Sandwich Public Schools

Video Program


365 Quaker Meeting House Rd, East Sandwich, MA 02537


Email: blueknighttv@sandwich.k12.ma.us

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Video Production 1

VIdeo Production 2

Video Production 3 - Advanced

Sports Broadcasting

Broadcast Journalism - Full Year

The Pecking Party 

Abby Roy

The dense midsummer air encapsulates the small isolated plantation located in the dead center of Alabama. The occasional gusts of wind and the faint rustling of leaves fills the empty hush of the vast and vacant field. A single house, rotted and torn, faces outwards towards the desolate dead rows of cotton plants. The white painted planks of wood that stripe across the lackluster building are weathered down and chipped, revealing its original dull, gray garb. Sets of six Italianate style windows are stamped along every side of the plantation. The windows stand futile with the glass bashed out and the wooden frames rotting, like a pair of glasses with its lenses missing. A small canopy of rotten wood stabilized by two tall, thin posts, juts out from the front face. The small shelter harbors two fragile rocking chairs and a limp potato sack of feed for the flock of furious free range chickens that trot by at times. Both rockers perch languish and lifeless, with it's only client being the sporadic rushes of nippy wind that stop by on ill-lit days. The type of days where any abnormal moment sends a deeper chill through your bones, and progress is hindering behind the gray incessant sky.

Inside the spoiled abode, a man with deep, somber brown skin trudges up from the basement in a beige cotton-woven shirt with three brown buttons spaced unevenly at the top. His shirt is tucked into faded caramel colored pants, which are permanently stained with dust and the gray metallic rat poisoning he had laid out just the other day. His deep brown eyes are painted with horror and dour, which spill into full cheeks and drips down a crooked smile. He shuffles past Ann Harris, who is sitting at a small table near the window, with a floral painted teacup filled with an abnormal colored liquid, in front of her. The Carolina blue cotton of her bodice is delicately pleated with small matching buttons tracing up the middle of her body. Her delicate arms get interrupted by the hem of the sleeves, which falls just at the start of her pale, white hand, and goes upwards into a subtle, sharp shoulder pad. The straightness of her nose is compensated for by her rounded jawline, and soft blue eyes. Small flecks of green starburst from her pupil under the glazed surface of her eyes. The rest of her dress falls below the table, the same Carolina blue cotton draping and poofing out so the hem just barely reached the floor. The house smells of putrescine, a pungent fishy smell, and mildew. Nostrils burning, the man refocuses his mind towards his work. He reaches for the shiny leather gladstone bag rested on the ground by the basement door. Opening his new bag, which is etched with the initials H.H, he notices it is filled with clanking metal objects. Needles, scalpels, a trephine and other medical equipment jingle out of the stiff bag as he vigorously shakes it up and down. With all its old contents scattered along the floor, he then began to feed the wide mouth of the bag with new supplies, taking occasional glances over at Ann every once in a while.

“Would ya look at that Anne. We got some nice weather for a change.” he teased lethargically, peering out the window into the caliginous atmosphere as he jumbled around his new bag.


Ann responds with a deadly silence, prompting the man to shudder in discomfort. He continues to stuff his brown leather bag with various tools, such as a small trowel, a hand rake, and finally a small sack of crystallized lime powder. 


The door gently closes behind him, and he begins to make his way out to the field, bag in hand. With his other hand, he grabs the long, rusted shovel leaned against one of the rockers. He chooses one of the lengthy, flat paths of dirt to heavily trudge down. After sauntering straight for about a minute, he halts to a stop. Looking around, he inhales the thick air. Slowly, he kneels down onto the dirt and picks up a morsel of dirt, massaging it between his thumb and forefinger, watching the clumps slowly disintegrate into the air. Then, the shovel plunges into the dense, dry dirt. It starts gnawing at the chalky tan powder. Hours go by, the crickets start to sing, and the sky starts to dim. The man looks at his work, a hole: six feet deep, six feet tall, and three feet wide. He turns around, the shovel swung over his shoulder, and makes his way back into the dim-lit house.


Greeted by the sight of Ann still sitting at the table in darkness, he goes around the dull house, and lights a few candles which creates small, warm orbs of light wherever they go. A three-legged candle holder is placed in front of Ann, which illuminates her sharp face that holds an expressionless yet serious manner. He tiptoes around and puts the remaining candle holder infront of Henry Harris, Ann’s husband, who is sitting on the mildew-smelling, floral couch in a charcoal colored tailcoat, with a matching waistcoat and pants. Henry has a sharp white winged collared shirt peeking out at the neck and wrists. His face is the shape of a ripe mango, with a brunette handle-bar mustache sitting just above his small upper lip. The man rests the candle holder on the rich, mahogany table in front of Henry next to his teacup and name plate which reads “Dr. H Harris'' painted in golden calligraphy. Before going down to the basement to sleep, the man stared at Ann and Henry one last time. Unsettled by their stature, he took a deep breath and trotted his way down the stairs. Welcomed by his bed, a small wooden board with a few bath towels laid across it for comfort, he slowly rolls onto the stiff mattress. He latches his eyes closed to the smell of musty wood and damp mold. Slowly, a persistent and infuriating noise intercepts the man's rest: the drumming hum of an exigent chicken, jabbing at the side of the house. As the pecking continues, the man tosses and turns, burdened by the repetitious vexation. The sharp and quick vibration of the sound nips at his brain, each new one making his body flinch. After some time, the drumming subsides.


The midnight sky passes over, and the man unstitches his eyes and plods up the abruptly constructed stairs, wearing the same clothes as before. The drowsy yet illuminated gray sky spills through the broken windows. He continues he way outside the house, passing Mr. and Mrs. Harris once more, in their same spots as usual. With his bag and shovel in hand, the man slowly walks past the unoccupied rocking chairs, and down the porch stairs. Little clouds of dust are kicked back by his shoes as he glides past the millions of dying blades of cotton. His eyes widened as the gaping pit he had been digging out yesterday approached him. The inexplicable mien of it plasters a relieved and pleased expression on the man's face. The cavity sits in the middle of the 30,000 square foot pastureland, like a single grain of sand on a beach. Despite the holes rather disturbing nature, the man has satisfaction spilling from his smile. For the soil had not been tended to for the past two days, the rectangular trench looked unstable, as if the walls of dirt would collapse any second. He taps his pointer finger along the edge of the pit, which sends small morsels of debris plummeting down into the bottom of the pit. Suddenly remembering, the man slides his gladstone bag to his side and reaches for the small burlap pouch of limestone. As if the ditch were a large piece of pork, he sprinkled the lime powder along the inside. Sealing back up his pouch and locking it away in his bag, he begins to tread back towards the unkempt house, walking down the long rows of detritus crops. He slowly swung the door open and was welcomed by Ann and Henry, which instantly triggered an unnerving feeling inside his body.


Drifting off to sleep, the sharp pecking of the chickens return, this time louder and quicker, like a metronome at 115 beats per minute. It starts off as an obstruction but quickly becomes unbearable. His head aches in pain, knowing that each jab would be quickly followed by another. Peck.....peck....peck....peck. He rises from the floor and starts to stagger up the stairs. He pushes open the door with a strong slam, which sets off the sound of glass antiques rattling all around him. The enraging tune of the birds grows thunderous.


Peck...Peck...Peck...Peck...Peck. The man stumbles around the house with his ears plugged tight, and an agonizing look on his face. Jaw clenched and eyes squeezed shut, his ears begin to fill with static, still beating to the maddening metronome’s melody. Peck..Peck..Peck. Slowly, words and thoughts blur together with the sound of impending doom. Run.. Peck..Peck.. away..Peck..from. Peck. He teeters slowly towards the door intoxicated by the vexing cacophony, passing Ann, who is still sitting looking out the window, with the cup of cold tea in front of her containing the same liquid from two days ago. Still with his eyes tightly stitched shut, he stretched his arms straight out, fingers tingling with caution. He continuously grasps into the space in front of him until his hands clutch onto the dangling corner of the white cotton tablecloth. Pulled down by his own weight, the man falls to his knees, still quenching in torment. Peck..Peck..Peck..Peck. The teacup and its contents fall to the ground, producing a round, deep clang that reverberates through the floorboards. The slight but sudden force created by this chronology takes a jab at Anne, steadily toppling her over like a single domino.


The man, on all fours with his backside facing Anne, unknots his eyes after hearing the condensed thud. Wearily, he squints behind and sees Ann’s lifeless cadaver on the ground. Unsteadily, he pushes himself up off the ground until he stands wobbling on his two feet. Back aching, he hunches down and grunts as he lifts her up by her armpits. Peck..Peck..Peck..Peck. Attempting to prop her back up into the position he had her in before, he relievingly sinks her down back into the chair, letting out a deep breath. Everytime he moves Ann’s dropping body, the smell of putrescine spills from her mouth. The rotten-flesh smell stabs at his brain, like a sharp icicle had fallen on his head. The pandemonium of the noise has yet deceased. Peck..Peck..Peck..Peck.Peck.Peck. He hurriedly moved around her two defunct arms and smoothed her Carolina blue dress. Picking up the table cloth he had tugged down, he messily places it back onto the little round table, along with the now chipped and empty teacup. A burning sensation sparks through his left hand’s lower palm. Raising his hand shakily up towards his line of vision, he peers at his newly red and warted hand, still fizzing with anger. In front of his eyes, callaces and boils sputter open. His hands throb, resembling the rhythm of a heartbeat. Peck..Peck..Peck..Peck.Peck.Peck. In his peripheral, he traces the metallic gray liquid that spilled from the cup and traveled down the crevices of the wooden floor. He lowers his forefinger into the stream of fluid. When they come in contact, the skin of his hand begins to crackle and adopt the same appearance as his wounded palm. Refocusing towards Anne, he turns her limp head, wrinkled and cold, to the left to face her glassy eyes out to the cotton field, however the dead weight of her head swivels it back towards the center. The pecking had intensified. PECK..PECK..PECK..PECK. Shortly, he grows impatient whilst fabricating Ann, leaving the dead body slouched barely in its chair, eyes wide with a steady gaze staring upwards at the ceiling.


The man rapidly rises up off the floor, opens the front door, and is greeted with a squall
of crisp, piercing wind. Limping and staggering down the porch his face remains painted with agony. PECK..PECK..PECK..PECK. Eyes squinted and face tensed, he stumbles along the path of the cotton field, tripping and getting entangled in the crackly crops. Barely lifting his feet, he slides along the gritty track until he approaches the grave pit he had been digging for the past couple days. PECK..PECK..PECK..PECK. The man forcibly compresses his head in between his two hands. With his vision flickering in and out, a stinging, muffled hum ambushes his brain. His arms become heavy and they sway numbly beside him. PECK..PECK..PECK..PECK. Squatting down, he looks down at the repository pit sprinkled with lime powder. Circles spin in his head, and his balance lurches forward. The cold, dehydrated dirt meets his warm cheek. Powdery filth creates a blanket of grime all over his clothes and skin as he rolls around in the ditch manically. PECK..PECK..PECK..PECK. He digs his head into the ground, creating a round imprint. PECK..PECK..PECK..PECK. Lying flat on his back he begins to pound the dirt walls around him. Veins are popping out of his shiny forehead as he clenches his fists and hammers them into the barrier. PECK..PECK..PECK..PECK. His legs flail and kick. Big solid forms of filth fall and break into fine powder. The heaviness begins to collect on his chest. PECK..PECK..PECK..PECK. Nature’s foot stomps on his chest, each one getting heavier, until his vision goes black. PECK..PECK..PECK..PECK. Handfuls of soil fill his mouth, forcing life to froth out of his tortured soul.