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Fiction from Petaluma bookstore’s summer writing contest

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Summer writing contest From Fiction

Fiction from Petaluma bookstore’s summer writing contest

Fiction from Petaluma bookstore’s summer writing contest

(1 of ) Writer Bella Schlitt, with Lee the Octopus, the inspiration for the original short story 'Slippers and Suction Cups'

Fiction from Petaluma bookstore’s summer writing contest

(2 of ) SLIPPERS AND SUCTION CUPS: Bella Schlitt reads her original story at Copperfield's Book Store in Petaluma.

BELLA SCHLITT

SPECIAL TO THE ARGUS-COURIER | September 1, 2017, 12:11AM

| Updated 5 hours ago.

Earlier this summer, Copperfield’s Books in Petaluma launched a young people’s writing contest, in which each participant drew story “prompts” from a hat, each listing the name of an animal and its species, and a few details about where it lives and what it enjoys doing. On August 11, winners were announced, and many of the participants read their stories out loud. Over the next few weeks, the Argus-Courier will be reprinting some of the winning stories. Congratulations to all participants – and as writers ourselves, we encourage you all to keep on writing.


LEONORA — OR ‘LEE,’ FOR SHORT — WAS A TEN-YEAR-OLD OCTOPUS. SHE LIVED IN THE LOUD, BUSTLING CITY OF NEW YORK WITH HER MOM, DAD, AND LITTLE SISTER, JULIA. IN THIS WORLD, HUMANS AND ANIMALS LIVED ALONGSIDE EACH OTHER IN PEACE, BUT DIDN’T DO EVERYTHING TOGETHER. LEE WAS A FIFTH-GRADER AT A SCHOOL FOR ONLY ANIMALS, WHERE YOUR TEACHER COULD BE A BLOB FISH, OR EVEN A SEA CUCUMBER. IN THIS CASE, THOUGHT, HER TEACHER WAS A LEMUR NAMED MR. MONOCLE. LEE HAD TWO BEST FRIENDS, LEXIE THE PLESIOSAUR AND WENDY THE COCKROACH. IT WAS A FRIDAY IN LATE DECEMBER, AND LEE WAS TELLING LEXIE AND WENDY HOW EXCITED SHE WAS THAT...

“Wait! Let me take over!”

LEE! LEE THE OCTOPUS? YOU CAN HEAR ME?

“Of course I can! It’s my story! Go on your lunch break, relax! I got this.”

WELL, OKAY ... BYE!

“Anyways, I’m going to “The Nutcracker!” It’s a ballette performance.”

IT’S PRONOUNCED ‘BAL-LAY,’ NOT ‘BALL-ETTE.’

“Sure. Now go away.”

SHEESH!

“So, my mom tells me ball-ay is a type of dance. I don’t know much about it, but I think it might be fun, who knows? Oh yeah, I gotta go to the library. See you there!”

LEE TOOK OFF, RIDING HER BIKE SWIFTLY TO THE LIBRARY…

“Why are you still here?”

SORRY!

“I quickly sped past Keen’s Steakhouse, turned onto W. 42nd Street, parked my bike at the New York Public Library, and waited by Patience, the stone lion, who was wearing a holiday wreath. I waited ten minutes and my dad arrived. He beckoned me into the car.

‘Ready for tomorrow? It’s gonna be fun!’ said my dad.

But I wasn’t really listening. I was reading a book about ball-ay. I only looked up when he said, ‘I brought back lemon cheesecake!’

MY cheesecake!

‘Thanks!’ I said, jubilantly…”

WAIT! DID I HEAR CHEESECAKE! I WANT SOME!

“I thought you were having lunch!”

WELL, MY CHEESECAKE SENSE TINGLED ...

“Yeah…bye!”

FINE!

“‘Who are you talking to?’ my dad asked.

‘Ummmm…myself.’

Soon, we were home starting dinner.

‘YUM! I’ve got POTATOES, POTATOES. I’m so HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY! POTATOOOOOS!’ sang my little sister Julia. She was six and really obnoxious. Really SUPER obnoxious. I groaned.

After a game of Trivial Pursuit and some delicious cheesecake, I was tucked into bed, excited for tomorrow.

I woke up super late, at noon, and was served a big breaklunch…or LunchFast?

Soon, we were in the car, headed for Lincoln Center. I even used camouflage to turn black for the occasion. As the lights dimmed in the theater, the orchestra started and the dancers began. They moved with such grace and beauty. By the end of the show, I knew dancing was my passion. On the ride home, I asked my mom if I could take ballet lessons, and she said that she knew a ballet teacher, and that I could start tomorrow!

The next day we bought ballet slippers - one for each tentacle – and a bag filled with supplies. We arrived at the studio just in time. My teacher, Miss Natalia, who was human, said, ‘First position!’ I did what the small lynx next to me was doing, and tripped. I got back up and blushed pink, inking myself slightly.

Earlier this summer, Copperfield’s Books in Petaluma launched a young people’s writing contest, in which each participant drew story “prompts” from a hat, each listing the name of an animal and its species, and a few details about where it lives and what it enjoys doing. On August 11, winners were announced, and many of the participants read their stories out loud. Over the next few weeks, the Argus-Courier will be reprinting some of the winning stories. Congratulations to all participants – and as writers ourselves, we encourage you all to keep on writing.

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