Separate Stories Project No. 5

New to the separate stories project? It goes a little sumpin sumpin like this:

My friend Julie and I wanted to draw more, and write more stories. So each week, we come up with a theme to draw to.  On Mondays, we swap drawings, and during the week, Julie comes up with a story based on my drawing, and I come up with a story based on hers.

It’s all about the buddy system, buddies. I tell ya.


This week’s theme: Something that flies

Julie’s drawing:

separate stories project

Nicole’s story about Julie’s drawing:

Looking up from his laptop, Peter reads to Bob:

“By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 60-year-old Gene sets out to fly above the wilds of New Zealand. Christopher, a neighborhood boy scout 50 years his junior, unintentionally becomes his hostage.”

“Hostage, Peter? Sounds a bit extreme, don’t you think? What about ‘becomes an accidental travel companion’ or something less terrorizing—we’re trying to make a comedy-adventure film, not some psychological thriller with a Liam Neeson cameo.”

“I’ll have you know that I was at the edge of my seat during Taken.”

“We all were.”

“Right. Well, here. Take two: By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 60-year old Gene…”

“Let’s make him older. And give him a new name, too, the last Gene I knew went through two tubs of pomade a month and smelled like PetCo.”

“By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl sets out to fly above the wilds of New Zealand—we need a reason why. Why would any old man do that?”

“The local senior retreats are all full for the summer. His urge to travel the world matches his desire to die in his home. An unusual fear of airports has hindered his travel for far too long and finally, he’s taking matters into his own hands. His daughter’s a kiwi and she’s getting married to the man of her dreams, a Swedish expat with hair to his shoulders and a PhD in Geology.”

“Or” Peter says slowly with both eyebrows raised, “the love of his life, a woman who’s been by his side since he was a boy, just died a calm, old-woman death. And now, Carl is going on the journey they promised each other they’d take.

“If that’s the case, it should be South America. I’m picturing Carl’s wife with a lovely, colorful collection of Peruvian and Bolivian trinkets, though New Mexico was the farthest south she’d ever been.”

“So… By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl fulfills a lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. To his chagrin, an earnest boy scout accidentally tags along—the boy needs a name. An ironic one that, by and large, you wouldn’t associate with a kid.”


“Absolutely not,” Peter says without so much as a glance in Bob’s direction.

“Calvin. Claude. Bruce. Terrance. Gordon”

“I like Gordon. I also like Dustin. What about Dustin?”

“Russell. It’s Russell. Russell the wilderness explorer! One hundred percent. Read it again.”

“By tying thousands of balloons to his home, 78-year-old Carl fulfills a lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. To his chagrin, Russell, a Wilderness Explorer 70 years younger, becomes an earnest stowaway unexpectedly along for the ride.”

Staring at the screen over Peter’s right shoulder, Bob eases his arms into a gentle fold.

“Pixar is gonna eat this up.”

Nicole’s drawing:

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

Julie’s story about Nicole’s drawing:

They named me Gold, the little one with the chubby fingers thought it was hysterical.

He acted as if it was the most original of all the names that anyone had ever given to a gold fish.  He liked to stand and poke at the glass that protected me from his jammy hands, leaving his fingerprints everywhere.

When he talks to me, I can see orange flaky remnants of his ironic choice of snack lingering in his mouth. He always talks while he chews. It’s enough to make me wish I had a stomach so I could return the favor.

The bigger woman, I can only assume this is his mother, said I looked bored so they plopped a plastic castle right in the middle of my tank a few weeks ago.

There are three towers, two on the right and one on the left. Each side connected by a dilapidated and rustic bridge that I can only assume is there for the humans benefit and not for mine. I have heard, on occasion, people say it gives the castle character. This always makes me wonder what kind of world they live in, where a plastic fish castle needs character.

I don’t mind the castle much anymore, I like to pretend that I am a bird when I swim under the bridge suspended in “mid air” next to the tower. When I look down, I see rolling waves of vibrant green grass. Diving down, I try to get as close to the grass as I can before pulling up at the last second skimming the tops of the blades. Then I rocket myself up towards the sky. When I am imagining, it is the clearest and bluest sky.

You dear reader, can’t even imagine how spectacular the sky looks, as fish can see colors that you cannot. How free it must feel to be a bird. How warm it must be to feel the heat of the sun.

But alas, when I look down, the grass is really blue rocks. The air is really musty brown water, and the sun is just a flickering light trying desperately not to be swallowed by the black ceiling of my limited world.


Leave a comment with what you think our next drawing theme should be!

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