The County Fair, parts 1 & 2

Via The Haunted Wordsmith’s ‘Finish the Story #9

The other day, my friend The Haunted Wordsmith wrote part 1 of a story titled “The County Fair” then tagged me with her “Finish the Story” challenge.  I finally had some time today to respond.  Below are Wordsmith’s rules for the challenge followed by her part 1 then by my part 2.  Finally, I’ll tag one of my followers and challenge her or him to pick up the story.

This was great fun for me.  Those of y’all who’ve been with me for a while know how much I love collaborative stories.  So enjoy, and let me know what you think in the comments, please.

Welcome to Finish The Story

The Haunted Wordsmith starts a story, then another has to pick up the story and add to it, then hand it off to another person, etc. until the story is complete. This has proven to be quite fun in a blogging situation since we all have different approaches.


  1. Copy the story below as it appears when you receive it (and the rules please)
  2. Add somehow to the story in whichever style and length you choose
  3. Tag only 1 person
  4. If you choose to not participate or finish the story, please comment/tag this post so that I know.

The County Fair Part 1 by The Haunted Wordsmith

Ashley and Jacob, Jared and Melanie, and Tony decided to skip school on Friday to spend the day at the Reno County Fair. The Midway didn’t open until noon, so they looked at all the animals, pet the goats and camel in the petting zoo, and felt completely ripped off by the world’s smallest horse. Tony waited and ate a snow cone while the couples went on the Love Canal ride.

“Where do you want to go now, Tony?” Ashley asked.

They all made a point when they went out together to not make Tony feel like a third wheel. While they all thought their fourteen-year friendship was stronger than that, they really didn’t want him to feel left out or pushed away.

“I’ve been thinking.” Tony grew a wicked grin that everyone recognized. He wanted to do something that would either get them kicked out, the police called, or worse — they would call someone’s parent. “Let’s go check out the ….”

Part 2 by Denny McBride

“Let’s go check out the old county jail!”

Ashley looked at Jacob.  Jacob looked at Ashley.  Jared looked at Melanie.  Melanie looked at Jared.  All four were gape-mouthed and wide-eyed.  They all turned toward Tony, who was still grinning like a madman and actually rubbing his hands together, and spoke simultaneously.

“Yeah I don’t think that’s such a good idea.” “What, are you crazy?”  “Um, no?” “Oh hell no!”

“What?” Tony cried, eyebrows arched and shrugging his shoulders.  “Are you all too chicken?”  He tucked his fingers beneath his armpits and started flapping his folded arms.  He strutted in a rough circle, jerking his head forward and back, forward and back.  “Bawk! Bawk! B-GAWK!”

Ashley folded her arms and cocked a hip.  “That’s not even funny, Tony.  That place gives me the heebie-jeebies just looking at it from the road.”

“Yeah,” Jacob added, “and that overgrown field around it’s gotta be full of ticks.  I bet there’s snakes in there, too!”  He shivered.

Melanie had gone pale and quiet.  She drooped her head, and her straight, brown hair fell over her eyes.  She hugged herself tightly, fingertips pressed so firmly into her triceps that the skin around them was white.  “You know that place is…” she whispered, then gulped, her throat clicking, “…haunted.”

Jared hugged her with his right arm.  “Even if we wanted to, how would we get over that fence?  The concertina wire on top would rips us to shreds.  No thanks to tetanus today, man.”

Tony put his hands on his hips, threw his head back, and cackled.  “You are scared!  I can’t believe it!  Haunted?  I’ve been going there every weekend for the past month,” he spat, “and there aren’t any ghosts.”

“Still,” Jacob said, “how would we get over that fence?  If we were interested, y’know?”  He looked at the others, elbows bent and palms up, a silly grin on his lips.  “You don’t really believe the jail is haunted, do you?”

Jared rubbed Melanie’s back in soothing circles.  “Yeah babe, and even if it were, Big J would take care of you!”  He stepped back, flexed his left arm, and kissed his bicep, looking at Melanie and waggling his eyebrows.

Melanie giggled and punched him softly on his left arm.  They hugged.  “I know you would, Jare.”  They kissed.

Tony rolled his eyes.  “Ugh, knock it off.  Anyway, I cut the fence.  We won’t have to climb.”

Ashley and Jacob stood side-to-side, arms around each other’s waists.  “I don’t know, Tone,” Jacob said, “what’s so special about the jail?”  “Yeah,” Ashley added, “what could there possibly be to see?  That place has been empty since before we were born.”

Tony stuck his lower lip out and jammed his hands in his pockets, shoulders up around his ears.  “Well,” he pouted, “I wanted to surprise you, but if I have to tell you to get you there…”

“Spill it, Tone,” said Melanie, “or else I vote we go to Brrr Stacks for mochaccinos.”

Tony stepped toward the couples and put one hand on Jacob’s shoulder, the other on Jared’s.  “Now don’t freak out,” he said, “but I’ve kinda been seeing someone—“

All four of them gasped then congratulated him all at once.

Jacob pounded his back.  “Awesome, dude!”

Ashley clapped her hands and hopped up and down.  “Tony, that’s wonderful!”

Melanie hugged him then stepped back, beaming. “I’m so happy for you, Tony!”

Jared put him in a headlock and knuckled his scalp.  “’Bout time, son!  Hey wait, what does that have to do with the jail?”

Tony blushed.  “—and she kinda lives there.”

End part 2

I tag my dear friend, past collaborator, and fellow earthling Em at Earthly Brain.  Because she was so fun to work with and did such a great job on our last project but also because, as much as I love her recent supercute video posts, I want to encourage her to create some fiction.  It’s been too long.  Em, if you aren’t up for it right now or don’t have the time, please let me know, so I can tag someone else.  Ohh, and, I love your bangs, dear!

14 thoughts on “The County Fair, parts 1 & 2

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