Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Remember When...

I remember when the power went off.  

I was only 9 years old.  I was sitting Indian Style on the big fluffy rug that sat askew in front of the TV set.  It was a Tuesday night, and a new episode of the Jeffersons was on.  I was laughing hard.  The squeak of Grandma's chair made a rhythmic noise as she rocked to and fro. She wasn't interested in the Jeffersons. She was more interested in not messing up the sweater she was crocheting.

Then the power went off.  

It was as if God flipped a light switch, and the whole world was turned off.

I knew things were not good when Grandma's chair stopped squeaking. And there was no sound accept the sound of my shallow breathing.

"Looks like the power done gone out, Lil' Soldier, she said, in her hard lisp.

Even though my first name was Larry, Grandma called me by my last name, with the "lil" at the beginning.  My father was one of those black power people and had changed his last name to Soldier.  So I was Little Soldier, and he was Big Soldier.

"That don't happen much here in Atlanta," she said.  

She went on to say something else but stopped mid sentence.

It was then that we both smelled smoke...

From Women of Color Writing Workshop, early August.

Time = 7 minutes. 

Prompts:  Start your story with:  I remember when

Mention the following:

Age between 2 and 88.
Name of a city.
First name starting with a G.
Last name starting with a S.
Prominent physical feature
Perk or mannerism

I forgot to work on the prominent physical feature portion. I was just trying to finish.  I cheated a little with the names. I used Grandma, and Soldier. I didn't have time to think about some really good names. 

We discussed that story for a moment. There are some interesting questions. What's up with the kid's father and the black panther party....

And what's up with the smoke?

I'll let you decide. 


  1. Interesting...

    Dad is in jail, kid being raised by Grandma.

    Smoke - hmmm I can't think of anything. Maybe an electrical fire is starting.

  2. Maybe a riot is starting in the neighborhood.
    I like that Lee. I was pulled right on.

  3. My first thought was that the father's connection to the Black Panthers has ruffled some feathers and that has something to do with the power going out and the smoke ...

  4. Just 7 minutes? Soldier wasn't cheating..the back story explanation was good to me. And then Bam! Chele's idea...I like it.


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