Friday, February 15, 2008

WRITERS ISLAND followed by SUNDAY SCRIBBLINGS - Sleep 1

This weeks prompt on the Island is Time Travel. I've looked at it through the eyes of a child
'
Tom saw a programme on television about people who could travel back to times gone by, and forward to sometime in the future. That looked fun. All they did was sit in a big chair, put a funny hat on their head, pull a lever, and suddenly they found themselves in another year. ‘I could do that’ said Tom.

First he needed the chair. It had to be big. Daddy had a big black one with arms in front of his desk. He wouldn’t need it today because he was at work. That one would be perfect. Now, the lever. ‘A big wooden spoon from the kitchen’ said Tom to himself.

He found the biggest one he could and tied it to the arm of the chair with a piece of string from the kitchen drawer. Then he needed a helmet. He looked all around, in the cupboards and on the shelves and then he spotted a shiny silver colander hanging on a hook over the sink. ‘Perfect’ said Tom.

He was sure that the helmet he saw on TV had an aerial on the top. ‘I know’ said Tom. And he dashed up to the landing where mummy had a big pot of dead sticks and things. He could never understand what they were doing indoors, but Mummy told him they were dried foliage and she said they looked nice. Anyway right in the middle were some curly ones. So he carefully pulled one out and poked it into a hole in the colander.

He climbed up into the chair, put the helmet on his head, closed his eyes and pulled back the lever.

When Tom opened his eyes he was in the park. It didn’t look quite the same though. The swings and the slide were still there, but they were brown and made of wood.

Then running along a path came a boy who looked just like his best friend Charlie. But Charlie usually steered his remote control car along there and this boy was chasing a big wooden hoop which he wacked with a stick. And he was wearing funny brown clothes. Trousers which stopped at his knees, long socks, a brown jacket, and a brown cap on his head.

Walking behind him were a man and a woman who looked just like Charlie’s Mum and Dad. But the woman had a little hat with feathers in it on her head, and a brown and white spotty dress down to her ankles. Then he noticed she had a dead fox around her neck! And Charlie’s Dad normally wore a baseball cap, but this man wore a brown hat with a brim around it, a stripy suit and shiny black and white shoes.

Then everything began to fade, so Tom pushed the lever forward and the chair felt as it was spinning and when it stopped he was back in the park again.

Only there was nobody there. There were no birds singing. The flowers were dead and the trees had no leaves. The lake was empty and everything around him was grey and dusty.

Tom suddenly heard a ghostly voice in his ear ‘Don’t let this happen Tom’ it whispered.

Tom closed his eyes because he didn’t like what he was seeing. He gave the lever a tug to take him back home.

'What are you doing in my chair young man? ‘said Daddy.

‘There’s my colander!’ said Mummy.

‘I’m starving’ said Tom. ‘Is it tea time?’
.
Our prompt for Sunday Scribblings this week is , somewhat bizarely, Sleep and/or Teeth! Below you'll find my immediate reaction. I hope to have something more substantial after I've slept on it!

sleep
a place where
mind
and body
drift apart
'
sleep
a place where
trials
and tribulations
evaporate
'
sleep
a place where
dreams
and images
populate
'
life
a book of words
and sentences
punctuated
by sleep
'
sleep
where your teeth
stand watch
from a glass
by your bed
,

40 comments:

  1. children have such wild imagination, and you tell it so well. Thanks Keith.

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  2. O I so loved this! reminds me of the days I used to dream on a swing, thinking I could go right up to the sky and watch everyone far below!

    A gorgeous write!

    Smiles and Light

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  3. I got that Alice in Wonderlandy feeling an adult gets when they've read a story ostensibly for children but carrying a message only an experienced adult really comprehends.

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  4. i feel that you are really getting comfortable with the whole writing for children thing,,, this was excellent....

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  5. I would love the ability to sit in a chair and close my eyes and poof be gone to another place lol. Very nicely written.

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  6. Love the peice on sleep. Check out my post on it - interestingly enough you write "sleep,a place, where trials and tribulations
    evaporate" and I write the opposite that we cannot avoid or hide from these things in sleep for they come forth in our dreams...I love the opposing perspectives

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  7. We were thinking along the same lines on this one. Funny.

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  8. Very clever Keith.
    Excellent ..........
    Oh and about sleep.....you mean teeth don't sleep????

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  9. The time travel piece in particular is very well done and timely, combining a child's imagination, history and the possible effects of global warming. The sleep piece is clever. I hadn't looked at the SS prompt yet and it is a weird one!

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  10. An excellent, telling piece. We need to take that child imagination with us into adulthood in order to write.

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  11. as always your story delights!
    Your sleepy poem was sweet and then the last stanza gets you laughing! :))

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  12. I enjoyed both pieces, but the time travel piece especially. I actually have a photograph of my father - as an adult - wearing a colander on his head and serving as a human cellphone antenna. It was literally the only way to get cell service from a remote lake house.

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  13. Imagination! when I read this, all I could picture was my son sitting in that chair, I loved it!

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  14. Great time tripping! This piece is so visual, I thought I was there - descriptions are perfect!

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  15. I remember as a child I could sit and imagine all kinds of things - now it takes much work. Very nice post.

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  16. Love the time travel bit. Imagination and your use of visual scene helps take me in the time travel. Great work.

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  17. You definitely have a children's writer waiting in the wings Keith ... loved the poem and combining two prompts ... marvellously entertaining as always ;)

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  18. well i guess i can be happy i am not as far gone as the poor bugger who's teeth sleep in the glass.....LOL

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  19. I loved your sleep poem, and the way you worked in teeth at the end. Clever! I didn't read time travel yet because I haven't written mine and I don't want to read any till I write mine.

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  20. i loved time travel. children can conjure up anything in their mind and then behave as normally as they can.

    i like the sleep poem too.

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  21. I love the poem, what a wonderful surprise at the end.

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  22. You should develop your knack for children's lit - very well written.

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  23. I loved how you used the last verse of the poem to slyly include the teeth part of the prompt. Entertaining as always.

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  24. I think your Time Travel is so well done! Love the colander helmet, and how everything just goes back to normal when things start getting unpleasant.

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  25. I loved the children's story and got a shivery feeling when the future park appeared. I think that part was intended for an adult who might be reading the story to the child? It was a point well taken regardless of whom it was aimed at. I echo you "Don't go there".

    I like your sleep poem. The form is very effective and beautiful on the page. I, too, admire your sly introduction of the alternate prompt.

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  26. beautifully told as always...

    Read my take I live on ...

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  27. heheh the teeth in the glass :)

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  28. No fair coming to my blog to brag about being able to sleep! JK

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  29. Keith,

    I hear a child-like voice in this story written by a grown up boy. Creatively playful and fantastic imagination!

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

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  30. i loved both the pieces...a child's mind is so fertile...

    and those are beautiful photos of the taj and the fort...are they recent?

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  31. oh i loved that last stanza where teeth stand on guard :) so funny!

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  32. What an excitig story and a lovely poem Very funny and visual these teeth watching

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  33. hehe, i still have daydreams and wishes as if im still a kid. lol, but i guess we still have a child within us.

    i particularly enjoyed the poem.

    oh and its tea time by the way :-)

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  34. The time-travel piece is so much fun! You've really captured a kid's viewpoint.

    As for the Sunday Scribblings prompt, that's a great twist at the end, to incorporate the teeth. Great job!

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  35. Cool! Reality and children take such divergent paths. :)
    I love the line in the poem "where your teeth
    stand watch
    from a glass
    by your bed"

    A great visual!

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  36. Your description of the little boy putting together his own time travel helmet and chair were awesome! I could actually picture it and I don't usually find it easy to picture anything.

    Very nicely done.

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  37. loved it.. both of 'em... thru a child's eyes... that i should have wore a silver helmet today i probably would smile more!!!... and yr take on sleep i laughed there too... that was one of the best i've read in a long time.. thank you

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  38. the best part abotu imagination is its vastness and variety in possibilites.. amazing right?

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  39. You are such a talented writer.
    "life
    a book of words
    and sentences
    punctuated
    by sleep"
    I absolutely loved this. Thanks for commenting on my blog.

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  40. brilliant story, I like how you work in the commentary on the state of the world seamlessly into the narrative, so it makes the reader think without even remotely feeling like preaching. Very well written and fun to read

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