I have long embraced a theory that, for some reason, many of the comments I post to web sites are "thread killers." Conversations halt abruptly following my posts to "social" sites like LJ. Forum discussions grind to a halt following my remarks. Even Flickr photos frequently cease to generate comments following my observations. An occurrence today provides evidence to support this theory.
The "Alphabet Story Game" at SparkleSystemSix.com recently generated a considerable amount of momentum, with lengthy and entertaining additions to the saga showing up every few days. I used to participate quite regularly in the "ABC Story," but over the past few months I have not been an "active" participant in the saga. Devoid of my input, the story has flourished.
Two or so weeks ago I felt inspired to offer an addition to the story, trying, as I always do, to work within the established parameters by adding a lively installment without adding unnecessary new characters or wild deviations from the existing -- and already sufficiently deviant -- plot.
For the next two weeks... nothin'. Not word one from any of the active participants. It was a dead thread, Fred.
Late last night I deleted my installment of "The Alphabet Story Game." That's "late last night" Hawaii time, which is "really late last night" everybody else's time. Today, immediately... the story resumed with a new post from a different user.
Hence, the Myth that davidd is a thread killer is declared: plausible.
I need to stop whining about stuff like this. I was just reading today about the negative consequences that result from being excessively self-absorbed.
The installment I contributed to "The Alphabet Story Game" originally appeared here as the "F" entry on page 11 of the saga.
It was a lurid piece of violent, sexist, pretentious rubbish, befitting the milieu of all fine beach-trash writing , altho' perhaps not, it would seem, in keeping with the preferred style of "The Alphabet Story Game."
Oh well. SparkleSystemSix.com still rocks, as does "The Alphabet Story Game." That particular thread is simply not the right outlet for my "creative efforts."
So instead, I'll re-post it here! Mwah hah hah hah hah!
(Note: this will make little sense if you haven't followed the thread from the beginning)
AUGUST 2007. DELETED DUE TO LACK OF FOLLOW-UP POSTS.
”Freaking-@ss A!” the Stranger hissed under his breath as he spun toward the voice, his hand dropping fluidly to unholster his 7.5mm Nagant M.1887 revolver. As the smoothly worn texture of the once-diamond checkered rosewood grip hit his palm, the entire history of The Sword Brethren, dutifully memorized during interminable hours of lecture and recitation at the preceptory of the Orden von Dobrin in Ikškile, flashed through his consciousness.
“Master Volquin, tasked to convert the pagan Curonians, swept into Estonia, expanding, by the end of the 11-th century, the influence of the Bishopric of Riga to the frontiers of Novgorod,” he heard the hoarse croak of his old teachers – and they were all old, ancient, it seemed to him at the time – echoed by the youthful choir of his schoolmates, his eventual brothers in arms. Brothers and, unmet until this moment, sisters!
The Warrior Nuns, a mystic sect, exclusively female, proselytized by Grand Master Gothnard Kettler in the 14th-century in a last-ditch effort to preserve the secrets of the Order following the sack of Fellin, fled beyond the wilds of Novgorod to live in secrecy, shrouded in mystery, honing their numinous faculties and physical prowess. Intervening centuries saw the wilds fall under the jurisdiction of the Kalmar Union, leading, some hundreds of years later, to the pre-Rift guise of the order, the Swedish Bikini Team.
“How could I have been so blind, with that body,” the Stranger chastised himself as he crouched into firing position and brought his weapon to bear in the direction of the voice.
“Ah,” breathed the stunning figure at which the Stranger leveled his weapon, “is that a Nagant M.1893?”
Despite his years of combat training, and in complete antithesis to the hard-won real-world skills of survival in the anarchic, lawless post-Rift wilderness that had carried him relatively unscathed through parlous perils too numerous to recount, the Stranger hesitated. She was beautiful, beautiful beyond even the Nordic exquisiteness of the Cigarette Girl; beautiful with a lithe, vulpine beauty, breathtaking, ravishing, statuesque, stunning… and savage.
She was also, essentially, naked. A mere hint of black leather girded her loins, more to suspend several scabbards and holsters of scintillating weaponry than for any sake of modesty. Her taught skin delineated the fibers of musculature and sinew across her abdomen. Supported, but scarcely concealed, by a tight leather mesh, her firm, orbicular…
”THIS…” roared a voice from the boscage, “is a Nagant M.1893!” A numbing blast of thunder exploded from the heavens, knocking the Stranger to his knees. The tang of a fullered blade flashed a hairsbreadth from his face, glinting as lightning burst among the treetops. Thor the Viking lunged from the undergrowth flanking the strand, hammer in one hand, revolver in the other, the flaming report of his pistol indistinguishable from the lightning bolts.
The warrior woman’s cruel carmine lips grew wide, then wider, as her face split, shattered by the fusillade of large bore shells. Entrails sprayed, her tight, tanned belly rent by bullets. Immediately behind her, two more sinister beauties emerged, dryadic, from the forest, only to explode in instantaneous, fiery death, their chests sundered by the heavy caliber slugs from Thor’s gun.
In the space of two heartbeats, silence reigned. Thor stood spread-legged above the quivering mass of tissue that, a moment before, had been the most alluring creature the Stranger had ever, in his much-experienced life, laid eyes upon; and who, taking advantage of his momentary equivocation, had nearly placed a dagger between his eyes. “The Norwegian M.1893 has a rounded front sight, clearly differentiating it from the Swedish issue M.1887,” Thor grunted disdainfully as he notched the Hammer of Aasgaard into a loop on his belt. He holstered his pistol while indifferently scuffing a few kicks of coarse sand into the pooling blood of the shredded corpse, busying himself while Akina, The Cigarette Girl, vomited behind a tangle of blackberry brambles.
The Stranger, dazed by the suddenness of the incident, slowly rose to his feet. He stepped back a pace and, with some effort, wrenched the dagger from the silvered bole of a flotsam pine. He scrutinized the curious etchings on the hilt of the knife.
“Erinyes,” Thor said, eyeing the Stranger coolly.
“Yes,” the Stranger agreed, returning Thor’s gaze as he tossed the bent and useless weapon into the brush. “Creatures of ruthless vengeance, heartless, soulless…”
“… but great in the sack,” Thor finished, kicking dirt at the other two corpses. “They say Daagstrom had a harem of ‘em, before he settled down with Gretchen. Most men don’t have the mettle for ‘em. I remember a time, a few years back, we hove to in Stavanger…”
A discrete cough behind them announced the Cigarette Girl had completed her involuntary eructations.
Thor eyed the girl, merriment evident in his visage despite the heavy beard. “Some warrior nun,” he grunted, not unkindly.
“Thor,” began the Stranger, thumbing the cylinder of his revolver, “I….”
“Yeah, you have to kill me to protect your secret, Big Brother of the Sword. Well, bugger it, mate. You’re out of shells, and I have one left. Besides, you’ll have to do a better job of keeping your little ’secret’. No one outside the Livonian Brotherhood carries a Nagant like that anymore.”
“How do you…?”
“I don’t know nothin’. I’m just a bloke from Mildura playing bearded seafarer. No woes, mate.”
The Stranger stood silently for a moment. He idly hefted his empty pistol, recalling that he’d spent his last round on the zebra herd. He looked dully around at the gruesome spectacle that, for want of this short, stocky, bearded Aussie-carpenter-turned-Viking, would have included his own bloody offal rather than that of the warrior women. He looked at the Cigarette Girl, outlined in the tattered rags of her sequined salesgirl outfit, her product tray bent, the cigarillos crumpled in their cellophane cartons, still clutching a bloody red pump. She was shivering. He moved to put an arm around her. “You’re chilled,” he said.
“No,” she murmured, pulling away. “It’s just that… I’ve never seen anyone killed before.”
“But, you’re a…”
“Yes, I am,” she said. “A Warrior Nun. Big deal.”
“You’re pretty mean with that shoe,” the Stranger observed.
“I sell cigarettes to drunk guys in bars. The shoe thing, that's not warrior stuff, it’s basic job skills. ‘Warrior nun:’ it means I went to an all-girls school. We learned some judo stuff, we learned fencing, we dabbled in sleight-of-hand. We sang hymns.”
“Do you know this one” asked Thor? “Domi-neeka-neeka-neeka…” he warbled gruffly. Akina smiled through welling eyes.
“Yes, I know that one,” she giggled. Or sobbed.
“Great,” gushed Thor enthusiastically. “Then sing with me! Sing, as we walk. We need to get back to the boat.” He gave the girl a gentle shove, directing her up the littoral. In timid, trembling tones she began to sing.
Thor cast a quick, earnest glance at the Stranger. “We need to get back to the boat right now,” he hissed urgently, “and get the Garmr off this island!”
Lengthening his stride, Thor forged ahead, lifting Akina by the arm as he passed. “Eel nay parl’-kaaaay doo bon dyoooo…!”
Go for it!
Y'know... now that I think about it... my efforts have had a similar effect on "The Ever-Evolving Photo Story Thread" at Pinky-Street.com.
I think perhaps, for the good of the whole, I shall henceforth limit my participation in "group fiction" projects. Besides, I should conserve my energies for NaNoWriMo; I'd like to do better than six words this year.