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Featured Story, Week of Sept. 9, 2018: "Gerty Gets It Good"

Each week we feature a story written by one or two of our group members at our weekly meetings. For this week's featured stories, we all answered the following questions to develop a character from scratch:

What is their profession? What is their gender? What is something they want? What is their highest level of education, or where did they get their education? What climate did they grow up in? Who or what is their worst enemy? What is their favorite thing in the world? How are they getting or planning to get the thing that they want?

Then we wrote a story setting up this character. We had 20 minutes to write.


By Erik Engman

Gertrude, Gerty for short, sat upon the front of her porch, ready and alert. Her horse was all watered and well rested. Her trusty tool kit was strapped to it’s side. Heck, she even wore her sturdy pig-kickin’ boots, even though they didn’t go with her large dress and bonnet, but to be fair at this point in her life she didn’t care none what people thought of her and her clothing choices.

Then like a mouse from a crack in the wall, one of the town’s urchins appeared from in between Harold’s Dime Store and Old Man Fred’s crumbling, broken down house.

Gerty wondered every so often whether she should check in on Old Fred. He most certainly was dead, what with the tall grass in the yard, those decaying wood shutters that barely hung on for dear life, and then there’s that horrible smell coming out of that place that would outright flatten a cat. But to be honest she didn’t like the fella much. No one did, so no one right cared much. Best leave him to the young’uns to venture in there on a dare and poke a stick at ‘em.

Anyways, it looked like she just got a job to do.

The kid kept a safe but respectful distance. “Hey, Lady Gerty!”

“Yes’m,” Gerty replied.

“Crazy Fred Potter done locked himself all up in his barn again!”

“Figures. You tell anyone else about this?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Not even Frank?”

“Not even. Honest!”

“Well, all right then, you go pick a frog from the frog pond out back.”


“I apologize the frog pond is all dried up as of last Wednesday on account of that heat wave. So they’re all dead.”

“Gee, lady, dead frogs are the best kind!” And the kid disappeared around the side of the house.

Gerty smiled. That’ll probably end up half down the dress of little Cindy Ann. That was his way of tellin’ her he liked her. Courtin’ is sure a strange, romantic endeavor. ‘Specially when you’re twelve.

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