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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Manuscript (04/29/10)

TITLE: The Way Crime Pays: Assorted Notes toward an Unsolicited Manuscript
By Troy Manning


p. 1a - Jimmy got out of the bathtub as much as he could. Today was going to be special like all the others. The rest he left as a tip.

p. 1b - His wife waited in the car as it drove past the limit. The night was right in her eyes. She shielded them with a coat full of arms.

p. 16 – Her son sank to the bottom while his sisters soared to the top. Molly took roll. She discovered shoe 102 was missing.

p. 6 - It was Jimmy’s turn once again to milk Betsy. How he hated cheating dames. But how else would he afford Molly?

p. 7a - His son cluttered the floor with Betsy’s brothers. They could never forgive him now, being stuck together like sisters.

p. 7b - His sisters cleared the tub of the rest of the loot. How they hated housework. But how else would they pay for their mother’s shoe?

p. 8 - The armed car grew restless and threw the rascals out. Molly was first to go. It was sick of always waiting on Jimmy.

p. 9b - His son had begun to flee the scene when he saw Molly on the ground outside. He did a double-take, then accused her of being his mother.

p. 9c - His sisters approached with a new shoe. It fit Molly perfectly. But just because it did didn’t mean she should wear Betsy’s clothes.

p. 11 - Betsy spit the gag from her mouth then decried the life of crime to the floor full of her sister-like brothers. Only one sat up and took notes.

p. 20 (or 19) - Bugsy’s notes were prodigious. They garnered numerous posthumous journalism awards. Betsy replenished her tub with the royalties.

p. 15 – The detectives inspected shoe 102 for footprints. The dogs traced the scent to Molly’s closet. She came out insisting, to no effect, that she was a new woman.

p. 17 – Jimmy and Molly’s son fled to Japan and wrote haiku. He became anonymous. A Chrysanthemum petal settled on the soil.

p. 19 (or 20) – Jimmy and Molly’s daughters were issued short sentences: “I will not aid or abet, I will not aid or abet, I will not...” They later married Betsy’s remaining brothers. Bugsy’s notes have been optioned for an Off-Broadway musical production.

p. 9a – In his haste to escape, Jimmy was hit by a car. Today was indeed special, but also different somehow. He never did see anyone in the driver’s seat.

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Member Comments
Member Date
AnneRene' Capp05/07/10
Since my mind works in more of a simple, black and white thought theme (for lack of a better description) :) I wasn't able to pieced this together enough to make sense of it, BUT like the idea of how you put this together.
Jan Ackerson 05/07/10
Hmmmmm...I don't get it. I think I detected some wordplay here and there, but...sorry, I just really don't get it. I hope you'll pop into the "Hinting" thread on Sunday or Monday and direct readers here--with an explanation! Who knows; you may be the next James Joyce...
Phee Paradise 05/08/10
I'm sorry, but I don't get it either. There were some intriguing things going on, and I was hoping to figure them out, but it didn't make sense. I agree with Jan. I hope you give us some hints.
Maria Kana Santos05/09/10
I like you style, however. You've written the author's plot or the proposal of his manuscript to the editors and publishing company? Or is this an outline of a potential manuscript of a fiction, still in the making? Good job.