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  1. Trynn

    Yard Work With The Doodys

    This story has 2 alternate endings. I honestly couldn't decide which I liked better, so I included both. Maude Bagwell quietly observed the Moody family –all dressed alike this morning in khakis and olive green shirts, with beige gloves-- walked up the sidewalk toward their house. What do they want now? She thought Warily. “Good afternoon Mrs. Bagwell, how are you this fine afternoon?” “I am well, thank you, and yourself?” “I am very happy to be alive on this blessed day that the Lord has made. My wife, Emily, and I noticed that your yard has been getting overgrown, and we heard you recently had surgery--” Get to the point, Jim, you're not helping my recovery right now. “And we thought we'd come to offer our services by having a work party at your house. We have brought our own tools in the van, and would love to do your yardwork absolutely free of charge.” Maude blinked. She was trying to think of a polite way to say no, but the yard did need work. The grass was almost approaching the 16 inch mark, and the city would file a complaint if it got any higher. Jane was busy working at a day camp, and Alexa had her paramedics course. Larry, Jane's brother, normally was happy to mow the lawn and weed the flower beds for her but this summer he had turned 18 and joined the army. And of course, she herself couldn't do it, what with her recent back surgery. Soon.... she promised herself, soon you will recover and be allowed to bend over again.... Maude yanked her mind back to the Moodys, who were standing there with identical gummy smiles on their faces. “Er, yes. Alright, then.” She said. “Make sure you don't pull up all the mint Alexa's growing behind the toolshed that she thinks I don't know about, though.” And Maude made sure to point out the mint plants, so the Moodys wouldn't think they were weeds. I still don't trust them... but they did make Mrs. GenericnonMoodywoman's yard look nice, even if the DID leave the dog in the house to make messes.... A few hours later, Jane's car pulled into the driveway. She and Alexa were home from camp and class. Maude was in a bikini on the roof, sunbathing. The Moodys had their heads bent over their work, trying not to look at her. “What the heck is that weird family doing in our yard?” Jane asked. “Planting secret bombs because we're not Christian enough for them?” “Don't give them ideas,” Jane said, stepping out of the car. Alexa got out too, taking a big swig out of her water bottle as she did so. Maude came out of the house just then, still in her bikini, with some lemonade. The Moodys thanked her politely and took a break. “Gee dad,” the youngest boy, Mitch, said. “It sure is good to help the widows, just like the bible says in James 1:27!” Maude stopped in her tracks. Widows? Widows? WHAT?! Water flew out Alexa's nose, and she started coughing. Jane face palmed, which was a bad idea, since she still had the car keys in her hand and succeeded only in klonking herself on the forehead. Fortunately, Mr. Moody mistook Alexa's tears of laughter for tears of sorrow. He glared at Mitch before turning to Maude and saying. “I'm sorry.... I didn't mean to bring up the sensitive topic. Has he been gone long?” Maude's mouth opened, then closed several times before finally settling on “uh....well... kind of...” Alexa finally stopped coughing. Jane offered her a tissue to wipe her face. “It's alright,” she told Mr. Moody. “It's just... we all miss grandpa very much....” “Now see here Mr. Moody,” said Maude, who had finally found her voice. “Well,” said Mrs. Moody, “time to get back to yard work.” Max started up the lawnmower and Maude's protests were drowned out as Jane and Alexa each took her hands and led her back to the house. “Now grandma!” Jane exclaimed. “Don't stop me Jane, I'm going to give him a piece of my mind!” “Oh but grandma, we could have so much fun with this....” Alexa said. “Yes yes,” Jane said eagerly. “They wanted to mow our lawn because you're a widow.... if they keep this up, we could have free yardwork all summer.” ““Besides,” Alexa cut in, “think of how Mr. Moody's head is going to explode at the end of the summer when you tell him he's been helping an evil, sinful, divorcee rather than a helpless widow?” Maude simmered for a minute, then slowly started to smile. “Oh girls,” she said. “I've taught you so well, what would I do without you?” “Your own yardwork,” said Jane. The second ending..... Alexa finally stopped coughing. Jane offered her a tissue to wipe her face. “It's alright,” she told Mr. Moody. “It's just...” But Maude had finally found her voice. “So.” she said in a dangerous voice. “So.” The Moodys looked confused. Alexa thought briefly of running into the house before the explosion hit, then decided she'd rather stay and watch the fireworks. “So,” Maude repeated. “You noticed an old woman living alone, and just assumed my husband died?” “Uh....” Said Mr. Moody. Jane inhaled sharply, then exhaled. Alexa carefully controlled her facial features, digging her nails into her palms to avoid.... laughter? Anger? Both? “I could very well still have a husband; he could be on vacation, or in the army, or... or What makes you even think I was ever married in the first place?” “Well, uh-” “My eyes, Mr. Moody, are up here.” “You...” Said Mr. Moody, forcing his eyes away from Maude's cleavage. “You are Mrs. Marple, are you--” “It's Ms. Marple.” Maude was really hitting her stride now. “And you, Mr. Moody,” she said, jabbing her finger in his face, “would do well not to make assumptions about people.” And with that, she turned on her heel and marched into the house, leaving the stunned Moodys staring after her. Jane noted that Mr. Moody's eyes had rarely left Maude's cleavage during the entire conversation and suppressed a shudder. “Come on Jane,” Alexa said. “We'd better, uh...” “Go make dinner for grandma!” “Right, come on!” They ran into the house after Maude, then opened one of the windows to listen to the Moody's conversation. “Should we leave, dad?” Max asked his father. “That lady was rude, and she's sunbathing on the roof half naked. I'm having a hard time not looking at her!” Jane and Alexa each threw each other identical looks of disgust. How old was this kid, 10? Perving on their grandma? Disgusting. “No, children,” said Mr. Moody, “we will finish that which we have started, for the Lord wants us to persevere and finish our tasks according to our abilities. We will continue to work here and we will go home afterwards and have a special prayer at bible time for Mrs.... or Miss, Marple. We will ask for advice as to how we may best witness to her.” “And we will make sure to ask her to be fully clothed if we ever come back,” They heard Mrs. Moody say in a barely audible voice. “Think of the children...” the lawnmower started up again, and the 2 cousins couldn't hear any more. “So,” said Alexa icily, drawing away from the window, “that's how they want to play it.” “Well,” said Jane, “two can play at this game.” “What's your plan, Jane?” “They want to witness to us? Think about what would happen if we were to witness back.”
  2. “Mrs. Clifton, you have some visitors. I hope you have a nice visit.” Miss Jenkins said as she disappeared from the room. Mrs. Clifton was sitting in a reclining chair, reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. She looked a little tired but otherwise healthy. Her hair was pulled back into a silvery bun. Her face was peacefully calm. She wore a light pink dress and matching slippers. Mrs. Clifton waved them to come closer. Howdy Doody shook her hand. “Good morning!” he said in a voice that was way too cheery for anyone at this time of the morning. “I'm Howdy Doody, and this is my wife Doodley.” “I'm Bax,” said Bax, shaking Mrs. Clifton's hand. “I'm Bollie,” said Bollie, shaking Mrs. Clifton's hand so hard her teeth rattled. “I'm Bitch,” said Bitch, also shaking her hand. “And I'm Baddie,” said Baddie, as she squeezed Mrs. Clifton's hand as hard as her little hand could. Even that was enough to tire Mrs. Clifton out these days, but she decided to do what she could to remain positive. She smiled. “What a lovely family!” She exclaimed as the Doodys stared back at her with gummy vacant smiles that didn't quite reach their eyes. “I've seen your family around, and I can't believe we've never officially met.” In fact, the Doodys kept to themselves so much that gossip about them ran rampant. Nobody really knew them very well at all, actually. Howdy continued to smile as he told Mrs. Clifton about finding Honey. Mrs. Clifton wasn't good at hiding her emotions, so Howdy tried to reassure her. “Don't worry,” he said robotically. “No harm was done.” That you know of Mrs. Clifton thought warily. She didn't think the Doodys would intentionally harm Honey, but with the way they treated the children sometimes.... she forced herself to pay attention to Howdy as he explained how Sharon had told them where to find her. “It is especially hard to be away from my precious Honey,” she said out loud. I will have to have a talk with Sharon about who she gives my information to. “I know she is a very busy lady. I'm hoping to be back at my house by the end of summer.” Oh dear, that was the wrong thing to say, wasn't it? These pain pills they give me cloud my mind so much. I wish I didn't need them. “We're sorry to hear about your troubles,” Doodley Doody said, wringing her hands. She looked at Howdy, who nodded. Doodley resumed speaking. “We want to offer to take care of Honey until you can come home. Your house is right around the corner from us, and the children can walk there every day. They really like Honey, and would be happy to help.” Mrs. Doody clasped her hands together and bit her lip. Was it Mrs. Clifton's imagination, or did she sound nervous? Poor thing probably isn't used to leaving the house, let alone talking to strangers. Or do I just think that because the Narco is kicking in really hard? I need to lie down. I can't think. “I'm afraid that would be a lot of trouble,” she said through a haze of pain pills. Mr. Doody took a step closer. His smile remained fixed. “Mrs. Clifton, we would like to take care of Honey.” Mrs. Clifton smiled. “You're all too kind.” She glanced at the bible tucked under Mr. Doodys arm. “Are you Christians?” Oh why did I ask that? That's a personal question. Howdy Doody smiled even wider, if that were possible, and said, “Yes. I am only a sinner saved by the blood of Jesus and trusting Him.” Mrs. Clifton closed her eyes. When she opened them, the Doodys were still there. Howdy looked like he was about to open his Bible, and just the thought of sitting through a bible study made Mrs. Clifton tired. So so tired. “I knew you were not an ordinary family,” she said. “I too love Jesus. I would be very grateful if you would care for Honey.” Mrs. Clifton wasn't sure the family knew the same Jesus she did. The Jesus she loved would never have spanked Bollie out in public simply for asking her mother for a third animal cracker. Howdy Doody said more things, and opened his Bible and read from it, but Mrs. Clifton was so tired she didn't understand a word. Finally, a nurse came in and told the Doody family that Mrs. Clifton needed her rest. The nurse helped Mrs. Clifton get to bed. As she finally drifted off, she thought, I really must remember to call Sharon and give her what for.
  3. Trynn

    Sharon Meets the Doodys

    Another rough draft of my parody Summer With The Doodys. In this episode, the Doodys meet Mrs. Clifton's neighbor, who has been taking care of Honey and is devastated because she's been searching the neighborhood all morning. She's desperately hoping she won't have to start distributing flyers. Sharon Baker looked up from her work. Her heart sank Oh no she groaned inwardly. A family with 4 children was ringing he neighbor's doorbell. One of the boys looked at her, and she quickly bent back over her flower garden. When they find out she's not home, maybe they'll leave. Sharon continued digging with her spade, even though the hole was already deep enough. Leave leave leave leave leave The two parents held hands as they and their children walked toward her. Sharon grabbed one of the little containers of flowers and gently pulled it out of the carton, being careful not to tear the actual plant. “Hello there,” she said. After an awkward silence, “May I help you folks?” “We hope you can. I'm Howdy Doody, and this is my wife, Doodley Doody, and my children: Bax, Bollie, Bitch, and Baddie.” Before Sharon could react to this, one of the boys spoke up. “I have an easy way that you can remember which name goes with which boy. You see, lots of people confuse our names. We tell them that “a” comes first in the alphabet. Bax is the oldest, and he has the name with 'a.'” The family stood there smiling and blinking as Sharon tried to take all this in. She hadn't had her morning cup of coffee yet, and was struggling to think. “That.... is a good way to remember them...” her voice trailed off. Howdy Doody wiped the sweat off his forehead. “We live right around the corner on Raspberry Lane. Last night, a golden retriever, whose name we found out is Honey, was looking for food in our trash cans. We discovered a tag on her collar, and it appears the owner of the dog lives there,” Howdy pointed to Mrs. Clifton's house. Sharon's heart sank even lower. She knew Honey hadn't been there that morning when she'd gone over to take her out, and she had been praying someone would find her, but the Doodys? Really? Sharon was going to have some choice words with God later, that was for sure. “Did Honey get out? I'm so sorry. Do you still have her?” Sharon's hands shook slightly as she gently set the plant in the soft earth. “We do. Don't worry. She's actually in the van.” Sharon let out a sigh of relief. “Oh good.” She hadn't thought the Doodys would do anything maliciously, but they didn't seem like the sharpest crayons in the box. “Yes. The house on the corner is Mrs. Clifton's home, but she's recovering from a broken hip in the Generic Small Town Nursing Home.” “That's too bad,” Doodley Doody exclaimed.” “I know,” Sharon smoothed the dirt over the flower and patted it with the shovel. When no one said anything else, she told them, “Mrs. Clifton has been like a grandmother to me. I've been helping her by taking care of Honey. I go over in the evenings and give Honey food and water.” Sharon knew she was babbling, but was unable to stop herself. “She must've dug a hole under the fence. I've been so busy lately and not paying as much attention to the dog as I should.” Suddenly Sharon was worried she'd said too much. Howdy and Doodley Doody exchanged a look that made Sharon's heart rate start to speed up. “Oh where are my manners? I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Sharon. Sharon Baker.” But Howdy Doody was no longer paying attention. “You know what,” he said, smiling robotically. “Our children would love to care for Mrs. Clifton's dog.” He took a step closer to her as he spoke. “You don't need to worry about paying them, either. They are happy to get the experience since they're hoping for a dog of their own sometime.” “Well, that's not...” Sharon started to say, then glanced at the children. They all had such hopeful looks on their faces. Bax was biting his lip while fidgeting with the hem of his polo shirt. Baddie's eyes had gone wide. Bollie and Bitch were doing their best to keep a straight face, showing no emotion except those blank empty smiles all Doodys wore. Sharon relented. “I would be very grateful,” she said. “Honey loves children, so I know she will love yours as well.” Despite her misgivings, she felt she had made the right decision. Suddenly the Doody children's blank empty smiles turned into real ones. They looked genuinely happy. “My mom recently became ill,” Sharon said, putting the shovel back in her tool kit and standing up. “And I have moved her into my home. Mrs. Clifton has been worried that my caring for the dog is too much since I'm spending so much time helping my mom. With Honey escaping, I think Mrs. Clifton was right. I'm sure she'll be happy if your children would like to watch Honey.” It would probably be good for the children to take the dog for nice, long walks. And good for the dog too. And I do have so much work to do. I'm so tired... “I think we'll go over to meet Mrs. Clifton,” said Howdy Doody. “We can keep Honey at our house until we get the hole fixed.” “Umm.” Sharon had figured she would just keep Honey inside till the hole got fixed. It probably wouldn't take long, really. She glanced again at the faces of the 4 Doody children, and relented yet again. Anything to put real smiles on those children's faces instead of those robotic blank stares they thought looked happy. How much happiness do these children get? I'm probably being too judgmental. The Doodys are weird, but they'd probasbly never harm Honey. What could possibly go wrong? “Thank you all so much,” Sharon said. “Let me give you my phone number, in case you need to get ahold of me for some reason.” Even as Sharon gave Howdy Doody her number, she wondered if she were making a mistake. Letting the Doody children watch the dog was one thing, but giving Howdy her number? God, Sharon prayed as the Doodys walked away. Please let this be the right thing. Let the Doodys surprise me. Help me not to judge them too quickly. I know they're weird, but...they know you. Help those children have some real happiness, Lord. Amen.
  4. Jane shivered. She turned up the setting on her electric blanket as Maude aimed a blowdryer at the window. She was covering them with plastic for the winter, which was a pain in the ass to do. Alexa, having already helped her grandmother attach the plastic to the windows, was boiling water on the stove for hot chocolate and Kahlua. All of a sudden, the doorbell rang. Grandma Maude glanced out the window at the swiftly falling snow. "Who on earth is out on a day like this?" "The mailman?" Jane asked. "I know Alexa's been expecting a package." "I have," said Alexa. "And it's somewhat expensive, so I asked the post man to require a signature." "Again? How many Christmas presents is that you've bought yourself? 5?" "No, grandma. I bought myself three Christmas presents. The other 3 are birthday presents." Alexa threw open the door and said, "I'm so glad you're here!" Unfortunately, Alexa was not looking at the UPS man. She was staring at the bundled up Doodys. At least, Alexa thought they were the Doodys. They were the only people she knew who would be insane enough to wear long denim skirts over their snowpants. "We Wish you a Merry Christmas...." Sang The Doodys. Alexa grabbed the dog, who was making a beeline for the open door. She hugged the dog close to her chest, as if trying to absorb her body heat. Alexa was so shocked the Doodys were singing something secular that she forgot to note that their voices were off key, and that some of them weren't even bothering to sing at the same speed. Alexa hadn't noticed her grandma leave, but she must have, because when Maude came back she had on a thick winter coat. Jane refused to get out from under the electric blanket. She pulled it over her head and groaned. "Close the door, it's freezing!" No one heard her, and neither Maude nor Alexa felt like standing out on the porch listening to the Doodys sing. So they stood there, letting the heat escape. "How nice!" Maude exclaimed forcefully when the Doodys had finished the song. She was desperately hoping the Doodys weren't going to try and sing another one. "Would you like something hot to drink?" "No thank you," said Howdy Doody, and Maude was glad he was wearing a facewarmer, because she didn't want to see the robotic look on his face. "Well, then, thank you for singing. Have a nice day." Maude started to shut the door. "But--" said one of the children. Maude hesitated. That was her mistake. The Doodys began to sing Silent Night. "It's too cold!" Maude shouted. She slammed the door. She'd already sat through one song and besides, the cats were starting to act like they were thinking of escaping out the open door. Maude could hear the family still singing, but she didn't care. "What are the Doodys thinking?!" She exclaimed. "What's the temperature?" "--20, grandma," Alexa said, checking her watch. "What's that in American, honey?" Maude snapped. She was in no mood for Alexa's metric bullshit. "Uh, in Fahrenheit that would be...." Alexa googled. "-5." "Well, that's not as bad as I thought, but still! With this windchill, it feels much colder than that!" Jane poked her head out of the blanket. "Is that hot chocolate done yet?" "No." Said Grandma Maude. "I turned off the stove when the Doodys showed up. In case they thought they were gonna be here a while." "But grandma," Alexa said, gently putting the squirming puppy on the floor. "That could have been an excuse to--" "I don't need an excuse," said grandma Maude, taking off her coat and draping over a nearby chair. "It's simply too cold to stand on the porch and listen to them caterwaul. I mean, sing." Alexa turned the stove back on. "Besides," said grandma Maude. "I needed to give them a piece of my mind, and I didn't want the house to catch fire." "I'm glad you did," growled Jane. "They're so inconsiderate!" "They're wearing coats and snowpants," said Alexa, handing Jane a steaming cup of hot cocoa. "Ow!" Jane winced. "Oh, by the way, it's freezing cold. Straight out of the freezer, I pulled it." "That joke hasn't been funny since the first time my mom said it. When we were 2!" "Who do you think she got it from?" Asked Grandma Maude, attacking the window plastic with a hair dryer. "Damn!" Maude had accidentally put a large hole in the plastic. She threw down the hair dyer in disgust. "Time for new windows?" Asked Alexa. "You can ask your good friends The Doodys to help you install them. They'll be glad to help you, since you're a 'widow' and all." Grandma Maude glared before she burst out laughing. "They are hilarious, aren't they?" "Sure,"Jane said sarcastically. "We'll look on this and laugh. If we ever move to Florida!" I don't really know where I am going with this. This just kind of ends because I ran out of idea. I need to think of maybe other ways this could go... and or a conclusion.
  5. In going through the book A Summer With The Moodys, I have noticed a pattern. My rough drafts that I've been posting are mainly of the Doody's neighbors and acquaintances and how they see the Doodys. But the thing is, all the characters are too similar. Part of that may be that I'm not really that great at writing (yet), but part of it is that most characters the Doodys interact with in this book are described as being, "elderly," "old," "older man," "grandmotherly," etc. I know that the Maxwells have a Church of the Holy Nursing Home, but do they never interact with people of different ages? Even the lady at the City Hall is old. Does Sarah truly never interact with anyone under the age of 50, besides her family members? This is truly annoying. I might have to change some things around just for some variety. Which I'm still learning how to write anyway.
  6. I've decided to go ahead with the "Summer With The Doodys" idea. These posts are my first drafts... lol I have you guys to help and critique, right? Right. So, here's chapter one. Mr. Doody hears a noise and goes out to investigate. But he doesn't plan on waking up his neighbor, Mr. Delome. Mr. Delome jerked out of bed, heart racing. It took him a moment to realize where he was. His own bed, his own house. He heard again the loud clang! clang! Clang! Mr. Delome threw on a robe and cinched it tight at the waist. He hurriedly stepped into his slippers. He pulled back the curtain, but looking out the window, he couldn't see anything. The streetlight was out across the street. All he could make out was the branches of the trees that separated his house from his neighbors, the Doodys. He didn't particularly care for the Doodys but he didn't want any harm to come to them either. Mr. Delome hurried to the door. Clang! Clang! Clang! Mr. Delome opened the door, flipped on the porch light, and peered out. Mr. Doody, in his pajamas and robe, was banging a metal trash can lid with a broomstick. “Is that you, Howdy?” Mr. Delome called out. Mr. Doody looked up, startled. “Are you okay?” Mr. Doody cleared his throat. “Oh, sure thing, Mr. Delome.” Mr. Doody looked around nervously, broomstick out like a weapon. “I'm taking care of a little stray animal.” Mr. Doody turned around, as if expecting something to approach from the back. “Everything's under control.” Mr. Delome shook his head. Crazy Doodys, he thought as he turned off the porch light and shut the door. Mr. Delome heard Mr. Doody scream, and then a dog was barking. He thought about going back and double checking to make sure Howdy Doody was ok, then decided to go back to bed. In his day, stray dogs had been taken care of by Animal Control.
  7. Trick or treating with the Moodys Jane and Alexa, needing little excuse to go out trick or treating, had quickly volunteered to take their little cousins, Kate and Xander with them. They were going out for the kids, of course. So of course they had to wear their own costumes and have their own trick of treat bags. They had spent weeks scouting out the best neighborhoods for the event, and had even put the family dog in a lion costume. Alexa was going as Wednesday Addams, and had argued that she needed “kitty kat” to complete the look. Jane had made noises about people who bought animals from the shelter to use as costume props, and Alexa had pointed out that taking the well loved family dog for a walk in a costume was hardly the same thing as adopting a black cat to complete a witch outfit and then dumping it the next day. Grandma Maude had rolled her eyes at this, but decided it wasn't a battle she wanted to pick. Alexa had tried to convince her cousins to go as other members of The Addams Family, but Jane pointed out that neither one of them had the figure to be Morticia, and at any rate the littles didn't even get the reference. Jane firmly decided she was going as the statue of Liberty, and that was final. “This is the best neighborhood,” Jane said as Alexa, Kate and Xander and stepped out of the car. Alexa set “Kitty Kat” down on the ground. The little dog immediately began trying to get out of her costume, but Alexa had put in enough safety pins to make that impossible. “Hey look,” said Kate, “there's the first house, and their porch light is on. Let's go!” “Oh wait Kate! Kate no! Kay come back--” but Kate and her brother were already racing up the walk. Alexa sighed. “What?” Jane asked. “What's wrong with that house?” “It's the Doodys' house, Jane.” “Oh dear,” Jane said as she dropped her keys into her purse and picked up her torch. “Yeah.... I'm not really sure this is a good idea...” “Why not? We could give them a really good scare.” Jane turned on the torch. Paper flamed leapt out of the prop. She adjusted the state of liberty crown on her forehead. “Or at least, you could. You're dressed like a witch. Sort of.” “And little Xander went as Satan.... we should be so proud.” Speaking of the devil, he'd already rang the Doodys' doorbell. Jane and Alexa hurried to catch up, the dog trotting at their heals. Mrs. Doody opened the door. “Hello?” “Trick or Treat!” Shouted Kate and Xander, holding out their little plastic pumpkins. Mrs. Doody blinked. “Er....” she glanced around at the group on her porch. “We don't really celebrate--” “I'm sorry about that,” Jane said, attempting to be polite. “The porch light was on so the kids thought....” “Oh, it's that night again, isn't it?” Asked Mrs. Doody, pressing her hands to her temples. She had a headache. Mr. Moody and Mollie came out and joined her. “Why don't you go inside, dear,” Mr. Moody told her. “I'll handle this.” “Thank you dear,” said Mrs. Doody. “I need to lie down.” “We left the porch light on for Aunt Grace, who is coming to visit later tonight. We do not celebrate Halloween, but if you wish, we are just starting to have our evening bible study. You could join us--” Katie's smile was starting to falter. “You.... don't have candy?” Mollie stared wide eyed at Katie, who was dressed as Queen Elsa (drink!). Her eyes also took in Xander's devil costume and Alexa's “witch” dress. Alexa suddenly wished she had known someone with a black cat who would let her borrow it. It would freak out Mollie Moody even more. She could tell Mr. Moody was a wee bit frightened of their appearance, because a vein in his temple was twitching. Her whole body froze. She did not want to be on the receiving end of Mr. Moody's anger again. “Hold on, daddy.” Mollie Moody spoke up. “I have something for them.” She darted into the house. Jane had been trying to get them out of there quickly and efficiently. Now, however, the only thing to do was wait in the awkward silence. Finally, Mr. Moody said, “Celebrating the devil's birthday, are we?” “No,” said Xander, thinking Mr. Moody was joking, “my birthday isn't till December.” Alexa face palmed. Katie, who was a little older and a little more familiar with religious people's objections to the holiday, spoke up. “We're not celebrating the devil,” she said. “We're just trick or treating.” Mr. Doody, who had just stared open mouthed at Xander's comment, caught onto this quickly. “Yes, little girl,” he said, “but do you know why you go trick or treating every year?” “To get candy,” replied Katie. “Well,” said Jane, “nice seeing you this evening, but I really think we should--” But just then, Mollie reappeared in the doorway with some home made cookies wrapped in plastic. “These are for you,” she said, dropping 2 cookies each into Xander and Katie's orange plastic pumpkins. “And here's a little reading material, too.” She gave them each a million dollar tract. “Thank you,” Alexa said to Mollie. And she meant it. It wasn't the 9 year old's fault she was living in a crazy cult family. Her intentions were probably pure, but Mr. Doody was warming up for an anti Halloween sermon. “That was a very nice gesture. And now we really need to get going.” “Yes,” Jane said, “lots of houses to hit. Thank you for the offer of bible study but, uh, our parents told us not to enter anyone's houses.” “Yes,” said Alexa. “Even grown women must obey their parents, eh Mr. Doody?” She had already put an arm around Katie and was steering her toward the porch steps. “Just a moment, girls. I have to ask you something.” Jane grabbed Xander's arm. “Come on,” she told him firmly. She smiled at Mollie and thanked her for the cookies. “Girls, do you see yourselves as good people?” Mr. Doody called after them. Jane and Xander kept going, but Alexa turned around and said, “No, Mr. Moody. I'm a witch. I'm as evil as they come. And if you don't leave us alone, I'll put a spell on you.” Mr. Doody's mouth dropped open. She and Jane hurried the children from the porch. That night, Mr. Doody led the family in a 2 hour long bible study wherein he ranted against the evils of Halloween, and prayed for Alexa's soul to be freed from the spirit which had obviously possessed it. “I have seen her eyes,” he said. “There was evil in her eyes!” Mollie Doody doubted this. She had seen nothing but compassion and gratefulness in Alexa's eyes, but she dismissed the doubts immediately. Her father had said Alexa had the devil in her, and her father was always right. Mollie decided to say a special prayer for Alexa in her room at night just before bed. The next morning, the Moody family woke up early, as was their custom. At first they thought they were seeing snow, but then they realized their trees had been strewn with toilet paper. Mitch smelled something weird outside, and discovered, to his horror, that their house had been egged. He ran to tell father, who shook his head and put an arm around his son. “Truly, the devil was out to get us tonight. We will have to pray a hedge of protection around the house.” Mitch shuddered, glad he had his father there to protect him from the evils of the outside world.
  8. Trynn

    Pranking The Doodys

    8. The title of this chapter is “Business rolls in.” Was that supposed to be a pun? In any case, this is the story where Maude gives the Moodys a rat to petsit, as a joke. Maude Bagwell went to the telephone. “Grandma's not serious, is she?” cousin Jane whispered to Alexa, who shrugged helplessly. “Hey, I have my hearing aid in today girls.” “Sorry grandma.” The cousins chorused. “I mean, come on, I'm old. What's old age for if you can't mess with people?” “How exactly are we--” Jane began, but Grandmama cut her off. "Besides, the Moodys totally deserve it. You should hear what they did to poor Honey.” “You mean Mrs. GenericNonMoodyFemale's dog?” Asked Alexa. Grandma nodded. “The children, instead of pet sitting her at their home, basically locked honey up in the house and only let her out twice a day. They fed her, but they didn't let her run around the yard much except to do her business. It's no wonder Mrs. Genericnonmoodyfemale came back to find that the dog had chewed up the couch cushions. Poor dog was bored. Not to mention all the messes all over the house, because most dogs go to the bathroom more than twice a day.” Grandma Maude dialed the phone. It was answered on the first ring. “Hellothisismax!” Well, it's better than the robot speak, but at least I could understand what he was saying then. Annoyed, she asked, in a really loud voice, “Hello? Is this the Moodys? Anyone there?” “Yes, hello,” Max responded a little more slowly. “Ah, yes, this is Jane Marple. I need to speak to--” she glanced down at the flyer, which she'd salvaged out of the recycle bin, “Mix.” She grinned. Alexa thought about double checking grandma's meds, then shrugged. “Hello, Mrs. Marple! This is Max. How may I help you?” By calling me Miss or Ms instead of “Mrs.” thought Maude. She tried to keep the laughter out of her voice as she responded. “I’m leaving on a trip tomorrow —it was a last-minute thing— and need you to watch Snickers. I know you will love him. He is easy to take care of, and I’m sure you’ll get along well. Can I stop over tomorrow morning to give instructions and leave Snickers with you?” “Snickers?” Jane asked, “who is--” Grandma Maude gave her a look, and she stopped talking. Jane turned to look helplessly at Alexa, who gave her the don't-look-at-me-I-don't-know-what-the-fuck-is-going-on look. “Yes, ma’am. That would be great.” They heard Max say, and then he hung up. Jane was first to speak. “Grandma what--” “Relax girls, I'm not trusting Nox to those people.” “I know,” Alexa said. “But--” “Who or what is Snickers?” Finished Jane. Grandmama grinned, reached behind her chair, and pulled out a cage. Inside the cage was a large rat. Alexa took a step back. “grandma, you know I'm allergic to rodents.” “Where did you even find that?” Jane wanted to know. “Out in the garden, eating up my strawberries.” Grandmama replied. “I thought it would be fun to mess with the Moodys a little, after what they did to poor Honey.” “You know you're going to have to pay them, right?” “I'm paying the kids,” grandmama corrected, putting the rat cage outside on the back porch. “That Mr. Moody keeps them so tightly controlled, this is probably the only way they'll ever get spending money, poor things.” “And if the rat doesn't survive?” “Then the parents will make the kids abandon this stupid business idea before they actually hurt someone else's beloved pet. Now, go get some sleep girls, we leave early in the morning.” The next morning, Jane and Alexa went to drop off “Snickers” at the Moodys's house. The trip hadn't really been last minute. Alexa's mom worked at a summer camp, and one week out of the summer, the family would visit her there. The camp was generous, and any family members were allowed to stay with the staff member free of charge. Maude looked forward to it every year, and this time Alexa and Jane were going. Alexa hoped the Moodys wouldn't ask about the dog. Nox had already been safely dropped off at Aunty Marian's house, a much more trustworthy person than the robotic religious Moodys. Mrs. Moody opened the door. “Hi, I'm Jane Marple,” Mrs. Bagwell said, extending a hand. Please tell me the adult gets the reference... But there was no trace of a laugh as Mrs. Moody smiled and shook Maude's hand. “Nice to meet you, Miss Marple, come on in.” Mrs. Bagwell bustled in with a small dog carrier and a bag of supplies. She walked straight into the living room. The children all stared at her with their mouths hanging open. What are they staring at me like that for... do I have something in my teeth? Jane was wondering if the problem was that the Moody children had never seen a woman in pants before. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Mrs. Moody shake her head and press her finger to her lips. Jane was suddenly very hot, even though the Moody's air conditioned house was quite cool. Maude peeked in Snickers ’ home. “Now, Snickers boy, I’m going to leave you for a little while, but these children will take care of you.” She tried not to grin, but it was very hard to keep a straight face. “I want you to be good. I’m so sorry you can’t come.” Mrs. Bagwell set the carrier on the floor and opened the door. A small rat cautiously crawled into the middle of the living room. At the look on Mrs. Moody's face, Jane and Alexa almost burst out laughing. Maude alone kept her face straight as the oldest girl gasped, “this is Snickers?” The two boys could only stare, wide eyed, as “snickers” ran across the room and made a beeline for the littlest girl, jumping right up into her lap. The little girl giggled. “I like this rat,” she said. “He's nice.” Maude smiled. “Yes, Snickers is a rat. You won’t find a friendlier rat than him.” The oldest girl nodded respectfully, but Maude could tell by the look on her face that the girl wasn't so sure she wanted a rat for a friend. Maude hurried to Maddie. What if the rat bit her? She didn't think it would, but.... “I told you he was friendly. But, whatever you do, don’t pull his tail. That is the only time he will bite. Also, he needs to be let out once a day to run around the house.” Maude pretended not to notice the horrified look on Mrs. Moody's face. It had been a few weeks since the surgery, but she was still in pain from restraining her laughter. “Don’t worry, he shouldn’t cause any problems. Snickers also likes to sit on shoulders.” Jane quickly turned her fit of laughter into a fit of coughing. Alexa slapped her on the back. “We'll be out in the car, grandma,” she said. She grabbed her cousin's arm and yanked her out the door. As soon as they thought they were out of earshot, they both burst out laughing. “Oh, yes,” said Maude, trying to get the attention away from her granddaughters. “One last thing. Don’t be surprised if he chatters his teeth. He’ll do that when he’s happy.” “Okay,” said the oldest boy. Maude handed the oldest girl the bag of rat supplies she'd picked up at the pet store. “I'll be gone for ten days, and I'll pay you when I get back. Do you all have any questions?” After a moment of silence, Max smiled. “ No, ma’am. I think it will be easy enough. Thank you for trusting us to watch Snickers for you.” Maude patted Max. “Thank you for taking care of him. Well, I’d better be going.” Mrs. Moody walked Maude to the door and waved good-bye. Maude, Jane, and Alexa drove away, laughing hysterically.
  9. Trynn

    Hiking With The Doodys

    “We should have brought a first aid kit,” Mitch offered. “That would have been really smart. I wonder why Aunt Olga didn’t tell us to.” The truth was that Aunt Olga simply hadn't thought of it. She'd thought, like most people who hiked regularly, that a first aid kit was just an obvious thing one should bring, much as how one always brings a map (or GPS) on a road trip. Aunt Olga was the type of woman who assumed that most people generally had enough brain cells that they could figure out the obvious things for themselves. And so it had completely slipped her mind that the Moody family would need to be told to bring a first aid kit, along with extra socks, and whatever other basic necessities you might need out in the woods. Unfortunately, Mr. Moody had possibly a few less brain cells than Aunt Olga had anticipated, and so here they were, by the stream, with a lot of blisters and Mitch with a wet foot. Three hikers rounded the bend and approached them. “Hello!” Grandma Maude greeted them cheerfully. Mitch quickly stuffed his feet back into his shoes and stepped forward, holding his sock. “Good morning, Miss Marple! I didn't know you enjoyed hiking! One of us ran into a bit of a mishap on the bridge and they were wondering if you have an extra pair of socks. They would be very grateful if you did.” Oh my.... Grandma Maude laughed, “So you got your foot wet?” “How did you know?” Seriously, you said you had a mishap on the bridge... I notice you are all among the living, so it's not hard to deduce what else could have possibly happened. “You’re holding your sock.” Alexa giggled. Jane gave Alexa the “shut the fuck up” look. Alexa quickly turned her laughter into a hacking cough. Mitch swallowed hard. He had given it away with that. “Yes, ma’am. And my sister has a blister.” “Let me guess: You’re flatlanders. Am I right?” Alexa asked, her blonde ponytail bobbing back and forth Grandma Maude shot Alexa a glare, but Alexa blinked back innocently. Grandma Maude stifled a smile. It wasn't like the Moodys would even be aware the term was a thinly veiled insult. In fact, Maude Bagwell could tell that Mitch had no clue what she was talking about because he had that dopey grin frozen on his face that all the Moody children wore when they weren't entirely sure of what was happening. Finally, Mitch replied. “We are.” There was an awkward silence, and then Jane spoke up. “We have a blister kit, but no extra socks.” This wasn't entirely true. As former boy scouts, Jane, Alexa, and Grandma Maude knew to be prepared for just about anything. However, they'd only brought one extra pair of socks each, and, in addition to being unsure if their socks would even fit Mitch's big foot.... Seriously, Alexa fumed privately, who has the utter nerve, the GALL to ask strangers for extra socks?! Do the Moodys think these things grow on trees? Jane shot Alexa a look that meant she was thinking the same thing. It's one thing to ask for first aid supplies. She thought, as she searched through her bag. People run out of those all the time, and they're relatively cheap. But socks? Grandma Maude caught Jane and Alexa's gaze and rolled her eyes before quickly turning back to the Moodys. “Did you already use your blister pads and bandaids?” “No,” Max shook his head. “Aunt Olga didn't tell us to bring a first aid kit, so we just didn't think of it.” Flatlanders indeed! Thought Maude as she pressed her lips into a thin line. Out loud all she said was, “hmm.” Jane turned to Alexa. “Alexa, is the first aid kit in your bag?” “Who knows what all you stuck in mine when you thought I wasn't looking.” Alexa said as she shrugged off her backpack and unzipped it. “It's like you think I want to carry all your extra weight for you.” “Sorry Cuz, just wanted to make sure you were prepared, that's all.” “I am always prepared, Jane.” “Yeah, so prepared in fact that you decided to bring half your library with you?” “I thought I'd get bored!” “Books are weight, Alexa.” “But...” “Your Kindle's in the side pocket.” Alexa blinked. She and Jane burst out laughing. “What would I do without you.” Alexa asked as she took out the blister kit. “I didn't even know these things existed.... here you go, Mr. Moody.” She handed the blister kit to Dad. “Thank you so much,” Dad said. He found a thick pad and applied it to Mollie's blister. Jane vaguely wondered why the 13 year old girl couldn't apply her own damn blister pad, but wasn't sure she wanted a confrontation, so she said nothing. Alexa began to take pity on the poor dumb flatlanders. “I've been in your shoes before,” she said. “Blisters are no fun. Anyone else got one?” Jane, asked Mitch, “What happened?” “I was trying to beat my time crossing the stream,” Mitch admitted. “So on my second crossing, I was in such a hurry that I slipped and fell part way in.” Jane glanced at the “bridge,” if you could even call it that. Someone had come along and laid some logs across the stream, side by side. The logs weren't even tied together, and it looked precarious. I knew the Moodys were dumb, but I didn't know they were this dumb..... holy cow. Grandma Maude suppressed a smile. “How..... tragic,” she said. “You all can keep several blister pads, because with a wet sock, you'll probably need them.” She watched as Mr. Moody took out some blister pads, then handed the kit back to her. “Are you going to the lake?” She asked, trying to be polite. “Yes, we are; thank you for your generosity.” Mitch handed a million-dollar-bill tract to Grandma Maude. “This isn’t real, but if it was, that’d be incredible. It has the million- dollar question on the back.” “If it was real, I'd wonder what bank you robbed,” Grandma Maude said. She was well familiar with the tracts. Alexa had come home from her job at Insert Name of Popular Restaurant Here ranting about the idiot who'd left her one instead of a tip. “The million Dollar question....” Jane started to say. “Is, 'Will Bernie Sanders win the 2016 election?'” Alexa finished. “No, no, Alexa,” Jane corrected, “It's, 'will Alexa show up to Joshua's party in an appropriate outfit, or will she be wearing something weird?'” “Well I think the real million dollar question is, 'will I ever find a date for Joshua's party or am I going to have to show up alone?'” “Girls!” Grandma Maude stopped them before they could get into a more serious argument. She turned back to the Moodys. “Thanks,” She said, with all the enthusiasm she could muster. “That's.... neat.” Grandma Maude jerked her head in Alexa and Jane's direction. Jane caught on first. “Oh yes, I would like one too please.” She held out her hand to Mr. Moody, who gave her a tract. “I would also like to read what the, er, real million dollar question is, Mr. Moody,” Alexa said humbly, wondering what the fuck this was about. “Oh, and I'd like one for my husband,” Grandma Maude asked, with a twinkle in her eye. “I know he is minimally interested in such things.” “And I'd like one for my little niece, Jessica.” Alexa asked. “And I'd--” “That's enough, girls,” Grandma Maude said firmly. “We don't want to exhaust the poor Moodys's supply.” The Moodys crossed the stream without saying goodbye. Alexa turned to her grandmother. “What the every loving fuck--” she wanted to know. Maude sighed. “Alexa, have I taught you nothing?” “Well, you taught me that when a man and a woman--” “No no, not that. What have I taught you about fires?” “How to start one with one match,” Jane said. “I'm guessing you're thinking kindling?” “That's correct,” Maude said. “the paper this is made out of is perfect for making fire starters.” She turned over the tract. “The million dollar question,” she read out loud, “is, 'Do you know where you are going when you die?'” Jane and Alexa started to hike on ahead of Maude. “Hey, come back!” Maude exclaimed, “we have to snark on this!” But Jane and Alexa were already too far up the path.
  10. Trick of treating with the Doodys, part 2 (because I am a bit dissatisfied with the way the last one went.) While Jane and Alexa took Katie and Xander trick or treating, Grandma Maude took her younger great grandchildren, Madison and Mason. Jane and Alexa hadn't felt they could manage 4 children by themselves, and Katie and Xander didn't want to go T&Ting with the babies anyway. So Madison and Mason dressed as Elsa (drink!) and Fluttershy, respectively. The 3 year old was a bit scared to dress up in such a “girly” costume, but Maude was quick to reassure him that, “anybody who makes fun of you just isn't comfortable in their own skin. Besides, lots of grown up men are huge My Little Pony fans. You know your uncle T? He never misses an episode.” “Really?” Mason squealed. All the little kids liked uncle T. “That's a fact.” Maude said firmly. “Now get out of the car, kids. Let's start with this house on the corner.” If Maude had known that that was the Moody house, she would have skipped it. If she hadn't been so preoccupied with internal fuming about “boy” costumes vs “girl” costumes, she would have noticed that most of the other trick or treaters were giving the place a wide berth. Maude rang the doorbell. Mr. Moody opened it. “Now, what do you say kids?” She bent down to ask Mason and Madison. “TRICK OR TREEEEEEEAT?!” The twins shouted, not in unison. Mr. Moody opened his mouth, then closed it. “I thought you turned the porch light off, dad,” said Max, coming up behind him. “I did, son.” Mr. Moody replied. “I think it's set to come on automatically when people come up...” “Oh, Mr. Moody, I'm so sorry. We saw the light before we got here.” Maude took Mason's hand and reached for Madison's. “We'll just be--” “It's ok, Miss. Marple.” Mr. Moody said, “some small animal must've triggered the light. I've got to figure out how to shut it off and make it stay off.” “But while you're here,” said Max, “won't you take one of these?” He slipped two Million dollar tracts into the twins' outstretched orange plastic pumpkin buckets. “They have the million dollar question on the back.” Maude stared at Max. “You gave my great grandbabies tracts for Halloween? Instead of candy?” “Yes,” Mr. Moody said, “It's better for their souls and their teeth. Have a good evening.” He started to close the door. Maude stuck her foot in it. “You gave my great grandbabies, who can't even read, tracts?” “Let me give them some cookies, dad,” said Mollie, who had reappeared in the doorway with some cookies in her hands. “Mollie!” Dad said, shocked. “I already told you, we won't give out treats on Halloween, lest people think we are celebrating the devil's birthday right along with them! Go to your room and pray for forgiveness and an attitude of submission to your God ordained authority.” Mollie's lower lip trembled. She lowered her head and left the porch. Maude stood there, astonished. She was so shocked at how he had treated his daughter's attempt at kindness that she had forgotten to run away while she still could. “I'm very sorry to have upset you, Miss Marple.” Mr. Moody said. “Perhaps you could read the tracts to your 2 grand daughters?” “I'm not a girl!” Mason piped up. “I'm a boy!” Mr. Moody took a step back. His jaw dropped. “You tell them, Mason!” His twin nodded approvingly. “Make them accept you for who you are. You've got nothing to be ashamed of.” “Oh my.... you.... you let him wear... a girl's costume?” Mr. Moody asked Maude incredulously. “Who says it's a girl's costume?” Madison shot back. She was not afraid to look Mr. Moody in the eye. “Who says that girls can only wear this while boys can only wear that? It's stupid. My twin brother isn't doing anything wrong, so don't you dare tell him what he can wear, Mr!” I'm so proud of my grandbabies, thought Maude. Mr. Moody shook his head. “Child,” he said, “the bible tells us--” “The Bible tells us no such thing!” Maude shot back. “Miss Marple,” Mr. Moody said, switching tracks. “Do you think you're going to heaven when you die?” Maude blinked. “Well, yes.” “Have you ever told a lie?” “No,” said Maude. “I am always quite truthful.” Then, deciding she may as well try and make Mr. Moody's head explode, she went on. “In fact, everyone always tells me I'm too blunt. 'why yes Emily, that dress does make you look fat.' 'Your cookies taste like bricks Mrs. Jones, why, we gave one to the hamster and he used it to break the bars of his cage.' I'm just terrible at telling lies, Mr. Moody, even little ones people tell to spare their feelings.” Mr. Moody's face froze. He didn't seem to know what to say. Maude took advantage of his silence to lead the twins off the porch. “Have a nice night, Mr. Moody!” When they had reached the safety of the street, Mason spoke up. “That man isn't happy with himself.” “What makes you say that honey?” Asked Maude. “He doesn't think you're a good person. In school, we learned that means he doesn't think he's a good person either.” “I guess the bible was right when it said wisdom comes from the mouth of babes.” Maude said out loud. “Come on children, let's go to the next house. We'll definitely get something there. Oh, and give me those tracts Mr. Moody gave you. We'll use these to light tonight's Halloween bonfire.”
  11. Trynn

    The First Story

    This is the first Moody Parody I ever wrote. Taken from Summer With The Moodys. The Moody family is going door to door advertising the children's businesses. I thought it would be fun to take a look at the Moodys through the eyes of their neighbors. Please note that the Maxwells never wrote about a Miss Marple. That's supposed to be a joke, but I'm not sure I made it well. Oh well. Ding-dong! Alexa looked up from her textbook. That couldn't be cousin Jane already, she'd never get up this early. As long as whoever it is doesn't wake-- A loud moan came from the other room. --Grandma. Alexa thought, as the dog, Nox, began to bark incessantly. “It's ok grandma,” Alexa sighed, closing her paramedic's textbook and standing up. “I'll get it, you stay in bed.” Alexa went over to one of the windows and slowly pulled back the jet black curtains. Two adults and 4 children stood on the front porch, all dressed in red and khaki. Alexa let the curtain fall quickly. What the-- Alexa's grandma, still in her bathrobe and curlers, shuffled up beside Alexa, yawning sleepily. The dog whined at her ankles, no doubt wanting to go for a morning constitutional. “Who is it, honey?” “I don't know gran. These weird people dressed all alike in red khaki, and smiling. They're either 6 months early for Christmas carols, or Jehovah's Witness or...” Or random weird crazy people knocking on our door at way too early o'clock Alexa thought angrily. Thank you for waking my grandmother who is supposed to be resting. Can't this wait till noon? Idiots. Grandma Maude sighed. “I think they're the Moody family that lives down the street. They're a little strange.... anyway, we have to open the door now. I think the littlest one saw you.” Grandma Maude opened the door. “Hi boys,” she said pleasantly as possible for someone woken up too early. “What have you there?” She asked, pointing to the flyers. “We are handing out some flyers. We have a pet sitting business and my sister has a baking business.” The older looking boy said robotically. “Here you go, the flyer will explain more.” Grandma Maude took the flyer and held it up so she could read it. MOODY'S PAMPERED PETS Going on a trip and can't take your pet? Want your pet to have friendly care? We will watch them at our house. We can handle any type of pet (no snakes, please.) Affordable pricing. For more details, please call (931) 555-0392 and ask for Max. Well, thought grandma Maude, that does certainly have more details than what the young man just told me.... “Well,” she said out loud, “you certainly seem like.... an industrious pair of entrepreneurs.” The family stood on the doorstep, smiling and blinking. Grandma Maude laid the paper on the table by the door. “I will definitely keep your services in mind, should I need them.” She paused. “Which I'm quite sure I will,” she said, in a voice that indicated that she certainly would not. Alexa, having read the flyer over her grandmother's shoulder, had quickly grabbed the dog and relocated her to someplace the scary lookalike family couldn't see her. I don't know why, but I wouldn't trust them to look after a pet worm. Grandma better not go calling them when we go on vacation next week! Normally Alexa wouldn't worry about it, but her grandmother had just had back surgery and was on all kinds of medications that clouded her ability to think. Which is why I shouldn't leave her alone with them... what if she gives them money? Alexa slammed the door on the bathroom, causing the obnoxious puppy to hit her head trying to follow Alexa, who paid her no attention and hurried back to the door. “Thank you ma'am!” the older boy was saying, smiling even bigger than before, if that was possible. “You're welcome. By the way, my name is Marple. Miss Jane Marple.” “Miss Marple,” said Max with a straight face. “It is a pleasure to meet you.” The oldest boy turned to go, bumping into his younger brother, who had been standing too close. The younger boy fell off the porch. “Mitch!” Cried the father, “are you ok?” Oh please don't let anything be broken, thought Maude, I don't wanna deal with the paperwork. I'm so tired, I'm going to go lie down. Mitch picked himself up, wincing. “I'm alright.” “Next time,” said Mr. Moody, “be careful not to stand too close to your older brother.” “Yes father,” replied Mitch. As the weird family went off down the driveway, Maude closed the door and Alexa burst out laughing. “Miss Marple? Oh grandma! What were you thinking?” “I'm thinking that if I laugh any harder, I'm going to bust one of these stitches and wind up back in the hospital.” “Do you think they were keeping a straight face to be polite, or did they really not get the reference?” Grandma laughed. “I don't know Alexa, but one thing's for sure, I'm not trusting my little Nox puppy to a bunch of strangers, especially when children under 13 would be responsible.” She picked up the flyer and handed it to Alexa. “Here dear, you can use this to clean out the cat's litterbox for me. I'd do it myself, but--” “No grandma, you go back to bed.” Alexa took the flyer. “I'll go make sure this is put in a very safe place.”
  12. This is taken from one of our favorite Scenes in Sarah Maxwell's Moody Book 1: Summer with the Moodys. This is the scene where the Moody family is entertaining Mrs. Clifton, hearing all about her missionary years. I decided to write the scene from Mrs. Clifton's point of view. Enjoy. ….... It took about 20 minutes for the Moodys to arrive with Mrs. Clifton at the Moody's house. As they pulled into the driveway, Mrs. Clifton uttered a cry of surprise. “Oh,” she said, taken aback. There was a large colorful sign above the garage doors that read, “Welcome, Mrs. Clifton!” All across the lawn were several balloons drifting lazily in the breeze. The rest of the moody family was waiting on the porch, waving at her like smiling robots. Mrs. Clifton, not knowing what else to say, forced a polite smile and said, “You are all too kind..... thank you...” Baddie squeezed Mrs. Clifton's hands. “I weally like you!” Mrs. Clifton smiled back at the child. Secretly, Baddie Doody was her favorite, too. The 4 year old child was the only likeable Doody she'd ever met. “Let's come into the house,” suggested Howdy Doody (dad). “We'll go straight to the dining room.” What an odd thing to say, thought Mrs. Clifton, does the front door lead directly to the dining room? Do I not have to go through the hall first? Or is it really that important that we all go straight to the dining room without going anywhere else? Her patience with the Doodys was wearing thin, but, being a bit more timid, she slipped off her shoes and followed them slowly into the house. Out of the corner of her eye, Mrs. Clifton noticed that Trudy and Bitch Doody (Mollie and Mitch) slipped out the back door. “It smells wonderful,” she said, trying to make polite conversation. “I have missed home cooked meals.” Which I could be enjoying with my friend Maude, if I could've figure out how to get out of this without being rude. Doodly Doody (Mom) smiled. “I only wish I had thought of the idea sooner!” Mrs. Clifton made it to the table, and before she sat down, Howdy said, “The children have a surprise for you. They'd like you to look out the window.” Mrs. Clifton looked towards the window, a slight twinge of fear in her chest. More balloons? Her eyes caught sight of Honey and her stomach sank. “Honey!” She exclaimed. They got Honey. I thought I had Maude looking in on her! Mrs. Clifton had heard that, in her absence, the Moodys hardly every took care of Honey, leaving her alone a lot, only visiting her once or twice a day. “I have missed her so much...” Mrs. Clifton said as she used her cane to step out onto the back porch. “Thank you....” Honey bounded over, her tail wagging furiously as she alternated between barking and squeaking. Mrs. Clifton rubbed and patted Honey, and felt her stomach unknot. Having Honey with her made her feel so much better already. Bollie set before Mrs. Clifton a big bright red plate with “You are Special!” Printed on it in bold capital letters with lots of exclamation points. “How nice,” said Mrs. Clifton, because she didn't know what else to say. Howdy Doody prayed over the food, thanking Jesus that Mrs. Clifton could come over. The food was passed around. Mrs. Clifton noticed that the children only took one of everything, and didn't seem to have very much food on their plates. One hamburger, one spoonful of baked beans, one serving of salad. Not wanting to be rude, she didn't take much, either. If the family was so poor they had to ration food like this, she didn't want to be the one to eat it from them. Doodly Doody (mom) turned to Mr. Clifton. “We realized we don't know much about your background. Would you be willing to tell us a little about your earlier years?” My what? Mrs. Clifton stared for a few seconds as Doodly, who was sitting forward with an eager look on her face. The children had the same expressions on their face, like they were waiting for her to speak. Suddenly, Mrs. Clifton had had enough. This family had been outright neglectful of her dog, and they'd tried to corral her for a while to try and convert her to their weird ways of thinking. Mrs. Clifton was a Christian herself, but she felt that their behavior had been most unchristlike as of late. It was time to stop being a doormat and stand up for herself.... Lord, forgive me. “Sure.” Mrs. Clifton folded her napkin and set it down by her plate. She let her eyes take on what she hoped was a look of fondly remembering, but looked to the Doody family like more of a dreamy look. “Harry,” she said. “That's where I'll start. Harry was my wonderful, godly husband. He died 15 years ago. I wish you could have met him.” Mrs. Clifton risked a glance at the Doody family to see if she had overdone it with the “wonderful, godly husband” part. But they were all sitting around the table staring at her, eating up every word. Mrs. Clifton pressed on. “Shortly after Harry and I married,” this part was definitely an exaggeration. She and Harry had lived together, but they'd split up shortly thereafter, when it was discovered that Harry was having an affair. “We decided the Lord had called us to be missionaries in.... Indonesia.So we moved there 2 years after we were married. We didn't have any children, but I learned to trust the Lord even more, even though it was difficult.” Mrs. Clifton paused as she took a bite of her hamburger. So far the Doody family had done nothing but blink and stare. Max and Bitch gave each other quick looks. Mrs. Clifton couldn't tell if they were impressed that she had been a missionary, or had caught on that she was messing with their minds. The kids robotically ate their burgers as they watched Mrs. Clifton. It was kind of creepy. “Our vision was to..... translate, yes, translate the New Testament for... for a tribe. One of the many tribes of Indonesia. It took 20 years of hard work, but with the Lord's help and blessing, we were bale to finish the translation. We encountered many obstacles, but God's grace was sufficient.” Mrs. Clifton took a bite of beans took herself from laughing. She hoped like hell that the Doodys wouldn't ask her which tribe or which language she'd been translating the bible for and into. Then she wondered if they would even know she was making up the answers. Juding from the looks of awe on their face, probably not. “I helped the village women learn many different things. I taught them....” They'll never believe this one Mrs. Clifton thought as she suppressed a grin. “I taught them ways to clean better, to wash their clothes with soap, to make healthy meals so they could get proper nutrition, and most importantly, to know Jesus.” No way in hell they believe that people in Indonesia don't have soap. They'll call me out on this for sure.... But the Doodys were nodding eager, encouraging her to continue. Mrs. Clifton didn't know whether to laugh or cry. This ruse was funny, but it was also really sad. She caught herself starting to feel sorry for them. Then she remembered Honey, and her resolve tightened. She choked down her laughter and continued. “Many people from the village were saved; Harry and I estimated about two thirds of the population, which was almost... 200 people. Some of the new converts even became preachers and went out to other villages to share the gospel!” Howdy Doody placed another spoonful of baked beans on his plate while the children quietly picked at their food. “This is great!” He exclaimed. “We knew you loved Jesus, but we had no idea that you were a missionary. Please, after you've eaten some more, we'd like to hear the rest of your story.” Mrs. Clifton bristled Don't tell me what to eat and when, Mr. Doody. I'm not your poor starving children. She took a bite of her burger and chewed slowly, trying to control her anger. And I can't believe you're swallowing this! “After we were done translation, we went to another village and translated a New Testament into their language. This one only took 12 years.” Trudy Doody stared at Mrs. Clifton, slack jawed. “About this time,” Mrs. Clifton continued, “Harry got very sick. By the time we realized we needed to go back to the States for medical care, it was too late. Jesus took him home. My heart was broken, but because I knew Harry was in heaven, a place where he would know only joy and gladness. I decided to come back to the States, and the church was kind enough to purchase a home for me.” Ok, seriously? You're believing this? The local church is way too poor to afford such a thing. How can you not know this? “I'm not often able to go to Sunday services due to my health, which the doctors think is related to the...” quick, what's a disease in the mission field that's potentially fatal but not too serious? “Malaria. The Malaria I contracted many years ago. Sometimes a member will come to pick me up, which is nice.” The Doody family continued to stare at Mrs. Clifton, until Mom said, “Oh Mrs. Clifton! That was such an amazing story. I can see Jesus' love shining right through you. What a wonderful ministry you and your husband had and still do! Do you have contact with the tribes?” “Yes,” Mrs. Clifton replied, “with the first tribe we ministered to. I receive letters occasionally from them. With the second village I have some missionary friends who live near it, and they send me updates every now and then.” She pressed a hand to her side. Surely she had broken at least 2 ribs by now trying not to laugh. The Doody family nodded politely. Everyone was finished eating, so they all dragged Mrs. Clifton into the living room for bible time. They told Mrs. Clifton she was to sit in the rocking chair, which was only slightly padded. Honey bounded into the living room and settle comfortably at Mrs. Clifton's feet. The Doody family will believe anything, Mrs. Clifton thought. I wonder what outrageous thing I could convince them of next?
  13. This was a response from a blog reader. Sarah posted a letter from a reader praising the Moody Books. I highlighted the parts that seem awfully Johnna says: January 29, 2015 at 10:09 pm Moody books are without a doubt the best children’s books available. Never ever anywhere will one find not one single questionable word, sentence or subject matter. Sarah, you are definitely gifted. Johnna and Stormie Seems like someone reads FJ and is trying very hard to make a point!!
  14. Something to do with the 10th anniversary of "The Moody's" and the title "Christmas comes to Sunflower"... Oh my, I just can't wait!! I'm guessing she's writing another book!
  15. SPHASH

    Sarah Maxwell gets fan mail!

    blog.titus2.com/2013/10/16/notes-of-love/ I wonder if Stevie reads her mail before she does.
  16. Lady Grass Lake

    Suggest New Moody Titles

    Since the Moody Books seem to be a big seller in Maxwell Land, and now that the Seasons have been covered, here are some possible new book titles: Do You Know Where You Are Going When You Die - An ABC Book: A - Abraham - God told Abraham to kill his son to show his faith in God, suitable drawing of man just about to sacrifice his son B - Bible - the only book you ever need to read, besides the Moody and Maxwell titles of course C - Courtship - how your father, with direction from God, will find your future spouse D - Death, the final frontier E - Eternity - where you should be working very hard to get to F - Father - the head of everything and the person who will dictate your every waking and sleeping moment.. G through Z, the possibilities are endless, as long as they are biblical and pure and humble Other suggestions: Burrito Day at the Moodys - trip to Costco to purchase bulk beans, cheerful female children and spouses slaving through the preparation, making tortillias and serving the hard working menfolk a glorious meal after a day of preparing an entire year's worth of meals, plenty of time to listen to Bible reading, hymn singing, and silent prayer. Cleaning with the Moody's - Home chores with trips to ELDER homes to do service to others. Can you think of more? Might keep Sarah writing for hours on end, and filling the coffers.
  17. marmalade

    Attention Miggy (or anyone, really)

    Has the Maxwell book been received, read, and reviewed? If so, can the post be made known to me? If not, Miggy, you are charged to have your heart opened to receive the Word of Stevehovah!
  18. gardenvarietycitizen

    Model behavior with the Moodys

    I'm reading "Summer with the Moodys" by Sarah Maxwell, 2003. (For those keeping track, that means the author is 21.) One of the main purposes of the book is to provide "godly reading material for children - books that display good role models with families working together serving the Lord." This means that it provides an interesting glimpse into the world of Maxwellia. Here are two quick excerpts from fairly early in the book: Fascinating stuff.
  19. 2 books, actually. Sarah's latest Stepford adventure of the Moody's, plus, Stevie's new education book!! It's got to be something from their lectures 'cause one "Dad" said it should be required reading for every parent of school aged children. "This book could transform your family!" Any guesses??? Maybe something about "saving" your children for courtship? They've been dangling that one for a while now. Courtship has worked sssssoooo well for their family....
  20. Marian the Librarian

    Alert the media: a new Maxwell product!

    From their blog (titus2.com) (bolding mine): Oh, Stevehovah, you big tease, please don't keep us guessing! Courtship is, after all, working so well in your family.
  21. library_youth

    Maxwell Kindle Books - Merged

    New Maxwell post today - looks like Anna's been keeping busy with her project. Three more of their books are now available as Kindle books: Sweet Journey, Preparing Sons, and Summer With The Moodys.
  22. desertvixen

    Autumn With The Moodys

    Actually, it isn't that bad. Everyone is very stilted and too formal, but look at what she has to work with in her own family. It's entertaining to see Mr Moody as a Mary Sue for Steve Maxwell (the banker who wants to be a homeschooling Dad). I love the oh-so-subtle plug for Maxwell products in the body of the story (not to mention the 18 pages of "buy our stuff" at the back). I find the conversion of Mr. Moody's dad to just be... sad. Unrealistic and sad, and disrespectful from a son to a father. All the "God will provide" annoyed me, especially since there was no issue with God using an unsaved person as the delivery vector. WTF is up with the littlest girl's accent/dialect? It was massively annoying and cutesy. I was surprised that the little girl was allowed to get away with being a little girl, except for the one time when she gets sent back to her room. And the turkey would NOT be defrosted if they just took it out of the freezer that morning - unless they have a pretty small bird. It's something like 30 mins/pound in the cold-water-in-the-sink method... unless the Moodys work on Maxwell time, in which case I guess it would work. Also, why are there no snacks for before Thanksgiving dinner? Pretty much all we do on Thanksgiving is eat and watch football - must be why no one gets saved at our house on Thanksgiving. It wasn't the most horrible thing I've ever read, but Sarah would definitely benefit from being able to READ more.
  23. Trynn

    Sarah Maxwell's Books

    So, I'm procrastinating on a German essay, and, ever since I found out Sarah wrote children's books, I waned to see them. Partly for snark purposes, but it's actually my dream to be a writer, so naturally I like to analyze books. I've seen Sarah's blog writing, and I wasn't sure what to think. I don't know whether to be encouraged or not. On the one hand, if she can get something published, so could I. On the other hand... I could potentially get something published, and still not be a good writer. Anyway, I found some samples online that I can link to if anyone's really interested. I'll just quote some gems... From A Summer With The Moody's Aside from the really stilted and unrealistic dialogue... They say they got wet, at the house of a person who lives just up the street, yet when they come home they are soaked, not with water, but with sweat? I've been known to dry off quickly in hot whether, but not that quickly. Maybe it just gets hotter where she's from, but it seems like a continuity error to me. Maybe the mom is mistaking the water for sweat? In which case, why don't the oh so honest and upright role model children correct her? the Bell's what called? Doesn't Sarah have an editor? I'm not even sure Sarah Maxwell knows what this means... (yes yes I know, context, but still, that's not what I first thought of when I read it. Seriously, who talks like that? Usually I hear "you look warm" or "you look overheated." Max the Model Child then asks his mother if she wants help. If she does not, he will go work on his "scripture memory." Most children my age called this a "memory verse," but I digress. His mother cheerfully replies that she doesn't need help, because Maddie is going to set the table. Division of gender roles. Sigh. Huh? This confuses me... Jim is a very very common name... with a last name like "Bell" I don't think they're supposed to be from a country where the name Jim is an uncommon one, so.... I know I'm repeating myself here, but this part confuses me. I mean, I could see someone saying that if the person had an uncommon name, but I've never been greeted with, "Jenny! What a great name!" by...anyone. Ever. From any country. Moving on. 1. Way to patronize your wife, dodo brain 2. Of course the Moodys wear shoes, just not in their house. Am I being too picky? Because him saying "they don't wear shoes" like that implies that the family doesn't wear shoes. Ever. In real life wouldn't one say something like, "they're not wearing shoes" which implies that they are not wearing them at that moment. If someone said that around me, I would immediately make a joke out of it and everyone would laugh. 3. The last sentence confuses me... Because the other guests have worn shoes, the Bells don't have to wear them? It took me a full 5 minutes to figure out what the author was trying to say, and then I facepalmed. Because it really does sound like other guests wore them, and because of this, the Bells don't have to. Those lucky lucky Bells. And then the sample skips directly from chapter 12 to a random page in chapter 17. I had to backtrack a little: I was wondering where the cow had come from, I thought they were supposed to be meeting a guinea pig. For some context, the children plus mom are visiting a dairy farm. At least, I think it's a dairy farm. The only reason I'm guessing that these are not beef cattle is because the "it" in the following paragraphs runs in tubes. (no, there is no above paragraph or sentence to tell us exactly what "it" this Susan is referring to. At first, I thought she was talking about a cow. I forget exactly what Kind of error this is called in writing, but don't you need something before the sentence to establish what "it" is? [quoteWhen the first set of cows was out, the next batch came in. Maddie tugged on Mom’s skirt. “Mommy, I have to go potty.†Mollie giggled. “What has Maddie been drinking today?†“I don’t know,†Mom agreed.[/qote] No, mom did not agree. That was a question, not a statement. There is nothing there to agree with. Instead it should read, "I don't know," Mom answered/said/groaned/sighed/insert other appropriate tag here." A couple observations 1. All the children's names start with M: Max, Mitch, Mollie and Maddie. I have no idea, from the sample, how old these children are. I only know that Max is the oldest, and we can keep this straight because "his name has an A in it, and that's the first letter in the alphabet." Also, Maddie is young enough that she replaces her "r" with w, ie "pwetty" instead of "pretty." And based on the dialogue, I think she is young enough to need mommy's help in the restroom... 2. The dialogue is just... very formal. Not at all how real people talk. Even in the 1800s ish when authors didn't write how people normally talked, the dialogue still doesn't manage to sound so...stilted. 3. Do you think that if I called up Sarah Maxwell and volunteered (not even for payment) to edit her book, she would let me? 4. These siblings never have any sort of rivalry... 5. Of course the oldest is a boy. A lot of conservative/fundy authors do this to get around the problem of a younger male sibling having more privilege than an older female one. It drives me nuts.
  24. The Muncks have blogged about getting a new Jonathan Park CD in the mail for the little kids. The cover looks like fun! Who or what is Jonathan Park? Does anybody know? Sarah Maxwell, watch out!
  25. When we were discussing the re-do of the first Moody book last week, my curiousity was piqued. I hit up Amazon and found a copy for not much more than the shipping cost, so I grabbed it. Checking out the lay of the land and bracing myself for the wretched grammar, I opened the front cover of the book and found an autographed inscription from Sarah! It reads: "May Jesus Christ richly bless you. Joyfully His, Sarah Maxwell" Her penmanship is that of a 4th grader, including the capital "S" you learn when you're first writing in cursive. Sure, she's writing for a kid whose parents sprung for the book at a conference (it's been TOUCHED by Sarah!), but as someone who has taught and had to write so 1st graders could read my writing, I really didn't alter it THAT much. Like everything else concerning the Maxwells, this looks stilted and tightly wound. Geez, where else are you going to find this type of run-on? All punctuation is theirs. "Cover design by Joseph and Christopher Maxwell and inside [not sure to what she refers] by Sarah Maxwell. Mary Maxwell (Gram) was the illustrator except for the drawing on p.178, which Joseph Maxwell drew." It really bites that I'm on the wagon for my carb flush right now, because I know I'll need a stiff drink after reading this if it all reads like that.
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