FTS – The Basket

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

I was invited to “Finish the Story” by MELANIE B CEE.  So here it goes:

Teresa Grabs began the tale : What’s In The Basket?  

Evan and Dot woke early Easter morning, jumped out of their twin-sized beds and bolted for their bedroom door.

“Me first!” Evan said, ripping Dot’s hand off the door handle.

Dot scoffed and pulled Evan’s hand away from the door. “Nuh-uh, me first!”

In one swift motion, Evan grabbed Dot’s nightgown and pulled her to the ground. Even though they were twins, Evan had two inches and ten pounds on her. “NO! Me first!”

No sooner had he reached for the door, he began howling in pain as Dot’s teeth sank lower into his bare leg. “MOM!”

Mom and Dad rushed into their room. Evan’s face turned bright red as he spied Dad’s Superman boxers. Dad owned the situation and assumed Superman’s famous pose, glaring down at his daughter. “Dorthy Alice Cooper!”

“What have we said about biting?” Mom finished.

They were always finishing each other’s sentences. Especially when yelling at Evan or Dot.

Tears soaked Evan’s t-shirt more when Dot dug her nails into his butt when she stood.

“He started it!”

“Don’t you dare give me that, little Miss,” Mom said, wagging her finger. “You know what today is, don’t you?”

Dot nodded. “That’s why I wanted to be first.”

Evan’s eyes lit as he sneered at her. “You admit you started it. Oh my gosh! You are so going to get it!”

“Excuse me,” Dad said, gripping Evan on the shoulder. “Is that how we behave?”

Evan winced and shook his head.

“You two know what happens when little boys and girls have been mean to each other on Easter, don’t you?”

Dot and Evan looked at each other in horror. They knew alright. Everyone knew. They gulped and looked at Mom and Dad. “We’re sorry,” they said in unison.

Mom shook her head and looked at Dad who shrugged. “You know what’s going to happen if you don’t mean it. I think the Easter bunny left your basket in the living room.”

Evan and Dot bolted out the door and ran downstairs. Soon, shouts of “me first” and “you’re mean” filtered through the house. Mom sighed and Dad shrugged. “What can you do?”

Evan was the first to reach the Easter basket laden with goodies. There were eggs of all colors, chocolate coins, marshmallow bunnies, and rainbow-colored plastic grass. He slapped Dot’s hand away from his favorite colored egg and reached in to see if there was anything under the grass.

The room started spinning and all he could think of was to grab onto his sister for dear life, hoping she would save him and stop whatever was happening–she didn’t.

With a flash of light and deafening crack, Evan and Dot landed painfully on their bottoms.

Dot was the first to open her eyes. “Where are we?”


Part 2 by Di of Pensitivity101

‘You mean you don’t know?’ Evan demanded. ‘This is all your fault! I’m going to tell………… DAD!!!’
‘It’s no good calling for your parents, children.’ said a voice. ‘They can’t hear you down here.’
Rubbing her sore bottom, Dot stood up.
‘Where are you? It’s rude not to show yourself when you’re talking to somebody.’
The Smile appeared first, then big blue eyes followed by a furry face, an extraordinarily large tabby body and a forked tail.
‘The Cheshire Cat!’ Evan stated.
‘Not exactly. That’s in a parallel fairy tale, and as you can see ‘ it added waving its appendage, ‘ they got my tail completely wrong! Now then………..’
‘Oh no you don’t,’ said Dot bossily. ‘We want to know where we are and why we’re here. And where’s our basket?’
The Cat’s eyes flashed angrily, then it sighed.
‘Esther Bounie wants to meet you and……..’
‘Oh goody,’ Evan interrupted rubbing his hands in glee. ‘We get to meet the Easter Bunny for real. All that chocolate!!’
‘Er no. Esther might be a relation, but she is not the Easter Bunny at all, and certainly doesn’t like chocolate. She’s more of a ………….


Here’s Sadje’s Part:

askedimpatiently.

rabbit, isn’t it?”

” Well she is a rabbit but she is not friendly, she doesn’t like children, especially!” The cat was getting tired of this conversation and these spoiled children.

“If she doesn’t like children, why does she wants to meet us?” Evan felt that he should contribute to the conversation as well.

“She has a task. She puts sense into naughty and spoiled brats. And that description fits both of you, I believe” The words were barely out of the cat’s mouth when with a sudden whoosh an ugly looking hare appeared in the room. Both kids were startled and a bit afraid too. It looked mean and perhaps was angry too.

Dot clasped her brother’s hand and took a step back. She opened her mouth but no words came out!  Instead………..


:

Dot belched.   Her brother jumped as if goosed.   The hare (which was much bigger than a rabbit and had gray mottled fur), bared its two huge front teeth in a gruesome caricature of a grin.   

“Better out than in!”  Esther (the hare) exclaimed!   “But what awful manners you have girlie!”

Dot’s eyes filled with tears.   She was good at rousing up a few crocodile tears if she felt threatened or afraid.   And to drum up a little sympathy. 

“PHOOEY!”  spat Esther.   “Your fake tears are worse than your manners!   And I’m magical so you think that crap will fool ME?”   

Dot, shocked to her core by the exposure, stopped trying to cry and shrank back behind her brother, grateful for once that he was bigger.    Evan didn’t appreciate becoming a human shield, particularly since there was an apparently rabid animal who was TALKING F*S!   

The big hare (aka Esther) seemed to puff up until she was gigantic.   The children truly felt fear for the first time in their lives, and a growing respect.   They didn’t know what either emotion was, so they didn’t get what was happening, save they knew it was highly uncomfortable.

Esther told the children that they were going on a journey and that at the end of the journey would be a test, so they’d better pay strict attention to what happened during the journey.   Use their gray cells for something other than filling for their heads!

The big hare kicked out her powerful hind leg and a rather small door appeared in the ether.   “Come on!” commanded Esther, “Time waits for no hare nor human!”

It seemed rather doubtful that Esther would fit through the door, but she did and with room to spare.   Clearly things were not as they seemed in this place.

Dot and Evan reluctantly followed.   The cat, it shall be noted, had disappeared completely, taking its manic looking grin with it.     The trio found themselves in the midst of a huge dense forest.   

And sitting right in the middle of the path through the trees was….

 


 

My bit:

. . . a rather morose tortoise.

“Morning Esther.  See you got youself some-muer learners,”

“Well, I’m not at all sure of that,” Esther retorted, “I don’t think this pair could take a nap, much less take a hint.”

“Why that is urnfotunate,” Henry Tuttle replied, giving the children a stare that seemed to suggest that they would deserve whatever they got.  “You two a better be minding Esther, hear.  This ain’t no place to be a foolin.”

“Henry Tuttle, we are in a hurry, so I don’t have any time to waste, please move out of the way so we can pass.”

Dot turned to Evan and sniggered, as she whispered, “The turtle’s called Tuttle.”

“You know that I am not only magical, but that these big ears aren’t just for show,” the hare snapped.  That’s strike two.  Crocodile tears and sniggers.  My badness, you children won’t learn a thing, I’ll wager.  I don’t know why Cousin Bunny is even giving you a chance.”

With that, she pushed past the tortoise and snapped, “Keep up or I will just leave you here.”

It was all the children could do to follow her into the hole in a hollow tree where . . . ”

 

Padre

 

I nominate Joanne the Geek to continue the tale or to pass it on.

 

_______________________

Rules:

Teresa has started a new; Finish The Story.
First, the rules:
1) Copy and paste the story as you receive it
2) Contribute to or finish the story
3) Tag another person to continue (unless you finish it, of course)
4) Have fun!

Finish the Story: The Locomotive Part Five

Teresa’s bit:

Every summer since Charlie turned six was spent on Grandpa’s Iowa farm. Charlie loved to run through the fields chasing butterflies and spent his nights laying on the cool grass, watching the fireflies and Milky Way. Life was perfect until the train arrived.

“I don’t believe it,” Grandpa said, shaking his head. “Are you sure?”

Frank, a family friend from the other side of town, nodded. “Saw it myself two nights ago out by Cooper’s Ridge.”

Grandpa pulled his old handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his brow. “What are we going to do? We can’t let it happen again. Charlie… I can’t… I won’t.”

“What’s the matter, Grandpa?” Charlie walked into the kitchen when he heard his name.

Grandpa’s face turned white as he grabbed Charlie by the shoulders and shook him. “Don’t you ever get on that train. You hear me, boy? No matter what he says, or what you see happening inside, you never get on that train.”

Charlie was terrified by Grandpa’s expression and could only muster a whimper.

“I’m going to let you go,” Grandpa said, hugging Charlie as tears streamed down his face. “He’s not going to get another one.”

Later that night, as Charlie laid in bed and imagined the mysterious train that had terrified his Grandpa, he heard a whistle in the distance. Slipping on his shoes and bathrobe, Charlie stood at his window and watched as a train appeared through the night’s mist and blew its whistle again. Charlie rubbed his eyes and gulped.

“Wow.”

“You get out of here,” Grandpa shouted as he ran out the front door carrying his rifle. He fired twice and screamed at the train. “You can’t have him! You can’t!”

A well-dressed man stepped into the doorway of the train, looked at Charlie in the window, and said, …

Fandango’s bit

“Boy, you come over here. Don’t make me come and get you, Charlie.”

Charlie was conflicted. He remembered his Grandpa’s warning to him to never get on that train. But the man calling out to him looked so dapper and debonair, just like those men in the fancy magazines his mother would look at back at home. And inside the train he saw other kids playing and partying, having what seemed like a lot of fun. And where was Grandpa?

“Charlie,” the man called out once again. “It’s time to go. You need to come out here and join us on the train before we leave for the next stop.”

“I need to get dressed,” Charlie called out to the man, stalling for time as he tried to figure out what to do.

“No, come as you are, Charlie, you’re fine,” the man called out. “Your Grandpa is already on board, and we have new clothes for you here.”

Charlie grabbed his stuffed teddy bear and slowly walked out of the house and approached the train. The well-dressed man had a broad, welcoming smile on his face and held out a hand of encouragement to Charlie as he neared the train.

“Come on, boy,” the man said, his hand still reaching out to Charlie. Charlie was still hesitant as he thought about Grandpa’s warning, but he couldn’t resist the draw of the man and the train. Charlie reached up and grabbed the man’s hand and was gently assisted onto the train.

“Welcome to the Soul Train, Charlie,” the man said. “Go inside and meet the other children.”

“Where’s Grandpa? Where does this train go?” Charlie asked.

“Relax, Charlie,” the man said, his smile now appearing more sinister than welcoming. “We’re headed straight to ….”

Michael’s bit:

Boomtown where all your dreams will come true.”

Charlie thought that sounded a good idea and looking around found himself in a small room in which there was a tiny window that looked down the corridor of the carriage he was in.

He expected to see the many children he saw when he was being lured to the train, but instead, there was no one apart from the scurrying of a few rats.

Then unexpectedly a rat’s face appeared at the window he was looking through, and he stepped back in fright.

The rat looked at him and shook its head as if disapproving. Charlie found himself against the far wall of the small room as the rat continued to gaze at him.

Then to his amazement, his body shrank down to the floor. His nose grew, his body was wracked by a momentary shudder as a tail grew out of his rear end, and he realised he too had been turned into a rat.

The man responsible for luring him onto the train reappeared at the same time the train gave a jerk and moved along its invisible tracks.

Charlie looked up to see the man standing over him a pleased look on his face as he opened the door of the room and beckoned for Charlie to go through into a room filled it appeared with rats similar to himself.

“Good boy Charlie,” he heard the man say, “you will all come in handy when we…

Crispina’s bit .…

“…thread the labyrinth.”

Charlie looked up with questioning eyes.

“The labyrinth,” the man said as if Charlie should know what that meant. “The labyrinth … you’ve had your short life to learn how to thread it. Ah, don’t remember?”

No, Charlie did not remember, and he was sure that he would.

“Done in your sleep,” the man explained. “Done in your dreams.”

But wasn’t this a dream now? It couldn’t be real. And he wasn’t alone in his confusion. Thousands of sniffing rats all scurrying and turning in circles.

The rattle-chunt of the train changed; became sharper and developed an echo.

“Ah,” the man said, “we’re into the mountain won’t be long now.”

But on and on that train rattled along. And Charlie grew tired. And sleepy.

He woke with a start.

“Labyrinth Station. Labyrinth Station. All rats disembark,” boomed a voice that seemed to thrum in the air.

A door opened, the rats streamed out, Charlie amongst them. But where was he? Everywhere, all around him, everywhere so bright …

My portion:

. . . . almost blinding.  Yet despite the brightness, there was something cold and “shadowy” about the place.

The well dressed man from the train stood before the “rat” children.  He had changed, not in a blatant way, but he too seemed darker – more imposing.  Two other men appeared from the interior of the train and produced heavy hard bristled brooms and began to force the children towards the entrance of a maze of some sort.  The walls were angular and seemed to produce the brightness from themselves.  This made the gaps and passages of the labyrinth difficult to distinguish.

“Okay, my little rats,” the man said in a mocking tone.  Some of you will find your way through my little test.  There are two ways out.  The first will take you home to you “Mommy” the other will take you to my Boomtown.  A place of fun and enjoyment for me and mine.  Are you worthy of me?”

At this the broom-men sniggered, as if the “Prince of Air,” had said something funny.

Charlie could see no humor in it.  He had been tempted by the exciting prospect of a journey on the Soul Train with happy playing children, and even of the idea of “living it big” in Boomtown.  But now all he wanted was to go home to his Grandfather.

Just then the broom bearers started to force the rats into the labyrinth.  There seemed to be the inviting sound of party music and brighter light in some directions.  Many of the children began to instinctively head in those directions.

Charlie was unsure.  He and a two small sandy coloured rats stopped together at the first intersection.  Uncertain as to what to do, Charlie went in the other direction, and the small rats followed him.

As they began to move alone down the passageway a loud roar came from in front of them.  The small male rat immediately turned around and chased after the larger group of rats.

The young female stared after her brother for a moment, and then she followed Charlie.

As they turned a bend, instead of finding a beast waiting for them there was a basin of cold fresh water, and three archways.  Two were bright and blinding like in the first passage, the other had a more pleasant soothing light.

Pair drank the refreshing water, and then followed . . . .

 

I pass this on to msjadeli at Taotalk

Links with: Haunted Wordsmith

Fandango

Morpethroad

Crimson Prose

Padre

 

Finish The Story — The Mystery of the Stone Circle: Part Four

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Teresa, aka The Haunted Wordsmith, started a story, “The Mystery of the Stone Circle,” and tagged Fandango 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 …


Fandango at This, That, and the Other wrote 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, Sammy,” Geri said. “If you’re so damn smart, what’s your explanation for what we’re looking at?”

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

=====================================================================

Msjadeli’s part three:

…according to my religious beliefs, it wasn’t extraterrestrials who came and arranged the stones, it was our very own Earth deities who did it. At least we agree that it wasn’t humans who made it.”

Geri’s jaw dropped open and he was speechless for a second, trying to absorb what Sammy had just said. “Sammy, can you tell me just how your theory isn’t any more outlandish than mine? There’s only one God, and he had nothing to do with this! OK OK enough, let’s just agree it wasn’t humans and go find some sticks and logs for the fire tonight.”

Although Geri was under the impression that they were there for a hiking adventure and photo shoot, Sammy was there for other reasons. If Geri knew what those reasons were he might have refused to come along.

According to the solar and lunar charts as they aligned with Mars’, tomorrow was the night the hieroglyphs on the center stones would glow and shoot out lights to the holiest of holy rocks in the configuration. Sammy had been practicing his ancient religion since childhood. Although he didn’t believe that the Gods and Goddesses were alive anymore, he did know that his ancestors had hollowed out the holiest of holy stones in the configuration and filled them with pure Andes gold and many gems that were found in the mountain river banks, gifts from the highlands in Spring. Sammy’s plan was to observe the glowing stones, mark them with a dot of glow-in-the-dark spray paint while they glowed, then afterwords dig them up to plunder the gold and gems.

In order keep Geri from finding out what was going on, Sammy had brought along a roofi to slip into Geri’s drink tomorrow night as they sat near the campfire. It was harmless, no side effects, and Geri would be no worse for wear afterwards.

They set up their tents and built a fire. Geri snapped a bunch of pictures as the sun set. After a few beers fireside they each went to their separate tents and fell asleep within moments, as they’d hiked for several hours that day. During the night each had very vivid dreams…


 

Padre’s Part Four:

Geri’s dream took him to a time when the hillsides beyond the circles were still covered with lush forest.  He could see the sun rising through the mouth of the valley which faced all too perfectly eastwards.  The red glow of the rising orb sent out finger-like beams into the valley.

Then just as the day brightened, seven tall figures emerged from the treeline.  One of these wore a shining headdress, and an immense feathered cape fell from across her shoulders.  She walked carefully to the spot where the centre of the rings now stood, and using her staff made a mark in the soil.  She then gave instructions to her companions in an incomprehensible language.  They each bowed to her and disappeared in separate directions into the surrounding woods.

As they ate trail mix for breakfast the following morning, Geri commented that he had had the strangest dream.

“What was it like?” Sammy asked with sincere interest.

Geri related the details to his friend, but then said, “They were just like normal people.  Except they were really tall.”

“Like basketball player tall?” Sammy inquired.

“No.  More like giraffe tall.”

“How do you know?” Sammy pressed.

“They were over half as tall as the trees.”

Geri pondered this, and tried to recall the elements of his own dream.  He too could remember a tall somewhat feminine figure.  But that wasn’t quite right.  The figure was more “sexless” than female, and in his dream it wasn’t a feathered robe, but actual wings upon its back.

“How could we both have the same dream?” Sammy asked in bewilderment.

Then Geri let out a cry of astonishment.  He held up his camera and pointed to one of the snaps he had taken the evening before.  “Look at this . . . .”


 

I’m passing this on to another great writer, Crispina Kemp of Crimsonprose.  I hope she will help us finish the story.

Update: Crispina’s writing schedule is such that she would need a long deplay for this, so I have now passed the option to Dark Netizen.  I truly hope that this talented and experienced “Story Finisher” will lend a hand.

 

Rules:

  1. post the story as you receive it
  2. add to the story (or finish it, up to the writer)
  3. tag another person to continue the story (unless you finished it)
  4. Have fun!

 

Padre