This is Wednesday, isn't it? The holidays have my mental calendar screwed up.
Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. This is a writing exercise. It doesn't have to be perfect. The idea is to let your mind wander and write what it will. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.
Be sure to leave a comment if you participate.
This week's words are:
Tony Culver was a bully. He was mean. His family was mean. And everyone knew it. Unfortunately, my grandma lived on the side of Culver Hill, home to every Culver in Clarke County.
My grandma's house was the first house you came to once you left the paved road. After that, the gravel road twisted upward until it disappeared into trees and shadows. My uncle had driven me about half a mile up the road one time to someone's house he knew. Other than that, I'd never ventured past grandma's driveway.
Even the cops were afraid to go up on Culver Hill. At least that's what my nine-year-old mind believed. Of course, I also believed my mother was fourteen at the time. And I was more than a little afraid that a watermelon might be growing inside me at that very moment.
On this particular day, my cousin Brian, two years my junior, and I were throwing rocks from my grandma's driveway towards the gravel road that wound up the hill. A favorite pasttime of ours, that we sometimes got in trouble for, although I was never quite sure why. There wasn't much to hit besides trees, the air pipe on top of grandma's storm shelter, and more trees.
We stopped when we saw an old, rusty Ford truck creeping up the gravel road. The driver was eyeing us. At least that's what I imagined.
"That's Old Man Culver," Brian said, as we both almost subconsciously scooted a few steps closer to grandma's porch.
"I know," I answered, wide-eyed.
"Did you know he beats his kids with a big leather horse whip," Brian stated more than asked, as our eyes remained glued to the old pickup.
"Does not!" I snapped. I had asked my Dad about the horse whip and he said it wasn't true.
"How do you know?" I was easily convinced.
"Daddy and me was up at Mister Roy's one day and I heard it."
Brian's imagination was bigger than the sky, but I was afraid not to believe him.
After the truck disappeared, talk soon turned to who dared walk farthest up the gravel road. Tony Culver had told us both several times that we'd better not ever come up there. He was twelve, and probably bigger than me and Brian put together.
Brian told me that he had once walked as far as the third house, and dared me to do the same. Gullible as I was, and not willing to be bested by my seven-year-old cousin, off I went. Traipsing down grandma's long gravel driveway.
I turned around every few yards, checking to see how far away I was getting, and making sure my cousin was still there by the porch. Then I'd turn back around and look up the hill, imagining mean ol' Mister Culver, rabid dogs, and listening for the faintest sound of anything that would send me immediately scurrying back the way I had come.
As I walked, my steps became slower, my glances back more frequent. I tried to think of any way I could get out of this deadly dare.
I had just reached the end of the driveway and started up the perilous road when I heard my grandma whistle. Grandma had the softest voice, but when she put those two fingers in her mouth and whistled, I bet you could hear it in the next county.
Oh I had never been so glad to hear her whistle as I was that day. I stopped in my tracks and turned to see the two of them--her and Brian--standing on the porch. The little rat had told on me!
I gladly took off running towards the house. Whatever punishment awaited me, I was certain it would not involve a horse whip.
"Muddy roads, muddy feet. I didn't live on no blacktop street. Things have changed a lot but I never did..."