Finish the Story — The Future Is Down

DCA05D9F-EBAC-4B47-9707-BBDED0EFDBA4Teresa, over at The Haunted Wordsmith has tagged me to carry on her latest Finish the Story prompt. Teresa starts it out, then tags another blogger, in this case me, to add the next part. I will tag someone else to continue the story and so on and so on.

Here is Teresa’s Part 1 of “The Future Is Down”:

For fifty generations, the people of Haven have lived in the sky. Floating without a care in the world in balloons and ships passed down from father to son and mother to daughter. Everything a person would ever need in their balloons was provided to them. The sky lord saw to that. The people were happy and the sky lord was happy. But, even in a perfect life, there is born in every generation one person who is not content. Ivan was this generation’s adventurer.

When other kids passed their day playing cards or making up stories with their family, Ivan stared below his balloon and wondered. He wondered what was below the clouds. Was it a world filled with giant monsters that could gobble him in a single bite? Or, was it a world filled with tiny fairies that fluttered around towering trees just waiting for him to come play?

The more he looked, the more he wondered. And the more he wondered, the more he dreamed. Dreamed of leaving the sky.

And that is exactly what he did on his thirteenth birthday after receiving his very own balloon.

“Goodbye,” he shouted, waving as he slowly deflated his balloon. “I love you all, but have to find out. I’ll write when I can!”

As his balloon inched its way down toward the unknown, Ivan’s heart raced with excitement. “I wonder what I’ll see first.”

Ivan didn’t have long to wait, for as soon as he was in a cloud bank, he saw…

And here is my part 2:

…a huge, noisy, metallic, cylindrical tube zoom right by him, causing his balloon to start shaking and shimmering in the strange object’s wake. “Oh sky lord,” he screamed, as he tried desperately to regain control of his balloon. “What the Haven was that?”

“That was an airplane,” a voice said. Ivan turned to see that a strange looking animal of some sort had landed on the rim of his balloon’s basket. It was covered in colorful feathers and it had long, feather-covered arms that flapped up and down in a rhythmic motion. It had small, beady eyes and a pointy, hard looking mouth. And when it spoke to Ivan, it was in more of a squawk than a voice.

“What in the sky lord’s name are you?” Ivan asked the creature. “And what was that thing you call an airplane that almost knocked my balloon out of the sky?”

“I’ve heard of beings like you who live in balloons far above the clouds,” squawked the feathered creature, “but I thought it was just an ancient myth.”

“I’m as real as you are, whatever it is that you are,” Ivan said.

“I am Hawkeye,” the creature said, “and I am what the surface beings call a bird.”

“The surface beings?” Ivan said. “Tell me more, Hawkeye.”


And now I am tagging Li over at Tao-Talk to pick up and run with Part 3.

Finish The Story — Tailoring a New You

2DE5AB34-0A4D-4E28-891B-20592C0F96C0I have been tagged by Paula Light to “Finish the Story,” which is exactly what I’m going to do, since this thread is already over 2,000 words!

Here’s How Teresa (aka The Haunted Wordsmith) got things started.

The small shop sat on the corner of Houston and Parker for more than a century. Any piece of clothing a person ever needed could be found there. They even sold hand stitched underwear. The Frederickson family owned the shop from the day it opened, and everyone loved the family.

It wasn’t just the customer service, low prices, and great quality that brought customers back for generations — it was the other things the Fredericksons offered. They say a new pair of clothes can change a person, and at A New You, they meant it. One had to be careful when requesting a custom suit – you didn’t want to get your specifications wrong. Why, even one misplaced check mark could have dire consequences on a person’s future.

Take Emilio for example, he …

And here’s how Rory (aka A Guy Called Bloke) added part 2

Take Emilio for example, he … had listened to his Father Fausto for years, since indeed when he had been kneehigh to a grasshopper crediting and hailing the Fredericksons or as his Father pronounced it the Frederickshons for their exquisitery and finery in being able to produce something absolutely remarkable from sometimes the most staidest of cloth and if not that then there was this magical element to the garments, you didn’t just wear the suit, the suit wore you!

Fausto, had been a young man when he had first ventured into the German tailors at the bequest of his own Father Gregorio, Emilio’s Grandfather only armed with the words — ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover Fausto, this family are from a long line of magical tailors. They enthuse the garments with not just love and beauty, nor experience and wisdom but if l didn’t know better, l would say with their very souls and blood, indeed it is almost like wearing another person’s skin, but in suit form. For the best suit anywhere in this world, this is the only place to be.”

“The moment you slip inside the fabric, it’s almost like you are a different person. My last bit of advice is you must know what you and who you want and where you want to be in life? Then the master tailor Gunther he will make you a masterpiece of craftsmanship. There will never be anything like it ever again, it will be your one and only suit from the time you start your professional life to the day you stop working, then you MUST take off that suit and return it to the family of the Frederickshons, so that they can destroy it, do you understand what l am saying to Fausto?”
“I think so Father, yes.” Fausto answered rather confusedly.

When Fausto had gone to the family tailors he had been made a suit so fine, so fitting that he never needed another suit ever again in his life, he had wanted to be rich and successful and within a very short time Fausto had become one of the cities most sought out grocers. No one had fruits or vegetables of the quality that Fausto had. No one could ever outsell him, outbid him, outsmart or outfool him. After 50 years he had built up an empire of grocery stalls that was the best in all of the Americas! Fausto had wanted his favourite and only Son Emilio to take on the family business, but Emilio needed his own power suit, his own successful three-piece so he could follow in his Father’s footsteps ………

.….except Fausto hadn’t actually asked his Son what and if he wanted to follow in his Father’s shadow, or if he wanted to lead his own life?
Of course the truth had he been asked was indeed different — Emilio wanted his sister Alessandra to take on her Father’s business. His sister had always been keenly astute on that side of the business, she was very taken with fruits and vegetables and herbs, she was a fabulous cook, who knew all the right ingredients to make each dish spectacular – she was in her own rights their families best chef! You see Emilio, well he had other interests, and they didn’t involve cucumbers, broccoli or marrows. He used to play with bananas and pretend they were guns. And even more recently he had made friends with Alphonse who had even bigger dreams.

Alphonse had at one time been a Five Points Gang member and was shrewd, he was also closely associated with the notorious Johnny Torrio. Alphonse himself was a right ‘snorky’, and also used the Frederickshons for his own suits, but he had many made and needed more than one, for his many shades of personality and success. Snorky was the terms for ‘sharp dresser’ and Emilio wanted to be like Alphonse too!

The year was 1923, the location was Chicago and Emilio and Alphonse walked into the Frederickshons Tailors where Gunther upon seeing them, greeting them both, “Emilio, your Papa Fausto said you would be stopping by with your new friend, but l never knew, this was the type of suit you wanted!” Turning to Alphonse, “Mr Capone it is so good to see you again, a new suit is it?”

“Gunther, not at all, I want you to outfit my new boy here, Emilio, tell the man what you want?”

Emilio, smiled a big proud toothy grin and said …..

Here’s how Kristian (aka Tales From the Mind of Kristian) added part 3

“I want to look drop dead gorgeous” Emilio said. He liked the ladies, but so far in his life, they seemed to realise he was a low life scumbag who liked gangs and violence and so stayed well away.

Unfortunately the Magical Tailor, Gunther, was become a trifle deaf. He was coming up to two hundred years old and was way past retirement age. Being slightly deaf, he failed to hear Emilio’s last word. You would have thought that it would have occurred to him that Emilio’s request was rather strange and therefore he must have misheard, but senility was creeping in, so he crafted the suit according to the very request he had heard.

Within a week of wearing it, Emilio had dropped dead.

The consequences of Gunther’s auditory and mental deterioration were even more drastically displayed when poor Tristram Van De Gould went in for a fitting.

He asked for a waistcoat that would make him appear slimmer, what he ended up with was a straightjacket that prevented him from eating at all. He died of an empty stomach.

If you thought things couldn’t get any worse, you were wrong because next……..

And then Paula (aka Light Moriffs II) added her Part 4

The taxicab stopped in front of the shop and a disparate group of Americans piled out. “Hey!” yelled the driver. “Someone needs to pay me!”

“Someone pay the poor guy, for Pete’s sake,” Bernie said. “What’s the matter with you people?” And he walked into the shop, bumping his head on the door. “Owww.”

“I’d love to pay him,” Kamala said, “but I gave all my money to that sweet little girl at the airport who said she was homeless.” She went into the shop too. Amy and Beto and Liz ran after her. “Wait for us!” they shouted.

Joe rolled his eyes. “Geez, I’ll pay him. I always get stuck with the check when I go out with those guys,” he said to the cabbie. “It’s just the weirdest thing!”

“I sympathize, buddy,” the cabbie said. “My in-laws are exactly the same. Have fun shopping.”

Trailing after the others into the shop, Joe found them already arguing with the suit maker, who was nearly deaf, apparently. Everyone was yelling. “CALM DOWN!” Joe shouted.

“I was here first,” Bernie insisted. “I should get to order my suit first.”

“Fine.” Amy plopped down in a chair. “I’ll just sit here and have some of their free juice. Can I drink it out of one of these shoes, Gunther?”

The ancient tailor heard his name and turned in her direction. “Ehh, no one here named Sue, honey. We have a Lucy, but she’s off today.”

“‘Scuse me!” Beto said. “But we don’t call women honey anymore. I got in trouble for making some jokes earlier, so now I intend to be an annoying sourpuss wherever I go. I think my suit should reflect my new personality of a serious man who has meditated deeply upon–”

Bernie waggled a finger in his face. “MY TURN MY TURN MY TURN!”

“Ahem,” Kamala said. “This is a perfect example of why we need a woman in charge. Men just feel so entitled to everything. It’s definitely time for women to show how things can be done in a more orderly and peaceful manner.”

“You hussy!” Liz cried. “You winked at my husband at the rally last month.”

“What are you talking about?” Kamala said. “Have you gone off the reservation again?”

“LOL!” Amy laughed, coughing on her shoe juice.

Beto tried so hard not to laugh he waved his arms around madly and knocked over a rack of ties. Joe picked them all up.

Liz showed Kamala a video on her phone. “See? There you are winking at my sweetie.”

“I was crying,” Kamala told her. “I have hay fever. I had to take a Benadryl.”

Gunther hobbled over and said, “Alrighty then, dearies. Who’s next? I’ve measured the men.”

Kamala went next. Liz said to Amy, “I don’t even know why we’re here. It seems so silly, but I didn’t want to be at a disadvantage when you all said you were getting these special suits made.”

“I know, right?” Amy shrugged. “They’re supposed to be magical, or something.”

“Hillary had a suit made here,” Joe said. “But then she didn’t wear it. I’m not sure why. I’d ask her, but she won’t talk to me anymore. Who can even understand women, am I right?”

They just glared at him. “Oopsy,” Beto said. “Uncle Joe needs to go for retraining. Perhaps some yoga.”

“What?” Joe looked around, bewildered. “What did I do?”

“This shop needs to unionize,” Bernie announced. “Who’s with me on that?”

Liz frowned. “I don’t see any employees, Bern. Plus, it’s another country. They don’t need your help.”

“Everyone needs my help!” Bernie waggled his finger at her.

Gunther finished up with Liz and Kamala, and now all six Americans had been measured and fitted for their custom suits. They had told Gunther exactly what their hopes were for the coming year and he would take that into account when designing their apparel. He tallied up the final bill and brought it back out to the front.

“All the suits should be ready in three weeks,” he said to the group. “I can have them air mailed for an additional fee, since I know everyone has to zip back across the pond to his and her busy lives. Now did you want separate cheques?”

Everyone looked at Joe. He sighed and took out his Amex. “No, I’ll put it on my card for the travel points. We’ll settle up later.”

“Thanks, Joe!” everyone said. “You’re the best! We’ll PayPal you!”

The suits did arrive three weeks later, as promised. But…

And now for my part last

But none of the suits fit. They were not only ill-fitting, but threads were ripping and the materials appeared to be cheap and frayed. And most disconcerting, there was no magic whatsoever.

Each of the customers complained to the Better Business Bureau, which immediately opened up a comprehensive investigation. After months of hearings and interviews, the BBB uncovered a vast conspiracy to undermine the manufacturing on the suits.

It turned out that that the tailor had, long ago, constructed a technicolor dream coat for a Russian autocrat named Vlad. And when Vlad found out about these new suits the magical tailor had been asked to make, he contacted an American mob boss who went by the name of “Tiny Hands,” who sent his son-in-law, Jared (aka, “The Kush”), to get his friend in high places, MBS, to lure the tailor to his country’s embassy, where he was dismembered and replaced with a body double imposter.

And the rest, as they say, is future history.

The End.

Finish the Story — The Final Hunt: Part 6

26e88502-e1b7-42a7-9f49-fdb22b2c2e09Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, has started yet another blog-hop like story, The Final Hunt. I’m sixth in line.

Here is the story so far:

Teresa’s Part:

Anne and Gladys waved as the men left for their hunt. When they were out of sight, they both laughed knowing full well that none would have the heart to really shoot anything. They liked a boy’s day out as much as they liked a girl’s day in.

“So,” Fred said as they passed the gate into his family’s hunting grounds. “What do you think the girls are up to today?”

Alec laughed. “Talking about us, what else?”

Sam nodded. “Yep.”

As they walked through the fields into the tree line, the dogs’ ears’ picked up. Boy whimpered and cowered close to Fred’s legs. Toby’s fur stood on edge as he stared into the woods and growled.

“Easy there,” Alec said, trying to calm him.

Sam kneeled and unzipped his gun as quietly as possible. Suddenly, both dogs were on alert as a …

Morpethroad wrote:

small, bespectacled man stepped through the bushes. The dogs were going berserk by now straining at their leashes. It was clear the dogs sensed a danger the men did not see.

The man walking towards them was squinting as he approached as he had the sun in his eyes.

“Good afternoon,” he said as he drew near, “your dogs won’t bite will they? I do have a fear of them.”

Sam stood with his gun in his hands unsure of what he was seeing and hearing. The place they were in was a piece of rugged bushland, no one lived there because it was the family’s hunting grounds and it was considered unsafe to even camp on the land for any reason at all.

Fred was trying his best to hold onto his dog, and Alec held firm on Toby’s collar. Once the small man came within a few feet of the hunting party, they could see…

Pensitivity101 continues:

he was holding something in a plastic bag.

Fred lost his grip and Boy lunged at the man who dropped the bag on the ground and threw his arms up to protect his face.

Fred was afraid they would have to shoot the dog but Boy wasn’t interested in the man at all, just the bag, which he snatched up and obediently brought back to his master.

The little man was shaking with fear as Sam reached out his hand to help him up.

“You realise you’re trespassing don’t you?” he said.

The man straightened his glasses and collected himself.

“I’m sorry about that, but we’d received a repor….”

“We? Who is we? And what are you doing here? You could have been shot!”

Fred had taken the bag out of Boy’s mouth and stared at the contents in disbelief.

“Guys? I think you need to look at this.”

Sadje’s contribution:

Sam and Alec stepped forward to take a look at what was in the bag. Fred’s hand, clutching the bag, was trembling. The bag contained a severed hand, the digits were shaped like a claw. But it was like no human hand they had ever seen. It was like it belonged to someone very big and skinny.

“Whe…, Ahm….Where did you find this?” Alec uttered the question through vocal cords which were refusing to cooperate. Sam and Fred were looking askance at the stranger. The whole situation had taken on a nightmarish quality.

The man, again made an attempt to introduce himself. “I am Bennett, from The Agency of Alien Detection, TAAD. We received the alien activity signals from this area and a party has been investigating the situation. This is part of the remains we were able to recover. Do you have any information regarding this?”

The three men stared at him with gapping mouth and glazed looks. Who in their right mind would believe this man. But the evidence was in their hands.

Sam took the bag from Fred and was going to examine it closely when…

Cheryl added:

…when the bag’s contents started moving. The claw-like severed hand was scratching at the plastic bag. Sam dropped it like a hot potato! The boys started to freak out and started to whimper. The spectacled man even stepped back. “Oh my,” Bennett stuttered, “I thought it was, uh, uh, dead!”

Sam kept his gun at the ready. There was no way this “thing” was going to hurt the boys. Bennett fumbled nervously in his pocket to retrieve what looked like a cell phone, but was actually a communicator to the rest of the landing crew. His face seemed to change shape a bit and he started to adjust his hair. Sam looked at the little man with more than just curiosity. Who was this guy, really?

And now it’s my turn:

“Do not touch that bag!” Bennett, who was no longer a small, bespectacled, unimposing man, shouted. He had suddenly grown taller. His skin took on a shiny, reddish tone and his hands took on the same claw-like shape of the severed hand in the bag. The three men stepped back and even the two dogs stopped barking and cowered.

“What are you?” Alec asked. “you definitely are not human.”

“No,” Bennett admitted, “I am not. My companion and I were sent here from our home planet to explore your planet. Our mission was peaceful. Our intent was merely to collect air and mineral samples. We intended no harm. But then we encountered a hostile group of creatures who jumped my companion. I’m ashamed to say that I ran for cover, while these creatures devoured my companion. All that was left of him was the hand that I put in the bag. But he is apparently beginning the regeneration process.”

“Creatures? What kind of creatures?” Sam asked.

“Similar to those,” Bennett said, pointing to the two dogs, “but larger and much more viscous.”

“Wolves,” Fred said.

Sam raised his rifle and aimed it at the alien. “Sam, what are you doing?” Alec shouted.

Suddenly…


That’s it for me. I choose Lisa at All About Life to take it wherever she wants it to go.

The rules are:

1. Copy the story as you receive it.
2. Add to the story in some fashion.
3. Tag another person to contribute to or finish the story.
4. Please use FTS as a tag so Teresa can find it or link back to part 1.
5. Have Fun!

Finish The Story — A New Dawn, Part 2

F7C858C7-5C5F-4B49-81D4-00ED4A80923BTeresa, over at The Haunted Wordsmith, wasted no time in posting her first Finish The Story prompt of the new year. And she picked me to write the next part.

Here’s how Teresa got it started.

A New Dawn, Part 1

The snow pelted Jon in the face as he stumbled toward the trees. He looked back at the city lights and brushed his long, wet hair out of his eyes. The lights that once held such wonder and mystique now held only despair and heartache. He remembered the warm spring day he first pulled into the city and saw her on the corner waiting for a bus. Lacey would soon be his girlfriend, then fiancé with a little boy on the way. That seemed so long ago. A time when his life was perfect.

He turned back to the trees and allowed the dark to engulf him. Tripping and running into low-hanging branches reminded him he was still alive – for now. Blinded by the snow, tears, and rage, Jon pushed further into the blackness of despair.

Suddenly the ground gave way and he tumbled into a grove surrounded by dead trees. Blood poured over the side of his face and no matter how much he tried, he did not have the strength to fight to live. He only prayed, as he closed his eyes, that they would be waiting for him.

Robins and other songbirds stirred him. Warm rays from the rising sun warmed him, and as his eyes batted and tried to make out what had happened, a sweet voice laughed.

“Lacey?”

The voice laughed again as Jon rubbed his eyes and sat up.

“No silly,” the voice said. “It’s …”


And here’s my continuation.

A New Dawn, Part 2

“It’s Matilda and I am your guide.”

Jon could not see the source for the voice. It seemed to be coming from all around him. “My guide? Show yourself, guide. What is this place and why must I have a guide?” he asked.

The guide laughed again. “Oh Jon, everyone who comes here needs a guide. You’d be lost without one. You wouldn’t know what to do next. Besides Jon, you did pray for me. Don’t you remember?”

The last thing Jon remembered was falling down, tumbling into a glade, and feeling battered, bloody, weak, and hopeless. He touched his head, but there was no blood. He looked at his clothing only to discover, much to his dismay, that he was draped in a white silk robe and had leather sandals on his feet. “I don’t understand,” Jon said. “Where exactly am I and why am I dressed this way?”

“All in due time, Jon,” Matilda said in a smooth, calming voice.

“I demand that you show yourself,” Jon said. “Show yourself and tell me what this place is.”

“I am not like a child who should be seen and not heard,” Matilda said. “Quite the opposite, in fact. As to where you are, Jon, a smart man like you should have figured that out by now.”

“Am I dead?” Jon asked. “Am I in Hell?”

“You’re not in Hell,” Matilda said. “And neither are you in Heaven, Jon. You’re in …”


Now, according to Teresa, I’m supposed to tag another blogger who is supposed to:

  1. Copy the story as he or she receives it.
  2. Add to the story in some fashion.
  3. Tag yet another person to contribute to or finish the story.
  4. Please use FTS as a tag so Teresa can find it or link back to part 1.
  5. Have Fun!

The lucky blogger I am going to tag is Kristian over at Tales From The Mind of Kristian. I’m confident that he’ll do a bang up job with “A New Dawn, Part 3.”

Finish the Story — The Penny

EC3A7CD3-B00F-41AE-A46D-68451DF5487FI seem to be being tagged a lot for Teresa’s Finish the Story prompts, which is fine because I enjoy them. This time it was Cheryl, aka, The Bag Lady, who tagged me.

So let’s start with what Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, wrote:

Sounds of children’s laughter and joy floated down the stairs. Liam breathed deeply and smiled. Never more content in his life. All thanks to the penny in his hand. 

“Don’t forget your change, sir,” she had said. Her smile ignited the flame he thought long dead. A brush of her hand against his, and he was hers. 

The ladies in his life, in beautiful red holiday dresses, walked down the steps of the opera house still reveling in The Nutcracker.

“Did you like it, Daddy?” Alice grinned. 

“Very much so.” He kissed Alice on the forehead, and held his wife’s hand.

The ringing of the Christmas bell called to the penny, and with a smile and tip of his hat, Liam dropped the penny into the kettle so that it may bring someone else as much love and joy as it had him.

“Thank you, sir and Merry Christmas.”

And here’s where Cheryl took over:

That evening as the Salvation Army Santa Claus emptied his kettle into the bank deposit box, he noticed one of the coins sparkled. He thought it was his tired eyes, playing a trick on him, but there it was, almost begging him to retrieve it. He hesitated only a second or two and then took the penny.

Retiring for the night where he now called home — a shelter for the homeless — he wearily sat down on the blanketed cot and eyed the coin once again. He hoped he wouldn’t be harshly judged by the Almighty for keeping this penny, for indeed it had called to him. Turning it over to read the mint mark and the year, he saw something scratched into the copper.

And now for my contribution:

Edgar donned his reading glasses hoping to better see the unusual etchings on the penny. He looked carefully, seeing that the engravings of the words “In God We Trust,” “Liberty,” and the date, “1955,” on the Lincoln side of the copper coin appeared to be blurry.9C458F82-4070-431F-AD7F-1DC201FDEB47Edgar became very excited, thinking that this penny might be worth way more than one cent. 

The next morning, Edgar went to a friend of his who was a coin collector. When the numismatist looked at the penny, he let out an audible gasp. “Oh my God, this is a 1955 doubled die obverse penny. Edgar, do you know what this means?”


How about if I hand this over to Sadje at Keep It Alive to take on Part 4. Remember, Sadje, to tag your post “FTS Penny” so that Teresa can find it.