Monday, December 12, 2011

Three Minutes on Christmas Eve

Normandy #6: A snickerdoodle surprise

Today is Normanday. That means I, Norman, can do whatever I want, and what I want to do is post four entries this week instead of three. But first, here’s this week’s writing prompt.

Write for three minutes about…

…last Christmas Eve. A ruckus woke you up. You went to check it out and found Santa Claus sampling the snickerdoodles you left out for him. He wasn’t alone. You couldn’t believe who was reaching for the glass of milk…

Email what you wrote to woof at bright dot net by the end of this Sunday (put “Norman is Taller Than You’d Expect” in the subject line). I’ll post as many of my favorite entries as I want 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 this photograph.

Schae D. Lane

Breaking News

AP, Undisclosed Location, USA

Zombie like phenomenon griped a small, undisclosed community on Friday. A chemical mixture of ACME Weed and Starve and Special Ingredient X has caused several residents to enter a “zombie like state”. A spokesperson for ACME was not available for comment. However, a spokesperson for the Special Ingredient X Company did comment saying that “it is all ACME’s fault.” The community is being urged not to mix the two chemicals together and the products for both have been pulled from store shelves. The zombie like trance lasts a few hours and then wears off. The police have urged local residents to not engage any persons displaying the following traits: unresponsive to communication, glassy eyed, arms raised to shoulder level (especially if that person is wearing gardening gloves), moaning, or at ground level pulling weeds. As the effects of the chemicals wear off, the afflicted is said to be in a confused state, but states that their yards have never looked better. More to follow as this bizarre news story unfolds.

Reporter: Schae D. Lane

Wil, age 10

“Get ready potatoes, it’s time to roll,” said Rose Red Leader as they launch themselves at the man. Potatoes hurl themselves at the zombie. A carrot war photographer snaps this picture just before the zombie is pummeled by the potatoes. That slows him down a bit, but there are more still many more zombies. The onions line up. The war continues.


Since being once bitten (but not twice shy) by a rabid Vermont zombie squirrel mild mannered gardener, Robert Barker, becomes The Sculk when angered by run away weeds and out of control hydrangeas. Not satisfied that most of the garden remains within the chalk lines Robert drew as a child, The Sculk terrorizes neighboring garden vegetation until order is obtained or The Ruth calls him for dinner. Besides the calming feelings of garden order that bring The Sculk back to his mild mannered self, only The Ruth can snap his attention back to reality and the Honey Do list he sets aside when the rage of voracious vegetation strikes.

Kelly Bingham

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




It was dinner time, and Henry and I were out eating marigolds and begonias. As a bonus, we’d found a place with an herb garden. You have to love herb gardens. So thoughtful of people to put out herbs to spice up our meals for us. And in case you’re wondering what to make for dinner tonight: Begonias and Basil. Oh, yes. DELICIOUS. We appreciate it when people who plant one usually plant the other. And yet—the same people who plant herb gardens make a huge fuss when they see us enjoying it. I don’t get it. What’s up with THAT? We’re always getting chased, or trapped, or worse! Anyway, there we were, my little brother and I, just hopping around and nibbling in the cool autumn evening, and then all of a sudden, there SHE was. A CAT!!

She was little, but powerful. She jumped on Henry in a blur of calico and yowled. Henry shrieked, rolled over and gave her the bunny kick. The cat looked stunned. I dove in, giving the cat a savage nip. She turned to me and Henry leaped away.

The cat leaped at me, I slipped, and she had me pinned. She lifted her claws and opened her mouth. This was it. I was going down, just like Uncle Muffy. And Uncle Joe. And Aunt Harriet. And all the rest. But then…then it happened.

A crazed gardener exploded out of nowhere. He screamed and held up his gloved hands, dancing up and down. The cat leaped straight into the air. By the time she hit the ground, both Henry and I had shot off in separate directions.

I huddled underneath a log pile, listening to the shrieks and shouts of the Crazed Gardener. The cat screeched. Something crashed. The cat flew past my line of vision, and moments later, the Crazed Gardener raced after her, brandishing a shovel. “THIEF!” He was screaming. “BASIL STEALER!! BEGONIA EATER!!”

I slipped out and found Henry hiding under a car. We hastily gathered enough begonias and basil to see us through our evening TV show snacking, and then we beat it. We returned home and told everyone what had happened.

My mother said that surely the gardener was a saint, sent to rescue us. My brothers said he must have been an angel. My cousins said I was making the whole thing up.

But one thing is for sure. That cat never returned to that particular begonia patch. Neither did the gardener, but those plants still grew and thrived and provided us with many meals. And we never had a moment of trouble in that patch again. Maybe my mom was right. Maybe he was a saint. We decided to call him St. Shovel, the patron saint of rabbits.

Every year we pay homage to him by singing a special song, sacrificing a rose clipping, and placing begonia seeds along the windowsill. Then, we place a bunch of basil on the sundial near the edge of the garden. And every year, the basil is gone by the next morning, a large footprint in the grass nearby the only sign that maybe, just maybe, he returns, and hears the thanks of the rabbits everywhere.

What a fantastic crop this week! (I can make bad puns like that if I want, because it’s Normanday.)


Mirka Breen said...

Hey, Norman- these cookies are not for you!
(Snickerdoodles? The last vestige of innocence when it comes to ‘cuisine’ should never be trampled on.)

Norman the Half-Invisible Turtle said...

Mirka, I would never steal snickerdoodles meant for Santa. Not even on Normanday. But if Santa leaves snickerdoodles under the tree for me, they’re all mine.

Kelly Hashway said...

Great entries! And I love the Santa writing prompt. I can't wait to see what people come up with for it.

Norman the Half-Invisible Turtle said...

Kelly, I would love to see what you come up with. There might be some snickerdoodles in it for you if you send me an entry. Probably not, but you’ll never know until you try.