One Image. Many Stories. (2) More work from my MG/YA class

Friday, February 2, 2018

Again, I shared with my beautiful class an image that my husband had created.

Five minutes, I said. Write the story.

Here are some of the stories.

What is the story to you?


I see the people walking in front of me, their eyes downcast, arms interlinked.  My mother urges me to move along, to catch up.  We don’t want to be left behind, she tells me.  I’m not so sure I agree with her. I drag my feet along the uneven path, my shoelace becoming undone in the process.  It’s already lost most of its original whiteness from the dozens of times it’s dragged through the dirt.  I idly wonder if, when we get to our destination, I will be able to get a new pair of sneakers.

Lexi


I was quite unsure of where my mama was taking me. We had walked downtown in all black clothes; she slicked my hair back with her frail hands every few blocks. Eventually, I saw faces that I recognized. They were all wearing black clothes... Just like me. Just like mama. I recognized a tall woman with long black hair— my aunt. Her face was more puffy than normal and her eyes were pricked with red. I wondered why she was crying. I wondered why we were here, standing around, wearing black, saying ‘sorry.’

Ania

We avoid it. The void of light. No one should want to be found. To be found is to be known and to be known is to be judged. And punishment is the inevitable nature of judgment’s tight lips, loose gown, and stone grip of opinion.

Gene


"We're almost there. Just keep going." The tall girl bent to whisper in my ear. her hand rubbing "comforting" circles into my shoulder. Easy for her to say; her long legs carried her closer to the promised land while my short, stubby knees wobbled to catch up. There's nothing left in me, no energy to keep going, no will to survive. "20 more miles." she whispers, seeing me struggle to keep from stumbling.
I just want her to stop talking. 

Precious

In the darkness we crossed the lake, praying its frozen crust wouldn't give way under our feet. It had been a warm few days, and the ice groaned under our weight. However, a frigid death in the lake would be better than what we left behind.

John

He kicked a rock down the sidewalk, his boot making loud, angry impact with the curb. It hit the back of his sister's shoe, and she twisted to throw a vicious look at him, but she didn't say anything. His mother placed a quelling hand on his shoulder. Whenever something like this happened, his father made his whole family go on one of these walks. Whenever something like this happened, the silence was complete.

Charlotte

His mother’s hand rests lightly upon his shoulder, neither pushing him forward nor backwards. But holding him in place. He does not want to go. He watches in trepidation as the other children are herded towards the empty class full of possibility and brimming with uncertainty. He remembers the stories his older sister tells him of friends and colored squares and story-time, but all he really wants is to sit on his mother’s lap, her arm clutched around him with the other balancing a book, mouth spewing wonderful stories of dragons and knights. He never wants her to let go.

Erin L.

A first funeral - at six, the idea is beyond digestion, an aerial view from her mother's shoulders of the devastation below. She has no emotional ties or any age, truly, to know what she is seeing: a collage of photos of a happy man fishing, a photo with his wife. A scene before her, in human form, a mother's hand on her crying son's shoulder. All he can feel is the vastness of the room, its vacancy of color, the darkness of black ties and tights and tight-lipped apologies for loss.

Erin F.



My fingers have gone through my hair so many nervous times that I can feel it messy and spiky on my forehead. I don’t have anything else left to grab on to. So I reach up, straining my elbow to hold my wrist backwards, and take my sister’s hand. I don’t want it sitting on my shoulder, guiding me like a pet dog with a leash. I need to hold it, to touch reassurance, to grasp some of the resolve with which she looks straight ahead, and walks.

Catherine


I see the people walking in front of me, their eyes downcast, arms interlinked.  My mother urges me to move along, to catch up.  We don’t want to be left behind, she tells me.  I’m not so sure I agree with her. I drag my feet along the uneven path, my shoelace becoming undone in the process.  It’s already lost most of its original whiteness from the dozens of times it’s dragged through the dirt.  I idly wonder if, when we get to our destination, I will be able to get a new pair of sneakers.

Lexi

The icy wind slapped Jacob in the face, but the sting of the cold was nothing compared to the relentless burn of hunger.  Three days, they had been walking now.  Three days with barely any food, only what a resourceful few had thought to carry.  His mother rested a gentle hand on his shoulder.  “Just a bit further,” she said softly.  “We’re almost there now.”  Jacob wanted to believe her, but how could he when his legs felt like lead and his shoes were torn and he could still hear the screams they had left behind every time it got too quiet?

Becca
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They led the children up the mountain. Eyes lowered, shoulders sagging. The rain was a cruel and infuriating thing. It trickled in regular, ruthless rhythms down their backs, blurred out the temple standing frowning at the summit. Even the High Priest's uncanny vision couldn't help them glimpse the structure.  

Esther
A few more steps and we will make it.
Hush, we have no choice but to leave.
Her daughter fears for her newborn kitten she left behind.
Will it survive, will it be warm?
Listen to your mother, she whispers, we must keep moving
.


Serena

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