Finish the Story — Part Two

3BE74331-2C2A-4AE4-8AC8-12FC06AAD98ETeresa, aka The Haunted Wordsmith, started a story, “The Mystery of the Stone Circle,” and tagged me to pick it up where she left off and to write part two.

Here’s Teresa’s part one:

Sammy finished stuffing the leftover food and makeshift kitchen into his pack, which Geri strapped the tent onto the side of his pack. As the pair started back on the trail, the morning sun cast them in a golden glow. The weather that week had been everything a hiker could ever hope for — cool evenings, warm mornings, and just enough mist in the afternoon to keep the hot summer sun at bay.

“I think it’s just over that crest,” Geri said, stuffing the map and compass back into the pocket in his cargo pants.

Sammy nodded. “Good, I’m tired of all these switchbacks. Throw a rope down and let us hike straight up.”

Geri laughed and slapped Sammy on the arm as he passed him. “Race you to the top.”

Sammy groaned but chuckled and shook his head at his friend. Ever since third year’s sports parade and carnival, Geri was always on the go. That’s one of the things that attracted Sammy to him, although he knew they would never be anything more than friends. Until four months ago when he served as Geri’s best man, he had always held out a little hope.

“Told ya!” Geri shouted from the top of the trail, pointing into the valley below.

“Man,” Sammy said, panting, “that’s amazing.”

They stood on the crest of the hill and looked at the concentric circles etched in the ground and the various stones that jutted out of the ground as if something from deep within was trying to speak.

“You know,” Geri said as they headed down toward the ancient ruin, “they say that this was built by …


And here’s my part two:

“…aliens who landed here eons ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the planet. These extraterrestrial beings attempted to colonize Earth, but the same giant asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs, also put an end to the aliens’ attempt to make a home here on Earth.”

Sammy looked at Geri and shook his head. “Oh my God,” he said. “Did you take a hit on some of that potent ganja I have in my backpack? Seriously, Geri, you can’t really believe that.”

“Look at it, Sammy,” Geri said, somewhat defensively. “Clearly what we’re looking at is not man-made. Those are perfect circles within perfect circles and they cover several square miles along the valley floor. And that pile of huge boulders in the center. How do you think they got there? I’ll tell you. They are what’s left of a giant temple the aliens built in honor of their god.”

“I never realized what a nut job you are, dude,” Sammy said. “You’re either suffering from altitude sickness and exhaustion, or you’re just plumb loco.”

“Okay, Geri,” Sammy said. “If you’re so damn smart, what’s your explanation for what we’re looking at?”

Geri took a deep breath and said, “It’s really very simple, Sammy. You see…


And now for part three I’m going to tag the creative tale weaver, Li, over at Tao-Talk.

Take it away, Li.

Finish the Story — The Day the Lights Came – Part 2

573B722F-A1A7-408A-86FF-C2760EEEEBD1I have been tagged by Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, to continue the story she started, “The Day the Lights Came.”

Here is how Teresa started the story:

It had been a warm early May day and the kids celebrated the first day of summer vacation down by the pond. The screen door slammed and sounds of muddy boots echoed through the kitchen. Helen and George chuckled. They remembered all the summer afternoons Levi spent frogging down at the pond before he moved away to the city. They loved having their grandsons, Junior and Max, in the house, but wished it had been under different circumstances.

Four feet sloshed up the wooden steps signaling it was all clear. Helen smiled and went into the kitchen. She picked up four socks, two wet t-shirts, and set them in the sink. George wandered in as she stuck her hand into the pocket of one set of jeans. Her face wrinkled and she giggled as she pulled out a small frog.

“Just like their dad.” George picked up the other pair and pulled out a lizard and two small rocks from one pocket and a frog from the other. “Exactly like their dad.”

Helen handed George her frog and wiped a tear from her eye. Levi had been gone three months and it was still hard to think about her little boy lying in his grave up on the hill.

George opened the back door, set the lizard down and watched him run off toward the woods. He looked at the frogs, trying to decide where to best leave them. As he looked toward the pond his mouth dropped. “What in good heavens!”

“George? George, what is it?”

George dropped the two frogs and looked into the sky.

“George!” Helen rushed to his side and was irked he made her worry by not responding. “What is –” She followed stare skyward and crossed herself. “In all my years … it’s not supposed to do that … the boys!”

George and Helen hurried upstairs and burst into the boys’ room without knocking. Before they could protest, George whipped out their backpacks and emptied them while Helen grabbed handfuls of clothes. It all happened so fast, neither boy could stop to think before they were dragged downstairs and out toward the storm shelter.

The air was warm and breezy, just as it had been all day.

“Grandpa,” Junior said. “Stop! What’s wrong!”

George handed Junior off to Helen and pointed to the sky as he opened the shelter door. “Look!”

Junior and Max looked up and smiled. “Whoa,” they said together.

“What is that,” Max asked.

George helped Helen down the steps, then looked into the sky again. “They look like the Northern Lights, but they can’t be. Now get in.”

Junior and Max saw the panic in his eyes and did as they were told without question.

Inside the family shelter, Junior and Max sat on one cot and watched as George cranked up the radio and tried to find the right station.

“Attention, listeners,” the voice said. “If you are hearing this, get to safety now. Reports are coming in from all over the world.”

Helen gasped and covered her mouth.

“Shh,” George said, hugging her.

“The lights in the sky,” the voice continued, “are not the Northern Lights. They are …”


And here’s my continuation:

“… as yet unidentifiable, but people are urged to take shelter inside their homes until the source of the phenomena has been identified.”

Meanwhile, at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, the country’s best scientific minds were frantically trying to identify the source of the strange lights.

“Give me an update,” demanded the chief astrophysicist. “Is the source of these lights from Earth or is it extraterrestrial?”

“Our initial findings, sir,” one of the lead scientists said, “lead us to believe that these lights are extraterrestrial, but at this point, we don’t yet know the specific source nor the meaning of the lights. So far, the presence of the lights is causing a world-wide panic, but we can’t yet confirm or refute that there is any hostile intent.”

“I, for one,” a scientist said, “believe that the source of the lights is attempting to communicate with us. I am highly skeptical that there is an evil intent and I suggest that, until we make a definitive determination as to the source and meaning, we should not overreact and initiate any kind of hostile response.”

Another scientist jumped up and said, “Excuse me, but my team has just identified the source of the lights and determined their purpose.”

“And what did you find?” the chief scientist asked.


Okay, now is the time for me to tag another blogger to write part three. I’m going to ask Keith, at Keith’s Ramblings, to see if he wants to pick it up and run with it.

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.”