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Author: Subject: Community Story/Round Robin
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[*] posted on 7-1-2009 at 03:13 AM
Community Story/Round Robin


To post to the community story, write a post with the words IN PROGRESS, then edit your post. You have one hour to revise the post. To read the complete guidelines, please visit the Community Story (Meta Discussion) post. The first post is updated to summarize all guidelines.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
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[*] posted on 7-1-2009 at 03:13 AM


Olivia toyed with the steamed asparagus on her plate, first separating it from the other neglected vegetables, then swiping it to the side with one tiger-striped talon. Her other hand was engaged in twiddling a straw, while her feet tapped out a tempo to a song only she could hear. I had chosen Duwali's because its mellow atmosphere provided opportunities for conversation. I could sense the waitstaff becoming hostile, and the couple at the opposite table glared at us. Olivia, of course, was oblivious to everything except Olivia.

"What did you want to see me about?" she asked, flicking the straw across the table at me.

(wc: 106)

[Edited on 2009-7-1 by Brownthumb]
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 02:29 PM


"I really hate when you bring me out to public places like this," I said in a harsh whisper to Olivia. "I can feel the entire restaurant staring at you."

Olivia sighed, stopping her rhythmic tapping and finally taking note at those eyes conciously looking at her. She smirked at the couple who were staring intently at our table. She fiddled with her asparagus to get one stalk to be allowed to get caught up in one of her talons, and she casually flicked it at the annoying couples table. It made a perfect arc from our table to theirs and landed with a buttery "splat".

The couple jumped in recoil, quickly throwing down money for their unfinished meal and leaving the restaurant and the eyes of the other people seemed to follow them out.

"Now that the noses are away from here, what is it you wanted to speak to me about?"

I cleared my throat, "Well, it's better if I show you." I reached into the dark brown attache case and pulled out a plain manilla folder, approximately half an inch thick. "This."

(word count: 186)
[Edited on 7-6-2009 by Rather Be Sledding]

[Edited on 7-6-2009 by Rather Be Sledding]




JulNo08: The Dreaming Dragon (working title)
JulNo10: Really going to finish The Dreaming Dragon (still working title)
JulNo11: Cubicle Commandos
JulNo12: Unknown
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/803796/the_typewriter_song/
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 03:21 PM


"Is that...?" Olivia's sigh trailed off.

"Yes."

"Give it to me." She leaned across the table, but I pulled it out of her reach, knocking over my wine in the process. Olivia looked ready to laugh as my white shirt soaked up the red.

"There's the matter of payment," I said, attempting to appear dignified. I was distracted by a tap on my shoulder.

"Excuse me, but you are going to have to leave." The waiter didn't even offer me the dishtowel over his shoulder. "You are disturbing our guests."

Olivia was full of mirth, now that she'd regained the upper hand. "Let's go, then," she smirked. She swept her purse off the bench. Almost as an afterthought she picked up her own glass of wine, took a dainty sip, and dashed the rest in the waiter's face. The glass shattered on the floor where she dropped it. She was out the door before he finished sputtering.

"I'm so sorry!" I handed him my napkin.

"Just leave!" If there was anyone in Diwali's who hadn't been disturbed before, they were certainly no longer oblivious.

I quickly withdrew a 50 from my wallet and set it on the table. I went to shove the folder in my attache case, which is when I noticed Olivia had swiped it, and she'd managed to scratch my hand with her nail in the process. I grabbed the case and ran outside after her, the waiter's curses ringing in my ears.

(cumulative wordcount: 538)

[Edited on 2009-7-6 by Brownthumb]
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[*] posted on 7-6-2009 at 03:46 PM


"Give it back, Olivia," I said, following her down the street. She had taken her haloween costume to the hilt, striping every bit of exposed skin with orange and black makeup. The talons were all hers, though, her natural long nails our only point of genetic commonality. I keep mine just a bit shorter, so I can type at my mind-numbing but high paying job.
Yep, that's my sister! And she owes me a hundred thousand dollars. I've tried and tried to keep her career in line, and she goes and does some stupid stuff like this. She's lucky the doorman only charged me five stacks for the pics.
Like the stupid stuff she's doing now. I chase her up the steps into St. Patrick's Catholic Church. It would have to be a Sunday.
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[*] posted on 7-9-2009 at 04:21 AM


The doors were open and Father Lappin was exchanging pleasantries with the last stragglers from the evening service. "Margaret!" he called out. "When will I see you in church again?"

I frowned slightly. Father Lappin knew I was strictly an Easter-and-Christmas-Eve churchgoer. I waved vaguely and tried to think of a diplomatic answer when he recognized Olivia.

"Ah, Olivia. I trust we won't be seeing you in church anytime soon?" Father Lappin remarked with accuracy and a touch of panic. Even my mother had given up trying to bring Olivia to church by the time she was fifteen. Father Lappin had been trying to persuade mother to keep her home for a few years before that.

People who don't know Olivia might have asked what she did. Those who know her are more inclined to ask what she didn't do. That's a much harder question to answer, especially when I remember the time she was found behind the alter with Michael Deasagh and the subsequent arson attempt.

I expected Olivia to laugh and tell him there wasn't a chance, but instead she smiled broadly. "I was just thinking of going to church now," she remarked. "Your doors are open to everyone, are they not?" She flounced past the startled Father Lappin and I rushed after her. I found her sitting on a pew looking at the contents of the manila file.

I pinched her on the arm. "What are you doing here, Olivia?"

"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm looking at the pictures."

"You'll give Father Lappin a heart attack! Now get up and we'll go somewhere else, destroy the pictures, and you'll try to be civilized."

"Destroy the pictures?" Olivia looked amused. "I'm not paying five grand just to destroy them."

"I believe that's the point of bribery," I remarked through clenched teeth. "Someone has pictures of you that you don't want made public, and you pay for the opportunity to destroy them." I noticed Father Lappin hesitantly approaching us from one direction. From the other direction, Mary Sabelli held no such hesitation. She was charging toward us, her face red with fury. I had no doubt that the self-appointed boss of the church was quite willing to beat us with the broom she held if we didn't depart. Patience was not one of the virtues the Father's housekeeper had acquired despite her long years of service in the Catholic church. "Come on!" I hissed.

"Alright already, Naggie." Olivia stuffed the pictures away with more haste than I'd expected. She had also seen Mrs. Sabelli. I followed Olivia out of the church, waving meekly at Father Lappin on my way out. Mary Sabelli followed us to the door, then stood blocking it with her arms crossed. She needn't have worried, as Olivia had already reached the sidewalk and was busy waggling her rear end at the church, making her fake tail bounce.

I grabbed her by the arm and started walking. "Why are you wearing that outfit anyway? Halloween isn't for another three days."

"Naggie, Naggie, Naggie," Olivia said, knowing how much I hated her nickname for me. "Halloween is only one day, and that's hardly long enough to appreciate this costume." She wrenched away from my arm and twirled around, making sure I got a good look at her striped spandex. Because she was wearing heels, I got rather more of a view of her chest than I wanted.

My own patience was wearing thin under Olivia's antics. "I paid for those pictures because you said the doorman had photos of you which would ruin your career. Now you're going to tell me what exactly happened and what you intend to do with those pictures, which you did not pay a cent for." I knew better than to ask when I'd be repaid--no matter what Olivia said, the real answer was 'never.'

"You didn't look at them? You have no curiosity at all, Maggie."

In fact I was intensely curious, but hadn't wanted to risk looking at the pictures. I'd seen enough of my sister's naked body at the same time St. Patrick's congregation had. It was a shock I wasn't prepared to repeat, although judging by some of the comments I'd overheard, not all of the parishioners felt the same way.

My sister had found the photo she wanted and shrieked with glee before waving it in my eyes. I quickly averted my head. "Olivia, I don't want to see you...er, in flagrante delicto."

"This picture is going to make me a million bucks." Olivia stuck the picture at me again for emphasis. "I'll be able to pay you back and quit my stupid job."

"What are you talking about?" I asked with my eyes closed. "Why is anyone going to pay for pictures of you? Are you starting a career in porn?" At the last sentence I cursed myself. I didn't want to give Olivia any ideas.

"Blackmail." Olivia sounded so smug I almost expected her fake tail to curl around her legs.

I risked opening my eyes. The offending picture had been tucked away. "Sis, you were being blackmailed over those pictures. By the doorman, remember?"

"As if I care who sees me in these pictures." Olivia carelessly dumped the folder on the ground, streaming the photos onto the sidewalk. She plucked her favorite one out of her purse and gave it a kiss.

I snorted and began to pick up the pictures of my sister and shove them in my attache case. I didn't care if they were muddy; as soon as I got home I was going to burn the lot.

Olivia bent down to look me in the eye. "Maggie, the doorman blackmailed the wrong person. I don't care about these pictures one bit. But the man--he'll care very much."

(Cumulative wordcount: 1642)



[Edited on 2009-7-14 by Brownthumb]
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[*] posted on 7-9-2009 at 07:19 PM


"What are you talking about?" I questioned. I was never really able to keep up with Olivia's ever-changing thought process, but my interest was piqued this time. Or maybe it was the dreadful feeling weighing down my stomach. She thrust the picture into my face so quickly that I didn't have a chance to avert my eyes. Again, I saw my naked sister.

"Father Lappin?!" I immediately lowered my voice, hoping that Mary Sabelli hadn't heard us with her bat-like ears. "You and Father Lappin?"

Olivia smiled broadly for a second before turning on her heel and skipping down the street. I knelt and shoved the rest of the pictures in my attache case as quickly as I could. I dashed after my sister, knowing I was going to regret asking for more details.

Cumulative Wordcount - 1,776

[Edited on 7-10-2009 by Chase]




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[*] posted on 7-14-2009 at 05:06 AM


"Father Lappin?" I asked again, once I had caught up with her. We were now a safe distance from the church, and although people were looking at Olivia's costume curiously--it was still three days until Halloween--nobody was showing interest in our conversation.

"In the flesh," Olivia answered, with a giggle.

My mind was crowded with questions, all vying for attention. I settled on: "Why would he do that? He's a priest!"

"Clearly, he's only human."

I was disappointed in this revelation, but, looking at it objectively, I could see that Olivia could be appealing. "But that doesn't explain why you did. The man's three times your age!"

"No, he's 57," Olivia corrected me.

"Close enough!" Olivia was 26, so 'double' would have been more accurate than 'triple', but my point was the vast age difference not the precise number of years between them.

"Unlike you, I don't judge people by their age." My sister actually looked down her nose at me. I bristled at the remark. Olivia is one of the most judgmental people I know.

"You know what I mean," I hissed. "It's not his age. Despite your new broadmindedness, I know you well enough to know that if a man isn't attractive, you're not interested in him." Olivia's roundabout conversation was exasperating. No wonder everyone who met us thought I was the older sister; dealing with Olivia was going to give me gray hair and wrinkles.

Olivia acknowledged the point with a slight nod and must have caught the menace in my tone because she didn't dawdle. "You remember the money?"

I flushed. "He paid you to have sex with him? You're a prostitute?" Even for Olivia this was a new low.

"Of course not, what do you think I am?" Olivia demanded.

The kind of woman who jumps into bed first and asks for names later, I thought. The sort of person who disregards all conventions of politeness because she doesn't feel like being constrained. The kind of woman who would steal her sister's first boyfriend on a whim, and dump him a day later. A person who would spend her entire paycheck on expensive clothes, and then have to borrow money for rent and food.

I didn't say any of this. I have a lot of practice in holding my tongue around Olivia. "No, of course you wouldn't, you would never ask for money." Even as I attempted to mollify her, the unwanted followup popped into my head: of course not, you never charge for it. "What happened, then?"

Assured of her audience, Olivia practically glowed. "People have been getting millions of dollars from the church in those sex claims. When they see this picture, they'll be offering me a similar amount."

My stomach churned. "You're planning to blackmail Father Lappin?"

"No," Olivia answered scornfully. "He doesn't have any money at all. You haven't been listening. The courts have been awarding piles of money to people who had sex with priests. It's been all over the news."

I was sure now I was about to vomit. "Olivia, those were cases of childhood sexual abuse, not adults willingly...sleeping together."

"Father Lappin has been after me since I was fifteen!"

"He...approached you after that incident?" I didn't know how I felt. If Olivia had been molested by the priest, that might explain some of her actions.

Olivia pouted. "Not exactly, but he always brushed my hand when he visited, and said he'd pray for me."

"He brushes everyone's hand!"

"He touched mine longer," she retorted. "Then he'd say in that sugary voice, 'I'll pray for God to give you strength to fight the devil that's in you.'" Olivia snorted. "For all the weeping he did later, he sure wasn't thinking about God in that hotel room!"

Resignation filled me as I asked the question I already knew the answer to. "You seduced Father Lappin?" No doubt the Father had known better, but Olivia is not a force to be easily dismissed. The poor man probably thought he was facing the devil himself, and he had failed the test.

"He was a willing participant," Olivia answered tartly. "But he's still going to pay me for the pictures."

I ignored her attempt to turn the subject back to her second favorite topic, money. Her favorite topic was Olivia. "You said he cried and regretted it."

"Every time."

I didn't know who I hated more at the moment: Father Lappin for repeating his sin, or Olivia for egging him on and bragging about it. After further thought I concluded Father Lappin probably hated himself enough at the moment. My fury turned to Olivia.

"Can't you ever let anyone be? Do you have to bedevil everyone you meet? Is it all just a game to you?"

"Someone sure is naggy," she spit out, before sauntering away from me. She turned and looked over her shoulder and gave me an unpleasant grin. "I like the idea of being a devil; perhaps I'll dress like one tomorrow."

I let her go. I had a purse full of nasty pictures of my sister I couldn't wait to get rid of, and a head full of churning thoughts. Olivia hadn't told me how the doorman had gotten the pictures, but I had a sneaking suspicion she'd arranged the whole thing.

###

Olivia showed up at my apartment early Monday morning, before I left for work. Today she was dressed as a devil from a Coop drawing, with a tight yellow shirt and cutoff jean shorts. She was licking a lollypop and her hair was in two ponytails. If there's one thread which runs through my sister's wardrobe, it's probably the only thread in the closet. That's a bit of an exaggeration, but skimpy is definitely the word for her taste. She wasn't even wearing a bra.

(Cumulative wordcount: 2,746)



[Edited on 2009-7-14 by Brownthumb]
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