Sunday, May 17

Writing Prompt: Follow the Chain Story

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week’s prompt is a chain story! I’ll give you the first line, and someone else comments and builds off that line. Next commenter will build off that line, and so on.

In the event of two commenters posting at the same time and sending the story in different directions, just pick the line you like best, or try to incorporate both if can.

Her grandmother always said two things: never trust a man with a charming smile, and always back up your computer files.

Let the fun begin.

Share in the comments!


  1. It was a good thing Autumn took heed, for her first date spilled coffee on her laptop and ruined the hard drive—impressing the fact that guys with crooked teeth and an overbite aren’t to be trusted either.

  2. "S-s-sorry," he stammered. He was cute in a nerdy, freckled sort of way. She wiped down the keyboard as he thrust paper napkins at her. She hoped Granny would spring for a new computer. After all, this whole dating thing was her idea.

  3. 'Don't worry, dear, we'll buy a new laptop, after all yours was already five years old. But now tell me, did you like him? Was he worth it?'
    'Not really, Granny. Not my type at all.' I lied. The truth is I had found him kind of sweet, but I did not want to admit it even to myself.

  4. In high school I had been declared the highest scorer on the SAT test. As a result, it had been difficult to find a guy in our small town who wasn't intimidated by me. So why was I drawn to Socially Inept Guy?

  5. But Granny didn't have to get me the laptop after all. We found a shining grey one on the doorstep the next day, along with a rose. Well, shining except for the smudge of red on the corner of the laptop. A smudge from petals? I touched it. Sticky. Weird.
    "What is it dear?" Granny asked.
    I opened the computer. The mystery only grew deeper.

  6. A line of redness stretched across the top of the machine,filling the pores of the speaker. The screen was clean except for a few circular splatters. But it was the keyboard which drew both Granny and my eyes. Only a handful of keys had been smudged. It was as if this computer has been used for one task alone before ending up in my possession.

    My grandmother scuttled off to find some paper. She was excited at this mystery. Myself - I had other emotions, none of which implied fun. She soon returned saying "it's an anagram, it has to be."

    "It's blood Gran. Blood."

  7. We were both right. Grandma got to work with pen and paper while I mused over the kind of guy who would think it acceptable to leave such an expensive and blood stained gift on the doorstep after a first date. I mean I had only kissed him, once. it was more of a gentle grazing of lips than anything five star, no tongues barred, tonsil crusher which is the style of the guys I ussualy date..
    OK, got it annouced Grandma. The angram is...she paused frowning, Honey, she whispered. I worked out what it means.
    Tell me, I yelled.
    It means we've got to get ot of here. Fast.

  8. "Why?" I asked? Grandma looked frightened. I had never seen her afraid. She was an indomitable force of nature, and had always been so. More than that, she looked guilty.
    "Honey, there are things I haven't told you. About our family. I though, I hoped that our cursed legacy had passed you by. I am so sorry!"

  9. And with that, she took my hand and started running. Prehaps in another life, I would have stopped and demanded answers. But the first lesson I learned from reading was that if someone spoke to you in confusing code and told you to run, ran! Grandma took me out back and into the woods, not letting me look back. For all I knew, our house could be blowing up. These events made me very suspitous about the freckled boy the other day. Or why gran set me up with him in the first place.

  10. We ran deep into the darkness of the woods, Gran's long stride nearly dragging me off my feet, and, gasping, fell onto the forest floor. I looked back the way we had come, expecting an explosion or worse, but only silence.
    "Gran," I panted, gripping her hand, "what things about our family haven't you told me? And what does that have to do with the bloody computer? Please, tell me, Gran, I'm scared."

  11. Oh dear, there are so many things I need to tell you, hoped I would have to tell you, Gran said as she stood up. As I stood up and looked up at Gran she had this strange look on her face, then should pulled out...

  12. ...from underneath her blouse's neckline a delicate chain and locket. I reached for it instinctively, and a memory, one I had never known before, flashed in my mind. My mother was driving, one hand on the steering wheel, the other extended toward me, in the back. She was alternating glances between me and the road. She leaned closer, fiddling with my car seat, and a locket spilled out from her shirt. The tarnished silver heart twirled softly in place. Mom was talking, but I could hear no words. She smiled, and the windshield darkened and then everything was spinning and I was weightless, and so was the locket, floating past...
    "Yes, Autumn, it was you mother's," Gran said, now, wincing slightly, and I suddenly realized I was pulling so hard on the locket that she was hunched more than usual.
    I relinquished my death grip. "Sorry, Gran."
    "Quite alright, dear. I should have given this to you long ago." Her twig fingers clasped the locket, and she appeared to be trying to pry it open. "Oh, damn arthritis. Would you mind?" She ducked out from under the necklace and handed it to me.
    The locket felt cool in my palm. I turned it over and found an engraving on the back. Three initials: L.K.M. These didn't belong to my mother. Nor anyone in my family. Our last name was Pressley. Mom's maiden name- Gran's name- was Walker. Whose locket was this anyway? I opened my mouth to ask Gran, when a boom rang out, and I dived for her, landing us in a pile of leaves. I looked back toward the house. A billowing plume of smoke rose over the rooftop. I turned to Gran, our noses almost touching. "I'm thinking the message on the laptop was not good news."
    Gran's gray eyes welled with fear. The lines in her face seemed to deepen. She shook her head, "No, dear, it wasn't."
    "So what did it say?"
    A lump rose and fell in her frail neck. She cleared her throat. "The nerd is dead. Autumn is next."

  13. Gran grabbed my wrist hard and we went deeper into the forest than I had ever been before. I'm amazed at her strength and speed. But, Gran was a teenager when she had my mother. So, she was still pretty young to have a grandchild my age. Plus, she's always taken amazing care of herself.
    Thoughts are running through my mind almost as fast as we are running through the woods. I'm so confused! The computer, the locket and now the house. What does it all mean?
    "Stop Gran!" "There isn't time, Autumn!" I stopped and broke her gripe on my wrist. Barelycatching my breath I demanded, "Before we go any further I need some answers!"