Category: Narrative Writing

CSEC English A Sample Best Short Story- 2010

Question 5:        

It was the middle of the mathematics class.  Mrs Taylor  our teacher suddenly collapsed  and sprawled  unconscious  on  the  floor.     It  was terrifying.

Write a story which includes these words.

_____________________________________________________

This story is based on Question 5 above.

GRASPING DEATH

I had never been to a funeral before, as at the age of six my parents thought death was too difficult a topic for me to grasp. I‟ve heard of them though, dark, long trails of cloth glided along the bodies of weeping women who covered their red eyes with black netted hats. Then, they have a big party; I know this for myself because I stayed home when my grandpapi died when I was four. I was told to stay in my room, but the sound of the steelpan floated through my window. My granpapi was a pan teacher you see, and from then, I associated death with black clothes and party. What was sad about a party?

 

It was in the middle of the Mathematics class. Mrs Taylor our teacher suddenly collapsed and sprawled unconscious on the floor. It was terrifying. The chalk she held in her hand scraped against the chalkboard making her incorrectly tell us that 2+3=1. We sat there. None of us, being the naïve kindergarteners we were, understood this dire situation. Mrs Taylor‟s pretty hair lay knotted around her pretty face and blood seeped through her pretty pants.

 

“Mrs Taylor! Mrs Taylor!” we finally cried.

She did not move. She never slept during our scheduled naptime, so why would she sleep now.

The blood continued to run, as Corey, the oldest boy in our class ran to his mother, the Principal. Madam Collins ran into our class, but stopped abruptly at the door.

“Oh dear me,” she whispered.

She pulled her cell phone from her pocket and called the police.

After, she called Mr Taylor.

“Mr Taylor,” Madam Collins said in her most professional voice, “Mrs Taylor has collapsed. I believe there is something wrong with the baby.”

I had never seen a man cry either. Mr Taylor worked in the high school division of my school and he ran faster than the Olympians to my classroom.

“Maria! Maria!” he cried.

She was somewhat awakened by the shout, but she shook violently as spasms overtook her body. I think she shouted “help me,” in Spanish, before she went back to sleep.

The ambulance drove through the gate and Mr Taylor took Mrs Taylor outside even before the ambulance parked. He shouted and screamed when they denied him entry and he drove with Madam Collins to the hospital.

Ms Lassie, the school nurse, came into our classroom and told us that Mrs Taylor would be okay. She gave us lollipops – the ones you get when you fell down the stairs, and she read „The Cat in the Hat‟ to us.

Mrs Taylor didn’t come back the next day, or the day after. They continued to give us lollipops. Five days after the accident they told us that Mrs Taylor was not coming back to school. That God had taken her to dance on the streets of gold. We laughed because we all knew that Mrs Taylor couldn‟t dance and we wondered why God would make such a bad decision.

 

Two days after, they told our parents to dress us in black and send us to school. Mama didn’t want to let me, but I begged and pleaded. We hardly got to wear our own clothes to school.

I wore my long black dress to school that day. In the afternoon, we walked to a big bus and went to St Mary‟s Church. There were women in black walking through the aisles crying. Mr Taylor sat in the back whispering to himself.

“Do you see that big box?” Madam Collins asked, “Do not go by it.”

When she turned her back, we ran to the box and saw Mrs Taylor lying in it. We instantly became one of the weeping persons.

I’ve yet to understand the party of a funeral, but I’m positive my family didn’t like my grandpapi.

 

DOWNLOAD A PDF COPY HERE

 

Written by Zoie Hamilton of Washington Archibald High School (St Kitts and Nevis)

How to Write a CSEC English A Short Story

 

From his bedroom window, Harry could easily see anyone who went into the Johnson house. The Johnson house stood as a lonesome figure in the middle of the Park Way community for thirty years. Of those thirty years, Harry could remember staring out of his window at what seemed like every movement in the Johnson’s yard for at least sixteen of those years. He had seen the house transformed from a place of joy ten years ago to a lifeless shell only seven years later. The yard was abandoned and unkempt with broken bottles, flat tyres and cracked windows. When the wind blew, there was a strong stench that consistently assaulted Harry’s nostrils. It seemed like death emitted out of the Johnson’s house.

However, for the last month Harry saw evidence of life with the exit and entrance of Mary Beth Johnson from the house. She was a breath of fresh air. If Harry had been honest with himself, he would have admitted that she was the only reason why he paid close attention to the Johnson’s house over the years. To Harry, Mary Beth was a princess trapped in a dungeon (the Johnson’s home). Her jet black hair cascaded down her back in multiple curls and kissed her chocolate skin. Her eyes appeared to be midnight black; however, the truth was they were the darkest brown eyes that Harry had ever seen. Harry closed his eyes remembering the beauty of Mary Beth. He had not seen her in a few days and so once again as it was his routine he sat at his window waiting to catch a glimpse of Mary Beth on her return home. Hours passed and Mary Beth was nowhere in sight. Harry was sure he had not missed her coming home because he had not removed himself from his post all night.

As the clock on the wall struck midnight, Harry heard a deafening scream coming from the Johnson’s house. Immediately, Harry knew Mary Beth was in danger. Without hesitating, Harry rushed downstairs and quickly made his way to the Johnson’s house. His heart pounded against his chest as he rushed to save Mary Beth. He got to the doorway of the Johnson house only to find it lock.

“I am coming Mary Beth!!!” Harry yelled. He hoped that she could hear the sound of his voice and knew that help was on its way. Once again, Harry heard another deafening shriek from the other side of the door. Swiftly, Harry kicked the down in and entered the house. He had no time to waste. The door flew open and Harry rushed into the house hoping that he was not too late. In his horror, Harry found a deserted house. There was nothing and no one inside.

Harry turned when he heard footsteps behind him, hoping that it was Mary Beth.

‘Harry?!’ asked his father, “Are you okay you just rushed out of the house.”

“Didn’t you hear the screams, dad?” Harry asked confused by it all.

“No, son,” his father responded, ‘I just saw you running like a mad man’.

“I thought Mary Beth was in trouble,” Harry answered his father as he continued to search the house.

“Mary Beth?” his father looked confused, “No one has lived in this house for the last sixteen years. The previous owners were murdered just before we moved here sixteen years ago.”

Narrative Writing Questions – CSEME PRO

Your story should be no more than 400- 450 words.

You must write in Standard English. Dialect may be used only in conversation.

  a)      ‘How I saved my Master’s Life’ by Skip the mongrel.

 Imagine you are the dog named Skip. Write a story based on this situation.

OR

b)      The foreman of the jury stood up. “What is your verdict? Guilty or not guilty?” asked the judge. A hushed silence fell over the courtroom.

      Write a story in which this scene plays an important part.

 OR

 

c)      You dream one night that you have found yourself in a place ruled entirely by strange creatures.

Write a story about your adventure.

OR

  

d)     “The more I think about it, the more I know that I don’t just want to go back – I need to go back. Because I need to see it once more….. to sort of finish this…. to stop it or something; to get some sort of closure.”

 Write a story that EITHER begins  OR ends with the above statement.

Types of Writing on the CSEC English A Exam Paper

 

There are four major types of writing. These are:

  1. Expository Writing
  2. Narrative Writing
  3. Descriptive Writing
  4. Persuasive Writing

These are listed above in no particular order. These four major types of writing are covered on the CSEC English A examination papers.

 

TYPES of WRITING DEFINED

Expository: The word expository contains the word expose, so  expository writing is the type of writing that  exposes, or sets forth, facts and provides information to the reader. It is probably the most common writing genre you will come across throughout your day. In an expository piece, a topic will be introduced and presented in a logical order without reference to the author’s personal opinions.

Narration: Narration tells either a story or a part of a story and describes what happens in a series of events. Narrations commonly follow chronological order; however, they may start in the middle of a sequence and use flashbacks to take the story back to an earlier time. Narration uses time markers like then, later, or after that. Your main idea and the narrative must be closely related, and the narrative should fully develop the main idea.

Description: A description creates a picture of a person, place, thing, or sensation by appealing to one or more of the senses—sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. As with all modes, the description should suit the purpose and audience of the paper.

Persuasive/Argumentative: The aim of persuasive or argumentative writing is to influence/convince the reader to assume the author’s point of view.

Argumentative essays depend on giving reasons instead of quarreling over opinions. Positions must be supported, not just asserted. Even though positions on a controversial issue cannot be proven right or wrong, arguments can convince others to accept or reject a particular position.

 

Come back tomorrow, we will dive into Expository Writing….