A collaborative story intended for the students in my high school creative writing class but open to any and all who would like to participate. Please do keep in mind that this will be used with students and, as such, should avoid mature themes and subject matter. Other than the first chapter, the story is to be written in 10 sentence bites so as to not give any one writer too much influence over the course the story takes.
The sun burned through the blindingly bright blue sky and, perhaps back at home, Archibald would have been having a day out with Annabel. He could imagine the two of them rowing softly through the reeds on the edge of the pond in Melville Park; a day perhaps for wedding proposals or spontaneous poetry about love and nature. He attempted to lick his lips, recounting their last encounter and the gentle moments they had shared, but his tongue, dried and brittle, scoured his cracked lips and left his mouth feeling cottony and swollen.
The tree he was tied to had long since withered into nothingness. A blackened husk of its former glory, it reached up; pleading with the sun to allow it to fade away entirely. The ropes he was bound with were solid enough. Archibald had struggled fiercely when Dr. Marceau and his team had ridden away. Leaving him to bake in the desert sun was something he hadn't even believed that Marceau was capable of. He was a man of ill character; that had been made clear many times. Stolen research, false claims, dubious scientific discipline, but murder had seemed a stretch. Still, Marceau had seemed to care little of Archibald's fate as his henchmen had beaten him into a bloody mess back at the dig site nor did he seem to harbor even the slightest of sympathies when Archibald had awoken and discovered his fate here in the desert.
"It has been a great game," Marceau had said before turning his reins away from Archibald and guiding his horse out into the desert. "I wish you all the best in whatever awaits you in death, my friend. Au Revoir."