Welcome to the first installment of “Stories Everyone,” the crowdsourced storytelling experiment we conceived while brainstorming things to include on our Canzine Toronto 2011 table. The concept is simple: we get a notebook, and write a couple of lines to start off a story. Then we invite visitors to our table to add to the story. When the day is done, we read the accumulated glory and add an ending.
All told, perhaps a dozen people have contributed to this story. Nothing has been censored, and only spelling has been changed. We’ve added MS Paint illustrations to enhance the text.
Oh, and it should be no surprise that this work of our collective creative consciousness is NSFW. You were warned.
He found it on the sidewalk, half hidden between a trash bin and the cracked wall of an old cinema, long abandoned.
It was in a box made of an indeterminate material; waxy to the touch, durable, yet showing the scars of every single day of every single month of every single year. The box was the size of a gorilla’s heart.
Beside the box was a man.
The man was not extraordinary looking, nor was he remarkable, yet there was an element of intrigue to this non-descript gent. The man had stopped to inspect the box. Hesitant to touch it for fear of a Pandora-like occurrence. So he stood paralyzed by fear, but engrossed in his thoughts. There he stood waiting for something to happen.
Fearful of the box, but socially bold, and cunning, he turned to face passersby.
“Madam,” he said to the approaching woman, “for only two dollars, you may discover for yourself the contents of this mysterious box.”
The woman, tall and bony, hesitated.
“My father learned to speak English through a call-in telephone service. There was no time to get to the library before it closed on Thursdays; he needed to go for his weekly milkshake. After his milkshake he turned on his (???) to have a wank. He jerked his cock for a good hour and wiped up his seed with his sock. The sock was reminded of its pitiful vessel of an existence. Its howls were smothered by the liquid penetrating its threads. It felt soaked to its fibres. Not only with the liquid but with his despair for the future.”
“Inside this mysterious box are those very socks. Christened by my immigrant father, lo, those many years ago. And for only an additional two dollars, those socks could be yours.”
The man completed his pitch. The tall, skeletal woman hesitated. Two dollars was a pretty good price for socks, but these were used. Well used. She had to think about this purchase.
“Did I mention that my father was a mutant? He could set his body aflame. In his home country, he was called El Toro. And these socks are full of his genetic material.”
She stared on in disbelief, confused and nervously seeking an exit. And then, unbeknownst to the rest of the crowd, she slyly sneaked into the anteroom, removed her cloak, and stared into the void, wondering aloud: “What does it all mean?”
… and then suddenly died of a heart attack.
A man discreetly snatched her purse as he passed. He fled, down the street, tree-lined, cagey trees, full of emaciated squirrels and pigeons curious as to each others’ purpose in the (???) of vermin. He passed a man, a man with a box, and feeling powerful and pumped with epinephrine from his recent crime, grasped the box in his clammy hands. Away away.
He came to a stop in a nearby alley, gasping for breath and checking to make sure no one had seen him. He opened the box, and inside was the aged black and white photo of a young man, full of promise, dressed in First World War soldier’s uniform. The young soldier stood in a distant European field, his arm around a woman – a girl, really – grinning as if the War had all been worth it.
The man holding the photo stared, trying to find something familiar and meaningful in these strangers. His focus was such that, when it began to snow, he didn’t notice at all.
Down, down it fell around him, collecting on his shoulders, hunched in contemplation, until he was covered completely, as if by a blanket flung over the head by one yearning for just five more minutes of sleep. Cocooned in the cool softness, he allowed himself to drift. And all that could be seen by the passers-by — if in fact there were any witnesses to the scene — was a pristine landscape of white. Unmarred.