Subject: Writing Assignment
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This assignment was actually turned in by two English students:
In-class Assignment for Wednesday
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.
At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The
camomile, 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 camomile. 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 camomile was out of
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
Little did she know, but she has 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.
You total $*&.
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