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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)

TITLE: Coolsville Sisters Circa 1958, a Pseudo Fairy Tale
By Betty Castleberry


Once upon a time in the village of Coolsville lived two sisters. The girls were close in age, and were great rivals.

They spent most of their time sneaking into each other’s closets and borrowing clothes without asking.

Every young lady in Coolsville who had reached the age of sixteen was required to write a list of goals for herself. Pearl, the oldest sister, who was one birthday past sixteen, had completed her list and was working on making the goals come true. The younger sister, Ruby, was fast approaching sixteen, and had begun to think about the goals she wanted for her own list.

One evening while the sisters were watching American Bandstand and chewing Teaberry gum, Ruby turned to Pearl. “Should I start my list with number ten or number one?”

Pearl swung her black and white saddle oxfords onto the coffee table. “Well, most girls think it’s best to work backward and have the most important thing on your list be number ten. You know, kind of like rating something on a scale where ten in the highest. And because I’ve given you this valuable advice, you will not tell Mother that I had my feet on the furniture.”

Ruby pursed her lips, smearing her cherry-flavored lipstick. “Then I guess I’ll start with number one and work my way up. Goal one will be to write Bobby Darin a fan letter.”

The oldest of the girls rolled her eyes. “He is so yesterday. Why don’t you write to Neil Sedaka instead?”

“I’ll see. What else should I put on there?”

“I don’t know. It’s your stupid list. My ideas came to me really quickly. Of course, I’m a lot smarter than you are.”


Pearl rolled her eyes again. “See? That’s a brilliant response. Hey, did you hear about the sale at Lentz Brothers?”

Now in the land of Coolsville, Lentz Brothers Department Store was a very hip place to shop. They carried all the latest fashions and any young lady who was anyone bought their clothes there. The owners also just happened to have a very handsome and popular son named Sy, who was the unofficial prince of Coolsville.

He drove a baby blue 57 Chevy and wore his black hair in a pompadour. The girls he favored with a smile had been known to swoon. He had never gone steady with anyone, though. There was a fierce competition among the maidens of Coolsville to be the first to wear Sy’s class ring.

Ruby gave her sister’s answer some thought. “I didn’t know there was a sale, but we don’t get our allowance for a week anyway. Come on and help me with my list.”

“You have to write it yourself, dip stick.”

“I know, Miss Meanie, but you could at least listen to my ideas, couldn’t you?”

Pearl sighed. “Go ahead. It’s my duty as the older sister.”

“Well, I thought I would put getting an A in algebra on the list, and I want to learn to play tennis.”

Pearl examined her fingernails. “I don’t like this Strawberry Parfait color. Go get me that new red one you bought.”

“Pearl, you’re not even listening.”

“Yes I am. Go get your nail polish and I’ll help.”

Ruby stomped out of the room and returned with the nail polish, smacking it forcefully into her sister’s hand. “Here. Another thing I want on the list is to be nicer to Mom and Dad, and learn to bake brownies. I’m including making my bed every day, getting up earlier, and exercising more. Goal nine will be to buy myself a yellow chiffon prom dress.”

Pearl looked at her sister in surprise. “Why?”

“Because I want to be ready for my junior prom next year.”

“And who do you think would ask you to the prom? You’re not that popular.”

“Just as popular as you. Anyway, I have a whole year to work on things.”

“Ha. You’ll probably go stag, if you go at all.”

“I have a guy in mind.”


“Sy Lentz.”

Pearl slapped her knee and laughed. “That’s a good one.”

“Just wait and see. I’m putting down going to the prom with Sy as my most important goal.”

And so it was, Ruby attended her junior prom in a yellow chiffon dress with Sy Lentz as her escort while her sister Pearl looked on with envy.

*The moral of the story:

Sy Lentz is Goal Ten.

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This article has been read 932 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 05/08/08
Cute and clever. Definitely a fun voice.
Phyllis Inniss05/08/08
Quite entertaining.
Mariane Holbrook 05/09/08
What a delightful piece. I loved it!
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/10/08
What fun! I'm a sucker for a pun and I backed right into it.
Shirley McClay 05/12/08
HAHAHA.. awesome.. I wondered where this was going and I ran smack-dab into it!

I thought about doing this with a pun once but didn't.. so cool!
Jan Ackerson 05/12/08
LOVE IT! The voice was perfect, and I was NOT expecting that perfect pun at the ending. I'm a huge fan of wordplay, so this one gets 10 stars from me!
Laury Hubrich 05/12/08
Oh funny! Betty is so very funny! Thanks for the laugh! ROFL!
Dee Yoder 05/12/08
Grrooaaannnn...did NOT expect that pun at the end, Betty! What fun! I love the period feel of this entry-right down to the gum. Reminded me of the days when my sister and I were both at home. (Only our time would be the "Mellow Yellow" days of the sixties.)
Sharlyn Guthrie05/12/08
Ha! It took reading the last line three times, but I finally got it! Duh! Lots of fun, and very entertaining with all the details...teaberry gum, cherry flavored lipstick, and all. Nice work!
Lyn Churchyard05/13/08
Way cool! Your characters were so well written and very much late 50s.

I just about choked on my coffee with the Sy Lentz is Goal Ten.

Peter Stone05/13/08
Loved the banter between the sisters, and that pun...what can I say?
Debbie Wistrom05/14/08
I heard the smack of the finger nail polish hitting the big sister's hand. Priceless. You brought these girls and the era to life, this was so much fun!
LauraLee Shaw05/14/08
Wowzer, this is brilliantly clever. Love it from title to end.
Sara Harricharan 05/14/08
okay, ROFL! You got me here with that pun at the end! Lolz! I liked the coolsvile sisters, I do hope there are more stories about them! I loved the interaction between the two and especially the ending where she got her yellow dress and was able to go to the prom with Sy. Cute! ^_^
Joy Faire Stewart05/14/08
I enjoy your entries each week. They are always fresh and entertaining. Excellent writing this week too. Loved it!
Loren T. Lowery05/14/08
Okay, I just have to ask, did the ending of that story come first and you built up to it? Or, did it just develop naturally to that wonderfully funny Aesop ending? Either way, this was a delight to read!
Aaron Morrow05/14/08
Brilliant! Rolled right off that cliff...groooaaannn!
Wonderful writing!!!
Joshua Janoski05/15/08
Hahaha! The pun at the end is right up my alley. I loved the dialogue in this. It's just how you would expect two teenage girls from the 50's (or is it 60's?) to act. Very clever with just enough goofiness mixed in to make it a lot of fun.
Joshua Janoski05/15/08
Ok. Maybe if I had read your title better I wouldn't have questioned whether this happened in the 50's or 60's. :)
LaNaye Perkins05/15/08
This was a hoot to read and I loved every single word of it. Well done!