Author Topic: Add a noun to my story  (Read 4568 times)

Offline Josef Litobarski

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Add a noun to my story
« on: January 19, 2009, 12:40:26 PM »
Hi, everybody!

Can I propose a game? I'll have a go at writing a story. The thing is, there's a special rule: I can only use nouns supplied by readers. If you want to add to the story, just give me a noun, and I'll try to incorporate it somehow into the story. It might be a horrible failure - but let's see if it works.

To begin: Joe floats in empty space. There is only darkness and void.

Offline Hugh

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Re: Add a noun to my story
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 03:11:39 PM »
comet

Narnian Prince

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Re: Add a noun to my story
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 03:37:41 PM »
watch

Nelodra

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Re: Add a noun to my story
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2009, 03:50:06 PM »
psychologist

Narnian Prince

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Re: Add a noun to my story
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2009, 04:00:06 PM »
Oh, btw way, Josef, welcome to the Circle!  All the best with this idea.  I hope it pans out  as others have.  :D

And please feel free to drop by the bar at any time for a drink (and snacks) on the house!  :D

Offline Josef Litobarski

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Re: Add a noun to my story
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2009, 04:56:23 PM »
Darkness was comforting. Darknes was womb-like. Joe could stay in here... if only it wasn't so damn cold! Maybe he could find a light-switch...

Reaching out across the void, Joe's hands came across a surface. He found himself pressing his palms against a wall of ice. And suddenly "forwards" became "downwards" and Joe fell upon the ice, sprawling out across a frozen floor.

"You have fallen upon the ice... why do you think that is?" came a voice from the darkness.

"W-who's there? Are you the Creator?" said Joe, pulling himself upright.

Laughter bubbled out of the void, "No, Josef! I am not the creator. In here, you are the creator... and so, of course, are the Others."

"The Others?"

"Oh, they're always watching... Speaking of which, they gave me something to pass to you. Hold out your hand."

Joe climbed unsteadily to his feet, his flesh goose-pimpling from the cold. He dusted sprinkles of ice from his body and then, warily, extended his hand out into the dark.

A firm handshake greeted him.

"Carl Jung, a pleasure to meet you!"

"Er, Josef... Joe... n-nice to meet you!" said Joe, his teeth starting to chatter.

"Here, takes this," said Jung, pressing a small metallic object into Joe's hand.

Joe was shivering all over now, but somehow he managed to take the object without dropping it and, after fumbling with it for a while, he managed to identify it - "Why, it's a watch!"

"Well done, Josef. Why don't you put it on?"

Joe tried, but his hands were shaking so badly that Jung had to help him.

"W-why is it s-so dark? And so c-c-cold?" said Joe as Jung clicked the watch-strap's clasp into place around his wrist.

"Why do you think it's so dark and so cold, Josef?"

"B-because there's no s-source of light?"

"Well, if that's what you think the reason is, then that must be the reason."

"W-why? W-where am I?"

"You're on a ball of rock, dust, ice, and frozen gases, Josef. A comet, drifting through empty space. But I don't think you'll be here much longer... because you appear to be freezing to death."
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 06:11:34 AM by Josef Litobarski »

Offline Josef Litobarski

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Re: Add a noun to my story
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2009, 06:06:36 AM »
"B-but, Jung! Why aren't you f-freezing to d-death too?"

There was a pause.

"W-well, Josef... Now that you mention it, it is a b-bit cold on this c-comet."

"You're t-telling me!" Joe said, clasping his hands together and breathing onto them, trying to stop his fingers freezing into little icicles.

"Perhaps I'm only f-feeling it now because I haven't b-been here as long as you."

"W-where d-did y-you c-c-come f-from?" asked Joe, shuddering uncontrollably now.

"W-where do you think I c-came from, Josef?"

There was a groan, "J-Jung! C-come on! W-we're f-freezing to d-death here!"

"There's only one thing for it, Josef... we're g-going to have to hold each other to conserve b-bodyheat."

Silence. For a good half-a-minute, only the ticking of the watch echoed through the dark.

"Josef?"

"Is... Is that r-really n-n-necessary, Jung? What w-would Freud s-say?"
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 08:54:39 AM by Josef Litobarski »

Offline Josef Litobarski

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Re: Add a noun to my story
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2009, 04:27:47 AM »
Tick. Tick. Tick.

Shuffling. Then just the ticking of the watch.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

"Jung?"

Tick.

"Yes, Josef..."

Tick. Tick. Tick.

"Let us never speak of this to anyone."

Tick.

"Agreed."

Tick. Tick. Tick.

"Jung?"

Tick. Tick.

"Yes, Josef..."

Tick. Tick. Tick.

"I'm warmer now... are you?"

Tick. Tick.

"Yes, Josef."

Tick. Tick. Tick.

"Josef?"

Tick.

"Yes, Jung?"

Tick.

"This comet..."

Tick.

"Yes, Jung?"

Tick. Tick. Tick.

"As an archetype... what do you think it represents..."

Tick. Tick. Tick.

"What do I think it represents?"

Tick.

"I think it represents death... and fear..."

Tick. Tick. Tick.

"Don't talk like that, Jung... You've got to stay positive!"

Tick.

"The shadow..."

Tick.

"What d-did you say, Jung? You're speaking so softly - I can't hear you..."

Tick.

"The shadow..."

Tick.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 10:12:51 AM by Josef Litobarski »

Narnian Prince

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Re: Add a noun to my story
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2009, 05:44:05 PM »
cat

Offline Josef Litobarski

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Re: Add a noun to my story
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2009, 06:55:01 PM »
"Listen, Jung, I need you to get a grip... you're starting to worry me... psychologically speaking, I mean..."

Tick.

"Josef... I can't go on... the shadow calls..."

Tick.

"Jung... Be professional... Why don't you tell me about your dreams?"

Tick. Tick.

"My dreams? Why don't I tell you about my dreams..."

Tick.

"Jung... Is that you?"

Tick.

"Jung... There's something... What the hell! Is this you?"

Tick.

"The shadow..."

Tick.

"What's this weird furry thing down here? Hang on... I'll see what it's attached to... Let me give it a yank -"

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

It's like a bomb going off. The shock of it. Screeching and hissing and spitting and a storm of claws and fur and pain comes to life between the two freezing bodies. Joe screams and rolls away, batting at whatever it is. Like a fury, like a cannonball, like venom and rage distilled and concentrated into one tiny, angry little point of burning hatred, the noisy thing flies between Joe's legs and shoots out and away across the ice-plains, deeper into the darkness.

"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?!?" screams Joe, holding his bleeding forearm. "Jung?"

Tick.

"Jung? Are you okay? What was that thing?"

Tick.

Tick.

Tick.

The voice, when it comes, is right by his ear: "It was the will of the Demiurge, Josef..."

Joe spins round and trips, landing painfully on the ice.

Tick.

"W-What are you playing at, Jung?"

Tick.

Laughter comes out of the darkness, but Joe can't tell from which direction.

Tick.

"We can't deny the shadow within us, Josef!"

Tick.

"N-now, calm down, Jung. I know you've had a stressful few hours... we all have! But I feel like we really connected back there!"

Tick.

"Time's running out, Josef -" came Jung's voice, somewhere several steps away.

Tick.

And then it came again, right beside Joe's ear: " - and I know exactly where you are."
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 07:01:06 PM by Josef Litobarski »

Offline Josef Litobarski

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Re: Add a noun to my story
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2009, 03:37:37 AM »
Snow crunching beneath his feet, heart pounding, Joe runs across the ice-plains until he can run no more. Gasping, covered in sweat, bent over in stitches, he staggers and collapses.

He lies in the snow and listens to the roar of his breathing. As he sucks in big gulps of freezing air, his breathing slows and eases. He concentrates on the beating of his heart - taking long, slow breaths. His heart calms... and silence returns.

Tick.

That damned watch! Joe struggles with the strap but his fingers are too cold to work it. He feels around the watch, looking for a button which might stop it ticking - but he finds nothing.

Tick.

He starts to dig.

Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Tunneling into the snow - he scoops out the ice from the bottom of his small hole and piles it up beside him.

Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.

When he's made a hole wide and deep enough, he plunges his hand into it, burying it up to his shoulder.

Tick.

From somewhere in the distance, he hear's a voice calling: "Tick, tock, tick, tock, Josef!"

Tick.

Scraping at the inside of the tunnel with frozen fingers, Joe collapses the hole onto his arm. Maybe the sound of the watch will be muffled.

Tick.

From somewhere closer, somewhere across the ice and darkness, he hears the sound of a man howling.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 05:18:00 AM by Josef Litobarski »

Narnian Prince

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Re: Add a noun to my story
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2009, 07:13:17 AM »
building

Offline Josef Litobarski

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Re: Add a noun to my story
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2009, 09:59:35 AM »
The ticking of the watch was softer now - but Joe could still hear it faintly, keeping time beneath the snow.

"Where are you, J-Josef? Where have you g-gone?"

Despite all the running around in the dark, the two men were still freezing. Joe could no longer feel his hands, could no longer feel his feet, and he could no longer feel the arm with the watch.

"What have you done? Where are you? Shhh.... listen!"

Jung was close. Joe could hear snow crunching beneath Jung's feet as he circled. Then the footsteps stopped, not far from where he was hiding... and there was silence.

Joe held his breath... trying to make as little noise as possible. He mustn't make a peep.

Only the beating of his heart.

And...

Faintly...

Ever so softly...

Almost inaudibly...

Tick.

"There!! There you are, Josef!" cried Jung, standing above him now.

"J-J-Jung! P-P-Please!"

"No, Josef... I am no longer Jung... Jung froze to death in the darkness... I am all that is left... I am... The Shadow!"

Joe felt The Shadow kicking at him lightly, testing where his body lay.

"What are you doing? Where's the watch?" said The Shadow, dropping to his knees and scrabbling at Joe's shoulder, his fingers feeling along Joe's arm to where it disappeared down into the snow.

"J-Jung! P-P-Please!"

The Shadow laughed, "What is this? You've buried yourself, Josef?"

"Y-you have t-t-to s-snap out of it, Jung!"

"N-no, Josef... I see things clearly now, as they really are. I have acknowledged the truth hidden in my unconcious mind."

"J-J-Jung!"

Suddenly a handful of snow fell onto Joe's face.

"W-what?" Joe spluttered, as another handful was dropped onto his chest.

"W-w-what are you doing? S-stop it!"

The Shadow was piling snow on top of Joe. He was burying him alive.

"S-stop it, Jung! Stop it!"

"Too weak to stop me, Josef? Here we go... let's tuck you in... bald wirdst du warm sein..."

He worked slowly and carefully, piling more and more snow on top of Joe's freezing body. Weak from the cold, Joe was powerless to stop him. When The Shadow had finished, only Joe's face was left exposed under a mound of tightly packed snow. The Shadow crouched next to Joe's face, and rested a hand upon his forehead.

"I know you d-don't understand, Josef... but you have to trust me... it's better this way... We will see each other again in Elysium."

"D-don't leave me! W-wait!"

"Gute Nacht, lieber Josef... gute Nacht..."

The sound of The Shadow's footsteps grew fainter as he walked away into the distance, trekking alone across the ice-plains.

The Shadow had made a tomb for his dearest friend. This would be Joe's final resting place.

Time passed.

Joe grew weaker.

The darkness was taking him.

Then... something wet nuzzled against Joe's nose. The cat's tongue dragged like sandpaper across his face. Mewling, the little thing started to dig at the snow. Pulling down clumps of snow from Joe's body, the cat worked at a cracking pace. Within an hour, Joe's free arm was exposed. He summoned up any strength he had left, and started to clear the snow from his body.

"C-C-Cat... I have n-no idea why you're h-h-helping me, b-but thank you!"

The cat purred and rubbed against his shoulder.

Soon Joe had freed his trapped arm, and he managed to pull himself painfully from the ice tomb. His whole body was numb, and he was sure if he tried to walk he would collapse. But the cat was insistent, rubbing against his body, encouraging him to stand, and when that didn't work, nipping at his flesh.

"Ouch! O-okay!"

Standing wasn't so difficult. And walking: just putting one leg in front of the other. Surely it couldn't be too -

Joe collapsed in a heap.

"W-why b-bother w-walking, C-Cat? We're just g-going to d-die anyway!"

A hard nip from the cat.

"Ow! Damnit! D-did you just d-dig me up to eat me?"

Purring and rubbing.

"F-fine. Let's go..."

Joe pulled himself to his feet.

"Upsey-daisy! O-okay... l-let's try that again..."

Just one foot. In front. Of the other.

And repeat.

And repeat.

And... he was walking.

Joe heard the cat race ahead of him. Every now and then it would stop and meow until Joe caught up.

"W-where are you t-taking me, little cat?"

They walked across the ice-plains for an age, until... what was that? A light?

"Am... am I g-going mad?" said Joe... then he thought about the day's events and rephrased: "Am I g-going even more mad?"

The cat's meowing spurred him onwards, towards the light. As he got closer, the light divided into four large squares of illumination, hanging in the darkness. And he saw what it was - it was light pouring from the square windows of a building!

Joe stumbled towards the door.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2009, 12:06:32 PM by Josef Litobarski »

Offline Josef Litobarski

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Re: Add a noun to my story
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2009, 01:48:05 AM »
The door opened into what looked like the interior of a pub.

Men and women sat on stools at the long bar, drinking and chatting.

"Bones, get me... a coffee!" came a voice from the bar, "and get the guy wearing a cat something to cover himself up with."

Joe's attention was drawn to some sort of... skeleton? It was serving people from behind the bar. When a drink order came through, it would snap to attention and complete the order quickly, efficiently and silently. Right now, it was pouring a steaming hot mug of coffee with one hand and, reaching under the bar with the other, it produced a long, comfy-looking dressing-gown. Whilst adding milk to the coffee, the skeleton's other arm extended across the bar and let the dressing gown dangle in front of Joe. He gingerly plucked it from the barman's boney grasp and put it on, letting the cat drop silently to the floor.

"By the way, you can have anything you want here, buddy. Just ask Bones." said the man who had ordered him the dressing-gown, sipping at his coffee.

"Ummm... anything?" said Joe as he watched the cat pad lazily across to the roaring fireplace and curl up to sleep.

"Yup, just about... I mean, I don't think anyone's ordered world peace yet, but a hot toddy should come through just fine."

"Er, okay... then, um, excuse me? Bones?"

The skeleton's head swiveled round to face Joe.

"I'll have... a hot toddy then, thank you, please!"


     *     *     *     *     *

Two or three hot toddy's later, Joe was curled up in a chair beside the fire, the cat purring softly on his lap. "I wonder what this place represents, as an archetype?" Joe thought to himself, his eyelids growing heavy. Life, he thought as he drifted into the oblivion of sleep, is good...


THE END
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 02:05:25 AM by Josef Litobarski »

Offline nswperson

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Re: Add a noun to my story
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2009, 03:55:29 AM »
Great.  I thoroughly enjoyed that.

Well done.
Life is wonderful