choices- page 5.

chapter 1. page 5.

1. Right before snatching the radio from the grips of the wrinkled-ear man, Mrs. Scuttlemutt trips on a garden hose and falls head first into the leg of the gnarled-fingered woman’s plastic lawn chair, chipping her tooth.
choices page 5

It may have slowed her down but it didn’t stop her. And what really helped her succeed in the steal was the curiously perfect timing of Jimmy’s reappearance. There was a moment in the audience of not being able to take it all in. There was too much to process.  Too much happened. Too much, too fast, all of it happened instantaneously, simultaneously. Nobody’s mouth could drop as wide as the wrinkled-ear man’s smile was wide, of course. But that’s not to say that mouths didn’t drop and heads didn’t turn  And when they turned she made her move.

Mrs. Scuttlement had blown her cover at the exact moment that everyone turned to see Jimmy return with a gigantic bandage over the left side of his head. The wrinkled-ear man was no less distracted- his grip on the radio relaxed for a fraction of a second- all the time in the world for a chipped-tooth thief to scratch an itch to steal.

“Hey boy, you gonna pay up?” The question, from an unidentifiable neighbor having recovered from shape of his mouth to utter words and break the spell.

“Stop! Stop her…” cried the gnarled-finger wife…

make a choice and continue the story…

which way right

which way

1. The chipped-tooth thief was fast but so was Jimmy. He took off after her, in  furiously fast-paced, pedaled pursuit…

or

2. Jimmy removed the bandage for all to see…

view details about the choices assignment
submit your part in the story via email: adventureclubinteractive@gmail.com

 

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choices- page 4.

chapter 1. page 4.

1. Spoken loud enough for the neighbors to hear, but softly out of the husband and wife’s hearing range,
“I’m going to steal that radio when they aren’t looking.”

butterflies

At first, I wasn’t certain who uttered these words, or who would dare to steal anything from this gnarled and crooked old couple.  What kid of neighborhood was I living in anyway?  Aside for Jimmy’s random animalistic attacks on the neighbors, our little community was safe and crime free.  Dogs slept in the middle of the road.  People left their front doors unlocked.  We were stuck in 1955 and we liked it that way.  How could anyone steal anything from these people?  How could anyone rationalize stealing anything from anyone? Perhaps I was being naive.  I’ve been accused of altruism and a Pollyanna disposition more than one time in my life.

My jaw nearly dropped to the floor when I saw Mrs. Scuttlemutt step forward, hiding behind a picture frame showcasing dried butterflies.  The frame was no bigger than 11×14 inches but this frame acted as an invisibility cloak-at least to Mrs. Scuttlemutt.  Of course, we could see absolutely everything that she was doing, every step-every calculated step, but she moved as if invisible and invincible.  One bold step at a time she crept closer and closer to the wrinkled ear man and the gnarled-finger woman.  I know they could see her sneaking towards them but they continued looking past her into the distance.    She crept closer and closer towards them, and we waited.  We all just stood there like idiots, doing nothing, watching a show, the audience in some sad pathetic meaningless play trying to be an intelligent comment on society.  We stood there.  She crept towards the radio.  We waited.

make a choice and continue the story…
 

which way right

which way

1. Right before snatching the radio from the grips of the wrinkled-ear man, Mrs. Scuttlemutt trips on a garden hose and falls head first into the leg of the gnarled-fingered woman’s plastic lawn chair, chipping her tooth.

or

2. Just before Mrs. Scuttlemutt snatches the radio, thunder crashes through the sky and it begins to pour.

view details about the choices assignment
submit your part in the story via email: adventureclubinteractive@gmail.com

 

choices- page 3.

chapter 1. page 3.

2. The wrinkled-ear man eventually understands Jimmy’s question.  He smiles and offers Jimmy the radio in exchange for…

ears

“For your ear.”

His smile was wide, kind and patient. I had never seen it before. It stretched entirely across his face- from ear to wrinkled-ear. It was so large, like so much effort that his cheeks had to hurt. I thought, insanely perhaps, that the corners of his mouth might have gotten stuck to the tips of his ears. He ignored the sticking or endured the effort anyhow- and smiled through the reactions.

“What kind of yard sale is this?” someone cried out from somewhere.

“He can’t give you his ear!” someone remarked obviously.

Jimmy was silent, as though considering the offer. As though he was well practiced with the artful pause of bargaining. Or was he about to start drooling and growling?

“If he gives you his ear, he won’t be able to hear the radio.” Nobody was quite sure who said that but it came from somewhere within the circle of neighbors.

All the while I kept watching him, the wrinkled-ear man, realizing that I couldn’t turn away until he turned off that smile. It started to seem like a mask. And then it started to seem like a joke. And then it was mocking me and everyone there. His gnarled-finger wife stood behind him without expression. It didn’t appear as if her husband was going to say anything else. Not to Jimmy, not to any of the neighbors and not for the rest of the yard sale. So the gnarled-finger woman spoke on his behalf.

“Young man, if you would like to have the radio you will have to give him your ear.”

“Can I ask my parents first?”

“Yes. Quickly go and return. Someone else might want to exchange for the radio in your absence.”

Jimmy took off in a furious pedal.  The wrinkled-ear husband was smiling a marathon to the finish line. The neighbors were under a spell of speculation.

“This is ridiculous,” someone said.

“Maybe he’ll want my ear for the radio while the kid’s gone,” someone mused.

“Your ear is ugly. Probably too small for him,” someone confirmed.

And then someone proposed something. It was hard to tell who said it but it was hard to ignore that it was said.

make a choice and continue the story…

which way right

which way

1. Spoken loud enough for the neighbors to hear, but softly out of husband and wife’s hearing range,
“I’m going to steal that radio when they aren’t looking.” 

or

2. “I’m going to follow Jimmy and see what happens when he asks his parents about giving these freaks his ear.”

choices- page 2.

chapter 1. page 2.

1. Jimmy, the kid never before seen with his parents, addressed the wrinkled-ear husband…

jimmy2

No one, especially the wrinkled-ear husband, had ever heard Jimmy speak before.  They had heard him shout many time at the top of his lungs.  They had heard his piercing scream as he ran down the middle of the road.  They had heard his laughter and his cries but never a word, until today.  The general consensus amongst the neighborhood was that Jimmy was an animal in the purest sense of the word.  He growled, he drooled, he rarely bathed, and occasionally he would run up behind the the wrinkled-ear husband and bite his ankles!  However, today, Jimmy decided to speak.

“how much is this?”

“what?”

“i said, how much is this?”

“i can’t hear you.” the wrinkled-ear husband replied shaking his head and turning to his wife.

“this radio!”  Jimmy shouted in his usual fashion.  “how much is this radio?!?”

By now the neighbors had formed a semi-circle around Jimmy and the wrinkled-ear husband.  The air turned tense.  Everyone held their breath, not quite sure what was going on or what was going to happen next…

 

make a choice and continue the story…

which way right

which way

1. Frustrated with the wrinkled-ear husband, Jimmy resorts to his familiar animal tendencies.  He crouches down and bites the wrinkled-ear man’s ankles…

or

2. The wrinkled-ear man eventually understands Jimmy’s question.  He smiles and  proceeds to gift Jimmy the radio in exchange for…

choices- page 1.

chapter 1. page 1.

DSCN0804

Down the street, the gnarled-finger woman and her wrinkled-ear husband, were having a yard sale. It was a Tuesday afternoon- not Saturday, not Sunday- when the box with the sign was flung over their fence, commencing the sale. This, I had to see.

I arrived to the sale, faking a casual walk around the block. This attempt at ambiguity proved unnecessary. Everyone else had seen the box. We were drawn to it like a flock. It was no coincidence that everyone else in the neighborhood seemed to need a walk around the block too. It was like a migration.

The gnarled-finger woman and her wrinkled-ear husband were sitting in plastic lawn chairs, affixed with price tags. From the buttons of the husbands’ shirt hung a price tag. The bracelet around the wrist of the woman’s gnarled-finger hand had a price tag. She was waving the arm at flies. Neither of them seemed to be aware that there were people in their yard. They didn’t even seem to notice that they were having a sale. Someone broke the ice. We were all waiting for it.

make a choice and continue the story…

which way right

 

which way

1. Jimmy, the kid never before seen with his parents, addressed the wrinkled-ear husband…

or

2. Sheila, the unemployed therapist, leaned over and whispered to the gnarled-finger woman…