help write Story 1 :)

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Shannonsparkles, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    "Helps gain countless friends - and unusual popularity."

    The words of the Pepsodent ad struck Ruthie's eyes before she could remeber to avoid it. Ugh. That little framed picture above the bathroom sink made her feel like even more of a loser. Maybe the lack of perfect teeth was the secret of life that explained why she didn't have "ususual popularity" and "countless friends." She ran her tongue over her upper teeth. Involuntarilly, the jingle Grandma hummed after every bathroom trip started up in her head:

    "You'll wonder where the yellow went
    When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent
    Pepsodent. Pepsodent. PEP-SO-DENT."

    "Ruuuuuthieeeeeeee. The beets are done!" Grandma called.[This Message was Edited on 11/21/2006]
  2. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    She rubbed her front teeth with her finger until they squeaked.

    The other kids at school made fun of her overbite, but she like her large front teeth.

    "Good for spittin'!" said Ryman, a particularly nasty boy at school. He had spit between his front teeth, like a batter at a baseball game between pitches.

    "Ruuuuuuuthieeeeeee!" Grandma called again.

  3. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    ..the worse smell of all stewed kidneys! Still it was granny's heritage, so she had jusyt beter grin with those big teeth and bear it.

    Suddenly, there was a crash and a shrill scream.

    Ruth ran back into the house.........
  4. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    that the mirror, she had been looking in, had cracked and fallen to the ground. Paco the Parrot was screaming the Pepsodent Jingle. Ruth opened her mouth to yell for help, but was reminded that her teeth would show. She thought to herself, "As if these teeth aren't bad enough, now I will have seven years, of bad luck, to make my life more dreadful... I CANNOT take this anymore....
    [This Message was Edited on 11/22/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 11/22/2006]
  5. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    She patted Ruthie's back as Ruthie sniffled. "That was... that was..." Ruthie choked out.

    "I know, I know, sweetie. That was Daddy's mirror." A hush fell on the house. Daddy's name did that. Shards of shining Grandma-and-Ruthie looked back at them from on the floor. An eye here, a hair there. A tear trembled on the tip of Ruthie's nose. "Sit down, Ruthie. I'll get the dustpan."

    Grandma shuffled down the narrow wallpapered hall. Ruthie stayed kneeling where she was. All that glass had scattered who knows where. Ruthie knew that if she stayed still and didn't move, the glass pieces couldn't hurt her. The only safe place for sure was right where she was now, on the few inches of clear wood under her feet; years of slippery fingers in the kitchen had taught her not to move too quickly when something broke.

    She could hear Grandma's squeaky footsteps in the kitchen and the kissy sounds she made to Paco, telling him not to be afraid.

    Once she could breate again, Ruthie touched the frame. It was still good. All the joints seemed intact. She carefully handled the empty, wooden rectangle. It was surprisingly light, with a pale clover smell, gold paint mixed with white. She turned it over to check the back. She gasped. Of course! It worked just like the picture frame she made in woodwork. She could fix it! The mirror glass had been held in with carpentry staples. All she would have to do would be to have another piece of mirror glass cut to size. Then she could replace it into the frame herself. "Grandma!" She grinned, unselfconcious about her teeth for once.

    Grandma was back lugging a straw broom and thick metal dustpan. "What are you so happy about?" she asked. She raised an eyebrow uncertainly at the crooked grin on Ruthie's tear-lined face.

    "The glass broke, Grandma. That's all. The frame is fine. See?" She held up the frame. "I can buy new glass. The old glass was warped anyway. It's no big deal." The last words stuck in her throat. Ruthie bit her lip and looked away. It was a big deal... But she took a deep breath and stuffed the swampy, damp feeling down somewhere for later.

    Grandma nodded. Her mind seemed somewhere else. "Poor Paco. He just can't stand a rucus. That crash gave him such a fright. Why Joel ever thought that crazy bird would be good company is beyond me. But it was that or the shelter for Paco..." she trailed off. Although Ruthie had lived with Grandma at Pine Lane for a year and a half, the old lady still spoke as if she was alone most of the time. The scraping sound of broken glass, solid oak floor, straw broom started comming together into the dustpan. Ruthie saw a hundred little reflections of herself in there.

    Ruthie picked the last bits of shine out of the frame and placed them on the broken glass pile.[This Message was Edited on 11/22/2006]
  6. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    Mom worked at Squiggles Ice Cream Parlour and BBQ three blocks away. The way Mom pried off those bubblegum pink high heels every night, you'd think they were full of sand and stones. The Squiggles uniform was a pretty one, but not easy to work in. Still, Mom always had plenty of kisses to go around at the end of the day. Sometimes she brought fries and onion rings too.

    Tonight Mom was standing in for one of the girls whose son had taken ill. "Well, I don't know how long she'll be," said Grandma. "You know how it is on Saturdays. If it's slow, they'll close up early. And if it's messy..." Grandma paused and sighed. "Patrice is in charge of cleaning up the place. If she's the one whose boy is sick again..." Grandma was already walking away with the mirror glass in the dustpan. She was still talking to herself.

    Paco started singing, "Goodnight! Sleep tight! And pleasant dreams to you," so Ruthie knew Grandma was in the kitchen. Ruthie had not yet asked where that little number had come from. Some things about Grandma and Paco you just didn't ask. At least the parrot sounded cheerful again. "Goodnight! Sleep tight!" was one of Paco's favorite songs.

    Ruthie stood up and hooked the mirror frame over her shoulder like a handbag strap. She rubbed out the wrinkles in her lime green swim shorts. July here was too hot for anything but swimwear and sundresses - and Ruthie was deffinately not inclined to wear sundresses, no matter how "adorable" Mom said she looked.

    She headed for her bedroom upstairs. It was an East-facing room, scarecely bigger than a walk-in closet in a modern, normal home. The frame would fit in her closet or under the bed until she could get the replacement glass.

    As she climbed the narrow, squeaking staircase, Ruthie made up her mind that she would not tell Mom about the mirror breaking tonight. Come to think of it, maybe she wouldn't tell Mom ever. Mom was so busy with work these days that she might not notice it was missing. It would only upset her anyway. Ruthie could have it fixed and back on the wall by next week at the latest. She still couldn't figure out what had caused it to fall.

    *** *** ***

    Settling onto the lumpy comfortor on what she still thought of as the "guest bed," - the narrow brass rails of the headboard reminded her creepilly of guilded jail bars - Ruthie wondered what Ryman was doing tonight. He was the one boy in class who payed any attention to her, even if it was only to tease her for her "spittin' teeth."

    It was too late in the day for Ryman to be in his back yard burning ants with a magnifying glass - a practice which he said was purely scientific. (He then invited her to watch him eat a live ant. That was the LAST time she'd been over to Ryman's place.) With Ryman not outdoors, there was no point in spying on him with Grandpa's old telescope - a practice which Ruthie had almost convinced herself was purely scientific. Seventh grade had been better than sixth grade, anyway.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/26/2006]
  7. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    The pink glitter-covered pencil Mom had given her when she turned 12 was tucked securely into the half-way point. It was almost as if it hadn't made up its mind whether to go forward or back. Ruthie opened her journal (diary was a sissy word) and read her last entry:

    "July 13. Beets, two days in a row. I mean, come ON, people. Whatever happened to carrots?"

    The entry was followed by a series of crayon drawings of what Jenny Stark would look like as a beaver. Oh yeah. They were even funnier today. Jenny was so mean. Ruthie pressed her hand over her mouth to keep herself from giggling. She did this because Mom and Daddy had brought her up to be polite and not make fun of other people. But Jenny Stark deserved a bite of her own medicine; nobody could call Ruthie McCanon "beaver bite" and get away with it! Crayon drawings were so much easier to make than voodoo dolls, Ruthie smiled to herself. She nodded in a satisfied way and turned to a blank page. Yesterday's Jenny thing was in the past. Time for today.

    Hmmmm, thought Ruthie, what will it be? She grunted as she pried her Crayola twelve pack out from under the mattress. The cardboard cover was soft and frayed at the corners. Ruthie closed her eyes, waiting for a hit of inspiration. There it was. Red. It would be red.

    She grabbed the red crayon and started working with gusto on a roundish sort of blob. The blob grew bigger. Then it got feet with little black shoes. Next it grew gray hair. Then, just a trace of mustashe. Black eyes appeared, winking like little buttons or the spots on dice. Ruffles at the base. Slowly, it was done.

    Ruthie held her newest creation at arms length for inspection. She laughed out loud. She'd drawn Grandma - as a beet! She nodded and chewed the inside of her cheek, then came up with the following brilliant caption: "Grandma Beetnik." She placed a tiny black burret hat on Grandma's head; beatniks had to wear little black hats, she remembered from somewhere. Yeah, she nodded. Pretty good.

    Grandma was busy having her after dinner snooze. This usually stretched on to become her bedtime. Sometimes Grandma wandered the house in her sleep. This really creeped Ruthie out badly for the first few weeks she and Mom had lived here. Now that she was used to it, it made sense to Ruthie that Grandma would need to turn in early to be rested up for these nightly excursions.

    Something in Ruthie's mood shifted. She knew the feeling. Grandma was sleeping. Mom wasn't home. She didn't know when Mom would be comming home tonight...

    She let her eyes close. Her fingers twirled the air as she immagined a new crayon. Blue. Not sky blue. Navy. The blue that was so dark it looked black. Slowly, she slid the Navy Blue crayon from the pack. It was the shortest crayon in the box, and the paper had been peeled back on it more than once. Little half moon fingernail prints scarred the wax. Her finger just brushed against the sharp, clean peak of the yellow crayon as she pulled out the navy one. The image of a square was forming in her mind. Corners. What it would be -


    She jumped off the bed. "Not another bird!" Ruthie ran to the window and shoved it open, peering anxiously into the twilight. Just last week a red robin had left a greasy bodyprint on that window. It must have been going top speed when it hit. "Broken neck," Grandma had said. Then Grandma went to get the shovel and never said another word about it.

    But Ruthie had drawn birds all the rest of that week. She had dreamed birds. She had heard that sound over and over in her nightmare. That was exactly what it sounded like now: the hollow smack of something dying in a crash. Head-on collision. No survivors. She scanned the darkening patio for a red and brown feathered body. Tiny bird toenails flashed vividly in her memory. Never would she get to see a wild bird this close up again, she had thought at the time. She saw a form.

    "Oh, God! Ryman!" She felt like she was going to puke. What was he doing here? Ryman's gamey silhouette took up the porch. "Was that YOU hitting the window? Did you throw something up here?" Her throat was still tight from thinking it had been a bird. She wanted to scream.

    Ryman shifted his weight to his other shoe. The shadow of the house made him look blue-black. "Ruth. Come down."
    [This Message was Edited on 11/26/2006]
  8. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    "And what are you doing here anyway?"

    "Comon down. We're having a marshmellow roast."

    "Who is?"

    "Me and the kids. It's in our backyard. My mom said we could."


    "I gotta get back. You comin' or not?"

    "Ok. You talked me into it." Ruthie ran a comb thru her hair and was ready.
  9. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    Man, could that kid run. Ruthie stuffed her journal and crayons back under the mattress. She scribbled a quick note for her mom to let her know where she would be.