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A couple of weeks ago novelist Conrad Williams (whose debut novel Dust & Desire? is the current title in the Litro Book Club) wrote the first line for us, in our series of literary experiments on Twitter we then handed the story over to fate… and Twitter. We asked our followers to write a collective story, one tweet at a time.
As our previous literary experiments on Twitter proved, we had no idea how the story would turn out. The stories are always chaotic, unpredictable, and they wind up going in strange peculiar directions. Interest and enthusiasm dipped and rose and like the UK’s adoption of ‘Black Friday’ your never quite certain who will turn up and contribute – fingers crossed it will not just be us and the novelist tweeting to a silent universe.
Well, the results have been collated, and you can now read the finished story below. We’ve compiled the tweets in the order they were written, making the odd changes for the sake of clarity. As crime stories go- we have been pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Admittedly, it opens in typically adhoc fashion, but it quickly settles into something that resembles a story. There’s a protagonist, a mystery, a (sketchy) love interest – and a dead body or two. Here’s the story so you can judge for yourself…
I dropped him off at school and then took the bag containing all the blood-stained knives and threw it in the canal.
They floated at the surface for a moment, the sun bouncing off the blades, before being swallowed by the murky water. [email protected]
I took the towpath back, it would be quite this time of day, no one would see me walking back to the house.
There was plenty of work remaining at home. Her body was still lying in the garage and turning cold. Soon she’d start to smell. @sayantansunnyg
When I arrived home, I saw a note pasted on the front door. @JinnyKohHong
No time to read the note – I had to get the black body bags into the garage and start to wrap the body up…. The doorbell! I dropped the bags – mess everywhere. Ah. No. It’s the neighbour- Callum calling through the door, ‘Seen you’re in! Need to talk’ @h1eronymusbash
‘I’m a little busy right now- what is it?’ I asked from the kitchen- natural and calm as possible- “Did you not see my note” he replied -where did I put the fucking thing – I peeled it of the table, I’d stuck it on- ‘call me’ it read!
If I don’t open the door he won’t go away and will only come back. ‘Give me a second’, I shout.
“There was a woman banging on your door like mad,” Callum say’s. “She wouldn’t stop hammering. I had to tell her you weren’t in. @SimonJHolloway
‘Really was there?’
I humour him for a few minutes and make my excuses to speak with him later, the woman must be with the Venezuelans, I’m running out of time.
I took a deep breath, gathered up the the large bin bags and made my way down the hall to the garage, away from prying eyes. @GriotsArts
One thing’s for sure, the silence in those halls would sing echoes now that she was gone, but would the kid do what he was told? @ogdensnutgone
I remember I’ve the kid’s mobile in my pocket – I take it out and check the kid’s mobile. Had he kept his mouth shut during double Maths? Did the bleach remove all the stains on his hands?
I could hear the doorbell going again. I pick up the shot-gun and make my way back down the hall. It’s not the Venezuelans.
“Callum”, I said producing a shotgun, “you’ve got to stop coming round”
Thinking I was joking, his eyes scintillated; a curling at the edge of his lips betrayed a nettled smile. He put a tobacco-stained finger to his mouth.
Callum looked at me with uncaring eyes, like I was holding a carrot. ‘Oh, I’m going to keep coming around. You need me more now than ever.’ @RhuarDean
I stuck the muzzle of the shotgun to his chest and pulled the trigger.
The defective barrel exploded, shrapnel tearing Callum’s chin from his face.
A second shot had him fall against the fence and his stomach opened up to reveal his beating heart. I knew then I had found what I was looking for.
Callum, the woman, the blood, the adrenaline hammering the walls of my soul, had all wailed the same thing: I am the monster. @joemilanjr
No time to get rid of the bodies, Oh well, I thought. I looked down the street, saw no one. I could still flip this thing. Pin it all on dumb Callum?
I head down the street, it dark now, storm clouds are gathering – hood up, I take a sharp left past Callum’s place– and head down the alleyway towards a shining light.
The light dipped and a cold kiss hit my cheek. Was it her? Maria the Venezuelan? I choked with fear, looked up and the next snowflake blinded me.
A piercing light behind the snowstorm suggested an unholy response to what I’d done. Was this some religious conversion or @Minettjr
Was I blinded by love again from the Venezuelan, or the strange concoction swimming in my veins.
Adrenaline pushed me past fear and into action. I pulled out my mobile. No signal.
Typical. My phone never stopped. Even at the moment when I pulled the trigger it had rung. He’d called.
Think fast. Will he fall for me pinning it on Callum? Maybe not. Definitely not. He has a hold on me no one else has.
HE had called and I was paralyzed with fear. The piercing light revealed itself as a search drone and there was nowhere to hide
Well. There I was, trying to think fast. But no thought followed. I was stuck. Again.
No choice but to run, … so I ran straight towards the drone.