Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Charlie Eldermun

Truth be told, the top item on my do-before-death list is to write a full length novel and actually attempt to publish it. This will probably take some time and I will regularly have to fight off the demons of self-doubt, incompetence, sloth, and general lack of time.

However, I WILL NOT DIE before seriously pursuing my goal (shhh, don't tell Death). I will do my part and I will write.

My dear husband has been doing his part by encouraging me endlessly and giving me random writing assignments. The following is my answer to a writing challenge he gave me: Write a short story, beginning, middle, and end, that is only two pages long. I wrote it in about an hour, so it's far from perfect. But I had fun doing it. :)

Enjoy. And let me know what you think!


 © S.E. Fowler; August 17, 2010

Charlie Eldermun woke up to the sound of his mother’s voice.

”Good morning, Charlie!” She had a sweet and melodic voice. Like caramel covered apples.

”Mom, I don’t feel like going to school today. I think I’d rather talk to Benny about the plans and we really don’t have time for school today” said Charlie as he pushed himself up into a sitting position and scooted to the edge of his white metal bed.

“That’s just fine, Charlie. You don’t have to go to school today. Benny’s already in the sitting room. Why don’t you have some breakfast and you can go over the plans with him then?”

Blue eyes smiled down at Charlie and gentle hands helped to lift him off of the bed.

“Do we have pancakes today?” asked Charlie. He yawned and slowly scratched the back of his head.

“Yes, we have pancakes. Today’s Wednesday! We always have pancakes on Wednesday.” cooed the caramel-apple voice.

After breakfast Charlie’s mother helped him into his automatic go-kart and he set off for the sitting room.

Charlie liked to ride his automatic go-kart around the house. It was a very big house and it was much more fun to ride in an automatic go-kart than to walk everywhere. Besides, there were so many people that came to Charlie’s house that he quite preferred being able to zoom away in his go-kart if he didn’t feel like talking to them. Charlie’s father was always having consultants over and Charlie’s mother was always trying to get Charlie to make friends with all sorts of visitors. Some visitors stayed for long periods of time and others stayed for only short periods of time. The only visitor that Charlie liked being friends with was Benny. Benny had been visiting for a long time.

Charlie rode into the sitting room and grinned. Only Benny was there. Charlie liked it best when only Benny was in the sitting room.

Charlie scooted his go-kart over to Benny, who was sitting on the edge of the maroon couch.

“Charlie!” Benny’s face broke into a huge grin and he reached out his long arm and slapped Charlie on the back. It wasn’t a very hard slap since Benny wasn’t really that strong.

”Benny!” whispered Charlie. “We really need to decide when we’re going to go to Australia. I got out of school today and we should decide when we’re going.”

Benny crinkled his nose and his eyebrows pushed together and he pursed his lips. This was Benny’s thinking face.

”Well, Charlie, we better figure out HOW we’re going to get there before we figure out WHEN we’re going to get there.”

So Charlie and Benny spent the morning and afternoon deciding both how and when they would go to Australia. They were interrupted by some of Charlie’s mother’s visitors in the morning and by Charlie’s mother when it was time for lunch. Charlie’s father’s consultants interrupted their conversation in the afternoon and they finally had to break off their planning when it was time for dinner.

”Okay Benny,” grinned Charlie as he turned his automatic go-kart towards the hallway entrance.

”You got it, Charlie!” Benny waved.

Charlie winked at his friend and rode off with his mother, who laughed, a light tinkling laugh.

“Charlie,” she said, “you been making plans with Benny, again?”

”Maybe…. Do we have mashed potatoes tonight?” asked Charlie.

She winked a hazel eye at Charlie and whispered “You bet!” and squeezed his shoulder.

The next morning Charlie woke up to the sound of his mother’s voice. It was deep and silky sounding, like honey molasses.

”I don’t think I want to go to school today. Benny and I have to make plans and there’s no time for school today” said Charlie.

“That’s alright Charlie, you don’t have to go to school today” said the molasses voice.

”I can make plans with Benny instead?” Charlie’s face lit up and he pushed himself up into a sitting position.

”Well, no, I don’t think you can see Benny today, Charlie…”

”But we have to work on the plans today! We’re leaving on Saturday.” Charlie frowned.

”I’m sorry, Charlie, you can’t see Benny… Benny….. passed away last night, Charlie. It was time for him to go. I’m so sorry, Charlie…” The honey-molasses voice faltered and her green eyes blinked several times.

”But he can’t… he can’t have passed away… Benny had lots of time left!” cried Charlie.

”Oh, Charlie, Benny was 96. That’s only 5 years older than you! He lived a good life, Charlie. It will be okay. Do you want some breakfast, Charlie? Today’s Thursday. We have waffles today.”