Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mona Lisa and American Gothic (Part 2)

It’s the Friday of a three day weekend and I’m getting ready to grade. Sound like a good time? Go ahead and laugh…I’m 12 days away from having 10 weeks off and damn near losing track of time…hehehe!
In all seriousness, I had to stop grading and give a shout out to my class. I’m reading their Mona Lisa stories and I AM IMPRESSED! They all worked tremendously hard on this project and it shows. Their work is creative, witty, dynamic, and engaging! In all honesty, the end result is why I do what I do. I thoroughly enjoyed this project and look forward to many more like it in the very near future!
To inspire the kids, I wrote a story for them with a different picture, American Gothic (you know the one with the old man, holding a pitchfork and standing in front of a farmhouse with his daughter). It’s aptly titled American Gothic. Sadly, that’s the best working title I’ve got at the moment, but I’m open to suggestions! (To access previous blog, click here: American Gothic Blog: Part 1)
Without further adieu here is the second installment of my portion of the picture/story, language arts/art, 4th grade collaborative project.
Middle: Use points of action to construct your plot or storyline. Make sure one thing leads to the next.
Maude hummed a happy tune as she ground up the last of the eye of newt before she dropped it into the boiling black steel cauldron. In fact, she was so relaxed she let her wrinkles show. At this point in the cycle it took so much effort to show her younger face. She was old. There was no denying that; Maude had already had a long life. She placed the lid on the potion simmered on the stove, when she heard it again.
“Mommy, please help me. What have I done wrong? I promise I won’t do it again.” The little voice cried.
Maude shook her head tried to push the sad childish voice away. Then walked to the window to think about her life.
She had been born at least a century before. She wasn’t exactly sure when or where. There had been so much magic in the early years, it was sometimes hard for her to differentiate between what was real and what had just been a magical illusion. Something tugged at the back of her mind. Something she felt very close to understanding. Just when she was on the cusp of figuring it out a cloud of dust off in the distance distracted her. With the full corn fields, she had no idea what to expect.
“He’s coming for you! We told you he would!” Bonnie shouted from the painting.
Maude shot a menacing look through the large spacious farmhouse to the painting. She snarled and narrowed her eyes, sending a small red flare into the painting above the fireplace. The gray barn in the background went up in flames.
But Bonnie, only laughed as the fire quickly went out. “You can’t hurt us anymore, old woman.”
“That’s right, Maude. It’s you who put us here.” Clyde said stiffly.
“Oh, SHUT UP!”Maude yelled. Her old gray hair fell around her head, and she seemed more wrinkled than ever. Her blue eyes shifted from bright and lively to dead and black. Catching a glimpse of herself in the reflection of the window, she gasped in horror at what she saw: a monster.
As the car approached the home, Maude could tell it was a sedan, and it had a siren on top. Frantic, she had no idea what to do. The car stopped and a man jumped out. He was young and he was handsome. His sunglasses and business suit alarmed Maude even more. He took the steps two at a time with ease, and wrapped on the door as he called out.
“Maude. Maude Clemins. Ma’am, are you home?” The man  paced to the front windows and peaked in before he banged on the front door. When no one answered, he began to pace around the porch, which wrapped around the house. With every step he got closer and closer to the back kitchen window, to seeing the real Maude Clemins. The evil witch, who would do just about anything to stay young, including banishing her husband and daughter into a painting. She neared the point of desperation when, the timer buzzed.
For an ancient woman of 100+ years, she had the grace of the youth of a ballerina, as she bounded over to the simmering pot, grab a large ladle and took a gulp of her potion. She moaned with relief and the pain of old age left her body. Her soft golden hair returned, along with her ocean blue eyes and her smooth skin.
“Just a moment. I was in the shower.” Maude cupped her hand around her mouth and hollered projecting a melodic voice through the house, then she snapped her fingers, turning her hair wet and a fresh pair of shorts with a new black tank top.
The footsteps on the porch stopped, paused and turned toward the front door.
Grinning her herself, she walked toward the door with a swagger, stopping only to pull the American Gothic painting off the wall. This was not the time to have her husband or daughter yapping in her ear about her choices. “I’ll deal with you two later,” she muttered as she shoved the painting into the closet.
With a flickity flick of her wrist, a copy of Van Gogh’s ‘A Starry Night’ filled the void over the fireplace. Maude took the last step to the door and pulled it open flashing her gorgeous grin. “Hi there, can I help you?”
The handsome man took off his sunglasses, revealing his emerald green eyes. A friendly smiled covered his critical eye, “Why, hello, ma’am. Are you Maude Clemins?”
The young blond tossed her head back and giggled a bit, “Goodness, no. That was my grandmother. She passed on a few years ago. I’m Lilia, Lilia Hawkins, so nice to meet you.” She held out her hand and smiled kindly.
The young man smiled and shook her hand before he spoke. “Nice to meet you, Lilia. My name is Agent Clark McClint and I’m with the FBI.”

To be continued…

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