The Story of Sledge


#21

I’m dying laughing from that cropped image! Also, I always thought he was Gumby-like too. Maybe it was based on Gumby…I recall watching some shows and liking him (mostly Pokey-which was also red) when I was little, but I can’t remember anything about this thing’s creation. I don’t know why she made it look like that…are those ears? I don’t know. The stitching wasn’t great either but hey, it’s as old as I am and still alive.

@The_Specialist: And yet this was my childhood toy. I slept with it every night. I still keep it in my bedroom.


#22

I’m dead

Spec just walked out of his room like “look what you did” and showed me the picture you sent him :joy:


#23

I just had to… :joy: Also, I didn’t know you were his sister! Hahaha.


#24

lmao yup I’m his big sister xD


#25

Continued…


Vito was downstairs in the living room, crouching on his toes in front of a large stereo system. While he adjusted a volume dial he held the arm of a turntable off a record. As soon as he was satisfied with the arched array of sliding bass and treble indicators, he set the needle onto the now-spinning vinyl, simultaneously pressing down on two thick square buttons of a cassette recorder connected to the system. The initial static gave way to a clear song, the tape recorder display needles jumping to the rhythm.

Vanessa could hear him singing along to the album from her room. He had played the records so often that she was quite familiar with most of them - from Tommy Dorsey’s band to The Rat Pack. Never a bored man, he always could come up with some project to be doing. He found a way of transferring all of his vinyl onto cassette tapes that he could play in the car.

“…and you’ll sing ‘Vita bella!’…lucky fella!"

Right now he was recording Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore.”

A big box TV and VCR were in Vanessa’s bedroom. She slipped in a VHS tape that had no cover and turned the tv on. It took a whack or two of her hand on the side of the box to bring it to life sometimes, but on this occasion, it wasn’t necessary. Like the repetitiveness of the records, she had watched this tape enough times that she knew the dialog almost by heart. She shut out the sounds of her grandfather’s happiness downstairs.

As the movie came on she got out her pencils and paper and started to draw. It had become a regular pastime, and she was developing a knack for it. When she wasn’t playing with Lego or re-enacting Ninja Turtle stories with her action figures, she could be found with a pencil in hand.

The scribbles gave way to the angry eyes of a rex-like dinosaur while on the screen the movie continued. The quality of the tape was poor, and not from being overly-watched. Her grandfather had mentioned something about a “boot-leg” but she didn’t know what that meant. All she knew was that it came from her mother.

Another of her birthdays had come and gone, and another time when her mother and sister were not there. During the McDonalds party she had had fun with her friends, forgetting about the absences; but afterwards when she was alone, she found herself drawing…and when she drew, her mind remembered. It seemed to her that after each time she did manage to see her mother and sister, the space between the visits increased.

She drew in snarling teeth on her dinosaur.

The music in the movie quieted. She looked up, eyes glued to the screen for the part of the film that she wished would change the most. She knew it was impossible, but she thought maybe this one time the story would unfold differently. It could happen, surely, that the characters could change the script? Why did it always have to happen the same way?

“Dear, sweet Littlefoot, do you remember…the way to the Great Valley?”

The tube television showed a long-necked dinosaur who was lying on the ground, lightning flashing over the outline of its prone body. She had just been attacked by a tyrannosaurus - she had fought to save the life of her child, but paid the price.

Littlefoot nuzzled in close to his mother’s face. “I guess so. But why do I have to know…you’re gonna be with me?” he sniffed.

“I’ll be with you,” she struggled to reply, “even if you can’t see me.”

“What do you mean, if I can’t see you? I can always see you.”

“Littlefoot, let your heart guide you. It whispers…so listen closely…”

Littlefoot called out for her, but no other response came save for the sound of thunder and rain.

Small droplets of water struck the paper Vanessa had been drawing on. She wiped them away with her fingers, the pencil lead smearing across the page.

Downstairs she could hear her grandfather. “Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli, that’s amore!”


#26

Unacceptable pause, stop playing Evolve and write!

I’m joking, don’t hurt me, keep playing :sweat_smile:


#27

I’m actually going to make a post or two today, heh. The last one was pretty heavy, a break was warranted.


#28

Bare with me…I seem to be having a problem accessing my writing program. I can type it all on here but if I lose power or something weird mid-story it will all be lost. Plus, I need Word to be able to save all that I write…I am frustrated now.

Apparently I may have had only a free trial of Word that came with my rig.


#29

Post it in a Forum Message and send it there and edit it over time till it’s ready for here


#30

Continued…


Bree threw the tennis ball high into the air. Vanessa could see it become just a faint green dot against the clouds. She braced herself, not knowing whether to run or grab for it on the descent.

“Dog!” Bree yelled, and she and her younger sister, Rainey, bolted in opposite directions.

Vanessa watched them running away as she waited for the ball to drop. It seemed like an eternity…Bree was so good at this game. Why couldn’t she hope to throw that high, like Bree?

She went to catch it but it flew down between her hands in a blur, bouncing off the pavement; and it was again over her head. She had to run to grab it, wasting time.

“SPUD!” she shouted when she finally griped the runaway ball, and all of girls froze in place.

She looked at the distances of the sisters. Of course Bree would be farther away. She was older, taller, and more physically fit. Her legs were so long she could cover more distance…always. Impossible to reach her. Rainey was her own age, and more down to her size. She was the obvious pick…always.

“D-O-” Vanessa called out the letters of the animal she had chosen. At each one she took the longest leap-step she possibly could towards the closest girl. “G!” She was about fifteen feet away from Rainey…Bree was untouchabley out of range.

She threw the ball.

Rainey cowered from the ball, closing her eyes. It lightly bounced off her shoulder. “Ok, ok I guess I’m it now,” she relented.

The three girls again went into the street together. They stood waiting for Rainey to throw the ball and pick an animal name that one of the others had chosen.

“Cheetah!” she yelled at once, chucking the ball haphazardly upwards. She was not as sports-inclined as her sister. It was easy for Bree to catch the ball in just a couple strides, not breaking a sweat.

“Spud!”

Vanessa and Rainey froze. They didn’t make it too far.

Bree picked out Vanessa, spelling “cheetah” as she walked, because she need not run. She was an inch from Vanessa when she stopped. It was impossible not to be tagged, but Vanessa toppled from side to side trying to avoid her, keeping her feet stuck to the ground as if she was on glue, until she fell over herself.

“You-are-a-Looney-Tune,” Bree sang, tapping her with the ball in her hand.

“I think cheetah is too long of a name,” Vanessa said. “You always pick cheetah.”

“That’s because I’m the fastest,” she smiled.

“Well, try something else? Lets pick new animals.”

“Ok, I will be,” she paused, half trying to think, the other half holding back for suspense, “I will be…elephant.”

“What? No way,” Vanessa said, wishing she had thought of that. Bree was also smart. “That’s a ton of letters!”

Bree, Rainey, and Vanessa laughed but continued the game of “Spud” anyway. Vanessa didn’t really mind Bree, or any of the neighborhood kids. She was only too happy to play along. She thought…It must be wonderful to have a sister to always play with.


#31

Loved to play this game with the Youth Group me and Loren had. Although it was always “1, 2, 3” as the steps went seems more fair than saying “Alligator” or “Salamander”


#32

Or hippopotamus.


#33

However, Henry and his tall ass self was ridiculous to try and run away from… damn his long legs that covered about a yard with one step… =.=


#34

Wait who is Henry.


#35

A super tall dude that was in me and my bro’s (Spec) youth group lol


#36

Continued…


There was a time, when she was quite smaller, that she could remember sitting atop Vito’s bicycle handlebars as he would ride her to the park a couple blocks away. She had asked him once, “Granpa, how do you spell soda?”

“S-O-D-A,” he said, “It’s really easy.”

"Why do some people say “pop” instead of “soda?”

“Well, you say po-tay-toe, and I say po-tot-toe,” he sang.

“But my friends at school say it’s pop, even though pop is a sound.”

“To each his own. Both are correct.”

“I like soda best. Can we get some Root Beer?” She felt the bar beneath her shift as he turned left towards the park.

_ _

Now, being nine, she was old enough to ride on her own bike to the park. She would often go with Rainey and Bree, but today she was only with Rainey. They would swing on the swings, slide down the rolling-slide, and make up obstacle courses they had to perfect crossing, else fall into the wood chip lava.

Today, Rainey wanted a push on the tire swing.

Bree was usually the one to do the pushing when it came to the giant tire. She could do it the best. She had a way of running it in a circle, then grabbing onto one of the three attached chains, yanking it into a fierce spin as she jumped back out of the way.

Vanessa thought she could spin the tire the same way.

Rainey climbed onto the tire as Vanessa placed her palms along the rubber treads. She pushed around in a circle, running faster as she went. She wanted to make it just as exciting as when Bree was around…she could do just as good.

She grasped one of the tire chains, getting ready to jump free of Rainey’s spinning legs after the pull. She was eager to hear her scream with how fun this would be.

She prepared to yank-spin when suddenly it swung away from her hands. The momentum, and chain still gripped in her hand, jerked her forward, spilling her into the wooden shavings face-first. Something heavy hit dead-center of her back.

There was screaming of a type she didn’t expect, shrill and all around, from other children not Rainey. She suddenly became aware of the cutting wood on her bare arms - she was on the ground. Expecting, instinctively, that the tire with Rainey would be spinning overhead, she rolled out of the way…but Rainey wasn’t there, and neither was the entire swing.

She was disoriented, not understanding why she didn’t know where Rainey was. Then, she saw her.

“Rainey?”

She stumbled up despite the pain in her back. Rainey was still in the tire, but the tire had flown several feet away, the chains draped all around her. The object that had hit her in the back lied just next to her. A massive bolt apparatus that held up the tire swing had loosened, apparently spun too far in the correct direction.

Vanessa ran to Rainey’s side, but Rainey didn’t say a word, only grimaced in pain with tears streaming along her pudgy face.

Several of the children in the park had run over to see what had happened, but no parents were around. Vanessa tried to comfort her friend who was simply non-responsive. “It’ll be ok, you’ll be ok! I’ll go get help!” Taking the initiative, she ran over to her bike.

A younger boy she didn’t know called after her, “Hey! Where’re you going!?”

“I need to get her parents! Go across the street and ring the bells on the houses. Find somebody to call 9-11!”

The boy seemed to obey, grabbing his own bike and heading across the street from the park. She winced as she climbed atop her own. It was going to be a long four blocks.

She pumped her legs as hard as she could, until they burned, her feet almost leaping off the pedals at times, as if the bike itself couldn’t keep up. Finally she reached her friend’s house across the street from her own. She ran to the door and in a flurry of words explained what had happened.

Rainey’s parents left in a hurry, and she likewise went back on her bike. She followed but soon lost their car from view. Her back was aching, and her legs were spent. When finally she returned to the park she saw an ambulance, many more people huddled around, and paramedics tending to her friend while trying to get her to answer questions.

She got off her bike and rushed over to her, but was stopped by her friend’s father, held back like the other kids. In the background she heard some unknown boy ask, “Why did you come back here? You sure have some nerve!”

She looked his way, confused, and he persisted.

“You’re the one that did this! And now you came back?”

She looked around her at a lot of staring eyes. At some point a paramedic asked her what happened, and although she told them, and pointed to the huge chunk of metal that had struck her, it was all as if she was being accused, and they didn’t hear what she explained.

“I didn’t do it on purpose…she’s my friend,” she stammered. “I just pushed her on the swing.”

“How did you push her, exactly?” one of the uniformed adults asked.

“Like we always push…we push and we spin the chain…and…”

The loud kid spoke up again. “She did it on purpose!”

“No, I didn’t!” Her fear was turning to anger. “I wouldn’t hurt my friend! I got hurt too!”

“You ran away because of what you did!”

“I ran to get help!”

“Help came and you weren’t here!”

_ _

The tears made pools in her eyes. Her friend was taken to the hospital while she rode home alone, vision clouded with rolling water, the sounds of that condemning kid re-playing in her ears. The paramedics didn’t so much as ask to see her back. She thought it would have proved that she didn’t do it on purpose. How could they all think that?

Even so, when her friend had gotten home, she wouldn’t speak to her. It was a very long time before she’d get to play with her again.


#37

I honestly didn’t know anyone played this. I’ve asked people before but nobody knew what I was talking about.


#38

This feels like a moment where you think back and knew you could’ve said something differently and get angry at yourself.

I hate that kid


#39

Didn’t those idiots see you going for help?


#40

I remember there were more people there after I got back. I didn’t see the kid I sent off to go ring house bells, and I don’t know who that other kid was. It honestly was as if everyone thought I did it purposefully, and that the tire was not meant to be spun but only swung back and forth like a typical swing…and I should know better. The tire hung down horizontally and you’d put your butt in the hole and your legs on either side of one of the chains. The three chains were attached to a giant nut about the size of a dinner plate on a metal bar overhead. It didn’t actually “break” that I could tell…looking back on it later in life it appeared to me that the thing simply unscrewed itself from the beam during the spins.

The tire attachment eventually got replaced with an all-new apparatus that was not a nut o could unscrew, but to this day I think people honestly thought I did that on purpose as some kind of cruel joke.

I don’t know what really happened to Rainey…how hurt she was. I know she hurt her back pretty bad but she did come home I think same day. Nothing was really ever the same between Bree, Rainey, and I after that.