French kiss.

Below is a brief scene I wrote last year. I’m not sure if I planned on going somewhere with it or simply letting it stand alone as a snippet of a character’s personality, but I decided to post it as is.

 

“You know French?!” she exclaimed, eyes lighting up. He, who would have otherwise been out of her notice, had sparked her interest. She amused herself with the idea of a new conquest.

“Yeah,” he answered, “I took six years of it.”

“I’m so jealous. I’m only in my second semester of French. But,” she gave an alluring smile, “I am studying abroad in France this summer.”

“Wow, really? That’s amazing! I’d love to go to France.”

“You’ll have to come visit me while I’m there then.” She smirked.

* * * * *

“So,” she began pointedly, “say something to me in French. I’m sure yours is far superior to mine.”

“Um,” he paused to think. “Okay… Je voudrais dormir.”

“You want to go to bed?!” she scoffed and playfully slapped his arm with the back of her hand.

“It was the first thing that came to mind!” He laughed and pulled the blanket tighter around himself. “And, it is really late.”

“You’re so lame.” She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms in feigned offense. After an exaggerated sigh, she leaned in a little and ran a hand through her hair. “How about… tu veux m’embrasser instead?”

His eyebrows raised instinctively at this, and in an amused voice, he responded, “Peut-être.”

She smiled and held his gaze for a moment. “I’m going to go get us some more drinks,” she suddenly declared, pushing the blanket off herself and moving to stand.

 

 

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Photograph Flash Fiction

Told to choose two pictures and write a short scene of fiction based on them, I came up with the following. Again, this assignment was very brief, a mere few minutes (as you can see, I didn’t get very far with the second one). The first one sparked an idea that could potentially be a short story or even a book – I didn’t realize how helpful looking at a picture could be when it comes to finding inspiration for writing. I wish I could include the photos, but sadly I do not have them.

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Picture 1: Young woman standing in front a pinball machine. [First Person]

The old arcade off Woodward Avenue used to be my favorite place to be. I’d go there every day after school, spending hours at the pinball machines and sipping soda, trying to escape. This was my place, and she ruined everything. She had no right showing up here. If she had just gone home with her boyfriend or to the mall with her other cheerleader friends like usual, none of this would have happened. She would still be alive.

It was a particularly rainy and gloomy afternoon as I was leaving school, when Evan slammed into my shoulder and made me drop my unzipped bag in a puddle. This I was used to – he always hated me for being weird and probably for being smarter than him – but it didn’t stop here. He continued on his way, stomping all over the letters that spilled out of the front compartment – the letters from my dead mother.

By the time I got to the arcade, I was a mess. I told myself if I could just beat my high score on the Star Wars pinball machine, I would feel better. But when I walked through the door, setting off the familiar greeting bell, Sarah was already there. She was at my machine.

~~~~~~~

Picture 2: Smiling mother holding her baby. [Third Person]

The familiar sense of panic and anger settled over Bridget as she watched her mother coddle her younger brother. I’m invisible, she thought. It was whenever Anne held Tyler, becoming so absorbed by the thought of him – the miracle baby that he was – that Bridget snuck off to the attic with her notebook and crayons to create a world of illustrated mayhem.

The House On Coster Road

I had actually planned on posting this piece of flash fiction the day we did this writing exercise in class, but somehow it slipped my mind (or maybe I wasn’t confident enough). This is just a short, unedited blurb I wrote in a span of just a few minutes, trying to follow certain rules and meet particular requirements and as my professor called them out. (For example, “Now have one of your characters take something out of their pocket.”) I actually had a lot of fun writing this, so I’m not too worried if it’s not the best.

The House On Coster Road

More than half of the aged white paint was chipping away from years of wear, revealing the greyish old wood of the two-story farm home. The lawn had been left to grow on its own accord, and it reached our waists in most places, the wild grasses grabbing our legs and twisting around us. The smell of lilac invaded our noses, pleasantly but almost warningly, as if to remind us that this was bee territory.

Becca and I cautiously made our way in through the back door, ducking our heads a little at the memory of a bat flying out unexpectedly many summers ago. The inside, though even more barren and dead than the outside, had an almost magical quality. We crept up the old stairs, which creaked dangerously under our feet, to see what would have someday been our bedrooms.

“I can’t imagine living here anymore,” I said softly, looking out the window of the room facing the road, “even though I used to be able to picture it so perfectly.”

“Yeah. Did we ever end up picking our rooms?” she asked. “You probably would have gotten this one, since you get whatever you want.”

“I’m the oldest. Of course I would have gotten first pick.” I rolled my eyes.

We made our way to one of the other bedrooms, treading as lightly as possible through this barren home. I was just about to bring up how we always thought it was haunted, when a rotting floorboard gave out beneath my flip-flop, my foot and ankle sinking into the jagged wood.

“Help me!” I shrieked, trying to lift my foot out while avoiding too much pain. Becca warily hurried over, letting me grab her shoulder for balance.

“I’m calling Mom and having her pick us up,” she said and reached into her pocket for her iPhone, having had enough of the creepy place from our childhood. She hurried downstairs and outside to get better signal.

“Wait for me!” I yelled after her, bending down to tend to my scraped ankle.

“Come on then!” she called back impatiently.

I paused a moment longer, my mind flooded with past dreams of what this house could have been for us, how it could have changed our lives. Maybe if our dad had actually gotten around to fixing it up, Mom wouldn’t have divorced him.

I quickly tiptoed back downstairs, careful to avoid any floorboards that looked threatening. Becca, sure enough, was on the phone with Mom, as I waded through the sea of weeds. Normally, I would convince her that we should walk back, but my ankle had started bleeding, so I settled for getting a ride. We sat in the dirt driveway, a distance away from the bee-infested lilac bushes, and waited for our Mom’s silver Grand Prix to pull up, having had enough adventure for the day.