The following text is part of the #FoldingPaperProject. The project, set up by Molly (www.mimmerr.co.uk) aims to spread productivity, creativity and fun amongst the world’s current bleak state.
It works like the folding paper game we played at school, where one person draws the head of a character, the next person the body and so on. Whereas, we’ll be continuing a story.
You don’t need to be an accomplished writer. You don’t even need to be any good! You just need to be able to continue the story in four- five hundred words and post it on your site. If you don’t have a site, I’ll put it on mine for you.
If you would like to get involved, contact Molly @mimmerr or at firstname.lastname@example.org If not, read on and share the story via the #FoldingPaperProject hashtag. Happy reading and writing!
The stimulus given (by https://writingexercises.co.uk/):
By The Old Grey Owl
Oliver slammed his fist down on the desk top, rattling the stained coffee cups, the fruit bowl and the corporate pastries.
“Look, how many times do you need to be told? The whole economy is in free fall. Everywhere. Now is not the time to be thinking of expansion. It’s probably the time to be thinking of cutting our losses and closing.”
There was a pause. Everyone around the table found something to do with their hands, somewhere to direct their gaze, shuffling papers, spreadsheets and projections, while the fan of the projector hummed in the back ground. Anything but look at Felix, his mouth open in disbelief, his brow furrowed.
“Close?” he finally managed to splutter. “You can’t be serious Oliver, we can’t close, not after everything we’ve done. We’re so close to making the breakthrough. If we can just get through this temporary cashflow problem, pay the suppliers and salaries, we can make this thing work. Trust me, I know we can.”
Oliver, smiled as if talking to a difficult but charming child, his tanned face crinkling around the eyes. When he spoke his tone was calmer, a singsong of patient explanation.
“And who is going to pay the suppliers and the salaries, Felix? It’s not going to be you is it?”
“Well, no, but..”
“Exactly. And there is no “but”. That is everything. The bottom line. And as usual, it’s me that has to be the adult in the room and deal with the reality of the situation. The money.”
“But Oliver, there’s always money to be made in a financial crisis. You just have to keep your nerve. If you make the case to the bank, they will lend us the money. The business plan is sound Oliver, you know that. This will be a top end, luxury destination for the A listers and it has the backing of some of the world’s leading conservationists. It’s a winner, Oliver.”
Oliver sighed and shook his head. He turned to the woman sitting on his left, a tall, elegant black woman with braids and a flawless complexion. “Connie, do you mind?”
She leaned forward in her chair, tapped the keyboard and the next slide in her presentation came up. It was a graph with all of the coloured lines heading south.
“We’ve been to the bank, Felix. Several banks, actually. Not to mention some rather more dubious sources of capital. They don’t want to know. I’m sorry” she said.
“But the business plan..”
Connie cut across him. “The business case was strong, before the world economy tanked. Now, cash is king. And we haven’t got any. Look at the graph.”
Felix had heard enough. It was his turn to bang his fist down on to the table.
“Fuck the graph. All you ever want to talk about is graphs. What about the animals? What about the bats?”
Oliver smiled a smooth, thin smile.
“You’re the clever zoologist, Felix. We’re just simple business people. I suggest we move to a vote.”
Fifteen minutes later, after the vote had been taken and lost, by five votes to one, Felix was left alone in the room, surveying the debris still in place across the table, his dreams in tatters. The expression on his face hardened and his knuckles whitened as he clenched and unclenched his fists repeatedly. Finally, he came to a decision. Reaching for his mobile, he jabbed in a number and waited.
“Gareth, it’s Felix. We need to talk about Dad. And money.”
There was a pause, while he listened.
“Yeah,” he answered, “It’s time.”