Sentence by Sentence is an experiment. It has only one goal: produce the first entirely user-generated novel, crafted one sentence at a time, by authors from all over the world. Stay tuned to the Story section, to read and write the evolving story, and the Updates section for polls, contests and news.

Contest #1

Chapter Two is complete.

There is only one rule on this site. Please only write ONE sentence at a time. You may write more than one sentence in a row, but if people continue to write absurdly long, run-on sentences, I'm afraid I'll have to start deleting them. After all, the project is called "Sentence by Sentence." Let's keep it that way.

And now, a contest. Before Chapter 3 begins, I'd like you all to name it. So, in the comments section (the same place you'd add a sentence) please leave suggestions for the title of Chapter 3. I will take the best options, and we'll put it to a vote.

Chapter Two: Zachary

"My labor was so very long and difficult with Zachary, so very long and difficult that I had passed into another, brilliantly colored and brightly endowed world for a few minutes and experienced an intense and all enveloping light that seemed to be coming from a young boy."
Mia stopped, lost in her own memories, and then continued, "The young boy glowed brilliantly and resembled the little boy I had been dreaming about for nine months--the boy who would become my son--who now beckoned toward me smiling."
His colors changed from red, to blue, to a brilliant bright gold; I thought he was an angel.
I asked him if I were dying and he told me dying was my choice to make but there was no such thing as death.
Mia looked at me tentatively then, as if appraising how much to reveal, but chose to take the plunge, "The warmth that radiated from him was so tempting; I wanted to follow his beckoning smile, but something told me to stop and return for it wasn't the right time."
"I turned away from the radiance, but I have never forgotten the angelic look of that glowing boy," and now looking me directly in the eyes she continued, "and every day I am haunted by that face because; it is my son Zachary's face."
The next thing I can recall is the coldness of the paddles pressed against my chest, my body thrashing violently from the electric charge; they said my heart stopped for four minutes and thirteen seconds that day.
An eternity folded into those few minutes; not knowing when time stopped and started again.
I was so enthralled by her story and felt one with her, but I wanted to tell her my name.... and then tell her what I saw in her son and what I sensed she saw, for the sharing of these truths would produce something very special, for for a special web of light was about to be spun.
Suddenly I looked up and there before us stood Zachary.
Zachary had huge glassy black eyes that made him look distinctly bug-like yet handsome.
Then, his eyes shifted to brown, then a resplendent blue, like my own; his features melted away, and when a tiny freckle appeared on his neck I realized... Zachary was ME!
Right there before me he stood, clueless, his fate was mine, and I felt, somehow, I had to let him know.
Mia tapped my shoulder gently, "Excuse me kind Sir, you seemed so far away and lost in thought...I don't even know your name, but my son would like to meet you..this is Zachary," she said.
"Zachary," I said, "you know my name is Bishop because you can see from many perspectives very intensely because of the light you have, and for this I am profoundly moved and aware of the possibilities, but you know this, despite your youth, but your youth does not matter because of who you are and why you are here."
Zachary, in a humble and loving way, said, "I see simple things and how they can benefit man, and I do not go beyond the essential, for the brilliant light is such a joy, and it tells me I am young and to consider things that I have not considered."
I stared at this boy who spoke so eloquently, well beyond his years, and turning to Mia I asked, "How old is your son?"
Zachary is nine, he was born on the ninth day, of the ninth month,in 2009.
As Mia said those words the beauty and synchronicity of this time and place was so apparent to me.
It was so beautiful, a wide-eyed boy, an oasis of light in 2018, when nations worldwide are in great wars, Iraq having been decimated by an atomic bomb years ago, Iran invaded and wrecked, and now a never-ending war involving all nations, it seems, to see who will come out on top; now I look to this boy who suddenly appears on the scene to give us hope.
I am only 14, but both of us have something to look forward to and talk about, and I know our contributions will change a great many things.
Zachary now turned to us both and spoke, "And a Child Shall lead us."
He continued, " Our path in this world is an enigma, and part of the solution is a return to innocence, do you know what that means?"
Bishop, suddenly felt an all knowing, beautiful blue warmth from within; and Mia felt it too.
"Lead us where?" I asked.
Zachary began to speak but Mia interupted as she put her hand upon Bishop's face, "Your face only one hour ago was of a man, and although it is still quite handsome it has changed before my eyes to reflect the boy you are," and Bishop responded, " We all have many faces yet the world chooses who and what they want to see."
...and Zachary said,"and we will be lead on the path we choose to see."
"Hey, Mia and Zachary, it's time to go back to Killarney. You've been in this beautiful park so long - and with such a fine lookin' boy for company - that you've forgotten your Irish father," said Bram, and then added, "After all, I do have to go to work with all the other mechanics down by the river, you know; so come along, and bring your new friend."
"Mia, a little slip of the tongue, there; you know I ain't your father, but your husband," said Bram, a very tough and handsome looking bloke.
looking beaten mia stands while avoiding bishop's eyes.
Bishop realized that there was something being left unsaid, but when he reached with his mind he felt a wierd vibrancy that stopped his progress.
Even though Bishop was transformed over the last few years and could hear and feel emanations from both people and the signals constantly being sent through the air, he didn't understand the vibrant light shield he had encountered during this uncomfortable moment, but he thought it might be just a slight misunderstanding, and so he happily got up go go with his new friends.
Mia walked with her husband, and quietly whispered, "Bram, Bishop, this boy here, he can see it too--what I told you about Zachary."
Although Mia tried to be discreet, I heard what she said and heart Bram respond angrily, "Shut up about that foolishness; I told you the boy is normal; there's nothing strange about my boy."
Bishop felt wonderful things from Zachary as they walked behind Mia and Bram toward beautiful Killarney, a town filled with many wonderful memories, people, and views.
But their journey was not meant to be completed with ease.
Nonetheless whether it be easy or difficult, their journey was unfolding, perfectly as it should;and Bishop felt this so profoundly that Killarney was where he needed to be, and that Bram, Mia, and Zachary were especially important in this place and time, so he decided to forget about his family, his parents, his life, and move Killarney...and call this home for now.
Bishop sensed a brilliant vibration of love and light from Zachary; for Zachary was quite happy to be walking with his new found brother, companion, and friend.
This was an exquisite experience with his friend as they walked out of the beautiful, tree-filled Killarney Park, with the lovely lake, Lough Leane, and he anticipated and sensed greater events in the future as they walked toward Killarney toward Port Road, which had a few meandering folks walking along it.
Mia and Bram walked briskly ahead deep in conversation and intent on their destination; Zachary and Bishop followed more slowly behind as they absorbed all of the wonderful smells, sounds, and interesting faces along the way...there was so much to see!
As they approached Saint Mary's Cathedral with its stained glass windows and its great redwood tree, they were in awe; so they decided to walk see it up close once more, and as they did, they faced the wondrous sights of Killarney Park in the distance and Lough Leane, but suddenly, a brilliant arcing light mushroomed into the sky from a far distance and lit up everything, and when it did Zachary's face lit up as brilliant amber, and Zachary felt the heat and glory, while the effect on Bram and Mia was instantaneous and stunning.
Zachary and Bram stood there with astonishment and joy, while Mia and Bram lay unconscious.
Just as quickly as the flash of light came upon us, it was gone, and I stood looking at Bram and Mia walking ahead of Zachary and me and realized that what I just witnessed was not the present but the future, and I wondered what it all meant.
Again I heard Bram and Mia arguing, "I told you that Dr. Fisher was a quack; I don't know why you listened to him in the first place, and now this Bishop kid sounds just as crazy."
At this point I was unsure if my vision was days, weeks, or years away; and I didn't understand how that brilliant light had such a wonderful effect on Zachary and me and the opposite effect on Mia and Bram.
One thing I was certain of however, I knew Dr. Fischer somehow had a hand in all of this; that Zachary,me, and who knows who else, were connected so I was going to keep my mouth shut about Dr. Fischer and listen and learn when we got into town.
Bram turned and looking at me appraisingly asked, "Where are you from?"
"Originally from America, but I've been living in Ireland for about a year now," I responded.
Next Bram asked me about my family and if I had any brothers or sisters; I don't know why what came out of my mouth next did, but I lied and blurted out, "My parents are both dead."
Zachary looked at me as if to say, "Your secret is safe with me," because he knew I had lied.
"You poor was much too soon, but don't you worry.. the good Lord works in mysterious ways," Bram said, and I watched him bless himself with the sign of the cross; I could have debated the point but I didn't because I could tell that Bram suddenly felt sorry for me and being the good Catholic that he was he would not send me packing.
Now all I have to do is figure out the connection between Zachary and me and how Dr. Fisher was involved in all this.
Watch, listen, and learn; I'm sure the good folks of Killarney have alot to say.
It wasn't long before we arrived at the cottage where they lived, and they invited me to join them for dinner.
Bram went to work and Mia brought Zachary and me into town; she shopped at the local market while Zachary and I explored on our own.

Capter One: Awake

The world is a strange place when no one knows you exist. There is temptation for evil in a world without personal consequences. And tempted I was, but that's not where this story begins. You see, I was born without facial features, just a fleshy form with a faint heartbeat. The doctors don't know why I came out this way, but I'm the only child that has ever born with absolutely no face to speak of.
I took my first breaths in a world which would scorn and hate me and the first noises I heard were from the screams of the attending doctors and nurses. I'm pretty sure that's what I heard; you can't actually remember the day you were born, but still those horrified shouts haunt my dreams. And I can still see the looks of sheer horror in my parent's faces as they stared in disgust, like I was that female wrestler, China, at a nude beach or something. I suppose I had a fairly normal childhood, all things considered. Kids are funny like that - you don't miss having a face when you never knew what it was like to have one in the first place - so until I was 12, I was actually pretty happy. But the world and it's strangeness were abruptly thrust into my life 37 days after my 12th birthday - the day this flawless face i now display (a face that same world, down to even the slightest soul, covets) simply... appeared.
And for the first time in my whole life, I truly felt awake, "Bishop! Come quick and look at your cousins on the news!"
My mother screamed to me from the basement that Friday night. And there they were, Larry and Sarah, my two youngest cousins, on the news, covered in blood and surrounded by a fleet of photographers and cameramen. At least, I was told they were my cousins, for I had never actually seen them, as the screen shrieked what seemed compacted sound. I was quite relieved, when the medics cleaned the blood from their faces, to see that they were not my cousins, but only several "little people" who had completely covered themselves with fake blood and were in town to tell the media about a new blood substitute that would enable doctors and nurses worldwide to save their patients when no stocks of normal blood were available. I wonder how they got a hold of such a substance and I told my mother, "if they had been my cousins we could have win a jackpot marketing that thing.”
Sadly, I turned off the tv and continued to gaze at my new found reflection in the mirror while trying to conjure up some new way of making a jackpot. As my eye lids fluttered open and closed, my blurred vision could bring only one thing into focus. A horrific and mesmerizing sight; my faceless, expressionless refection. A face with no life, no memories, no pain, completely and utterly lifeless. A face that had nothing good in life to reflect. What could this essentially lifeless face have to offer the vastly dense and intricate world which surrounded it? Nothing at all. Of course not. I would conquer this world with or without my facial features. Fly far away and back again to tell the world of tales.
Suddenly, I was brought back to reality as I realized that I had a waking dream that took me back to the awful nightmare of my previous faceless existence, and I knew that the miracle that had given me my new and beautiful face, and my own dedication, sacrifice and heroism, would allow me to "conquer this world" and "fly far away and back again to tell the world of tales"; thus, I was saved in my quest to have joy and and have a full life. "So tell me Dr. Fischer, what the hell is wrong with me; am I crazy?"
"My friend, what you are suffering from is 'acute facial displacement', which is a rare disease that causes your face to alternate between facelessness and face perfection. This can be treated with a new medicine called "arhythmicfacialcondoplasty", but it must be taken every four hours."
"Oops, I misspoke, the condition is called "arhythmicfacialcondoplasty", but the medicine I speak of is called "Facialforce". It comes in a liquid and needs to be taken a pint at a time.
"Doc, every four hours? A whole pint? Is it worth it, I mean, for just a face? Faces are optional, technically, aren't they, I mean I could do without, right? Is a face I have to buy really worth the price? Perhaps facelessness offers something to be desired, I don't know, maybe I should think about this some more. Maybe my real face is no face. Maybe I'm beyond facefullness. What's that condition called, Doc?"
“It's two-thirds sheep tears, and one-third Proactive acne solution, we've never used it on humans, but it worked wonders on the lab rats we've tested. Well Mr. Bishiop, facefullness isn't a condition. But its clear that you need to think about this decision a bit more. What does a face really mean to you? I suggest that you when you leave here today you take a good look in the mirror, ask yourself, "what is the meaning of my life" and then... go out into the world, and find an answer!”
"What is the meaning of my life...ah is that really the true question I seek?" I wasn't sure; all I knew, is that Dr. Fischer had a diploma from Harvard Medical School on his wall, and I had a face condition that I wanted some potion for--so I decided to gulp it down, and face the world (pun intended). I quickly dropped to the ground, rolled about, and shook violently as if suddenly taken with epilepsy. I then menacingly rose face to face with the doctor and yelled, "You're making me angry, and you won't like me when I'm mad!!" Seeing the paling doctor's terrified expression inspired guilt within me, and I had to end the joke shortly after it began by consoling the scarred doctor, "I'm just kidding doc, I don't feel different at all." It wasn't until the next morning that I realized "Bishop" no longer existed; and I was terrified! I was very afraid, but during that morning as I tried to console myself by singing my favorite song, I realized that my vocal range had suddenly elevated fantastically and I could sing very high or very low with perfect control and with a wonderful and inspiring quality that would be the envy of anyone in the universe. My newfound "voice" was not my only metamorphosis...Oh God there was more! My mind had changed too; suddenly, I was a genius. Into my mind came transmissions on how to plant a garden, build a solar-powered house, a car that runs on water, and other very useful information that could only have come from the science channel, which meant to me that somehow my mind was able to accept transmissions on any number of subjects from any power source.
My mind was a sponge, i soaked up everything that I came in contact with. It wasn’t that i felt smart, or that i could understand everything that I read. I hadn't become a genius over night. it was my face, it began to form. For you reading this you would take the formation of my face as a literal transgression. But my physical features didn't change. I began to hear voices, inaudible at first, like a radio signal out of tune; then I realized these voices were not voices at all, they were people's thoughts and I could "hear" them! It was amazing at first, and scary too, but ultimately, it made me really listen to people for the first time in my life.
I found that most people had far more sad and intricate stories than their simple faces projected to the world. And I realized that everyone was trying to achieve victories in so many areas of their life and to finally realize their dreams and to have the ultimate realizations and joys; so I thought I would try to help them do it. I suddenly found myself drawn to a young woman sitting on a park bench watching her child play nearby; and although she smiled her mind spoke to me of deep sadness. "Is that your son?" I asked.
She looked up and spoke to me with tears; then looked over at her son with a smile and deep concern. Her son was happy and played blissfully; all was right in his world. But little did he know, his mother held a dark secret about his life.
"Do you believe in fate or karma; that what goes around comes around?" she said to me. If you give love, it often is passed right back to you so that the increase is quite pleasurable. Bishop knew that he just stated the obvious, a platitude and a common sense idea, and he wanted to get to truths that weren't obvious; so he asked, "How long has your son been able to generate light and electricity through his fingers and toes?" Her eyes bore into mine, a look of shock and relief coming over her as she replied, "So you can see it too?" She gently touched my hand and continued, " I should have known you could, you have a kind face," and now it was me who sat dumbfounded and shocked, she saw my face! How did she see a kind face while the rest of the world saw the twisted mass that has peered out at the world since birth? Perhaps it was the residual effect of my medicine, Facialforce, that Doctor Fischer had given me, for I had taken it every 4 hours as prescribed, and it had indeed given my face a handsome look, but I had not taken it for a couple of days because taking a pint every 4 hours is quite the exercise. Bishop answered her kind and loving reply with, "What is your name, my dear?" "My name is Mia, and my son's name is Zachary," she replied. "I sense," but I hesitated to say, "that you are troubled by your son's special-ness." Without hesitation, like a penitent parishioner, she told me her tale; she began at the beginning, the day Zachary was born.