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.
And here's the story so far:
The bus was more crowded than usual. It was bitterly cold outside, and I hadn't prepared for it. I noticed that a fair number of the riders were dressed curiously. As I glanced around, I stretched my feet and kicked up against a large, heavy cardboard box laying under the seat in front of me. (Splotchy)
The box showed no give. Since I was already in a surly mood because of the earlier fight with Sam about the way he'd prepared the eggs (I'd asked for sunny side up, not over easy - it's a fine distinction, I know), I was immediately annoyed that the box was inhibiting my ability to stretch. My knees were killing me. I pushed with more force against the box and still it did not budge. Just then, the woman sitting across from me cleared her throat noisily, as if to draw my attention. I turned my head to look at her and noticed that she was wearing a red velvet cloak and satiny black gloves that stretched all the way up to her elbows. 'How odd,' I murmured without thinking. It was only 8:30 a.m. after all. (Dcup)
"I do apologize", she said. "The box appears to be in your way. I'd keep it under my own seat, but as you see, that's where my budgie is." And there it was; a yellow canary in a fantastically ornamented gold cage; the jewels that studded the cage's delicately scrolling bars appeared to be genuine.
"I see", I said. "Only a bird in a gilded cage".
The woman smiled, a bit wistfully. "Are you referring to him, or to me, my dear?" I smiled back, but now I wasn't sure. She was really quite otherworldly; along with the gloves and cloak, she wore her thick, curly gray hair in an elaborate Victorian upsweep. She adjusted the cloak with a perfectly manicured hand and then I saw it. Around her neck, she wore a necklace of absolutely astonishing weight. A rope of large black pearls interrupted at brief intervals with rubies. A pendant containing the largest diamond I'd ever seen, surrounded by more rubies, completed the necklace. I'd seen a necklace just like it once. So had everyone who'd visited the City Museum during last summer's "Lost Heiress" exhibition, which included replicas of the famed jewel collection of Abigail Vandersmith Easthouse. Abigail had vanished from sight shortly after her marriage at age 19 to Cyril Easthouse, the mining magnate. Now, nearly sixty years later, I was sitting next to a woman whose green eyes were very much like those in the faded photographs of the young society bride. Perhaps the rumors that Cyril had murdered her weren't true after all. But what was she doing on a city bus at 8:30 on a Wednesday morning? (CDP)Someone else will have to tell us if this was really Abigail, and why she was on the bus. I tag enc, WendyB (who else?) and Suze. Don't leave us hanging!