I just saw a fun Kidlit contest on Twitter run by author Kailei Pew and decided to enter. 200 words is not very many, which makes it a good challenge. I pulled something from an abandoned story from a few years ago and trimmed 600 words down to 200. Be assured, the badger in the original is much more verbose, but I think his loquacious personality still comes through in the shortened version.
Here’s what I entered:
Fresh Out of Worms
By: Adam Thomas
Genre: Middle Grade
Upon hearing the knock, Mila opened the door.
“Hello,” the badger said.
Mila stared down at him.
“Ah, by your silence, I wonder if perhaps I’ve gotten the greeting wrong.”
Mila dropped to one knee. “You can talk?”
“A rather obvious observation given our present situation.” The badger peered into the kitchen. “I say, are there any worms in that bowl of vegetables?”
“No, I’m afraid not.”
“A pity. I do enjoy worms: the longer the better, especially after a good, hard rain.”
“Sounds…sounds delicious,” Mila agreed.
The badger surveyed the table. “What is this square brown stuff? Is it food?”
“You mean the bread?”
“Bread,” the badger repeated. “It’s rather odd: I knew the word in my mind, but until now I had nothing with which to connect it. Does it taste good?”
“It’s my favorite food in the world.”
“A fine recommendation then. I shall give it a try.”
“Be my guest.” Mila handed him a buttered piece.
He nibbled the edge. “I do not mean to be rude, but this bread stuff is not to my taste. Do you have any worms NOT in the bowl of vegetables?”
Mila smiled. “We’re fresh out of worms just now.”
Here’s a link to the contest. Everyone’s entries are in the comments. The judges are 100 kids. What fun!