Sample Short Story Version #1 (Few Narrative Techniques)

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1 Appendix 6.8 Sample Short Story Version #1 and Version #2: The London Eye Sample Short Story Version #1 (Few Narrative Techniques) The London Eye 01. The day that Nick Connell learned he could become invisible began like any other. When he woke up, it was raining. Nick lived in Stepney, in the East End of London. A hundred years ago, the street where Nick lived had been a tire factory, and on humid days the air still smelled of rubber. 02. One morning, Nick woke up and put on his school uniform. He was eleven and looked like a lot of other boys his age, with a round face and black hair. The only thing different about Nick was that he had one green eye and one brown eye. Everyone told Nick he was special that having two different-colored eyes was a mark of greatness but he hated it. 03. Nick had recently lost all three of his family s umbrellas, and so he walked to school through the cold wet rain. At lunch he got in a fight with his best friend, Jules. They stopped speaking to each other. 04. At home, Nick made toast and tea and started on his homework. But then, out of the blue, while he was staring, bored, at a page of fractions, Nick thought, Maybe I should go look in Rosie s room. Nick s older sister Rosie was sixteen, and she was always out with her friends. 05. Nick pushed open the door to his sister s room, then stood for a moment in the hallway, debating whether to go inside. He listened for any sounds downstairs, but the house was quiet, and so Nick went into the room. He read her diary, snooped around a little, and was sitting on the floor eating her stash of chocolate caramels when he heard footsteps on the stairs. 06. The footsteps on the stairs turned louder. Rosie was nearly at the hall. He was scared. He held the chocolate wrapper in his hand, closed his eyes, and waited to hear his sister begin to scream. 07. But she didn t. She came into the room, put her schoolbag on the bed, and took off her shoes. Nick opened one eye. His sister s shoe had landed a few inches from his knee. He opened the other eye, expecting to see Rosie looking at him. But she wasn t. She was lounging on the bed now, flipping through a magazine. 08. After a few more minutes, Rosie went downstairs. Once he heard noises from the kitchen, Nick went downstairs. 208 Downloadable PDFs available on PDToolkit. From Pam Allyn's Core Ready Lesson Sets, Grades 6 8: The Shape of Story: Past and Present. Copyright 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.

2 He asked if she had seen him earlier, and she said no. Nick went upstairs and looked in the bathroom mirror. He looked the same, if a little more bedraggled than usual. He frowned. He raised one eyebrow, then the other, at his reflection. He didn t know what he was expecting to see, and he sighed. Then he decided to do an experiment. He closed his eyes and opened them again. He was invisible. Nick practiced in his bathroom every day for a week before he tried to turn invisible outside. He became used to the popping sensation in his chest, and after seven days of practicing he could summon it in seconds. And then, just like that, all of London was his. Nick s favorite soccer team was Arsenal. The first thing he did was sneak into the Arsenal stadium. He had never been so happy in his life. It was the best summer ever. Nick explored Buckingham palace without getting caught. He snuck into restaurants, but he never stole food. He d set two rules for himself: 1. No stealing. 2. No snooping on people you know. The first rule was hard because Nick s family was poor, but the second rule was easy. Nick had thought about following friends, but the idea scared him. Instead Nick explored his city. He went into all the rooms that he d never be allowed in otherwise without money, without a noble title. He snuck into a mansion in Mayfair and went in a members club. He watched a gambling circle and went in Harrods, the department store. He watched every Arsenal match and sometimes went to the team s practices. One night in August, Nick rode the London Eye, the Ferris wheel by the river. He d already snuck onto it a dozen times that summer. The city was below him. Nick looked out and felt good. And then he felt the pop in his chest, and suddenly he was there. He wasn t invisible any longer. Nick could never turn invisible again. After a few months, he stopped trying. But for the rest of his life, he remembered the season when all of London was his. Downloadable PDFs available on PDToolkit. From Pam Allyn's Core Ready Lesson Sets, Grades 6 8: The Shape of Story: Past and Present. Copyright 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc. 209

3 Sample Short Story Version #2 (Many Narrative Techniques) The London Eye 01. The day that Nick Connell learned he could become invisible began like any other. When he woke up, rain was bucketing down from a low gray sky. Nick lived in Stepney, in the East End of London, in a small brick house surrounded by identical small brick houses. A hundred years ago, the street where Nick lived had been a tire factory, and on humid days the air still smelled of rubber. 02. On this cold spring morning, Nick woke up and put on his school uniform. He was eleven and looked like a lot of other boys his age, with a round face and black hair. The only thing different about Nick was that he had one green eye and one brown eye. Everyone told Nick he was special that having two different colored eyes was a mark of greatness but he hated it. It just makes me look funny, he said. 03. Nick had recently lost all three of his family s umbrellas, and so he walked to school through the cold wet rain. When he arrived, his school uniform was soaked, and he sat, dripping, through Math, Geography, and History. At lunch he got in a fight with his best friend, Jules, when she said there were seven oceans on the planet and he said there were five. Neither of them cared much about it either way, but by the time lunch was over they weren t speaking to each other. 04. At home, Nick made toast and tea and started on his homework. But then, out of the blue, while he was staring, bored, at a page of fractions, Nick thought, Maybe I should go look in Rosie s room. 05. Nick s older sister Rosie was sixteen, and she was always out with her friends. I just want to find out where they go, Nick whispered aloud as he climbed the stairs to her room. I just want to know what they do. 06. Nick pushed open the door to his sister s room, then stood for a moment in the hallway, debating whether to go inside. He listened for any sounds downstairs, but the house was quiet, and so Nick went into the room. He read her diary, snooped around on her computer, and was sitting on the floor eating her stash of chocolate caramels when he heard footsteps on the stairs. 07. No, no, no, Nick whispered. How had he not heard the front door? He must have been rustling the candy wrappers too loudly. 08. The footsteps on the stairs turned louder. Rosie was nearly at the hall. All the blood had left Nick s face, turning him pale. He scrunched up the chocolate wrapper 210 Downloadable PDFs available on PDToolkit. From Pam Allyn's Core Ready Lesson Sets, Grades 6 8: The Shape of Story: Past and Present. Copyright 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.

4 in his hand, closed his eyes, and waited to hear his sister begin to scream. 09. But she didn t. She came into the room, dumped her schoolbag on the bed, and kicked off her shoes. Nick opened one eye. His sister s shoe had landed a few inches from his knee. He opened the other eye, expecting to see Rosie with her arms folded over her chest, glaring at him. But she wasn t. She was sitting on the bed now, flipping through a magazine. 10. After a few more minutes, Rosie yawned and padded downstairs. Once he heard noises from the kitchen, Nick bolted up and ran down the stairs and into the kitchen. 11. Nick! Rosie yelped. You scared me. I didn t think anyone was home. 12. You didn t see me earlier? 13. No, said Rosie, as though he were very stupid. 14. Nick went upstairs and looked in the bathroom mirror. He looked the same, if a little more bedraggled than usual. He frowned. He raised one eyebrow, then the other, at his reflection. He didn t know what he was expecting to see, and he sighed. Then he decided to do an experiment. He closed his eyes and remembered hearing his sister s footsteps coming up the stairs. His heart began to pound in his chest. His eyes were squinted shut. I m not here, he thought to himself, I m not here. And then he felt something pop, like a bubble bursting in his chest, and he opened his eyes. 15. He wasn t there. His reflection, in the mirror, was gone. Nick laughed, and the sound seemed to come from nowhere at all, from thin air. Nick reached his hand toward the mirror, and his fingers grazed the cold glass, and still nothing appeared in the reflection. He was invisible. 16. Nick practiced in his bathroom every day for a week before he tried to turn invisible outside. He became used to the popping sensation in his chest, and after seven days of practicing he could summon it in seconds. 17. And then, just like that, all of London was his. 18. Nick s favorite soccer team was Arsenal, and the first thing he did was sneak into the Arsenal stadium. He jumped, invisible, from the stands down onto the pitch and watched the game from the sidelines. After the striker missed a goal, the Arsenal coach, Arsène Wenger, stood right next to Nick and shouted at the team, throwing his hands in the air, his face turning purple. The players ran inches away from Nick s face. When Arsenal scored the winning goal, Nick ran out onto the field, his arms in airplanes, circling the huddle of cheering players. He had never been so happy in his life. Downloadable PDFs available on PDToolkit. From Pam Allyn's Core Ready Lesson Sets, Grades 6 8: The Shape of Story: Past and Present. Copyright 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc. 211

5 19. It was the best summer ever. Nick hopped the fence in front of Buckingham Palace and lay under a cherry tree a few inches from the queen s window. He wandered through noisy bustling restaurant kitchens in Shoreditch and Hackney, careful not to bump into the chefs with their steaming pots and pans. He spent a lot of time in the kitchen of his favorite Indian restaurant on Brick Lane, but he never stole any food. 20. He d set two rules for himself: 1. No stealing. 2. No snooping on people you know. 21. The first rule was hard because Nick s family was poor, but the second rule was easy. Nick had thought about following Jules and his other friends from school, but the idea unsettled him. He didn t want to be untrustworthy. And after thinking about it for a long time, he decided he didn t really want to hear what people said about him when he wasn t there. 22. Instead Nick explored his city. He went into all the rooms that he d never be allowed in otherwise without money, without a noble title. He snuck into a mansion in Mayfair that looked like a great white cake and went into a members club down the block full of round men with red cheeks. He watched a gambling circle in the basement of a kebab shop in Islington. In June, he told his mom he was staying with Jules s family and then spent the night in Harrods, the best department store in London. He watched every Arsenal match and sometimes went to the team s practices, dribbling alongside the players, pretending to take shots on goal. 23. One night in August, Nick rode the London Eye, a huge Ferris wheel on the banks of the river. He d already snuck onto it a dozen times that summer. The city glittered below him. Nick pressed his hands to the glass compartment. He felt completely content and completely himself. And then, as though he knew it was coming, he felt the pop in his chest, and suddenly he was there. He wasn t invisible any longer. His reflection looked back at him, surprised, in the glass. 24. Nick could never turn invisible again. After a few months, he stopped trying. But for the rest of his life, he remembered the season when all of London was his. One day, when Nick was eighteen, Jules s dad won tickets to an Arsenal match in a raffle. The seats were the best in the stadium, right above the pitch. 25. Can t get any closer than this, can you? asked Jules s dad. 26. No, said Nick, laughing, you can t. 212 Downloadable PDFs available on PDToolkit. From Pam Allyn's Core Ready Lesson Sets, Grades 6 8: The Shape of Story: Past and Present. Copyright 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.

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