Friday, 12 February 2010

6 - The Royal We: Best Friends

The Royal We: Write a first person-plural narration of an event from the POV of a close-knit couple (not necessarily lovers or opposite sex). This means the narratice should sound a bit like this:

We found the body in the outhouse, and Jenny got the can of gasoline from the garage while Benjamin removed all the toilet paper folls stacked up on the door shelves (no sense wasting them).

The reader should not be able to discern who is telling the story - do not use 'I' at all in this exercise (not even in dialog).

too long again - need more practice!

Frank laughs when mother calls us in from the garden. It’s just as well she didn’t notice. We often get into trouble when we are together, but it’s better than playing alone. We have some good times. Frank doesn’t really have anywhere else to go, so he usually stays over. We don’t mind sharing our things, and we don’t like Frank’s house. It’s old and cold and quiet, with a high roof and stone walls, and no one who lives there ever seems to be at home when we visit. It scares us and so we’ve only been there a few times. Frank had to move there, and is supposed to stay there all the time, but no one checks. It says Frank on the wall and so everyone thinks he must be there.

“Coming!” We get up quickly and run indoors.

“Have you washed your hands?”


Jacob talks more loudly. Frank is mischievous but shy. We get on well because we can help each other out that way.

We go indoors, and mother greets us over her shoulder then starts dishing out dinner. As usual she’s only set us one place, but we don’t mind sharing – we’ve been sharing for months and we’re used to it. If we mentioned it she’d get upset, and we hate it when that happens.

Mother never seems to notice, and she always gives us a big portion anyway. She says Jacob is a growing boy, and we suppose Frank must be too.

We finish in double quick time. Frank eats the cabbage, as Jacob doesn’t like it all that much. Mother is very impressed and we get a big slice of chocolate cream pie. She won’t let us eat it in the lounge – she knows that Frank will leave a mess. Jacob is tidy but when Frank is around you can’t tell that. We cancel each other out.

After dinner we go and play in the garden. There’s a miniature swing-boat, but we’re not very good at making it go. We used to be good at it, but somehow we can’t manage it any more. Mother says that life will get more difficult as we get older, and we think this must be what she means.

The swings are fun, though, even if it’s not the same as sitting on the swing-boat together – Jacob offers to push Frank, but Frank prefers to watch. Frank gets sick easily, and we don’t want to waste any of the pudding.

Our next door neighbour’s cat Smoky jumps over the fence. He hisses at Frank, and won’t let Jacob near him much either. He’s a miserable old animal – we used to feed him from our secret stash, but when we ran out of things he liked he wouldn’t forgive us. Frank tries to pick him up, but the cat slips through his fingers. At least we didn’t get scratched.

Later on we go indoors. Frank wants to stay outside, but really it’s too cold. Jacob is tired and shivering even if Frank never notices the frost. We used to be scared of the dark, but we’re not any more. If we stay together, then we’re both braver.

Frank thinks of a surprise for mother, and we creep upstairs. Frank is best at creeping, and even Jacob can’t hear his footsteps. Frank starts to order Jacob about, but Jacob doesn’t mind. We imagine the look on mother’s face and grin at each other.

“Sweetie, you tidied your room!” Mother is surprised when she comes up. We think she might cry, but she looks happy too. We look at each other and shrug. Neither of us understands parents.

“We both did,” we say, and smile proudly. It’s not really true. Frank had to sit still while Jacob picked up his toys, because Frank makes a mess everywhere he goes. He’s terrible at picking things up. But Frank did tell Jacob how to sort them out, so we did it together really.

Mother looks a little sad. “You’re a very brave little boy,” she says. Jacob thinks she is talking about Frank, but later on Frank says she meant Jacob. Maybe she meant both of us, though neither of us really understands what she means.

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