Monday, November 21, 2011

Three Minutes on a Playground

Normanday #3: Playtime

It can be true or you can make it up, as long as you write for three minutes about…

…something that happened to you on a playground.

Email what you wrote to woof at bright dot net by the end of this Saturday (put “Norman has Minty Fresh Breath” in the subject line). I’ll post three of my favorite entries next Monday. Include your first name (or, even better, use a pen name) and age (unless you’re tortoise-old). If you’re a published writer, include a biography to be posted with your entry.

Here are the entries from last week when I asked you to write for three minutes about the time you…

…and your friend went to the movies. Instead of the popcorn you paid for, the woman at the concession stand gave you a box. “Whatever you do,” she said, “don’t open it.” But you did, because how could you not? Telling you not to was pretty much a dare. When you opened the box…


When you opened the box…

Out jumped a half-invisible turtle. I let out a startled noise. I say noise because it wasn’t a yell…more of a “ohmmhhhaaaaa.”

“Oh, thank goodness,” said the turtle. “I have been in that box for almost an hour.”

“What…um…who…how…” I had no idea where to start asking my questions. I wanted to know how a half-invisible turtle was talking and moving. I wanted to know who he was. (He sounded like a ‘he’). And I wanted to know how he got in the box and why I had the box.

“I’m sorry to startle you. My friend, Beverly, dared me to get in this box. She said I couldn’t fit,” he explained. “My name is Norman. Where am I? And who are you?”

“You are at the movie theater, um…with me. My name is Sophia.”

“Well, I have clearly proved Beverly wrong. I could fit in the box after all. Although, I am beginning to wonder if that was her original intention? You see, we were having a heated discussion. I insisted she list her very favorite books and she said she couldn’t narrow it down to just one and she really detested questions that start with ‘what is your favorite.’ I quite insisted. And then we came upon this box. By the way, what is your favorite book?”

“Are you sure you can really fit in this box?” I asked.

Kelly Bingham

author of SHARK GIRL and Z IS FOR MOOSE (coming out in March 2012)

When you opened the box…

There was a big note inside that read, “I TOLD YOU NOT TO OPEN THE BOX!” When you turned around, the concession stand woman was glaring at you. “Congratulations,” she said. “You win the prize for being the most nosey.”

Next thing you know, a surly teen employee steps forward and slaps a giant plastic nose onto your face, over your own nose. The nose has black plastic glasses attached, and a black moustache. “Enjoy,” he mutters.

“You have to wear this for the next 48 hours,” the concession stand lady explains, still annoyed. “Then you have to trick someone else into wearing it.” She finally smiles. “Thanks for relieving me of my turn.” Then she skips out the door, tossing her employee hat aside.

Your friend looks amazed. “Wow. I don’t think that lady even works here.”

You give your friend a look. “You THINK?” The plastic nose is warm, and it’s getting moist from condensation. Already you feel panicky. 48 hours in this thing? You start looking around the lobby, assessing the staring crowd. Maybe you could trick one of them. Maybe you could find a way to cut your turn short. Maybe…

Your friend nudges you. “Come on. Let’s go watch the movie.”

You shuffle after your friend, sizing him up in new way. He IS rather gullible. Maybe he’d make a good patsy for the nose. Sliding into your seat, you begin to cook up a plan to trick him into being nosey. Your mind reels with possibilities. It won’t be fun, but you can do it, right? Because wearing this nose is the pits.

But the worst part? The worst part is when you realize that the moustache is so big, it covers your mouth, and this makes it impossible to eat popcorn. Next time someone tells me not to look, you think, I WON’T.

Then again, who are you kidding. You probably would.

Interesting how those last two both had a prank theme. Nice. Except I’m not loving how that Cranberly writer made me out to be the dupe.

There’s one more. Bigfoot put a little nightmare twist in his.


When you opened the box…

I’m about to open the box, but my friend grabs my arm and pulls me to the theater.

“Hurry up or we’ll miss the previews. I hate missing the previews. If we miss the previews…”

He goes on and on about the importance of seeing the previews until we sit down. He even talks about the importance of previews through the first preview. I tune him out but I have to admit the preview looks pretty great. So I watch it and I forget about the box I’m holding. And then the movie starts and it’s pretty exciting at first but eventually it gets boring because I don’t believe for a second that the lady is really going to survive a jump out of a hot air balloon flying over the Grand Canyon. And that’s when I remember the box. Don’t open it she said. But I sure am bored, so I open it. And I find myself in a hot air balloon over the Grand Canyon. The woman from the movie is there.

“I’m sorry,” she says. “But there’s only one parachute.”

Then she jumps over the edge.

Have fun with this week’s prompt. All I ask is that you don’t throw me off the top of a slide.

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