The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

03 November 2009

Captain Christopher?

I'm working on an assignment for a course I'm taking. I am to write a story for children, between 500-3,000 words long. I've got two little pieces begun, and with both have boxed myself into a corner, and am unsure where to go with them now. So today, I sat down and wrote something else. I am posting the result below. One note: I'm calling the boy Christian right now, but he has been Christopher and Sebastian as well. Maybe he's a Timothy? What do you think?

I'd love to get some feedback. Can it be improved? Does it end ok? I want to submit the assignment in the next couple of days, so drop me a line if you have any thoughts. Thank you!

Christian and the cars

The sun woke up just minutes before Christian opened his eyes. He took a minute to stretch his arms up high over his head, and wiggle all of his toes as a way of saying “Hello!” to the new day. He yawned so hard, he couldn’t see the bunk bed above him, and little black stars swirled in front of his eyes.

With a little shiver of happiness, he remembered that today was a very special day. It was his birthday, and he’d been promised a very special treat – he was going to the big park; the one with the water wheel and the pirate ship, and the extra long slide that turned around two times before you landed with a bump in the sand.

He tucked his hand under the pillow, searching for his favourite car – the black and white police truck, with a yellow number 5 painted on the sides. The doors opened up, and if you dragged it backwards on the floor then let go, it would zoom away very fast all by itself.

Birthday breakfast meant waffles with blueberries – his very favourite – and chocolate milk. And right there, beside his plate, was a box covered with yellow paper and an orange bow. It had a card on top that said “To Christian: happy birthday, love Mummy and Daddy” but he couldn’t open it until he’d finished all of the blueberries on his plate.

And when he! It was a beautiful green dump truck, with big black wheels; and when he pushed the button, the back of the truck lifted up, so all the blocks or sand or rocks would tumble out, just like at a real construction site.

Being patient was very hard for a boy who had only just turned three, but eventually he was at the park, standing behind the wheel of the pirate ship: Captain Christian of the brave ship Ahoy, with its cargo of treasure and chocolate. Captain Christian had to be wily and cunning to outmanoeuvre the navy boats chasing him. He had to call his crew to battle stations, man the canons, and let the royal navy have it. Because he was a wily and cunning captain, Christian got his boat and his crew to safety, where they had a big party, eating almost all of the chocolate they had on board.

Happy that once again he had brought his ship and crew back home, Christian took a fast ride down the twisty slide, where he turned twice very fast before landing with a bump in the sand. He decided this might be the day he would be able to climb all the way to the top of the slide without sliding back down on his feet. Holding on to the sides as tight as he could, he tried walking up the ramp, curling his toes hard inside his shoes, pulling a little with his hands. But his shoes were too slippery, and his arms were not yet long enough for his hands to hold on strong, so he slipped back to the bottom after taking only five steps.

Because he was a big boy now, of three years old, he didn’t get upset at all. He thought maybe it was time to bring his shiny new dump truck into the sand box, where some other boys were playing with their cars. The way they looked at his toy, he knew they thought it was special, and that they would like the chance to play with it, too. But they didn’t know, like Christian did, that this truck was real.

As soon as Christian’s little fingers sat in the seat behind the steering wheel as if they were going to drive, the truck started to rumble with a deep engine sound, shaking the loose gravel of the sand box. The lights on the dashboard began to glow red and blue, telling Christian everything was working just right. With a loud ‘Honk’ of the horn, and a ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ of the backup warning system, he moved the truck into place to receive its load from the digger to deliver to the construction site.

Load after load he drove wherever it needed to go. Little sticks became giant logs when they were dropped into his truck. Pebbles turned into boulders when dropped from his fingers shaped like the bucket of a crane, landing with a big ‘thunk’ and shaking the truck. One of the other boys crashed his motorcycle just before their big race, so Christian lifted it on as cargo and delivered it safely to the garage for repairs. Everyone cheered, because now the race could go on.

Long before he was finished all the work he had to do, Mummy said it was time to go back home. The new truck had to stay outside because it was very dusty and dirty – just like Christian was, too. After bath time and supper, it was time for bed. Tucked in and cozy beneath his favourite fuzzy blanket, with the police truck under his pillow, Christian said goodnight to the sun, wiggled his toes, and closed his eyes, already dreaming about the adventures he would have tomorrow.


  1. I think your protagonist should maybe be a year older, say 3 going on 4. I am not sure why I feel this way. I will get back to you on that.

  2. Love it, though I prefer Jacob as opposed to Christian. (Wink, wink.)

    I could totally picture the illustrations in my head and wish fervently that I could draw something beyond a stick figure.