It’s here– the end of the year vocabulary test! We’ve been playing with these words all year and the challenge of retaining 92 new words has been a big one but well worth our time. On Wednesday, in preparation for today’s test, we made groups of words that “felt” like they went together and created stories around them. Here’s one we liked, featuring derelict, saturate, putrescent, dwindle, harpy, lamia, brazen, and eclectic. We called this the “Teen Dystopian Novel” group.
The derelict building might have once been part of a grand estate. It might have once housed important guests visiting a manor house that long before ceased to exist. Or perhaps it was the home of a well to do family, sheltering the sleeping heads of sweet children before the roof collapsed and left the uppermost floor exposed to the elements. Years of rain had saturated the floorboards, leaving them dangerous to walk upon and smelling of the putrescent stench of rotted wood and the decaying bodies of small animals. They must have lived there before we did, turning the attic into their home before dying in their beds. I wonder if we will face the same fate, lying down for another restless night only to reach an even deeper rest than intended. I suppose it is preferable to never returning. We don’t know what happens, or rather, we won’t admit what happens. Instead we turn to the fact, what we know for sure.
There were eleven of us when we found the old house.
Last week there were eight of us.
Marna didn’t return yesterday.
Now there are seven.
It is my turn.
The rations we had managed to collect are rapidly dwindling, although less so now that there are less mouths to feed, so every other day we send someone to go gather what they can from the forest that twist toward the sky. There are rumours about the creatures that lurk there: harpies, lamias, the- no. Thinking this way doesn’t help. Sometimes when I start to think about them, I turn my thoughts instead to a rebellion. Perhaps it is brazen for me to think that way, but I don’t care. If the people who are supposed to help this world let children disappear and fend for themselves, then I don’t care if my thoughts turn to a war. We may just be an eclectically thrown together group of kids, but we could do something.