PostHeaderIcon The Twenty Minute Creativity Project: Build Character

By Jael Strong

“The Twenty Minute Creativity Project” is a weekly challenge designed to spur creative approaches to every day obstacles.

Week Three Challenge:  In twenty minutes, create a memorable character based on a name or nickname provided by a non-participating individual.

Prompt:  J.R. (Start the timer!)

“Vanilla!  Hey, Vanilla!”

“My name ain’t Vanilla.  It’s J.R.” The blonde-haired boy with the turned up collar stood next to the swing set facing his opponents.

“You sure look like vanilla ice cream,” shot back the ring-leader.

“You wanna say it again, Toby?  I’ll knock your teeth into your head.  They’ll rattle around in your skull like the pennies in your mama’s piggy bank.”  J.R. stepped forward with his fists clinched.

“Listen to him talking about your mama, Toby,” said one girl.

“Toby, I heard his mama calling him Vanilla.  I heard it Toby.  She called him Vanilla.,” said a boy from the back of the crowd.

Toby looked at J.R. sideways, cocking one eyebrow.  “Your own mama calls you Vanilla, Vanilla.”

J.R. slicked his hair back with his left hand and slapped his right hand to his hip as if ready for a gunfight.  The wind blew a ball of leaves across the playground.  There was a glint in J.R.’s eye as he squinted into the sun.  “You talkin’ about my mama?”

“What?  You can talk about my mama and I can’t say nothin bout yours?  Besides, it ain’t my fault you don’t know your own name.  Vanilla!  Vanilla ice cream with cool whip on top!”

J.R.  pushed his sleeves up above his elbows.  His white cheeks burned red.  He stamped his feet like a raging bull and made ready to pulverize the crowd.

Toby chuckled and turned side-to-side, nodding at his supporters.  “Look everybody!  Vanilla’s gettin mad.  He’s gettin so red we’re gonna have to start callin him Strawberry!”

J.R. readied himself for the charge.

From the distant lot across the grounds came the teacher’s call, interrupting J.R.’s attack.  He nodded his head toward Toby as if to say ’we’ll settle this tomorrow’ and grabbed his bag which was settled against the fence.  As he strode toward his mother’s wagon, he could still hear the crowd’s taunts behind him: Vanilla, Vanilla.  He silently climbed into the back seat.

“How was school today, Vanilla Bean?” his mother asked.

“It was fine mama.”

The End

About the Author

Jael Strong is a writer for, a company dedicated to creating professional blogging content for increased internet visibility.

Recommended Reading

The Twenty Minute Creativity Project:  Team Tale

The Twenty Minute Creativity Project: Fast Fiction

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