View Full Version : Talking Time Writing Circle (Round 1)

04-19-2011, 11:47 PM
Bongo Bill's comic replacement game (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?t=11395) reminded me of something fun a group of friends and I used to do on an old forum. Namely: a group writing game!

The rules of the game are simple. First, we'll need at least five people to make this work. After we get enough people signed up, you, the player, have to supply *one* story element to the group - it can be something abstract like an emotion or concept, or an object like a sunken ship or a crystal ball, or so on. The only catch is that it has to be original, and it has to be simple, i.e. singular - too complex, and the whole thing falls apart.

Once everyone's contributed an element, you then have to write a short story (1,000+ words; there's no upper limit) that uses every single one in some significant way in the story. Once it's done, you then post it here, and everyone PMs their vote anonymously to the organizer for their favourite. He then tallies it up and whoever wins gets to run the next round of the circle.

So, who wants to take part? If we get a lot of people signed up, I might have to divide everyone into smaller groups, but that's not a big deal.

Finished Stories
Alex Scott - Tuffy's Funeral (http://keromaru.blogspot.com/2011/05/story-tuffys-funeral.html)
Aquadeo - Sunfire, Sunset (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=1053245&postcount=42)
BEAT - The Worst Story Ever Written (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=1055687&postcount=47)
Karzac - Old Friends, to the Streets (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=1054613&postcount=45)
Thorn Ghost - Untitled (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showpost.php?p=1054590&postcount=44)

Soren Highwind - A cemetery at dawn
Merus - A party
ThornGhost - A smelly shoe
Karzac - An inescapable sense of longing
Luana - A person with a tic
Alex Scott - A radio
Aquadeo - A flat tire

Soren Highwind
04-19-2011, 11:49 PM
Ooh, this sounds like fun! I wish to participate, if that's cool.

Edit: Oh, if I can, the element I submit is the setting- a cemetery at dawn. No reason, it just sorta popped into my head.

04-19-2011, 11:58 PM
Ooh, this sounds like fun! I wish to participate, if that's cool.

It is! Thanks for taking part. :D

Soren Highwind
04-20-2011, 12:01 AM
It is! Thanks for taking part. :D

Totally! I haven't written anything in a while, though, so don't me surprised if my submission turns out sub-par.:o

04-20-2011, 04:13 AM
I am going to make this harder and say "a party".

04-20-2011, 06:30 AM

A smelly shoe.

04-20-2011, 08:47 AM
I'm in.

An inescapable sense of longing.

04-20-2011, 08:51 AM
Count me in, dude.

As for my submission... a person who has a tic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tic).

04-20-2011, 09:25 AM
Awesome, we've got enough people to get this rolling. :cool: I'll leave sign-ups open a little longer in case anyone else wants to join in (let's say until later tonight or so), but otherwise I think we're ready to go with this.

04-20-2011, 09:30 AM
This sounds like fun, but I'm not quite up to joining until I get some more free time and see how a round plays out.

04-20-2011, 09:56 AM

I want to do this thing.


Alex Scott
04-20-2011, 10:03 AM
This seems like fun. So here's my contribution:

A radio.

04-20-2011, 11:46 AM
This sounds like fun, but I'm not quite up to joining until I get some more free time and see how a round plays out.

No worries! The writing circle I used to post at took a few rounds to really get going, but that's just the nature of the game I think.

Anyone else feel like joining in? We've always got room for a few more. ;) I'll be closing submissions at around 10:00 PM EST tonight, so anyone on the fence has until then to contribute something.

04-20-2011, 12:08 PM
Mind if I join in? Let's see, what can I contribute...

a flat tire

04-20-2011, 07:10 PM
Aaaand sign-ups are closed! Here's the final list of what elements you'll have to use:

•A cemetery at dawn (Soren Highwind)
•A party (Merus)
•A smelly shoe (ThornGhost)
•An inescapable sense of longing (Karzac)
•A person with a tic (Luana)
•Outrageously cool sunglasses (BEAT)
•A radio (Alex Scott)
•A flat tire (Aquadeo)

Thanks to everyone taking part! The way I remember it being run, there'd normally there'd be about a two week deadline for you to have them posted online, but since this is the first round I think I'll make it easy and extend it by about a week. So, yeah - you'll have until May 13th to finish your stories and post them here. Good luck!

04-20-2011, 08:06 PM
I am going to write such an amazingly bad thing.

Like several times worse than anything any of you have ever read.

04-20-2011, 08:19 PM
Good luck with that. I've graded high school and college English papers.

Soren Highwind
04-20-2011, 08:27 PM
I am going to write such an amazingly bad thing.

Like several times worse than anything any of you have ever read.

Oh, I highly doubt that. Not to dis your poor writing skills, but mine are pretty terrible.

04-26-2011, 07:46 PM
So, how are things going so far?

Soren Highwind
04-26-2011, 08:30 PM
So, how are things going so far?

Honestly? I haven't had the time. Hopefully I should be able to get something done this weekend.

04-26-2011, 10:47 PM
I have an actual outline all planned out.

When your stated goal is to make something painful to read, well that's quite a feat.

04-27-2011, 12:47 PM
Gah, darn it! I didn't notice this thread until now. I can sign up next time though, right? This looks like fun!

04-27-2011, 09:54 PM
I haven't started it, and probably won't start until deadline week. I've got a script I'm trying to work on and an article I have to polish up, but 1000 words is cake so I'm not too worried.

Tomm Guycot
04-28-2011, 01:40 AM
I want in next time you bastards

04-29-2011, 02:40 PM
I will start this in the matter of all of my writing projects - at the very last possible second in very great disservice of my friends and family.

Good day, sir!

Evil Dead Junkie
04-29-2011, 08:44 PM
Oh man I'm rueing missing this. Rueing it so hard.

05-01-2011, 06:27 PM
So when we're done do we just post it or do we wait for the deadline?

Because I might be done tonight.

05-01-2011, 06:51 PM
So when we're done do we just post it or do we wait for the deadline?

Because I might be done tonight.

There's no harm in posting it early, I don't think. Matter of fact, we could get to the voting phase earlier if certain people didn't put off writing theirs. >:P

05-02-2011, 09:04 AM
There's no harm in posting it early, I don't think. Matter of fact, we could get to the voting phase earlier if certain people didn't put off writing theirs. >:P

I said good day, sir!

05-02-2011, 01:58 PM
Can I sign up for the next round already? Or do I wait until the current round is done and make a mad dash for the ticket line?

05-09-2011, 03:41 AM

Can I sign up for the next round already? Or do I wait until the current round is done and make a mad dash for the ticket line?

Oops, sorry, I missed this. Yeah, you'll have to wait until the current round's over - whoever wins the vote at the end gets to run the next circle, so you'll have to wait until they decide on a theme before everything's ready to go.

Alex Scott
05-09-2011, 04:25 PM
So, we just post the whole thing here?

05-09-2011, 04:31 PM
So, we just post the whole thing here?

Yup! Alternatively, you can also link to it from a blog or a site like Fictionpress (http://www.fictionpress.com/) - as long as it's online and easy to find, that's fine.

Alex Scott
05-09-2011, 06:01 PM
All right then. Here, with minimal revisions, is Tuffy's Funeral (http://keromaru.blogspot.com/2011/05/story-tuffys-funeral.html).

05-10-2011, 02:03 PM
I wrote some stuff! The beginning is a little similar to Alex's (realized that after reading) but I think the rest should be different.

I guess that's how it goes with this sort of thing?

05-10-2011, 02:05 PM
Gah, darn it! I didn't notice this thread until now. I can sign up next time though, right? This looks like fun!

Alex Scott
05-10-2011, 02:30 PM
The beginning is a little similar to Alex's (realized that after reading) but I think the rest should be different.
Yours has a reference to Sean Hannity, too?

05-10-2011, 07:45 PM
Yours has a reference to Sean Hannity, too?

Haha, no, Rush Limbaugh.

I kid. But we do have a car full of young men pulling up to a small, southern church in the early morning. And possibly a creepy pastor guy.


05-10-2011, 07:50 PM
Oh man, how did I miss this? I'll try for the next one.

05-10-2011, 08:18 PM
All right then. Here, with minimal revisions, is Tuffy's Funeral (http://keromaru.blogspot.com/2011/05/story-tuffys-funeral.html).

He tried instead to focus on something more positive. He found himself regarding the man's sunglasses. Now that he saw them close-up, he loved them. They were amazing, like something out of a retro cop show, reflecting the dawn sunlight like a clear lake, and being as sleek and seamless as any smartphone. They were, as Jerry would say, outrageously cool.

The best part about these challenges is seeing how the weirder stuff gets used. :D Anyhow: Nicely done! I just finished reading it now, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Alex Scott
05-10-2011, 08:34 PM
Haha, no, Rush Limbaugh.
Which was actually the original reference. But I also know he doesn't come on that early. Hannity, on the other hand, could feasibly fit in the morning; maybe the local station airs reruns as filler.
The best part about these challenges is seeing how the weirder stuff gets used. :D Anyhow: Nicely done! I just finished reading it now, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Hee hee. I enjoyed how the new story elements (like, say, the dead mouse) emerged from the ones we came up with. I almost wish people could guess which elements were Talking Time's and which were mine.

05-12-2011, 06:36 PM
Usually, I love the sunrise. In the city, it's like watching a world being born. In the country, it's a nearly religious moment. But out here, there's no picturesque vista, no profound metaphor. It's just ugly and depressing, only that now you can see it better than before. It doesn't help that the only people you see up this early are the ghouls, gleefully scrounging for their treasure before anyone else shows up to challenge them. They ignore me, because they think I'm one of them. But they can have this salvage yard and all its wrecks to themselves. I'm not here to bicker with them over pulled stereos like so many puppies fighting over a smelly shoe.

I'm here for something far more valuable than that.

I'll have to hurry, though. I can't afford to find her after these scavengers have turned her into a pile of scrap. It can't help but catch their eye, after all, and then they'll descend upon it, chatting and laughing as one of them holds up a part, and everyone comments on its quality, its relative worth to them, and its market value. If the dollars add up, they'll toss it into their basket, and it'll be one more piece of her I'll never see again.

You'd think it wouldn't be too hard to find in this mess. Cars are almost kneeling down before me on long-deflated tires, prostrating themselves to afford me a view of newer additions, those still able to maintain some semblance of poise.

The sun rises a bit higher, and the morning's lateral shadows begin their retreat to their undercarriage homes. In the light, I see a familiar flash of a wild yellow and black tiger-striped trunk in the distance, and smile. If there was any doubt that it wasn't my car, those disappear when I see it from the front. Only one car would have a giant pair of sunglasses fitted over its headlights. Only one car would dare.

I almost say hello to it when I'm in earshot, but I stop myself. It would be awkward to start up a conversation, when I'm planning to leave as quickly as possible. The treasure hunters behind me are having a jolly old party here, but this place still feels like death. My beloved steed isn't convalescing - it's lying cold on the stones, waiting for the flies to carry it away, bite by bite. I look again at the scavengers, suddenly ashamed of my comparisons. I'm being too hard on them. Once I've gotten what I need and found my peace, hopefully I'll look upon them with a kinder eye.

I drop the spare key out of my palm, and slide into the driver's seat one last time. Out of morbid curiosity, I try to start the engine, and the starter fires frantically without result, an uncontrollable spasm. "Listen to that. Like a nervous wreck," I mumble to myself. Gallows humour.

The longer I sit in this seat, the more anxious I get. The things I've done with this car, the places I've been... I'll never have that same rush of freedom in any car I ever drive again. Without this car, I'm less of an adventurer and more of a simple motorist. Maybe someday, I'll be able to have fun driving without thinking of this magnificent beast... but not any time soon.

Only now do I realise why I was so scornful of everyone else here -- because I'm here for the same reason. It's almost unforgivable, what I'm doing, stealing a bit of power from something greater than myself, and trying to claim it for my own. But it would also be unforgivable of me to forget any of this. I need something I can keep with me, to remind me of these days... and their conclusion.

The sunglasses must stay. To pull those off their mounts would be too much of a dishonour -- and besides, don't the other scavengers deserve to discover a bit of mystery in their searches? Let this car inspire wonder just a while longer. I don't need anything quite that essential.

The rearview ornament? Cliché.

The dashboard figurine? It was always a bit too wobbly for my tastes.

The owner's manual? Too impersonal.

My fingers drum on the gear shift for a moment before I realise that I have my answer. At my right hand's side, the interface through which I spoke to the beast -- and the means through which it spoke back. And together, we spoke to the world. It's an indelible part of this car, and an indelible part of me, too.

A few good twists, and it's in my pocket, and just like that, I'm no longer visiting a grave. Now, it's merely a faintly ridiculous car whose days are behind it, while mine lie ahead.

I get out of the car, take one last moment to appreciate its majesty, and then kneel down and push the key down into the oil-soaked earth. I stand up, turn around, and head towards the exit.

I took the bus here. I think I can hold my head high enough to walk home, now.

It'll give me some time to think about what I'll be driving next.

05-13-2011, 07:48 PM
The sun rises a bit higher, and the morning's lateral shadows begin their retreat to their undercarriage homes. In the light, I see a familiar flash of a wild yellow and black tiger-striped trunk in the distance, and smile. If there was any doubt that it wasn't my car, those disappear when I see it from the front. Only one car would have a giant pair of sunglasses fitted over its headlights. Only one car would dare.

Outrageous. :cool:

Just finished reading. I enjoyed it! Kudos for taking artistic liberties on some of the elements, especially the use of the junkyard.

For the rest of you folks, there's only five hours left! Let's see some posting, people. Chop, chop.

05-13-2011, 10:44 PM

Wife is asleep, alone in the bed behind me. I suppose this means I kept my promise to finish at the last minute at disservice to my family.

Anyway, I haven't proofed it much at all. There's some course language. Enjoy?


The gravel of the parking lot made a distinctively satisfying crunching sound as the Lumina rolled to a stop. Kyle killed the engine and the silence of pre-dawn washed through the car.

Robert shifted in the passenger’s seat. “I don’t think this is the place, man.”
He was right, of course. This was most definitely not the place.

Stephen kicked fitfully in the back seat, where he had tried his best to stretch out into a comfortable sleeping position. In reality, he looked like a cramped jumble of bent knees and twisted arms. He should have just slept sitting up.

“Steve! Wake up man!” Robert flung his empty soda bottle into the back seat, bouncing it off of Stephen’s shoulder. The sleeping man mumbled something under his breath and didn’t move.

Kyle sighed and knocked his door open. They had been on the road all night and his legs were sore. Gingerly, he crawled out and into a standing position. His muscles relished the stretch and he breathed in the cool air appreciatively. He heard Robert’s door pop open behind him, heard the sound of his feet on the rocks.

The door alarm dinged quietly in the dark as the two young men rubbed their arms and stamped their feet.

“Think we made a wrong turn?” Robert asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t think so. Maybe we just aren’t there yet.”

Kyle walked over to the edge of the parking lot, and looked at the road it bordered: U.S. Highway 70. The smooth blacktop was just visible in the red glow of the car’s tail lights, a crimson river twisting through the early morning hills. Were they in Tennessee yet?

The Lumina’s radio suddenly blared to life, causing him to jump.

“Wake up, you idiot! We’ve stopped!” Robert was trying to blast Stephen out of his nap, cranking up the radio and pounding on the rear window.

Kyle saw Stephen thrash his arms, followed by a rear door opening.

“You ass!” Stephen yelled as he rolled out of the car, “I was sleeping!”

Stephen made a clumsy attempt at lunging at Robert, but failed to connect. Robert danced away, laughing.

“Jesus, there’s the sun.” Stephen turned to what must have been the east, pointing at a gray glimmer spreading across the tree line.

“When did we leave Monica’s party? 2 AM?”

“Something like that,” Stephen replied as he leaned into the back seat and began to rummage. “Maybe 3. I don’t know.”

“And now it’s dawn,” Kyle sighed.

Stephen righted himself, wearing those sunglasses he had bought at the gas station. He had called them “outrageously cool” at the time. “And now it’s dawn,” he agreed.

“Well, back on the road?” Robert asked, clapping his hands and walking to the passenger door.

“Wait a minute.”

The gray on the horizon was spreading, casting color and definition to the world. The shapeless tangle of trees and scrub that bordered the gravel parking area in the dark began to give up its secrets to the dawn. A well tended stretch of forest began to take form, revealing a path that began at the edge of gravel.

“What’s that?” Kyle asked.

“It’s just some path. Maybe some redneck’s driveway? Who knows!” Robert eased himself into his seat.

“I’m going to check it out.”

Kyle walked toward the path, ignoring the discouraging calls behind him. They could wait. He had the keys, after all.

The forest closed around him quicker than he imagined possible. The branches, thick with summer leaves, drowned out the voices of his friends. The path twisted forward, skirting the edge of a rolling hill covered in old growth.

As he progressed, he saw the woods were not quite as well tended as they seemed from the road. Here, an old flat tire lay half buried in leaves. There, a muddy, foul smelling puddle he accidentally stepped in.

Shortly, though, the path cut out of the trees and into a small open field. In the distance a small, squarish building with a steepled roof rose from the ground. Though he could see few details, the cross on the top marked it a church.

Closer stood a small graveyard with a huge tree growing in the center. Kyle approached and found a rusty iron fence lining the grounds. He gingerly worked the latch on the gate and let himself in.

It was very quiet.

He peeked around at the first few graves; some were old, some were newer. Many of the stones held the same names. Allen. Breazeale. Yates. This must have been the graveyard for a small community. Several generations of these families lay here.

Kyle approached the tree and laid his hand on the bark. Oak. It was beautiful.
He looked up into the dazzling cacophony of leaves, already green in the light of the morning. Limbs spread out in circles, heavy and crooked.

Something swayed in the breeze, and Kyle squinted to see what it was. It was a rope, dipping down from a branch and then returning up, both ends hidden from view. Was that a pair of feet he saw; legs dangling?

“Hello?” he called hesitantly.

He continued to look up, but no answer came.

“Hello?” he yelled again.

“Do you know what this place is?” The reply was quick, forceful. A man’s voice. “It’s a graveyard. It’s for the dead.”

Kyle didn’t respond.

“Are you dead?” the voice called.

“Are you?” it was a cheeky reply, and Kyle knew it.

“Not quite.”

“Well, me neither.”

The silence stretched for a moment, and Kyle looked around the base of the tree. How did the man get up there? He circled the trunk and found a tall ladder propped against it.

“Can I climb up?” Kyle called. Not that he wanted to, but he wanted to see what the man would say.

There was no reply.



Kyle circled back around the other side of the tree and looked up. The feet were closer to him now somehow, a good deal closer. As Kyle watched, they turned slowly in a circle. Realization began to form in his mind.

The man had hung himself.

“Shit!” he spat and sprinted around the tree to the ladder. He scrambled up as fast as he could. Maybe he was still alive. Maybe he could get him down. How?

When he was as far up as he guessed the man must have been hanging, he braced himself against the side of the tree and leaned around, hoping to get a closer look. He had never seen a dead person before, but it wasn’t hard to see the truth of it. The drop had snapped his neck. His eyes bulged and his neck was bent in an unnatural angle.

Suddenly nauseous, Kyle jerked back around the tree clenched his eyes shut. The world seemed to swim around him. He stayed perfectly still until the sickness passed, and then slowly worked his way down the ladder.

Once at the bottom, he collapsed on the ground, breathing hard. He tried his best not to think about the macabre sight above him.

Just then he heard voices.

“He must have gone this way.” It was Robert.

He jumped up, and ran toward the edge of the graveyard. Stephen and Robert were at the gate, just beginning to open it as he reached them. He slipped out and shut it behind him when he was through.

“There you are!” Robert began at the same time as Kyle blurted, “Don’t go in there!”

“Why?” Stephen asked, peering around him.

“Just - just don’t.”

The two stood flabbergasted in front of him, frowning. “What is going on?” Robert finally asked.

“I don’t think we’re going to make it to the music festival. We’ve got some calls to make.”

Kyle turned around and looked at the tree, the grisly scene hidden by its branches. Sickness bubbled in the pit of his stomach just thinking about it. He hoped he wasn’t developing some tic. It would be a shame if he was.

Until now, he had always been quite fond of oak trees.

05-13-2011, 11:31 PM
I finsihed! My god, this is the first story I've finished in an extremely long time. I haven't really read it over and IO'm sure it needs a lot of work, but I like the core idea of it. Mainly I'm just happy that I finished something. So here it is.

The atmosphere of the party was one of comfort, boredom and disappointment. Alex sat on the couch, absentmindedly playing a videogame while Amy and Dave made occasional pithy remarks more out of habit than any actual desire for banter. The radio played top forty hits and went largely ignored by everybody. Red plastic cups sat on the side tables, half-filled with flat beer, forgotten after the first few sips. Jason sat next to Alex and felt a terrible sense of disappointment creeping up on him.

He couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong here. Why was he sitting in his basement with his four best friends like he had on every other Saturday night for the past four years? This was one of the last weekends of high school; he felt as though they should be out living it up and painting the town red and all those other things that teenagers in movies do. He longed to just once be stupid and irresponsible. He longed to just have fun like somebody his age should.

Finally, after sitting on that couch for what seemed like hours, Jason decided he’d had enough. He stood up and turned off the radio.

“Dude, what did you do that for?” Dave shouted. “I was listening to that!”
“Do you even remember what song was playing?” Amy asked.

“Sure I do. It was that one...by...that guy...in the...band.”


Jason interjected just as Dave was about to retort. “Guys, what the fuck are we doing here?”

“What do you mean?” Alex asked.

“I mean that every weekend for four years, we’ve sat in my basement, played videogames and made jokes. But have we ever done anything memorable? All these nights just blend together. I swear that after I graduate I’m not going to remember a single thing we ever did down here.”
“Well, what do you propose we do instead?”

“I don’t know. Just something. How about we go outside? It’s gorgeous out there. I just don’t think we should be stuck in here while there’s so much we could be doing.”

“Sounds good to me, I guess,” Dave responded. “I can’t argue with wanting to get out of this grungy basement. It stinks down here. I think it’s Alex’s shoes.”

“It’s probably your BO,” Alex retorted.

“It’s both of you,” Amy teased. “And Jason’s right. We should get out and have some memorable fun. That’s what being young is for, isn’t it?”
Before heading upstairs, the four friends quickly downed the remainder of their beers. Tipsy from the rapid alcohol consumption, they stumbled out of the house and into the night, greeted by a warm breeze.
As they stepped out, Dave pulled a pair of sunglasses out of his pocket and put them on.

“Um, why the hell are you wearing sunglasses in the middle of the night?” Amy asked.

“Because they are outrageously cool and therefore I am outrageously cool,” Dave replied with a self-satisfied smirk on his face.

“Your right, they do make you look like an outrageous tool.”
“Very funny. But you know you like them.”

Amy and Dave continued to throw insults at each, with Alex occasionally chiming in, while the four of them all continued to walk. They generally followed Bayview Avenue south, but mainly walked along the twisting and turning side roads. Jason guided his friends and let his feet guide him. He was familiar enough with the neighbourhood that he wasn’t worried about getting lost. They walked past parks, a hospital and the University campus. All the while, Jason heard his friends banter, but rarely spoke. He was content to let them talk. For him, simply being out here, active, with his four best friends, was worth it. This was what he wanted: four friends, wandering the city streets without a care in the world, just enjoying each other’s company.

“Will you stop talking about your Goddamn sunglasses?” Amy shouted, pulling Jason out of his reverie.

“Why, what’s the problem?” Dave asked, fake innocence painted on his face.
“You sound like you’ve got Tourette’s for Christ’s sake! Every sentence is interrupted by a stupid comment about your idiotic sunglasses. ‘I did well on my chem—have you looked at these sunglasses?’ ‘I saw a movie last wee—they’re pretty cool shades, eh?’ It’s fucking aggravating!” Amy looked like she was about ready to strangle Dave.

“Fine, fine, I’ll stop. But they are pretty sweet, aren’t they? And expensive too, you kn—“ Dave was by Amy lunging at his throat. He quickly dodged her, but she wouldn’t relent. She was hell-bent on wiping –or rather slapping-- the smirk of his face. Dave saw the look on her face and decided his best bet was to run, so he turned tail and bolted down the streets. Not to be denied her victory, Amy chased after him. Alex turned to Jason, rolled his eyes, and followed them at a jog.

Jason only slightly increased his pace, but a huge smile was creeping across his face. This was the excitement he had hoped for. Running, laughing, fighting –all the things a teenager should do. Worry and doubt could wait for later. For now, he intended to enjoy himself. So when Alex left his line of sight, he started running too. No way was he going to let his friends have all the fun.

After a couple minutes, he saw Alex again and sped up. Now he was in an all out run. Alex turned down another side street and then into a park –clearly, he could see Amy and Dave from where he was, although Jason couldn’t. Still, he kept running, intent on catching up to his friends. He pushed himself harder, feeling the blood pumping through his legs. Beads of sweat started dripping down his forehead, yet the air was now cold enough that breathing became painful. Jason ran and ran; he ran over roots, rocks and ruts. His heart was on fire. This was it. This was the happiness, the excitement he had been looking and longing for. Why didn’t he do this more often? The liberation and the rush that he was feeling right now felt as though they had been missing for his entire life. Without even noticing, he started to laugh.

Then in the middle of his laughter, his foot caught in something on the ground. His momentum hurled him forward and sent him crashing down. He just barely got his hands in front in time to prevent his nose from slamming into the ground. Pain ripped through his palms and shot up his knees as they came in contact with the twigs and pebbles that littered the path he was on. For a few moments he just laid there, face down, collecting himself. Then he rolled over and looked down at his feet to see what had tripped him.

It was a tire. Confused, Jason sat up to inspect it more closely. A slit on the top that had a rope through it told him that it was a tire swing, probably a flat that somebody had converted instead of throwing out. How the hell it had found its way to this path, he had no idea. It must have been tried to a tree nearby, he guessed.

“You all right, Jay?” Jason stood up to find out where the voice was coming from. It was Alex. Jason was surprised to see him; then he remembered why he had been running in the first place. He must have forgotten in all his excitement.

“Yeah, I guess I got a little carried away there,” he chuckled as he dusted himself off. “Where are Dave and Amy?”

“They’re just a way off, in the cemetery. I caught up with them and then came back to look for you.”

“Mount Pleasant Cemetery? We came that far?”

“Yeah, dude, we walked and ran for a while. Check your watch, it’s late.”
Jason looked at his wrist. Alex was right, it was 3 o’clock. “Huh. Well, let’s go join them then.”

So Jason and Alex walked the short distance to the cemetery. They found Amy and Dave sitting at the base of a huge oak tree and joined them.
“You look like a wreck,” Amy commented. “Exciting enough night for you?”
“Yeah, I think so,” Jason replied, smiling.

The four of them didn’t say much else. They all just sat there, lying against the tree, smiling and exhausted. Nothing exactly had happened that night, but Jason felt that they had shared something important and that he had been successful. He knew that when he looked back on his teenage years, he would remember this night, even though he wasn’t sure why.

They sat in the cemetery until dawn. I the sun peeking over the graves was so bright that Jason wished that he had been as smart as Dave and brought sunglasses.

05-14-2011, 02:15 PM
All righty, entries are closed! If you haven't submitted anything yet, it's too late. Now we come to part two of the circle: voting time!

Everyone who's taken part in the circle - Alex Scott, Aquadeo, Karzac, and ThornGhost - PMs me their vote on their favourite story here. Don't post who you voted for! It'll be kept anonymous, at least until the voting period's over. Also, if there are any ties, I'll act as the deciding vote and break them myself. Oh, and before anyone asks: you can't vote for yourselves. Whoever wins the vote gets to run the next writing circle, and can add on any new rules or twists as they see fit.

I'll tally the votes once they've all been sent to my inbox, but try to aim to send them by Sunday or so.

05-15-2011, 04:39 PM
Hey remember when I said I was gonna write the worst thing? and that it was gonna be so bad, you wouldn't even know.

Well I did.

And only two days late! Wow!

The Sun was finally starting to rise. "Goddamn sun" thought Mike, as he stood in front of Jake's tombstone. "I'm trying to fucking mourn here".

Mike had come to the graveyard on this particularly sicknasty morning to remember his best bromiego, Jake. "Remember all the good times we had together?" he said to the plot of earth. "Like that time at Bob's party, where we kicked the shit out those jackasses? Man, that was a good party. You were so wasted." A tear started to form in Mike's eye. But not some lame wuss tear. A manly tear. Mike didn't cry no wuss tears. He was too awesome for that.

The sun was now shining directly in Mike's eyes. Mike pulled his shades out of his jeans pocket and put them on his face. "The same ones you gave me, broseph", he said to the grave. "I'll never throw them away, because like I said when you gave them to me, these are some outrageously cool shades. Which is more than you can say about those shoes I gave you. God damn those things were nasty by the end of the year." That had been one hell of a Christmas.

Mike was suddenly filled with an inescapable sense of longing. A longing, for revenge. "BRB brosiedon," he said to the grave in parting. "Gonna go avenge your death.” And pimp-walked to his fucking awesome Maserati. The roar of the engine as he cranked that shit was like the roaring of his totally furious soul. Mike thought that was poetic.

Don Twitch had tourrettes, but that's not why they called him that. They called him that because of his twitchy trigger finger, which he used to shoot his bitchin' collection of handguns at people who ran afoul of his totally evil crime syndicate. He was the baddest motherfucker in town, or at least he thought he was. He hadn't met Mike yet. Mike was pretty fucking badass.

Don Twitch ran his shit from a China shop in the middle of downtown. He got it back in the early days of his ascent in the crime community, back when he wanted to be called “The bull”. To him the idea of “The bull” operating out of a china shop was deliriously ironic, but then Don Twitch didn't really have a very good handle on the concept of irony. He did have an iron grip which was handy when he needed to strangle people for protection money, so it was all cool.

Don Twitch hadn't really had anything big planned for the day. He was just gonna run the china shop front until about 4:00, and then was down to the docks for an interrogation. He had two of his underlings working the shop with him. The first was Larry, who had made his lot in life primarily by crushing skulls and rib cages with blunt objects. The second was Jim, who got a degree in marketing from Devry university online and was pretty good at selling porcelain. They were total bros. No homo. They were currently stocking the shelves out front, and Twitch was counting money in the back. Everything was just grand.

Then Mike's car exploded through the window.

Jim's body bounced off the grille of Mike's car and into one of the giant shelves of porcelain figurines. Mike jumped out the door and screamed “Welcome to the party motherfuckers!” Larry didn't even hear him. He was staring at Jake's shattered body, tears filling his eyes. But not manly tears. More like wuss baby tears cried by a little girl who's kitty ran away. “Jim!” he blubbered, “No! You were like my everything!”

Then Mike ran over and cut Larry's shit up with a badass bowie knife. Mike had lots of knives. Knives were badass, just like him.

“Hey Don Twitch!” Mike shouted at the backroom, as he drew his piece. “I just killed your stupid gay bodyguards! Now I'm gonna kill you!” Mike honestly felt kinda bad that he didn't have something more clever to say. Maybe he could say something clever when he killed Don Twitch instead. That would be cool.

Don Twitch didn't say anything. He was too busy sneaking out the backdoor to his getaway car. Like a coward sissyface. What a tool. Mike was too clever for that sort of weaksauce shit. He made it out the back of the store just in time to see Don starting his car. But Mike wasn't having that shit. He held his gat gangsta style, and shot Don's tires out. The car spun out of control and crashed into the pumps at the gas station next door.

Don stepped out of his car and stared Mike right in the eye. “You really fucked up this time” he growled at the kid. “Do you know who the fuck I am?”

“Yeah”, said mike, as the sun glimmered off his totally kickass shades. “You're Toast.”

And then he shot the gas pump. The explosion was one of the most awesome things he had ever seen, and he laughed as Twitch's burning corpse was thrown out into the street where it was hit by a mac truck. Mike wasn't sure if that was poetic or not, but he wasn't really worried about it. Poetry was gay anyways.

Mike blasted Nickleback on the radio all the way back to Jake's grave. He placed a piece of broken china on the headstone, along with his pair of outrageously cool shades. “It's done man,” he said, another manly tear welling up in his eye. “I did it all for you”.

“No homo.”

And I'm too late. Oh well, had fun anyways.

05-15-2011, 07:34 PM
I totally forgot to post this before I went on vacation! Oh well, guess you guys don't get to see my story!

05-15-2011, 09:47 PM
I won't disclose who I voted for, but I will say that describing the crunch of gravel as "satisfying" speaks to my heart, and that the closing line about oak trees is haunting, in that you feel the character's resentment at associating a perfectly innocent species with the evening's events.

I liked the idea behind the funeral for a mouse - it was a surreal event which didn't shy from making the characters as unique as their surroundings.

Also, I remember well those rare moments when my friends and I would accidentally "do something meaningful" instead of hang out in one of our basements, sharing puke stories. That resonated with me.

And I'll say something about Beat's story two days from now.

Thanks for sharing, everyone!

(By the way, did you know Regina has a Mount Pleasant, too? It's one of the few local toboggan hills. There's a Mount Pleasant in Calgary, too, which is one of the very few suburbs of that city which actually feels like it has a soul.)

05-16-2011, 11:25 AM
We've got a Mount Pleasant around here too. I guess back when people were naming things, they often found...pleasant...mountains? I dunno.

I really enjoyed everyone's stories. Apart from maybe BEAT's, I found it interesting that most seemed to be sort of solemn and introspective. Somehow we latched onto that graveyard and let it set the tone for the rest of the story. It's almost too powerful of an idea not to capitalize on. I wonder how the next round will play out - will another element become the focus?

05-16-2011, 01:10 PM
All righty, I tallied up all the votes by the participants (+ BEAT) and the winner by three votes is: Aquadeo! Congratulations! Now that you've won, it's your turn to start up the next Writing Circle, so best of luck! If you want to you can also add any new twists to the rules that you think will make it interesting; ideas I've seen work in the past included genre-themed circles, poetry slams, inverting elements selected or suggesting two at once and letting participants pick one or the other, and so on.

Thanks to everyone for taking part and really making this work; I really appreciate the effort you guys put into this. Also: special thanks to BEAT for going above and beyond the call of duty and submitting his even past the deadline!

05-16-2011, 01:24 PM
BEAT, you were right. That was awesomely bad. You're awesome. No homo.

05-17-2011, 06:53 AM
Thanks, everyone! : )

I'll start the new thread tonight, just as soon as I decide on whether or not to include any special rules... I'm looking forward to seeing what happens!

05-17-2011, 09:38 AM
Looking forward to it!

05-17-2011, 09:43 AM
Looking forward to it!

Me too! Please include a link here when you do make the new thread!

05-18-2011, 07:31 AM
ROUND 2! WRITE! (http://www.gamespite.net/talkingtime/showthread.php?p=1057891)