I'm sort of in the process of just working on what is speaking to me at a particular moment. That's very common for me right now. --Bruce Springsteen, January 9th, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

"The Secret Project"

Blogging Friends.... Well, this fictional children's book was fun to write!! How so? One of my characters--Brayden--was named after somebody who I am in close proximity to. He will turn eleven--gasp!!--in August. I asked permission to use Brayden's unique name, and he said "yes"!! But not without one suggestion. Brayden told me not to make his character clumsy!! Roger that!! However. What I did not expect, was that I'd create my Brayden so much like the real Brayden.... Love you later.

I know, I know.... I promised that this fictional children's book would be posted on July 2nd. But here's the thing. This very fictional children's book was not finished until 10:16 PM that day!! By the way? It took me five freakin' days to write!! See, my youngest brother, Michael, was exchanging bedrooms with our sister. He and I are now roomies!! As I helped move them, there was not a lot of time to write!! So. Here it is!! "Better late than never", as that phrase goes? Sigh.... This is why I don't do deadlines!!

"Creating beautiful mosaic artwork" with the broken, shattered pieces of my lifelong dream to be an author....

For my dear Blogging Friends who have children. You may print this story off and read it to them!! I am alright with that!! Enjoy!! 

"The Secret Project"

Some children go to school, sit in class, learn from their teachers' lessons and earn straight A's with seemingly very little, if not any, effort. Others? They work very, very, very hard for their grades. And others? They are brilliant geniuses!! For these children, being smart simply comes naturally!! That is what everybody says about eleven-year old best buddies Brayden and Freedom!! They are brilliant geniuses. See, some children learn best by working with their hands, rather than just listening to teachers. Some children learn best by doing. Some children learn best by experience. Such is the case with Brayden and Freedom. Because for these two? Their teachers' lessons often go unheard.
 
These two best buddies are inventors, creators, and builders. They can make anything out of scrap metal, from a truck to an Iron Patriot statue. Which is even painted red, white and blue!! With Freedom's Dad, Adam's help, they build creations all by themselves. At Freedom's house, there is a huge two-car garage. That's where he and Brayden build their projects. On the morning of Tuesday, July 1st, while Adam was working at a scrap metal dump--he brings home leftover parts--they were upstairs in Freedom's bedroom. His Mom, Olivia, had been busy baking chocolate chip/red white and blue-colored M&M cookies. Its sweet smell filled the entire house. Then suddenly Brayden thought of an exciting idea!!

"You know what I have always wanted to do?" said Brayden, "Build a time machine!!"

"Really?!" said Freedom, with excitement in his voice, "A time machine?! You mean like on Back to the Future? Cool!! What time period would you travel to?"

"When dinosaurs still existed and roamed the Earth!!" said Brayden, "Wouldn't that be awesome?! Dinosaurs come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes!! Do they have scales on their bodies like snakes? I would love to see one!!"

Freedom smiled at his best buddy.

"You mean you're dying to see one." he said.

"What?" asked Brayden.

"You do know that dinosaurs were dangerous creatures," Freedom said, "Right? You know that dinosaurs could--and would--eat your body whole!! So you're dying to see one. Get it?"

"Ha. Ha. Ha," answered an unamused Brayden, "Some dinosaurs were leaf-eaters!! Besides. That does not stop me from wanting to see one!! A powerful short-armed tyrannosaurus rex. The weird-looking ceratopsia with his horny face. A long-necked sauropoda. Besides. I can run very fast!!"

"Uh, okay...." said Freedom.

"Let's built a time machine!!" suggested Brayden, "Right now. Because I am bored!! Let's travel to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth!! Come on, come on, come on!!"

"But my Dad is not home," said Freedom, "We have never built anything without his help. I don't know about this...."

"But we can do it!!" said Brayden, "Trust me!! We have build so many things from scrap metal. More than I can count, even!! I have shelves and shelves and shelves in my bedroom full of our scrap metal creations!! You've seen them!! I know we can do it!!"

"You are right," said Freedom, "We can do it!! Besides. Everybody does call us 'brilliant geniuses'!! Okay!! Let's go and build our time machine!!"

"Can we travel back to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth?!" asked Brayden.

"Oh, alright," answered Freedom, "But only because building a time machine was your idea!!"

"How about we make this our secret project?" suggested Brayden, "We won't tell anybody!! Not our parents. Friends. Neighbors. Nobody!!"

"Okay!!" said Freedom, "It is our secret project!! I like that!!"

Brayden and Freedom excitedly ran downstairs. They loved to build creations from scrap metal. As a matter of fact. Brayden's Dad, William, and Mom, Martha, often joke that the best buddies are "addicted" to building with scrap metal. Because they cannot go even one day without their hobby!! Every evening, when Adam comes home from work, the boys beg him for help with a project. Because after all, this is their one and only opportunity!! Brayden would need to leave for dinner soon!! And Adam always does help them!!

"What are you two doing?" asked a smiling Olivia.

Brayden and Freedom stopped running. They were now as still as statutes. For the best buddies knew very well that Olivia could not know about their secret project.

"Uh.... Nothing, Mom," lied Freedom, "We were just--uh--we were just going outside to play!!"

Phew!! Freedom thought, That was not too far from the truth!! Because, seriously? We are going to the garage. Which is sort of like 'outside'. And we are going to 'play' with scrap metal!!

"Well, have one of my cookies," said Olivia, "They are still warm!! Have fun, boys!!"

Brayden and Freedom each happily took one chocolate chip/red, white and blue-colored M&M cookie. Then they watched sneakily as Olivia bent over to pull some more out of her oven. Because Brayden and Freedom were so eager about their secret project!! Finally they ran toward the two-car garage!! As fast as their legs could carry them!! In the garage, they ate the delicious cookies. Soon Brayden and Freedom began work on their secret project!!

Building something from scrap metal can take its own sweet time. Brayden and Freedom began their secret project on the morning of Tuesday, July 1st. They worked very, very, very hard for hours. Several hours!! For they worked from morning to evening. The best buddies only took one short break that day {A crunchy peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich for lunch!!} until adding even more scrap metal parts to their time machine. When they were finished for the day, Freedom covered up their secret project with an army green-colored tarp. They use it on camping trips. Then William picked Brayden up for dinner.

"Ask your parents if you can spend the night at my house," whispered Freedom, "Then you and I can work on our secret project as soon as we wake up!! Okay?"

"Dad, can I spend the night at Freedom's house?" asked Brayden, "Please, please, please, please, please?"

"Sure, I don't see any reason why not," William said, "Be good!! And I will see you tomorrow, son!!"

Soon it was the morning of Wednesday, July 2nd. Brayden and Freedom hurriedly ate sweet sugary Fruit Loops for breakfast. Yum!! Then they watched sneakily as Adam got ready to leave for work. Brayden and Freedom were so eager about their secret project!! Finally they ran toward the two-car garage!! As fast as their legs could carry them!! Soon Brayden and Freedom continued to build the time machine!! Again, they worked very, very, very hard for hours. Several hours!! For they worked from morning to evening. The best buddies only took one short break that day {Cheese pizza for lunch!!} until adding even more scrap metal parts to their secret project. Again, Brayden spent the night at Freedom's house!!

Adam had noticed something unusual about his son and best buddy lately. They were no longer begging him to help build scrap metal creations after he came home from work. So that evening, as they ate some of Olivia's creamy homemade chicken broccoli alfredo, Adam asked why. Freedom froze as though somebody touched him in a game of "Freeze Tag". For Adam could not know about their secret project, either. This time, Brayden came to the rescue with a little white lie.

"Uh.... We do not like building things with scrap metal, anymore," he said, "You know how kids go though fazes and obsessions!! But--uh--do not stop bringing home leftover scrap metal parts.... Just in case we ever decide to like building things again!!"

Soon it was the morning of Thursday, July 3rd. Brayden and Freedom hurriedly ate some sweet sugary Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast. Yum!! Again, they watched sneakily as Adam got ready to leave for work. Because Brayden and Freedom were so eager about their secret project!! Again, they ran toward the two-car garage!! As fast as their legs could carry them!! Soon Brayden and Freedom continued to build the time machine!! Again, they worked very, very, very hard for hours. Several hours!! For they worked from morning to evening. Again, the best buddies only took one short break that day {Salty microwaved soft pretzels for lunch!!} until adding even more scrap metal parts to their secret project.

"We have been working on our time machine for three days now!!" complained Brayden, "I've counted. This is taking forever!!"

"It's like a work of fine art," said Freedom, "These things take time!! Remember? Yes, even time machines take time to build!! And you cannot rush fine art!!"

Brayden smiled at his best buddy.

"Even time machines take time to build...." he repeated.

Soon it was the morning of Friday, July 4th. Brayden and Freedom hurriedly ate some sweet Cocoa Puffs for breakfast. Yum!! Again, they watched sneakily as Adam got ready to leave for work. Because Brayden and Freedom were so eager about their secret project!! Again, they ran toward the two-car garage!! As fast as their legs could carry them!! Soon Brayden and Freedom continued to build the time machine!! Again, they worked very, very, very hard for hours. Several hours!! And at last, their scrap metal time machine was coming together!!

"Soon we will travel back to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth!!" said Brayden.

"Yeah!!" said Freedom, "In a time machine that we built.... All by ourselves!!"

"It is pretty awesome!!" said Brayden, "See? I told you we could do it!!"

Brayden and Freedom opened the two-car garage doors. They sat in their time machine's seats. Together Brayden and Freedom positioned the steering wheels. Like trained pilots, they then pushed buttons to assure liftoff. This was it!! Brayden and Freedom were going to see actual real live dinosaurs in a matter of time!! Like powerful short-armed tyrannosaurus rexes. Weird-looking ceratopsians with their horny faces. Long-necked sauropods. And even more dinosaurs!! The two best buddies were getting very excited!!

"It feels like we are astronauts flying to outer space, not time travelers!!" said Freedom.

"10.... 9.... 8.... 7.... 6.... 5.... 4.... 3.... 2.... 1," Brayden joked.

"Blastoff!!" they yelled together.

Just then, their time machine moved, and flew out the garage doors!! It seemed as though "blastoff" was a magic word!! The time machine moved fast at 100 miles-per-hour!! Everything then became a colorful blur of red, white and blue. It was as though they were flying toward an American flag!! The colors then started to spin in circles of red, white and blue. They spun faster, faster, faster, faster. Then, during seemingly far less time it took to build their secret project, Brayden and Freedom landed!!

They opened the door. What their eyes saw next shocked and surprised them both.... There were no dinosaurs roaming around. Not even one!! No ceratopsians. No tyrannosaurus rexes. No sauropods. Nothing!!

"Wait. What?!" said Brayden, "This cannot be right. We were travelling to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth!! Where are they? What happened?"

Freedom cringed.

"Um.... I might have--maybe--quite possibly--pushed the wrong button?" he confessed.

"What?!" yelled Brayden, "You pushed the wrong button?! How?"

"I do not know!!" answered Freedom, "There were so many different buttons...."

Brayden calmed down.

"Well, where are we?" he asked, "What day is it?"

Just as those very questions were asked, a man riding his black-colored horse rode up to Brayden and Freedom. He was wearing clothing that looked like something George Washington would wear. A buttoned jacket. Baggy pants. Buckled shoes. The man rode up to Brayden and Freedom, stopped his horse, then handed them each two copies of paper with lots of words. Brayden and Freedom looked at them.

"Liberty throughout the land, liberty to all people!!" he announced, "Behold!! I present to you the Declaration of Independence!!"

"Wait. What?!" said Freedom, " The Declaration of Independence?! Is this.... July 4th, 1776?!"

The man scowled at Brayden and Freedom. There was a confused look written on his face. Because how can they possibly know about The Declaration of Independence or July 4th, 1776 already?! He just sat there on his horse for several seconds and did not say a word.

"Where are we?" Brayden asked the man, "What day is this? July 4th, 1776?"

"Aye!!" answered the man, "It is the evening of July 4th, 1776!!"

"You are in Philadelphia lads," he continued. "Where the Declaration of Independence {These very important papers which I have handed you} were previously written. But do please excuse me. I must hurry and spread this happy news throughout the thirteen colonies!! Farwell!!"

Then, just like that, the man rode away!!

"Wow. Just wow!!" said Freedom, "We traveled back in time to July 4th, 1776!!"

"Yeah!!" said Brayden, "Let's jump on a horse and follow that man!! Then we will observe real life American history!!"

And that was exactly what Brayden and Freedom did!! Because some children learn best by working with their hands, rather than just listening to teachers. Some children learn best by doing. Some children learn best by experience. There were no beautiful red, white and blue-colored fireworks exploding in the Philadelphia skies that July 4th night. However. Brayden and Freedom did hear the Liberty Bell ringing. DONG. DONG. DONG. DONG. DONG. It rang of America's independence loud and proud!!