Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)
By Jonathan Elliotson
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“This used to be one of my favourite toys when my dad gave it to me,” He remembered his father saying as he placed it in his waiting hands. His father had made him close his eyes before he would deposit the gift in his hands. He could barely keep them closed until after it was safely within his grasp. It was all he could do to wait for his father to say, “Open!” It was a beat up Chevy, older vintage, but still holding that rugged excellence. Tim’s eyes glowed and sparkled when his eyes met the object. He treated it as if it was some rare treasure. The paint was tarnished and faded wherever it wasn’t chipped. There was a dent in the fender on the front left side. The front bumper had lost all its silver finish and was left with bare aluminum. Still, this truck held a special place in Tim’s heart. He promised to himself that not another thing would harm this precious heirloom.
He took the truck off his dresser, holding it tightly with both hands as he scampered down the hallway to the stair case. He had to walk sideways down the stairs, one step at a time, slowly, with his full focus. Once he got to the landing, he smiled again and continued down the last few steps to the main floor. As soon as he got off the last step, he dropped to the ground and put the truck on its four wheels. On his hands and knees he started rolling it around, proceeding to make “Vrrroom, vrrroom” sounds for effect. Driving his way into the kitchen, his gaze met the ankles of his mother. She looked down at him with a stern look and continued whatever she was doing. He sat there puzzled, but for no longer than a wink. He continued to drive his truck along the kitchen tiles, sometimes following the outlines as if they were roads on a strict route. His face twisted into a mischievous smirk, and he pretended to crash his truck into his mother. He shrank back in dismay as she scowled at him for making such a childish mistake. She picked his truck up, took him by the wrist and led him out of the kitchen. She let go of him and then dropped the truck. Deliberately or not, he wasn’t sure. It had fallen on the front and, after a bounce, landed on its side. He was perplexed. He glanced at his truck, then back at his mother. She stood with her hands on her hips and shook her head, before returning to the kitchen and continuing once more. He began to play again but without the excitement he had before. He was just having fun. Why did she react that way? What had he done to her that made her shoo him out of the kitchen? He pondered and thought, but to no avail. He could make no sense as to why she acted in such a way.
He stopped what he was doing and sat back on his knees, with his rear resting on the heels of his feet. He looked at the toy; the old, red, 1950’s Chevy truck. The paint seemed dull. It had no meaning anymore to him. Why was he playing with a toy so beaten up? The paint was chipped; scratches everywhere. And the front fender brought him angst like he’d never felt before. Now there was a second dent.
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