Remembering The Infected, v5

This was the least virulent strain thus far. I am not surprised. I have not been coughing and sneezing on a lot of people’s blogs as of late, and have not really been feeling all that ill, to be honest.

I am very thankful to those who did come down with an infection, and remember them fondly here.

If you were infected and not been remembered, please let me know and I will correct it.

Thank you!

December 8
Splotchy

December 9
Cormac Brown

December 10
David Barber
MRMACRUM
Randal G

December 11
Michael J. Solender
Mike Wilkerson

December 12
CJT
crybbe666
Übermilf

December 13
Beach Bum
mdjb

December 16
Pipe Tobacco

December 18
mkooch

December 21
austere

Story Virus v5

So begins Story Virus, v5.

For those unfamiliar, here’s a recap:

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.

There always has to be a start of a story, so here it is.

***

The mall was crowded. There were happy people, angry people, people in a hurry, even a few people sleeping on benches. To the security guard, they were a blur of coats, hats and scarves. He was just beginning his second eight hour shift. He yawned, leaning against a pillar in the food court, the aftertaste of terrible mall cookies lingering on his tongue. His eyes abruptly snapped open with the loud sound of glass shattering behind him.

***

Please continue this story virus.

I tag:

Randal G
Tantra Flower
Matt Debenham
FranIAm
Amy Guth
Freida Bee
Cormac Brown
Becca
Dr MVM
Bubs
Vikkitikkitavi
Liberality
Some Guy
Doc
Snape
Chef Cthulhu
SamuraiFrog
Flannery Alden
Megan
Blue Gal

Remembering The Infected v4

This was the weakest story virus thus far. Sure, it hurt some people, but it did nothing compared to the damage done by the previous strains.

Still, let us remember the fallen.

If you have succumbed to the virus, or know someone currently exhibiting symptoms, please let me know and I will update the memorial.

May 19, 2009
Splotchy

May 20, 2009
Randal Graves

May 21, 2009
Dean Wormer
Lockwood

May 23, 2009
Liberality

May 24, 2009
ralfast
Unfocused Me
Freida Bee
Lass
FreshHell

May 25, 2009
Übermilf
Harriet M. Welsch

May 26, 2009
Jeannie Martini
R

June 8, 2009
Megan
Brian Miller
Subtorp

June 12, 2009
Megan (reinfected!)

June 14, 2009
Annie Ha

June 20, 2009
Chef Cthlulhu

July 15, 2009
Beach Bum

Story Virus v4

For those visiting this blog for a while, you may have noticed a story virus popping up every six months or so. Well, it’s been six months since v3, so that means this must be v4.

For those unfamiliar, here’s a recap:

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.

There always has to be a start of a story, so here it is.

***

The ground crunched beneath my feet. Besides my noisy footsteps, I heard only the sound of the gentle crackling fire behind me. Its faint orange light lazily revealed my immediate surroundings. Beyond the glow, there was total blackness. I whistled. I took the small rock I had been carrying and whipped it away from me, expecting a thud, crack or plop — but a soft yelp of a cry answered.

***

Please continue this story virus.

I tag:

Randal G
Jess
FranIAm
Freida Bee
Becca
Dr MVM
Bubs
Vikkitikkitavi
Liberality
Some Guy
Doc
Snape
DCup
Chef Cthulhu
SamuraiFrog
Flannery Alden
Megan

The Story Virus Is Weak But Persistent

As you can see from my Story Virus v3 Memorial, the virus is not thriving at this point, but it’s not quite dead, either.

Alas, I have been infected with it yet again. Here’s the strain I was hit with.

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)

Its owner, a fat shifty-looking hillbilly, slouched uncomfortably under the weight of his Bulgarian army surplus wool coat and cap. I could tell he wasn’t cut out for this weather. He jerked around, almost spastic, when he felt the box tap against his feet. He gulped and stared at me bug-eyed, one obscene rivulet of sweat running down his temple, down along his jaw, finally disappearing somewhere between his second chin and the fake fur collar of his coat.

Right away, and for no good reason, he pissed me off. (Bubs)

He would not stop staring at me. I could hear his wheezing breath. I could smell every stinking minute of his sputtering life. My muscles tensed.

We were a little isolated from the rest of the riders. I looked around. Apart from a couple greasy-looking hippies stealing glances in my direction, everyone was in their own dazed world. Another rivulet of sweat began the long journey down the hillbilly’s fat face. He licked his lips.

Enough was enough. I shot my arm up and popped him right between the eyes, snapping his head back. He slumped forward. I felt my anger slowly recede. I reached over him, took the cap off his head and placed it on my own. It smelled like a slaughterhouse, but it would keep me warm.

In the corner of my eye, I noticed the hippies making their way over to me. The man, wearing a dirty poncho and sporting a handlebar mustache, sat down in my seat. I reflexively scooted over to not have him in my lap. The girl, a smallish brunette wearing heavy black eyeliner and a shapeless green coat, sat behind me.

“You see, Snow?” the man said. “I knew he was the one. Did you see that jab?”

“Whatever,” Snow said.

“That was great, man. Snow thought the guy in front of you was the one.”

He must have spotted confusion in my eyes. “We saw the box, but we didn’t know if it was yours.” The man smiled broadly. “I’m Rain. You’re Leaf, right?”

I looked at him more closely. He was wearing a shoulder holster under his poncho. He had deep green eyes that were sharp and serious. The smile left his face as abruptly as it had appeared. “You better get the box ready.” (Splotchy)

I looked him deep in the eyes. There was something familiar there. Something from…

It hit me.

“Dad?” (SamuraiFrog)

“What you talkin’ about, punk?”

“You’re…my Dad. I’ve seen the pictures.”

“The pictures. WHAT pictures?”

“the pictures of you and my Mom, Sally Swinton.”

“Sally! I remember Sally. She was a good one, she was. Whatever happened with her?” (Roger Owen Green)

I didn’t need to tell him. It was none of his business. “She’s in a Cryo Lab in Encino.” Shit.

Rain’s jaw dropped. “Wait, she’s a scientist?”

“No, she has an inoperable tumor. She had herself cryogenically frozen until a cure is found.”

“Sally’s a POPSICLE?”

Snow chuckled and slapped me on the back. “Far out, man.”

I felt anger ripple through me again. I spoke softly through clenched teeth, “She is not a popsicle. She’s my mother.”

The bus stopped. A few riders stepped off.

Rain grabbed the box and jumped out the rear door. When he popped back on his hands were empty. He stared intently out the window as the bus pulled away from the curb and made its way down the block. He turned to me. “How long are they gonna keep her frozen?”

“As long as it takes,” I grumbled.

“That’s gotta take a lot of money. Is she loaded?”

I didn’t like where this conversation was headed. “She does okay.”

Rain stroked his chin for a few moments. “Are you loaded?”

“Nope.”

Rain’s smile returned. “I wanna see her.”

Suddenly, the bus shuddered. Several side windows cracked. My forehead smacked against the seat in front of me as we screeched to a halt. The remaining riders bolted outside, except for the hillbilly, who was still slumped in the same position, sweating and wheezing. Rain and Snow didn’t move. I looked down the street and saw the plume of a fireball.

Rain giggled. “Hey, no sense in letting the box go to waste, right? Let’s go see your mom.” (Splotchy)

Who can I tag? Who can I tag?

I don’t know that the following people will have the time or inclination to continue the virus, so I am tagging a shitpile of them.

Tim
Barbara
Johnny Yen
Jim Woodring
Warren Ellis
Lulu
Eugene Mirman
Jon
Tenacious S
Harvey Pekar

Remembering The Infected v3

I’m not sure how much fight the story virus has in it. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I have been updating the memorial with the fallen as I become aware of them. If you have succumbed to the virus, or know someone currently exhibiting symptoms, please let me know and I will update the memorial.

December 5, 2008
Splotchy
p0nk

December 6, 2008
Randal Graves
Utah Savage

December 7, 2008
Beach Bum
Dcup
Dusty
Freida of the Bees
Liberality
Susan

December 8, 2008
~E
Bull
CDP
Cormac Brown
David
Dguzman
Geo
PaulBrazill
SamuraiFrog
Some Guy
themom
Bill Stankus

December 9, 2008
Bacon Lady
Bubs
Bubs
Cormac Brown
Flannery Alden
Freida of the Bees
Genn6
Laura
LegalMist
Michael
Morgan the Muse
Sausage Mechanic
Scutterman
Southern Belle
That Damn Expat
TishTash
Jeannelle
John

December 10, 2008
Gifted Typist
KaliAmanda
MRMacrum
Splotchy
Wooden Spoons
Sherry
Joshlos
Andy
Laura
Earth Muffin
Darius
Gwen
Madam Z

December 11, 2008
SamuraiFrog
Becca
MelO
Spartacus
Geoffrey

December 12, 2008
Scope
Erudite Redneck

December 13, 2008
Toivoa ja Elämän
Enc
Kaitlyn
Maki
Manx
Bubs
Crystal
Randal Graves
Miss Cavendish

December 14, 2008
Jeff D
The Lady Who Doesn’t Lunch

December 15, 2008
Carrin
Linka72
Dean Wormer

December 16, 2008
PaulBrazill
Don Snabulus

December 17, 2008
Dr. Zaius
Dr. Zaius

December 18, 2008
Roger Owen Green
Splotchy

December 19, 2008
Jon

December 20, 2008
Jean-Luc Picard

December 21, 2008
Dr. Nemonok

The Story Virus Continues

I have been reinfected!

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)

Its owner, a fat shifty-looking hillbilly, slouched uncomfortably under the weight of his Bulgarian army surplus wool coat and cap. I could tell he wasn’t cut out for this weather. He jerked around, almost spastic, when he felt the box tap against his feet. He gulped and stared at me bug-eyed, one obscene rivulet of sweat running down his temple, down along his jaw, finally disappearing somewhere between his second chin and the fake fur collar of his coat.

Right away, and for no good reason, he pissed me off. (Bubs)

He would not stop staring at me. I could hear his wheezing breath. I could smell every stinking minute of his sputtering life. My muscles tensed.

We were a little isolated from the rest of the riders. I looked around. Apart from a couple greasy-looking hippies stealing glances in my direction, everyone was in their own dazed world. Another rivulet of sweat began the long journey down the hillbilly’s fat face. He licked his lips.

Enough was enough. I shot my arm up and popped him right between the eyes, snapping his head back. He slumped forward. I felt my anger slowly recede. I reached over him, took the cap off his head and placed it on my own. It smelled like a slaughterhouse, but it would keep me warm.

In the corner of my eye, I noticed the hippies making their way over to me. The man, wearing a dirty poncho and sporting a handlebar mustache, sat down in my seat. I reflexively scooted over to not have him in my lap. The girl, a smallish brunette wearing heavy black eyeliner and a shapeless green coat, sat behind me.

“You see, Snow?” the man said. “I knew he was the one. Did you see that jab?”

“Whatever,” Snow said.

“That was great, man. Snow thought the guy in front of you was the one.”

He must have spotted confusion in my eyes. “We saw the box, but we didn’t know if it was yours.” The man smiled broadly. “I’m Rain. You’re Leaf, right?”

I looked at him more closely. He was wearing a shoulder holster under his poncho. He had deep green eyes that were sharp and serious. The smile left his face as abruptly as it had appeared. “You better get the box ready.” (Splotchy)

Please continue this story virus!

I tag:

McGone
Manx
SamuraiFrog (Yes, I am tagging you again)
Jin
Cowboy the Cat
Allen L
Bubs (right back at ya)

Son Of The Son Of The Story Virus (v3)

Ooooh, it’s cold outside. I don’t feel so good. I think I am coming down with another story virus.

For those unfamiliar, here’s a recap:

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.

There always has to be a start of a story, so here it is.

***

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.

***

Please continue this story virus.

I tag:

Randal G
Jess
Gifted Typist
FranIAm
Freida Bee
Becca
Dr MVM
Bubs
Rider
p0nk
Vikkitikkitavi
Liberality
Some Guy
Doc
Snape
DCup
Skylers Dad
Falwless
Grant Miller
SamuraiFrog
Flannery Alden

Story Virus 1 and 2: A Brief Comparison

A comment by DGuzman inspired me to a create a simple graphical representation of the spread of the two story virii.

The first virus was far more heartier than the second one. There’s a lot of possible reasons for this — May seems to be a traditionally light blogging month, there’s nice weather outside, the second time around the idea of a story virus is not a novel concept, etc.

I think I might do this again at the end of the year, assuming people’s creative juices have had a chance to replenish.

It’s been a lot of fun. I may have to kidnap a little pig to get friend of the blog McGone to participate if I have another go-around, though thanks to Susan there were still some nice original illustrations for the second virus.

Virus 1
XX
XXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXX
XXXXXXX
XXXXX
X
X
XX
XX
X

Virus 2
X
XXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXX
XXX
X
XXX
XXXX
X
X
X
XX

Remembering The Infected v2

From what I can tell, the second eruption of the story virus has been contained.

This post serves as a solemn marker for those stricken with it.

Different people have remarked about the virus as being an example of exquisite corpse, but the fact that the virus can shoot into multiple directions and threads at once makes me want to call it the exquisite exploding corpse.

Anyways, I thank everyone for being a part of this. If you don’t see your contribution included, just let me know and I’ll add it.

Here’s to the infected of the Story Virus (v2) — may your memory live on!

May 14, 2008
Splotchy

May 15, 2008
FranIAm
DGuzman
Freida Bee
M.Yu
Dean Wormer
Randal G
p0nk
Wyldth1ng

May 16, 2008
Jess
Bubs
Splotchy
kyuuri
WriteProcastinator
Liberality
Fairlane
DCup
Mathman
Magdalene6127
Kirby
Germaine Gregarious

May 17, 2008
Cowboy The Cat
Randal G
Freida Bee
Commander Other
Pain
Splotchy
Jess
Don Snabulus
Quin Browne
Liberality
Lonie Polony
Susan
Bug O’ Death
Doc
SkylersDad

May 18, 2008
Freida Bee
littlesnoring
Dr MVM

May 19, 2008
Katie Schwartz
Christina
Bob

May 20, 2008
SamuraiFrog
The Imaginary Reviewer

May 21, 2008
Jillian
The Moody Minstrel
Sean

May 22, 2008
John
Becca
Becca (another infection in the same day!)
Herbal Amanda

May 23, 2008
Captain Incredible

May 25, 2008
The Imaginary Reviewer

May 26, 2008
BHB

May 27, 2008
Dark Neuro
Splotchy