April 26, 2011

While You're Waiting...

I have been posting my progress with BEHOLDERS and the feedback from Mrs. Nielsen's 6th grade class. Considering the book isn't available for the public to read, this must be a bit frustrating.

I've decided that while everyone's anxiously waiting for INSIGHT's debut (I mean, seriously, you all must be experiencing the hands sweating, frothing at the mouth, I'M GOING TO DIE!!! syndromes by now, right?) I'll start sharing some other stories and samples I've written during the past few months.

So, without further delay, I introduce...

By Terron James

Gladys’ eyes flared open as her two sons, ages four and six, ran yelling into the sitting room.

“Get out of this room!” she screamed, only to ignite more pain in her aching head.

The two boys laughed innocently as they turned around and chased each other over the barricade at the top of the 5-step staircase and down into the family room, while Gladys’ 1-year-old son watched with big, curious eyes. He followed them to the barricade and pulled himself upright to look over it, squealing with delight as he watched his two older brothers chase each other around the room—over the brown leather ottoman, across the tan suede couch, through the sheer white drapes and against the glass sliding door. Over and over and over.

Gladys moaned.

Their energized playtime was finally interrupted by the sound of the opening garage. The two oldest sons bolted to quick but ineffective hiding places while the 1-year-old’s eyes widened again, searching for his two brothers that had suddenly disappeared.

Gladys stared out the front window and watched a white Camry stop at the mailbox—a long arm temporarily appearing to grab the mail—then continue into the garage. She laid her head onto the custom-made red sofa and pulled a thick pillow over her head.

I made it.

The garage closed and Gladys’ husband entered the house, glad to be away from his office, but even happier to be home. He immediately spotted his two hiding sons, but feigned ignorance as he casually strolled to place his wallet in a tiny drawer.

“Surprise!” the two boys shouted as they threw up their arms with excitement. The toddler added his own squealing to the greeting.

“Hey, you guys!” Jed laughed as he gave the two oldest sons a hug, then turned to the 1-year-old, cocking his head to the side and walking slowly toward the baby. An enthused grin grew larger on the baby’s face with every step Jed took.

“Hey, Baby,” Jed said tenderly as he picked up his youngest son and tossed him into the air. The baby’s body tensed and he giggled as his head nearly touched the white, vaulted ceiling. Jed caught him easily, then cradled him as he walked quietly into the sitting room to greet his wife.

Gladys pulled the pillow from her head and frowned at her husband. “I’m sick,” she said, nearly at the point of tears.

“I know,” Jed replied as he kissed her forehead. “Bad day?”

“They were horrible today,” she moaned as she placed a hand over her forehead.

As if on cue, the two older boys came running into the room, but stopped abruptly at their father’s roar. “Get out of this room!”

They stepped backward quietly, eyeing their father’s hand alter between a tight fist and a tense open hand until they reached the stairs, then slipped over the barricade and resumed their laps around the family room.

Jed turned back to his wife. “I’m sorry, Honey. What can I do for you?”

Gladys shrugged. “Make dinner.”

“What can I make?”

“Whatever you want.”

“Can I make ramen noodles?”

Gladys face contorted with horror, her hand flying quickly to her mouth. She shook her head twice, too afraid to speak.

Jed’s eyes softened. “What can I make?”


Jed nodded, then walked to the kitchen, placed the baby in his high chair and started making Daddy sandwiches—a combination of mayonnaise, lunch meat and sliced Swiss cheese.

“Would you like a sandwich?” he called to Gladys.


He piled the sandwiches—one for each of the boys, two for him—carefully around the edge of a white porcelain plate, then pulled a bag of nacho cheese Doritos from the pantry and filled the open space between the sandwiches. He placed the shared platter on the table and was about to sit down, but the baby started whining.

Oh, right, Jed thought as he shook his head in frustration, then grabbed a box of cheerios and poured a small pile onto the tray in front of his third son. “There you go, Baby.”

The 1-year-old clenched his fist, stuck out his index finger and thumb—his pinchers—then carefully grabbed one cheerio and placed it in his toothless mouth. He gummed it for a second, stuck his fist in his mouth to pull out the cheerio, looked at it, then placed it back in his mouth again.

“You would fill up your tummy a lot faster if you just ate your food,” Jed said in a sweet voice, then called his two older sons to dinner. They came screaming up the stairs.

“Stop!” Jed bellowed as he sat down. “How do you act in Mommy’s kitchen?”

“Quiet,” the 6-year-old replied, then the two of them leaped over the barricade and sat at the table.

Gladys appeared, but only momentarily as she walked up a separate staircase to hide in her master bedroom.

Jed watched her with concern. “You know, Boys, Mommy told me you were pretty naughty today.”

“Yeah,” the 4-year-old replied as he grabbed a sandwich from the platter and took a big bite.

“Let’s talk for a minute,” Jed continued. “Why is Mommy sick?”

“Because she has a baby growing in her tummy,” the 6-year-old answered.

“When you guys are naughty, you make her more sick. Do you want Mommy to be even sicker?”

“No,” they answered in unison.

“Then how can you help her?”

“To not to,” the 4-year-old answered.

“To not to what?”

“Be good,” the 6-year-old chimed in.

Jed furrowed his eyebrows in over-exaggerated confusion and sucked his upper lip into his mouth. “To not to be good?”

His two older sons giggled. “No! We should be good always!”

Jed smiled. “Good idea.”


Anonymous said...

Very good!

Regge Ridgway said...

Great blog and post. Following you and reading tweets. Keep up the good writing. My blog is http:// characterswellmet.blogspot.com. Reggie Ridgway

Thompson Family said...

This scenario sounds so familiar. :) And you wrote about it beautifully! I think you've got a lot of talent, so keep up the good work!