Three weeks ago, I (and many others) wrote a 200 word fraction of a story, intended to be the first 1/5 of a story.
Two weeks ago, everyone took someone else’s first 200 word fragments and wrote a second 200 word addition.
Last week, everyone took two other people’s first 200 and second 200 word fragments and wrote a third 200 word middle section. Seeing a pattern here?
This week, I’ll take the first 600 words created by three other folks and add my fourth 200 words.
As always, comments and constructive criticisms are appreciated.
JOE’s BAR (THE FOURTH TWO HUNDRED WORDS)
(First segment written by The Urban Spaceman and posted here.)
“Buy me a drink,” he said, bloodshot eyes meeting mine from further down the bar, “and I’ll tell you how I broke the world.”
I gave a snort, took a long swig of my G&T, and turned my attention back to the game being shown on Joe’s decrepit TV.
“Go on,” he insisted, in a voice ravaged by years of strong alcohol. “It’ll be worth it.”
Glancing around, I looked for help, but none of the other patrons of the grotty bar were paying attention to me being pestered by the old loon, and the bartender was very focused on cleaning a glass. The old man’s eyes bored into me from beneath his dirty mop of hair, and in the dim light of Joe’s Bar I saw the dark red stains on his grey trench coat.
“Alright.” The game was dull anyway. “What’s your poison?”
“Scotch on the rocks.”
I nodded at the barkeep, and the old man watched hungrily as the amber nectar was poured.
“Go on then,” I prompted him. “Tell me how you broke the world.”
He took a sip of his drink, gave a happy sigh, and looked up at me with those bloodshot eyes. “It all started in 1939…”
(Second segment written by Rebecca Douglas and posted here.)
Nineteen thirty-nine? That was an obvious place for a claim like his. “So you were responsible for Hitler?” I guessed, humoring the old man. He might have been alive in 1939, but he certainly wasn’t old enough at the outset of WWII to have played a significant role. To have broken the world.
“Not exactly.” His voice was still coarse, but now seemed somehow stronger. “I was Hitler.”
I laughed. “Yeah, you look it, Old Man. Tell me another. You were Mussolini, too, right?”
He wasn’t laughing. “Yes. And Stalin. They were all aspects of me, and because of my incompetence millions suffered and died.”
I sighed, and bought him another drink. The first one had sort of evaporated, and I wanted to hear what kind of story he’d spin. The game really was dull as dishwater, and this lunatic at least had some imagination, unlike the coaches, who kept trying the same failed moves.
His voice was much clearer now, the ravaging effects of the whiskey fading as he began to tell his story.
“I thought it would be for the best. I started with Stalin, when Russia needed a strong leader. Times really were bad, you know.”
(Third segment written by Jim Franklin and posted here.)
“Yes, I’ve read that.” I said pushing my drink away, and turning to face him.
He stared at me intently, happy as if he had done everything he could to enthrall me in his tale. To be fair to him, he had, though I wasn’t sure if it was his tale or his mental condition that had grabbed me.
“So you were Stalin and Hitler?” I repeated, with as little disbelief as I could.
“Yep, Errol Flynn too but that was more of a holiday”, he smiled to himself, but stopped when he saw I hadn’t got the joke.
“You once broke the world, and now you feel you need to tell me everything?”
“We can’t do what we have to do, unless you’re brought up to speed.” The old man had scarcely touched his drink, and his eyes were now focused on me.
Before my question was answered I felt a hand on my shoulder. A delicate, and intricately tattooed hand, with lime-green fingernails.
I looked up its owner. She was stunning; piercing green eyes, spiked black hair and a ring through her lip. She leaned down and spoke gently into my ear.
“We need your help?”
(Fourth segment written by Paul Willett [momdude])
If the old man had held my attention because he was a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket, the punk goddess grabbed it by the balls. Her breath in my ear sent a shot of adrenaline through me like I hadn’t felt since I lost my virginity.
“What can I help you with?” I asked, trying to sound casual and sophisticated.
“Not me,” she breathed, “us. We’re a pair, inseparable.”
I managed to break her gaze long enough to look back at the old man. He looked abused, broken, and beaten, but not drunk. I looked back to her and found her to be just as hypnotizing and infatuating as she had been five seconds ago.
“He’s what…your grandfather? Father? Uncle?”
“He is me, I am him. I am yin to his yang, he is the shadow to my light. We are one, yet we are asunder, wounded, and incomplete.”
Okay, maybe she was the one who had been drinking way too much. Time to keep track of her hands and make sure they stayed away from my wallet.
“What do you need help with?”
“To be reborn we must die together,” she whispered. “You alone must kill us.”