Monday, July 26, 2010

Mark, Fuzz, Bears, Bonobo and Ms. Lillian's Valium

Prompt: Mark is a thief, but after his third burglary, he is caught by police. Write his story in first person (from Mark's point of view), omniscient point of view (the all knowing, all seeing "God-like" voice), from limited third person, switching between Mark and one of the police officers who arrest him.


Response #1: Fuzz and Bears

I looked down at the bear figurine. It was glaring at the crystal balloon it was holding with an expression that could only be called scary. I once heard you can tell a lot about a woman from the contents of her purse. Well that guy should have seen the inside of her house.

It was creepy, all those dolls and little glass bears looking at me, but I had a job to do. I'd heard old lady Jamison kept enough Valium to last a year on stock in her house - I just had to find them then I could get out and away from the disturbing little bears.

"If I was a little old bag's Valium, where would I hide?" I mused.

I shuffled through drawers until I finally found them - I was pretty sure there was more than a year's supply there. "Jackpot."

Then I heard it - a creaky old voice. "Jack-wagon."

And then she hit me on the head. With a frying pan. Twice. I think she thought it would knock me out. It didn't, but I almost wished it did. It hurt.


"Get out of my house, let go, get out!" She used the frying pan like punctuation while she tugged on the bag of pills I had. I wondered if she had ever been an English teacher - her inflection was perfect.

"Get off me, you psycho!"

"Psycho? Psycho? You are in my house, you psycho! Let go!" She wrenched the bag free and took off creaking back down the hall to her bedroom.

I grabbed them away easily enough and then we were playing a ridiculous game of tug-o--war and I was thinking I should get out of there but that muchmedication could make me a fortune.

We were still yanking the bag back and forth when her friendly neighborhood busted in. I tried to run, but I couldn't bring myself to leave the bag. I tugged as hard as I could and the little old bag toppled over, still clutching her prize. That's when the coppers jumped on me and cuffed me.

The stupid little bears were laughing at me. I wanted to break them all to pieces.

Response #2: Ms. Lillian

The wind whispered through the space between the sill and the old woman's window, wafting over her body as she sat propped up in bed texting. The glow of the cell phone illuminated her face, failing to highlight the crevices of wrinkled that she had long since stopped trying to iron out. Her fingers flew and she smiled as she responded to her granddaughter - a college sophomore in the next time zone.

If the wind had been any stronger, it might have made it through the open bedroom door and out into the living area. On a night when the wind was stronger, it sometimes blew far enough into the house to cause Ms. Lillian's precious glass wind-chimes to jangle together.

As it was, it was silent in the other room. Her collection of cartoon bear figurines watched the intruder without a noise.

He rummaged through the doors - willing to make a little noise on the assumption that the house's owner was asleep. The bears watched. He found nothing.

The young man puzzled for a moment, musing, "If I was a little old bag's Valium, where would I hide?"

Ms. Lillian sat up straighter. Her hearing was sharp despite her age. Pressing the panic button on her nightstand. It would call the police that were circling the block after the recent bout of burglaries. In the meantime, she grabbed her vintage frying pan from the wall and tip-toed out to confront the thief.

He was opening a bag as she came up behind him.

"Jackpot," he said.

"Jack-wagon," she replied.

Then all became a mess of tugging and hitting and screaming, until the on-duty cop - a man with an unfortunate resemblance to an ape and the more unfortunate name of Daren Bonobo - burst in.

Giving a final tug, the young man knocked Ms. Lillian to the floor, where she lay smiling while he was cuffed and led out.

Response #3: Who You Gonna Call? Officer Bonobo!

Daren Bonobo slumped behind the steering wheel of his patrol car. He was tired and wishing he had not pulled this shift again. It was only because there were a bunch of rich old people with connections on the block that the station had even bothered posting someone. It was unlikely the punk was going to come back - he was probably in the next state already.

Officer Bonobo sighed. He had the Ghost Busters theme song stuck in his head. If only his kids would move on already - they watched the movie everyday and had been for weeks. There was no peace in the Bonobo house and now Daren could not even find peace in his own head.

Down the street, Mark Even slipped quietly into a house. He breathed easy and slow - he was finally getting the hang of breaking into the houses of complete strangers and it was paying off. He knew that if he found as much medication in the house as he had heard, he would be set for a very long time. He knew that, as creepy as the decor was - bear figurines with glittering eyes - any discomfort would be worth it. He mumbled to himself, he was pretty such the old lady was asleep and even if she was not, he knew she was in her eighties and probably deaf.

What Mark did not know was that the owner, one Ms. Lillian, was still awake and that when she heard his absent mumbling she pressed a panic button - summoning Officer Bonobo.

Mark fought for his prize - thinking about how much he could make off of such a haul and Daren came into the house just in time to watch Mark topple Ms. Lillian with a particularly violent tug. Indignant, he jumped on the would-be burglar and cuffed him right there. Kids these days, he thought self-righteously.

When he stood he found himself face-to-face with a bear holding a shimmering crystal balloon. What a stupid kid, he revised. Who would want to steal ugly little bears? And with a little shudder he lead Mark out to his patrol car.

Notes: Though I don't feel particularly enriched, I hope this is making me into a better writer . . . This was not a very fun prompt for me and I'm feeling selfish and missing my readers. . . Yeah, I'm glad this project is just for my benefit.

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