01 February 2013


A very old piece; I wrote it when I was in sixth grade . . . I composed it in my head while walking home from school, then came home and typed it up.


The girl had developed her father's annoying habit of playing with her cuff buttons and watchband when her hands could not find better things to do. Now she walked briskly, her hands fiddling. The breeze seemed to come from all sides, being that this was an island and the winds from the water came from all around. The horizon was pink from sunset, not just in the west but everywhere; it was as if the sun stretched its arms out to hold the island, rocking it to sleep in a crib of water. The girl thought about this as she walked.

There was little tourism on the island. It was too far removed from the other tourist traps to be of interest. There was an airport where the planes were owned by individual pilots who flew them as charters for the few tourists who might come. The harbor was the same; when the people weren't fishing, they might charter their boats. Fishing was one of the island's major industries; crops was another. The rich white people did neither, though. The girl thought about how her father flew to the states for work and then flew back in the evenings unless there was such pressing business that he needed to stay in the townhouse overnight.

The girl continued her walk down the street. There were few cars on the island and none of the streets were paved for them. No, they were all dirt and sand and gravel. The people walked most everywhere. Those who lived in what was known as the Backshores, the part of the island that was mostly wooded, had mules. Some who had made profits on their crops even had carts. Mostly native islanders lived in that out-of-the-way place. The rich white people lived in custom houses with green lawns and palm trees overlooking the white sands of the beach. The girl thought about their stately house and how big it seemed for just three family members and a minimal staff.

The natives did not go to school much; they were needed on the farms, so when they were old enough and strong enough to help, they quit going to school. For the parents, school was not much more than day care. But for the white children education was very important. There was a private academy on the island just for them.

The girl thought about all this as she continued her walk. It was getting darker and she knew she needed to go home. With one last glance at the real island, she turned onto the artificial streets of the white neighborhood.

Dark closed in.


Christine Rains said...

Very mature for a sixth grader. Striking and thoughtful.

debi o'neille said...

You were a gifted writer even back then. Good job.