Friday, November 28, 2008

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 41

This is week 41 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. Had an awful time with the mega this week... with all of them, but especially that one. Whoever came up with these words needs to see a psychiatrist... oh, wait... it was me...

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: posthumous, flagrant, seven days a week, cheese and crackers, pyramid, civil war, clarinet, microwave, absent without leave, blue jeans Mini Challenge: sugar-coated, thermometer, tractor pull, evangelical, masquerade

Here's my ten-word offering for this week:

Edward Posthumous had gone absent without leave from both his job as a tax accountant and his position playing first clarinet for the Boomberg Community Orchestra, with a flagrant disregard for the pyramid of disaster that his absence would cause. He did not care. He could not take it any longer. He was tired of working seven days a week without rest or relaxation. From now on – at least for the next two weeks - he planned to sit on the sofa eating cheese and crackers in his most comfortable blue jeans watching videos of The Civil War series and all the movies he had wanted to see but missed because he was working. He would microwave his meals and owe “nothing to nobody.” Then, he would see about returning to work.

And here's my mini challenge:

Gloria’s passion for both tractor pull’s and masquerade balls bordered on the pathological or, if you wanted it sugar coated, she was almost evangelical in her love of both events and her desire to bring others into the fold. This no doubt explained her annual Halloween Tractor Pull which was followed by a gala costume party. Her own costumes were always creative and ingenious. This year she was attending as a thermometer and Harry, her husband, was an ice pack. Besides being great fun, Gloria’s annual event always raised a small fortune for the local pet sanctuary.

And for the mega challenge:

There was no way to sugar coat it, Sandra Spartenburg thought, her son was the worst clarinet player in the history of all time… and the most dedicated. To put it mildly, his music sounded like a pre-posthumous cat at a tractor pull. Unlike other children, who resisted practice, Samuel went at it with evangelical enthusiasm; he played hour after hour, seven days a week. So far the neighbors had been good humored about it but she could not be sure how long it would be before civil war broke out. She herself wanted very much burn the stupid thing in a large fire or maybe nuke it in the microwave. Since that wasn’t practical, she had tried building a sound proof pyramid in which he could practice unheard, but it only seemed to mute the sound which was almost worse. She felt ashamed of herself as a parent. She had developed a flagrant disregard for her son’s feelings. When bribing him with cheese and crackers didn’t work, she would say things like ”you look like you have a fever,” and stick a thermometer into his mouth before he could respond. Anything to keep him from playing another note. She knew she was supposed to be supportive of her children, and she really wanted to be, but the sound of his playing was driving her crazy. It was all she could do to not disappear, to go AWOL (absent without leave) every time he started playing. She wanted very much to don blue jeans and a wig and masquerade as someone else whenever she left the house. But then at night, she would look at Sam’s sweet sleeping face and all else but her love would melt away. I helped too, that her always wise and thoughtful husband had invested in a large enough supply of earplugs to cover the whole neighborhood until hopefully, this phase of Samuel’s development passed, or, God willing, he improved.


This week's vanity wordzzle used the words: tiger, false, camera, obsolete, velvet, novelty, timeless, contract, mellifluous, sandalwood, perfection, xylophone, topography

Miranda raised her arms to the sky and spun around three times in a dance of joy. This place was perfection - a timeless and sensual wonderland, so rich in texture, color, sound. The topography was just what she had asked for, velvety green forest on one side, from which she could look out on the vast green veldt and the enormous mountains in the distance, so huge and beautiful that they almost seemed unreal. Here in camp she was wrapped in the rich smell of sandalwood and hibiscus and who knew what other good smells. The mellifluous ripple of the small clear stream nearby sang to her heart. She could not wait to set up her camera, to try and capture this wild beauty before it became obsolete, to show people what they would lose if they did not stop soon. Elephants, lions, tigers, gnus - this was where they belonged. The fancy preserves, no matter how pretty or well designed were false - the works of man, not God. They took these magnificent creatures and turned them into novelty items. But they were not. Each species, each animal had its own unique aura and style and gift to give the universe. She could not bear the thought of losing all this beauty. Her contract with the magazine was to take pictures, to preserve this place in the annals of history. But she had her own contract with God and with this place and all the plants and other beings that inhabited it. She would do still shots, but also a movie. She even knew what music she would use - native drums and a kind of local xylophone that held the spirit of the place. She had to save this beauty. And as the sun set against the distant mountains she sent her heart out into the land and the sky and the trees and asked them to speak to her eyes, to her film in the coming days, to help her fulfill her mission. And then she whispered, "I will keep you alive and then, if you will have me, I will come home to you to die."


Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: think the rain’ll hurt the rhubarb?, B Vitamins, credit card, jolly, angels, mouse, three ring circus, haiku, sponge, copper

Mini Challenge: compulsive, trunk, African violets, curiosity, UFO

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.


14 comments: said...

Great MInds. We both had tractor pulls and masquerades tied together. Wonderful as always, j-bear

Lu' said...

Good stories Raven. Powerful ending on the vanity. Thanks for hosting.

Carletta said...

The thermometer an ice pack costumes were a clever idea.

I understand Sam's mom - my kids both played violin!

Anonymous said...

Raven, I loved these words! Writing this week was fun! Yay.

It seems I, too, duplicated your word usage without meaning to, but I am going to put it down to "great minds thinking alike."

Akelamalu said...

Good for Edward! I'd love to follow his example. :)

"...attending as a thermometer and Harry, her husband, was an ice pack.

Thermometer and and ice pack - that's an idea to store away! ;)

Dr.John said...

Four great stories as usual but I just loved the mega challenge. I could almost hear the kid playing the clarinet.
The last one was great too with such a poignant ending.

Finding Pam said...

I am a little late, but just could not put it all together. Thanks Raven for hosting and now I will read everyone's stories.

Melli said...

ROFLMBO!!! sounded like a pre-posthumous cat... where do you come UP with this stuff! That was just genius! These are all great stories! I didn't play this week... I'll get back to it next week though!

bettygram said...

Great stories. The last story was beautiful.

Jeff B said...

The mega hit my funny bone just right. As a parent of kids just getting into music, I both laughed and shuddered.

Your vanity story was beautiful too. There's a lot of truth wrapped into that one.

I'm taking this week off, but wanted to come by and catch up on what you and the others did this week.

Richard said...

Loved your Mega, a good clarinet player is tolerable, a bad one beyond awful. Great story.


Lulda Casadaga said...

Poor kid ...he just wants to play that clarinet...loved the costumes! And who wouldn't want to stay home and catch up on movies missed. DOWN WITH WORK!!

I was able to do a mega story this week. Yeah!! I'm already trying to come up with something for next week! ;)

Lulda Casadaga said...

Poor kid ...he just wants to play that clarinet...loved the costumes! And who wouldn't want to stay home and catch up on movies missed. DOWN WITH WORK!!

I was able to do a mega story this week. Yeah!! I'm already trying to come up with something for next week! ;)

Raven said...

Just in case anybody checks back... Lulda wrote some great stuff but has had problems with Mr. Linky. I added her... very late, but... hopefully one or two of you will stumble on this and discover her.