Never Too Dirty

Fiction By Lucy Anne // 2/15/2013

Important note in notes...

~~~

“Why did she have to be captured? Why not someone else? It’s so unfair.” Kee-dee exploded to her friend Kady as they moved across the ocean floor back to Kee-dee’s home. She ignored the curious glances of crabs that scurried past them. “We decorator crabs already try so hard to disguise ourselves. I hate those fishermen. I hate all humans. I hate our Crea—“

“Be quiet, Kee-dee! You mustn’t hate anyone. Much less, our Creator. You’ve got to accept the bad things.”

“Ha—that’s easy for you to say. You’ve only lost your sister. Me, everyone.”

“You know that’s a lie,” hurt was creeping up her voice. “One death hurts as much as four.”

Kee-dee’s regretted her words, but her pride kept her from apologizing.
The night was a difficult one for Kee-dee. It was a night of twisting, turning, and troubled thoughts and when Kee-dee finally fell asleep, it was twilight. An hour later, she heard a sound that seemed like someone was scraping off the paint off a china cup.

“It’s me, Kady! Are you ready yet?”

“For what?” Kee-dee feigned ignorance.

“I thought you were coming along to find shelters for the crabs…as always.”

“Oh, that! Well you know, I’m not really in the mood today.”

“Huh – what do you mean? You’ve always gone. What’s wrong?”

“I don’t want to talk about it!”

Kady stared at her. “Alright,” she whispered. “I’m thinking of you.”

With icy eyes, Kee-dee watched Kady grow smaller and smaller as she rose to the surface of the ocean. She muttered, “Have fun. I’m not going to risk my life for anyone anymore. This has—“

“…Kee-dee! Kee-dee!” a voice interrupted her thoughts.

She turned. Her eyes squinted then widened. “Cousin Keesha! Is that you? How did you get here?”
“Can we talk inside?”

When they settled down, Keesha spoke first. “My father and mother have been captured.”

“No…no.”

“Which leaves me to myself. ”

“I’m so sorry.”

“But our Creator is good. I came to ask if I could live with you since I know no one else. You don’t have a family either so maybe you could sympathize with me more. I do feel sorry for you. Your mother, your father, your brother, your sister…I loved them. They were truly the nicest people I’ve ever met. I am sorry –“

Kee-dee cut her short. “…Keesha, I don’t want to be rude, but please don’t mention my family again. I don’t want your sympathy.” Her voice grew cold. “You may stay. But I want to warn you that I am not the same crab I was. I have just decided that I will search for a better place to live and when I do, I will no longer go out to the outside world.”

Keesha opened her mouth.

“Don’t interrupt!”

Keesha closed it.

“Last night I decided that same fate that every crab encounters with, will not come to me. I will live in a place where no one will find me, no one will tell me how to live; what to believe. That way, when I prosper—no one else, only I can take credit for any good thing that has come to me. I will not be captured. I will not be threatened. I will live how I please. I, Kee-dee, a decorator crab—“ Her voice triumphed. “…will never die!”

All this time Keesha was observing her with mournful eyes.

“Well then. Will you live with me?”

“No. I’ve changed my mind. I won’t.”

“Fine,” Kee-dee spat. “Don’t try new things. You don’t know what you’ll be missing unless you try. Who says you can’t walk away later?”

If you peered closely at Keesha’s eyes, you would have seen a great battle between what is right and wrong. Kee-dee saw this and suddenly she realized that she yearned for someone to be on her side. So she persuaded her even further. “Ahh…you’re afraid of risks. But you know what? Risks, my dear, are what your father and mother didn’t take. They, like us, and many others are not taking any risks. We are simply living the normal life. Do you like disguising yourself making yourself so dirty to hide from predators – and that doesn’t even work? What is it that stops you? Why else are your father and mother dead?”

Kee-dee had struck her point. She knew it. Keesha knew it.

“Alright, I’ll go.”

A month later found Kee-dee and Keesha in a faraway remote place. But dear reader, you must realize that these months were full of regret.

Kee-dee grumbled, “Good friends we had back there, hmm? We haven’t even received one visit.”

“How is one going to visit if they don’t know where to go?” Keesha shot back. “It’s your fault.”

“Didn’t you follow me here?” Kee-dee sneered.

“You persuaded me. I’m tired of living like this.”

“Wonderful, loving Creator we have here,” muttered Kee-dee under her breath, but loud enough for Keesha to hear.

“Kee-dee!” she exclaimed, horrified. “Our Creator is always good! What’s wrong with you?”

“I don’t believe He’s good anymore,” she struggled to control her voice. “I actually don’t believe He’s real. He’s definitely not loving. How can He—He allowed my family to die.”

“Stop it. Not one word is true!”

“I hate Him. I hate my life!”

“KEE-DEE!”

“Don’t ever, ever mention Him again to me. Do you hear?”

Keesha shook with sobs. “I can’t! I can’t! My Creator, our Creator is real. Can’t you see that? T-there’s this peace and joy if you believe He’s real.”

“Don’t be a fool, Keesha. Your family is dead. No Creator would bring you such pain.”

“If he isn’t real, you wouldn’t be here. He gives and takes away. How you handle pain is your choice. I’ve chosen to claim his provision of joy in every single bad. Where else does genuine joy come from? I’m sorry it has to come down to this, but I can’t live like this anymore. Good-bye.”

“What? You can’t leave. It took us a month to find this. I won’t let you leave!”

“I’m sorry,” she took one step closer to the entrance.

Kee-dee raced to the entrance, blocking it, and changed her tactics.

“Keesha, if you leave, what will become of me? You’re my only friend. Please stay, please. Just for me? You love me, right?”

Keesha only shook her head. “I love you, Keesha. I love you, I love you, our Creator loves you.”

So with her head bowed, she put out the cries of her foolish friend and went home.

*****
Five years later…

“All I do is eat and sleep,” Kee-dee complained. “But at least I only serve myself. But even that gets dull. I wonder…”here she stopped at a strange feeling.

The water seemed to be pushing down on her. “What’s going on?”

She rushed out of the cave. She looked up. A massive ship loomed over her. “Is it dropping closer to me…or are my eyes failing me?” Then she screamed. The ship was sinking and if she didn’t move, it would crush her.

There was nothing to do except swim for her life.

She swam past her cave, along a path, past a volcano, then—

BOOM!

The ground shook like a chandelier does when an earthquake occurs and so did she. Then everything hushed. Kee-dee turned around and to her right was the ship. Motionless bodies of men and boys were scattered everywhere on the ocean floor and even more were still continuing to drop. The ship read in bold letters: Titantic.

“Kee-dee?” a voice spoke.

Kee-dee jumped and spun around, recognizing the voice. “Kady! KADY!”

“Ohhh, it’s so nice to see you!” Kady giggled, rushing towards her.

“What—how did find me?” Kee-dee didn’t know whether to feel angry or glad.

Kady sobered, “Keesha. I don’t know how to tell you this…but, she’s dying.
“Dying?”

“A human’s net…wrong place in the wrong time…injured…” Kee-dee could only hear snatches. Then—

“Kee-dee, you must come home.”

“Me? Ha—she’s, she’s the one who deserted me.”

“Kee-dee. She begs for you. There’s no time to waste. You must.”

Kee-dee sensed the urgency. “Alright, alright. I’ll go. But I’m coming back here after she, oh never mind!”

“Is this your home?” she pointed to the ship.

“No, no. It just sank. Let me go get some things—wait,” she paused in horror. “Surely it didn’t land on my cave!” she raced towards and saw her cave crushed flat as paper. “No…no.” she shook her head and burst into tears.

“I don’t think you can come back anymore,” Kady said slowly.

“I think I know that already,” Kee-dee snapped. She continued in a hoarse voice, “Let’s go.”

They began scurrying towards home.

“Kee-dee?” Kady asked.

“What?”

“Why’d you go without saying goodbye?”

Kee-dee crawled faster to avoid looking into Kady’s eyes. “It was easier that way. That’s all.”

“Did, did,” Kady hesitated. “you miss us?”

Kee-dee scoffed. “Nobody missed me!”

“I did.”

“I didn’t receive a single visit.”

“We would have all came if we knew where you were,” Kady whispered.

“I’m sorry nobody asked. I want you to know what I’ve decided that
there’s no Creator, or else I wouldn’t have had to live such a hard life.”

“Keesha told me.”

“She’s probably told you a lot then, I’m sure.”

They hurried on for a few hours in silence.

“Have you been still searching for homes for the crabs that don’t have them?” Kee-dee broke the silence.

“No. I’ve moved on to other things.”

“Good.”

“I couldn’t do it without you.”

“Really? I wasn’t that much of a help?”

“You were. You were. Sammy, Fred, and Virginia—I couldn’t help them when they lost their home again. No one was willing to risk their life in the beach with me.” She changed subjects. “Looks like we’re here.”

A crowd of crabs appeared, stared, and then shouted in joy and welcome.

“You’re back!”

“We missed you!"

“Welcome back.”

Kady calmed them, “This can wait for later. Where’s Keesha?”

Like an orchestra conductor that signals for the musicians to end the piece, everyone hushed. They led Kady and Kee-dee into a cave a few yards away.

“Kee-dee, you first.”

Kee-dee crawled slowly inside. She saw a motionless crab lying in the corner. Around her the dirt walls were scratched with these words.

Kee-dee, you’ll be too late. I’m sorry for my anger and accusations when we last saw each other. Our Creator has forgiven me. He will forgive you too. You can never be dirty to be clean again. Don’t keep your bitterness inside. Claim the joy.

I love you, I love you, Our Creator loves you.

Goodbye forever,
Keesha

Kee-dee’s eyes spilled with tears. Her nose stung. Wailing, she called Kady, “She’s gone! How can you both live so victoriously and joyfully? I want to know!”

Comments

*claps* That was really,

*claps*
That was really, really good! I'd give it five stars! Now to answer your questions:
1. Yes, you showed and didn't tell! :)
2. The dialogue seemed realistic to me. You did an excellent job with that!
3. Yes, the flow is realistic.
4. Keesha
5. Keesha ;)
6. It was not corny in the slightest :)
7. I am not an emotional person when it comes to fictional things (as I think I've said before), so, no. :P
8. I can't think of anything more you should add!

p.s.
I'm so happy you've become a monthly! I say your writing is much better than mine. :)
Love,
Sarah

Sarah Anne | Sat, 02/16/2013

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths

P.S
Go to my blog and follow it: Sarahanneandrews.wordpress.com
:) for my sake, follow

Now that....was interesting.

I actually got hooked when I realised the characters were crabs--I thought how creative!--but I'm afraid I don't have such encouraging feedback as Sarah....but here goes!

(first--I can see exactly the moral and the lesson of the story--so so so clearly, so you did a good job of making the reader understand what you were talking about)

1. Not as much as you could have. :(
2. No.....(now, I can't say much seeing as I am not specialised in realistic dialogue anyway, BUT) it just didn't seem like it. You probably didn't personalize the crabs enough, but that is expected with a short story, so if you want to expand this, make your characters more interesting, and make them have things which can identify with the reader. :) Hope that was helpful.
3. Yes....but again, as a short story, you (even though you could have) didn't make the bonds between the reader and characters. Also, I felt it was a bit rushed. Only because it was a SHORT STORY, so that kinda excuses everything. But you have certainly got the story flow happening, absolutely!
4. *rubs chin* Um....I like the name Kady, so probably her. :)
5. Kady or Keesha? Sorry, can't decide!!
6. Nope.
7. Ah no. I usually do cry or feel attached to the characters, but that is usually when the story has been much edited and this one hasn't. And I also I think it was because it was a short story, and you didn't elaborate enough on certain points. Some short stories are really good were they can make you cry--but not exactly this one.

SOOO--I really hope this was useful!! Lovely idea, by the way. And to make it with crabs--I'm still marvelling over that!

Can I just say--you have done an excellent job with this--in such a short time too. Are you going to edit it? If so--I'm looking forward to it!!!!!!

:)

Maddi | Mon, 02/18/2013

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Hey Lucy! Yay for short

Hey Lucy!

Yay for short stories! The beginning immediately drew me in. :) I thought the concept of the crabs was interesting. And now my answers:

I would LOVE to know: 1. Did I show and not tell – the main lesson of the story and in general, the style of how this is written? 2. IS THE DIAGOLUE REALISTIC? 3. Is the flow of the story realistic? (I tried to base it off my own experiences) i.e. the beginning of the story Kee-dee is angry, which led to bitterness, which then led to rebellion, and finally, she came back to truth. 4. Which character is your favorite? 5. Do you like Kady or Keesha better? 6. Was this corny? 7. DID YOU CRY or feel attached to the characters? 8. How can I tighten this or did every scene matter? I went way over the word count…

1. The main lesson was clear.

2. The dialogue felt a bit stiff and formal. I really liked this bit, though:

“Well then. Will you live with me?”

“No. I’ve changed my mind. I won’t.”

“Fine,” Kee-dee spat. “Don’t try new things. You don’t know what you’ll be missing unless you try. Who says you can’t walk away later?”

That seemed realistic to me. Especially the "Fine, don't try new things." That's totally what a person would say under those circumstances, or I think they would, so I enjoyed that. :)

3. The flow was a bit jarring at times. I didn't feel like we ever got to know Kee-dee or Keesha, or Kady too well. (LOVE the names by the way -- especially Kee-dee. I just love how it sounds! Love it!) It is a short story, though, so I understand.

4. Well, I really liked Kady! I enjoyed her optimism and happiness. I also liked Kee-dee, if only for her name. Haha!

5. Kady. :)))

6. Maybe a bit, but the fact that they were crabs gave it new perspective.

7. No and not particularly. I've never cried at a book before, actually. Still waiting. LOL! So not your fault there, haha. That also might have been because I wasn't attached to the characters. Like I said at #3, we never really got to know them. Background into their life or more of their relationship outside of just their religious standpoint might have helped. But their disagreement there was important, too.

8. I actually would suggest adding more, if I were you! :) It's a really good base for a longer short-story, or maybe even a mini-novel. (What are those called? I forgot). I would build upon it.

When you edit, please post again! Love the idea! I hope you don't feel as if I'm being too harsh -- I did my best to answer constructively! :))

Keep posting!!
-Homey

Madeline | Mon, 02/18/2013

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

Thank you, everyone.

Sarah Andrews: Thank you for such lovely thoughts and your input.

Maddi: Would you mind explaining how I could show more? What parts do you think I could have? I tried not to tell the lesson of the story nor what happens, except I know that this part definitely didn't show but since this was a short story, I couldn't elaborate.

A month later found Kee-dee and Keesha in a faraway remote place. But dear reader, you must realize that these months were full of regret.

2: I had hoped that anger, rebellion, and bitterness were subjects the reader could identify with, but maybe you meant that I should have...hmm... what did you mean?

3: Yes! I got the story flow! That means alot!

4: Yes! I was hoping that everyone would like Kady the best. Here was what I was originally planning : In the beginning, Kee-dee was supposed to have some problems and then Kady was supposed to influence her alot, but then Kady would become captured. Then Kee-dee, somehow will be motivated to be like Kady and THEN Keesha would come along searching for a home. (She wasn't meant to be the mentor; she was the one that was supposed to have all the anger.) Then Kee-dee would influence her, ... but of course, it didn't work out. And besides, I like it better this way.

But how does this relate to everyone liking Kady the best? I wanted Kady to have less stage time but the one that you remembered/liked the most.

One thing that I can't help but ask...you seemed to contradict yourself with these two statements. Some short stories are really good were they can make you cry--but not exactly this one. and you have done an excellent job with this--in such a short time too.

Where and how can I elaborate more on certain points? I need to know so if I am going to edit this, I can get an idea.

Thank you for your help and sorry for all the questions!

HomeschoolGirl: Thank you for commenting!!

1: What was the main lesson? I want to know if the reader got the same lesson I got out of it or wrote it for.

2: Thank you so much!

3: I love the name Kee-dee too - for a crab.

5: Yes! Read what I told Maddi for the first half of 4.

7. Background into their life or more of their relationship outside of just their religious standpoint might have helped. But their disagreement there was important, too. Wow. That's something to think about. Great, great advice - thank you!

You are not harsh at all. Thank you for your honesty - that is 100 times better than cupcake fluff.

Blessings to you all -- Megan

Lucy Anne | Mon, 02/18/2013

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Megan :)

Okay, so actually you did fairly well on the whole show thing. But you need to elaborate on the characters, and their dialogues. The dialogue felt a bit stiff in some parts. BUT I have to say you did extremely well in portraying the lesson and flow of the story--really well. Congrats!
About 2. --I meant that the way you wrote the story did not make the readers attach to the characters....if you get what I mean?? And I didn't contradict myself, only I meant was there is some short stories written really really well that really connect to the characters and readers (example: Sarah Bethany's Faith and Fidelity) that are great for fitting in short spaces. Others, like yours, were written short, and well, but did not connect. You get me?? Don't worry if you don't....I have a natural talent for being vague, and it's night here, and I've had a big big day, and really tired. So really sorry for any misunderstandings. :) Hope I answered all the questions!!

Maddi | Wed, 02/20/2013

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Thank you --

I mostly get what you are trying to say. Just one more question that I forgot to ask you both. What did you mean by stiff? Where?

Thanks so much! Blessings! Megan

Lucy Anne | Wed, 02/20/2013

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

By stiff, I meant very

By stiff, I meant very formal--not many contractions. Adding more contractions and making the conversation more easygoing might help. :) But it also depends on whether you were intending to write with a more formal style.

E.g.

“Be quiet, Kee-dee! You mustn’t hate anyone. Much less, our Creator. You’ve got to accept the bad things.”

vs.

"Be quiet, Kee-dee! You shouldn't hate anybody. Especially our Creator. You've got to accept the bad things."

The second (at least for me) feels a bit more informal. But that's just my style of writing (as you have seen! LOL!). If more formal speak was intended (which, I got from this story that it was), then you're good to go. :)

Hope that helped!
-Homey :D

Madeline | Wed, 02/20/2013

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

Homey basically summed it up.

Homey basically summed it up. Although, this is your story, and if you want to write it in that style, then go for it! Yeah, so just the conversations is the main stiffness, I think. :D

Sorry I took so long in replying to your email--it has been sent now! :D

Maddi | Thu, 02/21/2013

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

:)

Thanks you both!

I forgot to add that the limit of the word count was 400-800 and I wrote 18000.

Lucy Anne | Thu, 02/21/2013

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Illustrations for "Never too Dirty"

Hey Lucy Anne!
I was wondering if you want me to illustrate this story for you. Huh? Just leave me a comment.

P.S. Are Kee-dee and Kady fish or crabs?

j. Glen pollard | Sat, 02/23/2013

"The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you."-When I Reach Me.

Yes you may.

What caused you to ask if you could illustrate?

And if you read carefully, Kee-dee and Kady are crabs......

Lucy Anne | Sat, 02/23/2013

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson