October 30, 2014

Creative Writing Assignment: Setting-Driven Narrative, "Humor"

 The prospect of visiting one's grandparents' house is somewhat inflated at a young age.  It can be difficult to say why; perhaps merely because it a departs from normalcy should the aforementioned grandparents live far away.  Similarly, it is possible that certain grandparents are simply nice to be around compared to more strict parents.  The house could be an interesting place, if a family has roots on a farm and its members have branched out to plant seeds in more urban soil.
 All these qualities highly influenced young Timothy's excitement to visit his grandparents.  As can be the case, very young children, mostly before the age of seven, have little concept of the idea that one's parents had parents.  In fact, to Timothy, his grandparents were just exceptionally nice people his father and mother just so happened to be acquainted with.  This acquaintance was very convenient for the child, because as can be inferred from his view of his grandparents being exceptionally nice, he was very excited to visit.
 It could be said that Timothy often thought of his parents' SUV as a military vehicle or a tank, and, in order that we may humor him, there are many similarities that can be drawn from his point of view.  First and foremost is the olive green color of the vehicle.  When light shone directly on the side of the vehicle and not on the far side, it gave a two-tone effect that Timothy interpreted as being similar to camouflage.  Furthermore, the sides were made of metal which, to a child, seemed nigh impenetrable.  His father was a bit of an aggressive driver, which in this instance simultaneously frightened his mother and thrilled Timothy; the way the car seemed to careen around corners and fly uphill past other cars gave Timothy a sense of urgency and purpose as if his presence on the battlefield were of vital importance to the mission.  The engine roared like a lion and the tires crunched the gravel like the wild bones of prey under its unforgiving wheels as they drove along the driveway of grandma and grandpa's house.  The inside of the car could be said to be fit for a lion, though this was lost on Timothy; the booster seat under him had plastic arms which dug into his skin uncomfortably on long drives such as this one.  This discomfort caused Timothy to think the car was much more like a tank, since tanks are vehicles of war and not of luxury.  Timothy may not have realized, though, that in order for him to consider the car a tank his father would have to be the commander.
 In the hills of northern Kentucky driveways have a tendency to be long, and Timothy's grandparents' house was no exception.  A long, winding hill led up from the road, surrounded by dense trees and vegetation, up to an open plateau on its peak looking down into a bowl with a large farmhouse at its center, surrounded by tall, golden grass that glimmered in the evening light.  The whole image was very much like a grandiose scene of a castle surrounded by a sea of glittering gold with dark, menacing mountains in the background, since the bowl was surrounded by woods.  The SUV charged down the slope toward the unguarded keep with many a cry of “slow down!” and “you're going to fast!” from Timothy's mother, which coaxed a chuckle from his father and a loud guffaw from Timothy.  Ah, if only his mother knew his mission, she would humor him, too.
 The SUV slowed to a stop in front of the closed doors of a small red barn with white trim.  Timothy knew what was inside; hay bales, a small tool shop where grandpa works on his truck, and a loft with nothing on it.  With some assistance from his mother, Timothy was able to dismount his steed, or perhaps to escape the confines of the behemoth tank.  It came immediately to his attention that in the green square of grass surrounding the house there was a gigantic cylindrical bale of hay which Timothy correctly reasoned would be a good outpost for enemy sharpshooters.  In order to make sure his parents weren't attacked by a rogue enemy sniper, Timothy very slowly approached the hay bale, making sure that someone on the other side would have no chance of seeing his advance.  When he reasoned he was close enough to ambush, he rushed to the other side with a very sudden motion, loudly exclaiming “Aha!” to the patch of clovers and bluegrass waiting to accost his unwitting parents.
 “Hurry up, Timmy, you're going to delay dinner!”  Timothy was upset to hear his mother yell all the way from the doorstep, totally unwary of the abject danger she and his father were in, running out in front of a hostile fortification as they had just done.  Timothy relented, though, because that is the sort of focused child he is; he was on a mission, and the goal of that mission laid inside his grandparents' house.
 Having already knocked and gained entry into the main keep, Timothy's parents were beginning niceties with the king and queen thereof (or the captain and sergeant; at this point, Timothy is equally captivated by both medieval and modern warfare), and so Timothy marched in behind them warily.  Diplomacy was not his objective.  Instead, Timothy was there to perform a very thorough search of the treasure trove located at the top of the modest farmhouse:  the attic.  Smells from the kitchen indicated a celebratory meal had already been prepared for Timothy's victorious arrival.  Surely his grandparents will humor him!
 Upon his entrance, Timothy's grandma gave a loud exclamation of disbelief and embraced him, explaining to him, “I can barely believe how big you are, you've got to be twice as tall as the last time I saw you!”  Like any good soldier in the deepest enemy territory, Timothy was appalled by such a display of affection.  He is such a directed and motivated child.  He barely had any time to pay attention to the exchange his parents were having with his grandparents; it was necessary to get to the attic quickly at all costs.
 The welcoming blues and grays of the front room faded into the warm, comforting yellows and whites of the kitchen.  Laden on the table were a heaping bowl of lush green beans, a plate stacked high with steaming corn-on-the-cob with an accompanying dish with a stick of softened butter upon it, an overflowing bowl of mashed potatoes, which Timothy noted had been mashed with the skin still on them just the way he liked, and around the table were five spots set with grandma and grandpa's fine china and crystal.  Timothy felt out of place there in the heart of the home; it was no place for a soldier such as he.
 After passing the altar of the feast, Timothy proceeded out a framed doorway into the foyer.  This was a very big step for him to take in the unknown territory of the foe, because the lights in the foyer were off.  A few steps later and he was facing the stairs, looking upward into a dark abyss, each step a varying degree darkness due to the light from the kitchen being dully reflected from the kitchen so that the sides of the steps were illuminated and the tops left to the imagination.  The hardwood foyer creaked under Timothy's footfalls eerily and he feared detection from his grandparents.  This fear was, however, not well justified, as when he set his right foot on the first step it groaned like a gargantuan monster disturbed from it slumber, provoking a call from Timothy's mother.
 “Don't wander, Timmy, we're going to sit down to dinner in just a minute!”  Timothy found this warning entirely preposterous; he was not wandering but, instead, he was accomplishing the very purpose of his being there in the first place.  
 His priorities reaffirmed, Timothy set his left foot on the second step.  The stairs towered above him like the gaping mouth of an upward abyss, daring any hero brave enough to explore its secreted depths by virtue of its concealing shadows.  Heroic and foolhardy, Timothy continued to set foot after foot on the sentry serpent's back, and it hissed and its bones creaked in angry response to his conquering footfall.  Alas, the subdued snake had raised an alarm in its dying throes, and a pursuer had begun the climb behind our valiant conqueror!
 Determined to lay claim to the valuables laying in wait in the treasure room of the attic, Timothy leapt up the final few stairs and, thus finishing his ascent, wheeled to the right and sprinted down the shadowy corridor.  A window on the left of the hallway cast rays of sunlight in the shape of the panes of glass on the opposite wall, and Timothy dashed through them, convinced a searchlight had been directed at the window to direct his enemy's eyes to his daring mission to obtain the plunder at the other end of the hall.  There it was!  The goal of his mission reposed at the end of the hallway: a narrow portal unopened for who knew how many years, behind it laying the long-forgotten jewels and golden reserves of an ancient civilization.  If only someone would humor him, riches the likes of which no one had ever seen would be within Timothy's grasp!
 Angry footsteps echoed around and past Timothy, warning him to not and yet simultaneously daring him to reach for the door handle and pull outward.  They grew closer and closer, the advance of the unknown sentinel advanced on Timothy's every sense, beating step by step the peril of his situation into his head and through the door handle into his hand and up his arm, reverberating throughout his being as he yanked once on the door.  Twice!  It budged slightly, and on the third he was sure he would gain entrance and solace from his pursuer.
 But alas!  The icy hand of capture and death had him by the shoulder, gripping him with all the power and malice of an ancient warden of an even more ancient fortune.  Heroic Timothy, even with failure and murder breathing down his neck, could still taste his prize.  With one final tug, he had the door open and with a noble and fearless cry he leapt into the murky blackness, the unlit void of the treasure room, his only hope!
 Poor, unfortunate Timothy had jumped from the capture of the guarding sentinel to the awaiting arms of a beast guarding the treasure!  His noble battlecry was reduced to a frightened scream as he was encompassed by the monster's cold, menacing arms and it swallowed him whole!  Is this nameless beast the only creature in all the whole, wide world that will humor poor Timothy?
 Light abruptly penetrated the enveloping bowels of the unseen monstrosity which had devoured Timothy.  The impossible, Deus Ex Machina, had occurred, and he was pulled from the belly of the beast.
 There Timothy's mother stood, humorless, holding poor Timothy above a cardboard box filled with winter clothes, surrounded by the dust-covered remnants of her parents' past.  Her glare was enough to express what her words could not.  Why hadn't Timothy gone straight to the front door of his grandparents' house?  Why hadn't he stood quietly by his parents until they sat down at dinner?  I think we are the only ones who will humor him, I am afraid.
 At the table, Timothy's chalice of victory had been emptied and refilled with shame.  He hung his head in defeat over his plate of roast turkey, green beans, corn and mashed potatoes, completely disinterested now that his victory feast had been replaced by one of defeat and humiliation.  The triumphant party around him bandied words he knew not what.
 Timothy's mother, upset from her son's escapade, explained to his grandparents, “his kindergarten teacher and nurse are both upset with his conduct in class.  They've suggested we put him on Adderall.”  His grandfather was disinterested, his grandmother looked concerned, and Timothy's father said nothing.

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