Monday, July 1, 2013

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

This story was written for Susanna Hill's "4th of July Secret/Mystery Writing Contest."  To see contest rules or read other fantastic entries visit http://susannahill.blogspot.com/ There is a 400 word limit and I managed to finish mine in 389.  This contest has been a challenge for me.  My first two story ideas turned out to be failures, and I almost gave up. Then this story occurred to me out of the blue as I was walking to zumba.  I had a lot of fun writing and painting the illustration.  I hope you all enjoy and I greatly look forward to reading all the other entries!  



BOOM!  BOOM!  BOOM!


         Belle the big, black poodle disliked loud noises.  Baby squeals made her jump, high-pitched whistling from the teakettle made her howl, and thunderstorms made her tremble head to tail.  

            One 4th of July evening Belle curled up on the warm kitchen rug for a nap.  Through sleepy eyes she watched her owner Sadie and her friends chatter around the counter tops preparing ice cream sundaes with pecans and homemade chocolate syrup.

She thumped her tail lazily in content.  Soon her eyes closed and she drifted off to sleep. 

BOOM!  BOOM!  BOOM!  A dreadful noise startled Belle from sleep.  She bolted up and looked around.  The kitchen was dark and empty.

DRIP.  DRIP.  DRIP.  Went the water faucet.

WHIR.  WHIR.  WHIR.  Went the dishwasher.

“Hmmm” thought Belle.  “I must have imagined the sound.”  She settled back down on her mat. 

BOOM!  BOOM!  BOOM!  The noise came again! 

Belle jumped to her feet.  “What was that?!”  She thought pawing the ground nervously.  “Where is Sadie?” 

Belle trotted into the living room.  No Sadie. 

TICK-TOCK.  TICK-TOCK.  Went the clock

BUZZ BUZZ. Went the fly circling potato chips.

BOOM!  BOOM! BOOM!  Went the noise even louder this time. BOOM!  BOOM!  BOOM!

Belle began to circle around and around the living room floor.  “Oh, what is that awful noise!”  She thought.  “Sadie where could you be?”   

Suddenly she heard laughter coming from the front porch.  Sadie’s laugh.  Belle ran to the door and scratched urgently. 

“What is it girl?”  Said Sadie opening the door. 

Belle whined and leaned against Sadie’s denim jeans.  Suddenly she saw flowers bursting out of nowhere in the sky.  They sparkled like tinsel on a Christmas tree.  “How beautiful” thought Belle.

BOOM!  BOOM!  BOOM! The noise came from the sky!

BARK!  BARK! Said Belle shrinking away. 

“Awww you’re scared of the fireworks!”  Said Sadie hugging Belle around the neck.  “Come sit next to me.  I will keep you safe.”

Belle couldn’t understand how such beautiful flowers could make such a terrible, frightening noise!  But she followed Sadie and curled obediently beside her. 


As Belle watched the way Sadie and her friends laughed in delight at the dazzling show in the sky, she began to feel more at ease.  Sadie wrapped her arm around Belle and together they looked up to enjoy the BOOMING flowers in the sky.



Here's the inspiration for my story.  She's an old dog that's been in the family for 15 years now.  

38 comments:

  1. What a wonderful story with fabulous sound effects! And your dog is super cute too. :) Good luck with the contest!

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    1. Thanks Teresa! Good use of sound effects in your story as well!

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  2. What a fun story from a dog's point of view! I enjoyed all the sound words! And great photo!

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    1. Thank you very much. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

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  3. Great story, Heather! And I love your illustration and your photo of you and your dog :) Your story is well-written - I love the different sound effects and how they show up in each section - and I love your comparison of the fireworks to flowers blooming in the sky - so perfect and poetic. And you got the mystery in there and came in under the word count. Excellent job! :)

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    1. Thanks Susanna! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I love your writing contests because they motivate the creative knobs in my brain to start turning. There's nothing better than a bit of friendly competition to get me going.

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  4. A mystery from a dog's point of view. Just charming! This would be such a cute book for little ones. I'm with everyone else about the sound effects. Perfect

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    1. Thank you Pam! I'm so very glad you enjoyed it.

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  5. What a great idea! Well done! Love the illustration as well -- the expression on her face is perfect.

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    1. Thank you Beth! I was particularly pleased with the way the illustration turned out. I'm so glad you liked it too!

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  6. Great story and illustration of Bella. Love a good dog story. Good use of sounds.

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    1. Thanks Patricia. I've always had a soft place in my heart for good dog stories. "Where the Red Fern Grows." was one of my favorites growing up.

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  7. Sweet story . . . thanks for sharing your inspiration with us.

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    1. Thank you! She's so funny to watch when she gets all nervous during thunderstorms and 4th of July fireworks.

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  8. This is such an adorable story. I loved all the sound words! Being a dog lover, I especially enjoyed it. Sweet picture. Great job!

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  9. Thank you so much Cheryl! I'm very glad you liked it.

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  10. What a great story, Heather! I love all the sound effects...I think kids would love them also.:) And fireworks do look like flowers exploding in the sky...wonderful illustrations. :)
    Oh, and I'm following your blog now...don't know why I wasn't before.

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    1. Thanks Vivian! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I just signed up to follow your blog as well! It's hard to keep up with things in the blogging world. Thanks for following!

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  11. Love this story. The sound effects bring it to life - I can see Belle prancing around the house on nervous paws!

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    1. Thank you Laurie! Prancing is a verb for Belle. She does prance around the house!

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  12. Flowers blooming in the sky, I love the word pictures! Best of luck.

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    1. Thank you! Best of luck to you as well!

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  13. Dogs & blooms in the sky! A wonderful story, Heather, that I very much enjoyed reading & LOVE the illustration, too!

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  14. Great story! Those fireworks sure do scare the dogs (I have cats, too- they sleep right through it :)) I especially liked when Belle was searching for Sadie...the sounds and the rhythm worked well.

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    1. Thank you so much. It is funny how dogs have such a hard time with big or high pitched noises, but it doesn't even seem to bother other animals. I'm glad you could relate to my story!

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  15. Awwww. . .so cute Heather! And I LOVE your illustrations!

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    1. Thank you Jarm! I had a ton of fun painting the picture. It was especially fun painting Belle's curly fur.

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  16. Love how you incorporated all the sounds into your story! But honestly, you had me at the moment I saw the picture! ;-)

    -Cathy Hall

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    1. Thank you Cathy! I'm glad I was able to grab your attention. It's hard to stand out among this amazing group of talented writers!

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  17. Your words put the illustrations in my head (fireworks flowers blooming in the sky). Amazing job! So glad I stopped by.

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    1. Thank you Robyn! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

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  18. Nice job, Heather! Loved the onomatopoeia. And the photo was a bonus :•)

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    1. Thanks Penny! I'm glad you liked it.

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  19. I love that you wrote from the dog's perspective. So different!

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    1. I'm glad you think so Pam. It was a lot of fun to write.

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  20. This story is so well told. And I like your illustration a lot! I barely had time to get the story completed let alone illustrate it. You are my hero!

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    1. Thanks Joanne! I thought your story was great by the way. I would never have been able to tell it was a last minute story.

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