“Bucket” – Part Seven

Here it is, the final part of “Bucket”! Buckle up, kids. It’s gonna be a wild ride.

* * *

Time passed, and ​Helena was finished by sunset.

“You ready?” Antonio asked her.

Helena turned around to look at him, and of course, he was busy stuffing a glazed donut​ ​into his mouth. Her gaze fell to the stainless steel work table, which carried a box of Krispy Kreme glazed donuts and her orange Home Depot bucket. Helena sighed and directed her gaze back to Antonio, who was now lounging casually on the yard chair, putting his feet up on the table, and grabbing another donut to eat.

“Yup. Let’s do this!” Helena chirped excitedly.

The bucket’s gas tanks were fully stocked with motor oil, but they were poorly attached. No matter. Helena guessed they would supply the engine enough oil before they fell off.

“Hello? Earth to Helena?” Antonio teased after he swallowed.

Helena continued to inspect every detail of the bucket she knew so well. “Helena-aa!” Antonio hollered, slightly irritated.

“Yeah. Oh. Sorry,” she responded, facing him again.

Helena took one last look at Thomas Bucket and at the strawberry-colored milkshake straws that were superglued to the engine and the tanks. She looked at the old red Polaroid camcorder also superglued to the bucket. She looked at the name Thomas Bucket ​written in her father’s neat handwriting and the message scrawled across the front in her seven-year-old self’s handwriting.

If lost, please return to this ​adres​ address.

The word “address” had been misspelled, crossed out, and rewritten.

A wide smile creeped onto her face. She had waited forever, and the time had come.

Thomas Bucket was going into space.

Helena turned on the camcorder and checked the battery. It was full. Sighing, she then brought the two loose red wires together. ​Please work. Please work.

The engine began to purr.

YES! ​Helena thought to herself. “Superglue, Antonio,” she requested.

Antonio handed her the superglue tube, which was caked with donut glaze. She turned to him and gave him what she liked to call “the look that you give your friend when they screw things up.” Groping for another donut while holding Helena’s gaze, Antonio quirked up a dark eyebrow. “What?” he asked, his mouth full with the second donut.

 

Helena snorted and held out the superglue. “Wipe it.”

“Whatever.” Antonio rolled his eyes as Helena passed him the superglue. He grabbed a napkin and wiped the glaze off of the tube. Helena snatched it clean from his hand, ignoring Antonio’s annoyed grunt. She twisted it open, and superglued the ends of the red wires together, covering the glued ends with a piece of cloth. The engine began to purr. It was loud, but Helena was proud. She glanced at the built-in timer on the engine, which showed that the bucket was set to launch in twenty seconds.

“Yes!” Helena cheered to herself as she sat back down in her chair, put her feet up on the work table, and snatched a glazed donut from the box.

“Hey!” Antonio protested.

“They’re for the both of us. Don’t hog them,” Helena retorted.

“Oo-kay,” he said mischievously.

Starting the final countdown, he yelled “Ten!” Helena joined him at “Nine!” Helena’s mind went back to the highlight of the day, which was when she and Antonio found a rocket engine at a garage sale. She still thought that was incredibly serendipitous and miraculous. It was ​very​ cheap for a rocket engine, and because rocket engines are expensive, it was still priced expensively, at two hundred dollars. She and Antonio had used the Bucket Fund to buy the engine, along with the complimenting wires and two dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts.

Now, Helena and Antonio counted together, “Eight…Seven…”

Helena remembered when she was four, which was when her father gave Helena her bucket for the first time. She had squealed, and her father had asked her to name it. She had looked him eagerly in the eyes and yelled excitedly, “Thomas Bucket!” Nodding, her father had written​ ​Thomas Bucket ​on the bucket.

“Did you know that you can do anything with an empty bucket?” he had asked.

Helena’s eyes had widened. “Like make it go to space?”

At that, her father had chuckled and grinned a bright, toothy smile that spanned from ear to ear. “Of course!”

Helena’s mind returned to the present, where she and Antonio counted, “Six…Five…Four…”

Helena remembered how the sun was setting over the front yard the day when she first received her bucket. Excited to see if her bucket would go into space, she had thrown it up and counted down from ten, but she watched gravity pull Thomas Bucket back down to Earth and back into her front yard. She had crossed her arms and pouted, tears welling in her eyes. Her father had then come to her side.

“You can do it, Helena. I promise.” His voice had been soft, and his smile was fatherly and kind. His hand went to her shoulder, and Helena had smiled. Letting go, he picked up her bucket and handed it to her. “Do you promise you’ll try?” her father asked, looking at Helena intently. His grin grew only brighter.

Looking him in the eyes, she had answered, “I promise.”

Helena then thought of one of her favorite attempts to launch Thomas Bucket into space. She was seven, the sun was setting, and she had used two fire extinguishers to launch Thomas Bucket. Those makeshift engines had gotten the bucket no farther than across the street, and it was tangled in the power lines. That had gotten her grounded for a solid month, but Helena didn’t care. What she cared about was that she made progress and that she started a new tradition: from then on all of her next launches would be at sunset.

 

Back in the present, Helena and Antonio both chanted, “Three…Two…”

Helena remembered all twenty-one attempts to send Thomas Bucket into space. Ever since Helena told him of her plan, which had been a day after the first launch, Antonio had been by her side, watching all of the unsuccessful launches and watching Thomas Bucket fall to the ground in the golden light of sunset. He had always been patient, helping her create new ideas and never giving up on her or on Thomas Bucket. Whenever she was upset about an unsuccessful launch, he would smile, take out his wallet, offer to buy more donuts, and tell her, “Wow. These launches are really breaking the bank, aren’t they?”

This last launch was going to be a tribute to not only her father, but Antonio too.

“One…” the two both chanted. Helena took a deep breath, readying herself.

For that very last time, she and Antonio yelled, “​BLASTOFF!​”

Fire spurted from the engine’s bottom as its purr turned into a thunderous roar. Thomas Bucket launched off of the work table, the engine roaring its loudest roar yet, which could make even lions quiver in fear. The bucket began to shoot toward the heavens at full speed, its superglued attachments threatening to break off. Somehow, they miraculously didn’t fall. The rapidly climbing Thomas Bucket was ascending in all its glory. Soon enough, Thomas Bucket disappeared into the orange, golden sunset sky.

“Good work, Helena!” Antonio praised, excited. Helena turned around and high-fived him. A smile grew on Antonio’s face.

As she turned back to the golden sunset, a sudden realization hit her. Tears pricked at Helena’s eyes, making kaleidoscope patterns in her vision.

Thomas Bucket was in space.

EPILOGUE

The astronaut headed back to her space shuttle, which was not far away. Within her sight was the endless landscape of stars and the patterns on the blue planet, which soothed her.

Amidst all this, a flash of orange caught her eye.

She turned, spotting an orange Home Depot bucket. A Polaroid camcorder was superglued to it and was currently recording the footage of space and the blue planet. Also superglued to the bucket were miniature oil tanks and a rocket engine. Curious, she grabbed it and inspected it. When she turned it around, she found a name written in black permanent marker. She traced a finger over it as she read.

 

It read: ​Thomas Bucket​.

* * *

That’s the end of it! Thank you for bearing with me, and I hope you all had a great start to your 2019!

-Shakesgeek

 

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“Bucket” – Part Six

Hello! Happy holidays, and sorry for the longer-than-expected hiatus! When we last left off, Antonio was taking his Bucket Fund back to Helena!

* * *

HELENA WAS WAITING for Antonio at the garage sale, sitting on the brain beanbag chair with her Bucket Fund in her arms. He was taking forever. While she waited, she eyed the rocket engine hanging from the ceiling. She wondered if the total would add up to two hundred or not. She was frantically trying to form a Plan B in her head. If this didn’t work, would she just have to settle for falling back into the old routine? Would she just have to settle for failure? Would she just have to settle for giving up on this whole bucket thing, as her mother had advised?

No. They would find a way. The two of them were a team, and they would get Thomas Bucket into space. They would. No question about it.

“Hey, Miss Time Bomb! Whatcha thinking about?”

Helena had not noticed Antonio’s arrival. He was carrying his Bucket Fund in his arms. “So, Miss Time Bomb?” he asked.

“It’s nothing,” Helena replied.

Antonio chuckled. “I think it’s hilarious how just a few hours ago, you would have killed me for calling you that.”

Ugh. Helena rolled her eyes. “Whatever, Donut Boy. Now let’s count this money.”

They opened their jars, and so the tedious process of counting money began. They counted every dollar and every cent, and by the time the counting was finished, half an hour had passed, and Helena’s hands smelled very strongly of money. Antonio was counting the last few cents off.

“One ninety two…three…four…five…” he counted. Helena gritted her teeth. Only five more cents! “…six…seven–wait, that’s it?”

I knew this would happen.

“Wait…” Antonio started. He dug his hand into his pocket and fished out a nickel. “We’re good, Helena!”

YES! They could buy the rocket engine!

Helena stood up and went over to the woman with the pixie-cut and got her attention. “We have two hundred dollars and two cents ready for you,” she told her.

The woman’s eyes widened, and her jaw looked like it was going to fall off of her face. “Why do you even need that?” she asked Helena.

Helena smiled. “We’re on a mission,” she simply said.

“Okay, then,” the woman replied, confused.

Antonio arrived by Helena’s side with the money scooped in his arms. “Where do I put this?” he asked the woman. The woman motioned toward the counter. While Antonio put the money on the counter, The woman grabbed a stand-up ladder, unfolded it, and began to ascend. The ladder creaked under her weight. With the most careful of grips, the woman unhooked the engine from the little hook on the ceiling, climbed down the ladder, and handed it to Helena. “Be careful,” she told her. “This thing is tough, but it’s also delicate. This also comes with two small, full oil tanks.” Antonio grabbed the two oil tanks from near the counter.

Helena took the engine with careful hands. It was very, very heavy for its size. She tucked it under her arm as she walked out of the garage with Antonio.

The two of them were sitting in Helena’s front yard. Helena’s worktable was right in front of the two of them. The engine was sitting atop it, as was Thomas Bucket. Two wires were situated in between them, as was the superglue and the two strawberry-colored milkshake straws that were going to be used to siphon gas from the oil tanks to the engine. Finally, there was a red Polaroid camcorder with fresh batteries, which was going to be glued onto the bucket for the purpose of recording the footage of the launch.

Oh, and she couldn’t forget the two boxes of donuts Antonio bought.

This was going to be Helena’s best shot at getting Thomas Bucket into space. She was going to finally going to achieve her childhood dream. She was going to not give up on this bucket thing. She was going to start building.

And so she started.

* * *

I’m so excited to post the end!

And also, thank you all for an incredible 2018! This website wouldn’t be the same without you all reading my stories and supporting them, and I wouldn’t have finished my NaNoWriMo novel without your support! I wish you a great rest of the year!

Adieu,

-Shakesgeek

“Bucket” – Part Five (And NaNoWriMo is Here!)

Here we go!

* * *

ANTONIO WAS RUSHING ​to the door of his house (which was fire truck red) and pounded on it with a firm ​KNOCK KNOCK.

No answer.

Antonio grunted. He needed to get his Bucket Fund!

He gave the door another ​KNOCK KNOCK​.

Still no answer.

Please answer me, Dad. Please.

Then he realized that his mom was at work, and his dad was probably asleep, because his dad always slept at three or four in the morning because he always had meetings in the middle of the night and woke up in the afternoon.

“Rats and donut holes!” Antonio yelled.

Antonio kept looking around for an option. He crouched down and lifted up the welcome mat, expecting to hear the song of house keys jingling. There was no such luck. He took a peek behind a potted plant that was kept inside a messily-painted pot Antonio had decorated when he was in first grade. The jingle of keys was not present there, either. He grunted. Gosh, whenever he needed something important, he couldn’t find it! He groaned in frustration and leaned his forehead against the bright red door. He needed to think.

Think, Antonio. Think! THINK!

Aha!

An idea popped into his head.

He removed his forehead from off of the door and ran to the side of his house, where the familiar short, maroon, wooden gate met him. He looked down at the lock to see if the door was open.

Please be unlocked. Please be unlocked.

There was no chain. The gate was unlocked.

YES!

He opened and closed the gate, running into the backyard. Trying not to trample over his father’s mint patch, he ran around to the back of the house, where the backyard door was. The door was open, but the screen door was shut. He tried to open it, but to no avail. Rats and donut holes!

Antonio groaned. He knew it would come to this. His dad would be sound asleep, and he would be locked outside. Peering into the untidy living room, Antonio noticed that his father was, in fact, awake. He was now wearing a fluffy white bathrobe and fuzzy black slippers. His dark hair was ruffled into a bedhead.

Through the screen door, Antonio asked, “Dad, can you open the door?”

His dad didn’t appear to hear him.

Antonio tried again. “Dad, it’s Antonio! Can you please open the door?”

He thought maybe his dad didn’t hear him until he saw him turn towards the screen door and heard him ask, “Antonio?”

Antonio sighed. “Hi Dad! Can you please open the door for me?”

For a second, nothing happened, and Antonio thought maybe he didn’t hear him again, but his father rose and sauntered toward the door in a sleepy fashion. Antonio heard the ​click​ of the screen door being unlocked, and on the other side, his father opened the door. His tired and dark eyes bored into his, and Antonio suddenly felt so sad for this man, who always stayed up during the wee hours of the night for his job.

“I’m so, so sorry if I bothered you,” Antonio found himself saying.

A sleepy smile formed on his dad’s face. “It’s really okay, Donut Boy,” he told Antonio. “I was planning on going outside to check on the mint anyway. What are you doing here?”

“I’m going over to Helena’s, and just need to get something. I’ll probably be back by the end of the day.”

“Oh. Okay,” his father replied as he stepped past Antonio. “Just make sure to be back at sunset.”

Sunset. Helena liked to make all of her launches at sunset, so Antonio knew he’d be back in time.

“I’ll be back,” Antonio told his dad.

“See you later, Donut Boy.” His father turned his back on him and went to go check on the mint. Antonio didn’t have time to watch him saunter away. He stepped into the house and bolted for the stairs. His running made the whole house shake, and his steps were so heavy that each produced a loud ​BOOM​. When he finally made it up the stairs, he ran through the short hallway until he reached his room.

He opened the door, and what met his eye was the usual: controlled chaos. There was a pile of clothes in one corner, a mile-high pile of papers on his desk, and a ton of random, miscellaneous objects overflowing from under his bed, but Antonio knew where everything was, just like he knew that his Bucket Fund was in the second drawer on the left side of his dresser. Opening the drawer, Antonio’s heart pounded with excitement.

His Bucket Fund was a large jar of money he had collected over the years, including allowance, gifts of money, and spare change. It probably had over a hundred dollars in there. If the two of them pooled their Bucket Funds, they might get two hundred dollars and be able to pay for the rocket engine! Antonio smiled at that prospect, and he also smiled at the prospect of seeing Helena’s joy when Thomas Bucket launched off to space. The two of them had worked together to get to this, and they were so close​. ​SO CLOSE!

But…what if the total didn’t match the price?

What if they had less than two hundred?

Antonio sighed. Self-doubt was trying to eat at him, and he wouldn’t let it happen. Helena and him would just wing it, and if it doesn’t work, they would work around it. They would find a way.

Antonio stood up, the Bucket Fund in his arms.

* * *

Oooh…let’s see if the price will match up. But we’ll have to wait a while for that…

…because NaNoWriMo is here!

Because of NaNoWriMo, I will be ON BREAK for the rest of the month of November! I’ll be back in December, but for now, I’ll be writing as much as I can. Thank you for your patience, and adieu for now! See you in December!

-Shakesgeek

“Bucket” – Part Four

More “Bucket”! When we last left off, Helena and Antonio were going to a garage sale.

* * *

Helena wandered into the garage, expecting to see tables, antiques, and other miscellany for sale. She got exactly that, but there were other, definitely more unexpected items for sale. There were the remote-controlled: a remote-controlled pencil holder; a Roomba with a built-in table with a built-in wooden bowl; and even a remote-controlled mini fridge. There were also the parts: a random timing belt; some oil tanks; random gears; a gas siphon or two; assorted PVC pipes; random, multi-colored wires that followed some obscure, indecipherable code; and the strange, lamp-like thing hanging from the ceiling. There were also the incredibly large: an old 1985 Volkswagen Beetle that was a very unnecessarily fluorescent shade of green (to be honest, Helena really, really liked it); a California king-sized headboard that was patterned with grass; a very, very large cardboard cutout of Michael Jackson; a standard- issue science classroom skeleton; and a giant beanbag chair shaped like a brain that Antonio was trying to buy.

While Helena was scouting around for hidden treasures, Antonio was lounging on the beanbag chair he wanted to buy so much. He was negotiating price with a short, stocky woman with bleached blond hair in a pixie cut.

“How much is this?” he asked.

“Fifty dollars,” she said casually.

Helena saw Antonio look down and heard him mutter, “Rats and donut holes.”

before he looked back up at the woman. “Fifty? Twenty-five,” he countered. The woman shook her head. “Nope. Fifty.”

“Overpriced!” Antonio yelled. “Twenty-five.”

The woman shook her head. “Fine. Forty.”

“Thirty.”

“Forty,” the woman replied with a ​tsk tsk ​and another shake of her head.

“No,” Antonio rebutted. “Thirty.”

Helena decided to turn away from them and looked curiously at the lampish item hanging from the ceiling. It had several iron bars framing around it and on those iron bars sat curious-looking gears and curious-looking tubes. The woman was still arguing about the beanbag chair’s price with Antonio when Helena approached her. The woman seemed to detect her presence, because she cut off Antonio and turned around (Kind of rude, Helena thought to herself). Antonio huffed.

“Did you have a question for me?” the woman asked, a painted smile on her face.

“Yes, I did, in fact,” Helena replied, pointing to the lamplike part on the ceiling of the garage. “What is this?”

“This is my very own invention, soon to be patented. It will change the life of everyone with a car. It is a miniature rocket engine. I’m planning on using it to send cars into space or in the air in flight. I have another prototype, but this one’s up for grabs.”

A rocket engine?

Thomas Bucket could go into space! This is a one-way-ticket to prove that she could follow her dream!

Antonio glanced at her. ​You thinking what I’m thinking?​ His gaze read. Helena nodded in return, thinking of Thomas Bucket.

Putting on her let’s-get-down-to-business face, Helena turned back to the woman. “How much?” She tried to sound as stoic as possible, even resisting the urge to tap her foot, which was something she did all the time when she was excited. On the inside, though, her heart went ​THUD. THUD. THUD. THUD. THUD.

The woman looked like she was going to crack up. Helena watched her face as the corners of the woman’s lips quirked up and down spasmodically several times. As the woman opened her mouth to reply to Helena’s question, a loud laugh escaped from her mouth, causing people to turn around and look at them. “How old are ​you guys?”

Helena’s face bloomed red with embarrassment. Deep inside her, Helena’s anger threatened to bubble to the surface. It was hot and still fresh. Gosh, it made her tempted to yell in the woman’s face. Her heart’s ​THUD​s went even faster. ​THUD​ THUD THUD!​ THUD ​THUD​ ​THUD!

Instead, Helena just gritted her teeth and replied, “Fourteen. But that doesn’t make my question any less valid by any means.”

Long pause. ​Awkward​, Helena thought. The woman raised an eyebrow, cocking her head to one side, and, once again, tried her ​very hardest ​not to laugh. This woman was turning out to be very rude, and neither Helena nor Antonio liked it very much. In fact, Helena was so ticked off that she asked the woman, “What’s so funny?”

The woman furrowed her brow. “What makes you ask something like that?” the woman asked, trying to hide what sounded like irritation. Helena could sense it coming off of her in waves.

“So, how much is the rocket engine?” Helena asked, dodging the woman’s question. “That was the initial question.”

The woman sighed, resigned. “Two hundred dollars. It’s ​significantly​ cheaper than most rocket engines, but expensive nonetheless. You probably couldn’t afford it anyway.”

Two hundred dollars.

Goodness gracious.

Helena tried not to show any signs of resignment. She just glanced at Antonio, whose eyebrows were raised. He brought a hand to his face and sighed. Two hundred dollars was a ​lot ​of money. Where would they get two hundred dollars, for crying out loud?

Where would they get two hundred dollars?

Where?

She couldn’t just ask her mother, because what mother would give you two hundred dollars for something like a ​rocket engine​? And her mother wouldn’t even want to fund her bucket–

Fund her bucket.

Fund. Bucket.

Bucket. Fund.

Bucket Fund!

They could use the Bucket Fund!

Helena glanced at Antonio again, and his eyes lit up. He was thinking the exact

same thing.

“Wait a minute,” Helena told the woman. “We’ll be right back.”

* * *

The DRAMA.

See you all next week, where our two young heroes start to take action!

“Bucket” – Part Three

I wrote this post yesterday, but for some reason it didn’t post on here. Maybe it didn’t save or something. Oh, well…

Anyway, it’s bucket time! Where we last left Helena and Antonio, Helena was throwing a temper tantrum.

* * *

HELENA STORMED OFF ​and left Antonio with the donut box. He didn’t who deserve any sort of friendship. He always butted in on her.

But he was trying to help her. No. He wasn’t.

Yes he was. No he wasn’t.

Yes.​ No.​ ​Yes.​ ​NO!

Before she could argue with herself anymore, a tall, lanky shadow fell over her, and she felt two hands on her shoulders. “You forgot your other two donuts,” Antonio pointed out.

Gosh, he just wouldn’t leave her alone.

“Leave me alone!” she spat, turning around.

“I’m your friend,” Antonio replied. “No way I’m leaving you alone.” His logic was painfully off. He then held out the donut box, his eyebrows moving up and down. Helena couldn’t help it. She started to laugh. “You are very invasive, my friend,” Helena replied. Oh, she didn’t know what to think about him.

“You cool now?” Antonio asked.

Helena sighed. Maybe she was. Or wasn’t. She didn’t know yet. “That is to be determined,” she replied.

Antonio walked by her side in silence. She carried the box of donuts and ate the remaining three. Antonio forgot the apple fritter, and knowing that was his favorite donut, she turned to him and told him, “You forgot the fritter.” He wasted no time in snatching it from the box and biting into it. Helena ate the last donut, a jelly-filled donut. Antonio was squinting at something far away.

“What are you looking at?” Helena asked, “and are you sure you don’t need glasses?”

“A garage sale?” Antonio mused to himself. He clearly wasn’t listening to her.

“Antonio!” she yelled. “Listen to me!”

“Ah. What?” he asked. “Oh, never mind. Wanna check it out, Miss Time Bomb?”

“Don’t call me that,” Helena snapped.

“You called me a glutton.” He cocked his head to one side and raised his eyebrows, dark, dark eyes boring into hers. “Huh? What do you say about that, Miss Time Bomb?”

“I told you not to call me that!” she yelled back. Gosh, he got on her nerves sometimes. He merely laughed in return.

“Don’t. Even. Try. Me,” she snapped.

Antonio ran his hands through his dark, shoulder-length hair, and chuckled. “Try what, Miss Time Bomb?”

Helena snapped. She turned on him and was about to shake some sense into him when–

“Hold up,” Antonio said casually as he walked away to recycle the donut box. When he returned, he smiled and waved. “What did I miss?”

Helena swallowed her annoyance back. That would have to wait.

“So, wanna check out the garage sale?” Antonio asked. “There are some treasures at garage sales. Maybe there might even be some spare parts we could use for…” His gaze softened, and he radiated sadness. Even though he didn’t continue, Helena knew what he was talking about. Her rage boiled up again, and she felt like a crackling flame.

“It’s okay,” Antonio answered, knowing exactly how she felt. “We can do it. I promise.”

He opened his arms for a hug. Helena hugged him.

This donut-eating boy was her best friend, whether she liked it or not. Even if he liked to steal her stuff, show off his high English grade, and act super annoying at times, he was still her best friend. He would always stay by her side whenever she tried to launch Thomas Bucket into space, and he would always find ways to help her launch Thomas Bucket into space. The last attempt, which was Antonio’s idea, was close enough to count. They would attach helium balloons. It almost worked, but the bucket was too heavy to lift off of the ground. They tried adding more, and it finally lifted off of the ground, but the wind directed Thomas Bucket toward the side of a cell tower on a nearby hill.

POP!

The balloons all popped, one by one. Even though the balloons popped, it was still the best launch they had ever done.

“Thank you, Donut Boy,” Helena said, still hugging him. “Thank you.”

“That’s a complete switch,” she heard Antonio say, the sound of his voice vibrating in his chest, “but what matters is you’re not mad anymore. Are you gonna let go of me now?”

“Okay. Fine,” Helena replied, letting go of him.

“Garage sale?” Antonio asked, motioning at the sign. A garage sale sounded like a perfect way to procrastinate and not care about your responsibilities, which was the best way Helena wanted to spend her afternoon.

“Yeah.”

* * *

That’s part three! I don’t know what to do now, because NaNoWriMo is in almost three weeks and I’m not ready. At all.

Also, this is really random, but my cousin is getting married today, and I want to give her a shoutout! I haven’t been able to go to her wedding because I live on the other side of the country, but I still wish her the best!

See you all next Friday!

-Shakesgeek

“Bucket” – Part Two

It’s been quite a while since I posted any “Bucket”, so I’m back with part two! To recap, Helena was mad at her mother because she wanted her to give up on sending her bucket into space. Now here we go, where we meet Helena’s best friend Antonio…

* * *

“YOU LOOK UPSET,” Antonio pointed out to Helena. “Why so blue?”

Suddenly, Helena lashed out at Antonio, grabbed his shoulders, and started shaking him. “I! AM! NOT! BLUE!” she yelled in his face. Helena was yelling so loudly that spittle got on his face.

“Okay, you’re green. Purple. Gray. Iridescent. Whichever makes you happy. Pick your poison. By the bye, you’re spitting at me.”

“STOP IT!” she yelled as she shoved Antonio at a nearby tree. Antonio huffed, scowling at the now-stretched shoulders of his donut hoodie. “Rats and donut holes,” he muttered. What was up with Helena today? She yelled a lot, but today she was especially loud.

Understatement of the century.

Antonio ran a hand through his dark hair and adjusted his red beanie. Helena was definitely upset about something.

“Helena, please look at me,” he requested.

Helena turned to him, breathing heavily. Her face was red with anger, and her brown eyes were drowning in fury.

“Calm down,” Antonio said, throwing his hands up and backing away. “Please,” he quickly added.

Wow, was she mad. She looked him in the eye, radiating pure rage. Then, suddenly, her gaze softened. “Words, like time, can’t be taken back,” she spat. How cryptic. Usually when she spoke, she never spoke in sayings or metaphors. Eyeing Helena, he asked, “What do you even mean?”

 

“You heard me,” she bitterly replied. Not a very helpful response, in Antonio’s humble opinion.

“Yes, I know I heard you,” Antonio answered, “but again, what do you mean?”

“I mean what I said,” Helena retorted. She turned away, flipping her golden brown hair. Antonio sighed. Today was not a good day. He really needed several donuts.

Donuts! Eureka!

“A donut for your thoughts,” he asked Helena, pulling out his wallet. “Or maybe a dozen.”

Helena sighed. “I’m only coming for the donuts.”

Antonio opened the box, eyeing the custard donut with chocolate icing. He grabbed it from the box and bit into it, the tender dough and chocolate icing acting as a perfect foil to the creamy custard. He was in donut heaven. Soon, one donut turned into another, and he was lost in them. Every donut was perfect. He didn’t want to stop.

He was about to eat the tenth donut in the box when–

“Antonio, I thought you were buying me donuts,” Helena snapped. She was still angry.

Antonio snapped back into reality and out of donut heaven when he saw Helena motioning at the box. “I’m taking the rest,” she said angrily.

Rats and donut holes.

“Whatever.” He handed her the box, and some of Helena’s anger was erased as she bit into what was supposed to be his tenth donut, which had pink icing and sprinkles. She sighed.

Antonio pounced at the opportunity. “So tell me. What are you upset about, Hele–”

“Nope. Don’t test me,” she snapped with a wave of her hand, cutting her off. She was definitely still angry. No doubt about that.

“I gave you a donut. I gave you three donuts. Can you give me your thoughts?” Antonio asked, trying for the last time. At this, Helena looked like she was actually registering his comment, which was some form of progress.

“Fine. Whatever,” she finally said, caving in. “Yesterday, my mom talked to me about Thomas Bucket. She said that she was worried for my reputation. She told me to give up on the goal. Fine. I told you. Happy now?” She spat the words Happy now?

Antonio sighed. For as long as he could remember, Helena was his best friend. He would always help her with trying to launch Thomas Bucket into space. He would never leave her side, as long as he lived. He gritted his teeth.

“You don’t SEEM HAPPY!” Helena roared at him. Gosh, did she need to calm down. Honestly. She lashed out at him, shaking him again, which caused his beanie to fall off. His sweatshirt shoulders were definitely suffering. “You’re. Not. HAPPY!” she screamed.

“Why would I be?” Antonio snapped back. “This isn’t good news!”

“No DUH! That’s obvious!” she yelled. She was seriously going to rip his sweatshirt.

Please stop stretching the fabric of my sweatshirt. Please.” he began to beg.

“Please stop butting in everything that’s not your business, you glutton.” She shoved him away for the second time that day and stormed off, leaving the donuts behind. Now, it felt that the shoulders of his sweatshirt weren’t the only things that were almost ripped.

He was too.

But he didn’t know what made him pick up his red beanie from off the ground, grab the donut box from the bench, and follow Helena. Maybe it was because he didn’t want to see her so upset. Whatever the case, he still followed her.

* * *

Oh, Antonio. He’s really getting thrown under the bus, isn’t he?

On another note, I just realized that NaNoWriMo is in almost a MONTH. But despite the fact that I’m nervous in a way, I’m really excited to do NaNo again, because it was really fun last year, and I want to be able to do it again.

See you all next week!

-Shakesgeek

 

 

It’s NaNoWriMo Prep Time!

Hello!

I’m sorry if I haven’t been posting lately! As I mentioned before, I had tendinitis in my wrist for a really long time, and I just began to get back into writing…

…just in time for NaNoWriMo prep season!

For those of you who don’t know what that is, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. It’s an event where you have to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November (if you complete 50,000 words, you win). You have to force yourself to push through the writer’s block and write as much as you can, even if your writing sucks (NaNoWriMo calls that “locking away your inner editor”). Last year was my first year doing it, and because I got a really bad sickness during the last five days of November, I clocked in at only 40,630 words. I’m determined to win this year!

I’m going to be a NaNo rebel this year, which means that I’m not going to be working on a brand-new project. I’m going to be working on my novel, The Repository, that I’m 25,000 words in, and I’m going to write 50,000 more words in it. NaNo Prep is different for everyone, and for me it means getting two thousand more words written so I can start NaNo with 25,000 words.

Here’s the synopsis and an excerpt of The Repository:

* * *

SYNOPSIS:

“The year is 2099, and Hero Huston is a rookie illusionist and a member of the Deck Of Shuffled Cards, an underground illusionist society led by the surly Aurelius Sekey. She is chosen to join the Repository, a prestigious facility to train teens to become servants of the good King Ramón I, for reasons unknown. Upon her arrival, she ends up meeting the famed Wick Perkins, who is the United Monarchy Of America’s greatest orator, a seasoned politician, a member of the royal family, and the head of the Repository. He’s a good person, but the only problem with him is that he’s overly curious about the illusions and tricks happening in the streets…”

EXCERPT:

Wick looks back at me. “So, Hero Antonio Huston—”

“Please don’t.”

“—welcome to the Repository. I’ve decided to take over for Yu, as I wanted to personally meet and welcome our first draftee. This is a very pivotal moment in your life, I’m assuming.”

“No duh,” I mutter.

Wick hears me, but he doesn’t seem to care. “As I am blessed to be the leader of this fine establishment, I should give you a tour that others won’t be able to give you. You’re pretty lucky, to be honest.”

Wick Perkins is giving me a tour of the Repository?

Holy cow to the aliens.

“I’m glad you didn’t answer that with muttering.”

* * *

I’m excited to talk about NaNoWriMo and my novel when the time comes! If you’re getting ready for NaNoWriMo or have announced your November novel, feel free to shout yourself out in the comments!

POSTING SCHEDULE CHANGE! I’ve decided to post on only Fridays because I have so many things going on, and I don’t think Monday is going to cut it for me. See you next Friday!

An Apology

Hello!

Happy Labor Day weekend! I haven’t posted here in a while, and I’m sorry about that. The reason why is because I currently have tendinitis in my wrist.

My wrist has been in horrible pain for about three weeks now, and I’ve been wearing it in a brace and doing ergonomics. I happen to have horrible writing habits, and its taken a toll on my wrist. It’s been harder to write in general, and I’m really worried because NaNoWriMo is in two months.

Please don’t be concerned or upset if I don’t post as frequently, because my wrist is in horrible pain and I want it to recover in time for NaNoWriMo. Thank you for understanding, and good luck on planning for November!

-Shakesgeek

“Bucket” – Part One

Hello! I’m back from my break, and I’m ready to share a story that I wrote a few months back. I wrote it for a writing contest, and I’m going to be posting it here in parts. Here we go!

* * *

It did not bother Helena that her mother was staring her dead in the eyes.

“What do you think you’re carrying?” her mother asked, blue eyes boring into her brown ones. Helena always had a terse, never-changing, monotone response. “It’s just my bucket. I’m putting it back in my room.” As she was about to head up the stairs in the routinely, borderline robotic fashion, her mother grabbed her shoulders and turned her around. Helena raised an eyebrow.

“What are you really doing?” she inquired, skeptical.

“You caught me when I was going to go upstairs and review my plans to infest the planet with chicken ninjas,” Helena deadpanned, evading the question. “It was really a surefire way to take over the planet.”

“I’m not sure you’re really trying to do that,” her mother pressed.

Helena rolled her eyes. “ Duh, Mom. That’s a painfully obvious statement.”

“Don’t give me sass, young lady!” her mother snapped. “Now give me the bucket.”

“Why?” Helena retorted.

“You always carry that thing!” her mom complained. “I want you to walk around the house without carrying that orange bucket for once! Why is that thing so important to you?”

Helena sighed. “We don’t need to go over this again. I’m trying to get Thomas Bucket into space.”

Ever since she was four, Helena had been trying to launch her bucket, Thomas Bucket, into space. Her father had given the bucket to her and told her that anyone could do anything with an empty bucket. Helena tried launching the bucket into space that afternoon by merely tossing it in the air, but there was no luck. After that first attempt, Helena would always plan out ways to launch her bucket into space with her best friend, Antonio. The two of them started something called the Bucket Fund, which consisted of all of the money that Helena and Antonio had ever owned. It went directly toward the bucket effort, and every single dollar from their allowances, every gift of money, and every bit of spare change would go into the Fund. There was probably two hundred dollars total in savings.

Her mother returned the sigh and gave her an expression Helena couldn’t decipher. All Helena could tell was that her mother’s eyes were bleeding blue sadness. “Helena, can you follow me to the living room? I have something to tell you.”

Helena knew what this was about. “This is gonna be about, ‘Your father was trying to make you happy, and you know a bucket can’t go into space!’ You’re kinda predictable.”

“No, Helena, it’s not. I want you to just follow me.”

“Oo-kay. Whatever you say.” Helena followed her mother to the living room. Sunset was streaming through the large backyard window door and through the living room window. Helena’s mother took a seat on the old, brown leather sofa and motioned for Helena to sit next to her, eyes still bleeding sadness.

“We need to talk about your bucket,” Helena’s mother said.

“Why?” Helena rebutted. “We already talked about this.”

“Helena, I’ve been getting comments on whether or not you have hobbies. I’ve only replied saying that my daughter likes machinery and engineering. If they had heard that my fourteen-year-old daughter is overly devoted to her bucket, they would think…they’d look at me and ask me why…why…I let my daughter…” She sighed and put her face in her hands. “I love you, Helena, and as your mother, I am concerned for your reputation.”

Helena scoffed. “My reputation is gonna be fine, Mom. It doesn’t really mean anything if I want to send a bucket into space.”

“I understand that. But there are terrible people who look down upon people who are different from others and have different hobbies and interests. They are such closed-minded people who live under a rock and think that different is bad. So for your own good, I want you to just give up on this whole bucket thing.”

I want you to just give up on this whole bucket thing.

Helena flinched. Those words felt like a slap to the face. And they came from her own mother, the woman who always told her to never give up.

“This is for your own good, love,” her mother said, trying to fix what she broke. Too late , Helena thought as she rolled her eyes. The deed was done. The words were spoken. Words, like time, can’t be taken back.

Helena said precisely this. “Words, like time, can’t be taken back.”

* * *

That’s part one! See you on Friday with part two!

The Story That Sucked

So I’m sorry if I couldn’t post for the past week (and for the fact I’m posting on a Tuesday)! My computer decided that it didn’t want to work for some reason. But we’re good for now.

I’m going to tell you about the first story that I wrote when I moved to the Bay Area. I was using hotel-issued pen and paper and a couple sheets of graph paper while drinking a matcha green tea latte from Peet’s Coffee. The result is a six-page, embarrassingly bad script about a Plantagenet family reunion. Honestly, I don’t think I’m going to share it with you guys (or anyone) because it sucks so much. But I mean, this is what happens when you’re in the process of moving and you want to write something.

Oh well.

In other news…I’m ON BREAK for the rest of this week and the next two weeks! I’ll be traveling! When I start posting again on August 13, I’ll have some fun new content to share with you, and that involves a story I wrote that doesn’t suck!