Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Storm Past. Chapter Three: Worlds Collide

Today's post is the third chapter of an ongoing fictional story. This piece, in its entirety, was crafted by a large group of writers, each author adding to what the last writers have contributed. The idea is that we all write the story but no one controls it. The challenge is for each writer to put their own stamp on the piece, while maintaining the cohesive integrity of the story.

Progressive Story Project | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics
Here's where the story began: 
Chapter one: Darkening Skies
Chapter two: Where There's Smoke

Storm Past, a Progressive Story Project | www.bakinginatornado.com | #story #fiction

As with the other chapters, I've provided the name of the author of each segment and a link right to their blog. They're all talented bloggers. hope you get a chance to visit them all.

 Picking up the story in Maria's flashback into Marlee's past:

Chapter Three: Worlds Collide

Meg of Just A Little Nutty

She was going to leave him. For months she made trips out to their cabin to squirrel away the essentials that she would need to get as far away from him as possible when the right time came. It gave her hope to believe that she could be free from his twisted cruelty and abuse some day.

He said that he was out with some friends but she accidentally found him at the cabin and watched him squeeze the life out of the woman he had been entertaining. Marlee shot her husband with the gun he kept in his glove box, when he attempted to slit her throat. She stood above him and watched the carpet around his body turn an angry shade of crimson. Impulsively she lit their cabin ablaze and ran as fast as she could, away from her life. The fire caught the surrounding forest and she knew the authorities would soon be on scene.

The familiar small cliff that overlooked the sea was ahead of her. Flames tore through the woods behind her and she didn't hesitate. Death had almost taken her once tonight. If she was going to ever live again, she was going to have to save herself.

Her life would begin or end in that moment.

She ran until she began to plummet downward and braced herself to be swallowed by the cold dark ocean below. 
Rena of The Diary of an Alzheimer's Caregiver

She landed so hard on the top of the water and immediately plunged into the darkness below. Down and down she went until she thought she would never stop. Eventually she was able to start kicking toward the top. It seemed to take forever as her lungs began to burn. She propelled herself back to the top and finally broke the surface. She inhaled as hard as she could before another wave crashed down over her face. The water was freezing and the waves were so high she struggled to get her bearings. She could see the glow from the fire and started swimming that way. She would swim to shore and then walk south down the beach and away from her former life

Her teeth were chattering as she finally made it out of the water. She laid there for a few minutes catching her breath. She was already so cold but she knew she had to get up and keep moving if she had any hope of surviving.

She must have walked for miles. She was so cold she didn't think she would make it another step. Just a little more, a little further up the beach and she would be safe. If she could just make it there she might just be home free. She could see the light getting closer and closer. I'm almost there, just a little further, she told herself.

 Lydia of Cluttered Genius

With a shake of her head, she wiped the memories of that night away to focus on the flames across the street.

"Chase! Hurry! Call 911!" she yelled as she ran out to the front yard to join her neighbors in their collective panic. Chase joined her at her shoulder, quickly dialing for help and talking to the emergency worker who answered. Maria did her best to calm Kathy, her neighbor, who was crying and waving her arms frantically.

Not too long after, they could hear the sirens approaching. Maria had one arm around Kathy, trying to calm her shaking; her other hand was holding Chase's. The firemen began setting up and working to stop the flames at Kathy's house while neighbors watched with wide eyes.

"I guess I-I just left the st-stove on," Kathy was crying, "I w-went to take a sh-shower, and the next thing I kn-knew, there was smoke all through my h-house!"

"It could have happened to anyone," Maria tried to reassure her. "The good thing is that you didn't get hurt."

The Fire Chief approached Kathy. "Is that your house, ma'am?" he asked in a slow, Southern drawl.

"Y-yes," she sputtered, working hard to catch her breath.

"We're getting the flames under control, and in the mornin', we'll begin the investigation into the cause of the fire," he told her.

Maria squeezed Kathy's shoulders, "See? It's ok. Chief   ," she paused, not knowing the Chief's name.

"Chief Jeffreys," he answered.

 Steena of The Angrivated Mom 

Jeffreys . . . Jeffreys . . . Jeffrey . . . Jeff.

The memories were now too much for her mind, weaker from last night's nightmare than she had originally allowed herself to believe. "Just a common name" played like a broken record in her head, drowning out the images pushing to get through to the surface. She was struggling to maintain her composure when she noticed someone making their way through the crowd towards them hurriedly. Her mind stood on guard. Waiting. Ready.

"Excuse me, are you Mrs. Donaldson?" said the man coming at them, in a badly wrinkled brown suit, while sticking his hand out to neither of them in particular, waiting for the owner of the name to step forward to claim his impersonal greeting with an informal handshake, especially under such emotional circumstances as a house fire.

Thankfully, this representative from Kathy's homeowner's insurance's impeccable timing saved her from breaking down right there with so many witnesses for her unraveling revelations. He had arrived to talk about accommodations for Kathy's family until the house could be investigated and then repaired. Or rebuilt, her mind suddenly conserved the random thought taking her thoughts away again. The damage, as Maria took it in over her shoulder as she booked it for her own house, looked to be very similar to that of the cabin after it . . . "Stop it, would you," Maria said to herself as she took the opportunity to slip back into the comfort and privacy of her own home, with Chase following behind. "You're only being paranoid," she told herself with a deep calming, cleansing breath like she had learned from her exuberant and full life yoga instructor at the posh country club she was a member of, even if it stretched beyond their budget.

"Maria" Chase called to her as she climbed the stairs towards the master bathroom. "Do you know him? Did he hurt you before? Your face was white as a ghost, like you saw a ghost! You never did tell me the whole story about that night that caused the amnesia when you were younger. Was he involved?" Chase demanded, out of loving concern, as he followed her. 

 Michele of Follow me home 

"I can't do this right now." Maria answered in a shaky, frustrated voice. "You wouldn't understand. Trust me, you don't WANT to understand!" Noticing the fear in Chase's eyes, she relented. "Listen, I just need to get some rest. Could we try and talk about this tomorrow?"

~~ Read the conclusion of Storm Past: It Ends Here ~~

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  1. Replies
    1. I know, right? I can't even say how very much I love this story and everyone who contributed to it.

  2. It's going to be done too soon. Loving how it came together!

  3. Girl we are going to need FAR more than 4 chapters/parts of this story!

    1. I know. I love this story every bit as much as I loved the last one.

  4. Came, read, loved...................just so you know

  5. Yay!!!! I love being a part fo this story. It's turning out better than I ever expected! Such a great storyline.

  6. Chief Jeffreys - nice touch ;-)
    I'm blown away. With just a couple of paragraphs this story has developed so much! And I have a feeling, part 4 will hold some surprises as well.

    1. Yes, I think it will. Stay tuned. Next week the story ends.

  7. Great story. Can't wait to see what's next.

    1. I'm so glad you're enjoying it. I'm so excited (and a little nervous) to post the end.

  8. Just now catching up! Still have to find out which version of my chapter you chose! Haha! It's great so far!!


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