Tag Archives: Elaine Green

Image Props for Stories #2: Bananas, Scissors, a Vacuum Cleaner, and a Ferris Wheel

“Image Props for Stories #2 Bananas, Scissors, a Vacuum Cleaner, and a Ferris Wheel” by Joan Y. Edwards

Bananas Copyright 2012 Joan Y. Edwards
Scissors Copyright 2012 Joan Y. Edwards
Vacuum Cleaner
Copyright 2012 Joan Y. Edwards
Ferris Wheel Copyright 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

Elaine Green and Joy Moore contributed to this story using three or four of these four props. Thank you very much.  I get excited when people join in. I love to have fun with others, especially you.  Would these props add meaning and depth to your manuscripts? Here are four props: bananas, scissors, a vacuum cleaner, and a ferris wheel.

Here it goes. Esther is sixth grader who wants to be a detective like Columbo on television, but she wanted to save the people from being killed in the first place.

Joan Y. Edwards wrote:

STORY A

Esther had to stay after school in detention on Tuesday. She’d gotten in trouble because  her banana accidently slipped out of her lunch box. She couldn’t help that Stacy Wentworth accidently stepped on it, and fell. 

Now Esther was going to have to pedal her bike faster than anything to get to the county fair.  The morning paper said that Laurene Hanson, a kindergarten girl was reported missing yesterday. The last time Laurene had been seen was at the fair. Esther had to get there and look for clues to help find that little girl before it was too late. 

MORE OF STORY A

Elaine Green wrote: (Thanks for coming back again, Elaine.)

Esther pedaled harder and faster than she ever had before. To her surprise she found herself popping wheelies like all the boys did when they were trying to show off for the girls. In the back of her head she knew she was going to be in more trouble for going straight to the fair and not home to get her chores done. Tuesday afternoon was her day to vacuum her room and playroom, but her mother was just going to have to understand this time.

Anyway, it wasn’t her fault that Stacy was such a klutz. I mean,”who doesn’t see a banana on the floor?” she thought. How did that whole episode get so twisted that she was the only one staying after school in detention in the first place? Esther was not about to act like the drama queen that Stacy had. She had the whole cafeteria watching as she screeched and held her ankle as if her foot was going to detach from her leg if she let go. Esther just sat staring in disbelief until a teacher came by pulling her from her perplexed gaze.

Stacy was not anywhere a concern to Esther now. Right now, she needed to focus on getting to the fair to find clues to help find sweet little Laurene. Laurene was the same age as Esther’s little sister. Mica. They were not in the same classroom, but they played together sometimes on the playground after school. She was kindhearted, often quiet at times, but tended to come out of her shell and show her funny side when she was around people she trusted.

“I have to do everything in my power to find her,” Esther thought to herself. As she looked around the fair trying to get her bearings, she decided that jumping on the ferris wheel would be a great way to get an aerial view of the whole fair and give her time to think which direction she needed to go to start her detective work. Esther knew time was of the essence so she bought a roll of tickets and jumped in line. As the ferris wheel helper was attaching the safety chain, she saw Kenny running towards her waving his hands and screaming, “Hold the ride.” He made it just in time and jumped on board next to Esther. She was a little annoyed that she was not going to be able to strategize her next step on her own, but she also knew deep down that Kenny would be an asset to her. He was always good about following up on loose ends.”

MORE OF STORY A

Joan Y. Edwards wrote:

Kenny said, “I thought your Mother had you glued to a vacuum cleaner on Tuesdays.”

Esther said, “Yeah. Today there’s more than dust bunnies on my mind. “Laurene Hanson is missing.”

Kenny’s eyes grew wide, “Laurene. Oh No.”

Esther said, “WSBY News said she was last seen here at the fair.”

Kenny said, “So, you’re on the ferris wheel to case the area.”

Esther said, “Right.”

Kenny said, “Can I help?”

Esther hesitated, bit her nails, “I want to solve this myself.”

The ferris wheel moved up a little to let another person on.

Kenny said, “But it’s Laurene who’s missing. The police and rescue people are looking and they haven’t found her. You think you’re going to find her by yourself?

Esther said, “That’s what I was hoping.”

Kenny said, “I’ll let you take all the glory. I just want to find Laurene. We can be more effective and successful if we work together.”

The ferris wheel stopped to let another person on.

Esther looked back into Kenny’s eyes,  and said, “You’re right. The main thing is finding Laurene before something bad happens to her. I need your help.”

Kenny said, “Thanks.”

Esther said, “Here’s what I’m thinking. Tell me what I’m forgetting and tell me your “what ifs.”

Kenny said, “All right. I’ll look for the loose ends…things you might have overlooked.”

Now it’s your turn to add to the story:

And a different twist using the first information I gave above,

STORY B

Joan wrote: Esther had to stay after school in detention Tuesday. She’d gotten in trouble because  her banana accidently slipped out of her lunch box. She couldn’t help that hot shot Mandy Stephenson, head cheerleader, had accidently stepped on it, and broken her ankle.

Now Esther was going to have to pedal her bike faster than anything to get to the county fair.  The morning paper said that her best friend, Stacy Wentworth was missing. The last time she had been seen was at the fair. Esther had to get there and look for clues to help find her friend before it was too late.

Joy Moore wrote: Esther just sat for a moment staring in space.  She was told that she could go.  Detention was over.  The truth was she couldn’t move.  Her mouth was dry and she had a strong urge throw up.  What was she going to do now?

Her best friend Stacy Wentworth was missing.  There of course was nothing to suggest foul play.  But Esther knew better.  In her locker were found the three things to prove that something was amiss.

1. A banana peel.  No one knew it but Esther knew that Stacy was allergic to bananas.  It happened when she was one year old.  She swelled up like a balloon.  The antidote was a complicated mixture of B-pollen mixed with an antihistamine spread out over peanut butter bread.  Stacy couldn’t swallow a pill.  B- pollen had a metallic taste.  It had to be mixed with peanut butter and spread over bread.  In the remote area in which the lived B-pollen was hard to come by.  Better just to avoid it all together.

2. A vacuum cleaner. Also unknown to people outside her immediate circle was her allergy to dust.  Her allergy was so extreme that if she came within six feet of it she broke out in hives.  The family was careful to keep the vacuum in the garage closet, locked away.  Never did Stacy get into the car from the garage.  Even through the door of the locked closet, the fumes would make their way to her skin.  One time the hives were so big, they looked like small pillows ready to burst open with tiny feathers.

3.  A ferris wheel.  The most mysterious of all.  It was only one small moment in time.  When Stacy was five years old she was stranded on top of a ferris wheel for eight hours while they tinkered with the machine to get it working again.  Eight hours of never knowing if you will see your family again.  With the wind whipping through your hair and the people on the ground so small below you.  It was after that, Stacy vowed never again to get on a ferris wheel or even visit a county fair. 

So why was Stacy missing from the fair a place she would never go?  And why did her locker contain the three things she would not under any condition come close to?

There was one thing Esther knew.  Whatever happened to Stacy she was the one to find out.

Way to go, Joy and Elaine. That was fun. Thanks.

Okay. Your turn. Put your dialogue and text in the comments. I’ll add it to the story along with your name as contributing to it. I’ll also add your name to the tags so that the search engines can find it.

Please add to our story. Help us finish the story. Use three of the following bananas, scissors, a vacuum cleaner, and a ferris wheel.

Thanks for reading my blog and for leaving a comment. Please feel free to share with your friends. I appreciate you very much.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

Image Props for Stories #1: All That Was Left – a Stapler, a Money Bag, and a Bird Ornament

“Image Props for Stories #1: All That Was Left Behind Was a Stapler, a Money Bag, and a Bird Ornament” by Joan Y. Edwards

Stapler Copyright 2012 Joan Y. Edwards
Money Bag Copyright 2012 Joan Y. Edwards
Tweety Bird Ornament – Bird Ornament Copyright 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

Linda Andersen, June Phyllis Baker, Brenda Madole, and Elaine Green wrote passages for this post using one or more of these props: a stapler, a money bag, and a bird ornament. Thank you for participating. You made this a fun post to read. You made it very entertaining.

This is called: “Image Props for Stories.” I thought this would be a fun way to use photos of things in my house or places I visit. I love taking pictures. This will enable you to use props as a way to improve your writing skills. Actually you can write your own first page using the three props. Write freely. Write what you think came before my paragraph or afterwards. My purpose is to get you to think outside the box. I want you to get your creative juices going. Perhaps one of these props would add depth and meaning to one of your stories. Try it out. See what you think.

Joan Y. Edwards said: At the end of the storm, all that was left was: a stapler, a money bag, and a bird ornament.

The wind waged a war with Beth’s small apartment near the railroad tracks. It shook so much the walls vibrated like a dentist drill in her mouth. The last train had gone by ten years ago. She looked out the window and saw a black funnel coming toward her. She picked up the afghan from a chair and ran to the bathroom. She climbed over the sides of the porcelain tub and knelt down in it. She covered herself with the afghan and prayed.

June Phyllis Baker wrote: Holding on the side of the tub, Beth lifted one wobbly leg over the tub at time. Shattered glass from the mirror  covered the floor. 

How would she get out of here without cutting herself? She felt  her way in the dark. She pulled the piece of loose plaster that was dangled from the wall onto the floor like a trail of bread crumbs.

Beth put one foot in front of the other and entered what was once her living room. She wrapped her arms around herself. She was alone and scared.The windows had been blown out. The Christmas tree laid on the floor.  All her favorite ornaments were destroyed. 

“Merry Christmas!” she said. Her eyes filled with tears.

A voice from somewhere called  her name.

“Beth? Thank God you’re alright.”

Linda Andersen added: The air grew quiet and still, like the beach in December.  Beth saw clipped trees, walls flat on the ground, and debris everywhere.  How could she possibly think of a vacation at a time like this?  She checked herself.  No broken bones, no bleeding.  She was alive, even though she stood in a pile of shattered glass. She shook out the afghan that had covered her during the storm and discovered two large holes.  How had she escaped unharmed?

Brenda Madole added: Had it really been 10 years since she left family and friends in Sacramento for this? What was she doing in Ashland, KS anyway? Beth’s questions and thoughts made her mind as dizzy as the twister ravaging her apartment building. The next thing she remembered was seeing the worried look of her elderly neighbor Mrs. O’Cleary closer than Beth would have liked. It seemed all the tenants were gathered in her apartment, or what was left of it. Of course they were just going through looking for survivors and anything that may be a reminder of life before the twister.  As Beth joined in the dazed effort, she couldn’t believe the devastation. She aimlessly looked around when the glare of a reflection caught her eye. Upon closer look, Beth realized it was her favorite stapler from Jr. High sparkling in the post-storm sun. She quickly ran to it as you would an old friend. When she grabbed her stapler, she found next to it her father’s old money bag from the bank he worked in for over 20 years and the tacky Tweety Christmas ornament Grandma sent four years ago. Only those three items remained of her earthly possessions. Beth laughed to herself at the irony of the only things she now had were from her past. The same past she had spent the last 10 years trying to forget. At that moment all the confusion left Beth as surely as the storm had left and she knew what she must do. Go home. Regardless of who or what she would find, Beth knew she must return home to Sacramento.

Joan Y. Edwards said: But how could she just take off and leave these people. They were her family now and they needed her. But the chasm between her and her Mother had gone on long enough. She’d come back here, if she needed to. However, she had to go talk to her Mother in Sacramento. Ten years of not speaking seemed like a long enough cooling off time. Perhaps they could make amends.

What was the best way to get there? She looked at her car…what was left of it, looked like a flattened soda can squished by a giant. It wouldn’t be that car.

She felt a hand on her shoulder. “Are you all right, Beth?”

Elaine Green added: Beth turned around to see Crain’s sweet face. He was still as handsome as ever even with all the soot and dust in his hair. Looking at him, she actually caught a glimpse of what he would look like twenty years from now with salt and pepper hair. His eyes proved he was shaken and scared. However, his grip on Beth’s shoulder was tender, yet firm. He wanted to prove to be as strong and comforting to Beth like she unknowingly had been for him throughout the years. He had adored Beth since the day she rolled into Ashland in her two door coupe stuffed with every last one of her belongings. To Crain it was like yesterday watching her open her car door and basically fall out of the tiny space she had left herself to drive across country to start her new life. Yet, despite her disheveled appearance, to Crain she looked like a tall angel with her golden hair, long legs and scruffy jeans, flip-flops and plaid untucked shirt. Beth never knew what a breath of fresh air she had been in Crain’s life over the years. Her California beauty and sweet temperament is what got him through most of the long hours sitting on his tractor going round and round sowing his wheat fields. They had become dear friends, but he had never found the right time or courage from within to tell her how he really felt.

“You all right.” he asked again.

Beth without thinking fell into his chest and became as limp as a rag doll, yet somehow maintained the tightest squeeze around his neck. It was the first time since the twister turned their small town into rubble that she was able to release all of her emotions. She didn’t feel so alone and scared about standing in a pile of broken glass and fallen walls or as anxiety driven about the future she was about to endure seeing her mother. At this particular moment she felt safe and for her that was all that mattered.

Now add your part. Thanks for joining in the fun.

Good luck. Have fun! If you want to leave a whole story about this in your comment, that’s okay, too. Whatever it inspires, go for it! It is fun to hear from you. You are important to me. Without you, I wouldn’t have a blog, it would be more of a log. You are the biggest part of my blog. Thanks.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

Changed name from Finish the Story to Props for Stories 4-2-2012. Change name from Props for Stories to Image Props for Stories 5-30-2013.

Updated November 21, 2019