As unbelievable as it may sound, Dave wanted another go at writing the ending of Isaac’s Decision. (Remember, this is from the time Eva Connealy came over for supper at the Larsons.) Dave submitted this to me today…
Isaac was confused. He didn’t know what to do. Supper had ended. He had to take Eva home. He didn’t want to be alone with Eva. He doubted she was the right one for him. His brothers and sisters were too busy or sick to tag along in the sleigh. He had no choice.
On his way to get the horse and sleigh, a commotion occurred in the barn. He ran to find out what was going on. “Oh no!” he said in alarm and raced for the danger. Quick to action, he entered the barn. He was very smart, so he saw the problem right away.
There was a fire in the corner stall. One of his brothers forgot to take the lantern into the house, and the horse knocked it over. Without thought to his own personal safety, he grabbed the blanket from the sleigh. He ran to the stall. He pulled the horse out and tied him to a beam with the quickness that came from years of farming. Then he threw the blanket on the hay. He stomped on the flames. They were hot. He was a man and braved the pain because men are tough. The fire died down. The barn was saved.
He took the lantern and blanket out of the stall. He put the horse into the stall.
“I will go see what Isaac is doing,” Eva said. She walked to the barn.
Isaac was on his way out of the barn. Eva was entering the barn. Something fell from the rafters. Oh no! Isaac thought in great alarm. The rake is going to hit Eva! With no thought to himself, for men desire to protect women, he rushed for her. In one heroic move, he lifted her into his arms and caught the rake.
“Isaac, you are so brave,” Eva said. “Women like brave men.”
He took a good look at her. He finally understood why he should pick her instead of Emily. “I am brave,” he said.
“And strong,” Eva said.
“Yes,” he said. “I am strong and brave.” He set her down and put the rake in a safe place. “I will take you home.”
“Thank you,” she said.
He took her home.
What a nice young man who was brought up right, she thought.
I think she might be perfect for me, he thought.
He pulled up in front of her house. Her father invited him into the house. He played chess and checkers. He had a good time. As he was on his way to the door, he decided to say, “Eva, can I court you?”
“Only after I am done with my teaching contract,” she said.
And he did. Then he got married. It was a good day. Everyone was happy.
Okay. So some characters wanted to stop by and comment on his new ending, starting with Joel.
Joel: I’m not related to you, Dave.
Dave: There’s nothing wrong with it. I gave dialogue and action this time. I avoided all the telling I did before.
Joel: Just how old are you? It’s like one of those kids’ books. See Spot. See Spot Run. Run, Spot, Run. Then you had Eva pop up out of nowhere as she’s heading for the barn. You shift points of view. That blanket would have been in the house (not the sleigh) so it’d be warm when it was time to leave. Then that rake came out of nowhere. Who, or what, threw it? And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, the dialogue was stupid. No one talks like that. Man, I’m so glad I didn’t take you up on your offer to rewrite the ending of my story at the chapter I was forced to marry April. I can just imagine what you would have come up with. Ick! Even Tom could do a better job. And that’s saying a lot!
Tom: What was missing was humor. I think there’s potential here.
Joel: I take back what I said. I don’t have any brothers. Well, besides Richard. But no one ever sees him, so it’s easy to forget he even exists.
Tom: You’re being too hard on Dave, Joel. He improved a lot from his last ending. With a little tweaking, we can get something doable here.
Dave: Thank you, Tom. I’m glad someone is the voice of reason.
Joel: Two idiots working on a story. God help us all. Ruth’s career is officially over. I can see it now. Isaac’s holding Eva and the rake at the same time–something I find hard to picture, by the way–and a mouse scampers by so he gets all scared like Tom does and drops the rake and Eva. *shudders* With Tom’s clumsiness, I think we all know where the rake will end up.
Tom: Will you never let me forget about the hair incident?
Joel: It wasn’t just Jessica’s hair. There was the vase you almost broke, the many times you tripped when you were around her or–
Tom: I get it, already!
Dave: I’m not going to make my son a clutz.
Dave: And you haven’t listened to me. I keep telling you what Emily’s upbringing was like. You have to look at a young woman’s past in order to determine how she’s going to be as a wife.
Isaac: I’m getting a headache. I’m only seventeen, and I have a headache! All we ever do is go in circles. Something has to be done to break the cycle.
Dave: I just want what’s best for you.
Sally: I can’t take this anymore. David Jeremiah Larson, if you do another rewrite of your son’s story, I will make it a point to go to your house and destroy it and the computer you keep snagging from Ruth. You need to let your son be an adult. He’s old enough to make his own decisions. And like I told you in the story, you knew nothing about Mary when you married her except that she came from Maine as a mail-order bride for Neil. You didn’t know anything about her upbringing, and judging from what is planned for your second story, To Have and To Hold, she’s got a couple of unsavory family members. If you would have judged her based on her family, I doubt you would have married her.
Dave: That’s different.
Sally: Why? Because it’s you and not Isaac? Are we doing the whole “Practice what I preach and not what I do” routine?
Dave: Stay out of this, Sally. You and your husband have done enough damage in my son’s life, and now I have to clean it up.
Sally: Thank you, Rick.
Rick: Isaac marrying Emily isn’t the end of the world. For sure, it’s a lot better than what you’re writing. I agree with Joel. The whole thing was painful to read.
Joel: Yeah, so painful I got a cramp in my side from laughing. I had no idea Dave could write that badly. Dave, I hope you keep working on the farm because you have no career as a writer.
Dave: Did I ask for your opinion?
Joel: Weren’t the reviews you got the other day enough to see how much you suck?
Dave: I have the most uncaring, insensitive family of everyone on the planet. None of my wishes are being met by the author when I did my part in Eye of the Beholder and did everything the way she wanted me to. I didn’t tell Neil off in front of everyone like I wanted to, and I didn’t have him arrested at the train station when he abducted my wife. I sat by and let him get his “second chance” in His Redeeming Bride–a book I still can’t bring myself to read. I didn’t protest when Mary needed to be called in at the end of that book to save Neil’s sorry butt. And now that I’ve made a simple request for my son to marry Eva instead of Emily, everyone’s jumping all over me.
Tom: Well, maybe if you read His Redeeming Bride, you’ll understand that Neil paid for all the bad stuff he did. You seem to think he never had to deal with the things he did. And hey, it’s not like we all got what we wanted in our stories. I, for one, never got my wedding night, and everyone else go theirs.
Joel: Kind of. I didn’t have sex with April the day we got married. I was too upset about the wedding.
Tom: But you still got a sex scene in your book. I’m the only one with a G-rated book.
Sally: That was actually a good thing, Tom. With how clumsy you were, I don’t think it’d be a good idea to have people witness you fumbling around in the bedroom. I heard you tripped and broke a couple of things. Really, it was embarrassing enough to see you knock over someone at the barn dance and then get Jessica’s hair tangled up–
Tom: Dave, you are not the only one with insensitive family members, okay? Do you see the abuse I’ve taken all this time?
Joel: Abuse? You forced me into a marriage I didn’t want.
Ruth: Oh brother. I’m in a real bind. These people can argue all night if I let them. There’s only one way I can think of to end this post on a satisfactory note.
Everyone: *scurries on over to the kitchen*
Ruth: Thanks, Mary. It’s nice to know I can always count on you and your pies to get me out of a bind.