Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Super Snooper Blogfest

It's time for the Super-Snooper Blogfest, hosted by the lovely Alison, and (drum roll...) I'm actually posting on time!

The idea of this fest is to describe a setting that tells something about a character's personality. Tell us about the character through his or her stuff.

My entry is, of course, another episode of the Happy Acres saga. No setup necessary. It's kinda long, but I hope you enjoy it anyway!


“Are we still clear?” I asked, my fingers itching to rummage.

“Yep,” Tessa replied, pirouetting and tossing sparkly confetti.

We have a new inmate at Happy Acres, and as is our tradition when someone new joins our little family, we must ransack his property in order to learn his deepest darkest secrets.

“Is Bill still distracting Nurse Cratchit?” I asked.

“Yes, yes, yesssss!” Tessa sang, continuing her hallway dance in a glittery cloud.

“Stop it, Tessa. You will draw attention to our tripsie into Mr. Artie’s stuffs,” Mia said, waggling a finger at Tessa by way of chastising her.

I surveyed New Guy Artie’s room. His bed sported crisp, sharp hospital corners, flat, smooth blanket, and wrinkle-free pillow case. I had no clue how he managed to sleep on the pillow but leave no wrinkles. My pillow resembled the rest of my bed - utter disarray.

“Are you finding anything funsies, Em?” Mia asked in a stage whisper from the hall where she and her zombies worked diligently on another crayon wall mural.

“Any cupcakes?” Tessa asked.

“No. I don’t think he’s the cupcake type,” I said. “Maybe lima beans, but not cupcakes. What’s going on out there?”

Artie’s nightstand was laid out like a graph paper grid. Back left quadrant = square-based lamp placed equilateral to the corner of the nightstand; front right quadrant = square-based clock, also equilateral to the corner; back right quadrant = square box of tissue (Puffs Plus with lotion!), again equilateral to the corner; front left quadrant = an empty spotless plastic cup (no glass allowed, we might break it and slit our wrists, or each others’ throats), also square-based and also (big surprise) equilateral to the corner.

I sensed a theme with this guy.

Tessa did a little jete then leaned in the doorway. “Bill and T-Bone are confusing Nurse Cratchit. She doesn’t know which personality she’s talking to,” she said, giggling.

“And Simon is trying to recruit Mr. Artie to his royal courtsie,” Mia said.

From my search so far, I’m guessing Mr. Artie won’t be Simon’s court jester.

I pulled open the nightstand drawer and found a notepad perfectly centered inside the drawer and framed by a pen on one side and a pencil on the other. Otherwise, the drawer was empty. Hmm. So far, so boring.

I turned my attention to the desk. The left side cubby contained an arrangement of textbooks: accounting, financial investment, Excel, IRS tax code, and I don’t know what else because I lost interest. The right side cubby was full front to back with what must be the complete collection of Louis L’Amour, organized alphabetically by title.

The top of the desk held a laptop, perfectly centered, and polished to a high shine.

“Come on, Artie,” I said to myself. “There’s got to be something in here to save you from terminal dullness.”

A calendar hung on the wall, but not one with pretty pictures of gardens or beaches of the world, or national parks or even naked women (or men). No, this calendar was the height of utilitarian – word of the day. Today’s word: ineffable. I wanted to add to the definition: Not Artie.

“Oh!” Tessa said, sounding like a hoot owl. “Cratchit’s coming! Hurry!”

I stood back to make sure nothing was out of place, and that’s when I saw it, something tucked in one of the books, just barely jutting above the pages. I pulled the book out and pinched the thing, sliding it out and discovered a photograph. A pretty dark-haired young woman stood in front of a house with a smiley, curly-headed little girl in her arms. The little girl waved at the camera.

“Hurrying up now would be extra good, Em,” Mia said in a sing-songy voice from the hall.

I swallowed hard and slid the picture back into the book, then pushed the book back onto the shelf. Damn, I hate when I find the new guy has a soft mushy spot. It means I have to play nice.

Tessa met me at the door and took my hand, swinging me into a twirly dance move just as Nurse Cratchit caught up with us, none the wiser. She gave us a suspicious once over, humphed at us, then continued down the hall, her practical rubber-soled shoes squeaking her progress on the brown linoleum.

There you have it! No go check out the rest of the entries!


Francine Howarth said...


No doubt about it, Arnie's anal-retentive! ;)


Alison Stevens said...

I'm with Francine... he borders on OCD. :)

This was great! Thanks so much for participating!

Anonymous said...

I think this guy would be sooo hard to live with!
Maybe his compulsive tidiness caused the woman in the photo to leave him?

Debra Ann Elliott said...

You left me wanting to

Erinn said...

Very cool. I want to read more.

Don't forget your signed up for the Gone but Not Forgotten Blogfest! Friday March 4.

Angela Scott said...

A perfectionist. Everything has its place. Those kind of people annoy me :)

Tessa Conte said...


*does twirl*

Lima beans, huh? Are you sure we can have funsies with this guy, M? I'd much rather have cupcakes.

With glittery frosting.

*skips away*

Alexis said...

Sounds like he would give my Tullio (who my entry is about) a run for his money in the OCD department.

Michael Di Gesu said...

I agree with Francine.... ANAL!

Julie Hedlund said...

I think he's somebody who's gone crazy from grief after losing the woman and the child. He is OCD in an effort to keep everything under complete control after a tragic loss. I felt bad for him right from the beginning. Excellent!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

ooh! Great tension and voice you've got going on here! Play nice, hu? Are they detectives? Um, assassins? Curiouser and curiouser! :)

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

Donna Hole said...

I'm guessing he's there for OCD :)

That was a lot of fun to read.