When I do readings and school visits, I often trot out a fun group exercise (no, not my infamous and merciless Jumping Jacks and Jills) where we write a story LIVE. Here are some of the stories we’ve spun:
Characters: Good Wizard
Setting: Super Mario Land
Each of the wizards have their own army. The Bad Wizard tries to kill the Good Wizard’s friend, but the Good Wizard intervenes and receives a broken leg for his trouble. Little do they know, but both wizards are secretly brothers. The Good Wizard stumbles on this (it’s pretty easy to stumble with a broken leg) as he uncovers the Bad Wizard’s plot to kidnap a member of the Wizarding Royalty. The Good Wizard begins his quest to rescue the abducted royalty. The Good Wizard breaks into the Bad Wizard’s secret hideout, rescues the queen, and—upon being discovered—wages a catastrophic battle with the Bad Wizard. Unfortunately, the world blows up, leaving but one large piece of rock floating in space. A passing rocket ship of surviving astronauts, in orbit during the disaster, dub the rock New Earth as they go about their mission. One person, however, is still alive on New Earth. Lindsay Lohan! She, after examining the rubble, learns of the wizard battle that destroyed her planet and vows to become a wizard herself to begin the New Earth, populating it with her conjured slaves!
Newport Prep Academy:
Characters: Bugs Bunny dressed as Superman
The Incredible Hulk
Setting: A Magic Shop in the Forest
Bugs Bunny dressed as Superman and the Incredible Hulk are best friends and like to hang out at the Magic Shop in the Forest. Unfortunately, Bugs Bunny dressed as Superman is playing with a large magician’s hat to see if he can fit inside, you know, like pulling a rabbit out of a hat and it falls on the Incredible Hulk’s nasty green feet. Since he never wears shoes and is prone to explosive anger, he is enraged. Bugs Bunny dressed as Superman tries to run away, but the Incredible Hulk grabs him. Bugs Bunny yells and drops the hat again. Hulk screams “Hulk smash Bunny!” and Bugs Bunny dressed as Superman yells “Help me mom!” Bugs Bunny’s mom, who is also dressed as Superman for reasons unclear, arrives quickly on the scene and, wielding a wicked potato, hurls the spud squarely at the Incredible Hulk. “Hulk mash potato!” yells the green mass of rage. The Incredible Hulk is so furious that he begins to punch himself in the face. The Incredible Hulk quickly subdues himself and falls down, with Bugs Bunny dressed as Superman stomping on his face. He and his mother make an army of evil mutant carrots using the various potions in the Magic Shop in the Forest yet, unfortunately, they bring about doomsday…or do they???
Isaac Newton Magnet School:
Characters: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Sadie Blanchette (student at Isaac Newton)
Setting: An Eternal Void of Nothingness
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sadie Blanchette are fighting over a giant pickle on Facebook, using the social networking site’s least popular application, Fight Over a Giant Pickle. The contested pickle, without warning or provocation, runs away. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is suddenly incredibly depressed while Sadie, meanwhile, spins around in her chair, rubbing her hands together, laughing “Moo-ha-ha!” The Giant Pickle, freed from Facebook, is almost instantly assassinated–apparently—by Shadow the Hedgehog who is working in cahoots with Sadie Blanchette as her paid ninja killer. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, upon learning of Sadie’s treachery, releases his secret army of Barbie dolls, equipped with deadly lasers and saws. Meanwhile, the Eternal Void of Nothingness spreads and explodes, but—being nothing—its destruction results in Everything. The universe shifts subtly yet irrevocably as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger weeps softly to himself at his desk in Sacramento, California. His arch nemesis Sadie Blanchette and his beloved Giant Pickle—not assassinated after all, it seems—have gone missing. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger performs a few dozen bench presses and then rides into the sunset on his pretty pink unicorn.