My inner 7 year old slightly rebelled at this assignment from my new writing class.
A Serious Assignment for the Deserving
(prompt: start the story with “I deserve . . .”)
By judy Westerfield
I deserve to be punished for my sins which are the following — Jennifer stopped writing. She mindlessly scratched Trotter, curled up next to her, behind his ears with one hand while the other hand pushed the eraser end of the pencil in her cheek — the part of her cheek she checked every day to see if she had a dimple yet. Like the dimple her best friend Carmen had.
She read “which are the following” out loud. Grown up words, and sin was a grown-up subject. A good way to start so the teacher would know she took the assignment seriously.
Deserve . . . she thought hard, rearranged the pillows, propped herself up on the bed startling Trotter who rearranged himself and curled up again.
I deserve to be punished for my sins which are the following–
#1. I ate my brother Josh’s Jelly Bellys and said he was lying when he told Mom.
#2. I hit my brother Rick and told Mom he hit me
#3. I watched my brother Sean kiss his girlfriend.
Carmen agreed with her, it was a stupid assignment writing ten things you “deserve”. The teacher said it had to be about “deserve”, not about what mattered, like what you want or what you need. Carmen called it estúpido. And it was hard to figure out what qualified as a sin. Jennifer squinted wondering if calling the teacher’s assignment stupid was sinful.
#4. I deserve to have my own room and not have to share it with my s stoopido sister Becca.
#5. I deserve to be punished if it’s a sin calling my sister and this assignment stupid.
She flipped open her i-pad and Googled “deserve” — “to merit or have a claim to reward, punishment . . . because of circumstances: to deserve a pay raise; to deserve exile.”
#6. I deserve a pay raise because I need more money to buy things.
#7. I deserve to have my sister and brothers exiled so I can be an only child.
She added exiled to Alaska.
Trotter nudged her, rolled over on his back, signaling time to scratch him on the stomach and think some more — If her mom and dad really loved her they would give her everything she deserved. It wasn’t fair her sister and brothers deserved a bigger helping of dessert, or deserved to stay up late or deserved their own room, just because they were older. It wasn’t fair and proof her parents loved them more.
#8. I deserve to get a good grade for this assignment.
Scratching Trotter with one hand, she tapped out a text message to Carmen with the other: need 2 mor deservs txt me yurz
how du u spel s stoopido
“There she goes . . . again”