In class we read the story All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury. Our assignment was to continue the story from the perspective of one the characters. I chose Margot. Here’s the my story.
In the closet, it was utterly black. Trying to see through the gloom was as hopeless as trying to peer through a brick wall. Not even the tiniest ray of light slipped under the door. By the second, the walls seemed to close in around me, and my throat constricted. I needed to escape the grip of the darkness, and quickly.
No matter how vigorously I pounded, though, the door stoutly refused to open. I kicked. I pummeled. I pleaded with it, crying and howling as as vehemently as I could. The stubborn door refused to budge.
I was going to miss the sun.
There was no getting around it. Already, the constant pitter-patter of rain on the rooftop was lessening. The sun would show its face soon enough, and I wouldn’t be there to greet it.
I felt a hatred for my classmates swelling in my chest. They would prance about in the glorious bloom of the sun, not even giving me a second thought. But I would still be here, caged in the stifling darkness, even as the sun drew on a robe of clouds and the sky began to weep.
Finally, after what felt like several small eternities, I was liberated. I squinted into the blinding, light, barely able to make out the ashamed faces of my peers. They twisted their toes into the concrete floor, unable to meet my eyes. No one apologized.
That night when I got home, I made a beeline for my bedroom. I flopped onto my stiff mattress, letting myself get tangled in the mountain of woolen blankets on top. Meanwhile, the rain continued to play its incessant ra ta tat on the roof above. The fat raindrops outside the window seemed to mock me.
So, I turned to where I always turned when things got gray: poetry.
For me, words seemed to have personalities of their own. They were my companions. So, when things went wrong, I turned to poetry.
I had piles and piles of crumpled verses stashed beneath my bed, and even more tucked in my closet. Most of them were about the sun. The sun that had shone while I was trapped in suffocating darkness.
Brimming with anguish, I snatched a gnawed pencil from my bedstand and a sheet of lined paper from under my bed.
Before I knew it, my pencil had scribbled out 7 poems, and the thrumming of the rain had faded into the background. I was just beginning to sag into sleep when my mother crept into my room. “Margot?” she whispered.
I jolted awake. “I’m here,” I groaned.
Mother heaved a sigh and settled onto the end of my bed.
“What’s this?” she asked with concern, holding one of my poems aloft.
Mother arched her neatly plucked eyebrows and squinted down at the paper, reading my piece, Sun Rays, aloud.
“‘I remember how you were
grasping me in your rays
for I was desperate for a searching light
to glisten in my darkness*’”
She was silent for a moment. Then: “Are all of these about the sun?” she asked incredulously, noticing the poems that littered my bed.
I nodded, nibbling nervously on my lip. “I really miss Earth,” I admitted, tears welling in my eyes. A lump the size of a grape swelled painfully in my throat. “I miss the sun.”
A small puff of air escaped her. “Margot,” she breathed. “I didn’t realize how important the sun is to you. How important it is to us. I didn’t recognize it until I read your poem, but… I miss the sun as much as you do.”
“Of course. Your happiness, our happiness, is more important than any job. Even if it means a handsome salary.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. Was mother really saying what I thought she was saying?
“If you really miss the sun that much…” she took a deep, shaky breath. “We should go back home.”
I could hardly believe it. After all of these years of writing and sobbing and dreaming, my fondest wish was finally coming true!
“So?” my mother prompted.
“Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes!” I crowed, lit up like a Christmas tree.
As I wrapped my pale arms around my mother’s waist, I realized that all I’d had to do was ask. I’d been so upset about the sun, I never thought to tell my parents about my feelings. The second I did, though, my problem had been solved. Maybe it would help to open up once in awhile.
The next days seemed to blur together and become a mass of packing and folding and planning. As the the hours dragged on, I became more and more impatient, but I also became more excited. The prospect of seeing the sun left me energized and hopeful- a contrast to my usual moodiness. Even my poems were beginning to take on a brighter tone. Hopefully, it was a permanent change.
Finally, four days post-sun, we hopped on the rocket back to Earth, my true home, and the place where I belonged.
As we sped away from the drenched prison that was Venus, I peered through the window and watched as it shrunk to the size of a soccer ball, then a golf ball… and then it was gone.