Due to the number of people who wanted to play along for this second edition of Cadavre Exquis, and not wanting to restrain writers’ inspiration, I divided the group in three teams. This is the work of Team #1. I hope you’ll enjoy the writing exercise.
Cadavre Exquis is a writing game in which each player only gets the last sentence of the writer before him/her. Here is the result of putting all the puzzle pieces together…
Sipping on my bitter microwaved cup of black coffee, I tell myself that if I had gotten a dime everytime someone had told me to chase my dreams, I would be rich enough to… to…
The telephone already looks like a Christmas tree, and I feel nausea just looking at the pile of files stalked on my messy desk. I remember back when I thought keeping it clean would somehow keep me motivated. Yeah, think again now!
Hearing my boss’ annoying voice coming from next room, I just can’t stand it anymore. Grabbing my jacket on the door handle, I don’t even bother leaving a note behind. I just hope not to bump into my manager on my way out, that’s it, I’m out of here; today’s the day I go after my dreams!!
I packed up all the strawberry sauce and managed to get some on the shrine. Jesus looked at me disapprovingly from the cross. It was almost as if he didn’t like strawberry sauce. I licked it off with caution, so that my tongue would not get cut with the barbs on his head. How would I say my daily prays then.
My manager was no where to be seen. He was probably managing his management. I doubt he would miss me. I doubt anyone would miss me, I’m so invisible to them all. Apart from when I make strawberry sauce. They all see me then.
I walked down the road, and straight into the airfield. My jet was waiting and Smugglebunny my friend was ready to fly it. He had arranged a ship, a plane, and another boat ride, to the island where our strawberry factory waited.
And so the journey began.
After three days of voyaging along the waters of the Pacific, we have finally reached it. But unlike one might imagine, the place is not surrounded by thick jungles teeming with mosquitoes; not even a shore of sand nor rocks greeted us as we neared the coast. It wasn’t the sight of land either, that signalled us that we were near, but the music blaring all around the misty atmosphere. At first it was only me who heard the familiar tune, but soon enough almost everybody on the ship heard it too. It was the Beatles song, alright; the famous “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
Everybody cheered. We just arrived at the island, which is technically just a floating strawberry factory in the middle of nowhere. It hasn’t been operational for the past 20 years and the fact the its playing the song only means the ones who boarded the plane and the boat have already arrived before us.
As the ship neared the strawberry factory island though, it became apparent that I was wrong about who came in first.
As the ship neared the strawberry factory island, though, it became apparent that I was wrong about who came in first. Was it the cargo ship or the slave ship? The slaves were needed to work the strawberry fields and the cargo was necessary to provision the factory and to feed the workers, slaves, and masters alike.
I didn’t have the stomach to deal with the slave ships. The stench coming from those ships was awful and when I worked the docks on those days I often found myself retching up my last meal.
I walked down to the dock and was relieved to see that it was the cargo ship. I directed the small group of stevedores to load the cargo onto the wagons and haul it all up to the factory and the living quarters. I was happy that tomorrow was my day off because I knew what was coming.
I was going to wake up with a terrible hangover.
I don’t even like tequila. I should never have let those guys convince me to do shots with them. But at least I wouldn’t have to pretend I had the flu or come up with some other excuse for not going to work.
Besides, I had things to do.
Morning arrived and I knew immediately that I was right about the hangover. My head felt like I’d been hit with a baseball bat. I had to ignore it, though, because I only had an hour before I had to be at the train station. This meant rushing around trying to get everything just right before I had to leave. I couldn’t have anything out of place because no one could know I’d been there ‘borrowing’ my sister’s apartment.
I knew it was wrong, using the spare key she gave me to use her place as a hotel. But I couldn’t go home last night, and she was conveniently out of town. It was perfect.
Of course, my headache fogged my memory and slowed me down all morning. I knew I was going to be late. I expected that.
What I didn’t expect was to find someone standing there about to knock when I opened the door.
I was only letting the cat out. Naked. But there she was, suddenly, standing before me dressed in a business suit and smelling vaguely of carnations. I was dressed in nothing and smelling strongly of A grade marijuana. She stared me up and down in my nudity maintaining what I considered to be a disturbing nonchalance before enquiring, “expecting someone?”
“The Mormons”, I replied, “they normally pop in about now for a chat and a couple of beers.”
“I see,” she continued, unperturbed,“very funny. But perhaps now you might like to slip into something a little less comfortable so that we can discuss events in Vladivostok.” She was through the door and into the house before I could think of any sort of dignified way to stop her.
There was a dressing gown on the floor so I picked it up in an effort to rectify the power imbalance and as I did so she scattered a series of photographs across the kitchen table before waving her gun casually at them and at me. “Know any of these people, maybe?” she asked.
It was clear that the Mormons might have to wait…