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Green Frog Poetry Club
Tag story competition

Ok - so what is this all about?  Well it's very simple and should be lots of fun.  I am going to begin a short story by writing the first paragraph.  Then you get the chance to submit the next paragraph you would like to see in this story.  I will choose one paragraph a month, from those submitted by members and give that person a prize.  Than after putting their paragraph up next under mine, it will be up to me to continue the story for another paragraph.  Then it is YOUR turn again.  We will do this until the story comes to (I hope) a natural ending and we will not name the story until it is finished. 
Obviously this will take quite a few months to finish, but I really hope you will take part.  Each month, the person who has their paragraph chosen will receive a prize.  We will have no idea if this story will turn out to be a romance, a mystery, a comedy - it should be quite a laugh actually.
So here goes, it is my turn first..................

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The large, slightly rusty key turned in the lock with a grating noise.  It was obvious that the front door of this stone cottage had not been opened for a very long time.  In fact, ivy was starting to grow around it and Sharon had to pull it out the way before she could push open the door.  Suddenly Sharon could smell a mixture of many things, including mustiness mixed with lavender and the smell of old books.  It was dark and very cool as she took her first step inside the hallway.
Cobwebs mingled with Sharons long dark hair, the still undisturbed few glistened in the moonlight shining through the open doorway.  How was it that this cottage had now become hers, what secrets about her past does this small yet somehow inviting place have to reveal?  Well there's only one way to find out Sharon thought to herself, and she began to make her way towards the back of the cottage.
She was very glad that she had remembered to organise for the electricity to be re-connected as she felt along the wall, finally finding the old switch.  As soon as the light bulb illunimated the hallway and the doorway that led through to the kitchen, she felt less alone, almost normal again.  She turned back and shut the front door and locked it with a sigh of relief; so glad was she that her initial jittery feelings were gone.  After all, this was just an old cottage and now it belonged to her.  There was nothing to be afraid of.  It was like meeting somone for the first time.  She hoped the cottage would become like a close friend to her, a safe haven, a protective barrier from her former life. 
From deep within her "carpetbag" Sharon fished around and found the envelope,- and a teabag. The tea first she thought. While the kettle boiled, Sharon gazed out the kitchen window across the sparkling blue sea that surrounded "her" island. It seemed like a week since she left Adelaide, not just one day.  Bus, Plane, and a very tired boat had ferried her across.  "Yep, do the lot around here", he said. "postie, taxi, handyman, even delivered a baby few years back.  She's named after me you know?"  Sharon smiles at the idea of a Dougette or a Dougina.  His wave and the look back over his shoulder as he yelled above the motor, "be back Tuesday with ya supplies - there's some stuff in the cellar you can use till then. The "take care girlie, it's your  responsibility now" caused her to raise one eyebrow. The envelope . Now creased,a few questionable stains,a bit dogeared from being fondled so many times- but it still gave her a thrill each time she picked it up. It wasn't like that the first time. Sharon hadn't been out her front door for over a month. Gone were the immacualte suits,the manicured nails,the makeup and trappings of the elite club she was part of , or at least thought she was part of. The camera flashes will always be etched in her mind. Then came the letter. It contained contained distant voices,forgotten memories. But it also contained her ticket to freedom.

With her cup of tea in hand, Sharon walked to the living area of the cottage.  In here were old tapestry chairs and many bookcases, all completely full to the case of overflowing.  She sat in the nearest chair, put the tea beside her and again, for the hundredth time, she opened the envelope.  The letter inside was written in beautiful script, the pen-manship that takes you back to the the 1930's or 40's when writing was an art.  It was in blue ink and was a page and a half long.  Then it ended with a signature and a flourish.  The paper was very thin and Sharon handled it carefully and re-read it just one more time. 

Sharon began to read..........
Dearest Sharon, (it started)
       I know you will find this most hard to believe, but the time has come for me to reveal to you the deapest secret I have ever had to keep. I do hope you are sitting, for what I am about to reveal to you will astound you beyond belief!
I will start at the beginning, for this afterall is where every good story in its own right should begin.
      It was 1965 and a young Newcastle woman by the name of Isobel Lancaster had started out on a huge  journey that she hoped would change her life forever, and little did she know that this is precisley what would happen, It was January the 1st, and Isobel had just celebrated a magnificant new years eve with many of her friends, a sort of farewell if you please, she was tired and emotional as she made her way from her home that she had shared with her Aunt  Sarah for many years.( Isobel had never known her own parents, but this is another story in itself that I will share with you another time.)
Sharon knew the next passage by heart, but never the less wanted to read on................
'Aaaaaaaaaaaargh', a scream seemed to ripple through Sharons body
What was that noise?
Sharon lept to her feet, surely shes alone here on the island??
hadn't Dougie told her she was isolated, no possible human contact for miles around?

Now it's YOUR turn.  Email me with what you would like the next paragraph to be.  One will be chosen and that person will win a prize and then it is my turn again!  Go On!  Give it a go!

Copyright 2002 by Sue Macauley, Dianne Harris, Pam Phelan, Caroline Fulford (and.....?) 
(each person who has their paragraph chosen will have their name included here too)