Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Where Angels Fear to Tread (not about the book) (09/08/11)
TITLE: Nowhere to Go
By Michelle Meyers
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Along this road there is a small grocery store from another era. The Mom and Pop type market that existed before the 7-Elevens. It gives away its age by the old fashioned blinking, neon sign out front. The bars on the door and windows are newer, unfortunate additions. And behind this dilapidated establishment is a gathering of ramshackle vehicles, five of them to be exact. Several are run down small campers; there is a van, and one trailer, the type to be pulled behind a vehicle only the vehicle is long gone. This is not a wrecking yard and the vehicles are not abandoned. There are people living here although I hesitate to call them homes.
Hunter is a 10 year old boy and the trailer is his home. He and his Mom moved there close to two years ago. They had been living in an apartment building in the city, crowded with many people and where gunshots were not uncommon, but one day his Mom came home and told him they were moving. Now Hunter and his Mom live here with a man named Mark, in the trailer with nowhere to go. The apartment house had been noisy and scary so at first the trailer seemed better. But his Mom still slept most of the day, and when she was awake there was always a lot of yelling, either at him or this new guy, whose last name Hunter didn’t even know.
When the yelling would start, Hunter would make his escape outside but there were no other kids to play with. He would dig in the dirt, uncovering rocks, stacking them like castles. Sometimes he would kick a can around the trailer imaging a soccer game. Once he discovered a ladder that ran up the back of the trailer and he climbed up, excited to be up so high he could see the river across the busy road. Then Mark had discovered him and threatened Hunter until he climbed down, promising not to go up there again. He had to hide outside until the threat of being beaten had passed. It was dark before all was quiet inside, and he could safely sneak back in and curl up on the blanket under the table.
Hunter had mixed feelings about school. He liked getting away from the trailer, and his teacher and the staff were nice to him but there was a lot of work. He struggled to read, and could never get his work done. At least at home, he could do whatever he wanted. His Mother didn’t care. He loved sports and looked forward to recess but something always went wrong and the other boys would yell at him and want him out of the game. He didn’t have clean clothes like the rest of the kids, and could never talk about the book he’d just read or the cool movie he saw that weekend. As much as he longed to be with the other kids, he mostly felt left out.
Fridays were always a good day because he was given a bag of food to take home. The bags were given by a nearby church that had adopted the school. Two men from the church had even taught the kids how to play soccer during recess. Hunter was pretty good and when the men told the students about a soccer camp at the church that summer he was excited. But when he had mentioned it to his Mom she told him he couldn’t go. Hunter felt disappointed and angry but helpless to change things. He couldn’t understand why his Mom wasn’t like some of the Moms who volunteered at school. Sometimes he wished he had a different home with a different Mom but he knew that wouldn’t happen. As far as Hunter could see no one would ever come, things would never change, and his life would go on in the trailer with nowhere to go.
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