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Below, we are sharing a poem written by ENGL 280: Film Adaptation student Sadie Bannick. It is from her final project which examined narration and character development in Stephen King’s The Body/Rob Reiner’s Stand By Me through the composition of dramatic monologues. The monologues were intended to capture the main characters’ thoughts at the time of their deaths, in keeping with the (non-Christmasy) themes of mortality and death in King’s book and Reiner’s film. Students also submitted some excellent critical essays on film adaptation and explored the meaning of landscape in Jane Austen by building a scale model of Pemberley. 

The following is Sadie’s monologue, told from the perspective of Chris Chambers, a character in both the book and film.

I come to this coffee shop every morning and even though knife fights happen almost daily in
Portland, this coffee shop has felt like my safe haven;
Until this morning.
A fight breaks out at the register and I hear a lady screaming “ He has a knife;”
I calmly walk up and try to be the peacemaker that I grew up being,
In a turbulent home, that is all I felt that I could have some control over;
As I place myself between the men, it’s as though time slows.
I feel the knife slice through my neck before I register that it is happening;
That is when my mind flashes to the times that led me to this point;
The missing milk money,
The tracks,
The gun,
Late nights studying with Gordie, just trying to make it through classes,
Fights with my dad, my mom, my brothers,
Being told I’m not good enough but still coming out on the other side to wind up in law school
just to die here,
In this coffee shop.
I wish that I had stayed in contact with Gordie,
But he became the big shot author I always knew he would be and I stayed in Oregon to pursue
my own studies.
I hope he doesn’t mourn my death and continues on despite my absence.
I never admitted this, but I loved that man, as more than brothers.
But I knew that he was far from queer and that was okay.
I moved on with my life and so did he.
Until this point I had so many plans for my future,
But now that is crumbling as I fall to the ground and take my last stuttering breath while lying in
a pool of my own blood.