Spontaneous Build-a-Stories

It’s practically inevitable: Get two or more writers together, and the next thing you know, they’re making things up. Often enough, it’s just a lot of trading entertaining lies back and forth. Every now and then, though, you end up with something resembling an actual story.

Like, with a plot.

And death. There is frequently death.

Sometimes, the story-making’s intentional from the get-go – like the time I joined the Creative Writing Club of Wisconsin Lutheran College for an off-the-cuff writing game. Other times, it kinda just happens – like that other time on Twitter when Sarnic Dirchi* and I somehow found ourselves with a phantom dentist on our hands.

(* Yes, that Sarnic Dirchi – she of the awesome author-to-reader interview centered ‘round INSPIRED.)

Y’know what’s great about both these times? I’ve actually got documentation of each story in my possession, meaning I get to share them with you! *the peasants rejoice*


Story 1: “It’s Never Happened This Way Before…” by Danielle E. Shipley, Katyln Rogers, Nathan Kelly, and Megan Ann Jacobs

It’s never happened this way before.

He usually just makes my drink without any sort of social interaction.

Now he’s asking after my family, how work is going, and have I finished that book yet?

The strange thing is that I don’t remember ever telling him about my book.

I don’t remember telling anyone.

Has he been watching me?

Cautiously, I sip my drink as he tends to the other patrons.

The drink tastes funny.

At once, I remember every murder case the news ever aired.

I also remember the case I was working on last month.

No culprit was ever found, but we had a clue.

The man making me my drinks.

I sip more slowly, my mouth stalling for time as I try to puzzle out the flavor and what it might mean for my continued health.

Suddenly, I recognize the taste, and my heart leaps within me.

Apples!, the flavor the murderer used to mask his poison!

I rushed to the payphone, knowing it was too late.

The Mackintosh Murderer has killed again.


Story 2: “#PhantomDentist”, a tale told in segments of 140 characters or less by Danielle E. Shipley and Sarnic Dirchi

And so it begins…
And so it begins…

*creeak* The girl turned, brushing her hair out of her eyes. “Hello?” she asked uncertainly. Behind her, a drill whirred.

The hollow eye sockets of the phantom dentist bore into her like a root canal. A chilling whisper: “Let’s see those chompers.”

She gagged as decay and drilled bone whiffed over her. She should be screaming. In fact, she would. “AAAHHH!” She turned to run.

The phantom dentist’s chair ro-o-ose into the girl’s path. Escape cut off, she was yanked back by a lasso of unwaxed floss.

This was her worst nightmare come true. “Let me go!” She struggled. “I floss twice a day! What more do you want?”

The phantom dentist leaned in, uber-whitened smile gleaming. “What more I want,” he said, “is your wisdom teeth. OPEN WIDE!”

“But I got them out two years ago! You can’t take what’s not there Mr. Crazy Ghost Dentist.” She firmly clenched her mouth shut.

The phantom dentist wailed. “Then what is left for me?” W/ a chill in the air sharp as spearmint mouthwash, he vanished.

She exhaled. “Hopefully a date with the Tooth Fairy if, she’ll have you,” she muttered, looking about. “Hey! You need to untie me!”

She received no answer but for the endless suck, suck, suck of that tube dentists stick in your mouth, little knowing…

…the tube was sucking her life force away. Soon, she would be as the phantom dentist: Cursed to roam for teeth…forever.

Her skin paled as the tube sucked away her life, taking on a see-through quality. “Help me,” she whispered, weakening. “Please.”

But none could hear her, their ears all numbed by the phantom dentist’s last malicious gift: Aural Novocain.


Like I said. Creation and death. We writers ARE the Circle of Life!

Mic’s on you, readers! How’d you enjoy the stories? ~ Any favorite lines? ~ Have you and your friends ever found yourselves creating spontaneous build-a-stories of your own? ~ If you weren’t scared of the dentist hitherto, how ‘bout now?

8 thoughts on “Spontaneous Build-a-Stories

  1. Um, amazing. Both stories! We used to do this in my Storytelling class, but usually someone would unnecessarily end the story before it ever got going, thus ruining a perfect opportunity to create havoc and surely some death as well.

    • Glad you enjoyed them! In the case of Story #1, we knew from the outset how many turns each team member would be allowed, so we could make an attempt at pacing the plot. In the case of Story #2, we just kept going until the story seemed to reach its natural end. Either route, it’s all about the storytellers allowing themselves to just go for it while they’ve got the chance. (:

  2. Haha, love these! My roommates are all writers, we’ve got a large collection of problems for our various characters. 😉

    • Pah-ha, oh yes! Once, my writing bestie, our characters, and I took a sentence each to make up a story on the spot. It was pretty funny, and turned out to have a real bombshell of an ending. Too bad it was all oral, so we never wrote it down.

  3. Well, this was a welcome surprise to find this morning. ^^ Ha. Rereading our Twitter story makes me think there should be a sequel in the works somewhere. 😉

      • Lol, the real reason why dogs chase mailmen, They’re vampires!! (or it’s the remnants of an old war between vampires and wolves….who knows.)

        😉 I was thinking “Girl now Teeth Hungry Ghost, goes a h(a)unting…”

        But then, maybe something like ‘My Mummy CabDriver’ Could work as well. 😀

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