||[Aug. 18th, 2004|12:42 pm]
|||||Truck On - Simple Kid||]|
Hey everyone. I just (like five minutes ago) finished the first draft of a story I started on a day or two ago. Any comments will be good. What's working, what's not. How's the flow, the mood? Does it seem complete? What's your impression of the story? Are the characters strong (I'm not sure)? How's the title? Also - any suggestions for names? I need new ones. So, I hope you enjoy (at least it's something to read) and please keep in mind this is a very early draft. Thanks! --Helen
“Should we do it?” Sarah said, grinning and looking at the rest of us.
“Of course we should,” Brittany said, snatching it from Sarah.
“Yeah, I think we should,” said Carrie, leaning back on a old, wooden bench.
“I don’t know,” I said, turning away from it and going to sit next to Carrie.
“Oh, calm down. It won’t be that bad.” Brittany spoke with confidence, but I knew even she was slightly apprehensive.
I didn’t say anything. I lifted my legs up, so my heels touched the edge of the bench and my thighs pushed against my body. I wrapped my arms around my knees and rested my chin on them. I starred at the activity surrounding us. The rest of our classmates played around Green Park. Many were on the playground in the center, playing in the sand. They zoomed down the slide and flew on the swings. Some just sat at the edge of the sand, talking. Our teacher sat at a picnic table to the left of us, a little closer to the playground. Next to her, an indignant boy sat, undoubtedly receiving a stern talking to for being bad.
Shouldn’t we be there? I thought. Among our peers, normal nine and ten year-olds having fun at the park. Talking and playing with our over-active imaginations.
My attention snapped back to my friends at the sound of Brittany’s short, quiet shriek. A childish glee filled her face and told me what I dreaded. I lowered my gaze to see the blood drip down Brittany’s left index finger. It came from a small cut, three centimeters below her purple-painted fingernail. The three of us starred at her cut, mouths gaping and eyes wide.
She had done it. I breathed in, out.
With her right hand, Brittany gripped a filthy piece of clear glass. We had found it near the bench, just part of a mess that used to be a bottle of Absolut Vodka. Brittany had picked it up; I think she jut liked the idea of holding it at first. It was a medium sized piece, not a fragment, but smaller than the palm of my hand. Carrie came up with the idea. On her blew and green stripped shirt, she had attempted to clean it, but when she held it in her hand to examine it, most of the dirt had remained. Now, as it dangled in Brittany’s hand, dark red blood began to dry.
The cool fall wind blew through my dark hair, as I watched Brittany hand Carrie the glass part. Carrie took a deep breath in. She breathed out slowly and slashed the tan skin on her right index finger. She barely flinched.
“Phew! That wasn’t so bad,” Carrie said, smiling. She handed the red-edged piece to Sarah.
Sarah sat next to Carrie on the bench, and placed the glass on the worn armrest. Sarah wiped her hands on her khaki skirt. After shaking her head, as if she were shaking away the feelings of doubt, she tucked her hair behind her ears. Holding her breath, Sarah reached for the glass and cut her left middle finger. All in one, swift motion.
Sarah watched her hand for a moment. I watched too. We saw the blood rise to the surface of her pale skin, flow over, slide around her finger, and into her palm. She grinned, looked up at Brittany, over at Carrie and me, and began to giggle. I couldn’t tell if there was a slight worry in her laugh, her face.
Finally, Sarah handed the glass to me. I held it with my thumb and index finger, at a decent distance away from my body. I looked down at it. What was the big deal, right? I mean, it was just a little cut. It won’t hurt, too much. It will be gone with in two weeks and no one but us four would ever know. But if it wasn’t a big deal, then why couldn’t I just get it done with?
Someone spoke and my attention returned to the old bench at Green Park. And my three best friends.
“What?” I asked, looking around them.
They starred back at me, looking something that wasn’t quite confusion, and not quite annoyance.
“I said,” Brittany began, “‘Just do it.’” She crossed her arms in front of her chest, careful not to let her bloody finger touch her arm or shirt.
“Come on, we don’t have much time left,” Carrie said, standing up to face me.
“Yeah, I know,” I replied. “Just give me a sec.”
My friends, the bench, the park all evaporated as I concentrated on that hunk of glass. Most of the dirt was still present, though the grease from the hand of the three previous users had smudged it. Their dry blood coated sections of the razor edges.
Breathing became important, I couldn’t forget a step.
In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.
I glanced up. “What about AIDS?”
Brittany sighed loudly, “You can only get it from someone who has it.” She motioned to the four of us, “None of us do.”
“Right.” In. Out.
I raised the bottle shard to the index finger on my left hand. I squeezed my eyes shut.
One. Two. Three.
I tried to keep my breath steady as I opened my eyes, slowly. I held out the glass for someone to take. Carrie did. My right hand held my left. This time it was my blood that I saw drip down my hand.
“Wow,” I breathed.
A whistle came from our left. Simultaneously, we looked to its origin. The teacher was rounding everyone up. Our time was running out.
With sudden speed, Sarah and I pushed our cuts together, my blood flowing with hers. Carrie and Brittany did the same, though their cuts didn’t flow as freely. Next I went to Carrie, as Brittany went to Sarah. Our blood mixed together.
The whistle sounded for a second time. Most of the class was by our teacher now, in front of the picnic table.
Hurriedly, we completed the exchanges – Brittany with me, Carrie with Sarah. I couldn’t believe we actually did it. Actually became blood sisters. I couldn’t believe I cut myself with a piece of a broken vodka bottle. The experience was exhilarating.
I grinned with my friends, finally able to understand that unexplainable giddy feeling. As we walked towards the rest of the class, Carrie knelt down to pick up a Subway napkin on the ground. It looked unused. One by one we wiped off the trails of blood that had graced our hands. We spat on the dry blood to get it off. Some traces remained when we reached the class, but most of the evidence was gone.
We left soon after we rejoined the class. Carrie wrapped the glass in the napkin and dropped it in a green trashcan we passed as we exited the park. On the walk back to school, we talked with classmates and each other about school gossip and celebrity happenings. One hand tucked away in a pocket.