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

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 cameraman went down first, tangled up in the six foot train of toilet paper, head impacting the pavement, geysers of blood shooting up. It snagged on the camera, and with one efficient tug, the TP caught her slip, and [montage of black & white images of falling helplessly] when she came to she was being strangled by a shapeless creature with white arms [we, the audience, get a glimpse of the truth, the TP is tangled around her neck tightly], then gradually, through the fog, it became clear that the arms belonged to a man, that very man she had just set out to find. How unlikely that he would find her like this.

"Nothing to be embarrassed at," he said. "I've known folks what wore nothing but TP. Fact is, I had a cousin..." His voice trailed off as he noticed her microphone, and then the sheepish (dead) cameraman.

"Say, you a microphone repair woman?" he drawled forth. "I've been looking all over for you. You just won a free ride back to the farm." He slung her over his shoulder, she not collected enough to protest at this point. He began the slow trek back to the microphone farm, envisioning the sweet, orderly rows of microphones growing on their stalks in the scorching morning heat, the dust from the horses giving them the look of powdered sugar covered confections from his youth.

"Scab? Scab O'Henry," the reporter repeated in a dazed, lost voice, "you're my hero, my knight in shining hamsters - I'll be anything you want me to be."

"Well, my dear, I appreciate your enthusiasm and flexibility, but honestly, all's I need is someone to check my microphone crop, like I said. Ever since that last burst of sunspot activity, they've gone all crackly, and I ain't been able to figure out why. I was hoping you'd be able to fix them.

"No!" Ms. Powers gasped.

His stride halted. "Huh?"

"No, I'm not a repair woman," she replied to his first question after drawing a second ragged breath atop his shoulder.

"Then what are you?" Scab asked with weary simplicity.

"I'm ... I'm ... I'm a killer! He was my friend, Scab, my friend! He wasn't just a cameraman."

As if in anger, Scab spun her down and set her firmly on her feet, one pointing finger held out. "That wasn't your fault! I saw it all from start to finish. There wasn't nothing you could do. You've got to look ahead. I'm not going to be able to tend those microphones alone forever. There'll have to be little ones, and maybe I am taking a shine to you after all."

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