Library Open House Exquisite Corpse Project

p054l956Today the Writing Center participated in the library’s open house, and when new first-year students visited us, they were asked to participate in one of two writing projects. One of them was an exquisite corpse project where they were only able to see a portion of what was written previously.

What follows started with the prompt below and was completed in parts by a variety of new Bentley students.

To all who participated: thank you! We hope you’ll come back and visit us again at the Writing Center!


Initial Prompt: “Dear Me” by Brian A. Klems

“Opening up your lunch box, you expect to find your normal mixture of baby carrots, a slightly-mushed sandwich, and a clementine. But today’s different. Instead of the food you swore you had packed that morning, there’s a mysterious note signed by- yourself? What does it say, and why can’t you remember writing it? Perhaps most important, what will you eat for lunch?”


With shaking hands, I gingerly unfolded the paper at the bottom of the box. “Dear Me-“it read. “How is that possible?” I thought. That was certainly my handwriting, but I had no memory of writing any notes. There was more. Carefully, on the bottom of the page was the tiny inscription, “You aren’t safe here. You’ve been framed. Wait until you are alone, then get out.” My eyes began to jolt across the room: I was alone. But what could I have meant? Framed for what? The worst crime I could have possibly committed was jaywalking, and that would hardly warrant a chilling note from myself. I packed up my things, and headed back towards my office. Only, I wasn’t alone anymore. Police officers lined every inch of my office. Some paced, others sifted through my files, one even clicked his way through my Inbox, nodding to the others. His eyes then lifted from the screen, locked with mine, and began to dart around the room. “Get ‘em!” he growled. In a panic, I bolted for the door.

While making my exit, a few officers ran after me. In haste, I reached into my lunch bag—which, I miraculously still had in my hands—and forcefully threw the clementine at an officer’s face. He caught the clementine and threw it back at me, running towards me as he did so. But little did the out of shape officer know, I’m an MMA fighter. I got in my stance and waited for him to approach me. Then, out of nowhere Connor McGregor showed up, dressed as a police officer. I was terrified! They were about to arrest me when I started to fight them. Connor quickly knocked me off balance with a swift chop to my throat. After training in the mountains of northern China for almost a decade I released his grasp and made my way towards the exit. I could feel the handle in my sweaty palm when I was suddenly felt myself choke on the collar of my shirt. Spongebob had ripped my shirt off from the back. I quickly spun around and to my surprise Spongebob had begun to sprint away from me, laughing maniacally. I then noticed he was chasing his neighbor Patrick all the way to the Krusty Krab.

As I made my way to the Krusty Krab I met my professor, Billy Joe, my GB101 professor. He was next to Spongebob flipping those sexy burger patties.

Spongebob looked at Billy Joe and yelled, “THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE COOK!” And so the battle for head chef began. Spongebob began flipping patties by the dozens, as he was a very experienced cook. Billy Joe, having no idea what was going on, began flipping his patties faster thinking he would be fired if he was slower than Spongebob. I stood there watching each of them flipping hundreds of patties, sweating profusely and swearing at each other. I realized I needed to do something or I would never get a chance to meet my professor. I ran towards the battle, but I wouldn’t have if I knew what was going to happen next. Surprised by my rapid approach, Billy Joe swung his head around with such speed that he cracked his neck. Reacting to the pain he kicked the grill, stubbing his toe, but also causing the grill to topple over leading a river of grease in my direction. Suddenly the river of grease turned into a river of fire, I ran for my life!

And then I woke up. I was still at lunch staring at my empty lunchbox. It occurred to me I had dozed off and fell into a Spongebob induced coma. Maybe I watched too much Nickelodeon last night. Suddenly, there shows up several the walking dead. And you can only survive by shooting them in the heads. I quickly grabbed my shotgun under my bed and started to kill off the zombies. It was scary. Unfortunately, my aim was off and I shot myself in the foot. The blood sprayed everywhere, painting the grass red. But not really. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping as planes flew overhead. As the planes came into sight, the sirens began to scream. It was no longer safe to stay outside, which just reminded us that we don’t have any homes to go to. The once beautiful symbol of freedom, an open, blue sky, had become a fearful sight, as the planes never came in dreary weather.

The planes turned into giant humming birds who swooped down and carried me away into the now cloudy sky. They flew me to a volcano where they told me that they need a sacrifice for the volcano god. I was surprised at how gently the humming birds dropped me off at the edge of the bubbling volcano considering what they intended to do with me. Before the birds could flap away, the steaming lava began to stir. Out of the red liquid came what I assumed were the volcano gods. But actually, they were just Spongebob and Patrick. And that cause my credit card defuction. So young teenagers, you guys should forget all the things and start your trip of Pokemon trainer! Or maybe not and can do something else also, your choice. Or you could do nothing at all. Or you could marry a monkey and live in the wilderness.

RIP Harambe. Rip Harambe. RIP Harambe.

Stay woke, they said, even though it has been weeks since the incident.

Harambe’s death served as a single incident to remind the city of Cincinnati that all was not well. In the months following the shooting, human-gorilla relations strained.


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