Sunday, June 10. 2007
Posted by Ancient of Days in Birdwood, NE
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[Note: This is my first entry in what hopefully will prove to be a collaborative fiction exercise among the authors of this blog. I have tenatively called the collective work "Birdwood, NE", because that was the name I picked for the town where the stories will take place...however, the idea ultimately belongs to Daboo, so she may do other things with it.
As my first attempt at writing "noir", this has been incredibly difficult for me so far -- setting the tone, etc. I'm encouraging feedback, especially if you're a fan of noir and can give me tips! Given my inexperience with the material, it will be very slow-going to write this story, so don't get too excited.]
Det. Rick Rutledge groaned as he dropped into a crouch next to the body, his right hand gripping the cigarette dangling from his lips. The feel of the cigarette comforted him. It was here with him, it was something he could trust, it was *real*...and what he was seeing, there on the ground in front of him, simply could not be real. His finger traced a pattern in the air, following the river of blood across the tile and onto the carpet.
The sound of his partner climbing in through the shattered remains of the front door danced around the edges of his attention, but the sound of her voice didn't even register until the third time she called his name.
"Rick? Are you listening to me?"
Rick grunted and pointed at the carpet. "What do you see there?"
Desi tossed her head and pulled her hair back, gathering it in into a pony tail. "I see blood, and lots of it...". Her voice faded as she followed the blood across the carpet. "Is - that's a HAND." Pulling on a glove she stooped to pick it up, then screamed and jumped back when it closed around her wrist. "WHAT THE --?!"
Rick chuckled at her as he pulled his own gloves on. "The muscles think they're still getting signals. But that's not exactly what I wanted you to look at."
Stooping, Rick set his flashlight on the floor, its beam growning long and throwing a dark red memory of blood across the far wall.
"Look...it isn't just resting on the floor. It's growing out of it." He poked hard at the still-twitching palm, and watched the skin and muscle pull against the granite floor.
Desi stood against the wall, her hand clutching her chest. "What do you mean 'growing out of it'? Hands don't grow on the floor, Rick."
Rick grunted again, kneeling on the floor to examine the stone where the hand met it. "What would you call it?" He stood, checking his pants for blood, and bent to pick up his flashlight. "I don't like this, Des...I don't like it one bit. Let's have a look in the basement...all this blood, there's got to be a bod-". The cigarette tumbled from his lips, landing on the cold stone, as Rick stared in horror at the wall behind Desi.
"Rick?" she asked, glancing at the wall. "Rick, what is? What do you see?" The blood drained from his face as he stood rooted to the floor. "Rick, you're starting to piss me off. What's going on with you? RICK!"
Rick started, and looked at Desi. "I don't know." he said, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. "I just get a bad feeling about this. Let's check the basement."
As he turned, the light moved across the blood pool, and the reflection Rick had been staring at moved across the wall creating, invisible to the untrained eye, the number '17' shone in wine-red light.
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I enjoyed the story, but I have questions about the "collaborative fiction" thing. What's the framework that the stories are supposed to fit into? Are there stylistic guidelines that will help make everything fit together?
Daboo: so do we need to sit down and hammer out some guidelines and stuff?
AoD: or you could mandate some
AoD: heh...mandate. That's a funny word.
AoD: Man Date
Daboo: lol weirdo
Daboo: I'd rather not just dictate rules. I'm not that sure about what I want.
Daboo: we should collaborate.
Hmmm. It looks like you've agreed that you need to agree on something. That's progress
Well, shucks. Collaborative means I have to write something.
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