Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fruit (10/10/05)
TITLE: Johnathan Spencer for Hire
By Joanne Malley
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Hi. Iím Johnathan Spencer. Iím eleven. You can call me Johnny.
My alias is Northern Spy since I live on North Avenue. Iím like James Bond, but without the ladies. Give me time; Iím still a kid.
My street is boring without any boys, so I make my own fun spying on Isabella Cardonna, alias Granny Smith, who lives across the street in the yellow Victorian house with the crabapple tree smack dab in the front yard.
My mom loves that houseóespecially the wrap around porch. She thinks itís charming like Granny Smith. Sheís originally from Rome and left behind an empire to be with Mr. Cardonna, the love of her life.
Heís not around any more; he died ten years ago. But, I think Mr. Cortland, her next-door neighbor, may be making his move. Thatís what my detective brain tells me, anyway. I heard him call her his Little Kumquat several times.
Sheís like a hundred and fifty or something, but still kind of pretty. Mom calls her the Rome Beauty. My dad says she must have been some looker long ago. I think that means she was hot.
My secret lookout is from our attic window seat. Itís perfect for my detective work. Peaches, my dog, and me are a team. We have fun spying on Granny Smith and the neighborhood oldies on her front porch.
Granny Smith holds meetings on her front porch every Wednesday when the ďFruits of LoveĒ club members meet. They gather to finalize their details for the week. They visit other old cronies at nursing homes to play games or share meals with them.
The members are Mr. Cortland, (whoís bananas for Granny Smith), Mrs. Craventsteinóthe church secretary, Mrs. Walker, the town gossip who overdresses like she were going to a gala event, and Mr. McIntosh, the retired mailman, whoís forever munching on grapes. Theyíre all thankful Mr. Cortland is part of their group since he was a baker in his day and always brings one of his desserts. His awesome strawberry shortcake oozes with the most red, delicious fruit ever!
Too bad my binoculars donít pick up sound, although, sometimes Mrs. Walker yaps loud enough for me to hear bits of the latest juice. Even though I donít usually hear much, itís fun enough to watch them. Granny talks a lot with her hands. Itís a shame I canít figure out what sheís saying.
Iím quite good at concealing clues and facts, so you better swear to keep things under wraps. If anything gets out, Iíll know you blabbed. My work is top secret and nobody knows Iím undercover. If you blow the lid, Iíll have to kill you.
When Granny Smith comes for dinner, she sometimes brings Mr. Cortland. Dessert is always on him. When they leave, her perfume lingers around for a long time, just like that fruitcake Mr. Cortland once brought.
Iíll take the smell of her sickening-sweet raspberry body splash over that fruitcake any day. Actually, I could do without that disgusting fruitcake altogether, but I bet it would bounce high enough for me to score a basket. I asked Mr. Cortland to bring his famous apple pie or cherry torte next time. Now, those I can get into!
My mother said Granny Smithís the grandmother she never had. She calls my mom ďRed,Ē just like her hair and calls me ďThe Little Whippersnapper.Ē I think thatís a good thing. It must mean Iím smart. I bet sheíd think I was a genius if she knew I was a spy.
My secret better be safe with you or else. Granted, the least of my problems will be when Mr. Cortland cuts me off as far as his fruit-filled goodies. I canít say Iíd blame him. Who wants a nosy body for a neighbor? But, I really donít want to have to knock you off. Thatís a problem Iíd rather not deal with.
Well, the fruits of my investigations have taught me a thing or two. For oneóspying on the old cronies has proven I donít need other boys to have fun and, twoóGranny Smith may be a little sour at times, but sheís all right in my book.
Thanks to she and her cronies, Iíve developed my skill. Iíll have to thank her when Iím asked to play the next James Bond in what just might be called, ďPink Lady With the Golden Finger.Ē
I think I smell a blockbuster!
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