[Edit: I've split this discussion into two, one for the story, one for discussion of said story - this is the story thread]

Writing a snippet of a story in another forum, I was reminded how fun that can be. So, I thought I'd suggest a collaborative story thread. Anyone can post the next installment, provided they didn't write the previous one, and each post should be a maximum of 100 words.

If you want to give it a go, I'd suggest writing off-line and then posting when you're done. Hopefully, that'll avoid the scenario of finding out someone else has replied to the previous post only after you hit the submit button.

Of course, I don't know if anybody will be up for this or where it'll go if they are, but I've tried to come up with a suitably open and suggestive beginning:

Gregory Malone drummed his fingers on the steering wheel as the persistent rain drummed against his windshield. The neon of the diner beyond the crossroads tempted him with grease and cholesterol, but he couldn’t succumb. He had to wait.

More rain fell. Gregory began to doze. Insubstantial dreams of Elona danced before his eyes until the world went bang and instantly became a much shorter place.

The car’s collapsed roof pinned Gregory against the steering wheel. With difficulty, he turned his head. Hanging beyond the shattered side window was an arm, blood and rainwater dripping from the fingertips.

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At first, the arm appeared to have been crudely tattoed.

On closer inspection, Gregory saw the words had been written in black magic marker, the ink quickly blurring but still legible: Dear G.M., I’m going to kill you with a rusty axe next Tuesday at 6PM.

Only one person could have sent this ghastly telegram.

Theodore Plank had gone down for The Bitch--life without parole--two years ago. Was it possible he had escaped from prison?
Gregory knew there was only one person he could trust to take on the case. Removing the arm from the window and holding it by the bloody stump he took out his cell phone and hit the speed dial.

“Tom Catt – feline PI at your service.”

“Tom, it’s Greg. You working on a case right now?”

“Greg, my man. Yeah, a case of scotch.” Tom wheezed his distinctive laugh and Greg could imagine Tom’s whiskers twitching as he sniggered appreciatively at his own joke. “Whassup Greg-o?”

“Want to come to a murder next Tuesday at 6?”
"Next tuesday at 6, you say?"

Gregory heard a sharp hack and had to hold the phone away from his ear.There was a long wheeze followed by the stomach turning sounds of flying phlem. His friend came back on the line.

"Jesus, Mary and Meow Mix, Gregster, why wait so long? Lets kill 'em tonight and leave parts about town like the good old days."

"Sounds like fun except for two things. I'm caught like a rat in a trap in my 64 T-Bird across from Polly Wolly Doodle Cafe'', and the murder'ee scheduled for next week is me."

"You play'n me, Greg? You know how I hate to be toyed with."

"On my honor and a case of Albacore, Tom. I'm gonna need your services until I find out who is after my tail. More importantly, I think my cell is about to die, and I need you to get a wrecker with a can opener over here to the diner so I can get the hell out of what used to be the prettiest yellow T-Bird in the neighborhood."

"I'm on it Grego; you just hang tight...Hang tight, you get that? Ha!,"

"Funny, Catt, very funny."

A blinding flash filled the narrow space. Gregory flinched and his cell phone tumbled from his hand. The light blinked out and he was blind as a bat. His other senses screamed to life. The pouring rain, the sour smell of blood and something else. The horrific odor grew stronger. Still blinded by the flare, and wedged against his steering wheel, Greg began to panic.

"Who's out there? What do you want?

Now he felt a hot stinking breath on his neck. He tried to turn toward it, but his head was caught between the shag carpeted roof and the leopard skin wrapped steering wheel.

"Plank? ...Plank is that you? You bastard son of a whore. Answer me!"

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