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Randomly nice picture
As you probably know, I never lack writing ideas. I started this new story recently, and I would like to know your opinions on it. This is the beginning, and I hope this is reader-approved.

Mrs Jimson was a lady who liked the colour green and had grey hair, dyed blonde. One Saturday morning, after she had made dinner in her red tiled kitchen, she called her son Martin. He wasn’t doing anything in particular, anyway. He was just lying on his bed, using his old Winnie-the-Pooh-Bear for a cushion, and staring at his Coca Cola poster which he had stuck on the ceiling. She thought it was about time for him to do some proper things. That particular ‘proper thing’, needed to be three things:

-       Educational

-       Time-consuming

-       With a purpose.

She and her husband, a man who looked like a Goldfinch, had talked this over the day before, in their bed with the orange flowered eiderdown, and had finally been able to think of one. It took a long time to think of, because Mr and Mrs Jimson had never been the cleverest people. But they had managed to find something which was both educational, time-consuming and which had a purpose. It was educational because it involved writing, time-consuming because it had to be done once every two days (or so they would tell him) and it had a purpose because it involved getting to know a person he knew nothing of.

Martin Jimson was going to have a pen friend.

‘A pen friend?’ asked Martin. ‘No. Sorry, but that’s the silliest notion – no. Don’t even think of it! I don’t even know this person! Why would I want to write stupid letters to it?’

‘He’s a nice boy called Michael Whrat. Your dads went to university together! They talked together on the phone yesterday evening, and it’s all settled. Every two days you will write a letter to this boy.’ Mrs Jimson smiled and then whispered. ‘Come on. I’ll be fun.’

Martin was stubborn, among other things, which included adoring sugar, never having less than one plaster somewhere on his body and telling people he didn’t enjoy things most people did. Being stubborn, he remained with that aforementioned attitude for several hours, even after Mrs Jimson threatened never to give him anything of her delicious banoffee pies for the rest of his life, which sounds like a promise she wouldn’t have kept. Mr Jimson told him Michael was looking forward to writing letters with him.

‘He’s not like me then,’ said Martin with a scowl. ‘Oh all right, all right. I’ll write letters to this stupid person, just so that mum will give me that last piece of banoffee pie – Mum, I said I would do it, can I now –’

So, with a big hefty sigh, Martin sat at his desk crowded with bits of school essay, cookie crumbs and a miniature statue of his least favourite actor, Charlie Chaplin, and started to write his first letter to the boy Michael Whrat, who he imagined was smaller and younger than him, blonde-haired, and ridiculously soppy. ‘Probably the kind of chump who enjoys placing scales on the piano,’ he said.

Hello Michael

My name is Martin and I’m ten years old. It’s absolute fright to write to you! Mum says I have to tell you about my favourite colour and all that. You don’t have to do the same, because I don’t really want to know anything about you. From the sound of your name alone I practically have to vomit. Please bear in mind during the rest of our lives that all the letters I write to you are all because I am forced with a threat of not having any banoffee pie for the rest of my life. None of these words I write to you are done with my hart. Right so, let get this over and done with so I can go and do something I actually enjoy. I don’t have a favourite colour and I don’t know what Mum means about ‘all that.’

Bye. Martin. x (Mum told me to add the x, or else it would certainly have not been there. Pip-pip.)

Martin read it over and thought about how nice he was about this whole situation. Then he put the letter in the envelope, licked it shut, and went downstairs to find something to eat so that the disgusting taste of envelope would get off his tongue. Martin was not having his best day. The following day, when he received a reply of his pen-friend (or rather, pen-enemy), did not vouchsafe to be much different.

Dear Martin, Your letter, although written with the intention of breaking me into the utmost tears and scaring me immensely – as it would have done with any cowardly person – amused me greatly. Your typo in the sixth line, however, never ceased to make me wince slightly whenever I thought back on it during the remainder of the day I had the honour of receiving your note. The word ‘heart’, when spelt without the second letter – thus happening to be an E in this case – can be mistaken by the word ‘hart,’ which is a male deer, my dear child. One must reread letters in order to overcome these little trifles. Nevertheless, for a boy as young as you, I must say your way of writing could be far worse, and therefore I shall overlook it cordially.

As you specifically asked for nothing whatsoever about myself, I dare say I shall stick to what I have written already and end hastily.

Yours, Theobald (I changed my name so you wouldn’t have to vomit. You’re excessively welcome, my dear boy, excessively welcome.)

Mother!?’ Martin crunched up his nose and stared at the letter. ‘Mother. What is this? How old this this Michael fellow? Sixty-two?’


  1. I liked your writing a lot! I noticed three "British" English spellings in the first sentence alone: colour, grey, and blonde! (This is very amusing to us Americans!) I actually had to look up what Banoffee pie is, because I'd never heard of it before. Your writing uses a lot of description, which is cool. I would suggest that when you mention a color, (like you did red, green, and orange) that you substitute some of them with a more interesting name/tint, like cherry red or olive green. Otherwise, great job!

  2. Oh my goodness! Theobald! Pen-enemy! I love it! I seriously, genuinely love it and I'm not just saying that to flatter you. If this ever got published I would go out and buy it. Please put the next part up!

  3. Abby P,
    Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed this. Heehee, yes - those British spellings are all natural for me, as I am British. I'm glad you liked that. Banoffee pie isn't something most people have heard of, but you're right it's very British. It's DELICIOUS, though. Try it. :-) Thank you very much for the suggestions about colours... always appreciated!

    Oh my goodness, thank you dear! I'm so humbled by your sweet compliments!


    *Emma rolls around on the floor giggling wildly*

    Just WHERE do all these clever ideas come from, Alice dear? I mean, OH MY STARS. This is just hilariously ridiculously witty. It made me laugh, lots. Love it.


  5. Violet,
    I'm so glad this made you laugh, dear! I'm loving writing this. I'm going to make it in two parts - one when their children, and one when they are grown up. And you know, *whispers* Micheal is actually *a girl*.
    You have stars? I didn't know that.
    ~ Alice

  6. Naomi! I love this! Please do post more!!! I liked it very much up until "Theobald's" letter, then I loved it. :)
    Very very good job!


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