Welcome to Fan Friday
Today’s teen author is Samantha Smith who will be contributing here in the future. We welcome her and hope you’ll be her fan!
Samantha is a fifteen-year-old home schooled student who dreams of becoming a bestseller. She says, “Yes, I know, it’s a little far-fetched, but with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).”
Her writing abilities became apparent at the age of six when she wrote a short story for a school project. Now, at fifteen, she has been receiving college letters asking her to visit, which has made her wonder what she wants to do with her life. To test her talent, she wrote a short story and submitted it to GREYstone Youth Litmag. Three days after she sent her story, they offered to publish it at their online literary magazine. She was thrilled to learn that someone besides her parents and close family thought her writing was decent. Below is her short story.
Samantha is currently working on completing her first novel.
(Photo complements of Morguefile.com)
Hang Up The Spoon
There was a story my father used to tell me when I was a child. The first time he told it to me was during a time when I was repeatedly teased at school. He took me by the hand and we went to the woods behind our house and sat in front of giant oak tree. The story went something like this:
“There was once a very old man, who lived in a very old house, full of very odd things. The house was so old that it seemed like the plants and trees that were surrounding it had decided to grow into it and claim it as their own. Even the tall grass in the garden stretched its long green fingers into the holes of the rotting wood of the once-white picket fence.
The house itself was very round. The only flat surface on the house was in the front garden area where the faded green door was and the back garden area where a back door should have been. If you took a long look at the door, though, you would see how unusually shaped it was. It was cut in the middle and at an angle, and a matching window piece completed the rectangular door-shape. But you would soon realize that the window completing it wasn’t the only window on the house. In fact, the whole house seemed to be covered in windows of all shapes, sizes and colors, each one glinting in the sunlight. And every window was curtain-less, allowing you to see directly into the paper-scattered, book-covered house.
What was the strangest thing of all were the shining objects that hung from the plants and poked up from the ground. Silver spoons and silver butter knives hung from twine that was tied to trees and tall plants. Forks were protruding from the soft earth. Half broken vases were lined up along the porch. The house almost seemed to glow every afternoon, when the sun was at its brightest.
Most people thought the old man was mad. They thought he was crazy to live in a neighborhood where every house was painted the same, yet be different. But if you had taken the time to sit in his worn, faded leather chair like I did and listen to his raspy old voice, you would understand why he was not really odd at all. But most people didn’t want to take the time to listen. They all had gone along with their day, ignoring the old man and barely even looking in his direction. No one understood why he would hang spoons from trees, and why he would even think about keeping half-broken vases on his front porch. I decided one day that I would have like to hear his side of the story, because, in truth, I thought he was crazy too. So, on a day like today, I walked up to his house, knocked on his door, and asked him why he had spoons hanging from his trees. He invited me in, fixed me a cup of tea, sat me in a chair opposite of his favorite one, and told me why his house was the way it was.
He had told me that every plant in his garden was planted by his late wife. She had tended to the plants till about a month before her death, which he told me was eleven years ago to the day (I don’t know how many years ago to this day, though. But it was eleven years ago the day I visited). He said he didn’t dare touch them because his wife had labored over them for years, and if his wife had found out he touched her plants, the old man said with a light chuckle, he wouldn’t know what she would do. So, he kept them exactly the way they were.
The man had continued to say how he loved unique and unusual architecture, and after being inspired by the Roman Colosseum, he decided to try and create his own unique architecture style. For six months he slaved away at building the house, and he enjoyed every bit.
He explained that the windows were so numerous and unique because his oldest son’s childhood best friend grew up to be a glassmaker. He had spent hours perfecting his work, and every “first try” was stuck onto the old man’s house. He didn’t mind, and neither did his wife. They both had agreed it added character. None of the windows had curtains because his wife had loved the sunshine and invited it in at every chance she got. Books and papers were scattered throughout the house because the man had dreamt of becoming an author, and frequently studied great author’s works and constantly wrote down ideas.
Every piece of silverware was special to the old man, for every piece of silverware was used by his children. His wife had hung them in the trees as little unique decorations because they didn’t have the money for proper decorations. The half vases around his porch were his wife’s prized possessions, but little hands had carelessly dropped them and had split them in half.
Yes, some people most certainly had called him odd, he admitted. They even called him mad, but he never cared. Memories were made in that old house, and he intended to keep it that way, surrounding himself with the things he loved, reminding him of the people he had loved so dearly, no matter how strange he or his home had looked to people.”
My father had always told me how much he admired the old man, because he didn’t care what other people had thought of him. I never knew whether the old man was real or not. Because my father was a writer, he was incredibly good at making up simple stories to entertain children on the spot, so I didn’t know if what he had said was true. But, a part of me had always liked to have thought it was. Whether the man was real or not, the story served its purpose though, and I gained confidence from the old man and I never seemed to care what people thought of me after that.
My father told me the story of the old man several times during my childhood, mainly when someone had teased me at school. He told me to go hang a spoon from the tree. Of course, not literally, but I understood what he meant. When my father was rejected by a publisher repeatedly, I hung a lightweight spoon on a plant in his office to remind him not to care what others had thought of him. After that, it became a sort of tradition for us, making us grow closer. Who would have ever thought hanging spoons would bond a father and son together?