And we are back. I know I know I promised to get these collaborative stories out as fast as possible and I fell way short of that. I did not estimate how complex this process would be or how much other things would get in the way. But I am back now and we are going give this a go again. One amendment to the system is that i will not be on set schedule but doing this whenever I have time as it is much more time consuming than I expected.
So just to remind you how this work this is a collaborative story. I post the story a page at a time and then you suggest in the comment field what you think should happen next. I will take the most interesting suggestions and work them into the next page of the story.
The last page of the story had Bunny hanging on a cliff:
From the comments I took batesonpublishing’s suggestion that we go to a flashback of an interruption that leads to this situation and Anima suggestion of a flashback as well involving a turtle.
“How do I get myself into these situations.” The assassin known as The Hare and who calls herself Bunny thought to herself as she dangled from the tree branch struggling to support her weight. Not that the branch would admit it was struggling. It was a branch brought up properly and would never insult a lady. It was, however, about to break in two, letting said lady plummet to her doom. But it would do so politely. Bunny, unlike the branch, was not thinking about social courtesies. She was thinking back to the moment when things had gone all wrong.
The day had started out well. Her latest job had ended early. Technically bit of him ended early and other bits lingered for a little while. Afterward Bunny was waiting for a new call, or the ride out to a tea house outside of a small city she had not bothered to learn the name of. It was a nice, quiet place run by a short broad-shouldered man whose body more resembled the true mathematical representation of a square than any actual human shape. He was gruff but he kept plenty of logs on the fire, which is where Bunny had chosen to spend her time hiding from the cold and playing igo against a few of the house regulars.
Bunny’s strategy at igo was simple but effective. Feign such utter incompetence at the game that skilled players would quit in frustration, leaving the less skilled and indecently less ethical players. This would result in a player who, while trying to take advantage of a naïve girl, would suddenly find that Bunny had spontaneously learned to be a master. Bunny’s latest victim this time around was a man named Wen, and while he moved with the spryness of youth, his leathery skin was filled with crevices from many years in the sun, making his age completely indeterminable.
“This is not your first game of igo,” Wen said, leaning back in his chair with a broad smile after his second loss. Wen seemed to be the type of man who took a turning of the tables with humor.
Bunny returned Wen’s smile, she liked this young/old man. “Never said it was my first game.”
“You asked me what flavor the stones were and bit one.”
“I never tasted the game before, but I never said I’ve never played it.”
Wen leaned further back in his chair, teetering on the edge of toppling as the smile spread further across his face inching dangerously close to his ears. “So you didn’t. My mistake then.”
“So you going to let me kick your ass again?”
“I’m afraid, young lady, that you’ve won all my money,” Wen said, his smile flickering into a frown for a moment before returning in a slightly less expansive form.
Bunny simply fixed Wen with a slightly sinister smile. “But I ain’t done. You still got your shoes.”
Wen simply chuckled and began to set up the board again. “So I do, so I do. But I would be careful, young one. Pride comes before the fall. I learned that just recently when I challenged this girl who likes to eat stones to a game of igo.”
“Yeah, like this will lead to me hanging from some cliff from a tree branch and then I’ll think back to your warning and my saying ‘like this will lead to me hanging from some cliff’ where I’ll be thinking back to your warning when I said… and…”
“Owch. I think I just broke my brain.”
“That gives me a fighting chance at this game then,” Wen said, placing his first move onto the board as Bunny clutched her temples in pain.
Bunny shook her head to clear it and smiled innocently back at Wen. He didn’t need a fighting chance, she didn’t really want his shoes after all. Instead she was planning on throwing the game to give him back some of his money, for being a good sport. Not all of it, mind you, but some, probably half, or about half, maybe a quarter back, at least enough to pay for his drinks, that was for sure, provided he didn’t drink that much.
As Bunny looked at the board considering a strategy that was good but not too good, the door to the tea house opened. The low afternoon sun and chill fall air streamed into the tea house, going around a mountain of a man in the doorway, because going through him was not an option. The man was covered head to toe in shining armor shaped like the shells of tortoises, and he had the look of something that could turn the razor sharp blade of winter itself.
“I, the Tortoise Samurai, bring greetings from your lord on this fine day,” the man proclaimed to the room in general but to no one in specific. It in fact seemed that the man was much more interested in the building itself hearing his speech than any of the actual people in the room.
Bunny glanced up from the board at the Tortoise Samurai and then down at her feet, a look of resignation capturing her features. Then Bunny sighed, dropped Wen’s money in front of him on the board and marched past the samurai mumbling: “Fine. I’ll go get my sword.”