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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Empty Nester/Retirement (from work) (09/10/09)

TITLE: Hero Hideaway
By Lisa Cox


(Written in a black and white tattered composition book worn with age)

The Case:

His name was Peter or at least that’s who he said he was. Just plain ole Peter, but I didn’t believe him. In fact I didn’t believe anyone in the whole place or who they said they were, even my own grandpa. That’s why I, Delilah Dooley, eight year old detective extraordinaire, am determined to reveal the truth behind the Happy Hideaway Retirement Home.

The Clues:

Room 6B
Suspicious looking lady in a light blue nightgown with long silvery hair.
Contents witnessed in closet: 1 ball gown and 1 glass slipper.
Overheard conversation with a woman in 6C: “My prince is coming, you know.”
Conclusion: Do you think she really is just Cindy Rella? I also have my doubts!

Room 10A

Very tall slender gentleman wearing a long green flannel bathrobe and no shoes, who jingles when he walks.
Items witnessed in doorway: sparkly substance all over the floor and 1 pair of green tights hanging on doorknob.
Accidentally overheard him in the hallway asking if anyone had seen his shadow?
Conclusion: Am I crazy or is Peter Panning just his fake name and why is his window always open?

Last but not least…
Room 12 D

Very large fellow always oddly dressed in red.
Contents seen in room: several subscriptions of Marvel Comics featuring a hero with an “S” on his chest, and 1 blue cape tucked neatly on a hanger in the back of closet.
Overheard strange conversation involving a phone booth and leaping tall buildings!
Conclusion: Mom says I have an overactive imagination, but is there a super hero in my own family?

____________________________________End Book Entry__________________________________

I couldn’t believe it when I saw that my mother had actually saved this notebook in a box of many other familiar things from my childhood.

My grandfather had moved into this retirement center after my grandmother’s death when I was only eight and I remember visiting that place daily to see him.

I always had a shine for reading and writing and looking back on my entries here was a delightful glimpse back into my grandfather’s world, as I saw it then from my eight year old eyes. Was it my wild imagination or did the clues actually add up? How could I believe that this home for seniors was actually a hideaway for retired princesses and heroes?

Maybe it was the name of the place that drove my suspicious thoughts, or the wonderful tales the residents spun for me on every visit. Perhaps it could’ve been their kind words or smiles they always showered on me whenever I walked near them. Even with silvery white temples, they sure looked and sounded like the heroes of my favorite stories.

I have come to the conclusion now at the age of 45 that my notes were closer to the truth than most might think…

Use your eight year old eyes, and trust me you can find them. They are still there underneath the graying, laden with responsibility adult eyes you now wear, and you will see that our retirement centers and nursing homes are truly filled with princesses and heroes of all kinds!

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Member Comments
Member Date
c clemons09/18/09
This could have been for last weeks topic also. A good find you had and a thoughtful piece for about the elderly.
Karen Pourbabaee 09/18/09
Delightful notes from the old composition book! Love your concluding message about the heroes...we need more literature out there that places the deserved value and respect on our elder generation!!Thanks!
Shilo Goodson09/21/09
This was a great story. Children have such wonderful imaginations. Yet, I love how you leave the reader wondering if the child was really right about the true identity of those in the retirement home.