8th Grade Stories

My Aunt sent me a copy of a story I had written back when I was in 8th grade. I'm kind of surprised at my morbidness, but then I remember a story my teacher read us that was along the lines of Edgar Allen Poe. I have a hard time coming up with original ideas, so I'm sure I thought along the lines of that story and came up with this one. I thought I'd share with you the beginning of my writing career, completely unaltered, which stalled for the last 24 years, until I started this blog. Please excuse all the commas, I wasn't sure how to use them yet, or ever. They are ever so enticing and yet we're supposed to rarely use them. The names are not original, but the story is fictional.

One week, I went to see Grandpa Robert and Grandma Eura, that's what I called them, I found out how he lost his hand. That one night will forever remain engraved in my mind. As I was sitting at the table one cold, January afternoon, sipping hot chocolate, he told me how it happened. One day he was working in a coal mine. A low rumble was heard from somewhere in the earth. Realizing it might be an earthquake, the men all ran pell mell for the stairs and elevator. While they were stampeding out, a rock hit Grampa Robert's hand and pinned his hand under it. He was terrified! He could see the wall caving in and burying him. As he screamed once more, his young friend, Billy, came running back. When he saw what happened, he knew there was only on thing to do. As Robert nodded, the axe he was carrying came down, and blood was gushing all over the place. He wrapped his arm in Billy's and his shirt, and they ran.

"You see," he told me, "the rock was so big. I was lucky I wasn't crushed under it." From then on he was teased by the younger children and called One-Hand Robert.

Robert was a happy man, despite his deformity. When I heard of his death, I went to his funeral. Later on, as his will was read, I was given an envelope which contained a short handwritten letter. The part I will never forget is this. "Your father is my lost son." As tears came to my eyes, I realized that he was my "dead" grandpa, assumed to be dead for so long.

What was I thinking? I obviously was still deluded by stories of weird people who kept secrets for no apparent reason. Maybe I had read "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens that year, which I have never been able to finish. Why would someone not tell a long-lost relative they were related? There is no big dark secret that he's trying to save his grandson from. There is no horrible ending, just a revelation with no explanation as to why it was a secret to begin with. And from the last two sentences you can see that my writing hasn't improved since then, dangling modifiers or whatever they are called.


Lonita said...

Thanks for posting - now we finally get to see the context for "pell mell"!

denverallens said...

At least this time as I read it I didn't have to look behind my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. Great story!

Urban Parks said...

That story sounds awfully fishy. It was cute and it reminds me of writing a story in the 8th grade, and like you, I wrote on what the teacher had recently read to us.

quilts and quirks said...

Grandpa Merriam would have gotten a good laugh out of your story. We were living close to them at that point of your life.