#207 In Her Picture

by Shirley Golden

Mazie coloured the clouds orange and scribbled an increasing ball of blue for the sun. Standing on guard was a Roman senthingy—she was learning about old time Rome at school. She wished she could remember more from her history classes or any other class.

“We can’t all be clever clogs,” Mrs Rainer told her, and smiled kindly.

Mazie was arty; Miss Clarke said so, and gave her C grades for her sketches. Miss Clarke said she could achieve higher if only she would make her work representative of reality. Mazie wasn’t really sure what this meant but had a feeling Miss Clarke would prefer cats without wings.

Mazie chewed on the end of her pencil. The Roman senthingy didn’t need armour because the wars, in her picture, were over—she couldn’t remember what armour looked like, anyway. She drew on a hoodie like her brother wore, and included a cigarette, same angle as her dad used to fashion when he used to smoke. She added a mobile phone instead of a sword. After all, they were useful in emergencies—everyone said so.

When Mrs Rainer asked how the Romans might have communicated during battle, Mazie suggested texting. The other children laughed and even Mrs Rainer smiled, and it didn’t feel so kind.

She imagines the click of Miss Clarke’s tongue when she sees the colour of the sun. But Mazie can’t see why her Roman senthingy shouldn’t text a friend.

9 comments:

T. Z. Wallace said...

I could really FEEL for the young artist. Such innocence and truth. Lovely!

Amber said...

This reminds me of the quote about fish being expected to climb a tree, and makes me hope Mazie finds the right teacher. It's hard to write from a child's perspective. Nice job.

Shirley Golden said...

Thank you for your comments - much appreciated!

Rachael Dunlop said...

That was lovely. So much packed in. I want to give Mazie a big hug, and love her perspective on the world. The child's POV was very nicely done, with a believable voice, but plenty of subtext to give the story depth.

Van Demal said...

Oh for a world with more Mazies! Nice work, undercurrents presented with subtlety.
I suspect we're all going to be routing for the optimistic dreamer.

Jen Harvey said...

Wonderful opening lines. Hooked me immediately. And kept me hooked. Maizie's voice is immediate and effective. Lovely stuff!

Alison Lock said...

I love Mazie's innocence. You write the child's point of view so well.

Shirley Golden said...

Thanks for all of the lovely feedback. Not my usual style, so really good to get positive comments.

Mark Mayes said...

Really enjoyed this story. Reminds me of the dangers of some educational experiences - the limitations thereof - when children are herded into classes - and everything needs to be measured and evaluated