“Green Bean and the Lousy Lemon Rain Boots” Draft One

10 Jul

Here is draft one of my story–a whopping 2,500 words.  Can I get it down to 1,000 words by next week?  Stay tuned…

“Green Bean and the Lousy Lemon Rain Boots”

    Green Bean looked out the window at her sopping wet front yard.  “Ugh, another rainy day,” she complained.  It was the first week of summer break and it had rained the last two days!  Green Bean went to the hall closet to get her rain boots on.  Green Bean hated getting her feet wet.  When she wiggled her foot in, something just didn’t feel right.  “Oh, no, there’s a hole in my heel!  Mama, my boots are broken!”

   “Come on Green Bean and eat your breakfast.  We’ve got to get you to Gran’s house so I can get to work,” replied Mama from the kitchen.

   Bean hurried to the kitchen with her holey boot still on.  “Clop, thunk, clop,” sounded the boot with each heavy step.

   “Mama, there is no way I can go to Gran’s without my boots.  My feet might get wet,” whined Bean.  “This day is going to be the worst!”

   “Oh, Bean, come on and eat,” guided Mama.  “We’ll have to get you another pair of rain boots, but for now your feet will just have to dry if they get wet.” 

   Bean sat down at the table to eat her cereal, while Mama went to get baby Jack ready for the day.  Bean ate a few bites and then began to dunk the oats under the milk. “Man, oh, man.  I hate rainy days,” she complained. “I’m going to be as wet as my cereal.”

~~~

   Green Bean the Brave was awoken by loud knock at her cottage door.  Through the peephole she could see Fedora the Ferret; raindrops were falling quickly from her purple hat.  Fedora was the fastest mail deliverer in the entire kingdom—come rain or shine.  Bean opened the door, eager to get her mail.

   “Special delivery from Princess Josie for Green—Ah, ah, ah, choo!” sneezed Fedora.    “Oh, my, Green Bean the Brave.”

   “You don’t sound so good, Fedora,” sighed Bean.  “Is there anything I can do to help?”

   “Oh, no, no,” Fedora replied with a sniffle.  “Only one more delivery out to Toad Cave and I am done for the day.  Thank heavens I will be out of this rain.”

   “Isn’t that on the farthest end of Lake Centipede?” asked Bean with concern.

   “Yes, indeed.  It is quite a trip.  It takes me half the day.  I only make it out to see Bello the Snail about once per week.  Poor Snail doesn’t have much company these days out at the Lake.  If I don’t make it there, he will be very disappointed,” replied Fedora sadly. Just then, the package meant forToad Cave shimmied right out of Fedora’s mail bag and onto the porch with a thud! 

   “What in the world is in there?” asked Bean with surprise. 

   “I don’t know.  I just know it’s a special delivery and it must make it to Bello by noon today,” informed Fedora.   

   “Fedora, do you think I could deliver the package for you?” asked Bean.  Bean had no sooner offered to help when she felt a bit of regret.  It was raining and she was afraid to get wet!  Fedora agreed with relief.  She really needed to get home and into her warm bed.     

   They said goodbye and Bean stood on her porch examining the package.  It was brown and about the size of shoe box.  On the side was a sticker that read “Fragile: Do not shake!”  The top had several small holes just big enough for a pencil’s end to fit through.  Bean tried to peep through the holes to see what was in side, but it was too dark.  “I guess I’ll see when Bello opens it,” thought Bean as she prepared for her delivery.

  Bean first put on her rain coat, then her rain hat, then her rain boots.  She finished off her outfit with a scarf and some mittens.  No rain was going to touch her!

   Bean stepped off her front porch—umbrella in hand.  She hopped, skipped and jumped to stay out of the puddles.   There was a big puddle right in front of her bike.  She tiptoed around it slowly.  She did not want to get wet!  She taped the umbrella to her handlebar and off she went with the package nestled safely in her bicycle basket.

   Bean wished the sun was out.  She loved going to Lake Centipedeon her bike when it was warm outside.  She had never been toToadCavethough.  Bean rode fast down the wet sidewalk towards Windy West Drive.  It would take her all around the Lake to Toad Cave.  “Swish, slosh, slew,” went her tires in the sloppy wetness of the road. 

   The umbrella was doing a great job of keeping Bean and the package dry.  She was feeling pretty proud of herself, when the wind of Windy West Drive began to blow.  “Hawoo, shawoo, hamoo,” howled the wind, which blew right into Bean’s face.  Bean could feel little bits of wind through her raincoat and it was cold!  She could not wait to get to get off Windy West Drive and onto Rusty Tie Bridge, which would take her across   Lake Centipede.  She could park her bike on the bridge and take a short rest out of the rain.

   Bean could see the Bridge, when a huge gust of wind blew her umbrella up, up, up!  Bean thought the wind might turn her bicycle into a kite!  But instead of picking the bicycle off the ground, the wind blew the umbrella off the bicycle and into Lake Centipede.

   “Oh, no!” cried Bean.  “We’re going to get soaking wet!”  She hurried to get the package underneath her raincoat.  “Now, how am I going to ride my bicycle and keep this package dry?” Bean’s head started to get very wet and she knew she had to think of something fast.  She began to walk, steering her bike with one hand, the other hand holding the package close under her coat.  “What a no good day,” thought Bean.

   “Tute, tute, tute,” sounded a boat in the distance. 

   “That’s it! I can take a boat to Toad Cave in stead,” thought Bean as she hurried towards the boat.  As she got closer, she saw a tall beaver pulling up the anchor from the water and onto the deck of the boat.  Then, the boat began to leave the shore.

   “Wait, wait!” yelled Bean as she hurried towards the boat.  Luckily, the beaver saw her coming and stopped to wait.

  “Hello, welcome to Beaver Ferry.  I’m Captain Kantu the Beaver.  Come on aboard,” waived the Beaver.

  “Hello, I’m Green Bean the Brave.  I need a ride to Toad Caveand a way out of this rain!  Can you help?” asked Bean.

   “I can’t help the rain and I don’t usually go all the way to Toad Cave, but maybe I can make an exception.  I haven’t had many passengers on my ferry since they finished Rusty Tie Bridge.  Now people don’t need to take the ferry across Lake Centipede,” said Kantu with a sigh. “It is a long trip to Toad Cave, you know.”

   “This is a very important delivery for Princess Josie.  She would be very thankful for your help,” pleaded Bean.  The package began to shake under Bean’s raincoat.  She could not wait to get it to Bello the Snail.

   “It would be my honor to escort you across Lake Centipede,” he replied.  “I can tell you the story of how the Lake got its name on our way.  Are you afraid of monsters?”

   “Monsters?” asked Bean with a shiver.

   “You know, most people think Lake Centipede got its name because it’s shaped like a centipede.  Well, that’s not why,” began Kantu.  “My family, the Beavers, have been running this ferry for longer than you’ve been alive.  My Grandpa told me the true story one rainy day just like this.”  Bean completely forgot about the rain as she listened to the story. 

   Kantu continued, “Once, when my Grandpa was a just a little beaver, he was swimming in the Lake and collecting tree branches that had fallen into the water.  He was going to help his father make a damn.  All of a sudden, he saw a huge creature out of the corner of his eye.  It was long like a snake, but it had many feet like a centipede.  The lake monster was the color of a penny on top and slimy like mud on the bottom.  One minute the monster was staring him in the face, the next it was gone.  Oh boy, my Grandpa was so scared he dropped all of his wood and swam straight to shore.  He wouldn’t get in the water for a week after seeing the monster.  But, you know, he lived on the Lake the rest of his life and never saw the monster again.”

   Bean’s wide eyes stared at Kantu in amazement.  “Have you seen it?” asked Bean.

  “Maybe once.  I’ve swam in the Lake a thousand times.  Sometimes I think I see a head or maybe a tail sticking out from the water.  I don’t know if the Monster of Lake Centipede is nice or mean, but I don’t want to find out!”

   “A ten legged monster snake is the last thing I need today,” thought Bean as she looked out across the lake.  The rain splashed on the water and small waves came up against the side of the ferry.  Could a monster really be out there?  

   Slowly the rain turned from downpour, to a drizzle, to drops.  The sun peeked out from behind the clouds and the morning began to brighten and warm.   Bean had dried out from the rain and she was even able to take off her raincoat, rain hat, scarf and mittens. 

  “We are almost there,” said Kantu with excitement.  “Look, there beyond those rocks isToad Cave.”

   Bean looked and looked, but all she saw were huge rocks at the edge of the water.  The rocks were taller than her house. “I don’t see a cave,” said Bean with confusion.

   “Oh, no, you have to go in between those rocks there and into Toad Cove, then at the end of Toad Cove is Toad Cave.  My ferry is too big to fit through the opening of Toad Cove.  It’s just a short swim.  You can do it,” instructed Kantu.

  Bean’s stomach began to twist in knots.  Was she getting sea sick?  “What do you mean?  I have to get into the water and swim?  The package will get wet and the monster may get me!” shrieked Bean.  She was not feeling very brave at the moment as she thought about the adventure a head of her.

  “You could always make a small boat from wood or climb the rocks,” suggested Kantu.  

   “But it’s nearly noon.  I have to get the package there fast!” explained Bean.  She thought and thought of an answer to her problem.

   “Do you mind if I take a quick dip in the water, Bean?  I’m getting hot in this sun,” said Kantu.

  “That’s it!  Kantu, can you give me a ride toToadCaveand then I can hold the package?” asked Bean.  She knew she may get wet again or get eaten by the monster, but she had to be brave and deliver her package. 

   “That just might work,” replied Kantu.  And so Bean balanced the package on her head and she held onto Kantu’s back.  “The water is cool and refreshing—not bad at all,” thought Bean.

   They made it easily through the rock passage.  Toad Cove was very quiet.  The water was still and the only sounds were of Kantu paddling through the water. Bean looked around carefully for the Monster of Lake Centipede.

   They arrived on the rocky shore to find a small snail waiting for them.  His shell was the color of an ice cube and he wore thick, black glasses.  Bean and Kantu introduced themselves to the snail. 

  “Right on time.  I’m so pleased you made it with my package.  I am Bello the Snail,” said the little, old snail.  “Open the package, open it!”

   It was the moment Bean has been waiting for all day.  She gently took the lid from the package and swoosh!  Out flew a white pigeon.  It flew straight for the water and took a big drink. 

   “Ah, just in time for Pigeon’s lunch,” said Bello with joy. “I’m so happy Pigeon has arrived.  Now I can send my snail mail everyday!  Fedora could only pick up my mail once a week.  Pigeon can take my messages into town whenever I want!”

   “This has been an adventure to deliver your package, Bello.  I had to be brave in the rain and swim in the Lake with the monster,” informed Bean.

   “Do you mean you are afraid of Breyella the Centigator?” askedBello. 

   “The centiwhata?” asked Bean.

   “Breyella is a Centigator.  She is one of a kind as far as I know.  I don’t know how or when she came to live at Lake Centipede, but she has been here longer than any of us,” informed Bello.  “Poor thing, she is afraid of everything—sunlight and ski boats and swimmers.  She didn’t have a mother and father growing up, so no one taught her how to get rid of fears.  She is the shiest creature I have ever met, so she doesn’t come around much.”

   “So we don’t need to be afraid of her after all,” said Bean with relief.  “She’s more afraid of us, than we are of her.  I wish I could tell her not to be afraid—to be brave.”

   “Maybe one day you will have the chance,” said Kantu. 

  

~~~

   Bean dunked her last cookie into her glass of milk.  “Gran, this turned out to be a great day, even with all this rain.  Thanks for playing with me,” smiled Bean. 

   “You’re welcome, Bean.  You have quite the imagination, my dear,” said Gran.

   “When is Mama going to be home?” asked Bean.

  “Soon, Green Bean.  She had to stop by store on her way home,” replied Gran as she patted Bean’s head.  Just then the front door opened and Mama walked in with a box in one hand and a drippy wet umbrella in the other.

   “Mama!  I’ve missed you!” squealed Bean as she ran to hug Mama.

   “I missed you, Green Bean,” she said, taking Bean into her arms.  “How was your day?”

   “Great!  Gran is the best at pretend,” replied Bean.

   “I’m glad your day has brightened up—even with the rain,” said Mama.   

   “The rain is not so bad, Mama.  I’m not afraid.  I can get wet because I can dry!” said Bean.

   “I have something for you,” said Mama as she opened the box.  She pulled out a pair of shiny, green rain boots. 

   “Wow, Mama!” exclaimed Bean.  “They are perfect!”  Bean put on her green rain boots and headed outside.  Bean stepped off the porch.  She hopped, skipped and jumped right into the puddles!

 

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