One Word Writing

A piece of writing from one of our Middle School students hinging on one word. Can you guess which word it is?

A little boy always sat alone. Not wishing, not wanting. The other kids at school constantly teased him, because he never spoke. He gazed off into the meadows and forests and valleys. Time passed; first grade, third grade, tenth grade. The boy tolerated and ignored their jostling and prodding. Finally, one day, the he just stopped. He stopped looking at meadows and forests and valleys. He stopped listening to birdcalls and the wind. He stopped. He tried to act like the others. He spent every day playing a part. He now sat with company, but he was more alone than ever. Time passed; high school, college, adulthood. The grayed man sat by his window, wishing, wanting, reading obituaries of the people who had once teased him. A leaf fluttered on the wind outside, blowing onto his lap through the open window. He studied it delicately, noticing how paper thin it was, just like him. Then he stopped. He stopped pretending, and he stopped fooling the world. He listened and saw and felt and heard. An old man sat alone. Not wishing, not wanting. -E

One Hundred Word Stories

For this week's writing project, our middle school students were asked to write a 100 Word Story. We're sharing a few here.

She is dreaming. Dreaming of flying with the birds. She swoops through the clouds, graceful and swift. She sees the city below her, but only the sky above. Endless, blank sky. She drops through the clouds so she can see the land more clearly. There are buildings, small as anthills and cars, like ants, dodging between them. And there is the ocean! Deep, empty, never ending, just like the sky. She flies towards it. There are boats and a few small islands, but so much of the ocean is empty, quiet and beautiful. Then she is falling, falling towards the sea. . . .  -HMS 7th grade student

I am a snowflake, beautiful, crystalline. I am a snowflake, carefully constructed. We are packed tight, but we know. We know that any minute one of us will fall from this cloud, from each other. I have never been a snowflake before. I have been shower water and a puddle and flower nutrients, and even holy water that has been blessed and scented. Snowflakes begin to fall. There are less and less of us separating me from open air. My first fall. I detach from the others and I am alone, falling, drifting, gliding down to an uncertain future.  -HMS 7th grade student

Eyes open to the crashing chirps of the clock. Weary days, waking, breakfast, work, money, winter; stumbling in and out of the bathroom, closet, chair, out of his house. Doors slam. The man trudges to work. Weighing and boxing paper clips, sitting for minutes, hours, days, and dreary years. 100 clips. 180 boxes. 9 hours. 162,000 clips. He trudges home, buying a hot cocoa. On the curb, a girl in a poncho stares at the puddle and paper cup at her feet, dog sitting by; guilty. Minutes later the man opens his front door, no cocoa in hand, smile flickering.  -HMS 9th grade student

One hundred words. That seems like a lot of words, but it only come out as about a paragraph, which isn't very much. I hear one hundred and naturally think "big". In the right context, one hundred is a big number, but really, when compared to even greater numbers, such as one million, its size pales in comparison, and comes off looking quite small. So, when you think of the huge amounts of words in a story, the one hundred words in a paragraph don't even come close to seeming a significant part of the story. Not even.  -HMS 8th grade student