Remara Bearwafter (or a character of your choice)
Ann, I’m new to your website. Can you explain this entry? Are these open to anyone?
Yes, anyone can reply. If you have taken my Beginning Writers Workshop course online, you know what a galumph is. If you haven’t, the task of galumphing is to take unrelated items and weave them into an entertaining story. It’s fun and stimulates your creative side to goof around and see what happens. Try it! –Ann
ga-ga-ga Gesundheit !
Thank you. Now that I’ve finished wiping off my monitor, I will have to give thought to food fights. I suspect you’ve been in a few…..
You know, I have been in a few. I just need some time to weave them together with the steamroller, envelope, secrets and Ramera Beerwafter, an infamous Barmaid from Lochoven, WI. who once broke up a fight by rolling a 15 pound bowling ball into the middle of the scrum while whistling The Flight of the Valkyries as she danced on top of the bar in Toe Shoes…
Okay – I’m ready to read more!
Dateless for two years, alone for two Christmases, Remara once again dined in solitude on Christmas Eve at Luby’s. Now thirty-six years of age, her virgin youth had spread to middle age as fast as smirks spread across the faces of men when they heard her last name, Bearwafter.
She had heard them all. Her desperation to wed someone with a decent last name exceeded her need for love or lust. Just a name, dammit. A decent name.
As she sat in pensive thought, a dashed-line, caption balloon formed above her head as this writer did not want to violate the rules of Point of View. “Perhaps someone could script a game show,” appeared in Brush Script Italic.
She looked across her table to a cartoon rendering of a television emcee. His voice was clear, so radio perfect. His face, TV handsome.
“Ladies and gentlemen across TV-land, and dear Remara. Tonight your old name will join the other secrets of the universe to never be uttered again. The envelope with your new name, please.” Drumroll…
Coming out of her daydream, Mannheim Steamroller played “Little Drummer Boy” through the cafeteria sound system. For the third time that hour.
Remara figeted with her food, spooning her mashed potatoes, French cut string beans, and diced beets into lumps as disgusting as her name.
“Drummer Boy my ass,” she muttered.
Her words caught the attention of a couple seated at the next table. The man peered across his plate.
“ Beerwaster, that really you?”
Remara returned his look. Her top lip peeled back, showing her teeth. Throat growling like a trapped wolf. The sound coming from her lips was at first unrecognizable, as she spooned a lump of the dregs of her dinner.
I always like it when the writer sneaks into the story and fiddles around. I’m guessing she put some diced beets on that spoon. They make a nice “Fffffft” when whipped across the room. Foodfight!
Another winner. Thanks Jeff. Loved the point of view you chose.
Well, I was starting to feel sorry for poor Remara, but she got her game on and showed them! Great one!
That was funny. I like the sound affects. 😀
Sorry – this might be a little dark..
La la la Remara
Said the kids taunting her
Ba ba ba Bearwafter
Echoed their cruel laughter
Food fight junk of her life
Flies around her bleak world
While its harsh steamroller
Flattens her weak envelope
Crushing the secret hope
Of happy acceptance
Bearwafter has a certain darkness to it anyway. Nice one.
Ohhh, nice imagery. Very nicely done.
Wow! I wouldn’t have thought such a powerful poem could be written like that. Well done.
I really liked your non-traditional application of the words.
This is the essence of creative galumphing. The odd words become poetic images as the taunts become steamrollers, and her hope, an envelope. The bullying is the uncontrolled chaos of kids in a foodfight. It’s a keeper, Parrot!
Thanks! Your Ga-Ga-Ga-Galuummpphhhh got me started.
Huh. I took a nap and a writer’s food fight happened.
Sorry to be late on last challenge.. My wife had an appendix attack last week. All is well now. Looking forward to Beerfarter and her steamroller job.
Nice work all of you …
Glad the Mrs. is doing better. We missed you.
Hope u get a chance to read my What Now entry..
Hope your wife is doing well!
Remera Bearwafter climbed aboard the 2-ton steamroller. She patted the envelope tucked inside her breast pocket. She had one last job to take care of before serving her soon-to-be ex his divorce papers. Did he think she didn’t know all his secrets? The money he had hidden in overseas bank accounts? The pretty women scattered about the continents? Well Mr. WanderingBear, she thought, I’m picking more than a food fight! She lumbered across the parking lot and steered right up behind his shiny black BMW, gave a little chuckle, and rolled right over it. “See you in court,” she said.
Love it Carol. More than one person has dreamed of this course of action.
Nice one, Carol – just desserts!
Now that’s funny. Great job.
Yes, this is more than a food fight. It’s a good thing steamrollers are easily available to the general public!
They don’t call them steamrollers anymore. That word is a hold-over from when many pieces of heavy equipment operated on steam engines, which is why the International Union of Operating Engineers use a steam dial for their symbol. Nowadays, they’re called compactors, which isn’t anywhere near as romantic, in my opinion, but certainly more accurate. Yes, I’m a member of the IUOE, Local 302. Had to join in order to work on the construction of the Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline. And, yes, I have operated a compactor, but not on a job.
Ooo. Now I’m picturing you on a compactor, with goggles and a cigar. I’m jealous. I always wanted to man some heavy, earth moving equipment. My daughter has threatened to buy me a Bobcat. Dream come true,
So steam shovel is no longer accurate either? What do they call those?
Nope. No more steam shovels. I think they have several names now, depending on their application. Like, hoes or backhoes, dredges, excavators. They’ve all gone the way of the steam engines for railroads.
Everything I can think of right now is diesel-engine powered and used hydraulics rather than steam to power the attachments.
A Bobcat would be utterly cool and I’d be jealous.
PS: No cigar. And no goggles–they are now called safety glasses. OSHA, OSHA, OSHA. Rolls bars? Now they are Roll Over Protection System, or ROPS.
Normella Stumprot leaned back in her wheelchair, and reached for her Iphone on the small table next to her bed. She intended to call Miss Boddyfeeder to check on her paternity claim against her former employer, Grandy Prundweller, but due to her poor eyesight and general lack of coordination, when she opened her contacts list, she touched Remara Bearwafter’s name by mistake.
Normella had never actually spoken to Remara. Her only contact had been a secret message in an envelope shoved under her door several weeks ago. Remara had related that she too had lost her leg in an industrial accident involving a steamroller, and wanted to find our how Normella had been coping with living with only one leg all these many months. Remara included her phone number in the message.
Even though Normella had entered Bearwafter’s number in her Iphone contact list, she had never been able to get up enough nerve to call her. Normella didn’t do well with strangers.
“Who is this ?” asked Normella timidly.
“Remara Bearwafter. Who were you trying to reach?”
“I’m sorry, Miss Bearwafter, I rang you by mistake. Uh, this is Normella Stumprot. You dropped a note by my apartment a few weeks ago. Sorry I didn’t call. I have to go now.”
“Wait,” mumbled Remara, “ I am in the middle of a food fight with my two-year-old son. Give me a sec. I really want to talk with you.”
“OK,” said Normella,”I’m not sure how I can be of any help.”
“Well, between the two of us, we have two good legs,” laughed Remara, “that might be a good start.” Normella smiled for the first time in months.
And thus was the beginning of their beautiful friendship.
You may have to refer to a previous challenge to recognize the characters..
You and peanut come up with the BEST names!
I love the happy ending. Well done.
Lovely sentiment in this piece. Great Names too.
Normella has a buddy! Sounds like a comedy duo: Bearwafter and Stumprot. Or is that a law firm?
Remara Bearwafter sat on the barstool drinking her beer. She glanced at the beer bottle and saw a painting of an old-fashioned steamroller driving through a barley field.
Nice, is that a hint that the steamroller juiced the barley? she thought.
Absentmindedly she started pulling at a corner of the label as she eyed the envelope before her. The bartender had placed the envelope in front of her with a strange smile on his face. She wondered what it would be this time, last week it was “toilet paper the girl’s bathroom”. She didn’t know what secret mission he would insist on this time. She sighed, rolling her eyes.
Might as well get it over with.
Opening the envelope, pulling out the small square of paper she read, “Food fight at 6pm.”
Remara looked at the clock on the wall, noting that she had 20 minutes to get it started. Why did she have to owe a sadistic bartender money?
A twisted tale. Have you been reading Poe? Well done Lanyn.
(This is in parallel with Lanyn’s story)
Aramer was ready this time. He was not going to allow the joke to be on him–again. He sat in a booth along the back wall; he had a clear view of where his twin sister sat at the bar. This was his favorite bar too. He took another sip of his rum and diet coke and looked at the square of paper sitting on the table in front of him. It hadn’t been easy switching the notes.
Last week he had watched the bartender pull an envelope out from under the bar and hand it to Remara. She’d said something to him, but all she had gotten back from him was a smirk as he walked away. After she had torn open the envelope and read the note inside she’d crumpled it up and tossed it at the bartender’s back.
Later the bartender had called over to him, “Ara, your sister needs you in the restroom, hurry!”
Like a fool he had rushed into the girls’ bathroom only to find toilet paper everywhere: draped over the lights, wrapped around the sinks, draped across the stalls, and all over the floor. There had even been a booby-trap that dropped half used rolls all over him when he’d entered.
The next thing he had heard was the loud screechy voice of the owner’s wife, “Oh my goodness! What have you done?”
Aramer sipped his drink again, shaking off last week. He wondered why this bartender didn’t like him; probably had a crush on Remara and she’d rejected him. The bartender fit the stereotype of the greasy sneaky criminal type of bartender that appeared in ‘B’ movies.
The note pulled his eyes back and he reread it yet again. “Throw your drink in your brother’s face and accuse him of cheating on his girlfriend.”
Remara wouldn’t talk to him about what was going on, but he’d figured it out. Today he’d come in early to the bar with his ‘bag of tricks’. When the bartender had gone to the back room Aramer had ducked behind the bar and found the envelope. He’d taken it to the boys’ bathroom and used his travel iron, the Steamroller, to open the envelope and substitute his own message, ‘Food fight at 6pm.’ He’d used a glue stick to reseal the envelope and snuck it back behind the bar. No secrets tonight he thought.
He could see that Remara was getting restless. He checked the clock, almost six, time to get ready.
He opened his bag and pulled out the baggies filled with squishy tomatoes, rotten bananas and all the other leftovers he’d found in the back of his fridge. This will give the bartender a real reason not to like him.
He started giggling.
That was pretty funny Pat. Nicely done. I like the play on my story. 🙂
I started giggling to – in anticipation of the scene to come. Well done !
But did Ann see this? Oh, I changed my profile name from aussiepat55 to PAT.
Loved the parallel, great story.
Food fight in a bar! I think we’d all like this bartender. Maybe he’d like to galumph a bit.
Hehe! No Poe. Thank you. 🙂
“Of all days to be a cafeteria monitor! I can see why some teachers stash a fifth of vodka in the file cabinet.”
Noticing other eyes turning toward their table, Ashley said, “Keep it down, Mark. We’ve been in enough trouble today. Lucky we signed our contracts for next year yesterday afternoon.”
Mark paused and surveyed their surroundings before sliding the sealed Lancaster Academy envelope into the inside pocket of his jacket.
“I knew being a middle school social studies teacher, chess club sponsor, and every-third-week cafeteria proctor would be risky work.”
Ashley could not help but chuckle. Mark’s sense of humor had often been their saving grace–ever since they started their teaching careers together two years ago.
Coach Hadley’s hand came out of nowhere and landed on Mark’s shoulder. “Hey, I don’t mean to interrupt, but your chess boy, Grizz Hamilton, has quite an arm on ‘im! If he ever wants to quit the chess table, send ‘im over to my baseball diamond. Ha! ha! Now I get your nickname for ‘im. He’s big, he’s hairy, and he can be as menacing as a grizzly bear! Am I right or am I right?”
Ashley looked straight at Mark as they stood up. Her colleague’s confident demeanor held it’s own with Coach Hadley’s bravado.
“Grizz, I mean Greg, is as focused a young chess player as you will ever find among middle schoolers. He has many great chess games ahead.”
In an effort to pull the eavesdropping school nurse and math teacher into the conversation, Coach Hadley asked them if they had been in the cafeteria at lunch. Two sets of wide unblinking eyes stared, and two heads shook from side to side in unison.
“You really missed it. The chess boy caught fire when that slimy wad of spaghetti and meat sauce went splat into the cheek of his girl–whaddya call her, Ramora Bear-wafter?”
“That’s Ramara Buckwalter. Ra-ma-ra Buck-wal-ter,” said Ashley, her body shrinking to make itself small and unobtrusive.
“Ra-moh-ra or Ra-mah-ra, whatever! She’s always stuck to your Grizz like gum on the bottom of a shoe–floating after him all the time.” Coach Hadley waved his hands in dismissal of her.
“Anyway, when those spaghettis splashed sauce all over the place, Grizz sure was motivated to pay back my best pitcher with a 100-mile-an-hour scoop of mashed potatoes. Whap! The boy’s wasted on checkmates, I tell you. Wasted!”
With that, the crushing force of the Coach steamrolled out of the break room.
Mark turned to the cowering pair left in Hadley’s wake and said, “It was just an old-fashioned, messy food fight. The students involved are cleaning the cafeteria as we speak. Back to your band-aids and calculators. Nothing to see here.”
“It’s way past time to head home,” Ashley said to Mark as she gathered her bags.
The two walked out to the faculty parking lot together without saying a word. The deep yellow sunshine of the afternoon was calming and the silence of the school yard reassuring.
“Don’t worry, Ashley. Tomorrow, something else will erupt, making our cafeteria event old news. Coach Hadley will forget about us and bluster about the new story.”
“You’re right. The only problem is now our secret‘s out. Coach has made it known that we have nicknames for our students. And our nicknames are, well, uh, sometimes a bit too descriptive.
Mark patted the signed contract in his pocket. “Our contracts are renewed. Our students learn. Parents respect us. And frankly, I’m not sure of how much attention people pay to Coach’s rants.”
Funny. Nicely done.
I had to laugh at the correction to Ramara’s name. Good one!
After such a tiring day on her feet, Remara Bearwafter was grateful for the lack of customers at this late hour and she counted the minutes until her shift was over. Most days she enjoyed working at the coffee shop; interacting with the over-burdened college students, harried business people and stressed out moms made her life seem calm and orderly.
Wiping down a corner table, she spotted a young couple, hopefully her last customers, snuggling obscenely close to each other against the inside wall. They whispered in each other’s ears and telling secrets and sharing dreams. Or so it appeared to Remara.
The girl’s slender arm was wrapped around the young man’s neck holding his face against hers. She didn’t appear to mind the way his beard stubble chafed her cheek marking it red and he didn’t seem to mind the way she was practically sitting in his lap.
Remara looked up when she heard the door of the shop open. A man came barreling through the door with such force that the tiny bell used to announce customers rang once and then flew across the shop. Waving an envelope that he was clutching over his head, he moved through the shop like a steamroller towards the young couple.
The couple guiltily jumped to their feet knocking over the small café table and sending their left over coffee, cookies, and half eaten sandwich flying around them. Remara dropped her arms to her sides, threw back her head and sighed with exhaustion. She knew that the quiet end to her shift was changing before her eyes.
Heading to the utility closet, Remara listened as their voices rose in anger. Both men rumbled at each other in their deep voices, but the woman’s voice was pleading and shrill. Remara turned, holding the broom in her hand, just as the newly arrived man picked up a discarded cup of coffee and tossed the liquid into the face of the younger man.
With that, the woman grabbed a plate of doughnuts that were on the display case and tossed them in the other man’s direction. Watching as powder, jelly and cake flew across the shop, Remara slowly turned back to the closet, placed the broom back against the wall and reached for the mop.
Dragging out a bucket, she muttered under her breath, “Great. A food fight. The perfect way to end the evening.”
Is that you, PAT? This was great. Food fight!
No, I’m PAT… I posted a few minutes later in response to Lanyn.
Funny though, “My State of Grace” is my wife and she’s in your BWW class right now.
I love it. Great job!
Is your wife’s name Grace? If not, I hope she will remind me of her name. Good stuff.
She’s LeeAnn. C’mon you only have, what, a hundred students in each class?
I’m standing by with a whip cream pie in my hand. Ann, give me the word and I will squarely hit Pat in the face. 😀
Don’t even ask. You’d be surprised how many. They don’t all post, but I have enjoyed LeeAnn’s work very much! Hi LeeAnn!
Secrets don’t like being kept secret. Secrets like to take the short route from your ears to your tongue, not bothering with circulating through the brain and tangling with all those niggling ethea that hang out there and threaten to derail any sense of fun or responsibility.
Moreover, if the tongue doesn’t rid itself of a secret quickly enough, it sinks to your stomach and commences to burning holes in it, threatening worse if not freed ASAP. Keep it long enough and you’ll find your guts steamrolled into mush.
Such was Remara Bearwafter’s plight after that old busybody Gladys Docushredder told her about Elsie Pinchpenny filching a donation envelope from the church offering plate last Sunday, first swearing her to absolute secrecy, which only means that the sooner you’re rid of the secret, the better off you’ll be. Like, pass that responsibility for secrecy on to someone else and let them bear the weight of it.
But Remara was the type of woman who remained true to her word. If she said she’d keep a secret, then, by golly, she’d keep it. And she did, after she verified from a blushing, hesitant Gladys that she was, in fact, an eyewitness to the pilferage and not just passing on unsubstantiated purple gossip.
So Remara was conflicted. On the one hand, she liked Elsie and hoped the scurrilous accusation was not true. On the other hand, she knew Elsie was in a financial pickle due to her husband’s illness and inability to work. Thus the possibility of truth tumbled around on her conscience as she watched Gladys walk down the sidewalk with a bit more of a swagger than she usually had.
Secrets will do that to you, too. Put some flounce in the bounce and some sway in the old sashay.
Remara being Remara, she did the only thing she could–she went right to Elsie’s house and knocked on the door. But Elsie didn’t answer, not even after her second, third, and fourth knocks. Remara leaned over the handrail and peeked through the living room window. Her sight was somewhat obscured by the sheers, but she saw Elsie’s husband Bob sitting in his Lane recliner with the butter-yellow leather. He looked asleep. She leaned over a little farther and saw Bob’s face more clearly. His eyes were open and unblinking.
Suddenly Remara was frightened and she banged on the front door with her fists, begging Elsie to open the door. Then she tried the latch and found it unlocked. Remara rushed to Bob and saw that he was unconscious.
“Elsie!” she yelled. “Elsie, are you here?” The house was silent. Remara reached for the phone next to Bob and dialed 911, then sat on the couch across from the unconscious man and waited for help. If Elsie wasn’t tending to Bob, something was definitely wrong.
And that’s why Remara wasn’t surprised when a patrolman checked the rest of the house and found Elsie hanging from a rafter in the attic.
No, not surprised at all, because secrets—no matter how mischievous when kept—can be murderous when let loose to work their malevolence.
Darn, I wish there was an edit option here. I deliberately left out “food fight” in the first version, then reworked the second graph to include it:
Moreover, if the tongue doesn’t rid itself of a secret quickly enough, it sinks to your stomach and commences burning holes in it, threatening worse if not freed ASAP. Keep it long enough and you’ll find your guts steamrolled into a mushy food fight.
Wow! So dark. Well done.
Giving the Secret a “life” was masterful. Great work this one !
(Also enjoyed your short but sweet version)
Remara Bearwafter stepped up to the microphone, broke the seal on the envelope, and announced its secret contents: “And the winner for best musical is “Mannheim Steamroller’s ‘Food Fight!’”
I can always count on you to come up with a new angle, Gullie.
I want some more sway in my sashay! Good one.
Remara Bearwafter had waited 15 years for this day to come. Her secrets have nearly driven her insane in that time. Guilt plays the heart like the tragic sounds of cello. When will it come out? Someone is going to know. Each knock at the door, each ring of the phone, and each footstep that could be heard behind her whipped her head from side to side as if struck by a flying cheeseburger in a food fight. With trembling hands she reached for the plain white envelope that had slid under her door in the night. The block lettering on its face simply read, “I know.” Who could it be from? She wondered. Why has it taken so long? She breathed as her heart sped up. She opened the envelope and revealed its contents with anxious desperation. The first she saw was a date, written on the back of a photo in that same block lettering. She swallowed hard as she slowly turned the photo over in her hands and gasped. A recent crime-scene photo showed detectives processing an old steam roller. The same one she drove over her husband with so many years ago. A tear rolled down her cheek and she smiled with relief. The finally found out. “Ha ha!” she laughed. “No more secrets!” That’s how they found her when the police arrested her; laughing hysterically.
I love that ending. So well done.
Well, we blaster through this prompt in style.
I can’t type for beans today. “We blasted through….”
Beans…blasted…oh that’s a good one. 😀
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by Ann Linquist
Available in paperback or on Kindle