Monday, October 25, 2010

Chapter the Second: "Maia Eyemieye and the Ungrateful Dead"

In honor of Halloween, I’m resurrecting Maia and Jackson’s story, which was the subject of my very first blog contest. This week’s story won’t be part of a contest, but I’m hoping it will be a diverting way to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve.

Here’s how it will work: I’ll begin the second chapter of Maia and Jackson’s story at the bottom of this post. Then the first player will continue the story in the comments WHEREVER I LEFT OFF. And the second player will continue where the first player left off, and so on. Sometime around Halloween, I’ll finish off the story.

I only have two rules for our little game: Keep your story comment PG-RATED, and keep it somewhere around 100 WORDS. Oh, and I don’t mind if you play more than once--just make sure you don’t make consecutive story comments.

Here’s the first chapter of Maia and Jackson’s story (don't forget to read the comments of that post), and here’s the last 100 words of that chapter. And here’s the start of the second:

The gaslights cast crazy shadows across the cobblestones, and overhead, a raven cawed. Maia winced as Jackson helped her hobble up Doornail Avenue. Sure, it might have been Purgatory, but did they really have to buy into the whole Halloween motif?

Jackson patted her remaining shoulder. “It’ll be okay. First, we’ll go back to school and get your stuff.”

Maia looked down at her crutch, her moth-eaten backpack, and, of course, the ring. “But I already have all my things.”

“I meant your arm and leg.” He glanced at the ring and shuddered. “Then we’ll have to do something about that amulet.”

Maia hoped his shudder was for the ring and not her missing limbs. “You think Cleveland Codswallop will be back?”

“Yeah,” he said. “I do.”


Esther Vanderlaan said...

Fear raced through Maia. "I don't want him. Want him, I mean, I don't want him to come." "No one does, Sweetie. Especially you and I. I'll try to get us out of here- if I can." Jackson's voice was rough. "Thanks," Maia answered and hugged him tightly. And dropped her crutch. Jackson picked her crutch up with one hand. "Steady Maia." Maia stood up straight. "We'll get out of here Jackson. I can feel it."

Ben Spendlove said...

They worked out a quick rhythm, a grim three-legged race through the streets. The houses were occupied, though quite un-lived-in. Every so often, they passed a dead locust or cottonwood tree, its brown leaves silent in the still air, mere shadows against a rocky sky. Maia noticed the skin of Jackson's neck didn't feel cold against her own dead arm, and glanced over at him.

"There's just one thing I want to know," she said. "Once we get out of here, where will we go?"

Esther Vanderlaan said...

Jackson stopped suddenly. Maia crashed into him. "You don't know, Maia?" "No." "Well, Maia, I was hoping we would get into the living world, and that we could find a house there, and get married. After all, you do love me?" "Yes. But Jackson, we have to get out first!" "I know Maia." Once again they started off. Maia hated this place, all its gloom. She realized how much she wanted herself and Jackson out, and married. She smiled to herself. Meanwhile, Jackson was thinking, "I gotta get Maia out of here. It's not healthy. I hope she does love me. The 'yes' wasn't very convincing."

Krista Van Dolzer said...

"But we can't think about that now, Jackson,” Maia said. “We have to think about getting away from Cleveland Codswallop.”


As they hobbled on, Maia asked, “So what’s a Carryon?”

Jackson looked both ways. “Well, it’s not exactly legal, but if you really, really want to, you can leave this place. Your life force lingers around your body for a few days after you die, and if you know how to stuff it back inside...”

“I can go back?”

He nodded. “Or give it to someone else so they can.”

“But what about you?”

He shrugged. “I missed my chance. Like Cleveland.”

“Unless we find you a Carryon.”

Jackson jerked his head from side to side. “I couldn’t take someone else’s life force. It isn’t right.”

Before Maia could answer, a voice called from the alley, “You lookin’ for an arm and leg?”

Esther Vanderlaan said...

Maia shrieked. Jackson jumped. "Who are you?" The voice came back to them. "I'm- I was an accomplice of Cleveland Codswallop. Call me Argon Aroefeat." "Well Argon Aroefeat, yes, we are looking for an arm and leg." A arm and a leg got thrown at them. Maia jumped.
Then they heard a scuffling sound and a muffled scream.

"Who's your girlfriend Jackson?", screeched an awful voice.

Stephanie@thecrackedslipper said...

"Not just any arm or leg." Jackson rolled his eyes. "I swear, the spare parts around here." He kicked the leg, and his circa 1995 Timberlands left a semi-circle of mud on the stark white flesh.

Maia clutched at his arm. "Jackson, that scream--who--"

"Who is she?" The shrill voice again, like freezing water down Maia's back.

"Don't worry about it," Jackson said, as blandly as if they were discussing last night's homework. "It's just Araminta."


"Yeah, Araminta Aroefeat. Lead singer of the All-Dead All-Stars. My ex-girlfriend."

Araminta's yowl reminded Maia of those songs her father used to make her listen to in the car, by some band called Aero-something. "Three-legged SKANK!"

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Instead of finishing the story off today, I decided to leave it open, since we didn't get very far. Feel free to add to it. Or not. I'm flexible:)

Stephanie@thecrackedslipper said...

that should have been "one-legged skank"...sigh....late-night, post-Halloween candy blogging...this is really fun, btw! small bursts of creativity amidst long query letter research sessions...