Oct 04
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week 16 Surprise

Ryan Alamatouri, age 11

September 20-

YWP challenge 

week 16 “Surprise” 
I stood at the door of my cousin’s house with a suitcase in my hand. Today was his birthday and I didn’t want him knowing about the gifts, so I hid them in the suitcase. My cousin lives in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, inside of a small house with about ten other family members. Our little town has almost fifty malls and stores, a park, two museums, and a great theater. I slowly rang the doorbell with my one free hand. I heard dogs barking, children screaming and an adult running down stairs while finishing a call. Finally a woman with gray hair opens the door. Her skin is wrinkled and her clothing is very dusty. We stare at each other for a minute and finally she sighs. “You must be here for Marvin’s sixty-third birthday, right?” She mumbled. I answer with a puzzled look. “No, I’m here for Andy’s birthday. Andy Russell.” The woman squints at me for a while, but her face finally brightens into a tiny smile. “Oh, Andy. yes. He’s inside his bedroom. Just watch out for the other people!” she says in a weird mixture of grumbling and smiling. I walk in with the suitcase into a row of stairs. I follow the one that goes up because last time I was here, his bedroom was somewhere in this hallway. I step into the hallway to find a crowd of old men cheering and going inside a very big room. Above them is a sign that says, ‘Happy Retirement, Marvin Haller!’ A few of them look at me with a questioning gaze but eventually go back to the festivities. One walks up to me and says, “You ‘ere for Marv? He’s in the living room. Thought he would pass out with how many family and friends came in. He wouldn’t mind one more person, save seventy.” He beckoned for me to follow him, but I shook my head. “I’m going to another party in this house.” I walked away towards Andy’s room, on the left side of the hallway. All around his room were signs that said, ‘Marvin’s Retirement has finally come!’ and around it deflated and slightly inflated balloons. I knocked politely on the door and there was no answer. I heard a creaking noise behind me, but when I turned around, nothing was there. I heard it again, somewhat louder, and all the seniors did too. They stopped chatting and looked in my direction. “Hey kid, turn it down!” one of them said. And then they went back to talking. I was pretty sure it was one of them that made the noise. Once I opened the door, something dropped from the ceiling. I held my breath and closed my eyes and tried to battle the instinct to crash great uncle Marvin’s retirement party and start bawling and shaking. I opened my eyes, and saw a blanket. Just a blanket. I walked forward from the doorway to the actual room, and tripped over a string. I stood up and looked down. It was a thick rope that smelled of seaweed. Marvin’s brother was a fisherman before he passed away. This was probably his. The rope was just jumbled on the ground very messily. Before I could move, a radio turned on and sang, “happy birthday to you” I yelped in surprise, and suddenly it turned off. I started to back out of the room when I bumped into someone. I whipped around and there was Andy. He was very tall and had wires in his brown hair. “Hey bro, you like my contraption?” he grinned, while ruffling through his hair. 

“That was you? How did you make it?” I marvelled. “Oh, I used a few of the circuits and pressure sensors from Dad,a few wires from last year’s science fair, and strings from Ada’s knitting kit.” he bragged casually.
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About the Author: Peter Gustafson
Peter Gustafson
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