Denton Writes 2009 Winner – Children’s Literature – Levi Acord

 

 

Levi Acord preview 

 Jackie and Fred Adventures

by Levi acord

 

The day was raining. That’s not phrased right. It was a day. It was rainy. Still not right. It was a rainy day at Jackie’s’ house. That sentence sounds good.

Fred was staying the night at Jackie’s place. That day, since it was raining, Jackie and Fred played chess.

Jackie moved a pawn.

Fred moved a pawn.

Jackie moved a pawn.

Fred moved a knight.

Jackie moved a pawn.

Fred moved the knight and captured a pawn, etc.

……..

After 188 games of chess, they got awfully bored. They wandered around the house, when Jerry showed them an invention.

“Try it,” suggested Jerry, not saying anything about how to use it or what it did.  Jackie flipped a switch into the on position. A barely visible purple light filled the room, probably along with UV light.

Jackie and Fred looked around. They were standing on a large square of concrete, with smaller squares drawn with sidewalk chalk along it, in a checkerboard pattern as if one was playing chess.

A little girl, approximately 6 years of age, wearing a bow in her hair, was jumping rope on the concrete. She was missing a front tooth.

A man in a majestic mauve robe and a golden crown walked up, wearing a majestic mauve robe and a golden crown.

“Excuse me, honey; it’s time for dinner” said the man elegantly, “how foolish! I haven’t introduced myself. I am the White King,” and sure enough, the King’s skin was as white as a polar bear in Antarctica eating vanilla ice cream during a blizzard, in the brightest part of the day with the lens of the camera photographing such image painted white.

The king took the girl, Jackie, and Fred to the castle.

……..

 

They were in an enormous room, elegantly stained glass made up the walls. Long tables lined the width of the room. Numerous people, from the smallest dwarf, to the largest giant, and everyone in between, were seated at that table. In front of them, golden plates, on them there was every food from apple-flavored asparagus, to zucchini zest, including multi melted meat muffins, nice ‘n’ nicer nougat nuggets,  totally twisted toasted tasted tofu, purple painted pork pastry,  and an assortment of foods of which you’ve probably never heard.  Jackie and Fred dug in, which, of course, is a casual term for began eating. The king explained the situation.

“All of White Chessville is in danger. The dreaded Black Knights are advancing, and we still don’t have a plan of action. Before I ask for suggestions, I would like to welcome our new guests, um,”

“Fred and Jackie” said Fred with an elegant gesture.

“Ah, yes, Fred and Jackie. Anyway, we need someone who is good at chess, someone who can map out quite a few solutions. Someone who knows which directions we can move!”

Fred, of course knew what to do, because he had won 189 of the 188 rounds.

“Me, me, me” volunteered Fred, who had obviously not learned it is a bad idea to shout out me, me, me, particularly if you want  to get called on and you are in a fancy castle.

The wizard asked Fred to carefully draw plans for a number of scenarios. In Jackie’s journal, for he had no other paper, Fred got started. Anyone could tell that he was not an artist, but at least everything was labeled. Besides, Fred’s handwriting was legible. In fact, his handwriting had serifs, which are, of course, the decorative little tip things on the letters in most books, including this one. Sans serif fonts have no little decorative tip things like this: This text is sans serif. Most peoples’ handwriting is sans serif, but Fred’s wasn’t.  So, the rest of the people at White Chessville relaxed a little bit.  

                The king sent the royal reporter to interview the king of Black Chessville. Jackie and Fred went with, so Fred could learn a bit about the black King’s personality so he could draw his plans better. They entered the castle and assembled in front of  a man, whose skin was as shady as the dark side of the moon at midnight, painted a dark color with the sun removed from the solar system. Well, I guess then it wouldn’t be the solar system.

“Whad’ya want?” asked the king, grumpily.

“We r here 2 interview u.” replied Fred.  

“You shouldn’t talk in abbreviations like that,” pointed out Jackie.

“Interview me, now” insisted the king.

“The first question,” Fred began, “If you were being chased by a tiger, would you run, if your legs were tied together?”

                “I couldn’t run if my legs were tied together,” grumped the king.

“Grumpy, grumpy” said Jackie.

“Stay out of this, Jackster” replied Fred.

“Question two, why are you always so grumpy?” asked Fred, that question was not on the sheet of questions he was sent to ask.

“When I was a little boy, I went to the Burger-Queen all the time. My mother would always spare me a quarter, to buy a drink, a hamburger, and a carton of waffle fries. The cartons had precisely 17 waffle fries. Well, once the man at the counter gave me only 16. I was mad. The story only goes downhill from there.  When I got home, I told my mother about that unfortunate happening. She informed me that it was okay, and that I shouldn’t worry. That thanksgiving, we got a smaller turkey. Only twenty-seven of my eighty-three cousins were able to make it. But that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was I only could have twenty-seven pieces of pumpkin pie, instead of my usual forty-three. That made me madder than I was at the incident with the waffle fries. Later came Christmas. I only got fifty-eight presents, instead of sixty-four.  In my stocking, I always got two-hundred-and-seventy-three jellybeans, but this year, I only got one hundred and four.  On New Year’s instead of twenty-seven cupfuls, I only could have five.  We only opened six crackers instead of eleven.   And the story continued to get worse,” concluded the King, “I felt as if I was always being short changed.”

“Question three” Fred continued, which was really the second question he had to ask because the second one wasn’t on the sheet. “If you moved in one way, and a pawn would catch you and in another direction a knight would catch you, which way would you move?”

“I would either send another piece somewhere, or move in a different direction than either of those pieces could catch me,” replied the king.    

“Question four” Fred said, this being the third question on the sheet and the last one the king had asked for,   “Why did you decide to become a chess piece?”

“I wanted a place where I had total power, somewhere where I was the boss.”

“OK, thanx” replied Fred.

“Again,” said Jackie, “Don’t talk in abbreviations,”

They headed back to the castle.  This time, the king wasn’t around to let them in.

“I’m taking you to the dungeon, unless you can prove you’re welcome at this castle,” said a rook.

“Let’s explain to the rook that we should go to the castle,” suggested Fred.

“No, I think we should go to the dungeon, this chapter needs more length,” replied Jackie. He is, of, course right, so I think that it is a good idea that they go to the dungeon, simply to add length to this chapter.

They walked through a dark twisting passageway. The passage way was small, and they had to feel their way. Jackie, who had sensitive hands, was able to guess the shape of the shape of the symbols, into something surprisingly accurate. It was as follows:

 

‘D F’C

 

 

ÂZMQ

“Fred, check this out!” exclaimed Jackie.

“What?” asked Fred. Fred felt the symbols. “Wow,” he breathed. Jackie copied the symbols in to his journal.

Yes, he can write in the dark.

June 19, 1999

Today, Fred and I found these weird symbols on the inside of a tunnel to the dungeon. They look like this:    ‘D F’C   ÂZMQ

 

Jackie

 

They continued though the tunnel. The expression, a light at the end of the tunnel, is usually a metaphor that is hardly ever literal. This occasion is a rare one, in which I will use that expression and it will have a literal meaning.

Jackie and Fred saw a light at the end of the tunnel. They started running. They were now in a large room, made of thin planks of wood. The room was brightly lit. In one corner, a dragon was cowering. Yes you heard, or rather, saw correctly, a dragon that was actually cowering.   

“W-who’s th-there?” stammered the dragon.

“We mean you no harm” said Fred, who though that would be a good way to say that to a mystical beast.

“You are aware that dragons aren’t real, right?” asked Jackie.

“Yes, I’m perfectly aware that I don’t even exist,” replied the dragon, sounding annoyed.

“Do you know of the runes on the walls?” asked Jackie, showing the dragon the page in his journal.

“Yes, the first set of symbols simply means that the light is dim, but gets brighter further ahead. The second set of symbols means something along the lines of at a particular time at night, something will explode,”

“What will explode?” asked Jackie and Fred in unison.

“To be honest, I don’t know, but I think it has something to do with flying,” replied the dragon.

“This way, leads out of the dungeon,” insisted the dragon, gesturing to the way out, which was above them.

“We can’t fly” pointed out Jackie.

“I always forget that humans can’t fly,” said the dragon, “I’ll have to take you out myself,” They slowly began to mount the dragon. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride bareback on a fictional creature. They quickly gained altitude, soaring high above mountaintops, floating effortlessly, over rivers so clear that you could count the scales on the fish below. They landed in front of the castle. The king let Jackie and Fred in.  “Here are the results,” said Fred, as he handed he king the interview form the Black King.

“Wonderful. Did he say when we could have the match?”

“Yes” replied Fred, “Wednesday, June 23.”

“That’s in four days! Everybody, we must get to work! Our royal yard has to be perfect!”  The gnomes, giants and everyone in between franticly hurried around the yard, picking up every bit of trash and putting it in multiple waste bins around the yard.  They then gathered the waste bins, and ran them to their proper locations in the castle. Because lawn mowers had not been invented in the medieval times, they used all sorts of things, the blacksmiths cut the grass with hacksaws, and the knights cut with swords.  Everybody cut the grass with something or another. The yard soon looked as if it should be advertised in a gardening magazine.  The king ordered the royal artist to draw a perfect chessboard on the slab of concrete. He did so. 

Finally, the day was over. As they went to bed, Jackie showed the symbols in his journal to the king.

“By Jove, we have to do something!”

“What does it say?” asked Jackie.

“It means at exactly midnight, a time bomb will go off! It will send a plane into space. I happen to know that that kind of plane does bad things to the castle!” The king said worriedly.

“But those runes are hundreds of years old. How can you be sure that the plane event will happen today?” asked Fred.

“I can just feel it, boy. When I was young, I was endowed to feel something close, but only if it was said. Sometimes my friends would pick on me by asking when someone would sneeze. It got annoying, but now I’m thankful that I have my endowment,” the king explained.  So that night, they went with king to deactivate the time bomb plane. All they had to do was to flip a switch at the top of the castle.

……..

At last, it was time for the long awaited Chess game.

“Let’s work this out” said the White King, “If we win, we will be friends, and if you win, we will be enemies, and you can continue advancing and try to take over our castle,”

“Deal” agreed the Black King. The select pieces that are used in chess arranged themselves onto the board in their proper places. The king’s daughter started whining that she wanted to play. Using Fred’s best plans, Jackie’s journal was open to that page. First it was the Black’s first move. They moved a pawn. They had not written out plans.  After precisely 78 moves, the chess game was down to one move. It was White’s turn.  The king sent a rook and it captured the Black King.

                “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle” said the White King, “we won!”

“So you did,” grumped the Black King.

 After that, the White King took Jackie and Fred back to the castle. He showed them an invention he had found. It was the one that they had used to get there in the first place. A small red button on the side read RETURN HOME.  Jackie and Fred pressed the button, and home they were. 

“Grandpa,” asked Jackie, “Why do we always go on the adventures?”

If I went, the stories would be about an old guy who isn’t very funny, none of the readers could relate. Besides, I don think the author knows how to phrase it how an old guy talks,” explained Jerry.

 

 

 

Part II: the Second Adventure

 “We are going to take a vacation to Hawaii” Jerry announced. Jackie ran out of the living room and into the kitchen—without even turning the TV off—jumped up, and clicked his heels.

“Can I take Fred along?” asked Jackie.

“I’ll tell you what, Jackie” answered his grandfather. “You can take Fred if we can take a friend of ours.”

“Deal!” And they shook on it. 

Jackie went over to Fred’s to tell him about going to Hawaii.

“Guess what, Fred, I’m going to Hawaii!”  Fred just sighed.

“What’s wrong, wont it be fun?”

“Oh, are you taking me?!?” Fred asked

“Absolutely!”

 “You better pack your bags, Fred. We’re leaving tomorrow!”

 

 

 

……..

 

That night, Jackie wrote in his journal.

 

 

 

June 12, 1999

Today, I learned that we are going to Hawaii. Grandpa says Fred can come along if Grandpa can take one of his friends. The trip is going to be exciting. Crystal clear beaches, refreshing coconuts, hot girls in hula skirts, okay, maybe just kidding about that last one.

Jackie

 

The next morning, at about 10:00 AM, they went to the SFNHA, an abbreviation that stands for San Francisco Northern Hemisphere Airport.

Such an airport only exists in this story. The actual airport in San Francisco has a different name. Anyway, that’s where they went. They drove into the parking garage.  They headed into the airport. Jackie noticed that it must have been recently tiled because the tile was new and shiny, but also because last time they were there, it had carpet.  They put their luggage on that luggage cart thing to be taken into the plane.

 

 

 

……..

 

 

So, on the plane they were. The plane service was good.

A lady wearing a funny apron asked if they wanted anything to eat.

“Yes,” they all replied at the same time. Or should I say “simultaneously”?  That means at the same time, so it’d work, but I said “at the same time” so it doesn’t matter what I should’ve put, because I didn’t put it.

By now, after all my blibber-blabber about what I should have put, you’ve probably forgotten that the story is about Jackie and Fred going to Hawaii.

“You said you’d bring a friend too. Where’s your friend?” asked Jackie.

“Oh, she’ll meet us in Hawaii,” answered Jerry.  “She didn’t want to drive all the way out here to go with us. She’s using a different airport.”

“She’s probably going to sit around and play bingo with your grandma.” Fred whispered. 

……..

Six hours later, the plane landed in the Hawaii Airport of Hawaii, which is of course as made up as SFNHA because a fictional plane can’t land in a real airport any more than a real plane can land in a fictional airport. 

They booked into a hotel. The large clock on the wall read 2:00 PM. If it took them six hours, then how come they were there at two? If you do think this, then you’re forgetting that the time changes as you travel to different time zones. They got checked into room 356. It was like any other hotel room. That wasn’t the exciting part. 

Jerry reached into his suitcase and…I should just leave it like that for a couple of pages just to torture you, but that wouldn’t be very nice. He pulled out a machine that was small and seemed purposeless, it was about the size of a thimble. It hit the doorknob and beeped. Then fell to the floor.

“It’s a metal detector,” Jerry explained, “just a small portable one.”

They went outside to play. They saw crystal clear beaches, refreshing coconuts, hot girls in hula skirts, okay, like his journal entry, just kidding about that last one. Anyway, they asked permission to use Jerry’s machine to see if they could find gold.

He said okay, so that’s what they did. Jackie would flip the detector like it was a coin. Fred would crawl along behind him and pick it up.

……..

 

Finally, it started to beep. Fred and Jackie started digging. Then on those crystal clear beaches, down fell some refreshing coconuts. I use those adjectives because they were in Jackie’s journal, so that must be how he feels about such, but I can imagine the coconuts aren’t that refreshing when you’re’ trying to dig and they fall on you. They kept digging. Fred leaned over forward. He fell, and he landed on the bottom of the sand pit they dug. Then the sand collapsed, and Fred fell some more.

At that moment some hot girls in hula skirts walked up (this time I’m not kidding).

Jackie turned crimson. Crimson is a fancy word, which in this context means a reddish pink color. He was sitting there digging like a dog, while his best friend had fell down a hole. I could say he was embarrassed, but I don’t want to make an understatement. 

“Hi,” said one of them in a sugary voice.

“Er, hello” replied Jackie awkwardly. 

He always was shy when he was with someone he had never met before.

“What?” Fred called up from the hole.

Jackie felt more embarrassed. Fred didn’t. He had no way of knowing that some hot girls in hula skirts had walked up.

Fred climbed up and poked his head up the hole.

“What?” he called again. He looked around, saw the hot girls, and realized the importance of not shouting stupid things like “What?”. He climbed up out of the hole, dusted himself off, and cleared his throat.

“Ahem. Ladies?”

“Ooooh,” they cooed.

A man, pushing an ice-cream cart walked by, pushing an ice-cream cart.

“Bye” said one of the hot girls in hula skirts in another sugary voice. The girls walked over to the man with the ice-cream cart. They pushed and shoved, trying to get to be first to get ice-cream. They shouted out their favorite flavors.

“Vanilla!”

“Strawberry!”

“Pistachio fudge ripple!”

“Broccoli!”

“They don’t make broccoli ice cream.”

They looked down the hole Fred had fallen into, and there in the bottom of it was a large treasure chest.

“I thought that those were only in pirate stories,”

“Guess not,” replied Jackie.

“Or, maybe, this is a pirate story, and were about to be attacked by pirates!” suggested Fred.

To make a long story short, they were not attacked by pirates.  They opened the treasure chest. Inside was something that was not the biggest, smallest, longest, shortest, fattest, roundest, squarest, loudest, quietest, thinnest, best, and worst object they had ever seen.  I will leave you wondering what that object is, and how it can be opposites, like that, because it was getting dark. Jackie and Fred went back to the hotel.  An elderly lady sitting in a chair, who had not been there before, well, was sitting in a chair. That sentence sounded kind of redundant, but that sentence needed a verb. The voice of the woman in the chair sounded. “Your grandma and I are going to go play bingo.” She patted Jackie on the head.

“What’d I tell ya?” asked Fred, loudly.

“Here,” the woman in the chair offered them peppermints. They accepted them gratefully. Not to eat, of course, you should never eat candy from strangers, but they might come in handy. The candy, of course, not the strangers. Anyway, you are probably wondering what Jackie and Fred did next. So, that’s what I’ll tell you.

“Y’all can come to bingo with me and your grandma. You can take your friend with,” she informed Jackie. They went with her to bingo.

 

……..

 

“G7”

“B8”

“N20”

“I9”

“Bingo” someone shouted.

“O38”

“G4”

“N3”

“B62”

“I35”

“Bingo” shouted Christina, which if you don’t remember all the way to the beginning, is Jackie’s’ grandma’s name. “$25,000 for you, Ms.,” said the guy calling out numbers.

“Thank you, now we won’t go bankrupt on the flight home. That doesn’t stop the hassle of the airport though,” She laughed at her last remark.

“I’m bored” Fred informed Jackie. 

“Don’t say that so loudly” he replied.

 

……..

 

That night, Jackie’s grandma’s friend, Rose, slept on the rollaway bed.  Jackie got his pencil and journal ready for writing an entry.

 

June 14, 1999

Today, Fred and I found an odd treasure.

We went to play bingo with Grandma and her friend, Rose. Grandma won $25,000. (Yay!)

Night,

Jackie

 

The next morning, they went outside to play. Jackie opened the treasure chest. Get ready too see the most gold you’ve ever seen in one place before.

 The treasure chest was empty!

“Now how are we supposed to show the reader all the gold?” Fred asked.

 “We’ll have to find it,” Jackie guessed.

A large ship, made out of wooden planks, on it hung a flag, with a skull and crossbones embroidered on it. Such a flag is called a jolly roger, and it is generally known as the pirate’s flag. On such a ship, Jackie could just make out a figure.

 

 

……..

Such a figure was standing on the deck of the ship, cackling. Such a figure was the pirate, Polka-dotbeard. Sure I’ll bet you’ve heard of Blackbeard, and Redbeard, so Polka-dotbeard is just another pirate. Their names just have a color and the word “beard”. 

                “Look,” cackled Polka-dotbeard, “those children have come looking for our treasure,”

                “They unburied it, Cap’n” said Ferocioustoes, Polka-dotbeard’s first mate.

“And we stole it from them,” Polka-dotbeard grumped. ……..

 

The ship was now ashore, so Jackie and Fred walked around back and snuck aboard.

                “Why’d we shipwreck here, Ferocioustoes?  We was tryin’ ta get further from da kids, not to’ards ‘em!” shouted the Cap’n, which is much shorter than spelling out Polka-dotbeard, so, that’s what I’ll write, or rather, type from now on.

 

 

……..

 

Jackie and Fred went to the captain’s quarters, where they found pirate uniforms. That’s an overstatement. Pirate clothes, which also wouldn’t work because it is still an overstatement. Rags often worn by pirates. That works!

They put them on, headed to the top of the ship, and pretended to be crewmates.

“Cap’n,” Fred asked, for he was the best at phrasing things, “Where on the ship is the treasure?”

“In the cupboard at the back of the third brig to the left below deck, of course!” roared the Cap’n, whose eyes narrowed and he looked suspicious, “Why?”

“Um,” began Jackie.

“So we can better guard it!” exclaimed Fred.

So, as one can probably guess, they went to the third brig on the left, and opened the cupboard, inside was gold in one place.

……..

At that very moment, about 1.3 marks, mark being the seafaring word for six feet, so 1.3 marks would be 8 feet, anyway, that distance above them, Cap’n Polka-dotbeard was screaming. He was being attacked by Cap’n Pimplenose!  Pirates like to attack each other. It’s not like one is good and one is evil.

“The Crystal of Hope is unleashed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” shouted Cap’n Polka-dotbeard, who called it the crystal so Pimplenose wouldn’t know it was gold, and he also punctuated his sentence with extra exclamation points to make it more dramatic.

Unfortunately, at that moment, the ship began to sink.

……..

 “We have less than a page left to escape and finish this story!” exclaimed Fred.

“Relax, bud” Jackie said soothingly, “the author will extend the chapter if he has to,”

But Fred wanted a quick getaway. They hopped in to a lifeboat and paddled to shore as quickly as they could.

Whoosh. They crashed into the shore.  The hot girls in hula skirts walked up.

“We went on an exiting adventure. We fought pirates and everything!” Fred began to tell the story, which he made as verbose and heroic as possible. Jackie recorded Fred’s version of the story on a page in his journal.  Later, it was dark. They went back to the hotel, and Jerry announced that they were leaving the next day. They got packed and ready to leave. Jackie wrote in his journal.

June 15, 1999

Today, Fred and I got the treasures from pirates.

Night,

Jackie

They left next morning.

THE END

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