From the first time Carson read his work for my teaching partner, Rosa Nam, and me, we knew we had a jewel. When he shared his writing, we would stare open mouthed at each other. This piece, “More Silence, Fewer Words,” was inspired by “The Quiet World” by Jeffrey McDaniel. I have no doubt that the day will come when I am standing in an autograph line, book in hand, hoping to have Carson sign it, and I’ll be able to say, “I knew him when.”
More Silence, Fewer Words
It is the year 2024. Everyone has a word counter, and can only say one hundred words. Everyday. The day starts off with a hug, a kiss, and five words. “I love you too, Mom!” My amount of words decreases, like a time bomb. Tick-Tock. Lunch at school is silent. This isn’t unusual, though. Instead of yelling our disgust for lunch, we make faces. Basketball after lunch has changed with the new law. Instead of whooping and hollering when we get points, we all clap. Loudly. The bully hears and silently punches us. The videogames I play after school have changed. They now sound like the old video games my dad played, silent, with the occasional beep or ping. After the word-consuming phone call from Gramma, Mom says, “Dad didn’t make it. I’m so, so sorry.” I feel empty suddenly, and feel like I’m dead, too. At the funeral, I break the silence. “I loved him so much. Now he’s gone.” I cry. I say no more words, since I am at my limit. I go to sleep thinking how I have to do this everyday. Forever.
by Carson, 5th grade
Submitted by WITS Writer Lisa Boutin
Lesa Boutin is a children’s author who discovered a love for every aspect of a book’s life, from concept to completion. With a background in education, Lesa started her own publishing company, Boot in the Door Publications, in 2006, followed by the release of her young adult novels, Amanda Noble, Zookeeper Extraordinaire in 2007, and Amanda Noble, Special Agent in 2008. Lesa enjoys sharing her imagination and passion for storytelling with her students. Lesa taught at the AOS campus in this summer’s Creative Writing Camp.