Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)
TITLE: A Willow Street Wonder
By Deborah Engle
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“No, it can’t be!” she moaned.
Three houses away she saw them running from the back yard, heading her way as if they had been waiting for her to appear. There was no chance to escape, and they quickly surrounded her.
“Look who’s here, tryin’ to walk down ar street, just like she belongs here!” Derrick was always the loudest and meanest of the group, but they all joined in.
“Yeah, wha’ does she think she’s doing messin’ around our neighborhood!”
“We tol’ ya last time not to come here anymore! Now yer gonna haf ta pay!”
“All I’m trying to do is get home. I’m not hurting anything.” With a knot forming in her stomach, she remembered the last time they had caught her. She had been happy to escape with just broken eyeglasses. She wondered what they were planning for her this time.
“She can start with this!” called Charlie as he grabbed her market bag from her hands.
Derrick snatched the bag from him, reaching inside to uncover the loot.
Amanda, knowing that the bag contained only a small box of laundry detergent and one onion, dreaded what his reaction would be.
“Hey, what’s this? What er we supposed to do with soap? And I sure ain’t gonna eat no onion! Here, you can have it back!” he sneered, as he threw it at her.
The onion hit her arm and fell to the ground. “Ow,” she muttered, but knew that to complain too loudly would only encourage them.
“Aw come on, you guys don’t want that stuff,” said a new voice from behind her. Turning her head, Amanda saw Bill stepping toward them. She watched as the gang defiantly faced the intruder. Didn’t he know who they were? Well if he didn’t, he would before long.
With a scowl on his face and his fists clenched, Derrick took a menacing step toward Bill, demanding, “Wha da ya think yer doin’? This is our territory and if ya know what’s good for ya, you’ll scram! This ain’t none of yer business!”
Bill raised his hands and backed away a step. “Hey man, that’s cool. I just thought you guys might be up for a challenge. Guess I was wrong, though. Don’t let me bother ya. I’ll just look fer someone else,” he said, and turned to leave.
Derrick reached out and grabbed Bill’s arm, pulling him back. “Wha da ya mean? You think we can’t take a challenge? What ‘er ya talkin about?” The other boys muttered their protests too, but watched and waited for Derrick to make the first move.
Bill folded his arms on his chest and narrowed his eyes as he studied Derrick’s face, then swung his eyes to include the rest of the gang. “I da know... maybe you’ll do. We could have some fun, but it depends on how tough ya are, though...there’s some work involved.”
“We kin work if there’s somethin in it for us!” Derrick growled.
Never taking his eyes from Derrick’s face, Bill waited as if trying to decide. After several seconds that seemed like minutes to Amanda, Bill finally nodded. “Okay, I guess I can give ya a try.”
Forgetting completely about Amanda, Derrick looked behind him to ensure the boys were with him, then turned back to Bill and said, “So let’s have it. Wha’ do we haf ta do? What kinda fun are ya talkin’ about?”
Bill began to lead the gang towards the nearby woods, telling them about the old canoe he was working on, and the great spot he had found to launch it in the creek.
Relieved, Amanda watched as they all trooped away. Just before they disappeared into the woods, she saw Bill turn his head and wink at her. Amanda had a feeling things were about to change on Willow Street.
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