Thursday, July 09, 2009

Entry #1

Brotherly Advice
by Chris Eldin


“Here you go.” Toby plops a glob of grape jelly next to the waffle crumbs. The sticky spoon clangs around the inside of the jar.

Nicky licks the lid, then wipes his hands on his t-shirt. “But what if anyone sees?” He jumps off his chair, putting one hand over his butt and one hand over his front. “There’s too much to cover.”

“You wrap a towel around yourself while you’re getting dressed.” Toby clears the plates. “It ain’t hard, but accidents happen.”

Nicky’s eyes widen. Gym was going to be scary.

“And if anything happens, you gotta choose real fast which part you want to cover.” Toby puts both hands over his front.

“What else about being a fourth-grader?” Nicky’s eyes drip with uncertainty.

Toby pours two glasses of grape juice. “When Miss Simms asks kids to write down all the dirty words they know, it’s a trick. She says she puts them in the trash can. With the other trash talk. But she matches up your handwriting with your homework.”

“Then what happens?”

“You get put on file.”

Nicky’s bottom lip quivers. “File?”

“It’s where teachers trade secrets. And they’re allowed to make up stuff.” Toby makes a five inch space with his thumb and forefinger. “Mine’s this thick.”

Nicky gulps the last sip of grape juice. “I don’t want a file!”

“It’s the only way to get noticed.”

“What about doing good stuff?” Nicky glances at his smiley chart on the refrigerator.

“Doesn’t have the same effect.”

50 comments:

Laurel said...

This piece leaves me eternally grateful that my youngest is a GIRL and (I hope) not subject to hero worship of her older brother that will lead her down such a misguided path.

Love it. Laughed out loud! And I liked the grape juice twist! Very unexpected. I bet this will be the only entry involving (technically) non-felonious minors. Good job!

Aniket said...

What a wonderful start, Yay!

Its fun to have such a Devilish or shall I say Calvinish brother. :D

My bro. taught me most of the things I know, the good the bad and the ugly ones. :P

There is no better teacher, is there?

Loved this a lot! Great job Chris.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I like the realism to this piece. Excellent job with the dialogue, very natural and unforced. As a teacher in a prison (with a few tricks up my sleeve) I can relate to this scenario.

Tessa said...

A few strokes of the pen (or keyboard) and the picture comes to life! Brava! A delightfully funny tale of brotherhood.

laughingwolf said...

bloody brilliant, chris :)

Catvibe said...

I think you must have been a fly on the wall when my kids were younger! Great dialogue that a mother doesn't really want her sons to be having! Loved it.

wrath999 said...

Very enjoyable. Great dialogue

alex

Chris Eldin said...

I cannot believe I'm the first one here!!!!!
Does that give me points toward Jaye's book?
:-)

Thank you so much for your kind words! Bits of this are taken from my two sons. Except for the file part...but perhaps that was whispered out of my earshot.

strugglingwriter said...

You got the sweet spot at #1 Chris. I figured you gleaned a bit of this from your kids. Excellent work.


"It’s the only way to get noticed."

Oh no! :)

Aimee Laine said...

I have twin girls and have almost lived this scenario. You made me laugh out loud. Kids will tell it like it is. Great story!!

Josh said...

Love the humor here. Sounds like something I would've tried to pull with my siblings as a kid.

Merry Monteleone said...

This is awesome, Chris! I love the voice and the dialogue is great... plus, everybody knows there's a file :-)

You wouldn't happen to be working this into your next middle grade, would you? Because the characters are great.

Precie said...

LOL!!! Great, vivid characterization. As if I weren't already stressed about kindergarten... ;)

Aerin said...

Precie beat me to it - this elicited enough stress about kindergarten that I had to have a drink...

that's g good thing, btw.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Ah, from the mouths of babes! You have a great talent for extracting the raw truth of children. Lovely, Chris!

Ello said...

Chris - your boys!!!!

This was really well done! And I thought 3 girls was hard! HA!

Karen said...

Very well done; realistic.

Chris Eldin said...

Thanks everyone!

I'm enjoying reading through all of the entries!! Such different takes!!
:-)

Sarah Laurenson said...

What fun. Love the dialogue. And the descriptions of what would happen to him. Awesome job, Chris!

The Preacherman said...

laughingwolf said it.

Bloody brilliant.




Four Dinners

Mona said...

uh oh! what a 'brotherly' advice!

Great dialog ! It all could be happening around...makes me squirm...

pjd said...

It's the only way to get noticed. Ha, ha, ha. I can BET parts of this were taken from your kids. I can't imagine the thickness of your file, Chris!

Whirlochre said...

A beautifully scene, deftly conjured.

BernardL said...

LOL! Yep, that's two brothers.

Hadley said...

Oh, Chris, this story just made my day. The dialogue, the interaction, and reaction of these two boys is splendid. Very well done...I'm still laughing.

Diana Lindstrom said...

I very much appreciated your action tags. These are great examples for me in my own writing.

Good story, believable characters, excellent dialogue. Good job!!

Dianne

Christina said...

I love the interaction between the kids. Well done.

RKCharron said...

This was well-crafted.
Very realistic characterizations.
I enjoyed it.
:)

Hoodie said...

Fun characters and a refreshing take on the photo. It's a glass of grape juick, after all!

Great piece, Chris.

Gughan said...

Wow! This is the first entry I am reading after submitting my own. Such a fun take! Brilliant! This is a great start!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Absolutely brilliant! Loved this take on vino veritas. Still chuckling!

Jade L Blackwater said...

Awesome - I love the humor and familiarity.

Ranee Kaur Banerjee said...

Oh,Boy! This is just the kind of stuff silly boys are wont to brag about. I thoroughly enjoyed this, being a mom of a boy myself!

Liz said...

I totally seeing my daughter doing this in a few years. I know I somehow convinced my little sister to eat soap because I said it tasted like grapes.

Very cute and boyish. It was nice to read one that wasn't about to give me a nightmare tonight.

Krista said...

Love the dialogue. Well done.

quin browne said...

i will never openly admit i used to tell my little brother stuff that wasn't true...

JaneyV said...

Chris - a wonderfully evocative pice of childhood and sibling relationships. It read like a beautifully shot movie. Loved it.

Kurt Hendricks said...

Thought I'd left a comment here days ago, but I guess I didn't. Anyway, loved the story, especially the last line...so true!

Chris Eldin said...

I'm going to keep coming back here to lift my spirits---this is such a wonderful community!!!
:-)

I am on 100 now, and enjoying every single moment of reading time...

Thanks everyone---I truly appreciate the time and effort to read and comment!!!!
:-)

Patsy said...

Good fun!

Stephen Parrish said...

This is thoroughly delightful. I had to wonder how a YA author would approach a wine theme. Now I know. You should have no problem cashing in on your understanding of middle grade boys.

Anonymous said...

Priceless....good stuff!!

Margaret said...

Having four brothers myself I know what all this is about :D

Very enjoyable read Chris!

J.C. Montgomery said...

Not growing up with brothers, this was a nice insight. Scary, but nice.

The strongest aspect of this is the dialogue. Well done!

Angela said...

I really enjoyed this one, the characters were engaging and you painted such a vivid picture for their setting. Excellent work!

Leatherdykeuk said...

I couldn't decide if they were kids or teachers!

McKoala said...

That's just classic. So real and so funny, Chris. Congrats on your well deserved reader's choice place!

jason evans said...

Oh man, I love the dark knowledge. Pass it on, brother. Pass it on. Great slice of life.

Chris Eldin said...

Thanks SOOO much, all around!!! What a blast this has been!
:-)

Jaye Wells said...

Chris, this was a charming piece. I loved the dialogue and the tight writing. Great job and congrats on the readers' choice.