Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Communal, Interactive Story

Help write a communal story.
Here is the way the game will work:
Everyone who participates is both reader and writer.
The opening few lines have been written.

The first person to "comment" adds a line or two or three as their comment. Maybe a paragraph.
And so we continue as the story unfolds. It may turn out to be long or short. There may be chapters. We don’t know what we don’t know.
And the title of the story will emerge somewhere along the way.
It's a 'novel' approach.

"Four am. I was sitting near the body. Doodling. Playing with a haiku.

Staring eyes. Frightened?
Stabbed, hit, kicked, abused. And blood…

‘Inspector Seymour, we need you over here……..’”


  1. "What is it?", I asked the Sergeant

    "I think you should see this sir", he said as he lifted the orange overall from the back of the chair.

    Not sure what to make of it, I crouched down so I could see more clearly.

  2. There it was. A small ball of white fur.

    Frozen stiff in death. Not a mark on its body.

    Teeth bared. Claws extended.

    As if protecting itself... or something else.

  3. The Sergeant meanwhile was distracted as he glanced outside the lounge where the animal lay

    He noticed that the lavender bushes had been trampled

    It was if someone had hurriedly criss crossed the moonlit path in a drunken manner

  4. The moon was now high above the house. Through the open window they could see the comforting stars like friendly eyes watching in the sky. Elsewhere in the house a grandfather clock tolled the hour and when the sounds died away, the deep silence of a windless night fell again over everthing.Only the boom of the sea, far away and lugubrius, filled the air with hollow murmurs.
    Inside the house the silence became awful. A chilliness, not altogether due to the night air, invaded the room and made them cold.

  5. The echo of the grandfather clock ricocheted off the grey walls, filling the eerie silence with a reminder that exactly one hour had passed since the fateful moment that had bought the Sergeant and I to this seaside residence; the time of death. The ghostly chorusing of the clock ceased to exist, and once more the uncanny quiet filled the room. The body at our feet didn't quite seem real.

  6. Quiet inside. Outside too was erily quiet. The clear sky like a great cloud of unknowing. No quiet within for me though - just a jumbled turmoil of unconnected thoughts. My name, Seymour, I thought, ironically, like a great sea or pond of murky depth. My ancestral family motto "faith for duty" distant and uninviting. Would that I could "see more"..................


  7. My cell phone rang. It was Rita. With a slight shock I realised that I had forgotten to let her know I would not be home for dinner. When the call came in about the murder, I had been immediately absorbed by the case. And it was the night my in laws would come for dinner.
    "Don't worry," she was saying on the other end, "I thought you must have been called to a case. Dinner went fine, we know your work is your work. Just wanted to know if I am expecting you to still come in at this late hour, or can I bolt the door and go to bed?"
    "Yes, I am sorry. Thank you. Will sleep at the office. Night. Did I say thank you?"
    The price of my absorption is always my neglect of Rita. The cost of passion.
    But, in truth, I won't sleep tonight: not with a dead man, a dead cat and orange overalls that fit neither man nor cat...
    I went outside to join the sergeant and follow the trail through the mangled lavender bushes.

  8. "OK Molly, you can get this damn cadaver back to your lab and I want that Forensic report soonest. And drop that frigid pussy off at the vets on the way for a felinoscopy,or whatever they do to cats. Usual DNA stuff on the overalls - you know the drill...."

    Seymour took deep breaths and tried to shake off the torpor of too many sleepless nights.This was no time for the etymology of names and mottos. Back to basics - motive, opportunity ...

    "Right Serge!Round up all the sleepers in this god-forsaken place. I want 'em in the lounge in fifteen minutes." The adrenalin of action surged back through him,and freshly focused eyes went instantly to the orange thread in the bush ...

  9. Seymour moved towards the window and closer to the lavender bush. "How did I not notice this before?" he asked himself. An orange thread on a purple and green lavender bush! It was as obvious as a beacon. And what was also obvious was the the thread had been pulled out as someone, or something, entered the room, not on exit.

    Seymour turned back to where the overalls had being lying.

  10. Suddenly, time was taking a run. Not forward as Seymour wished for, but backwards. The orange thread. It reminded him of something. A case he had been on years ago, but not a nice case. In fact, it had been an exceptionally difficult case with a very nasty ending. Seymour did not like remembering the details, but what if the same woman ....? Seymour stopped thinking. A feeling of sickness was creeping up in his body. He'd better phone Rita to let her know that he was going to be late home today too. As always relying on her understanding nature as an inspector's wife.

  11. "That's a wrap for today", shouted the director. "The light is fading and I want you all to have an early night to rehearse your lines for tomorrow".

    "Remember, we are filming the closing scene of the episode next" as he waved goodbye to the crew.

    Here's my chance to ask Michelle to dinner......

  12. Dijon Moutarde was an ageing French director of the old school. His best works were behind him now. He'd made a name for himself in the late 60s and 70s but few watched his films any more except for pretentious film students who smoked Gitanes and blew smoke rings around each other's intellectual babblings.

    But 'An Inspector Falls' was to be his comeback, a return to form and beyond. This film, Moutarde believed, would convince the world of his genius.

    But as the crew dissipated into the early evening, the director's mind turned again to Michelle. This was the night, he thought, she had to know the truth.

  13. Dijon scratched his mustard moustache. The plot was getting too complicated. That’s what happened if you were director and script writer all in one. Michelle would know how to resolve this . After all he had used her as a model for Rita who solved all Seymour’s crimes anyway. Michelle, the detective movie buff, who could work out in five minutes flat who done it and what the motive was.

    She met him at the door of her flat in a low-cut orange gown holding her orange-ginger cat in her arms. Over dinner he rambled on about the cat, corpse, orange thread et al. It’s simple” she laughed this is how it goes…”

  14. “Here’s the thing. When Seymour talks to Rita, she uses her powers of inductive and deductive reasoning to point out to him that the orange thread left on the lavender bush when the killer entered, came from the overall found at the crime scene. It’s a prison overall, and the message is clear: the murder was committed by Angel Schwartz, who was sent down by him in the case that brought him fame, ‘An Inspector Rises’”.
    “Angel escapes from and returns undetected to prison that same night. She zig-zagged through the lavender as she approached – to avoid being seen on that clear, moonlit night. She leaves the overall behind because of the lingering smell of lavender that now infuses it – clear evidence”.
    “Why kill the cat?”
    “Elementary, Mon Cherie Amor. Black cats have the same, familiar, malevolent spirit as their witch owners. A white cat to a witch is like a red flag to a bull. Also, lavender is derived from the French ‘to wash’. The meaning here is that the past is washed away. Angel and Seymour are kindred spirits, connected by rapier-like intellect, a fierce desire to be different, their ruthless and unwavering approaches, the highs they reach when dealing with death…..”.

    “Enough, enough” cries Moutarde. “I have it! And when ‘The Inspector Falls’, it’s because he has fallen in love!”

    Later, in bed, Dijon swallows the words he is about to say to Michelle: “There is something I have to tell you…...”. He has noticed, for the first time, the scent of lavender on the pillows.

  15. CHAPTER 4

    The camera pans over rolling hills ans sea, zooms in on Seymour. Alone. On a pad on his lap he has scrawled:

    'Death unexpected
    Feelings and questions arise
    New light. New darkness'.

    "Well that's it" thinks Moutarde. "Now it's just the soundtrack, editing, credits.......... the premier, plaudits.... A film is no different to life - a quest; twists and turns, disorientations and wounds; threads, links and themes; reframings, discoveries, new beginnings....and what is reality and what is imagined?"


  16. “The Inspector Falls” was a box office hit. Film critics such as Bleary Ringers and Simeon Kinetick gave it 5 stars… raving how art imitated life and life imitated art. Michelle was insisting on a sequel . “The Inspector Falls a Second Time” She announced, “I’ll be the star in that movie… some repeated themes will link the two movies … lavender bushes and orange threads an another dead cat. How about it Dijon?”

  17. Dijon hesitated. Fame and fortune sometimes brings the unwanted: tax problems, hangers-on, less privacy, nosy reporters digging into your past, commitments, silly speaking engagements, people wanting to borrow money, those who resent your success. He had misgivings, a strong feeling that something unpleasant was about to happen.

  18. Still lost in thought, contemplating should or shouldn't I, Dijon was startled by the ring of his cell phone. An unknown number at this time of the day?

    "Hi Dijon, can you you hold for Dr Motara...". A shiver runs up his spine. He had forgotten about the blood tests he had done the week before....part of his annual medical routine.

    "Hi Dijon" a somber voice said.