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Antiochian Orthodox Christian
Music major
Former homeschooler
Voice teacher
The world, the flesh, and father smith

Message to Readers

This is the first part of a short story I'm working on. I've actually put a TON of thought into this down to exactly what words I use. I would looove some help. Basically, what am I communicating? Does this make you feel anything? What is awkward or confusing versus what works?

The Red Fence: part I

December 3, 2019


    The yellow creaking school house in Terry, Kentucky never had more than thirty kids at once, even though the limit was twenty. There were only two rooms and a bathroom in the whole building. Rumors said that Mister Lanny was thinking about moving up north. Sam remembered the day Miss Ricker found out; she made each of them do three problems on the board and Sam got an awful grade on her writing assignment. But she understood. There were four classes and Miss Ricker was the only other teacher. She led the two oldest in one room and Mister Lanny led the two youngest in the other. Sam often thought about changing her age so she could be with Mister Lanny, but Daddy always said she couldn’t pass as a nine-year-old and her smart brain would rot away learning the alphabet. Mama said it was cause she didn’t want any trouble with Miss Ricker. In any case, Sam was stuck being the youngest with Miss Ricker and the rest of the older kids. Twelve ain’t that small thought Sam. She couldn’t spell or read as well as the others, but she could think. She could think of words quicker and better than all the other kids.

    “Hey Samuel!” Tony snorted. (He always taunted her for having a boy’s name.) Tony wasn’t the right kind of large to pick on the older kids, so he’d wait for Sam by the school shed instead. It seemed like he and Miss Ricker coordinated their rough days with each other. Whenever Miss Ricker commanded him to shut-his-trap, he would later trip Sam on her way out the door. Sam always thought of this as the Fates’ way of being ironic; they really know how to spin the bad days she’d say to herself. “What’s this thing anyhow?” He shoved Sam’s school bag that was hanging over her shoulder. “Issa trash bag, ya looney. What, ya can’t even finda real bag fer school? Is yer pa too poor? I think ya worn da same ol’dress all week!”
    Sam shut the screen door behind her and placed her trash bag full of books by the couch. Daddy wouldn’t be home till later and Mama was giving the little ones a bath. She immediately headed to the cabinet beneath the sink. She pulled out a can with red dried marks trickling down the side and a paint brush that had been soaking in what looked like a cup of thick blood.
“Is that ya Sam?” whistled Mama from the bathroom.
“Imma go painting Ma,” Sam yelled back.
“It ain’t done yet.”

    She walked to the backyard where there was a skinny pathetic path only about two feet wide that dove straight into the woods. She walked along passing a torn tire tied to a tree branch and a robust oak with a cloth around the bottom and some random beer bottles here and there until the path widened and she reached a little red fence about three feet tall. Her eyes scanned from left to right, up and down, deliberating what section she should work on that day. Truth be told, the whole fence was evenly red, a fresh reborn kind of red, but Sam insisted on fixing something. She decided that the base of each post clumped where it met the ground. She used a broken bottle to scrape off the bumps until the wood was once again smooth and even. Then she flattened the grass around each post and repainted. Once she finished this, she noticed that a bold little squirrel must have been chased across the fence before it had dried the day before. She grinned as she covered his tracks and thought of a squirrel with permanently red feet.
    Sam had spent a whole lot of time on that fence the first week of class with Miss Ricker. It had never looked better; either then or the time Daddy lost his job. That week she went out and bought a new paint brush from Mister Adam’s with her birthday money. It was thicker and tougher and could hold even more paint. And Mister Adams even filled up her can with fresh paint! That sure was a good week for the fence, she thought.

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  • Tushar Mandhan

    Yes, the piece touched me. It has been written with intensive details. <3

    about 2 months ago
  • Juliana

    Thank you so much! I really appreciate it.
    Haha, I don't know why you think I'd have a problem with you being a Baptist.

    about 2 months ago
  • JakeFrommStateFarm

    Don't worry, the reviews thing is stilll open! I'll be back with a review on this piece in a day or two (it might take a while for the review to be checked out by WtW though). Also, no hard feelings, but I'm a Baptist... don't worry, I won't persecute you or burn you at the stake lol

    about 2 months ago
  • HermioneGranger67

    This is a cool story, and I like how it incorporates a lot of the small details. However, I felt that when you wrote out the accented language, it didn't really come through to me. Great story though!

    about 2 months ago