Anyway, here's my short short--I'll be sharing this with my fellowship group tomorrow. I'm a bit nervous about it--because, my theory is that all English professors are really either closet poets or closet fiction writers (maybe some closet screenwriters or playwrights thrown in the mix too). What I mean is, I think that some of us love literature so much, that we have often dreamed about actually creating the creative works we critique. I know that's the case with me. When I was a kid and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said "An Author!" A friend of mine reminded me the other day that I actually AM a writer--because I do write for a living (as well as teach) but, in my mind, a real author is a fiction writer.
So here's my stab at my dream profession--once you read it, you will probably realize that I should stick to my day job. But I figure, why have a blog if you can't force people to read the things that only my Mom would normally read!
It’s Friday, and Forrest Lee silently prays to God that Teresa Williams will be out so that he can go home and the monthly humiliation of kick ball will be over. Forrest is always picked last—out of all of the boys and all of the girls. Forrest walks home from school alone; he eats lunch alone, from a Tupperware lunchpail filled with food his grandmother makes for him. Forrest never buys the school lunch.
Forrest sees Teresa make it to first base. The bases are loaded with two outs, and Forrest knows his team will lose because he’s now up. Suddenly, his whole class yells in unison, “Run, Forrest, Run!” Forrest hates this the most about kick ball days; the kids always chant “Run, Forrest, Run!” He looks at Mrs. Carter, his fourth grade teacher, who, as usual, is scribbling on her clipboard. He looks at the pitcher, Bobby Sanchez, who grins, then shoots the ball at Forrest, who, with eyes closed, kicks the ball as hard as he can. Amid the chanting, amid the heat, Forrest kicks the ball as if it contained all the rage, frustration, and anxiety of his brief nine years.
And the ball, following a trajectory of its own choosing, veers right and smacks Mrs. Carter square in the face, where she falls backwards, clutching her bloody nose. And Bobby’s eyes grow wide. And his class falls silent.
And Forrest runs.
[this is exactly 236 words (not counting the title)--and my challenge to anyone who is out there is to share your own short short story in the comments section of this post--or provide a link to your own short short!]