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Exquisite World Book Day Corpse

March 1, 2012

Seeing as it’s World Book Day, I thought I’d run a book giveaway competition here on the blog. I’m going to do it the same way as I did the chapbook giveaway competition nearly a year ago now – that is, an Exquisite Corpse – because people enjoyed it.

Each winner will win one copy of The Leaping and one copy of The Thing on the Shoreboth books signed.

I’ll provide the first few lines in the comments. (They’re from The Thing on the Shore).


1. Comments which are not intended as part of the emerging story don’t count. (‘This is a stupid competition’ etc).

2. Only contributions made before 12 noon on Thursday 15th March count.

3. Your contributions may be as long or as short as you like.

4. You may make as many contributions as you like.

5. In keeping with the title of this blog, whoever ‘ends’ the story – i.e. whoever leaves the last contribution before the 12 noon deadline – will automatically win copies of the books.

So – whoever leaves the last comment will win copies. The other two winners will be drawn at random from all of the other contributors.

Last time, there were a couple of instances of people commenting simultaneously – I suggest that everyone tries to finish their contribution with a complete sentence, and that way there’s more chance of one comment flowing on to the next in a way that makes sense (even if they’ve been written at the same time).

If you’re reading this, I urge you to join in. Even if you’ve already got the books (or just don’t want them) it might be fun. (I hope it’ll be fun).

Good luck!

From → Uncategorized

  1. Arthur had been what, twelve years old. So this was what, fourteen years ago. He had woken up, not knowing why, and had lain there in bed and listened out for whatever it was that had disturbed him. He had not long to wait.

  2. It was a soft squelching, pucky sound. It was the hole in his earlobe that he had created himself only two days earlier with the point of a compass. The hole was speaking to him, of that he was oddly certain. But what it was saying was another matter entirely.

  3. He brushed his hand along racks of brown clothes in his wardrobe. Plastic coathangers rattled in ire: the staccato sound made Arthur freeze. His ear hurt. He waited. He listened hard into the new silence. Yes. Something. Definitely something.

  4. Julian Smith permalink

    The door to his bedroom suddenly imploded with a mighty crash! Arthur instinctively pulled the covers over his head to protect himself from the shower splinters and dust that accompanied the inrush of air as the door was brutally torn from its hinges. “Are you ever going to get out of that bleedin’ bed,screamed his mother, fourteen years ago I made that bacon sandwich! and if you are not downstairs in ten minutes I will give it to your dog!” …..”Or rather…’I would have’…if I had not eaten him two years ago!!”

  5. Nick Garrard permalink

    Mother was acting out again. They’d never even had a dog. She was caked in sweat and her pupils rolled like marbles in a stormdrain. Stealing her meds had been a terrible idea. Arthur lay very still and pretended to be asleep. Mother hung in the doorway a little longer, swearing to herself, but soon the rage passed and she drew the door closed and headed back out into the hall. In the silence that followed, Arthur lowered the covers and felt the cold evening air settle against his skin. He was just beginning to relax when his ear coughed and spoke in a cool, clear voice.

    ‘We’ll have to do something about her, you know.’

  6. “Not now Kenneth,” Arthur flicked his ear, spattering dotted blood across the quilt, “I’m trying to think.”

    He considered returning her medication, he’d only taken three of the pills, little green and red capsules. Two were left, lonely together at the bottom of the container. He wanted to give them back, hand them to her, say sorry and hope she’d return to normal again. He remembered his thirteenth birthday, when she took him to the zoo and he marvelled at the lions and giraffes and she bought him candyfloss. That’s the mother he wanted back.

    But he knew Kenneth wouldn’t let him.

  7. Arthur ate breakfast in silence, stirring the soggy cornflakes at the bottom of his bowl until they had been whipped into a paste. His mother pottered noisily around him, stopping and starting chores. She muttered to herself as she worked and Arthur felt his chest hurt with guilt.

  8. ben brooks permalink

    A copy of ‘gorillas in the mist’ with a square pit cut out of the pages. That was where his mother kept her money. Arthur emptied the book. Three hundred pounds. He made the notes into a fan shape and held them in front of his face. He took a photograph on his phone and uploaded it to facebook. He made it his new profile picture. A girl commented ‘wicked’. Another girl commented ‘u r gay’. Four people ‘liked’ the thing about him being gay. Arthur didn’t mind. The only thing he cared about was quieting Kenneth.
    Arthur called a taxi and made it drive to Argos, where he bought a pair of bulbous diamond earrings.
    ‘No,’ Kenneth said, thinking of migration.

  9. What first started as a distant, muffled drone had grown to become a loud, piercing rattle, constant, in his subconscious. He tried, but couldn’t ignore the ringing in his ear. Sticking his finger into the hole, he wiggled it and the pain was immense, as Arthur woke, startled, in his own bed. His t-shirt was sticky, wet and when he looked down he realised he was lying in a pool of his own sweat. It was all a dream, just a crazy dream. Yet his ear still ached. Sitting up, he looked back at his pillow. Blood splattered over its Egyptian-cotton case. He clutched something in his hand, something metallic with a sharp point.

  10. ‘That was foolish’ rasped Kenneth, ‘Not everything weird is always a dream.’

    Arthur’s heart stuttered.

    ‘I can only agree,’ came another voice, equally as raspy, from the other side of his head. ‘My man Kenneth here had his work cut out stopping you from applying that earring. Disorientation is dictated by the inner ears, I hope you understand that now.’

    ‘What you thought was a dream,’ said Kenneth, ‘was merely a maelstrom of misremembered motions, from Argos, whirling through the streets wrestling with your own lobes, to here, the bed.’

    Arthur scrambled off, collapsed on the floor, panting. He grasped at both of his lobes to muffle the voices. He could hear them chuckling behind his fingers. Blood oozed free from Kenneth’s new partner. This one must not be named. This one must not be named.

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