Goofing Around—10: Creating characters

It’s so easy to let characters turn into stereotypes. Shawn, the hero, has broad shoulders, tawny eyes, slim hips, and is in construction. Rebecca, the heroine, has green eyes, a too-wide mouth, and works in high-end real estate. Ho hum. Been there. We already can tell that after approximately four doses of conflict (perhaps a secret spouse, a bankruptcy, a cancer scare, and a missed meeting), they will reunite on a pristine sandy beach and splash in the surf, eyes flashing.

Ugh.

So let’s break out of the mold, jar our minds loose, and see if we can side step the pit of the predictable. Your task, should you choose to accept, is to describe one or two things about Shawn and also about Rebecca. Any chance we can build these two characters together?

New territory. Let’s explore it.

121 responses to “Goofing Around—10: Creating characters

  1. Shawn is confined to a wheelchair.
    Rebecca owns a small cafe.

  2. If Shawn is in a wheelchair and works in construction, that means he has to be the project manager or an engineer. Can’t think of any equipment he can operate without feet.

    Rebecca owns a cafe and works in high-end real estate. That means her cafe is going broke and her real estate earnings are being pumped into the cafe (which has been in her family for generations) to keep it from bankruptcy.

    Wait. Is this logical or trite?

  3. I think we’re supposed to be starting from scratch regarding Shawn and Rebecca, disregarding all descriptions in Ann’s first paragraph.

    What do you think?

  4. Shawn likes mustard, Rebecca likes mayonnaise.

  5. Shaddy is right. So far we have Shawn in a wheelchair and Rebecca running a cafe. Forget the construction and the high-end real estate along with any tawny or green eyes. What else do we know about these unique individuals?

  6. Shawn claims to have been injured in a firklift rollover at work, but he actually was injured while operating covertly in Columbia for the CIA.

    Rebecca’s family cafe is in danger of bankrupcy due to the economy, so she is desperate to find other income to keep it afloat.

    Walk, mustard and mayo together are pretty tasty.

  7. Shawn has deep-set, sorrowful brown eyes.

    Rebecca’s eyes are changeable and perpetually animated.

  8. Rebecca and Shawn are passionately addicted to horseradish, more so than to mayonnaise and mustard. They wipe away each other’s tears when they overdose on it.

  9. Rebecca’s family were 60’s Earth Children whom grew organic veggies for their cafe.

    Shawn’s family were meat, tators and gravy folks who grew buffalo for retail.

  10. Rebecca holds her shoulder-length dishwater blonde hair behind her with a rubber band.

    Shawn shaves his head every morning and his face every six months.

  11. Rebecca is a tiny woman. Shawn often pulls her onto his lap when they meander along the sidewalks in downtown New York.

  12. I don’t think I’m supposed to make this a one woman show…but where are y’all?

    (I’ve desperately needed the distraction this website provides me this afternoon at the dental office.)

  13. Shawn is a man’s man. No earrings for this tough guy.

  14. Shawn admires how Rebecca’s tight white blouse is filled out with buttons nearly popping, on how snug her short black skirt is, and the shape of her legs in the red spiked heels.

  15. Rebecca senses Shawn’s eyes are scanning her ever so slowly up and then ever so slowly back down. She glides easily into a sexy pose and then ever so slowly peels off her shirt and mini-skirt. She stands before him, all legs and high heels.

  16. Are we supposed to be building characters or writing a story? I guess the answer doesn’t matter. We aren’t going to behave ourselves anyway.

  17. Shawn smiled, glad that it was only his legs that didn’t work.

  18. It took only two minutes for your response, Walk. You’ve displayed instinctive thinking or perhaps a knee jerk reaction.

  19. You’re right, Gully. We’re supposed to be building characters but misbehaving is just so much easier.

  20. Shawn’s eyes lifted to Rebecca’s face. When he reached for her hand, her eyes closed. His touch weakened her. He loved her for letting it happen.

    Their minds forgot the minutes, the hours, the days before now. Intimacy erased the reality of their challenges.

  21. A single tube of lipstick, a razor and a few extra blades rolled and slid in the vanity drawer when Shawn opened it. The nearly empty drawer reminded him of Rebecca’s natural look and her avoidance of cosmetics. He loved her for that too.

  22. But He loved her more for her distain for undergarments and spandex.

  23. He switched to boxer shorts after he came to know her easy ways. He smiled more. When Rebecca threw her head back and let her hair fall freely, he nearly laughed.

  24. To Shy, Maureen and KathyH,

    Can you come out and goof around with us? Or have I gone and made this place intolerable for y’all?

  25. I’m resting my chin on my hands while reading this and I’m having a great time being the reader instead of the writer. I love it so far. I predict a lap dance is in the making. Either that or his wife walks in on this scene. I’m going to make some popcorn and enjoy the show. 😉

  26. The dance that you predict is in the making, already took place. Look back to my submission on March 6th at 4:01pm. Shawn is confined to a wheelchair, remember?

  27. Rebecca wondered if they really should be doing this on the sidewalks of downtown New York. Oh well, she thought, we blend in.

  28. I’m still waiting for the wife. The question is: how much profanity is Ann going to allow?

  29. Walk:
    Believe it or not, I took the online class, Creating a Sense of Place. Unfortunately, my brain is like a sieve.

    The intimate scene I described took place in their apartment, not on the sidewalk. (I failed miserably by not clearly bringing them in off the street.) Perhaps they would have blended in with the masses in downtown New York, but…call me old-fashioned.
    If you really like the idea of having them lap dancing in the wheelchair on the sidewalk, I won’t interfere with them or you.

    Shy:

    If there’s a wife,
    I’ll leave it to you
    To bring her to life.

  30. Nope. I’m not getting off the couch with my popcorn. I’m just an observer. You’re doing better than I could ever do. Go for it.

  31. The chanetelle laced curtains of her bedroom let the glow of Ricko’s Americana Club’s sign shine through the window. The bluesy hue it cased on Rebecca reminded Shawn of the girl smurf he use to watch, and have a crush on, when he was a kid. She was even wearing a cute little hat.

    Rebecca’s mind came out of her fantasy of making love on the sidewalks of Broadway, and focused on the man in her arms.

    (Old Fashioned! Well, I never…well maybe once…….Ok, I put them back into walls, probably none too soon. Shy, don’t be shy for just a while. :>) )

  32. Shy, do you share your popcorn? May I sit next to you? The Shaddy/Walk show is fascinating.

  33. I just can’t seem to get it.

    ps Have a Smurfy day, Walk!

  34. As she refocused on the present moment, Rebecca stared at Shawn’s face bathed in the blue light. Suddenly her mind took flight again. This time it took her back in time to her childhood. Her brother’s face had turned that same shade of blue after a plug-shaped piece of an Oscar Mayer weiner lodged in his throat.

    In a second, Rebecca wedged herself behind Shawn and wrapped her arms around his chest. With all of her strength, she relentlessly performed the Heimlich maneuver over and over again until she was totally spent.

    Shawn remained still, wondering what had just happened. Oh well, he thought. Whatever she had been doing, it seemed to have worked for her.

  35. I’m in stitches. I almost choked on a kernel of popcorn laughing so hard at Rebecca performing the Heimlich maneuver and Shawn and he wondering what the hell that was all about.

    Gully, I’ve got space on the sofa. Lets pour some wine to wash down the popcorn and allow ourselves the luxury of being entertained by two talented writers.

    By the way, I’m still waiting for the wife. You’re going to need “conflict” soon. And, no, Shaddy, it won’t come from me. This story belongs to you and Walk and I’m dying to see what happens next. Good writers always make their readers want to turn the page and you have us doing that. Keep going.

  36. Ah, all Steve alums know what comes next: the trigger and then the crisis.

    Thanks for sharing, Shy. I’d like a white wine, please. Actually, I just happen to have some Maui Splash with me. Sniff….can you smell the pineapple and lilikoi?

    If you prefer something that costs a bit more than $8 a bottle, though, I can order some wine from my brother’s new winery in Walla Walla. He’s bottling the whites about now.

  37. Maureen, come and sit with us and enjoy this bodice-ripper. Bring more popcorn, please. We eat faster the more intense the action gets.

    Oh, dear. I just had a vision of Ann. She is holding her head as tears plop, plop, plop on her keyboard. Her right middle finger quivers as it hovers over the “delete” key.

    “How did I ever get involved with this bunch?” she whimpers. (Oops! I mean, “How did I ever get involved with this bunch?” she says.) Segue to commercial…. (lots of ellipses)

  38. KathyH and Ann, I have a huge sofa and there’s room for all. Gully, bring the Maui Splash-whatever that is. We’ll try anything. Ok, now, let’s put our feet up on the coffee table and wait for the next scene. Can’t wait. (I wanted an exclamation point there but in deference to Ann, I’ll control myself).

  39. Rebecca’s breathing fell into the slow deep breaths of sleep. Her arms slip loose from Shawn’s chest and falls next to her on the bed. Shawn’s arms, hard and strong from years in the wheel chair, easily lift him to the side of the bed. He watched Rebecca sleep, he loved the peaceful look of her face that only sleep can bring. The rise and fall of her breasts as she breathed, the little “ugg” that she uttered ever so often. Shawn said softly to her, “My wish is that I could bring you that peace you feel now, every minute of your life.” He knew that would never be for the dawn is coming, along with the dread of the light.

  40. Rebecca awoke to the sound of the television. She heard Shawn laughing. The trauma of the night before seeped into her thoughts.

    “It worked! Oh my God. I can’t believe it. It worked!” Rebecca screamed.

    “Where did you learn that stuff you were doing last night. It worked all right. You slept like a rock, my little Smurfette.”

    “I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I fell asleep without knowing whether you had started breathing again. Your face was so blue. What happened, do you know? Did you have chest pain?”

    “Oh my God. Oh my God.” Shawn threw his arms up and almost tipped backward in his chair. “Was that the whatcha-ma-callit manuever you were doing? Oh my God. Oh my God.”

    “I got so tired and you were still blue and I kept doing it and I was praying and…,” Rebecca said with her hands over her face and tears running through her fingers. “I went to sleep. I can’t believe it. I could have lost you. I could have woke up and found you dead!”

    “Stop, Becky. Please stop. Let me explain what really happened.”

  41. How can y’all just sit there and not participate? I know you’re busy eating and drinking but don’t you get the itch to put your two cents in?

    Come on, come on. Get off the couch before Ann shows up. Wine and popcorn don’t qualify as effective writing tools.

  42. BURP. You’re right. Ok, everyone who’s not buzzed, get up. Don’t make those faces. We need to develop characters.

    Ok, we need the betrayed wife. We don’t need to use her but lets develop her character.
    She knows that her husband (Shawn) has cheated on her before. Her self-esteem is in the basement because of the fifty extra pounds she’s been lugging around since their marriage. She refuses to look in a full-length mirror and wears the same sweats and t-shirt every day. Her hair is unwashed, greasy and smells feral. She’s squeezed between denial and the awful pain of betrayal. She decides to do what she always does when the demons of mistrust start dancing in her head. She shuffles to her bedroom, reaches for the top ledge of her closet and takes down the solution. She smiles as she rubs the smooth, cool surface of her faithful weapon. She cradles the comfort and ever so slowly lifts it to her mouth and gave in to the peace. Ahhh, yes, her problems are over. She won’t have to think about that two-timing jerk and his sexual escapades right now. Yes, chocolate solves everything.

  43. Wait! I have another bottle of Maui Splash and some Godivas, too.

  44. Whoops. Too much wine. Our mission was to work with Shawn and Rebecca. The betrayed wife is not allowed. Forget what I just wrote.

    Shaddy and Walk, you know what you’re doing so go for it. I’m taking a breather until next lesson but I want to find out what you have in store for us.

  45. Shawn looked at Rebecca and stood on his own two legs. Rebecca looked at him with her mouth gaping open, her cup of coffee falls to the floor, spilling over the head of the bear skin rug. “Yes, that’s what happened last night in your vision to give me that hind lick maneuver you popped my vertebrae back in place. My legs are weak, but they are working.”

  46. (Offstage: Gullible raises her hand and says, “Okay, I’ll do the next entry.” She stands, spilling popcorn kernels from her lap. She must go upstairs to her computer and type the next scene, save it to thumb drive, go downstairs to the borrowed computer, then copy and paste onto this site. Hold your horses, and the wine.)

  47. Lois replaces the box of chocolates on the closet shelf and turns towards the treadmill in the corner of the room. I really should, she thinks. She takes a few steps forward.

    Fatigue stops her in her tracks. Maybe I need more sugar, she thinks, and turns back to the closet. Opening the box of Russell Stover’s, she selects a chocolate covered cashew and starts to close the box. Wait, she thinks, I really am tired. Maybe these brulee crèmes will help. She consults the box map, and removes all four brulee crèmes, the two remaining chocolate cherries, and all the chocolate covered nuts.

    Sitting on the edge of her unmade bed, Lois eats all the chocolates, and feels worse than ever. She lies down and pulls the quilt over herself. I’ll just take a quick nap and then do a few miles on the treadmill, she promises herself. She finds it impossible to keep her eyes open, even with the sugar overload charging through her veins.

    As Lois plunges into a deep sleep, her respiration slows. A wadded-up Kleenex in her hand falls to the floor. The telephone rings, but Lois doesn’t hear. Her breaths come slower and slower, until, with a ragged rattle, they stop altogether.

  48. “Are you serious? You had a vertebrae out of place? Have you heard of chiropractors? All these months, you’ve been sitting in that wheelchair, eating my food, watching my TV, and sleeping in my bed. You told me your legs were paralyzed. You told me all the doctors you’ve seen said you’d never walk again.”

    “That’s right, Becky. I’m not supposed to be standing, but look at me. Whatever you did, it healed me. You performed a miracle. God, Becky, I’m not a cripple, I’ve got my legs back.”

    Three days later, the cafe sign came down. Rebecca and Shawn hoisted the new sign and hung it in front of the building. Dark blue letters on a pale blue backround boasted HEALING HERE: Hind Lick Maneuvers by Rebecca.

    “This better work,” Rebecca said. “Or we’ll be eating mayo, mustard and horseradish for breakfast, lunch and supper. Now put your Smurf costume on and start parading up and down the sidewalk to draw attention. We’ll keep the wheelchair here by the door so you can rest when your legs get tired.”

    “If we have to we can do demonstrations right here on the sidewalk,” Shawn added.

  49. Let’s hear it for Gully. I knew you’d come in for some creative fun.

  50. Fun? I just killed Lois. Who did it? Only the Shadow knows…..

  51. Shawn was billboarding in his smurf uniform when Enos pulled up in his sheriff’s car. “Aw Shawn, could I have a word with you. I got some news about Lois, she died this morning. All I know is that it had something to do with a chocolate overdose. Your fingerprints were all over the wrappers. Now suddenly you can walk on the same morning that Lois died. You need to come to the station with me, there are a bunch of questions that need answered.”

    “Hang on a minute Enos, Becky and I have a demo in a few minutes, besides I’m innocent.” Shawn calmly said.

  52. Burton George Hillis IV stuck the city parking permit on the dashboard, picked up his clipboard and test kit, and got out of the battered Ford Fairlane. Not for the first time, he wondered when the city would come through with newer vehicles for the motor pool. He was doing his part, raking in fines with his food safety inspections. Everyone else must be slacking off, he decided.

    Hillis slipped the pen off the clipboard and carefully inserted it next to the digital thermometer in the pocket protector in his shirt breast pocket. No pencil for him, no chance of some restaurant owner changing his mind, no, sir. Hillis used indelible red gel pens to avoid the possibility of a disgruntled manager changing the results. Five seconds out of the air conditioned vehicle and already he was sweating as the noontime sun worked its thermodynamic evil on the streets of Manhattan.

    “Hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk,” he muttered. Then he snickered at the idea. Hillis would never do anything so unsanitary.

    He turned a corner and began looking for the Old Family Café sign. When he reached the end of the block, he realized he must have walked right past it. Checking the address again, Hillis walked back, looking for and finding number 515. But something was wrong, Hillis realized. Looking up, he saw a newly-painted blue on blue sign that read “Healing Here, Hind Lick Maneuvers by Rachel.”

    He checked the address on his inspection form, then the address on the store front, then looked at the street sign on the corner. He was in the right place, but this wasn’t a café. He looked in the window and saw tables and chairs, and a counter. Looked like a restaurant, he thought, and I know I’ve been here before.

    “Help you, buddy?”

    Hillis turned to the voice behind him and saw a medium sized man, dressed all in blue and carrying a sandwich advertising board. The man was swaying slightly. Must have drunk his lunch, Hillis decided.

    “No,” said Hillis. ” I’m the city healthy inspector and I’m here to survey this café.”

    “Not a café any more, mister. It’s a holistic healing center.”

    “Since when?”

    “Last week.”

    “Well, they can’t just do that. This place is scheduled for its semi-annual food safety inspection. They can’t just change the business like that. What are they trying to do? Escape the inspection?”

    “Not at all. It’s just that the owner suddenly discovered she has healing powers, and since the café wasn’t making it, she wanted to help as many people as she could as quickly as she could. I think she’s got the paperwork under way, though.”

    “And you are?” said Hillis. For the first time, Hillis noticed a uniformed law enforcement officer next to the blue man.

    “Oh, sorry. I’m Shawn. The owner, Rachel, is my girlfriend. I was her first healing.”

    “Hmmph!,” grunted Hillis. “We’ll just see about this. Rules are rules and ordinances are ordinances, you know. You people can’t just go about willy-nilly changing businesses.” He turned back to the storefront and opened the door.

    “Willy-nilly?” said Shawn. He reached out for the nearby parking meter and leaned against it. His legs needed a lot of strengthening yet, he thought. Then he saw Rachel approaching the health inspector, and he limped for the door.

  53. Enos Waycliffe watched Shawn Daggert walk unaided into the store.

    Something’s might suspicious here, he thought. Daggert’s wife dies of chocolate poisoning, and all of a sudden Daggert can walk.

    Looking up, he saw what the healthy inspector has seen: “Healing Here–Hind Lick Manuevers by Rachel.”

    “What the heck?” said Waycliffe. “A porno shop?”

  54. (Offstage aside: I HATE this ergonomic keyboard!!!! ANd many more ellipses!!)

  55. Shawn almost made it into the shop, but came to an abrupt stop when the sandwich board slammed into the frame on either side of the door. His weak legs gave way, and if his chin hadn’t caught the top of the front board, he would have fallen to the sidewalk. Turning sideways, he manuevered the awkward advertising boards through the door.

  56. Shoot. I meant exclamation points.

  57. Gully,

    I’m wiping tears from my eyes. You came to the rescue with lots of new characters, hilarious names (my favorite is Burton George Hillis IV), and some much needed reality. You are a splendid writer and moved things along at breakneck speed. My writing looks like child’s play compared to what you’ve done.

    I’m impressed with the way you took all of the elements of the story that Walk and I created and used them in your take-off.

    What would we do without you? I’m leaving on vacation on Friday so your bailout rescue here is much appreciated.

    I have to go back now to reread your creative work and to laugh myself to tears again.

    Thanks again, Gully.

  58. The first thing Rebecca noticed was the billboard size name tag on Hillis’ chest. “The last time you came to inspect the cafe I don’t recall seeing your full name on your tag. I’ve only known you as Burt Hillis.”

    “I weren’t gettin any respect as Burt so I got me a better tag,” BGH the IV sneered. “Businesses can’t change that easy and you know that. What’s up with this holistic healing shop, anyway?”

    “Come here and I’ll show you. I’m not sure how it works yet but my maneuvers gave Shawn his legs back.”

    Rebecca leaned her back against the shop front. “Now stand in front of me and I’ll wrap my arms around your chest. No, turn around so that you’re facing away from me. Sheesh.”

    BGH hesitated for a brief second and then thought, this is weird but I’m kind of liking it so far.

    “Now I’m going to squeeze you very hard several times and I want you to relax. If you tense up it won’t work.”

    Shawn came out the door dragging a long extension cord attached to a lamp with a blue bulb. “I think we should use this so that the conditions are the same as last night.”

    A crowd was gathering on the sidewalk and Enos was having trouble with crowd control. I’ve got to get rid of these loiterers and quick, he thought. I don’t need any healing but with Marcie sick lately, I could use a woman’s touch.

    Enos pulled out his billy club and started waving it at the crowd. “Clear the sidewalk. No loitering will be tolerated.” He charged agressively and continued waving his club. The crowd resisted initially but gave up and went their separate ways.

    It was just Rebecca, BGH and Enos at the shop front when the healing manuevers commenced.

  59. Oops, Shawn was there too with the blue light.

  60. Poor Ann. What is she going to think ?

    I hope she sees that we did, as coached, break out of the mold, jar our minds loose and side step the predictable. And new territory, yes, we fearlessly went there. We entered and exposed the madness that lurks deep within the minds of struggling creative writing artists.

    Did we build the characters of Shawn and Rebecca together? Amongst the clutter, I’d say we did, at least, briefly.

    [Sheesh. Clouds and rain are all I’ve seen for two full days. No wonder I’m here.] 🙂

  61. 🙂 :(:):( Yes, moody I am.

  62. Hmmm…. I’d venture to say that madness is not so deep within us all.

  63. As for me, I’m hanging on the edge and my fingers are slipping. If I thought it would do any good, I’d yell heeeeeelllllllpppppp!

  64. Shawn wiped the blood from his lip, “Stupid billboard” he muttered under his breath. He watched as Rebecca performed the Hind Lick on BGH IV, and noticed that he was enjoying it a little too much. He looked at Enos who had this dazed, I-wanna-be-next look in his eyes. If you only knew, Shawn smiled, If you only knew.

    “Yeeeooow,” yelled BGH as Rebecca squeezed his sternum. “I haven’t felt that in years. I can’t believe you fixed it or healed it or whatever you did.” He took his notebook and started writing, “Here, a clean grade A inspection. You can run the cafe with your new healing gig if you want. Now, I gotta get home to mama.” BGH runs through the door, followed by the sound of screaming rubber as he sped away.

    Rebecca heard a groan and turn in time to see Enos faint and fall to the ground. Sometimes, she thought, anticipation can be just too much for the weak at heart.

  65. Enos groaned and tried to open his eyes. His head hurt, his back hurt, his arms hurt,. Actually, he thought, I hurt all over. Is this what it’s like to die, he wondered. Then he became aware of seeing color. He tried once gain to open his eyes, but the blue remained.

    Suddenly, with a hollow feeling in his stomach, Enos realized he’d died and gone to my blue heaven.

  66. Shawn propped Enos’ lifeless body into a sitting position on the steamy sidewalk. He was still in his blue Smurf costume when he first knelt over Enos. Rebecca slid behind Enos and reached around his limp, sweaty body. The smell of burning rubber was still hanging in the air from BGH’s hasty exit.

    “I hate that nasty smell,” Rebecca said. “It’s making me nauseous.” She started to gag but stopped herself. “Where’s the blue light, Shawn?”

    “It’s right here. I’m ready whenever you are.”

    Crowds were gathering around and Enos was in no position to clear the sidewalk of them. Shawn looked around and saw dollar signs. “Get in line. We’ll get to all of you as soon as we can,” he said.

    “Wait a minute, Shawn. I’m tired already,” Rebecca announced. She took a deep breath and pulled inward on Enos’ chest. Nothing happened. She did it again and his eyelids fluttered over his dark brown eyes.

    “One more time and I think you’ve got him,” Shawn urged.

    Rebecca wasn’t used to this much physical exertion. Making sandwiches in the cafe wasn’t exactly a good workout. One more squeeze and that’s it from me, she thought.

    Shawn brought the blue light in close and Rebecca put her whole body into her act. Enos shuddered and then sat straight up. He rubbed his eyes and looked at all the faces gawking at him. He glimpsed himself in the shop window directly behind Rebecca. He turned to her, his eyes as bright blue as Shawn’s costume. “Don’t it make my brown eyes bluuueeeeee,” he sang as he stood up and brushed the dust off his pants.

  67. (Sorry about that My Blue Heaven.” I think I was channeling Walk.)

  68. (My Blue Heaven may be the best line yet.)

  69. Back to the original task of building characters.

    When Enos had sung his song and strolled off, Rebecca explained to the line of people on the sidewalk that she was exhausted. “Come back in a few days and I’ll do my best to help you.”

    Shawn and Rebecca went home and sat down to digest their day with mustard and mayo. The horseradish jar was empty.

    Rebecca wanted more than anything to get through the economic struggles that were affecting her cafe business. She loved the people she served on a daily basis and it broke her heart when they didn’t show up anymore. Two of her best customers had lost their jobs. She knew they couldn’t afford the luxury of eating out anymore. Her prices were as low as she could cut them and still make a profit.

    Perhaps her healing powers could bring joy back into the faces of the people she knew and loved. She turned to Shawn. “I don’t care if we’re making money or not. I would be happiest if I could just help those who need it right here, close to us.”

    “What are you saying?” Shawn asked.

    “Until the economy picks up, I think we can serve a real need. I’m hoping you’ll help me work my magic on our hurting friends downtown. We could charge just enough so we have money so we can eat and pay the rent. We could add it to the menu as Becky’s Special. A concoction aimed at healing your hurts.”

    Shawn’s face wasn’t showing any emotion. He just stared at Becky, like he didn’t know her. “What, me work? Shoot, I’d rather sit in my wheelchair out front and pan handle than actually work.”

  70. Rebecca looked at Shawn as if she;d never seen him before. What’s going on with him, she wondered. This isn’t the Shawn I’ve known and loved since third grade. The Shawn I knew rescued kittens from trees and carried groceries for old ladies. He bought Girl Scout cookies and gave them to the homeless.

  71. “Does my healing the body make the mind sick? Is Shawn having a reaction that wasn’t covered in the AMA’s warning? Maybe I shouldn’t use my powers until I think this through.” Rebecca looked at her arms, “Nothing special there, no power in these arms.” She felt her breasts, “Now, there always been power in these.” She turned toward Shawn and pulled her blouse open. “Care for another lap dance?”

  72. A blaring honk and the squeal of brakes startled Burton George Hillis IV out of his reverie.

    “Whaddaya doin’, ya jerk! Wha’sa madder wit’ ya, ya idiot?” A retort leaped from Hillis’ stomach to the tip of his tongue in an instant.

    No, he told himself, struggling to keep his mouth under control as the taxi driver yanked the steering wheel of the cab and cut Hillis off in the traffic lane. I must remember what the healing lady said.

    An hour of circumnavigating a six block radius of his mother’s house looking for a legal parking space had Hillis ready to forego his quest and go back to work. No, I can’t do that. I need to tell Mother about this day.

    Suddenly, two cars in front of him paused to let a delivery van pull out of a fifteen-minute only parking spot in front of Kinko’s, and Hillis slipped into the spot. He put the city parking permit on the dashboard, locked the car and set off on the four block walk to his mother’s.

    Mother Hillis opened the door and said, “Burton George, what are you doing here during working hours?”

    “Mother, I discovered the most wonderful thing today. May I come in and tell you about it?”

    The stout woman curlers an orange flowered house coat with extra large blue hair curlers on her head looked past Hillis to the curb. She leaned forward to look up and down the street, then back at Hillis.

    “Where did you park, Burton George? Are you driving a city car?”

    “Four blocks from here, Mother. In a fifteen minute spot, so I must be brief.”

    “You parked four blocks from here in a fifteen minute spot? I suppose you used your city parking permit, too.”

    “Yes, Mother.”

    “That’s stealing, Burton George.”

    “I, well, no, I mean, well, I’m calling this my lunch hour.”

    “Using the parking permit while you are on personal business is stealing from the city, Burton George Hillis the fourth. Didn’t your father and I raise you to know better? Oh, your poor, father, rest his soul. His only son, stealing from the same city that has employed four generations of Hillis men. Oh, he would turn over in his grave if he knew!”

    “Mother, please. I need to tell you something. I had an epiphany today, Mother. It was so wonderf…”

    “A what? You came over here during working hours, and stole from the city, just to tell me you had a fit?”

    “Fit? No, Mother, I didn’t have a fit. Where did you get such an idea? A fit? No. Oh, you thought I said ‘epilepsy.’ No, Mother, an epiphany. A realization of something. Something wonderful, actually.”

    “And what did you finally realize, Burton George? Has it finally occurred to you how I worked my fingers to the bone to provide for you after your father, rest his soul, died of salmonella after eating sweet and sour pork in that horrible Chinese….”

    “No, Mother. I found a healing lady. You know how I’ve always suffered the most disconcerting pain in my sacroiliac? She cured it, Mother, she did.”

    “That’s nice, son. Now go back to work, and don’t forget to compensate the city for the mis-use of their parking permit. Really, son. Four generations of honorable Hillis men and now you and your theft. Now go along. It’s time for my program.”

    “But…,” said Hillis an instant before the door closed in his face.

  73. “OH, MY GOD, REBECCA!!! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?’ shouted Shawn.

    “Me? What’s wrong with me? There’s nothing wrong with me, but there’s certainly something mighty wrong with you, Shawn Daggert! ”

    “Me? I haven’t done anything. What are you talking about now?” said Shawn. He sat down in the wheelchair to give his shaking knees a rest.

    “Look at you, sitting there talking about panhandling for money. I’m disgusted with you, Shawn. You used to be a better man than that.”

    “You’re disgusted with me! With me? Have you looked at yourself lately? If anyone has reason to be disgusted with someone, it’s me, what with you and your..”

    “WHAT? How dare you Shawn Daggert. How dare you! After all I’ve done for you. How can you possibly say I’m disgusting? You didn’t think I was so disgusting when I was doing lap dances for you, now did you? Oh, no, not then. Now that I cured you and you can walk, I’m suddenly not good enough for you? I’m disgusting to you? That’s it. We’re done. Get out of my restaurant and my life. Now!”

    “Becky, I didn’t mean it that way. You need to…”

    “Out, Shawn, and don’t even think you can presume to tell me what I ought to do.”

    “Becky, listen.”

    “Out!”

    “Rebecca,” said Shawn in a low voice to get her to listen, “as long as you’re standing there with your blouse open, you may as well look at your skin.”

    “Shawn Daggert, I’ve heard some low-life snarky remarks in my life working at this restaurant, but you take the prize.”

    “Becky, for Pete’s sakes! You’re all green!”

    Rebecca opened her mouth to reply, then caught her reflection in the chrome napkin holder on the counter. She did look kind of lime green. No, it must be the fluorescent lights that make me look… Then she looked down, and against the pure white lace of the Maidenform 36DD with extra wide padded comfort straps, her skin looked as green as the beer on St. Paddy’s Day. She fainted dead away, and collapsed to the floor.

  74. Uh-oh. I’ve misplaced Shawn and Rebecca. Shaddy sent them home, and I forgot.

  75. Shawn bent down beside Rebecca. He was startled and momentarily confused when he saw that her skin didn’t look green anymore. Oh crap. No wonder she had looked green. He’d scared the wits out of her for no good reason. When he removed the blue bulb from the ceiling light to use it for the sidewalk healings, he had replaced it with the only spare bulb they had, a green one.

  76. “Oh well,” Shawn said out loud, “she did promise a lap dance, and her shirt is unbuttoned and she’s passed out on the floor, and her short skirt has ridden up to show everything else. It looks like smorgasbord time to me. Especially if she wants me out of here.”

    As he reached for her Maidenform 36DD with extra wide padded comfort straps, Rebecca groaned and started to regain consciousness. “What are you doing? Didn’t I tell you to get out?”

    “I was going to button your blouse and take you to the doctor, you passed out cold. Now settle down and relax, we’ve got to talk this out.” Shawn’s voice suddenly becoming full of emotion, emotions that he didn’t know he had.

    Rebecca rose up from the floor and pulled her skirt down and then buttoned her blouse, except she started a button hole off. Shawn reached to correct it but she slapped his hands. “Just wait, my head is hurting, my skin’s turned green, and …wait again, my skin’s not green now…..I’ve healed myself.”

  77. Reality check:

    Okay, we’re having great fun (or not) with the plot, so let’s find out what we actually KNOW about these four characters. No plot stuff, just characterization stuff.

    What do we really know about Shawn, Rebecca, Burton George Hillis IV, and Enos Waycliffe?

    That was our assignment. Did we accomplish it? We need more than physical descriptions, too.

    And, commence…

  78. “Well, not quite. Look up,” Shawn said as he pointed at the ceiling light. “The only thing green in here is that bulb. It made you look a nasty shade of green. I forgot I’d changed the bulb and I’m sorry I scared you. I think you went into shock and now you seem fine. How do you feel?”

  79. Hey Gully,

    I snuck that last bit in before your request showed up here. I’ll cooperate with the character stuff next time.

  80. I did work on Rebecca’s character back on March 9th at 1:47am. Developing characters doesn’t come easy for me but I’ve been making attempts.

  81. Yes, you did, Shaddy. And you showed rather than told. I’m assuming you were writing her inner thoughts. Right? That isn’t clear. To me, anyway, but I’m the 2×4 applied smartly to the head type of reader.

    Okay, as to Burton George Hillis IV:

    Hillis comes from a long line of under-achievers who have worked all their lives as health inspectors, never attaining management status. He wears a pocket protector, and carries his tools–a red pen (a color of note intended to punish) and a digital thermometer (to test refrigerated foods, soemthing that food service workers dread in a fast-paced restaurant).

    He covers his feelings of inadequacy by rigidly adhering to city food regulations, but is not above cheating when it suits his purpose. He feels his motor pool vehicle is beneath his status, and therefore reinforces his feelings of inadequacy.

    His relationship with his mother is tenuous at best, and despite his trying, the relationship appears to be getting worse. (Mama is a whole different story.)

    Hillis bears his “IV” like it’s a heavy psychological burden, and after meeting Mother, we know why.

    Anyone else?

  82. Gully,

    I took a walk over to your blog. I posted a couple of comments. They didn’t show up as additions to the number of comments below your entries but if you search you’ll find them.

    What fun you’ve created for visitors!

  83. Shaddy, got your messages. Be sure to go back through older posts for more pix.

    As for GA10, I am finding this asssignment very educational, i.e., building characters by using action and dialogue only.

    I would very much like your impressions–a;; a youse–of Hillis, to see if I accomplished what I was trying to do.

  84. I think that everything you wrote in your last submission had been presented previously. In the dialogue and actions in your previous submissions, you SHOWED us clearly all the aspects of Hollis’ character that you STATED in your last submission.

    I give you an “A” for revealing several aspects of Hollis’ character through dialogue and action. In other words, you showed, rather than told.

  85. My contribution to Shawn’s character:

    Rebecca’s responded to Shawn’s question “How do you feel?” with “fair to midling.” She stood up slowly. “I’m going to take a shower and change my clothes.” She didn’t look at Shawn.

    “I’ll be downstairs in the cafe. Please listen to me. I’ll give you all the space and time you need to think. I’ve been a jackass and I can see why you’ve had enough of me. But, I’ll be waiting for you downstairs, if and when you want to talk,” Shawn said.

    Shawn awkwardly descended the stairs on his new legs. A fellow he’d seen in the cafe a couple of times before was sitting alone at a table by the front window. He was finishing up a burger and a coke.

    “May I?” Shawn asked as he pointed to the chair opposite the fellow. His answer was, “Sure.”

    “I’m Shawn,” he said as he reached his hand across the table.

    “I’m Jim,” was the response. “Go ahead and sit down.”

    Shawn sat down and signed.

    “Stressed?” Jim asked.

    “And how. With no one to blame but myself,” Shawn said. “I’ve really messed things up.”

    “Here, let me get you a Coke,” Jim said as he pushed his chair away from the table. “Sit tight, I’ll be right back.”

    “Thanks, Jim, I appreciate it,” Shawn said as Jim handed him the glass.

    “Go ahead and unload. My life’s so unstressful right now, I might as well be dead.”

    Shawn leaned forward and groaned. “I just may have lost the best thing I’ve had for a long, long time. Once upon a time, I had it made. In fact, my life was better than I’d ever thought it would be. Shit. An accident brought me down and I was stuck in a wheelchair. I couldn’t adjust and I started to rot from the inside out. I was bitter and felt like hell. I got lazy and hated life and myself. That went on for eight years. Then I met Rebecca. You know… the gal who owns this place. She made me smile again. Then just the other day, she set me back on my legs again.”

    “Rebecca’s something else alright. Her good nature works on me whenever I come in here,” Jim said.

    “If she gives me another chance, I swear I’ll make things right. God, I’m so damn stupid,” Shawn said.

    They shot the shit for almost an hour. People came in, ate and left. At nine o’clock, Jim pushed his chair back.

    “I’ve gotta get going. It’s been good, Shawn. And good luck with Becky.”

    “Thanks for everything. I owe you.”

    “So long.”

    “Remember, I owe ya.”

    Shawn tried to relax on the hard cafe chair but he couldn’t make it happen. He swore to himself that he’d sit there all night if he had to.

    He was too restless to do nothing so he grabbed a napkin and a pen and started writing. He filled both sides with the same thoughts he’d let loose with Jim.

    He was squeezing his last thought into a corner of the napkin when the chair across from him moved. He looked up and stopped breathing. Rebecca didn’t say anything but slowly sat down. Neither one said a word and then Shawn slid the napkin over to her. “Please read this, Becky,” he said.

    [There you go. Nothing to brag about but what the heck. I showed some things about Shawn through dialogue and action so I hope to get an “E” for effort. What da ya say, readers?]

  86. Good work.

    The more I think about it, the more I like this exercise. I think the Ouija poetry was my favorite, and then this one.

  87. Medical Examiner Danknow looks at Lois’ body laid out before him. “She was prom queen once,” he told Debbie his assistant, “in fact, I took her to the prom our junior year. She had that body that every guy in school wanted to hold against him. She was beautiful, her hair was always so soft, her green eyes glowed when she was trying to pull a joke on you. She loved life and now look at her. Dead from chocolate OD, obese and my guess, has a broken heart.”

    “I can think of worst ways to die,” Debbie said, “than from chocolate OD. In fact, that would probably be my perferred choice.”

    “That’s not what’s bothering me. She was so full of potential, she told me she wanted kids, in fact she already had them named. She wanted to play the harp and bagpipes. She wanted to play Minnie at Disney World. We lost contact after high school and I never knew what happened to her. I never thought she’d wind up on my table. I guess we’d better get this over with, hand me a scalpel. Well Debbie, I hope some of your dreams came true.”

  88. Hey you couch potatoes, scoot over and make some room for me. And yes, I certainly would like to try some of that strange sounding wine, thank you very much. I brought my own paper cup so fill ‘er up. Now…back to the story.

  89. Upstairs, Rebecca stood rigidly and let the hot water from the shower head pummel her body. She promised herself she’d stay right there until her muscles relaxed.

    Her body gradually loosened but her mind wasn’t as successful. She went back over the last six months and wondered if she had been as stupid as she felt. I’m getting exactly what I deserve for being a stupid idiot, she thought as her head pounded. I should know better. Gradually her thoughts slowed and she stepped out of the shower and toweled off.

    Without thinking, she picked up her phone and sat on the edge of the lowered toilet lid and dialed her sister’s number. “Oh. Okay. Hey, Jennie. Can you talk?”

    “I can, what’s going on. You don’t sound so good,” Jennie said.

    “I’m not feeling good. I won’t keep you long but I guess I need to sort things out. I stepped out of the shower and dialed your number without even thinking about it first. I need to know something. Am I a moron?”

    “Aren’t we all at times. No. Not that I know of. No. You’re far from being a moron. What’s making you think that?” Jennie asked.

    “You know I’ve preferred to stay single. I like everybody and don’t want to be committed to any one person. That’s just me. Maybe it has to do with Mom and Dad divorcing when we were kids. That was hell, as you well know,” said Becky.

    “Hey, you’re going way back to dig up those memories. You must be hurting bad,” Jennie said.

    “Pretty bad.” Becky took a deep breath and pulled the lower edge of the towel down over her knees. “Remember the guy in the wheelchair I told you about?”

    “Yeh. What about him?” Jennie asked.

    “I was starting to feel that being single wasn’t so great anymore. I wanted a closer relationship with him and now I think he’s not the guy I thought he was.”

    “Becky. Listen to me. You don’t need anybody. You’re the strongest woman I know. You always have been. Go with your gut feelings and don’t do anything until you know you can live with it.”

    “Hey, Jennie. Remember when we were kids and lived on Elmwood? We were playing doctor with Rick and Margie? Rick had sprained his ankle and I put my hands around it and squeezed it. When he stood up, it was fine. He’d been limping and after I did that, he was fine.”

    “I remember alright. That was spooky.”

    “Well, it happened again.”

  90. Hey, Walk. I took a walk yesterday over to Gully’s blog. Lo and behold, there you were. Or rather, there half of you was.

    Did you stop in at the cafe during a slow afternoon to say hi to Becky? Hoping she’d have her blouse open? I bet she went after you the minute she saw you. I suspect her uncontrollable powers went bananas halfway through the squeezing process.

    I admire ya, man. You had me fooled into thinking you were a normal guy. People tell me that if I had half a brain, I’d be dangerous. Yet you seem quite harmless.

  91. Shaddy, Normality is a foreign subject to me. I’m normal, it’s the other 20 million guys that’s strange. Yet, as you saw, I’m half the man I use to be.

  92. Yeah, Walk. But I have a question: why is it the left brain we see?

  93. Ya know, Walk. I have spent way too much of my life trying to, at least, appear normal.

    Recently, I’ve altered my efforts. Now I focus on being myself. If that fits in the norm, so be it. Yet, if being myself requires that I figuratively wander off the beaten path, separated from the bulk of humanity, even if only in my own consciousness, then I’ll follow my instincts and, then indeed, be true to myself.

    If that makes any sense at all to you, Walk, we’re kindred spirits. For your sake, I hope you don’t have a clue as to the purpose of my words. It made a speck of sense to me when I wrote it, but now I’m not sure at all. But wait. If I’m to allow myself to take the road that suits me, I must surely trust such perceptions that come from within me.

    [I must run. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist in thirty minutes.]

  94. Ok, Ok, we’re suppose to be developing the characters in this story. Even though my character is under-developed, lets focus on Shawn and Rebecca. My character development would be boring, something like this: middle-aged, pot belly, balding, drafter yearns to be a writer, too bad he’s boring and needs a bath.

    And yes Gully, I’m not in my right mind.

  95. Shaddy: From my growing collection of refrigerator magnet philosophy: “Blessed are the cracked for they shall let in the light.”

  96. We’re up to 94 responses here in Goofing Around 10. I wish our friends on the couch would drag themselves to their computers and add to that number.

    I smear on deodorant every day, scrub myself down good in the shower and dress in clean duds. I don’t gargle with mouthwash but I brush my teeth thoroughly, even behind my back molars. I don’t get it. We’re here because we like to write, aren’t we?

    We aren’t a critical bunch. We obviously could use some help with Rebecca and Shawn. My final thought on the matter is that I’ve put you all to sleep. That I can believe and understand.

  97. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… Huh? What? Not me. I’m not asleep… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  98. Now you’ve got me yawning. I might as well join the rest of you and catch me some of my those zzzzzzzzs.

    Night, night y’all..

  99. Don’t sleep yet, we only need one more post to break 100 comments. Come on, one more post that’s all thazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……..snozzz

  100. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  101. Th-th-th-at’s all folks…zzzzzzzz

  102. Hey! Who’s snoring? It seems to be coming from Walk’s direction.

  103. It’s getting to where a guy can’t sleep with all this noise going on.

  104. I had a nasty nightmare after I signed off last night. It was terrifying because Ann didn’t come back here; we were left with no direction and a total lack of discipline.

    My subconscious is blocking my recall of the nightmarish details, thank God.

    Can you imagine the bedlam, depravity and lawlessness we’d sink into?

  105. Esspecially when fueled by Maui Splash.

  106. What are you thinking, Ann? Have we boggled your mind and tied your tongue with our escapades? Or have you truly left us for good as you did in my nightmare? Or are you brave and foolhardy enough to attempt to lead us on in our pursuit of creative excellence?

    Or perchance are you asleep here too? Do you dare to dream of a new batch of writers coming aboard to relieve this smelly crew?

  107. What the…??? I doze off for two minutes and everyone’s on the couch all of a sudden! Walk, move! You’re crushing my foot! And you’re all drunk, besides! You aren’t going to just leave Rebecca sitting there on the toilet running up her minutes, are you? It’s gotta be getting cold in that bathroom by now!

  108. Aawwwhh, who took my pa [hiccup] per cup? And who finished off that Splashing in Mau [hiccup]we, uh, Maurreee….oh man, there’s a 3-ring circus going on in my he [hiccup] ad. Is the story over? Maureen, who’d you say was still in the bathroom? She better get out of there soon ’cause it’s my tur [hiccup] n.

  109. 100 bottles of beer on the wall, a hun-red bottles of beer. Take one down, pass it around, 99 bot-tells of beer on the wall, 99 bot-tells of beer, take one dow………….maureen, dang it girl, move your foot, thats ususally where my head is.

  110. Maureen,

    Is the blood circulating in your foot yet?

    I understand your concern that I may have left Rebecca sitting on the toilet, running up minutes on her cell. I couldn’t in good conscience do that. You had me worried for a minute but I looked back and found:

    In my character development of Shawn, dated Mar. 10 at 1:24am, I did (without actually stating it) bring Rebecca out of the bathroom and downstairs to the cafe. I left her at the cafe table with Shawn, reading the note he wrote on a napkin.

    KathyH.

    The bathroom’s been empty for quite some time. Grab it while you can.

  111. Where is that girl? Ann! Annie!

    Walk, have you seen her? Gully, I hope you have a glass of Maui Splash left to offer her, if she shows up? Maureen, are you dozing or drinking? KathyH, over the hiccups yet? Shy, whatcha been doing since March 7th?

    Rebecca, did Shawn’s napkin confession reassure you? Shawn, are you ready to stand strong beside Becky on your restored legs?

    [I’m off to sunny FL until the 22nd. Hey, y’all. Keep things alive and hopping, y’hear?]

  112. Shaddy,
    I’m still waiting on these circus elephants to finish their balancing act in my head. Our Maui Splash is long gone so since you’re going to Florida and not taking us with you, then the only redeemable thing you can do is bring us a souvenir. But no dancing elephants balanced on a “bott-tel” of beer, [hiccup] okay?

  113. Shaddy,
    May the wind be at your back,
    May the sun warm your bones,
    May your muse attack viciously
    May your trip be outstanding.

    Gotta go, I have to get one of bottles of beer before Kathy drinks them all. I heard Kathy doesn’t drink, not since the invention of the funnel. hehehe

  114. Walk–just because I drank up all the Maui Spash, doesn’t mean I’ll take your hun-red bott-tels of bear, I mean, beer. Oh, and I’m not coordinated enough to use a funnel!

  115. Sober up, you guys. Here, have some pizza. Always worked for me ….along, long time ago.

  116. Ok, back to the diner/cafe/greasy spoon:

    Shawn sat in the same chair all night. He gave Rebecca the napkin with his heart spilled out on it, and she just turned and walked to the stairs and without even a glance back, and shut the door behind her. He couldn’t figure her out, but then that didn’t make him any different than any other man in any other relationship. Women, he thought to himself, half the money and all the pu…..
    “What are you doing still here?” Shawn turned to see Enos standing in the door. “You know I can arrest you for trespassing or something else that I can think up.”

    “Enos, watch it or I’ll stick Maureen’s foot up your a..”

    “Watch your mouth around me. I’m an agent of the city and when you belittle me by your language you are belittling this town that’s been so good to you.” Enos eyes were shooting arrows Shawn’s way.

    Shawns starts to chuckle, then laugh and then guffah so hard that he falls out of the chair with tears running down his cheeks. “Say it again Enos, say it again. I needed a good laugh. Come on, say it again.”

    “It’s not a laughing matter, I’m proud of this uniform and this city. If you belittle one you belittle the other, it’s that simple.”

    “Ok, ok, don’t get your panties in a wad,” Shawn said without a bit of conviction.

    Rebecca came down the stairs and walked in with a ball bat, wearing a short nightie and a towel around her head. “What’s going on here? You better get out….Enos….Shawn…what are you two doing here this early in the morning? Is something wrong? I thought I heard someone crying.”

    Enos stood there with his mouth open, a drop of drool coming from the corner of his mouth. Shawn finally spoke up, “I’m sorry, I’ve sat here since you took my napkin. Enos saw me and came in to get me to leave. I’m sorry, that was me that was cryin..I mean laughing at a joke Enos told. I didn’t know I was that loud.”

    Rebecca lowered the bat and turned to start a fresh pot of organic bocca bean sprout coffee. Her reflection in the mirror behind the counter caught her eye. She noticed that all she had on was her thin short nightie. She looked up and saw Enos still staring at her, drool now running down his chin and dripping on the floor. Shawn was looking at her also, though obviously something else on his mind.

    “You perverts,” she shouted and ran upstairs.

    Enos stood looking at the stairs she disappeared into, not wanting to blink in case he could catch another glimse. “Damn,’ was all he could say.

    “No Enos, its Daaaammmmmmnnnn. It’s every bit as nice as it looks,” Shawn said with a smirk, “and I’m going to marry her one day.”

    Enos frowned, turned, and left the building.

    Shawn walks to the counter and picks up the phone, dials a number and waits for an answer.
    “Gullible’s Travel, how can I help you?”

    “I need a direct flight to Pencilcola, Florida, I need to meet my old buddy Shaddy there. I need to ask her advice on getting married. You know, sometimes I’m a little Shy and sometimes not.”

    “We have you on the 2:12 out of JFK. Go to the counter and ask for Kathy, she will escort you to your seat and make sure you have a Maui Splash before take-off. Enjoy you trip and thank you for using Gullible’s Travel.”

  117. Everyone go to Florida with Shaddy?

  118. apparently!

  119. All done playing with 10. Waiting for 11. Made a big enough mess here.

  120. Poor Shawn, gets stuck in Florida during the hot summer months. Maybe we can get him home in GO11

  121. Darn. I thought Ann would have moved us on to #11 with another writing prompt. I haven’t the stomach to dwell on Rebecca and Shawn anymore. I see Walk has been trying to keep things going and I admire him for that.

    I brought a case of Captain Curt’s Crabby Red beer back from Siesta Key for the gang’s refreshment. Come on everyone. Belly up to the bar and get happy. Do be careful uncapping the bottles–I suspect the plane ride earlier today may have affected the pressure . I don’t want anyone to lose an eye on account of a bottle cap missile.

    Do you think Ann is off on a trip of her own? I surely don’t begrudge her that but…she must know the danger we’re capable of inflicting upon each other and on the characters she leaves in our hands. Left to our own devices, we self destruct.

    We’re long overdue for something innocent and fresh to give us new life and direction. I wonder how long it will take us to wring the vitality and wholesomeness out of the bait Ann tosses us in Goofing Around 11?

    I’m quaking and panicking more at the possibilities for danger here than I was of a possible shark attack as I frolicked in the waters lapping the quartz sand of Crescent Beach.

    Alas, dear, dear Ann. Please quench our thirst for wisdom through practice of our art. Come under cover of darkness; I’ll see no harm comes to you.

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