Finish the Story — The Circus Part 2

c32e9cf5-b0fc-46a5-817c-a5629f2ce0b4Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, has started another one of her intriguing stories where she gets thing started, tags another blogger to pick up where she left off, and then that blogger picked someone else to keep it going. It just so happens that I am the blogger Teresa tagged for part two.

To get us started, here’s what Teresa wrote:

Andy sat in the front row every night and watched the small family circus perform. There were clowns, acrobats, dog tricks, and even a high-wire walking monkey. His favorite though was the juggler. Andy watched as he threw balls, flaming torches, rings, and knives in the air and caught them with ease. Everyone in the circus seemed so happy and nice. He longed to join them.

Late one night after the final performance, Andy mustered the nerve to find the circus owner who traveled with them.

“I’ll do anything. Please let me join you.”

Mr. Tall looked at the scrawny boy and scratched his chin. He walked around Andy and looked him up and down. “What could you do for us?”

Andy spared no time to think. He blurted out a laundry list of menial tasks he could do.

“I have plenty of people to do that.” Mr. Tall shook his head and stared at Andy. “I asked what you could do for us? What are your talents? Your secret talents?”

Andy gulped. Few knew his secret, but those who did knew it immediately. Could Mr. Tall be one of them? Could he risk telling the truth? Not telling the truth? Andy took a deep breath and swallowed his fear. “I could …”


My addition to the story:

…change my appearance.”

“What do you mean you change your appearance?” Mr. Tall asked.

“I’m a shapeshifter,” Andy said.

“You mean that mythological crap about being able to transform your physical form or shape?” Mr. Tall said. “Get out of here, kid. You’re wasting my time.”

“I can transform into anything I want,” Andy insisted. “Think of something you want me to change into. Don’t tell me what it is. Then close your eyes and I’ll let you know when to open them.”

“This is stupid, but fine.” Mr. Tall thought for a moment. “Okay, boy. Now what?”

“Close your eyes until I tell you to open them.”

Mr. Tall closed his eyes and waited a few seconds. He then heard a voice from overhead instructing him to open his eyes. Mr. Tall looked up, but all he saw was a red-tailed hawk perched on the high wire near the top of the tent.

“So?” the hawk said, looking down the shocked circus owner. “You thought of a hawk, right?

“Am I hallucinating? Did you slip something in my drink?”

The hawk opened its wings and started circling above, slowly working its way back down to the ground. By the time it hit the sawdust covered floor, Andy was, once again, a scrawny, human kid. “So, Mr. Tall, can I work in your circus?”

Mr. Tall just stood there for a minute or two before he found his voice. He looked at Andy and said …


Teresa’s rules for Finish the Story 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!

And now — drum role, please — I tag Scott Bailey from The House of Bailey. Scott, let’s see where yo take this.

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 Chapel, Part Last

41504FCB-7911-4C5A-A5AA-D77E6C909541Teresa, the Haunted Wordsmith, has this habit of starting a story and then pawning it off on another blogger to write the next part of the story. The “rules” are simple.

  • Copy the story as it appears when you receive it (and the rules please)
  • Add to the story in whichever style and length you choose
  • Be sure to pingback or comment on the original post please.
  • Please use the tag THWFTS
  • Tag only 1 person to continue the story

Teresa tagged Michael (Morpethroad), who tagged Crispina (Crimson Prose). Then Sadje (Keep it Alive) ran with it before tagging me.

So here’s what we have so far.

Teresa wrote:

Far beyond the city, in the middle of nowhere, sat a tiny chapel. No one knew who built it, why it was in the middle of nowhere, or why any traveler in need would always find the light on – but I know these things. I am alive because of Father Chris and the little chapel in the middle of nowhere.

I just turned eighteen and was so sure of myself. I knew everything I ever needed to know – at least I thought I did. I was an adult and didn’t need anyone’s permission to leave. So I did. I left home the morning of my birthday with a few clothes and what little money I had stuffed in a backpack. Mom and Dad weren’t up yet, which made it a little easier not having to listen to Dad ask why or listen to my Mom cry and ask me to stay. No, it was better the way I did it. At least it seemed that way at the time.

I boarded the Number 3 bus heading out of Jasper and …


And here’s what Michael wrote:

… noticed the light on in the chapel. I was curious as it was a shade of green I had not seen before. In the vestibule was Father Chris. He was a tall man, taller when he stood up, and he was standing there looking at me as I passed.

I watched, as around him, the green light seemed to throb as if suspecting I was flying the coop of my hometown. He was dressed in his customary black, but his clerical collar radiated a blinding white light. I looked away with a sense of betrayal and guilt.

I looked back through the window of the bus and found myself just passing the chapel, green light and Father Chris. This disturbed me, as the bus appeared to be travelling at a rate of knots by now having cleared the town limits.

Three times this happened, and I started to feel stuck in some sort of ground hog day. I then pulled the stop cord above me and alighted.

As the bus moved away I saw across the road the chapel, now dark, lights gone and Father Chris standing in the doorway in his radiant collar.

I found myself crossing the road and coming up to Father Chris who….


Here’s Crispina’s Addition:

… opened his arms as if he’d embrace me, his face collapsing into a picture of welcome relief.

“What is it?” I asked, for surely something had happened to cause him distress. But more than that, I wanted to know what that green light I had seen.

“Oh, my lad, my lad,” he said. “I’m so glad you have come. I’m to have a visitation.”

“A …? What, as in Jesus? Or a saint? Or …” I slapped my hand over my mouth “… no, you don’t mean the devil? Is that what the green light?”

He flicked his fingers into my face. “Silly boy! That ‘green light,’ as you called it, is just off Old Bess. But Old Bess is the problem.”

(I’d best explain. Old Bess was Father Chris’s exceedingly antiquated computer—steam-powered I shouldn’t wonder, it’s so old).

“So what’s up with her?” I asked.

“I think she’s not well. She refuses to access my records. And I have the bishop due any moment to inspect them. I don’t suppose …?”

The way he looked at me … what could I do but check out the ancient machine.

The fool of a Father Chris. He’d crammed a communion wafer into the thin slot of the floppy drive. I pulled it out and held it out accusingly. He colored up.

“But, my boy, my boy, I am so grateful. And just in time, for, Hark! That’ll be the bishop now.”

And true enough, a vehicle of sorts was drawing up outside the chapel. But when I looked out of the door …


Here’s what Sadje added:

… it didn’t look like a sort of transport the bishop would use. It was strangely shaped carriage, drawn by some creatures, which weren’t anything I had seen in my life. They had the body of a horse but very large wings attached to it. In fact the carriage came flying through the air on these “flying horses” and landed near us.

The person driving or flying the carriage stepped out and opened the door for the person inside to alight from it. The person who came out of the carriage could be a bishop, I suppose but from some other world. The whole of his body was emitting a strange white light. Father Chris welcomed him with utmost joviality and warmth. He was not deterred by the strange aura surrounding the bishop. In fact he acted as if it was nothing out of ordinary.

“Your Excellency, how kind of you to visit us in our humble abode,” gushed father Chris. “Please come inside, it’s too cold to stand out and chat.” He then instructed the coachman to take his flying horses to the side where a large barn stood. The bishop and father went inside and I followed them. I was wondering who this mysterious bishop was. Was he from some magical place or was I too tired and was imagining things?

When I entered the chapel behind them, the sight which met my eyes was so unusual that …


And finally, my very addition to the very long story:

… I let ought an audible gasp.

“Hey buddy, are you okay?” I heard a voice say.

“Father Chris?” I asked, “Is that you?”

“No, I’m not your father, kid,” the voice said.

I opened my eyes and looked around. I was still sitting on the Number 3 bus and the driver was talking to me. “What’s going on?” I asked him.

“You we’re having some sort of nightmare and you started screaming,” he said. “Listen kid, we’ve reached the end of the line. I’m heading back to the terminal on Main Street in Jasper. Do you want me to drop you off on my way back into town?”

“Yeah,” I said. “Can you drop me at Center Street?” As the bus headed back into Jasper, I saw the small chapel again. But there was no green light shining from within. Just the yellow glow of a standard light fixture. That’s when I realized that the whole thing — Father Chris, the green glow from the old computer, the flying carriage with the flying horses, and the strange bishop — was all just a dream. And now I was headed back home to be with my father and my mother for the holidays.

Even though it was not real, it was my dream encounter with Father Chris that made me see that I didn’t know everything and that what I really needed was be home with my family.


I’m not tagging anyone else. At almost 1,300 words, I think this story has gone on long enough.

So back to you, Teresa.

Finish The Story — Starting Over Part 2

98A13B2E-4FD2-44A4-B2F7-DDDD53EA1EABTeresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, started another Finish The Story challenge, this one titled “Starting Over.” She invited me to craft part 2. But first, here’s Teresa’s part 1.

Ask anyone living today what they would do if they had a time machine, and they would respond with, “stop him from destroying what we had.”

Their response was reasonable, of course, as it had only been fifty years since the fall of the United States and ten years since the world crossed the point of no return. We were doomed, and we knew it. Maybe that’s why we didn’t question when they came. No one questioned when they said we could go back and change things. No one asked what they stood to gain from offering the human race a chance to change the present, by changing the past. Maybe we should have.

It was a hot December morning when …


And now for my part 2

It was a hot December morning when Tim was being interviewed. Tim wasn’t sure what to make of the experience. He was just a New America vlogger who had been very vocal about how, if he could, he’d love to go back to 2018 and change the course of human history. But here he was, sitting face to face — if you could call what the creature had a “face” — opposite an alien life form being interrogated.

“How would you proceed?” the alien asked Tim.

Tim didn’t know what to say. He wasn’t sure if these aliens could be trusted. What was in it for them? He knew he had to choose his words carefully. His life possibly depended upon it.

“The first thing I’d do,” Tim said, “would be….”


Okay, how about if we pass this off to The Dark Netizen. This should be right up his alley.