Forums → Art, Music, and Writing → The Weekly Whoosh!
You are whooshed away to a foreign landscape. You are standing on the muddy bank of a slow-moving river. It's placid surface reflects the deep blue cloudless sky and the dark green forest on the other side. A coyote, or maybe a coywolf, looks at you with curiosity before resuming drinking. You have no idea how you arrived at this spot or why. One moment you were browsing the forums of Armor Games and the next, you're standing by a river. You're pretty sure you weren't even upright. Behind you is an endless field of wild grass almost up to your knees. There does not appear to be another creature around for miles. The coyote is gone. A short breeze across the tops of the grass. You feel the chill across your arms. You're wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt and blue jeans. You follow the river downstream and hope to come across civilization.
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Are we to continue the story or something, or is this your thing and we give feedback?
Are we to continue the story or something, or is this your thing and we give feedback?
To be explained later.
I don't think I've not caught that mistake in a while.
You come across a lone tree in the inner bend of the river. Its branches provide spotty cover from the sun. Having walked for some time now, you aren't sure how long, you decide to rest in its shade. From the leaves and the acorn caps scattered about, you figure it's an oak. At the base of the tree, you notice a blue cloth-bound book. The cover is unfaded and unsoiled. "Whoosh You Were Here: Can You Tell a Green Field from a Cold Steel Rail?" and a character you're pretty sure means 'gateway' stand out clearly in gold lettering. Intrigued, you open the cover to an unexpected whiff of old book smell. The book is dedicated to You, for exploring things behind new doors. You continuing reading through the pages and come across two passages describing two scenes up to this point in time. You drop the book, only to have curiosity to overcome fear.
You indulge your curiosity and flip through blank pages. Whatever lies ahead is unwritten. With no discernible plot, a vague-to-nonexistent conflict, and a re-used plot device*, you figure you must go through whatever lies ahead to find the end of the journey to finish the book, but where do you start? The mating call of a mockingbird catches your ears. You look up through the branches but don't spot it. The sun is sinking lower in the sky. With only about three hours left of sunlight, you guesstimate, you decide to continue along the river and find shelter.
*Reaching Out and Touching No One, The Stranger
An Open Call for Whooshers
This is an open call for whooshers. Anyone is welcome. A whoosher is one who whooshes a whoosh. A whoosh is a time and a place set at the beginning of the whoosh. As an example, the first whoosh above takes place at an during the daytime on an unspecified date along a slow moving river that separates a forest from grassland. A whoosh occurs approximately once per week and the time and place will change along with it. To whoosh a whoosh, the whoosher continues along the setting. Taking "Whoosh 1.2" as an example, the second whoosh takes place further downstream at a bend in the river where stands an oak. The third whoosh takes place beneath the oak at a later time in the day.
Each sub-whoosh should be a more-or-less self-contained scene of about maybe 8-10 lines. (That's ~9-12 lines in the Armor Games text box.) It is entirely written in second-person with no dialog, no plot, and no exposition (sort of). Setting a scene involves showing things as they happen. Using the initial whoosh as an example, your eyes move from the muddy banks up to the river across to the forest and onto the the coyote/coywolf and as you process this information, you turn to look at the grassland behind you. You don't notice what you're wearing until you feel the chill of a breeze. The writing goes through the character's senses as if you were there. Try not to overwhelm the senses of the character unless the scene calls for it.
The intent of The Weekly Whoosh is to show a setting or a scene to a reader in the same way one gets sucked into story when reading, although this is more direct, which is why it is in second person. The important thing is to keep things consistent to the scene. Borderline out-of-place but not impossible objects, such as the book under the oak, are welcome if they have purpose, but try to not stray too far into the surreal and absurd. (No flying elephants or clock-faced bees unless the whoosh calls for it.) Grammar is not as important as long as someone can understand what you're conveying. My own entries have grammatical errors and missing words.
Please title your entries Whoosh X.X in bold text. The first number corresponds to the Whoosh number. The second number corresponds to the scene. If you wish to continue the scene of the previous whoosh, add another number to the end, so if you consider the oak tree and the river bend to be the same scene, Whoosh 1.3 would be Whoosh 1.2.1. All whooshes start at X.1, as X.0 would be the entire setting, not just one scene. For example, Whoosh 1.0 would show the entire forest, river, and grassland, which is not the intent of The Weekly Whoosh. 1.1 starts on the river bank, so you are free to explore the river, the forest, or grasslands, unless the previous whoosher indicated a direction he or she would like the next whoosh to explore. If a whoosh ever returns to the same or similar setting as a previous whoosh, it is still a new whoosh, so if it were to return to the river the next whoosh, it would be 2.X, not 1.X.
Whooshes, the time and the place, are currently under the discretion of the threadmaster, but this may change further along the project. The next whoosh occurs tomorrow or sometime soon. You are free to continue this current whoosh.
Questions and comments are welcome. You do not have to mark non-whoosh posts as non-entries or out of character (OOC) or what have you. As long as titling is consistent, it should be easy to see which posts are supposed to be whooshes.
You lie in a treeless field with your feet facing a bend in the river. It is a cool night, but all thoughts of shelter seem to have vanished. A lazy fire, contained by a ring of rocks, plays near your head. You follow a spark with your eyes, drifting upwards into the sky until it disappears among the stars. A slow satellite crosses your vision. The grass is wet and you can feel your shirt becoming damp, but the crackling of the fire inspires a sense of warmth throughout your body. You lose track of the satellite. As you gaze around, trying to find a familiar constellation, a meteor appears directly above you, burning with a fiery tail. Suddenly, the sky is full shooting stars. Their brightness and speed is incredible.
May I state that I am confused? No? Well, I'll try then...
You wake up in the morning, just when dusk turns to dawn and the light turns from glow to golden-red slants. The stars are still visible, but as you watch they wink out as if the sunlight has eaten them. You turn to your fire, which has, not surprisingly gone out overnight, and consider trying to cook something on the still-warm coals. It's been a day already, and you're hungry. Your thirst is taken care of by sipping the stream, which seems clear and clean enough. You dunk your head in the stream and then sit back suddenly, throwing an abundance of water drops that catch the light like diamonds, or shooting stars.
You are whooshed away to a forest. The twitter and trills of many unseen birds flood out any silence. Trees like thick, towering pillars push up the leaf-mottled sky. The underbrush around you is thick. You appear to be standing on a path through the forest. Bootprints head in both directions. Hiking boots cover your feet. Your jeans have become khaki shorts, but you still wear a t-shirt. A baseball cap sits on your head and sunglasses in your hand. You have no idea how you ended up here from the side of a stream. It does not appear to be the same forest you had seen earlier. You look down both ways of the path but cannot see too far, as the path turns through the foliage and trees at both ends.
Bright sunlight filters through the leaves and into your eyes, so you slowly affix the sunglasses to your face. You blink as your eyes adjust to the new dimness, before beginning to walk along the path in the direction you are facing. You tread cautiously, allowing the gentle crunch of leaves and twigs mingle with the cacophony of unseen animals. As you round a bend in the path, you are met with a strong, sickly sweet stench that fills your nostrils and turns your stomach. Covering your face with your hand, you look ahead and see an unusual tree that seems to urge you towards it. Almost unwillingly, you stumble onwards.
The tree calls, and it almost screams, the air around it thrumming with some sort of mystic power. You normally don't judge trees on appearing friendly or not, but this one is definitely not friendly. Old and hunched over, with clawing branches clad in glossy, gnarled bark. Bright red leaves that look like drops of blood. You take another step. The roots appeared to churn at the earth, frothing deep into the lifeblood of nature and poisoning it. Another step. The air drops by a lot, and the t-shirt does nothing. A closer view leads to examination of a large knothole, like a closed eye. And it twitches, widens, and finally opens.
You are whooshed into darkness. The ground beneath you is rocky. You cautiously search the ground with your feet for fear of falling. A loose rock tumbles down. The clacking echoes from all around, ending with a splash! Shimmering, rippling blue lights up the cavern around you. In front of you, down a gentle slope is a pool of water. It does not seem to be too deep.You think you can wade through it if you need to. At the far end, there appears to be an underwater tunnel you think you can fit through. Rocky walls surround you. Above, beyond your reach even if you jumped, is a ceiling of small stalactites. The only way out appears to be the underwater tunnel or another whoosh, you hope. The blue lights dim to the blackest black you've seen.
The cave is dark again. Blindly, you nudge another pebble into the water. It clicks as is rolls down the slope. Suddenly, the cave lights up, wavy blue ripples illuminating the dancing shadows of the stalactites and you. You remember you heard something once about some sort of water micro-thing that lit up if disturbed. Curiously, you put your finger in the water to test the temperature. It's nice, almost room temperature. Then water moves in a V-ripple towards you and something invisible under the water leaves a trail of glow.
You feel yourself whooshed into darkness again. Without the distractions of the changing scenery, you notice the sensation of whooshing feels you are moving without moving. You know this feeling but you can't seem to place it. You take a step forward? and walk through the nothingness all around in no particular direction. There does not appear to be anything anywhere but at the same time it feels as if everything were everywhere but you can only see something somewhere and nothing nowhere? but you do and don't. Your body jerks back! There was no ground. You almost fell? into a pit? You find yourself standing alone in the middle of a city street at nighttime. The only light around is a lone street lamp. Houses stand as solemn silent sentinels sheltering slumbering sleepers. You think you might be heading home.
A breath of air cools your nostrils. You haven't breathed air like this since you were last home, and nostalgia hits you like an iceberg. It reminds you of exiting a plane after a long flight, and breathing that first breath of a new land in the walkway to the gate. There is dirty snow piled under the street lamp, as if it had been exposed to traffic for an ungodly long winter. The world is grey.The houses seem too close together for such an open land. And as you walk these streets, hoping to round a corner and see a white picket fence, a tire swing, a cozy doghouse, you know there is no such thing. You are beginining to think that home is hidden by these hibernating houses, as the hills beg you hither.
You are whooshed into darkness again.... The sound of waves break you from your thoughts. Your feet are cold and shoeless as water pushes past your ankles and pulls back out to sea. You pull your feet out of wet sand, gagging slightly over the loud wet sucking noises as your feet break free. A foghorn briefly overwhelms the sound of the waves. About a couple miles away, you see the blinking light of a lighthouse. There doesn't appear to be other signs of civilization around. The horizon is dark and the stars shine almost as clear as in the middle of nowhere. You stop walking further inland when you feel dry sand beneath your feet. The blare of a foghorn fills your ears again.
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