Normanday #97: Word of the day: Coconut.
Pick up the nearest book. Without looking, point at a word. You can look now. That word you’re pointing at? Use it as a starting point for three minutes of free-writing.
Email what you wrote to woof at bright dot net by the end of the day October 13 (put “Norman is Fearless” 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).
Here is the single entry from last week when I asked you to write for three minutes about…
author of SHARK GIRL; FORMERLY, SHARK GIRL; and Z IS FOR MOOSE
One night while my parents were out to dinner and I was babysitting my little sister, I did something stupid. After my sister went to bed, I watched a scary movie on TV. My parents had told me not to watch it because it would scare me too much. “You know how you are,” they said to me. “You’ll have bad dreams if you watch that.”
But I watched it anyway. The movie was about aliens who came to earth and hid in a cornfield in the backyard of this one family. The aliens were very tall and thin. They were green and had huge eyes and thorny claws for fingers. They tiptoed around at night and they crept into people’s houses and one got locked in a neighbor’s closet after it tried to attack a man who lived there. The family heard the aliens scratching around on the roof and stuff. They ended up boarding up all their windows and running to the basement, but the aliens found a way to reach into the basement through an old window or something, so there were these green alien arms waving all around, clawing at this little boy who was standing nearby.
Fortunately, the little boy got away, and everyone in the movie-family was safe, and for some reason, the aliens all went away and the movie ended.
But I couldn’t stop thinking about those green alien arms clawing at people, or the way the aliens hid in places in plain sight, but hid in ways you couldn’t see them right away. And you know what? I had bad dreams at night.
But that wasn’t all. One night, my mom asked me to take the garbage out.
“In the dark?” I asked.
She looked at me funny and said “It’s not that dark. Is there something wrong?”
I couldn’t tell her I’d watched the scary movie she’d told me not to watch. So I said, “No,” and I took the garbage out.
The cans were on the side of the house. It was super dark, I don’t care what Mom said. And there was no moon. The wind ghosted around in little breathy swirls, sending leaves skittering across the driveway in a crunchy cascade. The walk from the front door to the side of the house felt a thousand miles long, and the entire time, I felt as if I were being watched. I listened to my footsteps slapping across the driveway. I could easily imagine a big green alien hiding behind the tree in the front yard, or leaning over the garage roof, about to reach down and snatch my hat. Or maybe one was crouched behind the garbage can….
CRASH!! The garbage can fell over just as I reached for it. I screamed and dropped the trash.
And that’s when our cat Barney raced out from behind the can and zipped away into the bushes.
It took a minute for my heart to stop pounding. My legs wobbled like Jello. And when I finally got myself together and gathered the trash, my hands shook like crazy. It was just Barney, I told myself, as I gathered up the spilled trash. In fact, I almost laughed about it.
Until I felt something tap me on the shoulder!