Sometimes I play writing games to keep the creative muscles limber and to practice just writing whatever comes. It's like coloring outside the lines. Sometimes you have to just let loose.
Today's word experiment involved asking my roommate Ginger for a random word at arbitrary points in a story. I then had to work the word in without drastically changing any of the previous story structure. The bold italicized words are Ginger's contributions. She called the whole process 'advanced Mad Libs'.
It's certainly mad. Enjoy?
Once upon a time there was a boy named Tony. He didn’t have a home but that isn’t to say he was homeless. Rather that he existed in a perpetual state of nomadic ecstasy. He lived where he was. He often thought he should have had a different name, one more suited to his bohemian sensibilities. He felt more like a Skye or a Tolliver. But he was Tony.
One July day Tony found himself in Tokyo. It wasn’t entirely a surprise given that he’d wrangled his way onto flights and sweet-talked an elderly couple into loaning him their last name and address for a passport, but nonetheless he felt his arrival in Tokyo was a spontaneous adventure. He hailed a passing Volvo and set out to explore the city. He had no particular plan save one: he wanted to climb to the top of a mountain to see above the clouds. He reflected, as the brightly lit cityscape flashed past the Volvo’s windows, that perhaps he should have booked a ticket to the Andes. Or at least Kilimanjaro. Adventure came in unexpected packages, though, and he never refused one once presented. No doubt Tokyo had something to teach him.
He was eating bowl of some sort of spicy noodle concoction on the side of the road when the weather turned. The skies roiled grey and opened, dousing him in a sullen rain. The crowds ran for cover leaving him quite alone. It was then that he felt the eyes watching him. Before he could figure out which way to seek shelter, bodies were upon him. He felt pummeled and he ended up on his back, staring up at the sky from the middle of the street. His wits returned. He had been mugged by monkeys. He’d heard the warnings, of course, about the roving monkey gangs but he had thought he was safe in the city by daylight. He sat up with a wince. He had a broken rib for his trouble.
Forlorn, he nursed his injury. Despair threatened to overwhelm him. But before tears could mingle with the rain on his face he saw a burly shape round the corner on approach. It was a great shape, shaggy and four-legged, and as it neared he understood. It was a St. Bernard. Or rather, St. Bernard, his patron saint. The dog nuzzled him affectionately then sat, proffering it’s barrel to Tony. Inside the barrel Tony found a little flask of blue liquid. Without hesitating, he drank the liquid down. (It must be noted he had never read ‘Alice in Wonderland’ so had no negative associations with small flasks of drinkable liquid.) His entire body tingled. St. Bernard barked. The rain abruptly stopped. Tony stood up, stretched, and felt quite whole. He thanked St. Bernard and set off down the road feeling blessed.
At that exact moment a tremor shook the street and a deep crack split the pavement under Tony. Hellfire spat up from the bowels of the earth all around him. A great demon tiger, fiery of eye and stripe, reared up and consumed him with snapping jaws. It vanished, sealing back into the hell it had come from.
And that is the story of the boy named Tony.
- Corinne Simpson