It came in an email. A reminder. A nudge. A Slice of Life every day for thirty-one days.
It’s March 2nd, but I’m writing for March 1st because I’m accepting the challenge.
I love to write, but I’m an academic writer for my middle school language arts classroom. And we participate each year in #NaNoWriMo, so really, a slice each day? Why not?
For one thing, I’m a story creator, not a story-teller. I forget what happened as soon as I’ve moved on to the next moment. That’s a gift in that drama is so not part of my life. But, I miss retelling the small moments and past stories that my grandchildren just might want to hear. But I love the spontaneous creating of stories that evolve moment by moment in my science fantasy novels each November.
That means I need to write those slices to bring moments alive. Perhaps a story about the lost child on his big wheel, or camping at — hmmm, forgot the name of that spot — or a stubbed toe. Ouch. Do kids even run barefoot on the sidewalk anymore?
Once upon a time in a cold February in 1950, a child was born. She grew up with mud pies, neighborhood skits, catching toads, and a little brother who told stories every night.
“Sheri,” mom called out the door on a hot August afternoon. “Where is your little brother? Go find him.”
I frowned. At age seven, I didn’t appreciate losing the sight of my brother — I’d get in trouble.
We lived in an older neighborhood, not far from Main Street, but our street was quiet. Across the street were the McGarvey’s, all thirteen of them. Was Bill there?
“Beeeee—-allll,” I yelled. Again and again with no answer. I walked down the sidewalk, looking into the parked cars. Bill loved to pretend to drive, and anyone who left a door unlocked risked a visit from him. At four years old, he could climb anything and get into anything. It was not easy keeping track of him.
And then I heard it, that voice: “Rrrrrrrrr. Rrrrrrrrrrr,” an attempt at a car engine.
I stopped to listen and tilted my head, glancing at the driver’s seat in each parked car. There he was, in the green car.
I ran to the car and stopped, looking up and down the street. Who’s car was it? Were they around? I hesitated, knowing it wasn’t mine to touch, but there was Bill, pretending to zoom down the highway, twisting the steering wheel back and forth.
I grabbed the door handle and pulled the door open. I hopped up onto the sideboard, and ducked my head into the car.
“Bill! Get out of the car. Mom wants you.”
He laughed and continued driving.
I reached in and pulled his arm. “Come on, Bill. This isn’t your car. We’ll get in trouble.”
He laughed. And I screamed. The car door had closed on my toe. I pulled Bill out of the car, crying. My little toe was bleeding and I was sobbing.
I closed the car door and took Bill’s hand; he looked scared. I limped back to the house with Bill.
What happened next, I don’t remember, but it was always this way: Sheri, get your little brother.