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Beyond the Lone Islands

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Raven's Wordzzle Challenge # 57

I've been on a random blog-surfing expedition again, and this time I picked up a "wordzzle" challenge from the blog Views from Raven's Nest. (Really, the words one comes across on this voyage - "wordzzle"?!...) I have tried similar exercises before, in creative writing classes. The idea is to weave a number of randomly chosen words or expressions into a story. What method Raven uses to choose her ten words is not known to me, but these were the words for next week:

apoplexy, doctor, hummingbird, shallow end of the pool, brigadier general, mustard, greed, parallelogram, slumber party, casual

Below is my attempt to put the words above into a context.

Sorry, I'm new at this game and it seems I rushed ahead a little. I probably shouldn't have posted my story until next Friday. *

Since I already did, though, I'll let it stand. But if you want to have a go yourself first, here is where you should stop reading, and come back later! :)
The Slumber Party Mystery
Chapter 1 - Dr Challenge

Doctor Challenge parked his car in front of the big house, got out and looked around him. It was a drowsy sort of afternoon, hot and still. The only thing moving was a few busy hummingbirds hovering above the flowering bushes close to the entrance. Challenge put his hand in his pocket and took out the card again. He knew his host had a very special sense of humour, but it was still an odd invitation. "Welcome to be my guest at a slumber party this Friday evening", it said. He was a little early, so he decided to go for a walk around the house before he knocked on the door. At the back, there was a large swimmingpool in the unusual shape of a parallelogram. His host was known for his greed, but at the same time always willing to pay extra for odd details that made his house and garden stand out from everyone else's. At the shallow end of the pool, there were half a dozen deck chairs spread over the lawn. Some sausages were sizzling on the grill, and on a table nearby stood a single jar of mustard. There was no person to be seen, and the whole scene looked oddly deserted. What was going on here? "Good thing I dressed casual," Challenge thought, "if sausages is all we are going to be served." Then he noticed that there was someone sitting, or rather lying, in one of the deck chairs, facing the pool. Whoever it was, he was wearing only a pair of swimming trunks, and he was lying very still. Getting closer, Challenge saw to his surprise that it was the brigadier general himself - the host of the party, and also his patient since many years. No wonder then that he was lying so still – Challenge knew the brigadier was suffering from paralysis caused by apoplexy a few years ago. But how come he was lying out here in the garden, in the hot sun, all by himself? Challenge coughed discreetly, and said "Good afternoon!" But the brigadier did not even wink. Apparently he was fast asleep…


* FRIDAY, 3 APRIL 2009

Since I discovered I had more time before I was supposed to post my contribution, I decided to add a "second chapter" , based on Raven's Mini Challenge for the same week, consisting of 5 words:

Mount Olympus, arsonist, portraits, birch trees, "that car needs a new muffler"

Chapter 2 - That car needs a new muffler

Challenge approached the deck chair where the brigadier lay with his eyes closed and one corner of his mouth pointing upwards as in a mocking smile. One could still see that he had once been a very handsome man. Challenge thought of the portraits in the gallery, which he often used to stop and look at when he came on his regular visits. These portraits were as extraordinary as the owner himself. They were all of different gods on Mount Olympus, but they all had the brigadier's face. Challenge lifted one of the man's limp arms and felt for the pulse. He couldn't find any. A sudden bang behind his back made him start. When he turned round, he saw that one of the sausages on the grill had exploded and burst into flame. Part of it had fallen down onto the grass, which was very dry. A fire immediately started spreading, and in just a few seconds reached the birch trees nearby. Challenge at first found himself unable move, but then suddenly let go of the brigadier's arm . "Not another fire!" he said to himself. "Why does this always happen to me? People will suspect I'm an arsonist! I have to get out of here, quick!" He started running back to the front of the house. To his relief, his car was still the only one parked there, and the road was empty. He jumped into the car and drove away, without looking back. Behind him, the butler peered out through the kitchen window and thought to himself: "That car needs a new muffler."

Click on the image to fly over to Raven's Nest,
"Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 57"
and see her own and other people's contributions!


Raven said...

Hi... welcome to wordzzles. I'm going to wait until next weekend to read this because I haven't written mine yet. In response to your question. I post every Friday, if all goes well at around 6:00 pm with the my take on the week's words and the list of words for the week to come. There's always a Mr. Linky at the bottom of the post where people can add their names and links so others can visit.

DawnTreader said...

Raven, thanks for the explanation. It wasn't until I had already posted here that I began to suspect I had probably got mixed-up about when to post contributions for "this week" vs "next week". I'll try to remember to get back to Mr. Linky on Friday...! :)

Akelamalu said...

A great first Wordzzle! Is it going to be a continuing story? :)

Dr.John said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of wordzzle.
What a great beginning. Now that you have us hooked on the character I hope you will be back next week.

Anonymous said...

Poor Dr. Challenge. I think he's being set up myself. Welcome to wordzzle. Great story and I can't wait to read more :)

bettygram said...

So many questions unanswered. Good story. I feel like Thom the doctor was being set up.

Raven said...

Loved your story... Poor Dr. Challenge. Is there more to come, I wonder? Is there a mystery or just a coincidental convergence of events? In any case, welcome to wordzzles. In response to your question/comment about where the words come from... beats me. Out of nowhere... or some passing comment on the TV or... The word "wordzzle" is my own invention.

Fandango said...

Welcome. We dragons love new wordzzle writers. We read them all and give the dragon wordzzle award of the day to the one we think best.
We think you write very well. We like early posters .
Great use of those really hard words.

Dianne said...

what a great story! and the butler didn't do it lol, at least he didn't set the fire
he may have killed the general?

you writing is wonderful, so glad you found Wordzzle

DawnTreader said...

What a surprise when I opened my email box this evening and found all these encouraging comments that had been dropping in over the day. Thank you all! I had a lot of fun with this Wordzzle and I'm sure I'll be participating again (if not every week, at least "now and then"). Whether Dr Challenge will return with me, remains to be seen... ;-)

Richard said...

Welcome to Wordzzle and great story.

Alice said...

Your first Wordzlle is well done, an interesting story. The good doctor sure turned out to be... well... something of a fruit cake. The butler hearing him leaves it wide open for yet another chapter, perhaps including police and an arrest, lol.


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