“Mummy I want to go to school.”
“You can’t because I’m sick and they won’t let you go to school so that you won’t give the other children the sickness I have.”
“But Mummy I’m not sick.”
“You just can’t go and that’s all there is to that. Go outside and play.” I’m frightened of the hairbrush if I disobey so I do as I’m told. But I’m bored. Bored before I even get outside.
An idea comes rushing into my head. My Daddy’s sermon last Sunday. I could be the leper. I walk up to the road where the church sits and wait patiently. Here comes some-one. I jump out of the bushes screaming “I’m a leper. Don’t come near me, I’m unclean.” I jump up and down with glee.The person gives me a strange look and crosses to the other side of the road.
Here comes another. I surprise him with my maniacal appearance, again screaming “I’m a leper. I’m unclean. Stay away.” If only more people would pass this way. Here comes another. I like the ones that look afraid and cross to the other side of the road.
I have to go home for lunch. My Daddy looks angry.
“Irene. What are you doing?”
“I’m playing lepers.”
“You are not to do that anymore. It’s not nice.”
I love my Daddy. He is never angry with me. I don’t want him to be angry with me.
“You can go back to school tomorrow. They aren’t worried that you will carry any germs to the other children.”
An exercise in free writing – child’s voice, 1st person, present tense. Writing as a child puts the emotion in the forefront. Tomorrow’s exercise will be writing this in adult voice, 1st person past tense.