Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Take Aim. Chapter One: You Can Run

Twice a year I am honored to present a writing collaboration of epic proportions, something I've come to call the Progressive Story Project. It's a collaboration, a challenge, and to me personally, a gift.

Progressive Story Project, one piece of fiction written by a group of bloggers, each contributing to but not controlling the story | Presented by www.BakingInATornado.com | #blogging #collaboration #MyGraphics

A number of bloggers, each with their own niche, their own voice, their own style of writing, come together to write one story, one cohesive piece of fiction. 

The way it works is that one person writes a piece of a story. Each subsequent writer adds to the story, then passes it on to the next. In this way, everyone contributes to but no one controls the story. The challenge is to use our own thoughts and writing style while keeping the story cohesive. 

Our first story was written 2 years ago by 16 bloggers. It was a piece of fantasy called A Holiday Story. That summer 14 of us wrote a darker piece, Storm Past. Last winter we chose to revisit A Holiday Story and added four more chapters. The most recent project was a story of strength called Sincerely Sarah.

Which brings us to today. Today I'm happy to present chapter one, You Can Run, of our newest story, Take Aim.

Take Aim, a Progressive Story Project, one piece of fiction written by a group of bloggers, each contributing to but not controlling the story | Presented by www.BakingInATornado.com | #blogging #collaboration #MyGraphics

 Take Aim
Chapter One: You Can Run

Karen of Baking In A Tornado
Seriously? Who the hell is knocking at the front door? I'm not even awake yet. What is it anyway, the middle of the night?

Whoa, does that clock really say 10:30? Gotta be in the morning, I certainly didn't go to bed that early last night. But brand new room darkening shades or not, I never sleep this late.

OK, to answer the door or to not answer the door, that is the question. I'm new to this apartment complex, to this city, to this state, not taking advantage of an opportunity to meet someone is probably something I'll regret.

But then again, my eyes are mascara-glued shut, my bangs are sticking straight up, and all I could find in the packing boxes to wear to bed is blue striped yoga pants with my orange and green "laundry day" t-shirt. Maybe it's best not to terrify my visitor. Hell, if I could pry my eyes open to look in a mirror I'd probably scare the hell out of me. And I know me.

Yeah, whatever. I never did learn to curb my curiosity. It's gotten me in trouble before but I've never been one to learn from my mistakes, why start now? 

Diane of On the Border 

The morning light from the window at the end of the hallway gleamed blindingly off two white-haired heads as I swung the door open.
"Good morning, dearie!" someone sang out cheerily.
Oh. My. Word. I'd fallen into the rabbit hole. I tried to focus, but the combination of bright light, sleepy eyes and unwillingness negated all my efforts.
"We've brought you a nice 'welcome to our building' treat, honey!" another voice - as irritatingly cheerful as the first - said. "We want you to know how happy we are that someone finally rented 'the room'."
"Mabel!" One blur elbowed the other blur. "Don't tell her that! You'll scare the girl before she's even had a chance to settle in."
Okay. Now I was awake. "Erm. H-how do you do?"
Both women - the blurs had coalesced into two elderly, cherub-faced women - smiled widely. "We do well, dearie!" the first one said.
"Here. Take this treat," said the second, Mabel? "It goes well with tea - or whatever you like. But I think you should have it with tea."
I looked down at the cellophane-wrapped package in Mabel's hands. "Th-thank you?"
Both women giggled. 
"You should probably eat it now," Mabel said. "Before -"
Another elbow from the other woman. "Mabel!" She looked at me. "We're the Stamper sisters, dearie! Harriet and Mabel. We live across the hall in 2B."
"Stamper in name but not in footwork!" Mabel said.
"That's just a little apartment building humor." Harriet spread her arms. "Welcome to the building!"
For a moment, I thought she was going to hug me. Instinctively, I moved back a step.
A slight frown creased her brow, then was gone.
Mabel looked at her, then back at me. "Well, we just wanted to be the first to welcome you. Before some of the crazies in the building -"
Another elbow from Harriet. "We'll just leave you, dearie. So glad you're here!"
I closed the door behind them, wondering just what I had gotten myself into.

The sound of their voices bounced around in my head long after they had gone, only to be drowned out by the memory of some of the things they had said. I looked down at the plate in my hand "drink with tea?!?" The smell from the concoction was making my eyes water so I scrapped it right down the garbage disposal. I don't think so! Yuck!

Well, I'm up now so I might as well start getting this place into some kind of order before the rest of the weirdos show up. I started in the kitchen since that's where the coffee was located, and before long everything started to come together. The meager pots and pans and mismatched plates all found their new homes in the tiny little space. I'm sure they feel right at home in their new surroundings. I laughed as I moved along to the living room/bedroom to finish up this unpacking process.

I am so tired of always moving around. I just want a place that I can call my very own, but until I get myself out of debt I'll be scraping by as best I can. I decided to take a shower and clear the cobwebs out of my head. I was starting to get a little depressed and that's just stupid this close to the finish line. Besides, I need to find the closest grocery store. I found my decent clothes, took an almost warm shower and was just putting on my coat when the knocking started AGAIN! Who in the world is it now?

I try to look out the peephole but the hallway is much too dark and the hole is way too dirty. Years of grime smeared in the tiny hole made it impossible to determine light and shadow. I wipe my nose subconsciously wondering if any of the grit was now on my face. This is ridiculous! I was just irritated at this point. Who wants a bunch of nosy neighbors I thought as I slung open the door. "What now?" I said just a bit too loudy.

The man in the hallway jumped back so far he bumped into the "Dizzy Duo's" door, as I had already started calling them! We were both silent a we stared at each other. Only our eyes registering the shock. I stepped back stuttering, unable to form a complete sentence. I was thinking about slamming the door when he finally spoke! 

~  ~  ~  ~  Continue reading here: Take Aim, Chapter Two: Clear Sightlines  ~  ~  ~

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


  1. I think it's incredible who intense a story can get after only three contributions. Speaks volume of those writer's talent. I guess it's the same procedure as last / every time... we'll get to wait for a whole entire week for more!

    1. Two weeks but it's worth the wait. This story takes some twists and turns in chapter two.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jo-Anne. I love working on these and I love sharing them.

  3. I'm hooked also. Coming back next week. I looked at these and said to myself "no way! I am nowhere near ready to participate in something like this, but it seems like so much fun. Maybe one day. But,until then, I am wondering how Karen will sneak in a recipe?" So....will you, eventually? Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. I've done these Progressive Story Projects with recipes before and without. I'm not this time

  4. Oh, that looks like so much fun!!!

  5. I think I got excited and wrote to much! I love the way this story is heading and can't wait for the next installment!

  6. I love it. I love it. I love it. I keep reading it over and over. Oy.

  7. Nice job! I can't wait to see where this one goes!

    1. It's still in progress but looking forward to sharing the second chapter.

  8. Well done. Looking forward to see where it goes. Maybe I'll jump in sometime.


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