Let the Third Time Be a Charm or Something Equally Superstitious and Benevolent

I never could say "No" to Commander Other (not that I've ever wanted to), and today is no exception. So you see, I have been re-re-infected with the Splotchy Story Virus. Some of you may recall when this was going around last year. Some may not.

Here's the deal:
Here's what I would like to do. I want to create a story that branches out in a variety of different, unexpected ways. I don't know how realistic it is, but that's what I'm aiming for. Hopefully, at least one thread of the story can make a decent number of hops before it dies out.

If you are one of the carriers of this story virus (i.e. you have been tagged and choose to contribute to it), you will have one responsibility, in addition to contributing your own piece of the story: you will have to tag at least one person that continues your story thread. So, say you tag five people. If four people decide to not participate, it's okay, as long as the fifth one does. And if all five participate, well that's five interesting threads the story spins off into.

Not a requirement, but something your readers would appreciate: to help people trace your own particular thread of the narrative, it will be helpful if you include links to the chapters preceding yours. -Splotchy

I had been shuffling around the house for a few hours and already felt tired. The doorbell rang. I opened the front door and saw a figure striding away from the house, quickly and purposefully. I looked down and saw a bulky envelope. I picked it up. The handwriting was smudged and cramped, and I could only make out a few words. (Splotchy)

Despite the throbbing pain in my knees and the dull ache in my lower back, I bent down slowly and picked up the envelope...

Oh no. It did not say this, did it?

Oh yes, it did. It did.

The handwriting was familiar in a way that inspired a cold sweat and a bout of nausea. It was the penmanship of my former husband. You know - the one that was presumed dead.

He disappeared in a suspicious blogging related accident a number of years ago and was never heard from again. I was devastated. I had hated the blog, loathed the thing. What began as a hobby that took but a few minutes a day had morphed into an addiction, the proportions of which could not be measured. It was pure evil.

The blog turned into a cruel and demanding mistress and her siren song was more than I could compete with. One day he left for an evening event, never to return again.

All fingers pointed to one blogger, but I could never get the charges to stick. That one is slick- slick, slick, slick. He can talk a good game and write like nobody's business. But there is something about him, it just is not right.

So my husband was gone, that other one kept blogging and I had to rebuild my life, which I did.

So I finally had the bastard declared dead. And now this. (FranIam)

I took the envelope inside and got out a magnifying glass. I studied the scribblings on the front and made out the words “This is for you. You KNOW why” just above the undead bastard’s name. What the hell?

What could it be? What did he mean, I “KNOW” why? What did I do? I had never been anything but faithful to him and his "interests." I followed his stupid blog as it meandered through the vapid expanses of his small mind, trying my best to be polite when he talked about some comment he’d gotten on a particular post, or a funny link he’d dropped into a post.

Just thinking about it made my stomach hurt.

Despite a fleeting fear that there might be anthrax powder in the envelope, I opened it and pulled out the contents. (dguzman)

A noodle, a meatball and one of the six legs of a squid? (Squid have six legs, not eight, right? Unsure I rushed to my computer to ask The Lord Google. OMG, I was wrong! Squid do have eight legs. And two tentacles. Like cuttlefish. I digress. Damn you Google!)

What was he working on when he had that blogging accident? I thought back to the nights of feverish typing. The nights the keyboard fairly reeked of despair, flopsweat and ricola. He would babble "vision quest" "noodly appendage" "the alpha and the semolina" "green sticky spawn of the stars". This last I just attributed to far too much interest in the pussy photos of Britney Spears.

In shaky handwriting was the couplet:

That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange æons even death may die

I felt that I was beginning to understand. He had been killed in an epic battle of Good versus Not-So-Good or even "meh!" (Jess Wundrun)

Shakily, I set the envelope down and wiped my hands on my jeans. I got up immediately and headed for the fridge, from which I pulled a recently-opened carton of the cheapest wine I was able to find last time I went shopping, raised it over my head, tilted my head back, twisted the cap, and greedily gulped down about two liters of forgetfulness.

It didn’t work. Or maybe it did, because when I woke up that evening in a puddle of cheap wine and bitterness, I couldn’t remember how I got there or how I had gotten so desperate in life to be drinking wine from a cardboard box.

Oh yeah, him.

It was dark outside, so nobody noticed when I stumbled into the back yard and peed against a tree.

What? Holy shit! I must have been drinking cheap wine for more than just tonight! I’d completely forgotten I was actually male!

I raced back into the house and found a utility bill amongst the pile of unopened mail on the kitchen counter. Then, I extricated my wallet from a jacket pocket, pulled out my driver’s license and compared the two address. They didn’t match. They weren’t even from the same state! What the…. Who the….

And then it dawned on me. I’d spent so much time recently reading other people’s blogs, I had somehow managed to take on the identity of a female blogger. Cripes. What have I done!?!?!

I looked again at the address on the utility bill. The name read “Michelle Malkin”. And then I looked on the back of the envelope that had been left on the front porch. Rubber-stamped were the words, “From the office of the Democratic National Convention”. Time seemed to suspend itself while I headed back to the fridge, looking for another box of cheap wine. (Commander Other)

Because all I could find in the fridge at this point was a moldy orange and a styrofoam container of questionable leftovers, I decided it might be a good time for me to get the hell out of there. This "Michelle Malkin" might be behind my current identity crisis. I was vaguely starting to realize that I must have been hypnotized. But, why? What in the world would Michelle Malkin want from me? Some visceral image of a diaper and an airport bathroom was starting to come into focus, the discomfort of which made me happy to distract myself with the prospect of... escape?

I had keys in my pocket to a car in the garage that I didn't recognize and I got in the car and drove instinctually toward what appeared to be a down town area. I decided I had to get myself to a hotel room and a location with internet access to find out who this Michelle Malkin was and how the hell I ended up in Dallas, of all places. (Freida Bee)

I hereby give even more big, infectious kisses to:


(not Randal)

to carry on the Splotchy Story Virus name. Go do me proud. And, please no one tag me on this thing again please. Really. Please.


Randal Graves said...

It was YOU on the grassy knoll! Thanks for not reinfecting me. I would've had the character jump into a volcano. Michelle Malkin? Ugh.

Utah Savage said...

Oh my god, not again. I'm going to quit blogging and move to Canada under an assumed name. A different assumed name. I swear I will never learn to link if this is what it gets you. You guys are way too creative for me.

opit said...

Never mind. The 'tubes' run up here too. Wide open spaces and relative scarcity of population encourage 'virtual' contact. And it's waaay too late for me to start worrying about learning how to link.I've had...um...'practice'.

pidomon said...

thanks i needed a tag tonight!

Utah Savage said...

Oh god, there is no hope for me and so the lesson in linkage begin.

Freida Bee said...

Randal- It was Mrs. Peacock in the parlor, actually.

U. Savage- Our greatest skills are in appearing creative. You'll get there. ;)

opit- Thanks for stopping by.

Pidomon- I am glad, dear sir.

U. Savage- Good luck. Maybe a year later, you have it worked out now. Note to self: add U. Savage to google reader right this second.