, yellow, aqua and oatmeal in one six-foot long monstrosity.

Olivia Harper said...

For just an instant, Mathilda considered the scarf. As her normally drab apparel implied, she'd never been particularly interested in fashion, but somehow, she found the ridiculously kaleidoscopic accessory appealing. That is, until the mysterious stranger unwound it, and his identity was finally revealed.

Aidan said...

Dude, don't stop now.

Marc said...

Didnt you read it? You're supposed to add to it yourself, nimwit.

Aidan said...

Oh, uh.

Yeah. I got nuthin.

Laura Martone said...

That's okay, Marc. I'm used to Aidan not following instructions. :-)

Christine H said...

It was Islaz, the farmer who lived far down the road, practically in the next county. He must have had a long ride in the dark.

He was tall and gangly, with wide, worried eyes. "It's time. I need you, Mathilda."

"I told you, Islaz, I don't deliver cows." She said it as gently as she could, because she felt sorry for him.

"But I need your help! It's the first one. I don't know what to do. It can't be that different. Please!"

She was going to give in. She knew it. He was so young and so totally incompetent. If he made a success of farming, it would be because of his skill in getting people to help him. "All right. Let me get my things."

Candy said...

In a trice Mathilda retrieved the black medical bag that had been her father's, and had bundled herself in the great fur coat that had been his also.
"Let us go then," she gasped and Islaz, already mounted on his grey Shure , pulled her up behind him.
With the bag gripped in front and Mathilda hugging his waist they set off, the mare snorting with effort as she leapt and plunged through the drifts.
To Mathilda it was like flying, for the world seemed to be made only of snow,and a laugh bubbled up and burst out as she imagined herself a child in a fairy tale.

Candy said...

Oops! It should be Shire, not sure!

Galadriel said...

As they rode through the snowy night, Mathilda looked around her. Something undefinable made her uneasy, but Islaz babbled on. "It's stuck, and I can't pull it free."
Mathilda glanced over her shoulder. Something was following them.

Aidan said...

Well, I wouldn't presume to be a writer, sheesh, Marc, lets leave it to the professionals, k?

But it's good. And hey, get me, I'm actually reading something.

Kaelin said...

It's a miracle.

Aidan said...

I have a feeling Matilda is hot. Don't ya think, Kae?

Kaelin said...

Don't you have work to do?

Devi Marconi said...

Mathilda's stomach cramped with sudden fear. While Islaz continued his babbling, she kept her eyes fixed on the figure approaching from behind them. Given the darkness, however, and the ever-falling snow, she found it difficult to discern its true nature. Was it riding a horse, like them, or could it be flying? And why did it suddenly remind her of Aidan, that handsome demon she'd once seen in a dream?

Jason said...

You've actually got the lad blushing, Devi!

Devi Marconi said...

Well, that was the idea, Jason! *wink*

Thought I'd give him a taste of his own medicine.

Aidan said...

Just to be clear, I DID NOT BLUSH.

But I'm flattered by the mention.

David Jace said...

As her thoughts of the hot demon distracted her from the cold snow and the angled medical bag, a hideous screech cut through the driving precipitation.

The horse reared and Islaz fought to bring her under control. He goaded the mare into a gallop through the ice without looking back. He didn't need to; he knew what it was. He didn't want to; he'd seen them before.

Mathilda, however, had heard the stories, seen the damage, but never seen the creatures first hand. She risked a look back.

Tearing through the snow and sleet like a deep sea creature through waves, the beast moved with what seemed a cross between leaping from snowflake to snowflake and dancing amid the sleet. Neither mental image suited its appearance. Black as night-ice, with leathery wings tipped by claws, its mouth covered half its face, and the teeth were curved outward. The reports held that it had conscious control over its teeth and fangs and could angle them out, or in, at will. Based on the damage she'd seen them do, she believed it. She hid her face in Islaz's back as the thing screeched again, getting an answering call from somewhere in the icy blindness to their left.

"Faster, Islaz! The cow isn't the only one in danger, now!"

Aidan said...

Huh. Kinda sounds like one of the demons from the lower levels. I never heard of that teeth thing though. That sucks.

Candy said...

But the poor mare could go no faster and Mathlde could feel the hot fetid breath of the beast on her back and the sharp teeth had already scarred one boot.
On a spurt of inspiration she grasped the end of Izlas' scarf, tore it from around his neck and flung it and all its startling colors at their pursuer. The creature, thinking it some delicious morsel, opened wide and swallowed, choking and gagging on what seemed endless wool which caught in its teeth and slid down its throat to wind around its intestines. With a last garbled roar it droppied dead in it's tracks to be cannibalized by its slavering mate.

David Jace said...

*applauds* Wonderful! (Now someone just needs a little wrap-up for our characters...)

[Candy, I get excited every time I see one of your posts. I wish I had more contact with your author.]

Sandii said...

Mathilda breathed a deep sigh of relief and even though she thought it was not possible to get closer to Islaz she somehow did. Her breath was slowing and Islaz allowed the mare to slow her pace as they allowed the reality of how close they had come to sink in.

When they arrived back at Islaz' home the cow had managed to deliver her baby all on her own. The calf nuzzled it's mother and Islaz and Mathilda retired to a cozy warm room and sipped on hot tea whilst staring silently at the fire!

Marc said...

Aidan is wondering if drinking tea is a euphemism for sex. Do you suppose the lad will ever grow up?

David Jace said...

Tell Aiden that it's only a euphemism if the tea is a spicy, exotic blend. Otherwise, it's just dry leaves in hot water, so don't get excited. :)

Devi Marconi said...

Sigh. Sometimes, Aidan, people really do just drink tea. And, after all Mathilda and Islaz had just been through, I think they both deserved a hot mug of something - preferably with alcohol.

On the other hand, I've heard it said that intense, dangerous situations can get one's libido going... Heard it, mind you.

Aidan said...

It gets MINE going. Just saying is all. Not like I ever get the opportunity, what with Jason and Marc around day and night.

But tea's good. I like tea. Jason makes me some every morning. With sugar and milk.

Olivia Harper said...

That's how I like it, too, Aidan. Good stuff.