Friday, March 6, 2009

Collective Storytelling

I’ve been so busy I haven’t had the time to pick up one of the many unread books on my shelf. So I thought I’d start a short story here and let you continue to weave the tale. Here’s how it’ll work: I’ll start the piece below and you can go ahead and contribute as much or as little and as many times as you wish. I’ll pop in every now and then and end the story Sunday night. Tip: to avoid missing pieces of the story as you think of what to write, type up your bit elsewhere so you can quickly copy and paste it in the comment box.

Make it fun, keep it interesting and we’ll see where it goes…


She didn’t know it yet, but Nora was meant to be there. Every twist and turn her life had taken was for a reason and that reason was staring back at her that very moment. Maybe if she’d known it then, she wouldn’t come to regret her decision 20 years later.

“Ma’am, can I take your order?” he asked once again.

Nora snapped back to reality. She didn’t realize her mind had drifted off yet again, but there was just something familiar about him. But that would be impossible, she thought. Her plane from New York had just landed in California an hour ago. There’s no way she could know him.

And yet, after she walked away with her order, she felt as if something inside her were pulling her back to that McDonald's counter.


  1. That something was the new dollar menu. Not the items on it, but the actual menu itself. It was so flashy and vibrant with color.

  2. As she stood staring at the neon dollar menu sign, she noticed on the reflection that strange, yet oddly familiar man was still standing besides her. He wore a long black faded overcoat and was quite tall. She could tell he was muscular behind that large coat.
    At that very moment, she remembered teh reason she had traveled to California and the mission that lay ahead. She turned and ran straight to the door, kepy on running and never turned around. She was unaware that the man had followed her and was running closely behind...

  3. No she didn't realize it at all. Perhaps if she stopped to think, she would have wondered why he was working behind the counter with that overcoat...and why he just ditched out of work to follow her.

    No, instead she kept on running towards the hills.

  4. Then she recognized him, dear God, it was Anthony from Aventura. The man of her dreams was following her and he was carrying a gun in one hand and a McChicken in the other, she ran quickly but slipped on an empty ketchup packet. And a homeless man ran over her with his grocery cart. She just stared into the eyes of Anthony as blood poured of her legs.

  5. She ran her finger through the blood and tasted it, suddenly realizing it was ketchup.

  6. She got up again and jumped in the cart and told the homeless man to push as hard is he could. He kept on pushing her until they reached the caves, there the man took off his wig and raggedy coat, it was Brad Pitt. He came to save her. He pulled her after him and they ran deeply into the caves. “Brad, thank you for helping me. You are my savior, how can I repay you.” “Don’t worry beautiful flower just run with me, I need to save you!!”

  7. Then she woke up in her bed.. in a sweat bath. Her hair was soaked, her mickey mouse pajamas were all soaking wet and she was cold. The room was still dark, but this wasn't the first time Susan woke up in a cold night sweat right after a nightmare.. She took a deep breathe to calm herself down and realized it was all a dream... and then she heard it.....

  8. It was the Chinese delivery man at the door. She ran to her purse and took out the money, then opened the door and paid him. When she opened the bag there was a gun in there lying on 50 packets of ketchup. The she saw Anthony staring at her from across the street. Dear God, he was coming to get her. What should she do? She ordered wings and they gave her a gun, she was ravenous, should she go to McDonalds? Or order shrimp and broccoli?

  9. McDonalds, Shrimp, Broccoli, Chinese food, spaghetti, Italian.. so many choices, yet all she could think about were Anthony's delicious lips. He stood at her door licking those luscious lips of his and she couldn't think. She couldn't even move, but the gun was real and it felt cold in her hands and for a minute, she thought Anthont could make her warm again.

    And then...
    And then...
    he sang.....
    Son la 5 de la manana y yo no he dormido nada.....
    Oh my GOD! She thought. OH my God what could she possibly do now??

  10. Captain Kirk turned from the big view screen on the bridge of the USS Enterprise and wearily said, "Mr. Scott, beam Anthony up.. his cover is blown. Mr Spock, give me some options, should we save the whales after all?"

  11. No, Anthony can’t leave! She won’t let them take her man away. Not after she found him, not after he looked so good standing. She would break anyone in half if they touched her man. This was Anthony, her fantasy! Wait, maybe she could take Anthony to the beach and they could hide in the belly of a whale like Jonah did in the Bible. Yes that was it.

    She ran to Anthony and pushed inside her Porsche SUV, come Papi, I will save you mi amor, tu sabes que tu eres el matatan, el fuerte, el hombre de mi vida. Then she heard it, she heard it! Desde que tu me engañasteeeeeee, tengo el corazon de acero.

  12. "Captain Kirk!! Captain! No Please don't take Anthony.. please don't take him," she screamed into .. thin air because by the time she realized what was really happening.. Captain Kirk had beamed up Anthony in his mircoscoptic, colorful, beamlike shaped thingy handle and he was gone...

    She was left alone once again in her empty hallway, but she still held the gun. And she knew he'd come back for the gun. He always came back for the gun.
    She closed the door behind her and turned to the kitchen and noticed 5:00 AM displaying on her cheap digital clock.

  13. Bachateame papi!!

  14. NORA was confused. She felt she'd lost this stalker guy she was drawn to, but at the same time felt she'd saved him too. How could two versions of the same thing have happened? And yet she felt she had been in this same position before...perhaps in another life.

    But that would be crazy no?

    Dazed, she went to kitchen. She needed something strong to clear her head so naturally she started mixing herself a martini at 5 in the morning.

    What kept bringing her and Anthony together? Why was he in her dreams? And why couldn't she let him go despite this dreadful feeling that something horrible was surely on its way?

    But most importantly why were those hills calling her name?

  15. And why was Julie Andrews singing that horrible song about the hills being alive with the sound of music?

  16. That's when she realized her showtunes-loving roommate had left that mixed CD on repeat in the radio.

  17. She went to check on her roommate but found Brad Pitt laying on the bed dressed in his Troy gear. And she cried, cried of joy, of animalistic passion. This was her other dream coming true!! So she ran to the kitched and made him a Long Island Ice Tea with extra alcohol, but then she saw a clown standing outside her window. He was staring at her like he hated her. She screamed and Brad Pitt came into the kitchen….but it wasn’t Brad, it was Tom Cruise dressed as Brad and he was going to abduct her and take her away. Why oh Why???? No, where is Anthony? So Anthony jumped through the window and shot the clown in the eye, then he broke Tom in half and held a sobbing Nora in his strong muscular Dominican arms.

  18. Nora felt like a goddess wrapped in Anthony's arms. She pressed her face into his perfectly sculpt chest and she felt his heart pounding rapidly inside his chest. She wondered if he was as excited as she was.
    She felt complete, safe, sounds, secure, but most importantly she felt wanted.
    She looked into his dark sexy eyes and remembered why she fell in love with him to begin with.
    Anthony.. Anthonyyyyyy, she whispered.
    And then....
    And then...
    he sang.......
    Y solo por un besooooooooo.
    And he licked those luscious lips and he oculd almost fell them....... almost just almost ..
    and BANGGGGG!!!
    The loud noise brought her back down from the clouds. He tossed her onto the floor, threw on his overcoat and ran, ran ran away.

  19. "No!" Nora screamed.... "Come back Anthony! Estaba esperando que tú recordaras como conseguí este tatuaje!"

  20. El tatuaje es......

  21. "What do you have to say to that Mr. Spock?" Captain Kirk inquired quizzically.

    "Una vez construi un ordenador de arena utilizando ramitas y trozos de cuerda," replied the Vulcan with the pointy ears.

  22. But all Captain Kirk heard was "Neernoo neernooo womp womp."

    He sighed. Why hadn't he paid more attention in Spanish class?"

    Back on Earth Nora was crying her eyes out. She never felt so alone and so terrified. Once an independent go-getter, she was reduced to tears and curling up in fetal position on her kitchen floor. She was tired and exhausted, but she knew she had to get up and complete her dangerous mission.

    Fate had other plans.

  23. And she was cetain fates other plans involved Anthony.

  24. But if they didn't she knew she'd survive as long as she had the support of her friends and family, her dignity, good health and a stable job.

  25. and she knew deep inside he'd be back... they always came back....

    so Nora picked herself up, popped in her Aventura CD, and sang along to her boos words: "sera este un sueno, k te perdi y de verdad ya no te tengo?? cuanto kisiera... cerrar mis ojos y empezar de nuevooooo"

    "hi honey!!" - in walked jack.

    Aw crap, she forgot she was married. she always did forget that one little insignificant detail.

    she turned off her Aventura and tried to get back to the reality: her and jack = married... for now...

  26. " Hi, Honey." She said turning on her fake cheerful smile. Just the thought of her husband made her miserable and to see him standing there in his white yellowish stained t-shirt made her shiver....

  27. Wishing to appear calm and collected Nora turned to Jack and asked, "A mi llama se le ha caido una pata y querria comprar una rueda de repuesto, por favor?"

  28. "honey, you're doing that weird spanish gibberish thing again. did you forget to take your meds this morning..." -said her husband

    what are you talking about? I asked, que adonde estabas maldito cuero... son las 6 de la manana y ahora es k tu llegas a la casa??!!! como se llama la tipita esa, eh?!

  29. "Keptin Kirk! The universal translater is on the fritz!" cried Chekov from the weapons console of the USS Enterprise.

    "Uruha! Please tell me what dama is saying and make it fast!" shouted Captain Kirk, pounding on the armrest of the command chair just as the wiretap sensor discretely left at Nora's home failed... casting the Enterprise's viewscreen into snow and static.

  30. “Si, hombre del Diablo, maldito, yo se que tu me pegas cuerno con Maria. Pero no te apures cuando te agarre te desbarato.” And she ran out of the house, when she was at the corner, Anthony was in his car waiting for her. He reached over and opened the door and said: “I have been waiting for you, Jack is a spy, he wants to kill us.”

  31. She must find the gun and kill Maria.

  32. Nora reached under her seat and pulled out the gun. The same gun Anthony had used to kill her only 2 days before.
    " Take me straight to her baby!" she sneered at Anthony who happily agreed.

  33. She must kill Jack first, because he cheated on her!

  34. His eyebrow flaring upwards, Mr. Spock turned to Captain Kirk and says, "Captain, your species is a most blood-thirsty one, especially in the 21th century."

  35. "I hear that Mr. Spock," Nora yelled out the car window.

    Anthony turned to face her and found himself mesmerized by her long dishelved blond hair.
    And then.. he sang
    "Amorrrrrrr no es amorrrr, lo que tu sientess se llama obsesion. Una illusion en tu pensamiento que te hace ser cosaaaa..."
    Oh how Nora loved the sound of his voice. She closed her eyes and relished in his deep words, losing herself and for a moment she forgot about the gun when all of a side she felt the heavy WHACK on her head. "OUCH!"
    She touched her head and all she saw was the red gushing from her left side.
    It was Jack, he had followed them and crashed his car right intom them.

    Anthony hopped out the car with his sexy self.

  36. And he she noticed it wasn't blood, it was ketchup. And anthony with his beautiful arms took Jack and ripped off his head, then he made Mr. Spock drink the blood.

  37. Mr. Spock fell to his knees and started crying like a baby and so did Anthony

  38. Captain Kirk was ESTATIC!! " Finally, someone shut the hole in Mr. Spock's face!"

    Captain Kirk decided he would ban together with Anthony and coordinate the biggest parade ever.

  39. Anthony loved the parade idea. He love dit so much, he decided he would rip his shirt complete off his body.

  40. But when he did, the sky turned black and people's eyes began to bleed. Then he decided it'd be best for humankind if he remained fully clothed at all times.

  41. He was too beautiful and sexy for humanity.

  42. People were not ready for all that beauty, but Nora sure was and because of that 1 moment she knew in her heart of hearts that she would love him and be his forever.

  43. and all of a sudden the clouds parted... and anthony grabbed the spare mic he keeps in his car (bc what sexy musician doesnt have a spare) and started singing to his chula "hoy es noche de sexo, voy a devorartte nena linda, hoy es noche de sexo y voy a cumplir tus fantasias..."

    they got in the car and headed home.... as they walked into her apt they viciously devoured and took in each and every part of the other... anthony decided to save time by undressing in the car.. and by the time they got home they were good to go.... until...

    they realized jack was waiting, head in hand...

  44. " Hoy es noche de sexooooooo voy a devorarte nena linda.. hoy es noche de sexooooooooooo"

  45. Y voy a cumplir tus fantasias!!

  46. At the sight of Anthony's angelic body, Jack sprung up from his dirty potatoe infested couch aiming at Anthony's neck. He wanted to choke him so badly, but all Anthony did was flick his finger at him and out went Jack flying out the window.
    He landed on top of Captain Kirk who was greedily eating bananas.

  47. Jack cried and cried, he was so humiliated, he wished his body looked like Anthony's body. He wished he could sing. By now it was 9 am and Nora was in the kitchen making Mangu con Longaniza. She even made a tamarindo juice for Anthony because he was her Papi de Nylon.

  48. Miss!!! EXCUSE ME, MISS?!!! There are customers waiting behind you.. I have been trying to get your attention for the past 10 minutes! I asked if you wanted to supersize that??


  49. Nora came back to.

    "Aww no, not again!" she thought. "What is wrong with me? Why do I keep having these vivid visions?"

    She ordered her Big Mac and sat outside. Maybe some fresh California air will help, she thought. Thinking it was jet lag, Nora decided to walk to her hotel room and get some much needed rest. On her way there she couldn't shake the feeling that she was being watched...

    Two hours later, Nora felt revived, refresh and ready to take on the world...and her mission. She knew it'd be risky and that she might not survive the ordeal, but she'd rather have her answer than live never knowing the truth.

  50. ...somehow Nora knew, that while it was important to change her clocks this weekend, and she smiled inwardly when remembered the trite "spring forward, fall back" thing, doing this task wasn't her mission (oh but if life were so simple!)

  51. So off she went on her very own Mission Impossible... she almost hoped Tom Cruise would pop up outta no where to offer a hand (or a kiss)... she later laughed at herself for even thinking such a ridiculous thing could happen.

    As she walked down Sunset Blvd completely oblivious to the shadow following her, she thought back to the day before... the argument, the harsh words, the tears, and the ring she left on the night stand before she flew across the country on a whim...

    the feelings were so strong, poor nora almost lost her composure in front of all those beautiful californians...

    "not now Nora... not now." she said to herself...
    "you've come so far, you've come all this way to chicken out now..."

    sure she looked like a lunatic talking to herself on the street, but if that was what it took for her to convince herself to keep going, then that's what she was going to do...

    nora continud walking...

  52. ...and walking...

    When she saw the street sign "Sunset Boulevard" glowing from the rays of the setting sun, she broke out in song, hoping to forget her woes...

    "Bobby's driving through the city tonight-
    Through the lights-
    In a hot new rent-a-car.
    He joins the lover in his heavy machine-
    It's a scene down on Sunset Boulevard.
    Say goodbye to Hollywood
    Say goodbye my baby.
    Say goodbye to Hollywood,
    Say goodbye my baby.
    Johnny's taking care of things for awhile-
    And his style is so right for troubadors.
    They got him sitting with his back to the door
    Now he won't be my fast gun anymore.
    Moving on is a chance that you take every time you try to stay together.
    Say a word out of line and you find that the friends you had are gone-
    So many faces in and out of my life,
    Some will last, some will just be now and then.
    Life is a series of hellos and good-byes-
    I'm afraid it's time for goodbye again.
    Say goodbye to Hollywood
    Say goodbye my baby.
    Say goodbye to Hollywood,
    Say goodbye my baby......"

  53. But the song made her even more depressed so she pulled out her iPod and jammed out to Beyonce's "Single Ladies."

    She bopped her head all the way to the address written on her paper:

    11 California Road, California.

    Yup, she knew exactly where that was and she knew exactly who would open the door when she got there.

  54. up in the club, we just broke up i'm doing my own little thing [kick here, hand up there], decided to dip [head down, flip the hair up], and now you wanna trip cuz another brother noticed me... im up on him, he up on me dont pay him any attention [fierce hand gesture ...away away away]

    ::Sigh:: Nora could never help dancing out those dance moves each and every time she heard that song...

  55. Hmm... thinking 11 California Road, California was too far to walk, Nora hailed a cab and got in. And found herself dropped off in Anaheim. Diseyland to be precise.

  56. She didnt know when she got into the cab that she would make such a detour from 11 Cali Rd. But as the cabbie got closer to her destination she couldn't stop shaking, heart rate grew faster by the second, her palms were sweating... yep all clear signs that Nora was not as ready as she thought she was.

    and so the detour...

    She needed to relax and what better place than with Mickey and his friends??

  57. She could already feel herself remembering the magic...

  58. Nora looked up and saw that the profile of Space Mountain looked exactly like the "Lomas" tattoo she had. How could that be? And why was her tattoo glowing softly in the dark? What would happen if she went on that ride? Nora loved riding and screaming on roller coasters. Should she? She stood at looked at Space Mountain for the longest time. Were these the hills for which she was running?

  59. They just had to be! Nora ran to the ride, stood on line and waited.

    And waited.

    And waited.

    Two hours later, she

  60. She finally got on the ride... and as the ride approached the cave she felt the pull towards it even stronger ...soon she was in the cave and all of a sudden she heard a familiar voice...could it be? is it possible? yes it was Lauren and the whole cast of The Hills....they were crying for help...she jumped out the ride's cart and ran towards all made sense the signs all pointed to this...this was her destiny...she was supposed to rescue the cast so that the show could go it appears Whitney and her The City cast had kidnapped them all and thrown them where they would least likely be found...Disneyland... but now she had found them and her misery would be over...The Hills is back...and she can finally be at peace, because she fulfilled her destiny.

  61. Nora had always been a big fan of the show and was destroyed at the thought of it ending and as hard as whitney tried, the city was no where near as good...

    Even so, Nora recognized that saving the hills cast was not her true mission. She didn't travel across the country to hang with Lauren and her cast (although, what a pleasant surprise!)...

    "Thank you so much Nora!" Lauren said while fixing the Gucci sunglasses that sat on the top of her long blonde hair.

    "Oh it's o.k. It's nothing... I'm actually not even supposed to be here... here in Disney Land or California for that matter..."

    "Huh, what do you mean?" asked LC

    "I don't know, I don't know. My life is in shambles. I hop on a plane, leaving behind my fiance, my career, my family and friends, travel across the country all for what?? FOR WHAT??!! Just so I can knock on the door? Then what? What would happen after the door opened???"

    Nora was unknowingly nearly yelling at L.C. and was completely embarrassed when she realized it.

    "I'm so sorry, you know what I should be going. I want to get over this before I hop on a plane right back"

    Nora ran off...

    "Hey Nora!!" Shouted Lauren

    Nora turned around...

    "Whatever it is... good luck"...


    Moments later she found herself back at the address. 11 Cali Rd...

    She raised her arm and right before knocking thought back to the argument with Alex right before she left...

    "Nora, you have to let this go. You're putting us in jeopardy with all of this constant back and forth between your old life and our new one. That life... That life was years ago, 20 years ago!"

    "Alex, you think its sooooo easy! SOOOO EASY, do you?! Do you know how hard it was for me to leave?... I... I have to go back Alex, I have to go back.." Nora said on the verge of tears

    "Nora, if you go... that's it... that's it for us. These past 5 years together... you can forget they ever existed..."

    "HOW DARE YOU GIVE ME AN ULTIMATUM?!!!?" Nora yelled.

    "I have to..." said Alex

    The next morning Nora would wake up.. pack a bag and place the ring on the stand..

    "goodbye Alexandra.." she whispered.

    and just like that she shut the door...

    now here she was, hoping this door would open....

    she knocked.

  62. "Who is it?" said a husky voice on the other side.

    "You don't remember me, but my name is Nora," she replied. "I'm your mother."

    The door cracked open and a raggedy face peeked out. Nora hadn't seen her son in 20 years and yet she was sure she'd seen his grown face before: peeking around corners, following her through the shadows...come to think of it, she got an odd feeling when she posed with Goofy at Disneyland and he hugged her a bit too tightly...Her heart lept when she figured that her son had been looking for her, too.

    "I do remember you. You've got some explaining to do." With that, Tony invited the woman who'd dropped him off when he was four at a hospital and ran off. He had been angry for so long wondering why he wasn't wanted and wondering if she'd ever come back for him. After years of jumping from foster home to foster home, he'd given up the thought he'd ever see his mom again.

    "That's fine," he'd say to himself. "I'll become rich and famous one day and then she'll want to come crawling back to me. I won't even give her the time of day!"

    But that was then and this was now. And now that she was finally standing in front of him he just wanted answers and to hear that she really had no choice but to leave him.

    "I had many choices the day I decided to leave you," she started out saying. "But when it came down to it, I just couldn't stay here anymore. I was clearly not fit to raise you. I loved you, I loved you with all my heart, but I thought it would be best to leave you with someone who had their life under control who wasn't constantly blacking out. So I ran toward the hills, the same ones I took you when you were a little boy. Do you remember them?"

    "No," he lied.

    "Oh. No matter. I know I don't deserve your forgiveness. I know you've grown up with more questions than answers. I wish I could take it all back, redo the past, but I can't! If I had known how much harder your life would be I never would have left!!"

    "But you didn't and what's done is done," he looked at her with pity.

    Nora threw herself at his feet. She'd never cried so hard. She'd hoped their reunion would be different. Although it was a stretch, she'd hope she could confront her old life and wipe the slate clean.

    Nora continued as she sobbed. "Well I just came here to tell you that I'm here. I've come back. I don't expect you to forget, that's a tall order I know. But maybe we could help each other heal. I'm sure you think I've been living it up all these years, but trust me my whole life has been nothing but craziness filled with time traveling, aliens, car accidents and spontaneous songs and dances and the last 20 years have been no different."

    Tony didn't know what to make of his mother. Yes, he'd been searching for her and yes he'd walk right past her when she started acting a fool. But he had no one he could call family and he had to admit: when "Forever" came on in his head he couldn't help but move his feet no matter where he was.

    He still had one question he'd been wanting to ask since he was a little boy. "Who was my father?"

    The question caught Nora off guard. But then she smiled as she began to answer.

    "Your father was the love of my life. A man who had to stay fully clothed at all times so that the rest of humankind would not perish. After he was seized by space explorers days before I gave birth. I couldn't bear the loss. And so I decided to name our son after him, Anthony."


  63. *bravo*

    I just want to know one thing... was Nora "this tall in order to ride the ride"? :)

  64. Hahaha, I believe so! Funny you should mention that since they've had to pull out the measuring stick several times for me in the past. (I think I barely make it by a couple inches, which doesn't help when there's still a gap between me and the safety bar.) And thanks so much for helping create this insane story!

  65. Who said this story is OVER??!!
    Now we get to hear more wonderful details about ANTHONY!!

    Great story!
    Please continue it
    : )


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