I was walking around my beautiful streets looking at the greatness God provided for us, the palm trees, the alleys covered in graffiti. This night the whole block was going to have a barbecue. My whole block being my brother, his kids and a couple of other neighbors I grew up with. We had everything ready, the grill was sizzling with the crispy ribs. We had been planning this barbecue for quite a while, we had all been so busy working with not even a Sunday off. We were all sitting in our back-yard eating, catching up on all that we’ve missed. It was an amazing moment being surrounded by the people you love, watching the sun set, and seeing everyone’s smile. It quickly came to an end when the white Porsche drove into our alley, something we don’t see every day. The night only got stranger when four white men came out the car and started shooting. I saw them shoot my brother in the leg as he ran over to protect his kids. My brother had to witness his three-year-old daughter get shot. He crawled his way over to his little girl as she was bleeding from her abdomen. Tears running down all our faces, praying to God we would all be okay. There was so much confusion in the air, none of us understood what was going on. We didn’t know these men, we had done nothing to them. I was hiding under the table sitting still in shock only praying to god that nobody else would get hurt. Suddenly, I was grabbed from my legs and dragged into the car by two men while the other ones stood watch. I was shoved into the back seat of the car, I couldn’t understand why in God’s name they would do something as barbaric as shooting a three-year-old child. The shooting ended and the found men entered the car and drove away. These group of men had the audacity to hand me a glass of champagne, I was forced to drink it after refusing it. I kept asking them their reason behind all their actions and they just kept repeating “We’re helping you!”. We drove into a gated community in the Hollywood Hills and approached a mansion. They ordered me to get out the car and placed a crown on my head. The kept repeated “We saved you!”, I still didn’t understand what was happening but just prayed to God they would let me go soon. They lead me into the obnoxiously huge dining room, the kind you see in movies. They sat me down at the end of the table. They had the strangest set up, they had three spoon, two forks, and two knives, all in different sizes. They were forcing me to eat the lobster and Crème brûlée, their food was so strange but they insisted I needed to eat it. I was thinking of the things my family must be doing to find me knowing God will help me home.
For the creative writing assignment, I wanted to make a parody of Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative. When originally thinking of ways to create the narrative I wanted to use the same approach of a white woman going into a different environment and making it relevant to today’s time. However, I wanted to add a comedic approach by switching the roles. I decided to make the narrator an unwealthy male being taken into the different environment of the rich Hollywood Hills. There were many elements used by Rowlandson that I wanted to incorporate into my creative assignment such as imagery and over dramatization. I wanted to provide imagery to set the environment, I attempted to do this with limited space by describing what was surrounding. I emphasized olfactory imagery in “the grill was sizzling with the crispy ribs” to help build the environment. Rowlandson used over dramatization in her description of when she was given water is the moment that stood out to me the most. I wanted to recreate this moment and use this same dramatization in my work creating the moment the narrator is given the champagne. Another big aspect of my work was to create this same theme of God. Rowlandson used God to justify everything that was happing to her. I decided to emphasis this theme as well because I believe today this is still something that resonates with many people. Although my approach to this narrative was a comedic one I still wanted to emphasis some serious topics. In particular I wanted to emphasis the disconnect there still is within certain groups. I decided not to give the narrator a race so the reader can almost put themselves in his shoes but emphasizing the disconnect any minority feel with the upper class.
-Alondra Morales Aguilar