Our blog address says it best: a unique and portable magic. Books. They can make us stay up late at night, miss our train stop, forget our problems, or teach us something, as in Mia Thompson’s post Six Things to do when Attacked or Abducted. That magical little book can transport us to breathtaking Rio de Janeiro, as in Conrad Turek’s post Ascending, or propel us to the future, to a foreign world we do not know, or throw us back to an era long ago. Books can make us laugh, cry, or shiver with fear. We fall in love with the characters we read about either by relating to them in some way, or by wishing we could be more like them.
|Image from Dishin’ the Dirt with My Friends.|
Eliza Cross posted 20 Great Books That Sparked an Early Love of Reading and reminded us why we fell in love with books as children. Holly West gave us all a gift with her post Good Summer Reads. When someone recommends a book, they are passing along its magic. The book touched them in some way and they want to share that experience with us. I’m sure our resident clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Suzana Flores, could analyse why, as she did in the comment section of Childless by Choice. But I won’t attempt to guess.
As a writer, I love when my stories take a hard right turn to somewhere I never expected. Or when my characters behave in a way that shocks, frightens, or makes me laugh out loud.
As an experiment, I asked Dr. Suzana Flores, Holly West, Mia Thompson, Eliza Cross and Conrad Turek to continue a story that I began. Okay, I begged, but they were kind enough to do it. By using a light colored font you can see where one author left off and the next took over. Though if asked, I'm sure we'll all deny it.
Let me just press pause for a minute here. As most of you know, the authors on this blog are extremely talented. What you may not know, is that they are all genuinely nice people as well. I consider myself fortunate to know these amazing authors and be a part of this group.
Back to my point.
By purposefully making the story generic it took on a life of its own. We all wrote the first thing that came to mind, which made the story twist in an unexpected way. I’m sure none of us had the same story idea when we added our piece. The end result is a funny, sexual, criminal menagerie of creativity. But sadly, it will never see the bestsellers list.
Here is the story...
Candy, smacking her bubble gum, sped down a winding, country back road-- her blond locks blowing in the wind-- belting out her favorite Katy Perry song “Roar”. Mailboxes dotted the heavily wooded landscape, announcing houses tucked back out of view. Candy’s shimmery rose convertible started to slow. The engine chugged, jerked, and then conked out.
Candy slammed the driver’s door as she stormed around to the front grill, her pale-pink stilettos clicking along the cracked sun-bleached pavement. Unlocking the hood with her hot pink acrylic nails, smoke poured from the engine. She leaned over to search for the cause and her pale-pink mini-skirt rose, the bottom of her cheeks peeked underneath. Her eyebrows furrowed, baffled.
A shiny ace-black Porsche pulled alongside her, and the window zipped down. A stranger leaned across the passenger seat, and asked, “Do you need help, little lady?” Under a wide-brimmed hat a smirk lurked on his thin blood-red lips. -- Sue Coletta
Billy Ray had never seen such a blush pink daydream. He wondered if he'd ever be able to see just how pink she was everywhere else.
"I think I do need a little help" Candy countered, a devilish smile forming around the corners of her mouth. Her eyes carefully examining Billy Ray up and down. She leaned back slightly ensuring he was aware that at this moment, and every moment there after, she was in charge. "What exactly can you do for me?" -- Dr. Suzana Flores
The girl's reaction shook him up a bit and he regretted his decision to pull over. But the Porsche he'd hot-wired a few blocks back had given him a rare burst of self confidence and he couldn't stop himself when he saw her, seeming all helpless and confused, by the side of the road. Billy Ray might not know a damned thing about women, but he knew cars. He figured the Porsche might help him make up the difference. -- Holly West
Billy Ray looked under the steaming hood, then was lucky enough to catch a glance under her mini-skirted hood as well. Or perhaps, he thought, she’d let him.
“What’s the diagnosis, Doc?” she winked. “Will she live?”
He stammered, his mind stuck on the wink. Billy Ray didn’t know women, but what was a wink if not the universal sign for ‘come do me in the backseat’? It happened all the time in the movies he watched. They were pornos, but still.
“Yeah,” he finally got out, “she’ll live.” He went to get his kit from the Porsche, then stopped at the faint sound of pummels.
They came from her trunk. -- Mia Thompson
Billy Ray reattached the loose air exchange tube and tightened the bolt. He climbed in the convertible and started it easily.
“You’re pretty good.” Candy bent over to remove a rock from one of her stilettos and he caught another flash of pink as he tried to ignore the persistent pounding on the trunk.
“Yeah, well, I guess you’re all set.”
“I need to drop something off to a friend down at the marina.” Candy ran her pink fingernails lightly along his forearm. “Why don’t you come along for the ride?”
Billy Ray considered his options. The cops would be on his tail looking for the Porsche soon. Plus, this girl wanted him bad. It was his civic duty to give her what she wanted.
“Sure, I guess.”
“Why don’t you drive?” She slid in the passenger’s seat and stretched out her long legs as Billy Ray wiped the sweat from his forehead and put the car in gear. -- Eliza Cross
As they set off through wooded hills, the sky now more crimson than pink, Billy Ray couldn't help but notice the trajectory of her gaze. Blushing, feeling like a schoolboy again, he pulled the front of his shirt lower to conceal what had become obvious when something on the floor, near the girl's feet, suddenly caught his attention. What is it? he wondered.
As he sought a better view, Candy, almost instinctively, lifted her right foot and placed it on the leather seat between his legs. "Keep your eyes on the road," she said, jiggling her toes in his crotch. "And leave the rest to me."
Billy Ray clenched his jaw and tightened his grip on the steering wheel. It was then that he heard the muffled screams from the trunk. Smiling, trying to remain calm, he reached down and began stroking the girl's foot. But poor Billy Ray. Little did he know that Candy had already made up her mind. -- Conrad Turek
Billy Ray now distinguished the object at Candy’s feet. He jerked the wheel to the right and parked on the dirt shoulder. With one eye on Candy, he quickly shuffled to the trunk.
The trunk flew open. Seconds later, the convertible violently shook. Grunts and groans coiled through the wooded hills masking Billy Ray’s screams of terror.
Candy slid behind the wheel as the trunk slowly closed. She blasted “Roar” and pulled off the dirt shoulder. A half-mile down the road she lowered the stereo and hollered back to the trunk, “Next time, wait for me!” -- Sue Coletta
One of the best things about books is they allow us to use our imagination to fill in the blanks.
With that in mind, I’ll leave you with one question to ponder: What’s in the trunk?
Sue Coletta is a crime writer.
You can visit her at: www.crimewriterblog.com