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Curfew Ignored MNFMFW'T No Letter a
by Joanney Uthe
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique


ASSIGNMENT: Looking at Lake Superior for inspiration write without using the letter “a”.

The little green building sits serene, hidden in the trees on the shore. Only the sound of moving liquid interrupts the thoughts of the only non-sleeping resident. Tired from the night’s enduring encounter, she sips her hot coffee, seeking the solution to the problem still lingering. Should she confront the child who refused to obey curfew once more? Does the emergency room visit drive home the point in his stubborn pride? Would her words only serve to drive him further from her?

The ship on the horizon blows its horn, interrupting her thought, reminding her of his first ride on the pontoon. Only five, he bounced on his uncle’s knee, helping to drive the vessel. Swimming off the dock would follow the next evening. Monthly visits to the Superior resort deepened his love for his uncle, for this hidden respite. When, over the time of his young life, did his love for dihydrogen monoxide become his tool for torture of his mother? Where did she not succeed in getting him to know her love for him?

When the door behind her opened, she turned to see the object of her musings. Eyes shut to slits, one bruised from the night before, he hugged her gently. “Sorry, Mom, for the fright. I didn’t know the rocks would be so slippery. I envisioned this weekend to be perfect, to show you I desire to do better. Didn’t intend to go to the emergency room.”

“So, who is this? Where is my son? Why the pre-written discussion?”

“I’m serious, Mom. I do intend to do better. It sounds pre-written, ‘cuz I thought through my words before coming out here.”

“Better. Right. How much better did you do in the two weeks since you told me you were done ignoring curfew? Where did you meet the girl you were with? The one who phoned for help?” Trying not to cry or to yell, she kept her voice quiet.

“I would’ve been here by curfew, but some girl fell on the rocks by where I left my truck. I helped her, but I slipped myself. I couldn’t find something to hold onto to. Unlike the girl who didn’t get wet, I went in the sound. She is the one who phoned for help. I never met her before helping her.”

His story mirrored the one the girl recited the night before in the emergency room. She knew she should let go of her ever-tight hold on his life. He would be finishing High School next spring, then off to the University. Yet, thinking of loosing him brought memories of the loss of every guy who’d been in his life. Jim never knew his pop who’d died before Jim turned two. Now his only uncle, the one who owned this resort, lie buried in the ground. He’d been Jim’s role model for most of his young life. Where would he turn now when he needed help? Who would believe him if she didn’t.

“Sorry for thinking the worst. I’ve never been so frightened in my life, Jim. I thought I might loose you. We just lost Uncle Bob. Kind of lost my mind, I guess.” She returned his hug. “I love you, Son.”

“I know, Mom. In the bed in the emergency room, I worried you would be worried. Sounds funny, doesn’t it? I’m so sorry for hurting you, Mom.”

“You’re forgiven, Son. So, how ‘bout some muffins?”

“Sounds good. I’ll get the mix.” Jim stopped when he got to the door. “Mom, will they need to sell the resort with Uncle Bob gone? He’s no wife or kids to inherit it. Whose job would it be if they do sell? Poppy couldn’t do it from the nursing home. You’re his only sibling. Would you be the one to sell it?”

“I don’t know.” She’d pondered the question herself but being too tired from buying the coffin, informing his friends, etc, she didn’t expend too much energy on it.

“I don’t think this incident should define our goodbye memories of the resort. Let’s enjoy the rest of our time here.” Jim held the door open for her.

“I hope this trip isn’t goodbye to the resort. But I think you’re right. Let’s enjoy our time. Together.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Chely Roach 18 Aug 2008
Wow, great imagery and mind boggling talent to write a coherent story without a very important vowel! Well done!
Mary Hackett 12 Jul 2008
Dihydrogen monoxide...that is hilarious! I'm definitely impressed, and not attempting anything like this too soon!
Deborah Engle  27 Nov 2007
I wouldn't have thought it would be possible to create a whole story without using the "a". What a wonderful job you did!!
Pam Carlson-Hetland 30 Oct 2007
Oh, wow, Joanney. I REALLY don't know how you did that with no "a's". Edy's right, you are one gifted writer.
Linda Watson Owen 29 Oct 2007
Wow! No 'A's?? I give it an A plus!! A-mazing!! wAy to go, Joanney!
Edy T Johnson  29 Oct 2007
Everyone reading this needs to know you created this story on the spot, after receiving the instructions for the assignment. Amazing that you could manage an entire story not using the letter "a" anywhere. I am so impressed, Joanney! (I wrote a poem, knowing I'd have a lot fewer words to deal with in the time allowed.) I love how your creative mind works.
Mariane Holbrook  29 Oct 2007
Oh. My. Goodness. How in the world did you do that? And how clever to even think of doing it! I am amazed and in awe!!! Kudos!!! Mucho kudos!


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