Extreme Writing Challenge #17: “Kids”

Happy Monday!  I hope your week is starting out beautifully.

The first order of business today is to reveal last week’s challenge, which was:  Every sentence started with a vowel.

Next order of business?  A new challenge, of course!  I won’t make you guess this one, but I will make you read it before I reveal it at the end.  😀 Enjoy!


Kids:  we turn boxes into spaceships, sheets and chairs into fortresses,  closets into time machines.  Give us a twig and we’ll have a wand, a sword, a microphone.

When Alan and I were kids, the twins next door had everything most kids could only dream of.  They came to expect new toys and gadgets the same way Alan and I simply expected clean underwear to put on every day.  Mama didn’t make much money and our dad was long gone, probably living in Mexico with the men he used to go drinking with.  Most of the time, my brother and I carried on as if there weren’t two other children living just a picket fence away.  That is, until Alan stole their remote-control car on his first day of third grade.

Mama was fixing spaghetti and meatballs when a stampede of fists erupted against the front door.  “What in the heavens is that?” Mama cried as she handed me the spoon she’d used to stir the sauce.  When she opened the door, Mama was hit by a blast of unsynchronized screaming as the twins tattled on Alan.

Alan was sitting against the wood pile in the back yard.  Next to him sat the remote-control car, glistening red and black underneath the late afternoon sun.  Mama told me to stay inside and stir the sauce as she put on her sweater to go talk to him.

Over the years, Alan always stumbled upon things that got him scolded:  keeping jars of pet beetles in his room, drawing on the walls with Sharpies, sneaking cookies from the pantry when Mama said no snacks before dinner.  Alan wasn’t the most obedient child, but he’d certainly never stolen anything before.  Sure that Mama was going to hang him out to dry, I cracked open the back window and eavesdropped.

What I’d expected to be the come-apart of the century turned out to be the biggest heart-to-heart Mama and Alan ever had.  Mama had barely opened her mouth before Alan began to bawl with the strength of ten infants.

“They made fun of me!” Alan sobbed.  “They saw me playing with my rock cars—you know, the rocks I painted to look like cars?  Then they picked them up and tossed them into the pond.”

They sat on that wood pile together and talked for so long that I had to warn them the sauce was starting to burn.  Mama gave Alan a piggyback ride into the house, where she let him play with the remote-control car for an hour before she returned it to the twins.  From that day on, Alan and Mama had a special bond that could only be seen in the glances they exchanged.

Kids:  give us a rock and we’ll have a car, a grenade, a pet.  Give us a mom, and we’ll have a superhero.


If you didn’t catch on, the challenge for this story was:  Every sentence begins with a 4-letter word.  I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t want to do this challenge again–not because it was hard, but honestly, it was obnoxious!


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