Toad-May Storybook Corner

Coypright–Adam Ickes

This is my story this month of May for Storybook Corner hosted by Adam Ickes. Each story is supposed to be from 300 to 500 words in length, or longer if it’s thought necessary, and be inspired by the photo prompt provided that month by Adam.

THE FROG by P.S. Joshi

Buddy Cartland viewed his reflection in the hall mirror. He saw prominent dark brown eyes and a generous mouth. He didn’t think he deserved being labeled The Frog by cruel kids at his school. It was mean. His close friends never called him names so it didn’t worry him. It was just embarrasing to be called that in front of Kathleen Parker, the most beautiful girl in Eighth Grade.

Every time he saw Kathleen it made his heart race. She had short blond hair that shone like gold in the sunlight and big blue eyes.  He hadn’t paid attention to her until this year.

Buddy lived with his widowed mother and her younger, unmarried brother,  John. John was a nice guy but he didn’t like the out-of-doors. Buddy was a Boy Scout and his Scout Master knew all there was to know about camping.

It was a sweltering Saturday and a large crowd was at the civic center pool. The life guard on duty was warning some younger kids about pushing. Buddy spotted Kathleen at the pool edge, her hair shining in the sun like a golden crown.

All at once someone bumped into her and she fell forward, striding the side of her head against the cement pool edge. She tried to get up but fell face down into the pool.

Buddy was the first to reach her. Water nearby was turning bloody from a gash in her head.  He carefully turned her so her face was out of the water.

By that time the lifeguard was there with another man and they carefully lifted her out of the water and onto an inflated plastic float at the pool’s edge. The lifeguard kept pressure on the wound while the other man dialed for help.

Several days later Kathleen’s mother called. Kathleen was home and wanted Buddy to visit her.

He entered Kathleen’s bedroom not knowing what to expect. There she was propped  on pillows with a bright pink and blue scarf tied over the bandage and a blue knit shawl around her shoulders over her pajamas. She was the prettiest patient he’d ever seen. A chair was beside the bed so he sat down.

Kathleen smiled at him and said, “Thanks for saving my life. I could’ve drowned.

Buddy felf his face getting warm and his mind froze. Finally he recovered and Said, “You’re welcome.” He though to himself, “I’m being really lame.”

Kathleen smiled again. “I think you’re great and it’s terrible some mean kids call you The Frog. You have a nice face with lovely brown eyes. You’re in  Boy Scouts aren’t you?”

“Is this a dream?” Buddy wondered.

She continued. “I love the outdoors. We go camping and fishing with our parents and Dad, my brother, and I collect fossil rocks. Maybe you can go with us sometime.

At last Buddy had found another person who had the same interests and was pretty as well. The image of The Frog faded completely.


6 thoughts on “THE FROG

  1. This is a great piece of flash fiction, but I would like to offer one suggestion. The first sentence would work better as the last sentence. Something like, “The next morning a man’s bloodied body was found near this stream, throat torn open.”

    Keep Writing.


    • Thanks Cole. I’ll consider that advice for my next story. This one has been submitted quite a few days now so I don’t think I’ll change it now. Your advice is worthy of consideration though the next time I write a story. I’m glad you liked this one. Somehow WordPress got my story “Mist and Moon” confused with a story I wrote for Storybook Corner entitled “The Frog.” Thank you for taking the time to comment. 🙂 —Susan


  2. That was a lovely story! I kept waiting for something to go wrong for poor Buddy but it all turned out all right.
    I liked the “starting adolescence” thing of him not noticing her before, but now she’s the most beautiful thing ever 🙂


    • Thanks Al. I thought I’d try a Middle Grade genre on that story. I’m kind of experimenting with the different genres. I’m glad you liked it. I remember being that age. Some boys noticed girls and others didn’t. Even in the first year of high school our son was more interested in Boy Scouts and camping than in girls. If it had been a longer story, or a novel, I would have had to give Buddy some problems to overcome, but with a story that short there wasn’t time. The biggest problem he had was the name calling. I had to fit “Frog” in there somewhere. 🙂 —Susan


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