The basic idea is that someone writes 200 words, someone else writes 200 more and so on until there are 1000-word stories created by a whiskey-soaked commune of wordmongers.
It was all Mr Wendig’s idea. Blame him here.
The original chunk is by Meagan Wilson, from here.
“Yes, this penthouse view is quite breathtaking,” I turned to the luscious blonde before me, “but not nearly as lovely as—”
A thunder clap, and then I was standing in a small, glowing circle, surrounded by a gaggle of chanting fools in robes.
”Oh great Sorasel im Palat, lord of fire and darkness, fell devourer of the innocent, conqueror of—” Arcane symbols covered the speaker’s robes, nearly obscuring the heavy crimson fabric.
“Yes, yes, get on with it.” I gestured with my gin martini.
He paused, then finished in a post-pubescent squeak, “We invoke thy true name and bid thee do our will.”
“Oh you do, do you? Well I want you to send me back. I was having a smashing time, and that girl may not have two brain cells to rub together, but she looked quite likely to do some rubbing together. If you know what I mean.”
The robe-wearers shuffled, and whispered amongst themselves. The leader piped up again.
“O great Sorasel im—“
“Stop that, stop that,” I interrupted. “Only my dad calls me that. I prefer my middle name. If you must speak, call me Stewart.”
More shuffling and whispering from my summoners.
“O great, uh, Stewart, we bind you by your word. Grant us power and riches. Please.”
There was a long pause.
The leader shifted his weight. “Pretty please?”
I sighed. “Kid, we have no deal. If you try to force me to give without payment it will create a destructive feedback loop. The circle will break and I promise you I will smash every bone in your bodies then drag your pulped and squalling remains down below to use as agonised fleshy beanbags. You don’t want that and it’s my evening off, so just send me back and we’ll say no more about it.”
The leader fumbled under his robes, eventually producing an Archie comic.
Issue 114, October 1960. I thought I had found every copy.
I was confronted with the advertisement. POWER! RICHES! RESPECT! And it WON’T cost YOUR SOUL!
So embarrassing. A valid offer in my own words. Still, I knew something they didn’t.
I had set up that offer as a trap. The summoning ritual created a pretty glowing circle, but no binding at all.
I strode forward, roiling dark flames already wreathing my free hand, and broke my nose on an invisible barrier.