I saw what theme for this month's Chatterbox over at Rachel's Blog, and I was very pleased! How fun to write out a scene in which your characters get criticized? *rubs hands together and give evil chuckle* SO! Let us begin!
*Estadounidenses means Americans.
"Hey, buster, what's up?" Tim strolled into my room and tugged gently at my hair.
I frowned, pulling away. "Aww, quit calling me that!"
He sighed and sat down beside me. "Fine. Hey, Robert, what's up?"
“Nothing much. I’ve been working on my story about criticism. Want to hear it?”
Tim shrugged. “Sure. Well, as long as it isn’t like your last one. You know, the one about the two bunnies and the fox.”
I slapped him on the arm and handed him my paper, smudged with erasing but still legible. “It was two rabbits and a minx, Tim. Don’t tease me.”
“Please,” Tim reminded me, making a great show of rubbing his slapped arm. “Ahem. I will read this, if I can make out the words.” He skimmed over the first few words, then frowned, tapping the paper with his forefinger. “That’s not how you spell ‘elbow.’ ”
I shrugged. “I can edit selling later. Tell me what you think, please. Oh, and can you read it out loud? Ah, ignoring the spelling?” This last request is completely necessary, for Tim always loved to read my writing out loud and exaggerate my misspellings by reading them in a weird way.
“Very well, my lad.” Adjusting imaginary glasses, Tim began to read. And this is the story he read.
Senor Spain stretched and nudged Madame France with his pointy elbow. “Senorita, are you seeing and hearing what I am seeing and hearing?”
Madame France moved away, wrinkling her nose in disgust. “That will be Madame France, to you, peasant.”
Senor Spain’s face darkened. “I may be growing weaker now, but once.... ah once I was a great power in Europe!”
“Once, maybe, but not any more!” scoffed Herr Germany. “Now it is confederacies like me, the German Confederation, that are growing more powerful. With Otto Bismarck as a mastermind behind my ruler, surely the German Confederation will one day control the world!”
Reb Russia snorted loudly. “You just try, you new little bug. Countries like myself are much more powerful and strong! I have been an Empire since 1721! Much longer than you! You have only been around since 1815! A mere baby, at only 46 years old! You’re even younger than Miss America!”
From up on her island, Miss Britain sniffed. “Please don’t speak of Miss America to me! Ever since 1776, she has been so bold! Thinking she can start a nation on her own! Though, it must be admitted, we have become friends now, I still do not know what to think of her!”
From across the ocean, Miss America was listening, but she held her peace, worried about the trouble brewing inside of her.
Senor Spain broke into the conversation. “See? That is what I was trying to ask Madame France about! I asked her if she was seeing and hearing what I am seeing and hearing! And what am I seeing and hearing? Well, I am seeing and he--”
“Please, Senor Spain!” Reb Russia broke in in exasperation. “Stop with the needless chatter and tell us what you are seeing and hearing!”
“Very well, Reb Russia,” Senor Spain submitted meekly. “I only meant to say that I am seeing and hearing a lot of trouble and upsetment in Miss America! Her southern parts are angry at her northern parts, and vice versa! Ah, these estadounidenses!* They are arguing over the issue of that inhuman practice: slavery.”
“Slavery?” interposed Miss Britain. “Why I outlawed that back in 1833! Why are they still practising it?”
“It is inhuman,” rumbled Reb Russia.
“You’re one to talk, Reb Russia,” Madame France spat. “You, still keeping serfs and binding them to the land to be bought and sold! That is just like slavery, perhaps worse!
Reb Russia cleared his throat but said nothing.
Miss Britain gave a long sigh. “Fighting and arguing in Miss America. Such a pity. But what could you expect from a country that started as a rebellion. I always thought that Miss America would amount to no good.”
“Indeed,” contributed Madame France. “I helped her in her Revolutionary War, but as a citizen of me said when he was alive, a Marquis de Lafayette, that if I had known she would be a slaveholding country, I would never have helped her.”
Miss Britain glared. “That’s right, you did help her. I should be angry at you, but I am not, since we have become friends. Like I said before, I am reconciled to the fact that Miss America is independent of me, but still, her conduct over this most important issue is disgraceful! I do wonder what she will decide to do?”
“Nothing that can be good,” Reb Russia frowned. “No, there will be war, I’m sure of it.”
Madame France sniffed. “Just look at her clothes. She has no taste! It is shameful!”
“Shah!” Reb Russia snorted. “Style is not what is important, Madame France, but her political decisions. She must think carefully, and have persuasive diplomats. Style? Bah!”
Herr Germany cleared his throat with a grating sound that made all the other countries participating in the conversation hold their ears. “Ach, but it is not only her diplomats,” he sneered. “She also needs masterminds like Otto von Bismarck to get things done. War will be inevitable for her, I’m afraid.”
Miss Britain looked at the other countries. “We must be careful to stay out of Miss America’s way as she moves toward this great war that most certainly will come from this argue over slavery.”
“I agree,” Madame France spoke up. “But I must say that her styles are still much to distasteful--”
“Ahem,” said Reb Russia.
“--even though they are not important,” Madame France finished meekly.
“I agree as well that we should stay out,” Herr Germany spoke up.
Reb Russia grumbled his agreement as well.
All this while, Senor Spain had been very quiet, and now the other countries turned to him expectantly. “I will not get involved in Miss America’s affairs,” he said slowly, tugging at the ends of his drooping mustache, “but I still have hope for our little American miss. My rulers of old, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, had hope for this land when Christopher Columbus sailed towards it. I will not give up hope now.”
The other countries were silent, not knowing what to say. Senor Spain bowed and gave a smile towards Miss America. And across the sea, though trouble still brewed within her, Miss America smiled back.
“Well, that’s it,” I said, when Tim finished reading. “That was my story about criticism. How did you like it?”
“It was good,” nodded Tim.
“He smirked. “But... I have a few criticisms.”He got out of the room like lightning, barely missing getting hit by my pillow as I chucked it at him. I heard him laughing all the way down the hall.
*Estadounidenses means Americans.