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Thoughts need words, and words need power… -Sharon M. Draper

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The Adventures of Frank Bender: The Pencil War, Chapter 2: New Neighbors

The next morning Frank was very excited.  He was going to meet his new neighbors!  He quickly got out of bed without thinking.  “Oh no,” stated Frank, “Not again, this is going to be a another terrible and embarrassing day in the old paper wagon.  And sure it was, this time was worse than all the others.  His back hurt so much that he could barely get into the wagon!  The only good thing about being in that wagon was that he could practice his artwork all day, but eventually he would run out of room.  That was usually in just a few minutes.  Frank didn’t feel like drawing today though, he wanted to show the new resident that he could walk.  But he couldn’t show the new neighbors today, not a chance.

Frank was very lucky today though, by the time the were ready to meet the new neighbors, Frank felt way better.  That was the only time he had spend under 3 hours in the wagon!  Maybe his back was getting better!  Probably not, but he still had a chance.  Frank told his parents how he felt.  At first, they didn’t believe him, but then, they reconsidered because Frank was begging more than he had ever begged in his life.

After a couple of minutes of walking around, he was ready to go to the new neighbors apartment.  So, he walked with his family and the cupcakes to the new neighbors’ house.  When they knocked on the door, no response.  The second time they knocked they heard a small, girlish voice answer, “Hold your horses!  I’m coming!”  Frank liked that voice.  He liked how it ringed in his ears over and over again.  Then when the figure opened the door Frank started drooling.  “Hi!  I’m Shirley Sticky-notes.  Are you my neighbors?”      

 “Yes, yes we are,” answered Papa, then elbowed Frank in the shoulder.

Frank finally realized what he was doing.  He slurped in his spit and just stared.  He couldn’t stop.  Papa elbowed Frank again, but this time, way harder.  Frank almost fell over.  This time, he spoke.  

“Ummm… uh, Sh-Shirley, um…, these are for you,” and he handed her the awesome-looking cupcakes.

“Thanks!,” Shirley said, “Is your name Frank?”

Frank fainted.

This time, it was Mummy’s turn to speak, “Yes, that is Frank.  But he is a little shy now.  Then Mummy grabbed Frank’s cap and dragged him back to their apartment.  He didn’t like that.  

“Mummy… I think I might like Shirley a little more than I’m supposed to,” said Frank, lost in thoughts.

“No honey, you drool all over her nice carpet and then stare at her like she’s a princess that lives in a cloud castle in a dream!  No you really DON’T like her at all!,” yelled Mummy.

“I see what you mean, can I go back over?”

“If you don’t drool or do that weird stare!”

“Okay, I will!  Wait I will!  What?  Never mind,” was Frank’s final answer.

  “He’s going to blow this out of the ceiling,” Mummy said, worried.                                       

“Hey, I’m still RIGHT HERE!”

 “Oh.  Sorry Frank.”

Frank was shaking while he tip-toed over to Shirley’s apartment.  Once he got there Shirley was introducing the rest of her family.  There was her (Shirley),  Shelly (her little sister), her Mother, and her Father.  Then Frank realized something, they had something in common!  Little sisters!  That had to be the happiest thought that ever came up to his inky brain. Just then Mr and Mrs. Stickynotes came to the doorway right when Frank did.  “Uh-oh,” Frank accidentally said out loud.

“Uh-oh what?,” asked Shirley’s Father.

Frank replied, “Ummm, i-it’s nothing.”

Frank was so embarrassed.  That emotion was so strong that all of his ink squirted out of his bottom.  

“AAAHHH!,” screamed Mrs. Stickynotes.

“AAAHHH!,” screamed Papa, “This never happened before.  Frank, can you still draw?”

Frank flipped his cap off and tried to draw on the floor.  “No..,” Frank started to cry, “I’ll never become an artist now!”

“Here, Frank, let me take you to the gas station,” offered Shirley.


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