My first writing assignment
Published 1:47 pm Friday, September 26, 2008
The following is a story that I wrote for my creative writing class. I enjoyed writing it so much that I thought Id share it with you guys. Trust me, I have an actual column gestating for next time.
The pieces title is A Better Tomorrow.
From his perch on the couch in his familys Manhattan Apartment, five-year-old Robbie Kirk listened, riveted, as his parents conversed in the kitchen.
Andy, his mother said, its almost nine oclock and the babysitter was supposed to come fifteen minutes ago. Weve got to leave soon.
Well, what time did you call her?
Didnt you say that you would?
No, that was your job.
Why would it be up to me? Shes your student. Couldnt you have just talked to her after class?
Well Sharon, I didnt. Im sorry.
Its okay; we cant do anything about it now. We have no babysitter, though.
Lets just stay home.
We cant! They practically begged me to come tonight, and he said that they had to meet you. As nice as they are, theyre very intimidating. They wont take no for an answer. We have to go.
I guess we could take him with us.
The boy is five years old! We cant take him to a rap concert!
Why not? We dont have too many options.
What about your parents, or my sister? We could just leave him here… anywhere but a Wu-Tang Clan concert.
My parents are on a cruise to Antigua, your sister has a date tonight, and we both know that hell be safer with us wherever we are than if he were home alone. I think the only thing we can do is take him with us.
People will have guns, Andy.
Honey, its 1993. They have metal detectors; those guns wont make it through the door.
They wont let him in. Hes five.
Of course they will; youre the doctor for the entire group. We have VIP passes. We can keep him close to us and away from anyone who might be dangerous.
Alright. But Im not happy about it.
Robbie abhorred babysitters and viewed them as glorified dungeon-keepers–his previous sitter, Melissa, had committed an atrocious violation of human rights by not allowing him to bang his mothers pots and pans together, which was his favorite pastime. He had managed to convince his parents to fire Melissa by telling his mother that she had allowed him to watch Predator, even the part where Arnold Schwarzenegger cuts the guys head off. Though free of the scourge of Melissa, he had feared that Christina would be no less strict. He could not comprehend the majority of his parents conversation, but he could glean this piece of vital information: tonight, he would be sans babysitter.
Robbie saw his mother make a move for the living room, so he quickly turned around and continued to pretend to read one of his myriad picture books featuring happy bunnies and joyous squirrels working together to achieve a common goal, given to him by his aunt Anne, who feared that Robbies fascination with dinosaurs was violent and unhealthy. Robbie loved to pretend to read about bunnies and squirrels that got along–almost as much as he enjoyed actually reading about dinosaurs that didnt particularly enjoy each others company.
Robbie, his mother said to him, Mommy and Daddy are taking you with us to our concert tonight. Youre going to have to stay up late. Is that okay?
Internally, Robbie was thrilled. He had been aching for a later bedtime, and now was his golden opportunity–if only for one night–to realize his dream. However, Robbie and his father had watched many episodes of Law and Order while his mother was working, and Robbie had learned that it was best to play your cards close to the chest. Instead of revealing the excitement that was threatening to burst from his tiny little body, he feigned his best veneer of nonchalance and asked, How late, Mommy?
He watched as his mother hesitated to answer, as if she thought the answer would hurt both mother and son. Finally, she said, Pretty late, pal. Maybe even midnight.
Concluding that the moment to play it close to the chest had long since passed, Robbie eagerly sat himself up in the plush living room couch and said, Just midnight? Thats nothing! I thought you meant really late.
His mother chuckled and said, Yeah, I bet. Youre going to have to stay close to Mommy and Daddy tonight, okay?
Okay, Mommy. Where are we going?
Staten Island. Its not a long train ride away.
On the way to the Staten Island Ferry, leaving the safe haven of Manhattan for the rugged slums of Shaolin, Robbie held his parents hands–his mother clung to him with a nervous, vicelike grip, while his father maintained a comforting claspcompletely in the dark as to what was in store for him, only assured that it was to be an expedition into the great unknown.