Silo Boy entered in the Writers’ Guild of Alberta Contest.
Here are the first two pages. What do you think?
Aaron A. Lehman
(For older readers)
As Tom climbed the last step to the top of the silo, pigeons fluttered into flight, soared over the farm yard and landed on the barn roof. The morning sun ushered in a sweltering day. Early this morning, Tom grabbed a stale bun from the pantry and headed for the barn. He threw some corn to the chickens, silage and hay to the cows and dumped the slop bucket into the pig trough. Soon after, he climbed the steel, half rusted ladder to the top of the silo.
Tom, a twelve year old orphan boy, often came to this perch high in the silo to be by himself and try to sort out his mixed up circumstances and the wild swings of his emotions. Under the soiled barn cap, his dark hair stuck out and the letters GLF (Grange League Federation) were printed on the cap brim. His brown eyes had a sunken, faraway look that comes with not knowing your real parents, and being circulated from one relative to another, or one foster home to the next. This one was going to be better. The old woman had promised she would take good care of him, since she could never have children of her own. It looked promising, even though the place was a bit run down and the food was skimpy at times. Joyce, as she called herself, was a bit plump, square jawed in the face with blue eyes, graying blond hair and a tender voice when talking to Tommy, as she called him. Things changed when the old man returned.
From his bed in the attached lean-to off the pantry, he often listened to the high pitched screams of the woman and the low pitched bellowing profanity of the man. He would cover his head to lessen the shrill screams.
Now looking through the broken, half window at the top of the silo, Tom viewed the farm yard; scanning the barn roof with the pigeons, past the farm pond, to the broken down tool shed and then the weathered clapboard house with its well and storm cellar. A tall man, hunched over with torn coveralls pulled a bulging, over-sized garbage bag out of the cellar and dragged it towards the well. Viewing with a mixture of serenity and horror, Tom knew he was an innocent witness to something that caused his stomach to churn and would change his life forever, yet he couldn’t be sure what it was. (sketch 15)
I have to get out of here!