The Abandoned Farmhouse--Assignment
Using the description that appears below* as inspiration, continue your experience at the farmhouse by choosing ONE room (any room) inside the farmhouse to describe.
Assignment Requirements:
  • Start by choosing a MOOD.  How do you want your audience to feel when they read your description?  Possible moods include:  freaky, nightmarish, peaceful, nostalgic, or pick another of your choice.  Write your chosen mood at the top of your paper.
  • Write in first person ("I"/"me").
  • BE REALISTIC.  This is an abandoned farmhouse.  There are no people there.  No dead bodies.  Etc.  Also, avoid the supernatural.  No aliens, no vampires, no ghosts.
  • Be extremely detailed and descriptive as you write.  Use a variety of imagery (descriptions of what you see, hear, smell, touch/feel, taste) and vary your descriptions by using adjectives and similes.  Use your color list to include specific colors (remember to consider their associations though; if you're going for a freaky mood, "baby chick yellow" probably won't work well).  Click here for a sample paragraph with revision notes.
  • Your description must be one written page (just one side), single spaced.  If you want, type your description for extra credit (3/4 page, double spaced, 1" margins, 12 pt. Times or Arial font).  You may write MORE than this if you so desire.



            Imagine that tomorrow morning you wake up, and it’s a beautiful day, probably one of the last days like this before winter returns to Chicago.  You pack a lunch, get on your bike, and start traveling down the main street in your neighborhood, away from the noise and bustle.  The day is so beautiful and you’re feeling so good that you keep going and going…. And going…. Pretty soon, you’ve left the city behind.  You know you’re not in the city anymore because the grey and black paved streets have turned to dusty, gravely, tree-lined roads.  The gravel bits crunch when your tires turn over them.  When you take a deep breath, your lungs fill with clean, fresh air.  It’s getting warmer and the sun looks like a giant tangerine.  The black sweatshirt you tossed on this morning covers your skin like an oven, so you take it off and tie it around your waist.  In the distance, off to the right-hand-side of the road, you spot some sort of building—it looks like an abandoned farmhouse.  You decide to check it out.  You turn off the road.  Tall, green weeds swish past you.  There are no sounds of machines or other cars.  There are no human voices.  All you hear is the gurgle of running water—maybe a creek—and the high pitched caw of a crow.  You are moving slowly because the treads of your tires are getting stuck in the chocolate-colored mud.  Finally, you make it.  You get off your bike, stepping onto what must have been an old, gravel driveway.  You’re standing outside the farmhouse, looking up the six, rickety, worn, wooden stairs that go up to the front porch.  The white paint on the house is weathered, cracked, and peeling off.  You climb each stair one at a time.  You reach the front porch.  The front door has a wooden frame and a wire mesh screen.  The copper handle is crooked and loose, but you notice that the door is slightly open.  For some reason, you decide that you must go inside this house and see what’s there.  You gently pull the handle with your left hand…