So, the story goes that an English professor gave his students a writing exercise with the following instructions:
Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to reread what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached.
The following was one of the submissions he received.
Rebecca and Gary
In-class Assignment for Wednesday
At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.
Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.
He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth -- when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.
Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which vaporized Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow'em out of the sky!"
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.
Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered, tedious, neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. "Oh shall I have camomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of $%&*@# TEA??? Oh no. I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads too many Mills & Boon novels."
(edited for language)
And what was the teacher's response?
A+ (I really liked this one)
Or so the story goes....
This cache is a trading cache, but what you'll be trading is your literary skill. I have started a tandem writing story in the logbook. I encourage you to add another page (or two) to the story, and enjoy what's been written before. Even if it's only a few lines, please contribute to the story that develops. When you're done your section of story be sure to sign your name. If you wish to leave a normal log comment too, just draw a box around it to separate it from the story.
The easiest place to park your car is in the Long Lake Park parking lot, but there is room for a vehicle or two by the trail head at the Halifax sign (N44°37.956' W63°39.409'). I would suggest entering the woods at these coordinates. There are mountain bike trails crisscrossing the area, and if you pick the right one, it will take you from the trail head to within 6' of the cache. Remember to watch out for mountain bikers though when you're walking along their trails.
To help keep the story going after most of the local cachers have visited it, people are welcome to revisit the cache and contribute again if there have been at least 5 log entries since their last visit. Note that this does not mean you can count subsequent visits as more finds; you may only claim a find once, and must post only notes on return visits. But continued contributions to the story are welcome if people feel so inclined.
If you enjoyed this cache, you might want to check out the other two parts of the Halifax Literary Trilogy: So the Story Begins... and Hark! I Hear a Haiku!