A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hi guys. It's Britt. Sometimes when you are writing a story, you fall in love. And when you fall in love, anything can happen. Right away this morning, I knew this one was going to exceed the 400 word count rule. I considered shelving it and just writing something else. But then I thought: Britt, it's your damn rule. If you made it, you can break it. 

So I'm breaking it!! 

Here is the first half of a story. Next Monday, I'll post the second half. And I'll try not to do it again. 
:) Britt

Ellie and the T-Rex 
Part 1

The group of girls circled Ellie like sharks. "Smelly Ellie. Smelly Ellie," they chanted. Barbara-Anne shoved Ellie hard in the chest, and she fell onto the wet spring ground. Water seeped through the fabric of her pants and her backside was covered in mud. She felt her nose tingle and hot tears slid down her cheeks.

Ms. Dennison, the school principal called her mother at work. Ellie sat in the office and listened to the clack-clack, clack-clack of her mother's heels drumming on the floor as she approached. 

Later, in the car, her Mom said: "Eleanor, we will not accept bullying." 
Ellie shifted and the plastic bags beneath her crackled. She'd had to sit on them so she wouldn't get the seat muddy with her pants. 

Then Ellie was at the library and discovered a book about dinosaurs called: "Predators and Prey." 

At home that night, she studied the illustrations and whispered the names of the dinosaurs, Velociraptor, Allosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and the words were like magic spells. Ellie fell asleep with the book lying across her chest. 

The next morning started out the same as any other. Cereal and cartoons, her Mom's voice telling her to brush her teeth, to put on clean socks. "A matching pair, Eleanor. And run a brush through that hair. It's starting to resemble a rat's nest." 

Walking to school, Ellie's stomach did flip-flops. She thought of Barbara Anne and the other girls. They would be waiting. What would they do to her today?

Suddenly the ground began to tremble. Ellie heard a booming behind her like heavy footsteps, getting closer. She turned and her mouth dropped open. 

Standing on the road was a Tyrannosaurus Rex. 

It stood taller than the houses and its teeth were big as fence posts. Ellie was too shocked to scream. She thought about running, but was sure if she ran, she'd be gobbled up. 

Then the dinosaur lowered its head and its huge black eye hovered right beside Ellie's face. Slowly, a new awareness filled her. It wasn't going to attack. 

Ellie did the most unbelievable thing. She stepped forward, reached out her small, pink, defenseless hand, and stroked the T-Rex on its scaly cheek. 

She knew then that this dinosaur was hers. It would keep her safe. And so she and her T-Rex continued on, to school.


  1. (I think I missed posting my comment a few minutes ago, so if this is a repeat, please accept my profound apology.) If you make the rule you can break it! Yes! So why the *%#@ do we loyal readers have to wait a whole week to read the end of the story? (In other words, great story, Britt!!!)

  2. this story is sooo great. and i like the lead up to the next half. at least you left us in a good spot. i especially liked petting his scaly dino skin!

  3. This is torture to make us wait. You have a hit on your hands. All I can say is WOW! I love the part when the T-Rex leans down and his eye is right next to her. You can just imagine how that would feel to this little girl.

    On a side note, how is it possible to have so much talent in one family!! You girls are so incredible.

  4. Thanks, guys. I'm glad that reading a story in sections isn't too frustrating. I usually hate the whole: "to be continued" thing. It makes me want to shout: "No! I want to know what happens NOW!" I nearly died after the first Lord of the Rings Movie. Waiting a whole year for the next one? Shoot.
    :) Britt