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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)

TITLE: Grandpa's Teeth
By Stephanie Frelone
04/07/08


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When I was a child, visits to my grandparents' house continually presented me with opportunities to become re-acquainted with my old friend the wooden spoon. Rather than lovingly stirring pitchers of lemonade or vigorously mixing bowls of cookie dough, the wooden spoon seemed to gravitate towards my rear end. Brandished by Grandma, the wooden spoon would slice through the air with practiced efficiency and paddle my bottom in a sharp, staccado rhythm. The sting of wood on rump eventually became so familiar that it was no more of an annoyance to me than a mosquito bite. This, of course, was not good news for Grandma.

"Honestly, Ally, I don't know how to deal with you anymore!" she declared one day after yet another spoon session had failed to produce the intended good behavior, "Go sit at the kitchen table and wait there until I decide what to do with you."

I plunked myself on one of the kitchen chairs and waited patiently for the outcome.

At around three o'clock I heard the shuffling and deep-chested coughing that heralded the awakening of Grandpa from his afternoon nap. He beamed at me.

"Hello there, Ally bear! Are you behaving yourself?"

Instantly, I felt my mood lift. This was my Grandpa, my champion. No one knew better than he how hard it was to behave for Grandma!

"Grandma's thinking about how to deal with me." I told him. He nodded his head wisely and eased himself into the chair beside me.

"Poor girl."

Hope soared in my heart. Usually Grandpa's declaration of "poor girl" was accompanied with an offering of candy or a magic trick.

"Would you like to see something really neat?"

So it was to be a magic trick; not my first choice, but I wasn't about to be an ingrate. I nodded my head.

"Watch carefully."

I sat up straight and planted my eyes on Grandpa.

...And then it happened.

It started out as the familiar Grandpa smile that I had come to know over my four years of existence. What's so special about that? I wondered. His mouth closed his lips began to wiggle back and forth. I heard a peculiar clacking sound coming from within. His mouth opened once more and he smiled at me--this time in 3D. In a blaze of flawless white and perfect pink, Grandpa's teeth grinned at me, impossibly perched on his lower lip! His jaw danced up and down, and suddenly the teeth were on the move. Like a beast summoned from the abyss, Grandpa's teeth slowly emerged from his mouth and plopped into his watiing hands. Bathed in saliva, the teeth twinkled malevolently at me. Stunned, I looked to Grandpa, desperate to hear an explaination of the abomination that had just taken place. He grinned at me one last time, his mouth a crescent-shaped chasm.

The wail that burst forth from within me was the kind that even the most seasoned of horror movie actresses can only dream of duplicating. In a flash of floral-print, Grandma appeared at my side.

"Ally! What's wrong? Ally! Talk to me! Herbert, what did you do to her?"

Grandpa shrugged his shoulders, his teeth in their rightful place once more.

"I only smiled at her..."

"GRANDPA'S TEETH!" I screamed.

"Grandpa's teeth?" The confusion on Grandma's face gave way to comprehension. She looked at her husband and scowled. Suddenly, she paused. The reproach on her face gave way to a slight smirk.

"Grandpa's teeth?" she repeated. The unmistakable gleam of triumph appeared in her eyes.

At that precise moment in time, the wooden spoon received its unofficial termination of employment. After all, who would need corporal punishment when discipline could be served with a smile?


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This article has been read 408 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mandy White04/10/08
Oh, this is absolutely adorable! I remember being mesmerized by my grandparents' "teeth tricks". Great job, enjoyed it very much!
Sara Harricharan 04/10/08
LOL! That is so funny! I would almost say "poor girl" to Ally as well, but I'm still smiling! You did great with the point of view and especially with making out the wooden spoon to be an 'old friend' that made this all the more believable. Great job! ^_^
Jan Ackerson 04/10/08
Very clever! I remember my own little daughter being horrified by the sight of her grandmother's teeth in a glass of water.

One small note: "staccato", not "staccado." And a small suggestion: your title really gives away the surprise in the paragraph where you experience grandpa's teeth for the first time. Consider a new title, perhaps?

I really enjoyed this entry.
Terry Walker04/10/08
This story will bring a smile to your face. Good work!
Holly Westefeld04/10/08
ROFL! This was a hoot.

Jan has a point about giving away too much with the title. Perhaps "Served with a Smile?"
Catrina Bradley 04/10/08
HAH HAH!! A smell a winner here. I love this phrase: "the wooden spoon seemed to gravitate towards my rear end." Excellent writing, right up to a kicker in the last line.
Joshua Janoski04/12/08
This story made me laugh so hard! I loved it! Your ending was great. I guess that wooden spoon was nothing compared to the horror of seeing the teeth come out. :)

I have a felling that this entry will place high this week. Excellent story! :)
dub W04/14/08
Oh, this is good, I hope it does well, despite the two exclamation marks plus the all caps. A few minor glitches but this one reads so well I smiled the entire time.
Sheri Gordon04/17/08
Congratulations on your Highly Commended. I remember my great-uncle's scary teeth--so frightening for a youngster. This is a very clever entry.

P.S. I agree about the title--it gives away the surprise.

Nice job with the topic.