Writing 101: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else. Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call!
I began this wanting to write the contrast between how the mom would describe her day and how the kids would describe the day, but it became something different. I still like it, though.
Frida nearly jumped out of her skin when Bob quietly slid in the door and smiled. “Hey honey.”
Normally, Big Bob’s voice carried through the house, the neighbors house, and possibly even all the way to The White House. Loud voices was something of the norm around here; screaming baby, rowdy tween boys, a bigger than life husband, and a wife yelling over it all just to be heard. A quiet entrance was not the norm, and it startled her something awful. But after spending the first day of Summer Vacation with her three boisterous kids, she was thankful for the surprise.
“Hello love. How was your day?” but before he could answer, Frida poked her head from behind the pile of clothes she was carrying and said, “Mine was crazy. You’re not even going to believe it!”
She continued walking to the laundry room and Bob followed, putting his briefcase down on the kitchen counter and removing his jacket. He opened his mouth to tell Frida his news but just then the boys ran into the room like a pack of wild animals. He loved them like this. Alive and excited and just happy to see him. It gave him more joy than anything else in the world.
“Did Mom tell you about today?”
“Did you hear about the volcano?”
Frida walked in with a basket of clean clothes, “I was just about to. Now you boys go on and wash your hands for dinner!” She swatted at them with a clean shirt from the basket, but they didn’t budged.
“Tell him, Mom!”
“No I wanna tell him!”
“No, let Mom!”
Bob picked up his youngest and held him close. He smelled like dirt and sweat and chocolate. He started to interrupt, but Frida already began.
“These sons of yours…I don’t know how we’re gonna survive the summer! Benji woke up before the sun and refused to go back to sleep. So, I got up and made him breakfast and while I attempted to load the dishwasher, he managed to get a hold of the syrup and poor nearly half a bottle of Mrs. Buttersworth all over his head!”
Benji looked into his father’s eyes with an ornery smile. He was only two, but the smile on his face proved he knew exactly what his mother was talking about…and he was kinda proud of himself.
“So while I’m giving him a bath…”
“Bath! Bath! Bath!”
“NO! No more bath for you, young man! While I”m giving him a bath, these two knuckleheads get up and start playing on that stupid machine.”
“Oh Dad, it was so cool, we passed that level with the zombies and it unlocked a secret level…”
“Actually, I unlocked it because I’m the one who picked up this box with the key in it…”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, but you only got that because I was killing the zombies…”
“I killed some too! Don’t be a jerk!”
“I’m not! You’re the one who’s acting like the jerk!”
Frida looked back and fourth at the twins and then at her husband who seemed to be enjoying this. “Don’t smile! It’s been like this all day. The fighting between these two. It’s exhausting! But that’s what happened this morning. They started arguing again and then wrestling and the next thing you know my mother’s vase crashed to the ground!”
Bob finally got a word in. He turned to them and gave a stern look, “Boys.”
But Arty, ignored his father’s lecture, and held up his arm, “Look. I think there’s still glass in there.”
Charlie, never to be outdone, lifted his shirt, “I think a piece cut me and went right through my body. See that red spot, Dad?”
“So then,” Frida went on, “I had to clean up that mess.That’s all I do is follow your sons around cleaning up messes! Every single day, all day long…”
Before she could get any further into her rant, Bob held up a hand, “Okay, so what’s this about a volcano?”
“Yeah the volcano!”
“Oh, it was so cool, Dad!”
“Your sons apparently found your old volcano model while snooping in the garage earlier this week. Remember that stupid thing I told you to get rid of?”
Bob nodded. He had worked for hours on the model when he was just a boy, and couldn’t bear the thought of throwing it out. Frida wasn’t thrilled that it was taking up so much space, but she indulged him. She never could say no when he pouted.
“Well, they found it and looked up instructions online on how to make it work. And while Benji was watching t.v. from his play pen and I took the chance to jump in the shower, they decided it was a good time to do this.”
“Oh my God, Dad, you’re not gonna believe this!”
“It’s so cool!”
“Boom is right!”, Frida finished folding her last shirt and looked up at her husband. He saw a sparkle in her eyes, a sort of excitement, that he loved. He knew she was upset with the boys, but also, if they hadn’t been in the room with them she would have admitted that it was pretty cool.
“I just finished my shower when I hear the strangest noise. It was kind of a boom and a splat and a…I don’t know what. But I came running out and here these two were covered in a red crap! It was all over the ceiling and the walls. And it erupted all over my kitchen table and ruined my good table cloth. I don’t know if they used too much vinegar or too much baking soda or what, but it was a disaster!”
“A big disaster!”
“Mom was so mad!”
“I just now finished cleaning up the mess. And look!” She grabbed Arty by the ear, “You still have the crap in your ear! Go wash up.”
But Artie ignored his mom, “Dad, you’ve got to let us show you sometime! It was amazing!”
“Yeah, Dad, can we do it again? You can show us how to do it the right way! It’ll be awesome!”
“It will be outside!” Frida chimed in, giving her husband a warning look.
“Okay, boys. Okay. We’ll figure something out, but not right now, okay. Go wash up for dinner.”
The boys raced down the hall to the bathroom, smacking and tripping each other the whole way. Benji wanted to follow his brothers, so Bob put him down and then walked over to wrap his arms around his wife.
“I love you.”
“I love you, too. Sorry for unloaded that on you as soon as you walked in the door.” She kissed him and touched his cheek, ‘How was your day, love?”
“My day was stressful, too.”
“Maybe not as stressful as yours, but…”
“Well, I doubt anybodies day was a stressful as mine.” She picked up her laundry basket and started to head back to the bedrooms when she noticed something in her husband’s face. “Love? You okay?”
Big loud boisterous Bob took his wife small hand in his and could barely make out the words, “I went to the doctor. They think it’s Cancer.”