Monday, February 29, 2016

Pixie Buys a Castle

Snicker. The blog is named after him.

                By Valerie L. Egar

Pixie Smith, (otherwise known as Regina Hatchmore Cullen Smith), began her acting career at the age of four, in a TV commercial for Silly Cereal saying, “It tastes like bananas, Mommy.” Then, she starred in a car commercial, pretending to drive a red pick-up truck while a chorus of chipmunks frolicked in the back singing, “Driving in the Rain.”
Movie roles quickly followed. Pixie was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of a saucy waif in A Slice of Bread for Sarah and again, the following year, for the sensitivity she brought to the role of mean girl Kristal in Charm School.  Shortly after, she wowed Broadway singing and dancing her way through Spider Baby.
            By the time she was nine, Pixie Smith was very rich and so famous, she decided she needed a castle far from Hollywood for some privacy.
She flew to London in her private jet with her white poodle, Doodles, and a suitcase full of peanut butter crackers. She did not want to be recognized, so she wore movie star sunglasses and a yellow dress, a color she never, ever wore in movies or on TV.
 “We don’t usually have children shopping for castles,” sniffed the mustachioed real estate agent, Buford Cash. “Castles are adult real estate, and rather expensive. Perhaps a small flat near a school would better serve your needs.”
Pixie sniffed back in her sniffiest way and pulled her sunglasses down to look him in the eye. “If you have no castles to show me, just say so. Doodles and I will look elsewhere.”
            Pixie had a list of what she expected in a castle. Though it didn’t need a moat or a dungeon, she definitely expected a turret or two.
She wanted a library with lots of shelves, because she loved books. 
Most of all, she wanted the castle to have a ghost.  A ghost would be good company, perhaps even entertaining, Pixie thought an apparition that materialized on command might be handy when nosy gossip columnists hid in bushes.
            The first castle had turrets, but when Pixie climbed to the top, all she could see was the castle next door. Not private enough!
            The next castle was all moats and dungeons, perfect for a metal band, but not for Pixie.
The last castle had turrets that looked out upon fields of sheep and a library with leaded glass windows and shelves so high, you needed a ladder to reach some of the books. Best of all, Pixie noticed the ghost of a butler wandering the halls.
 When Mr. Cash walked by the ghost he shivered, but didn’t see him. “Chilly in here, isn’t it?” he said.
Pixie wondered whether the ghost would measure up. “Show me what you can do,” she said.
The ghost bowed. He raised his ghostly hands and all of a sudden, windows and doors opened and closed in time to music blasting from the radio.
Mr. Cash looked surprised, but smiled. “As you can see, this castle has automatic windows and doors.” He looked around. “Radio controlled.” Pixie laughed.  
“Do something else, please?” she whispered to the ghost.
As they walked through the library, the ghost drifted to the top shelves near the ceiling, and a book floated to a near-by table.
Anne of Green Gables, my favorite!”
“Yes, this castle has an invisible book retrieval system. I’m not sure how it works, but it’s very expensive,” said Mr. Cash.
“Actually, there’s a ghost.”
“No such thing!” said Mr. Cash.  “You’re old enough to know better.” With that, the ghost screamed and a mighty wind blew through the house, scattering papers everywhere.  Mr. Cash shivered. “It is a bit drafty, though, even for a castle.”
Pixie winked at the ghost. “I’d expect a significant discount for drafty.”
With that, Mr. Cash agreed and Pixie ended up with a castle that had two turrets, a library full of books and a ghost who was sure to become a good friend.

Copyright 2016 by Valerie L. Egar. Cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from the author.  Like the story? Please follow Valerie L. Egar  on Facebook by liking the page. New stories come out once a week.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Something of His Very Own

Snicker. The blog is named after him,

        by Valerie L. Egar

          All Sammy wanted was something of his very own.
      When his brother Cody outgrew his clothes, Mom put them in Sammy’s bureau.
           “I want my own clothes,” said Sammy.
          “If they’re in your drawer, they are your clothes,” said Mom, “and perfectly good ones, too.”
         All Sammy wanted was something of his very own.
            When he played with his trucks, his little sister, Lily, crashed her Wonder Pony onto the highway. Then, she grabbed a truck.
“Rrum, rrum,” said  Lily.
“Give me my truck,” said Sammy.
Dad said, “Sammy, share with your sister.”
All Sammy wanted was something of his very own.
Grandma visited every Sunday. She told Cody he was good at drawing and Lily that she sang like a rock and roll star. To Sammy she said, “You have a nose, exactly like your father’s.” Even his nose wasn’t his own!
          When school started, Sammy thought he might find something there that was his very own.
On the first day, the teacher took attendance and called out names.
“Isn’t that something, “ she said. “This year we have three Sams in our class.” Four kids had Superhero backpacks exactly like Sammy's, and two had the same kind of sneakers.
Sammy was sure on the day the teacher asked about pets, he would be the only one with a hermit crab, but nope. Randy had one, too.
When it was time for the Science Fair, Sammy kept his project top secret. He brought it to school hidden under a sheet, but when he placed it on the table in the auditorium and uncovered it, he saw six other volcanoes. One of them even had smoke coming out of the top.
In February, Sammy’s class studied the human body in science. Each student needed to find five interesting facts about the part of the body they were assigned, make a poster and give a short talk. Sammy hoped to get a really cool body part to talk about like “Skeleton” or “Blood,” but by the time the teacher reached him, the only choices left were “Hair,” “ Hand” or “Knee.”
Sammy shrugged and chose “hand.” What was so interesting about the hand?
He went to the library with his class and looked at books and the internet. The more he read, the more excited he got.
Sammy went home that night and made his poster.
                FIVE FACTS ABOUT HANDS
1.     Twenty-seven bones. That’s a lot.
2.  Thumb and fingers work together which makes humans different from other animals.
3.     Most people are right-handed.
4.     Palms of hands won’t tan.
Sammy traced his hands on the poster and decorated it with fingerprints.
When he gave his talk, he told everyone how important a thumb is and that most animals, except some of the apes and the koala bear, don’t have them. Mostly, he talked about fingerprints. He told the class how police use them to solve crimes and that no one’s fingerprints are like anyone else’s.

He held his hands up in the air. “My fingerprints are different from everybody in the WHOLE world.” Sammy had finally found something that was his very own.

Copyright 2016 by Valerie L. Egar. May not be copied or reproduced without permission from the author.  Published in The Sunday Journal Tribune, February 19, 2016.  Like the story? Follow me on FACEBOOK, Valerie L. Egar by liking my page.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dear Diary

     by Valerie L. Egar

 Dear Diary,
I am bored, bored, bored. Nothing interesting ever happens around here. Mom says I should think of something interesting. When I’m bored, nothing is interesting. She should know that, I think.
Dear Diary,
            Ugh! It’s too cold to be outside and there is nothing to do. I finished reading my library books and did my homework and now I’m bored. I gave Skittles some kitty treats, but he’s bored too. I can tell.  Mom says I should think of something to do.  I don’t know why she doesn’t have any ideas. Maybe she’s bored too.
Dear Diary,
            Maybe today I’ll just make a list like the ones I always see in Mom’s magazines. Here it is: Things I Really Really Don’t Like  (Mom says ‘hate’ is a bad word or I’d use that).
1.     Brussels sprouts
2.     Mean people
3.     Mosquitoes
 4.     Grandpa’s beard
5.     Plaid
6.     Being bored!!!!
I still can’t think what I am supposed to do to not be bored. Mom is no help at all.

Dear Diary,
Mom suggested I make a list of things I like.  She says that’s more “positive,” whatever that means.
Things I Really Really Like (I’d say love, but Mom says love is for people and pets).
           1.     Glitter
           2.     Koala bears
           3.     Australia
           4.     Strawberry ice cream
           5.     Skateboarding
          6.     Not being bored, which I still am!!!!
Dear Diary,
             I told Mom about the list of things I like. She said, Why do you like Australia?
         Here’s why— koala bears live there. So do kangaroos and fruit bats that look like foxes and hang upside down in trees. I’d like to see that.  People surf all the time because they have big waves. Right now, it’s summer there and I would like that because I could go outside and wouldn’t be bored.  People are never bored in Australia, there’s so much to do. I think when I’m older that’s where I’ll live.
Dear Diary,
            I’ve turned my bedroom into Australia! I put all my koala bears and my kangaroo on the shelf over my bed. I hung my stuffed fox upside down underneath the shelf to pretend he’s a fruit bat. Mom gave me magazines and I cut out pictures of surfers and a bird that lives in Australia called an emu and hung them up.
            I went online and learned there’s a coral reef off the coast of Australia called the Great Barrier Reef. It’s over a thousand miles long and people scuba dive there, so I’ve hung pictures of tropical fish and people scuba diving on my walls, too.
            Australians speak English, but they use a lot of words we don’t. In school today, Joan told Mira her sneakers weren’t ‘cool’ and hurt Mira’s feelings. I told Joan that was a lot of “piffle,” which means nonsense. She didn’t say anything after that!  Then I said the sneakers looked “bonza, fair dinkum,” which means they looked excellent, honest.  Now everybody is trying to talk like they’re Australian, too.
           Tomorrow when I go to the library, I’m going to get books about Australia.
            P.S.  I’m not bored anymore.

 Published in The Sunday Journal Tribune, February 14, 2016. Copyright 2016 by Valerie L. Egar. May not be reproduced or distributed without permission from the author. Like the story? Please like my Facebook page, Valerie L. Egar, and visit my website,