Unconscious Mutterings

Lunaniña chose awesome words this week for us to free associate for Unconscious Mutternings meme. Her words are on the left, my association on the right. Why not play along each week!
Just click on her link each week to get the words or get her RSS feed, then you have the words when she posts them.

  1. Happen :: stance
  2. Terribly :: bad
  3. History :: teacher
  4. Master :: carpenter
  5. Petrified :: me
  6. Moan :: shrink
  7. Attack :: charge
  8. Picture :: frame
  9. Students :: teachers
  10. Potter :: James

Now, I like to exercise my brain and I love prompts, so each week I take the twenty resulting words in order and attempt to write a poem or story. Today it became a simple story, not great literature, but a chance to just let words come at will. If you should do this, remember to link back to Lunaniña, half the words are hers, after all.

History Class

It was merely happenstance that I had a terribly bad experience in history class that day. I mean, it is not like I chose the teacher or the desk I sat in. She was so old school she had a seating chart like in grade school.

Now, I normally was a master at memorizing facts. I think it was just that I had practice at memorizing things. The old man was a carpenter. He built our house and the one in Chicago that we lived in during elementary school. He also petrified me when he had been drinking -- and it seemed he was always drinking back then. My sister would moan and shrink back when he was like that, afraid he would attack her the way he attacked the man that ran into him in the parking lot, but I wasn't afraid of him, well, at first, but once I showed him I could be useful, well, I was more in charge of the situation.

You see, he hated it when something was not exactly even, even a stupid picture frame not dead in line with the rest of them would set him sputtering all over himself. And, if he had to cut something twice because he had measured wrong, well, even I wasn't immune to his anger - OK, it wasn't anger as much as drunken rampage, but, it only took a couple before my cleverness showed itself. I hung around him when he was building and measuring things, after all, he was my dad. And when he would measure something, he always said the numbers out loud, maybe so he would remember them, but he never did.

"Forty-two and seven eights," he said out loud the first time I stood there, and then he cut the board one half inch too short. He picked it up and slammed it so hard against the wall when he went to fit it that it put a hole in the drywall. Then he turned on me. Took twice of that happening before I got all smart and clever and asked could I practice memorizing the numbers, so I wouldn't be dumb at school. From then on, I stood by his side and memorized the numbers he read and then told him when he got his saw out.

Now, sometimes I messed up, but only twice. Didn't take no three times for me. So, that day in history class, Mrs. Stinson (We called her Winsome Stinson, but don't tell her that!) was asking students about authors that had made a difference in history. Now, she went in seat order, more of us than alphabet, but unfortunately she made it to me.

"The letter P, Mr. Smith. Which author made a difference in history?"

I looked down at my desk, stalling, I knew authors in the other half or the alphabet. She usually went the opposite direction. Why did she have to start with the other side of the room that day?

"Potter," I said, in a hurry to give an answer. "Harry Potter."

The class laughed out loud, old Winsome Stinson glared at them and said to me, "James, that is not amusing. You may spend Saturday with me at detention,
reading The Public Good by Thomas Paine."

"Yes, m'am," I answered. I would miss taking Mindy to the beach in Hattsville with the others.

"Now, who's winsome, James?"


My words, not yours, so leave them here, thank you!


gautami tripathy said...

You made such great use of words. You are one terrific writer.

I am linking you to my blog. Hope you don't mind.

Clare said...

What a fun exercise -- I love word association too. And your idea of writing something using all 20 words is fantastic. I love the story you wrote! The Harry Potter part cracked me up. You created really nice characters and feeling in this. The characters felt so real. I've linked you to my site too.

Marcia (MeeAugraphie) said...

Gautami Tripathy - Thank you so much for your comment!

Clare - It is great to crack someone up once in a while. Thank you for your comment!

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