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Crimson web

Different threads of the same story with you the reader choosing the direction

By Raymond G. TaylorPublished 2 months ago • Updated 7 days ago • 5 min read
Dall-E-3 image generated and edited by the author. No proprietary rights claime

Starting life as a 250-word crime story, this has grown into a Vocal community collaboration prize challenges to develop the storyline into a range of alternatives. What has the protagonist done, where will it lead him, and (when) will his detective colleagues catch up with him?

This story has continued, and still continues, in further parts written by other Vocal creators as well as the original story continuing. Some of the alternatives closely match the developing action of the original story and some have taken the narrative in a different direction. All are really engaging and fascinating stories in their own right. I would urge you to follow these story threads and pick the one you like best. Alternatively think up your own story based on what you have read.

As far as I am concerned, the only authentic version of the story is the single opening episode, the inciting incident that takes place here:

Fair game

Everything else is fair game. Having set out the basic scenario there are so many ways the story could go. If you would like to join in the fun, and be in with a chance to win one of the many (6) valuable cash prizes (£25 for best story) please check out:

Where is the snow?

If you would like to read the various story threads, I have included all of the participant stories to date below and will update this page as new stories in the web are published. If you would like to read my original story from start to the latest episode, I have included links at the end of this page. I have also tried to add in links to the various other threads, showing where they fit into the 'main' or original continuing story line. Or, if you prefer, you can just start with the instigator: Telltale Crimson Trail. and follow your own choice of thread. Whatever you decide to do, I really hope you will enjoy these creators' stories as much as I am enjoying them. Thanks from me, Ray, to all who participate as readers and as creators.

I will try to keep up to date with developments and stories are posted roughly in chronological order of being published.

The stories so far

First up, is Kageno Hoshino: Loose Threads - [WINNER]

This picks up the action after episode 5 of Crimson Trail and has made use of a suitably atmospheric cover image. Kageno is our first $5 winner, as you will see if you read his story.

Kageno has already gone on to write further episodes:

  • Tainted coffee
  • Ashes to Ashes

A stylish and equally atmospheric episode that picks up the coffee theme that runs through the story, as any self-respecting detective fiction should.

CONGRATULATIONS on the top story

For reference, I am going to refer to Kageno's story series as alternative thread A, as you will see when you look at the complete list of story links at the end of this page (which will be updated from time to time).

Next came Scott Christenson, writing two episodes at about the same time as Kageno. His first offering is: The Encore (Part 1)

Scott has also written another episode:

The Encore (Part 2)

This story takes the action on a ride to Boston so well done to Scott for picking up on the clue about where the story was originally located.

Scott quickly followed his break-neck contribution with a second instalment and we are hoping to see this soon, when Vocal releases this chapter. This thread I will refer to as alternative B.

The inimitable Lamar Wiggins has introduced some original and thought-provoking developments in: A rat in a cage

This story features new evidence in the shape of a witness so we are all hoping Lamar will develop the theme further. Love the literal interpretation of the title in the cover image, Lamar

CONGRATULATIONS on the top story

Our fourth participant is the wonderful Mackenzie Davis whose focus is the interview with the squad Captain: Interrogation

Not sure what is is about car parks (parking lots to my American friends) but I find them fascinating. So any action that takes place in one in any suspense story is fine by me. Even if it is only pulling into the lot purposefully then pursuing another perfectly pleasing pulse of action.

These are all of the alternative episodes so far.

Watch this space for further delectations in the detective development in our crimson web mega-community story.


Here are the episodes from the original story of the nefarious antics of John the Massachusetts homicide detective. I have tried to weave in the alternative threads into the story in the approximate place they seem to fit. If I grew a family tree, it would of course start with the Telltale Crimson Trail and branch out at various points. Not even going to attempt it, but hopefully what I have tried to do will be clear enough.

O ~ 0 ~ o ~

O ~ 0 ~ o ~

Wanna join in the fun? Check out: Where is the Snow

Back to the beginning: Telltale Crimson Trail

Thanks for reading


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About the Creator

Raymond G. Taylor

Author based in Kent, England. A writer of fictional short stories in a wide range of genres, he has been a non-fiction writer since the 1980s. Non-fiction subjects include art, history, technology, business, law, and the human condition.

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Comments (5)

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  • Kageno Hoshino2 months ago

    Congrats to all others who participated

  • Wooohooooo congratulations Kageno! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • John Cox2 months ago

    Thanks for suggesting and offering, but for this one I will pass.

  • John Cox2 months ago

    Great work setting this up and collating the alternative chapters for our convenience!

  • Celia in Underland2 months ago

    A fascinating idea- love the interacivity of this! Will endevour to read the first and the follow up threads!

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