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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Writer's Life (05/13/10)

TITLE: Novel Abduction
By Author Unknown


“Ding dong the story’s done!” After months of hard work, my story was happily on its way to the publishers, and I could finally get back to my neglected garden.

“There you are dear babies,” I cooed at my irises. “Mama is sorry she’s neglected you so long.” In no time, I looked like Edward Scissorhands. Weeds were flying, clippers blazed, and glorious dirt flew everywhere. I was so caught up in my revelry, I almost didn’t hear him.

“Get in the car”, he said.

I looked up to see where the voice had come from. In a car, not two feet from my mailbox, sat a man. His fingers erratically tapped the side of a faded blue Aries.

“You know, I don’t think I will. I just got started in my garden, so if you don’t mi—“

“Listen, lady, this isn’t a request. Get in the car”.

I knew it was pointless to argue, so I put down my trowel and gloves, and I reached in my back pocket to make sure I had my notebook and pen. Just when I thought, I’d get a little work done. C’est la vie de la plume.

He blasted the horn.

“All right, all right, I’m getting in. You don’t have to be so mean about it”.

He rolled his eyes and waited, just barely, for me to climb in. He twisted the ignition key and off we went.

“So, do you have a name?” I asked.

He spit out his open window and said, “Cade”.

Clearly, even speaking was an annoyance.

I decided to keep to myself and look out the window. We were quickly into unfamiliar territory. Here the grass grew tall enough it had fringes on top, houses had that same empty look in their eyes as their owners, and most cars had gotten so tired of waiting to drive they were disintegrating. That’s good; I need to write that down.

“So, Cade, do you have anything special in mind? A particular hang out, a friend you’d like me to meet, a favorite church perhaps?”

Only silence from the man with a pale halo hovering in the spikes of his brown hair. He hadn’t shaved. Dotted patches covered his clammy pale skin. It looked like he’d grown tired of trying to draw it on and quit.

Soon the cheerless shanties gave way to lush, overgrown weeds. I’d never been down this road before and couldn’t even tell what direction we were headed. Someone had tucked the sun into a thick wad of grey cotton. Even the skies lacked joy. Is that too cliché? Don’t think about it, just keep going.

“I don’t mean to bother you, but I was wondering if you’d give me a hint as to where we’re headed?”

“You don’t stop do you? Just shut up already! Geez”. He slammed his hand against the radio dial and heavy metal began to grate against my eardrum. Grate? Maybe bang or bash or battered.

Along the way, the woods had given way to the soft curves of corn and soy. We parked at an old farmstead.

“We’re here. Get out”.

“Such a gentleman,” I muttered.

“What?” he barked.

“Nothing.” Next to the yellow farmhouse in the distance, an old barn stood solely on faith. “Where are we?”

“Just follow me”.

He led me to the back of the old farmhouse. It didn’t look like anyone had lived there for decades. I felt a twinge of sympathy for the old place. I’m sorry no one has taken care of you, poor house. Like my house is any better.

“Here”. He pointed to the corner of the dirt driveway.

“Here, what?”

Annoyance shot at me in steely darts through his narrowed blue eyes. “It’s where my dad shot my mom. She was just trying to protect me”. His voice pinched at the end.

“What?” my heart fell open. “I’m so sorry.” He stood there, hands jammed in pockets and kicking at a tuft of grass with his shoe. This is the story isn’t it?

I walked over and folded this boy, loosely veiled as a man, into my arms. I felt his chest harden and soften with the pulse of his tears.

Yes, it was clear; my garden was on its own for a while.

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This article has been read 1306 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Terry R A Eissfeldt 05/20/10
Maria Egilsson05/22/10
The title is so apt. New ideas sneak up and ambush, or abduct. There is no rest for the writer as ideas rise up from no-where and everywhere. Enjoyed this.
Brenda Shipman 05/22/10
Hate to be cliche here, but I am speechless. This is absolutely ingenious in every way. Sooooo well done! If this doesn't place WAY up there, then "somebody" is a few french fries short of a happy meal. ;) Congratulations - ahead of time!
Brenda Shipman 05/22/10
Oh, and the title is perfect!
Amanda Brogan05/24/10
I agree . . . this will most likely be a high-ranking piece! I can definitely relate to thinking how something will sound in writing as it's happening. A great description of "the writer's life." (Bye-bye to that garden! ;) )
T. F. Chezum05/24/10
Excellent story. Excellent title. Definitely a favorite this week.
Beth LaBuff 05/24/10
You abducted me with this. I was so totally focused while reading. …you may need to hire a gardener. :)
Virgil Youngblood 05/24/10
There are no weeds in this story. Just a sweet fragrance of good writing. Well done.
Joan Campbell05/24/10
Lovely - I particularly liked your wonderful descriptions.
Carole Robishaw 05/24/10
Can you send Cade my way, I need him to talk to a few of my, uh, friends. Get them to come and see me, take me for a ride, talk to me, draw pictures, anything, just communicate! Loved this.
Susan Montaperto05/24/10
It's a very clever title of a really great story. The reader really doesn't know is going to happen next until it happens. Thank for the "Novel Abduction."
Kate Oliver Webb 05/26/10
Soooo creative. I felt supremely entertained while led blindly and blithely down your garden path. Beautifully crafted, great ambiance, you have a simply wonderful way with a story!
Benjamin Graber05/26/10
Wow. There have been SO many good submissions this week, but this is one of the best! Perfect picture!
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/26/10
Awesome story with a perfect title. I hope it places high.
Ann Grover05/26/10
Great story... you create wonderful phrases and vivid characterization. (Red ink: punctuation errors, particularly in dialogue.)
Kimberly Russell05/26/10
Good grief, I thought you were being abducted. Geez. This was really good. And it does feel that way sometimes doesn't it? Just like we're being kidnapped. Great job.
Mona Purvis05/26/10
My pick for the Blue Ribbon!!! Just wonderful. Your descriptions are splendid. EC for sure.

Amanda Brogan05/27/10
Congratulations! This piece deserved it. ;)
Dianne Janak05/27/10
Congrats on your win! Well done..!!
Mona Purvis05/27/10
This made me go back and read your previous work.
Oooh...you're good!!
Knew this was a winner!!

Angela M. Baker-Bridge05/27/10
How thrilling to read such a masterfully written piece! Can't wait to share this with my husband.
Theresa Santy 05/27/10
Wow, I loved this, and though I loved all of it, one phrase struck me: 'an old barn stood solely on faith.' Simply fabulous!
Patricia Turner05/27/10
I hate that I can't get to read every entry before the winners are announced. I'm so glad yours won because I would definitely hate to have missed reading it. You had me going all the way to the end - I'll echo the word - brilliant! Well deserved 1st place and EC!
K.D. Manes05/28/10
Loved your piece! Wonderful word pictures and ideas...congrats on your EC!