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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Achoo (04/11/13)

TITLE: Why They Call Me What They Do
By Graham Insley


"Hey granddad, tell us about your nickname again." Little Susie sat up and wrapped her arms around her knees as she looked pleading into her grandfather's face.

"Yeah," Bobby was in the bed beside his sister and joined in the call for the bedtime story, "and how you escaped from the prison."

"Well, they're the same story kids. But you got to promise to go to sleep afterwards. I don't want to get into trouble with your ma."

"We promise." Both kids snuggled down into their blankets and with loving anticipation looked at grandpa.

"Well, let's see now. It was a real long time ago. Why even your mum and dad were not born yet. Come to think of it, it was even a long time before I met your grandma. I was a prisoner in this real small room and I'd been there for a looong time; I had to find a way out of there."

"How did you get there, grandpa?" Bobby got up on one elbow and smiled.

"I don't rightly know son, why I'd been there so long it felt like I'd spent my whole life there. Now you settle back down and try to sleep while I finish up the story.

I'm telling you kids, it was getting mighty uncomfortable in that place. It was so small in there that my knees were pushed up into my chest and my arms were pressed into my sides." The kids giggled as the old man pulled faces and acted out his words. "Oh, I probably only imagined it, but I felt them walls close in on me and try to squash me, and then back off, rest for a second and have another go."

"Weren't you scared, granddad?" The little girl already knew this story, but she always asked this question; it was part of the game.

"Oh, no. You see, I knew Jesus was with me. Kids, you always remember, Jesus is your bestest of friends and is always with you. Now, come on, you promised to try and sleep. Let's see, where was I?

That's right. That place was getting more uncomfortable by the minute and I knew I had to get out of there. That's when I got the idea that led to the invention of the pop gun."

"You didn't invent the pop gun, grandpa."

"Sure I did, Bobby boy. Why, I suddenly realized that if I pushed myself forward at the same time as them there walls squeezed me, like a cork out of a bottle, bam, I'd be out of there. And it worked by jingo. All of a sudden I was out of that place. But now I had two more really big problems. The pressure of them walls, just squeezing me real tight and pushing me out, had ripped all of my clothes off and there I was, buck naked. But worse than that, surrounded by giants."

"Real giants?" Bobby's eyes widened with amazement.

"Yep. Real giants and big, bright lights were all over the place. One of them giants screamed as I appeared, one of them took one look at me and squealed with delight and another one of them grabbed me by the feet and lifted me up; hanging me upside down."

"What they do then, grandpa?"

"Why, that big bully lifted me up and with his big old mitt he just spanked my bottom."

"Did it hurt?"

"Sure did. Why, I just about screamed my head off at that fella. I tell you, if I could a reached him I would have punched his nose. But you know what, that's when it alllll changed. The big, ugly fella holding me bent down and put me in the arms of another one of them giants who was lying down. And right then I just knew I was safe; this giant would never hurt me.

This one was a woman and I could see love shining in her eyes as she looked up at another huge face that was leaning down towards me; it belonged to a man whose great big, old finger was gently stroking my cheek.

"It's a boy darling. What shall we call him?"

That's when your great granddaddy sneezed.

Come on now. Let's say our prayers. It's time for you little'ns to get to sleep"

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This article has been read 290 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Judith Gayle Smith04/18/13
I had to read this twice, as I am rather slow to wit today. This is absolutely charming.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/23/13
I really loved this story. It is so original and I didn't see the twist coming at all. Some may say it is off topic(and normally I say if you take out the sentence about the topic, does it change the story? If not, you're probably off topic) however, this piece is an allegory for a sneeze. I think it is on topic and quite creative. I enjoyed every bit of it!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/23/13
Oops, I did have some tiny red ink. When using Grandad as a name it is a proper noun and should start with a capital, but something like your mom is a common noun and isn't capitalized ( you did that correctly, but I was using it as an example) That is a tiny thing though, and something to keep in mind for the future, but doesn't impact the great job on this story. If you are looking for more feedback, you should go to the message boards, under the thread throw a brick and leave a link for your story.
Alicia Renkema04/23/13
Your writing is amazing on every level! I love your MC's voice in this piece, so easy going and fun to listen to, just like a grandpa. Now, about this amazing story-lne, you really had me going there until the last paragraph, that is how long it took for me to figure out that the "prison" was your mother's womb and the giants were your parents. Totally clever! The only part I would have liked to have know was your nick name -- was it sneezy or something? The end seemed a little hurried and left things up in the air (which is maybe what you were going for) but I guess I had really gotten to love the MC and wanted to know more. I definitely hope you place well with this piece because you should be on the advanced level for sure. God's blessings on your week.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/26/13
Congratulations on ranking 6 in your level! (Even though I saw the topic, I wonder if this didn't rank higher because the judges may not have thought it strong in topic) I still love it though!