Finish Our Story

June 29, 2012

We have a fun project here at the Claycomo Branch, and it may be heading to another Mid-Continent Public Library near you!

We are sending out collaborative journals. You can add your artwork, write a journal entry, a haiku...or, you can add a story. You can even finish our story. We started a tale, and you'll have to tell us if it's a spooky story with a monster-in-tow or wacky misunderstanding with humor for all. Below, you'll find our starter story with its cliffhanger, and you can comment here or add to the actual journals in the branches.


Once upon a time, in the sleepy village of Claycomo, a strange thing occurred. The villagers would be left shaken and scratching their heads for some time after. The full realization of what had taken place would never settle in… for the lucky ones.

The fog rolled in that morning like milk spilling from a cereal bowl at the breakfast table. It overtook the lone thoroughfare that ran through the village of Claycomo in a matter of minutes. While it was bordered on all sides by the larger metropolis of Kansas City, the fog isolated itself to the village, just as the villagers themselves regularly did.

The newlyweds were doing three things at once that morning. She was getting ready for work, attempting to assemble some kind of breakfast, and worrying about the bathroom-style urgency in the face of her Golden Retriever, Ellie. He was trying to keep pace with her through it all. "I know girl. I’m hurrying,” she said pushing the button on the coffee pot, mascara still in hand. "Two more minutes," she pleaded with the pooch.

The expression Ellie returned conveyed it all. They did not have two more minutes. The young bride fetched the leash and set out into fog, glancing back at her husband as she went. They weren’t to the edge of the driveway when Ellie stopped, sniffed, and began to bark. Before she could react, Ellie broke free and dashed off into the miasma. She was chasing something, but she never saw what. She ran into the unknown calling for her pet without a second thought.

The librarian was making her way through the cotton-like haze, sipping at her lukewarm coffee and muttering to herself about the strangeness of the morning. As she drove past the café, she could barely make out the silhouettes of the regulars that poured in every morning at six a.m. and were always ejected back out to their respective lives by quarter till eight. "I know you’re all over there. I just hope you aren’t crossing the street," she said aloud, prepping herself for a telltale thump.

Fortunately, she made it past the tiny pink restaurant and was just about to turn onto the library drive when a flash of movement caught her eye. The rustling started in the bushes and was punctuated by the sound of a breaking window. The movement was too swift to make out the shape of the perpetrator, and it was over as quick as she noticed it begin. "What was that?,” she whispered to no one.

On the south end of the tiny hamlet, the grocer was dragging the previous night’s trash to the dumpster, cursing the night stock clerk who’d obviously neglected the task. "You can’t find good help these days," he said in between grunts as he dragged the bag against the asphalt. He never even saw the assailant. The blow sent him sailing forward towards the parking lot. The garbage broke his fall.

Whether that was fortunate or not, he couldn’t say. We are talking about last week’s potato salad after all.

By the time the calls started coming into the small police station, the receptionist hadn’t even made it work. The officer looked at the phone panel. All three lights – all three lines were lit up. "What in the world?," he said.

And that was just the beginning…

Andie P.
Claycomo Branch


"Sheriff, it has to be those

"Sheriff, it has to be those kids," shrieked the grocer.

"I'll be right down sir. Can you hold for a minute?"

He jumped to the next light on the phone panel. "Sheriff's station..."

"My wife just took off after our dog and she hasn't come back. It's so thick -- the fog. I don't know if I should be worried. I was thinking..." said the young groom.

"Sir, I hate to ask but could you hold," asked the exasperated Sheriff. He moved to the final light on the phone panel. "Sheriff's station..."

"Sheriff, thank goodness you answered. Some...thing just broke a window here at the library. I think he, er... it ran off, but I don't want to go in alone. Can you come down?"

"Hold please," it was the only response he could come up with.

The Sheriff sat down, looked at his coffee cooling on the reception desk and resolved himself to the fact he would not be enjoying it anytime soon.

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