Rifling through my belongings as we prepared our second bedroom to become baby Nathan's nursery in a few short months, I came across a stash of various short stories, poems, and school papers I had written over the years. Most of them are terrible, some of them might be half-decent, but all of them are part of what led to any writing I do in the here-and-now. Some of it is college aged, some of it high school, and this one...the oldest one I found in the stash, I actually wrote in 5th grade!
So I decided to put these literary experiments some place they can exist in perpetuity, some place more secure than the pieces of paper in which they exist currently, and perhaps one day down the line I can show Nathan what just his Dad did when he was younger.
I warn you in advance, this one in particular, my 5th grade story, it is probably something quite terrible but I wish I had a scanner so I could share the hand-drawn illustrations that accompanied the text. These awful etching did earn me a "Cleverest Title Page" sticker on the front cover though!
So here you go, the oldest piece of writing I found in my stash, circa 1990 and my 5th grade class at Potterville Elementary School, I give to you a transcription of The Framing Of Blackjack Mahoney, complete with whatever spelling and grammar mistakes I made when I was 10 or 11 years old!
The Framing Of Blackjack Mahoney
It's Saturday night around 10. The wind is rustling through the leaves and there were trees everywhere. It's raining hard and everything is wet or damp.
Jack was at a party with Chris and Zac. The guy having the party had a Nintendo and over 80 games. Chris beat them all.
"What a drag!" Zac exclaimed "Let's leave."
Just then the place was gassed.
Everybody was knocked out but Zac, Chris, and Jack. Jack went after the gasser and caught him. He saw the crook had stolen cash and jewels.
"Blackjack!" Zac said surprised "I see we finally caught you!"
"You can't take me in" Mahoney protested "You aren't cops any more!"
"I know that" Jack replied, "We're helping them though, so we can arrest you"
"Well that stinks!"
Chris took Blackjack in and put him away.
The man has 60 aliases, the most common is Ace. He has many others including Jack, Poker Man, and Ace Jack.
Ten days later, BOOM! Blackjack's broken out!
"After him" a man ordered "he's a criminal!"
Click, boom, arrgh! A shot rang out. The man lay dead. Blackjack was now wanted for murder and fraud.
It was broadcast over a 110 mile area that he had broken out.
At the station Jack investigated the murder.
"Blackjack didn't kill the man." Jack announced
"Then who did?" Zac inquired
"I don't know."
They all thought. Jack shouted,
"Mike Mann, the head honcho at the station on New York Boulevard or our boss!"
"Because he was bent on getting revenge, the man murdered had taken his old job."
In the morning, Jack and Chris spoke to their boss. When they left, Jack was waiting outside.
When the guys walked home, Jack took at "shortcut". On the shortcut Jack walked past the jailhouse just as a part of the wall came down and out came Blackjack.
"How did you get caught, Blackjack?"
"Cops barricaded my hideout and caught me."
"Hey...!" Blackjack had knocked out Jack. Zac and Chris wondered where Jack was and went looking for him. They retraced the shortcut and saw the wall and Jack's hat was near it. Chris examined for finger and footprints. He found footprints and followed them to Blackjack's hideout. When Zac and Chris found the hideout and Jack, they told Blackjack he was being framed.
"Figures, a guy like me, everybody wants me put away."
"Will you help us Blackjack to find out who framed you?"
"Yeah I guess."
Blackjack, along with Chris, talked to Officer Mann. While Jack and Zac investigated the boss's quarters. Blackjack and Chris got some leads. Jack and Zac found the murder weapon. There were leads to both men.
The next day, Jack and Chris went to their boss's place.
"Why couldn't we go?" Blackjack asked.
Jack told their boss there leads to him and Officer Mann on the murder. The boss turned around but before Zac and Jack could see him, they were punched hard. While they were dazed, their boss made his getaway. Blackjack and Chris saw their boss running and chased after him. When they caught him, Blackjack saw his face.
"You...how could you?"
"Who is it Black..I mean Ace?"
"Believe me you don't want to know!"
"Yes I do!"
"Ok Chris, it's your father!"
Thud! A gun was fired, a body dropped, and a cop was dead.
"Get him!" Zac yelled "now!"
Shots rang out and they ran down the dark, steamy and grotesque alley. Zac, Chris, and Jack grabbed trash can lids as shields, more shots.
It was now night.
Zac, Chris, Jack, and another officer threw the lids at the gunman. He dodged two and was nailed by the others.
It was Officer Mann.
"Spill your guts Mann, why?"
"You know I hated him!"
"So, you murdered him?"
"No, Chris' dad did!"
"With your help?"
The cops arrested Chris' dad and Officer Mann.
The next day Chris, Jack, and Zac became honorary officers and the murderers were given the death penalty. Chris protested his father getting the electric chair but to no avail.
The next night, Officer Mann was gassed. Just as Chris' father was going to die, Chris rushed in.
"Why?" the man questioned.
"He's my father, that's why!"
So Chris left, depressed and alone. He got over the depression, after about a week or two, but he was still alone.
Chris though, "Dad's dead, Mom's gone, and sis moved, who do I have?" Chris started talking out loud, "I don't have anybody!"
"You have me" a voice said
"Dad you're alive, but how?"
"They let me go because the felt sorry for you and I talked them into it."
They walked down to the station and told everybody. Zac wanted to throw a party and invite Ace.
"Fine by me." Chris answered
"By the way where's he live?" Jack questioned
"In the condos at Sacramento Heights." Chris replied.
"Let's go!" everybody screamed.
The party went on through the night. Everybody was partyed out in the morning.
"Great party, Chris." Zac said drowsily. Zzzzzzz. Within thirty minutes Jack, Zac, Pop, Ace, and Chris were out and asleep.
Yeah, so while that may not be the first thing I ever wrote, it is definitely the oldest one that is somehow still in my possession. I suppose I will continue to make my way through the various stuff I found stashed away in storage.
This ought to be one long, strange, and occasionally whiny (especially once I get to the "poetry") trip... ;-)