^Response to this. 🙂
The only story I ever remember that I wrote by whim and finished was when I was 9 and trying to impress my dad. I made two, but the one I remember was called “The Stripe-Painting Mice,” with illustrations and everything.
I only had a blue pen and notebook paper since my dad didn’t have his sons yet, so there weren’t crayons and other kid stuff (except for videos) laying around his house.
The story….Welll, when I look back on it, I wonder if my paranoia was some sort of dormant trait of mine waiting until I was self-conscious enough to reveal itself. Because that story, while it seemed innocent enough, could be interpreted to mean something radically different. I doubt my dad noticed it (he was looking at my grammar. I had misspelled ‘does’ as ‘dose’ and ‘goes’ as ‘gose’. In the 3rd grade, I had mysteriously forgotten how to spell those two words. I still feel my past confusion).
The story is like so: There are mice living in a house – not 2 or 3 – an entire nation of mice are living inside a hollowed wall in a house (mind you, I didn’t use the word ‘hollowed’. I’m translating the memory in my brain because I don’t remember the details, just some distorted pictures and ideas – I remember weird things). The entrance is the typical Tom and Jerry mouse-hole.
The mice are thriving in their hollowed out wall. Mother mice and children mice, husbands and grandpas. They’re just chillin’. Sure, they live in fear of the outside threat (beware the Feline monster, and the dreaded mousetraps) and sometimes have difficulty getting their food (beware the Feline food-hoarder, and the dreaded mousetraps), but they have a relatively O.K. life.
Then one day a renegade mouse decides enough is enough! He is tired of seeing his proud species oppressed and hungry, living in fear of one cat and the deceitful mousetraps, while they are an entire nation, numerous and able. It’s time to organize!, he declares, standing on top of the giant paint bucket that is his stadium, and brandishing an unreasonably small paintbrush as his sword.
All the mice are enlightened and HURRAH at his demand. But who are we uniting against?
“THE HUMANS” he proclaims, “ARE THE NUMBER ONE THREAT!”
(by now, my dad was probably suspicious at least, that I was a psycho who’s mind generated nonsense from who-knows-where).
I’m pretty sure I explain why the humans are the threat (the mousetraps – their torture device. the cat – their tool. And so on).
However, they soon realize that they don’t-got-no-weapons, and have to think about their attack strategy.
Then one genius (I don’t know who) realizes that the perfect plan is to use the conveniently-blue paint bucket (for some reason, it is in the hollowed-out wall. Maybe it was also a closet, who knows?) to paint the world in blue stripes. I rationalized, through this amazing mouse, towards the obvious truth that if you painted the entire world in blue stripes, then everyone would look the same and somehow that would make the mice victorious. I don’t remember what that rationalization was though.
And one of the pictures I remembered was the renegade mouse with the blue striped paint on his face, looking particularly tough – like a ninja.
By now, my dad might have come to the conclusion that I was going to be put away.
(by the way, I picked mice because I figured out a really easy [and long-lost] technique for drawing mediocre-looking mice – I think I learned it from playing with rubber bands).
So, a couple of scenes of mice painting the entire world in blue stripes with people running around screaming in horror, and BOOM. The humans create a plan to defeat the mice. They get a bucket of water and pour it, washing all the blue paint [and the mice] away.
I don’t remember if every country did this and if the humans contacted each other via military walkie-talkies or television, or if somebody washed all the striped-painted nations clean with a bucket filled with an apparently infinite quantity of water, but it ended with the Mice going to court.
Crimes against humanity? Who knows.
So, a scene where the mice are being tried and found guilty, and then I guess they’re put into jail. I think I remember a scene where an unhappy (possibly frustrated or angry) mouse is in jail, and I don’t remember what happens after. But the last page had a paintbrush and bucket.
My younger sister liked it though, and she hated to read, so that made me happy. She accepted the logic of the story.
We were weird kids.