Biographical Non-Fiction posted January 13, 2018

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A contest entry - 700 word limit.


by Sharon Meda

I got into trouble as a kid, the same as everyone else. We lived by the 'spare no rod and spoil no child' rule, and I was on the receiving end of a leather belt many times. But, only one time stands out in my mind, like it was yesterday.

It was the summer before I started school, so I'd have turned six that previous May. At the time, we were living in a logging camp outside of Merritt, in south central BC. Home was a travel trailer with two rooms. Under the window at the front was a table and bench on three sides. The table folded down into a bed where Cindy and Laura slept.

A tiny kitchen made up the middle section of the trailer, and a door led to the bedroom at the back. There was a bed on the left wall and I slept on a piece of plywood mounted above it. I don't know why Dad never put a rail on that make-shift bed, as I rolled out of it often, landing on him while he slept below. Along the right wall was a dresser. One of the bottom drawers, pulled out at night, accommodated my youngest sister, Leona, then a few months old.

Our camp consisted of roughly ten trailers in a bit of a valley. The hillside around us was a jumble of charred trees, fallen by a forest fire, two years before. This tangle of timber provided a jungle of forts, where we spent many hours playing.

One day, I wandered away from our blackened playground, and down the logging road that led into camp. A survey crew had marked out a construction project, and hanging on tree branches were beautiful, pink, plastic ribbons.

I knew I wasn't supposed to touch those ribbons, but they were so lovely. I grabbed 6 or 7, and ran back to the hillside. I sat staring at the lovely pink plastic throughout the afternoon and when Mom started calling us in for dinner, I ignored her.

Typically, Mom would call, and we'd scamper down the hill to be washed in a basin set up outside the door. Mom would lift the table top, so we could settle on the benches, and then she'd lower it in front of us. We'd gobble down our dinners, then scoot back outside before Dad got home. Mom would have a fresh basin of water set out for him, and he'd wash off the logger's grime before going in to sit himself on the bench. They'd lower the table again, and have their dinner.

Once he finished, Dad would wander off to visit in another trailer and Mom would do the dishes in the pan outside the door. She'd call us in for bed, and we'd be asleep when Dad came back. We rarely saw much of him, except of course, when I fell on him through the night.

After my survey ribbon caper, I missed the first dinner go-round. I stayed hidden in my fort, knowing I was in for a strapping once my ribbon picking was discovered.

I heard Mom calling every so often, and when Dad's logging truck rolled in, I watched him wash up from my hiding place.

Finally, I had to leave my fort, as it was getting dark and cold. Dad was outside with Mom, apparently giving up his evening visit with the other loggers. The two of them watched me come down the hillside, climbing over blackened logs.

At the bottom of the hill I walked towards them holding the ribbons in front of me like a soot covered offering, my tears making black streaks down my cheeks.

I'm not sure what was worse that night, getting the belt, or the lecture that I received from my father. He spoke to us kids very rarely, and this was attention that I didn't want. I've gotten into trouble again over the years, but this one always stuck with me as my greatest crime. Or maybe it was my greatest punishment, I'm not sure which.

Board Games writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a 200 - 700 word story that incorporates one of these seven board games as a plot, theme, or setting. Gameplay is an option. Sorry could be a story driven by remorse. Battleship could take place on a warship. Fact or Crap could be whimsical. Trouble could be a story about two kids who fight during the playing of the game.


690 words as per Microsoft Word.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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© Copyright 2018. Sharon Meda All rights reserved.
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