Saturday, February 23, 2013
"Ants!" - an action story
My homework for Children's Book Writing last week was to compose a 500 piece all about ACTION. The desires, character strategies and themes all had to be described through ACTION. As we've been practicing throughout the semester, we had to show and not tell. It was a good challenge. After reading my homework out loud in class, I have some editing to do.
“To the kitchen!”
The ant pack was steadfast in their escape from the hole in the wall behind the toaster. They flung off the kitchen counter all at once, like a flock of dolphins chasing a school of fish. Working as a team, they all knew the plan: Get to the Ho Ho crumbs.
If the ants were not ants, but say Lions instead, they would have thumped to the ground, blasting the ears drums in every ear for miles. But they were ants. And since ants are small and weightless, the pack belly flopped to the ground without so much as a wink from their arch nemesis, Wesley - a mangy, yellow-haired fellow who paroled the house on all fours.
“Only ten feet to the Ho Ho, lads! Let’s get a move on!”
The pack gazed ahead at the task before them. One shuddered. Some twitched. All salivated.
Gaping at the black crumbs glimmering against the afternoon sun, the ants were put in a trance.
“After School! After School!” they chanted.
The white frosting clung to the floor, its sugars seeping into the ground with every second that passed. Hunger was but a close enemy soon to be exterminated.
The pack glided across the kitchen, maneuvering in and out of the light like skiers on a black diamond run. Figure-eighting their way across the linoleum, the tiny bodies drooled at the thought of the plastic Hostess wrapper.
“To the leeeeeeeeft! Wesley awake!”
The pack darted to the left, whacking bits of dust that stirred from kitchen crevices. Musty air ballooned their lungs. Wesley sneezed.
“Hey guys!” shouted Desmond as he squirmed away from one of Wesley’s hoofs.
“Oh it’s the rookie ant. Whadya want kid?”
“Half of you, ahhhhh, dive underneath Wesley’s water bowl and knock it over. The other half, OMG, carry the Ho Ho back to the colony!”
“Yeah right! You just want to Ho Ho all to yourself, newbie.”
Desmond shook his little spine. His heart was as splattered as the Ho Ho. “Never! I just want us all to get out in one piece.”
“Follow me, brothers!” Desmond redirected his path towards the water bowl, launching ahead.
He had water bowl goggles; nothing could get in his way. Desmond weaved his little body in and out of Wesley’s stale breath. “No turning back now,” he thought.
Desmond closed his ant eyes and prayed to the ant gods. Gazing upwards at the kitchen fan he realized his legs were wet.
That silly dog had woof, woofed Desmond’s body all the way to the water bowl!
“One! Two! Three!” The ants tipped the water bowl over, shattering porcelain everywhere. Ant limbs were drenched in dog spit and water, a simply smelly concoction.
The ants’ eyes were a sopping wet mess, blurring the image of their ant-brothers chomping down on the Ho Ho so far away.