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Ready to Break Some Rules?

My students would laugh at this following tidbit of a story, or shake their fists at me in anger.  I always tell them not to begin their essays with onomatopoeia.  Seriously, it tends to feel quite juvenile and often they cannot make it flow into their writing.  It might read something like this: “Boom.  That’s the sound the locker made when they boy slammed it shut in the hallway yesterday.”  Agh! It makes me want to pull out my eyelashes one at a time, and it reminds me of Ben Stein’s character on The Wonder Years and in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Then I found an old bit of something I wrote back when I was their age (tenth grade).  I do not teach creative writing though, just academic writing, so there is a difference.  It’s not quite a masterpiece; however, I always was fond of this:

The Gate by Terree Klaes (That’s how I used to spell my name- you know, for create purposes)

Bong! Bong! Bong!  Three a.m.  “Where is he?” I kept thinking to myself.  It was cold out and my whole face was getting numb.  I hated meeting him in the park so early in the morning.  Why couldn’t I just send him the money?

He had said a quarter to three.  I remembered because he had called me at work.  That was something he had never done before.

Once every month I would meet him by the entrance of the park, across from the clock tower.  Never before had he been late.

I always felt like criminal, standing by the gate with a big brown envelope tucked in my trench coat.  What I had done was nothing compared to what I felt like doing to him.  Many times I had imagined him coming to the park for his money.  I would pull out a gun and shoot him in the chest. Finally, I would be through with him.  But I couldn’t take a chance on something like that.  That could just get me into more trouble.

Why he insisted on torturing me, I couldn’t figure out, besides greed.  I had paid back every cent of the money I took.  The way I looked at the situation, it was over.

A shadow was coming up the sidewalk.  At this hour, it had to be him.  The figure walked past.  An elderly woman.

Now he was a half hour late.  Should I leave?  I didn’t know.  If I did, and he showed up, he could ruin me.  But what if he just wasn’t coming?  Then I would be at the park all night.

I had decided to leave the envelope with the money by the gate.  If he showed up, he would find it.  If not, it would be a nice gift for someone else.  Just as I was about to set the envelope down, I heard footsteps.  It was him.  Finally.

We got into an argument about the price I should be paying.  I was furious.  I opened my purse, puled out a gun, and shot him in the chest. Then I ran as fast as I could with the money still in my trench coat.

Nobody ever found out who killed him.  No one had any idea.

I was just thinking about how I also broke the rule I teach my students about not writing too many short, choppy sentences, and yet I had done it to create a feeling of impatience and frustration.  I guess I like to apply the idea of, “you have to know the rules first before you can properly break them.”  Not that this little story is perfect; I was only 14 or 15 when I wrote it.  I’ve been trying to figure out if I should try to do anything else with it or just let it rest in peace.


About caverns of my mind


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