Here are a couple of openings for stories. If you want the whole story, you have to beg.
1. When Dan got assigned to type Dr. Cozen’s thirty thousand page biblical study manuscript it was the worst day of his life. Why, oh why, did he brag about being a champion typist? Who cared if he out-typed everyone but the teacher? He could have kept it to himself.
But the day he had to start typing the theological drudge was the same day that Mr. Tinsley’s lion got loose.
2. Dan’s family had grown accustomed to the question “Where am I?” after five years of Granddad’s presence in their home, having come from the Nebraska sand hills to the mountainside Ranch. That, along with the daily queries concerning the whereabouts of his long-dead cousin Mabel in “Mussoura” and the sod house he’d built in “Nebraski,” framed the reality in which he moved. His brain riddled with plaques, distant memories bubbled up constantly, but the last two decades were gone forever. Dan was just sixteen, perplexed to see him so confused.
But the question, “Is it okay if I wipe my nose with this tissue?” caught Dan off guard.
Many years ago my brother Phil and I wrote stories together. It was a game. I’d write an introductory sentence, and he’d follow it with something. The art was to try to throw the other guy a curve while still maintaining a sense of direction in the “plot.” I found these two stories in my archives. My parts are in standard face, Phil’s are in italics. You should try this sometime.
When I was eight years old, I suffered a short career in Cub Scouts, less than a year, weathering one bit of idiocy after another. The camping trip, washed out by a downpour, the picnic in the park spoiled by the nutcase who forgot to bring the drinks, the hike up the canyon ruined by falling on sharp rocks that cut my shins and made them bleed–everything conspired to destroy my faith in scouting.
The last straw, my final and most deflating experience with the organization, but also the most wondrous event in my life, was the field trip to the May Museum of Natural History. There, my patience stretched to—and beyond—the breaking point. Continue reading “Waking Up at the May Museum”