12 April, 2019

The King Rides #AtoZChallenge

Peter McKenzie lived on Kendall St. He knew everyone there, and they knew and liked him. This year his mom had enrolled him in the afternoon session of kindergarten at St. Michael’s, and that suited Peter just fine. He was a busy little boy in the mornings. 

Peter pedaled his tricycle along the sidewalk. Mr. Gorman was taking out his trash. “Good morning, Peter! Nice day!” 

“Good morning, Mr. Gorman!” Peter rode past without stopping. He was on a mission. “Bye, Mr. Gorman!” 

Mr. Gorman laughed at the cheery little boy and turned to go inside. He saw a basket sitting on the back of the trike as Peter rode past. Curious, he watched Peter turn into the driveway at 1505 and nodded with approval. Mrs. Baker had just returned from the hospital last night, and Peter’s mom probably sent him over with a sweet gift. Everyone on Kendall St. adored little Peter. He was a well-mannered, happy child, and with few playmates his age, the grown-ups were his buddies as well as his guardians. 

After about ten minutes at the Baker residence, Peter came out the front door, waving good-bye to Mrs. Baker’s oldest daughter. She was visiting to help her mom after surgery and had been charmed by the little boy she’d just met. 

Down the street at the next house, a trio of little girls came running out from the back yard. “Hi Peter!” 

“Peter, we’re playing house, you want to be the daddy?” 

“No thank you, Bethany. I’m riding.” 

He waved and continued up the street. The Martins lived on the corner where Kendall St. met a more major road. They were a semi-retired couple. Mr. Martin was the de facto concierge of their cul-de-sac. He spent most of his day in a rocking chair on the front porch. No one came or went without his knowing. 

Peter pulled the front wheel of his tricycle onto the grass so it wouldn’t roll away down the sidewalk and walked up to the porch. “Good morning, Mr. Martin!” 

“Well, good morning, sir!” He always called Peter “sir” and bowed his head when he greeted him. “Come join me.” Peter obediently climbed the steps to the porch, then allowed Mr. Martin to help him climb into the second adult-sized rocker. “Did you see Mrs. Baker this morning?” 

“Yes.” He answered in his young, precise way. “Mommy made her some muffins. I met Karen.” 

“Ah, her daughter. Nice girl.” 


“Who else is out and about this morning?” 

“Mr. Gorman, taking out the trash. My daddy takes ours out when he goes to work.” He leaned forward and back to force the rocking motion. “The Tyler girls are outside playing house.” The last statement rang with disappointment. There was only one other little boy on Kendall St., and he was gone to his grandmother’s house right now. 

“You know, the Jacksons across the street have family coming this weekend. Maybe there will be a little boy with them.” 

Peter brightened at that. “That would be fun.” He kicked his legs as he rocked. The two sat in silence for a moment, then Peter scooted to the edge of his seat. “Okay. I have to go now.” 

“Of course you do. See you tomorrow, sir.” Mr. Martin lent a hand for balance as Peter jumped down out of the chair. 

“See you tomorrow!” He waved and went back to his tricycle. Crossing the street, Peter rode down to the Jacksons’ house and stopped, looking up at the front door. Betsy saw him through the window and stepped out to say hi. 

“Good morning, Peter!” 

“Good morning Betsy.” Peter didn’t get off his trike this time. “Will there be a little boy at your house this weekend?” 

“Well, my nephew Hunter is coming. He’s a little older than you, but why don’t you stop by and meet him?” 

“I will. Thank you!” Peter started pedaling before he remembered to call out “Bye-bye!” 

Back at home, he found his mom in the laundry room. “Well? Is everything good on Kendall Street?” she asked. 

“Oh yes,” he said, and he told her all the news from his little kingdom of Kendall Street.  

Thank you for visiting my #AtoZChallenge! My theme is "Audience Participation" (read about it, here) and now it is your turn. Each day will be a new story based on suggestions from your comments. Suggest anything: a word, scenario, character, location... I will be keeping a list of suggestions, so if yours isn't used tomorrow, it may show up later. 

Today's post was inspired by the prompt "tricycle", suggested by Jz (of A Reluctant Bitch), given in comments on my "I" post (here)


  1. Ooo, this is a very interesting take on the AZProject! Sweet story!

  2. Omigosh, this is so funny, because one of those memories that sticks in your head was me watching a shirtless little boy riding his tricycle around the neighborhood with a big ol' Burger King crown on his head. And he truly was projecting a King of the Block air.
    What a hoot that you wrote this! Thank you. :-)


  3. Very cute. He was a busy little boy.

    Do you need more suggestions? It's been a few days since I offered one. How about left behind water bottles?

  4. What a lovely, cheerful story. You capture a young boy on a mission perfectly.

    Thank you for visiting my blog.

    Warm regards

  5. I loved the happy, light feel you created. I kept waiting for Peter to do something really horrible/unexpected. ;) You've got a great set-up here.

  6. Peter seems like a sweet kid, but I fear he would plant himself at my house and never leave.

  7. rhodrymavelyne - Thanks! I'm having fun with this theme.

    Jz - That is hilarious. My first thought was one of those touring motorcycle trikes, but I opted for sweet instead.

    Liz - Always collecting suggestions. Until today, I only had one unused one that isn't a continuation of one of my previous stories.

    Felicity - Thanks! I felt like I was in his head.

    Maria - You, if I turned this into a novel, when he grew up he'd probably hit his rebellious phase with gusto.

    Donna - Thanks. I'm trying out different styles and genres. Before I started writing, my first idea was a kids story, but I'm too wordy.

    Brett - Knowing you, he probably would. Bet you would never call him "sir", either.

  8. Hi Red, you sure have a novel concept for your theme. I enjoyed reading about Peter and his bicycle. I love the little, well-mannered boy. :)

  9. Sundari - Thank you! I'm quite happy about him too, although I created him. I wonder what he'd be like as he grew up.

  10. Okay, that was just adorable. That's a dreamy little story. I like the bit of "conflict" worked in (he wants another friend to play with). I feel like there's happy music playing when I read this, if that makes sense.

    Word suggestions: Moose and mousse. Ha ha ha.

    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

  11. J - Yes! I can hear a jaunty little tune starting up every time the tricycle is in motion! Love it. Thanks for the suggestions.

  12. Reminds me a bit of Leave It To Beaver, that easy, 1950s style of neighborhood family life. I did fear something from The Exorcist would happen and am pleased with the ending just as it is.

    (AtoZ Theme: very short stories/various genres)

  13. Gail - I have some darker, heavier stories popping up during this challenge, so I try to vary things. Test the waters of different voices, etc.

  14. That was such a lovely story.

    Ruchi . http://thevagabond.me

  15. Cucco - It's one of the sweeter stories I've written during this challenge, to be sure. Thanks for stopping by!


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.