Monday, September 22, 2014

First Student Writing of the Year

It is with great pleasure that I share with you my readers, the first student writing of the year.  We have been working on Narratives.  Our first assignment has students writing about a character's fear, since we have been looking at fear for your unit.  Here is a piece of really fine writing by one of my sixth grade students.  I hope you enjoy and please leave a POSITIVE comment.

Stranded by Logan C.

            I opened my eyes and was surrounded by green. I was being awakened by water dripping on my forehead. I shook my head frantically, like a dog after a bath. I sat up, and as my eyes focused, I realized that I was on a beach, under a palm tree. “This is new,” I said.
            I stood up, and attempted to brush off the sand that covered me from head to toe. The last thing I remembered was Sunny, my new, yellow lab puppy, licking my hand as I dozed off on the couch. Now, I have no idea where I am, or how I got here.
            Everyone knows my ultimate fear is being stranded on a deserted island. I briefly recall watching “Swiss Family Robinson” as a kid, and how everyone else loved it. The thought of not being able to go home either filled me with dread, or scared me to death. I think a little of both.
            “I have to know,” I muttered as I set to climbing the tree. There were no limbs, so I used my shirt to shimmy up Mulan-style. The higher that I climbed, the lower my heart sank. My worst fear is now my reality. I reluctantly lowered myself back down.
            The thud of my body hitting the ground was met by a scurrying of what appeared to be either giant opossums or banana rats. Both are rodents, so to me, both equally disgusting. “Just when I thought this could not get any worse,” I mumbled, as a chill went down my spine. Of course my deserted island would be barren of people, but filled to the brim with possibly rabid creatures. I wish I was wearing red ruby slippers right about now. I wouldn’t even care what my friends thought. I would be home, and away from here.
            My stomach started churning, partly from my feeling of impending doom tossed in with my hunger. “Please let there be fruit. Please let there be fruit,” I chanted as a little prayer. I scanned my surroundings thinking…Fish? No hook, no line, no spear, no luck. I imagined a little rotisserie rat. It’s not gourmet, but it’ll do in a pinch. “This is definitely a pinch,” I laughed sarcastically.
            I tightened my laces, put my shirt back on, and stammered deeper into the jungle, determined to find a meal and not be one. I grabbed a cantaloupe-sized rock as my weapon of choice as I tiptoed toward the squeaking. I thought about all of the nature shows I’ve watched, and realized I’d need a plan. My slamming of my mini-boulder with my bare hands would most likely leave me bitten, bloody, and frothing as I croak, never to be found again.
            I took a quick inventory of my possessions: fully clothed with long pants and long sleeves, a belt, socks, and tennis shoes. I’d love to tell you that I created some awesome trap, but time was of the essence. I kicked my shoes off, slid out of my jeans, pulled my shoes back on, tied a knot in one pant leg, dropped my rock in, and swung away! Just out of reach of retaliation, I nailed two nasty rats to the ground. My wild man screaming sent the rest scattering.
            “New problem. I didn’t think this through,” I sighed as I dry-heaved at the thought of eating raw meat. I dragged the carcasses back to the beach by their tails. I gathered some dry palm fronds and took my belt buckle off of my belt to reflect the sun to start a fire. When the brush began to smoke and burst into flame, I nursed it until it became larger. I dug a hole in the sand and lined it with rocks. I threw the rats in, fur and all. Then, I gently lowered my fire on top of them. I knew it would be hours before they cooked, so I tended the flame that would also serve as my protection through the night, and hopefully draw human attention for a speedy rescue. While my nummies roasted, I created a makeshift hut out of green fronds. I hoped it would be a one night stay.
            Two hours passed, according to the sun, and I used a stick to retrieve my feast. Although still encased in charred flesh with remnants of fur, the meat fell tenderly from the bone. I tried to imagine something less gruesome, and tried to avoid eye contact with their hollowed sockets. “This is some “Lord of the Flies” nightmare,” I choked as I tore the meat into bite sized shreds. I gorged myself until I was in a Thanksgiving kind of stupor. I piled more dry fronds on the fire, and sprawled out under my primitive hut and slipped off into a food coma.
            My eyes fluttered in the darkness. I saw flickering through my slits. I assumed it was the fire as my eyes slammed shut. Then, came the licking! In a half a second, my mind raced. The rat family had come back for their revenge! I snatched my hand away, jumped up, and started running for my life. I immediately tripped over the coffee table, head first into the wall. I rolled over groaning as Sunny came to my aid cautiously, as the T.V. flickered in the night. I had been forced to face my fear. I headed off to brush my teeth to get this awful taste out of my mouth.

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