A New Loop Serial (part 1)

The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment

 
Series: Loop Serial 2023 | Story 1

October 14, 2023

Joshua Crisalli.

A few years back The Loop sponsored a serial prompt in The TALE section of the newspaper. The community was invited to offer up what they thought would happen next in an ongoing story. We chose and published a few contributors at a time and continued the serial in the next paper and the next until we felt we had found a satisfying ending. We would like to do the same again.

We have a new story started below. It is about Ravens, or is it? If you read the prompts and are inspired to imagine what might/could be happening, please write it up!

Rules:

All ages are invited to participate and it is open to both published and amateur writers.

Include your name and some form of contact information (address, phone or email).

Send no longer than 500 words, please. (Short and tight is good for a serial story.)

We reserve the right to edit for space and continuity.

Typed or handwritten submissions can be dropped off at The Loop newspaper office at 206 S. Green Street in downtown Tehachapi. Write "Attention: Serial Submission" or email to: loopserial@gmail.com.

This first submission is due by Friday Oct. 20 to meet the next newspaper deadline.

The writing will become the property of The Loop newspaper and will not be used in any other publication or for profit.

Once we have chosen one or two submissions to publish in the next edition of the paper, we will then invite you to write the story forward from what is presented at that time. Remember, this is a serial. Have fun! October, autumn and Halloween should be interesting!

Ravens?

Driving past numerous fast food restaurants, gas stations and the local truck stop, the landscape suddenly opened up. "If I don't slow down a bit, I'll miss the turn into the mobile home park again."

Out of the corner of his left eye he saw a fluttering. Ravens? But when he turned to look straight at them, it was only a series of torn black trash bags caught in the barbed wire fence, fluttering in the wind.

"Geez!" Stephen exclaimed as he flew past his turn. He slowed, made a U-turn and headed back, ignoring the trash bags now on his right.

***

When excused from the picnic tables, the excited group of kids ran to the play equipment, each one veering off to get to their favorites first. Maxi chose to climb the jungle gym to the very top where big black birds were perched, the breeze ruffling their feathers that glinted shiny in the bright sun. When reaching the top, she found only black trash bags rather shredded and wrapped around the top bars. A sudden big gust of wind blew and they let loose to fly high above the trees in City Park and then disappear from sight.

***

Leanne had joined the volunteer crew to help clean up highway debris. The sunny, breezy day was mild. When a torn black trash bag scudded across her feet and headed up the slight incline, she laughed at the challenge and ran after it. Suddenly it took flight and she realized it had been a raven all along. She looked over her shoulder at the rest of the crew, hoping no one had noticed her mistake. "How embarrassing," she muttered as she used her grabber tool to bite down on some cellophane that had once wrapped itself around a long row of mini donuts.

***

One of Walt's favorite retirement pastimes was to sit on the front porch and rock in his wooden rocker while watching traffic travel by on Highline Road below. The rocker had a satisfying squeak that the ravens mocked as they flew over the roof of the house. They would land below him on the fencing along the road. "Funny how they look like trash bags from this distance," he observed for the hundredth plus time. He was content to believe it was his failing eyesight playing tricks on him.

 
 

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