Our chain story has been wobbling drunkenly along for close to two years now, lurching from one exotic location to another, and expanding our unnamed protagonist’s bizarre circle of friends and family. Just like we did with part 100, we’re celebrating part 200 by writing it together!
The list of prompt phrases is twice as long as usual, and has, for the first time ever, been drawn exclusively from our own published novels. We think this ups the challenge significantly because we both have the novels pretty much memorized and it will be difficult to put these phrases in an unfamiliar context.
Jen will go first, and as soon as she incorporates the first prompt phrase she’ll hand the keyboard over to Kent. He’ll work until the second snippet is incorporated and then hand it back. And so on. Hopefully we will not come to blows.
- I know how to break
- dominated coffeehouse debate
- bordering on smarmy
- jocularity and baggy shorts
- “Enough fucking football metaphors
- drinking way too much Mountain Dew
- grinding more than rocking
- rather large, rather ugly
- intricate designs along her spine
- slumped over with wheezing laughter
Tune in next time parts 199 & 200 Click Here for Earlier Installments
I made it back to Dr Belladonna’s bedroom before I heard any sign of pursuit, and I got the door closed and locked just in time. Jem and Jem stood outside, debating loudly about the proper technique for picking the lock. I know how to break through most hypnotic trances, so I decided to take a chance and let the girls in. I’d be much better off if I could get them on my side and away from Jim.
The soft click when I unlocked the door was enough to shush my sisters. I stepped back, prepping my trance-breaking routine. Theirs could be any of three different forms of hypnosis, each with different weaknesses. The best way to rouse someone from a trance had dominated coffeehouse debate at the academy my junior year, so I had lots of ideas to try out. I just didn’t know how much time I’d have to try them.
“We know you’re up to something, big brother.” Jemma’s voice was unctuous, bordering on smarmy.
“And we know what it is,” added Jemima, brazen confidence in her voice.
“So come at me, sis,” I said playfully. The two common elements in all my anti-hypnosis tactics were jocularity and baggy shorts. Too late, I remembered what I was wearing.
I hurtled across the room like David Beckham, hoping to get to the closet before my sisters took me up on my offer. There had to be some baggy shorts in there somewhere, and if I could get them on quickly enough I could save the day like a goalkeeper stopping a game-winning ball.
“Enough fucking football metaphors!” I grumbled to myself. “I’m not even English!”
A pair of Dr Belladonna’s bloomers would have to suffice. I hauled them on over my pants just as Jem (or Jem) thrust the door open. “You look like you’ve been drinking way too much Mountain Dew!” I declared in what I have to say were surpassingly jocular tones. The girls were unaffected, which meant I’d guessed wrong about the nature of the trance.
They entered the room, moving with the uncanny choreography of twins, even though they were triplets. Their hips swayed in unison, grinding more than rocking, which gave me the vital clue: Jim was using some sort of mind-control drug on them. Something other than Mountain Dew.
Jemma stationed herself in front of me in a feline crouch while Jemima went over to the nightstand and hefted the rather large, rather ugly vase. She squinted at me, lining up her throw.
I timed my move just right. When Jemima hurled the vase, I leapt up and grabbed the chandelier. The hefty piece of porcelain flew right beneath my feet, strewing roses, and hit Jemma square in the chest. She toppled, swearing. The water from the vase quickly saturated her white t-shirt, displaying the intricate designs along her spine and ribcage, the tattoos she’d been given as a child to mark her as the youngest female in our family, and therefore the one promised to the Guild of Fire Eaters.
I pumped my legs to get the chandelier swinging. Jemima looked around for something else to throw at me, and Jemma sprang to her feet, dripping. I timed my next move a bit less perfectly, letting go of the chandelier too soon. Rather than clearing the bed, I landed on it and bounced, my momentum sending me sprawling against the wall to slide down head-first onto the floor. Jem and Jem slumped over with wheezing laughter. My less-than-perfect timing had been perfect after all.
Before they regained their composure, I seized the now-empty nightstand and used it to bash the knob off the door. Darting out, I pulled it shut behind me, trapping them in Absinthia’s boudoir.
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