June 20, 2017


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc.) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

H Trope: adaptational heroism
Current Event: “Throughout this work, we advance four primary ideas: (a)The concept of heroism is a way to unify several types of courageous or brave actions that have largely been treated independently in the literature to date; (b) that the simple presence of risk accompanying prosocial behavior is not enoughto define heroism; (c) heroism is viewed as distinct from otherprosocial activities, such as compassion and altruism (and may represent an entirely different behavior); and (d) that while heroism is primarily a positive and prosocial act, a simplistic view of this behavior misses important (and sometimes negative) aspects of the phenomenon.” (http://www.scribd.com/doc/161425346/A-Conceptual-Analysis-and-Differentiation-Between-Heroic-Action-and-Altruism)

“My baby sister tells me you can help us find Carlos,” Carmita Rodriguez Cruz said. Her eyes narrowed, “She’d better be right.”

Austin Ventura remembered then that she was also taking kickboxing lessons – and that his best friend was missing. “I’m not sure exactly where he is. I just know that there are certain places he’s likely to be.” He dared, “We’re in probability together. You do the math.”

She scowled darkly at him, but didn’t contradict him.

Score one, he said to himself.

Paulina Rodriguez Cruz, sister to Los Traviesos Gemelos, said, “Quit flirting, you two! Carlos has been kidnapped and we have to rescue him!”

Austin exclaimed, “I’m not flirting!”

Looking at him, Carmita said, “She’s right, A-man.” Looking at Paulina, she said, ¿Qué te hace pensar que fue secuestrado?

“I have another question for you, dear sister – what would he be doing out in the middle of the night, by himself, without telling one of the three of us? Aren’t those enough reasons?”

“The bigger question is why would anyone kidnap him,” said Austin.

Carmita bristled, “Just ‘cause he’s not rich like you, doesn’t mean that there’s no reason to kidnap him!”

“You two have to cut it out! Carlos may need us out there!” Carmita and Austin looked at each other then looked away, hanging their heads. “You both know that Carlos is a better person than all three of us put together.”

Austin felt a chill run up his spine. He said, “What would that have to do with kidnapping?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. It just…felt right. Don’t you think?”

He grimaced as a chilly breeze blew from across the parking lot, chasing bits and pieces of leaves and paper over to them. “Much as I know about him, I have to say I agree.”

“What do you mean?” Carmita said. “I’m his twin. I’m just as good as him!”

“Better,” Austin said.


“You’re better than him in everything. It’s like when you guys were conceived, you sucked all the talent out of him. You got everything.” Carmita was glaring at him. He added slowly, “You got everything except his good heart.” She opened her mouth. Closed it. Opened it. Austin said, “You look like los peces de colores loco.”

“A crazy goldfish?” she echoed, puzzled.

“Yep. You ever seen one?”


“Sure you have. Someone who’s locked up and can’t do a single thing – and if they don’t start moving, it’s gonna drive ‘em crazy.”

Paulina said, “Fits you like a glove, Cabroncita.”

Carmita snorted and said, “Let’s get going.” She tossed her gigantic purse over her shoulder, “A-man, we’re gonna need your car.”

Names: Mexico, Mexico; Minnesota, Italy (= “baby in the woods”, “foundling”); Spanish form of French name ‘Paul’
Image: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_OCWXw6InF70/TKigMBk87NI/AAAAAAAAAy4/tL7MhIfL9CM/s1600/2212_1025142570.jpg

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