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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Writing a Letter (handwritten correspondence) (10/21/10)

TITLE: Passing Notes
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom


Opening the door slowly, Wrigley peeked inside to see if her mother was home. She gulped when she saw Mom sitting at the table. Wrigley took a deep breath and entered the kitchen. “Hi Mom, how was your day?”

The room was silent. Somehow, Mom managed to raise just her right eyebrow as she glared at Wrigley. She had been perfecting The Look for years. “Is there something you want to tell me?”

A recent memory flashed in Wrigley’s mind; her older brother, Camden, got The Look and that same question. Camden quickly confessed to skipping school. Later, Wrigley overheard Mom and Dad laughing. They had no idea he’d played hooky, they were just asking about his grades.

Squirming, she thought about her choices. A quick glance at Mom’s face made Wrigley realize why Camden caved so easily. “Mrs. Sullivan caught me and Riley passing notes.”

Folding her hands under her chin, Mom stared at Wrigley. “And …”

Wrigley looked down, “No recess for the rest of the week and she put my name on the Fifth-Grade Bad Choice Board.”

“I thought Mrs. Sullivan gives a warning before she puts your name up.”

“Uh, well, this is the third time I’ve been caught. I’m sorry Mommy.” Wrigley pushed her lower lip out and gave Mom her puppy dog look.

Mom gently tugged Wrigley’s lip. “Your look and calling me Mommy isn’t working. You talk to Riley all day. Why pass notes during class?”

“I don’t know.”

Mom grabbed a faded folder from the counter. “I want to show you something, but first no phone for one week.”

Scowling, Wrigley stamped her foot. “That’s not fair; I’m already getting punished in school.”

“But you haven’t learned your lesson!”

By now, Mom’s eyebrow was almost on top of her head; there was no point in arguing. Sighing, Wrigley put her hands on her hips. “Can I go now?”

“Oh dear, you still have an attitude. Plus, I want to show you something.” Mom pulled a paper from the folder and handed it to Wrigley. “I’m not sure why I kept this, but I think you need to see it. Sit down and take a look.”

Slumping into the chair, Wrigley grabbed the tattered paper and read silently.

Dear Beth, I’m in the libary taking that stupid test I missed cuz I was sick yesterday. I’m done with it but I dont wanna go back and listen to Harris go on and on about the stupid parts of a sentnce. He is soooo boring. So I thought I’d write you a note instead. Ha ha your stuck in there with him and I’m in here doing nothing but waiting for the bell to ring. Did you see Bob smiling at me during lunch? He is sooooo cute!!!! Ask Teri to ask Tom to ask Bob if he likes me and I’ll ask Marci why she’s mad at you. Well the bells gonna ring soon I better come back to class, get my junk, and hand in my test.

Wrigley tossed the paper down. “So, you wrote notes in school too. At least I’m not a terrible speller like you.” She glanced at Mom to see if there was any hint of humor in her eyes. She thought maybe she saw a small sparkle.

Mom smiled just a little. “There’s more, keep reading. There down at the bottom, it’s faded but you can still see the red ink.”

Wrigley squinted and read aloud. “Correct the spelling errors, fix the run-on sentences, and hand in corrected version tomorrow.” Wrigley laughed so hard her chair shook. “How did your teacher get it?”

Covering her face with her hands, Mom chuckled. “Maybe I dropped it on the floor or perhaps it got mixed in with my test; I don’t know. I was mortified when he gave it back to me the next day. He was the scariest teacher I ever had.”

“What did you do?”

"What could I do? I corrected it; I think it took three drafts before he approved it.” Both Mom and Wrigley were laughing now.

Mom handed Wrigley another piece of paper and a pen. “Mrs. Sullivan gave me this. Your spelling might be better than mine, but you still have some corrections to make. Also, you need to practice the proper format of letter-writing. You can start with an apology letter to your teacher.”

“No fair…” When Mom’s eyebrow started moving, Wrigley reached over and hugged her. “I love you, Mommy.”

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This article has been read 714 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Tiara Huffman10/28/10
oh Wrigley is a cutie! I love that she had to write a letter to her teacher. I also thought it was cool that the mother was using a lesson she learned in school to teach her daughter one.good job!
AnneRene' Capp10/29/10
Adorable, precious,and priceless. Excellent job on dialog and drawing the reader into each character. I experienced both character's emotions and not only laughed with them but at them (in a good way). If only all mom's could have this MC's wisdom, light-hearted whit and temperament!
Terri Schroeder10/30/10
Cute story and so realistic! I liked the dialog. Good job.
Rachel Phelps10/30/10
This is so cute! The English major in me really loved the bit about correcting the letters.

Nice twist on the traditional letter!
Tammie Smith10/30/10
I loved the line "Mom’s eyebrow was almost on top of her head."

This was a great story. I could see it being played in my mind.
Barbara Lynn Culler10/30/10
This is so sweet! Love the "Shannisms" in there!
Bola M. Eyinla10/30/10
This is awesome. You inspire me!
Nancy Sullivan 10/30/10
My mom will soon be 88 years old, and she still has "the look". It just doesn't scare me anymore. This is a fun story and shows a wonderful mother/daughter relationship. I enjoyed it very much.
Catrina Bradley 10/30/10
I love it! The line about mom's eyebrow almost on top of her head made me giggle out loud. Great opening, strong ending, and super middle part, too. No red ink from me. :)
T. F. Chezum10/30/10
This made me chuckle. Very good job.
Gregory Kane10/31/10
Far better, Shann. The first paragraph stumbled a little and after that the flow was much better.
Virgil Youngblood 10/31/10
How surprising it is when children learn their parents were once kids too. Very enjoyable.
Beth LaBuff 11/01/10
Ah.. a great lesson here. What fun hearing about the Mom's note and the teacher's comments on the note. I had to smile when the mother asked Wrigley to write a letter of apology to the teacher. Very nice! I enjoyed this!
Jan Ackerson 11/01/10
Super sweet!
Lollie Hofer11/01/10
What I like about this story is that it's real...the characters' dialogue was age-appropriate and believable, and the incident takes place in schools worldwide. I like how the mother handled the situation. Way cool. Great story.
Joan Campbell11/02/10
I think this is my favourite Wrigley story ever! The dialogue sounds very realistic and I love the humour throughout. You did a great job with this, Shann!
Connie Dixon11/02/10
Great story with a great lesson. Liked this a lot!
Carol Penhorwood 11/02/10
OOOOOh! THE LOOK! My daughters tell me I have one too, especially when they feel that I'm disappointed with them. Funny, I never knew back then I had so much power. LOL
Caitlyn Meissner11/03/10
This was fun! I loved "The Look" and the way the teacher found her mom's note. I wasn't expecting that. Good job!
Patsy Hallum11/03/10
This is a winner in my book.I had the same problem. one question, should the Oh, you still... should it be No, you still? Love it!
Edmond Ng 11/04/10
Nicely written and very interesting read!
Shannon Parker11/06/10
I absolutely loved this story! I can see my daughter and I having this conversation at some point..hopefully not soon..she is only 7!
Rita Garcia11/08/10
A beautiful portrait of a mom parenting with much wisdom. I love the mom's willingness to share her story with her daughter. Fantastic story and wonderfully written! I hope you search for a place to have this published!