UNWRITER Ron Berry

June 7, 2010

solitude – and a question

Filed under: writing — unwriter1 @ 12:25 pm
Tags: , , ,

Before I post this, I would like to ask if anyone thinks this series (26 so far), would be suitable as a children’s book.

Solitude

Solitude, that’s all little Amanda wanted. Momma said Christmas was nothing more than a dream. There wasn’t time to worry about such nonsense because everybody had to forage for food. Amanda knew that she was just another wasted life and it would be better for everyone if she just walked away.

While everyone was out scrounging, she packed a little sack with what bits and pieces of food there was lying around. Kitties don’t need a lot of ‘things’, but they do need to eat. With all the rain lately there were several puddles so getting a drink wasn’t a problem.

Amanda was the oldest of the litter. Mom always did her best to ensure her brood had the basics, but life on the street is treacherous at best. Amanda overheard momma many times complaining about the hardscrabble life they had to lead. So to ease the family burden, Amanda did what she thought was best. She left. She did leave a note though, so her brothers and sisters wouldn’t get worried and start searching for her.

“I’m sorry I am such a problem. I know there isn’t much food. I am going to go away. That will mean one less mouth to feed. Again, I’m sorry I’m such a burden.”

She signed it, then headed down the street. She really didn’t know which way to go, she just went. Amanda knew that her brothers and sisters would sleep for quite a while yet and momma was out looking for food. That would give her a good head start. She had been down this road before and knew of a couple of good places to seek shelter. She had thought about leaving for quite a while because she was feeling more and more depressed everyday. So when she came this way with momma, she didn’t say anything about these hiding places.

Momma kitty (she was momma kitty to all the critters in her neighborhood), was gone for a long time. The pickings were slim these days. But Sammy got up and went looking for his oldest sister. He hoped she had found something for everyone to eat. Normally she and momma would both go out looking and Amanda always came back fast to let everyone know what kind of day it was turning out to be. Each kitty, Amanda and Momma Kitty, had their designated areas to search. But when Sammy walked over to the corner where Amanda always slept, all he found was her note. Immediately he woke everyone else up.

“Amanda is gone!!!”

“She’s probably with momma. It has been hard to find food lately.”

“No, she left a note. She is gone!!!”

Everybody realized that their big sister really was gone.

“What if Momma doesn’t come home? What are we supposed to do?”

Talking all together at the same time created such a racket that Momma dropped what she was doing and headed back. She told the kids that it would be ok. Amanda would find out what the world really was, and return.

She didn’t believe a word she was saying, but she had to calm the kids down. Times were hard and now it would be even harder. It took both momma and Amanda to scrounge up enough to feed everyone. She excused herself and slipped into a corner where she could be alone. She cried. Will her oldest really be safe? Would it really work to go looking for her? All she could do is pray that she would either be safe, or would return.

Amanda was a long ways from home. Her food was gone and she didn’t see any prospects of finding any. She was also getting scared. This was territory she had not been in before. She was getting scared and the tears in her eyes didn’t help. But she kept going. She went around the corner and as luck would have it, this was a block of shops with many restaurants! It was a calm day with no wind so not even Amanda’s keen sense of smell would have detected this bonanza.

She headed towards the alley. Hopefully she could at least stock up on food. As she walked down the alley, one of the kitties that lived there approached her. Normally this would have resulted in a fight, but Amanda looked exhausted. Alex felt sorry for her and showed her the safest place to go. Amanda thanked him and told him she would just stock up then be on her way. Alex was a little disappointed but said ok.

Alex was unaware that Amanda saw the look. She did. Giving a bit of a wink (and this is not at all easy for kitties!), she started to walk away. As Alex slowly began slinking away, Amanda sidled up next to him.

“Alex, I’m heading out to make my way in the big wide world. Care to join me?”

As we leave Amanda and Alex, we can faintly see the sunset. It’s just beyond dumpster alley.

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3 Comments »

  1. Nice little story, I really liked it. Could easily be a childrens’ story, but not little kids, a bit too dark I think for littlies, but seven or eight and upwards it would be perfect. Not that I am really up with kids, I do have a little grand daughter who is three. I think this would be above her understanding.
    PS. for the first few lines, I didn’t realise it was a kitten, I thought it was a child. Maybe say Amanda the kitten etc.
    Cheers
    Margaret

    Comment by Margaret Tanner — June 7, 2010 @ 5:00 pm | Reply

  2. I think it’s wonderful, and agree with what Margaret said.
    For the very young, I think ‘solitude’ is a big word.
    As she said, for a bit older, it would be suitable.
    The voice is excellent, flowing, young.
    It’s beautifully written.

    Comment by Carol — June 7, 2010 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

  3. Does it have to be a kitty? I thought it was a real girl when reading at the beginning of the story. I’m an adult, so I have a hard time believing a kitten could write a note. May I gently suggest a few things? Solitude is too big of a word, but I don’t know what age group you are writing for. If it’s a talking kitty, it must be for 3-5 year olds. Why the second line?I don’t know what Christmas has to do with the story. Why does Amanda think she needs to leave. Put her in a situation, show what happens so she believes this. Remember “show don’t tell” adage. I think you need to add some kitten characteristics describing how lightly she can walk and washing her paws and whiskers, etc. if you keep it a kitten story. You could add a lot more description. Describe where she and her siblings and mom live…under a porch, in an old shed…If this is a picture book, you may plan to illustrate all these descriptions. Good luck. You have a good start. Keep working on it.

    Comment by Janet Glaser — June 8, 2010 @ 12:26 pm | Reply


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