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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Season(s) of a year or life (01/13/11)

TITLE: The Long, Blonde Summer
By Troy Manning


The long, blonde summer was upon us, hot and uncomfortably dumb. After luring us to the seaside, she thrust our heads in the sand until a lonely old man found them with a metal detector.

On Monday, sometime after six, we lay in hammocks to ride out the monsoon. The palm trees to which we were affixed were drawn back then released. We were flung to a lesser-known island just east of Greece.

The remainder of the week passed unremarkably and we grew restless as native tongues. To cool the ends of them, we chased an ice-cream truck for several miles before having to admit the hunt is better than the catch.

After the ice-cream truck incident, we made it back to Bangalore in time to attend ten little skinny Indian weddings. The humidity so saturated the bridesmaids’ colorful clothing that the sari dyes welled and spilled in rivulets, gushing us into the Ganges.

On the third Tuesday, we found ourselves outside a small apartment complex in Manhattan’s Upper-Westside. It was milder here than in India but muggier than Greece. We were invited in by a tenant for some television.

He passed us the potato chips and we each took a handful. He asked if we would like something to drink and we said no. We watched the evening news and a game show before being tucked in.

We woke up and went to Switzerland. It was warmer than it was in the winter. We yelled at the Alps and they answered in crazy talk. It wasn’t until Thursday or so that we learned how to yodel, and by then our audience had dwindled some.

We became homesick for the warm Indian winds even though we were originally from Santa Ana, California 92701. We boarded Air India and began watching a movie. We decided the experience was too isolating and read the potato chip package together.

Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin and Follic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Contains One or More of the Following: Corn, Soybean, or Sunflower Oil), Whey, Salt...and much more, but we won’t bore you with the details.

Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef was spectacular and the cascades of Victoria Falls truly took our breath away. Somehow, though, we always wound up back in Bangalore. Having our own children would really be something too.

On an early Friday morning, we realized our love for Indian Summers was really a displaced longing for our lost southern California childhoods. On the previous Wednesday we had gone there and found them with metal detectors.

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This article has been read 322 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sydney Avey01/22/11
I like this! Very imaginative! Indian summer is a bit of a reprieve from the reality of what's coming, isn't it. Nicely done
diana kay01/22/11
i loved the title it was very clever and the writing itself was very funny descriptive and a bit wacky, i loved the whistle stop tour around the world :-)
the only bit i did not think lived up to the rest was the ending.it seemed to fall a bit flat.
i hope it gets a place on the winners board because it is so different as well as being great writing
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/23/11
Your story shows there is no place like home. I was sure you were visiting all of these wonderful places via the library or some books. You surprised me in the end by being on a plane headed for home.
Michael Throne01/25/11
This is wonderful. I would pay good money to learn how to be so fascinatingly scattered. It takes a real confidence to write like this. I hope it makes it to the top ten so more people will notice and enjoy it.