Remember how much fun you had when One Sister’s Rant partnered with Monica’s Tangled Web and asked you to join in creating a story, based on a photo of a cat on a bench? Well, here we go again! Sort of.
This time we’re giving you the premise for a fictional story, one that, with your help, is sure to evolve into an excellent adventure.
Picture if you will: a high school reunion on the high seas. It’s been 20 years, and anything can happen. Mayhem, merriment, mystery—even murder!
And, the best part of this story? You.
Because, to make this story come alive, we are enlisting you. We want you to create a character, a member of the class of 1992. So read the premise of the story below, and then, before you start giving life to your character, be sure to read the rules!
What? You didn’t think there’d be rules?
Of course there are rules! Otherwise, how else would we end up with a story that makes sense and flows? (More or less.)
So, are you interested in making this story come alive? Then, read on!
Twenty years have passed since the Class of 1992 graduated from the Gene Kelly High School of Performing Arts.
Some went on to find work in the theater, while others took different paths.
Some moved away and others remained in the sleepy town of Mojito.
Some were housewives and others became business owners.
Some married their high school sweethearts, while others remained single.
Yet, the Class of 1992 had one thing in common—none had seen each other in 20 years.
But this is about to change, because for one long weekend, they will come together to celebrate their 20th class reunion on a cruise bound for Barbados.
Love, lust, envy, jealousy, and regret will surface during the next three days and before they reach port, one will turn up dead: Lupita Davenport, wife of Thurston Davenport, III, who, as heir to the Davenport Pickle Company, is also known as the Pickle King.
THE RULES (Bear with us, please!):
1) You will create ONE fictional character and be in charge of said character through the development of the story. However, If you do not follow up, Bella or I may choose to eliminate the character in a crafty fashion. Your character is your creation. She/he can have any description, career, life that you want him/her to have.
2) You cannot write the story lines of other characters. However, the story lines will overlap as other readers introduce their characters. If you do not like the turn your character takes at any point in the story, we encourage you to steer him/her in a different direction. You should not kill off your character.
3) All characters must be fictional (preferably from your imagination), and should be a member of the Class of 1992. However, you can also create a character who is a teacher, custodian, or anyone else who is affiliated with the school. Children and pets are not allowed on board. Sorry!
4) Please read the entries before yours, so as to continue the storyline and keep your character in context. If the story starts to ramble, the narrator (me or Bella) will step in to re-steer its course.
5) Finally, your character can be any gender, race, or nationality. He/she can be straight, gay, or bisexual. Diversity is encouraged! However, our blogs are rated PG. Keep this in mind when writing your story lines.
Note: This post will run for three days and you can post as many entries as you wish. However, we ask that you limit your entry to one to three sentences at a time, so as to give others a chance to engage in the story. Finally, at the end of the three days, Bella and I will determine the identity of the murderer, in each of our blogs, from among all the characters you create. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to keep your character from being singled out as the murderer!
Time to create your character! And, when you’re finished here, be sure to visit Bella’s blog to create a character for her story (can be the same character), though, read the preceding entries before diving in. Looking forward to seeing how your characters develop!
And now, the high seas await!
Bloodcurdling screams pierced through the ballroom as music continued to play softly in the background. The maid, who had come to polish the crystal chandelier, continued to scream as she looked down on the macabre scene in front of her. Lying face down in a puddle of blood, was a beautiful woman with skin, the color of caramel, and raven black hair. Her ball gown, a designer label, was torn on one side. A streak of light made its way through a door that had been left ajar. The bright light shone directly on the gold-colored name tag pinned on the woman’s dress. It read, “Lupita Davenport.”
To find out who killed Lupita Davenport, please visit my follow-up post, “Ship of Fools: Our Excellent Adventure Revealed.”
Pingback: Ship of Fools: Our Excellent Adventure Revealed « Monica's Tangled Web
Katrina smugly watched all of the mayhem. None of these clods knew what they were doing. Ah, well. All the better for her….
Except that Lupita really was dead. This was not the real Lupita.
Mary heard voices in her head…….
They were getting louder.
Slowly she opened her eyes and looked into the face of Lupita, her long time partner and lover..
“Mary” said Lupita ” You were tossing and turning, and screaming, are you OK?”
“Yes” replied Mary “I was having a nightmare It was terribly real, that’s the last time we are going to see a double feature of The Sound Of Music and a murder set on a ship. Plus no way are we finishing off the evening with a Curry at that dodgy Indian Restaurant down the road!!!”
“It was terrible” she continued “I thought you were dead”
“Pretty close” said Lupita “You kicked me out of bed and onto the floor”
Here endith the adventures of Sister Mary!!!
From the floor, Denise looked up at the man she had thought she loved for all those years and felt the last strings of her heart break.
Had that nun really called her a hussy? Or was that the voice of her conscience, putting words in other people’s mouths? After all, would any of them be in this position, if not for her? Her corrosive jealousy of Lupita, her doomed passion for Thurston, her gun… Maybe she WAS having a breakdown.
She turned her gaze to poor George, or Sally, as she liked to be known now. She had recognised him the minute he stepped up to the microphone. All those years of artificial glamour had taught her a thing or two about faking it. Sally was good – very good. But would that save her now? Could anything save them now?
It had been a day since Miranda (almost not married to Cur) found her husband in a putrid puddle of pickles marinating the carpet of Cabin #10. No, he wasn’t dead, and she was still married to the crotchedy cantankerous pusillanimous coot, always carrying that silly torch for Lupita Davenport. There was still the question of her journal, which fortunately he hadn’t discovered. Most of all, where was the daring darling Ashley Montague? When she made her way outside the cabin once again, she was nearly run over by three nuns, all going by the name of Mary. With high waves rocking the ship, she finally reached the top of the stairs. She gasped: Ashley!
Once again love laughs in my face, thought Sally. This is not what she had in mind when imagining her opportunity to see Thurston again. What a conundrum she was in. On one hand, perhaps seeing his old friend George would cause Thurston to drop the gun and come to his senses. On the other, he could go mad with the sense of betrayal that finding out that the statuesque beauty he had winked at during her earlier performance was actually his best friend George! Desperate times demanded desperate measures. She would have to go to that dark place within, where she had sworn never to visit again. She took a deep breath and put all her energy into resurrecting George, he would know what to do.
Everyone in the crowd ducked when they saw Snidely waving around Denise’s Glock. The man looked downright crazed. “Everybody back or I start shooting.” A deep voice was heard in the back. “Let me at him!” In a fraction of a second, the crowd had divided and Kent “the Rocket” Johnson, ferociously tackled Snidely. Kent laughed when he saw Snidely’s astonished look and said, “Whoa! Game over, bro!”
The gun, which had flown in the air, was now in the possession of Thurston Davenport. As everyone ducked for the second time, Thurston grabbed the woman closest to him.
“Or the killer comes forward, or this one gets it in the brain!”
A tear rolled down Sally’s face as she realized she had become Thurston’s hostage.
Snidely was wild with excitement. He could almost feel his pupils dilate and was unable to control his lips as they curled into a maniacal grin. Beads of sweat sprayed the crowd as he threw his head back with a high pitched cackle. He gripped the handgun tightly and screamed, “Let’s rumba!”
Katrina was secretly thrilled – an umbrella hiding a candlestick and knife. How convenient. No one would notice that tiny hole left by a carefully inserted hatpin…
Despite a knot on the forehead and a blow to the ego (never once had she tripped in stilettos), Sally’s night wasn’t all bad. Not only had no one yet recognized her as George Sallister, but she now had Denise Diamond’s Galliano Haute Couture gown. She estimated her friend Lucas at Sotheby’s could get her at least 10k for it, even if it had been ‘borrowed.’ The smart move would be to go back to her cabin, take a long warm bath, and enjoy her freedom. But once again love was trying to ruin her. She just wasn’t strong enough to fight the desire. Where was he….where was Thurston? She just had to see him one more time.
Sister Mary made a decision, chasing after the steward she caught up with him and asked “Do they know the killer yet?”
“Somebody here knows the killer” he answered “But at the moment it seems the only person who knows is the killer themselves”.
Sister Mary hardly had a moment to think of what assumptions may be floating around about the murder before Cliff Thompson entered.
“That’s right, Sister Mary… somebody here does know who the killer is… and I have a hunch myself. It may be time you start talking, before someone else speaks for you…”
Sister Mary reached for her rosary and debated her next words carefully.
Sister Mary peeped out from behind the column, she could here her own voice, it was just like somebody was speaking words from her!!!
I feel like a character in a book she thought and I have been stolen by another author as though I was theirs!!!
She saw in front of her what looked like many events from different stories, all mixed as though they had a common theme.
As if he could read her mind, the steward said to Sister Mary,
“Well that’s what happens when you disappear. Other people put words in your mouth, and your fellow alumni are especially prone to that, so I’d be careful if I were you!”
As the steward walked away, he wondered what exactly the nun was hiding under those robes.
“Praise God!” said Sister Mary. “I’m glad somebody does! Lord knows we’ll get no sense from this hussy”, she huffed, pointing at Denise, who was now kneeling on the floor, half wrapped in a tablecloth, a bloody glove draped over her face and having hysterics. “She seems to be havings some kind of breakdown.”
The steward cried, “I’m getting whiplash from all these turn of events. Will somebody please tell me what’s going on??”
Just then, the captain shouted, “I can explain everything. For I know who did it!”
Just then, the screeching sound of a fire alarm was heard. A second later, the water sprinklers turned on, drenching everyone in the ballroom. Denise Diamond, who now resembled a nearly drowned rat, looked frantically for her evening gown, who unbeknownst to her, was now safely tucked under the arm of Sally George.
No one noticed as Snidley Crumburger stuffed Denise’s Glock inside his jacket pocket or how in the scuttle to reach the exit, Sister Mary had dropped the ring she had stolen from Lupita.
Denise, shivering and naked, desperately tried to tug the tablecloth off one of the tables but wasn’t prepared for the bloody glove that hit her in the face, full force.
In the centre of the ballroom, Denise heard them discussing her. Past her prime, was she? She’d show them! With a flourish worthy of her most purple film roles, she flung the gun aside. It slid across the floor and connected with Sally’s head, just as she was starting to come around. With a sigh, she collapsed back onto the floor and lost interest in proceedings.
No-one noticed, though, as, in the centre of the ballroom, Denise Diamond, film actress and star of the old school had undone the knot of fabric holding up her evening gown and let it fall, leaving her in Manolos, stockings, garter belt, defiant expression and nothing else.
The Concierge, who had just stepped out on deck for a smoke, heard a woman screaming. “Merde!” He said in his native tongue, before running to see what could have made someone scream for the second time that morning. He found a woman standing frozen in the doorway, sobbing. He peered over her shoulder and saw a man lying on the floor in a puddle of…pickles? Just then, the man sat up suddenly and said, “Miranda? What happened? And what the hell is that smell?”
After talking to all the alumni of the class of 82, the coast guard conferred with the ship’s captain, the steward and the concierge, who was irritated because he never had that smoke. It was clear that someone needed to hold the lovely and talented (but well past her prime), Denise Diamond, aka, Esmeralda Snodgrass, in seclusion, until they could reach port, but no one wanted to be the one to apprehend her. Which is why they drew straws to decide who would do it. The concierge lost–or won–cursing again his fate and, feeling jittery, wondered when he would have that cigarette.
The steward, clearly exasperated by the series of events, turned to the alumni, and said, “You all give the Gene Kelly School of Performing Arts a bad name! You’re reckless, selfish and conniving–the whole lot of you! Why, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’re all guilty!”
With shots ringing out and former classmates scurrying about her, Miranda Mudgeon (married to Cur) felt the cold wave signifying a fainting spell passing over her. She sat down, regained her equilibrium, and knew one thing for sure: the hatred she always had for Lupita. Miranda was relieved that the Davenport Curse was gone forever. Lupita was the reason her husband lived up to his name, she was sure of it. With a shudder, Miranda remembered the journal she had not put away, she hurried back to her cabin, with a crying in her soul for Ashley. She opened the door, silence, nothing, and let out a blood-curdling scream. Broken pickle jars everywhere, the contents strewn all about, mixing with shards of glass, and her husband face down in a pool of blood.
Can’t wait for the finished story. Will read on.
Sister Mary arrived in ballroom doorway just as the shots into the roof rang out, before anybody saw her she ducked back out of the doorway and stood behind a pillar to await developments, she had no intention of getting anywhere near any bullets.
The man turned, Sally mumbled and tried to roll over, Esmeralda seized the boom box, the steward rubbed his eyes some more and the rest of the passengers jostled, swore, giggled, grumbled and sweated, according to their temperament But to a man, woman and frankly sexually ambigious being, they stopped what they were doing when Denise Diamond (Esmeralda Snodgrass that was) let loose two of her bullets into the ceiling of ballroom.
Esmeralda, the ship’s activities’ coordinator, heaved a heavy sigh. She pushed her hair out of her eyes, adjusted the waistband of her shorts, and impatiently tugged at the whistle around her neck. The Coast Guard police were busy directing guests to the main deck. The frustration she felt was making her palms sweat. She cursed under her breath as she remembered how she had spent the last month planning activities for this cruise. Determined to not let a murder get in the way of showing the guests a good time, she hurried to grab the boom box that Lola, the zumba instructor, had requested. As she dashed to retrieve the player, she rammed into a good looking bespectacled man who appeared to be in pursuit of a nun.
The ship steward finally arrived at the ballroom with all the guests trailing behind him–including Kent “the Rocket” Johnson, who had tried to slip away; Elphie, whose curiosity was getting the better of her; and even Lizzy Kelcher, who had been caught snooping in Ryan Holden’s cabin. Also with him was the enchantress, Milady Miranda Mudgeon, who kept muttering, “Where’s Cur?” But no knew the answer.
Sally George was suffering from a hangover and a hangnail. She jauntily entered the room, but tripped over a closed, black umbrella leaning against a column, and fell flat on her face, out cold. Funny, the steward though, he hadn’t noticed the umbrella earlier. He went to move it and out fell a knife and a candlestick, and they were both covered in blood. Lupita’s, of course. Just then, he looked up and saw Sister Mary, who seemed to be staring in terror at something behind him.
He was about to turn around, to see what it could be, but he’d been wearing his contacts all day and was now feeling the strain of them. Rubbing his eyes, he didn’t notice the ravishing Denise Diamond enter the room.
Oops…did not realize that the story line takes a different curve. I might have screwed up with my post on Bella’s site.
They knew her as Jane in high school. She kept mostly to herself, but she had big plans. Broadway. A cousin of a cousin had connections in show business. Only somewhere between graduation and the bright lights of the big city, she lost her way, married a friend of the cousin of a cousin, well-connected in ways that had nothing to do with show business. Her only way out was Witness Protection. Now Jane (otherwise known as Joan in Arizona) had no choice but to help the Feds land a big fish who happened to be in her graduating class. Nothing like a reunion for unfinished high school business.
P.S. Good luck with this. I will be very curious to see how these characters ultimately are woven together.
Sister Mary regained her composure but by the time she opened the door the steward had gone.
She just paused long enough to wash her face with cold water and after locking the door carefully she started to make her way to the main deck as the Steward had requested.
She was acutely aware that the chain around her neck now had two rings hanging from it.
Her heart beat fast as she realised the only reason she had for coming to the reunion was now dead in a pool of her own blood.
It took a long time for Miranda Mudgeon (married to Cur) to reach the ballroom to find out why the music had stopped. She had a secret agenda, truth be told, to run into Ashley Montague, the love of her life since the time she set eyes upon him, the handsome concertmaster, even back in highschool, before he made a name for himself in international circles, hobnobbing with the likes of Lupita Davenport. She stopped, listening aghast, “Lupita’s dead.” Lupita’s dead.” Everywhere, commotion, like an electrical current, drawing them all into one room, following the pied piper steward.
Katrina sat on a deck chair and waited. She’d been in the ballroom. She’d be high on the Coast Guard’s list of suspects. She and Lupita had despised each other.
Katrina looked just like she did when they were all in school together. Thin and gorgeous, the body of a ballerina. And, she’d won some plum dance parts right out from under Lupita. Lupita may have married well, but she and her husband had not been getting along.
And Katrina knew all about it…
A steward appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and quickly approached Katrina. “Excuse me, Miss,” he said rather hurriedly, “You best come with me. We’re gathering all the suspects, ahem, Miss Davenport’s classmates, in the ballroom for questioning by the Coast Guard police.”
Katrina snapped her book shut and picked up her wine glass. “Of course, of course.” How tiresome. The steward seemed a bit the worse for wear; apparently, he didn’t take well to the sight of blood.
In the narrow passage, he almost collided with Sister Mary who looked ashen and like she needed to go to confession. Katrina knew about that little business years ago with Mary and Lupita; didn’t everyone? Of course, that was hardly a reason to do Lupita in. Anyway, Mary would never be up to such an undertaking; she refused to do so much as swat a fly.
Katrina had no problem keeping tabs on Lupita and that husband who was far too good for her. Money and looks – he had both. But it was unfortunate that this little episode had produced so much blood. Who would have thought that a wound that tiny would have done that?
Before he could put it in the lock, though, he was jostled off-balance by a woman passenger steaming past as though hell hounds were after her. He half-turned to remonstrate with her, but held his tongue when he saw that it was the famous Denise Diamond, his childhood crush. And she was carrying a gun…
The steward quickly regained his composure, and, rather than enter the room of Sister Mary, he decided to follow the divine Miss Diamond, who had been his idol for as long as he could remember. He couldn’t help but wonder why she was packing a gun.
Sister Mary sat in her cabin looking at the ring she had taken off the body.
Slowly she reached round her neck and pulled out a chain, hanging from it she saw an identical ring, the other half of the pair.
She fell forward on her bed sobbing her heart out.
The steward knocked on Sister Mary’s door. He was sure he heard sobs coming from within, but there was no answer. He knocked again, more fervently this time.
“Answer the door, please! We are asking all guests to proceed to the main deck for questioning. Even if you saw nothing, you all know each other and may be able to give us vital information about your classmates, so you must come at once!” The crying continued behind the locked door and the steward proceeded to withdraw his house key from his pocket.
Thurston made his way onto a life raft and began to figure out how to lower it down. He wished George had made it to the reunion. He would have known what to do in this situation. He missed his best friend who seemed to drop off the planet right after graduation. People were running by on the deck, saying things like “she’s dead,” and “a murder.” What was going on? His heart skipped a beat: Lupita, oh no they got Lupita!
In his abandonned room, Denise looked around at the mess of a hasty departure and tore her hair. Where could he have gone? Surely, he couldn’t slip through her fingers again? For a moment, she despaired: then, slipping her hand inside her jacket, she closed her trembling fingers over the butt of her Glock and they stilled. This time, he would not get away…
Just then, the coast guard arrived and spotted Thurston about to make his escape. “Ahoy, there, where do you think you’re going?” they asked. “You best come with us, while we assess the situation.”
There she lay, how long she didn’t know; she only knew that life had irretrievably passed her by. Miranda Mudgeon (married to Cur) remembered how it used to be when she dated the boy voted most likely to be Prince Charming. And here she was at the high school reunion, and “he” was there, too! They had both been members of the string section, he was concertmaster and she was second chair. But that was then and this was now. She saw that Cur was lying sound asleep, so she made her way down, passing a nun and a man with a horn, along the way.
Monica, I’m up to my ears in a work-related project right now, so I don’t get to play along — rats!! Maybe next time.
Snidley Crumburger, formerly GKHSPA band’s first chair french horn player, scurried away from the ballroom with both hands shoved firmly in his front pockets. He was drenched in sweat (not unusual for him) and his heart was pounding. He slammed the door to his cabin behind him, and dove for his inhaler.
Damn! Why do I have to be buried in work now? This sounds like so much fun. Alas, there are bills to be paid… 😦
No one had learned yet that the class jock with the chiseled jaw, Cliff Thompson, had actually graduated college and become quite the intellectual. Though he no longer had the physique of an all-star athlete, his mind was in better shape than ever, and he was almost positive that for some reason, he had seen the nun take the dead woman’s wedding ring off of her finger. As the crowd grew around the body, he debated his next move. He took a few steps back and set course to find Sister Mary.
Sister Mary turned to the manager.
“Please may we just take a second to say a prayer?”
She knelt by the side of the body her own body blocking their view.
Speaking slowly sister Mary said a short Prayer whilst holding the dead womans hand.
Hoping nobody noticed she slid a ring off one of the dead woman’s fingers and held it in hers.
Slowly she rose and after nodding to the manager she slowly walked out through the door.
Sally George had finished her performance a few hours earlier, but had returned to retrieve the bedazzled microphone she had made specifically for this event. While thrilled that no one at the reunion had recognized her as the hunky George Sallister who attended GKHSPA with them all, she found herself longing to join in the fun. But she just couldn’t. She knew that these small town folk could never accept what she had become. Especially not Thurston who had been her best pal through their teenage years. He would never understand that the George he had shared late night beers, swims in mojito lake and even girlfriends with, had always secretly held an overpowering crush on him. One so strong that even now, 20 years later, the feelings had not faded. Not one bit.
Oh, Monica, this sounds like fun. Sorry I don’t have time to think about this this weekend. Damn. Maybe next time.
Meanwhile Milady Miranda Mudgeon (married to Cur) had just put the finishing touches in her journal . With such a husband she had to hang on to life’s moments, so few and far between, like just a few moments ago hearing the beautiful waltz floating wistfully through the air, from the glistening ballroom below. Why did the music stop?
The hotel manager made his way through the crowd that was gathering at the door. ”Everyone, please return to your rooms. The coast guard is on its way and they’ve asked me to seal the ballroom. We don’t want to contaminate a possible crime scene, now do we?”
Sister Mary joined the crowd at the door, she gasped as she looked at the body of her one time lover laying on the floor. The nun felt herself going feint at the sight in front of her. It had been twenty years since she had last seen her.
Oblivious to the drama ensuing below, Lizzy Kelcher turned the key in Ryan Holden’s cabin door. The key that he knowingly slipped in her purse during cocktails with the Gibson’s. She couldn’t believe she was doing this.
Kent “the Rocket” Johnson jostled Elphie when he jockeyed for a position at the now-crowded doorway, which earned him a scathing glance when Mimosa spilled onto the floor. “Whoa,” he said. “Game over for her, huh?”