Teachers Write: Tuesday Quickwrite

8 Jul

Oh no. What have I done? I’ve watched Twitter-friends revel in their joys of adventures in writing for two years, but was never an active participant. And now I’ve actually signed up. And then I read the assignment. And now I’m freaking out. (And apparently I’m channeling Ernest Hemingway and his short syntax.)

So, with a groan, I begin my summer writing journey. I expect to be frustrated, angry, happy, sappy, humorous; but above all, I expect to grow.


Today’s post has to do with taking a real life event from your childhood and translating it to fiction. Though this isn’t from my early childhood, it is largely based on true events – I’ll leave it to you to determine what the truth is. You can read the full prompt here.


Shane opened her eyes to the darkness of her bedroom and cursed the interrupter of her sleep. She glanced at the screen: “Condo.” Ugh – it was one of her parents. She debated answering. Last time “Condo” called after midnight, it was her step-dad calling to tell her that Mom was drunk and passed out in the kitchen – and he needed help getting Mom back into bed. “It wouldn’t hurt her to sleep on the floor tonight,” Shane thought, “maybe it’ll teach her a lesson.” She lay back on her pillow and silenced the ringer.

After about ten seconds, curiosity got the better of her, and she answered. “Shane…Sha…,” her step-dad rasped, “…Shane!” 

“God, what do you want?” Shane barked.

“Shane, you need to come here now. Now!”

Christ, more drama. “What’s the problem?” she quipped.

“It’s your mother, you need to get here.” Panic rose in his voice.

“Tell me what’s wrong first.”

“Shane, it’s your mother…she…she’s…” he went silent.

“I promise I’ll come over. Just tell me what happened first.” She’d fallen victim to this ploy before. She knew her mother was just drunk or high on oxy again and her step-dad knew good old Shane would come to the rescue.

“It’s your mother. She’s dead.”

Shane dropped the phone. She scrambled to pick it up, barely controlling her voice and asked, “I’m sorry, she’s what?!” Maybe he said she passed out. Yeah, that’s what he had to have said.

“Your mom is dead, Shane.” 

She hung up the phone and stood there in the dark. No longer able to control her mind, tears broke loose and splashed her bare toes. She let out a blood-curling scream. Light broke the barriers of her eyes shut and crying – her father had run up to her room. 

He raced to her and shook her shoulders. “Snap out of it, what’s wrong?” he inquired urgently.

Shane could barely open her eyes, let alone her mouth. Her brain was incapable of formulating a thought. She was mentally, emotionally, and physically possessed simultaneously by anger and shock. Her father embraced her, and held her until she controlled her sobs. Through his sleeve she muttered, “Mom…she died.”

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