Cobblestones and Mud, Part II

Hey Everybody! I’ve just posted Part II of our Cobblestones and Mud story. In this installment, Max and his best friend, teammate, and classmate, Bopo, take part in the annual Bucket Battalion celebrations, flinging assorted sweets to a scrambling swarm of much younger pupils. As expected, it’s a chaotic affair, and it forces Max to reflect on how he behaved years before, when he was scrambling for the sweets himself. But he has little time to contemplate, as two quick encounters send Max’s day just a little further off-kilter!

The idea for Bucket Battalion came from a lot of places, I suppose. Anyone who’s taken part in a candy scramble can imagine what it’s like, either on the giving or receiving end. To that I added something I observed a few years ago in Manila, where we were visiting my wife’s family. It was October 31st. While my wife was out with one of her nieces, I found myself rattling around our borrowed apartment by myself. Late in the afternoon, I heard a rhythmic noise from the street below. Looking down from the balcony, I saw an assembly of costumed school children. A Trick-or-Treat parade! They marched along to the beat of a small drum, and while I never got to observe the kids that closely, the idea stuck with me, and eventually found its way into the story. Sort of. As I thought about how to write the scene, I realized the idea of a bunch of little kids scrambling for candy could come off a little creepy. Well, let it be creepy, then. It won’t be the last creepy thing in this tale, I assure you!

To read Cobblestones and Mud, Part II, click here!

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