Starting Point: The Drifter

This week’s story starting point was sent to us by Michael Pulliene. Thanks Michael, and stay schwifty!


Luca stared at the unconscious figure lying next to him. The man wore a purple desert garb with some sort of cloth wrapped around his face, leaving only his eyes and the bridge of his nose exposed; a choice of clothing that contrasted greatly with the cool, grassy plains in which he was lying. The stranger’s eyes shot open, followed by a dry, raspy groan, “water…”

Luca jumped back in surprise, then crept back up to the desert man. “You want water?” he asked, knowing well before any reply what the answer was going to be.

“Water…” the man repeated.

“Here, take mine” Luca replied, and watched as the man drained the bottle thirstily.

Once he’d finished drinking, the stranger turned his attention to Luca. “Well, I suppose you have a few questions then.” The man said. “Let’s start with my name. It’s Lawrence, Lawrence Edwards.”

How would you continue this story? How did Lawrence come to be in a grassy field wearing desert attire, and why is he so thirsty? Has he somehow been transported thousands of miles in the blink of an eye, or has he come from another planet, another time, or another dimension?

Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

Written by Michael Pulliene

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  • Here’s my thoughts on this:
    The story is set on Mars. Lawrence is from a time where the terraforming of Mars has only recently started. The air is breathable in certain areas, but it is still a barren desert, hence the desert attire. Luca on the other hand, is from an already terraformed Mars. Mars is now covered in lush greenery. While Lawrence was walking through the Martian desert, he disappeared, and reappeared in the same spot, just hundreds of years later.

  • JerryLouSalem

    I say he’s a politician from another dimension. It seems
    like his first instinct is to please Luca and put her at ease. He’s from an
    alternate universe that when politicians fail, they are sent to another
    reality. He had failed to fix an environmental disaster.

  • Kirov

    Perhaps there was an Arab colony on Mars, and Lawerence was aiding them in a revolt against their imperialistic parents. He was just teleported out of their most recent battle since it was looking to be a defeat. Now Luca is going to get tangled up in the revolt as the imperial soldiers begin looking for Lawerence, and she ends up being the key to their victory.

    • congratulations! very similar to my original vision, although i planned on it being a revolution against a multidimensional government, also, Luca was going to be a boy and Lawrence a dimensional traveler, still some interesting ideas, I’m guessing the Arabic colony thing has something to do with Lawrence’s name and attire?

      • Kirov

        Ya, I figured there were enough details that it wasn’t a coincidence. Do you plan to also submit a finished story for this? I’d be interested, since I wasn’t too sure where to take it myself.

        • nah, I was kind of interested to see where others might take it

  • John H Reiher Jr

    I like the idea that the “desert man” is a dimension hopper (involuntary). He spends sometime in each world and then for whatever reason pops to the next one. Not “sliding” but he may be somehow bound to a rift or something that scoots him along to the next world. This fair and green land he’s currently in could be latest in series of jumps to the left, so to speak as he travels.

    • drifter was going to be the term, essentially an explorer of the sixth dimension, he tried the fourth dimension but there were just too many rules to break, (as stated by the character in the original plan of the story)