Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Here's how it works.

Sit in a circle and have someone hold a wrapped present (or something that can be a reward for the winner).

For younger kids, explain carefully which hand is LEFT and RIGHT.

Someone then reads the following story, explaining that whenever you hear the word LEFT and RIGHT, the person holding the prize hands it to their left or right. The reader should read slowly and emphasize each LEFT and RIGHT. When the story ends, whoever is holding the prize gets to keep it. (Perhaps two prizes: one is good and the other funny).

The following story is one I sold to an online magazine but they folded so I got my story back and revised it to fit this game.



by Linda Joy Singleton

Allisha and Deryck left school and went looking for their friend Kelly Wright. They went right to the Wright house but Kelly wasn’t there. Kelly Wright’s little brother Zane shook his head right then left as he told them, "Kelly is gone."
"But Kelly said she’d come right to my house after she ate leftovers for dinner.”
“She left a while ago,” Zane said. “She said she was going right to your house.”
“But she left us waiting and never showed us,” Allisha said nervously twisting her black braid to the right then the left then to the right.
Deryck, Kelly Wright's latest boyfriend, raised his left eyebrow and demanded, "Zane, if you know anything, tell us right now. Where is Kelly?"
Zane knew they wouldn't believe him. Geez, it was amazing they remembered his last name even though it was Wright just like Kelly’s. Kelly and her friends treated him like something gross left on the bottom on shoes. They called him wimp, geek, or totally ignored him.
"See for yourself." Zane put his left hand in his right pocket and withdrew a small paper that read:
Going right next door to Leftmeyers' house.
Kelly Wright.
"Kelly would NEVER go there!" Allisha cried waving her right and left hands in the air. "Mr. Leftmeyer is weird and does strange experiments. Kelly's afraid of him."
"But she DID go there." Zane looked to the left where the driveway to the Leftmeyer’s house was blocked right up to the street by an iron gate. “And now she's missing."
* * *
Minutes later, Zane, Allisha, and Deryck left the Wright house to go to the Leftmeyer house right next door.
Mr. Leftmeyer lived alone in a ramshackle Victorian mansion which badly needed painting. Few people spoke to him or even knew what he looked like.
Zane boldly pounded on the door with his left fist. But no one answered.
"That's odd," Zane murmured, rubbing his chin with his right hand. His reached out for the door knob and turned it left then right and the door opened.
"We can't break into someone's house!" Allisha objected as she stomped her right foot.
"My sister could be in trouble,” Zane insisted. “I'm going right in."
"Me, too. I’m always left standing in the winner’s circle at my wrestling matches,” Deryck boasted, flexing his right and left arm muscles. “I’m not afraid of this old Leftmeyer guy."
“Maybe you should be,” Zane said ominously.
They stepped right into a dark room, lit only with antique wall lights. No sound. No life. They were left with only eerie silence.
"Kelly? Kelly Wright?" Allisha called. "Are you here?"
There was a faint distant thump in reply.
"Kelly!" Deryck yelled. "Come here right now!"
Two thumps this time and it sounded like it was coming from a spooky hallway on the left. Zane pointed his right arm to a shadowed hall. "The sounds came from the left."
Zane took a few steps to the left, but stepped right in his tracks when he heard a shriek from behind him. When he turned left, he saw Deryck was staring at a life-size statue of an elegant Victorian lady who held a bouquet of dead flowers in her right hand.
"She...She moved!” Deryck cried. “The statue is alive!"
"You're imagining things." Allisha was right-brained and very logical.
"No, NO!" Both Deryck's left and right eyes were wide and terrified. "She winked at me and then she...she-"
"What?" Zane asked.
"She kicked me right in my left knee. And it hurt!"
Allisha and Zane looked right at each other then laughed at Deryck.
"Don’t freak, out, Deryck." Allisha tugged on his left hand impatiently. "Focus on Kelly. We have to find her before Mr. Leftmeyer does something horrible to her."
"His statue already did something horrible to my left knee." Deryck rubbed his left knee. "This place is creepy. Why would Kelly come here? That doesn't make sense."
"My sister never makes sense,” Zane said with a shrug of his right and left shoulders. “But I hope she's all right."
"We have to find her," Allisha said fearfully. "Look! There's someone in that right hallway...or SOMETHING!"
"Only it doesn't have a head!" Zane cried as a glowing monstrous body glided down the right hallway like a ghost.
"He has a head!" Deryck choked. "But he's holding it in his left arm! I'm out of here!" Deryck, who bragged about being so brave at wrestling, sobbed like a big baby as he ran for the left hallway and bolted right for the front door.
But the door was locked. He pounded with his right and left fists on the wood. "Hey, let me out!”
"Don’t panic, Deryck. You’ll be all right but we can’t go until we find Kelly," Zane said, heading back to the left passage, which appeared to be the wrong way to safety but the right way to finding his sister.
The others followed right behind Zane even though he was younger and so short they could see right over his head. The door shut right behind them, leaving behind that horrible ghost wailing like a banshee as he held in his left arm.
"This must be the kitchen," Zane said.
"But there are no windows or back door," Allisha replied, biting the thumbnail on her left hand.
"We gotta get out of here and get help right away!" Deryck exclaimed.
Zane rubbed his chin with his right hand and studied the dimly lit room. "I've read about old houses like this. There might be a secret exit."
"I hope so!" Allisha said. "Oh, no! ... WHAT's THAT?"
Sparks of electricity shot from the left side of the kitchen where a toaster burst into fire. At the same time, water squirted upright from the sink faucet. And a waffle maker clapped open and shut like a spiked-jawed monster, its loose cord flapping like a snake.
When the refrigerator door opened and flung out plastic containers of leftovers like soggy missiles, Deryck threw his right and left hands in the air and screamed like a little girl. "The kitchen's alive! It’s haunted!” he squeeled.
Allisha looked scared, too. She clutched right Zane's hand. "Can you get us out of here? Kelly always jokes about you being a geeky brainiac. But you’re all right and really brave. We could really use some of your brains now."
"The leftovers are attacking me!” Deryck said, dodging to the right when spaghetti splatted toward him. Then he screamed again as the waffle maker nearly chomped down on his right hand. "Help! We gotta escape!"
"I'm thinking." Zane ran his fingers right across a wall, tapping and listening for a hollow sound. He touched an uneven part of the left side of the wall, pressed a knob right near the floor, and a secret panel opened right up.
"All right, Zane!” Allisha high-fived him with her left hand. “You did it!"
The three hurried right down the passage, Zane in front with Allisha right behind him and sissy Deryrk hurrying so he wouldn’t be left behind.
Up ahead the passage split into right and left passages, but both were blocked by a solid wall.
"There's no way out!" Tears streamed right down Deryck’s whiny face.
"There HAS to be a way," Zane insisted, feeling the wall with both his right and left palms.
When he heard Allisha scream, he looked to the right and saw the glowing headless monster appear out of nowhere. The head floated like a bloody cloud in the monster’s left arm, coming toward them, closer, and closer....
Suddenly Zane's fingers touched a button and the right passage slid open right into a side yard. They hurried through, slamming the door behind them. SAFE!
"You did it, Zane!" Allisha sobbed, hugging him.
"Yeah. You did all right," Deryck said, looking down in embarrassment at the wet spot on his pants.
On the street, a car was parking left curb. Zane's mother, Mrs. Wright, was at the wheel. The left hand passenger door open, and out stepped Kelly.
Overjoyed, the three rushed right over to Kelly. "I'm so glad you're all right!” Allisha exclaimed. “We thought you were trapped in that crazy place with the headless ghosts and fiendish kitchen!" Allisha pointed at the Leftmeyer’s house.
Kelly rubbed her chin with her right hand, looking puzzled. "Didn't you get the note I left saying I had to go to my dentist Lefty Writenheimer?"
Deryck looked puzzled. "You didn’t write a note about Mr. Writenheimer. Your note said you went to Mr. Leftmeyer’s house.”
“That’s not the right message I left for you.”
“It doesn’t matter—as long as you’re all right.” Allisha gave a shaky laugh. "This has been a real weird day. Zane's the only one who kept his cool. Hey, why don't you come with us right now to my place to watch some videos, Zane?"
"Great idea!" Deryck added, patting Zane on the shoulder. “But I can’t go right there since I have to change my pants first. Then we’ll hang out and watch videos.”
Kelly looked at them and threw up her arms in outrage. "Are you guys NUTS?" Kelly demanded with righteous indignation. "Zane is always left behind because he’s annoying. We don't want my wimpy little brother hanging around."
"Don't you call my friend a wimp," Deryck warned, narrowing his left eyebrow right at Kelly. “Zane is all right and really brave, once you get to know him.”
Zane enjoyed the surprised look on his sister's face. About time she treated him with some respect. And watching videos, instead of being left out, would be fun, too.
Later that night when Zane was alone in his room, he withdrew two papers from his right pocket. Both were signed by Kelly, but she'd only written the one in his left hand. Zane had faked the one in his right hand.
Sometimes being a "brainiac" paid off.
Grinning to himself, Zane tapped the papers and watched them flare right into magical flames. It was a simple magic trick, one of the many he'd learned from Mr. Leftmeyer. Aside from being a great friend who enjoyed playing spooky tricks, Mr. Leftmeyer was also a brilliant magician.

The Amazing Wizard of Illusion.

The End.

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