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The round robin from hell - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
The round robin from hell
Inspired by this entry on deleterius (I've seen the e-mail before), I thought it would be fun to do a totally spontaneous one day free-for-all round robin. I'll start a paragraph. Whoever picks it up picks it up. It's not going to be in any fandom, so feel free to decide the genre as you go. If two people happen to post a response at the same time, then we'll have two threads going, but if someone has already responded when you post, you're stuck with whatever the poster writes. Add characters as you like, create the setting as you like. This isn't a serious writing exercise, though if you're moved to write something serious, go ahead. It's just, as we used to say in the dim days of 1980s high school, for shits and giggles.

So, opening paragraph (and I'm about to get on a bus, so I have no idea where this will be by the time I get home):

Toma stood at the top of the hill, her dark hair whipped untidily around her face in the pre-storm wind. Far below, she could see the sun glinting off Henry's wire-rimmed glasses as he stood uselessly at the riverside. She supposed he meant to look like he was offering her support without crowding her, but in point of fact, he just looked like he'd forgotten exactly where he meant to be.

Take 'er away.
15 comments or Leave a comment
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: December 9th, 2005 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
"You shouldn't be standing up on a hilltop during a thunderstorm," he called up to her.

"Like anyone cares," Toma muttered.

"Come back down. I know this place we can go."

harriet_wimsey From: harriet_wimsey Date: December 9th, 2005 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Are you crazy?" she said. "I don't want to see people right now!"

"Fine then," replied Henry. "See if I try to help you the next time you make a fool of yourself."
velvetmouse From: velvetmouse Date: December 9th, 2005 10:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Toma shrugged and deliberately turned her back on him. She was not going to point out that it had all been his idea in the first place. She was not going to point out that it was her shoulder on which they had inscribed a mysterious symbol, and so now it was up to her to deal with the consequences. And she most certainly not going to swat those perfectly round glasses off of that perfectly bewildered face.
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: December 9th, 2005 11:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
She was not going to scratch her shoulder, either, even though the mysterious symbol itched like crazy. Maybe calamine lotion would help?

Sure it would. Calamine lotion against ancient mystical powers invoked by people who believed the deepest secrets of the universe involved pollen.

...Maybe a good antihistamine.
leeflower From: leeflower Date: December 10th, 2005 12:02 am (UTC) (Link)
"Walk away, then," she told him. "Before it comes, and you end up pissing yourself and jumping in the river."

"I'm not scared!" he answered. "I can handle this just as well as you!"

But Toma could only hiss in disgust. In her trance, during the chanting, when the ink etched its delicate, perminant lines into her back, she had seen glimpses of what was to come. What *she* was to become. Angel... gargoyle... deamon... they hadn't been able to translate the word exactly, but it didn't matter now.

When the thunder began, they would be one in the same.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: December 10th, 2005 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Heat lightning flashed across the plain, but the storm was still too far off to hear the thunder. "What's the matter, Henry?" she said. "Afraid to get too close now? You were close enough before!"

He took a few lurching steps up the hill, then paused. "Toma..."

She laughed. "Oh, please!"

Another tentative step.

The rain started to fall--cold, fat drops, slowly at first, picking up speed. Her hair fell lank to her shoulders now, bits of it sticking to her face. Henry would be blind by now.

The skies opened and lightning cracked, almost directly overhead.

The thunder boomed.

And as the change took her, she felt him tackle her to the ground, holding her steady against the pain and the wind.
maple_clef From: maple_clef Date: December 9th, 2005 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
In reality, Henry was preoccupied. He wanted to be 'there' for Toma, but in truth he'd forgotten his windcheater, he'd regrettably decided against thermal undies that day, and most importantly of all he thought he'd left the oven on and was anxious to get home to check on it.

Hopefully, she'd be ready to leave the desolate hilltop by now.
From: heartsncraftslb Date: December 9th, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
At the very last moment before Toma would be lost to view, Henry whirled and called over the now-howling wind, "Come on, we don't have all day!"

Toma shook her head vehemently, tears beginning to blur amongst the fat falling raindrops. "No. Maybe you don't have all day, but I do."

Henry sighed heavily. "What do you mean? I thought you had to..."

(...hmm. What's Toma supposed to be doing, I wonder?)
purple_ladybug1 From: purple_ladybug1 Date: December 9th, 2005 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Henry hesitated. He didn't want to offend her, and he could see that her emotions were already in turmoil. But she had to be reminded of the truth, even if the truth hurt.

Henry, "I thought you had to go see..."
miss_daizy From: miss_daizy Date: December 9th, 2005 11:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
"See who, Henry?" Toma snapped. "See my shrink? Don't be so afraid to say it, I'm not. But why bother? I'm tired of her. I'm tired of going around in circles. I'm tired of you. I'm tired of everything."

With that, Toma strode down the hill towards Henry, who shrank a bit from the intense frustration emanating from her tall, strong form.
antonia_east From: antonia_east Date: December 10th, 2005 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)
The frustration grew as she neared him. He was cowering and she hated people who showed fear. Especially when she was so close to being overpowered by her own fear now. It prickled beneath her skin like the tattoo.

When she reached Henry she tried to master herself and put a comforting hand on his arm. Her twin had always been the scared one; it was her job to protect him. The gesture turned into a bit of a shove, though.

Henry just shrugged and adjusted his glasses. Toma really wished that sometimes he would hit her back.
redbrunja From: redbrunja Date: December 10th, 2005 03:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Violence would feel so good at the moment– it wouldn't help anything, wouldn't change what was going to happen, but anything that would distract her from the inescapable transformation that was in the process of overtaking her could only be good.

Henry just continued to stare at her and Toma turned away, grinding her teeth in dissatisfaction and fear. She wished, heatedly and with all her soul, that when the white-robed men had come to her and woven a tale of a great destiny– her great destiny– she had asked to see the fine print on the whole saving-the-world contract.
amelia_eve From: amelia_eve Date: December 10th, 2005 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Suddenly the lightning crackled, forming a dancing halo around Toma's head and blinding Henry for a moment. She watched as he shrank back from her, cowering, no.... writhing on the wet grass. He would not meet her eyes again.

She felt a strange surge of euphoria as she stared down at him. It was almost as though she were growing taller, rising up until she towered above him. The tattoo was pulsating now, and she could feel the rush of power surging thhrough her entire body.
dreamer_marie From: dreamer_marie Date: December 10th, 2005 10:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Suddenly, everything was over: lightning, thunder, rain, all that was gone. Toma looked at her brother. He seemed as suprised as she was of the strange change of the weather. Above them, the clouds seemed to be dissolving. Not blowing away with the wind, not separating in smaller, fluffier clouds, just... dissolving in the air. Toma had never seen anything like that before. If she had been afraid before, it was nothing to what she was now. In a state of barely controlled panic.
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 11th, 2005 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)
She rolled her eyes before turning around to face the dying sun. Letting her eyelids drop tiredly, she could feel the thin bars of warmth traversing over her face, caressing her hands.

"It's a good thing your eyes are closed. You - you could be blinded for a few seconds otherwise."

Toma opened one eye to look at him, restraining herself with difficulty from communicating how stupid he had sounded. But then, after everything, after the walk, the trees, the jeers, a gap had appeared between them that he himself prised open with fear and sometimes just downright mistrust.

Now it was a chasm. And there wasn't an easy bridge to cross it with.

Henry had looked awkward, and the scarlet glow from the sunset made him seem almost embarassed. Toma could hear him shuffling his feet. She turned slowly and placed a hand tentatively on his arm, a plea, nearly, to be understood. To be believed. He bowed his head and the red tints in his tousled hair were accentuated, ruffled softly by the growing wind...

The vision re-entered her mind with a violent blow, causing her to step back as if pushed. The sacrifice... stifling, clinging, unnatural mist, blown apart by a breathtaking, sky-rending storm. Her tattoo felt like it was crawling under her skin, rasping away and bursting to be let out. The eagle soared away...

"Toma! Your arm! It's on fire!"

Sure enough, the t-shirt arm was charring and peeling away, yet she felt only a tingling that spread slowly down to the tips of her fingers.
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