Old School

31 03 2011

I was digging around my desk this afternoon when I chanced upon my old elementary school notebook. We used it for writing and drawing activities. It was fun flipping through the scrawled pages, perusing my sloppy notes and miniature doodles. In trash, you can find treasure, though -words of gold…


Late one night the neighbor knocked on the front door and asked if he could borrow our sled. He promised he’d give it back, and I couldn’t refuse his pleading face.

The next day, he was gone.

It was like he’d totally disappeared. His parents called the police, and the school was full of gossip about why he would run away. Some said he was going to the coast to live with his godfather. That was probably the most believable theory, but I knew where he had gone.

And I wasn’t about to tell.

A few years past.

I was watching tv in the living room when I heard the doorbell ring. When I answered the doorbell, there he was.

It was him.

He asked me if I could come with him. I put my shoes on and we headed toward his backyard.

“What do you want?”

“I need you to help me find something.”


“It’s too early for questions. The question is, will you come?”


“Out of town.”

“For how long?”

“Several hours, at maximum.”

“Am I allowed to tell my parents?”

“Sure, just don’t give them the real reason.”

I go back to my house, tell my mom and dad I’m going on along walk and won’t be back for a while. Then  I grab my phone and some money, put it in my backpack and go back to my neighbor’s lawn. We walk silently down the street and stop at the edge of the rows of houses.

One thing I should let you know, PenPoint Village is rather small. And lonely. It’s in the middle of nowhere and isn’t visited much. Really, not at all!


We had been driving for what seemed like forever. I couldn’t believe my eyes when we pulled up and saw a huge field of tall, swaying grass with wildflowers dotting it in brilliant colors. It continued endlessly over the hills. In the shadow of a lone, blossoming tree there was a small cabin cheerfully painted yellow and blue. A dirt path embedded with pebbles wound its way through the grass, side tracking toward a small pond and eventually landing at the house’s doorstep. My jaw dropped. According to my parents, this was to be my new home.

We parked the car at the end of the road and dragged our suitcases down the trail. By the time my family had reached the cabin, I was panting from the effort of dragging my two heavy bags behind me. Now I could clearly see the house: the paint was actually rather faded, the windows dusty and the floor boards creaky. Inside, the air was musky, although it smelled slightly of apples and berries.

Leaving my suitcase in the hallway, I climbed up the winding staircase onto the second floor. After inspecting several rooms, I decided that the one I wanted was the one painted yellow, with a padded window seat and a trapdoor in the ceiling that led to the attic. The bathroom was in a grim state: the tub was dirty, and spider webs stretched across the faucets and open toilet lid.

I thudded downstairs to explore some more. The living room was rather small, but the kitchen was bright and airy, with a wooden countertop and a big window over the sink that had a good view of the large tree. I was surprised and pleased to see a small treehouse in its branches, although it had obviously been used before, as it’s walls were scribbled on and one of its windows was open.


Something brushed up against my foot and my surprise turned to horror as I looked down and saw millions of giant cockroaches, scuttling over the floor in a wave of clicking, running insects all headed toward me.

I screamed and ran for the exit. The door was locked. I turned around, my eyes wide, and braced myself…

Beep beep. Beep BEEP beep. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEE- click.


My eyes cracked open to glance at my room. Sun filtered through the blinds onto my bed.

Saturday, thank goodness. No school!

The mattress creaked as I sat up. What a nightmare that was. I didn’t regret my alarm. What would have happened next if I had still slept? Shuddering at the thought, I quickly donned my slippers and bathrobe and padded down the hall to the kitchen. The sun was high in the sky. My parents were gone already. They had left anote with instructions on where to find breakfast and what time to expect them home.

Suddenly, I heard something scuttle on the floor. I winced, turned around, and…

(Here there was a picture I drew of a cockroach on the floor winking. Cute!)


Now for some poetry!___________________________________________________________________________________________

Squeak, squeak, squeak

like a dripping leak

every where I go

in sunshine, rain or snow

I thought that you might know

My brand-new sneakers squeak

Squeak, squeak, squeak

Every day of every week

Down the halls and in the rooms

Everywhere the squeaking looms

Like ultra powered sonic booms

My brand-new sneakers squeak

Squeak, squeak, squeak

Enough to make a person weak

Jabbing at silence like a big sharp beak

Makes me a person meek

When my brand-new sneakers squeak


Learn from your mistakes

Use whatever you make

A pond can be a lake

Give and do not take

See sunshine in the dark

Sing as loud as a lark

Some people’s bit is less than their bark

Every person leaves their mark

Shine your light every day

When you’re in trouble you’ve got to pay

Let every person have his say

Live by this poem as you go your way

[and don’t forget to play! :)]


Seems like a few people could learn from that last poem, don’t you think? 😉