My eighth and final attempt was wrought in rebellion. I decided to ditch the languagey part of storytelling and make a picture book. Basically a 72-frame comic strip. Surely my peers
—the rightful judges of this contest—would appreciate not having to actually read anything else forced upon them in the halls of Westport Middle. Consequently, I produced the only book I cared to keep for prosperity on my bookshelf. But it didn't win shit either.
While it bore the dazzlingly original title The Worst Day, it became known by my sister and I as "HE ORT" because most of the construction paper lettering fell off.
Because I wrote it in February of 1989, I was extremely pleased by the subsequent release of one of my favorite films of all time, Falling Down, which screened in the winter of my senior year of high school (1993). I won't say my little book was exactly a crafty portent of the movie, but, you know, there is a shotgun and a briefcase in the movie poster.
So here's a story from the mind of a healthy 13 year-old, who may or may not have known what S&M stood for (see penultimate page) at the time. Maybe that part was portentous.