The following is the beginning of a what I hope will become a series collaborative short stories. I will post the beginning of a story and then you can send me the next page (about 200 to 300 words). Fill out the form below and I’ll publish the best response. Then we’ll repeat the process until the story is complete.
Gillian pulled another plate from the cardboard box and frowned at the chip and crack along its edge. This was the third thing that was broken and she’d barely even begun to unpack. She hoped it would be the last time that she would have to move for a long time. It was as hard on her and the kids as it was on the dishes.
Thinking about her son and daughter made her realize that the house had become too quiet. She dropped the plate into the soapy water in the sink and called out, “Tom! Where is your sister?” When there was no answer, she became equal parts worried and irritated. “Tom!” she called again, louder this time.
A sulking twelve-year-old boy shuffled into the kitchen and whined, “You don’t have to yell.”
“Where’s your sister?” she asked.
“I dunno,” he mumbled.
“I told you to watch her,” she said, “so you had better go find her.”
“But mom,” he said, “I was watching TV.”
“Go and find her right now or there will be no TV for a week,” she said. With that threat the boy stomped off without another word. Gillian kept pulling her dishes from out of the boxes and putting them in the sink to wash them.
After a few minutes, Tom returned and said, “I couldn’t find her anywhere.”
“Well, she couldn’t have gone outside or I would have heard the door,” she said. “Did you try looking in the basement?”
He went the door that stood off to the side of the kitchen, opened it, and made his way down the creaky, wooden stairs. Tom was only gone a few seconds before he came racing back up. He slammed the door and braced his body against it. His face was pale and he was breathing like he had just run a mile.
Gillian ran to him, crouched down, and gripped him by the shoulders to steady him. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “Where’s Amelia?”
“There’s something in the basement,” he answered. “I think it took her.”
What happens next? You decide! Together we’ll write a story – one page at a time.
UPDATE: DEADLINE IS SUNDAY JUNE 16th at 7pm ETSubmissions are closed. The winner will be posted soon and we will begin taking submissions for the next page.