The Exquisite Redemption of Miss Colleen Burton (Part 9)


The following is a HEAVEmedia experiment in writing a novella in public. Read on, join us, and so forth.

If you missed our first post, here’s a quick primer on what it is that we’re doing here. Go back and read that, though, because this isn’t going to make a ton of sense otherwise.

Five writers from Chicago, each with their own unique perspectives, will attempt to write a cohesive novella twice a week over the next several months with no knowledge of where the story is going until each consecutive piece is posted here on Heave. Each new part will be posted every Tuesday and Friday, with the writing duties being carried out in a standard batting order fashion (once the end of the batting order is reached, it starts from the top). At the end of each installment, the writer of said installment will introduce a caveat, or an obstruction, that must be adhered to by the following writer in the next written installment.

Now, the writers wanted to take this project a step further and involve the readers in the writing process. Heave will be asking the readers of the story to tweet @HEAVEmedia with their own ideas for obstructions. How the writers decide upon which obstructions to use is up to them.

Today’s installment is written by local sketch writer Mike Haverty, and the chosen 0bstruction was to write the next installment using only dialogue.


Buirrrrm. Buirrrrm. Buirrrrm. Buirrrrrrm. Buirrrrrm-



“You sound surprised.”

“I figured I would have gotten your voice mail.”

“No no, It’s the real Devon.”

“And this is the real Colleen!”

“Define real.”

“Haaaaaa. Listen, I’m at my apartment and it’s empty and I really need someone. Want to stop by? Maybe drink some wine and talk a little?”

“Where’s Janet?”

“She hasn’t been around all day.”

“What’d you do?”

“It’s not always something I did.”

“Right, sometimes it’s a matter of who you did.”

“Christ, Devon.”

“Sorry. That was low.”

“Well, at least we’re talking about it?”

“Heh… see that’s progress!”

“It’s something!”

“So, why do you want me to come over?”

“Because I’m alone.”

“Sure, but why?”

“Because there’s no one around.”


“Because we got robbed, alright? We got robbed and now the only things I have are a phone and a phone charger and the police said there’s a slim chance that most of this will never come back and now I just want someone to commiserate with.”

“Have you already opened the Andres?”

“There’s plenty to go around!”

“That’s not what I was going for.”

“Come on! Be sad with me!”

“I saw a man die yesterday.”


“Yeah. I suppose it could have been a woman.”

“That’s…hmm… okay… where? How?”

“It was a jumper. There were firetrucks and squad cars and ambulances all up and down the street. A bunch of people just standing their watching. It was a huge scene.”


“Couple days ago. I watched from the windows.”



“Well… Wanna come over and talk about it?”


“Come on, let me help. This is more important than our problems now.”

“It’s not that. When we’re drinking, it’s like everything is too perfect. And I can’t have that right now.”

“We could just cuddle?”

“I just… Maybe just for a little… Nope, I really shouldn’t. Sorry.”


Buirrrrrm. Buirrrrrm. Buirrrrrm. Buirrrrrm. Buirrrrrm.


“Hey Barry.”


“How’ve you been?”

“I’m doing alright. Yourself?”

“Just great! Listen, want to hang out or something?”

“Sure… just… Who is this?”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s just like, I just got a new phone and-”

“It’s Colleen!”

“Oh. Heeeeeeeey.”

“I was thinking if you wanted to stop over for a bit, maybe go to a bar?”

“I’m kinda busy. Work. You know.”

“I know, tell me about it.”

“…We haven’t talked-”

“And what’s a better time to catch up than right now?”

“Colleen. I’m done with this.”

“Right, but you know…”

“Is everything alright?”

“Yep! You sure you couldn’t just swing by now? I could swing by your place? Where are you?”

“At a friend’s right now. I’ll talk to you later maybe?”


“Great. Good hearing from you.”

“Who was that?”

“This girl-”

“Buirrrrrm. Buirrr-”

“Coolleen! How’ve you been?”

“Hi, Carlo.”

“It’s been awhile.”

“Yep! Listen. Do you want to come by later? I’m feeling pretty lonely in this big apartment.”

“Didn’t you say-”

“Yes, I did say some pretty harsh-”


“Yep! Harsh things like that, but listen, that party, I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind and the Andres didn’t help.”

“Yeah, that Andre will do that. Maybe another time?”

“You sure you couldn’t just swing by now? I could swing by your place? Where are you?”

“At a friend’s right now. I’ll talk to you later maybe?”

“Carlo! Just come over, for fuck’s sake.”

“Give me an hour?”

“Sounds good.”


Buirrrrm. Buirrr-

“Sup, Cool? On my way.”

“I can’t do this.”

“Alright, another time?”

“Yeah, sure. I was robbed. Bye.”



Friday’s obstruction: Justin has to follow your leads! Tweet at us, or go to our Facebook page, with your ideas!