Rolling stories! Keep it going!
The only rule: keep the story going! Build off the previous post(s) and write one paragraph.
So I will start.
Once upon a time our story begins, and like all stories, it has the prerequisite famous opening line. Except for that part. Ok, I'm bad at this. My story begins with the Knights of Charming. You see, there was never a Prince Charming, but rather, a full knighthood of men, sworn to protect humanity from all manner of mythical and magical entities. In fact, the first among us were Druids, and we got our name from literally charming these creatures and making favorable deals with them. I suppose they could have just as easily been named the Knights of Bargaining, but that would be ridiculous. One such deal made, I suspect, was that every knight who sired heirs would only produce sons. Until me. My name is Charlotte Charming, or it would be, if anyone in my Order outside my parents knew my secret. So my family knows me as Charlie, and I live as far away from the Knights as possible. I know what you're thinking, girls can be knights too! It's the 24th century, God has been disproven, the governing bodies of each country control the weather, and thanks to my Order, no one believes in or even thinks about the other. But the Geezers of Charming are a superstitious lot, and my birth could mean the end of a pact and the start of an unforgiving prophecy. So here I am, 22 years later in hiding, sitting in the sterile lab for Advanced Bio-Nano Tech when I feel my longest, and frankly, only friend Zeke, jab me in the suprasternal notch.
"Earth to Charlie Charms! So are you coming or not choom?" he asked as I went to rub the base of my throat, catching myself once I remembered what was on my gloved hand.
So are you coming or not choom?" he asked as I went to rub the base of my throat, catching myself once I remembered what was on my gloved hand.
"Yes, well no... i mean... "
The Bicentennial Paradox celebration started Thursday and lasts all weekend, but tonight was the night it was all going down. "6 strings to Yuma" was out of retirement for one last show, headlining the main stage at the Barns&Noble Egoplex Racetrack and Casino, and Zeke would never let me live it down if i missed it.
"... I mean I have to finish logging these new data sets before the nanoplasm bonds with the-"
"noooo. I already finished logging the data sets this morning and your OCD ass won't sign off on it until it's triple-checked. I already ran the logs thru chatGBT. It's a clean code choom. What's got you on the fritz?"
"Fritz? Zeke, do i need to remind you why two-step-code-walking the logs with human eyes is now protocol? The literal MINT it cost R&D to reset your last fiasko?"
"yeah yeah yeah cool cool I fucked up, you didn't snitch, the suits cracked down and nowwwww... it's time to go see '6 strings to Yuma'.
"What is it with you and this geezer ass freakshow anyways?"
"Whatdoyawant me to say? Deadass a motivating backstory fleshing me out as a three-dimensional character? If I told some tragic NPC bullshit trauma dump about my mom dying in a car crash when i was a little boy but she loved '*Yuma' and that was our special thing, would it get you to clock out?
"And second of all..."
"I talked to your mom at your birthday"
"And second of all..."
"First of all you never said there was a first of all."
"And second of all I'm gonna pretend that you didn't just call '6 Strings to Yuma' a geezer ass freakshow. Geezer yes. Freakshow... also yes. But ass? It's like I don't even know you anymore."
"You're already high."
"And we're already late."
"Ugh Can't I just send a surrogate and VR when I finish? you know I don't like crowds."
"Jay Vito was my childhood crush; I jerked it to his poster. "All Smiles and Bile Piles" is one of the greatest rock albums of all time. The Bicentennial Paradox celebration is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to celebrate the discovery of the kaleidoscope. The nanoplasm won't bond to the neural inhibitor for another 72 hours. All dialogue options are the same cutscene no matter what you say, and I wanna eat funnel cake with my best friend. So pick from any-of-those-reasons-I-don't-care-which. Just take the goo gloves off, and LET'S FUCKING GO!
"You're an enabler you know that?"
Zeke just smiles with a playful grin as he takes my keycard from my coat pocket and clocks out. "oops"
"You really jerked it to Jay Vito?"
"Charlie Charming I don't know how to say this so I'll just say it... I want a divorce."
"OMG let's just go!"
"Okay now I'M waiting on YOU."
Zeke always knew how to cheer me up. I could use a break, and he was right. I'd be in my seventies by the time the next Paradox Celebration comes around. Sure, big crowds aren't my thing, but you only live once, and deep down I was excited to get a chance to witness the Kaleidoscope. I just wish I could tell him who I really was. If anyone would understand, it was Zeke.
"Watch it, buddy"
""Oh.. geez, I'm so sorry"
The corn crab rolled across the ground, caught in the discarded refuse that littered the Egoplex. Odd wrappers and sticky candy magnetized to its surface, until it stopped under its doubled size. Its owner turned with a growl, his hangry expression turning to outright fury.
"You're gonna pay for that"
The orge looked as though he could have done without that corn crab and probably the six or seven others he had undoubtedly consumed. Charlie took a step back, bumping into several passersby, and tripping on her haste to put distance between them. Suddenly, she was staring at the ceiling, neon lights bouncing off the dome ceiling. This was why she avoided people. This was why she stayed home. Stayed safe. A hand came into view. Zeke, she thought, was always there to bail her out. Her heart settled and the panic began to subside, black disappearing at the edge of her vision.
"Hey, are you okay"
A star ablaze upon a golden shield, behind it a field of obsidian tentacles. The crest drew her eye as she stood, towering over her rescuer. A Knight. The shortest knight she had ever seen, his chestnut hair curling just below her line of sight. He had turned his attention toward her aggressor. He was so casual in his approach. His arms wide in greeting with a disarming smile and one arm casually draped across the pommel of his
ki saber. A Knight of Charming.