Saturday, March 12, 2011

A story.

For one of my classes I have to write a fictional story based on a photo. I chose the one you see above.

Here's what I have so far:

"I like to think that I can read people. Tell where they’ve been, where they’re going, what they’re currently thinking about. This talent of mine extends to photographs as well. That’s what I was thinking when I came across the picture of a woman surrounded by her two children during the Great Depression. I was utterly fascinated, and stopped my reading upon the era which, if you ask me, was boring anyway. I set to work analyzing the woman.

She was a handsome woman to be sure. Not young, but not yet old. The lines in her face added a maturity that was attractive. Although worn, she was still strong and not yet despairing. Her gaze was worried, but had not yet become downcast. Her fingers were what had betrayed her worry; they lingered doubtfully upon her face.

Her children clung to her, hiding their faces from the camera. She was their rock, their provider, their comfort. While they were with her they weren’t afraid. She would make everything alright. She does her best to conceal her preoccupation from them because she knows how important she is to them, how tied to her emotions they are.

I sat back in my chair, satisfied with my analysis. I felt sure that the woman had survived the Great Depression, and her children along with them. She would have weathered World War II, the Cold War, Vietnam, and whatever other storm that made the mistake of wandering too close to her. I wondered if she had survived on her own, or if she had had a husband. It wouldn’t have mattered, she would have made it without anyone, but I didn’t like thinking of her being all alone. She deserved to have someone.

My thoughts turned to perusing what I would’ve done if I had been in her situation. Would I have remained strong for my kids? Would I have let the terror of not knowing how I was going to feed them control me? She didn’t. She had acknowledged the terror but hadn’t let it rule her. I’d like to think that I would’ve done the same.

Bah, I thought. I won’t pass the midterm by looking at a picture. I would have to read the rest of the chapter as well. Why didn’t they make picture history books? Perhaps that would be my niche when I finally graduated. Writing picture history books. I liked the irony.".

I'm not really a fiction writer. Be gentle. It'll remain a fragment because the students who are responsible for this particular assignment (long story for another time) neglected to mention how long they wanted it to be. So I figured I'd write as if my segment were part of a larger segment. I'll probably go over it again, add some length and perhaps breadth to it.

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