And finally, the fifth exercise.
The prompt: “Recall an experience that changed you. Write about it with one of the traditional openings of story.”
Once upon a time there was a young girl that played alone in the woods. She enjoyed frolicking through the trees instead of taking naps after school. She lived a carefree childhood and grew up with a loving family. Her mother and father supported her with everything she did; whether it included art lessons, horseback riding, or visits to the playground, her parents offered their loving hands at every step of the way.
Being a child, she didn’t have to worry about what really happens in the ever so scary world of adulthood. She was lost in her books and constantly carried around her imagination with her. She played alone in the woods with all her friends she met in the different stories she picked up over the years. She overheard her parents talk of adult matters but the words simply flew over her head as she continued on with her childhood and dreams.
At the time of her grandmother’s death, she was only 8 years old. She wasn’t very close to her grandmother, but she enjoyed her weekly visits. She enjoyed how her grandmother made her feel as they were both snuggled in bed, and her grandmother told her special stories. The child’s favorite story was about all the stars in the universe and how they represented their ancestry. Her grandmother would whisper stories of when ancestors passed away, their stars appeared bright in the night sky. Each night the child would look up at the sky in wild fascination as she wondered about the members in her family that lived before her.
The child didn’t pay much attention to the declining health of her grandmother or the sad faces of her family that accompanied her. She knew something was wrong but didn’t pay much attention to it; she had more important matters to contend with, like conquering the recent level in her new video game.
When her grandmother passed away, that was the first time she had heard the word death; the first time she had seen the tears, the mourning and the blackness. She understood that her grandmother was gone but not the severity of it all. A child should never have to deal with death. Though the child did notice a new star in the night after her grandmother’s funeral. There was a familiarity with the brightness and she knew at once it was her grandmother waving to her from the sky.
In her adult years, the girl looked back at the experience and her heart filled with sadness. She wished she could have shown how much her grandmother meant to her and properly mourned her death. Now the girl looked at life in such a strange and delicate way, wishing that she was once again a child.