Vignette Benchmark.

Introduction: This benchmark was to write about a special moment in your life and describe it with stylistic devices, such as magic 3, dialogue, and similes.


Red Stream

Victoria Odom

Family Portrait


            Families aren’t always what they look like in family photos. (opener) I guess, “I’m blessed to even have a family”(dialogue) as my mom would say, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like that. I remember the first time my family and I went to take our first family photo. My mom was looking in the car mirror trying to get her hair the way she wanted it, my dad still inside trying to figure out what to wear, and my little brother crying for a reason of which I don’t remember, we all were excited to get our picture taken. (magic 3) As my dad entered the car, a few minutes later we pulled off and were set out for reaching our destination. 

Arriving at the photo shop within 30 minutes, we all hopped out the car, as my mom unstrapped my brother from his car seat.  (magic 3)  While we entered the building, I discovered that we weren’t the only family getting our picture taken today. Minute after minute after minute (rep 4 effect) went by, and finally it was our turn under the camera light. The cameraman, whose name was so hard to pronounce I couldn’t remember it, told us to sit, positioned us all in an appropriate angle, and told us to smile. I smiled wide and proudly as if I was a superhero in a comic book, that had just saved the day. (simile)With all the positioning just right the camera man kindly said “ 1…2…3…smile”. (dialogue) He took a few photos so when it came time to selecting the best ones we had a variety of them to choose from. My family and I left the photo shop with great excitement, so when the pictures were delivered to my house and the photos were hung on the wall, we had some sort of happy memory to look back on in the near future.

            By the time the weekend was over I was so ready to go back to school, at that age you think school is cool and learning was something you’d be interested in the rest of your life. Back then I had already gotten tired of people pronouncing my last name as if it was “O your dumb”. (dialogue) Coming home from elementary school that day I heard strange voices I wasn’t expecting to hear after a good day of learning. “Its your fault its all your fault” (dialogue) words that never seemed to make sense to me at such a young age, were all part of a puzzle I’ve always been hoping to but together.  The voice came from upstairs, I walked into the kitchen as if I didn’t know what was going on, although I could still hear the arguing. Being young then, it was hard to understand why my parents were always mad at each other one minute then loving and caring the next. I guessed that’s what real love was all about, and you just had to except the similarities and differences of each others’ open-minded company, and if you didn’t like it then leaving was the only other option.

I always thought my parents would end up in divorce, with my brother and I juggling from place to place to go to one parent to the next.  Especially since on our last family vacation, filled with great joy and amusement, my dad didn’t join us. Before we left for the vacation I ask my dad “Why aren’t you coming with us?” (dialogue)he responded ask your mother, and indeed I did. As I walked to my parents’ room to find my mom still packing her things. She seemed pissed but I still intended to ask her “Mom”(dialogue) as every average American girl called their mother, “Do you know why dad isn’t coming on vacation with us?”, “He’s mad at me I guess” (dialogue) replying with an irritated voice. She started mumbling under her breath, I got tired of listening to my mom’s complaining similar to what I heard on a daily basis, so I left and waited with my brother down stairs in the living room. Over all the vacation was great with splashes, laughter, food and fun but I wish we could of spent it as a whole family.

If I was to really think hard about it seems to me that they fight over about the any and everything, especially when it comes down to money, bills, and sometimes even me and my brother. That’s what hurts the most, sometimes I think we’re the cause of the problem, between my brothers reckless behavior and my so called nasty attitudes, it’s easy to believe that’s why they argue, but harder to imagine.(magic 3)

The arguing is mind blowing, it’s hard to study or even complete homework with all that noise. It’s not always the arguing though, I would say sometimes its not that at all, I’d say its mainly the yelling, screaming, and complaining at me. (magic 3) This gives me major headache, along with the fact my brother’s room is literally right next to mine. He’s always gaming, and talking on the phone, he talks on the phone more then a female does. Although there’d be nothing for a 7th grade middle schooler to talk about, he indeed spends hours in conversation. The vent from his room is connected directly next to mine, so it’s as if he’s in the same room as me. I’ll tell him to “Shut up”(dialogue), that just results to me yelling “Shut the hell up!”(dialogue) but still that butthead continues to disrespect my elderly authority.

My life isn’t what I want it to be but it does have its happy sides, like good family outings. It’s always fun then, spending time together, having a good laugh, and just chilling. (magic 3) Quality time together seems to be the best time I enjoy with my family, even if they’re a pain, but overall it’s better then not having a family at all.  My parents are still together, for now anyway, but sometimes I wish living in a house with them was a great happy feeling as you see in a family portrait.