If you happened to get the copy of the 2008 version of “The Study of Fiction: an Introduction”, Here are the copies of two short stories not included in the module.
I grew up in the south of Spain in a little community called Estepona. I was 16 when one morning my father told me I could drive him into a remote village called Mijas, about 18 miles away, on the condition that I take the car in to be serviced at a nearby garage, Having just learned to drive and hardly ever having the opportunity to use the car, I readily accepted. I drove Dad into Mijas and promised to pick him up at 4 p.m., then drove to a nearby garage and dropped off the car. Because I had a few hours to spare, I decided to catch a couple of movies at a theatre near the garage. However, I became so immersed in the films that I completely lost track of time. When the last movie had finished, I looked down at my watch. It was six o’clock. I was two hours late.
I knew Dad would be angry if he found out I’d been watching movies. He’d never let me drive again. I decided to tell him that the car needed some repairs and that they had taken longer that had been expected. I drove up to the place where we had planned to meet and saw Dad waiting patiently on the corner. I apologized for being late and told him that I’d come as quickly as I could, but the car had needed some major repairs. I’ll never forget the look he gave me.
“I’m disappointed that you feel you have to lie to me, Jackson.”
“What do you mean? I’m telling the truth.”
Dad looked at me again. “When you did not show up, I called the garage to ask if there were any problems, and they told me that you had not yet picked up the car. So you see, I know there were no problems with the car.” A rush of guilt ran through me as I feebly confessed to my trip to the movie theater and the real reason for my tardiness. Dad listened intently as a sadness passed through him.
“I am angry, not with you but with myself. You see, I realize that I have failed as a father if after all these years you feel that you have to lie to me. I have failed because I have brought up a son who cannot even tell the truth to his own father, I’m going to walk home now and contemplate where I have gone wrong all these years”.
“But Dad, its 18 miles to home. It’s dark. You can’t walk home.”
My protests, my apologies and the rest of my utterances were useless. I had let my father down, and I was about to learn one of the most painful lessons of my life. Dad began walking along the dusty roads. I quickly jumped in the car and followed behind, hoping he would relent. I pleaded all the way, telling him how sorry I was, but he simply ignored me, continuing on silently, thoughtfully and painfully. For 18 miles I drove behind him, averaging about five miles per hour.
Seeing my father in so much physical and emotional pain was the most distressing and painful experience that I have ever faced. However, it was also the most successful lesson. I have never lied to him since. (556 words)Retrieved from: http://membres.multimania.fr/unile2/g7/didacticunit.htm
(Pedro Pablo Sacristan)
Every month, Julia and her cousins would go for the big family meal at their grandparents’ house. They would always wait excitedly for the moment their grandfather would give them a few coins, “so you can buy yourself something.” Then all the children would run off to buy chewing gum, lollies, or wine gums. The grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents commented that, behaving like this, the children would never learn to manage their money. So they proposed a special test, in which the children would have to show, over the course of a year, just what they could manage to get with those few coins.
Some of the children thought that they would save their money, but Ruben and Nico, the two smallest kids, paid no attention, and they continued spending it all on sweets. Every time, they would show off their sweets in front of the other children, laughing and making fun of their cousins. They made Clara and Joe so angry that these two could no longer stand to keep saving their money. They joined Ruben and Nico in spending whatever they had, as soon as possible, on sweets.
Monty was a clever boy, and he decided to start managing his money by exchanging it: buying and selling things, or betting it with other children, in card games. Soon he had surprised the whole family. He had accumulated a lot of money for little effort. The way he was going, he would end up almost a rich man. However, Monty was not being very careful, and he got involved in more and more risky deals. A few months later he hadn’t a single penny left, after placing a losing bet on a horse race.
Alex, on the other hand, had a will of iron. He saved and saved all the money he was given, wanting to win the competition, and at the end of the year he had collected more money than anyone. Even better, with so much money, he managed to buy sweets at a reduced price, so that on the day of the competition he was presented with enough sweets for much more than a year. And even then, he still had enough left over for a toy. He was the clear winner, and the rest of his cousins learnt from him the advantages of knowing how to save and how to wait.
There was also Julia. Poor Julia didn’t enjoy the day of the competition, because even though she had had a wonderful secret plan, she had spent her money without giving her plan enough time to work. However, she was so sure that her plan was a good one, that she decided to carry on with it, and maybe change the expressions on her relatives’ faces, who had seemed to be saying “What a disaster that girl is. She couldn’t manage to save anything.”
When she was about to complete the second year of her plan, Julia surprised everyone by turning up at the grandparents’ house with a violin and a lot of money. What was even more impressive was hearing her play. She did it really well.
Everyone knew that Julia adored the violin, even though the family couldn’t afford to pay for her to have lessons. So Julia had got to know a poor violinist who played in the park, and she offered him all the coins her grandfather had given her, if he would teach her how to play. Although it wasn’t much money, on seeing Julia’s excitement, the violinist agreed, and he taught her happily for months. Julia showed so much desire and interest that a little after a year the violinist loaned her a violin so they could play together in the park, as a duo. They were so successful that gradually she managed to buy her own violin, with quite a bit of money to spare.
From then on, the whole family helped her, and she became a very famous violinist. And she would always tell people how it was possible, with just a few coins well spent, to make your wildest dreams a reality. (687 words)Retrieved from: http://freestoriesforkids.com/children/stories-and-tales/grandfather%27s-coins