Here are the guidelines and rules if you are interested in participating in this project:
- Leave a comment expressing direct interest in writing or claiming a chapter. First come, first serve. You must comment your interest in writing a chapter. If you, however, send in a chapter without expressing interest beforehand, the submission will not be accepted, unfortunately.
- The participant who claims the chapter has seven days when it’s their turn to write the chapter and subsequently send it back to me. If accepted, I will provide edits if needed and the chapter will be up the day after it was submitted.
- If I don’t hear back from you regarding the chapter, however, and it is beyond the one week limit, I will be searching for someone else to write it.
- Please do not submit to the form without commenting your interest in writing a chapter.
- Authors can write multiple chapters—no constraints or limits on how many they do. However, there is a general courtesy to not claim one chapter after the next. This is to allow other authors a chance to participate and as well get their own claims in for future chapters. When it’s your turn, I will remind you in the thread where you’ve claimed the particular chapter.
- There is no deadline for this story. When I feel it’s near the end, I will release a notice on here to get the final few chapters in.
- The minimum word count I will accept is 500. The maximum word count I will accept is somewhere between 8,000 to 10,000 words.
- If no one seems to claim an upcoming chapter, then I will jump in to write again.
- I will not accept anything religious, outwardly political, hateful, pornographic, slurs, or anything that is demeaning, threatening or harmful in its content. Please nothing that is against a particular group, or anything that demeans a certain group of people that would be considered racist, homophobic, sexist, religious discrimination or prejudice. I will not accept your piece if that is such the case.
- An exploration of social issues is fine. It should not alienate or debase the audience, though, in your writing.
- I will as well include your name/pen name and a link to your website (if you have one) with your contribution to the novel collaboration. The novel is titled “Identify.”
You can submit your continuation here.
Chapter One (Psyche) by Lucy.
Chapter Two (To the other side) by Andrada Costoiu.
Chapter Three by B.V. Stratton.
Chapter Four (The fateful night) by Smita Ray.
Chapter Five (Insight Part I) by Amitbhat0912.
Chapter Five (Insight Part II) by Amitbhat0912.
Chapter Six (They’re still out there Part I) by Lucy.
Chapter Six (They’re still out there Part II) by Lucy.
Chapter Seven (Cycles of Violence Part I) by Lucy.
Chapter Seven (Cycles of violence Part II) by Lucy.
Chapter Eight (Fragments of the past Part I) by Shweta.
Tom was not sure if it were the visible physical wounds or if it were the inner deeper invisible wounds in his soul. It was getting harder and harder to keep his eyes open.
“Father,” the kid with a much younger Lauren’s face called to him. The child was holding Tom’s hand and calling him daddy. Something was not right, he knew who the kid was, her voice, but only Lauren’s face didn’t make any sense.
“Dad, are you taking us to the movies?” the kid looked expectantly at Tom.
Tom opened his eyes and looked around him in agitation. He clenched his fingers tightly around the pistol, the only treasure he had. It was still dark, he must have fallen into a micro-sleep. He wanted to stand up, walk, run, search for her, and get the hell out of this island. Glimpses of his past had started to haunt him like a twisted, never-ending maze.
Anastasia had lived enough as a human, an eternity ago, to know that siblings, parents, partner, wife, husband, son, daughter meant nothing. All of them ended in a tragedy no matter what. Death, betrayal, selfishness, lust, greed; above all, love, that fucking word humans used to justify almost everything they did.
“I killed her because of love.”
“I robbed that family to feed mine.”
“I don’t love you anymore, I love another one instead.”
“I am leaving you because I want to find my happiness.”
How many of these sentences had she heard all this time? She wanted to end with this fucking nonsense once and for all. These two siblings, the failed experiments had shown an exceedingly strong bond with each other since childhood. She hated them, but quite at times admired them for their will to live. The bond between them only got stronger and stronger the more adversities they faced together. Only Zara was able to flicker that bond for a few moments, that fucking siblings-bond. Now that bitch was dead.
“If you want something done, do it yourself,” she shook her head. These siblings were not to be underestimated, however.
She loathed them. In her memories, her brother’s betrayal lay bitter, growing every time she thought about those two traitors. Her brother had tried to kill her to take her throne. He received what he deserved. She licked her lips; she had unexpectedly enjoyed that kill. She longed for her slaves to bring those two bastards before her and she desired to lay her hands over their thin and delicate throats. She scraped the trees with her long nails, she sniffed harder, sandalwood, humans, and something (or someone) else.
“Father, be careful!” the kid spoke again and screamed with all her might.
Tom stood up with a brisk and found himself pointing the gun to fathomless darkness. He returned to reality when his wound started throbbing and he fell back to the floor again. His mind was playing games and tricks out of his comprehension.
He tried hard to stay awake and make a plan to find Lauren. He knew she had to be alive, with or without a gun, he knew she had made it. He knew this deep down, but it didn’t allay the lot of his fears. Though, sooner or later, either he would find her or she would find him. Then they would head to the “N” together. For now, he started to make his way north to survive for the remaining few hours left.
“Dad, be careful,” he heard himself say.
He saw his mother bleeding, Lauren screaming beside him.
“Be careful!” he reached out in the emptiness as if he could still save them from their fate. He remembered now, what Lauren and he had gone through. Or was it some trick his mind was playing on his head?
What else was trapped within the tides of his mind? Where was the connection, the point that would allow him the semblance of knowledge? His memories lost, his mind severed from most of his past. He could only assume and that angered him. He had lost so much in the midst, he didn’t know how he could cope acknowledging the past as it became and so much of the future that swings like a pendulum over his heart.
He braced himself against a red sandalwood tree; the sounds of insects had silenced, the air was dead, and his chest heaved for breath–it was an icy cold that commanded his throat. Holding onto the thin bark, he nuzzled his head before preparing to climb atop the tree. Shimmered with the persuasion of freedom, he was able to reach a good enough height despite the thorns that drew blood from his palms, like little teeth. He brushed it off onto his pants. His leg wound had been healing a bit better than before, and he was glad that through the excursion it didn’t cause the wound to reopen again.
An ocean-like hiss of the wind caved through his ears, an unnatural sharp footfall crossing through the contoured forestry. He sucked his breath, clutching onto the tree as if it could keep him covert from the land beneath. Fingers crafting around the bark, it wasn’t too long before he could see shadows emerge, before him–a pair of glittering eyes that were saturnine, dead as Ishtar.
His lungs filled with water, making him nearly lose his grip on the tree limb. A million lilac petals took his sight in the deprivation of air, and it was as if a sickness entered within his body in pangs, then flashes. Memories rippled throughout his mind in his death-like trance, as his eyes met the figure of Anastasia, willing her hands throughout his body in mystic forces; the gravity of water formed through her tips, submerged through his innards.
It stopped. He gasped as the friction left his body, his mind frothing in vagrant memories.
“Clarence,” the kid with Lauren’s face. Clarence, his daughter. He remembered now her face, her angelic face. His and Zara’s mistake.
End of Part I.