All Stories, General Fiction

The Precipitous Writing Career of Evelyn Jones by Bruce Levine

From the first thing of recorded history, that is, the first thing he could remember, Evelyn Jones wanted to be a writer. He didn’t know what he wanted to write and, at not quite two years old, that was to be expected. But he’d seen people writing things. Adults, his older siblings and anyone else that happened to hold a pencil or pen and place it against paper was fascinating. The mere act of passing a writing instrument across paper seemed so extraordinary that he felt he somehow had to try it.

This too presented the problem of not knowing how to conquer the necessaries of acquiring a pencil and paper since none were ever placed within his reach.

For a not quite two-year old this was a perplexing problem.

Since pencils and paper weren’t handy and were always too high up on tables or some other furniture he knew he had to devise a method of extending his body.

Once again fate held the answer.

His mother had placed him in his high chair at the kitchen table so she could feed him lunch, but she decided to add some applesauce for his dessert. Having looked for an open jar in the refrigerator and found none she went to the pantry. Unfortunately for her, but fortunately for Evelyn, the new jar was on the top shelf which meant that she had to get a step-ladder to add the extra height.

Evelyn watched his mother carefully.

That was it! That was how he too could extend his body enough to reach the pencil and paper his parents always kept on the desk in the living room.

But now he had a new set of problems. He knew he couldn’t bring the step-ladder from the kitchen into the living room. His walking skills were still at the early stages and while he knew that he could propel himself briskly around the house, they didn’t include carrying anything large enough to create a means of reaching the glorious requirements of writing so that idea was doomed.

All of these conclusions were realized in the time it took his mother to finish preparing his lunch so he decided to hold off on figuring out their solutions until later in the day.

That day turned into days and then weeks until, about a month later, Evelyn was watching the family cat as it climbed from one object to another reaching higher and higher until it reached its objective.

That was it!

He now knew that he had to figure a way to create a series of levels to climb to reach the top of the desk and the glorious pencil and paper.

Pushing things around had long been one of his favorite games, often to the chagrin of his parents and delight of his older siblings who saw some of the end results as hilarious.

Now all he needed to do was figure out how to create a sequence to accomplish his goal.

That, he knew, was going to take some study and research of the various objects throughout the house that he could push into the living room.

A rainy day about a week later seemed to be sent by Providence. Since it was too awful to go out to play his mother let him run around indoors and there he discovered everything he needed. It also seemed to his mother that the things he was pushing around were keeping him busy and out of trouble so she ignored the mountain that he had created in the living room.

Now all Evelyn needed was to get it all close enough to the desk and have enough time to climb up to the precipice and accomplish his goal before his mother saw him and yanked him back to the floor.

Once again preparing his lunch came to the rescue.

Since he still seemed quiet and out of trouble his mother decided it was safe to leave Evelyn in the living room while she went to the kitchen to get lunch ready.

Realizing his golden opportunity Evelyn quickly ascended the mound that, to his mother, had seemed simply like a pile of stuff, but to Evelyn was Mount Everest and Pike’s Peak rolled into one and reached the historic heights needed to achieve his goal.

Getting down was another matter, especially holding the treasured pencil and pad of paper.

Fate held the answers once again since; as he came crashing down the pile the pencil and pad fell away from him and landed behind the couch and out of sight.

As his mother raced into the room he was able to get up and make it look like he was simply playing and that there was nothing to worry about.

Satisfied that all was okay Evelyn’s mother took him into the kitchen to have lunch.

For Evelyn, however, it was mission accomplished.

After lunch and a nap, during which time Evelyn’s mother returned everything that had created his mound to its proper place, Evelyn was again allowed to play in the living room. And, again, finding him quiet and, seemingly not getting into trouble, she went into the kitchen to begin dinner preparations.

Evelyn was now beginning to wonder if his mother had any idea of the schemes he was constantly creating and was thankful that, apparently, she was blithely unaware.

His new problem was retrieving the pencil and paper from behind the couch.

That was quickly solved by the fortuitous intervention of the cat, once again, who was reaching under the couch with its paw to retrieve a toy.

Evelyn quickly realized that he could crawl as close as he could to the couch and reach toward his goal.

It took a couple of tries, but then success!

When his mother returned a few minutes later he was happily sitting on the floor, the pad between his legs and he was scrawling all over the paper.

His mother wondered how he got the pencil and pad of paper, but, since he was so obviously happy, she let it go and picked up a book to read while Evelyn played – or so she thought.

Thus, the writing career of Evelyn Jones had begun.

Since he seemed so completely happy drawing, as his parents thought that was what he was doing, they supplied him with as many pencils and as much paper as he needed.

Gradually, though, they began to realize that the scribbles were beginning to take on form and then create images.

“Maybe he’s going to be an artist,” his mother suggested.

“Or an architect,” his father added.

Then, slowly, those images were becoming letters and they now knew that it was time to get some professional advice.

While both of Evelyn’s parents were well educated and literature and the other arts were a part of their life and household they had no real connection to academia. That said, it took some research and a series of meetings and visits with a variety of doctors and other educational specialists only to discover what they had already figured out – Evelyn was a gifted child with a genius IQ.

Now what?

Evelyn’s parents wanted him to have as normal a childhood and adolescence as possible, but also nurture his talents. It was a difficult balancing act, but, once again, Evelyn was rather self-sufficient at finding ways to accomplish what he wanted and needed.

He quickly began writing short stories and plays that he presented for his family and friends and then began submitting them to magazines and on-line literary journals.

It wasn’t a twice-told tale, it was a many times told tale; a genius fulfilling his destiny.

Evelyn’s list of accomplishments were far too numerous and varied to include here for fear that you, dear reader, would quickly become bored. Leave it to your own imagination to fill in the blanks, but conclude that through public and high school and then college and a Master’s Degree in English literature he continued to write and publish.

At age twenty-two he published his first novel. It had been a long route from knowing that he wanted to be a writer at age two to standing before an assembled audience at a literary seminar and begin a reading and book signing.

He looked around and saw many familiar faces including his parents and siblings and made his decision.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” he began, “I was supposed to read a chapter from my novel, but instead I think I’ll simply tell you the story of how it all began and the fortuitous intervention of the cat.”


Bruce Levine

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3 thoughts on “The Precipitous Writing Career of Evelyn Jones by Bruce Levine”

  1. Hi Bruce, any story with some cat instigation has a charm and a worry about it!!
    We all know how hard you work at your stories and the professionalism you show throughout the whole process so it’s great to see you here again.
    All the very best my friend.


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