Jackanory Story Time
Hello and welcome to my story page. Stories and story telling is an incredibly important
form of communication. Mans knowledge has been passed down through story. On this page,
I will be exploring story telling and story structure, as well as publishing my own writing.
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Creative Writing for Kids
Here's a short story that I've been playing with off and on for a couple of months.
The story is about a pleasany walk that I used to make most weekends when I lived
in England. I will be adding photographs of the walk in time, so check back.
... The sun shafts through the trees, speckling the ground, brown
and crunchy with Autumn leaves. The air is crisp, dry, cold.
My thoughts drift gently, carried by the song of a chaffinch
high above my head. I breathe deeply and smell the thousand scents
that surround me. I slowly spin where I stand. To my left lies
the river, a murky greenish-brown serpent, slowly writhing, it
seemed, through the Derbyshire countryside. My vantage is atop
a high flood bank, built to protect the residential area, across
the sprawling, flat playing fields, to my right. The top of the
bank had been paved to form a path for cyclists and joggers.
Gnarled, leafless old trees line each side of the path, forming
a huddled, protective tunnel of sorts, stretching forwards and
backwards to the distance. The path winds intimately alongside
the river, caressing its curves, the two dancing a sensual dance,
eventually abandoning the would-be adventurer on the outskirts
of the small village of Darley Abbey.
From above, the village could be the cross section through an
ancient tree, rings of growth fanning from it's heart. I stand
on the cusp between two of these rings, caught between two complete
worlds. The street, on which I stand, is flanked by beautiful
hedgerows, exploding with autumn flowers. The sound of children
playing games in the park to my back begins to fade as I walk
slowly on. Past proud people washing cars in their driveways.
I nod and return their smiles. I start to count the houses as
I walk, one, two, three
each house nestled on it's own
generous piece of land, the 1930's architecture in stark contrast
to the surrounding countryside.
A break in the hedgerow, to my right, reveals an ugly scar, gouged
from the meadow. Modern houses, springing from the ground, their
drab, box-like forms defining the next ring of growth. I stop,
close my eyes and take a deep breath. The air carries a mixture
of wood fire smoke and damps leaves. I listen. All at once I'm
conscious of a chaotic jumble of sounds. Slowly I begin to separate
them one by one. I hear the faint roar of traffic, dulled by
distance and interference. A lawnmower whines incessantly from
somewhere close by. Children scream and shout in joy as they
play their games. Wood Pigeons call each other from chimney pots
and rooftops, a comfortable, almost soothing sound that brings
many memories flooding into my mind.
Suddenly, I'm 12 years old. Sitting, nestled in the v of an old
apple tree in a garden far away. I'm lost in a world of whirling
green and speckled sunlight. The roar of the bows and branches
and twigs and leaves, like music to me. Up here I am king. Up
here is my private place, away from my troubled little life.
A thousand fantasies of battles and alternate worlds, meticulously
thought out. I shift my weight, trying to give my backside a
rest. I reach up and pull an apple from it's stem. I look at
it in infinite detail, running my fingers around it's fleshy mass,
taking a bite, the sour juice drips down my chin. I smile. At
that moment, I am happy. "Good Morning", I'm brought
back to reality with an almost discernible thud. "Oh, Good
Morning", I return, smiling. I realize that I had stopped
and was looking blankly into a middle distance only I could see.
I stretch my neck slowly, the memories already becoming tenuous.
The old man, who'd greeted me, is some way off now, heading towards
the park. I ponder for a moment his life, imagining where he'd
been and where he was going. He walks with an almost tangible
wisdom, the sort of wisdom only age and experience can give.
I turn and walk on, opening my senses again to the world that
I round the corner and continue to the west, towards the old mill
bridge that will take me over the river. The street here, is
lined by houses only to my left. I turn, my back to the houses,
to see the view the homeowners wake to every morning. Barren
waste ground. Ugly scars from urban renewal stretch to a line
of tall Poplar trees in the distance. Piles of rubble, overgrown
with grass and weeds. An old, broken down workmans hut standing
alone, slowly being reclaimed by natures embrace. Soon, this
tract of land will be filled with new, bland, box-like single
family houses. I turn again, ready to continue on my walk. Out
of the corner of my eye I catch the slight movement of a curtain.
A smile breaks my frown as I realize I'm being watched.
The houses give way to decrepit, abandoned mill buildings, windows
blank and broken. Their empty shells a reminder of prosperous
days long past. Moss and grasses spring from cracked brickwork
and window sills. Where I walk now, the pavement and road become
one. A flat, fractured, weed ridden expanse. I notice workmen,
sandblasting and painting a magnificent Victorian mill building
further on. A thrilling sight of regeneration. My pace quickens
and as I near, I read a sign that tells me the future of this
once proud place. '25,000'office space. 20,000'retail space.
Suitable for restaurants and small craft businesses. To Let
by owner.' I watch for a while as the men work, throwing huge
amounts of interior debris down chutes into dumpsters overflowing
I can hear the roar of the river now. A soothing sound, full
of childhood memories of family walks along Dovedale. It's sound,
lulls me as I get closer. The song of thousands of gallons of
water crashing endlessly over the weir. I stand at the center
of the bridge and lean over to look down at the boiling water.
The weir forms a solid wall of dark moving glass, light patterns
dance across its arch. Spray and noise and the smell of churning
river water fills the air. I feel exhilarated, excited by the
chaotic spectacle before me. I watch the foam form and slowly
break apart as it rushes into the huge holding pool. Over the
past few years the mill had been restored and converted into a
restaurant. The massive water wheel, used in the past to power
the mills machinery, was now just for show. It turns steadily,
making a loud ca-chunk, ca-chunk sound. I follow the line of
the pool side, couples talking, children feeding ducks, around
to my right. My attention turns to the bridge on which I stand.
Made of stone and repaired with steel, the bridge had stood for
well over three hundred years. Wide enough for a single car,
it served as the only way into Darley Abbey Village from this
direction. A toll booth, manned by a tired looking old age pensioner,
had been set up at its entrance to help pay for repair work.
A disgruntled motorist leans out of his window waving a bank
note and complains about the price. The old man takes the bill
and gives a broad, friendly smile, infectious, the smile flourishes
on the motorists face. Taking the change and waving, the motorist
drives on towards me. I lean closer to the low wall, giving the
car as much space as possible. The motorist smiles at me as he passes.
I'm still working on this short story, so I appologise for the abrupt end.