Ernie loved to prank others. He lived for the opportunity to get another joke on anyone. So far it had snowed ten times this winter. Each time he built a snow man with a menacing look and sign that said it was coming for revenge. The target was the man with the hat store on main street. The whole town buzzed with excitement wondering where the next snow man would appear, claiming to be coming for the famous hat that brought Frosty to life. The hat store owner had the ultimate revenge however, because his hats were selling like hotcakes.
Grandpa Joe loved having Davey over for the weekend. The kindergarten aged boy had a great imagination and could spin a tale worthy of the best story teller in the world. Grandpa Joe knew something really good was in the works because Davey had been consumed with activity all morning. He had been flipping through photo albums, seemingly more enthralled the more he looked.
“Grandpa Joe did you like school?”
“Yes. Don’t you?”
“Sometimes. When we learn about animals I do.”
“Before long you will be able to read stories about all kinds of cool things, like cops and robbers and knights and dragons.”
I wish I could have gone to school back when you did,” Davey said smiling as his mind worked.
“Yes. I think we could have had a lot of fun.”
“Well we did not have that fancy new school bus to ride like you do,” Grandpa Joe said.
“I know,” Davey said.”But the way you had was much more fun,” Davey proclaimed.
“Yep. Grandma Pam said you are so old you rode a dragon to school!”
Mannequin fights are never fun. “Banging Plastic” is what it was called in the back rooms of clothing stores. While humans could heal, mannequins never did. Also, losing your head was not just a quaint expression.
The headless horseman was a fearsome character that got his own story. Jay the men’s section mannequin from Buy More For Less would not. His plastic nose lay in the middle of the store aisle even though nothing else would ever be found..
“I swear if anyone mentions humpty dumpty I will bust out your nose,” security guard Carl barked. “Somebody count the mannequins.”
Alexa had a nearly terminal case of envy. Since she was a pre-teen is was always about having what others had no matter the cost. Her dad was fortunate to be the director of the local bank and had the job that allowed him to satisfy his only child.
Alexa’s mom warned her husband they were setting her up for failure as an adult, but Alexa knew how to work her dad, getting whatever her heart desired.
Then along came Lenny, the one who captured her heart. Lenny was a grease monkey with barely five pennies to jingle in his pocket. Alexa wanted Lenny in her life, but Lenny had no hopes of providing the life Alexa desired. When they visited the Hexadome Complex in Stuttsbury Alexa was enthralled. This is where she wanted to live.
“I’m sorry Alexa, but the math just doesn’t work,” Lenny told her.
Three months later Alexa slid her hand into Abe Benton’s, Abe was the owner of the Hexadome and the only one who could give her this desire. Her mother’s prediction had come true.
The girl behind the counter suppressed her smile as the young boy returned, huffing and puffing from his latest sojourn to find a portable version of a black light. His friend Hardy told him that the girl, yes, the one he had pined for all year had left her phone number on these bottles. She was a puzzle aficionado, and loved the mystery of figuring things out. If Bart was going to win her heart he had to be able to match a challenge of minds.
What he did not know was that the spunky blonde wearing the name tag that read Christina was the best friend of his dream girl, Holly and wanted Bart to find the number. She agreed to Holly’s demand to make him work for it, but she was willing to assist any way she could. She never uttered a word during his search, but used her eyes and subtle audible gestures to guide him.
Bart looked at the prize in front of him in the form of seven digits. His hand shook as he punched the buttons on his phone. He thought his heart might stop as the phone rang once, twice, three times and then she answered.
“I’m not moving it,” the Virginia highway worker said.
“Nor am I,” his Tennessee counterpart insisted.
The trouble was the large boulder had come to rest on the state line and neither man saw a majority of the rock in their jurisdiction. Had there been a noticeable portion in either the decision would be simple.
“We can split it in two, then take care of our half,” Virginia said.
“Not with my tools,” Tennessee nodded negatively.
“You’re not suggesting I use mine?”
“Well someone must,” Tennessee stated.
“Let’s call the feds. We can claim interstate commerce or something.”
This is inspired by a city nearly twenty miles to my west called Bristol. Running through the middle is the state line between Virginia and Tennessee.
This is my initial response as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. It is not because I am an anomaly, one of those writer’s who exudes so much confidence I never doubt my ability. No, in truth I am just as full of questions about my ability as anyone who puts together a collection of letters with the hopes it will be recognized as a work of art as anyone.
I have been blogging on WordPress for about 4 1/2 years, so I have seen the IWSG logo for a while now. Why I have not taken the initiative to join before this time is one of those questions with an easy answer. No one wants to admit their doubts. None of us willingly steps up to declare that the possibility of irrelevance scares us into submission too often. But I am growing as a writer as I cross the many hurdles that are real and imagined. I want to rub elbows with other doubters as I also connect with those who have won the battles that lay before me.
I also want to answer the question posed this month: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader? I think it has made me more critical. I see more plot holes as I look at other works. This includes movies and television as well. I can distinctly remember a plot hole in a television series I loved and still to this day I think about it. It is not very often I will stop reading a book, or watching a program or movie, but it does happen, usually because something is either so out of place or the plot just does not capture my attention.
I find myself taking mental notes now when I read authors I really like, taking apart their characters and plot devices to see how they tick. I want to be able to make such a good story that my readers will crave more of my writing. I expect all the best writers operate this way, so why not follow their lead?
I enjoy any opportunity to connect with others in this solitary world of writing. While it can be a lonely pursuit, opportunities like this narrow down the field of folks to ones willing to share a piece of their world. It is difficult to share your struggles with those who do not face similar obstacles or challenges. They just look at you like they are thinking “why do that to yourself?” Because I have that desire burning deep inside me, although you cannot see it or understand it, I think.
So I think that will do it for my first IWSG post. I look forward to meeting all of you over time and who knows what kind of connections I might make here?