Game Over (Collaboration Challenge)

Collaboration Challenge Button

Six authors, myself included, have come together to write a single story. I’ve had the pleasure of writing the conclusion!

Of course, it’s no fun to just give away the ending! Here’s the thread-links of the story for your reading pleasure– then come on back here to see what happens! I promise it won’t end how you expect. 😉

Part One– “High Tide” by Carrie Sorenson

Part Two– “Let the Games Begin” by Nicole Pyles

Part Three–  “Moment of Truth” by Tena Carr

Part Four– “Summer Choices”  by Leonard Suskin

Part Five– “Decision” by Heather Musk

And now for “The End”:

Gameover

“Nobody leaves the party,” said Mick glaring across the driveway.

“You mean no one does anything without you orchestrating it first. Right?” asked Kip. He marched down the drive and stood in front of Mick, giving him a cool stare through narrowed eyes, “You need control and power to lord over others… to make yourself feel like a big shot.”

“Does standing up to me make you feel like a big shot, Kip?” Mick challenged back with controlled anger in his voice.

“What are you hiding from, Mick?” Kip asked.

Mick’s eyes shifted to Janet who was fidgeting behind Kip. “Maybe you should ask your girlfriend what she’s hiding. Seems you’ve been missing all the clues. You aren’t very good at this game, Friend.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Kip asked. The hairs on the back of his neck prickled to attention. Something wasn’t right. He turned to face Janet.

“Janet, what’s going on? What are you hiding?”

“Um… Kip. See I didn’t think you’d actually come here—come for me,” Janet said in a low tone. Her face went dark and mean. “I wish you hadn’t done that.”

“I don’t understand. Janet, what’s wrong?” Kip said, nervousness creeping into his throat. His mouth felt dry and his stomach churned.

“Rules are rules, Janet,” quipped Mick.

“Shut up, Mick!” Janet snapped back. “I know how this works.”

She stepped in close to Kip and ran her pointer finger seductively down his cheek. Her hazel eyes were wide and crazed staring into Kip’s. “You see, Kip, honey,” Janet began, her voice dripping in a mocking whine, “I had to leave you because you are merely a wet noodle, darling. No pizzazz in your personality, no adventure in your spirit.”

“You’re boring, dude,” Mick’s voice said, somewhere in the dark.

“Mick! Do you miiiind?” Janet said angrily. “You’ll get your chance, damnit!”

Kip spoke, “I thought you were going to some college program thing. That’s why you left.”

“Tsk. See this is what I mean, Kip. You aren’t curious enough to ask questions and you take things for what they are. Lame!” Janet huffed out in frustration. “No. I couldn’t care less about that stupid program. Bottom line is this. I left to be with Mick-y here.”

Janet sauntered over to Mick and cupped the sides of his face gingerly with her hands. “You see, he’s confident, strong, a leader… knows what he wants and goes after it,” she said, nuzzled his nose.

“You know me well, baby,” Mick said slyly, pulling Janet against his body.

Janet wiggled out of Mick’s arms. “The prob-le-m iis,” Janet said, drawing out each word in sinister effect, “Mick is narcissistic. Really only cares about himself. I’m not his number one priority. He is. Quite frankly, Mick is a fraud.”

“Wait, what?” Mick asked.

Janet stood in between the two guys and declared, “I want a man who will fight for me. New challenge boys!” In a swift movement, Janet reached behind her back and pulled out a hunter’s knife.

“Oh, hell yeah!” said Mick.

“Janet–“ Kip started.

“Hush!” Janet hissed.

An eerie silence fell over the three for a moment. Janet admired the 4.5 inch blade gleaning in the moonlight and let out a sigh in the dark.

Finally she spoke with tense seduction in her voice, “Listen to me Kip, sweetie. I think you’re cute and somewhere in that doormat of a self, there’s a fighter in you. Fighters are sexy, darling. Show me what you got.”

Mick interrupted, “I so got this. I’ll show you what I got, baby! Gimme that thing!” Mick lunged for the knife and grabbed it out of Janet’s hand.

“Damnit Mick! Watch out!” Janet shouted.

Mick didn’t care. He pointed the knife at Kip who was backing away. Kip was confused and unsure of how things got so out of hand. How had he missed all the crazy in these people? It didn’t matter now.

Mick let out an ominous snicker. “This ought to be an interesting fight. I’ve never challenged a wet noodle before,” he said mockingly, pushing the knife slowly through the dark.

“How about one with a black belt?” Kip said.

“What the hell are you talking about?” asked Mick.

In a quick twist of his hip, Kip exploded a roundhouse kick straight to Mick’s knee, blowing it out completely and disabling Mick in an instant. Mick screamed in shocked pain as he fell to the ground, flinging the knife toward Janet’s feet.

“OH MY GOD! MY KNEE MY KNEE YOU BASTARD!!”

“MICK!” screeched Janet. She grabbed the knife off the ground as she ran toward Mick. In her rush she slipped on the loose gravel, and in an awkward attempt to keep from hitting the rocks face first, she landed on top of the knife, piercing it through the side of her neck. Like a broken dam on a raging river, blood gushed from Janet’s throat.

“Oh god, Kip, help–,” Janet whimpered in a gurgled whisper before falling silent with death.

A foot away, Mick was still writhing on ground in pain. The once pompous leader now crying like a young schoolboy hurt on the playground.

Kip quickly pulled out his phone from his pocket and dialed 9-1-1.

He sat on the hood of his Jeep while he waited and looked down on the two fallen souls. In somber victory, he declared, “Game over.”

Black Hollow: Collaboration Story Part 2

Welcome to the Collaboration Serial Story. 🙂 I was invited to join a group of fantastic writers Tena Carr, Leonard SuskinNicole Pyles, and Carrie Sorensen to write one story.  Basically we each take a turn adding the next part to the story. With five writers, this story will be five parts long.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work on strengthening my creative fiction muscles!

Carrie started us off with Part 1: Shedding Light (you must read her part first before you read Part 2 below–otherwise, my story won’t make sense.)

Part 2: Black Hollow

Zack felt his skin prickle up with curiosity. Could it be?

“What do you mean you think you turned him into a frog,” he inquired.

“Look…” said Morgan in a low, intense voice, “I-we…” Her words were interrupted by a rush of students shuffling past the classroom door. There was tense commotion emanating from the crowd.

“Oh my gawd!” Someone shouted “Where did he go?”

Another girl replied in a panicked voice, “All that’s here is Conner’s back pack and baseball cap. It’s like he just-just vanished!”

Morgan looked up a Zack, “More like probably just hopped away,” she said. “C’mon. We have to get out of here. Now! Before I mess things up even more.”

Morgan grabbed Zack by the hand. His heart skipped at the firm grasp of her soft hand linked with his. He couldn’t tell if the flutter he felt in his belly was from the potential that Morgan might share his same secret, or if it was because a girl was holding his hand. A very pretty girl… who just turned her boyfriend into a frog.

Morgan led them down the school hallway in the opposite direction of the confused crowd. She tried to keep calm as the blue metal lockers whizzed by in her peripheral vision. She couldn’t believe it happened again and this time in public. Things were getting out of control with her powers. She needed help. With Zack trailing behind her she realized his reaction to the situation had been surprisingly calm. She couldn’t figure out why she trusted him, but Morgan had a peaceful sense that she could rely on him.

They emerged from the double doors on the south end of the building. “Let’s go to the forest trail. You know, the one that cuts through to North Heights neighborhood. That’s where I live,” Morgan directed.

“Okay. Sure. I live over there too. Morgan what’s going on? Tell me what happened.”

They slowed their pace to a brisk walk. “I’m going to cut right to the chase Zack. I have special powers where I can control people’s thoughts and subsequently their actions with my mind. These last two weeks, though, something has gone wonky and I’m losing control of my powers. Every time I get upset, something terrible happens.”

Zack was excited. This beautiful girl shared his same secret. She also had the power. He needed to know more though. “What do you mean something terrible happens?”

“Last week I found my cat using my new homecoming dress as a scratching post. She tore it to shreds.  I was so pissed and before I knew it, she was a pile of cotton balls on the floor. A few days later, the neighbor’s dog was  barking in the middle of the night. It was keeping me awake, and I had that biology exam in the morning. I was so mad at that stupid dog barking. Then the barking just… stopped. When I went to school the next day, there were “Missing Dog” posters all over with a picture of my neighbor’s dog, Bruce. I don’t know what happened to Bruce, but I know I must’ve done something.”

“I see,” said Zack, thoughtfully.

“You must think I am crazy,” Morgan replied.

“Nope. Morgan, your powers… did you meet the old woman up at Black Hollow? Is that where you got them?”

Morgan stopped walking and turned to look at Zack square in the eyes. “How do you know about her?” she whispered with a quiver in her voice.

“Because I met her too. I have the power, Morgan. We both do.” Zack laid his hand gently on Morgan’s arm. “It’s going to be okay, but your power is becoming dangerous. We need to find that old woman.”

Morgan let out a shaky sigh of relief. The moment felt surreal. Standing in the forest with Zack Morenson talking about the power.  She always knew he was quirky even though he’s extremely quiet. But now she understood why.

“It’s been about three years since I have seen her,” revealed Zack. “I barely remember how to get Black Hollow.”

“I met the old woman a year and a half ago,” said Morgan, “After I got home I wrote about her in my journal and drew a map. We need to get that map, Zack. I have it hidden under my bed.”

“Let’s go get it then.”

“We have a problem,” Morgan said. “My dad is there right now. We’ve basically just ditched school and… well…” Morgan shifted her eyes to ground and slumped her shoulders. She began wringing her hands together.

“What’s wrong?” Zack asked, sensing her anxiety.

Morgan let out a heavy sigh, “My dad is… is an alcoholic. An angry one. He’s likely to either be hungover or three sheets to the wind. Either way, it won’t be good.”

“It’s okay,” said Zack reassuringly, “I’ll help you.”

They continued the walk with little conversation. When they arrived at Morgan’s house, Morgan could feel the familiar pressure of fear building in her chest.

“It’s okay,” Zack said, reading her mind. “I promise.”

Morgan gave him a quick nod and opened the front door. Her dad was just coming out of the kitchen with a beer in his hand and looked at her with both confusion and anger in his mean eyes.

“Morgan! What are you doing home in the middle of the morning?” her father commanded in loud and irritated tone.

“I-um…”

“WHAT are you doing here? I asked you a question!  And WHO is this boy with you?” her dad snapped, spittle exploding from the corners of lips. “Just another idiot who’s influencing my daughter to do stupid things I’m sure,” he accused.

Morgan felt her blood begin to boil, her heart started pounding, and her cheeks began to burn with anger. She balled her fists so hard she felt her fingernails digging into her palms.

“Yeah. That’s right.” her father sneered “Another stupid idiot.”

“Dad,” Morgan warned through clenched teeth, her jaw taught. She stared at her father with the fierceness of a warrior ready for battle. “He’s a friend and no idiot,” she continued in a low, tense tone.

And then Zach saw it. Oh no!  “MORG—“