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The Birthday Present

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  #1  
Old 06-23-2013, 01:32 PM
Cityboy (Offline)
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Default The Birthday Present


Johnny Crispo sorely missed his mother, who died three years ago. Today was his twenty-first birthday, and as he lounged in the apartment he once shared with her, he just couldn’t get her out of his head. How he wished he could hear her soft voice again or could detect a sign in which she acknowledged that today was his birthday. To have her contact him on this day—his birthday—would be the greatest birthday present he could ever receive in his whole life.

A firm believer in the afterlife and no stranger to the occult, Johnny decided he would try to communicate with her spirit. Dimming the lamp in his room to produce a faint yellow glow appropriate for meditating, Johnny sat in a chair with both hands, palms upward, on his lap, and closed his eyes. He began began taking deep breaths to relaxed himself, and when he thought he was ready, he emptied his mind of all thoughts and waited patiently, hoping for any form of communication from his mother.

After sitting motionless for about five minutes without any results, Johnny was almost ready to stop meditating when he felt a pulsating just above his nose between his eyebrows. Sensing that his meditating wasn’t for naught, Johnny kept his eyes sealed and became focused on the pulsating area known to psychics as the “third eye.” From the occult books he read, Johnny knew the pulsating came directly from his fifth chakra, which, through his inner silence, had become responsive.

The sudden pulsating satisfied him and allowed him to remain motionless even longer with a renewed hope that something supernatural would soon be happening. And, Johnny was right on target with his expectations, for within the next minute the birthday boy began to envision smiley faces in his mind. Although the smiley faces flooding his mind had nothing to do with his mother, he nevertheless remained still to observe them. There were hundreds of them in all sizes and in every shade of a rainbow, zooming through his mind like stars shooting across the heavens.

The sight in his mind was spectacular, and Johnny viewed the scene in awe. However, though the colorful show he was witnessing fascinated him, he was somewhat disappointed because the images of smiley faces weren’t exactly seen enough of the smiley-faced show because, though fascinating, the images weren’t exactly what he sought when he first sat down to meditate. Thus, Johnny popped open his eyes and leapt from the chair, wondering what the heck were all those smiley faces supposed to mean? He was puzzled.

Leaving the living room, Johnny walked into his kitchen unable to stop thinking about the weird experience. He then reached for his jacket and decided to go celebrate his birthday with a few drinks at the corner tavern. Exiting the apartment, he walked down two flights of steps to the street level, but just before he left his building, he stopped at his mailbox to collect his mail. Opening the mailbox, he noticed the lone letter in it and quickly retrieved it. Judging from the square shape of the envelope, he assumed it was a birthday card someone sent him. So, he tore open the envelope to view the card.

His jaw dropped when he inspected the card. On its glossy cover were red letters spelling Happy Birthday and smiley faces in various sizes and colors. To his surprise, the smiley faces were almost identical to the ones he observed while meditating. Now obsessed with curiosity, Johnny opened the card to seek who sent it but couldn't find any name inside. The baffled Johnny then turned his attention to the envelope in which the card arrived, and although the envelope had his name and address on it, there was neither a return address nor a postage stamp on it. With card and envelope in hand, Johnny left his building and headed for the corner tavern, wondering whether he had just received his birthday present.


Last edited by Cityboy; 06-23-2013 at 02:53 PM..
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:46 PM
Christine (Offline)
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A nice little story but you'll have to do something about the 46-word sentence in the fifth paragraph.
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Christine View Post
A nice little story but you'll have to do something about the 46-word sentence in the fifth paragraph.
Thanks for compliment.

Thanks for advice. Corrected the sentence.

Last edited by Cityboy; 06-23-2013 at 04:40 PM..
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:40 AM
Norm dePlume (Offline)
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Default So far so good!

Shelly - I enjoyed the story, but there is something about your opening paragraph that seemed choppy to me. Perhaps you could change it to read something like this:

Today was Johnny Crispo's twenty-first birthday. As he lounged in the apartment he once shared with his mother, he just couldn't get her memory out of his mind. She died three years ago, and how he wished to hear her soft voice once again, or even detect a sign in which she acknowledged that today was his birthday. To have her contact him on this day - his birthday- would be the greatest present he could ever receive.

I look forward to seeing where this storyline goes.

"Norm"
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Norm dePlume View Post
Shelly - I enjoyed the story, but there is something about your opening paragraph that seemed choppy to me. Perhaps you could change it to read something like this:

Today was Johnny Crispo's twenty-first birthday. As he lounged in the apartment he once shared with his mother, he just couldn't get her memory out of his mind. She died three years ago, and how he wished to hear her soft voice once again, or even detect a sign in which she acknowledged that today was his birthday. To have her contact him on this day - his birthday- would be the greatest present he could ever receive.

I look forward to seeing where this storyline goes.

"Norm"
Thanks for the advice, Norm.

I considered using the word memory, but you beat me to the punch. Indeed, your rewrite seems to be better.

There is not much more to the story. It is about 80% factual. The card and envelope part are untrue in that the birthday card was sent by a friend who Johnny knew, and the envelope did have a postage stamp. Just added a touch of Hollywood to the tale.

And good luck with your story. You love to write. A marathon man you definitely are!

Last edited by Cityboy; 06-24-2013 at 07:39 AM..
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:56 AM
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Well-written, grammatically perfect, and exactly what I'd expect from you.

But I have to ask, why the name Johnny every time?
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:42 PM
Cityboy (Offline)
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Originally Posted by RabbitInTheSuit View Post
Well-written, grammatically perfect, and exactly what I'd expect from you.

But I have to ask, why the name Johnny every time?


Thanks again for the compliment, Rabbit.

Hey, Johnny. Which way is Elizabeth Street?

Johnny was a favorite name used by truck drivers who sought directions. To call someone Johnny was a friendly way of addressing someone whose name was unknown.
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