The Mended Pants

The Mended Pants

A Story by Sunflower 20

Note: this will only make sense if you've read "To Kill A Mockingbird"


It was dark out. The moon was shadowed by big, black clouds. The floor boards creaked with the sound of moving footsteps. Each step staggered slightly, they belonged to that of a damaged man. He reached the door, juggled the item in his hands, gently pulled open the door and walked out into the moonlight.

Something was strange about that night, very strange indeed. Things were being told that should stay secret. But how can you change what has already happened? This thought accompanied the man as the shallow light cleared his way. His tangled, unkempt hair shook with lost memories: the old tyre swing where they used to play, his childhood hiding place in the huge, majestic oak tree. As he reached his destination, the man’s long, white fingers felt the tough, rigid fabric of his item. It hung casually over his arm, like a suit jacket. But it resembled nothing of a suit’s attire, yet it should be treasured as a memory of childhood, what with its resilience in protecting a child from the harms of an accidental fall, or an obstacle.

So, with a weary smile, the man placed his item on the fence, and returned to the safe confines of his home.    


“Be careful, Jem”

Scout, small and resilient with all her might, carefully unlatched the backdoor and stood aside. Her eyes watched me with the care of a sister to her older brother. I snuck down the steps and turned to see her watching my every move.

“Go to sleep now, ya hear?” she nodded glumly and returned inside. The safety latch clicked while I began my journey back to the Radley Place.

The streets were silent, save for the sounds of night crawlers. If there’s one thing I remember about the town of Maycomb, it’s the strange ways of our neighbours. Especially the Radley Place. It was like having a haunted house right across the street. Every night you would go to sleep and wonder what was happening in that strange house.

Scout would jump on me if I told anyone, but she was terrified of that place. I remember being awake for one long summer night, when she bolted upright in a gasp of fear.

“Scout, you okay?” I asked, slipping out of bed. She didn’t respond, just fell back on her pillow and curled up into a ball.  I walked across to her hammock, taking carefully placed steps on our creaky floorboards.

“Want me to fetch Atticus?”


“You’re scared, Scout”

“I ain’t scared!”  She glared at me in the heat of the night. I stayed silent, knowing better than to antagonise my little sister.

“It’s that place down yonder” she whispered. “He was watchin’ me Jem…”

“Boo?” she nodded solemnly and closed her eyes.

“Scout, ain’t nobody comin’ after ya,” I said in the most brotherly voice I could muster. Scout nodded and I hugged her before going back to bed.

Since then, I’ve always been cautious about letting her come with me to the Radley Place. That memory of her terrified face filled my mind as I came round the back of the Radley place. As I crept along the fence, an eerie breeze rustled the two huge oak trees in their front yard. Darkness was all around me, the middle of the night. But just when my vision was adjusting to the dark, I heard the strangest noise in my life.

It was a rasping noise, like nails down a blackboard, with a gentle rhythmic tone, somewhat hypnotic. For a moment my imagination ran wild with the cause of such a strange noise. And with the breeze against my back, my eyes like a hawk scouting my surroundings, I discovered the item hanging loosely against the fence.


The boy froze, ready to run if necessary. The man behind the window shutters held his breath, silently hoping. The boy’s head came up over the fence and glanced around, rapidly searching for any signs of a stranger.

The man smiled, his eyes gleaming in the moonlight; even if the sun was shining, there was no chance of spotting him.  His deathly white hands came up and held the sides of the window sill, squeezing tightly.

Realising that someone could be watching, the boy dropped to his stomach and was hidden from view. He crawled like a soldier and gently tugged on the item folded over the fence. It slipped off with some reluctance.

The man turned away from the window and walked across the living room, his job done.


Jem held his mended pants in his hands. Unable to understand how they could have mended them-selves. He turned them over and over, stroking the tough stitching where there should be a huge, gaping hole.

And inside, Boo Radley smiled.

*The End *

© 2011 Sunflower 20

Author's Note

Sunflower 20
If you're wondering what this is all about, its okay, I had to write it for school. This is my response to the book "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. I had to pick a scene that didn't happen to Scout, and is only mentioned in the book.

I chose the scene where Jem returns to the Radley place to retreive his pants. Hope you enjoyed it :)

My Review

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The interpretation of this development in the novel is close to the original, which is sound. The opening sentences are perhaps a little too functional and short - they serve only one purpose yet you miss the opportunity to create and develop atmosphere and symbolism as well. Try to remember the "rule" of: show, don't tell. Let us do some work and figure out what characters are feeling from the descriptions of how they and their surroundings look. Definitely potential here.

Posted 8 Years Ago

I've never read "To Kill A Mockingbird" so it didn't make all that much sense, but it was very well written, and very nicely done! Good job, and thanks for the read request!

Posted 8 Years Ago

haha very nice interpretation of "to kill a mocking bird" very original

Posted 8 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on March 24, 2011
Last Updated on March 24, 2011


Sunflower 20
Sunflower 20

Melbourne, Australia

I'm a 15 year old young writer who absolutely loves reading and writing. My stories have been praised by teachers, friends and family but I would really like someone to critically edit and give me fee.. more..