Sunday, November 14, 2004

Blog Challenge #2: CAST Away

CAST - Continue A STory. In which a story is begun on a blog, and then continued, bit by bit, by the people who leave comments.

I've done this before, but that was back in the Haloscan days. (Heh. So funny.) The "rules" are slightly different this time. Original rules were:

1) You may add on a section up to 3 times - but you need to have at least two other people put entries between yours.
2) Don't end the story. That's for me to do.

The only difference this time is that there is no limit on how many times you may contribute. But! No double posting. You must wait for at least one other person to put up a section of the story before you continue. Don't want anyone story-hogging.

As for the (most likely) inevetiable possibility of double-posting (people putting up sections at the same time)...I don't know how to deal with that, actually. I'm hoping that it just dosen't happen.

Lastly, the "challenge" part is for you to start your own CAST on your blog. You can use the same story beginning (if you want) but it would be more ...creatively expanding for you to come up with something original. If you do, though, I ask that you please link back to me crediting me with the idea. (Only because I want more traffic and possible people adding to the story)

Okay. With no further delaying, onto the acutal story...


Paul Washington was woken up by the ringing of the telephone. A beam of almost-noon sunlight sneaked in his bedroom window between the thickly drawn curtains. Groggily, he reached for the phone, willing the hangover away. "Hello?" he answered.

The voice on the other end shouted something in German. Paul didn't understand it, but there was no mistaking the urgency, whatever the message may have been. "Sorry, dude. Wrong number." He hung up and fell back into a deep slumber.

Ten minutes later, the door was kicked in. Paul sat up instantly, heart pounding. The adrenaline raced through his body and he was sweating as three men in dark black uniforms and brandishing machine guns surrounded his bed. The men were all yelling at him, obviously irate. Paul stuck his hands up, terrified. Well, at least my hangover is gone, he thought mindlessly as his brain attempted to understand the bizarre situation he found himself in. The leader of the men poked the nozzle of his machine gun into Paul's ribs and barked some sort of question. Paul shook his head and said, "I...I don't speak German."

The leader said the same phrase again, and again poked Paul with his weapon. Paul's vision blurred and he feared he would faint. He willed himself to stay conscious and said, "Take whatever you want. Just don't hurt me. Please." The leader grabbed Paul's arm roughly. He looked at his forearm, but obviously didn't like what he saw - or as Paul quickly determined, what he did not see. All three men had a barcode tattoo on their forearms, and they were expecting Paul to have the same. One of the other men asked a question - most likely, "Where's his tattoo?" - and the leader barked angrily at him. Paul was hoping was ferevertly wishing this was all a horrific nightmare that he'd soon wake up from.

Paul protested as the leader placed a pair of handcuffs on him, but these men did not seem to understand English any better than he spoke German. "You've got the wrong guy!" he yelled, as they forced him to get out of bed. He had on his jeans, but no shirt.

Realizing that dealing with these thugs wasn't going to work, Paul decided his best course of action was to get help from a neighbor. As the men started to march him out of his apartment, he screamed, "Mrs. Johansen! Mrs. Johansen, call 9-1-1!" His yells brought his next door neighbor to her door. Mrs. Johansen had been Paul's neighbor for the past 4 years. They attended the same church. He knew she'd help. The woman opened the door, and Paul nearly did faint when he saw that Mrs. Johansen had a barcode on her forearm...

1 comment:

Annika said...

It ocurred to Paul later that perhaps he had fainted, because the next thing he knew he was sitting at a metal table in a small room with no windows. It looked like he assumed a police interrogation room might look, based on his impressions from television, but there was no mirror and he couldn't see any other sort of surveilance system.

One of Paul's arms was handcuffed (or otherwise tied - he couldn't actually see it) to the back of his chair. It was, incidentally, a very uncomfortable chair, made of metal or plastic or some other material that makes you feel as though there is no padding between your bones and the seat. His other hand was cuffed - if that's the right word - to the table with one of those plastic zip-ties that he was pretty sure cops and maybe soldiers carried. His head felt very heavy and he couldn't turn it properly. It crossed his mind that he might have been drugged, but he wasn't sure what that would feel like. He was pretty sure that people on drugs had hallucinations, but he wasn't sure what those were like, either.

Paul blinked and suddenly there was a man standing at the other side of the table. Now Paul was certain he'd been drugged. Either he had blacked out and the man had come into the room, or the man was a hallucination. Paul squinted his eyes in an attempt to focus better. The man's gun looked real enough. He wasn't sure what kind it was. It looked like something from a Sci-Fi movie, but for all Paul knew, that's what all guns looked like. He wasn't exactly an expert.

He tried to ask the man where he was, but his mouth was dry and no sound came from it. He cleared his throat, because he wasn't sure what else to do, and managed to croak out something along the lines of, "May I have a glass of water?"

His vision became blurry again and, wondering if perhaps he needed glasses, he blinked a few times again.

Now there was a woman standing next to the man. She looked familiar, though Paul was certain they had never met.

Placing her hands on the table, she leaned toward Paul and said something, but now his ears weren't working properly either and he thought he heard wind blowing, or the ocean, like when you put a conch shell to your ear.

"I'm sorry?"

She leaned closer. "I said..."