C 2004 By Gracie Prior
Dear Diary, April, 1959
I am so excited. I went to church with Mary. It was in a spooky place, not like pictures I’ve seen of church. But they sang these songs. They didn’t have songbooks or anything. Everyone just sang. The music was so, I don’t know. It hit me. That’s all I know. I would have been happy to just sing and sing. Mary gave me a Bible book to look at. It had a story about a guy who killed a giant. I’m going to read as much as I can. It’s got tiny letters, but that’s all right. I already read a story about this big boat called an ark. Mary says the stories are true. It’s like my fairy tales coming true, or they were true first. I can’t wait to read more. First I’ll do all the stories that have pictures. Then I’ll just have to jump in somewhere else. Maybe Mary can show me the good ones. When I got home, Mom was nice and asked how I liked church. Dad nodded at me and didn’t make fun. That was good. Oh, Mary’s dad prayed a long prayer at church. I’m going to pray for Dad before bed. Maybe God will help him like he did Terry’s Dad. Only my Dad’s not sick. Just mean. Better hide this. Oops. That’s all.
* * *
Jimmy, Terry, Mary, and Butch got together at Havenword for an important meeting about the novel they were writing. “I think we should put this book away for awhile", Jimmy suggested. "Mary has an idea that’s better for us to work on.”
“I heard from Mom that Harrisburg is going to celebrate a Sesquicentennial this summer and we could write the play. They are going to do a big show at the football field and they will need actors and all sorts of stuff. Mom says they don’t have a play or a script yet. If we volunteer our services early, we could do it. We could show them our other plays, so they can see our writing.”
“That’s a great idea. I’ve always wanted to work on something with history in it. Where will we get all the stuff we need to know, to put in the play?” Butch asked.
“Mom has all that in a little book and she knows some old people we could talk to for details. Plus, we can use the old newspapers at the library. If we all help getting the info, we could do it.”
“We’ll make sure we all have good parts in our own play,” Terry said. It would be just as much fun to act in it as to write it.”
“We should do both. That’s why the book will have to wait. It’s a great book, but this is important now. I vote we go for it. We do both,” Jimmy said. “Who else votes yes?”
Butch, Terry, and Mary raised their hands. “The first thing to do is to tell my mom. She will help us go to the right people to ask to do the script. After that, we look up things up and get notes. Then we write.”
As the group was just breaking up, there was a knock on the door. Butch answered it. It was Mrs. Frumpstead. She held a plate of cookies. She turned her head to see as much as she could to the right and to the left.
“Won’t you come in, Mrs. Frumpstead?” Butch asked. He held the door wide open for her.
She entered and gave the cookies to Butch. Besides looking all around, she gave each Scribbler a fake smile. Mary got the strangest look, almost a smirk. “Are you children having fun?”
“Yes, we are, thank you Mrs. Frumpstead,” Mary answered. “Sit down and have a cookie.”
“Oh, I must be going. I just wanted to bring a little surprise.” She left and went back to her house.
When they were all alone together munching cookies, Mary answered, “Surprise noted, Mrs. Frumpstead.”
(Next week the Scribblers start their new enterprise.)