February Collaborations

The Creative Writing Club is proud to present our February collaboration pieces.  Each writer was given approximately five minutes to write.  At the end of that period they would pass their piece off to the next person who would then continue the story.  As per usual for this blog, the authors that worked on each piece are listed in order at the beginning of the piece.

The prompt for these collaborations are as follows:

Write about a movie director with chapped lips.


Finish the following phrase and write a story that follows it: I’d love to ____, but my _____ just _____!

Please enjoy what we came up with!


By: Grant, J, Richard

“I’d love to write a fantastic story, but my lips are just so chapped!” Jeff exclaimed, pounding his fist against the table, causing the keyboard to jump up.

“Don’t be so dramatic,” Shell said, “Just get yourself some chapstick and move on with your life.  Besides what do chapped lips have to do with writing anyways?”

Jeff’s anger withered a bit, “But my lips, they really hurt…”

Shell rolled her eyes and let out an exaggerated sigh, “I swear, you are the writer between the two of us.  I am just here to tell you what to write.”

“And what if I don’t want to write?  Your story isn’t really that interesting anyways.  All you ever want to talk about is the most interesting food that you ate.”  He shifted and cracked his knuckles, “What was it last week?  Octopus or something like that?”

“No!  It was sushi made by one of the world’s most famous chef’s.  Why didn’t you write that down!”

“Because,” Jeff said, a bit annoyed, “People only want to read stories that are interesting and have something to say.”

“Alright, fine, you really want to know?  I’ll tell you.  It started when I was young….”

“No, not that again,” Jeff grumbled.  He tried to make a grimace, but then winced as his chapped lips began to crack.

Shell frowned.  “Why do you have such a particular aversion to my life story?  You make life stories for a living.  Even if they happen to be mostly fictional.”

“My dear, when you write stories for a living and they end up as films, it makes real life seem so…ordinary.”

Shell began rummaging in her purse.  “You’re so sure my life is ordinary.  I’ve done things that would shock you.”

Jeff rolled his eyes.  “I’m sure.  What are you looking for, anyway?”

Shell pulled her hand out of her bag in triumph.  “Lip balm, of course.”

“For you or for me?”  Jeff dared to hope Shell would take pity on him.

“For me.”  She winked and put it on slowly, watching Jeff agonize over it all.  “Unless, of course, you use my life story in your next movie,” she said.

Jeff closed his eyes, and held out his hands in acquiescence.  “Fine.”

“Good” Shell said, “I’ve already scheduled a meeting with the producer for tomorrow morning at 11, you’ll be there.”

“Good grief, you knew I would cave to you, again and again and again.”

“Well Jeff, don’t be dismayed, my life was full of adventure.”

“Really, like what?”

“Well, I once saved a baby from a shark attack.”

“Bull shit” Jeff retorted.

“Absolutely true, it was at the aquarium, his mother was holding him over the stingray (which are a type of shark by the way) petting pool and he wiggled and she dropped him, but I, with cat like reflexes swung my arms below the babe and caught him, my own arm just next to the ray’s tail.”

“Who’s going to want to see that dramatized on film?”

“Well dear, when you dramatize it you can make it better. After all, you clearly thought I meant something more interesting when I first told you I saved a baby from a shark.”

“Yes I did, I thought you meant you saved a baby from a shark attack!”

“But I did. I told an absolute, scientifically verifiable fact. If you write a scene where I am a mile away from shore and happen across the baby Moses floating in the water about to be consumed by a Great White then you would have told an equally scientifically verifiable fact.”

“So what is the truth?”

“I don’t know dear, you’re the artist.”


The Anniversary

By: Braden Egtvedt, Grant, J

“I’d love to go, but my lip just burst!” is probably not how you should respond to your wife’s idea.

You see, we were about to celebrate our ten year anniversary and my wife wanted to do something “extra-special,” as if going to a nice restaurant, cliff diving in Peru, and giving the dog a perm isn’t special enough.

What was this idea that is so delicate that it’s inhibited by a chapped lip? Going to see Lloyd the Squirrel that makes you smile. Have you ever tried to smile, or at least stretch your lips when they were dry before? It hurts… and doesn’t really stop the bleeding.

But she insisted anyways, and here I was standing in the middle of a crowd, grinning from ear to ear, tears streaming down my face and blood oozing from the deepening cracks in my poor dry lips.  As you can imagine, I’d do almost anything for my wife, anything at all.  Just a simple look and I can’t really say no.

And well, I guess, she never really had any sort of reason to regret begging me to do something, after all her ideas usually turned out to be rather wonderful.  Yet this time, that wasn’t really the case.  Maybe it was the combination of my terribly dry lips or the grin that had spread so undesirably across my face and my failure to prevent it from doing so.  Once people turned to see me in my miserable state of being, they instantly broke into a sheer panic, pushing and shoving their way past me to get out.

Looking back you’d likely say that I am a bit presumptuous to assume that I was the only source of panic, but I guess my wife had somehow come across as being even scarier.  She was giving me the glare.  The kind of glare that makes even the manliest man quiver.  I’d warned her that my lips were in no condition for this sort of activity.  But, what can a good husband do when his wife begs so much to go to a single event?

I took her hand, hoping she’d soften her expression just a little, but we were suddenly distracted by two teenagers decked out in Lloyd the Squirrel hats and shirts.  Lloyd actually has a pretty intense cult following; oddly enough, most people who used to be into Twilight now follow him pretty exclusively.

“Omigosh,” gasped the girl, clutching her hair, which was braided and dyed the exact shade of Lloyd the Squirrel’s fur.  “Are you a vampire?”

I just stared blankly, not sure what kind of answer to give.  Maybe she was still into Twilight.

Her apparent boyfriend joined in with the gasping.  “We’ve never seen a real one before,” he told my wife, who only deepened her scowl.  If the area hadn’t been as full of people trying to stampede out of our general area (probably my fault), the teenagers might have actually heard her growling.

But my wife was able to successfully fend off the fangirling teenagers with her frown, and then we stood alone.  Ten years of marriage could not really prepare me well enough for our situation:  my face was dripping blood, we were alone with Lloyd the Squirrel (which should have been awesome but was actually kind of creepy), we were in Peru with a dog that had just gotten a perm, people thought I was a vampire, my wife had just given me the glare, and this was possibly the worst anniversary ever.


By: Kelsey A-M, Braden Egtvedt, Grant

Sandra looked down. To think it all began with a missing chapstick. Her right shoe slipped off her foot and twirled through the air on it’s long journey to the ground floor. Plop. A soft sound among the bustling traffic and rushing pedestrians. The clothing article was hardly noticed sitting sole up on the cement sidewalk. Only a young boy saw the shoe’s long journey to the ground. He pulled at his mother’s skirt, pointing at the woman who stood so many floors above. “I’m on the phone,” she said, pulling the fabric from the boy’s hand. “We will get ice cream later.”

Sandra shivered as the wind violently whipped her burgundy scarf. She was sitting on the roof of the downtown mall, watching the city live. Well, that and hiding from the police.

She slowly slipped her second shoe off, watching as it followed its twin. She had to get rid of those shoes. They caused enough trouble for the day. And besides, it’s not like they were hers. Now she was returning the shoes to the city she apparently stole them from.

It wasn’t every day that you woke up five minutes before you were supposed to leave for work. Well, not for normal people, anyway.

Sandra let out a dismal sigh as she watched the other shoe complete its plummet to the ground, bouncing once, unceremoniously off the pavement before coming to a halt only a few feet from where the first had settled.  Then again, she thought, normal people don’t exactly worry over the state of their lips, or at least, normal people didn’t have to worry so much about the minor details of their day to day lives.

She could easily imagine not having to sweat the minor details.  Days where she could show up in simple clothes with her hair in disarray and the signs of sleep still clinging to her face.  Sure, some might point out that there were entire months where she showed up to work in that manner, but then again, those were merely costumes.  Her real job was far more dangerous and required significantly more attention to detail than any other job.

So to her, losing that one stick of chapstick, no matter how minor of a problem it may have been to any other person, had now set off her disguise entirely.  A dangerous scowl spread across her face and she got to her feet, she’d have to set things right before she could truly start her day off.  It was essential.  There was no telling the sorts of problems that might arise should her disguise fail.



By: Richard Sebastian-Coleman, Kelsey, Braden

She smiled and then realized that that made her mouth bleed so she stopped. Probably everyone thought she had some sort of disease because just because she couldn’t find chapstick in her bag. One fails to acquire a $1.25 tube of wax and suddenly can render oneself on the fringe society, looking like some modern leper. Perhaps it was a good thing. She still had no idea how these actors actually felt about her. If they didn’t like her at least now they might fear her. Machiavelli had said it was better for the Prince to be feared than loved right? But then Dylan had said sometimes people who are loved have more power than anyone could ever fear. Both were men whom she’d never known so why she should care so much about what they thought she still wasn’t quite sure.

Ugh, that thought caused her to grimace, which sent another trickle of the red red kroovy down her chin. Must focus on the set. Something good must have just happened or else she wouldn’t have smiled, what was it? Oh right, Roger had tripped on a lighting cable and face planted on hardwood, nice. She sort of liked Roger though, maybe she shouldn’t laugh at his pain. That caused her to stretch her mouth and bleed again.

“I’m sorry everybody, does anyone have any chapstick?”

Roger craned his neck up off the floor, the lighting guy stopped repositioning the light Roger had nearly caused to tumble, and the rest of the cast previously caught up in private conversations with each other turned to look at her.

“I do!” Roger said. Redirection being his solution to cover up his embarrassment. He reached in his pockets to find the little tube. His eyes bulged suddenly. Where was it? He had just used it twenty minutes ago. He looked at her, an apologetic expression on his face. “I can’t find it.” He admitted after thorough rifling of all four of his pockets. Her mouth was set in a firm line. His eyes dropped to the floor. Thankfully, just as the silence threatened to consume Roger, Sara, the sound technician, yelled out, “I’ve got some!” She stood up from her booth and made her way over to the stage.

“Here you go, Tori.”

“Thanks.” Tori applied the wax to her lips, then realized that she got blood on the stick. “Oops! Sorry about that, Sara.”

“Eh, it’s alright. Kind of expected really. Go ahead and keep it. I’ve got. like, five of them at home and no one really goes through them all the way, anyway,” Sara replied with a bit of indifference.


By: J, Richard, Kelsey

I’d love to go to your wedding, but my cat just got married.  It’s kind of a big deal, and I’m sorry and I hope it doesn’t ruin your perfect day.  I just can’t take two weddings in one month, especially when one of them will never be topped.  I’m referring of course, to my precious Siamese named Perkins.  When a sparkling white wedding of that magnitude happens, ones like yours seem so small and…dare I say…off-white.

Surely your RSVP response card wasn’t intended for this kind of “Not coming” response, but as you felt it was your duty to announce your imminent yet sadly unimportant marriage, I felt it was mine to announce the reason for my obvious absence.  I’m sorry if you’re offended, but my cat really means everything to me and Perkins leaves for his honeymoon the day after your wedding.  He needs me, and his new wife needs me.

They actually do.  Who else is going to feed them?

Some people might think that I am a bit too loyal to my pets.  And while that’s probably true, I must admit that I prefer their company to most people.

“Dear, you can’t write this to Chelsea and Mark.  They’re going to think you’re crazy.  Not to mention rude.”

“But – “

“Not one word.  You go get another piece of cardstock and RSVP yes to their wedding.”

“With a plus one?”

“Obviously, darling,” my wife says.

I do as she says.  But what I don’t tell her is that my plus one is actually going to be Perkins.

I don’t think Perkins has ever been to such a nice hotel! I’m glad I came to this wedding just so I could share the room with him! I found it rather inconsiderate that Chelsea would pay for a hotel for all her guests yet neglect to find a pet friendly hotel. What a bitch. Did she never consider the possibility that someone might want to share in her joy with a friendly wonderful Persian cat on her lap? Ah well no matter. Perkins fit very nicely into my suitcase and didn’t make a peep at the front desk when we checked in (small amount of vodka really helps). Oh I feel like a Cold War spy sneaking into this hotel with Perkins, what an adventure we’ll have!

Dear Diary,

Chelsea was “not amused” when Perkins showed up at the wedding rehearsal. Apparently Mark’s mother has a serious fur allergy and now they have to have the place cleaned up by men in hazmat suits. Apparently now I’m the bitch for not considering that Mark’s mother might have a long family history of cat allergies and nearly dying at fancy events when such animals were introduced.  Ah well, at least they’re sending me home.

“What a lovely nap.” I say, stepping into the kitchen and placing a kiss on my wife’s cheek. With that important task done, I next call out to my other two darlings. “Perkins and…Yoouu!” I wait, but hear nothing. No light paw steps on the hardwood, no insistent mews. I feel the blood drain from my face. I drop the box of treats to hear them scatter across the counter as I race to find my darlings. They’re not in the bathroom, the den, the master bedroom, the study, the prayer room. I place my hand on the door knob of the guest bedroom. And behold quite a scene within.

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Image source: http://www.quickmeme.com/img/52/52a5a7f46c66ef8a85e664d9a5db751312d524585bd706233373c8bfb2bd2a7e.jpg

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