CSM Creative Writing presents its Spring Bash Collaborations, appropriately written while snow poured down outside. These collaborations were written with the first writer starting the story, the middle continuing it, and the last author finished the story. As you’ll undoubtedly see, they didn’t all go the way we thought they would…
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J. West, Braden, Richard
“Wake up,” whispered Brynn.
“-s wrong?” mumbled Val.
“It’s time to shake the trees. Get up. I made coffee.”
Val pulled her gray comforter over her head, reveling in the warm cocoon. She knew what Brynn’s words meant, and she strongly opposed it.
“I can’t do it alone. When the branches are covered in snow like this, they’re too heavy for just me to lift. You’re the tall one. Galley said you need to help.”
“Galley doesn’t like me,” groaned Val. Brynn didn’t answer, but ripped the comforter off of her sister with ruthless efficiency. “Stop!”
But it was too late. The cold air had rushed to her exposed ankles and elbows, nibbling and sending goosebumps up her arms and neck.
“Some spring, huh?” said Brynn, walking over to her side of the room and lacing up her snowboots.
“I won’t believe it’s spring until I see it.”
“That’s what Galley said,” laughed Brynn. “She thinks like you do. Maybe that is why you two don’t get along.”
“Why’s that?” Val asked with a hint of anger.
“No reason,” Brynn answered playfully. “Come on. Let’s go knock some snow.”
The sisters worked hard that morning. It was cold out–if the snowfall wasn’t an indicator. Galley came out to check on their work, but seemed too interested in her coffee to really pay attention to the detail of their work. A few of the branches were hanging low under the weight of the snow, probably about to snap before Val or Brynn took care of them.
In time they cleared out all the damaged branches from around yard and piled them in what would have been the grassy center of the yard. Galley now stood up and walked over.
“The gods have not seen fit to send us spring so we must convince them to do so,” she replied. From underneath her bathrobe she pulled a long dagger and held it to the sky. “Spirits of spring, we sacrifice to you our blood and coffee! As we warm the earth with our heat, warm us with yours!”
“Warm us with yours!” Shouted Val and Brynn. The three then took their coffee mugs and emptied them onto the pile of branches. Galley cut a small slit in her wrist and pushed blood out of her veins onto the pile, then passed the dagger to Brynn who did the same, and then to Val who repeated the gesture.
Looking back towards the sky Galley shouted “Now we have warmed this spot of earth with our blood. Into the warmth we cast flame to bring heat.” She pulled out a propane lighter and after a few seconds of trying to get the flame to hold, pressed it against the wood pile. The branches immediately took the flame and the flame spread rapidly over them. A great bonfire came to life and the three knew that soon the air would warm for good. Ah, truly Spring had come.
Richard, J, Braden
The earth is coming back to life as the students recede from it. For every new green shoot that proudly sticks out of new and fertile soil there is a student head the flops forward in despair. Spring has come! Warmth to conquer cold! April’s showers to wash away March’s mud! And due dates for group projects out the ass! The earth rising up while the sky is coming down creates a uniquely uncomfortable pressure to be under.
This isn’t a story yet, but I should probably try to make it one. Probably shouldn’t really complain about college, should just be happy to be here, and be close to getting out. Story, story, and story. This type of angst never spurs good stories nor good art in general. Just schlock goth teen music.
I probably should be grateful for the opportunity to enjoy a college springtime. But from underneath my growing pile of library books, the only fresh air I get is when the person across from me sighs at the right angle to fit between the book spines. The only plant life I see has been murdered, mashed into a pulp, bleached, and then tattooed with ink until it becomes a paper page. The only animals I see are the tiny squirrels living in the corner of my eyes when I haven’t slept in a few days.
I’m in my own little cave here, trying to write this short story for another class project. At first, I was excited at the prospect to sit down and bleed out words. Usually it’s easy for me. But with so many things happening as the school year comes to a close, I’m pretty sure all I’m bleeding out is coffee. Straight coffee. No hemoglobin.
So where does that put my rambling thoughts?
Angst-ville, my friend. Angst-ville.
This might be the point in time in which you wonder what could possibly justify this kind of writing. Am I actually going to turn this into my professor for a grade? Well, considering my motivation and current workload, yes. I think I will. Hello, Professor. Or TA. Whoever end up reading this. I really don’t know at this point in the year. Anyway, I hope you enjoy my stream of consciousness.
Aah, there isn’t much to say. I could talk about the happenings of Angst-ville, but the citizens aren’t the most interesting creatures to study–at least to a college student. They had a town meeting today: “3 Projects due on Wednesday, each of which only have a quarter rate of participation by the group members. Reminder: these are all 4-person groups.”
Well, I guess I have broken my lifelong record for summing up my feeling in only a page of writing. Woopee. I guess I’ll go back to my life. Goodbye, paper.
Braden, Richard, J
Trampolines are death traps. They are also a source of my childhood. The many warm days spent jumping up and down and up and down… My thighs are fit, to say the least. You could say I got pretty good at front flips, if by “pretty good” you mean I don’t land on my head.
Not many households have nets on their trampolines, but I found mine a source of extra fun instead of “overly safe.” For one, you could bounce harder than you would if you worried about falling off. However, as I’ve noticed, a net means you are more comfortable jumping by the edges, which may wear out the springs a bit faster. One time while we were jumping, a spring became dislodged and flung out into the yard. All we heard was a KCHING, but later found out what it was.
The trampoline didn’t kill anyone that day. Not that day, nor the next. But it is planning to someday. Somewhere in its rubbery brain it wants vengeance for its lost spring, so mercilessly ripped from it by children who needed a bigger and bigger high. It bore the brunt of childhood energy like no parent ever could. The trampoline’s children were literally bouncing off walls. Yet trampoline received no reward. So it began plotting to kill the people it once saved.
“If only they would bounce on me in winter” it thought. “My rigid rubber would crack at the slightest pressure and send them falling through to the hard ground below and surely to their death.”
But the nefarious parental units of the children would probably prevent this. So, the trampoline plotted.
It would bide its time until spring, when the last vestiges of winter’s icy glare melted from the springs and left them to glisten evilly in the honey-colored sunlight. The trampoline would hear the children playing inside. It decided it would call to them, whispering with its creaking joints and waving its flexible center in the soft wind.
And then, when the children succumbed and safely ensnared themselves in the net, it would strike.
“Honey, did you hear a cackle?” asked my mom, standing at the window and looking out at the backyard.
Should I tell her about the trampoline? Better not to risk her safety. “Uh, no.”
“Hmm, must have been the wind.”