Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Smusher and the Saver


 It must be getting close to spring because there have been lots of fun writing games to play instead of doing my chores! (Though I did take the time to spring clean the remaining Valentines Candy.)

Susanna Hill is hosting the "In Just Spring" Contest.  Rules: The topic can be anything that says Spring to you, 350 word limit, and the last line must be "[Character Name] knew Spring was here at last!"

I can usually be counted on for taking something sweet like springtime and making it gross.  And well, consistency is a good thing.  So here's your warning: Worms were harmed in the making of this story!  


The Smusher and the Saver

By Lauri Meyers

"Eww," Thomas said staring at the slimy spot that had been a worm.  Johnny jumped again, "Take that, worm!"
"Johnny, that's gross. Stop stomping worms." Thomas rescued a worm out from under the shadow of Johnny's shoe and dropped it in the grass. 

"They're everywhere. It's fun!" Johnny yelled as he smushed a worm's skin flat, spilling its gooey dirt lunch on the asphalt.  
"It's mean." Thomas said standing in front of Johnny.
Without taking his eyes off of Thomas, Johnny slowly lifted the toe of his shoe and snapped it down on a nearby worm.

Thomas pushed the sled aside in the garage and found the sidewalk chalk.  He circled worms on the wet pavement. 
"The dread pirate Thomas proclaims these worms protected by magic spheres."
Johnny grabbed a piece of chalk and drew Xs by the unguarded worms.
"X marks the worms I'm going to squash!"

Thomas rummaged behind snow shovels to unearth the bubbles.
By MissFran via sxc.hu
"Sir Thomas of the Kingdom of Wiggly will defend these worms with an enchanted barrier of bubbles!" He blew as many as the cool air would allow.
"Ah, the better to flavor the worm gut potion I'm making."  Johnny pounded the ground into a wormy pulp.

As so the fight between the smusher and the saver continued.
The attacker's shoes got gooier as the number of worm injuries grew.
The protector ran from worm to worm blowing warm breaths to revive wounded worms.

"Did you just kiss that worm?" Johnny crinkled his nose.
"No, I was trying to save him."
"Thomas kissed a worm! Thomas kissed a worm!"

Thomas threw the limp worm at Johnny, hitting him right in the mouth. The worm dangled from Johnny's lips. Rain started to fall again, but neither boy broke the face-off. The worm wiggled down Johnny's chin until it finally fell into a puddle. 

The raindrops swelled, beating a rhythm on the driveway, the worms, and the boys. 
"Same place, same time tomorrow?" Johnny asked.
"You bet," Thomas replied. "I think I'll be the smusher tomorrow."
Thomas knew Spring was here at last.

41 comments:

  1. Well, Lauri, I think you've written a story that would appeal to lots of boys! :) My goodness, I felt sorry for those worms! But I loved the idea of the boys acting out dread pirates and knights, putting away the sled and bringing out the chalk and bubbles, and some of your language was lovely - "the raindrops swelled beating a rhythm on the driveway" - very nice :) Thanks for a well-written story with a very different feel! :)

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  2. Spring can't just be all about crocuses and chicks. There has to be something for the people made of snips and snails and puppy-dog tails!

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  3. I like the idea of the magic chalk spheres and reviving breath bubbles, too! We rarely get rain's squiggly aftermath around here, but it is quite a site and was easy to picture Thomas and Johnny not being able to pass up the chance for fun!

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    1. I did some research and the current scientific thinking is that worms come out when it rains because the relative humidity of the air means they can migrate across land. The other reason some types come out is to mate (scientific name Wormus Voyeuristicus).

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  4. Haha! Gross, indeed! (I like what Lauri Meyers said too.) You might want to submit this to Bree Ogden; she likes the macabre. :)

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    1. I think I have a macabre personality locked up in the northeast quadrant of my brain who I may have to let out to play one day!

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  5. Well there's a new take on signs of spring lol.

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    1. I know, right? Daffodils...blah, blah, blah... Worm squishing? Yes!!!

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  6. I think I need to read this to my boys, and then usher the worms in my yard off to safety! Nice job Lauri!

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    1. They are gluttons for punishment when they gather on the driveway!

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  7. I picked up a worm the other day to show my two year old son and thought, "I can't remember the last time I just held a worm for the heck of it!" The nice thing raising children is that they bring out the kid in you. Thanks for they story! It reminds me of being kid.

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    1. They do! It was a unseasonably warm day for my daughter's christmas party at school. She had a fancy dress on but as soon as she got out of the car, she picked up a worm! That's not something you see everyday - tiny girl in red velvet with a worm dangling from her finger.

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    1. Great! You are the intended audience you know! Boys have cooties!

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  9. So original, Lauri! Your language evokes great images...and this IS how lots of kids (especially boys) REALLY are. I used to pay my kids a penny a bug when we would have an infestation of some type on our blueberry bushes. They would go around from bush to bush with a cup of soapy water, flicking the bug from the leaf into the cup. I love the creative imagination that went to work between the two boys...and I especially appreciated the role flip they anticipate for tomorrow's fun.

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    1. I would play the penny a bug game with you! I killed ants for hours for free. When we moved to a new house which needed seeded, my parents paid me a quarter a bucket for "clods" (those hard chunks of dirt) and a dollar a bucket for rocks. I must have made $25 on that yard. I hope my girls will be so easily persuaded...

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  10. Ah, to be young and stomping worms again.... Sighs.

    I love this story, Lauri! :)

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    1. They do look so lethargic when they are lounging on your driveway. It almost feels like putting the poor dearies out of their misery! (sorry worms)

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  11. You hit the gross factor with this one! I loved the twist at the end. So the saver is not so "good" after all!

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  12. I have a thing about worms and spring means smelly worms. I hold my breath when they are on the pavement or street and hope I dodge them Don't like worms and wouldn't stomp one. You certainly hit the gross factor for boys as Laura said.
    The worm in the mouth got me. Clever.

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    1. You can kind of feel it slithering down your chin, right? Ewww! I need to go wash my face again.

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  13. Ooey gooey! A lot of levels to this tale, and the interchangeable roles is a clever twist!

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    1. I went just a little bit down a bullying path, trying not to make it too overt, because brothers do enjoy fighting.

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  14. Gross, funny and so true to little boys!

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    1. Boys learn about the world in a very stompy-squishy kind of way!

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  15. Lauri, while playing food fight with you, I discovered that I absolutely adore your voice. It's brilliant, hysterical, gross, and most definitely KID-LIKE! Take this from a gal whose parents said I ate worms and dirt as a kid.

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    1. Are there kids who don't eat worms?! Those must be those well-adjusted adults...thank you very much for the compliment.

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  16. The Smusher and the Saver! Perfect title. You did "gross" very well. Boys will love this, Lauri!

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  17. Yuck, that reminds me when I left a glove by a dike and went back for it and thrre was a worm inside. Fun times! Fun story, Lauri.

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    1. Yuck! Stomping with a protective shoe is one thing, but that's just gross Catherine! For some reason worms in your gloves seems grosser then slugs in your gloves. Would you even feel the worms before they had been squished all of your hands and stuck to your fingers? *shudders* But on the other hand you may have just inspired a picture book - so great work!!

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  18. I love that spring means different things to different writers and that you totally went with yours!

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    1. Spring is two-faced. Sure late spring is wonderful - trees are covered in leaf buds, flowers are in bloom, the grass in green, baby bunnies abound. But early spring? That's the "in like a lion" part of things. I'm looking outside and it's rainy and brown and dreary and yuck! Although, to be fair, winter is still in charge until tomorrow...

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  19. I need worm comeuppance. Perhaps Johnny can be crushed by a boa constrictor?

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    1. But then...
      As the boys walked inside, Johnny felt a tap on his shoulder. "What Thomas?" He turned around. Twenty worms stacked themselves nose to feet and stared at Johnny. At the same time they jumped as one organism onto Johnny's foot. Of course it didn't really hurt since it was just worms, but Johnny got the message. No more squishing worms.

      Is that better? Geesh. I'll make it cats next time, since I know how you feel about them!

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  20. lol I love worms and taught the kids to pt them in my gardens when they find them, BUT this is soooooooo cute, Lauri :) kids will just love it lol

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    1. Thanks Denise. Going to the garden is certainly much better than being squished by a shoe 100 times your size!

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  21. You've captured the difference between boys and girls masterfully. Great job Lauri!

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