I had never read the story before but had it sitting on my desk "just in case." The first time I read this somewhat dark piece of fiction, I was struck by its abrupt ending. I was convinced that I had forgotten to print or had lost the last page. When I learned that I did, in fact, hold in my hand the entire tale, I was breathless... and haunted. So were my students.
After reading, analyzing, and discussing the story, my students and I wrote our own endings to Bradbury's stunning piece. I had a preconceived notion of what their narratives would be like, but one by one, as each student read his/her piece aloud, my assumptions were shattered. The seriousness with which they wrote stunned and moved me.
This lesson, totally unplanned and done on a whim, turned out to be my favorite lesson of the summer school semester, as well as my students'. I was so touched by a couple of my student's pieces that I asked permission to share them here so that I can celebrate their writing. (These pieces are unedited.) Allow me to set the stage with the closing lines of Bradbury's original text:
Behind the closet door was only silence. They unlocked the door, even more slowly, and let Margot out.
"She was heart broken, but she wasn't mad or sad. Just heart broken. When she was out of the closet, she just looked at them and walked away crying. After that, she was never seen again. William would go to the closet everyday and think, what have I done?"
"Margot steped out of the dark closet. She walked back to the classroom without a single word. Everyone was saying sorry, they were begging for forgiveness. Margot broke the silence by saying 'I feel bad that all of you were jelouse that I have seen the sun many times, but I feel more bad that every seven years you have to wait while I'll be enjoying the sun' she laughs then walked away. The rest of the school year she didn't talk and eventually her time came she went back to earth. When she was gone everyone noticed Margot was the sun. She was the one who kept on telling us it will come, but now we have the clouds."