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"An Unexplainable Happening" - a personal narrative about a memorable event


CrystalP 1 / 1  
Jan 25, 2009   #1
Our instructor assinged us to write a personal narrative about a memorable event. Minimum 600 words The essay will be scored for content, structure, and mechanics. I have never been a creative writer or a writer period however this class is needed for an associates degree. I don't feel comfortable with the begining and I feel that my paragraphs are too long but I don't know how to break them up. I was hoping that someone could lead me in the right direction. Thank you so much for taking the time to help.

An Unexplainable Happening

It was my turn to host movie night, an event that became a tradition with us military wives. Our husbands were gone quite frequently, sometimes for weeks or months at a time. The wives used this time to hang out and do girl things together while awaiting the return of the boys. That movie night would be the most terrifying, unexplainable night that we would all remember forever.

The smell of popcorn filled the air of my two-story condo. The blinds slowly swayed to the breeze blowing through the kitchen, when the phone rang: it was Crystal and Leslie calling to notify me that they would arrive shortly. Crystal asked, in her southern voice, "Hey, girl, ya mind if I bring Nanook with me tonight? I don't want him chewin' up another couch." (Nanook was a loving two-year old Siberian husky.) "Sure, I don't mind, but don't forget to bring his food," I replied, while pouring some milk into a sippy cup for my two-year old daughter Caitlyn.

I hung up the phone and walked into the living room to find a movie for all of us to watch. Caitlyn handed me a Barney video. "Watch Bonny pease," she said in a way that only a mother could understand. "Okay, but when Crystal and Leslie get here, we are going to watch a different movie. Why don't you go upstairs and get your baby doll and blanket?" Caitlyn walked over to the stairs and proceeded to climb up on her knees. When she got to the third step, the doorbell rang. "Come in," I shouted.

Nanook was the first to trot through the door and straight to Caitlyn. "Nook Nook!" she squealed. (She absolutely loved that dog and he loved her.) Crystal came in next, carrying her blanket and pillow, and following her was Leslie, carrying only her pack of smokes and her bottle of Diet Coke. "Okay, girls, are you ready to watch a movie?" I asked. "Wait, let me get comfy first," said Crystal, as she made a bed for herself on the floor, while Nanook curled up on her feet.

I walked into the kitchen and grabbed the popcorn and some sodas, then back into the living room to make a spot for me and Caitlyn. I popped in the movie and pushed Play. "What are we watchin' tonight?" asked Leslie. (Leslie, like Crystal, had a very strong southern accent.) "Three Men and a Baby. I thought that we would keep it on the less scarier side since the guys are gone," I said as I sat down. "Are you kidding me? That's one of the freakiest movies I have ever seen!" Crystal said. "What are you talking about?" Leslie retorted. "I've seen this movie a million times and there is nothing scary about it."

Crystal continued to tell us about this little boy that shot himself with a rifle in the house where the movie was filmed and, at one point in the movie, you can catch a glimpse of him standing in between the curtains in the living room. "Well this should be interesting," I said in a sarcastic tone. The movie started and still no child was to be seen in the curtains. Ten minutes went by...then twenty...then thirty. My hand was on the remote, ready to pause the movie as soon as this ghostly figure showed himself.

...There it was! I could not believe my eyes: a figure, just like Crystal mentioned. Rewind, pause, and stare. Rewind, pause, and stare. We repeated this about five times until the excitement was over with and continued watching the rest of the movie looking for any other signs of this child. However, there was none.

Out of nowhere, a small object flew down the stairs and made a small thump on the wall. Our heads turned towards the front door where the stairs were at. Nanook stood up in a protective stance with his chest puffed out. A growl was coming from deep within him. We froze, looked at each other with confusion in our eyes.

"What the heck?" Crystal blurted out in an uneasy voice. "Did you guys see that"? I asked. "I didn't see anything, but I heard it" Leslie replied. Then Caitlyn stood up and walked over to the stairs which was directly to the right of the front door. Caitlyn started to giggle. She slowly lifted her arm and pointed to the top of the landing, saying, "Dost, dost." "What did she say?" asked Crystal.

(Not many people could understand Caitlyn. I knew Caitlyn said "ghost," but I wasn't sure if I should share that information with Crystal and Leslie. I knew it would freak them out.)

Nanook started to walk up the stairs. I picked up Caitlyn and proceeded to follow. When Nanook reached the landing, he stopped and sniffed the air. Did he sense something that did not belong? We proceeded to walk up the next flight of stairs, my heart pounding a little faster as we reached the top floor. All three doors were shut. The bathroom was directly in front of us. If we turned our bodies to the left we could see Caitlyn's room; to the right was my room. Nanook started to act a little nervous, pacing from one door to another. "What is he doing, Crystal?" Leslie asked. "I have no clue, but he's not acting normal," Crystal replied.

At that moment Nanook stopped in front of Caitlyn's door. His hair began to stand up on his neck. His ears pinned back and his head went down. "He definitely is not acting normal," I said with a shaky voice. Nanook proceeded to creep back downstairs while urinating the whole down. "Nanook, what the hell is wrong with you? I'm sorry, he never does this," Crystal said. "It's okay," I said, trying to make a joke out of the matter. "I think I'm about to do the same." "This is just all too strange for me," said Leslie, as she walked quickly downstairs, avoiding the mess Nanook left. I opened the door to the bathroom, grabbed a towel and threw it on the pee.

Crystal, Caitlyn and I went downstairs to join Leslie, who stood outside puffing on her cigarette. We tried to make sense out of what just happened, but had no luck. Needless to say, my house was not an option for movie night any longer. I packed a few things for Caitlyn and I, and we all headed over to Crystal's house for the remainder of the night.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 26, 2009   #2
The title seems like a cliche, a little bit, so maybe a more unique title would be better.

There is a verb tense problem in the first paragraph, where your first sentene tell the story in the past tense, but the last sentence of that first paragraph tels it in the present tense; you can fix it be starting the last sentence of the first para with:

That night's movie was...

For dialogue, use a comma:

"Wait let me get comfy first," said Crystal, as she...

Nanook proceeded to creep back downstairs while urinating on every step. "Nanook, what the hell is wrong with you? I'm sorry he never does this," Crystal said.

Hey, you are a pretty good storyteller after all!!
silverystars 14 / 105  
Jan 26, 2009   #3
Hi Crystal,

This is a great story. I'm just going to peer-edit this quickly, and I hope that's okay. I'd lke to know what happens once you leave your house. I suggest that you add a little more to the last paragraph, if only to add some more insight into what you all thought of that might have scared Nanook. Or perhaps you can end it on a lighter note; perhaps you now wish you had chosen to watch "Barney" instead!

Again, great story, and I hope you don't mind the peer-editing.
OP CrystalP 1 / 1  
Jan 26, 2009   #4
Thank you silverystars and EF_Kevin so much! I realy appreciate your help. I was really nervous about turning this in and you two helped me out tremendously!! I am fortunate to have come across such a great website with people like you!
silverystars 14 / 105  
Jan 26, 2009   #5
Hi Crystal,

Glad to help! I remember hearing the same rumor about Three Men and a Baby, only to learn that it was a cardboard cutout of Ted Dansen. Oh, well, live and learn!

Keep sharing your writing. As you do, I'm sure as time goes on you'll see your skills improving.

Silverystars


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