Last Day Of Fourth Grade

I love to make up ridiculous stories for my daughter. She has had a fantastic sense of humor since she was a baby and has been arching her eyebrows and rolling her eyes for almost as long. Her last day of school was earlier this week and I made this story up on our walk that morning. It is silly and over the top, but thought I would post it just for fun. You only get to finish fourth grade once unless you are really lucky!

that crazy kid

Once upon a time there was a girl who didn’t get killed in an earthquake. She avoided being bitten by poisonous snakes. Fire didn’t engulf her whole school. There hadn’t been a major explosion lately. Even the serial killers had stayed far, far away. As a matter of fact she had managed to escape most of fourth grade with only a scraped knee, a bump on her head and a couple of mosquito bites.

But it was almost her last day of school. Something was bound to happen. It had been too perfect a year. She had made so many great new friends, become even better pals with her old ones, loved her teacher and even did pretty well in school, except for the spelling, and the math, and maybe talking in class, but really, it was an amazing year.

Something was bound to jinx it. She looked everywhere for black cats crossing her path, walked around instead of under all the ladders, shuddered whenever she heard the number 13, threw salt over her shoulder and kept her fingers crossed while knocking on wood. No precaution was too much.

She woke up on that last day. Something seemed wrong. She kissed all her stuffed animals good morning and looked under the bed. No zombies or creepers. Hmm, no scorpions in her drawers or vampire bats in her closet.

She got dressed and went into the bathroom. No broken glass or stray razor blades on the floor. No blood poured out of the faucet. No crocodiles in the toilet. She looked up, she looked down, she looked left, she looked right. It was too quiet.

At breakfast her brother was a little too nice. He didn’t try to stab her even once. She tasted just a little bit of her corn flakes in case there was poison. It seemed safe. Yes, it SEEMED safe. She quietly finished her cereal and put her dishes in the sink. Her suspicions were growing.

Her dad and brother took her to school. This was unusual. They had a plan. She knew it. Maybe they would leave her on the bus and run. Maybe they would push her in front of a car. Her brother was even nice to her on the bus and let her play on his phone. She listened to see if it was ticking. A bomb? Perhaps covered in cyanide? Maybe it was a distraction and they would bury her in an anthill and laugh while she screamed. She made fists just in case she had to start clobbering some guys.

They dropped her at school with a kiss and a hug. Have a great last day of school! Sure. They would be back. And this time they would finish the job. She warily watched them until they disappeared around the corner. Hiding a little bit behind the front door near where there was a kid buried under the sidewalk (or at least that was the legend) she waited for them to come back. With guns. Or switchblades. Or maybe poisonous frogs. But they didn’t. However, she was on to their plan and she would be ready.

crazy kid 2

The school day started and for a moment she let down her guard and forgot about the plot to kill her. Then she realized the day was half over and she was still alive. Her perfect year was almost over. Wandering over to the window she nonchalantly looked around to see if there were snipers on the roofs of nearby buildings or ninjas climbing the walls with nunchucks or katanas. Nothing.

The hallways was clear of Mongol hordes and the bathrooms were not crowded with werewolves and dead Barbies. Then she saw him. Chucky! She screamed just a little until she realized it was just a fat red-headed kid in first grade. The kid cried and ran off to his classroom.

Back in her homeroom, she looked around at all the other kids. Which one has the poison tipped darts? Which one was planning to push her down the stairs? Which kid had the chainsaw ready to carve her up? They all looked so guilty. She was watching them. All of them.

Then, the teacher said it was time to say goodbye. She felt a sad lump in her throat and almost forgot that her life was in very grave danger. They all held hands and looked at one another. Tears welled up in her eyes, but she kept them peeled for suspicious movements. A few of her friends started crying. It was a trick, she knew it. Then her favorite teacher hugged her and she broke down sobbing. This was it. This was the end of fourth grade. Her teacher smiled and cried at the same time. They held each other so tightly, then let go, then hugged again.

The bell rang and she gathered her things. There were no booby traps that left her with missing fingers or broken teeth. Slowly she made her way down the stairs and nobody tried to shove her. She looked above the front door for a guillotine and walked out. The fat Chucky kid farted and she jumped, thinking it was a cherry bomb.

She stood on the street. School’s out. Freedom. She had survived earthquakes, fires, crocodiles, serial killers, ninjas, snipers, vampire bats, knife attacks, snakes, scorpions, Chucky, farts, poison, creepers, zombies and bombs. She raised her arms in victory.

She wiped the last tear from her eye. Bring it on fifth grade!!

Knock Knock

This is another piece from One Month’s 30 Day Writing Challenge. The assignment was to write a story about an eight-year-old and an eighty-year-old. Again, it’s a bit of a risk to share my writing, but I want to ship it and see what people think. Thank you for reading.

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I tiptoed across the carpet of crisp pine needles. Each step filled the dark cathedral of trees with a terrifyingly loud crunch. Once there had been grass and flowers, but the undergrowth had scaled the trees blocking all possible sunlight. It was only fifteen feet from the sidewalk to the front door, but once I entered the canopy of shrubs and trees I was alone with the house. The street noise disappeared. I crept forward. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

I had never seen Mrs Blackholler before. I had only heard the rumors about her haunted house on the corner in the middle of an otherwise unhaunted neighborhood. She was 80, 90, maybe even 100 years old and nobody had seen her in years. We knew she was in there because her children (who looked to be in their 70s) visited occasionally. Neighborhood dads loved to pile it on about her eating children and burying them in the yard. Kids shared those stories and embellished them further. Some heard screams in the night. Others told tales of disappearing kids. Bad juju. Most people under 14 or 15 would walk to the other side of the street or dash by quickly, particularly if they were alone.

My mom asked me to take her a plate of cookies.

What? I shrieked. Are you crazy? Her house is haunted, she eats kids, nobody get outs alive, I will never come back, you hate me, why, why, why, the horror, the horror!

Nodding slightly as if she understood my reservation, but standing firm in her demand that I take her the cookies, she repeated the request.

After delaying with every possible ruse, trick and deferral technique in my 8 year old playbook, I grabbed the tin of cookies and slowly walked the long hard slog to the sidewalk kitty corner from her house.

In the hot late morning summer sun her lot was a dark blot on a bright, cheery block. The blue sky and blooming flowers seemed to stop at the edge of her property. I surveyed the entrance to her yard from every angle. I walked up the sidewalk on the opposite side listening carefully for creaks, screams or howls. It was quiet. I counted to 30. Not quite ready. I counted to 45. Nope, still not ready. I started to count to 60. 1…2…3…4…5…6…7…

My mom stepped out the front door and yelled for me to get a move on.

I looked both ways in hopes of many cars to impede my progress. Nothing. One tentative step into the street. And another. My breath was short. My heart beat a fast rhythm in my chest. Even a drip of sweat rolled slowly down my forehead.

I put one foot on the sidewalk in front of her house. A car whisked by and honked. I started and stumbled up onto the walk. I was so close I could smell the bodies buried in the yard. Was that a scream?

The 15 feet to the door seemed impossibly distant. That was 180 inches of potential mayhem and even death. Her front door was a blurry gaping mouth in the still darkness of the yard.

Inching closer I could hear the blood pounding in my veins. I tried to hold my breath. The snapping pine needles were oh-so-many tiny breaking bones. Minutes…hours…days seemed to pass and the door was still miles away. Left. Right. Left. Right.

Three small steps led to a tiny porch of peeled paint and splinters. Creak. Croak. Crack.

I help out my hand.

tap. tap. tap.

Nothing.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Still nothing.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Absolutely nothing.

KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!

A shadow passed behind the curtain. I swallowed hard holding the railing with white knuckles. I could feel myself starting to weaken. My stomach churning. My knees buckling.

The door opened with a long, sustained cry.

A tiny little voice whispered hello?

The tiny little voice came from a tiny little woman.

I’m I’m I’m I’m B B B B B B illy from m m m m m ac c c c c rosss the street, I ha ha ha have c c c c c c ooookies for you.

Come in dear.

Mothballs and grandma perfume filled my nostrils. She grabbed my free hand with a tiny little scale of a hand and tugged me gently inside.

So nice to have a visitor. I love visitors. She whispered. And I love cookies.

I sat in a very ornate fancy chair covered in afghans. Two or three cats lurked in the gloom. I searched the room for weapons, anything to defend myself.

She shuffled off into another room and reappeared with the cookies on a plate and a glass of milk.

Do you like milk?

Poison. I assumed.

It’s so nice to share cookies with you. She dipped hers in a cup of tea.

I watched her closely for fast movements and nibbled warily on a chocolate chip cookie, assuming it was safe since my mom had made it. My dry throat was getting drier and I could feel it closing up. In desperation I sipped the milk knowing that I would either choke to death or die of poisoned milk in that dusty, dim parlor.

She talked about summer and flowers and her children and growing up in that house, laughing and becoming more animated as the minutes passed.

I sipped the milk again and told her about baseball and the Beatles and Batman and my brothers.

She offered another cookie and I gladly accepted. Her cats sauntered out slowly and rubbed against my legs. Tin Man was silver and Freckles was a tabby. I scratched their heads and both jumped in and out of my lap at times.

Another cookie. Another glass of milk. More conversation.

A clock struck. I realized I needed to leave for baseball practice. I excused myself and the look of disappointment was clear. I told her I would be back with more cookies soon and she said she would make sure there was plenty of milk.

I held her hand as she walked me to the door. Goodbye. Thank you. And a big smile from her tiny face.

My brothers were shocked that I had lived. I told tales of cobwebs and bats and rats and bones and buried bodies. I trembled and shivered in mock terror, making sure they would never step foot near her property. Ever.

Why ruin a great friendship and a new cookie supply?