Thank y’all very much for your love of yesterday’s post, “10 Bloggers, 300 Words Each“. That project was way too much fun. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the awesome Bloggers with whom I collaborated and I have apparently created a monster with the fictional Darla Nyte world we developed in that story.
The amazing and talented Liz Charnes, who wrote Part 3 of “A Dead Man Walking”, designed its cover, and created a beautiful blurb for the story, has now begun a parallel story starring Darla’s assistant, Steve, and invited the rest of us to add to it. Which of course I couldn’t resist. Liz’s beginning follows. Please pop over to her place to read it, and if you’re intrigued, you can come back here for my addition.
What did I do to deserve this thing called blogging and especially this awesome WordPress community?
Part 1 by Liz Charnes
STEVE SAT ON the subway, his mind on his boss’s ridiculous obsession with coffee.
The image of an infuriated Darla Nyte, glaring at him and shaking an empty coffee pot, would not leave his head. “Honestly, Steve, all you do is put in a filter, pour the coffee on top of it… but not too much, only a tablespoon per cup… and then pour in the water. Boom! You turn it on. Boom! There’s coffee. See? How hard is it, Steve? How. Hard. Is. It?”
For the rest, click here.
Part 2 by Denny McBride
The jinn picked Steve up, hoisted him onto his massive bare shoulder, exited the train, and began walking. After a few minutes, Steve woke up. He tapped the jinn’s huge thigh and said, “Sir? Will you please set me down?” The jinn obliged his request. “Thank you.” Steve ran his right hand through his hair, which fell obediently back into place. “So what’s your name?”
The jinn arched an eyebrow and flashed a dazzling grin. “My name is so long I wouldn’t be finished saying it by the time your next birthday rolls around. You wouldn’t be able to pronounce it anyway. Just call me Jim.” He offered his right hand.
Steve shook the offered hand, which swallowed his own, and was amazed at its warmth and gentleness. “Er, nice to meet you. I’m Steve.”
“The pleasure’s all mine! How may I be of service to you?”
Steve began walking toward his house. “Jim the jinn, that’s kind of catchy. Service? I… I don’t know. Do you mean wishes? What do I get, three?”
Jim threw his head back and laughed, a booming, resonant sound, and crossed his arms over his broad, bare chest. “No, I’m not that kind of jinn! You wouldn’t believe how often I get that, though. So here’s how it works: you tell me what you need, and I do it. Or get it.”
Steve rubbed his chin. “Hmm… Anything? For how long? And why?”
“Because I’m grateful to be out of my lamp and I’m a spirit of mischief. If I’m left to my own devices, I’ll just make an awful mess and get into trouble. As for how long, as long as it takes you to figure out how to get me back into my lamp.” Jim was attracting stares from passersby. He twitched an ear and was no longer bare-chested and wearing baggy silk pants and curly-toed satin slippers. Now he was clad in loose jeans, hiking boots, and a black and red plaid flannel shirt open over a black t-shirt.
Steve thought the change a vast improvement. “In that case, will you get me a potted Venus slipper arrangement, a box of Godiva truffles, and a bottle of Chateau Montrose? I’m on my way home for dinner with my husband.” He blushed. “And could you zip back into that bottle for a bit, just for a couple of hours?”
Jim extended his arms and handed Steve the requested items, chuckling. “No, you won’t trick me back in there that easily! But I can leave you alone for as long as you’d like. I have business to attend to…elsewhere. Should you require me, all you need do is think my name, and I’ll be by your side.” He disappeared.
When he reached home, Steve had to stoop and ring the doorbell with his chin. Gary opened the door in his apron and slurping sauce from a wooden spoon. “Mmmm, this sauce is divine if I do say so myself. Hello, handsome.” He pecked Steve’s cheek. “Ooo, you’ve brought some goodies! Here, let me help you with those.” He took the Venus slipper and placed it on the dining room table.
Steve rummaged in a kitchen drawer for a corkscrew. “It smells heavenly in here, Honey. I’m famished, and you won’t believe the story I have for you!” As he was opening the fridge to store the chocolates, his PalmPal began buzzing in his pocket. He didn’t recognize the displayed number. “Hello?”
“Steve.” It was Darla, but her voice sounded tinny, as if she were speaking in an echo chamber. “I’m in the county jail. I need you to come bail me out.”