Monday, February 22, 2010

Short Story Week: Yellow, Part 1

This week just started and already, I can feel the insanity. So I thought I'd share a short story of mine that I've been kind of working on since I was 15.

The story behind this story is kind of cool.

When I was a high school freshman, I got to sign up for a two day creative writing workshop with a local college professor. He lectured the first day and then sent us off to write a 2 page short story that he would read and critique before our second meeting.

So I went home really excited and wrote my two page story and turned it in.

Then...being the oh so organized freshman that I was, I returned for day two of the workshop totally on time half an hour late.

When I walked in, everyone was staring at me funny. So of course I'm like...what's going on? Did my hair frizz? Is my sweater unbuttoned? Am I in the wrong workshop?

But I ignored it and listened and then we had a break. Everyone started coming up to me and telling me they really liked my story. And I was like...huh...wha...huh?????

It turned out...that the professor loved my story so much, he picked it to read to the entire group (and I was one of the only freshmen there so it was a REALLY big deal).

Of course I was sitting in Spanish when this happened. #GoMe!

Anyway, it's kind of been my baby ever since--my go to story for when I want to learn a new aspect of the craft and I want to experiment. It finally evolved into a 12 page story that I wrote for my advanced creative writing workshop at Arcadia. (FYI, this story had me dubbed by my professor as the make out queen of Arcadia and...outed me as a YA writer--I was totally trying to go literary, but FAILED). The style and voice and some details have changed, but the arc has stayed the same since I wrote this at 15.

So....that's the back story. This story isn't perfect...but...I'm in the mood to share. So hopefully you enjoy.

YELLOW: Part 1

Tiny rivulets of rain streamed down the car window. Lacey traced them with her finger from the passenger seat of her boyfriend’s 1987 blue Buick. The familiar houses on her street, each identical to the one before slowly passed by as Simon drove her home after school. Fall had come early that year and Lacey had not yet adjusted to the cold, still trying to run about in her summer wardrobe. Even with the heat turned to full blast in Simon’s car, her bare legs remained damp and shivering.


He parked out front of her house and let the engine run as he reached over to push her hair aside from her neck and kiss her. Lacey remembered the first time he had done that, almost exactly a year ago at Stephanie’s party. No one had ever kissed her before, and Simon’s popular high shool status made the experience all the more thrilling. She had closed her eyes and swore she could see stars at the time. Now, though she still enjoyed his touch, all she could see was the front door to her house.

A short set of cement stairs led to her front door. Simon’s hand moved predictably over her breast, as his mouth found her’s. Lacey’s eyes remained open. She could see a small yellow object sitting at the edge of the porch, rain pattering lightly over it. She squinted her eyes and broke away from the kiss, letting Simon’s lips move elsewhere. What IS that? She wondered. She couldn’t take her eyes off of it.

“My grandmom’s waiting,” she said abruptly, pulling Simon’s hands away from her bra clasp.

He groaned.

“Call me after dinner,” Lacey said with the car door already opened. She leaned over quickly, kissing him goodbye with a peck on the cheek and then ran up the pathway to her house.

Under the small black roof of her porch she could better examine the object that had peaked her curiosity, a single yellow rose, with the thorns removed. A small white square piece of cardstock with a white ribbon strewn thru it had been tied under the base of the flower.

To Lacey

it said. There was no signature and no clue as to who the sender might be. Her mind imediately went to Simon. But this seemed unlike him. He didn’t seem to be aware of the fact that roses came in any other color than red. Plus he would want her to know that he’d sent them, otherwise how could he reap the benefits of giving flowers in the first place?

Lacey clutched the yellow rose in her hand, ripping off the card and stuffing it in the back pocket of her jean skirt. She stared at the door, not wanting to go inside, not yet. Normally she stayed in the car longer with Simon, but the yellow rose had unsettled her, its sudden appearance, its color. She had to know what it was. And now that it was in her hands, she wanted to know who had sent it to her. But even as the rain poured harder, she didn’t want to go inside.

“Are you taking your showers outside now?” Aaron, her next door neighbor called out as he drove past her house on his bike. His pants were tucked into bright orange rain boots, and his green hooded raincoat was buttoned all the way up, his hood tied tightly across his neck as if his mother had fastened it shut.

Lacey smiled and waved, not really having a response to a question like that. Especially a question asked by a boy who wore green raincoats with orange boots. He looked like an oversized leprechaun. Without any further reason to delay, Lacey walked inside her house. The air conditioning blasted all over her body, giving rise to thousands of goosebumps. She shivered again, letting her school bag fall off her shoulders. She kicked off her black thonged sandals, which had been completely soaked through. She would have no choice but to pull out her winter wardrobe tonight, and begin mixing sweaters with her t-shirts and jeans. She’d be forced to start wearing actual shoes too, with socks.

In the foyer of her house she hesitated, staring at a portrait of her mother. Lacey and her shared the same blue almond shaped eyes, the same pin straight brunette hair, and the same dimples on either side of their mouths. If Lacey hadn’t had her hairdresser add bangs at her last hair appointment before senior year began, looking at her mother’s portrait would have been almost like looking into a mirror. Except one could not see the dead in mirrors, not in real life anyway.

Lacey’s mother and father had been killed in a car crash when she was five by a drunk driver. So she could had come to her grandmother’s house to live, and had been with her ever since. Her grandmother came running into the foyer, waving her arms about.

“Lacey what are you doing just standing there? You’ll catch your death! Let’s get you upstairs right now and find some warmer clothes. Come away, come away,” she fussed. Her grandmother grabbed both of her arms and led her away from her mother’s picture up the stairs. The foyer had the only remaining picture of her mother in the house.

18 comments:

  1. Very cool! I really like your clip. Very descriptive. No wonder your teacher read this out loud:)
    Thanks for sharing.

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  2. wow descriptive is right! LOVE it...now you have me intrigued..I have to know.. ;o)

    I relate to her in one huge way right off the bat: I fight winter/fall every year, I wear my flip flops until the air just might freeze my toes off & I positively hate having to bring out socks of ANY kind! lol

    word verif: perseiv (love this) appropriate considering I wonder about her 'leprechaun perception' of the neighbor...hmmmm....

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  3. WOW! Love it. I like how her feeling are beginning to decrease for her boyfriend. She doesn't come out and say it, you show it. I'm intrigued to know who this flower is from...the neighbor perhaps?

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  4. You stink!

    :)

    But only because you wrote such an unbelievable piece at 15!?!?!

    I loved, loved the whole thing!

    Here's one of my many favorite lines:

    Now, though she still enjoyed his touch, all she could see was the front door to her house.

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  5. I'm almost positive I cold not write like that in high school! It totally put #windinmyhhhaaaiiiirrr!!!

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  6. LOL, thank you so much you guys, Christine, Southern Princess, Kelly, Tiffany and Marybeth. But just to make sure we're on the same page--I wrote the original story when I was 15, but I posted the version I wrote for my graduate level creative writing class.

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  7. Huh? Are you serious? Have you been carrying a Simon around in your head since you were 15? I am amused. :)

    Plus, "make out queen of Arcadia"... *snarf*

    Curious to see where this is going.

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  8. This is so true and believable. What a great writer you are, Frankie! Thanks for letting us read this special story. Now, when do we get more?

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  9. My english teacher pulled a similar stunt when we had our poetry unit. My class was supposed to write a poem about anything and I handed something I wrote about how people perceived me in different ways, blahblahblah. I didn't think it would be anything special but then he pulled me aside after class and asked if he could read it aloud to the class. I was stunned. (pleasantly but still...)

    So I can relate! lol.

    Is there more to this clip? Because I want more! :D

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  10. Okay, so my favorite part is the bit about being forced to wear real shoes with socks. I really hate socks.

    Can't wait for the thrilling conclusion (or continuation anyway) coming soon to a blog near you.

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  11. Simon, LOL!!! I totally forgot I named him Simon hahaha. Yeah...and actually I named him Simon after some character in a Shannon Doherty movie on Lifetime. Hehe. It was either Jeremy or Jason London;)

    Roxy, awww thanks! Im glad you liked it. Ill post 3 pages each day this week, conclude on Friday.


    Mariah, your wish is my command!

    Pirate Penguin, oh wow congrats--that's cool when that happens! And glad Im not the only one. I will have part 2 tomorrow.

    Jenn, you're too funny, hehe. Thank you and more tomorrow!!

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  12. Nice story, Frankie! :) I love the description you used...SO much detail. Ohh and I loved how you show your readers exactly how your characters feel and everything instead of just saying it right out. Great job!

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  13. Very descriptive. It was fun to read and made me want to know more.

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  14. The Red Angel, thank you!

    Southpaw, thanks!!!

    Pirate Penguin...posting part 2 in a few minutes:-)

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  15. Very well written. You have a wonderful way with words, your descriptions really shine. *off to read the second installment ;o)*

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  16. Thanks so much, Erica! I'm glad you're reading:-)

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Thanks for commenting!