I wrote this novel for fun, it’s not meant to convey any kind of hidden meanings, and it isn’t meant to be an accurate representation of Amish lifestyles and personalities.
Chapter 1: every book has a first chapter. This is no exception.
Danny Dominici was an Amish boy, living in an Amish town, in an Amish house, in an Amish community in Pennsylvania. Danny wasn't unlike other Amish boys- he was short (though Amish kids aren't necessarily short), he was athletic (though Amish boys aren't necessarily athletic), and he was capable of getting into lots of trouble. Danny spent the afternoons (when he wasn't doing chores on the farm) at his friend Jacob Hatchback's house. Jacob always got Danny into trouble, but it never lasted long because Danny's mother, Rahab, was a despicable liar and always covered up for them.
One day, Danny and Jacob were walking through the field, when Danny saw his older sister, Jezebel, running around with some friends. “Hey, Danny” said Jacob. “Jezebel isn't in her room for once! Let's carry her furniture out to the lake and put it on that leaky boat in the middle!” “I'm not sure...” Danny said: “I guess we could just this once... She has been a bit annoying lately.” So, Danny and Jacob set out trying to carry Jezebel's furniture to the lake. They got her bookshelf out all right, they got her nightstand out, and they were halfway down the stairs with the bed when they realized “Hey, we're twelve.” So, they gave out under the weight and went crashing down the stairs. Danny slowly pulled himself to his feet, and looked up to see his father, Zecharias Dominici, standing there. “Hello, Danny.” Said his father. “You've been quite the little Abihu today.” Danny tried to stammer some kind of explanation, but by the time he got anything more than “uh, oooooooooOOOOOOOHHHHH WWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HEEHEEHEEHEE...” he was locked up in his room- grounded for a week.
Jacob was promptly sent home, where his mother, Marsha, was waiting for him. Jacob felt a large lump in his throat as he realized that for once he wasn’t getting away with this. “Jacob.” Said his mother: “Jacob, I can’t believe you would do something so stupid. You go get your little cousins and tell them I said they are to help you carry all that furniture back into Jezebel’s room. DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?!” “Yes, Ma’am,” said Jacob in a grumbly fashion. Jacob skipped grumpily to his cousins’ house to fetch his cousins. “Cousins!!” he yelled when he saw them in the yard, “Ma says you have to come help me put Jezebel’s stuff back in her room!!!” Now, Jacob’s cousins were Jephtha, Ruth, Bob, and Joseph. They were 10, 7, 6, and 4, respectively. Joseph was tall for his age, but not just incredibly brilliant. Jephtha was average size for a seven year old, and had bright red hair and big black eyes. Ruth loved younger kids. At her birthdays she would always beg her parents: “Give me children lest I die!”, but she never would understand that you can’t get children at the store. Joseph was almost philosophical, for his age, and when asked to clean up his toys would come up with all the reasons in the world that he shouldn’t (which sometimes were so logical they got him out of his chores). However, on this occasion the only words he could think of as an excuse were “lol wut?”
They went to the Dominicis’ house to help clean up, and found Danny (who had been let out of his room for the job) carrying the nightstand back up the stairs. Joseph looked at him with an ominous smirk on his tiny face. “You realize that you are carrying a seventy-five pound nightstand up an approximate thirty-seven degree staircase when your own body weight can’t be more than one hundred ten pounds?” he said, still with the ominous smirk on his tiny face. “What?” said Danny. “You’re twelve.” “Oh.” Danny said, and then fell back down the stairs under the weight of the heavy nightstand. “Couldn’t you have found some other way to warn me?” Danny asked as he picked himself up off the floor. Joseph smiled his ominous smile, and then left the room. “Your brother scares me.” Danny said to Jephtha. “Yeah, he scares me, too.” He replied. “Yesterday he sat there staring at me, and then said, ‘Why do you pick yourself up when you fall? You’re destined to fall again someday, but the higher you climb the farther there is to fall when that happens.’” “That’s weird.” Danny said. “You ready to take this stuff back upstairs?” he asked.
When Danny was finally un-grounded, he decided to take a walk and ponder his newfound freedom. He walked around his house. He walked around Jacob’s house. He walked back to his house. His father was standing outside smoking some beef jerky in a long corn cob pipe. “Hello, Danny.” His father said. “it’s a nice day, today. I see the thistles are starting to come out early this year.” Danny’s father had a slight obsession with thistles. He couldn’t start a conversation this time of year without commenting on them, or embarking on a long spiel about his experiences with making thistle pot pie as a boy. “They’ve always fascinated me, thistles. They are almost pretty from a distance, but uncannily ugly up close.” Mr. Dominici then proceeded to stroke his beard thoughtfully. Danny decided to take this opportunity to escape and walk back to Jacob’s house. Unfortunately for Danny, Jacob wasn’t home, so he decided to go see the preacher. Preacher James was an imposing man with a short scraggly beard and thick glasses. He wasn’t intimidating because of his height or size, but because of his intellect. He could spot a lie from miles away, and no one knew the book of Deuteronomy like he did. Mrs. James was known far and wide for her baking. She would commonly put baskets of goodies out on the porch for kids of the small town, and Danny spent the long, long quarter mile walk wondering if she had made apple fritters that day. As he neared the house, he heard an unfamiliar dog bark from somewhere behind a bush. Danny wasn’t fond of dogs, and the unexpected sonic onslaught sent him into flight. He ran behind the preacher’s house and hid behind a large bush. When he finally thought it was safe, he slowly crept away from the bush- making sure the beast was gone. As he stepped around the corner of the house, something shiny in the grass caught the corner of his eye….
Chapter 2: deep dark secrets of unimaginable magnitude
I have said that Preacher James could spot a lie from a mile away. This was usually true, but is not a hard and fast fact. The hard and fast fact is that he could spot a lie from a mile away, but he didn’t always take advantage of this amazing talent. There was one exceptional exception, and this would someday be found in his wife. Mrs. James, while a very nice, respected person, wasn’t immune to the temptation to keep dark scandalous secrets. Preacher James was adamant about refraining from the use of modern technology in the pursuit of perfect focus on the commands of the Bible. Mrs. James, however, had always had slight leanings towards something like sympathy with the modern folk of the nearby towns. One day that had proved to be a nearly fatal misstep. It had come into her knowledge while in the nearby town that a new device could hold hours and days and minutes of music (in a way that seemed to border on witchcraft) but still fit inside one’s pocket. This temptation was too much for Mrs. James. While Preacher James was hitching up the horses one day after selling crops in town, Mrs. James slipped away to a store and purchased one such device. To her dismay, she found that it required the purchase of one much more expensive (and immensely harder to hide) device to take full advantage of this little magic box. She had to be content with the limited selection of songs the device had already. Be this as it may, she soon was spending every spare moment she could steal in sneaking away to take a dip from this can of suave jams from the modern hip-hop world.
On one very particular day, Mrs. James was in bad need of a hip-hop fix. Preacher James had been gone for a few hours making his regular rounds, and she was certain that she would be safe. This one time- just this ONE time, she didn’t go into the cellar to listen to the music… When the front door opened she realized she had lost track of time completely, and there was Preacher James coming to ask about dinner. She panicked quite a panicky panic, and threw the device out the window to avoid being found out.
“Mrs. James, you look like you’ve seen a ghost!” said Preacher James.
He wasn’t far from the truth. In her mind’s eye she had caught a vivid glimpse in that moment of her ghost departing as she swung from the gallows… but the catastrophe had been averted.
Danny walked over and picked up the strange object. He quickly recognized it as one of the devices he had heard about in town. He quickly learned how to use it, and was soon mesmerized by the rhythms and grooves of the modern world. He realized he couldn’t just walk around showing it off, so he took it home and hid it in the box of toys under his bed.
The next day while Jezebel and Danny’s parents were gone to town to sell the crops in town, Danny stole into his room to look at the strange device he found. He listened to song after song, and then he listened to them again. With every song his fascination grew and grew, and he quickly became possessed with desire to create music, to sing, to rap…. He didn’t know what he could do, but he had to find a way. Somewhere in the midst of all these thoughts, Jacob burst into the room.
“What’s that?!” asked Jacob, in awe. “Shhhh! Don’t talk so loud!” said Danny. “But, what is it?” Jacob replied. “It’s… it’s…. fine, it’s one of those devices that play music. Don’t tell anyone about this.” “Whoa, where’d you find it?” Jacob asked. “It was in the grass by Preacher James’ house.” Replied Danny. “I wonder where it came from? Can I see it?” “No, I’m going to put it away… I don’t want anyone to find out about this!” “Wait, let me see it first!” demanded Jacob. “No, I’m putting it away. Why don’t we go check out that spot in the woods we found last week?” “No! If you won’t let me see it, I’m going home.” And Jacob stormed out of the house.