Return to Home Page Return to Examples Page Examples for Short Story Assignment Student Examples Teacher Examples Published Letting Go - C.C. Examples Scenes from the Family A Romantic Call - L.O. Museum Headline News - A.S. Mikey's Not Home Not Today -O.V. Letting Go Telephones ring off the hook as harried nurses rush back and forth with wheelchairs and gurneys. Hal watches the green scrubs hurry to operating rooms and patientÕs rooms, not seeing them as doctors and nurses, but more like a blue-green, untouchable blob. He sits in a navy blue vinyl chair, worn with worry, grief, and pain. How many people had been in that same beat-up chair, facing the same decision he now has to make? One figure, more defined, emerges from the faceless blue-green blob, and slowly walks towards Hal. He sees him coming, and everything turns to slow motion. It is taking an eternity for the doctor to reach where Hal is sitting. That gives him time to think. He remembers the times at the beach, the vacations to Europe, her passion for gardening. She would never pull weeds, insisting that they had feelings too, and had as much right to be there as the daisies and daffodils. He remembers her smile, radiant and pure. A smile that was able to liven up even the dullest and stuffy dinner party. He is shaken out of his reverie by the doctorÕs face. His eyes do not look optimistic. His gaze turns to the soft glow of the light that comes out of the hospital room. He can hear that faint beeping of the heart monitor, and the constant monotone sound of the respirator. He imagines her lying there, suffering so much because he doesnÕt want to let her go. He knows he is being selfish, but somehow he canÕt bring himself to sign. It was all so sudden. Everything that had happened in the past twenty four hours has become a blur. They had been ice skating on the lake; a winter tradition for them since their first year of marriage twenty six years ago. He had always tested it out to make sure the ice could hold their weight. This time she was too eager to wait. She wanted to get out onto the ice and skate away the winter blues. She had had enough days inside when the weather was too cold and gray to venture out of doors. He remembers tying the last knot in his skate laces when he heard the thunderous crack of the ice. By the time he had looked up, only her hand could be seen above the surface of the water. What could he do? He couldnÕt even swim! He had run to the nearest house for help, and the paramedics had arrived on the scene within the next few minutes. He didnÕt even get the chance to say goodbye. The doctor is now crouching beside him, holding the dreaded clipboard. Hal averts his eyes from the light coming from inside the room. He tries to forget the lifeless body laying in the bed with the sterile white sheets, the drone of the respirator, and the flat line on the brain activity monitor. He meets the soft gray eyes of the doctor. They are eyes that sympathize, but can not fully understand. No one could fully understand. Only those who sat in this chair could. He sighs, again focused on the beeping coming from the room. He thinks of her lying there, so helpless, begging to be let go. He takes a deep breath and reaches for the pen C.C. Return to Home Page Return to Top of Page A ROMANTIC CALL Ring, ring, ring, ring. A tall young woman in blue faded jeans and a tee shirt slides across the linoleum floor in her white Hanes socks, reaching across the counter for the white cordless telephone. "Hello?" she asks. "Hey baby. WhatÕs up? HowÕs everything going? I wanted to call and tell you how much I miss you," says a deep voice on the other end of the phone. "UmmÉCharlie?" "So baby, are you ready for tonight?" the deep voice inquires. "UmmÉtonight?" she asks. "Yeah tonight." "Charlie?" she repeats. "So the plan for tonight goes as follows. First I planned a romantic dinner for two at the Cottage Inn, on Melbourne Street. Then I promised Dan we would stop by his party. He practically invited the entire senior class, so hopefully we will get there before the cops do. I overheard some of the guys saying that he lives at the end of a very long driveway so it shouldnÕt be too much of a problem. DanÕs fridge is always stocked; so donÕt worry about sneaking anything out of your house. Remember the problem last time, when you wanted to take the twelve pack to KatrinaÕs, and your parents caught us." "When we got caught, oh I remember thatÉ" she says. "So donÕt worry, IÕm sure that whenever we get there youÕll be able to find something to drink. I know youÕve been wanting to booze it up lately, so this is the perfect opportunity." "Really? Booze it up." "Yeah, and I completely understand. YouÕve had a completely heinous week. With failing the chemistry test, and receiving a zero for not handing in your English project, and then getting caught for skipping class yesterday, well you just need a break." "Oh, I seeÉ" she says contemptiously. "Therefore the best way to solve all your problems is to relax, have a good time, and just plain party!" "Oh, is that so, just party and everything will be alright," she says in a mocking tone. "Absolutely! So after you have something to drink, then weÕll play a few card games, and maybe you will give me my rematch in strip pool. Last time was completely unfair, since I had much more to drink that night than you did, but tonight I will definitely kick your butt!" the boy exclaims. "You were drunk Charlie?" she says, "And strip pool, as in removing clothing?" "Well of course, how else do you play strip pool? After I win in strip pool, I figure weÕll go back to your house. Watch a few movies, get cozy on the couch, and wellÉ" "Well, what Charlie?" "Maybe take it to the next level. I know that you donÕt like to make out at your house and stuff, because you are afraid someone might walk in on us, but donÕt worry, itÕs all good." "ItÕs all good!" she exclaims, "CharlieÉ" "All I mean is, that you just have to take a risk sometimes. I mean your parents do it too, so whatÕs the big deal?" "Take a risk! Big deal!" she shouts, "Charlie!" "Yeah baby?" "I donÕt think we should see each other anymore!" "What! Why not?" the boy exclaims. "Well, basically my mother doesnÕt like you anymore. She thinks you are a bad influence." "What, a bad influence how so?" "Well, because she heard about the drinking, and the strip pool," she says plainly. "How did she hear about that?" the boy shouts. "Because you just told her. Charlie, This is Mrs. Daniels!" L. O. Return to Home Page Return to Top of Page Headline News The night was cold, too cold to be outside in only a pair of jeans and a Jets jersey. But there he was again, outside pumping gas in the frigid weather, seemingly without a care. "Serge!" Gary called to him, his arms waving in the air wildly, gesturing to a coat by the cash register. "Your coat?" Serge only shook his head. Serge had owned this gas station for ten years, and never in all that time, had he seen a winter as cold as this. Ice had formed on the sign above the station house, blocking out one of the "e"s in "HelmwayÕs Garage." The wind ripped at his clothes; his long, black beard began to accumulate ice. Perhaps, he thought, it was about time to close up for the night. According to the radio a storm was making its way through town. He wanted to head home before it got too bad. With a tap of the nozzle he finished pumping the gas, put the cap back on the tank, and thanked the customer for their $14.53. In response, the patron in the mini-van offered him a timid nod before speeding off. When he returned to the station house he found Gary behind the register, with his eyes glued to a television on the counter. "Time to start home, Gary." SergeÕs voice startled the boy and he nearly fell off of the stool. "Oh, yeah, okay." Gary responded, his eyes still locked on the television. Serge looked up at the screen and frowned. Gary had been watching the news everyday this week. He said it was for some project at school. Usually Serge didnÕt mind him doing work like that around the station. In fact, he liked Gary. The kid didnÕt steal and he kept the place relatively neat. Besides, business had been slow of late; there wasnÕt really much of anything to do. But on the TV in front of him a news anchor was detailing a search by local police for an alleged serial killer. It made Serge uneasy. He turned his back to the television, locking his gaze on GaryÕs brow. "Roads are gonna get pretty bad." Serge persisted. "We better get closed up." Gary took his eyes away from the television, and sighed. "Want me to ring it up?" "Yeah, just, a, well, count whatÕs there and then put it in the safe. WeÕll do books tomorrow. HereÉ" Serge reached into his pocket and retrieved the $14.53. "Add this." Gary nodded. Serge went into the back and turned off all of the lights. He hesitated for a moment, fingering a file that had been on his desk for quite some time, and then decided better of it. When he returned to the main area of the house Gary was just finishing up with the cash. "All good." Gary said, jumping up from the stool. A chunk of blonde hair fell into his eyes; he pushed it away with his hand. "LetÕs go." After locking up the two packed into SergeÕs pickup and began the long haul to the center of town. The snow had already started to fall. The road in front of him looked like a blanket of white. Serge turned and looked at Gary; he was fidgeting. "So, Gary tell me about this project your doing for school." Gary shifted in his seat and fingered the zipper on his jacket. "ItÕs no big deal." He lamented, "I mean, I have to find a headline in the recent news and research it." "You choose anything yet?" "I was thinking about doing that story about the psycho. You know the guy whoÕs been cutting up all of those kids? Now, heÕs really messed up. ThereÕs gotta be a ton of info on that case." Gary shifted again; he was getting excited. He began to bite his lip. "You know they found some evidence that this really started awhile ago? Not just last month like they thought." "Is that so?" Serge smiled, amused by the boysÕ hysteria. "What was it?" "The evidence? OhÉ.a BODY!" screamed Gary. Serge swerved a little, startled. "They found this body out in the woods, all buried and stuff. The police say itÕs from at least five years ago. They think itÕs a girl, but they havenÕt identified her yet; all they have for sure is a stupid necklace." Gary shifted yet again, "TheyÕre goinÕ around askinÕ local folk if they know anything." Serge went silent, and Gary took it that conversation was over. He rested his head on the passenger-side window and tried to sleep, while Serge continued to drive. By the time Gary awoke Serge had already pulled in front of GaryÕs driveway and put the pick-up in park. "Thanks for all your hard work today, kiddo." Serge stated, half-heartedly. "Good luck on your report." His tone was solemn. Gary frowned and got out of the truck, perplexed. "Yeah, no problem. See you tomorrow." Serge nodded as Gary slammed the door. He watched Gary disappear up his driveway and into the storm. For a long time Serge didnÕt move. He was angry and afraid. It couldnÕt be, he thought. His hands gripped the steering wheel so tight that his knuckles had turned white. The silence in the car was beginning to eat away at him. He lifted one hand from the steering wheel to turn on the radio, but stopped mid-air; not sure if his nerves could handle noise either. Instead he began to drive, hoping that the soft hum of the engine would calm him. The storm was as bad as ever now, his windshield wipers hastily cleared oncoming snow. He drove for hours, in the storm, not really going any place in particular. He felt torn apart, scattered all over the road. His head ached. It was by chance that he found himself at the stop sign by the garage. He pulled in and thought maybe he should do the books now; that they really shouldnÕt wait till morning. But it wasnÕt the books that ended up capturing SergeÕs attention. He unlocked the front entrance, turned on all the lights, and immediately saw the television. "What could it hurt?" he mumbled to himself. His lips began to pout. He found the remote underneath the counter and turned on the 10 oÕclock news. Just as he had expected the recent developments of the killings were being aired. He sat on the stool by the register, slowly taking it all in. The police had, in fact, found a body in the woods. And it was femaleÉ and it was found with the necklace. On the screen a tarnished silver necklace with a heart pendant was being examined by forensic scientists. The air left SergeÕs lungs and he began to feel dizzy. He bit his lip and it bled, but he didnÕt seem to notice. A number flashed below the video clip, urging anyone with information to call into the police station. Serge hit the power button on the remote and then absent-mindedly dropped it to the floor. The plastic made a cracking sound that startled him into motion. He got up from the stool and staggered into the back room. It was dark and his fingers struggled before they found the light switch. He was shivering, but it wasnÕt cold; his JetÕs jersey was now soaked with sweat. His tongue felt like rubber. He made his way to his desk, plopped down almost unconsciously and stared at the file that had been haunting him. He reached for it timidly, as though it would ignite on its own: burn him. Tears flowed down his cheeks, becoming mangled in his beard. He ripped open the folder. A photo fell out from the force and floated to the floor. He picked it up an examined it closely: His whole family together, shining. Shining almost as brightly as the silver heart necklace around his daughterÕs neck. A custom-made gift for his daughterÕs 18th birthday. Serge placed the photo on his desk next to the folder full of useless missing persons' reports and case notes. He wiped his eyes dry, took another look at his daughterÕs smile, and then reached for the portable phone. A.S. Return to Home Page Return to Top of Page Not Today Fumbling with comb, tie, and briefcase, he waited to hear the "click slide click" of his wife locking the apartment door, and ran to catch the elevator. Wishing it would go faster down five floors, he put the monogrammed leather briefcase down onto burgundy carpet. He combed his freshly gelled hair back and dropped the comb into his briefcase, tucked his blue pinstriped shirt into his blue gabardine slacks and buttoned the shirt collar, tied his red paisley tie up around his throat. Two more floors. He pulled out a stick of peppermint gum and shoved it into his mouth to get rid of the soured-coffee-taste. He rolled his shoulders back, tilted his head side to side a few times, and straightened his suit jacket. The elevator bounced - down, up - and jolted to a stop. He remembered to check his fly before the brass doors glided open and he grabbed his briefcase and ran to the glass doors to exit, and without pausing his footfalls he wondered, WhatÕs the point anymore? The doorman opened the door at just the right time so Belstin wouldnÕt run into it the way a bird flies into windows. The doorman greeted the rushing man, "Good morning Mr. Belstin! ThereÕs your cab," and pointed to the garish yellow taxi wheezing exhaust into the morning air. "Thanks Ira. Have a good day. See ya later," Belstin replied, hurrying across the sidewalk to get to the taxi. Opening the car door, Ira said quickly, "Thanks sir, you do the same." Belstin stepped into the back part of the car and sat in the seat. He set his briefcase down to his left and took a deep breath full of the smell of vinyl and stale cigarette smoke. "How ya doinÕ today, mistah?" The driver glanced in his rearview mirror. "Oh, fine thanks," Belstin checked the license embedded in the back of the seat in front of him, "Tony. ItÕs the same old thingÉHeaded to 27 North Park Street, by the way." "Ah, so you a lawyer or realtor or uhhÉ" Tony looked in the rearview mirror, "What else is over there?" "IÕm a lawyer." Silence. Belstin spat his gum out into the gum wrapper and restored it to his pocket, to throw out later. Pulling a worn postcard out of his briefcase, he sighed and closed his eyes for a moment. Turquoise sky, golden silk beaches, vast glittery ocean. And there weÕd be, holding hands and running from the beach, laughing, leaving our footprints in the sand. TheyÕd last as long as tide or wind would allow. Run into the little bungalow, up into the bedroom, white gauzy curtains billowing in with tranquil sunlight and spiced sea-breeze. ThereÕs the bed with the sheets pouring off and pooling on the floor, andÉ Tony, ready for his next fare, ended BelstinÕs mental journey, "Well here we are." Belstin read "$7.40" on the meter, pulled out a ten, and told Tony to keep the change ? he didnÕt have time to wait for a mere $2.60. "Hey thanks mistah!" Belstin took his briefcase and got out on the left side of the car. The mid-morning air was warming up and Belstin filled his lungs with it before he reached the entrance to his office building to open the glass doors. He looked at his watch ? one minute to be in his office on time. Why should I be hurrying like this? What have they ever done for me? Be nice to get away. Instead of staying trapped in this concrete, asphalt, architecture, pollution. But running again, this time to the elevator, BelstinÕs Florsheim wingtips tapped on the floor, muffled by the short mottled brown carpeting. Reaching the faux wood elevator doors, he pressed the "up" button and, surprisingly, the doors opened immediately. As he stepped in, Belstin pressed the button to go to the third floor and the doors slid shut. He smoothed his now-stiff hair again, and rolled his shoulders back. The doors slid open and he stepped out, turned right and jogged to the end of the corridor, to the beginning of another day. He stopped at the yellow wood door but didnÕt notice the sign on it ? "Verdoni and Belstin, LLC" ? as he had twenty years ago, when they had first changed it from "Kastalin and Verdoni, LLC." Twenty years ago it was worth it to notice the sign. Twenty years ago, it at least offered him some kind of hope. Twenty years ago. Belstin laid his knuckly, hairy right hand on the cold dull silvery door handle. I donÕt have to go in. Just walk away, find a job as a sales clerk, just walk away from the stress, the hellish hours ? find an easy job, less hours less stress, see her more often. Pushing the door handle down and the door forward, he opened the door. Just another day, paperwork, whining clients. On time again. Started the same again, maybe this time itÕll end with something worthwhile. TodayÉ O.V. Return to Home Page Return to Top of Page Scenes from the Family Museum An Amish family of wax figures builds a log cabin in a display at the American Family Museum in Galilee, Pennsylvania: the men with Dutch boy haircuts and mustache-less beards; the women wrapped from head to toe in dark sensible clothing, only their red-cheeked faces and strong hands exposed. In the middle I stand stock-still, holding one end of a log, my pants rolled up and tucked in my socks, my tan shirt untucked, my belt rebuckled outside my shirt in a quick copy of the period dress. I only had a few minutes, but I think I look pretty good, standing over my imaginary task, taking short, shallow breaths so my chest barely moves. My parents will walk by in a few minutes and I'm sure they won't recognize me; I'm not even certain they know what I look like anymore. During our annual one-week car-ride through some boring American countryside they've barely looked at me, only shouted our next stop over their shoulder as we drove or asked me what I thought of the passing landmarks without waiting for an answer. They are the parents; I am the son; we're really roles more than people. And now that I'm fifteen, I've outgrown my role. But they don't see it. In their minds I'm still six: happily reading a picture book or coloring in the back seat. Here they come, absently reading the museum descriptions, gazing vacantly at each scene, checking off each stop as another place theyÕve seen. They'd be a perfect display of a married couple 1960's style; unfortunately it's 1998. As they pass their eyes over my frozen form, it feels no different than any other day. "Where's Tom?" my mother asks, pausing before moving on to the next exhibit. She looks over her shoulder for me down the long line of tourists. "Probably looking for a gift shop," my father says and smiles. My mother joins him in a smile. "Or the snack bar," she adds. "Boys will be boys," he says and they shake their heads and laugh. I can't decide if I'm angry or exhilarated. I fooled them so thoroughly, but they're so thoroughly fools. I want to move, to scream, to shake them out of their dumb idiocy. But I don't. Instead I wait patiently as they walk to the next exhibit and the next. I wink at a five year old boy holding his distracted mother's hand and he winks back. When he leaves, I quickly straighten up, and hop over the railing in front of the exhibit. With a few quick excuse me's, I'm through the crowd and across the room to the exhibit of the American Indian family: two Iroquois grandparents, their son and his squaw and three small grandchildren in leather britches prepare a buffalo hide around a teepee. I pull my shirt off as I climb over the railing, tie my belt around my head and take off my shoes and socks. I pick a small stone ax off the floor and pose next to my Iroquois father with the ax in mid-chop over a buffalo hide. As I wait for my parents to work their way down this side of the museum, I glance up. Across the room my Amish family is frozen still in their display, forever halfway done with their simple log cabin. And I miss them already. JP Return to Home Page Return to Top of Page Mikey's Not Home "Ello?" Oh no! It was Granny. "Hello, Granny." I tried not to let the disappointment show in my voice, but I knew that if she answered that meant that no one else was home. "Ello?" "Hello, Granny. This is Mike." I imagined her there, holding the phone like a foreign object in her hand. She probably pushed a strand of gray hair out of her eyes, smoothing it toward her bun. "Mikey's not home." "Granny," I said quickly before she could hang up, "this is Mikey." "Mikey's not home," she repeated firmly, then explained, "He went camping." "Camping?" It was worse than I thought. I don't know where she came up with camping. She must have known someone who went camping once in Colorado. Or maybe she just wasn't listening when I left last fall. "This is me Granny, Mikey. I'm calling from Colorado." "Mikey went camping." I could picture her looking at the receiver as she shouted into it, yelling louder because it was long distance. Technology made her nervous. "Is Mom there?" I asked desperately. I knew I should have hung up on the tenth ring. "I need to talk to Mom, Granny. It's important." Instead, I waited, counting the rings, as she worked her way across the house, carefully placing the walker and stepping. Place. Step. Place. Step. Probably wondering as she went how her Mikey was enjoying his camping. She couldn't get the concept of taking a year off from college. Or traveling around the country just to see it. "Everybody's out to dinner," Granny shouted. "Bye." "Granny, it's me, Mike." I made one last desperate attempt. I was only allowed one phone call. "Mikey went camping," I heard faintly. She was already moving the phone away from her face. "Bye." "No, wait!" I cried. Click. I could almost see her there as she hung the phone up roughly in it's cradle. She turned. Place. Step. Place. She worked her way back to the family room and the Catholic Digest she'd left on the couch. "What happened?" Barry asked, waking me out of my daydream. "Granny thinks I'm camping. She didn't know it was me. She hung up." Barry started to laugh, a spitting, held-in laugh. "But you've been gone for six months." His laugh grew more desperate as he realized what it meant. "I don't know. Colorado. Camping." I shook my head. "Don't worry, we each get a phone call," I tried to reassure him. At least I thought we each got a phone call. "Yeah, but you were calling your parents to send for your money from your savings account." Barry's body sagged as he put his head against the wall. "I'm calling mine to send their money from their precious retirement fund for our bail." "We'll pay them back." Then I added, "Or we could wait and try Granny again later." "No." Barry looked at the barred doors in the back of the police barracks, took a deep breath and pulled his shoulders back. "I don't want to do this." "You don't have to tell your parents everything," I said, following his eyes across the room full of state troopers typing reports at their desks or questioning suspects. Sgt. Matthews saw we were finished and marched over. "Well?" he asked. "Well, my grandmother answered and hung up." I tried to explain it to him. "She didn't know it was me. She thinks I'm camping. She's kind of senile." He started to crack a smile, but caught himself and snapped back to his official, stone-faced persona. "Barry's calling his parents," I added. "You've got two minutes." Matthews turned on the heel of one boot and marched off. "All right Barry, tell them about the speeding- except make it 70 rather than 80, tell them about the broken tail light, but don't mention the dragging muffler or the changing drivers while the car was moving." "But that's not enough for a $500 bail." "Sure it is. Out of state car, red neck cops," I tried to convince him. "Mention Smoky and the Bandit." The thing I hated about hanging out with Barry is always having to pretend I wasn't scared. I was terrified. Talking to Granny only reminded me that I was an eastern, suburban, nineteen year old out west for the first time, and in over my head. We needed 500 bucks each or we'd spend a night, maybe more, in jail. "If they're not buying it," I said, "tell them about the muffler, but just say it had a little hole in it." I knew we could never mention the changing of the drivers, even though we had perfected the technique. We'd done it dozens of times driving cross-country. If I was driving, I would take my foot off the accelerator and Barry would slide over and put his left foot on it, with hardly a pause in the car's speed. Barry would grab the wheel and I would slide, snake-like, over the headrest and into the rear seat. It was really very easy, safe and it saved us at least five minutes each time. I guess we were concentrating too much to notice the unmarked police car pull alongside and then keep pace to watch the whole procedure. It's good Granny couldn't see her Mikey now. When Barry finally got the nerve up to call, it rang and rang. "Maybe they went away." Barry shifted the phone to the other ear. "Maybe the phone is broken." "Maybe they went out to the store," I suggested. "No, it's six o'clock in Connecticut. My father's always sitting in his chair, sipping a gin and tonic and watching the Channel 2 news. That is, if they aren't away somewhere." "Maybe you dialed the wrong number." I was trying to get the image of Barry's adults-only living room out of my head. "Barry, I didn't know anyone ever sat on those chairs." Barry hung up and re-dialed. "I should have my own number down by now," Barry said. "Maybe they're on vacation." Suddenly his face grew pale and his jaw dropped. I turned to see one of the state troopers unlock the barred door and lead a handcuffed prisoner down the aisle of jail cells. "Are we next?" Barry asked and tried to smile. "Come on, they're not going to handcuff us." "Maybe that'll be our cellmate." From the back the prisoner looked strikingly like Charlie Manson. "I've got it, Barry!" I said, a plan hatching in my head. "I'll use your phone call to call Granny back." "So she can hang up again?" "I'll tell her I'm at camp," I said. "I think it'll work." "Well." Barry tried not to look at Charlie. "It better work." Rrrring. Rrrring. Rrrring. Maybe Mom came home from dinner. Rrrring. Rrrring. Rrrring. I just had to hope Granny didn't fall down on her way to the phone. Rrrring. Rrrring. Rrrring. I also had to hope that she heard it ring. Rrrring. Rrrring. Rrrring. And I had to hope that this plan worked. Rrrring. Rrrring. Rrrring. I had a lot of things to hope for. "Ello?" "Hello, Granny? Camping's going great! It's really beautiful. We're sitting around the campfire right now." I racked my brain for some other camping image. "No thanks, guys. I don't want another marshmallow, I'm on the phone. Could you keep the singing down?" I could see the state troopers all turn toward me. I guess, carried away in my method acting technique, I was yelling too loud. I could see Sgt. Matthews get up and march towards us. "Yeah, that's right, Granny, it's me Mikey." "Yeah, but listen, I've got a problem. I need some money for supplies." "Right! Tents and boots and back packs. You know, camping stuff." "Right! I need you to write down this number and have Mom call me." I could hear Barry explaining the plan to the Sarge. "Granny this is very important. Can you write it on the chalk board? "Good! Ready? 719...... Right. 555..... Good 72... yes 44..... Can you read it back to me?" "Right. That's it! Good. Mom needs to call me as soon as she gets in. It's ah..." I searched for some image that would make her remember. Something that would keep Barry and me from spending the night with Charlie. "It's a... a bear, Granny. I need this money for a tent to stay away from the bears." But I'd gone too far. "It's not funny, Granny. Bears. What? No, I'm not up to anything." "What?" "What do you mean I'm always up to something?" I could hear Sgt. Matthews laughing with Barry and the other state troopers gathered around the phone. All work had stopped in the room. Granny and I were on center stage. And I was afraid I was going to lose her. "Hold on a minute, Granny." I held my hand over the phone. "Sgt. Matthews, could you talk to her please. She needs to hear the voice of authority to know how serious this is." He smiled and nodded his head. "Granny, hold on. My camp counselor wants to talk to you." "Ma'am. It's important you send Mikey the money." Even he was calling me Mikey now. "Yes Ma'am." "Bear?" He hesitated. "Yes." "Well, sort of his counselor, Ma'am." "Yes Ma'am, I'll tell him." He handed me the phone. "Send Granny a postcard." "Yes sir!" I practically saluted as I took the phone. "Granny, remember to tell Mom the minute she walks in." "Okay. Bye." It all worked out somehow. Mom called back and gave me a lecture for speeding and trying to fool Granny, but she wired the thousand dollars. Sgt. Matthews said we could pay the fine right away and skip a trial. Barry and I taped together the muffler and drove out of the Police Barracks as fast as the law would allow. When we stopped later at a rest stop to change drivers, I found a postcard for Granny and mailed it off. It read: Dear Granny, The camping is great. Wish you were here. Counselor Matthews says to say hello. That's a picture of me on the front. See me over in the right hand corner shaking hands with the bear. See you soon. Love, Mikey JP Return to Home Page Return to Top of Page Return to Home Page Return to Top of Page
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