Drummer Boy (1872)

It’s CONTEST TIME over at Susanna Leonard Hill’s wonderful blog, http://susannahill.blogspot.com/ – this time a 4th of July mystery, in 400 words or LESS!  I chose the Less option, three whole words Less!  And now, without further ado (drum roll please), may I present

Drummer Boy (1872)

Eddie rushed out the door as the shrill whistle blew. “A holiday,” he shouted, “and I’m drummin’ in the parade!” RAT-A-TAT-TAT! RAT-A-TAT-TAT!

He scurried up steep Pine Street; past the courthouse, with red, white and blue bunting like skirts on washday billowing in the breeze.

The scent of strawberry shortcake made Eddie’s mouth water as he skipped by Aunt Peg’s cottage. Uncle Mick waved a greeting from the ivy-clad porch.

With a quick “hi” to Ma, Eddie entered the steam-filled kitchen and grabbed cast-iron pot and wooden spoon. RAT-A-TAT-TAT!

“Stop! Shuck peas first, ” Ma commanded.

“Can’t,” answered Eddie, heading toward the door. “Mr. Lear says we gotta practice. And ya know it’s my first parade.” RAT-A-TAT-TAT!

“Not with my favorite spoon you don’t,” replied Ma, grabbing it to stir lima beans bobbing in rich brisket broth.

Now where are those drumsticks? Eddie wondered. He searched parlor, over mantel and around Gran’s rocker, and pantry, between jars of jam, pickles and last summer’s tomatoes. RAT-A-TAT-TAT!

Rhythmic beats echoed through the house. “My drum sticks!”

Eddie bounded up the stairs, two at a time. “LouLou, gimme those sticks!” LouLou crouched in her crib, stroking the rails with the featherless tail of Goose, her favorite wooden duck. RAT-A-TAT-TAT!

Eddie closed the door as LouLou continued her song. He glanced through lacy curtains and spied Uncle Mick, with knife and…

“My drum sticks!” Eddie leapt down the stairs and crossed the street in three strides. RAT-A-TAT-TAT!

Uncle Mick chuckled. “Your drum sticks? Guess I’m gettin’ good at whittlin’ if this knobby ole branch looks that smooth!”

Eddie collapsed on the cool stone steps and mopped his sweaty brow. He swatted the wet nose nudging his arm. Smoke yipped and dropped…

“My drum stick!” Eddie exclaimed! RAT-A-TAT-TAT!

Smoke chomped on the stick and streaked through the garden like a storm cloud raging across a steamy summer sky. Over Mrs. Asher’s white-picket fence, past Mr. Smith’s prize-winning roses, between steeples that towered like blue-coated sentries, Smoke charged. RAT-A-TAT-TAT!

Eddie finally cornered the mutt as the pair reached bustling Market Street. Smoke clenched the stick between bared teeth, smiling as he darted behind Mr. Lear.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Lear,” Eddie panted. His head hung low; his shoulders slumped.

“Sorry? For what? Practice’s just startin’,” Mr. Lear replied. “Here’s your drum sticks; now let’s get ready for that 4th of July parade!” RAT-A-TAT-TAT! RAT-A-TAT-TAT!

20 responses to “Drummer Boy (1872)

  1. Love it. Perfect setting. And i love that that surprise ending!

  2. Wonderful story, Patricia! So many vivid details! You did a great job of bringing it to life in so few words! Great ending too 🙂 Thanks so much for joining in the fun!

  3. Beautifully written! It’s fun to follow along as he searches for his drumsticks. I love how so many of the senses are described and how the RAT-A-TAT-TAT continues through the story. Wonderful dialogue and a great ending. Excellent! 🙂

  4. What fun to play the drums for a 4th of July parade! Good thing that silly dog, Smoke, decided to give the sticks back to Eddie. 😉

  5. Pamela Courtney

    I enjoyed reading this story, Patricia. So glad that Mr. Lear had drumsticks for Eddie all along. I love the way you use words, beautifully despcriptive.

  6. Mary Grainger

    I’d love to see this story published with the illustrations that your descriptive words have created in my “mind’s eye”! Thanks for sharing it on this holiday.

  7. Happy 4th of July. RAT-A-TAT-TAT!

  8. Great descriptions and I loved how he kept thinking he heard HIS drumsticks…perfect 4th of July story, Patricia.:)

  9. Great minds think…. We both used a pot/saucepan! 😆 I love your descriptions, I could almost taste the’ lima beans bobbing in rich brisket broth’. Best of luck with the contest!

  10. Such lovely imagery! Thanks for taking us all back in time. You really gave us a sense of time and place in this story. Well done!

  11. Phew. . . I’m so glad Eddie finally had his drumsticks! Loved the action in your story, Patricia!

  12. It’s always the last place we look!! Cute story, Patricia.

  13. Full of sounds, scents and sights! Lovely!

  14. How funny that he was so desperate to find them that EVERYTHING seemed to be his missing drumsticks! Glad he finally got to be in the parade!

  15. Very fun! I could picture each scenario. You captured 1872. Great entry.

  16. Lovely story! I knew you were talking about drumsticks (for a drum)–but I kept picturing hitting a drum with chicken legs! (That’s what I get for being hungry while reading.) 🙂

  17. I really enjoyed the historical setting and the sound effects. Terrific.

  18. I like your story angle of having a drummer in the 4th of July parade!

  19. I like the search for his drumsticks. How exciting to drum in his first parade 🙂

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