Monica & Bella’s Excellent Adventure!

Characters Welcome!

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!

THE BACKSTORY:

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!

THE STORY

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.”

Farewell, So Long, It’s Been Swell

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room:  I am getting old. I have an expiration date.  Which is why I’ve launched my Farewell Tour.  Which really means I’m trying to do all the things I didn’t get to during the first half century of my life. It also means I’m returning to some of my old stomping grounds to recapture life as I remember it.

Some people would say, “Monica, that’s not a Farewell Tour you’re on, that’s your Bucket List.”  But “bucket list” sounds so provincial, so bargain basement. Call it what you will, but I’m on my Farewell Tour, which started in Europe.  I  had never been to Europe, not even during college when it was all the rage to “find” yourself by backpacking across the continent while smoking pot.  Which probably explains why I didn’t find myself until sometime in the last decade.

Our European tour would not have been complete without a visit to Florence, Italy.

So facing 50, I booked my European tour with my daughter. And there was no way we were going to do this trip backpacking.  It would be hotels all the way, and I was leaving this trip up to the experts. We signed up for a posh tour that took us from London to Rome and I’m so glad we did. It was truly a wonderful trip!

During the 16-day journey, we got to know and spend time with our fellow travelers, who hailed from all parts of the world (Canada, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and of course, the U.S.) and who were just as nice as can be. We were like goodwill ambassadors from the U.N. enjoying a pleasant romp through Europe. Each day, we’d rotate our seats on the bus so that everyone had a chance to get a nice view and we all smiled and said polite things about the scenery and the weather. The Saudi family pretty much kept to themselves, but when the day of departure arrived, we all huddled for a big group hug and bid each other a tearful goodbye.

Other items on my Farewell Tour:

Taking my daughter twice to New York, including once during the holidays, which is the time to see the city, if you ask me.  We saw six Broadway shows during the first trip, but only got to see one on the second, due to an untimely strike by the union representing the theater production crew. This forced the cancellation of most of the shows. I blubbered like a colicky baby when we took a behind-the-scenes tour of Radio City Music Hall, recalling all the shows I’d seen there, as a kid from Queens. I also got a thrill seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade live and in person, from a very prime locale (thanks to my friend, Mandy).

I sobbed during my Farewell Tour of Radio City Music Hall. Such memories!

I attended my college reunion. Though I didn’t remember anyone, I got all misty-eyed while walking through the hallowed halls of my old alma mater.  I also fell into a heap, climbing the steep hills of the campus. If you ask me, they really need to provide golf-carts to help us decrepit alumni get around campus.

We took a trip back to the Northwest–Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, where I spent the early years of my adulthood, under the cover of rain clouds. It was absolutely divine to reconnect with old friends—and visit the Pike Place Market again.

My high school reunion. This was the first and perhaps the only high school reunion I’ve attended. Very eye opening, too. First of all, as it turns out, everyone has aged, including moi. Bottom line, I probably should have made a point to go to my reunion earlier, as, at this age fewer and fewer go, and our class size was small from the start. But thanks to Facebook, I’m in touch with quite a few of my high school classmates. So in some ways, everyday is a reunion!

Perhaps, best of all, was making two trips back to Venezuela, with my children who’d never been there before. It gave them a chance to meet their relatives and discover a bit of the Latin side of their heritage.

I still have many more stops to make on my Farewell Tour, but I think I’m off to a good start. I hope to return to Europe, perhaps to Vienna and Prague. Madrid and Barcelona, too. I’d also like to see my family in Caracas again, and, perhaps, take a cruise to Alaska.

Not all on my Farewell Tour is about travel. I’d like to one day write a book, and spend time with my grandchildren, assuming my kids settle down (though they should know, I’m in no rush for this one). I figure my Farewell Tour is going to last a long time. At least, another 30 to 40 years. So I can wait. In the meantime, I’ll just keep adding to my tour. After all, I believe in long goodbyes.