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'The Lucky Boy' - CHILDRENS SHORT STORY


Thors Hammer 5 / 60  
Mar 19, 2012   #1
The Lucky Boy

It was raining really hard outside and the water was bucketing off the roof cascading down the driveway in sheets. The wind was howling stridently and it was shaking the window shutters and rattling the outer-doors. The house was comfy inside and it was gently lite with temperament lighting that shown throughout the capacious and antiquely furnished quarters. The smokiness of burning oak wood and oven roasted chicken occupied the home while the family waited eagerly together by the fire and were discussing the events of their day, and ones yet to come.

"Ryder, did you pick up all of your toys outside before you came in from the rain?" his mother said apprehensively.

"Yes mom, I think so... I cannot wait to go fishing this weekend dad; do you think we will catch any?" said Ryder eagerly and with an unsullied smile.

"Well I sure do son, I think you are in for a grand surprise, this is a very special place. I discovered this through an inside source, which alleged to have had visited this spot once when he was younger while experiencing a spell of bad luck, when he left with his catch, his luck changed and he became quite prosperous thereafter." said Ryder's dad, he motioned for his son to come over and straddle his lap on the chaise lounge which he contentedly did, and giving his dad a bear hug.

"Really dad, I cannot wait to go, it is going to be so cool, I want to catch a huge fish, and bring it home to place it on the wall up there above the stone mantle, is that ok dad?" Ryder said with simplicity while holding on to his dad's supple hand.

He looked at his boy fondly and said. "Sure boy, if that is what you want to do, but the big ones are the ones we are supposed to put back, so they keep their gene pool strong; the robust and clever are natural survivors, and for good reason, so we protect the best, and cultivate the rest. But I suppose if we do catch a big fish from this spot we can have it mounted." his dad said rewardingly.

After dinner Ryder walked upstairs and got ready for bed. He brushed his teeth and combed his hair and jumped into his cottony bed ready for his nightly tucking-in. He looked around the room and he did not see his most prized toy; an anatomically positional nineteen-seventy-eight GI-Joe Duke action figure. He was Barbie sized and came with guns and binoculars including a nifty backpack for his all his stuff. He had clearly forgotten him outside on the driveway and he just about choked-up when he realized his hapless mistake, especially since his mother had reminded him to take care of all his stuff, probably about a half-dozen times before he had to come inside. He jumped out of his bed and hustled downstairs running outside while still bare-foot but could not find Duke anywhere, he was gone. His heart sank at the prospect of his loss.

That night the storm had swept Duke down the driveway and alongside the wash gutter dropping him straight down into the storm drains. The water flowed like a giant ocean current through the dark cemented coverts that were connected to larger tubes with slightly less tide, until finally, the wash emptied him into the river about twenty-five miles from where he had fallen in. His plastic composition provided natural buoyancy as he surfaced from the plunge inside of some sludgy foam that was being created by the falling stream; the frothy concoction encased him in brownish filmy bubbles. He was frolicking and trying to scramble back to shore while splashing about. His actions were noticed by a large bass lurking in the shoals tucked up underneath the overhanging weeds of the river bank. The bass was very large and probably four years old, and by fish standards, that is pretty old. He had a magnificent set of prickly dorsal spines and supper-sized chops filled with little razor-like teeth. His spiteful tawny eyes tapered inwards and upwards for sizing up his prey, but all the bass could see was the reflection of the morning sun spring back off of Duke's plastic body sparkling like the belly of a quivering fish. Then, he opted to strike... Duke had just noticed him in time as a jagged and cavernous sized mouth opened up underneath ready to swallow him whole, but he managed to grab a his bayonetted long-gun just in time, and wedged it deeply into the inner jaws of bass, preventing him from closing his mouth.

"Ouch," Bass said. "That really hurts, take it out, take it out now, how will I eat?" He was shaking his head back and forth and squinting in pain while Duke stabilized himself inside his clammy jaws, and pulled out his mini re-breather and took a lung full.

"One thing is for sure, you are not going to eat me." Duke said smugly and with a leer. "And besides, I am plastic, not food, do you not know how to tell the difference between inert and factual? Have you no true sense?"

Bass was bewildered and had no clue what Duke meant, but was beginning to settle down. His jaw muscles where aching and he had no choice but to be reasonable and mannerly. "The way I see it; if it moves and it is shiny, I should eat it, and I have never had this happen to me before. I am the best hunter around; everyone knows to watch out for me." Bass said obtusely. "I have been here all my life and I suspect I shall stay here forever."

Duke crouched down on one knee and rested up against the weapon and said. "Why would you stay here in this little creek when the rest of the big fish swim down river and out into the sea? Do you not know it is a very odd thing for a fish your age to still be this far upstream? I think you might be out of your place here Bass, do you not miss your brothers and sisters, or mother and father?" Duke asked empathetically.

"Yes I do," said Bass desolately. "I just grew up thinking that maybe one day I would swim downstream, but there is so much food here, plus I am fortunate to be respected by everyone at this juncture."

Duke realized that bass had never known the warmth and benefits of friendship and said. "Do you ever get lonely? I mean without others like you around to talk, swim, or play with." asked Duke. "It seems that for such a mature fish you surely are not wise, because even I know that it is better to have companionship, than to have respect from the fear of being eaten." Duke said with a convincing tone.

"Well maybe your right or, maybe you are wrong, either way, I need your help now, because I cannot survive with my mouth being lodged open, I will surely starve." Bass said shamefully.

Duke thought to himself for a moment, and grabbed ahold of the weapon and said, "If you promise not to eat me, I will remove the bolster, but I want you to promise me something else Bass; that you stop living your hollow lifestyle and reunite with your destiny downstream." said Duke with an inspiring tone. "I will help you get there, because I certainly do not want to stay here in this little stream so far away from my welcoming family. I have been separated from them as well, and need to get back home, this is what is most important to me; and together, we can help one another." Duke reassured Bass that he would be happier in the company of loved ones than be deprived of any.

Bass agreed to work with Duke, so Duke removed the steel butt and blade out of Bass's mouth and freed his colossal jaws; at that point, Bass was instinctively summoned to attack again as the sun reflected off of Dukes synthetic gear like golden flecks in watery light , but Duke roared out to remember his promise. You see, Bass was not the brightest fish, just the biggest. They set off downstream together with Duke holding on to Bass's slimy tail as he meanderingly swam down the current. Duke was having a difficult time holding on to his tail because it was covered in a glutinous and slippery membrane, so Duke asked Bass to slow down a bit so he could secure a better grasp. Duke was repositioning himself when he noticed that there was an otter queerly swimming behind them and trying to stay out of sight. He was obscuring himself using the physical cloudiness of the river, and he was hidden behind a sunken log. Duke grew anxious and immediately swam forward to tell Bass what he had seen.

"Bass, we are being followed by an otter, I think he is playing games with us and may have been following us for quite some time now." said Duke. He was fervent on get a harrying response from Bass, because he did not want to tangle with his likes, alone.

Bass swiftly swooshed around and menacingly said, "Come out from behind there this instant, do you know that it is not polite to creep up on folks, especially ones as imposing as I? What are your intentions with us, leave at once I say, we have no time for your silly game, we are on a journey." Bass was not in the mood for a conversation with an otter, especially since the two species are not generally fond of one another, and this instance was proving no exception.

Otter puffed out his fuzzy fur and revealed his white teeth and said, "This here is my stretch of river, you hear me Bass, and all those that pass through are subject to my keenness. And I see that you are an inquisitive sight indeed; because it is not often that I see a large Bass swimming with a plastic doll. I was simply watching you while trying to understand why you have paired together; an articulating doll and a dimwitted fish is such an unlikely match." said Otter with one eyebrow rose higher that the other.

Duke proudly spoke out and said, "You listen here Otter, I might look like a puzzling plastic doll to you, but I am much more than that. I was not created to provide sustenance for others, but gratification, more importantly, companionship to creatures far superior than the likes of you; I am helping Bass kindle touch with something you do not likely understand. We are on a search for our families as must reunite with them.

Otter floated forward and unmasked himself from the opaque water and said. "But dear Duke, you have mistaken me, I am not lost, nor am I all alone, I live with my family right over there in that lodge." He pointed to a greenly grassy bank flourishing with daisies and buzzing with the sounds of honey bees seeking their fruitful nectar, and his family were amusing themselves in a sociable game of hid-and-seek. "I know every inch of this river; it is just that I have never seen such a large bass in these parts such as yourself, let alone a formulating plastic figure; so I don't mean to shock or offend you, it is just that I find you equally matchless." Otter said. "Where is it that you are both going anyways? Maybe I can help, because if you do not know the way you will surely get lost up ahead. The river splits into two parts, one leading to the sea, and the other leads back through the city. Where is it you need to go?" Otter swam valiantly near and adoringly brushed his wooly pelt against Duke's thigh.

Duke was dismayed and Bass was oblivious as to the scope of their decision, both didn't know what to do next. Duke felt sympathetic for Bass because he knew that ignorance is not bliss; and Bass was clearly not able to reckon this one his own, or let alone, find his true calling. So Duke told Otter they wished to go to the sea, and asked if he would please show them the way. Otter was awestruck by Duke's modishness, and told them that he would accompany them as far as the fork in the river up ahead. Otter asked Duke how an inanimate figure like him knew of such magnanimity; as he was expressing to Bass. Duke told him that he had lived amongst people for as long as he could remember, and that his family taught him the values of something called humanity. Where all beings are supposed to live in harmonization together; expressing their thoughts and feeling openly, while sharing and helping one another and, each of nature's creations are delightful and purposeful. Otter then charmingly took the lead and grazed Duke's arm with his tail as he headed the way on downstream.

The water was becoming more translucent than Bass had ever seen before, and it had picked up momentum as the river broadened, and the white caps were breaking on rocks that came up and out of the waterline ahead. There was a natural rock cape that was growing some pine-trees straight up and out of the granite rocks, right in the center of the river; and there were birds perched on those mossy rocks just waiting for their dinner to float by. Otter advised Duke and Bass, he could not continue beyond this point because up ahead was his territorial boarder, and he did not want to run the risk of meeting rivaled clans. He advised them both to take the right side of the river down past the birds which would lead them to the sea just a few miles from there. Duke was concerned the birds would swallow him whole if he tried to swim past on his own, but he was cleaver enough to form a scheme. They said goodbye to Otter watching him disappear back to his oasis. Then, Duke told Bass to open his mouth up so he could climb in; and reassured Bass that he was so immense, the birds were not going to bother him; he agreed to the plan and opened up. Duke reminded Bass not to swallow no matter what, and to open up once on the other side of the birds. Duke scampered in his mouth and Bass closed up tight. Bass swiftly swam past the birds and soon was on the other side in a more narrowed section of the river, its depth had increased and the bottom was covered in polished black rocks; and Bass's insides were filling with excitement to the likes of which he had never felt before. For the first time he started thinking about the vastness of the world around him and his insignificants within, and numbness strained his sole. Bass started feeling a strange and brewing sensation, like something inside him was calling his name louder and louder.

"Bass-Bass, can you hear me, wake up you slumbering behemoth. It is me Duke remember, open up!" Duke was arched over with his army boots firmly planted into Bass's tongue, and his back pressed up against his hard palate and he was squawking loudly.

"Oh yeh, I forgot Duke, I am sorry, I was not thinking about swallowing, I promise. I just seen those pretty rocks down there and--." said Bass. He opened up and made an unplugging sound as duke shot out like a cork.

"Do not worry about it Bass, I am just glad you remembered and did not swallow me. Now all we need to do is swim on down to the mouth of the river, and I will point you out to sea where you belong. After, I will swim back up to this point by nightfall, and crawl to land, and walk through the moonlight to the other side of this peninsula to avoid those birds, and head back to the other arm of the river." said Duke systematically, like as if he had lived as drilled commander in the army.

Bass just looked clueless, and let out a few bubbles. "Do you want another ride Duke, you can grab on to my tail again, that was really great, and I never had fun before with someone Duke." Bass said. "Is that what friendship is like, fun? Boy I sure do hope that my new life will be fun and loving, and I hope that I meet someone else just like you."

"Bass, I like you, I wish you all the luck in the world my friend, and I sincerely hope you find camaraderie in you next adventure." But Bass was not paying mind to him anymore; he was idle and just blatantly staring into the abyss with those ocher eyes and wagging his fins. Duke knew something was out of sorts.

Suddenly, a streak of luminosity swiveled by resembling the underbelly of a glittering insect; it looked bloodshot, silvery and gold with whiskers on its front and trailing a bronze tail, and seemed to be fluttering its reflections of helplessness in the sun beams that penetrated the clear as crystal surface; it was jerking forward, and pausing, then forward again... Next, with-out hesitation, Bass surged forward to strike. Duke grabbed on and threw himself out in front to stop Bass's instinctive action, but instead, pushed up in between his mouth and the hook, preventing it from setting in Bass's mouth while snaring him in his leg. Duke was harshly tugged away from Bass, he looked back to see Bass lunge for another forbidding whirligig, biting down hard and swimming away with a mouthful of discomfort. After a couple of seconds trying to resist, duke membered he had seen such gyrators before in Ryder's tackle box, and realized what was happening. All he could do was to think about the poor demise of Bass because he knew most humans ate fish. Duke was reeled in on the line of a shanty looking little boy holding on to a large pole, wearing torn jeans and an old blue plaid shirt. His grimy apparel was immediately noticed by Duke, however the boy seemed ecstatic and was jumping up and down with excitement, and his dad came over to unhook his prize.

"What a neat looking action figure, it is in perfect shape too, with all its little gizmo's and gear." said his dad. "And what a brilliant surprise this must be for you, is that not right Brian? Is that not a Duke? That is an absolutely splendid find!"

Brian dropped his pole and clutched his new wonder tightly. "I know dad, I cannot believe it, and to think of all the things that you could possibly think of to come out of river, an old-fashioned Joe! And it is the cool one too!" Brian said. "I cannot wait to go home and show it off to my friends, and play with him!" He held Duke high and excitedly danced around like only a child can while basking in glory.

The ruckuses were noticed by a couple standing a few yards away, they came over to compare their catches, because that is just what fishermen do. A familiar voice was once again heard by Duke, the voice of his lost friend, Ryder. He sounded so excited to see Duke, but his dad stopped him in his tracks before he could come up and retrieve him. He bent down and whispered something into his son's ear and he lost his smile for a minute. Then an even bigger smile spread across his face like a stretched rubber band. Ryder proudly walked over to the father and son and extended his hand in friendship; he had a gleam in his eye and said...

"Hey there, my name is Ryder, and I see you have found something peculiar, it looks wonderful, is that a Duke? That's the original one too." said Ryder.

"Why yes, it is, he is just fantastic, I fished him out of the river, I am so happy because we cannot afford a doll like this, it is so extravagant, I feel so lucky." said Brian. "And the funniest thing was, when I hooked on to him, he seemed to fight back just as if he was brought to life. I love him so much."

"What a doll indeed Brian, you know... I once had an action guy just like that one, he was the pride of my pack I tell you, and we did everything together, I mean everything. He really became part of our family." said Ryder. "So maybe your newfound doll can be a friend to you, like he was to me and my dad... Because he used to talk to us you know, and we had such marvelous and magical conversations about many questions on the topics of life, and we helped one another by sharing our thoughts out-loud."

"Really Ryder, that really happened for real. But how though, how is that possible? We all know dolls cannot walk and talk, right?" said Brian innocently looking over with a gullible expression.

"Yes, you are right Brian, dolls cannot walk and talk for real, you just have to want to believe Brian, whether in yourself, someone else, or even the imagined, do you understand, nothing starts until you believe... Do you fathom that?" said Ryder. "Look here, I caught a beautiful largemouth bass, and we are going to take him home and place him above the fire place mantle, to honor him, and he may join into our imaginations too, do you like him?" Just as he said that, the bass let out a discreet undertone and his eyes turned stone grey.

The boy's played together for an hour or so, Ryder gave Duke a little wink to let him know that this was the right decision; and that hopefully he would be as fine of a friend to Brian as he had been to himself and dad. Duke Knew, that this was the right choice, and became content in the fact that he may now share his experiences with someone who needs to be helped. Both boys had left that day richer in themselves; Bass went home with Ryder, and was placed on the living room wall where he became involved with many family conversations. He was so happy, he had imagined his family having fins and gills like him, but he was wrong; he apprehended the fact that you cannot pick or choose your family; but only accept and love those who love you back. Duke went on to be best friends with Brian, and grew into his family; he missed Ryder and often thought of the wondrous thing they used to discuss, and shared them with his new family. Together they opened their minds to the endlessness of imagination, and quickly ascertained the reward, that is the appreciation for vision that allows for change. The end
chalumeau /  
Mar 19, 2012   #2
You have a gift for telling stories. What a beautiful little story.
I especially enjoyed the dialogue you gave to the bass.
Word choice and grammar needs to be cleaned up a bit, but
it's not a big deal. I also wanted to know a little more about
Ryder--just a little more description/analysis of him.

Unfortunately, this website restricts me to two uploaded files at a time, so
it will be impossible for me to correct everything I see. I have
attached one paragraph with corrections. Also, look out for homophones
such as "shown" and "shone."

Did you write this story for class or fun? I wouldn't put anything too special
on this website, b/c someone could steal it.



OP Thors Hammer 5 / 60  
Mar 19, 2012   #3
Thanks so much for your response, it was written for a summative assignment in English class, and due in two hours; so I have no time to make the necessary changes.

Your feedback has been very helpful


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