Join the Fun: You Write the Ending!

My wife, Susan, likes to read short stories. She suggested that I write another short story and she graciously supplied the words to prompt the opening sentence of the story. We sat around the campfire…was the opening words, and it was up to me to finish the story.

I thought it would be a fun writing exercise so I wrote the entire story, but only published part of it on this blog. I invite you to join in the fun and write your ending to this story in 200 words or less.

Won’t it be fun to read the different endings? There aren’t any prizes for the best ending, but there are no losers. Whether you consider yourself an accomplished writer or not, I think you’ll be surprised that you can write an interesting ending to this story.

I’ll post my ending to the story on June 9th. In the meantime, visit this website often to read the new posts and comment on the endings you like.

So, what are you waiting for? Read Legend of Spirit Creek below, then post your ending to the story (200 words or less) in the Leave a Reply box beneath the story!

All comments will be monitored by me before published on this blog just to make sure it is acceptable for all audiences.

LEGEND OF SPIRIT CREEK

by

Robert M. Roberts

We sat around the campfire smoking cigars and drinking beer. It was a perfect night with the sky full of stars as we listened to the ripple of the creek rolling by. Other than the croak of a distant frog, our voices were the only sounds that could be heard.

It was good to be with my old buddies again. The four of us had been friends since childhood and were in the scouts together. Although our lives had taken us to different parts of the country, we always managed to get together for this most important reunion. Jim, Donny, Joe and I had been getting together every five years for a camping excursion. This year it was my turn to pick the place and make all the arrangements.

After searching the internet for months, I chose Spirit Creek in Oklahoma for our get- together. It was centrally located for all of us, had good trout fishing, and it was isolated from other campers. The guys hadn’t changed much over the years, except for Joe. He had seen some tough duty during the Gulf War, but in spite of it, he had become a successful attorney in Des Moines. Two failed marriages due to his excessive drinking haunted him, and he had become cynical and almost mean-spirited at times, especially after drinking too much booze. But we were friends, and friends overlook shortcomings.

Just like when we were kids, each one of us told our same stale stories as we drank and laughed into the night. I piped in with the Indian legend of Spirit Creek that I had read about when I was doing my research for this trip. The guys sat like statues as I relayed my story.

“According to Indian legend, about a quarter of a mile downstream, there is a fork in the creek,” I pointed. “If you cross to the other side west at the fork, you’ll enter the spirit world. Only Native Americans are welcome, and outsiders will be dealt with accordingly.”

“Why would anyone want to enter the spirit world?” Donny asked.

“To visit relatives that had passed, I would guess,” I replied.

“Man, that’s some spooky stuff,” Jim added.

Joe took a gulp of his beer and let out a belch. “What a crock of shit,” he said, slurring his words. “You’d have to be a damn fool to believe that Indian crap!”

“Lighten up man. I was just making conversation. We all know it’s just a myth.”

You could have cut the silence around the campfire with a knife, as one by one, each excused themselves to turn in for the night. Everyone turned in except Joe, who mumbled as he grabbed another beer from the ice chest.

The next morning, I was the first one up and started stoking the fire for the coffeepot. A pile of beer cans were strewn next to the chair where Joe had sat the night before. After the coffee perked, I went to the guys tents to wake them up. Joe’s tent was empty and his cot looked like it hadn’t been slept on. I began calling out his name as Donny and Jim emerged from their tents.

“What’s going on?” Jim asked.

“Joe’s not in his tent. I wonder where he’s at,” I said.

“Oh, he’s probably just scouting around. He’ll show up,” Jim said as he poured himself a cup of coffee.

An hour passed and no sign of Joe. We all started to worry and began combing the creek, each going in a different direction.

“Come quick, downstream,” Donny yelled.

Now, you finish the story (200 words or less) in the Leave a Reply box below!

4 thoughts on “Join the Fun: You Write the Ending!

  1. Donny had found him. We all stood in silence as we looked at Joe. He had been stretched across the front of a tree trunk, arm tied above his head, eyes bulging out, his mouth frozen in a scream of terror. He was on the other side of the creek, the west side.

    “Someone, cut him down!” I yelled.
    “Not me, I’m not going over there,” said Jim.
    “We need to get the cops out here,” said Donny. “Everyone back to camp.”
    “And just leave him there?” I asked.
    “I’ll get him down,” came a voice.

    We looked to see Joe pull his arms down, remove the short sections of rope, and stretch. “You guys are so gullible. Spirits? Give me a break.” He waded back across the creek with the biggest grin you’ve ever seen.
    “You jerk,” I yelled, echoed by Jim and Donny.
    “Not so loud, I’ve got a hangover,” pleaded Joe.
    “You’re going to have more than that if you pull a stunt like that again,” I said.
    “I think wearing red war paint across your forehead may have been going too far,” said Jim.
    “I didn’t …” He wiped some of it off onto his fingertips. “This isn’t paint. This is blood.”

  2. Jim and I sprinted towards him. Donny ran to the edge of the water. One of our canoes had been swept up in the current and smashed against the rocky bank. Joe must have taken it in the dead of night. With the remainder of the canoe wedged between two large rocks, Donny searched the wreckage.

    “Nothing,” he called out as we approached. Out of breath, I hunched over and rested my hands on my knees. I remembered our conversations from the day before, when Joe talked of nightmares. Jim, who had always been more athletic than I, jogged to the nearest tree fit for climbing, to get a bird’s eye view.

    “I see something! To the west.” He climbed down and we headed up stream. “You think they got him?”

    “Who?” asked Donny.

    “The indians, from the story last night!”

    “Don’t be ridiculous,” I retorted. The tone of my voice changed Donny’s expression. Jim, who was always in high spirits, merely stared at his feet. You could tell he was thinking it, too. We continued to walk, the cadence of the water and the rocks grinding beneath our foot fall became lonely.

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