Writing Collaboration: Zombie at the Barnyard Disco

January 12, 2009

My friend, Daniel, and I have started writing a story, length undetermined, as a collaborative effort.  We’re doing a trade with the story, bouncing back and forth with a goal of 250 words per turn, but no specified maximum limit. It’s been interesting so far. I was commenting to Jambrea that it’s difficult to tell where his parts end and mine begin when I go back and read the story. Right now, we’re in first draft mode and have not done any editing, so the excerpt I’m about to post (yes, I know) is raw, unedited, and from mind to screen.  We set up the document on http://docs.google.com and created sharing permissions so we can both access the file in a central location. When one of us is done, we tag the other and wait.

Here’s the excerpt:

He answered the phone, “Its about time.  I’ve been waiting all night for you to call me back.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Reynolds replied.  “This stuff takes a little planning.  Its not like running to the grocery to pick up some eggs.”  Aren knew he was right.  Eggs never made him this anxious and unnerved.

Reynolds blurted, “So, where ya at?”

He considered giving him his home address, but Aren wasn’t quite sure he wanted a guy like Reynolds to know where he lived quite yet.  This whole scenario was still very new to him.  There have already been a slew of second thoughts racing though his mind.  Aren was hoping that something fell through and he’d never call.  He had actually considered calling her back and cancelling all of this.  But he couldn’t, he had to go through with this.  All this waiting, well, it was just enough time for his conscience to play more games in his head.

The thought apparently lasted longer than he’d thought because the voice on the other end echoed, “So, where ya at?”

Aren continued depositing coins into the machine, thinking with each clink and clank as they fell into the capture bucket.  “I’m not at home.  I’m doing the washing.  You know the laundromat just behind Jimmy’s Pizza, over by the zoo?  I just finished two wash loads, and I’m getting ready to put them in the dryer.  I have at least an hour or so here.  Where are you, and can you meet me here?”

“Damn you, Aren.  I’m nowhere friggen near there.  It will take me at least twenty minutes to get across town to that shit hole dive you call a laundromat.  I need you to come to me, and it’s going to have to be at least an hour from now.  I got this thing to take care of before I can do business with you.”

“Well, I guess you better start movin’.  Listen.  Ariel set this up, and I aim to do right by what I told her, so don’t fuckin’ be late.  I’m staying here until these clothes are dry, and then your window is closed.  I don’t care how dangerous you think you are, or how scared you expect me to be, but this is not up for God-damned debate.  Do you want my help or not?”  Aren pressed the “HH” button and watched the spirals twist as his Kit-Kat bar made its way to the edge before dropping into the retrieval tray.

Aren was surprised with his own words.  Strong-arming a man like Reynolds was something most didn’t do and live to tell about it.  But they were both in this because of Ariel and as odd as it may seem, Reynolds needed Aren more than Aren needed Reynolds.

Reynolds growled back into the phone, “Fine!  I’ll pick you up in ninety minutes.”

“Well, me and my laundry.  You have room in your trunk?”  There was a little playfulness creeping back into his voice now.

Aren smiled and he knew that as Reynolds ended the call, a smile crept onto his face as well.  Taking a bite of the Kit-Kat, he walked back over to his clothes and dumped them in a row of dryers.  Ninety minutes would be cutting it close, luckily Aren never folded his clothes so he would be ready when Reynolds showed up.


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