The Holdup

Did you know that Hershey’s Bars were first invented in 1900?!?! The things you learn from writing research! This is a short story I wrote for an English assignment based off a news story I wrote for Creative Writing. If you’re nerdy like me, you might recognize these names right off the bat. If not, don’t worry. You’ll find out at the end. Enjoy, and I’d love to hear your opinions!

“That’ll be ten dollars and ninety five cents,” the young girl behind the counter told him. Timothy Dugan slid the money to her, and picked up his snacks. Most truck stops along the route he and James Montgomery Falsworth, better known as Montgomery or Major, were taking had reasonable prices. This one, not so much. Timothy settled his portly frame down on a bench near the door, waiting for Montgomery to join him. The sky outside the front windows was black, pitch black, with dark clouds covering the moon. The harsh lights from inside the convenience glinted off the shiny silver 1951 Mercedes-Benz he and Montgomery had rented. It was only a couple years old.

Timothy opened his Hershey bar, smoothing his mustache away from his mouth. He wasn’t a big fan of chocolate, but it was one of the cheapest things in the store. The wrapper cheerily proclaimed the fiftieth anniversary of Hershey bars. The bell on the front door jingled and Timothy just caught a glimpse of the two darkly-dressed men as they walked past him. He looked outside and saw their car parked next to the rental. He couldn’t help admiring the dark lines of their small car, but he couldn’t see the make of the car or the license plate number.

He heard Montgomery whistling as the bathroom door slammed shut, and then the whistling stopped abruptly. Timothy looked up to see the taller of the two men pointing a gun at Montgomery’s back. A cold hand yanked Timothy off the bench and the short, fat man pointed a gun at Timothy. A holdup. Hope this doesn’t become the last day of the road trip.

“Give us the money from the cash register,” the taller man ordered. Both men had their faces covered, and were wearing long sleeves and gloves. Timothy pitied the frightened girl, who looked like she was only in her twenties. Timothy glanced at Montgomery. Here they were, two World War II veterans, and not only that, but two who had served next to the best captain in the army, and they were unable to do anything to help stop a robbery.

The girl opened the cash register and handed off the money to them. “This one’s for you, Rogers,” Timothy whispered. He shoved his elbow into his captor’s stomach. The man doubled over, letting go of Timothy and the gun, but he recovered quick enough to race outside, his partner covering for him and picking up the dropped gun. The tall man studied them. “Stay at the back of the room and don’t try anything, or you’ll regret it.” Then he disappeared out the door and into the car outside, which roared to life and sped down the road.

Timothy immediately reached for the phone and called the police, alerting them to what happened. Montgomery patted his shoulder. “Well done, Dugan. Rogers would’ve been proud.”

Timothy smiles at his friend, rubbing his red moustache. He missed his old nickname. Montgomery hadn’t called him Dum Dum since the plane crash. “He would’ve done better. But I’m not a super soldier.” The police filed into the building, getting their testimonies and contact information. Then they let them go, and the two veterans headed back onto the open road.

Still don’t know who our World War II veterans are? Dum Dum and the Major, two members of Captain America’s “barbershop quartet”! Surprise!

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Tales From The Writer’s Desk: A Little Help Here!

You step into the office you’ve become so familiar with, eyeing the book room. You want to get back to some more stories, but Bri said she needs to talk to you first. “You wanted to see me, Bri?” you ask.

Bri looks up from her laptop and stops humming. She pauses the song playing. “Yes, I do. Have a seat.”

You sit down in the interview chair, a little nervously. “What was that song? I didn’t recognize it.”

Her face flushes, embarrassed. “The Song of the Cebu. It’s – it’s a VeggieTales song.”

You hold back your laughter as Bri quickly continues. “Anyway, I need help. I just finished that series of interviews with the main characters of the Teen Warrior series and I have a huge list of other people to interview. I don’t know which one to start with, so I need you to help me decide which ones to do next. I’d like for you to pick out some of the ones that sound interesting to you. And I need some new questions, too. Do you think you can help?”

Please comment below with suggestions for interview questions! Your question could appear in a future interview. And vote on the poll for who you think should be interviewed next. Choose your three favorites, and feel free to comment on why you chose them! See the previous interviews for reference:

Slade     Iris     Wilson     Ellis     Haven

The Treatment – Part Two

The conclusion to The Treatment. See Part One here. Let me know what you think!

A date was set for the rummage sale, and Jessica and several friends from school began to work on getting ready for it. A gigantic cardboard box was set up in the church lobby, and smaller ones were set up at the school, the post office, and even the grocery store. Donations rushed in, but Jessica still worried as she remembered the price of the treatment. They had lots of stuff, but would it be enough? And would people actually buy all of the used items?

The day of the rummage sale dawned, and Jessica and her family were at the church very early. Tables were set up, items were displayed and priced, and the people who were going to work the money boxes began setting them up and organizing the change. Soon, people began to flow in, and the flow quickly turned into a torrent. People shopped and chattered while admiring the decorations put up by some of Jessica’s class, and children ran around on the playground outside, their laughter filtering into the room. A table was set up just inside the door with cookies and drinks that disappeared almost as quickly as they were put out. The smell of chocolate permeated the building. A cool breeze burst into the room every time the door opened.

Jessica stood next to her mom, who was working one of the money boxes, and gazed around with wide eyes. She’d never expected that so many people would come to the rummage sale. The money was flying into the money boxes, and the tables were quickly emptying.

“Jessica!” Mrs. Jacobson exclaimed, twirling Jessica around and giving her a tight hug. “This is so wonderful! You did amazing! The decorations are awesome, and there’re so many people. I’m sure this is going to be a great success.”

“She did an awesome job, that’s for sure,” Mrs. Hopkins said over her shoulder as she handed the man in front of her his change. “Have a nice day!” she told him as he left, smiling, with his new football under his arm. She wiped her forehead. “I’ll be surprised if there’s anything left at lunchtime.”

Her prediction proved correct, and the tables were bare before lunch. One of the workers had ordered pizza for them to eat after they cleaned up. Everyone pitched in, and the church was soon back to its normal state.

Jessica enjoyed her pizza, and then joined her mother and Mrs. Jacobson in the church office to count the money. She watched as her mom piled the coins in stacks and Mrs. Jacobson swiftly counted the dollar bills. The two mothers added their totals together.

Mrs. Jacobson covered her mouth with her hand, tears of joy running down her cheeks, as Mrs. Hopkins swept Jessica up in a hug. “What?” Jessica asked, confused.

Mrs. Hopkins grinned at her daughter. “Honey, you raised enough money to pay for the treatments three times!”

The Treatment – Part One

I wrote this story for English class. In one afternoon. 😀 Let me know what you think!

“Please, Mommy!” Jessica Hopkins begged, her blue eyes hopeful. Her babyish face was framed by her bouncy golden curls. Any six-year-old with puppy-dog eyes would almost make your heart melt, and Jessica was one of the most adorable six-year-olds you could find. “I wanna go visit Natalie! I haven’t seen her since she went to the hospital.”

Mrs. Hopkins smiled. “Okay, we’ll go. Get your shoes on and meet me at the car, okay?”

“Yay!” Jessica cried, jumping up from her chair and spinning around. She smiled up at her mom. “Thanks, Mommy!” She hopped down the hall to her room.

Mrs. Hopkins smiled to herself and grabbed the keys off the hook by the door. She grabbed a pad of paper and wrote a note telling Mr. Hopkins where they were going, just in case he got back from the grocery store while they were gone.

Jessica bounced back to the door into the garage. “Mommy! Let’s go!” she called.

“I’m coming, I’m coming!” Mrs. Hopkins laughed. The two hurried out to the car, with Jessica practically dragging her mom. Mrs. Hopkins slipped into the front seat and glanced back at Jessica in the car seat in the back. “Do you need me to buckle you up?” she asked.

Jessica smiled brightly. “No, I got it,” she told her mom as she buckled the seat belt herself.

“Good.” Mrs. Hopkins started the car and they pulled out of the garage and started on the way.

As they neared the hospital, Mrs. Hopkins glanced in her rearview mirror at Jessica more and more often. They pulled into a parking spot at the hospital, and Mrs. Hopkins turned to face her daughter.

“Before we get out, I want to talk to you,” Mrs. Hopkins told Jessica. “You remember why Natalie is in the hospital, right?”

Jessica looked at her mom soberly. “She has cancer,” she replied.

Mrs. Hopkins nodded. “That’s right. Cancer’s a really bad disease, and a lot of the people that get it die. I want you to remember that Natalie may not look normal, and she may look really sick, I don’t know. Be careful not to say anything to hurt her feelings, okay?”

“Okay,” Jessica agreed. She looked worried. “Natalie won’t die, will she, Mommy?”

Mrs. Hopkins sighed. “I hope not, Jessica.”

The two went into the hospital, and Jessica huddled close to her mother, who talked to the nurse at the front desk before leading Jessica down a hallway. Jessica gazed around, wide-eyed and scared. People were going the opposite direction as her, wearing hospital gowns and walking slowly. They all had people walking beside them, holding machines with long, thin tubes attached to the people walking. They all looked sad. Nurses hurried past them, their crisp white uniforms and clipboards making them look intimidating to Jessica. Her mother led her to an elevator, and they went up several floors and got out. Jessica ran to a nearby window and peered out. The ground was far away, and the cars looked like the miniature toy cars her little brother played with.

“Come on, Jessica, Natalie’s this way,” Mrs. Hopkins called in an encouraging voice. Jessica hurried to catch up with her.

They quickly found Natalie’s room, with the help of a kind nurse, and Mrs. Hopkins knocked on the door. Mrs. Jacobson, Natalie’s mom, opened the door. She smiled at Jessica and Mrs. Hopkins. “Come on in,” she greeted them. “Natalie’s awake.”

Jessica followed her mom into the hospital room. Everything was clean and impersonal, except for the cards and flowers on a table by the window. Jessica proudly noticed the card that she had made was displayed in the center of the table. Natalie was sitting up in the hospital bed, her brown eyes sparkling. “Jessica!” she squealed.

“Hi, Natalie!” Jessica greeted her friend excitedly. “You look awesome!” she said with relief as she realized her friend looked just like she always did, except for the tube hooked to her wrist that linked her to a big machine that was beeping slowly. “How are you feeling?”

“Pretty good, considering,” Natalie replied. “I’ve missed you. All I’ve seen the last couple weeks are strange nurses, and my parents,” she told Jessica, nodding to her mom, who was already deep in conversation with Jessica’s mom.

“So, are you going to be able to come back to school?” Jessica asked eagerly. “I’ve missed you so much!”

Natalie sighed. “I don’t know. See, my parents aren’t going to be able to afford the treatments.”

“They’re not?” Jessica asked, horrified.

“No,” Natalie told her. “The surgery was so expensive, that we don’t have much left over. You know we’ve never had that much money.”

Jessica nodded. “I know. But maybe we could have a fundraiser or something,” she suggested.

Natalie’s eyes lit up, and she brushed her brown hair out of her eyes. “That’s a great idea!”

Jessica got more excited. “We could do a rummage sale, like they did at church last year! They made a lot of money! Maybe the church would help us with this. We could ask people to donate their old clothes and stuff like that!”

“Mom, come listen to this idea that Jessica had!” Natalie called. The two parents came over and listened as Jessica repeated her rummage sale idea, with enthusiastic support from Natalie.

“That’s a wonderful idea!” Mrs. Hopkins exclaimed. “I’ll help you organize it.”

Mrs. Jacobson smiled at Jessica with tears in her eyes. “Thank you so much. It’s so sweet of you to help Natalie. I can talk the church about having the rummage sale there.”

“You could see if some of the girls from school want to help make posters,” Natalie told Jessica.

“Good idea!” Jessica exclaimed. “I know Melissa likes art. She’d probably love to help.”

Mrs. Hopkins and Mrs. Jacobson began writing down the ideas for the rummage sale, and Jessica and Natalie continued to chatter about school and the rummage sale. Eventually, visiting hours ended, and Jessica and her mother went home.

Interviews From The Writer’s Desk: Wilson Sykes

Drumroll, please… Introducing Wilson Sykes, the final character to be interviewed for the five-book series I’ve been working on. I’d love feedback, and I’d especially love for you to vote on the poll at the end of this post and choose your favorite character of these five! Check out the interviews of the other four: Slade, Ellis, Iris, and Haven.

“Wilson Sykes is here for his interview,” Benedict tells me over the intercom.

I smile. The last of the five. Finally. “Send him in,” I tell Benedict over the intercom. I pull my laptop over in front of me. It’s been great getting to know these teenagers, and I’m a little sad that it’s going to be over. Of course, I’m going to keep in touch with them. And there will probably be more interviews with their friends and family members. And enemies, of course.

A very tall, muscular teenage boy walks into the room. His red hair is just long enough to fall onto his forehead, but only just long enough to reach a third of the way down that forehead. His blue eyes hold a spark of uncertainty, but his smile seems genuine. Part of a tattoo is showing from under the edge of his shirt sleeve, on his upper arm, but I can’t make out what it is.

“Please sit down,” I tell him with a smile. He obeys as I open up a new document. “Are you ready to get started?” I  ask. He simply nods in reply. Iris says that he conserves words, but that he’s definitely not shy. Or quiet. “First question. What is your full name and your age?”

“I’m Wilson Sykes and I’m eighteen,” he states.

He’s apparently not one for interviews. “Can you tell me about your family?”

Wilson smiles. “I live on a farm wtih my parents, both of whom I’m pretty close to. I have two younger siblings: my nine-year-old brother, Aster, and my eight-year-old sister, Elili.”

I nod as I type. He’s opening up a little. “What is your Gift?”

“I can control the weather,” Wilson tells me. “I can’t control night and day, just the weather. Rain, snow, sleet, tornadoes… I’m still working on hurricanes.”

I raise an eyebrow. “Wow, that’s cool! Now, how would you honestly describe your personality?”

He frowns, thinking. “I guess I’d say that I’m thoughtful with a quick temper. I’m not exactly shy, I just think it’s a good idea to be quiet. Sometimes. I’m working on that.” He grins.

I laugh. “I get what you mean. What are some of your faults?”

Wilson frowns. “Well, I’m used to the outdoors. I hate being inside or in a bustling city for very long. I like the peace of the countryside. Oh,” he adds, laughing. “I’m horrible with people. I get very impatient with them mostly because they’re annoying, like Slade.”

I grin. “I certainly won’t deny that. Okay, what are your strengths?”

“I’d say my strength,” he says, smiling. “I do a lot of athletic work, both at our farm and on my own. And then I guess my passion, steadfastness, and determination. I throw myself into pretty much anything I set my mind to, whether revenge or good deeds,” Wilson finishes.

“Last one,” I tell him. “What is your Name?”

“The Stormkeeper,” Wilson tells me, smiling.

I type that into my document and turn to him with a smile. “Thanks so much for the interview. It was realy great to get to know you. Tell the gang we need to get together again soon.”

He nods. “Thanks for having me. Maybe we can take you on a tour of Lerali sometime.”

I’m sure my face lights up. “That would be awesome! We need to do that.”

Wilson grins. “I’ll arrange it. I’d better leave you to your work.”

I smile. “All right.” Maybe work will go quicker with a fun trip to another world in mind.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite of these five below! 🙂

The Scribbler Award

Thanks so much to erinkenobi2893 for nominating me for the Scribbler Award! The rules are as follows…

  1. Link to your favorite writing blog, share your favorite writing tip, or do both.
  2. Pass the award along to up to five more people.

I follow so many amazing writers, that it’s hard to pick one as my favorite, but I guess I must. Or I can just share my favorite writing tip(s). Of course there is “write what you love” and “write what you know best” and “write something that you yourself would love to read”. And “use your story to change your readers”. Which I just made up. I’ll work on making that more eloquent. But I think as an absolute favorite writing tip, I’ll use this edited quote from Dori:

“Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing…”

It’s okay, you can laugh. It’s also okay not to laugh. I know, I’m cheesy. And come to think of it, I just gave

And now for my five nominees…

Irisbloom5 – Her stories are awesome. And I can’t help it; here’s one of my favorites: Never Alone

Aul – He has a great perspective, and his character descriptions are really nice to read.

Icedmocha34 – She’s awesome, people. Just plain awesome. Check out her other blog, too: Quotes From The Coffee Shop.

The Ink Stain – This site has some great stories on it. Just be careful. Three chapters of one story are posted, and it leaves you hungry for more. 😉

Red Lettering – These posts are written pretty much for writers, by a writer. And they’re great. With everything from character/plot details to writing prompts to advice on writing itself, this is a great blog for writers. Check it out!

So here’s to all of my fellow writers. May your scribblings be exciting for both you and your readers.

Interviews From the Writer’s Desk: Slade Ellery

I’m so excited for you guys to finally meet Slade! He is currently my favorite character in the Teen Warriors series, the fourth of the five main characters. See Haven, Ellis, and Iris by clicking on the links. Enjoy! Feedback is appreciated!

“Help!” I hear Benedict squeak. The door of my office slams open, sending me flying across the room to catch a falling vase. Benedict floats into the room, five feet off the ground, lying face-down. I gape at him. “Help,” he yelps again.

Benedict suddenly falls to the floor.A cute teenage boy with a cocky grin waks in through the open door. His very dark brown hair almost looks black, and his eyes are a chocolatey brown. He’s medium height, and fairly skinny. “He wanted to show me in,” he tells me “I wanted to show myself in.” He says it as if it explains everything.

Benedict picks himself up and hurries out of the room, sending an indignant glare over his shoulder at the dark-haired teenager. The door wings shut by itself, but it was probably helped a little by the boy. He sits down in the interview chair and smiles at me. I finally recover enough to speak.

“You must be Slade,” I say, stating the obvious as I sit down behind my desk.

Slade grins. “That would be me.”

I settle down and pull my laptop in front of me. “I assume, by the way you treated my secretary, that you’re ready for the interview,” I raise an eyebrow at him.

He runs his fingers through his dark hair, that perpetual grin still on his face. “Of course. Adira’s always accused me of being way too eager to talk about myself. I think she’s right. Oh, and I’m sorry about the thing with Benny,” he adds. “I enjoy dramatic entrances.”

Benedict, not Benny,” I growl under my breath. My voice switches into cheerful mode. Forced cheerful mode, that is. “All right, let’s get this party started.” And over with as quickly as possible. “What is your full name, and how old are you?”

He leansback in his chair and puts his hands behind his head. “My name is Slade Ellery, at your service, m’lady, and I’m eighteen.”

I nod, typing in his reply – minus the embellishments, of course – and move on to the next question. “Can you tell me about your family?” I ask.

He laughs. “Can I? I definitely can. The question is, can you sit through my ramblings on that subject.” He winks. “Well, how do I start? First there’s my mom. She’s so sweet and strong and patient. She’s been so amazing, especially after my dad left when I was nine. My only sibling is my little sister, Mendi. She’s thirteen, five years younger than me. We’re really close. All three of us are. Mendi’s super energetic, polite, and cheerful, and she’s almost always smiling. And Adira, my cousin, is almost like an older sister to me. She’s twenty-nine. She spent most of her teenage years living with us, and a little after that, but… well, it’s a long story,” he finishes.

I nod. My fingers are already getting tired. “Any other important back story info I need to know?”

He makes a face. “Well, I spent five years looking for my dad, and found him when I was fourteen, but, well, I was three days too late,” he finishes, sighing.

My hand flies to my mouth. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know…”

He waves me off. “It’s okay. I’ve mostly gotten over it.”

Mostly. Not completely. I move hurriedly to the next question. “What is your Gift?” Much less painful, but I already learned the answer, didn’t I?

Slade grins, the sorrow evaporating from his eyes. “I already kind of demonstrated. Telekinesis, basically. Sometimes, I use my hands, but I don’t really have to. I can just send a mental command, in a way. Basically just thinking about it.”

I raise an eyebrow. “That’s really neat,” I tell him. “Now, how would you honestly describe your personality?”

He snorts. “Honestly? Ha. That makes it a lot harder. Mot people would probably describe my personality as annoying. Which I don’t mind very much. Annoying is better than wimpy, and it’s a good mask, too. Sarcastic, protective, funny, a show-off, practical joker, comedian, things like that are what I normally get.”

“What are some of your bad characteristics?” I ask.

Slade raises an eyebrow. “Me? Bad characteristics? I’m kidding,” he adds, seeing my annoyed look. “Okay, so maybe my sarcasm is a bad characteristic, and Adira accuses me of not thinking things through before i act. I tend to just jump into things. I’m not exactly the most friendly guy, and some people think I’m rude. And I guess my overprotectiveness.” He grins. “And my lack of humility.”

I hold back and unladylike snort and manage to keep a congenial smile on my face. “All right. What are your strengths?”

Slade smiles, a real smile this time. “I throw myself wholeheartedly into anything I set my mind to. I’m passionate and I’m pretty good at getting out of, um, situations. I’ve put a lot of work into my Gift, too.”

“Last thing,” I tell him. “What is your Name, the one the King gave you?”

“The Suspender,” Slade tells me, grinning.

I finally grin back. “Thanks so much for coming. And do me a favor: don’t mess with Benedict on the way out.”

He frowns, fakely; his eyes are laughing. “All right, I’ll try not to.” And we both laugh.