Describe an image, ask a question.

edited June 2011 in Make Stuff!
There used to be a lot of little fun creative excercises on this board. Instead of complaining, I'll start one.

Here are the rules. Create a word picture, a little scene, then ask a question about that scene. The next person answers that question in a creative and entertaining manner, and then creates a new image and a new question. It doesn't have to be related to the previous vignette at all, but go where you want.


Here's the first one.

A handsome latino man stands in a small bathroom in an old hotel shaving with a straight razor while he smokes an immaculately handrolled cigarette. He's stripped to the waist and his braces hang down from high waisted trousers. His tattoos are numerous, and in several languages most of them dead, none of them spanish. He's methodical in his grooming, but quick.

Why is this man smoking while shaving?

Comments

  • edited June 2011
    Enzo, knew the time and place of his death, he had no fear of cancer. One takes the small comforts and hopes that they don't die screaming.

    The gondolier slid quietly through the black waters of the canal. His sole passenger, a sun burnt heavy set man in a white linen suit, was not the chatty kind. The foreigner only knew some broken Italian with a German accent, but he had the address written down on a curious fragment of parchment. As they glided through the shadows, the passenger was sweating profusely even though the mid morning sun has not reached the bottom of the narrow and twisting water ways. The gondolier tried to whistle up a breeze, but the wind would not have it.

    What is the passenger so worried about?
    --
    TAZ
  • Herman Manheim was afraid of the dark, of night, of even shade. He had good reason to be, the vampires had hunted him since he found the first holy relic. Ironic really, considering if they'd left him alone he would have continued the life of a fussy little scholar at Heidelburg University, his loathing of travel and meager grants making that one discovery the highlight of an otherwise dull life. Now however, he burned with a passion to unearth such relics from all over the globe and provide them to the hunters. A passion that overrode his natural dullness, timidity, and distaste for air travel.

    A Vietnamese woman walks ahead of a group of American special forces soldiers. She is a Kit Carson scout, a former Viet Cong now working for the U.S. Army. She stops to smell the air seeking a hint of menthol on the wind that will let her know that they are still within a half mile of the NVA unit they've been tracking. With it comes a hint of conversation and laughter. They've stopped for a rest, but they're also unaware of her unit's presence. She signals to the group and they withdraw into a stand of bamboo. she has a quick wordless conversation with Kramer, the sergeant in charge, and he indicates that she should rest while he and Duchamp take watch. She uses her knife to drill two holes in a can of coke, and digs a battered paperback out of her pocket and begins to read a favorite passage for the umpteenth time.

    What book is she re-reading, and what does it mean to her?
  • Cồng Đinh reads Jules Verne's César Cascabel in French. It was her father's well-loved copy. It's about a close-knit family that travels from one end of the world to the other, always together, to reach their distant home in Paris. It's a journey Cồng cannot relate to, even as a pleasant fantasy, but occasionally she lifts the pages to her nose and smells her father's cologne.

    There's a woman in the field, struggling against the dead rows of harvested potatoes, doggedly plodding toward the line of birch trees that mark the edge of the collective farm. She's maybe forty and her colorful peasant garb strikes a weird note, like it wasn't meant for her frame somehow. She negotiates another furrow and turns, and we see she's carrying something wrapped in waxed cotton. She sees us and pauses, her face blank, and then she smiles tightly and hurries toward the birch forest.

    What's she carrying and where is she going with it?
  • They said it was easy. Turn yourself human, steal clothes off a line, go inside their den and take a ham. No one ever said how difficult walking on two feet was. No one ever said how bad their hearing and smell was. No one even mentioned that they talk ALL THE TIME. Certainly no one mentioned what vodka does to you. All Ludmilla wants is to get back to her den, feed her cubs, and never EVER be anything but a fox again. It will be a very long time before she speaks to any of her sisters.


    He walks alone through the desert. He's abandoned all but the lightest clothes, his dirk, and a waterskin. He is dying of exposure and thirst, but yet he still laughs. He is dying, but his mirth and joy are genuine.

    Where is he going, and why is he so happy in such dire and miserable circumstances?
  • edited June 2011
    Jamir was lost, but at least his soul was saved; the Devil had appeared to him in his hour of need, offering water, shade and a way out of the desert, in return for unspecified favours. Jamir had turned his back on the Devil and walked deeper into the relentless heat, to die a pure and holy death.

    The children sit around the long table, laden with cakes, fizzy drinks, sweets and snacks; they each wear a brightly coloured party hat, the tablecloth has jolly pictures of happy cartoon pigs and the walls are decorated with a mural of the circus.

    Why are none of the children smiling?
  • edited June 2011
    Alice wondered why the kids were being so quiet. She cracked open the door to the party room and saw Mr. Jingles sprawled on the table/his throat ripped wide open/the clown suit torn and bloody. The children, sitting calmly around the table, turned as one to face her. From their juicy red mouths rose a horrible keening and then they charged...

    The world exploded as the shotgun went off over Kysha's head. From under the counter and in slow motion, she could see the gout of flame and the pellets flying out before they struck the gunman in the chest. With exaggerated slowness, he fell to the ground and did not get up. Time was out of joint and Mr. Marshall was still standing there as the shell casing lazily tumbled through the air and over the register.

    Why was Kysha in the store?
  • Because her mind always goes back there. She could have gone to the 7-11 or to the AM/PM - and that night, on a whim, against her usual pattern, she went to the 7-11. She wanted a Slurpee. Cravings, she guessed.
    Her mind always goes back there. The stray pellet. If only she'd chosen the other store...


    The back of the room, behind the shelves with the comic books, behind the shelves with the weird games that nobody buys but the owner likes to have around for cred, behind the vinyl curtain, at the fold-out table. You lean on it and the weight shifts to the other leg. Arrayed in splendor, plains and mountains, angels and goblins, each on their own card. The smell of sweat - a hint of body odor. Carmine bites the edge of his nail.

    What is riding on this game?
  • edited June 2011

    Carnine is a bastard, but he's also a freaking occult genius. The cards aren't just CARDS... they're a composite cardboard voodoo doll, and you're the one with the pins in. You may be praying as you draw the next card from your deck, praying for Michiko.

    A man slouches at the bar, drinking rail bourbon with a cheap beer back. He looks nervous, but excited - keeps checking the back of his belt. When the Troll walks in, all trench coat and muscle, his hands don't even shake. He looks the Troll in the eye and asks a question.

    What is the question?

  • edited June 2011
    Kathryn and Carmine had opened the store as partners shortly after they had gotten married. Things went along blissfully for nearly a decade. Then they lost their only child, and things fell apart almost instantly. Divorce papers were filed, but neither side would give up on the store. It had to go to someone, the lawyers said, so in one last show of civility, they had agreed on a game. Whoever won would take the store. Two lawyers shuffled uncomfortably at either side of the table, watching their clients play. It was on.

    ***

    In a vast field there stood a single great oak tree. Its swaying leaves were the deep color of the forest in the spring time, its boughs were thick and mighty, and against its enormous trunk there slept a little girl. Her dark hair was held up in a single braid, her face was dirty, and her rough clothing was covered in patches. In her lap rested a sheathed sword, much too big for her. Mottled light danced across her body as sunlight randomly found its way through the maze-like canopy of the tree.

    Why was she taking respite under the tree?

    ETA: Cross-posted, sorry!
  • edited June 2011
    A shout from across the field brought Sammie to her senses.
    'Get yer arse back here, Sammie! We shooting again.' Her mother stood there with with her hands on her hips and yelled again. Sammie picked up the big sword which had tumbled from her lap. It was only polystyrene but the tip was weighted to make it seem real in fights and it was so awkward and tiring lugging round everywhere. It was hard for Sammie to imagine that the whole process could ever result in proper story. It was so boring!

    A man sits at a desk. In front of him is a computer and he types away. Around him, in neat rows of three, sit twenty other people, their heads bowed to their machines in concentration. There is one empty desk. The idle keyboard has gathered a thin layer of dust. There are windows on two sides of the room but the blinds are down, to keep out the brilliant mid-morning sunshine and the triple glazed window prevent all noise, except, of course, for the tapping of keys and the occasional distant whirr of the lift.

    Why is there an empty desk?
  • It happened next at the desk immediately to Alan's right: they all tried not to look up as the buzzer for an incorrect entry sounded, to shut out the panicked moans of the terminal's operator. An instant later there was a gentle pfft sound and a thin layer of dust settled over the keyboard... there were now two empty desks.

    Chunks of ice drifted with the current, which quickened it's pace as it approached the falls; the sombre crowds watched from both banks as the line of bare-chested men stretched out further across the water and the mustachioed man at the end reached out, his fingertips brushing one of many barrels bobbing past in the stream.

    What is in the barrels?
  • Bren smiled and started to pull the barrel along the line of rescue workers. Losing the ferry was a tragedy, losing the whiskey would have been a crying shame.

    The calico woman slammed the shot glass back down on the bar and exhaled alcohol and herbal vapors. "Woooo! That's got some bite." She waved at the bartender to give her another. The mousy man behind the counter looked at her with a little doubt, "Kat, I thought you had a job tonight." She smiled and said, "I work a little better when I'm nipsy. Besides, I don't think that old dog is going to show." At that moment and on its own accord, the outside door swung open and delivered a chill autumn breeze.

    Who had just arrived?
  • "Can't let you drink that, Kat." the old dog smiled, revealing a predatory row of teeth. "You're going to have to navigate tonight; we're down half our crew." Kat put on the show of a pout, but they both knew it was insincere. "Hey, I'll buy you two when we're done." he replied. And they went fox-hunting.

    All six gentlemen reclined on luxuriant cushins, sipping elegant teas as the moon wove it's path between the coulds. At the stroke of midnight, they relaxed and let the shadow fall over their minds, and the spirit world was opened to them. The servants were not instructed in these arcane and ancient arts, and muttered between themselves, believing their masters to be drugged.

    But they all six were more alive and aware than ever. They beheld the spirit before them, an old woman, locked in a ghost dance, forced to repeat each night unchanged, barred from moving on, residue of her terrible death. All of them watched, but only one cried.

    Who was he?
  • edited June 2011
    The newest initiate into the Twilight Silver Lodge was not improving. This was the sixth month that he had failed his initiation rites; already four times more than was normally allowed. Politics are a curse that touches even the supernatural, though, and the boy had clout with people important to the lodge.

    The masters muttered amongst themselves for a moment. Suddenly the old woman stopped what she was doing mid-motion. She looked at the circle around her. Understanding came upon her, and she smiled before fading away.

    The gentlemen stood, barked sharp commands to the servants (who jumped to obey), and left the boy to his weeping.
    Posted By: WPTunesA man slouches at the bar, drinking rail bourbon with a cheap beer back. He looks nervous, but excited - keeps checking the back of his belt. When the Troll walks in, all trench coat and muscle, his hands don't even shake. He looks the Troll in the eye and asks a question.What is the question?
  • (A nicely polite thing to do, Joey)

    "Can you take me to the halls of the Aesir?" He reached back once again to finger the half of Odin's eye thet had been cunningly worked into the beadwork of his belt once again. He would bargain it for Dana's life. It would work. It had to work. Medical science had abandoned her daughter, but he hadn't. He would risk the wrath of a god for her.

    She stands at the birth of human history and weeps for the end of her kind's dominion over the world. She weeps also for the tragedy and heartbreak of this new people's rise. There will be suffering beyond the knowing of the rough cunning beasts they were. She looks down at the small band approaching her in fear and awe and she prepares to give them the most important gift she's ever given.

    Who is she and what is her gift?
  • She would be known by many names. Lillith. Izanami. Gaia. The First and Last Queen of Atlantis smiled sadly as she made her way down the hill from her now lifeless stasis chamber and through the fur-clad crowd. Wiping away her tears, she thought back to the beginning of things. The earth had begun to fail her people, so they came back to when it was still young. With the greatest of their craft and skill, they filled the empty expanses and founded a golden age. The earth, however, turned against them once more. Their cities, with their thundering towers, asked too much of the land and sky. Their journey back itself had taxed the foundations of the world, and it fought back to throw them off. In the end, she was all that remained. All that could be saved.

    The people stared at her with reverent fear in their golden eyes. Their bronze bodies were perfect in beauty and strength, and though their thoughts were simple, they wouldn't be for long. She turned her mind inward, and changed the precious genetic material in her womb. She made it simpler. Cruder. She entered the leather tent the chief had raised at her coming and let her gossamer robes fall to the ground. She was still queen, and her people would not repeat the same mistake.

    ----

    The girl gripped her bag tightly as she raced across the city. Of all the days to sleep in! She glanced down at her watch and cringed at the time on the holo-display. She looked back up and narrowly missed a flock of geese. "Sorry, guys! Keep that V tight!" she called back over her shoulder. She beat her wings faster and dropped into a dive. The buildings and floating vidscreens whizzed past as she saw the gravbus come into view. She landed loudly in a cloud of feathers and looked up at the woman next to her. She was frowning and had her arms crossed tightly. "Sorry, Instructor," the girl said meekly, folding her wings behind her back as demurely as she could.

    Who is the girl, and where is she going?
  • The Instructor's frown didn't clear; she pulled Flora out of the line of fellow students before they boarded the gravbus. "Flora," said the Instructor,"being a Tooth Fairy is all about exploiting that brief window of opportunity when the target is asleep... tardiness is not an option. I think you might be more suited to Key Gnome duties... I'm taking your wings." Flora was Grounded.

    A man in a dressing gown looks down upon the post lying on his doormat; there is a newspaper, some leaflets and a couple of brown envelopes... but it is the blue envelope which holds his attention absolutely. He knows that opening it will change his life forever, but not opening it will make him a fugitive, on the run from powerful forces.

    What is in the envelope? (after that build-up, I really wanted to say "What did he have for breakfast?")
  • He had steak, eggs, hashbrows and gravy and a double helping of toast. You don't go to the tournament of worlds on a light breakfast.

    She gripped her musket tightly and looked nervously to the men to the left and right of her. the corporal called check arms, and she made sure her pan was full and covered. She felt like she was going to throw up, even more so when the farmboy one rank back and two to the left of her did toss up his breakfast. "forward!" the drum started and her feet moved of their own accord. As they moved down the valley the smoke cleared and she saw the opposite line, saw the cannons tear into them and was simultaneously glad, and then terrified of the opposite artillery's response. She felt herself scream aloud as the man next to her became a spray of blood. She saw, the line come to a ragged halt. the command swallowed by the noise, and she lifted her musket as the other's did. assuming someone could hear the corporal. Then she felt it. She usually dreaded it, but this time it was a welcome senstation.

    What was it?
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