Sunday, January 16, 2011

Your Writing Assignment #1...

Your Writing Assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to write a complete story in 500 words or less using the scenario below to kick-start your thinking. Publish your story on your blog January 15th, then go on over to Quilly's and link to her January 15th story, here.
Quilly has twelve writing assignments ready, one for the first day of every month. Every month! 
The stories are due on the 15th, even in April!

The Scenario:
You received a set of clunky, old-fashioned roller skates from the oldest, most eccentric member of your family. The skates appear to be too small, so you try to return them. S/he insists you try them on. You decide to humor him/her. To your amazement the skates fit. Suddenly you are overcome with the urge to skate and … (tell us what happens next in 500 words or less).

~ - - - ~ 

Yo' mama may be high yella, but you aint. Take dees heah and git!

That's what Aunt Sara told me when she gave me the skates. Aunt Sara didn’t mean this as an insult, only a reminder to mind my place. I was the oldest child on the farm and therefore had a responsibility to set a good example and look after the younger children.

You go roll dem skates down on de ole road to de mill. It pack hard. You gon' sail 'long smooth. Now git. Take de baby too.

Aunt Sara implied I was not to lord it over the other children and to share the skates. I couldn't quite figure how 8 children between the ages of 2 and 17 were all going to share the same skates. But I took them and the baby and set off for the barn.

I wan' all you chil'ren back a'fo long, ya heah? Wash' up an' ready fo' church. Papa preachin' taday.

Papa owned the farm. He didn't call his sermons preaching. Years later he told me he spoke in church to remind himself to be humble and follow Jesus. He was not a proper preacher, but folks looked up to him.

Lady, put dat chile down, he got legs! How he ever gon' stand on his own, you carry him 'bout so?

Morris was only two and he could walk, but he was slow and curious. He stopped every few feet to inspect flowers or bugs. It was faster to carry him. So when we were well away from Aunt Sara, I picked him up again and ran to the barn. The others were finishing up chores. We all ambled over to the old mill road.

Dees heah skates too big or small fo' all y'all. Dey ony gon' fit me. Give 'em heah.

Marshall grabbed the skates from me and put them on while the others grabbed and snatched at him. He shook the little ones off and took off down the road as we looked on. After his turn, he passed the skates on to each child and helped them lace up and get moving. Each child claimed the skates fit perfectly and sailed down the road like they were born to skate. When my turn came, I had little confidence that the skates would fit me.

Y'all know I'm too grown fo' skates that fit you lil ones, I neber gon' be movin down dis heah road...

My feet slipped easily into the boots. The laces seemed to tighten by themselves, perfectly conforming the boots to my feet. I stood feeling a little leary of these strange conveyances. My feet took off before me and sent me down the road, gracefully and grandly. I felt like I was floating on air. I felt free and easy.

Laaaaady! You bring those chil'ren back heah now! You heah me? Arliiis? Arliss! You come draw some water fo' Lady! Wash 'em up, we ain’t got all day!


  1. Yay! You used my chosen graphic. A couple of the others told me it wasn't good enough!

    I love the voice in this vignette. Will I ever get to see more of this piece or do we only get this brief character sketch?

  2. Very neat story -- I could almost feel myself there. Loved the dialogue.

    Q, I don't remember even seeing the graphic -- I must've overlooked it. I remember thinking you needed a button to go with the meme. :-)


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