Exquisite Corpse: STORIES

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Exquisite Corpse: STORIES

Postby Scarab on Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:58 pm

This is the correct location to post all of you r entries to the Exquisite Corpse challenge, started here: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1214&p=48231#p48231

Please your stories in this page. There is no minimum word count, but you have a maximum of a single post per entry. You can write original stories, fanfiction, poems, at, anything you like. Have fun.
They sometimes say, "the place where I am right now was circled on a map for me"... Unfortunately, I kind of suck at orienteering.
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Re: Exquisite Corpse: STORIES

Postby narrativedilettante on Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:14 pm

Mystic Pen

Billy was psychic for a whole month once.

He first noticed one afternoon when he was doing his homework. He had to write a paragraph about the respiratory system, and his mom had told him he wasn’t allowed to watch TV until it was done. He didn’t want to write the paragraph, because he didn’t know anything about the respiratory system. He knew there were lungs, and they expanded to draw air in and contracted to push it out, but he couldn’t remember anything his teacher had told him about how they worked, and he didn’t want to read the stupid boring biology textbook that confused him more than it helped anyway.

But Mom was watching, and the faster he finished the paragraph, the sooner he could go sit in a room by himself and watch a cartoon. (Billy’s mother never let him watch cartoons in the same room as her, due to complaints about the shrill voice acting.) So Billy took his binder out of his backpack, opened to a blank piece of paper, and started trying to write. He couldn’t think of what to say, so he opened the stupid boring biology textbook and flipped around until he found a diagram of lungs. He tried to read it, but it seemed to actually be talking about the circulatory system, not the respiratory system, so he closed the book with a sigh.

Oh well, he thought, it doesn’t matter if what I write is accurate, as long as I write something.

He grabbed a pen out of his backpack and started writing.

“The re...”

His stupid pen was running out of ink. He scribbled in the margins of his page to see if he could get the ink to flow, but all he achieved was the creation of several scribbly indentations.

“Mom, I’m gonna get a pen out of your desk, okay?”

“Sure, just don’t touch anything else that’s in there.”

Billy’s mother was a therapist, and her desk was where the patient files were kept. Billy had been indoctrinated against violating doctor-patient confidentiality by reading them for as long as he could remember. He didn’t even look at the folders in the drawer he opened. They were shut, with no identifying information visible, but kept his eyes off them anyway. Blindly reaching into the drawer, he grabbed one of his mom’s pens and returned to work.

“The respiratory system includes...” Well, the ink was a little runny, but at least this one worked.

“...the trachea and the lungs, and serves to bring necessary chemicals, primarily oxygen, into the bloodstream, as well as expelling waste, primarily carbon dioxide.” As Billy wrote, all the information about the respiratory system came back to him. He found that he could remember facts that he must have heard in class or somewhere, even though he couldn’t have been paying much attention at the time. In a few minutes he’d written nearly a full page, and even though he could have gone on, he figured it would be more rewarding to watch TV. “Okay, Mom. I’m finished,” he said, putting his homework in his backpack.

His mom looked up from the book she was reading. “See? I keep telling you these things are easy once you sit down and do them. That wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Billy just shrugged and went to his room.

The next day he had to take a math test. He couldn’t find a pencil, so he grabbed a pen. It was the same one he’d used last night. Before he could look for something less smudgy to use, the test was starting and he had to keep his backpack on the floor and his eyes on his desk.

The test turned out only slightly messy. It would have been more so, but Billy didn’t make a single mistake. Normally doing a math test in pen would be a bad decision, because he’d have to cross things out or write new numbers over old numbers, but every time he he noted anything it was precisely what he’d meant to note. When he was finished, he found that only half the time had passed, and he’d have to sit quietly while waiting for the rest of the class.

Mr. Landen suggested he take the time to work on writing.

I never realized finishing early was so boring. The next time I take a test I’ll try to go more slowly. At least I’m not as bored as Mr. Landen. He’s been teaching this same grade for 15 years now. It’s not what he wanted to do; he wanted to own a music store. He hasn’t even picked up a guitar in the last year, let alone sold a nice vintage one to someone who’d appreciate it (or someone with more money than sense who wouldn’t know what to do with it). If he’d just kept up with it, maybe he could give lessons, but he’s too out of practice now. He can’t even get the music teacher job here; they need someone who majored in music, not someone who’s parents insisted he’d never get a job if he followed his dreams, so why not major in Education, because if ever there’s was money to be made, it’s in TEACHING, that’s for sure. They probably expected him to become a school commissioner or something, not to stick at the bottom of the barrel, teaching kids who didn’t want to be there about things he didn’t care about. Next summer he should just take off, leave no forwarding address, and start a new life in one of the non-contiguous states.


Billy was shocked at what he had written. It was like he’d seen straight into Mr. Landen’s mind, like he was writing Mr. Landen’s thoughts. He wasn’t even certain what non-contiguous meant.

Time to test this thing out. Billy looked over at Sam, who was still taking the test. Focusing on Sam, he started to write again.

Sam is tired he didn’t sleep enough last night his dog kept waking him up 243X54, 12 carry the one, 16 plus one is 17 carry the one, eight plus one is nine but you didn’t have to cuuut me oooofff, make it like it never happened and like we were nothing... Placeholder zero, three times five is 15 carry the one, four times five is 20 plus one 21 carry the two...


Billy put the pen down. The jumbled information he was getting out of Sam was much less organized and more stressful than when he’d inadvertently tapped into Mr. Landen. Also he didn’t want to relive the test he’d just taken.

One point was subtracted from Billy’s grade for taking the test with a pen instead of a pencil, but other than that he got a perfect score.

***

“Dan! Carol! It’s so good to see you. And Mary! You’re taller every time we meet. Billy’s in his room. You should go hang out with him before dinner.”

Mary knocked on her cousin’s door. “Hey, Silly. You hiding anything from me?”

In the background, the grownups continued their conversation. “Dan, I was wondering... I know you do calligraphy, and I have a bunch of spare reservoirs for a fountain pen... would you have any use for them?”

“Sure, I’ll probably run into a use for ‘em in the next couple of months. Why’d you wind up with them, anyway?”

Billy opened the door. “I’m not hiding anything. I just didn’t want to look at you, Scary.” Neither one of them was sure how serious their cantankerous relative act was. They’d been keeping it up since as early as either of them could remember. “Hey, you want me to show you something cool?”

“If you say it’s cool, I’m not sure it’s something I want to see.”

“I promise it’s nothing bad. Here.” He grabbed a piece of paper and his pen. “Ask me anything.”

“Okay. Why are you such a lizard-brain?”

“I mean something FACTUAL. Ask me where Timbuktu is, or what’s the capital of Azerbaijan or when Disneyland opened. Something like that.”

Mary thought for a moment. “Uh... how far is it from here to Toronto?”

Billy wrote for a moment. “The distance from here to Toronto is two thousand, one hundred and forty-eight miles.”

Mary put her hands on her hips. “Is that true?”

“It is.”

“How am I supposed to know you didn’t just make that up?”

“I guess you could check the next time you get online. Ask me something different.”

“What’s my birthday?”

Billy was notoriously bad at remembering people’s birthdays. But... “April 21st, 1992.”

“What color is Binky’s collar right now?” Binky was Mary’s pet rabbit. He’d just gotten a new collar that morning.

“Green with purple spots. And his nametag is shaped like a heart. But they spelled his name “Blinky.””

“Okay, how are you doing this?” Mary demanded.

“It’s like I know everything now. But I have to write it. It’s not just in my head... it’s like it’s in my hand. I have to put it on paper to know it.”

“Wow.” Suddenly, a grin sprung to Mary’s face. “Hey, what are our parents talking about right now?”

“Um... Let’s see. My mom’s giving your dad a box of... ink things, for old-fashioned pens... and now your mom’s asking generic questions, and my mom’s complaining about work... She says she hasn’t been able to get into her patients’ heads lately, that she can’t tell where they’re coming from or figure out what they want to hear, and it’s been difficult, and one guy yelled at her. Wow, she didn’t tell me about any of this. She’s worried that the one guy is going to drop her, and if he does that she thinks he might not go see someone else and he’ll fall back into alcoholism. She... um... she didn’t say that last part out loud.”

Billy dropped his pen in horror as he realized what he’d just done. “Mary, you can’t tell anyone what I just told you. It violates doctor-patient confidentiality, and that’s the Worst Thing anyone can possibly do. I won’t read my mom’s mind anymore. It’s too dangerous.”

Mary just gave a subtle laugh. “Wimp.”

A couple of weeks later, Billy was given the Student of the Month prize for his improved grades. He kept forgetting to put a pencil in his backpack, so he got points marked off consistently, but his work was flawless. He actually worried that someone would think he was cheating, so after he got the award he started deliberately getting one or two things wrong on every test and assignment. Minor spelling errors, slip-ups in math problems... they were his camouflage. If the teachers figured out he had a special ability, they’d make him do something harder, and he just wanted to enjoy being smart for once.

He didn’t write anything about his mom, so he wasn’t prepared when she told him they might need to look at living more modestly. “I’ve lost a few patients recently. It’s nothing to worry about, but until I get some more, we’ll have to focus on saving money. I might not be able to get you new video games when you want them, and I’m looking at canceling our cable subscription. That’s not happening now, but it’s a distinct possibility for the future.”

Billy heard this, and realized that he might be able to solve the problem himself. He started writing. “The best way to make money is to start out with money. Investing a substantial sum into a business or speculative market can pay returns that are much more significant than those from minor investments.”

Ugh, thought Billy, what does that even mean? He tried again. “The best way to make money when you start out with nothing is to find some service that you can provide to others. Street performers offer music or acrobatics for the enjoyment of strangers, who occasionally give payment in return. Day laborers perform menial tasks with no advance notice. These jobs do not typically pay a living wage, but there are thousands of people who subside on what they earn in these manners.”

That was no good. Billy couldn’t sing and there was no way his mom would let him be a “day laborer.” He kept writing all evening long, but there was nothing that seemed available to a child who just wanted to make lots of money so he and his mom could live like they always had.

The next day he had another math test. He couldn’t focus clearly enough to make deliberate mistakes, though he did get a point knocked off for using a pen. A part of him thought he should really get some more writing utensils. This pen was starting to bug him, with its smudges and the way lines were of different thicknesses depending on the direction of the pen stroke.

At every moment, Billy expected his world to fall apart. His mother would tell him that they couldn’t afford the cereal he liked, or they’d have to stop using real maple syrup. He wrote out a list of his favorite foods, and when he discovered the Kraft macaroni and cheese was one of the cheapest meal options, he calmed down a little. Most of the things he liked were probably not on the chopping block.

Over the next few days, as the first blow never came, Billy began to relax. His mother didn’t tell him that he’d have to sell his action figures, or cancel steak night. Billy kept getting headaches, but nothing else seemed wrong.

Then, on the bus home from school, he got it. The answer to their problems. He knew everything, as long as it was written down. He’d even correctly predicted the one day last week when the rain made them stay inside for lunch. He could tell the future, if he wanted to.

“Hi Mom!” He said as he ran through the house to his room. She waved to him with one hand, the other occupied with her phone.

“Thank you so much, Dan. I can’t tell you how much this means. My big brother’s still there to take care of me after all these years.”

Billy threw open the door to his room and tore his binder out of his backpack, grabbing a blank sheet of paper to write. “The winning lottery numb...”

The pen was running out of ink. Billy shook it and scribbled on the page, but one large blot was all that he could get out of it. He tossed the pen into his trash can and ran back out to the living room. His mom was still on the phone. “I don’t know, it’s like... I’ve lost my ability to empathise. I just can’t connect to people, and if I can’t feel what they’re going through, then I don’t know how to help them. I hope taking a sabbatical will be good for me. Maybe I’m just burned out. It happens. Sometimes dealing with all these tough emotional issues can be overwhelming, you know?”

“Hey mom, I need to borrow a pen, okay?”

“Okay, Billy. Just be careful in there.”

Billy was far too focused on his task to worry about looking at folders or actively trying not to look at them. He didn’t even notice that there were far fewer folders in the drawer than usual. He just grabbed a cheap ballpoint pen and ran back to his room, not even bothering to close the drawer.

“...numbers are...”

He drew a blank. Come on, Billy, you have this! What are the winning lottery numbers? If he wrote them down they were sure to win, and he could have his mom buy him a ticket... she played occasionally, and sometimes she’d let Billy choose the numbers for her, so if he asked her to buy a ticket with the winning numbers, they’d be millionaires and he could get as many videogames and watch as much cable TV as he wanted. But first he had to write them down.

“Mr. Landen used to play the guitar, but he doesn’t anymore, because...” Billy couldn’t remember why Mr. Landen had given up on music, and it wasn’t coming into his head.

“Mary’s birthday is...” That had left him, too.

The gift was gone.

Billy had gone back to the way he was. And nothing would ever be the same.
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after.
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Re: Exquisite Corpse: STORIES

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:29 pm

Beautiful Tesseract

Liane's father worked from home four days out of five; on Wednesdays, he went in to his other office and, in his words, "tinkered with the lab equipment." He was passionate about what he did; after Liane's mother left, his work became his life, filling in every moment that wasn't taken up with his children.

When she was little, she had no clue what his job meant; all she knew was that she was happy he was able to dictate his own hours to pick her and her brother up from school, and play with her when she wanted and help her with her homework and go on vacations with them.

When Liane got older, her father would talk to her a little more about what kind of things he did. He talked to her about space and time and an imaginary web that connected the two, with heavy things bringing lines together. He sketched out simplified diagrams of squared cubes, that became her doodles on the sides of her worksheets at school.

While her brother would go outside to play street hockey with the kids his age, Liane would hole herself up in her room, reading more and more about what her father had told her, the excited gleam in her eye showing to any observer that he had lit inside her the fire that powered his own work.

Liane would drink in everything her father told her that he was working on, and then rather than press him for more information after a long day of work, she would go off and investigate on her own. She would read about black holes and wormholes and any other kind of holes that did interesting things to the relationships between space and time. She embellished and edited the cubes she drew on the backs of her essays and history tests, colour-coding lines and experimenting with different ways of connecting the corners.

And when Liane got a little bit older, and a little more confident about how well she knew what she was talking about, she listened to what her father excitedly talked about, and responded. She shared her own thoughts on the matter, carrying on an enthusiastic dinner-table conversation about causality and relative distances while her little brother, bored, occupied himself with his food.

Sometimes, now, Liane's father would let her peek into his home office, if he wasn't too busy and she had finished all her homework, so she could watch him work. This, now... this sent chills up her spine. It was one thing to read about such things, one thing to simply converse with her father, whom she knew must be an expert in the field, but to actually watch him at it-- this was breathtaking, though when Paul followed her one afternoon to see what all the fuss was about, he complained, "Dad's just sitting there writing numbers and making cross-outs and stuff. Nothing's happening." Paul had left to find something more interesting to do; Liane had stayed, watching transfixed as her father made the numbers dance.

Occasionally, Liane's father would bring some equipment home from the lab. Generally he would just copy down measurements to his home records, which he would then spend the week using to adjust his previous equations and calculations.

This time, though... this time was different. He brought some lab equipment home on Wednesday evening, and locked himself in the office with it. There was clearly something more going on than mere measurement; he didn't even leave for supper, or to sleep.

Liane heard the crash and came running. She wrenched the door open and burst into her father's office just in time to be just too late. Her father had gone; the path he had taken was already closed, still visible but rapidly fading into the aether.

Gazing at the long-awaited, highly-anticipated fruits of her father's labours, Liane did not wonder, yet, whether he had thought to take with him the resources for a return trip; she did not yet worry what she would say to Paul, though she would soon. She did not ask herself if she would be able to examine his notes and remaining equipment to replicate the results; she was no expert in the field, after all, but perhaps this was why he had let her observe his work so often of late.

No, as the shimmering afterimages of the tesseract that had taken her father away played across her vision, all Liane could think was that it was so beautiful, even more beautiful than they had imagined.
Lead by example. Get lost in a swamp.

AS DICTATED TO INSTANTIATION 17-01-18-01.
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Re: Exquisite Corpse: STORIES

Postby Victin on Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:26 pm

Loud Dungeon Master

The paladin stared for a long moment. The enemy he had strived to kill for his whole life was standing right in front of him. This was the time he had dreamed about many nights, for which he walked on seas of shimmering sand, smouldering inside his heavy iron guard. For which he sailed through waters infested by creatures whose very sight could make one’s eye pop out of his head, and for which he raised his sword and made countless fall dead on the battlefield. He unsheatted his sword and prepared himself for the bloodshed that would ensue. "Gentlemen, tonight we'll bring Justice to Evil!"

Meanwhile, the self-entitled “Pimp Knight” Jeff strode to where the Lich stood, and started telling her his sweetest-ass lyrics. The Lich felt enchanted, but managed to resist the charms of the knight. "Do you think I'll fall for that? You fool!" She said, lifting her hand and casting a 'Magic Missile' spell at the heroes. The first bolt threw Jeff a few meters backwards, and failing to balance himself he fell with his back turned to the floor.

The wizard managed to cast a 'Barrier' spell to protect the paladin and himself from the attack, even though he was under a 'Drunken Stupor' effect, which actually improved his skills. "That sweet pisces of ass sonds moar liek a hard piece of ass, getit?" Asked the wizard amongst many hiccups, while casually fiddling with his own white beard.

"Dear brother Jeff, I don't believe you will be able to deliver Justice to the feared Lich like this." The paladin helped the Pimp Knight to stand up, the wizard attacking the evil mistress with a 'Fairball' majyyck.

"Worry not my bro. That beautiful face will fall for me as soon as she sees mine." He proceeded to take off his helmet. But he only discovered it was stuck to the rest of his armor. "Shit! Shouldn't have bought this cheap ass piece of crap! Help me out bro!"

The paladin did his best, but even his might failed to detach the helmet. "I told you to buy an actual set of armor and a weapon. I warned you."

"Fuck, I'm only a warrior because they get all the bitches. Chicks dig knights." Unseen, the Pimp Knight sported a smug grin on his face.

"You could have at least trained yourself instead of- MAGIC MISSILE!" He pushed Jeff and rolled to the side. "Do something wizard!"

"I thought u asked ur sweet bro's help, Jeef." The wizard menacingly pointed his wand (backwards) to the knight.

"Okay, okay, sorry. Cover us please, will 'ya?"

"No." The old wizard turned his back to them.

"Please bro? I'll pay you a beer." He tried to use his charisma as well as he could.

"Did you say bear? If not imma in!"

"SHUT UP!" Yelled the Lich, a pulse of psychic energy bursting from her, sending a wave of force and dust to every direction at once. She walked down her altar, visibly angry. "Paladin, I'll kill your dreams and hopes, and let you live as if you were in Hell. Knight, I'll scrap your face and rob of you your voice, and if you still annoy me I'll outright kill you. And you, crummy wizard." She stopped at the bottom of the altar. "You are just a shitty wizard, so I'll just let you die."

"Oh, no u didn't." The wizard dusted off his pink robe and put his pointy pink hat back on the top of his head with a motion of the wand. "Eldritch Ray!" He yelled, as a bolt of pure black energy flew from the wizard's wand toward the Lich, who countered with an 'Eldritch Ray' of her own.

The other two warriors watched the beginning of the arcane duel, but quickly resumed to their own bidding. "Now that they are busy, get this off me."

The paladin proceeded to grab Jeff's head with his both arms, and attempted to pull off the helmet with all his might again. "Ouch, ouch! Try to not strangle me!" He said between a breath and another.

"This isn't working." The paladin stopped.

"Oh, you don't say?"

"I have a better idea." Throwing the Pimp Knight on the floor, the paladin unsheathed his sword.

"What are you going to do?"

"By the Order I was taught how to control the dragon's fire." Bright yellow flames erupted from the hilt and swallowed the blade whole.

"What the hell are you going to do?!" Panic was audible in the knight's voice.

"By the dragon's fire I'll take off your helmet." He put down the blade and its golden flames wrapped the helmet, quickly heating the metallic piece.

The knight yelled in pain. “Take it out! Take it out! Take it… Oh, it’s out.” As he stood up, the fire died out and the paladin sheathed his sword. Jeff combed his blode hair with his hands, and smiled with his ivory white teeth at the paladin. “How do I look?”

After a pause, the answer came. “Handsome.”

The Pimp Knight gave him the thumbs up. “Wizard! It’s my turn to shine now!”

“T’was abut time.” After ducking to dodge another trio of magic missiles, the mage stumbled to over the general direction where the paladin stood.

“So… Where were we?” Jeff glanced over the Lich with his gleaming eyes.

“I… Uh… Wow, you are actually mesmerizing.” She said, hypnotized and speechless.

“I know babe. So, why don’t we stop fighting and such?”

There was a long minute of silence before an answer was given. “Sure, why not?” The knight raised his fist in the air, and thought to himself “Score.”.

His companions walked to him, and the paladin was the first one to talk. “Oh, knight, for once I have something to tell.” He took out his helmet, revealing a long black hair and a face of smooth curves. “I am actually a woman, and I find you very attractive.”

“Uh… Right. Then I don’t mind if both you and that other girl smooch me right now.” They both complied.

“I want too join the fan too!” The wizard said, and casted a ‘Gender Bending’ spell on himself. She now had a long blonde hair and a youthful look.

“You didn’t look so young with that beard on you.”

“I’ve been growing that beard for a long time.” It left the knight wondering, or would have if he cared. Right after, she too started smooching the knight.

“As I said, chicks dig knights.”

And then, from the depths of the cave, a creature broke forth into the chamber with a roar. Its swift wings moved at full speed while its might arms - no it didnt

YES IT DID!

no it didnt

NO! YOUR EXCUSE FOR A FOUR WAY RED-QUANDRANT RELATIONSHIP DIDN'T HAPPEN DUMBASS!

yes it did
calm the fuck down karkat
stop being such a joykiller

Karkat: ALL I'M TRYING TO DO IS TO HELP YOU PLAY THIS FUCKING STUPID GAME AND YOU STILL MANAGE TO FUCK IT UP!
Karkat: WAIT, WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO?
Karkat: GET OFF ME, DAVE! STOP THIS RIGHT NOW YOU FUCKASS!

Dave: no you let go this toy

Karkat: IT'S NOT A FUCKING TOY, IT'S A MINIATURE!

Dave: okay whatever put down this minotaur action figure and calm the fuck down

Karkat: IT'S NOT A MINOTAUR DUMBASS! IT'S A TWINKLEMINOTAUR!

Dave: whatever just put it down

Karkat: NO! YOU LET IT GO!

Dave: im not going to fight over with you about a fucking toy
Dave: just put that shit down

Karkat: NO!

Dave: okay fine

Karkat: WAIT... GIVE IT BACK TO ME!

Dave: no

Karkat: GIVE IT BACK TO ME FUCKASS!

Dave: no

Karkat: HELP ME YOU TWO!

NO K4RK4T
1 4GR33 W1TH D4V3

Dave: thanks terezi

Guys, guyse.
Clam down yoou two.
Take a drink and chiil out.

Karkat: GIVE IT BACK TO ME, DAVE!

Actully, thinkan better...
Don drink from ma booze.

Karkat: HOW CAN YOU EVEN AGREE WITH HIM?

Terezi: B3C4US3 YOU 4R3 1N F4CT B31NG 4 JOYK1LL3R

Karkat: EVEN YOU ROSE?

Rose: Yeah.

Dave: yes thats more like it karkat

Terezi: OK4Y K4RK4T C4LM DOWN
Terezi: YOU 4R3 ST4RT1NG TO G4RBL3 G1BB3R1SH

Rose: Youre worse then me.

Dave: karkat what are you doing?
Dave: no karkat bad karkat
Dave: dont do th

Rose: MY BOOOZE!

Terezi: CONGR4TUL4T1ONS MR 4NGRY P4NTS
Terezi: YOU JUST FL1PP3D TH3 FUCK1NG T4BL3
Dolphins are some of the smartest animals, yes, but by human standards… Let's say you should praise the god that forces them to stay handless and underwater.
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