AND THE CONSEQUENCE WAS…
Has anyone ever played Consequences? Years ago we used to play a game which went something like this…
A subject for a story would be chosen, and each participant would be given a guide as to which part of the story they would write. The first person would start the story off and asked to fold the paper over in such a way that nobody could see what was written. The next person would be asked to make something happen, the next to create conflict, and so on, until the end. At this point someone was designated to read the story. The result was often extremely funny and revealing.
I’m not of course, suggesting that a short story could be written in this way, but it did set me thinking. Perhaps I could ask other writers if they could in turn read the start of a story, add to it and then pass it on.
The other day I was looking through a folder of articles, poems, parts of stories that I’d written over the years, when I came across a short story I’d started writing a few years ago and had never finished: this snippet intrigued me.
HERE IS THE START OF THE STORY:
“It was a gloriously warm, summer’s day and the sun was at its highest point in the heavens. It was a wonderful day to be alive, and Maggie Browne rode her ancient bicycle along the narrow lane. She’d been to the local shop in the village to buy some bread and the basket directly in front of her was full of things she hadn’t intended to buy. The extra pint of milk, the fruit cake which she couldn’t resist and the juicy strawberries she knew her husband would enjoy.
Almost without warning, the sun was shrouded by dark threatening storm clouds, and the sky darkened as they scurried across the sky like soldiers preparing for battle. Maggie’s beautiful day was now a menacing, frightening thing: it was like a mad creature getting ready to jump. She began to turn the pedals a little more quickly, but she soon became out of breath. A little cry escaped from her lips when she heard the first rumble of thunder.
Maggie turned the corner and just after the lane crossed over an old wooden bridge she noticed a large branch had fallen from a tree and was blocking her path. She alighted from her bicycle and placed it against the wooden struts of the bridge to see if she could the branch could be moved. By this time, it had started raining heavily and she looked downwards at the rapidly flowing river beneath her.
Her heart began to thump. Something glittered beneath the bridge, but she couldn’t quite make out what was lying there. She stared into the blackness below and as the storm clouds passed over and the weak sun’s rays gradually began to filter through the trees, she saw something which sent shivers down her spine.
The thing that was glittering was the wrist-watch belonging to the man who was lying face down in the water. Blood was seeping from a nasty wound in his back. He was obviously very dead.
Maggie Browne screamed…”
SO, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT in “AND THE CONSEQUENCE WAS…”
If anyone would like to contribute to this joint short-story venture, please let me know. I would be grateful for any comments, especially if you would like to write the next instalment!