Well, friends and people I haven’t met, we’ve arrived. It seems like just yesterday I was but a sapling, green in youth, starting my first Survivor game and running into all sorts of issues from scoring problems to non-players to people taking the game much, much too seriously (Rachel, primarily; she won, so it’s tough to fault her). Well, nearly five years later we still have all of those things, but we kinda know how to deal with them.

Anyway, I’m Kelly/Spookymilk, and I created the game and will make most of the posts. For the second time my friend Beau will be co-judging, and I will mock him ruthlessly in some of my posts for no other reason than to amuse myself.

Now, normally the game will run with a challenge on Tuesday that will be due on Sunday afternoon, and the losing team will be asked to eliminate a player by anonymous vote. On Tuesday, I will post which player has been voted out and I’ll post the next challenge.

For this game, though, I decided to run the first three weeks with no eliminations, so nobody’s one-and-done. One challenge will be given each of the first three Tuesdays, and scores will go up on Sundays. At the end of the three weeks, only the highest-scoring team overall will win Immunity, with the other two teams voting to eliminate one player each. The only exception to this is if only one team has people who don’t submit anything. If this happens, then at the end of the three weeks, that team will eliminate two players.

Simple enough? No? Well, you’ll get it as we go along. In the meantime, I open with the same challenge I always open with, and the only challenge that’s been in all seven games: Fiction 59.

For this one, you’ll be writing a complete story in exactly 59 words. It can be funny or sad, or whatever. All I ask is that the story feels like an entire story, not part of a much longer one.

Why 59? I don’t know, but this is the way a friend of mine pitched it to me once upon a time, so I ran with it. Entries that don’t have exactly 59 words will get a score of 0, but please understand that I’ve had to relax that over the years; some use online word counters, which are iffy, and there seems to be considerable controversy over how to count a hyphenated word. In any event, if I can tell how you arrived at 59, you’re fine.

From there, those of you who did not fail math will be given a score of 1-5, with 5 being the best. People who fail to send an entry will score negative one point, and at the end of the first three weeks, if his or her team loses, the person will automatically cast a vote to eliminate him or herself.

Just to be clear, at the end of the three weeks, each score from each person each week will be averaged, and the two teams that don’t score highest will eliminate one member each.

There is this one thing, which I added last time: to protect the people who are actually attempting to play, it’s actually the lowest-scoring teams with a non-submitter that will have to vote a member out. So, if only one team doesn’t have any non-submitters, they win automatically. Last year it didn’t come up too often, but many years, it would have.

Any questions about the challenge or the game can go here. I do plan on putting a “Rules” tab up there…perhaps today, if I ever get over this fever and hacking cough.

Oh: these are due Sunday at 5pm Central. Send them to my email, foreverunchanged@gmail.com (it’s always listed on the Judges tab if you forget or lose it) and make “Challenge One” the subject. My wife then makes them anonymous for me so I don’t know whose I’m reading when I read them.

Cheers, Survivors. I look forward to this eclectic group of people.