27 Sleeper: A True Story @StoryADayMay

A “sleeper,” in case you don’t know, means something that lies dormant until it, you know, doesn’t.

We’re coming down to the wire for Story A Day in May. Beginning this Sunday, instead of posting every day, I’ll be back to my regular schedule of … well … posting every day. Not a story every day, though. My regular schedule is:

  • MONDAY — something writey
  • TUESDAY — random, but foody/writey at Fatal Foodies
  • WEDNESDAY — something foody
  • THURSDAY — random
  • FRIDAY — I recommend a book, website(s), band, movie, product, or some damn thing
  • SATURDAY — My Russian blue, Katya, will back at work doing her Caturday posts
  • SUNDAY — Sample Sunday will return to being excerpts from books/stories I’ve published or am working on, with the very occasional original flash fiction.

Now here’s today’s attempt:

Sleeper: A True Story

by Marian Allen

SleeperOnce upon a time, there was a little girl who loved stories. She would happily sit for hours, listening to stories being read or told.

Many times, a grownup would stop another one just when the story was getting fascinatingly odd, with the words, “Shhh! Little pitchers have big ears.” Then she would be sent outside to play, and she would miss the best part.

Grownups were so mean and selfish, sometimes.

The little girl loved television dramas and comedies, and old movies on television. The commercial breaks gave her time to think about the stories and characters, and sometimes there were inexplicable gaps (which she later learned were edits made for community standards or to make time for the commercials) that made the story even more intriguing. The most excitingly strange story she ever watched, she was disappointed to learn, owed its mind-expanding wonder to the fact that the station programmer had switched two of the segments. The dead lady didn’t really appear again, with her friends and family acting like a dead lady back alive wan’t no thang. Alas. But what if the story did go that way…?

Her mother didn’t believe in spanking, but she was sorely tempted: When she put the girl in Time Out, she would come back to release her and find the girl happily telling stories to her feet. What’s a mother to do?

The girl told fewer lies than one might imagine. That would be too much like work, and stories were for fun.

The kids in the neighborhood came to her when they wanted to play ‘Ten’ Like, because she was good at coming up with playable scenarios. In case you never played this game by this name, ‘ten’ is short for pretend. “Okay, ‘ten’ like John is the sheriff and ‘ten’ like Lily is your girlfriend but she’s secretly the head of a gang of bank robbers….”

What a lazy girl! All she wanted to do was sit around and read or watch television or gaze at nothing. The grownups had to wake her up from some kind of daze to get her to do anything. She got punished at school for daydreaming instead of listening, and her teachers couldn’t understand why such a sweet, quiet girl was always late finishing her classwork.

So she grew up, married an English teacher, gave birth to another story addict, wrote books and stories, became part of a publishing house, did Story A Day in May Writing Challenge, and lived happily ever after.

Not just in her dreams, either.

~ * ~

That statue, by the way, was a gift from my mother’s mother, who died when I was a young teen. She said it reminded her of me. It reminded me of me, too. Thank you, Grandma. ♥

I’m posting at Fatal Foodies today on the subject of Caek Of The Birfday Kind.




I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “27 Sleeper: A True Story @StoryADayMay

  1. Jane

    May 27, 2014 at 7:17pm

    What a realistic story! I remember my niece April, when she was 2, would go up to new people and say, “Hello, Who are you? Can I tell you a story?”
    And she would.

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