He took off his shirt, revealing tattoos scattered across his back in a not-artistic fashion, walked into the water up to his waist, and plunged in. Across the way houses nestled on the side of a hill. Docks and rip rap lined the shore. A pontoon boat waited, moored, ready to be pressed into service on some other sunny day.
His head bobbed as he swam slowly across the river, which was about 200 yards wide at this point. He climbed onto a dock, strode across a deck, slid open a patio door, and stepped inside. A moment later a scream, short and loud, ended as suddenly as it began.
Oh crap, it’s too gentle a day to maintain a horror story. What do I do now?
“The characters in a book live day by day and nothing happens,” said the woman at the table. “There’s no story. They’re bored, there’s nothing to do here, until one day they realize they’re happy having no stories to endure.”
One of the men across from her looked up. “That’s it?”
“Hey,” she said. “Seinfeld did a show about nothing and milked the concept for nine years. Why not do a show with no story?”
“Excuse me,” said the little man taking notes at the corner of the table.
“You have to have a story!” insisted the man across from the woman.
“Says who? Stories are overrated,” said the woman across from the man.
“Excuse me,” the little man tried again.
“Stories are the building block of all we do! You have to have a story!”
“Take your stories and shove —“
“EXCUSE ME!” The little voice was so powerful it hushed the room. Everyone looked at the man with the notepad. “Thank you.”
He gathered himself up and assumed his most dignified pose, which, to his credit, had more than a splash of dignity.
“Now then,” said the little man, “Who screamed?”