I discovered this old writing prompt on ROCHELLE WISOFF-FIELDS’ site and thought it would be fun to write a condensed version (100 words or less) of an event from Buck Crenshaw and William Weldon’s boyhood:
PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll
LIFE BEHIND THE FENCE
Fred pissed in Buck’s boots.
They walked down Chestnut Street with its grand homes. Everyone envied Buck and Fred.
Lemonade waited, but friends were never invited in.
William understood the fence between us and them. Mrs. Crenshaw lounged. Fred trotted to her. Buck hung back.
Mrs. Crenshaw struggled to her feet.
“You soiled your shoes?”
Buck backed up, upsetting a glass.
“I curse the day I had you! Take off the shoes.”
Buck tore the shoe off and flung it at the fence. William lingered long enough to see the belt cracking the soles of Buck’s feet.
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Don’t make me laugh.
And here we have it, friends, the beginning of the end of dour photographic portraiture. It’s only one more sly remark from the son on the lower left that will get her sister to finally break. Mother and father are doing their best to take things seriously, but it’s just not in their natures to get worked up about things.
I imagine the father works as publisher of the small town paper (and is much admired for his fairness) in the snowy upstate part of New York. He met his wife at a cousin’s graduation picnic and they immediately hit it off–marrying the following spring in the pretty Baptist church on the hill.
While wifey wouldn’t mind the vote she prides herself on having the smartest and most mannerly children in town who hardly ever complain about chores. She likes corsets because they accentuate her shape. While her husband provides her with many modern conveniences she’s never bored with “free time.” She does read the occasional novel but mostly helps at the church when not gardening.
The children actually don’t find their parents stupid. They respect their father and admire their mother hoping in the back of their minds to have marriages just like theirs. The boy will go off to the First World War and come back a hero, marrying his high school sweetheart. The girl at the time of this photo already has a crush on the new young apprentice her father has recently hired and will marry him soon enough, move next door to her mother and have many happy times gossiping over the fence while hanging laundry and watching her children play.