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Image Props for Stories #2: Bananas, Scissors, a Vacuum Cleaner, and a Ferris Wheel


“Image Props for Stories #2 Bananas, Scissors, a Vacuum Cleaner, and a Ferris Wheel” by Joan Y. Edwards

Elaine Green and Joy Moore contributed to this story using three or four of these four props. Thank you very much.  I get excited when people join in. I love to have fun with others, especially you.  Would these props add meaning and depth to your manuscripts? Here are four props: bananas, scissors, a vacuum cleaner, and a ferris wheel.

two yellow bananas

Bananas – © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

silver pair of long sharp scissors with black handles

Scissors – © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

small portable vacuum

Vacuum Cleaner © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

ferris wheel with little people riding it

Ferris Wheel – © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

Here it goes. Esther is sixth grader who wants to be a detective like Columbo on television, but she wanted to save the people from being killed in the first place.

Joan Y. Edwards wrote:

STORY A

Esther had to stay after school in detention on Tuesday. She’d gotten in trouble because  her banana accidently slipped out of her lunch box. She couldn’t help that Stacy Wentworth accidently stepped on it, and fell. 

Now Esther was going to have to pedal her bike faster than anything to get to the county fair.  The morning paper said that Laurene Hanson, a kindergarten girl was reported missing yesterday. The last time Laurene had been seen was at the fair. Esther had to get there and look for clues to help find that little girl before it was too late. 

MORE OF STORY A

Elaine Green wrote: (Thanks for coming back again, Elaine.)

Esther pedaled harder and faster than she ever had before. To her surprise she found herself popping wheelies like all the boys did when they were trying to show off for the girls. In the back of her head she knew she was going to be in more trouble for going straight to the fair and not home to get her chores done. Tuesday afternoon was her day to vacuum her room and playroom, but her mother was just going to have to understand this time.

Anyway, it wasn’t her fault that Stacy was such a klutz. I mean,”who doesn’t see a banana on the floor?” she thought. How did that whole episode get so twisted that she was the only one staying after school in detention in the first place? Esther was not about to act like the drama queen that Stacy had. She had the whole cafeteria watching as she screeched and held her ankle as if her foot was going to detach from her leg if she let go. Esther just sat staring in disbelief until a teacher came by pulling her from her perplexed gaze.

Stacy was not anywhere a concern to Esther now. Right now, she needed to focus on getting to the fair to find clues to help find sweet little Laurene. Laurene was the same age as Esther’s little sister. Mica. They were not in the same classroom, but they played together sometimes on the playground after school. She was kindhearted, often quiet at times, but tended to come out of her shell and show her funny side when she was around people she trusted.

“I have to do everything in my power to find her,” Esther thought to herself. As she looked around the fair trying to get her bearings, she decided that jumping on the ferris wheel would be a great way to get an aerial view of the whole fair and give her time to think which direction she needed to go to start her detective work. Esther knew time was of the essence so she bought a roll of tickets and jumped in line. As the ferris wheel helper was attaching the safety chain, she saw Kenny running towards her waving his hands and screaming, “Hold the ride.” He made it just in time and jumped on board next to Esther. She was a little annoyed that she was not going to be able to strategize her next step on her own, but she also knew deep down that Kenny would be an asset to her. He was always good about following up on loose ends.”

MORE OF STORY A

Joan Y. Edwards wrote:

Kenny said, “I thought your Mother had you glued to a vacuum cleaner on Tuesdays.”

Esther said, “Yeah. Today there’s more than dust bunnies on my mind. “Laurene Hanson is missing.”

Kenny’s eyes grew wide, “Laurene. Oh No.”

Esther said, “WSBY News said she was last seen here at the fair.”

Kenny said, “So, you’re on the ferris wheel to case the area.”

Esther said, “Right.”

Kenny said, “Can I help?”

Esther hesitated, bit her nails, “I want to solve this myself.”

The ferris wheel moved up a little to let another person on.

Kenny said, “But it’s Laurene who’s missing. The police and rescue people are looking and they haven’t found her. You think you’re going to find her by yourself?

Esther said, “That’s what I was hoping.”

Kenny said, “I’ll let you take all the glory. I just want to find Laurene. We can be more effective and successful if we work together.”

The ferris wheel stopped to let another person on.

Esther looked back into Kenny’s eyes,  and said, “You’re right. The main thing is finding Laurene before something bad happens to her. I need your help.”

Kenny said, “Thanks.”

Esther said, “Here’s what I’m thinking. Tell me what I’m forgetting and tell me your “what ifs.”

Kenny said, “All right. I’ll look for the loose ends…things you might have overlooked.”

Now it’s your turn to add to the story:

And a different twist using the first information I gave above,

STORY B

Joan wrote: Esther had to stay after school in detention Tuesday. She’d gotten in trouble because  her banana accidently slipped out of her lunch box. She couldn’t help that hot shot Mandy Stephenson, head cheerleader, had accidently stepped on it, and broken her ankle.

Now Esther was going to have to pedal her bike faster than anything to get to the county fair.  The morning paper said that her best friend, Stacy Wentworth was missing. The last time she had been seen was at the fair. Esther had to get there and look for clues to help find her friend before it was too late.

Joy Moore wrote: Esther just sat for a moment staring in space.  She was told that she could go.  Detention was over.  The truth was she couldn’t move.  Her mouth was dry and she had a strong urge throw up.  What was she going to do now?

Her best friend Stacy Wentworth was missing.  There of course was nothing to suggest foul play.  But Esther knew better.  In her locker were found the three things to prove that something was amiss.

1. A banana peel.  No one knew it but Esther knew that Stacy was allergic to bananas.  It happened when she was one year old.  She swelled up like a balloon.  The antidote was a complicated mixture of B-pollen mixed with an antihistamine spread out over peanut butter bread.  Stacy couldn’t swallow a pill.  B- pollen had a metallic taste.  It had to be mixed with peanut butter and spread over bread.  In the remote area in which the lived B-pollen was hard to come by.  Better just to avoid it all together.

2. A vacuum cleaner. Also unknown to people outside her immediate circle was her allergy to dust.  Her allergy was so extreme that if she came within six feet of it she broke out in hives.  The family was careful to keep the vacuum in the garage closet, locked away.  Never did Stacy get into the car from the garage.  Even through the door of the locked closet, the fumes would make their way to her skin.  One time the hives were so big, they looked like small pillows ready to burst open with tiny feathers.

3.  A ferris wheel.  The most mysterious of all.  It was only one small moment in time.  When Stacy was five years old she was stranded on top of a ferris wheel for eight hours while they tinkered with the machine to get it working again.  Eight hours of never knowing if you will see your family again.  With the wind whipping through your hair and the people on the ground so small below you.  It was after that, Stacy vowed never again to get on a ferris wheel or even visit a county fair. 

So why was Stacy missing from the fair a place she would never go?  And why did her locker contain the three things she would not under any condition come close to?

There was one thing Esther knew.  Whatever happened to Stacy she was the one to find out.

Way to go, Joy and Elaine. That was fun. Thanks.

Okay. Your turn. Put your dialogue and text in the comments. I’ll add it to the story along with your name as contributing to it. I’ll also add your name to the tags so that the search engines can find it.

Please add to our story. Help us finish the story. Use three of the following bananas, scissors, a vacuum cleaner, and a ferris wheel.

Here are links to my whole series on Props for Stories:

  1. Joan Y. Edwards. “Props for Characters: Toys, Games, and Other Items:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/props-for-characters-toys-games-and-other-items/
  2. Joan Y. Edwards. “Image Props for Stories #1:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/image-props-for-stories-1-all-that-was-left-a-stapler-a-money-bag-and-a-bird-ornament/
  3. You are reading this one. Joan Y. Edwards. “Image Props for Stories #2:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/image-props-for-stories-2-bananas-scissors-a-vacuum-cleaner-and-a-ferris-wheel/
  4. Joan Y. Edwards. “Image Props for Stories #3:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/image-props-for-stories-3-a-basketball-a-pillow-and-a-pair-of-boots/
  5. Joan Y. Edwards. “Image Props for Stories #4:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/image-props-for-stories-4-a-remote-control-a-basket-of-flowers-and-a-bandage/
  6. Joan Y. Edwards. “Image Props for Stories #5:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/image-props-for-stories-5-love-bug-dogcat-and-love-letter/
  7. Joan Y. Edwards. “Image Props for Stories #6:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/image-props-for-stories-6-coffee-maker-earphones-and-a-lamp/
  8. Joan Y. Edwards. “Image Props for Stories #7:” https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/image-props-for-stories-7-pay-phone-blue-wildflowers-and-fast-moving-river/

Thanks for reading my blog and for leaving a comment. Please feel free to share with your friends. I appreciate you very much.

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards

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9 Responses

  1. Esther just sat for a moment staring in space. She was told that she could go. Detention was over. The truth was she couldn’t move. Her mouth was dry and she had a strong urge throw up. What was she going to do now?

    Her best friend Stacy Wentworth was missing. There of course was nothing to suggest foul play. But Esther knew better. In her locker were found the three things to prove that something was amiss.

    1. A banana peal. No one knew it but Esther that Stacy was allergic to bananas. It happened when she was one year old. She swelled up like a balloon. The antidote was a complicated mixture of B-pollen mixed with an antihistamine spread out over peanut butter bread. Stacy couldn’t swallow a pill. B- pollen had a metalic taste. It had to be mixed with peanut butter and spread over bread. In the remote area in which the lived B-pollen was hard to come by. Better just to avoid it all together.

    2. A vacuum cleaner. Also unknown to people outside her imediate circle was her allergy to dust. Her allergy was so extreme that if she came within six feet of it she broke out in hives. The family was careful to keep the vacuum in the garage closet, locked away. Never did Stacy get into the car from the garage. Even throught the door of the locked closet the fumes would make their way to her skin. One time the hives were so big they look like small pillows ready to burst open with tiny feathers.

    3. A ferris wheel. The most mysterious of all. It was only one small moment in time. When Stacy was five years old she was stranded on top of a ferris wheel for eight hours while they tinkered with the machine to get it working again. Eight hours of never knowing if you will see your family again. With the wind wipping through your hair and the people on the ground so small below you. It was after that that Stacy vowed never again to get on a ferris wheel or even visit a county fair.

    So why was Stacy missing from the fair a place she would never go? And why did her locker contain the three things she would not under any condition come close to?

    There was one thing Esther knew. Whatever happened to Stacy she was the one to find out.

    Like

    • Dear Joy, Thanks for joining me in the fun “Finish the Story” contest. I really liked how you used the ideas I gave you to start off and you just blossomed with it. What you wrote made it a viable first page, didn’t it? Thanks a bunch. You made me wonder if Esther was going to be able to do it and knew that showed that she was determined to find Stacy. Cool. Finish Your Story with love and laughter Joan Y. Edwards http://www.joanyedwards.com

      Like

      • Dear Elaine,
        Thank you for posting envigorating text for Finish the Story #2. I appreciate it very much. You really gave us things to think about. You even introduced a new character, Kenny. I added it to the blog on January 16th. I hope more people will add to the story. It makes it fun to see what words and emotions other writers add to the starting information. Enjoy your day. Do something fun to celebrate you and your writing skills and talent!

        Joan Y. Edwards

        Like

  2. Esther peddled harder and faster than she ever had before. To her surprise she found herself popping wheelies like all the boys did when they were trying to show off for the girls. In the back of her head she knew she was going to be in more trouble for going straight to the fair and not home to get her chores done. Thursday afternoon was her day to vacuum her room and playroom, but her mother was just going to have to understand this time.

    Anyway, it wasn’t her fault that Stacy was such a klutz. I mean,”who doesn’t see a banana on the floor?” she thought. How did that whole episode get so twisted that she was the only one staying after school in detention in the first place? Esther was not about to act like the drama queen that Stacy had. She had the whole cafeteria watching as she screeched and held her ankle as if her foot was going to detach from her leg if she let go. Esther just sat starring in disbelief until a teacher came by pulling her from her perplexed gaze.

    Stacy was not anywhere a concern to Esther now. Right now, she need to focus on getting to the fair to find clues to help find sweet little Laurene. Laurene was the same age as Esther’s little sister Mica. They were not in the same classroom, but they played together sometimes on the playground after school. She was kindhearted, often quiet at times, but tended to come out of her shell and show her funny side when she was around people she trusted.

    “I have to do everything in my power to find her”, Esther thought to herself. As she looked around the fair trying to get her barring, she decided that jumping on the ferris wheel would be a great way to get an arial view of the whole fair and give her time to think which direction she needed to go to start her detective work. Esther knew time was of the essence so she bought a roll of tickets and jumped in line. As the ferris wheel helper was attaching the safety chain, she saw Kenny running towards her waving his hands and screaming,” Hold the ride”. He made it just in time and jumped on board next to Esther. She was a little annoyed that she was not going to be able to strategize her next step on her own, but she also knew deep down that Kenny would be an asset to her. He was always good about following up on lose ends.

    Like

  3. Bravo ladies. I’m going to pass this time even though there was a day I loved a good ferris wheel ride. No more though.

    Linda A.

    Like

  4. Dear Linda,
    Good to hear from you and thank you for cheering on the people contributing to the story this time. We’ll miss your input. Maybe next time when the props are not as tall as a ferris wheel.
    Enjoy writing your chapter books, picture books, and magazine articles.
    Joan Y. Edwards

    Like

  5. Joan,

    I love your sense of humor about the ferris wheel! If you add to one of the story lines next maybe someone else will add after you.

    Linda A.

    Like

    • Dear Linda,
      I’m glad you see my sense of humor. That’s a good idea to add more to one of the story lines. I’ll try that. That’s what I did last time. Finish the Story is a new venture. We, you and other readers and writers will figure out a way that works and ultimately pull more people in with a way that encourages them to add to the story.

      Have a fun day. Enjoy the wonderful fun-filled surprises awaiting you today.
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  6. Dear Joy, Elaine, and Linda,
    I appreciate all three of you leaving comments on this Finish the Contest #2.
    Joy and Elaine, both of you provided great first pages for the story. You added tension and suspense to the story. Thank you.
    I asked Random.org for a random number from 1-3. It chose number 2. That means that Elaine Green won a free pitch and first page critique. Congratulations to you, Elaine.
    You have my email address, Elaine. Just send me your pitch and first page. You have one year to send me one.

    Have a fun day!
    Joan Y. Edwards

    Like

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