Personification and the Wicked Night
One time there was a class of students. They attended a college course on creative writing. There were prerequisite English courses for the class; many business and English majors took the course. Art and film majors commonly signed up, too; the two professors teaching the course were well-known novelists. The course’s seats where usually scheduled full early – many students on the campus found the class to be intriguing.
In this class of students, there were two students and a teacher who had a conversation early one morning. The professor was only 29 and still very pretty. She was well endowed. Not too endowed, the professor was a pretty dirty blonde. The two students went to see her early one morning. They had finished their assignments and went to see her for help with an extra composition they were trying to submit to a fiction magazine. Ms. Banks was the nice professor’s name, and the students’ names were Jasmine and Malachai.
“I hope she can help us,” said Jasmine. “She can,” said Malachai, “She is a very brilliant person among people who are. She will guide us in the right direction; she will give us the ingredients and the recipe. All we will need to do afterwards is to bake the cake.” “Do you think we are wasting her time?” asked Jasmine. “No,” said Malachai, “She will be interested in our enthusiasm. If I feel we are ‘out of place’ I will get us out of there, and we can consort with another person. I will even let you do the talking. I am confident she will hear us out.”
Jasmine was not expecting to do the talking; she figured Malachai would. She was happy to, though; she was very interested in some form of direction for her and her writing partner. Their professor’s ideas would most certainly help them. The two students were attempting to submit a draft to a magazine for a writing competition; they just wanted some advice. The students were waiting outside of the professor’s door at 7:50 AM. Ms. Banks had one whole hour scheduled for student communication during this time. The two students knew not to bother any other students with actual needs; no other students were there, yet, anyway.
They heard Ms. Banks coming up the wooden stairwell. “Good morning!” she exclaimed, fumbling around with her writing satchel and documents, a pen in her mouth, and the keys to her office. Who knew why she had a pen in her mouth? No one, really – she was there on time.
“Come in, come in,” she said, and the three happily walked in and sat down. “What brings you guys here, today?” she asked, “I have already received your assignment for Friday. Is this about some necessary re-write?” “No ma’am,” said Jasmine, trying not to look down her professor’s shirt. Ms. Banks was a naturally attractive woman to many. “We are here to ask you for some advice with a writing competition,” said Jasmine, looking over to Malachai. He nodded in approval; she had stated these things well.
“A writing competition?” asked the excited professor, “For who? Where?” “We found the competition online with a web search; we wanted to do some creative writing. If we are published, we get a free two-year subscription to the magazine and an opportunity for a more competitive contest.” “Alright,” said the professor, “What genre are we going with, here?” “Well,” said Jasmine, “That is one reason why we are here. The magazine, ‘Other-Lands’, publishes mostly fantasy or sci-fi stories with minimal advertising. We want to write a small story with about 2,000 words, however we cannot decide on the characters. We thought we could use elves or astronauts, however whatever we came up with just did not work out. The beings we considered had already been considered by so many other works.”
“I must say I am impressed with you two – you really are into writing and have put some thought into this competition. The periodical must be a smaller publication; I have not heard of it. Let me see…” said Ms. Banks; she was thinking. Malachai’s original worry that they could be wasting time with these questions was out the window, as were his gazes into nothing, for the most part. Jasmine gave him a quick look-check. She wanted to make sure that if he was staring he at least knew about it. Lucky for him, he was looking at the books on the professor’s window seal – not what Jasmine still had in mind, somehow.
“All of those fantasy characters and you guys need help,” said Ms. Banks, “What about personification?” “You mean like talking animals?” asked Jasmine, “Like Aesop and his moral lessons with animals?” “Sure,” said Ms. Banks, “Anything that can come to life can have a dialogue and an interesting action plan for a plot – even a protagonist.” Jasmine looked at Malachai who was almost asleep. “Well?” asked Jasmine, Malachai would at least have to approve or comment on these things, otherwise he might as well be a stone statue from a library garden.
“I was paying attention,” said Malachai, “Personification is the best answer I have heard. I had not even thought of it. We can use some animals or objects, bring them to life, and let them return to their previous state, somehow.” “Are you going to put these lifeforms in outer space?” asked Ms. Banks in honest curiosity. The professor had directed her attention to Malachai and Jasmine accidentally look right down her shirt. Jasmine looked to the ground, trying not to think too much about what she would not mind personifying. “What do you think, Jasmine?” asked Malachai with some guess as to what Jasmine was thinking. “I imagine we could work something out,” said Jasmine looking back up to her professor, “Thank you for your help, Ms. Banks.”
The two students readied themselves to leave. “I was happy to see you two; I know how well you are doing in my class and others. Keep it up. Remember not to let your extra-curricular fun affect your real efforts regarding higher learning. I have another exciting writing assignment for you on Monday.” “Yes ma’am,” they both said. “I think I am going to major in journalism,” said Malachai, accidentally, he really loved to write. “Good luck to you both; bring your story to me at 4 PM on Friday, here, and I will proofread it.” “Okay,” they both said.
The two made it down the old wooden stairwell and split up after making some plans. The story was not going to be too long of a composition; they did want it to be impressive, however. They had plenty to do during the day including classes and part-time jobs for their university. Malachai and Jasmine had planned to meet at a dining hall at 7 PM; it was hamburger night. They would eat and write out a story afterwards over the dining hall’s generic yet edible coffee.
They ate, got their coffees. “Alright,” said Malachai, “What are we going to bring to life, and how is outer-space going to have anything to do with it?” “I like looking at Ms. Bank’s breasts,” said Jasmine. “They are nice,” replied Malachai, “I guess anything can come to life, in fiction.” “What if we bring some rocks to life to fly shrink rays to outer-space an zap asteroids?” asked Jasmine. “That is fine,” said Malachai, “Where is the story; what is the climax?” “It can be mostly a narrative,” said Jasmine, “The rocks could work for a teenage scientist trying to collect and study space matter.”
“What happens for audience attention, though?” asked Malachai. He was approving Jasmine’s idea and thinking, too. “What if one of the little space travelers accidentally zaps another one? Not being a big huge asteroid, the little flying pebble is handicapped to a smaller and inadequate form?” “That is okay,” said Jasmine, “I think it will be good, though. It will be good enough to submit to ‘Other-Lands’.” “Okay,” said Malachai. They took turns talking and writing and wrote the story. It seemed a little long, but they developed a main character, described the setting, and told the story. It was 2024 words, once done, and both students agreed that the concluding paragraphs were pretty well written.
Time had gone by, and it was about 11:45 PM. “We should give the story one last revision, and we can type it up on the computer together tomorrow after dinner,” suggested Jasmine. “Sounds like a plan,” replied Malachai. He almost blushed – he thought of her, sometimes. “Would you like to go over it out in the garden of the library?” asked Malachai. “That sounds a little spooky,” said Jasmine. “I will protect you from harm,” said Malachai with manly happiness. Jasmine smiled, grasped his hand, and they walked to the garden of the nearest library.
The two read through the document by the light of the moon and only found one or two able-to-be revised errors. Almost ready to go off to bed, they noticed the various small statues in the shadows of the garden. The one closest to them was an old stone statue of a wiry Irishman. It was a replica of an immigrant who came to the nation to study the English language and biology. He had donated to the original construction of the library, there, and the little structure highly resembled a leprechaun. It was only moments passed midnight, and they heard a shrilling and decipherable whisper in the night’s gentle breeze.
“Speak a limerick to him to see his fun; bring him back before his damage is done…” “I know you heard that,” said Jasmine. “It damn near freaked me out,” said Malachai. “Why did it not freak you out? Do you think that was a ghost?” asked Jasmine. “No, no,” said Malachai,”‘Ghost’ – do not even be so silly. That was some ‘other’ form of howling spiritual voice in the wind sometime around midnight.” “Very funny,” said Jasmine, almost pale in fright, “Well?” “What do you mean, ‘Well’?” asked Malachai, “You doubt my ability to speak a poem? Little did you know, with all my attempted prose, I am quite the ‘anti-poetic’ master.” “You could not speak a rhyme with a ghetto-blaster!” laughed Jasmine. “Oh yeah?” said Malachai, and said,
“There once was a little man of concrete;
he danced and moved about on his feet.
The people were there,
but who could care?
We brought him back and put him on his feet.”
Impressed with Malachai’s improvisation, Jasmine almost was not watching the little statue. He came to life! He took one dead stare at the two students, as if he were gazing upon a ghost for the first time, and took off in a dead sprint towards the dining hall. Malachai and Jasmine instinctively ran after the little fellow. There were pretty female students standing around talking. The last thing that Malachai and Jasmine wanted to see happen was the little man being seen by other students.
They almost caught up to him, and the stone leprechaun hid behind a tree in the shadow of a university lamp-post. Malachai and Jasmine were right on him, but could not quite run and catch him. They would be seen by nearby students. The naughty little guy was trying to see up the skirt of a female student. He could not, though so he inched closer to her to try to raise up her skirt. As he got closer, Malachai inched closer to him. In an instant, Malachai snatched the little guy up and brought him over to Jasmine behind a tree.
“You are quite the dirty little man,” said Jasmine to the leprechaun who did not speak. Malachai and Jasmine brought the statue back to where it was and it turned back to stone. The name below the small sculpture was Ed Lear. Malachai and Jasmine needed to return to their dorms. It was getting late. They neared each other and kissed for the first time, just on the lips, and went back to their rooms. Their story would do fine.