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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Hide and Seek (08/07/08)

TITLE: A Questionable Tale
By Karen Wilber
08/12/08


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Mother Dictionary was in a dither. When she woke up that morning, she felt slightly...abridged. She fluttered her pages. Something was definitely amiss, something she couldn’t define.

Everything appeared to be in order. A, B, C, D, E, F, and G were practicing their musical scales. L, M, N, O, and P were reading in a corner. Even X, Y, and Z were behaving. She did a head count. “...23, 24, 25...”

Someone was missing.

“Everyone, come here,” said Mother Dictionary, “I want to have a word with you. Line up. Are you all here? Does anyone know who’s missing?”

A answered automatically.
B blustered.
C counted and confirmed.
D, determined to defend himself, delivered a diatribe.
E was enthusiastic, but evasive.
F felt faint.
G giggled.
H hollered, “Here.”
I ignored the invitation.
J just jumped.
K knew something. (Her knees kept knocking.)
L laughed.
M made mention of a meeting.
N nodded.
O offered an ovation.
P prayed.
Q ...

Q ... No one was there.

“Has anyone seen Q?”

R responded reluctantly.
S said, “Sorry.”
T tensed.
U understandably upset, utterly unraveled. “She’s gone,” he ululated, “I found this note.”

It read:

Dear Mother Dictionary,

I’m tired of being a middle letter. Children rush past me when they sing the alphabet song. I hardly ever get to do anything by myself. K has agreed to take over all my phonetic responsibilities.

I -uit.

Sincerely,
Q


Mother Dictionary sighed, “She always was -uarrelsome, -uick to -uibble and -uestion. Nevertheless, she’s part of the family. Everyone look around. We must find her.”

They searched every -uadrant. She wasn’t at the pond where the confused ducks -uacked helplessly.

She wasn’t at the castle where the -ueen was in a -uandary. Her -uarterly council couldn’t raise a -uorum.

Back in town, the musicians found themselves unable to form -uartets or -uintets, let alone play -uarter notes. Poets despaired of trying to compose a -uatrain. Mathematicians and scientists were in a -uagmire; with no -uadratics or -uotients, they couldn’t tell a -uartz from a -uasar. Chaos reigned at the library where the librarians couldn’t keep everyone -uiet. Copies of Don -uixote windmilled from the bookshelves.

They perused paragraphs and scanned sentences. They dug through definitions, mined meanings, and examined every entry. The missing letter was nowhere to be found.

Dinner was exquisite. The banquet had seventeen courses.

“I found her,” called Mother Dictionary, “She was hiding in the middle of that non sequitur.”

Their quest was over.

“Q, why did you go into quarantine?” Mother Dictionary questioned.

“I was feeling quite queasy from taking quizzes and completing questionnaires,” Q quipped, “I just wanted to go into my Quonset hut and hide under a quilt.”

“We’d like to have you back among us. Without you in the alphabet, we’re below our quota.”

“I’ll return to my quarters in exchange for one thing.”

“Quid pro quo?”

“That’s right. I’d like a new job. You have to admit, with all my experience with U, I’m qualified for a leadership position. I’d like to move to the front of the queue.”

“I hate to quell your ambitions, but I can’t move you up in the alphabet. It goes against the law of the letter. However, there is a quality position open on the keyboard.”

“You mean?”

“If you have no qualms, we could make it QWERTY.”

Q quickly acquiesced.

And that’s how Q made her debut. A questionable tale. Quote, unquote.


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This article has been read 1714 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Folakemi Emem-Akpan08/14/08
This is absolutely delightful. I loved loved loved it and I am absolutely green with envy. Why can’t I write like this? But hey, imagine what would happen if letter E went AWOL.
Deborah Engle 08/15/08
Fantastic story. So fun to read. Great job.
Joanne Sher 08/15/08
What an absolutely DELIGHTFUL and hysterical piece! This is brilliant. Dying to know who wrote this one :)Absolutely creative in every way.
Patty Wysong08/15/08
Quality writing here!!
I looooove this one--it's fabulous!
Debbie Roome 08/15/08
What an imaginative story!
Dianne Janak08/15/08
absolutely Adorable..my favorite phrase..."the law of the letter"... this just has me in awe at the wonderful creative gift God has given you.. and blessed all of us with...! bravo!
Lynda Schultz 08/16/08
Quite quintessentially quirky. Qu-dos!
Betty Castleberry08/17/08
Off the charts creative. This was really, really fun. Two thumbs up.
Ellen Dodson08/17/08
How clever!! I would love to have been perched inside your imagination as you pieced this together! What wonderful--truly WONDERFUL--talent. you had me peeking down at my keyboard and almost congratulating Q!
william price08/17/08
Mega points on creativity and reader involvement. Loved every line. God bless.
Heather Sargent08/18/08
Haha! "Want to have a WORD with you" giggle. This was simply brilliant!
Kristen Hester08/19/08
This is so clever. Every line was creative. Great job!
08/20/08
So very cute and clever! I love it--a wonderful play on words, or shall I say, on letters?...Quite clever. Quite quaint!...I shall never look at a QQQQ in the same way again....Don't ever QUIT writing....Helen
Leah Nichols 08/20/08
This is my absolute favorite entry. Literally had me laughing out loud!
Joy Faire Stewart08/20/08
What a fun read and so unique. Loved it!
Patricia Turner08/20/08
un-uestionably -uite the -uintessential winner! What a hoot!
Joshua Janoski08/21/08
She felt slightly "abridged"

something she couldn't "define"

Oh my gosh! It's little puns like the ones above that make this story PERFECT reading material. This has to be my favorite entry of yours hands down, Karen. And you have had some other really good ones.

This was so incredibly creative and funny. It appears that you had fun writing this, and I had soooo much fun reading it. I'm adding this on eto my favorites list.

I'm so glad that it received an EC, because if it hadn't, I would have had to -uit FaithWriters. LOL. Joking of course, but still it would have been a travesty. :)
Janice Fitzpatrick08/21/08
This has to be one of the most fun and engaging stories I have ever read. You have to get this published. I can see it illustrated as a children's story. Now if you'll excuse me I am about to quietly play a game of QUOIT with our Quey in the quag. Grin. Nice job!God bless.:0)Janice
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/21/08
Your creativity, originality, and humor, along with your great writing style, make this a delightful read.
Sheri Gordon08/21/08
Congratulations on your EC, Karen. This is really, really clever. Great job with the topic.
Jason Swiney08/21/08
Awesome, I think I've read it five times already. This will end up circulating through many classrooms. Did I say "awesome"? -uite brilliant.
Benjamin Graber08/21/08
Unquestionably, this is quite cute... :-) Great job!
Patrick Whalen08/21/08
I'm not sure how I missed this one but I am incredibly glad that it placed so that I didn't. It took a creatively brilliant mind to think this up and then make it resound, without Question!
Charla Diehl 08/21/08
WOW, what an imagination. Loved this Q-ute story! I agree with the others, this should be a children's book. Congrats on your well-deserved win.
Sharlyn Guthrie08/21/08
I loved this entry, Karen. I even read it to my whole family, and they enjoyed it, too. Congerats on your EC!
Chely Roach08/21/08
Oh Karen...this was pure genius! This was a BLAST to read. I am so glad it placed...congratulations!
Glynis Becker 08/26/08
Such a delightful piece to read...it must have been so much fun to write! Congratulations on a well-deserved win!
Regina Rupert04/21/09
As did the others who left comments, I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. It put me in mind of the novel "Ella Minnow Pea." If you haven't read it, I think you might like it.
Regina Rupert04/21/09
Upon re-reading, if line 4 is any indication, you have read the book I mentioned! How fun!