The Domiciles Project



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Quentin Hatcher - Grade 10 Mrs. Amberg: Lesson #7
ELA- “Doors to Stories” Domiciles Project: Door #11
Gouverneur High School
Bad Connections in China
Carter slowly looked over the map of Beijing looking for a bicycle shop close by. Oswald was a father and husband and this is his story, which is filled with sadness, death, and unforeseen consequence. He worked daily at his bicycle shop in Beijing. With the demand for bicycles lessening by the day, Oswald brought less and less money home. The apartment he and his family lived in was very small, but he still struggled to pay the rent. However, he was saving a little bit of each paycheck for years in hopes he would save enough to take his family to the U.S. and have a new life.
One day while Oswald was at work, an American man came in and asked if he could have a special bicycle made. Oswald asked the man how he wanted the bike made. The man said “needs to be light and hollow.” Oswald knew what to do, so he got to work immediately. For the next week Oswald stayed late and worked on the bike. He knew more than anyone how much his family needed the money.
At the end of the week, the man came back; he saw the bicycle and was happy with it, so he handed Oswald $200. Oswald took the money and went back to work at polishing one of the bicycles. The man took his bicycle and went to corner of the store where he stuffed opium balls into the hollow bicycle. Oswald tried to ignore him, but was filled with curiosity. As he kept working, the man hid something behind the counter. It was a duffle bag he had been carrying when he came in.
When the man finished, he took his bicycle and started out the door, but before he could leave, three men pushed him back into the store. “Where’s the money, Carter?” one man said. “I…I don’t have it. I need more time,” said Carter. “Time’s up,” said the biggest man of the three. He said this while picking up the bike and smashing it across the floor. Three balls of opium rolled out of the mangled pieces of the bicycle. The three men saw this and immediately one of them pulled out a gun and blew Carter’s face open. Scared and disgusted, Oswald fainted. After Oswald woke up, he saw Carter’s dead body and his store a wrecked mess. As he started to pick up, he remembered the duffle bag Carter had put behind the counter. He went to check if it was still there. It was! Nervous, Oswald opened the bag. Inside he found a 9mm handgun, and the rest of the bag was filled with 100 dollar bills. Ecstatic, he closed the bag and closed up the store, knowing he wouldn’t return. He brought the bag home, showed it to his wife, and told her to pack their things. As she did, Oswald booked plane tickets for a trip to the U.S. When they landed at the airport in the U.S., Oswald paid to stay at a hotel nearby.
After a couple weeks, he set up a meeting to buy a house. At the end of the tour, they were with the old lady who was showing the house. She sat down and asked how they liked it. Oswald, who was still carrying the bag around, set it down and said he would buy it. The lady looked at the bag, and her eyes got wide, and she stood up as if she had seen a ghost. Oswald asked what the matter was. She asked, “Where did you get that bag?” He said, “A friend gave it to me, why?” She said, “Carter didn’t have friends”. “How do you know him?” Oswald asked. “He’s my son, and I know he would never have given you that bag. “What did you do to him?” she asked.
Before he could respond, she reached into the bag and grabbed the gun she knew would be in there. She shot Oswald in the head, then his wife, then their daughter. The lady wiped the blood off of her face. She picked up the bag and went home. Knowing her son was dead, she used the money in the bag as wallpaper to remember him. Every time she looked at that wallpaper, it reminded her of how much she missed her son; and all the loving memories they had together.

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