Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: DULL (05/12/17)
TITLE: Mom, I'm Bored
By Raymond Bouchoc
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Josh’s mom popped her head around the corner from the kitchen and looked down the hall at Josh. He barely lifted his head to meet her eyes. He frowned and slumped his shoulders even lower.
“What’s the matter with you,” she said. “You look pathetic.” She smiled, holding back a laugh. She pulled her head back into the kitchen, out of view.
“Mooo-ooooo-oom!” Josh sang with as much enthusiasm as a death dirge.
“Go clean your room, Josh!”
“Mooo-ooooo-oom,” Josh wailed again. He shuffled in a short arc and headed back down the hall to his room. After a couple of steps, he looked up. He hadn’t made it, yet. He hung his head. He walked some more.
Finally, he walked through the door. He saw his shirt first. With effort, he bent over and picked it up. He looked up towards his dresser. All his drawers were open to some degree. He looked back down at the shirt. He paused. Then he looked up at the dresser. The great shuffle began again. A sloth might have made it quicker than he.
Before reaching the dresser, he pitched his shirt towards it. It landed in a drawer. Josh smiled. His pulse quickened. Then the smile returned to the frown. He plopped himself on the floor with his back towards the door. He slouched.
He stared at a Lego man in front of him. It had a yellow face and black hair. Its shirt was blue and the pants were brown. The Lego man did not move. Neither did Josh. He thought about picking up the Lego man, but didn’t. He liked Legos. Did the Legos like him?
“Joshua!” said his mom firmly. Josh jerked with a start. “Snap out of it and clean your room!”
Josh turned to look at his mom, but his head didn’t turn that far. He slumped down again. “Mooo-ooooo-oom. I’m bored,” whined Josh. His mom had already left.
Josh crawled around on all fours like a turtle. When he was near the dresser, everything around him went into the dresser, including the Lego man. When he was near his bed, everything he could reach went under the bed. When he was near the closet, everything near him went into the closet. He closed the closet doors.
One thing Josh did right, though, was fix his bed. If there was anything he had learned, it was that a clean bed made for a clean room. Afterwards, Josh sat at the edge of his bed and stared at the floor. There wasn’t even a Lego man to look at.
Josh had the sensation of falling. He snapped up his head. He rubbed his eyes. A few minutes later Josh’s mom came back to the room, holding up her hands. They were covered with something. It looked like dirt.
“Wow, Josh! That was fast. I hope you didn’t stuff everything in the wrong places! Now go out back until lunch is ready. The sun will do you good.”
Josh meandered to the kitchen, pushed the screen door that opened to the back yard, walked through it, and let it slam behind him.
“Josh! How many times do I have to tell you not to let the door slam!”
Josh hunched his shoulders, “ooops.”
He sat down on the concrete steps. A bird flew by. He watched it land in a tree. Then another bird flew by. A few seconds later, another bird flew by.
Josh looked down at the step he sat on. He touched it with his index finger, sticking it in a crevice. He looked at the grass. It was green. A bird flew by. He sighed.
He thought he heard some commotion. Then his mother yelled from inside, “Josh, it’s lunch time! I made your favorite cookies, and, guess what? Grandma and grandpa came over to eat with us!”
Those last words pierced Josh’s heart. He turned, leaped up the steps, bolted through the door, sprinted through the kitchen, and flung himself into grandma’s arms. “Grandma! Grandpa!” As his grandma hugged him, Josh thought to himself, “What a great day!”
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