Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction
Story SchoolIn a land far far away, near Connecticut, there was a small elementary school. Mr. Adams’ class had around twenty students and every two weeks all the students had to participate in “Art Hour.” You could play any instruments or draw then present them, single file, to the rest of the class.
John was a fourth grader in Mr. Adams' class. He had no interest in music. He was too polite to say anything, but if he could he would hide all the sheet music of “Hot Crossed Buns” in the world if he could. There are only so many times you can hear the same song played over and over. As for art, stick figures are all he could see in any of his possible futures. So “Art Hour” was a boring ordeal John had to endure.
The one thing John was good at was the only thing banned in the neighborhood. Writing Stories. The town believed that all the stories they needed was already written and taught to the children by one book with one shape on the cover. John asked Mr. Adams every time if he could present a story, but time and time again, Mr. Adams said it was against the rules.
Every day during play time; he spent at least ten minutes looking at everyone else’s fun. He knew that as each second passed by, a new story was being written. Any time one of his friends pretended to fly or escape creeping lava, a story was being written by his friends. How could the town think that this imagination was a bad thing? He tried to convince Mr. Adams again, but got the usual response.
As the fourth month of the school year came, John had had enough. Every day when he came back home, he hid himself in his room, in a fort he made out of his sofa cushion, and spent hours writing. Sometimes he would write about spacemen and aliens, other times about magic and spells. But he especially liked a story he wrote about an ordinary boy who wanted to read at “Art Hour.” The plot was nothing special. It was just the thought of an ordinary “nothing story” being a legitimate, written “story” that made it special.
After another month John asked his friends if they would bring their parents over to his house for “Art Hour.” He invited every adult he knew, even Mr. Adams which was kind of weird. Who invites their teacher over to their house? But nonetheless, he was determined to read a story out loud, in front of every adult he knew. Making stories was bad he knew, but adults couldn’t be mad at kids right?
The day came and every adult was huddled in the living room after John’s parent served dinner, it was a very small and secluded neighborhood. His parents wondered why he planned this party, but they didn’t want to be rude when they heard everyone was invited already.
John allowed all the students, even the second graders who’re the meanest of all the years, to play their songs or show their drawings. John went last, when the adults were either embarrassed or proud of their children. Everyone was in a good mood, until John went up without an instrument or drawing. He had two pieces of paper with dramatically messy, lopsided, and non-equal-lengthed writing.
The mood of the room changed in the smallest of mili-kili-quadrupi-centi-seconds. No one was smiling anymore and John’s parents looked away from him. But he was determined to have his say. So he told his story of a boy who wanted to show the world how imaginative he is when everyone else told him it was forbidden. When he was finished, every child smiled but when they started to clap, their parents clasped their hands shut.
Since then every adult told their children to stay away from him at school. For the next two weeks no one talked to him and Mr. Adams excused him from the classroom when “Art Hour” began. He would stand in the hall and stare at his feet wondering why the kids were scared of him. He saw them smiling at the dinner, they liked his story, so why would they ignore him? But John didn’t let it get to him, he would just think of what to write when he went back home.
No matter how imaginative he was, he still missed his friends. He was going to go up to them, but they came to him first. They asked if they could come over to hear another one of his stories maybe one about dragons, as long as he didn’t tell their parents. John was surprised but agreed, he’d made at least a dozen stories about dragons in the last week!
As soon as he was socializing in school again, more and more of the students asked to hear stories. There were so many, he had to schedule days where certain groups came to his house after school. It turned out that they all loved his stories, but they were afraid of their parents finding out. His little fort became too small and he asked his parents if he could use the attic for his play room.
Since then, the students decided that if they can’t hear stories in school, they’d learn about different and adventurous lands in the attic. Everyone was allowed to be a Dragon Tamer, a Time Master, anything that they wanted. They’d end the day with one of John’s stories; his was always the best stories. As the years passed they came to call the attic their very own Story School.
Since then, the children grew to have their own children who were encouraged to make and read their own stories. Decades and decades passed and the little town near Connecticut changed to the most imaginative town for miles and miles. Every holiday brought reenactments. Every season brought a new face for the town. Shelves filled with books of joy and wonder. Every child was told to be themselves, even if their parents didn’t like it. And it all came from a single boy who refused to not tell his story.
Blogs on This Site
Reviews and book lists - books we love!
The site administrator fields questions from visitors.
Like us on Facebook to get updates about new resources