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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Spam (not the meat) (11/03/11)

TITLE: Christopher - The Enigmatic Twitcher!
By Danielle King


With a rip-roaring snort Christopher roused from deep slumber. Snug and warm, with knees tucked under hairy chin, he willed his left eye to open. Just the one would do for now.

From a chimney stack nearby, a blackbird rang out its territorial call: “Must be breaking dawn.” Christopher reasoned. He was never wrong! He yawned incredibly vociferously and stretched out his limbs ‘til he shuddered.

A song thrush joined the dawn chorus reminding Christopher that he too should be ‘up with the larks.’

One grimy big toe poked out from under the duvet to test the waters: “Hmm … Christopher ‘Eagle’ Ellis’s observatory is chilly today!” He declared.

No time to waste. Christopher kicked off the covers, rolled over and tumbled clumsily out of bed. He reached for his smart new trekking boots: “Socks!” He muttered. “Gone again?”

Christopher surveyed the overstuffed cardboard boxes crammed and stacked into every corner of his room: “Oh dear! Dear me; oh-oh dear me!” he stuttered, scratching his very bald ‘crown.’

Engaging ‘mad professor’ mode, he twiddled and twirled, tip-toed and snaked in and around, rummaging through his cherished stash of feathers, stag antlers, stuffed cats, encyclopaedias - many, many log books until: “Ah!” He declared, spying the envelope that had slid under the door whilst he slept.

He squinted eagerly at the note: “A reply; At last!” With reading specs in-situ end of snout Christopher read aloud.

“The ‘Eagle’s’ favourite and most manky socks have summoned the courage to crawl out of his big boots and blaze a trail to the trash can.” Christopher frowned and scratched his bottom.

“But the holes remain intact, so please - feel free to wear them!” He scrutinised the words, then read ‘your mate, Katy Care Worker.’ The penny dropped!

An uncontrollable outburst of raucous laughter sent Christopher hastening to the bathroom. Too late – again!

Dumping his pants in the bath - FAO Katy, Christopher peeped through the slats in his blind. The bread and butter pudding with custard was no longer splattered on the neat lawn - akin to the contents of a delicate digestive tract.

“Fox’s been!” grinned the culprit, gleefully stooping to rub hands together between knee caps – Christopher style! “They can’t make me scrape it up now!”

The house remained silent. Everyone slept on, bar the birds and Christopher ‘Eagle’ Ellis.

Now was the time!

Carefully he lifted the lid of his laptop, heart skipping a beat as he looked afresh at his personalised Screen Saver. The ‘White Tailed Sea Eagle’ with a 2.5 metre wing span; the magnificent Bird of Prey that OWNED the skies when it moved!

Christopher’s self- esteem had soared to dizzy heights when HIS smartphone snapshot was published in the RSPB magazine along with an inset picture identifying the photographer.


THEY – who tried to stop him obsessing over stuff; attempted to ‘chuck’ his treasured collection of feathers and bones; forbade him to ring friends; limited his time allocated to online activities! No!

Now, THEY would respect his consuming passion and zeal along with his necessity to prowl round after dark.

But for now, he must take control of his erratic, spiralling aspirations and establish some order within the chaos. 1,762 friends and contacts need to be reminded yet AGAIN, to buy the magazine before it sells out.

Checking his in-box for the umpteenth time and finding it empty still, Christopher began to hammer away at the keyboard. Each email was worded specifically for the intended recipient lest the ‘numpty’s’ out there didn’t ‘get it.’ Some folk are so dumb!

Eventually, Meg yelled from the kitchen: “BREAKFAST BILL ODDY STYLE.” Bill Oddy - the celebrity Ornithologist! Cook lady Meg certainly knew how to entice Christopher from his laptop. He scowled and picked his fingers until,

“Bill Oddy … and Christopher ‘Eagle’ Ellis? YEAHHH!” He punched the air triumphantly. “I’ll email him too. Maybe present ‘BBC Spring-Watch’ together?”

Christopher went down to breakfast elated, excited and brim full of expectation.

Meanwhile, from East to West and North to South, all around the coast-line and Outer Hebrides, people were logging online. Cyberspace was mega busy.

By the time he had wolfed down his ‘fry-up,’ 1,762 Spam Boxes had gobbled up yet another delivery from Christopher ‘Eagle’ Ellis!

RSPB – Royal Society for Protection of Birds.

Twitcher - Birdwatcher who will go to extreme lengths to spot rare birds.

*This is a true account of a man with Asperger’s Syndrome.*

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Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 11/17/11
This was an interesting story and one which pulled on my heart strings.

Thank you. God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/17/11
This is a fascinating story. The words and descriptions you used were scrumptious (well descriptive at least :)) I did have some trouble following the story as I wasn't sure who some of the characters were. Ithink part of this was caused by the word limit. I liked that it was based on a true story. Thanks for explaining some of the terms for ignorant Americans like myself :)
Helen Curtis11/17/11
Hmmm, what to say?!

You have used a wonderful writing style, with very rich descriptions and a quirkiness suited to the MC.

Having said that, I found this very difficult to understand, and found myself faltering many times as I tried to make out what was going on. And maybe that's an extra dimension of the story, showing what life can be like for those with Asperger's, as well as those caring for them; hard to read and understand.

BUT, with perseverance and the willingness to stick with the story, I was able to 'get' most of it - and isn't that exactly how we should be with people, too, having the willingness to get to know them and their quirks and 'oddball ways' so we can see and understand who they are for real, not just as we judge them to be.

I'll come back to this one a few more times, I think. Well done.

Theresa Santy 11/20/11
I too, had trouble following along, but I found Christopher such an endearing character, I wanted to understand. I believe the piece pulled me so deep into his mind that it felt foreign to me. But this was true less and less so the more I read. I have a feeling if I could spend just a little more time with Christopher, I would be able to understand him quite well.
Beth Muehlhausen11/23/11
I agree with all the previous comments! Having had exposure to higher lever autism (my sister), I think you did a stellar job of portraying the disjointed thought processes typical to Asperger's. Good job with a tough assignment!

C D Swanson 12/01/11
Nice Job! Congratulations- and God Bless~
Theresa Santy 12/01/11
Congratulations Danielle. This is a deeply compelling entry.
Noel Mitaxa 01/20/12
You've captured the enigma of warm but distant connections beautifully in the subtle twists of your work. Highly Commended indeed.