English 12 mini students recently had the opportunity to express their creativity by writing “Accidental” Stories. Each student randomly selected a character, situation/challenge, setting, and time period. Then they had the task of writing an “accidental” short story based on their chosen story elements. In spite of the constraints, students demonstrated a number of outstanding pieces of literature. Horror, comedy, tragedy, mystery, romance, and action-packed adventure were just a few of the literary genres students chose to explore.
Enjoy the example below!
“Scarlet Chains” by: Sonali
Character: A thoughtful peasant
Setting: A poor house
Time: After a fight
Situation/Challenge: Someone commits a crime
Their voices rose as high as their fists. “They must think they are alone” I thought to myself. Conflicting thoughts wracked my brain, should I stay or simply walk away. An unexplainable force glued my feet to the ground. I did not move, I did not breathe. But what happened next, to this day I cannot fully account for. I ran, I ran fast.
A poverty stricken life led me to the suffocating hands of this County Poorhouse. A mere peasant, my options were few to none. At least here I had a roof over my head, however dingy, and food to eat, however sparse. I did not complain, I just waited.
“You work us like dogs, feed us crumbs and force us to sleep in crowded quarters, while you and your family enjoy a life of luxury in the main house! In time my friend, you will see the other side of this ruthless world, just you wait.” With that Marvin turned to walk away.
“How dare you speak to me in that tone, you worthless imbecile! One more word out of you and I’ll have you whipped!” exclaimed Mr. Edwards, his face having an uncanny resemblance to a bright red tomato.
The rest of us continued to work as though nothing had happened, for a sight like this was one we were all accustomed to by now. Marvin and old Mr. Edwards were night and day. Marvin, being an inmate was expected to follow orders and ask no questions. Mr. Edwards, being the Keeper, could not handle when someone questioned his authority. The two went head to head every single day. While Marvin spoke out, I lived it in silence, I kept to myself, I looked ahead. Someday I would be out of this hell, someday soon.
No sooner were these words spoken than my ticket to freedom arrived. “Letter for George Williams” announced the mail man. And there in his hands rested a radiating ray of sunshine. Upon reading the content of the letter, I grinned from ear to ear. I was the sole heir to an inheritance the size of Mount Everest. Not wanting to waste any time for fear of it all being a dream, I raced back to the quarters to collect my meager belongings and set out to a new life.
Their voices rose as high as their fists. “They must think they are alone” I thought to myself. Conflicting thoughts wracked my brain, should I stay or simply walk away. An unexplainable force glued my feet to the ground. I did not move, I did not breathe.
There it was, held perfectly still, a silver blade. I could not stand by and watch a man lose his life, not even a man as appalling as Mr. Edwards. And so I stepped through the doorway. Our struggle lasted all of five minutes, and then it all just stopped. All I wanted was to save a life and start my own, but now I found myself a prisoner of scarlet chains. There he lay, lifeless, frozen, Marvin. I ran, I ran fast.
Meanwhile… English 12 Mini students are also reading Frank McCourt’s Pulitzer Prize winning memoir, Angela’s Ashes. Students have been working collaboratively to create a variety of thoughtful presentations and engaging activities related to the novel.