Steel Town

This is an assignment that I did for my Creative Writing Class.  We are talking about Setting.  I actually am pretty proud of it, so I thought I would post it!  Hope you all enjoy it!

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It’s been ten years since Shay stepped back into the old neighborhood she grew up in as a young child and into her teenage years.  This place filled her with hope and dreams of a life of perfection.  Here she learned how to use her wings as she listened to shop owners tell their tales of how they grabbed hold of their dreams to own their own businesses and never swayed when times got tough.  She soaked in the wisdom from teacher after teacher, encouraging her to reach for the stars, to not let others discourage her from the path she set out to take.

Memories of vivid red and black brick buildings reaching the sky, narrow alleys where she would play after a long day at school or in the much too early hours of a Saturday morning, and beautiful blue skies always willing to smile down on her, play over in her mind.  Skipping rope on a sunny Sunday afternoon on a sidewalk just swept by an overzealous shop owner were memories she cherished.

Now, all these years later, she stops on a deserted sidewalk to take in the destruction of a place that had been vibrant and full of happiness.  Building after building, once a towering playground for her and the few girls she felt comfortable enough with to call friends, stand desolate.  The lack of busying vendors and crowded streets, are a sad reminder of an economy that crashed hard just a few years ago and took the occupants of Steel Town along for the ride.  City blocks, once meticulously clean, now find themselves littered with old newspapers declaring the war between the political right and left, empty coke bottles dirtied from the elements of mother-nature, and rusted shopping carts from a local grocer turned on their sides.  All reminders of what no longer remained within the few blocks Shay called home.

Shuffling her feet, Shay stops herself from falling as the uneven cement of the sidewalk grabs ahold to the toe of her gray tennis shoe.  Thinking back, she can’t remember a time when the sidewalk ever had a single crack in it, let alone cement hills.  The city always took great care to keep them in tip top shape, not wanting to deter shoppers from spending their hard earned money in the shopping district of Steel Town.  Looking down, she notices the irregularity of the sidewalk along with fracture after fracture creating unintended patterns of ugliness.  Dirt clings to every inch of her once beautiful world, while shop windows are covered with the grime of a city that has given up.  Her city, at one point full of so much life, has been slaughtered by the gods of the economy.

Shay’s focus on the shops across the street, cause her heart to clench as she remembers old man Wilson’s flower shop, always full of color and fragrances that drew shoppers in whether they were ready to buy blooms or not.  The once large, vibrant display window has been unattended too long, left with jagged and broken shards of glass, with only portions of the shop name intact: SON Fl OP.  The oppression of a city, her city, now weighs heavy on her shoulders.

There is no booming economy here, no hope floating through the air, and no chance of a renewed life.  All those who once called this place home have traveled to other towns and cities, searching for a way to escape the entrapments they found themselves in here at Steel Town.  Shay unconsciously presses her back to a small portion of building that has not yet been affected by the downfall of this place, of her playground.  As hard as she tries, she cannot stop the tears that have welled up in her eyes from escaping.  Hot streams of sadness scald her cheeks and the home she once knew vanishes as this forsaken place squashes the memories of a perfect life.

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Happy Reading!

Ava

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