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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Gossip/Rumors (either or both) (10/28/10)

TITLE: Thelma and Harvey
By Brenda Rice


“Thelma, I’m home.”

“In the kitchen, Harvey. Come have a cup of coffee while I cook.”

“I heard something today.”

“What did you hear, Harvey?”

“Uh, uh, I better not say. I don’t know if it’s true.”

“Why does it matter if it’s true?”

“Well, I don’t want untrue things told about me.”

“Is it about you?”

“No, but it could hurt someone if it’s not true. Come to think of it, it could upset someone if it is true.”

“Why did you tell me you heard something, if you won’t tell me what it is?”

“I just made a statement. That’s all.”

“Okay, you heard something, but you don’t know if it’s true. That means it may be true. Right?”

“Yeah, I guess so. What’s your point, Thelma?”

“My point is you have a 50/50 chance that what you heard is true. So, now you can tell me.”

“No, even if it is true, I don’t think I should tell.”

“Did someone tell you not to tell?”

“No. There‘s just things a person knows he shouldn‘t tell.”

After a long sigh, Thelma responds, “In the future when you hear something keep it to yourself.

“Isn’t that what I’m trying to do?”

“I mean, if you aren’t telling me what you heard, don’t tell me you heard!

“Sorry I mentioned it. It was on my mind all day and I usually tell you what’s on my mind. But, I’ll remember not to do it again.”

Another sigh, some eye rolling and Thelma says, “Wait a minute! We are talking about something you heard; that may or may not be true, and whether or not you should tell me. We aren’t talking about never telling me anything again!”

“Well honey, you said you don’t want to know that I heard something. Right?”

“Wrong! I don’t want to know that you heard something that you can’t tell me. That’s what I said!!”

“Okay, already! I understand. I won’t bring it up again.”

Ten minutes go by and Harvey continues reading the paper. Thelma’s steaming more than the veggies. Finally, she can’t stand it anymore.

“Harvey, are you just gonna sit there reading the paper?”

“I’m reading the sports section. I’ll be finished in a minute.”

After a long tension filled pause, Thelma has had it. “Harvey, how long does it take to find out the Braves lost again?”

“Okay, what?”

“Harvey, my little smoochie pie. You know you can tell your honey bunny anything. Don’t you?” says Thelma as she makes eyes at Harvey and blows him kisses.

“Thelma we aren‘t talking about this anymore. And...well, you are weak when it comes to gossiping and you know it.”

“Weak about gossip! Me? You are the one who lent your ear to gossip this very day!”

“I didn’t lend my ear. Someone just used it without permission. And it wasn’t just anyone. It was Mavis Brown!”

“Mavis? What on earth did she need to tell you?”

“She told me…..Oh no you don’t. I’m not telling.”

Thelma slams some pots and pans around before picking up a heavy iron skillet.

“Harvey, do you see this skillet? I have a mind to whack you in the head with it. Maybe that would remind you not to let women whisper in your ears.”

“Now Thelma, you control yourself and that skillet. I can hardly be held responsible for Mavis telling me something out of the clear, blue sky.”

“Then I won’t fret over Joe at the meat market whispering the “daily specials” in my ear.”

“I see this is going from bad to worse. So before, we divide the silverware I’ll tell you what Mavis said. But I want your word that we will not talk about this subject again.”

“Thelma, your word? Get your hands in plain sight and don’t cross your eyes, either.”

“You have my word.”

“ I don’t feel good about this Thelma, but there’ll be no peace until I tell you. Mavis said she saw you get pulled over by the police. She said you got a ticket. Is that true or not true?”

“Mavis Brown is talking about me? How dare she! Must be a descendent of Paul Revere….. gotta tell the village“.

“Thelma, is it true?”

“Harvey are you believing that woman over your own wife?”

“My own wife hasn’t answered the question. I still don’t know if Mavis Brown is a gossip; if she’s spreading rumors, or if there‘s even a difference.”

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This article has been read 473 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon11/04/10
Cute, Cute story. The end of the story explained Harvey's quandry.
Scarlett Farr11/06/10
This was a very cute story. Gray job with believable dialogue.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/06/10
This was hysterical. I enjoyed this little argument about to talk or not. The ending was precious. Nice job!
Cheryl Harrison11/09/10
This is cute. I loved the little quips: steaming more than the veggies and before we divide the silver. But I do have one questions... did she get a ticket? :o)
Lillian Rhoades 11/09/10
Itching ears always need a tickle. Your story points out the unexpected boomerang effect of gossip. Just a few rough spots with the dialogue,but the message is clearly articulated.
Bola M. Eyinla11/09/10
Wonderfully written. Thanks for this entry.
Jan Ackerson 11/09/10
The relationship between these two is very fun to read!

Pieces that are nearly all-dialogue sometimes bog down a little; aim for a more even ratio of conversation to action/description to help the readers to visualize what's happening.

This was a delightful read.
Colin Nielsen11/10/10
Sounds like the tug-o-war that happens sometimes in marriage. You got those voices very accurate. Well done on such a fun piece.
Lollie Hofer11/10/10
Didn't see the ending coming...it sure came back to her, though. Very entertaining, love the humor.
Patricia Turner11/10/10
A very nice, lively story and I really enjoyed the easy banter between husband and wife.
Nancy Sullivan 11/11/10
I enjoyed the lively 'conversation'. Sounds like one that could have happened at my house. The twist was an added treat. Congratulations on you HC.
Cheryl Harrison11/11/10
Congratulations on your HC!
Henry Clemmons11/11/10
Highly Commended indeed. Great job, Brenda. Congrats.