Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Critique/Review (for writers) (05/06/10)
- TITLE: The Arthritic Critic
By Mona Purvis
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“Let's get started folks. Please, pass in your requests for next month's choice to Father A. Long. We'll draw the winner at the end of tonight's meeting.”
Rhoda Booke and Rita Booke, old maid sisters as much alike as a set of bookends, giggled as they crouched over the table jotting down the name of a recent romance bestseller.
“I've never won,” complained Ella Mentry as she wrote the name of a Sherlock Holmes mystery.
Miss Paige Turner stepped up to the microphone. “I hope each of you has enjoyed pondering this week's review of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. Who would like to open our discussion?”
“It's so confusing...I mean, why would you be in someone's woods? Isn't that trespassing?” Denise R. Nockin's shaky voice could barely be heard.
“What's the problem? The owner's too smart to live out in the woods. He's in the village staying warm by a roaring fire.” Lou Zer always took issue with anything Denise R. Nockin said. They had once been engaged years ago until she caught him fooling around with Alli Katt.
B.A. Ware stood and looked around the room. He waited to speak until everyone's eyes were fixed on him. “ I keep thinking about why he chose the darkest evening of the year to be out. Has to be more to it. Even the horse knew better.”
“I just love to hear harness bells on a horse-drawn carriage. It's so romantic, don't you think?” Heidi Clare blinked her eyes and smiled at B.A. Ware who promptly sat down. She had been chasing him ever since his darling wife had passed.
“Y'all just don't get it. It's all about him contemplating suicide. Think about it! Downy flakes...sounds just like bed covers to fall asleep in. And why does he say the woods are lovely at the same time saying they're dark and deep? He was going to kill himself! He was just another soul tired of all the hardships of life. Don't you see?” Jenna Side always saw death in every review.
“Well, he didn't kill himself, did he?” Skip Dover had heard about all he could stand of death and dying.
Geri Attrick stood to speak leaning on her cane and the back of the chair. “I'm more concerned with what promises he had to keep. I'm afraid I've forgotten a promise or two in my day. My memory's gettin' so bad. Mother got bad off that way before she passed. I don't want to meet my Maker with unfulfilled promises...I hope...”
Anne Teake reached up and pulled her sister down into her chair. She was always having to see to her. If she got started on a subject she could talk for hours.
Mr. Earl E. Byrd was the last to speak. “Folks, this has been fun, but, we get up before the sun on the farm. And I've got miles to go before I sleep as Mr. Robert Frost might say. So, I'll be leaving now.”
“Okay, everyone. Let me have your attention, please.” Mr. Cistern Brothers always closed the meeting. “We have the winner for next month's review. Let me remind you to consider the characters as well as the plot. Be objective. I think you will find this one interesting and entertaining. How does Tarzan of the Apes sound?”
“I'll bring the monkey bread.” remarked Annie Body.
Playwright Channing Pollock said a critic is a legless man who teaches running.
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