Take Blahness and Make Us Want to Read On

You may remember being asked to rewrite this sentence to make it more vivid and interesting: The leaf was red.

Now your challenge is to rewrite another blah sentence. This time, you are not limited to one sentence.  Anything goes.   (I am still reading variations on Martha and John at the bus stop, so I know the possibilities are endless.)

I’m curious how far you can go to take this very dull sentence and surprise the heck out of us all. Lots of good writers here! Take the challenge.

Aunt Alice ran.

45 responses to “Take Blahness and Make Us Want to Read On

  1. It was the summer of 68 when Aunt Alice came to visit for a month. Mom had me two months after Grandma had Aunt Alice, so she was more like a cousin to me than an Aunt.

    This visit was different, Aunt Alice’s body had changed into a young woman’s and she didn’t care for the chasing and playing we use to do. Mom said that she was growing up and thinking more about adult things instead of child’s play.

    It was a hot night and I talked mom into letting me stay in the tree house to let the breeze help me sleep. I was getting my sleeping bag all set when I noticed the bathroom light came on. The bathroom’s window was high compared to all our other windows and mom never put up curtains because “I love how the sunlight floods the room.” I watched as Aunt Alice turned the bathtub’s water on and as it ran, she adjusted the temperature until she got it just right. She then went to the mirror and started messing with her hair. To my surprise, she unbuttoned her dress and let it fall to the floor. My mouth must have been wide open as she stood there in her undies, I never seen a girl like that before. She then took off the rest of her clothes and stepped into the bath. I was in a trace, I knew I shouldn’t be watching this but I couldn’t look away. I couldn’t sleep that night as the images that I had seen filled my mind, and with the reaction I had, I must be growing up also.

  2. oliviascarlett

    The first time I saw Aunt Alice she was standing outside in the rain, barefooted and cold.  She had run all the way from Quincy Street, two miles away, to our house to ask my mother if she could borrow a cup of sugar.  Mother was flustered and concerned but Father was simply laughing, “That’s just like Alice, nuts!”  Mother ran outside with an umbrella to cover poor Aunt Alice and bring her inside.  The whole time Aunt Alice ran her mouth about desperately needing a cup of sugar.  My brother, Howard, and I had no idea what was happening but, apparently, neither did Aunt Alice. 

    “I need a cup of sugar, Harriet, do you have one?”  Aunt Alice asked, as she shook her head from right to left trying to drain the rain water out from each ear.

    “Yes Alice,” Mother said.  “I have sugar.  But why do you need it so badly that you would run all the way from home, in the rain, barefooted to my house to get it?”

    “Because,” Aunt Alice replied, with a roll of her eyes in my direction. “The Mad Hatter is serving tea and I am supposed to bake the cookies. I simply do not want to be late!”

  3. Good, Olivia. Check the second to last sentence in the first paragraph, though. I find errors of this sort all the time, and am always annoyed when they show up someplace like Ann’s blog where I can’t fix them.
    Fun piece.
    Jeri

    • galelikethewind

      Jeri, you might check your own post as well. Never so many commas in my life…
      Just sayin.

      • Thanks for the critique, Gale. That’s exactly what I’m looking for here, opinions that will help make me a better writer. I’m going to do a rerun of that piece and see about disengaging some of those commas.
        MM

  4. Aunt Alice ran to the car, jumped in and started the engine. She was terrified that he was going to get to the car before she escaped. He had been in such a good mood that morning, but something had set him off on one of his rages.

    Lyle had shown no evidence of his uncontrolled anger before they were married, even though they had actually lived together for six months prior. He had been kind, gentle and funny. He loved to tell corny jokes, and by now she knew most of them by heart.

    Strangely, those jokes had suddenly become tools to humiliate her, in front of anyone present. However, she had still felt that she could change him. She did love him, and knew that he loved her, perhaps too much. She never got out of his sight anymore.

    Were the public humiliation and increased loss of control evidence that something was seriously wrong with Lyle? Never before had he hurt her as he did this morning, and she had never really been afraid of him until now.

    Just as she got the car turned around in the driveway, she saw him running her way. Gunning the engine and swinging the car around, she headed straight toward……….

  5. Aunt Alice ran a hairdressing business. This was convenient because Alice needed a front for her main activity which was running the book on gallopers, trotters and dogs.

    She had been an SP bookie for years, that’s “Starting Price” to the uninitiated. Alice did a roaring trade, and she was still in business until a truck took her out of circulation. It doesn’t pay to give ones attention to money counting while crossing a road, even on a zebra crossing. Onlookers were torn between the equally urgent tasks of calling an ambulance and picking up notes which were flying all over the road.

    Everyone in town turned up to Aunt Alice’s funeral because everyone in town loved her. The wake was a happy occasion,her demise was quick (Mack truck) and she had lived a good life. The happiest smiles were on the faces of those who had finally had a win. All that was left in her bank sack was a pay in slip on which was written $11,000. There was much discussion about how she had probably died one step ahead of an audit from the tax man. Aunt Alice ran a hairdressing business, and a very profitable one at that.

  6. Love how you wrote that meegiemum. Straight toward freedom. Hope being an aunt means family support, you’ve got me engaged in the story.

  7. Aunt Alice Ran

    Midnight spreads thickly across oily pavement, black on black and silent. The buzzing of aging neon through the open window, broken purple letters which once spelled the name of the hotel, is no longer a distraction. It merges with the loop of internal noises that replaced the childhood memories and adolescent dreams which Alice no longer recalls. Two doors down a woman’s drunken laughter turns into muted screams and fades into oblivion. Alice tries to remember the last time she laughed, but she can’t. It’s pointless to run again. She opens the door and waits. Laughter’s no longer an option.

  8. Aunt Alice Ran
    A Situation Comedy Proposal
    Presented to: FX Network

    Premise:

    Alice Kelly has been missing for over two years. While there is no evidence of foul play, everyone assumes she has been killed, and probably in the cruelest possible fashion.

    Alice was once the CEO of SuperGee Corporation, an energy futures firm where she had a reputation as a ruthless leader who regularly gambled everything for short-term profit. In 2008, when the bottom fell out, Alice was exposed, and soon she was facing a 20 year federal prison sentence for financial impropriety.

    Were that not enough, the Casino Workers Union had invested a significant portion of their pension fund in SuperGee. The people responsible for the CWU pension fund were not the least bit happy when they discovered their investment had migrated south.

    So, Alice Kelly was given the chance to testify against an under-achieving federal regulator with out-of-favor political connections in exchange for witness protection, or, go to jail in a facility where the Casino Workers Union had an active chapter.

    She chose to ‘out’ the regulator.

    Alice’s new life was going quite well until “Harriet Tubman,” as she was now known, decided to run for political office. Not long after, Alice went missing. She could be dead, or maybe, Aunt Alice Ran.

    Characters:

    Cindy Kelly – Alice Kelly’s niece. Each episode begins with a monolog by Cindy. She sits calmly in a chair facing the camera with her purse in her lap as if giving a deposition. She always begins by saying, “I remember it was and aunt Alice….” The remainder of the episode is a flashback to at least two years prior when we see Alice and her cohorts act out Cindy’s story.

    Alice Kelly – Alice has a larger-than-life personality. She’s not evil, but she is in possession of a severely damaged moral compass. Her goal is to control the world around her, not necessarily for personal gain, although that’s often the case, but mostly because she can. Alice always has a scheme. Her master plan is running for political office, but she regularly participates in lesser activities of questionable morality to promote that goal. Alice’s motto is, “Back to the big time.”

    Minh Dae – Minh is Alice’s personal assistant/campaign manager. She is fiercely loyal to Alice and never questions the motivation behind any of Alice’s activities. A running gag is that she is often called “Mindy,” a name she hates, by all of the other characters. Minh was born in 1975 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, and has never been outside the United States. She is perplexed when other characters make references to Asian culture when she is around. Minh is also a closet geek. While she is never shown building or fixing anything, any item that is broken or in pieces is always fixed or assembled when she leaves the room. As an example, Alice might have a puzzle spread out on her disk when Minh comes in to discuss a project. When Minh leaves, the puzzle is complete.

    Commander “Jay” Irving – Commander Irving is a retired naval officer and Alice’s neighbor. He is a former POW with four purple hearts, and, we will ultimately discover; he’s a Congressional Metal of Honor recipient. Jay only sees the good in people, so he’s the perfect foil for Alice. He is very much a “Dudley Doright” kind of person and adds credibility to even the most absurd of Alice’s projects. As the series progresses, we find out that “Jay” is actually an initial and that his ‘real’ name is Julius. He may also have played a role in the Iran-Contra Affair.

    Bobby Seale – Another of Alice’s neighbors, Bobby is a Harvard graduate and MENSA member. He never directly participates in any of Alice’s projects, yet he typically profits in some way when they go bad. He also seems, in a creepy way, to have inside information on nearly every famous crime committed in the past 50 years. Bobby is aloof and highly judgmental. He has an antagonistic relationship with Minh, but seems to admire Alice, although he feels her hair and makeup are often “Trollopy.”

    Matt Cartright – Matt is a well meaning, yet totally incompetent FBI agent. He was responsible for setting Alice up in witness protection. Due to a severe lack of imagination, he creates new identities using the names of famous African-Americans. He also places all of his charges in the same community, because, “It’s a really nice place.” A running joke is that many of the casual acquaintances made by Alice and her friends have names clearly given them by Matt. When a new neighbor, apparently of Scandinavian decent, informs Alice his name is “LL Cool J,” Alice and Minh look at each other and say simultaneously, “Matt.”

    Alphonse Stella-Doro – Al is an ‘associate’ in the Casino Workers Union. He has been given the task of getting the pension money back. It’s not clear if Al is a hit man or an accountant, but either way, he never seems to quite catch up with Alice. Al is serious and hardworking, but deductive reasoning is not his strong suit. It’s also possible that Bobby Seale, for reasons of his own, regularly interferes with Al’s work. That being said, two years ago, Al may have just found his mark.

  9. I like it. The names of some of the characters don’t feel right but the story is excellent and the character descriptions, very interesting.

  10. Aunt Alice ran through Cabela’s, knocking down cardboard displays of old-fashioned toy pop guns and racks of flannel hunting shirts and long underwear. Total madness had finally settled in, fully controlling both sides of her brain. No turning back, her niece knew. The only goal now is to contain Alice somewhere safe, where she wouldn’t hurt others. In the meantime, catching Aunt Alice before she broke something valuable in this hunter’s paradise was harder than Becky had imagined. Who knew her Aunt Alice was this agile and fast?

    The dementia creeping through Alice’s brain started slowly, perhaps many years ago, masquerading as eccentricity. Aunt Alice was always an odd bird, it was just part of her charm. By the time Becky was in her thirties, she affectionately referred to her Aunt as Crazy Pants, a nickname her Aunt enjoyed.

    Crazy Pants is now just crazy, Becky thought. She knew she should be sad about it, is sad about it, when Aunt Alice isn’t running helter-skelter through department stores and specialty stores and down crowded sidewalks, that is, screaming random epitaphs of the life she lived before all of this, little snippets, unconnected to this life but meaningful and poignant, or silly and fun and some, some parts of her life that she’d never revealed, but the stuff is in there, in her brain, in her memory paths, crashing into this new reality. Only Aunt Alice knew how the pieces fit, and only sometimes. None of it mattered to Aunt Alice now. She would never share those stories again, not in a logical way. The sadness would eventually set in, like mourning, Becky knew. She dreaded it. She loved her Aunt more than anything in her life. Aunt Alice was the one colorful personality that had emerged from Becky’s dreary ancestry.

    “I found her! I found her! Look Beck!” Aunt Alice screamed, knocking Becky to the floor with a stiff white mountain goat, it’s shiny eyes staring permanently at nothing and completely unaffected by the chaos in Aunt Alice’s new world. Aunt Alice lost her footing and she piled, goat first, onto Becky, the goat’s stiff coat mashing Becky’s face and shoulders. Aunt Alice scrambled to stand up and poked her niece’s right eye with a grimy thumb.

    “Aunt Alice, what have you got? You can’t have that, it’s not yours,” Becky said, her hand covering her watering, stinging eyeball.

    Two security guards finally caught up to Alice but stopped a safe distance away from the women scrambling on the floor. Hairy, beefy arms reached towards the squirming pile of crazy, unsure what to do, their faces, alarmed and confused.

    “Stop! What the hell are you doing lady? You can’t just pick up the animals like that,” the heavier guard said.

    “I know, I know, I’m sorry,” Becky said, struggling to her feet. “Aunt Alice, give me the goat honey, you can’t have it, it’s not yours. This is not your goat.”

    “It’s not mine?” Alice asked, childlike.

    “No. No. It’s not yours Alice. Let’s give it to the men here. There you go, good girl. That’s a girl. Okay, let’s go now, okay? We’ll go back home and get something to eat now, okay?” Becky coaxed.

    She was cautiously hopeful. She suspected it would only be a few seconds before another random notion snaked its way through Alice’s crisscrossed brain pattern and she’d take off for another adventure.

    Aunt Alice smiled at Becky. Was it a rare moment of clarity? How long will it last? Does she know she’s crazy? Is she just having fun here? With sudden and incomprehensible recognition, Crazy Pants sucked in a quick breath and looked towards the front entrance. “Oh! Yes!” Alice said. Aunt Alice ran. And ran. And ran.

  11. Fair enough Aunt Alice, it certainly must have looked like YOUR goat. Good story Bzirk, wonder what Aunt A will do next?

  12. I couldn’t do just one. So, I did three. Are they related?
    —-
    Alice’s skirt rode up her thigh with each pump of her legs. The path of twigs and leaves made a damp clicking sound as she fled into the sunrise.
    —-
    Alice won tickets for a weekend getaway in the Ozark Mountains. Although, she was younger than her sister by only seven years, she felt infinitely younger than Elizabeth, who had two children and a wonderful husband. He agreed to let them gal-pal the weekend away from the children. A pleasant respite with wine, cheese and their favorite movie.
    The two women caught up with Alice’s college antics and Elizabeth’s latest disasters with her children. They poured the wine, ate the cheese and started the sappy movie. They knew all the lines and quoted them to each other as they watched the film into the night.
    As the movie credits rolled, out of habit Elizabeth picked up the cheese tray and wiped up the crumbs. Alice grinned with all her teeth and reached for the wine glasses. A loud thumping on the cabin door startled them both. Elizabeth nearly dropped the cheese tray. Alice ran to the door.
    —-
    Alice’s arms trembled with exhaustion as she crossed the finish line.

    • “Alice’s skirt rode up her thigh with each pump of her legs.” The only question now is, how far did Alice run, and did she follow her mother’s advise relative to undergarments?

      • That is technically two questions. And like the age old question of the Tootsie Roll Pop, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?”

        “The world may never know.”

    • The first has a great noir feel

  13. Aunt Alice Ran (expanded a bit)

    Midnight spreads thick across oily pavement, black on black and silent. The buzzing of aging neon through the open window, broken purple letters which once spelled the hotel name, is no longer a distraction. It merges with the loop of internal noises that replaced the childhood memories and adolescent dreams which Alice can no longer recall. The decades which followed her youthful years blur like an overworked watercolor. Cobalt blue skies and yellow orange sunshine now putrefy in unmemorable stinks of gray.

    The events of the last month are clearer. Her eyes look without focus at the pressed wood dresser that holds a clean pair of panties; a sweater; a half-eaten bag of potato chips clasped shut with a paper clip; and the gun. She lifts her right hand to her nose and inhales. The scent of gunpowder lingers and she rubs her hand under her arm. She sniffs again and tries to recall her last bath. She digs through her purse for a scented towelette, one of a handful she grabbed at the Chinese restaurant. She rips the packet with her teeth and wipes her hand. The towelette lotion burns. Alice dabs at dried drippings of egg drop soup on the front of her blouse, her last meal two days ago. She wraps the towelette around her index finger, runs it over her teeth, and spits. She regrets not taking her toothbrush. But she did take the gun.

    Alice rubs her underarms with the towelette as she walks toward the sink. The hot water faucet handle is missing and she turns the cold tap, swishes the towlette in its meager stream, gives it a squeeze, and drapes it across the chipped turquoise porcelain.

    Two doors down a woman’s drunken laughter turns into muted screams and fades into oblivion. Alice tries to remember the last time she laughed, but she can’t.

    She walks to the dresser and pulls the drawer. Her hand grasps the .38 revolver and opens the cylinder. Four primers stare at her with their tell-tale indentions. Did she really fire four times? And miss each time? Two pristine primers tell her it will be okay. One for him. One for her. It’s pointless to run again. She opens the door, turns, and settles into the cushion of the room’s only chair.

  14. Aunt Alice ran. She ran faster than she’d ever run in her life, even faster than her best time on her college track team. But it wasn’t enough. Here, she can tell you herself.

    “I ran for my life. John was a stride ahead of me, holding his hand back to help, but I couldn’t reach him. We just ran. I knew I shouldn’t, I know it would slow me down, but I couldn’t help glancing back to see how close the bear was.

    “Wrong thing to do. He was gaining with every leap. Just a couple bounds and it gained ten yards on us. My sides hurt like hell. I couldn’t see because I was crying. Now John was six feet in front of me.

    “I know they tell you to never, ever, ever run from a bear because it triggers their chase instinct. But let me tell you, when a huge brown bear stands up in front of you and whuffs, the only thing you can do is run! Whether you want to or not. Curl up in a ball and take your chances? Not this gal. I could hear its paws hitting the ground and the snapping of its teeth.

    “I thought I could feel its breath on my neck. Ohgodohgodohgodohgodhelp me. That damn John! Ten feet and making it farther with every stride.

    “What else could I do? I reached in my pocket and pulled out my .25 automatic and fired. Got ‘im right in the knee and down he went, rolling and rolling along the trail.

    “’Damn you, John!’ I yelled when I passed John and kept on going. No heroics when a brown bear is involved. I ran until I reached the trailhead and jumped into the truck. That’s when I grabbed my cell phone and called 911.

    “’Yeah, 911! A bear just got my boyfriend….’”

  15. Aunt Alice ran the Mad Hatter Tea Shop in downtown St. Helens for her mom. Her shop was only open on Thursday to Saturday from two to six, the proper time for tea according to her. The one rule she insisted on was that everyone having tea must wear a hat. Young or old, there were no exceptions. She took pictures of everyone and posted them on the walls.

    She allowed patrons to borrow hats from the closet at the front of the store if they forgot theirs. The front closet was designed to be a coat closet, but she added shelves changing it into the hat closet when her hat collection at home became so overwhelming that Uncle George told her she had to either get rid of them or him. She chose to bring the hats to the shop and let people hang their coats on the back of their chair.

    Her mother, my Great Aunt Opal, named her after the main character in Alice in Wonderland, her favorite children’s book. Great Aunt Opal helped her at the tea shop on the days she remembered to show up. She wore a handmade hat with two white bunny ears sprouting from the top and a row of watches hand-stitched with care around the brim. Great Aunt Opal delivered finger sandwiches and scones on three tiered serving trays to each table, always in a hurry and apologizing for being late. It was the only time Aunt Alice ever saw her smile.

  16. Krystyna Fedosejevs

    Aunt Alice

    I couldn’t play with my buddy Lucas after school. He said he had to spend time with his aunt Alice. Didn’t see her since last summer.

    She arrived in spring when every bit of snow had melted and maples sprouted new leaves. When sun glowed warmth over her body. Robins heralded the start of days with unforgettable song.

    “So how did it go,” I asked Lucas on Monday, his desk next to mine.

    “Did? She’s still here. Guess she’ll be here for a while. You want to come over and meet her. Don’t think she’ll mind if we play games afterwards.”

    “Ok, how about tomorrow after school. I’ve got soccer tonight.”

    I walked from school to his parents’ house the next day. Lucas answered the door. We slid into the garden after his mom treated us to a snack.

    “You’ll really like her,” Lucas began. “As long as you don’t get her angry. Yesterday, I splashed water on her. You should have seen her run. She took off as quick as an airplane. Twirled in circles. Hopped like popping corn. Possibly did figure eights. I thought she burnt holes in the ground but there were no flames. She was so angry.”

    “Ok, Lucas, you talk crazy. Now, where is she?”

    He escorted me into the backyard. Patio chairs were empty.

    “Maybe she went inside,” Lucas said while looking closely at a flowerbed. “I’ll be back.”

    He returned with binoculars and aimed them at the ground by our feet.

    “There she is!”

    “What are we looking at? Thought I was going to meet your aunt Alice.”

    “Then, meet her. She’s the bigger one in the middle. Here take these. See for yourself.” He handed the binoculars.

    “They’re just ants! Wait a sec, there never was an aunt Alice, was there?”

    “Sure there is. I think she’s the queen ant, bigger than the rest in the colony.”

    “You named an ant ‘Aunt Alice’?”

    “Why not? Makes a good story, doesn’t it?”

    “Not really.”

    “Wanted to play an April Fool’s joke on you but I ran out of time on the 1st.”

    “So, you don’t have a relative named aunt Alice?”

    Lucas laughed. “Nope. Happy belated April Fool’s Day.”

  17. BLAHNESS April 4/14

    1 – The story, as my father told me, was that although Aunt Alice ran as fast as her legs were able to move, the lion was gaining on her and that nothing short of a miracle was needed to save her.
    And the miracle happened.

    2 – Aunt Alice’s body, short, heavy and flat footer, was not designed for running, but that day, at Andrews Airport where she, with the rest of the family and many other persons were waiting to welcome home soldiers returning from the war in some forsaken country, she ran like a gazelle and was the first person to reach the steps of the airplane and kiss her son.
    Then she noticed that he was missing an arm and started to cry.

    3 – Many years of sacrifice, dedication, training and hard word finally paid off when Aunt Alice received a notification informing that she secured a place to run the 200 meters race at the Olympics just a couple of months ahead.
    She didn’t get any medals, but the entire family is very proud that Aunt Alice ran on the Olympics and, moreover, that while there, she found a man who eventually, became her husband.

  18. Aunt Allice Ran…
    Aunt Alice ran fourth. John looked down at the three crumpled $100 to Win tickets in his sweaty palm.
    “A sure thing.” Her trainer Robert told him over a beer.”She’s just dropped in class, and will be going out as a twenty-to-one longshot. Easy money my friend.” John was counting on this race to make up for the eight hundred dollars he had lost on the first two races of the day.

    When Marsha found out that he had plucked her last week’s paycheck from her purse this morning, and conned the cute teller at the bank into cashing it for him without her endorsement, she would die. No matter that they were already two months behind in the rent due to his last debacle at a local poker parlor, now they would not have money for groceries. Unless he could work out a plan.

    John left the track, throwing the moldy ticket into a waste can near the exit, and headed for the bus stop in front of Santa Anita Racetrack. He boarded a waitng City Bus, and tried to think of his next move as the driver closed the front and rear doors and headed toward Pasadena.

    The Sheldon Pawn Shop was one block ahead when John raised his arm and pulled down on the tight cord signaling that he wanted to get off at the next stop.
    “Hey, John, what brings you in this time?” asked Steve Sheldon from behind the counter. John struggleD to remove his gold wedding band from his swollen left ring finger.
    “I need a hundred bucks.” said John as he handed the ring to the heavyset proprietor. Sheldon pulled up a loupe that he carried on a string around his fat neck, and examined John’s ring.
    “Well with gold at eleven hundred an ounce, I can give you a hundred on this.Ten percent vig to get it back in thirty days, twenty percent per month after that.
    “Sounds good.” said John, “Can you make it quick? I have an appointment.”

    Leaving the grungy store, John ran across Colorado Boulevard against a Don’t Walk signal, and scrambled to get on the bus heading back to Santa Anita. There was a fifty to one longshot in the ninth race that would make him well. All he needed to do was to get to the track on time.
    “Hello, John!” Said Marsha from the third row of the bus. “Where are you headed? I thought you were at work today.”

  19. Our Algonquin Summers

    © Copyright 1906 by Gary Treible

    Plane geometry will do as a course of academic study, and, as a form of mathematical expression. It is however, as any expert in the field will tell you, separate and quite distinct from fancy geometry, which, as with fancy ketchup and regular ketchup, and even catsup and ketchup, has a technical description supporting its uniqueness.

    Fancy, as an adjective, was also what the melodeon brought to the parlor. I recall aunt Alice sitting in front of it for hours. She couldn’t play the thing, but sitting by it gave her an air of artistic expression that sitting on the Morris chair, for example, could not. We were also short on chairs in the parlor.

    It was a Sunday evening, in August as I recall, when the Bell telephone in the hallway sounded. Aunt Alice ran to attend to the instrument only to have her seat at the melodeon promptly taken by uncle Robert, who, lacking a suitable place to sit, had been standing next to the oil stove.

    Now more comfortable, uncle Robert took up his pipe and began to relate a story he had read in Harper’s about a great steam ship that, upon striking an iceberg in the north atlantic, sank with great loss of life. This apparently due to a lack of life boats for all of the passengers. We laughed at the absurdity of the tale.

    As the Edison lamps began to dim, uncle Robert only ran the Delco plant once a week, I closed my geometry text and thought for a moment about life boats. Was it reasonable for passengers in third class to expect a life boat when they had paid so little for passage?

    • Slowly but surely I was transported back in time to to that parlor in 1912. Superb tale. From blah to fine literature, Gary.

    • Thank you all! I’ve been reading some Tom Swift lately (I wrote a chapter here for some forgotten challenge) and have been trying to capture the style. The earliest TS stories were written just after the turn of the last century, where I placed this piece. As an aside, one of the early books was called “Tom Swift and his Electric Rifle,” published in 1911. This was the source of the original name of the TASER company. They added the A (now Thomas A. Swift and his Electric Rifle) so it didn’t sound like “teaser.” If you like history and technology, I’d suggest the early Tom Swift books which are now in the public domain. And, thanks again.

      • annlinquist

        What a great tip. I shall look backwards for new ideas.

      • Victor Appleton liked to use the adverb as a pun in his writing. I love reading it. It is where the term Swifty evolved. Simple examples are easy enough in dialog.
        “Alice loves peppermint sticks,” Martha said candidly.

  20. Love it. Great little story garytreible.

  21. Gary – that is some superb writing.

  22. WOW! I’m off to the archives to check out your other stuff.

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