I’ve had this idea in my head for awhile now to write a short story on my blog. But not all at once. Not even knowing the entire plotline. I want to write a short story where my readers help decide what will happen next. Of course, I’ll be doing the writing and everything. But I want to take into consideration how other people feel the story should go.
This will be a big challenge for me as I’m not sure what to expect and I’ve never posted only small portions of an incomplete story before. But I’m up for the challenge and hope you’re just as excited as I am!
The last week each month, I’ll be posting a segment of this short story. In addition, each segment will be around 1,000 words for a total of 12,000 at the end of the year. I have a small guideline of what I want the story to be about, but it’s very small and probably irrelevant to the final product. In the end, I want to have a story that we’ve built together.
Without further ado, here is the first segment of my (our) short story:
The final bell blares through the school’s intercom system. I quickly pack up my books and get sucked into the flow of people rushing out of the school. Pushing and shoving, I make my way to my small brown locker.
“Amelia!” a loud voice shouts behind me.
I turn around to face my best friend Penny with her pixie cut blonde hair and slouchy green t-shirt stalking toward me. She is all smiles as she relaxes against the neighboring locker.
“Hey! Ready to get out of here?” she says as I put the last few things into my backpack. Doing a double and triple check that I’ll have everything I need over break. I close my locker door.
“Yeah, I’m good. I didn’t want to forget anything.”
Penny laughs a hearty laugh and turns to walk. “You worry way too much. You’re not even going to touch that work until we get back to class.”
I know she’s right. I hug the straps of my backpack closer to me. The hallways have thinned of people, but there are still lingerers. Some ruffling through their own brown lockers. Others waiting for a ride in the warmth of the building. Clusters of people stand in small circles discussing their plans for winter break.
We push through the front doors of Vette Regional High School and are welcomed by the cool December breeze that brushes our faces. There are few people standing on the steps that lead down into the student parking lot. We walk around them and walk towards my small blue car parked across the lot.
Stepping onto the asphalt, a tall, brown-haired guy pushes into my side without a word. “Hey! Watch it!” I yell at him. He doesn’t turn around, but I know exactly who the buzz-cut guy is. Trent.
I start stomping my way towards him. All of me wants to yell at him. To tell him off about everything he’s done. But Penny grabs my arm, in time for me to not get hit by an oncoming car. The driver shoots daggers out of his eyes but continues on.
“What are you trying to do? Trent’s not worth it.” She says in her ‘I’m trying not to be upset’ voice.
“You know he did it on purpose! I just want to talk to him.”
Penny looks me up and down before saying, “we both know that’s a lie.”
I know she’s right. I really wanted to yell at him. To voice every frustration I’ve ever felt and throw it in his face.
“Don’t worry about him Aim, let it go.” Penny tugs at my arm again and I walk with her to my car.
The drive home is the same as every other day. The tree-lined street continues on for a few miles before I reach a light. Sitting at the red light, I see Trent’s black Suburban three cars in front of me. I look over at Penny who hasn’t noticed the truck. The light turns green and we are moving forward again.
Soon it is just Trent and my cars on the road. I wonder if he knows that it’s me behind him? Not like I’m following him or anything. My house is this way.
“Is that Trent’s truck?” Penny says after the last car between us turns.
I nod my head.
“What’s he doing out here? He doesn’t even live out this way.”
“Maybe he’s hanging out with RJ today. RJ only lives a few houses down from me.”
“Well, I know that. Odd. They never go to RJ’s though.”
I shrug. Of course, I know it’s true. Trent lives in the rich-end of town. All of the houses in his neighborhood are no less than a million, while the rest of us live in more modestly priced homes. Nothing a little work can’t fix up. My dad likes to call them ‘small’ projects to keep us busy. However, they’re never that small and they never get done. It’s only ever been my dad and me, so there’s never been any time to work on projects. We’re both too busy keeping the house running to do anything extra. Not that I mind, I like having something to do all the time.
The trees block the sun from this portion of the road, but I see Trent’s truck pull down a dirt road. A road that, until now, I’ve never seen before. I pull over on the side of the road, not sure what I want to do. I have no reason to follow Trent. But a suspicious feeling washes over me. I look at Penny and she nods. Penny has always liked adventures. A second later, I put my car in reverse and head down the small dirt pathway.
The woods become dense as we drive further down the path, even though it’s winter and there are no leaves on any of the trees around, I still can’t see anything. It’s been several minutes, and I’ve yet to see Trent’s truck anywhere. The sun dips lower in the sky. Shadows form at the bases of the trees. My car squeezes between the rows of trees on either side of my car.
“Do you think he’s still out here?” I ask, keeping my eyes on the road.
“With as narrow as this road is, probably. Unless there’s another way out.”
I look at the tree line and don’t see anything. No path. No other way out. Then the trees start to thin out. We continue driving forward both of us unsure of what to expect.
“Do you think he’s up to something?” I ask leaning closer to the windshield.
Before she has time to answer I spot the black SUV parked in front of a small wooden cabin. I stop my car and put it in park just out of sight. The ground around it is sand with only a few trees close to it. The windows are blacked-out. Trent nowhere in sight.
“We should go check it out,” Penny says reaching for the door handle.
What did you think? Do Amelia and Penny go into the cabin? What’s Trent hiding? Why doesn’t Amelia like Trent? Let’s figure out the next segment of the story together! Tell me your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!