Thursday, September 26, 2013

From the Archives: The Tree, A Christmas to Remember, Lost in the Woods

My girlfriend has this reaction after reading the following examples from my personal archives: “Whoa, Ford, this is deep stuff. How old were you?” 

I had a tendency to be a bit overdramatic when I was younger. I will now wait for the snickering from my family to die down. This may take awhile.

Okay, I’m back from accepting the Biggest Understatement of 2013 Award. As a young writer, I explored themes that I didn’t understand thanks to spending a significant amount of time with my older cousins Judy and Caryn (it didn’t help that we watched a lot of Days of Our Lives during the summer and there was always a V.C. Andrews novel lying around). My early writing is chock full of hostage situations, long-lost relatives finding their way home, abductions, rape victims searching for their attackers, and lives falling apart in myriad other ways. Needless to say, had I shown many of these stories to an authority figure, I would have been sent to a team of psychiatrists.

However, these three are harmless and down right inspirational. Allow me a few more comments before you start reading. When someone died in something I wrote as a kid, they did so without fanfare. There was a lot of “they died” and “he/she died.” No mercy or remorse, just the facts. Also, I was just starting to hone my ability to write dialogue, so what you’ll read below has more wooden dialogue than an hour-long CBS drama. Finally, how much do you want to bet that Ben in the third piece would have been arrested five seconds after helping those kids home?

The Tree

A happy tree in Ithaca, N.Y.
A tree sprout came in the early spring.

It was nearly 1 inch. A boy came along and watered it. He and the tree were best friends.

When the tree was older, raccoons came to live in it. Birds made their nests on its leafy branches. The boy came every day to eat its lush apples.

During the winter, the tree would get cold and lonely. The birds would fly south for the winter and the raccoons would burrow somewhere else for the long winter.

When spring came, the tree’s leaves would start to grow again. The boy would play on a tire swing on its aging branches.

But one day, the tree got so old that it died. The boy, raccoons, and the birds were all heartbroken, but in their hearts, the tree lived on.

The End. 

A Christmas to Remember

How Christmas should look.

Christmas is almost here.

Marty was decorating Kristen and Katie’s dorm. The two girls walked in with the tree.

“Oh, what a beautiful tree,” Marty said.

“We got it for half-price,” Katie said. Kristen went to get the bulbs out of the closet.

“Where do you want the tree?” Marty asked.

“Before we get the tree set up, I need to talk to you,” Kristen said.

“Sure,” He replied. They walked into the kitchen.

“Marty, I just found out Katie is our long lost sister,” Kristen said.

“Oh my word,” Marty replied (editorial note: please Marty, you’re getting too emotional, I can’t take it).

“I have an idea,” Kristen said. “Let’s arrange a little Christmas party and tell Katie as a Christmas present.”

“Okay, now can we set up the tree?” Marty asked (editorial note: Marty is an insensitive dick).

They walked back to the living room. It was night by the time they finished decorating. The next day, Marty took everyone to breakfast.

“What do we do on Christmas Eve?” Katie asked.

“Let’s have a party,” Kristen said.

So after breakfast, they started getting ready for the party. Marty called people they knew. Kristen cleaned the house.

Finally, the day of the party came. After presents were opened, Marty finally said something.

“Kristen and I found out that Katie is our sister,” He said.

Hugs were given out and everyone was happy.

Merry Christmas.

Lost in the Woods

Taken at Macedonia State Park in Kent, Conn.
I woke up from a long sleep.

I looked out my window.

“Jane, do you want to go for a walk in the woods?” I asked.

“Sure,” she said.

We got on our jackets. Jane and I started down the path. We saw a deer.

“Don’t say anything,” She said.

We went toward the deer. The deer let us go up and pet him. I saw a little fox chasing a white muskrat. Jane noticed a path deeper into the woods.

“I think it’s a shortcut to the lake,” Jane said excitedly.

We followed the path for an hour. Then we realized we were lost. We wandered around until we found a cave. The sky was getting dark.

“Are you whippersnappers lost?” A man asked.

We turned around. A man and his dog were sitting by a fire.

“Y-y-yes we are,” I said. I was a little scared.

“I will tell you a story,” He said. His dog barked. “Ten years ago, I set out on a hike. It was a beautiful day. Suddenly, it started to pour. I ran to this cave. A pack of hungry wolves was waiting inside. Then a dog came to my rescue. He battled those wolves off.

“It’s getting late, you two better get some sleep,” he said ending his story.

In the morning, I asked him his name. He told me it was Ben. In the afternoon, he led us home. We were very happy to be home safe and sound.

The End!

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