My Short Story Project

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
the title says it all :)

Submitted: March 03, 2012

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Submitted: March 03, 2012

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SETTING

The Electric Summer” is set in a rural environment during the 1900’s. Geneva is sitting outside on an old porch swing. Meanwhile, Mama is busy inside making sugar strawberries. The town is so small that there were only four automobiles at the time.

 

THEME

The theme is ‘Life doesn’t have to be perfect for you to enjoy it.’

 

PLOT

Geneva is sitting out on the old porch swing when all of a sudden she hears an automobile in the distance. She soon realizes it is her Aunt Elvera. Mama, at the sound of the engine, stops what she is doing and walks outside. Aunt Elvera announces she and Cousin Dorothy are visiting the St. Louis Fair. She then invites Geneva to come along and keep Dorothy company. Mama replies, “….we may be running down to the Fair ourselves.” Aunt Elvera and Cousin Dorothy dismiss themselves and hurry off.

After Geneva completed a few chores around the house, her and Mama went back outside and settled on the swing. Mama declares that she truly intended for her and Geneva to attend the St. Louis Fair. Geneva sat, frozen in time, for she couldn’t believe the words that just came out of her Mother’s mouth. It took Geneva a while to realize her Mother meant what she was saying. When she suggested getting new hats for the both of them, that’s when Geneva knew she wasn’t dreaming.

Geneva’s dad drove her and Mama into town on the “Great Day”. Mama and Geneva then boarded the Wabash Cannonball, a train that would stop on its way to St. Louis. They arrived at their destination and hurriedly checked into where they would be staying for the two days they were at the Fair. Since the Inside Inn wanted two dollars a night, and three if they fed you, they booked a rooming house not too far from the main gate for one dollar.

Soon after they unpacked their items, the two of them walked to the fair that afternoon. They stared in pure astonishment, gazing up into the sky, amazed and shocked at how giant it was. It was the great wheel, the invention of George Washington Gale Ferris. Each wheel contained thirty-six cars, and every single car held sixty people! Geneva and Mama decided to ride the strange and unique machine with hopes of receiving the best view of the fair there ever was. Drowning in heat from the blazing sun, they spot an empty table at a place where they served a new drink - tea with ice in it. To end their first day, Geneva and Mama tried to look at things Geneva’s brothers and Father would enjoy hearing about.

Their last night was the Fourth of July. They ended up seeing a total of fifty bands play. When the lights came on, every tower was covered in electric bulbs. Geneva realized that this new century will indeed be one with the United States of America showing the way.

Mama had decided to save the visit to the grand floral clock for their final morning. The dial of the clock itself was one hundred and twelve feet across with each remarkable hand weighing two thousand and five hundred pounds! Aunt Elvera found them in the crowd, and started complaing about Dorothy becoming bored fairly quickly.

Overwhelmed by the small vacation, Mama and Geneva boarded the train once again – only this time they were saying good-bye.

 

CHARACTERS

Geneva:

Throughout the story, Geneva is very indifferent. For example, when her dad is taking Mama and Geneva to the train station, the author mentions that Geneva wouldn’t have said a word if they had turned around and gone back home. This shows that Geneva realizes that her family rarely has the chance to do things like visiting the Fair, mainly because of their finances. She doesn’t really care one way or another. Another trait about Geneva is that she is outgoing. When she and Mama first see the Ferris wheel, she practically begs her mother to let her ride it. This shows that she is outgoing because the Ferris wheel is two hundred and fifty feet high! I don’t know about you, but I think it takes some major bravery and courage to ride something that big. Overall, Geneva is a rather simple, but typical character.

 

Cousin Dorothy:

Cousin Dorothy has a very small personality for several reasons. First of all, at the beginning of the story, Aunt Elvera invites Geneva to the Fair for one reason – to keep Dorothy company. Dorothy feels like she needs to have someone with her at all times. She just doesn’t wish to be following her mother around all day. This proves Cousin Dorothy to fit into the category of shy-and-quiet type of people. Next, Dorothy is a big time complainer. For example, when Aunt Elvera runs into Mama and Geneva at the Fair and starts talking about how Dorothy complained of sore feet and blisters, it shows that Dorothy gets tired of things easily and tends to complain. In conclusion, Cousin Dorothy is not a people person.

 

Aunt Elvera:

For different reasons, Aunt Elvera is a persistently bossy character. One reason is when Mama declines her invitation to take Geneva to the Fair, Elvera huffs and stomps off. This clearly shows that Aunt Elvera doesn’t like to take ‘no’ for an answer. Also, she orders Dorothy around by saying things like “Dorothy, don’t do that!” or “Right now, young lady!” These actions are ones that reveal the bossy side of the character. To conclude, Aunt Elvera is an I-have-to-have-things-done-my-way type of person.

 

Mama:

Mama is the type of character that is always suspicious about certain things such as what she eats and where she sleeps. For example, when she checks into the house where they are staying, she first looks under the mattresses for any bugs or dirt and dusts them off. The author mentions that Geneva is thinking, “It doesn’t matter where we lay our heads as long as it is clean.” This thought proves that Mama, and Geneva also, are somewhat picky about certain things. Another example is when they are cooling off by drinking some iced tea. Mama asks, “How do we know we aren’t drinking silt?” Of course, she still drinks the tea, but her question shows that she is curious and very cautious about what she is drinking. Overall, Mama’s character is rather suspicious and curious.

 

FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE

 

Irony- “If the crank got away from you, I could break your arm, and we watched to see if it would.”Meaning- Aunt Elvera thinks Mama and Geneva like her, but secretly, it is as if Elvera almost disgusts them. They just act pleasant when she is around them.

 

Simile- “….she was painted up like a circus pony.” Meaning- She was very colorfully dressed.

 

READER’S ANALYSIS

In my opinion, “The Electric Summer” was a very detailed and descriptive story. Richard Peck created so many vivid images in my mind that I felt like I was standing beside the characters through every scene. I realized a lot of things by reading this short story. One is how different life was in 1904 compared to life now. People acted differently towards each other, they communicated differently, and they had many trends that we probably wouldn’t find the least bit interesting. For example, iced tea to us is just another choice of drink. To them, it was a big deal because it had just become known and they were always cautious about what they ate or drank. Something else that really stuck out to me was people’s attitudes. When Mama and Geneva were on the train, they started conversations with just about everyone. Here in the present, people make fun of others or have an excuse for not liking them. Back then, everyone was kind and polite. It makes me wonder how our world became like it is now. “The Electric Summer” gave me alot to think about and I would recommend this story to anyone willing to imagine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brother, Can You Spare A Dream?

Short Story Project

Marissa Wrench

 

Setting:

Brother, Can You Spare a Dream?” is set during The Great Depression. It is April 19, 2000 and Lisa Bridges is sitting with Sam Fowler, interviewing him for her oral history report.

 

Theme:

The theme is ‘Giving a little can help a lot.’ Meaning – Just a little thing can change someone’s life forever.

 

Characters:

Sam Fowler:

At the beginning of the story, Sam Fowler decides to apply for a job that involves clearing the reservoir basin of brush and trees. The job pays four dollars a day which, back then, was a fortune! As sad as it was, Sam soon discovered that the openings were only being given to Boston men. Fowler was devastated. To make things even worse, a guy named Mac McGovern showed up at the house. Mac was one of the people hired to clear brush. Sam was not welcoming at all. He was constantly jealous of Mac and his job. As a result, Sam’s character is one that becomes angered or frustrated easily.

 

Mike McGovern:

Mike McGovern, also known as Mac, is a very friendly and polite person. He is one of those people who have great conversation skills. Mac lights up a room simply by his presence. Throughout the story, Mac is by far the most pleasant character. When he arrives home from work, he is dirty, he has warts on his hands, and he smells bad. Yet, he doesn’t complain. Mac tries time and time again to be polite to Sam, but Sam declines his invitation. Mac, therefore, ignores him at all costs. He doesn’t want to trigger any arguments between them. Overall, Mike McGovern is, in my opinion, the nicest character in the story.

 

Lisa Bridges:

Lisa Bridges is a very understanding and open – minded girl. Throughout the story, she listens to Sam with interest as he tells his story. A lot of people now don’t really care about what happened in the past. The Great Depression changed a lot of lives. Lisa is a person who is listening to survivors from this tragic event and asking them the same question over and over again. How? How did this time change your life? How does it apply to life now? In conclusion, I believe that Lisa is a great example for others and will continue to be for many years to come.

 

Plot:

Lisa Bridges needs to interview a person who suffered from a tragic event in American history. Therefore, she chose Sam Fowler as her subject. The story begins with Sam and Lisa at the kitchen table when Sam begins to tell his side of The Great Depression. He first explains the setting of his home back then and the daily routine.

Next, he talks about the rumors going around saying that the river was doomed. Some people took these discussions seriously while others….well let’s just say did just the opposite. Quoted from the story, “Property values fell, and businesses packed up and left.” As you can obviously see, people were beginning to grow distressed with every passing day. They were trapped in their own homes which wouldn’t sell.

After that, Sam told of the time when he had a crush on a girl named Emma Bradley. Emma started to get interested in Sam, but that’s when several other fellows came along. They ignored Sam and took Emma out to see movies, play Monopoly, and even ride in their fancy cars. All of these things were like constant reminders sitting on Sam’s shoulders shouting, “You’re not good enough!” or “Emma doesn’t want you!” After a while, Sam finally gave up all hope of ever building a relationship with Emma Bradley.

Soon, Sam and his family were running out of money. Fast. Then, practically a miracle, the newspaper had an ad the next day for job openings clearing the reservoir of brush and trees. Sam promised himself he would be first in line when the employment office opened. Only it never did. The valley folks got word that the openings were only being offered to Boston men. In addition, the valley folks were being asked to room a man from Boston while he was working. Sam was so frustrated it was as if he might come out of the story and scream at me.

This is the part where Mac McGovern comes into the story. One night during dinner, Mac shows up just out of the blue. Sam’s mother and the rest of his family welcome him in. Meanwhile, Sam just stares at the man in pure astonishment and anger. Sam says, “…..They promised us jobs, and instead they go out and bring you city slickers in.” Clearly, you can see that Sam was just the opposite of welcoming.

Later on, Mac had gotten into an accident and injured his leg severely enough that he wouldn’t be able to complete his job. Sam knew it was bad to think this so soon after the incident, but he once again promised himself he would be first in line to receive Mac’s job. With his first week’s pay, Sam invited Emma Bradley to a ball, but she declined and replied that she was already going with someone named David Michaels. Sam walked home with a weight of sadness hanging on his shoulders.

One time when he was first hired, Sam met some of Mac’s old friends and he ended up finding about Mac’s past. It turned out that Mac had family back in Boston, but he didn’t want to talk about them. Mac’s father was in jail for murdering someone and his mother was always hanging out with some “hobo” as stated in the story. It was no wonder he never once looked back.

When Mac first shows up, he mentions that his lifelong dream has always been to travel to Ohio and spend some major time on books. Mac loves reading and writing more than anything else. Sam glanced at his dresser where he had been saving all of his money since the second week of work. He knew he could give Mac his dream back if he wanted to, but he hesitated. Sam had his own dream back then. The dream to win Emma Bradley over once and for all. That night at dinner, Mac announced he would be leaving the next day. Sam continued to consider giving the money to Mac, but decided that Mac wasn’t his responsibility.

When Sam arrived home from work the next day, Mac had vanished……so did Sam’s money. Sam frantically pedaled on his bike toward the bus station and after five miles he spotted McGovern. Sam halted. He thought about how Mac was limping and struggling with his luggage – his “satchel of dreams”. Sam watched him go and thought to himself, “….There’s a fine line between need and greed, and that line is right there between me and Mac.”

 

FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE:
Irony – Sam doesn’t plan on giving Mac the money at all, but Mac surprises him at the end by taking it without Sam’s knowledge. Sam decides to let Mac keep the money.

 

Simile – “….pedaled like mad the whole five miles into town.” Meaning – Sam pedaled fast and swiftly.

 

READER’S ANALYSIS:

Brother, Can You Spare a Dream?”was an inspiring story that I will never forget. Sam was quoted as saying, “As I stood there, watching him limp along, lugging his lumpy satchel of dreams, I figured out somethin’. I figured out that there was a fine line between need and greed, and that line was right there between me and Mac.” I thought about this statement for a while and realized how true it really was. There is a fine line between need and greed. For example, Christmas is a season of happiness and remembrance of what Jesus Christ did for us. Although, for little kids, or just people in general, they can sometimes forget the real meaning of Christmas. They can get sick with a disease called the gimmes. When people go shopping, a lot of times you will hear someone saying things like “Give me this.” or “I want that.” Meanwhile, there are thousands of human beings not receiving three meals a day, getting nothing for Christmas, and worst of all not knowing or learning the important life lessons that will help them build a future. It’s easy to forget the difference between need and greed, and this is why I would share this story with everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving On

Short Story Project

Marissa Wrench

 

Setting:

Moving On” is set in 1910 in a rural environment. It is mid – morning and Thel has just made her announcement that this working day shall be her last. Tashie is recovering from the shock.

 

Theme:

The theme is ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.’

 

Characters:

Tashie:

Throughout the story, Tashie appears as if she is a little girl again. When Thel makes her announcement of departure, Tashie immediately plays through all of the scenes in their lives. Beginning to end, Tashie remembers both good times and bad. Images flash through her mind from when they were just kids without a care in the world. Tashie has flashbacks from when Thel’s mother would come over and Tashie and Thel would be playmates. All of these examples show and prove that Tashie is clearly shocked by Thel’s announcement and was obviously very close to her. While reading the story, I felt as if they were almost sisters. Sisters who would never part – until now.

 

Thel:

Thel is a great conversational piece. At the end of the story, she talks to Tashie about always being in her heart. The connection between Thel and Tashie is a sisterly bond that no one could ever separate. Similar to Mac in “Brother Can You Spare a Dream?”, Thel lights up a room by her presence. She loves being around people and listening to what they might have to say. For example, Thel listens with concern and sorrow for Tashie as Tashie releases her inner feelings about the move. Overall, I think that a lot of people wish they could be the person that Thel is.

 

Luce:

Luce is a typical older cousin. She and Tashie have both good times and bad. My little sister, Maci, and I tease and play with each other all the time. However, there are still points when I have to go outside to calm myself because she will not leave me alone. This is an example of the relationship between Luce and Tashie. They love each other, but sometimes they can not stand each being around one another. Also, Luce is older and is learning “the ways of the American teenager.” In conclusion, Luce has the personality that holds many mixed emotions and is somewhat mellow.

 

Plot:

The story starts in the morning and Thel has just made her announcement of departure. Tashie cannot believe what is happening. It is as if her world was turned upside down in an instant. Tashie reminds herself of their little girl years and how her and Thel grew up together. Next, Tashie’s mother complains of a missing pin and declares, “Nobody is going anywhere until that pin is found.” However, Tashie and Luce have plans to go out and see a movie.

After spending the day looking for the pin and still not discovering it, Mama thinks she left it at Grandmother’s house and goes to search for the pin there. So, Luce, Tashie, and Thel wait for the streetcar. When it arrives, Thel pays and walks to the back while Luce and Tashie sit up front. As soon as the car stops, Thel leaves to her destination, leaving Tashie and Luce staring disbelievingly as she goes.

Tashie and Luce finally make it to the picture show. Almost as soon as it starts playing, the film skips and then abruptly stops. The projectionist hurries to fix the interruption and gets the movie rolling again. As if déjà vu was occurring, the film stoppet yet again, and a Four Minute Man hops on stage, and addresses the audience. This is a person who is prepared in case four minutes need to be filled if the projection is not working. He goes around, aisle by aisle, asking people what they are doing to preserve our country’s freedom. One man, when questioned, blushes, and sinks low into his seat. Various people in the crowd start saying things like “ Say, why aren’t you in the service, anyway?” Someone else shouts out, “Disloyalist!” The poor guy makes a speech about how many rights the people have left. In the end, the man gets thrown out of the theatre.

Soon after the movie ends, they ride the trolley home and Tashie tells Luce to go ahead, and that she will be along in a bit. Tashie then boards the car again and travels to Thel’s house. Thel, clearly surprised by Tashie’s presence, asks why Tashie came. She replys, “To say a better good – bye, I guess.” Tashie mentions that she will make sure people remember Thel the right way. Thel, puzzled, states one reason she is moving on is because of good wages.

Even though Thel is moving on and she and Tashie might never see each other, Tashie will forever hold their precious memories alive in her heart.

 

Figurative Language:

Personification – “….that sun is bouncing off the streetcar” Meaning – the sun’s reflection was on the streetcar, making it bright.

 

Personification – “….the sound of a person’s world jumping its tracks.” Meaning – one second, life could be fine. The next could change you forever.

 

Reader’s Analysis:

Moving On” was an inspirational story with lots of meaning. When Thel announces she is leaving, Tashie grows sad and somber. Thel talks to Tashie and suddenly understands why the movie is so hard on her. They met as little girls and spent just about every waking hour together. The two of them had formed an inseparable bond. People visualized Thel and Tashie as sisters. I, for one, love having a sister. She is someone I can tell everything to when no one else seems to know what I am feeling. A sister is someone who understands every emotion you can possibly go through. The relationship is something where amazing does not even come close to describing how it really is. If you have a sister, you know what I am trying to say. Thel and Tashie listened to each other. They always knew what the other was feeling and whether it was better to give her space or talk to her. Overall, I believe Thel and Tashie are a perfect example of sisters, and I would suggest this story to any girl – with or without a sister.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting for the War

Short Story Project

Marissa Wrench

 

Setting:

Waiting for the War” takes place “about a mile inland from Pearl Harbor.” The year is 1940. Henry Long and Sammy Maldonado, both sixteen years of age, are attempting to ride a horse.

 

Theme:

The theme is ‘Even though a person may be gone, their memory will be alive forever.’

 

Characters:

Henry:

Henry Long and Sammy Maldonado are good friends. However, Sammy is still somewhat into his childish stage of life. Therefore, Henry is more mature throughout the story. He plays the role of an older brother to Sammy. As an older brother would, Henry takes charge of Sammy. For example, when Sammy suggests giving the horse some grass, Henry thinks, “He don’t want grass, you idiot. Can’t you see he lives in a field of grass?” As you can see, Henry is not very fond of Sammy because he calls him names. Overall, Henry is a rather adult - like and bossy character.

 

Sammy:

As mentioned above, Sammy Maldonado is stuck in his childish stage of life. Besides the fact he is sixteen, Sammy still acts immature for different reasons. One reason is because Sammy says, “…you could ride it, if you are nice to it. Give it grass, pet it.” Henry, on the other hand, thinks Sammy’s ideas are stupid and not worth consideration. Sammy does not let Henry’s uncalled for comments bother him, though. He sticks to his opinion and says what he thinks is right. In conclusion, I believe that Sammy has a very honorable personality.

 

Mike:

There really is not much to say about Mike. He is one of those people who talks to others like he had known them for decades. When he approaches Sammy and Henry, I think they are a little bit shocked at first. His first appearance to them is made on Hotel Street, a very busy and crowded area. Mike walks up and says, “Howdy. My name’s Mike.” From routine, Mike attempts to carry on a conversation with the two boys. To conclude, Mike is a very enthusiastic and friendly man with spunk to last a lifetime.

 

Plot:

The story begins with Henry and Sammy trying to catch Henry’s horse. The horse was one he had bought for five dollars from a person named Wong. Sammy complains that the reason they cannot capture the horse is because Henry was being mean and refuses to pet it. Henry replies, “….you don’t pet it. It ain’t a dog. It ain’t a…a…a cat.” Henry suggests they go down to Hotel Street and shine some shoes to make money.
Almost immediately after arriving, Mike approaches them on the bus and introduces himself. The boys see this as an awkward moment and stare down at the flooring. Once on Hotel Street, they separated from Mike and went about their business. Henry and Sammy decide to think of possible names for the horse. A few of these were, Bucky, Spats, and Savage.

When observing a fight break – out in a local bar, they just happen to run into Mike again. Him and Henry start talking about Hotel street. Henry says, “…it’s kind of fun to watch you army guys stand around waiting.” Mike replies, “….wait for everything. Wait for a cup of coffee. Wait for a shoeshine. Wait for the war.” Henry thought his comment to be strange.

The three of them make small talk for a few more minutes. Then, Henry changes the subject by talking about his horse. Mike asks if he could ride the horse because he had not seen his in six months. Henry gives the excuse of his horse being hard to ride. So, Mike bets the horse would let Mike on him. After that, they go and find the horse.

Mike announces that he is going to go talk with the horse and ‘become friends’ with it. Mike soon catches the horse and rode him. Sammy is still staying to his opinion about how stupid it is to talk to a horse the way Mike did. Meanwhile, Henry keeps mentioning how smart Mike is to take the horse into the water, where it cannot throw him off balance.

A few minutes later, Mike rode up to the boys. He says that the horse is a fine one, but a little old, and just needs some practice being ridden and a little love. Mike also includes that talking helps to earn the horse’s trust. Sammy just frowned. Henry had a turn to ride the horse. He even admitted that he was not really a bad horse. Mike agreed.

Sammy and Henry promise Mike that he can come see the horse whenever he wants Mike bids them good – bye and leaves to prepare for the war. Henry says, after he is gone, that Mike might die soon. Although, he also says he hopes Mike makes it back. Henry changes the discussion back to the naming of the horse.

To end this wonderful story, Henry and Sammy have finally found a name for their horse. Mike.

 

Figurative Language:

Foreshadowing – When Mike says he will be back for the horse, Henry knows he will not be. This gives a glimpse as to what will happen in the future of the war.

 

Hyperbole – “The horse had a mean streak as long as an aircraft carrier.” Meaning – The horse could be very mean and uncooperative.

 

Reader’s Analysis:

Waiting for the War” was really meaningful to me. For example, I had my emotional moments because reading about the war and people dying made me think of all the brave men and women serving our country. I have no idea where we would be without them, but I do know that I, and many other people, are greatly thankful for all they do.Reading this story, I had many opportunities to remember 9-11 and what our local high school band did to preserve that remembrance. I will never forget what exactly is going on to keep our country’s freedom. I learned so many things from “Waiting for the War”, and I believe that everyone in America should take a few minutes. Minutes to remember.

 

 

 


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