Daily Archives: March 25, 2011

Word After Word After Word – Chapter 4

   We sat in Evie’s bedroom, Evie hiding behind the curtain, looking across the yard to the house next door. A woman was moving things inside.

   “A new neighbor. She looks healthy,” said Evie. “She has short, curly, yellow hair. Actually, she’s beautiful,”

   “Not that it matters,” reminded Henry.

   “Of course,” said Evie. “My father doesn’t need a beautiful woman. Just a woman.”

   May and I laughed.

   Evie’s cat, Looley, came in, saw us, and hissed before he began to frantically lick himself.

   Evie’s brother, Thomas, came, too, carrying empty pots from the kitchen. He sat them down and began stirring each with a wooden spoon. The light came in the window and touched his blond hair. He was short and stocky like a rain boot.

   “Hello, Thomas,” said Henry. “What’s up?”

   “Soup,” said Thomas seriously.

   “Two pots of soup?” asked Henry.

   Thomas nodded as he stirred.

   “One is good. One is bad,” said Thomas.

   “Which is which?” I asked.

   Thomas looked up and smiled.


   We laughed. Evie smiled as her father came into the room to scoop up Thomas. He leaned down to kiss Evie on the top of her head.

“We’re going for a bike ride,” he said.

   “Look, Papa,” said Evie. “An interesting woman is moving in next door.”

   Her father leaned next to her to peer out the window.

   “Ah, yes,” he said.

   After they left, Evie smiled at us.

   “He said ‘ah’ – did you hear?”

   “Your father always says ‘ah,’ Evie,” I said.

   Outside, her father rode down the driveway, past our window, Thomas sitting on a seat behind him wearing a helmet.

“We’re going for a bike ride,” he said.

   “Look, Papa,” said Evie. “An interesting woman is moving in next door.”

   Her father leaned next to her to peer out the window.

   “Ah, yes,” he said.

   After they left, Evie smiled at us.

   “He said ‘ah’ – did you hear?”

   “Your father always says ‘ah,’ Evie,” I said.

   Outside, her father rode down the driveway, past our window, Thomas sitting on a seat behind him wearing a helmet.

   “I don’t have one thing in the world to write about,” said May. “My life is the same, day in, day out.”

   “You’re lucky,” said Evie.

   “You could make up something drastic,” said Hen.

   “Drastic?” said May. “Like what?”

   Hen shrugged.

  “Disaster. Violence. Alienation,” said Henry promptly. “I read those words on the back of an adult novel the other day.”

   “I don’t have any of that,” said May.         

   “How about this,” said Henry, frowning. “How about I push you. A little violence.”

   May laughed.

   “Do you see any kid stuff? Bicycles, toys?” I asked Evie, knowing that is what she was looking for.


   Evie came out from behind the curtain and looked at us.

   “She’s single,” she announced matter-of-factly. “I know it!”

   “Evie,” said May, “what if your father doesn’t want a new woman?”

   May’s voice was so quiet that we all looked up. There was silence. Evie’s face was still and thoughtful. Finally, she picked up her notebook. She opened it.

   “I have a character anyway. Like Ms. Mirabel says.”

   She wrote something down.

   I looked out the window and watched the woman next door carry a box into the house. A cloud passed over the sun, darkening the grass and trees for a moment.

   “Her name is Sassy DeMello,” said Evie.

   “Sassy DeMello??!” hooted Henry. “What kind of a name is Sassy?”

   “Do you mean your character’s name or the name of the woman next door?” I asked.

   “Both,” said Evie. “I like Sassy. She looks a bit like a Sassy.”

   We burst out laughing, but Evie ignored us. She put down her notebook and walked to the window to look out.

   “What do you think?”

   “I think you are a very funny girl,” said Hen. “And probably you will be an amusing writer.”

   Evie turned to grin at Henry. She hadn’t smiled much lately, and we all smiled back at her. Then she got serious. It was a little like the cloud passing over the sun again.

   “But Henry,” she said. “This isn’t funny.”

   “I know,” said Hen.

    She has come here after a sad time. Sassy has left much behind: her home, her life, the friends who made her smile. The sun lights up her loneliness. But she won’t be lonely for long. I will save her.

    I will save my father, too.

                                            ————– Evie

The World Down Below (Complete Story)


The World Down Below

By April Ma

                “…..13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. Ready or not, here I COMMMEEEEE!!!” Larry called.

                He’ll never find us here. No, not this place, unless we were playing Marco Polo. Gilda thought.

                Connie, Gilda, and Larry, were playing hide and seek. Of course, this was a baby game, but teenagers can still enjoy it. Which was exactly what they did. Kind of.

                They were all bored, but their Aunt Jenne was coming the day after. So, they could get rid of some of this childish nonsense, for now…..

                Connie was a girl, sporty, quick and adventurous, and she knew quite lot of languages. Gilda was an indoor girl, straight A+s, since 2nd grade. Larry, on the other hand, was a mix of in between, with a great ear for hearing, with a dash of obedience for his sisters. But he was just a little younger.

                Connie and Gilda sneaked into a round stone door, nearly swallowed up with ivy and mold. Squealing, they tip-toed in.

                “Holy cow! I’d like to explore this place!” Connie gasped

                “This must be the ancient ruins those construction workers were blahhing about, Connie!” Gilda whispered.

                No reply.


                Still no reply, but a rustle of branches from a nearby oak tree.

                “Aunt Jenne’s going to miss you!!!!”

                Too late! She realized Connie had already gone exploring. She panicked for a while.


                “Uh-huh? Hmmm…. uh… where’s Connie??”

                “THAT IS WHY I TOLD YOU TO COME!”

                “Ohhh… then…………”

                He climbed up the same tree the rustles came from. Gilda followed, eager to find her sister, but desperate to go home safe.

                At the top, they were baffled to find the trunk hollow, smooth and big. Next to it lay a pastel orange Converse sneaker.


                At once, they glided down, down. So far down they thought it was underground. But the only thought that stuck in their heads was Where is Connie?

                Down, down, down, they went, Larry in the lead. At last they uhh…. found the “end””.

                “Awesome! Now we can just find Connie and get outta here! I don’t want to miss pickle night.” Larry exclaimed.

                “Whoa, hold on hungry bob…. How do you stop this thing?!?!”

                “Umm…. AHHHHH!”

                Larry skidded, and stubbed his toe. Hopping in pain, he was only tripped again by Gilda slipping through his legs.

                “Alright, so… what were we doing?! GET UP LARRY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING LAYING DOWN LIKE A LAZY PIG?!”

                “I’ve got a cut!”

                “Well go get a band-aid from your sport sack, dude. Be a man!”

                They started to enter the hole that Larry had stubbed his toe on. As soon as they stepped foot inside the mucky hole a drip-drip and a HUGE rumble served them a scary face and the side of the heebee jeebees. Dessert was a mud pie, gushy and soft.

                They ignored these sounds and trudged on through the thick muck. A loud echo rang in their ears; they thought they had heard it before.

                “What? OH! oday ouyay peaksay glishenay?” The voice said.

                “OF COURSE; young lady. Let me introduce you to Lord Burr-……” Another voice called.

                “Gosh! It’s Connie! Let’s go find her!”

                Splashing through the mud, waving at the cobwebs, at last they saw dry land and an opening where the voices grew clearer. As they approached the passageway, they heard a whiny voice chanting, I WANT A PICKLE YOU THING!!

                At this, 2 siblings charged in and attempted to snatch Connie’s hand.

                “HALT OUTSIDER.”

                Ten sharp bony spears crowded around Gilda’s neck.

                “Call in Soda Soufflé. Let him decide to do with this girl.”

                The spears went down, but still ready to strike.

                An odd shadow walked toward Gilda. It was hard to make out what or who he or she was in the dimness of the tree, but you could tell that. He spoke to the rest of his clan in what seemed like Pig Latin.

                He pressed a sharp spear into her neck. “Tell me, girl, where can I find pickle for Lord Burrito Bansickle? If you not tell me, you going to be fed to….. The Almas.”

                Yeesh! What’s with the creepy guy? Who is the Almas anyway?

                He pressed the spear point harder until she shed one drop of blood.

                “Now. TELL ME.”

                “Oday otnay urthay ymay istersay! Iay hinktay ymay rotherbay ashay omesay icklespay!” Connie panicked.

                In translation, she tried to say ‘Do not hurt my sister. I think my brother has some pickles! The “people” only got the “Pickles” part!

                “What???! Give; NOW!!!” bellowed Lord Burrito Bansickle.

                “Larry?! Give them your pickles, or we’re getting outta here as roast beef!”

                “Fine, Yeesh…..”

                He took out a finely polished jar of pickles. It had a shiny red cap. Inside, the pickles were assorted. Some rare and some fair, some small, some big, fat, skinny, they were all there.

                “What zis…” the Lord muttered.

                “This, would be a pickle, dude!”

                Larry took out an orange handkerchief and opened the fancy jar. He presented a pair of tweezers, and carefully drew out a medium sized fat pickle of the jar. He was much prepared, and pulled out a small wooden slab and a cheese knife out of his silver drawstring sports sack. He began cutting the pickles in thin professional slices. Larry brought it over to the Lord who began sniffing the pickles.

                “This? I eat!”

                He took a plastic fork from Larry’s hand and stabbed a pickle slice, hesitated, then wolfed it down a blink of an eye.

                ”Do you really keep all this stuff in there?” Gilda whispered.

                Larry nodded vigorously. He switched his attention to Lord Burrito Bansickle. A hopeful look spread across his face as the Lord chewed another slice.

                Gilda grabbed out her purple phone. She began typing a description at the speed of light.

the lord thing a mo bobber:

looks like a burrito lol:)

bug eyes lol

weird mouth dripping with pickle juice lol/eww

lol accent

                Then she posted it on her notes. then the screen flashed. Her phone had a habit of searching up everything she typed on reminders on Google, so the screen said: Lord burrito Bansickle?? ??

                Whoa… he’s famous?

                The screen listed the most informational sites. The first one was a poem by a teenager, and it was hard to read.

lord burrito Bansickle lol

never hadda pickle

He hated donuts

that burrito Bansickle lol :):)

                The screen flashed again and said in bold words, Almas. The most feared creature on earth. Many scientists have found a hollow tree trunk and explored, but never returned.

                What’s this got to do with it??? Oh yeah, the soda can guy said something about it.

                Connie was watching Lord Burrito Bansickle gobble down every, precious, pickle in Larry’s jar. She felt sorry for her brother. He was a pickle FREAK. Lord Burrito enjoyed this moment of slurping, licking and crunching the various pickles. Larry wore a concerned face that read, Please, not ALL of them…

                Gilda was typing something on Google in the search button of images. She typed: Lord Burrito Bansickle. Even though they were, like, right in front of him, she could not see his terrible pickle juice showered face in the dark tree trunk. Once the phone had loaded the images, she glanced at them one by one.

                Oh eww…. yechh… disgusting!

                It was his “internal Organs” aka the cheese and tomatoes and sour cream, the inside of a normal burrito, little bits tumbling down the side of his tortilla skin.

                Why has he not had a pickle before, I mean, they’re always on sale at stores….

                Then, when they looked up from their distractions, the three children simultaneously thought the same thing. Let’s get out of here before the burrito man finishes eating and kills us….

                Larry quickly bid a farewell to his delicious pickles. They kids glanced back one last time, seeing the thing was nearly finished the pickles. They stripped their feet down to the skin and began climbing the steep tree trunk. Their feet were as silent as mice, sweaty feet only squeaking once or twice when they slid down an inch or two on the hard slippery oak wood. They trembled as they climbed to the top. Without looking they all leaped down the tall tree, having enough time to slip on their flip-flops and sneakers. They landed with a crash among pointy twigs and some acorns. Although they had a scratch or two from the sharp twigs, they stood up with a confused look like, What just happened?

                The tripelets walked home in time to see the glorious sunset of rainbow, excluding green. They walked down the sturdy sidewalk that wound up to their house, happy to be walking horizontally again. Before they knew it, they sky faded to a navy blue shade and stars sparkled among it. They stared up, and if you looked hard enough, you see the words Lord Burrito Bansickle printed by the stars. Larry giggled and said, “It’s Pickle Day! I forgot!” and pulled out a plastic bag with a pickle. The girls could not believe their eyes when they that Larry had saved a pickle! They continued their walk home and once they arrived, they saw their Angora kitten perched on the counter, next to a plate of burritos.

                Their mother said, “Hi, where have you been? Tonight is pickle night, but I was going to surprise you by making…… BURRITOS! And pickles!” They each gave a shriek and traded looks of relief (that it didn’t eat pickles), and soon the delicious burritos vanished in an instant.

                “Goodness, why are you 3 eating so fast? What wore you out this afternoon?”

                “Umm…… We ran??”

                “Well, I’m glad you’ve remembered to exercise today!”

                And as they waited for their Aunt Jenne in the morning, they plopped down onto the sofa and watched the movie, The Invasion of the Food People: Lord Burrito Bansickle and had the perfect snack food, PICKLES!!