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The Never-Ending Story 
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Post The Never-Ending Story
So, I had an idea for a new game thread, and that goes something like this: I'll start the story, and then each poster after has to build on it. Think of it like a round-robin, in a way.

Okay, here goes!

"You know, John," I said one day while we were passing through the park, "have you ever noticed that there are scuff marks on the tile over by the baths?"

"No, never," remarked my partner. "What do you think happened?"


Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:55 pm
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"I don't know really, maybe a bear attack?" I replied.

John shook his head and replied, "No, that can't be it, maybe somebody went crazy from losing in their game?"

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Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:47 pm
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
“You don’t think it was the Beast, do you?” I asked with a sly smile.

John rolled his eyes. “Yeah, the Beast of Mulberry Street or whatever they're calling it now.”

He was not impressed by my joke. “That’s not what they call it.”

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Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:21 am
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"Yeah, I know. More like 'The Beast of Palm Meadows," I muttered to myself.

"Look," said my partner, "it doesn't exist, so are you sure that's really what looking for?"

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Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:26 pm
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
My curiosity got the best of me, and I bent down to examine the marks.

Beast sightings had increased on the news and people were on edge. Could it be a real monster or a prank?

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Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:34 pm
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"Well, you know, old man Fenster out by Carraway Woods. He's written a couple of books on local history, and he knows a lot about native-American legends, colonial period tales, and nature lore." I said, as much to myself as to my partner.

"We could", my partner replied. "The guy's really smart,got degrees in history, anthropology, and biology." Then he added, "Fenster's also a little weird, too."


Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:07 pm
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"Well then let's go." I said to me and my friend

And so we walked by the Carraway Woods and found old Fenster while he was cooking up some soup

"Hello, young ones, what made you come here?" he asked

"We came to make Lucas get rid of his fear." John said

"Fear of the beast? That is something worth fearing, for it's big and it's scary. It has great ears for hearing!"

"So how do we stay safe?" I asked, realizing this was a bad idea.

"YOU DON'T!" Fenster exclaimed, and I jumped way up high

"But what is it doing, and what's it's reason why?"

John said with an incredulous countenance "Stop speaking of fairy tales and say only what's real!"

We look and we shook (our heads of course) and said with belief "this is the truth"

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Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:28 am
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"The truth?" John sputtered. "This can't be the truth, I was raised to believe in practic(k)al things, like magic(k) and the supernatural! So," he said, turning to the old man, "a, can we have some soup, and b, what have you seen that could help us out here?"

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Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:31 am
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
Fenster poured some broth into a mug and handed it to me. The broth was dark, the aroma pungent, and I must have looked a little overcautious because Fenster commented, "It's just beef broth with some peppers in it." He handed another mug to my partner and motioned for us to sit. John set his mug aside and gave me a slight sneer.

"Before I tell, you should know I wrote an article about the case a decade ago."

"Really," I said. "That's impressive."

The old man chuckled and leaned back. "Not as impressive as the response. I got a visit from some government agents who confiscated my notes, photos, and documents. Told me to can the article and threatened me with arrest. Then at the end of the semester, the University imposed forced retirement on me and ordered me off campus."

Now ol'Fenster really had our attention...


Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:24 pm
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"So," I asked Old Man Fenster, "what do you mean by all that? Nice soup by the way, thanks. But seriously, that sounds suspicious..."

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Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:52 am
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"Alright, gents, let me spare you all the footnotes." Fenster began. He pointed over his shoulder, "Ever been to our little university Natural History museum?"

We both nodded, not sure where he was going. "I like the mastodon skeleton," John helpfully volunteered. The museum was kind of a hodge-podge of artifacts and displays, some pretty professional for a small, local institution. One room was devoted to ice age sorts of extinct animals.

"Yeah" Fenster replied, lowering one eyebrow. He was smiling or sneering now. "What yah think of the Smilodon display, the Sabre-toothed cats?" He referred to a tableau composed of ten or eleven complete skeletons, even a couple of cubs. "You might not know, we've got nearly a hundred of them stored away. The university trades them with other museums. For some reason, this area was "Smilodon City" for tens of thousands of years."

"Well, they're all gone now. Died out ten thousand years afore, right?" The daylight was dulling in to a grey, unappealing dusk.

"So we're told, boys." Reneged stopped smiling. He shook the last of the soup put of his cup. "Bones don't know how to lie, right? Well, buckskins are evidence, too."

"I don't follow, Sir," John interjected quickly. John could instinctively sense a long story coming, and he was not fond of yarns, tall or long or anything more meandering than the basic declarative sentence.

Reneged caught the hint. "My department has - or, I should say, had - an extensive collection of native-american buckskins depicting histories, stories, and legends. Think of them as picture books. Some a hundred years old; some much older." Then he lowered both his eyes and voice. "And several of clearly show drawings of sabre-cats."

John and I looked at each other. "That's not possible," I stated flatly.

"No, gentlemen, that's not impossible," Fenster replied in a cold, sour tone. "What is impossible is what they're doing in the drawings." He looked at us hard, waiting for some candy corn comment. We had none.

"The Smilodons walk upright ... they walk just like humans."


Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:54 pm
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"What the Pazaak!" I exclaimed.
John elbowed me, "Seriously, Lucas, a KOTOR reference."
"What else was I supposed to say, animals standing on two legs doesn't happen unless they're monkeys."
"I don't know, maybe nothing?"
"Anyways, Fenster, I didn't know you did that kind of stuff."

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Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:10 am
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"Hey, lads, it's the twenty-first century. Gotta be resourceful." He looked around and dug a coffee pot out of his tent. "I'm ready for coffee. You?"


Last edited by NHWestoN on Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:38 am
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"No thanks, I don't drink coffee." I replied kindly.

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Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:28 pm
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
Fenster started spooning coffee into the kettle. "So, there's the anthropologist angle. Now, some historical in betweens. Mr. James Audubon himself took notes on cougars in this territory way back when. The museum has a small collection of his bird and animal paintings that the public never gets to see. Three of them show cougars, except for one thing."

"What's that?" asked John.

"T'ain`t a cougar," said Fenster. "It's a Smilodon. And she's either leaning on a tree or getting ready to climb it, but she's definitely standing on her hind legs."

Maybe I was putting two-and-two together and getting twenty-two, but the professor had my attention. "Wouldn't mind getting us in to see that picture, would you, sir?" I asked.

"I'd love to gents, but I can't." he answered, suddenly glum. The pot began steaming.

WHy not?", demanded John. "University rules?"

Fenster bristled a little. "No, university stupidity. Someone stole it!"


Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:53 pm
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"Stole it?" I asked. "And did you file a report with the police?"

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Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:09 am
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"I didn't, but the reports that other people filed were also stolen!" Fenster replied, sounding annoyed.

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Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:29 am
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
John bristled at both the comment and the tone. "Sir, are you saying files in the police department got stolen?" Me, nothing dumb happening in the Department surprised me. Still …

"Do you know how many complaints were filed, Dr. Fenster?" Pen and paper time. "And might you know any names of those filing them?"

"Not really," he answered, a bit wistfully. "Coffee?"


Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:40 pm
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"Pass, thanks, it doesn't agree with my stomach," I say. "So, Fenster, since we don't have the original report, would you be so kind as to tell us what was in it?"

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Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:10 pm
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"The police reports were all stolen five years ago. All I remember about what was in any of them was that the culprit was female." Fenster said, sounding a bit regretful when he said the gender.

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Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:30 am
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"... and the depictions showed saber-toothed tigers, right?" John repeated. "What'cha'called'em, "Smiley-dons?"

"Yeah," said Fenster, sipping his coffee and making a face. "Maybe you boys would have better luck with Ms. Typesett down at the Town Gazette. They might have some of the originals of newspaper articles on the Beast. She might have some stuff on the thefts, too, although that incident was pretty hush-hush. I remember sighting articles though, a long one back in 1910 talking about "Our Own Sasquatch", somethin' cute like that. The people interviewed didn't think it was cute. Thing scared `em, everyone!"


Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:05 am
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"Well, that's good," I say. "Thank you, Fenster." With that, I get up from my seat, my friend joining me as we prepare to leave. Just as we do, though, something catches my eye, a glinting in the underbrush. Ms. Typesett would have to wait a little longer. This could be a clue, and I'm not going to pass it up!

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Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:29 am
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
When I go over to investigate, I realize that it's a scrap of paper. Picking it up, I read the message that's written on the other side: "If you ever want to live to see tomorrow, you'll stop looking into the case."

Okay, now what?

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Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:52 pm
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"Something about a threat that just gets my snoop gene goin'" I snort, hanging the scrap over to my partner. John examines it closely, like was a tissue dropped by debutante.

"Better take this to the lab." he mutters.

"I got a quicker idea." I walk back to Dr. Fenster who has settled in to drink his coffee and ponder something professorial. He seems a little irked to see me back.

"Say, Professor" says I, in my best respectful and apologetic tone which, I realize, tends to sound a bit more like a sneer than I mean. "You got any paper handy? I forgot my notebook, and I wanted to make some notes."

He gets up, brushes the leaves off the back of his pants. He opens his tent, pokes around a few minutes and pulls out an Indianhead tablet. I couldn't resist asking, "When did you get that relic, professor? The Jerry Ford Administration?"

Dr. Fenster is not amused. He rips out a couple sheets of paper. "No," he responds, "Nixon administration - the first one." "Anything else before you gentlemen leave?," he asks in a not especially solicitous tone.

The papers bear no resemblance to the note. Not disproof, true, but if the professor wrote that note, he's smart enough to spot the razor blade in the candy dish of my request.

"Thanks for the paper … and for the information, sir' says I, all professional like as I walk back to John. He's still looking at the threat note, turning it around like it's a Picasso and he can't figure how to hang it up in his tool shed.


Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:12 am
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"Um, John, what's with you staring at the note like that? You see something we don't?" I ask him, and he holds up a hand to shush me.

"Be quiet, you're right... but what the heck does this writing here mean?" he asks me, breaking his own request and showing me the scrap.

"Sorry, John, I can't read it," I say. "You think Fenster can?"

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Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:15 am
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
"You know, I don't know," John says. "You wanna go ask him?"

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Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:56 pm
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Post Re: The Never-Ending Story
I look back. The Professor has crawled back into his tent. Maybe another day.

"Maybe next time." I says. "Let's see if the lab lizards can make anything out of this."

The traffic is heavy. It's starting to rain. This whole thing is too weird. John's talking baseball which he always does when he's cleaning out his head.

The lab is in the basement. Labs are always in the basement, maybe because labs are full of mice and basements are full of rats, but I'm sure there's a reason. The desk officer buzzes us in and, as I expected, the two main techs are there. Alice Crandle runs the show, has for a decade, used to run the city morgue. George Iscom with his coke bottle glasses is hunched over her as they look at forms, photos, papers, all admin trash to me.

"Afternoon" says I in the same voice I used to ask the Home Depot lady about bathroom paint colors. "Could I get you guys to look at some funny writing and some imprints on yellow tablet paper."

Alice doesn't look up. I'm messing with her concentration. Already, this is going badly. Iscom looks up and shows us one of his photos.

"Not really. You think you two fine field detective could give us a clue about how a six-foot four lumberjack from the local wood park gets two gapping stab wounds between his shoulder blades?"

The photo is grisly. The victim has two deep wounds in his back, his face and shoulders are covered in blood, and his head lolls, neck broken like a shaken rat. (Why do I keep thinking about rats? or cats? saber-toothed cats?) I pass the photo to John.


Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:53 pm
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