The String

1990. I tied the 50 inch piece of string into a circle and tossed it into the air. It snagged one of the hooks on a wall mounted coat rack in my bedroom like a pair of panties flung during a passionate movie scene.

The string toss was a writing prompt. The shape of the string or whatever it landed on was supposed to inspire an idea for a personal experience story. Sadly, the only airtime my undies ever saw was when they were hurled into the clothes hamper. No story there.

I rearranged the string, looping it around the first and third hook. The parallel strings now hung like the Cheshire cat’s grin. Unfortunately, I’d already written a story about my plastic minister’s wife smile.

Taking ahold of the cat’s lower lip I slipped it up and over the middle hook. Then I pulled the excess string between the hooks, down into two large loops which now hung well below the upper lip. When I stepped away, two sagging breasts stared back at me. I couldn’t write a story about breasts!

Needing fresh eyes, my children were corralled into the bedroom, informed of my assignment and instructed to look at the string. “What do you see?” I queried.

“Sunglasses,” Andrew (12) announced.

“Two closed eyes or two upside down mountains,” chimed Karen (8).

Michael (16) added, “I see string hanging on three protuberances.”

His siblings and I stared at him in silence until a self-satisfied smirk grew on his face and he confessed, “Protuberance is a new vocabulary word.”

“Good job Michael!”

What else do you see?” I asked my advisers.

“Could be two airplanes nose to nose in a race,” said Andrew.

“Or a kneeling woman wearing a skirt,” offered Karen.

It was difficult for me to believe that the boys didn’t see breasts, so I pressed on. “Was there something you thought of, but hesitated to say out loud?”

Karen moved closer to the string, studying it. Andrew lifted one eyebrow in a Mr. Spock imitation and started to giggle. Michael, snickering, lowered his eyes to the floor.

“Ah Ha!” I shouted. “You saw breasts, didn’t you?”

“The boys squealed, flinging themselves onto my bed in uncontrollable laughter.

Karen stared blankly at the string. Then, with a sudden gasp, put her hand over her mouth, turned to face me and mumbled through her hand, “are you gonna write about . . .you know?” She quickly glanced at the string and then back at me with wide eyes.

“No, of course not,” I assured her. “I could never write a story about breasts.”

When the kids cleared out, I picked up my pencil and notepad. After staring long and hard at the string, I wrote my first sentence. All the girls in the sixth grade had two bumps on their sweater, except for me.

© Gayellen Kick 2018

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20 Comments

    Deb PetersonMarch 22nd, 2018
  1. Fantastic!

  2. Gayellen KickMarch 22nd, 2018
  3. Thanks! Wouldn’t have been a story if I hadn’t asked my children for their input.

  4. Paul DeBruyneMarch 22nd, 2018
  5. Did the boys have protuberances thinking about the shape of the strings?

  6. Gayellen KickMarch 22nd, 2018
  7. OMG! I don’t even want to know!

  8. EllenMarch 22nd, 2018
  9. So fun! And the picture…perfect!

  10. Gayellen KickMarch 22nd, 2018
  11. Thanks! Ellen

  12. VirginiaMarch 22nd, 2018
  13. Another winner! I hear your voice as I read these fun stories. There are snickers hanging on the words and giggles as reactions. Keep on my friend!

  14. Gayellen KickMarch 22nd, 2018
  15. Virginia, snickers and giggles that’s my goal!

  16. SueMarch 22nd, 2018
  17. Love this story!

  18. Gayellen KickMarch 22nd, 2018
  19. Thanks!

  20. Karen KellyMarch 22nd, 2018
  21. My, how you have taken me back in time. Thanks for the memories!

  22. Gayellen KickMarch 22nd, 2018
  23. My pleasure Karen!

  24. Betty spurrierMarch 23rd, 2018
  25. Another great read. You are multi talented!

  26. Gayellen KickMarch 23rd, 2018
  27. Thank you Betty.

  28. Melody WilsonMarch 23rd, 2018
  29. Another clever story from my clever sister!

  30. Gayellen KickMarch 23rd, 2018
  31. All I did was write down what happened, but thanks.

  32. AleliMarch 23rd, 2018
  33. I enjoyed so much this story, so funny! Thanks for the laughs.

  34. Gayellen KickMarch 23rd, 2018
  35. My pleasure Aleli!

  36. CrystalApril 5th, 2018
  37. You seem to have so much fun with your writing that I can’t help but smile and have fun reading it! I really love this one! Including the picture was a great idea!!!

  38. Gayellen KickApril 5th, 2018
  39. Crystal, That’s my goal; to have fun with my own writing and be a smile encourager!

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