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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bookends (01/30/14)

TITLE: A Mystery
By Barbara Mahler
02/03/14


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As a child in the 1950’s, I spent the summer and school vacations at home - playing ball in the street, board games on the porch steps, or when it was too hot - just doing nothing with my friend who lived across the street.

It was especially during the “doing nothing” times that whenever we spotted the two men walking by, we began a sing-song, “Hup! Two, Three, Four!”

Other than that they lived a few blocks away and how they dressed, we knew little to nothing about them except that they were brothers; “they must be twins,” we said because they were exactly the same height, looked exactly alike and always dressed similarly – in khaki type pants and shirts – even matching jackets and coats during the fall and winter seasons.

“Hup! Two, Three, Four!” we chanted each time the tall, lanky men walked by. They never acknowledged or even seemed to notice that we marked the rhythm of their steps. When they passed by walking two by two in one direction, we would keep watch for them to pass by walking two by two in the opposite direction and take up our chant again: “Hup! Two, Three, Four!”

Another generation, my children, have come to recognize them as we did – commenting “oh, look there’s ‘Hup! Two, Three, Four!’”

Interesting, though, what is written on the pages of their lives is another tale - that which we may never know.


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This article has been read 41 times
Member Comments
Member Date
CD Swanson 02/06/14
Very interesting piece. I like your style of writing, it allows for the imagination to realize what their story may have been?

God bless~
Norma-Anne Hough 02/08/14
Good flow to your words. Makes one wonder who they were and what their lives were all about.
Well done.
Blessings
Larry Whittington02/09/14
To me this seemed a sad history. It made me ask if it pictured me as a young person. I hope not.

The sadness came in seeing two generations let "possible neighbors" slip by without a friendly greeting.

The story was well written but still brought me sadness.

(It is like in our large city Portland, OR where it is hard to get a reply from a cheery 'Hello' from a person walking on the street.)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/11/14
This is an interesting piece. My mind went to all different things. I wish you had explored it a bit more, maybe even made a story about what the two men did. Your opening line pulled me in and I found myself imagining all kinds of things.

These are little things. The 1950s shouldn't have an apostrophe if you mean it as plural, only if it's possessive like the 50's style of poodle skirts. Also em dashes should be as long as the letter m and have no space on either side--like that.

Those are little things though. I like your unique take on the topic. I've never thought of people being bookends, but it certainly appears like these two were just that. It's also cute how the next generation picks up things from the previous.

You may want to go to the forums and check out Jan's Writing Basics. She is working through the criteria the judges use in the challenge and it's a great help for all levels of writers.