Collaborative Speculative Fiction Part 4

Collaborative speculative fiction part 4 is the last photo prompt for our shared story. Below is the last contribution from last week and my addition for this week. To read all parts of the story, click here. On July 11, I’ll post the entire story. If you haven’t played yet, please feel free to add your inspiration to the the story in the comments.

The creature glided toward the light, its long body leaving a slow wake. My jaw open, I watched it too. Then a gentle splash to my left caught my attention. I stared for a minute and then realized that a second creature like the first was making its way toward the light. I quickly looked between the two animals, and then glanced back at the distant light. Clearly I had been forgotten by the enormous and mysterious creature. Had I also been forgotten by the hurt people back in my house? Now that I wasn’t about to be torn apart by teeth the size of my arm, I had a chance to go back and apologize. I blew out my cheeks, dropped my head, and took two steps toward home. Another thought crossed my mind. Now that I wasn’t about to be torn apart by teeth the size of my arm, I also had the chance to find out what that animal was. And who the person with the light was. And what they were doing. I looked back to the light and counted four distinct swells with tails cutting through the water. I turned my face toward home and heard the door slam. That was enough to make up my mind.

I strode down the pier, the only sound the slapping of those tails and a gulping sound. Through the mist, I saw a white head illuminated by a lantern. The elderly person was pitching something from a garbage can seated on a dolly.

I had the strangest feeling I was interrupting something but cleared my throat.

The person whirled to me, an old man, his face seamed from age and weather. “What’re you doin’ out on a night like this?”

“I-I-I–who are your…pets?”

His eyes narrowed. “You’ve seen the animals?”

“Yes.” I stepped closer, and the stench from the garbage can pushed me back.

“And you didn’t run away?”

I decided to be honest. “I thought one was going to eat me, but then it swam out here to your light.”

“Ain’t my light.” He dug a short shovel into the garbage can and heaved the stinking meat into the sea. “They smell the rotten fish. They can smell it on still nights.”

A thousand questions swirled in my mind like the mist. As I was trying to choose one, the old man stiffened. “That shouldn’t be on the water at this time of year.”

I peered at the sea. The boat that took tourists on pirate cruises in the summer chugged toward the pier.

The old man rummaged through items in a box beside the garbage can. “It’s gettin’ so’s a man can’t have any peace with a few friends any more.”

Collaborative Speculative Fiction Part 3

Onto the next installment of our group story! Here’s the photo for our collaborative speculative fiction part 3. In collaborative fiction, writers take turns adding sentences or paragraphs to a story. To read the first installment, click here. The second installment is here. Below is the last paragraph from last week. My next contribution is below it. I’d love for your to play along! Write your inspiration in the comments.

What was it? And why was it coming toward me? The creature’s eyes had to be as big as my head. And its eyes were fixed on me. It was approaching me fast, now only ten feet away. A wild cry, a high-pitched roar that seemed to slice my ear drums, raged from the creature’s throat. I spun on my heels, adrenaline surging and heart pounding, but I slipped on the wet pier and face planted the cement. Was this it? Why, oh why did I leave the house, slam the door, yell that I never wanted to see any of them again? Was that really the end of it all?

I whipped around to a seated position, expecting to see the creature opening its mouth for its first taste of me.

Instead it lifted its head and made a sound like a giant sniff. Then it swam toward the end of the pier.

Leaping to my feet, I was about to turn and put as much distance between me and the sea as I could when I saw a light bobbing at the furthest point of the pier. That bobbing had to mean a person was holding a light. I’d thought I was alone on the pier. Had the light or whoever was holding it attracted the creature?

Collaborative Speculative Fiction Part 2

Here’s the photo for our collaborative speculative fiction part 2. In collaborative fiction, writers take turns adding sentences or paragraphs to a story. To read the first installment, click here. I’ll write the next section, and you can take it from there.

I ran onto the pier. I had to get out of the house, go some place without people–people meant problems.

Slowing to a walk, I jammed my hands into my windbreaker. The cold night and rising fog had left the pier empty of people. Perfect.

I leaned on the railing, breathing in the salt air. The sea was still, touched with silver where the moonlight could slip through the mist.

I stared at the horizon. How far could I see? How many miles? How many miles could I put between myself and–

The smooth surface of the water rippled. Something was swimming toward the pier. Something big.

My eyes widening, I felt my heart take a jump.

The ripple stopped, and a head broke the surface. A head like every dragon I’d ever seen in a fairy tale.

I slapped my hand over my mouth to squash a scream.

Collaborative Speculative Fiction Part 1

My theme this month is speculative fiction. So I thought I’d try another collaborative story for prompts this month. I did this back in October for my mystery theme. I’ll post a picture, write a paragraph or more about it, and then you can add your sentence or paragraph to continue the story. Each Monday, I’ll post a another picture for the next installment of our story.

I’ll start us off with the first prompt.

The creature barely had to swish his tail, the sea was so calm. The moon turned the surface to silver, and the creature’s wake appeared as an arrow cleaving through it.

Lifting his head, the creature looked to the horizon, where many pinpricks of light dotted it, his nostrils flaring. He inhaled deeply, then tilted his head to one side and gazed at the sparks of light, which lined the horizon as if the stars overhead had fallen into a rut.

With one great last of his tail, the creature pivoted. Then with his tail acting as both rudder and engine, he swam toward the lights .

For more speculative fiction prompts, click here.

Could We? Should We? Part 1

So happy to have author/editor Michelle L. Levigne back to share about speculative fiction, one of the many genres she writes in. Take it away, Michelle, with “Could we? Should we? Part 1”!

Sorry. That sounds a little like Dr. Seuss.

Could we and should we what, exactly?

At one time or another, a Christian writing SF, fantasy or horror will face someone who insists that their chosen genre is inconsistent with their spiritual beliefs. I faced that question to the extreme – a fellow student in grad school insisted that I had invited demons into my life by writing and reading SF. My response? Well, it was several years later, in my master’s thesis, and slightly revised and published last year as To Eternity (and beyond): Writing Spec Fic Good for Your Soul. This is excerpted from the introduction:

Can Christians write, read, and enjoy the science fiction/fantasy genre without compromising their commitment and walk with Christ? Can this genre be used to the glory of Jesus Christ? 

I believe it is only logical that wherever Christians are able to work, take enjoyment and come into contact with their fellow human beings, this is a place where seeds can be sown for God’s glory.

Keep in mind that devotion to a subject depends a great deal on the mentality, personality, and needs of the person involved. Some people enjoy the genre as a light adventure. Others are drawn to the mind-stretching speculation it can inspire. Others devote every particle of their being and energies to it because they have nothing else in life. Should the genre be blamed because people twist and pervert it and let their lives be consumed by it? That’s like burning books because some are pornography. It’s like avoiding bathing because a baby drowned in a bathtub. Science fiction/fantasy, in and of itself, is neither good nor evil: the people who use it, and the uses to which it is put, are what can be labeled good or evil, right or wrong.

C.S. Lewis once wrote, in reference to his Space Trilogy:

 … out of about 60 reviewers, only two showed any knowledge that my idea of the fall of the Bent One was anything but an invention of my own. But if there only was someone with a richer talent and more leisure I think that this great ignorance might be a help to the evangelization of England; any amount of theology can now be smuggled into people’s minds under cover of romance without their knowing it.

W.H. Lewis. Editor. Letters of C.S. Lewis. (Harcourt Brace Jovanonvich. NY 1966) pp.167

Lewis saw a potential for great good in science fiction/fantasy, if used properly. Just as something has a great potential for good, it can also have just as much potential for evil, and thus great care must be taken. God created all things to be good, but His rebellious servants pervert these good things into evil. Perhaps with prayer, searching, and wisdom, all things may be reclaimed for good.

Please check in next week for the thrilling conclusion. Or, at least, a very thoughtful conclusion, that made me consider why I write as a Christian in my genre. And click here for Michelle’s previous guest blogs.


Michelle L. Levigne

On the road to publication, Michelle fell into fandom in college and has 40+ stories in various SF and fantasy universes. She has a bunch of useless degrees in theater, English, film/communication, and writing. Even worse, she has over 100 books and novellas with multiple small presses, in science fiction and fantasy, YA, suspense, women’s fiction, and sub-genres of romance. 

Her training includes the Institute for Children’s Literature; proofreading at an advertising agency; and working at a community newspaper. She is a tea snob and freelance edits for a living (MichelleLevigne@gmail.com for info/rates), but only enough to give her time to write. Want to learn about upcoming books, book launch parties, inside information, and cover reveals? Go to Michelle’s website or blog to sign up. You can also find her at www.YeOldeDragonBooks.comwww.MtZionRidgePress.comFacebook, and Instagram.

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