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A Notre Dame short story

Douglas Schuda | Friday, November 13, 2009

 Part 8 by Rosemary Kelly

Frederick gasped aloud and then stifled his reaction quickly. He could see the mountain clearly, but it was imperative this councilman remain unaware, that he did not discover his secret. For, Frederick had seen the Other World. He had spoken to an Undesirable, and was now convinced that his entire Mieux Training had been based in untruths. The council had hidden this from all of them, and it was still hiding things … 
The man suddenly spoke. “Why don’t we stop for the night, lad? Right, then I’ll gather some kindle and you get the water.” He left the clearing quickly, his jacket flapping behind him. 
After a minute Frederick tore his gaze from the heavenly peak and wandered from the clearing, following the sounds of water nearby. A river suddenly opened itself up before him and he sat on the bank, tossing stones into the water while he mused. He didn’t noticed anything strange until a small clattering sound drew his attention downward, and he saw the very stone that he had thrown moments before suddenly sitting again at his feet. Confused, he held it in his palm. It was indeed the same stone. Hurriedly, he rose, just as a second stone was deposited gently near him. Another followed, then another. He looked out over the water and was shocked to see the stones he had tossed reappearing on the water and being borne back towards him. What was happening? The river looked normal; did he dare touch it?  He crept forward, intrigued, fearful, and met the water with the edge of his bare toe. Nothing, and yet … without warning he was totally consumed by a fierce joy, a raging passion for life. He desired to plunge directly into the river, to express his rapture, to expend himself completely without cause. Frederick raised his arms, poised to vault from the bank, but suddenly out of the brush behind burst the councilman with a contingent of soldiers. “Seize the boy!” the man yelled. “He has Disobeyed!” Frederick dived.
 
Part 9 by Douglas Schuda
Bewildered and exhausted, Frederick washed ashore. To his astonishment, he found himself at the feet of the Undesirable he had met so long ago, whose kind eyes now burned with fear. “Come, Frederick! We must go! We’re running out of time!”  As he ran, Frederick soon found that the river had mysteriously given him a renewed vigor, and as he bounded after the Undesirable, he learned that his déjà vu had not merely been fantasy …
The Undesirable proclaimed that Frederick was in the mythical region known as Imaginationland, and it was in grave peril! The walls he broke through must have been its sacred gate! Frederick learned of the Stone of Imaginationing, and how the councilman planned to use it to invade Notre Dame through the secret tunnels. Aragorn McCloud was not merely a dream: he was the only Creator to enter Imaginationland before Frederick, and he had been eliminated by the councilman.
They were soon at the base of the mountain, where Frederick knew he must gain possession of the Stone. Just before his climb, the Undesirable warned him of the great beast within. As he climbed, Frederick remembered everything. He knew what he had to do: he had to conquer the great beast, ManBearPig, and take the stone far away from the councilman. The survival of Imaginationland, Notre Dame and Al Gore depended on it!
 
Want to write the next paragraph to the story? Submit your paragraph to NDLFshortstory@gmail.com before 4 p.m. Limit of 200 words. Title it Part Eight. This story will continue until Nov. 16. If your paragraph is selected, it will be published in Viewpoint and you will get to read it at the NDLF panel discussion Nov. 19. The visiting authors will write the ending paragraphs. Take advantage of the opportunity to write a story along with three New York Times bestselling authors.
Nov. 17: Frank Delaney 7PM Coleman Morse Student Lounge. Author of bestselling novel Ireland.
Nov. 18: Tom Coyne 9PM Eck Visitor’s Center Auditorium. Author of bestselling novel A Course Called Ireland: A Long Walk in Search of a Country, a Pint, and the Next Tee.
Nov. 19: Emily Giffin 7PM Geddes Hall Andrew Auditorium. Author of bestselling novels Something Borrowed and Something Blue.
 

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A Notre Dame short story

Mary Laird and Rosemary Kelly | Thursday, November 12, 2009

 Part 7 by Mary Laird

Frederick looked inquisitively at the man as together, they stood at the base of the mountain. Frederick’s fingers still bled from his desperate attempts to get through that wretched brick wall, and he grimaced as he wiped them on his tattered shirt. He winced once more as he ripped at his checkered sleeve for cloth with which to wrap his torn hands, and inexplicably, the man beside him chuckled.

“You know, Frederick, you really should have just used the door! Would’ve saved us all a great deal of time, and we would not have had any of this falling through the wall nonsense. That’s the trouble with your kind … always overcomplicating things …”

The man trailed off as he watched his own hand, previously motionless, give a small twitch. Beyond the mountain, he knew, was the place for which he searched. Rumors had reached his ears of a secret tunnel system, large enough only for several people to pass through, that would allow him to circumvent the biting winter weather and travel from beneath LaFortune all the way to the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. He would not lose another limb to frostbite, of this he was certain.

The only obstacle between him and this ultimate power was the stone. He did not know if Frederick knew of the power it could bestow, or even of its existence, but it did not matter. Frederick would lead him, or he would return to the council and face death.

 

Part 8 by Rosemary Kelly

Frederick gasped aloud and then stifled his reaction quickly. He could see the mountain clearly, but it was imperative this councilman remain unaware, that he did not discover his secret. For, Frederick had seen the Other World. He had spoken to an Undesirable, and was now convinced that his entire Mieux Training had been based in untruths. The council had hidden this from all of them, and it was still hiding things … 

The man suddenly spoke. “Why don’t we stop for the night, lad? Right, then I’ll gather some kindle and you get the water.” He left the clearing quickly, his jacket flapping behind him. 

After a minute Frederick tore his gaze from the heavenly peak and wandered from the clearing, following the sounds of water nearby. A river suddenly opened itself up before him and he sat on the bank, tossing stones into the water while he mused. He didn’t noticed anything strange until a small clattering sound drew his attention downward, and he saw the very stone that he had thrown moments before suddenly sitting again at his feet. Confused, he held it in his palm. It was indeed the same stone. Hurriedly, he rose, just as a second stone was deposited gently near him. Another followed, then another. He looked out over the water and was shocked to see the stones he had tossed reappearing on the water and being borne back towards him. What was happening? The river looked normal; did he dare touch it?  He crept forward, intrigued, fearful, and met the water with the edge of his bare toe. Nothing, and yet … without warning he was totally consumed by a fierce joy, a raging passion for life. He desired to plunge directly into the river, to express his rapture, to expend himself completely without cause. Frederick raised his arms, poised to vault from the bank, but suddenly out of the brush behind burst the councilman with a contingent of soldiers. “Seize the boy!” the man yelled. “He has Disobeyed!” Frederick dived.

 

Want to write the next paragraph to the story? Submit your paragraph to NDLFshortstory@gmail.com before 4 p.m. Limit of 200 words. Title it Part Eight. This story will continue until Nov. 16. If your paragraph is selected, it will be published in Viewpoint and you will get to read it at the NDLF panel discussion Nov. 19. The visiting authors will write the ending paragraphs. Take advantage of the opportunity to write a story along with three New York Times bestselling authors!

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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A Notre Dame short story

Nicholas Brandt | Monday, November 9, 2009

 Part 5 by Felicia Aguirre

He snapped out of his memory just in time to answer the first question. A short, bald man with yellow teeth leaned forward in his seat, strumming his fingers against the podium in front of him.

 “Do you know why you are here, Frederick M. Stevens?” he asked, and his hairy eyebrows bunched inquisitively on his forehead. Frederick took a deep breath and stared at the floor, deep in thought. Those days of working at the Toys-R-Us in Humptulips were long ago, and Frederick vaguely remembered how the events unfolded. He recalled Larry Seretty diving on the floor over the display of Easy-Bake ovens screaming, “Do a barrel roll!” Michael Piles slid down aisle eight on a Razor Scooter, and knocked Mark Evans to the floor.

The whole scenario ended in one giant fit of giggles, as the madman made his escape. Blinking back tears of laughter, Frederick saw the madman grab a grey stone out of the pet rock collection and run out of the store. The stone was not particularly unique. In fact, Frederick thought Larry had stolen it from the parking lot outside, and placed it in the bin as a joke.

 They may know that he had committed the crime, but they had no way of anticipating that he had met a previous victim. If only he had taken the madman seriously.

Part 6 by Nicholas Brandt

A man in a beige-tinted jacket approached him from his council pedestal. He sloshed through the jagged debris and mumbled grumblings to himself. He was squinting his green-brown eyes.

“So why you done torn down this here wall?”

Frederick looked at the man. The following words were the only things that managed to escape his breath:

“I … I couldn’t … get out.” The overwhelming feeling of hollow success began to engulf him.

The man raised an eyelid. Putting his hands on his hips, he let out a feeble chuckle.

“Heh! Couldn’t get out? Why, that’s about the funniest thing I ever heard,” he said.

He offered Frederick his hand. As he got to his feet he noticed that the man’s other hand wasn’t moving and hadn’t been since he arrived. It just dangled by his side. Looked like more of a hindrance to him than an aesthetic advantage. They carried on, climbing through rubble. First his bricks, then more bricks, then shards of what looked like formerly wooden planks, then tall grass, then thick mud. The going was tough, but the tough got going, so they say. They finally came to a point of solid ground.

It was then that they saw the mountain.

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A Notre Dame short story

John Cirilli | Wednesday, November 4, 2009

 Part 2 by Christine Fagan

Desperate for a way through, he decided to try a new approach. He swallowed all that was left of his pride and leaned his whole body into the bricks. He simply leaned, and with that he could feel movement. The wall ebbed and flowed as if controlled by breath. This wall works remarkably like a lung, he thought as he continued his leaning. In almost an instant he felt swallowed. The wall consumed him in his entirety and he clumsily fell through the bricks. Given the chance he would have screamed, but a contradictory mix of pride and shameless fear overtook him, and he remained silent. After a few seconds of eternity, he was on the other side. Once he regained his balance he stood ready to face the council. He was going to win, if only because he was not ready to die.
 
Part 3 by John Cirilli
He did not know of what he was accused, only that he had done it. The starkly cold eyes (or he thought they might be eyes) of those sitting in council followed his every move with unrelenting focus. The minds behind those eyes, hard and sharp and twisted, would never have trifled to accuse the innocent. They saw further into him than he himself, but he knew one thing that they did not.
 
Want to write the next paragraph to the story? Submit your paragraph to NDLFshortstory@gmail.com before 4 p.m. Limit of 200 words. Title it Part Four. This story will continue until Nov. 16. If your paragraph is selected, it will be published in Viewpoint and you will get to read it at the NDLF panel discussion Nov. 19. The visiting authors will write the ending paragraphs. Take advantage of the opportunity to write a story along with three New York Times bestselling authors!

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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archive

A Notre Dame short story

| Monday, November 2, 2009

He had been here before. He couldn’t remember when, but he had been here before. Perhaps it had been in a dream, or maybe he was experiencing a moment of déjà vu. But as much as he tried to push against that brick wall, he could not remember how to get through. His fingers gripped the cold brick and tore down the wall, but he only came away with dirty, bloody fingernails. He kicked, he punched, he yelled, but nothing worked. All he knew was that he had to get to the other side soon. His life was depending on it.

Part 2 by Christine Fagan
Desperate for a way through, he decided to try a new approach. He swallowed all that was left of his pride and leaned his whole body into the bricks. He simply leaned, and with that he could feel movement. The wall ebbed and flowed as if controlled by breath. This wall works remarkably like a lung, he thought as he continued his leaning. In almost an instant he felt swallowed. The wall consumed him in his entirety and he clumsily fell through the bricks. Given the chance he would have screamed, but a contradictory mix of pride and shameless fear overtook him, and he remained silent. After a few seconds of eternity, he was on the other side. Once he regained his balance he stood ready to face the council. He was going to win, if only because he was not ready to die.

Want to write the next paragraph to the story? Submit your paragraph to NDLFshortstory@gmail.com. Limit of 200 words. Title it Part Three. This story will continue until Nov. 16. If your paragraph is selected, it will be published in Viewpoint, and you will get to read it at the NDLF panel discussion Nov. 19. The visiting authors will write the ending paragraphs. Take advantage of the opportunity to write a story along with three New York Times bestselling authors.