similes, dogs, and prophets

Luray Flying thinks that cumbersome stands out like that booger on Mrs. Challenger’s nose, dangling there, reluctant to join the murmuring mass of words posted on Challenger’s industrial strength file cabinet. Luray says, “Hey Mrs. Challenger? You print them words on magnetic paper so they won’t stray like Mr. Hurley’s dog?” She knows Mrs. Challenger will appreciate the simile.

Mrs. Challenger cups the backside of her palm around her mouth and sardonically says, “If he wouldn’t pelt it, it wouldn’t stray.” She points to the word pelt, and they know she’s looking for more similes.

Smoothly and slowly, Lester Jones says, “Just like smoke rises steady until sister wind pelts it,” he closes his eyes and sways, “people release dense messages of smoke,” he adds a metaphor, “that float in pelts against the gloaming’s fading sky.”

Lester entrances the girls, and makes Mrs. Challenger smile.
“You have the heart of a poet, Lester. Similes rise like smoke through your words.”

“How about cumbersome?,” Luray asks, pointing to the word hanging on Challenger’s file cabinet like that booger on her nose, “Can you use that word, Lester?” Luray pauses, then swoons, “It’s like a cement block chained to my slender ankles,” she sways her foot in the aisle, then drops it hard, ” . . . cumbersome.”

Lester thinks through his senses, then answers, “The thought of a loser like Hurley pelting a creature like that sly brown dog, weighed cumbersome on the boy’s heart. So he took that dog home with him and fed it good, right after using three feet of chain to collar Hurley up to a tree, where he made him get on his hands and knees and kicked him three or four times in the belly and hindquarters till he yelped like the wretched cur that he is.” Lester holds up his hand, closes his eyes, and shakes his head. Deliberately.

Two weeks later

Lester Jones didn’t do it, he was on the class picnic when Hurley was nabbed, but Lester did give Ted Drummond a map for the deed.

The caption under Hurley’s picture in the News Argus read, “Richard Hurley was found chained to a tree north of town, where he was kicked like a dog and left for dead. Authorities found him after two days with no food or water, and are looking for a masked man with a rifle.”

Hurley’s dog disappeared, and few people know that it is forever eating Alpo on the Drummond family farm out by Utica. And our class? We never speak of it. Not one word. Not one.

But now?

Luray Flying thinks Lester Jones is a prophet.

Brenda Warren 2012

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36 thoughts on “similes, dogs, and prophets

  1. Great story, Brenda! From a wordle standpoint, I liked how you repeated “pelt” in its several meanings and put “cumbersome” into more than one context. From a story standpoint, you’ve crafted a tale that pulled me in and kept me reading. Well done. 🙂


  2. I can see you progressing this story in future Wordles…as you have encourage me to continue mine. I have some family near Utica, NY. And they had a different secret that the community kept …over fifty years ago. Not as happy an ending as your story. Just a reminder how some communities work – being protective of their own, right or wrong.


    • Thanks for stopping, Jules, and for your encouragement. There is a Utica in Montana, too. It’s a small little town with a bar called The Oxen Yoke. Lots of secrets in those parts. LoL


  3. Brenda, I have to add “wow” to the chorus. Really enjoyed this. Totally pictured a classroom discussion of similes, and the movements and words of the students. But then the direction it takes… dark. I love the ending, with what Luray thinks of Lester.



    • Thanks Richard. It was an imaginary classroom, although I have some incredible voices in my room, too. I’m glad it works for you. I love the ending, too, and imagine something evolving between them.


  4. I love Lester is a vigilante and a poet, all rolled into one .I have never felt so refreshed after reading the word booger- twice in one piece. I am ready to read more about Lester, and how Mr Hurley’s dog is getting on with the Drummonds.


  5. This is wonderful, Brenda! Lots of fun to read. So much good description. (BTW, we call them chandeliers here. Son was known to say, Bat in the bat cave!).


    • Thanks. I’m glad you like it. I do like writing stories, maybe they’ll start coming through for a spell. I like the ending, too, though it leaves me wanting to know more of the story.


  6. Wow and double wow. What an incredible imagination you have – I really struggled, as you will discover. Please tell me, is a booger what we would call a bogie (nose mucus) or is it that rude sweary word that I won’t soil your blog with? (How’s that for woken-too-early bad grammar?)


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