Ray Bradbury once encouraged new writers, “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.” This week, we are proud to present two of the good ones. Nate Kruger tells the tale of a boy named Mohammed who enlists to fight for the Union Army in the Civil War. Zoe Sheares’ “Feathers Fly,” a story inspired by real life events, is a lovely vignette into a surprising everyday mishap. Read on for both pieces, plus some bonus photos from our summer workshops in Fort Greene Park:
Nate Kruger (Age 9):
In 1861 there was a young boy named Mohammed. His family was rich, and life seemed perfect to him. Meanwhile, the Civil War was raging on.
One day, Mohammed was enjoying a family meal when his beautiful house was bombed by Confederate soldiers.
Mohammed was rushed to the nearest hospital by his servants. As it turned out, Mohammed had broken his entire leg in the explosion and his parents were killed in it.
Once he was out of the hospital, Mohammed went to a recruiting center to sign up for the Union army. Once inside, he was asked his age. Muhumeed lied and said, “18.” He knew that if he told the truth and said he was 16 he would be ruled underage.
He narrowly passed the physical test and easily passed the mental test. Muhumeed was placed in the 21st Regiment of Delaware.
Mohammed went on to fight in many battles. But, in the Battle of Gettysburg, while rescuing 6 men from a river he was shot in the neck by friendly fire and died in the water.
When his heroic actions were heard of Mohammed was presented with a purple heart. Seeing how his parents were killed, it was his uncle who received the award for him.
“Feathers Fly” by Zoe Sheares (Age 10)
One day my mom was driving to work. There was a flock of birds in the street. My mom honked her horn to signal for the birds to move. All the birds moved except for one. Then my mom drove by and the bird started to fly. Then my mother heard a thump! underneath her car. She looked behind her and all she saw was flying feathers.
To hear more great writing in all genres, join us on August 18 for the Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival, featuring readings from Earl Lovelace, Jessica Hagedorn, Tayari Jones, and the young writers from our Saturday workshops. Follow the Lit Fest on Facebook here.
Thumbnail image via.