More Conversations — PromptlySusan #16

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on September 7, 2011 0 Comments

“Those little .45 Colts are like mini-cannons they are so powerful! A lot more bang than the souped up BB gun I’d been using. Thanks, Mr. Uselmann!” Per shook his employer’s hand and left with a swing in his stride. Ahead he saw Becky’s brunette curls hanging from under her sun hat.

“Hey, Becky! I’ll be right there,” he called, but to his surprise and embarrassment, his voice broke mid-sentence. I sound like a frog, he thought self-consciously.

Becky noted his changing voice and looked at the 14 year old as though he were already a man. Still, she was glad he wasn’t a man, not yet anyway. Her cousin, Frederick Erdmann, had enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force as soon as he’d turned 18 and that was over two years ago. She hoped the war would end before Per was drafted.

“You look chipper today, Per, what’s your secret?” Becky asked as Per drew close to where she stood under the oak tree.

“Aww, I was sure Mr. Uselmann was going to chew me out back there. I’d wasted two whole shots trying to take down a pair of pesky crows that were stealing his corn. Instead he showed me how to use his .45 and Becky does that gun have a kick to it! Plus it shot through both birds with one squeeze of the trigger!”

Per looked at his friend with bright eyes before remembering that she wasn’t fond of shooting animals and especially not crows. “Per, I hardly know what to say,” the tender-hearted girl replied, “but I’m sure it’s good to not waste ammunition. I wonder if you’ll even be able to keep doing that chore for Mr. Uselmann. Pa says they’re going to start rationing metal and bullets next.”

Per considered her words. “You know, I like the money and I do like shooting, but not the killing part. I guess it’ll be for the best if that chore ends. You know, Becks, it’s a little scary how the government is making us save stuff or not use rubber and gun powder. Far said that his cousins in California have a curfew! I don’t like the authorities to take so much control.”

“It makes me feel safer, Per, when the government does stuff like that for our own good.”

“Yeah, but how does the government know what’s best for me? They don’t even know me!”

“We’re their citizens, Perry. Just like your pa knows what’s best for you so does the government.”

Per didn’t argue that logic, but his heart twisted up a bit. His far didn’t know how Per wanted to be a writer not a farmer when he grew up. He didn’t know how Per was already hanging out at the newspaper office looking for ways to help. One thing he did know, Per admitted to himself, was how much they both loved polskas and making music.


  • Poetry: Anapeat
  • Prose: Mystery
  • All Words: cannon, chew, curfew, curl
  • Phrase for Contemplation: By working hard, you get to play hard guilt-free. 
  • Theme: mental illness
  • Graphic: 

 Note: I’ve changed my main character’s name. He’s no longer Frank, but Per because he’s Swedish and Per is a Swedish name. It sounds like pear that you eat, fyi.

Also, if you know about guns (Len Maxwell!) please share with me. I don’t know any of those details, not what to call them specifically, not how they are used, and I’m eager to be corrected because I just winged it with this scene when I talk about guns. Thanks!


About the Author ()

"Always try to add a little fizz and ginger to everything you write." --Matthew Stibbe

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