A Story by Lola M

We join the mismatched besties at Muni's house, and get to meet her brother, Rudi, who spends his days making, among other things, Rube Goldberg machines.

I bounced up the front steps of Muni’s house, anxious to get to the Cirque. We’d agreed to meet up here, go through the typically female debate of what was appropriate for her to wear (which actually lasts less than your usual amount of time, as she’s given away most of her clothes to the local shelter) and then have Muni’s elder brother drive us to the show.
I banged the knocker against the door and waited for the mechanism to finish its course. On the inside of the door, I knew, the knocker had set off a string which was connected to the boot that was supposed to kick the switch so that the boiler would push the ball out so it would slide down the track, tipping the scales and releasing the hammer which would hit...
...the door bell.
I grinned. If Muni was the charitable sibling, Rudi was the creative one. I don’t think he plans on growing up, though, judging by his inability to grow out of his childhood obsession of studying and building utterly useless contraptions.
See, right around the time Muni and I discovered our fascination with the circus, Rudi’s dad bought him his first book of Rube Goldberg’s drawings (which illustrate mechanisms similar to the one I just triggered). Rudi’s twenty-three now and well on his way to being the next big thing of manufacture (you wouldn’t know it from the way he keeps backtracking to Rube, but he’s been drawing up designs for cars with retractable wheels which can be used in water and aerial traffic).
The door was yanked open and I was ushered inside by my enthusiastic best friend.
“Mom got me a new dress,” she said guiltily. “I’ll wear it tonight, then I’ll donate my old one to the shelter first thing in the morning!”
She’s been this way ever since she saw her first homeless person. I had to fight my eye-rolling reflex on a daily basis.
“Okay, so what are we going to do for the next...”I consulted the thing on the wall that used to be a normal clock before Rudi got to it. “Three hours?”
“We’ll just watch that new Sherlock series with Rudi,” she shrugged.
“Excellent!” I cried, taking on the role of Watson.
“Elementary,” she quoted back, barely containing her smile. She pushed me along into the living room where we settled onto the couch while I exchanged pleasantries with Rudi. He was as redheaded and short as his sister (okay, so he was a tiny bit taller than her), but unlike her, he’s always has some of his hair colour leaking into his face. Even as a baby he'd had a permanent blush, which is why his parents had, albeit cruelly, christened him... Rudolph.
“You guys have popcorn?” I asked absent-mindedly a while later, immersed as I was in the TV show.
Rudi looked right at the titanic Great Pyrenees dog at his feet and said in a commanding voice, “Sweetie, popcorn.”
Obviously, Muni had named her that. Granted, she was five at the time, but still. It was comical, hearing this giant white dog referred to as ‘Sweetie’.
In any case, Sweetie hopped to her feet instantly and swaggered off to the kitchen where we heard a cabinet door open and close and the microwave ding to life. Once the popping sounds stopped, Sweetie returned to us, carrying the bloated brown paper bag of microwave popcorn in a bowl between her teeth. She set it in Rudi’s lap, and he gave her a complimentary scratch of her ear.
This trick had taken two months to prepare. It had taken one hour to record and a couple of minutes to post on Youtube. Rudi won’t share his training techniques with anyone, though many have asked.
Sweetie hasn’t performed it for me all that often, so she came over, looking for confirmation of her brilliance. I obliged, petting and praising her until she tired of me and went in search of food. She took the empty popcorn bag to the trash.
I shook my head in bewilderment. Waiting for the circus is bound to be interesting.

© 2013 Lola M

Author's Note

Lola M
Okay so this is the second of the three stories I wrote for my English class. The title means 'elementary', as in 'elementary, my dear Watson', and is referring to the creative genius of the character Rudolph.

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Added on March 9, 2013
Last Updated on March 9, 2013
Tags: rudimentary, high school, cirque du soleil, creativity, rube goldberg machine, dog, sherlock


Lola M
Lola M


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