Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ever Hear of "All Summer In A Day"?

It's a short story by Ray Bradbury. When I was in elementary school, we did this schtick called Daily Edit. It consisted of a passage from a book or short story that my teacher would throw random grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors into and write on the blackboard before class. Once we got in in the morning, we had something like 10 minutes to write the passage down in our notebooks with our corrections in it.

With this particular story, once we had completed editing the entire story, when we were in computers, we had to type the entire story of the course of a week or two. Yeah, on those old crappy green screened computers we played Oregon Trail and Number Crunchers on. We had to print the story off on those slow old printers with the sheets of paper that were all attached with the tear-sides that featured holes for the printer to feed the paper through! And we thought that was technology! HA!

Anyways, the story ahd somewhat of an open ending and once we had completed typing the entire story, we had to write our own ending and draw a title page for it. Our stories were to be displayed during a creative arts fair thig our school was having which our parents would be invited to look at the our handiwork and that of our fellow students.

Well, before I tell you my ending, first you can read the story here [it's not that long] or else the ending I am about to type will really make no sense. Just do it!

Waiting for you to do it and then hit the back button.....

Okay. Now most kids in the class wrote these happy little "and William apologized and everyone got along." or "Miraculously, the rain stopped again and Margot was happy and forgave the other students!" type endings.

This is what I wrote [and this seriously cracks me up...]:

"At first Margot did not want to come out. She screamed and cried and kicked.

She broke into a sob. "How could you?" she sobbed. "What did I do to deserve this?"

William could not bear to stay, he guiltily ran from the room. You could see his dirty tears flying from his face.

"William! William!" cried the teacher. One of the youngest children tugged at the teacher's sleeve. "Don't worry about William, he'll be back, he always is."

Margot was now in the classroom. No one knew she was. She hastily examined the short essays and poems. She tore hers from the wall. She grabbed a few paltry belongings and ran from the room.

While she was running, she gradually dropped all her belongings exept [sic] for her poem, with the drawing of the sun on it.

Meanwhile, everyone was back and pacified. William was completely ready for whatever punishment he was getting and to apologize to Margot.

Margot, frantic, tripped. CRACK! Her head hit a rock. A little trickle of blood turned to a flowing river. All was black in Margot's mind. She did not hear, she did not feel the rain on her side, she did not smell the musty air, nor did her heart beat, all was gone from her mind, all was wiped away.

Meanwhile, searchers were hunting the raining planet to find the missing Margot. Soon they came to Margot lifeless body. They read the poem and hung their heads in sorrow....."

I found this story in a box of my things. The title page I drew is of a girl who is laying by a puddle clutching a poem with a sun on it, her head on a rock with blood coming out of it. She is also laying near a little patch of grass with a purple and white flower growing on it. It has a big yellow sun shining down on it and her through these huge raindrops and the ground is mostly muddy.

Looking at this and reading it, I think two things.

One - Jebus, I guess I was always a drama queen and obviously wanted to sound smart as hell using words like "pacified", "hastily" and "paltry". But hey, at least I used them correctly. I wish I could remember how old I was exactly when I wrote this.

Two - I wonder what the hell the teacher and any visiting parents thought about this after reading all these happy sunny endings where everyone makes up and my picture has a dead girl with blood coming out her head on it. I wonder if any of them actually read it after seeing that! ha!

I also love run-on sentences and the word "meanwhile". Yay!


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