Silence Shared

six sentence story.jpgEven before returning to the machine and seeing that this week Denise’s prompt word for Six Sentence Stories is “trunk”, a boy you may remember from past sixes, or perhaps even from my book, had started in on me to write this continuation of his story.  Six sentences constitute a manageable puzzle. Join Denise and her merry gang in piecing together a response to this weekly writing prompt.


Silence Shared                     by D. Avery

The rest of that long summer, the summer that Jimmy died, I never got past the front porch, never got on my bike to go anywhere, just finished out the time before school started up reading old books I’d already read a million times. Sometimes Jimmy’s mom would come by and mostly we’d just sit there not saying anything, but it was okay, and the day before school she gave me a picture of me and Jimmy from a camping trip when we were little, and his baseball glove. I put both in the small trunk at the back of my closet, the trunk that also held some things that had been my mother’s before she died.

At school every class was the same, me alone next to an empty seat and that empty seat making it hard for me to speak. When I got home and Dad asked me how school went I said ‘fine’ and he didn’t press for more because he and I understood the thing we shared, the silence of our small trunks at the back of our closets. I watched my dad go back to the shop, me still sitting on the front porch trying not to think about much when Jimmy’s mom came by to ask me how school went and I started to say ‘fine’ but my lip started quivering and then I was sobbing in her arms and she held me and comforted me like I imagine my own mother would.

17 thoughts on “Silence Shared

  1. I do remember these characters. They are unforgettable. How difficult for him to sit beside Jimmy’s empty chair in school. I’m sure an empathetic teacher such as yourself wouldn’t have it so. It makes the situation all the more heart-rending in the story though – very effective. This part made me especially sad: ‘he and I understood the thing we shared, the silence of our small trunks at the back of our closets’. It’s difficult to give each other comfort if these ‘trunks’ cannot be spoken about, if we keep them locked inside.
    Another moving piece. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was fortunate in that I never lost a classmate in school. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to take as a child. Moms have such a responsibility in times like this. Good six!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, do you promise if I take a week off from all things tech/internet, I can write a 6 as good as yours? 😀
    I so remember this character. The 6 I read back then was very touching. This one? Even more so. Really tugs at the emotions. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You cannot ever take time off because somehow the one word that you provide weekly has prompted some good characters with some good stories for me. It’s funny how that works. I was feeling this story before I saw the prompt word and then was able to incorporate pretty easily even though I didn’t really know about the trunk of keepsakes in the closet. I did know his mother was dead.
    One thing I am doing is tackling the six sentences a little differently. I know that I have sometimes written too long sentences or had grammar and syntax that was a little fudged for the sake of getting the six done. I wrote this for me first and then pared it down to a stand alone six where the sentence structure is something I can tolerate. So yes, there’s a longer version in existence with more detail, though it is essentially the same. I did something similar with “The Ride” a couple or so weeks ago. The six version wasn’t necessarily my favorite, but it was a worthwhile exercise and paring it down made the longer version better revised as well. It was a back and forth tweaking.
    This kid’s voice emerged directly from that rambly run on way a six sentence story can go and I am grateful for the prompts and the form/restrictions that helped these characters appear and evolve. Thanks!


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