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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Purple (11/05/09)

TITLE: The Power of Grape Soda
By bill johnson
11/08/09


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Most of my powers come from grape soda. Doesn’t really matter if it’s from a can or a bottle, but mom rathers I not have a can. She’s worried I’ll cut my lip on the metal. She doesn’t like blood. Super heroes don’t mind too much about blood.

My friends call me Captain Purple Power. That’s because of my purple cape. I also have purple pants, a white t-shirt with a purple spot, and blue goggles. Mom says blue is ok because it gives me the power to see purple when others see red. It’s complicated.

I can fly. One time when I was flying I crashed into the coffee table. Sometimes I can count to 5 seconds before I land, because I can count faster than normal people. That’s a power too, but I didn’t even get to 3 that time. Mom was a little mad because she doesn’t like people trying to hang on the ceiling fan anyways. I landed on the corner with most of my face. Mom said I would probably get a bruise around my eye. I told her I should have some grape soda to get my powers back. She thought that was a good idea too.

I did get a black-eye, but I kept drinking that grape soda. After a couple of days, I told mom that it was working because the bruise was turning a little purple. I think she finally started understanding the power of the soda.

One time I was out in the front yard flying in a circle with my turtle, and Janice said, “Jake, everybody knows you can’t really fly”

I said “I can to!”

Then she said “cannot!”

“Can to!”

“Cannot!”

“Can to!”

“Can to!”

“Cannot!”

She tricked me. Janice isn’t very nice. I told her that I crossed her name off of the rescue list. I don’t really have a rescue list, but I wrote her name on a piece of paper and crossed it out. I showed her the paper to prove it. She said I spelled her name wrong.

The purple spot on my shirt is from when I cried one time about dad. Mom thinks I just spilled grape soda. My tears are powerful; that’s why the spot won’t come out. I got a lot of tears, so I got a lot of stained shirts.

Flying is harder to do without dad. Sometimes I would lay on my tummy in the swing and he would push me way up in the sky. He would say “What do you see up there Captain Purple?” Sometimes I would see Molly, the neighbor’s dog. She’s old; you don’t need x-ray vision to see that. Every once in awhile he would ask “Do you see anyone who needs to be saved, Captain?” I didn’t like that question very much after awhile.

The only person I wanted to save was dad.

Dad was the one who told me about the power of grape soda. We would always sit up in this maple tree and drink it out of glass bottles when we got all worned out. Then I could fly again. That’s why I like it; it’s our special drink.

One time when we were up here in the tree he told me about his cancer disease. He said he was going to go up to heaven pretty soon. Me and dad cried a lot in the tree that day. I didn’t feel like flying anymore for awhile; I just wanted to sit in the tree with dad.

We talked a lot about heaven after that. He said that he would probably get to fly for reals, and won’t even need a cape. I like to draw pictures of him flying in heaven. One day he said I’ll get to go there too if I keep following Jesus.

I asked dad if he thinks there would be any purple in heaven. He said that heaven is a beautiful place where buildings and stuff are made out of lots of gold and gems. Some gems are purple, like amethyst.

Mom lets me sit here in the tree to think about dad. After dinner I like to sit up here and watch the sunset because sometimes it’s purple. People keep saying that time will make things better; but I think the purple sunset, the amethyst cross from dad, and my bottle of grape soda will do the trick today.


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This article has been read 563 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Aaron Morrow11/12/09
Absolutely stellar, your MC is perfect and the mix of sentiment and humor completely absorbed me in the reading. Up, Up and Away awesome.
Lisa Keck11/12/09
As a mother of a child who was sensitive to food coloring I thought the kid should lay off the grape soda. Then I got into the sentiment of losing his father and thought, 'what the heck, let the kid have a grape soda if it connects him to his dad.' A story that gets a reaction is a good story in my book. Keep writing (but lay off trying to fly.)
cindy yarger11/15/09
Well written perspective. I was engaged all the way through.
Henry Clemmons11/15/09
Cute, sincere and touching! A very moving story. Great characteriation and dialogue. Loved the voice of the piece. Enjoyed it.
Barbara Lynn Culler11/15/09
Great story; the dialogue was so child-speak!
Patricia Turner11/15/09
I loved this little boy more and more as the story unfolded. I think you told this just as he would have - very naturally.
Chely Roach11/15/09
Well, you have certainly mastered Captain Purple's voice...pitch perfect for the age range (without being annoying). The line at the beginning, "It's complicated," really tickled me, too. About half way through, when I got the sense of where this was going, my stomach sank...very nicely done. Bravo.
Loren T. Lowery11/16/09
Tender and beautifully written and the voice as well as the POV of your MC could not have been written better.
Ruth Ann Moore11/16/09
Very sweet story, and I loved the POV. There is something so endearing about the logic of a child. Well done.
Betty Castleberry11/16/09
This just jumped onto my favorites list for the week. Love the little boy's voice. Excellent.
Jan Ackerson 11/16/09
Very good! My heart just went out to this little super-hero.

Minor tweak--you wanted "too" instead of "to" in the back-and-forth dialogue.

Very creative story, beautifully written.
Sarah Elisabeth 11/16/09
Wow, started out with great humor to a ending that...wow. Good job
Shellie Goff11/17/09
Wow, you did an excellent job portraying the mind of a child. I really did not see the end coming. I was drawn in by the humor and you socked me with the punch of the story. Excellent!!
Chely Roach11/19/09
Congratulations on your Editor's Choice Award! Well done:)
Marc Smith11/19/09
Wow, what an incredibly well done piece. I loved it! Grats on HC!
bill johnson11/19/09
Thank you all so much for your kind comments!
Bryan Coomes11/19/09
Grape soda is great and so was this piece! Congrats on your win.
Marita Thelander 11/19/09
This had a nice pace for a bitter-sweet story. I love the voic of the MC. My favorite part was when he hit the coffee table with "most of his face". Congrats on the EC.
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/20/09
I just loved it! Congratulations on EC placing--well deserved.
Philippa Geaney 11/20/09
How did I miss this story in the previous week!! Busy life. I think everything has been said- so well done. Well done indeed