Story Without An End... (an interactive story)

Blast From The Past

This may be the first in a series of short fiction that don't have the traditional shock, sad or happy endings. In fact I leave the ending open and up in the air so to speak, instead leaving it to the reader to wonder or imagine where the story may go. This may be frustrating to some of you, if so read no further......(what I'd really like is for any readers who are feeling creative to write their own ending to this story. Make your own hub out of it with a link in comments here, or write your ending in the comments if you wish).


"I'm........we're ok, I guess", Susan stammered, trying to overcome the shock.

The conversation seemed to go on forever, with Rick doing most of the talking. He apologized for not having contacted her sooner, explaining that after she left he was devastated by what had happened. He realized he had a problem and turned to AA for help. That was the main reason he hadn't phoned or emailed in almost three years. He wanted to be sure he wouldn't relapse, and the same thing happen again.

Susan was relieved that Rick had finally plucked up the courage to contact her. She too had been distraught at having to walk away from their relationship, but his alcoholism had given her no choice. She thought back to when they had first met, and how much in love they were.

One aspect of the phone call weighed on her mind however. Not once during their conversation had Rick asked about Courtney, their daughter. Susan had however agreed to meet him for lunch the next day at their previous favorite restaurant, so they could talk more and Courtney could meet the father she'd never seen. It was a little scary but also exciting.

Susan had only just hung up the phone when it rang again.

"Hello Beautiful", Philip her fiancé greeted cheerfully, "How about I take my two favorite ladies to the beach tomorrow?"

"Oh, I'm sorry Philip", Susan replied, feeling guilty, "We'd love to really....but.....something's come up."

Should Susan.......?

  • Accept Rick's explanation, and take him back into her life.
  • Tell him too many years have passed without contact, and she's moved on.
  • Not take him back, but allow him access to his daughter Courtney.
  • Forget him, and marry Philip.
See results without voting

Endings

I would love to read your various possible endings to this story. If any fellow hubbers have the time or inclination it would be great if you'd include your ideas in the comments below. It would be interesting to see the different tangents a story can take.

After the success of the "add an ending" challenge made by Frank Atanacio for his wonderful hub "Monsters in the Trees", I thought I'd resurrect this hub in the hope that some of you may like to write an ending for this little story.

Feel free to write your own hub in the same way you did for Frank's challenge and include a link in comments here.

The following carries on from Ruby's (always exploring) addition to the story.

I invite other creative hubbers to add further to it. Thanks.

Source

Love is a Carousel

Under the beautiful pink shade of the cherry tree, Phillip listened to Linda reminisce about their school and college days. She was still beautiful and desirable, and in fact had changed very little, but his heart wasn't in it. He felt guilty for only half listening to what she was saying. He wanted to be with Susan and Courtney. "Why was fate so cruel?" He thought. It couldn't be just a coincidence that Linda showed up outside the cafe at the very time that Susan was inside meeting her old flame, Rick. What were the chances?

He said goodbye to Linda, and they exchanged phone numbers. Phillip said he'd call her, though he hoped deep down he wouldn't' have to. He'd go home and try to figure out what to do. Susan and Courtney were his world, he had to get them back.

Meanwhile

Back at Susan's house, her and Rick talked a lot, well in fact Rick did most of it, apologising and confirming to her how he had changed and hadn't had a drink in years. In fact she wished he'd give it a rest and ask her about how her own life had been, left to give birth to and raise a little girl on her own. The father too drunk and self-absorbed to even realise he had fathered a child.

The worse thing was his discomfort around Courtney. Every time she tried to get close, or climb on his lap, he would stand up or make some excuse. He seemed more concerned with creasing his trousers than getting to know his daughter. "I want Daddy!" she said in a huff. It was as though he had replaced his alcoholism with OCD. Susan couldn't help comparing Rick to Phillip, who Courtney loved like a father and was the only stable male influence she'd had. She began to wonder why she had agreed to meet Rick after all....but then there was seeing Phillip with the other woman.....tears welled in her eyes. What should she do?

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Comments 71 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Something has come up indeed. This would be a great writing exercise for any writer....the imagination flies with possibilities. I like it! Nice job!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Bill,

Wasn't sure how this idea would go, but glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the encouragement.


Rayne123 2 years ago

I love this idea, just the fact that you had no ending was a real attention grabber and myself can't wait to hear some of the ideas. I wish I would of thought of this.

See I would end it this way.........Philip something came up and I am taking my daughter to meet her father for the first time. I will explain everything to you when we are in touch the next time.

Have a good day

So off they went to the restaurant and although the lunch was great and the conversation pleasant, she knew deep in her heart that once again there would be a relapse and moving back in time is halting her life from the very thing she left it in the first time.

However she made the conversation/lunch pleasant for all three of them best she can. He admitted he was still seeking help and doing everything in his power to be a better person, to accept what he can't change and change what he can.

So with that said, they both realized that the feelings that were once so deep in love as vanished. They both decided that they would leave but on amicable terms.

Cortney understood that this was her dad but she also loved Philip very much as he was he only dad she knew.

The lunch ended with hugs and kisses. They decided on the raising of Courtney. They were walking out the door with cell phone numbers exchanged and both moved on through a new door, but kept in touch.

A few months later Philip and Susan married and started a new life with ups and downs but never the less Susan realized she had made the right decision.

Thanks for a different kind of hub

Blessings

Laurie


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

It is always a delight to see there is a comment waiting on one of my hubs from Rayne123. Thank you Laurie for your kind words and encouragement. I absolutely love the ending you proposed which I feel offers the best and happiest outcome for all concerned, but you see how it could have gone different ways and the domino effect her decision could have had if she had chosen to accept Rick back. Have a great day.


Rayne123 2 years ago

Oh yes I see how it could leave both endings inviting or not so inviting.

It could have been a not so good ending. However that is the first ending that came to mind.

Its great idea you have here, it develops not only a persons writing skills , but it inspires readers and writers. It allows more than one person to become involved in the writing of one story. To brainstorm I guess you could say.

Its one thing to write your own story/poem/song but its another thing to finish someones ending.

The ideas are endless. You could have a whole new story from the endings that may come from this type of exercise.

Thank you

Laurie


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hmmm....maybe I should try something similar with a poem Laurie, do you think that would work?


Rayne123 2 years ago

sure give it a try , that is an interesting idea, but wait a minute the original idea came from an inspiration of my reply. I get half the credit lol

I am so kidding............go for it , I think it would be a great help. I may write my poems different than you but that is what would make the whole idea popular.

I would be curious to read some of the endings or even middles.

Look forward to it now

Blessings

Laurie


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Laurie,

You are right, you gave me the idea. Tell you what, you are a very good poet, how about you start a poem off? I'd love the opportunity to add to someone elses. Then you can have the credit...lol...even though you were kidding.


Rayne123 2 years ago

I do not know, although it sounds good, I would like you to start it off, its your idea and your concept and you are a better writer.

We can brainstorm........I have writers block right now

IF it works out I can maybe try it again and like the "hugs of the day" hub that goes around we can do the same thing but with this type of thing. Not all the time but every once in a while. Just to bring people together and who knows it may start a chain of events.

It will fall in place

Thanks

Laurie


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Ok Laurie,

I'll put my poetic hat on and see what I can come up with....t will be good if it brings people together.


Rayne123 2 years ago

Ok cool, go for it

Good luck

It will be fun

Have a good day

Blessings


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

What brilliant way to keep your readers coming back and a great writing exercise!

Well, I like happy endings and I do believe in giving everyone a second chance. However, at the same time I'd like to be smart with my choices and as your story involved a "daughter", --I'd pick number 4: "Not take him back, but allow him access to his daughter Courtney." I think that should be fair enough.

Interesting work! Thank you.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Cris,

Thanks for checking out this hub and for your enthusiastic comments. yes 3 and 4 seem the most popular choices as I expected. Most people like a happy ending.


cjbryant27 profile image

cjbryant27 2 years ago

Great stuff, Jodah! I truly think Rick should be given another chance. :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Great cj, Thanks for the kind comment. You are the first to suggest Susan give Rick another chance. Others think he should have access to his daughter Courtney, but that Susan should stay with and marry Phillip.

Good to get another point of view and would be interesting to see what would happen if she made that decision.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Great story idea, good luck with it. Sounds very interesting and your writing is clearly good.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

thanks Jackie.


rcorcutt profile image

rcorcutt 2 years ago from Seattle, Washington

Coming from a history of domestic violence involving alcoholism when I was a child I would not take the father back into my life. If I ever did it let him into the child's life if would be very limited and supervised and if it were to go beyond that it would be after some time and the opportunity to prove one has changed.

I just posted a story yesterday that reminds me of this but from a different perspective. I won't post the title because I am not trying to plug myself in any way but I liked the start to your HUB and I think you should write an ending sometime and see how you like it. I know I would read it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for your comment Robert and it is good to have the viewpoint of someone effected by such a situation and speaking from experience. I may take your advice and add an ending to this story eventually.In fact I started to write this story years ago but never finished it and so decided put it up as an experiment to see if it would attract community involvement, which it has. I don't mind you plugging your work, I intended to make my way through your hubs anyway as time permitted.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

After the success of the "add an ending" challenge made by Frank Atanacio for his wonderful hub "Monsters in the Trees", I thought I'd resurrect this hub in the hope that some of you may like to write an ending for this little story. Feel free to write your own hub in the same way you did for Frank's challenge and include a link in comments here.


Eric Flynn profile image

Eric Flynn 2 years ago from Providence, Rhode Island

And that's how energy works, opening and closing doors. Honesty always wins out, but damn is it ever painful. I like the short story aspect here.

EWF


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes, honesty can be painful, so can lies. One needs to make a choice. Thanks Eric.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Jodah, this story can go many directions. I will give it a try, not tonight but soon. Thank you.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

I agree with Ruby, John, but I do not have time tonight to respond to it. I will try tomorrow or ASAP. I have started several new Hubs and I will try to squeeze it in. Perhaps I can work on it like my poems.

Kevin


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Ruby and Kevin. Don't stress about it, but whenever you can fit it in is fine by me. The hub isn't going anywhere... :)


Harishprasad profile image

Harishprasad 2 years ago from India

Susan shouldn't take Rick back but allow him to meet Courtney, his daughter. This is my view about the right course of action to be taken by her. What a fantastic ending have you brought forth in this very sweet and interesting story. To be fair, I was expecting an end something very tragic but thankfully you made an altogether different twist to the end and that is so comforting, though not devoid of any kind of possibility. John, I loved and enjoyed myself reading this tiny but a fantastic tale. Voted up.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Harishprasad, I agree with your version of how the ending should be also, unless we know more of the characters background it is difficult to form a different conclusion.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

John, where have I been, if not for the link on Ruby's page, I would not know this wonderful story.

Right this minute duty and my honey bunny calls. but I will be back my friend.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you very much Shyron. This story has kind of been sitting idle awhile. I would be honoured to have you contribute. See you soon.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

Jodah,

I have just published a Hub with an ending which might not go through since there are hardly any words in it. Anyway, the URL is http://hubpages.com/hubtool/edit/3931548

Kevin


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for taking the time Kevin. I'll check it out now.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

Okay John, it s still pending but is on HubPages.

Kevin


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

I went to the URL Kevin, but it must still be in 'edit' mode as it said 'you don't have permission to edit'. I'll check it again later.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

All that I can see right now is that it is in pending.

Kevin


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

Hey John, Ruby read my story so I guess it is okay.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Cool, checking now.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Kevin please give me the link again...the one you gave earlier won't work it is the edit url


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

I have edited it in and want to thank you for reminding me. :-) I hope that I did it okay.

Kevin


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

John, I am writing a following chapter to this story in the half hour or so. I hope it is to you liking and I will leave it open ended for someone else to continue.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Shyron, I will keep my eye peeled for your contribution.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Great work Shyron. I love your addition to the story.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

http://alwaysexploring.hubpages.com/hub/A-follow-u...

Here's my addition, following Shyron..


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

I just checked it out Ruby, you did a wonderful job. I love the direction you took it. Hopefully someone would like to carry on from there.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Jodah,

Excellent foundation to this creative challenge. Your style is readable and compelling.

What a perfect song selection that takes me back a few years!

I will greatly enjoy following your work now as I have seen you 'around campus' quite a bit with my friends!

Have a peaceful day, Maria


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hello Maria, Thank you for reading this story challenge. I am glad you enjoyed this and the contributions by Ruby, Shyron and Kevin. I also appreciate your kind words and am glad we are now following each other. I look forward to reading your hubs too. Have a great day.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

It sure leaves it up in the air John. I wonder who will end up getting who? In fact it gives me a partial idea for new direction. I do not know if it would be okay with you, and the others, though.

Kevin


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

All is fine Kevin. The whole point of the challenge is to engage writers and let them be creative. Take the story anyway you like. That is the advantage of us doing it in our separate hubs. The story can have three or four different directions people may like to build on.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

Well I only have part of an idea. I still have to allow it to percolate a bit.

Kevin


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Ok Kevin, take your time. I'm sure it will be good.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

I loved your story Jodah ( again ) This story has legs. Go Kevin go!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Ruby.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

John, I too love your story and will write another chapter after I write the Week 18th Good Word poem, which is loyalty maybe work the two into each other somehow. I will have to think about it.

Maybe Ruby can write the next chapter and I can take off from hers.

I am enjoying this, very much, some of it not so far from my story.

Shyron


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for Shyron. I hope your story had a happy ending, and I'd like that for this one as well. I'll wait and see who decides to carry on first....Kevin also said he had half and idea... :)

Good luck with the 18th Good Word poem too.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

John, great story!! I love how this is developing, it's so much better when read in the right order...duh. :)

I'll have to read Ruby's contribution again.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Jo, thanks for reading. Yes, it really needs to be read in the correct order. I have noticed a few people reading and commenting on the added chapters, without reading this beginning, so they are missing the basis of the story..that's the only problem I'm finding, but all good. I would love it if you have the time to join in.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

I love these challenges. I got here via Shyron's wonderful addition. I did not see this in my email, but I see now it is from seven months ago. What an interesting story on just how complicated our relationships can be and so emotional. Really love your follow to alwaysexploring's addition, beautiful. I'll have to catch up. Up and more and away


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading this Faith. Yes, I started this months ago and it only got a few comments but I didn't have as many followers then. After Frank's wonderful challenge I decided to try to resurrect it. Shyron, Kevin, and Ruby have taken it on and I'd love it if more got involved. Thanks for the vote up too.


Aneegma profile image

Aneegma 2 years ago

And once again Jodah to the rescue!! I have been going through a severe writer's block spell (that explains my sudden silence recently) so reading this has given me a nudge to get cracking. Indeed this story has so many endings so I'm off to write my ending. So will there be like a contest of best alternative ending? I kinda feel the need to be crowned "Queen of Jodah's alternative ending stories!"


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

Interesting writing prompt and moral dilemma. This is a great idea. I'll have to think about this for a while before responding. There is no easy answer to this situation- someone gets hurt either way the story goes.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Aneegma, great to see you! You have been missed, I was about to go read some of your hubs and leave a comment to see if you were around. I will still do that anyway. I'm glad this challenge has helped end your writers block. I was suffering a touch of that when I decided to resurrect this story challenge. I can't wait to read your contribution. I'll have to think of an incentive or reward. Hmm...'Queen of Jodah's alternative ending stories', has a ring to it...lol.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for your comment Suzette, yes it Ian a dilemma that can go a number of ways. It will be difficult to make a happy ending for all concerned. I look forward to what you can come up with.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

John, I have just published the new twist to the story that I mentioned to you. The link is: http://theexaminer-1.hubpages.com/hub/-story, but I do not know when it will be cleared. I just wanted to let you know.

Kevin


Aneegma profile image

Aneegma 2 years ago

Hey John, done my version and it's a featured hub woohhee!! here it is:

http://hubpages.com/literature/The-Circle-Palms-Al...


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

I just checked Kevin and it isn't up yet, but I look forward to seeing where you took it.

Aneegma, your contribution is very well done. I am impressed. I am glad this inspired you to continue writing your novel.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks everyone (Ruby, Kevin, Shyron and Aneegma) who has been adding endings to this story. There are currently four threads going that people can add to. I am anxiously waiting Kevin(Examiner-1's next contribution, and I know other hubbers are anxious to hear more of "Jackie's" story from Shyron.) I thought I'd wait and see what you all come up with before adding to it myself. Id appreciate if you could let me know if you are working on another chapter. Thanks.


Aneegma profile image

Aneegma 2 years ago

Hey John I'm glad to see this idea had taken off by storn! I will check out the other threads and see where I fit in x


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Please do Aneegma. I loved your happy ending, but if you think you can take it further please do, or add to any of the others who went in slightly different directions.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi Jodah - I love all these ideas about poems and stories with many hubbers contributing. I read one part of this story, and this one is very good. It is a triangle, and you can almost figure who will win. I like the conflict with the child being indecisive along with her mother and along with the father. Sounds like my indecision. Life is like that. Thanks for sharing this part of the story. Sharing. Blessings, Audrey


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Audrey. I started this off quite a while ago, but it has had a recent resurgence in popularity with some other hubbers adding to it. I thought it would be an interesting challenge and simple story to add to. Blessings.


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 2 years ago from Cape Cod

Great piece of work here Jodah and most innovative. I wish I had the chops to add something, but instead I am just going to enjoy the efforts of those talented folks who so excellently took up the challenge.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Bill. Yes there have been some very good additions and endings written to this story. Check them all out.

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    Jodah profile image

    John Hansen (Jodah)685 Followers
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    John has many years writing experience including a Writing School course "Writing for Profit." He has written text for children's books etc.



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