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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Eek! (02/25/10)

TITLE: Field of Screams
By Robyn Burke
03/02/10


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“Put that snow ball down! I’m serious! Don’t you dare—“

Too late! The snowball makes impact with the side of my head and small particles of icy slush trickle down the unprotected gap between my hat and my coat collar.

I shriek. I squirm. This only makes it worse as the snow continues to wriggle its way down my back. I scoop up my own slush ball and throw it like the girl that I am. It falls pitifully short of the goal and now he stands there laughing harder.

I scoop another and charge at him, with all my might. His laughing face turns to surprise as I run full blast with no sign of stopping and no sign of lobbing my slush ball. To be honest, I don’t know what my plan is, other than to convey my displeasure at his juvenile attempt at humor.

Full body contact happens before either one of us is prepared and now we are a tangled heap in the snow. I realize just how much of my body is touching his. But my attempts to push off and stand fail as my boots slip and now I am flopped on top of him once again. I gasp.

He pushes me off but he is still laughing and I am panting. Getting up will take too much effort. I roll over onto my back and stare up at the sky. We are content to stay horizontal for just a second. Just long enough to feel the biting cold penetrate. He stands first, and now, all about being a gentleman, offers me a hand.

I shouldn’t trust him. He is up to no good. But his face is sincere and he waits patiently for my mitten-clad hand to enter his open bare one. I accept his outstretched paw and the gentle tug he gives me tugs my heart as well.

And he lets go. I knew it! I can’t believe I fell for his trick! My shrieks equal that of a muffet on a tuffet with a spider dangling close by.

Then I am silent and I lay still, eyes closed, no sound except for that of my breathing. He leans over me. “You okay?”

Oh sure, now he wants to act sincere again. I refuse to acknowledge him or his stupid question. He leans closer; I sense his nearness. I can feel his body shifting as he drops to one knee, his face coming closer to mine.

"Nina? Are you o—"

Splat! I have delivered my surreptitiously gathered ammunition directly between the eyes! I give some extra smoosh action to his face. Oh- ho-ho! Who is laughing now? I am on my feet, whooping, doing my victory war dance around him as he struggles to stand. The gleam in his eye warns me and I turn to run.

Slipping across the surface, we lope. He is right on my tail and I am once again shrieking. I hear him yell and I turn to see him fall. I stop; should I be concerned? He rises as far as his knees, and then in feigned defeat, hangs his head low in shame.

“Truce?” I say. I can be gracious.

“Truce.” He agrees.

Side by side, we walk towards the cabin. His arm goes around my shoulders and I lean into him, contentedly.

From the porch, we can hear the sounds of our audience: the disgusted groans of our children intermixed with the delighted laughter of our grandkids. Yes, the old folks are at it again. Will we ever learn to act our age?


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This article has been read 486 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/04/10
This was great. I loved the ending. I never dreamed they would be old lovers! Great job.
Anita Vander Elst03/04/10
From title (love it) to surprise ending (did not expect grandma & grandpa), this story delivers like a well-aimed snowball.:-) Quite refreshing! Wonderful descriptions! I pictured it all! Loved the sentence comparing the shriek to a muffet on a tuffet. Bet there were some sore muscles & joints shrieking at the end of the day too.
Genia Gilbert03/04/10
I love this, especially saving the ending as a real surprise. Well done
Glenda Lagerstedt03/06/10
Good surprise ending. It was fun rereading your story in the light of a different point of view. Very creative.
Noel Mitaxa 03/07/10
Very clever title, and the gentle way you built the story and the edginess - then took us in a totally unexpected direction. Great work!
Brenda Shipman03/07/10
This is just darn good writing - every bit of it! One of my favorites, so far. And the ending was pure delight.
Robyn Burke03/11/10
Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!! I am standing in my own field of screams-- screams of delight!!!
Joan Campbell03/11/10
Congratulation Robyn! This was pure fun. I had a picture of teenagers in my mind all the way through and LOVED the surprise ending.
Jackie Wilson03/11/10
What a delicious little surprise you snuck in! As I'm sure you intended, I was thinking, "Ah, young love.." all the way through, because it definitely had that feel. I love surprises! Thanks and congrats!
Beth LaBuff 03/11/10
What a beautifully written story.... love the way you withheld their identity! Congrats on Editor's Choice with this!
Ruth Stromquist03/11/10
Ditto on above. :-) Congratulations!
harvestgal Ndaguba03/15/10
Oh this is just too good, I would have never guessed they were old folks. I'm so glad I got to read this story. What a laugh it brought at the end.
Donna Wolther03/15/10
Yep, nice surprise ending. Being a grandmother it hit home too.