Reading-of

Sitting down for the reading-of challenged my sense of balance.  The wobbly table in front of me offered no support for my arthritic hands. And I feared that any movement of the table would knock over the seven wax candles that flickered atop.  The high-backed wicker chair where I was to rest seemed to be held together with strings and rags.  Still, I sat.  Slowly.  Carefully.

Marcia entered cat-like, brushed her flowing robes aside and sat in front of me on a stool that I had not seen.  Her long white hair covered her eyes, but with her back to the candles I couldn’t have seen them anyway.

Without saying a word she reached forward and took my cold hands in hers.  They were warm.  The room was warm.  The room lit up, transformed, no, I was in a big city, on a busy corner.  Was this New York? I looked down at my hands and they were young again.  The pain was gone. I looked up at the kiosk and newspapers held a date years into the future.  

I reached my right hand up to inspect a magazine from the kiosk.  A stab of agony.  I was cold.  As suddenly as I had left the room, I returned to the age and the pain and the darkness and the flickering candles.

And Marcia. 

Slowly she whispered, “I have read-of youYou have seen.”

As she rather floated out of the room the candles extinguished.  I slowly stood, in the dark, but I had seen a light.

Ways to Start a Story

One of my 4th graders asked me for ideas on how to start a story.  We had a great conversation and looked at some wonderful examples.  Here is what we ended up with:

Ways to Start a Story

  1. Traditional

Once upon a time there was…

  1. Dialogue (people talking)

“Mom! Help me! I can’t…” I shouted to my mom as I fell out of the tree.
———————-
“But you promised to take me to the movies today! You promised! You promised! You promised!” I started crying.

  1. Action (something is happening)

My brother slammed the door just as the rain started. This time he did not get caught in the rain. This time he did not get struck by the lightning.
———————-
I watched from behind the bookshelf as the thief snuck into the living room and opened the top drawer of the desk. He did not know I was there.

     4a.    Description (what does the setting look like? sound like?)

The spring flowers bloomed and the honeybees buzzed along the banks of the river. The sleepy town woke up to the sounds of the roaring river flowing down from the dark mountains. Something floated in the water, trapped by an old tree branch.

     4b.    Description (what does the character(s) look like?)

Jaime was only 4 feet, 2 inches tall but he was the best goalie the team had ever had. He could jump higher than kids who were 5 feet tall. But he never bragged about it. He did not have to.