The other day on Facebook, I posted a simple status:
It was a dark and stormy morning….How glorious! Love the rain.
I had no idea that one of my friends and fellow Addictive Reads‘ Authors, Jennifer L. Oliver, would take that and run with it. She started a spontaneous round robin story (where several people add a little to the work — also known as tandem writing). We took turns tagging fellow authors and this is the result. I thought you all might enjoy the spontaneity of the piece.
TAKING CARE OF JOE
Jennifer L. Oliver: It was a dark and stormy morning, the kind that makes you want to stay in bed all day. But I couldn’t indulge myself, at least not today. It was time to deal with Joe, and I was the only one left to do it.
Rhonda (Me): I put the last row of seats down in the SUV, and put some gloves on. The black tarp spread out across the back flooring like an angry sea. I smoothed it out, making sure it covered every inch, and placed a shovel on top. It was time to go. I couldn’t put it off any longer.
Claire C. Riley: I trudged back inside, the angry thumps coming from the basement loud and obnoxious to my sensitive ears. Mama always told me that was why I was so good at playing the guitar. My hearing was so well attuned to the little noise discrepancies of each string. I sigh, heavy, heartfelt, and pick up the hammer from the counter top.
Eli Constant: The hammer felt heavy and ominous in my hands, a long put-off task finally realized. The basement door was to the right of the small kitchen pantry. I approached it and slowly began unlocking the vertical line of six serious-looking deadbolts. I didn’t bother with the small sliding lock that kept the little floor-level peep-hole closed. That was only for feeding Joe… for shoving in the bits of rotten cow flesh that kept him sated. But the cows were gone, everyone else was gone. I was about to be gone. I couldn’t drive away from the house though, not with him forever trapped as a monster in the basement.
Wulf Francu Godgluck: My heart is a racehorse against my ribs, at any second the organ will crack bone. I’m sure of it. I reach out, my fingers numb gripping the door knob, numb around the handle of the hammer. I can’t do this. I have to, but I can’t! I close my eyes, turn the knob and push open the door. It launches back at me, fast, screeching on its hinges and slams me in the face. I stumble backwards, landing on my back. The Hammar slipped and fell, sliding off across the kitchen floor. The door screeches again, opening to the endless pit of black darkness. And the darkness snarls at me…
Jennifer: My eyes rounded and for a split second I froze. My brain screamed at me to move, to run, but I couldn’t. Another snarl and shuffling of unsteady feet kicked my body into action. I scrambled backwards, and turned to push up on my hands and knees. The hammer was just a few feet away. If I could only reach it…
Rhonda: I hurled myself sideways just as Joe pounced. My hand gripped the hammer and before I could even think about what I was doing, I made contact with Joe’s head. The sickening crunch invaded my numbness, but he still fought his way toward me, teeth gnashing. I had no choice. I pulled the hammer back, blood and gore dripping from the metal. The sucking sound it made as I pulled nearly worse than the crunch. I hit him again. This time, the claw penetrated his brain and all movement ceased. I’d killed my husband.
No that wasn’t right. I couldn’t think of this creature that way. My husband died two weeks ago. This thing was not Joe. A tear trickled down my cheek. But there was still no time to mourn. I had miles to go.
I made a few trips between the patio and my SUV, putting containers of plants in the back. Hopefully, they’d help to start a garden somewhere. Maybe Fort Worth. I’d heard there was a community of survivors there. Better than here where there was no one but the dead. And me.
So what do you think? Not bad for a lazy afternoon, no planning, no rules, no editing, and off the top of our heads, right? I want to thank my fellow authors for being such a good sport and playing along. And thanks to Jennifer for getting us started. This was fun!
I’ve linked to the participating authors’ websites above. I hope you’ll visit them and maybe give their work a try.
Both Eli Constant and Claire C. Riley have stories in the LET’S SCARE CANCER TO DEATH ANTHOLOGY, where my short, SURVIVAL, made its debut. The great thing about this anthology (besides all the fantastic stories and authors) is that ALL the proceeds go to The V Foundation for Cancer Research. So yes – it’s an awesome thing and deserves (in my opinion) another plug. At this posting, it’s only 99 cents for the ebook and the paperback is on sale for only $12.56. It has some fantastic reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads. You can also find it on Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.
Want to see how one of these multi-author stories evolve in real time? Some of the Addictive Reads authors will be releasing a short paragraph (or more) each day on our facebook page until we have a completed story. Our project will begin September 1st. So if you want to be witness to a story in the making, “like” our page now. I’d tell you what to expect if I knew myself. But no clue. We’re a multi-genre group, so anything is possible! It should be fun, so I hope you’ll join us.
As always — thanks for reading! And if you’d like to be among the first to know about my new releases, contests, giveaways, and other events, sign up for my newsletter below. I don’t send them out very often (usually about once a month) and you can unsubscribe at any time. And I never give your info out to anyone. You’ll just get important announcements about my books and events, and occasionally a surprise for only those who subscribe. You can also follow my blog post by subscribing in the right sidebar. My social media links can be found there as well. I love connecting with my readers – so please join me there, too!Rhonda Hopkins is the author of The Consuming, and Survival Series. She writes horror, suspense, paranormal, and YA Urban Fantasy. She is also a Contributing Author for Addictive Reads and Killer Ink Press.