The Invisible School

I may have mentioned that I used to have vague aspirations of being a writer of fiction when I grew up.

Now most fiction writers, at least the successful ones, have a history of being able to make up stories long before they ever start writing commercially. I did not. Not even close.

For example, when I was in seventh grade our English teacher Mr. Paine gave us an assignment to write a short story, probably one of those 500 word assignments that were so common then.

Since I liked science fiction, I decided to write a science fiction story. I named it “The Invisible School”, and its premise was that one day when we came to school, the building was invisible. Not that it had disappeared, it was still there, it was just invisible.

Now a good short story typically has a beginning, a middle, and an ending. The beginning should establish the premise and/or the main character, the middle might add complications to the character’s situation, and the ending should resolve the situation in some way, perhaps by explaining what was going on, or adding a twist that lets the reader see the situation in a new light, or in some way bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion.

My story did none of those. Oh, it had a beginning all right, I’ll give it that. And from what I can recall of it, it didn’t give away the premise right away; that is, the school didn’t turn invisible on the first page. No, it began, I think, with the protagonist walking to school and finding that the building had turned negative. That is, it looked like the negative of a photo. It was only on the second day that the school went whole hog invisible.

And the story, if one deigns to call it that, went downhill from there. I don’t really remember much more about it, but I don’t think I ever gave any explanation for what was going on, or if I did, I’m sure it was incredibly lame.

That should have clued me in right then that I was not destined to be a writer. At least not of fiction.

As far as I know, I no longer have a copy of that story, nor do I remember, what grade I received.

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