Standing

“Staff members shouldn’t join student anti’s, Ms. Higginbottom.”

“Anti’s. My dad, a member of the NRA, called protesters that, Mr. Mathy.”

Mr. Massey the math teacher looked at Ilene, unsure of her lisp and her tone.

“But this is not my father’s NRA. Not by a long shot.”

“You give up one constitutional right, the rest are vulnerable.”

Incredulous, Ilene finally spoke. “Look at the reciprocals; not what they’re against but what they are for; that’s what pro-test means, testifying for a cause.”

“And what are these children standing for Ms.Higginbottom?”

“Life, Mr. Massey. They want to live.”

                                                                                  The Carrot Ranch   copy-of-working-template-for-ff-challenges23.pngJanuary 16, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a protest story. It can be about a protest, or you can investigate the word and expand the idea. Who is protesting, where, and why? Go where the prompt leads!

Below is the 229 word first draft. I’m thinking I like the pared down stories better, getting the point across in 99 words. What do you think?

 

“It isn’t appropriate for a staff member to join in with the kids in this so-called protest they have planned, Ms. Higginbottom.”

“No? And why is that, Mr. Mathy?”

Mr. Massey the math teacher looked at Ilene, unsure of her lisp and her tone.

“I mean, I get it, they might be what my dad called ‘a bunch of anti’s’.”

“Yes, exactly,” Mr. Massey assented. “Always against one thing then another thing.”

“But this is the first protest these students have ever staged. It must be important to them. What is it they’re against, Mr. Mathy?”

“Guns. The NRA.”

“My dad was a member of the NRA. We had guns.”

Mr. Massey looked relieved. “So you do get it.”

“I get that this is not my father’s NRA. Not by a long shot. I stand with the kids. How could I not?”

“How can you encourage them to be against our rights to bear arms, to be able to defend ourselves. You give one right away, they all are vulnerable.”

Ilene stared at the khaki and oxford clad man, incredulous. “Look at it this way,” she finally said. “Look at the reciprocals; not what the students are against but what they are for; that’s what pro-test means, testifying for a cause.”

“And what are these children standing for Ms. Higginbottom?”

“Their lives, Mr. Massey, they just want to live.”

17 thoughts on “Standing

  1. That last line is perfect.

    Both drafts work. The 99-word is concise and to the point. The longer one is more fleshed-out and easier to understand. I had to reread the short one to clarify who was speaking. The moral of the tale still shines through, brilliantly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Protests « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  3. I like your definition of pro-test being pro-life. Let the students live, and live without fear. Good on Ilene for standing up with the students, for seeing that what was is no more and that change is needed.
    I enjoyed both versions but the 99-word is definitely tighter and shows how much can be told in just that number.

    Like

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