WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of KL Schwengel. If you want to participate, post an excerpt tied to the date somehow, and add the link here. This excerpt is from my memoir. It is much rougher than the earlier excerpts, so criticism is welcome. It is 23 sentences for the date.
My nearest sibling in age was four years older, and the only one of us who went to kindergarten. By the fall I was 18 months old, I inhabited a dim and quiet house for most of the day. My mother slept on the couch from the time the older kids left, to the time they came home. I crept silently into my overstuffed chair, and lived a full life with my imaginary friends and my books. I eavesdropped from under the table when my father read to my younger sister, or when my older sister or brother read for my father. In my chair, I began to trace through the pages, finally cracking the code of the letters, and, with tears of joy, the words. My parents were astounded I knew how to read when I was three. I had received a new book for Christmas from a family friend, and proceeded to read it in the car on the way back home. Initially, my siblings were scornful, thinking I was pretending I could read, but when they verified I was reading the correct words, no one knew how I learned. Neither my mother or father had any idea, and questioned my siblings. All of them denied spending the time or effort to teach me to read. I knew how I had done it, but no one asked me.
I found my siblings’ abandoned readers and dove into them, thumbing through them many times in the three eternal years I waited for school. Books were my escape, my friends, my refuge. Reading at an early age, after years of long, quiet hours to practice, I stood out in first grade. I gloried in the attention and approbation at first, but teachers’ notice had a dark side. At one point, my teacher told me to finish reading a story to the class, and left the room. While the children behaved well in the classroom, even while she was gone, my payback awaited on the playground.
I was surrounded and taunted. Backed by most of my classmates, the largest boy in the class towered over me, jeering, “Spell cat, if you’re so smart!” Even in my terror, I remember thinking, what a stupid word to pick. His face shining in fury, his fist inches from my face, he demanded a confession that I had made up the story and could not read. Faced with physical harm, I quickly complied.