Caught in an Age of Innocence

 

FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS, we’ve worked with fellow photographer, Vicki Passmore shooting Folkmoot, USA. Her granddaughter wants to become a writer. Our guest blogger today is fourteen-year-old Keely Keziah Passmore.

She’s  a freshman at Enka High School in western North Carolina and told me, “I have been writing a lot for the past four years. I have found writing to be a creative way to express myself and share my thoughts. I would love to become an author because writing is my passion.” I asked her to write about a memorable experience. Something she would never forget. I think she’s already achieved her goal of becoming a writer. Here is what she submitted.

Photograph: Jeremy Fokkens
Photograph: Jeremy Fokkens

I let my eyes wander around the stuffy restaurant.

It was packed full of people, odd and interesting. With the curiosity of an eight year old I allowed myself to forget my manners and I stared openly at all of the “crazies” that seemed to appear in Asheville.

I was engrossed in this one lady. She was small and really skinny, like if she walked two steps outside she would be whisked away by the wind. She was also what my Nana would describe as “ugly as soap.” Her chin jutted out, and her cheeks were sunken in. I wondered what in the world had happened to make her look that way. Make her look so thin, frail, and helpless. I glanced up at her every so often, but she just sat there. There was no food on her table, and no pocketbook to be seen. The busy waiters kept asking if there was something she needed. They needed her to move so they could have free tables for paying customers. I saw her slowly stand to her feet, shaking slightly. She was gripping the table so hard her knuckles were white. I had this urge to hug her. I wanted to run up and wrap my arms around her. I wanted to help her keep it together, not fall apart.

keely-passmoreI felt my eyes water as she begrudgingly walked out the door and sat on the sidewalk about ten feet away. I didn’t understand why I felt so strongly. I watched the rest of my family chow down, and eat heartily. It was obvious we never had to fret about missing a meal. I excused myself from the table to go to the bathroom. I let my feet slide to the floor and I smoothed my pink skirt then I practically ran across the room. I stopped at the display window and looked outside. The sun was beating down on the black asphalt. The once yellow dandelions were shriveled and dry. The sky was blue and the birds were singing, but the flowers remained there, next to them sat the woman that had held my attention.

She was asking people if they had any money.

Up until this point I didn’t know money was something people could not have.  I looked behind me checking if my family had noticed my detour before going outside and handing the woman a quarter. I was going to spend it on the candy machine. I felt bad that this was all I had to give.

I tapped her shoulder gently and handed her the small coin. She looked at it resting in her palm and then at me. She spoke only one word, but it changed me.

I thought about what she had said and I still do: “Innocence.”

Please click the book cover image to read more about FCEtier’s political thriller, The Tourist Killer.

TouristKillerNewCover-LRG

 

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  • Caleb Pirtle

    Chip, I agree with you. Kelly has a world of talent and unlimited potential. She needs to keep writing.

  • Keep writing, sweetheart – you’re on the right path.

    Don’t lose the innocence – or the power of observation.

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