Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Sleep Dep On-Line Exquisite Corpse

This entry is part of an on-line exquisite corpse - a short story told in 10 installments by 10 different authors. My 250 word installment is below; if you're interested in writing the next part, scroll down to the bottom of this post for details on how this all works...

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whistle three times if you find anything.”

“Anything, like what?” said a man Dianne didn’t recognize.

The officer explained, and by about halfway through her explanation Dianne had begun to recognize the dread of the situation, of what could’ve happened and what it could mean for who they were looking for. None of this stopped her from maneuvering her way into a group with Peter, but it did make her feel self-conscious and vaguely shitty about herself as they set off.

At first there were no words - just a focus on the task, taking seriously the idea that you had to search behind every tree, peer into every bit of the dense foliage. Added to that, the path up through the bush was slick from last night’s rain, and people’s attentions were divided between the search and just managing to stay on their feet.

So Dianne’s first words – “How did you find out about this?” - felt like they were violating the culture of diligence that had started to emerge in their group. But it was obvious that despite the awkwardness, no-one felt in a position to chastise her, and after a moment Peter realised that she was speaking to him.

“My mum called me last night. I had to get up at four to drive down here, but … yeah.”

“You had to come.” She finished his sentence and saw on his face that he wished she hadn’t. She started to apologise and then realised it would only

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This is part 2 of 10. You can find the other installments here (but DON'T DO THIS YET if you want to join in):

1. (26 June 2009)
2. (27 June 2009)

WANT TO READ IT? Jump back to the previous entries using the links above.

WANT TO JOIN IN? This exquisite corpse operates on a first-come, first-served basis. If you want to write the next installment, FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS:

1.IMPORTANT - Don't read any of the previous entries! Read only the one you see here.

2.ALSO IMPORTANT - Post a comment here, saying “I claim the next entry”, followed by the URL/web address of your blog. If you don't do this, we'll never know where to find you.

3.Copy the text of this blog entry into a new post on your blog, but DELETE THE CHAPTER and write your own as the next installment. Start with the chapter number as I've done here, and start exactly where the last chapter left off (in mid-sentence if necessary).

4.Your entry should be EXACTLY 250 words long, unless you are writing chapter 10, in which case you must bring the story to a conclusion in 250 words or less.

5.At the end of the chapter, where the text reads: “This is part X of 10”, change this to the number of your chapter.

6.Add the URL/web address of your blog and today's date onto the list below that, so people reading later entries can jump back to your chapter.

7.Finish your chapter and post it within 24 hours of claiming your place. There – it's freaking easy! You can go back and read the rest of the story now.

8.IF YOU'VE JUST FINISHED ENTRY #10 and finished the story, DELETE THESE INSTRUCTIONS from the bottom of your post – they'll just confuse people. ALSO, let CG know by posting a comment on the first entry (on, or sending him an email on CG will assemble a full version and send it round to all of the contributors.


debbie said...

I claim the next entry.

hix said...

Outstanding! See you over at deb-onair.

BTW, your last post on fun was fantastic. I love your writing style.

debbie said...

Tis fun. Rough and fast, that's how we roll...

Throg Niemand said...

I particularly like "culture of diligence."

I'll likely steal it and claim it as my own sometime.