Story Go Round 12/31/2001, round 1, #3

This started off as a verbal story improv, and then turned it into a writing game. The bit below, created by Terry and Amber, served as the starting point for round one of that night's writing:

"Scab O'Henry limped down the city streets, tossing the chicken legs over his shoulder, forming the piles which the dogs flocked to in growing numbers, the packs the city was known for. The svelte TV anchorwoman stepped out of the bathroom, trailing the six foot train of TP stuck to the bottom of her shoe."


... The waving and fluttering of the toilet paper attracted one cat, then another, then two more, then one got bored and wandered off, but then some more started following, and eventually, in this way, she wound up with her own animal retinue, a small battalion of cats, all tagging along either playing with the quickly fraying end of the TP or with those that frisked their tails as they touched it. Hannibal would have been proud. The ensemble arrowed its way across the grounds to the midway clearing.

People suddenly fell silent. The dogs inched forward in a perfect phalanx, unnaturally quiet. The tension between the two groups was like heat rippling off a desert highway. They grew closer until suddenly Scab O'Henry held up his hands in a gesture for halting. In the silence, he finished his chicken leg. Then, the wisdom began spewing out. Severin Christian Arthurus Brendon O'Henry reclaimed his honor that day. He let all his experience as a streetwise, alcoholic, disease-ridden bum come out in the interview, shining forth like a candle in the night, no wait, make that a beacon - candles find it entirely too taxing to shine forth. The feline and canine contingents eyed each other anxiously, but both held their ground during the speech, which rapidly showed pacifying effects. (Two cats near the front began voluntarily declawing themselves.) Canine tears softened the grass. And still the bum's tone rose and embraced the thrall of people beyond. People on the rollercoaster turned their heads. Silence fell evinced by a child speaking too loud. In the forest beyond, the cockatoos suddenly fell quiet. At the dinner table in a cabin, little Mary Simpson was about to mouth off about her green beans when the hush hit her, and the rest at the table felt it too. The TV would make no sound that night, and Gramps turned up his hearing aid then whacked it with a grunt.

Soon, people used signs for the simplest transactions. Meanwhile, they'd begun to gather in twilight vigils against hate and war. Scab wasn't done yet, though. For a year and a day and an hour and a few more minutes he spewed the spew of the Spewered One. Our friend the reporter covered O'Henry in a marathon stint of reportering, the sort of bulldog tenacity and hopeless perseverance that would one day earn her that long-coveted Pulitzer, the first in a cabinet full of journalistic prizes, trophies, and awards, the like of which had never been seen before on Earth.

Amber is purple; John is pink; Alan is blue; Terry is orange