The Wooden Pier

slice-of-life2I am participating in #SOL19. Thanks to the twowritingteachers blog team for hosting this event.

I decided to write a fictional short story where I try out a strategy – the use of a long sentence followed by two short sentences for dramatic effect. My mentor text is James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. This paragraph is from the part of the story where the giant peach comes crashing through the fence that had surrounded it and rolling right toward the place where Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge were standing:

They gaped. They screamed. They started to run. They panicked. They both got in each other’s way. They began pushing and jostling, and each one of them was thinking only about saving herself. Aunt Sponge, the fat one, tripped over a box that she’d brought along to keep the money in, and fell flat on her face. Aunt Spiker immediately tripped over Aunt Sponge and came down on top of her. They both lay on the ground, fighting and clawing and yelling and struggling frantically to get up again, but before they could do this, the mighty peach was upon them.
There was a crunch.
And then there was silence.

The Wooden Pier

The yellow labs raced along, nipping and barking at each other and thoroughly enjoying their romp outdoors. They were as excited as Molly and Sam as they made their way through the grassy meadow, stirring up all kinds of butterfly beauties: black swallowtails, American coppers, and little yellows. Occasionally, they stopped to admire the lupines, cone flowers, dahlias, and asters. The meadow was a paradise for bees, birds, and butterflies. They would not hear the haunting call from the loons arriving at Webb Lake….not yet.

Sam, eager to try out his new camera, forged ahead, making his way down the steep and rocky slope to the water’s edge. He decided to use the old, wooden pier to get a better look. Creak, creak, creak with every step he took. He was almost at the pier’s edge. He gripped his new camera and focused on the lake, hoping to capture a loon coming in for a clumsy landing in the late afternoon light just before dusk.  Suddenly, there was a loud groaning sound followed by the splintering of wood and the almost-frozen gasp that finally escaped from Sam’s mouth when he realized what was about to happen.
The labs stopped.
The pier gave way.

With a large crash and splash, planks and one slender eleven-year old boy disappeared into the cold water of the Maine lake. Molly ran to the rocky shore, little waves lapping at her ankles like thirsty dogs. Then Sunshine an Lemons charged into the water. The strong dogs were both good swimmers and had had lots of practice, enjoying romps in streams and lakes during the summer months. Over and over again, they often retrieved a Frisbee or stick that Sam threw to them. Sometimes, they leapt out of the rowboat to swim to shore or fetch the large bones Sam stored in his backpack for such an occasion. The dogs never tired of the game.

Now, they sensed the urgency of the situation.  Sam surfaced, and surrounded by his best pals, he was able to swim to the spot in the water where Molly had waded. Wrapping her arms around her little brother, Molly pulled a shivering Sam to his feet. They splashed to shore where Sam collapsed in a heap. “You’re going to be okay? You’re going to be okay!” Molly whispered to her brother while the dogs huddled around him to offer their warmth and their love. Lemons sprawled across Sam’s lap and licked his face.

Sam nodded, teeth chattering. “Le-le-let’s g-g-get back to the cottage.”  Maine’s fading sunlight could not warm him. Molly agreed. Slowly and steadily, the twins walked back home, linking arms. Their faithful dogs trotted behind without a sound. Then Sam realized something was missing.  The camera. “Somewhere on the bottom of Webb Lake,” Sam thought ruefully. “Maybe I should take up a less dangerous hobby,” Sam said out loud.