I’m going to let you guys write my site for a little while. Here’s how this will work. Below is the beginning of a story. The first commenter will continue part of the story in the comments and the next will pick up where the previous one left off.

Give it a whirl. Your responses don’t have to be long. A sentence or two will work. Don’t try to finish the story just add to it. Think you have it in you?

The rain pours outside as she stares out the window. From the warm kitchen she can feel the cool air rush through the cracks of poor Soviet insulation. “Click, clack, click, clack,” is heard below as she watches a young woman carrying a plastic bag stride by on her way home.

How did she get here? Where is here? Stuck in a place that isn’t quite home, but that feels so comfortable she could remain here forever. It all seems so surreal.

25 Comment

  1. She continues to peel the potatoes, peeling off the skins and the bright green layer beneath, wondering if the arsenic in the green parts permeates the whole potato, or just the green parts. No matter. It’s all they have at hand and she is just too weary to go out.

  2. Maggie says: Reply

    She tries to keep her mind on the task at hand, but her thoughts keep wandering to when he’ll be home. She hears a shuffle outside the front door and gasps.

  3. Esther says: Reply

    She heads to the balcony to pull in the laundry. Crap. It’s all wet. She’ll have to hang it all on the inside of the apartment to dry now.

  4. She brings in the wet clothes, careful not to drip water across the peeling, old yellow laminate floor. After the clothes are spread across the worn furniture, she remembers the noise outside the door. She quietly slips over to the peep hole to see who is in the hallway.

  5. Mom says: Reply

    Lurking outside beyond view is something…something that will open the door to her confusion. The shuffling continues and her fear is breaking over her in huge waves.

  6. NEAL says: Reply

    The handle is cool in her hand. Its coldness is compounded by the nervousness and the moisture from the clothes.

    She slowly turns it: click.

    With a slight rush of adrenaline through her legs, she pushes the door. It sticks, so she puts a bit of weight behind it. There is a rush of air as the cold air now has a larger crack to flow through.

    She sees now that it is a basket in the hallway, but a movement catches her attention.

  7. Nicole says: Reply

    A large woman with a red print scarf on her head stands before her. This woman’s wide, short fingers wiggle as she adjusts her grip on the heavy basket.

    The woman is her neighbor. She is often seen pacing the hallways with a broom as if she was paid by the building to keep it clean (she is not).

  8. Rhonda says: Reply

    The woman slowly lowers the basket onto the floor. She lifts her short fingers and moves the brightly colored scarf back to reveal her face. Behind the scarf, her eyes dart back and forth down the hallway. Something is very wrong.

    “I must speak to you, Kate”, the woman said in perfect English.

    Kate inhales sharply, trying to decide how the woman knows her name. She moves her arm against the door, pushing it open to invite the woman inside. The large woman quickly ducks through the opening, into the apartment.

  9. Lauren says: Reply

    Before she knows what is happening the large woman grabs her by the shoulders and says in a near whisper, “You are in danger”

  10. Suz says: Reply

    The woman leans down and her fingers begin to unfold the worn rags that cover the top of the basket. It is then that Kate notices, on the smallest finger of the woman’s right hand – the ring!

  11. Wendy says: Reply

    Her grandmother’s ring. She can clearly remember the last time she saw it, on her Nana’s hands folded across her chest as she lay in the velvet lined casket. A little girl’s memory forever seared into her mind.

  12. It couldn’t be!

    She was sure she was the only surviving member of the ancient sisterhood. Her mind reels in confusion. Has her identity been revealed? Do others know her purpose?

    As Kate’s tries to make sense of what is happening, she is once again distracted by the basket’s movement. A tiny hand thrusts upward and clutches the air in desperation.

    A child?

  13. Mom says: Reply

    Kate’s head is pounding as she leans forward into the basket. Gingerly, she removes the rags that the tiny, obviously neglected child had been swathed in. Tucked underneath the baby’s arm was a letter.

  14. Wendy says: Reply

    The envelope was yellowed with age. Across the front, in a looping scrawl, was written Katarina Elizabet. Only one person ever used this, original version of her name.

  15. Ani says: Reply

    Her heart racing, she leaned down to pluck the letter from underneath the baby’s arm. Her fingers brushed the soft baby skin and held onto the yellowing envelope.

  16. Jenny says: Reply

    The yellowing envelope had been opened before. As Kate took out the letter the envelope held, she shook ever so slightly. She noticed her hands and tried to hide it from the woman before her, not wanting to reveal her true emotions of terror.

  17. Wendy says: Reply

    As she quickly began to scan the letter, she caught movement out of the corner of her eye. The old woman was bending over the infant. Kate could see the baby’s deep gray eyes staring thoughtfully at her, and she suddenly had the feeling she was looking into a very old soul. She shook it off and returned to the letter in her hands.

  18. Jenn says: Reply

    The situation seems so bizarre, with time standing still but her heart racing. The letter, the child, the ring…what is it all? First terror, yet excitement, courses through her. To see the infant next to the aged envelope seemed to be the beginning and ending of a season or era.

    My dearest Katarina Elizabet,

    How does one begin to tell her most beloved family member that in reality she is not a blood relative? I know the day will eventually come. I write this letter so that even if I am gone you can hear it straight from me.

  19. Mom says: Reply

    It had been a long time since she had heard or read her given name. In her years growing up she had been called lots of names… some of which were quite cruel, words whispered under breaths. They were alway tangible to her though, many thought she couldn’t hear. The strawberry birthmark on her face was quite noticeable and gazing upon this child she too had the same mark across her face.

  20. Wendy says: Reply

    Your mother did not die in an accident. In fact, I do not know who your mother was. You were left in my care one night by a man I only knew as Bruno. He was supposed to come back for you, but his body was found floating in the bayou the next day with a spike driven through his heart.

  21. His body was laid to rest in the old cemetary on Grove Ave. No one knows what happened the night of his death or for what reason he was killed. It was never solved. He left you the pendant you wear around your neck. I am sorry for having told you it was from your mother. I didn’t know what else to tell you. You were so young and innocent. There was one other thing, Bruno hung out with another man named Charlie something down by the old docks. I never had the nerve to contact him, but you might want to try if you want more information.

  22. Wendy says: Reply

    Just then the baby began to cry a raspy hoarse cry. It was clear the baby was not well.

  23. Nicole says: Reply

    “Charlie,” she kept thinking. Her stomach rocked with a swell of nausea. The babies cries, the thought of all of this new information, the connection to this woman standing before her. She leaned her head to the side and gagged. It was a primal release. She wiped the spit off of her cheek and tried to focus.

  24. Sandy says: Reply

    She continued reading the letter.

    “Please understand that I always loved you as my own daughter, even though you have always thought of me as your great-aunt. I’m so sorry to have to tell you these things now, like this. But my time here is short now.

    Most important of all, you must continue the work that we have started. You must do this, and find others in the sisterhood to help you. But beware, we are not what we seem… and the others know that now. They will come for you too if you are not careful. I must go now.”

  25. Wendy says: Reply

    The old woman scooped up the baby and began to speak again. “You must leave, right away. Let no one see you. Here is a train ticket to take you to the border. It leaves at midnight.” And with that, she placed the baby in Kate’s arms and began to turn away.
    Kate reached out and grasped the woman’s arm, questions hanging thick in the air. The woman nodded, and with that, Kate knew what she must do.

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