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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Obedience (01/31/05)

TITLE: The Box Kite
By Maxx .


Danni liked the empty lot by her house, ‘cept for the chiggers. Kids came from around to play in it. Teal lived across the street and flew a box kite that had purple and green paper on it. She always ran with it till it got up where the wind could pull, then let Danni hold the string.

Danni used to share with her sister. But when the older kids played their music loud and sat in the pine trees by the ravine, Stef started going with them. They spit on the hydrangeas and threw things over the fence at Rufus when he barked. Sometimes Willie’d use a knife to cut his name in the post. Mrs. Washington would shoo them away when she got home from the factory. She never saw them use the finger after she turned round. But Danni did. If she told Daddy, Stef would get it good.

“You’re not supposed to be doing that to Mrs. Washington.”

“Don’t you be ratting on me, shrimp.” Stef pushed Danni away, knocking her to the ground. “Or else.”

“Why you always being so mean now-a-days? Mommy wouldn’t be keen on what you did!” Danni didn’t like it when Mommy was sad.

Stef started shining on Willie when she moved up to junior high school. One time while Mommy was baking the afternoon orders, Stef snuck out the back door and met up with him at the ravine. He gave her beer and touched her bottom. But Mrs. Washington was watching from her sun porch. The phone was ringing even before Willie’s hand was back in his own pocket. Mommy went to running across the lot swinging the big family Bible above her head like a club and screaming crazy. Willie’s eyes got wide as unicorn beetles and he tore off home. Stef got a licking from Daddy after supper and cried for an hour.

Danni was going to ride her bike through the big mud puddle after Stef dared her. Willie said she'd fall and everybody laughed at her. Teal told Danni she oughtn't to do it since she'd get dirty and then offered her a turn with the box kite instead. Danni tried anyway. She didn’t make it all the way across. Nobody did, ‘cept Willie and only because his wheels were bigger. She went home with galoshes full of water and mud splattered on her clothes.

Mommy frowned and said, “Now what'm I supposed to do when my good girl starts coming home like this?” Then she sent Danni to the mudroom to strip.

Danni counted the cracked tiles on the floor. “I‘m sorry, Mommy.” It hurt to think that Mommy was sad because of her.

“Sorry's not gonna get those stains out.” She rubbed her floured hands on her apron and shook her head. “Child, it's better to not get dirty in the first place then to be sorry about it later. The sooner you learn that the less regrets you‘ll store up.” She gathered Danni in her broad arms and kissed her hair. “Come on; let's get 'em soaking in the basin.”

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This article has been read 1219 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Germain 02/11/05
Profound lesson: '"It's better to not get dirty in the first place than to be sorry about it later." (and to have to be washed later!)

Well written. You tell a good story with a deep truth.

Dave Wagner03/15/05
Terrific hook in the beginning. I liked the style, and the feel of the piece. Unique. Feels like it was written from the perspective of an un(der)educated objective observer.

I liked the line about counting the cracked tiles for some reason. Seemed a nice touch.
Jessica Schmit05/16/06
I'm not sure how I missed this one. Talk about switching styles! Wow Maxx! Incredible. Compeltely different writing style than anything you've written before and you still did a knock out job. I loved the last paragraph. Very interesting lesson. The mud being symbolic (I think) for sin. Very interesting. The flow was perfect. Very easy to follow along and held my attention 'till the last word. The message was quite strong and "out there" and you even gave a "closed" ending. Still, no placings. Weird. Very good.