Jesse Stole it!

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This was written for The Red Dress Club, a virtual writer's society.
Concrit is always welcomed and appreciated!

Someone has stolen something from you (or your character). Something of tremendous value. What will you do to get it back? Or will you give up?
Word limit: 600 My count: 451

“Where IS it? It's GONE! Someone STOLE it!” Voice increasing in volume and pitch with each word, he is rapidly losing control.

“I left it RIGHT HERE and now it's GONE! It's STOLEN!” He runs around his cluttered bedroom, lifting half-built Lego projects and moving wads of clothes, both clean and dirty… searching.

“Jesse! YOU stole it! I know you did!” He spins around to face his brother, who upon hearing his name, pulls the pacifier out of his mouth and grins.

“Das me! Desse!” The barely intelligible speech of the younger boy simply enrages his brother.

“MOOOOOOOOOM! I need you! It's been STOLEN!”

Her singsong voice echoes down the hallway from the kitchen. “What do you need, Logan?”

“It's GONE! I think Jesse STOLE it!”

“Sweetie, your brother is barely two! He isn't going to steal anything!”

“Then where IS it? I've been looking EVERYWHERE!”

Logan goes to his toy box with the trains on the front and leans all the way in, so he can reach the furthest corners. Pulling toys out one at a time and throwing them back over his shoulder, he keeps searching.

A sudden screech from the doorway makes Logan freeze mid-toss and their mom comes sprinting down the hallway towards the boys' bedroom.

Jesse is crying, his pacifier on the floor in a puddle of drool, and he holds his hand over his eye.

“What happened?” Their mom rushes to Jesse's aid and kneels down to examine the toddler. “What's wrong, Peanut? Let Mommy see.” She gently pries the distraught boy's hand from his face and sees an angry, red Hot Wheels sized welt already forming above his eyebrow. “Logan. Here. Now.” Summoning him to her side, leaving no room for interpretation. Logan is in Big Trouble. “Tell me now what happened.”

Logan's solemn face and quivering chin belies the brave front he tries to put up. “I don't know what happened, Mommy…” he looks around the room, hoping someone will appear to take the blame. “I was just looking in my toy box and some stuff was in my way so–”

“So you were throwing the toys to get them out of your way,” his mom finishes.

“Uh huh. I didn't mean to hit him, I promise Mommy! Besides, he STOLE it!”

“Logan? He stole what?” She locks eyes with him, willing him with all her might to tell the truth.

“My video game! I can't find it anywhere and I know he took it!”

Their mom's shoulders relax and she laughs softly. “He didn't take your DS, kiddo. I did. Remember? It was your punishment for throwing a toy at your brother. You'll get it back on Sunday.”

“Oh… right.”

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  1. You nailed this! I think I've been both the Jesse and the Logan multiple times.
    Well done!
    Funny that as a child that ONE TOY is the end all be all of their existence. You captured that!

  2. A lot to like in this piece. You could do some micro-editing to enhance Logan's frantic search: sentence fragments. Short, choppy phrases. Continuing the gerunds in the first secion:

    Voice increasing…losing control…running around…lifting half-built…moving…searching.

    You'd create a rhythm that would help pull the reader into the action.

    A minor quibble:

    Logan's…quivering chin betrays…

    I think the word you want is "belies."

    Finally, with Logan as your viewpoint character, do you think you might want to provide some insight into his state of mind–his embarassment–at the end? Some visual cue, maybe; an upturned chin, something to signal his realization beyond mere acknowledgement. That would be a nice payoff to the story.

    Nice job. Like I said–lots to like here!


  3. oh it came out great!!! I loved it yesterday and I love it today.

    Jesse's voice is perfect, he sounds like our little guys for sure. Pitch Perfect.

  4. I like it a lot! You really nailed the kids' obsessions. And a mother's laughter at her children's antics.

    Good job.

  5. Being the mom of 3 kids, I could totally picture the scene. You did a great job. I especially like the end when Logan relizes that he never lost the game in the first place!

  6. LOL! That was cute! They don't seem to remember why they're being punished do they? Fun story! And thanks for commenting on my new blog adventure. I really appreciate the support! 🙂

  7. My Mommy brain is taking over. I read with the intention of giving concrit, and my first thoughts are "Well, the mother should have…"

    Argh! No… I'm not here to criticize the character! Although I'm a Mom of two and I've seen this scene played out in my own home more than once. 🙂

    So, for the concrit:
    It was clearly written, and even without stating the exact ages, the reader very quickly gets the idea of the boys' ages from the words "half built legos" and "pacifier".
    It was an interesting choice to write the entire thing in the present tense (and I checked… you never faltered!) Most stories are told in the past tense, but I sometimes find myself writing something in the present and it simply feels like it must be told that way. Was this a conscious decision on your part?
    The phrase "Logan. Here. Now." is an important turning point. I feel that it would work better if it was a paragraph all by itself. And then after it "Summoning him to her side, leaving no room for interpretation." Is not a complete sentence, and is a little awkward. A semicolon attaching it to the next sentence would work.
    I agree with Papadopolis that I'd like to see a little more of Logan's state of mind at the end. Maybe a bit from Mom, too… maybe not. It would be interesting to play with several rewrites of that last little paragraph and see just how much or how little works best.

    You did a great job of bringing to life a scene that most Moms have experienced in their own lives. Great post!

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