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Coloring Between the Lines, Thinking Outside the Box

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#1 Offline Aderia

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Posted Dec 21 2012 - 11:51 PM

Coloring Between the Lines, Thinking Outside the Box


“He can’t stay in my class! I can’t take it anymore!”


Words escaped mischievously under the crack of the door that led to the principal’s office. Miss Dause’s shrill voice could be heard harping at the principal. When the child leaned over in his seat, he could see the principal, Dr. Hill, sitting at her desk through the glass that was built into the door frame.


“Miss Dause. You have half the year left with him in your class. Tough it out.” Dr. Hill told her, taking a break from massaging her temples and placing her wire glasses back on the bridge of her nose.


Miss Dause tried to quiet her voice enough to keep it from drifting out to the waiting room, but he heard her hiss anyways. “That child is evil, I swear.”


He saw the principal look through the window beside the door at him, and he made no attempt to disguise the fact that he had been eavesdropping. He grinned widely. He had just recently lost one of his front teeth, unfortunately. It detracted from his strapping good looks, he thought.


Miss Dause stepped deliberately between the boy and the principal. He couldn’t see around her ample frame, high-piled hair and heeled height, no matter how much he leaned in his seat.


“Just look at what he drew!”


He heard the flapping and slamming of a paper on the principal’s desk.


“The assignment was to draw a rainbow,” Miss Dause explained.


He heard Dr. Hill let out an exaggerated sigh. Then she said, “Dylan, come in.”


He smiled his imperfect smile and strutted through the door which his terse second grade teacher was holding open impatiently for him.

“Thank you, Miss Dause!” He chirped.


His teacher ignored him and snapped, “Explain this to Dr. Hill.” And shoved his picture he’d only just drawn at him.


“Oh! Well you see, Mrs. Principal, ma’am. Miss Dause gave us all new colored pencils in class today! And the spelling word of the day was ‘rainbow’, and we had to illustrate it!” Dylan held up his picture for the principal to see.


“Go on,” Dr. Hill folded her hands in her lap, and Dylan could tell she was trying not to look amused.


“My mommy, I think you met her last time I got sent here to your office, she always tells me that leprechauns live at the end of rainbows and guard lots of gold! You know? That story?” He looked to his principal to make sure she was following along.


“I understand.”


“Well, I couldn’t take the gold if the leprechaun was guarding it, right? So I fixed that! The leprechaun is out of the way and he won’t bother me when I go to take the gold! I didn’t draw anything wrong!” He looked pleadingly and a bit triumphantly at Dr. Hill. Surely, she couldn’t argue with his logic.


“Miss Dause,” The principal said. “I have to say, the child’s reasoning is sound.”


Dylan swore he could see all the makeup she had on flake off, Miss Dause’s jaw dropped so dramatically. “He drew a leprechaun roasting on a spit! That is not okay!” She shrieked.


“I used all the colors you gave me!” He protested. “Look! Red blood, orange fire, yellow sun, green grass, blue sky –”


“You’re in second grade! You shouldn’t be drawing things like this! What would your mother say? What does she let you watch? For heaven’s sake…”


Talking over Miss Dause’s tirade, the principal said to him, “Dylan, you can go back to class now. I’ll send an aid down to supervise your class while I have a talk with Miss Dause. Thank you for your time.”




Hehehe, just a little write off piece from a while back, the theme was "Rainbows", and I thought I'd share in this spiffy new COT Creative Forum. =D

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#2 Offline Toa Smoke Monster

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Posted Dec 22 2012 - 12:55 AM

I liked this story. I can understand why Miss Dause is concerned about Dylan's drawing. I agree with her that a leprechaun roasting in a spit is not something a second grader should be drawing. (IMO, anyway.) But I can also see how she could seen to be overreacting a little to the situation. But I wonder what else Dylan has done to drive Miss Dause to her braking point?


But anyway, I did find one grammer mistake, and it is:

“My 'mommy', I think you met her last time I got sent here to your office

You forgot to capitalize Mommy.


That really the only grammar mistake I could find. I really enjoyed this story and I liked how it is short but still manages to tells the whole story. Keep up the good work! 

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Everyone is one choice away from being the bad guy in another person's story.



#3 Offline Mel

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Posted Apr 17 2013 - 06:42 PM

Official Short Stories Critics' Club Charity Review


I just going to leap in with some suggestions, and then I'll discuss the story as a whole. 

[font="Georgia;color:#616161;"]Words escaped mischievously under through the crack of under the door that led to the principal’s office. [/font]


Instead of "escaped mischeveously," try a verb that does the same job, like "snuck," or "crept."  Keep us in suspense a little longer; we'll find out what the door leads to soon enough.


[font="Georgia;color:#616161;"]Dr. Hill told her, taking a break from massaging her temples and placing her wire glasses back on the bridge of her nose.[/font]

Normally this sentence would be fine, but since you are writing from Dylan's POV, I would suggest a simpler wording such as "rubbing" instead of "massaging" and "the siders of her head" instead of "her temples."


[font="Georgia;color:#616161;"]He looked pleadingly and a bit triumphantly at Dr. Hill.[/font]


I know this a fifteen minute write off, but in the future you could a little more about showing these emotions.   In general, you do a good job of showing us his physical point a view, but you aren't quite there psychologically.  There were some good moments, such as when he comments on his dashing good looks.  You need to have moments like these occure throughout the story.


I was a little bit unsure about the dialogue.  Sure, Mrs. Daus is a characature (and some people really do speak in only exclamation points), but the diologue itself sounded a bit...simplistic?  Dylan is a child, but the principle and his teacher are adults.  Furthermore, why does Mrs. Daus think he's evil?  The way she talked about him, it sounds like he's being a persistantant problem in class, but we never here her mention any other escapades.  It seems odd for her to blow up after one drawing in poor taste.


This story is cute, and an interesting twist on the "rainbow prompt."  However, I feel like it need a bit more drama to make it feel more complete.  I apologize if this review is a bit short.  If you have any questions or have anything you would like me to comment on specifically, feel free to ask.  Best of luck, and keep writing.

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