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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the ADVENTURE genre (05/24/07)

By Dee Yoder


“My map was turned upside down, Mable!”
“Is that why we’re out here in the boonies?”

Mable’s sigh reflected how hopeless she thought this day was becoming. She glanced in
her rearview mirror to check for traffic before she swung the car and attached trailer into
a farmer’s lane that had a wide turn-around at its end. The dust-covered caravan wormed
a circle back onto the road as we reversed our journey to the main highway.

Two weeks ago, this whole thing seemed like such a lark, but now, road weary and
nearing poverty, we were thinking it might be time to give up and go home. Ah, but that
would take money and we had almost nothing left. We’d have to hit at least one more
flea market and hope for the best in order to get back to Ohio. The nearest market was
where we were trying to go, but my less than exemplary map skills put us miles in the
wrong direction.

“What time does that brochure say we need to be there to set up tonight, Mryt?”
“Well, it says, umm, let me see…by 7:00. Better floor it, Mabel!”
“Yeah, you get us lost, then pressure me to make it come out all right.”

Still, she pressed the pedal to the medal, so to speak.

Our troubles didn’t bother us for long. The sun was shining; the scenery was beautiful;
and hope was riding with us. This trip had worn us out, but we’d had a blast getting to
know one another away from the pressures of our antique shop, Little Rascal’s.

I settled in my seat and watched the scenery fly past. We rolled into the Bradley County
Fairgrounds at 6:15, by golly. This was our fifth Antique Show and Flea Market so we
could almost unload in our sleep. A bleary-eyed presenter pointed us toward the building
we were scheduled to set up in. At the door of the Sheep Barn, a teenaged-back-for-hire
loaded our stuff onto his cart and rolled us to our spot. We paid him with our next to last

We managed to get most of the glassware unpacked before the presenter shut the lights
off row-by-row. He left our row for last. Nice man. I hope.

The next morning, at 6 am, we hit the floor running and got to our spot before any early
birds showed up.

“I need coffee, Myrtle,” said my sister after twenty minutes of placing the displays.
“Ok, let me finish this, and I’ll go find some.”

I followed my nose to a café in the back of the building. I nearly turned around when I read the sign over the counter: PTOMAINE JOE’S.

“At least he’s honest,” I muttered.

I got back in time to see two buyers looking over a Depression glass butter dish with a
matching top.

“I don’t think this top goes with this bottom”, said buyer one to buyer two.
“You are so right”, said buyer two to buyer one.

They turned to Mabel and asked her to sell them just the top since it wasn’t really the
right one anyway.

Mabel smiled, took the dish and said: “Oh my, we never sell faulty merchandise,
gentlemen. I’ll just put this away.”

Their faces fell, but they finally forked over $60.00 and left in a huff.

“How many times do you think that’s happened to us, Mabel?
“Enough for us to learn, Myrtle” she answered with a grin.

We had the gamut of buyers that day; the lookers, the walking-encyclopedias, the my-
grandma-has-one-just-like-thats, and the collectors. We love the collectors. They scan
our booth with infrared eyes and zero in on their target in seconds. A collector never
squabbles over price; he hunts, bags his trophy, and carries it away.

At the end of the day, we counted out enough money to pay the presenter and make it

“Give me five, Mabel!”
“On the side, Myrtle!
”In the air, Mabel!”
“We’re square, Myrtle!” We slapped hands and smiled.

That night, we placed our camp chairs outside the trailer and reflected on our trip.

“I’ve loved every minute, Myrtle”, sighed Mabel.
“It’s been quite an adventure, Mabel,” I agreed.
“Do you think it’s changed us?” she asked.
“Isn’t that what adventures are supposed to do?” I answered.
“Well, that’s what they say in all the books.”
“Ok, then. Who are we to buck the books? It’s been an adventure”
“Certainly has.”

We looked at each other and grinned.

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This article has been read 1014 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sharon Henderson05/31/07
Thank you for taking us along for the ride! It was a fun trip! :-) I enjoyed your story.
Jan Ackerson 06/02/07
My favorite bit was "Ptomaine Joe's." Hilarious!

I think your blocks of dialogue should be separated out into their own individual paragraphs.

Adorable characters, and fun to read.
Kristen Hester06/02/07
Iloved these two ladies and would like to see them in more adventures. They seemed so cute and fun. Thanks.
dub W06/04/07
Absolute fun. Work on structuring dialog and this essay will go a long way.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/04/07
I loved your ladies and their adventure.
Virginia Lee Bliss 06/04/07
I very much enjoyed this story. I was in the antique business for about a year so I can relate. Nowadays I am one of those customers who are always trying to get something for nothing!
It is important to separate the statements of different speakers with a space. I noticed a couple of missing quotation marks although they may have just been typos. Although this entry is written in the first person, I recommend avoiding contractions except in dialogue.
Joanne Sher 06/04/07
A very fun read. I enjoyed the visit with you.
Pat Guy 06/04/07
A fun read! And it's somethiong most of us would love to do. Thanks for the ride. You did a good job on this!
Barb Stimens06/04/07
Very good! I got a kick out of the Ptomaine Joe. Really fun. Would like to read more of these two gals. They remind me of my sister and I.
Myrna Noyes06/06/07
This was a cute story with wonderful characters in the two sisters! My favorite part was the description of the different people who came by their table: "We had the gamut of buyers that day; the lookers, the walking-encyclopedias, the my-
grandma-has-one-just-like-thats, and the collectors. We love the collectors. They scan
our booth with infrared eyes and zero in on their target in seconds. A collector never
squabbles over price; he hunts, bags his trophy, and carries it away." Good job! :)

Sara Harricharan 06/06/07
Very interesting and a fun twist. I haven't seen anything along this line yet for this topic. I liked this adventure, simple, pure fun. I loved the part when they were bargaining between the top and bottom and ended up paying 60 dollars. My only note was at one point I think you switched POV's without meaning to, when we know it is Myrtle that is narrating and suddenly Mable seems to take over and tell her something. Otherwise, this was pretty neat.
Jacquelyn Horne06/19/07
Sounds like a fun time. A good vacation, I guess. But this is good writing. It flows well.