Lucas Pederson, on his new blog, Through The Never, has posted his own activity. He has written a couple hundred words beginning a story. Then, he has invited anyone to take what he has written and change it, or continue it. It's sort of a writer's version of telephone. In my experience in writers' groups, the chain tends to peter out quickly. However, I'm always game for something a little different or fun, so I've accepted Lucas' challenge. Below is my variation and continuation...
Chomper emerged from the shadows, muzzle dark and dripping. Donkey watched him uneasily, a shiver passing through him. The dog’s killed again, he thought. One of the two-legs this time. How would the dog justify the kill to the others? He wouldn’t. They would never know, and Donkey didn’t have the courage to tell them.
“Two-leg tired to trick me,” said Chomper. The dog bared its teeth, pantomiming how it had leaped to grab the two-legs’ throat. With the performance completed, it crouched and studied Donkey with large brown eyes. “I had to,” he said.
“We better get along, where there’s one of them, there are more,” said Donkey.
“There can’t be that many of them,” said Chomper.
A sound made Donkey look up. A mewling. Chomper growled, the fur along his spine rising in places. The mewling became cries. A baby.
“You killed a mother,” said Donkey.
“I killed a two-leg,” said Chomper. “Now I’ll go kill another.”
The dog’s eyes shined with a predatory hunger. That look came too often to Chomper’s eyes these days. Too often.
“Chomper’s a killer. It’s his breeding,” she said.
“He kills to eat,” acknowledged Donkey.
“It ain’t just that. I’ve watched the two of you together. I’ve seen him nip at you. I’ve seen him draw blood. He likes the taste. And you’re afraid of him.”
Donkey hadn’t been able to deny the last statement.
“We’ll have to deal with him,” she said. “Eventually.”
Chomper started toward the sound of the crying, ears flat against his head. Donkey stomped a hoof to distract him.
“Let it be,” said Donkey.
Chomper stopped, ears suddenly forward in surprise. Appraising Donkey, he let a tongue loll from one side of his mouth. “I didn’t know it had a pup. But it did, and now it’s dead, and so will the pup be. It’s better to kill the two-legs’ pup, than let the poor thing starve. It’s helpless. I’ll be quick and merciful.”
“No,” said Donkey.
Chomper turned from the him, ignoring his stupidity. He couldn’t stop the dog. His words had no strength, the dog had no fear. Donkey remembered the last time Chomper hurt him. He remembered the feel of those fangs, the tearing of flank. The pain lasted days, and though his friend was conciliatory, their relationship shifted and they were no longer equals.
Donkey moved to block Chomper, not sure what he was doing. Anticipating the pain, he shut his eyes. Muscles tensed. Hind legs kicked. A shocking sound followed as Chomper yelped and hit the dirt with a thud.
Horror. Donkey brayed, leaping about in panic. He stopped himself, fighting to control his breathing, and looked down. Chomper was dead. Donkey, backed away a couple steps, unable to imagine what the Originals would say. No, Chomper’s side moved; he was alive, stunned.
The two-leg colt cried. Donkey’s head lifted.
Chomper would get up. When he did, he would know what Donkey had done and strike out after him to seek revenge. Stupid Donkey. Worthless Donkey. Run away. Leave the valley. Or. Donkey looked down. Or finish the job. He moved toward Chomper, feeling the weight of his hooves, sensing it wouldn’t take much to finish the dog.
Except that’s not me, thought Donkey. Forlornly, he backed away, back toward the sound of the two-leg, unsure what to do next, sinking into panic. He couldn't kill Chomper, not intentionally. He wouldn't do it.
That's it...that's my contribution..now..if someone was to take up this mantle, there sure are a lot of ways it can go. What's happened to society? What's the valley? Who are The Originals? Hell, it actually has potential for something, doesn't it? As long as you stay away from a simplistic Orwellian narrative.