Contest #135 shortlist ⭐️

14 comments

Asian American

Today is Saturday March two and I brung 4 of my crayons because mommy said I’m not allowed to bring all 8. I brung red, blue, and yellow because in Kindergarten we learned that you can make all the colors with red, blue, and yellow, only I don’t think you can make pink. Pink is my favorite color. I also brung brown because, in my Barbie coloring book, the page I want to do today, Barbie is holding a puppy and the puppy is brown and I don’t know how to make brown with red, blue, and yellow, even though I’m in Grade One now. Maybe we learn brown in Grade Two.

We’re in our new car and it’s also brown, on the inside and the outside but on the outside it’s shiny brown. Daddy got it from his friend at Church, I think, and he says it’s not new but I like to call it our new car because we didn’t have a car before. Our new car was sitting outside for a long time and daddy only drove it at nighttime and he told me not to tell my friends in Grade One. He said he was practicing for his test and I said is it like a spelling test, because Mrs. Pennyway says I’m really good at spelling tests, and she’s nice.

Daddy’s test was yesterday and I think he did it good because they gave him a paper and now he says it’s ok to drive at daytime too and he’s really happy and mommy’s really happy so I’m really happy too!

Now it’s daytime and we’re driving, but it’s really early daytime. I didn’t even have my Cheerios yet. Daddy drives us to the big pool where I have my swimming lessons, but there’s no cars here and the lights are all dark. Maybe that’s why mommy said to bring my coloring book and 4 crayons, maybe we’re not gonna swim. That’s ok, because I hate swimming!

Daddy makes the car stop beside the big building and then he talks to mommy. She’s sitting in the other front, where only big people can sit, and she’s kind of mad. I think it’s because she hates swimming too. They talk about the paper daddy got yesterday, and he says he wants mommy to have a paper too, and they say lots of big people Chinese words.

I’m coloring Barbie’s hair yellow, it’s a posed to always be yellow. Sometimes I color her sister Stacie’s hair brown, even though that’s a posed to be yellow too, but only sometimes. I love coloring.

Daddy gets out of our new car and then he goes to mommy’s door and opens it. She doesn’t get out, so daddy waits and waits and then he tells her to be brave. Mommy still doesn’t get out, but then she takes off her seatbelt and stands up, and daddy is really happy. I take off my seatbelt to get out too, maybe we are going swimming, but then daddy sits in mommy’s chair and then mommy goes and sits where the driving wheel is! Wow, mommy! I say, because only daddies usually sit there! I don’t think she heard me, so I say it again more louder: wow, mommy! She looks back to me but her face is scared and she tells me to be quiet and do my coloring. Ok.

I put my seatbelt back on because the safety officer at Grade One says you have to always wear a seatbelt. Mommy isn’t putting her seatbelt back on and I want to tell her what the safety officer said, but I don’t want her to be mad at me. Maybe big people don’t have to wear seatbelts like little kids do. Mommy is scary when she’s mad at me. I be quiet and do my coloring.

It’s kind of hard to do the small parts because my crayons aren’t pointy like new anymore, they’re round at the top and I have to peel the papers. Julie, at Grade One, her crayon box has a crayon sharper on it. I tried to sharp one of my crayons with my pencil sharper, but it was too fat to fit in the circle. I say to mommy and daddy I wish one day I can have a crayon box with a sharper on it, but they don’t hear me. Daddy is pointing at mommy’s feet and saying one is to stop and one is to go fast, and that’s silly because you need two feets to go fast! Daddy turns the key and our new car makes rumble sounds.

Mommy goes around and around in the big parking lot. Sometimes daddy says a big noise and grabs the driving wheel.

Maybe I can ask Julie to borrow me her crayon sharper. She’s nice because she invited me to her birthday party. Can I go to Julie’s birthday party? I say, but daddy says shh! really loud and waves his hand very big at me. Ok.

Maybe I won’t ask Julie to borrow me her crayon sharper. Sometimes, when she uses it, a lot of her crayon gets sharped off, like wasting. Mommy and daddy get really mad when I waste, even though I’m not doing it a purpose. Like if I don’t use all two sides of a paper for my drawing, or if I can’t finish all my food.

Daddy points to the big street outside the parking lot and mommy goes that way. Daddy is happy.

Even though my yellow crayon is round at the top, I go really careful and stay inside the lines, and then Barbie’s hair is all done! I get my red crayon to do the puppy’s sticky-out-y tongue, and I go really really soft so maybe it can look like pink—

Mommy screams!

I look up and see a man in a big truck, he is very scared! Our new car crashes in his truck and my seatbelt hurts tight on my tummy and my coloring book falls down—

-

There’s safety officers talking to mommy and daddy but they’re not nice like the safety officer at Grade One. Mommy is crying because she hit her head hard on the big front window. Daddy is showing the paper he got yesterday, and I think he is scared even though daddies are never scared. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t like talking English. The man in the truck is very sad because his door is on the road now. Our new car is all broked and it doesn’t look so new anymore. There’s lots of glass on the road so I’m sitting far away by myself, doing my coloring.

I made a big red line on Barbie’s face on accident when the cars crashed. It’s all wrong now. My red crayon got broked, too. I use a broked piece and color more red on Barbie’s face, and then on the puppy’s face, even though that’s wrong too. I make big ugly red scribbles outside the lines and all over the page until everything is red and messy and wrong.

I hope mommy can stop crying soon.

March 04, 2022 20:31

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14 comments

13:08 Apr 28, 2022

Wow, this was really good! You really captured my emotions, and my interest. Amazing job!

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Barbara Burgess
14:35 Mar 16, 2022

lovely story that kept me reading from start to finish. Well done.

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19:19 Mar 16, 2022

Thank you Barbara for reading and commenting!

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15:01 Mar 14, 2022

This is so impressive Janet! I really enjoyed reading your story. You did such a great job at keeping the young voice consistent throughout the story. I enjoyed every second!!

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23:42 Mar 15, 2022

Thank you so much Katelin, I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it!

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Melanie Hawkes
23:41 Mar 13, 2022

This is awesome - well done! I love how it is done through the eyes of a child and their love of colouring. I am glad they didn't get hurt in the crash!

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23:41 Mar 15, 2022

Thank you Melanie! I am also glad for that, otherwise I might not be here!

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Amanda Lieser
21:20 Mar 11, 2022

Hi Janet, Oh my gosh! I love, love, love how you captured such a young voice. Especially, how you used an incorrect tense of “brought.” You absolutely deserved to be shortlisted. Congratulations! I also think you did a beautiful job of capturing the adult part of the car trip with the child’s voice. This was masterfully written. Thank you for creating this world! I recently submitted my story, “Coffee” and I’d love your feedback because I changed up my style a bit. Congratulations again!

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23:41 Mar 15, 2022

Thanks very much Amanda, I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment! I just read your story and left a comment, hope it's helpful!

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Theresa Anna
17:28 Mar 11, 2022

The voice is so strong here, it really strung me along. Congrats on the shortlist!

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23:40 Mar 15, 2022

Thank you Theresa, I am happy to hear you found it engaging!

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Zack Powell
20:38 Mar 08, 2022

Janet, I loved every second of this! The voice was so, so well done and authentic (the multiple grammar mistakes and wrong words (e.g. "a posed" and "sharper") were incredibly on-point for a narrator of this age), and the story had so much emotion. Flawless characterization of the whole family throughout. I wish I'd written this. Seriously, you've got a winner on your hands, and I really hope this piece gets the recognition it deserves in the contest. This is phenomenal. You just earned a new follower. Thank you for sharing this.

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17:11 Mar 10, 2022

I am floored by this comment. Thank you so, so much for your feedback. “I wish I’d written this” is certainly in my highest tier of compliments to give, so to be on the receiving end is just surreal. Your track record here also speaks for itself, and I look forward to reading your pieces as well! Thanks again, Zack, you’ve made my day!

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Tracy Zhang
20:43 Mar 11, 2022

Couldn’t agree with Zack Powell more. Vivid description completely absorbed readers to the scene.

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