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Author Topic: Memories - Sweet short story  (Read 792 times)
Nephtys
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Memories - Sweet short story
« on: February 09, 2007, 05:28:54 PM »

Well, as dmizer said today, I'm still struggling to find my voice. And he's right. Today's experiment in Neph's list is a short story about the start of a relationship, based on (you guessed) memories.

Now, for this piece, my critical sense has completely abandoned me, so please, by any means, be harsh if you don't like something. Thanks.

Memories

“I was shocked when it happened, you know.” He started out of his world which was organized neatly, row after row in the Tolkien between his hands. His fingers pushed his glasses up on his nose and he studied me for a moment. Eventually I sighed.
“I am sorry,” I told him. “I must’ve mistaken you, I guess.” I lingered. “Mind if I sit?”

He followed my outstretched finger with his eyes and – after a moment – its implication, and the words stumbled out of him:
“Oh, I’m sorry. I was, I mean, my book…” He made an effort to shut up and I couldn’t help but smile. “Go ahead,” he then said, and by the time I had, his face was hidden behind his novel again.

I leaned back on the bench, enjoying the afternoon sun and snuck glances at him. Ostensibly, of course, I lazily followed bypassing students. They all looked like they had things to do and places to be.
“A pity really,” I said. Yet again I had managed to startle him out of his private world. With a short puffy exhale he showed off a discontent which the rest of his face belied. In fact, the faint hint of a smile played around lips to which nature had given a tendency towards a pout. His slightly arched eyebrows and intensely brown eyes looked curious to me, rather than angry. And a wee bit sexy. I sucked in a deep lungful of crisp air. Now. And let it out again. Or never.

“Do you mind if I tell you a story?”
He put a finger between the pages, as if he had expected something like this.
“Sure,” he said, and patted the cover of his book, after pushing up his glasses again. “I like good stories.”
A giggle snuck out of my mouth. “Isn’t fantasy and good stories a paradox? Most of them are crap.” I winked and added: “But of course that would be a rude thing to say, wouldn’t it.” I waited for a smile which wouldn’t appear and berated myself for being such a cunt. My hands wouldn’t keep still in my lap. And he was watching them, with his serious face, as they writhed on my jeans skirt like vicious entangled spiders. I could feel his eyes on me, and they burned. I had to leave.
“You are right you know,” he said and the feeling was gone. I was surprised to see a grin spreading all over his face: “Most fantasy stories are crap. But they’re fantastic crap!”
I laughed again, and much of that mirth came from the fact that this time he was laughing with me. He put the book onto the bench – forgetting about his place-holding finger, I noticed – and seated himself more comfortably. His back now turned on Tolkien, he doted on me with all of his attention.
“So,” he said, “You promised me a story, right?”

Yes, I did. But where to begin?
“I’ve recently been back to my school. Primary school. Have you ever noticed how big you feel, when you do that? Almost like a monster?” My hands were moving again, the treacherous little spiders! He noticed and gave them an appeasing nod.
“Yeah.” It came out a drawl, as if he wasn’t quite convinced but didn’t want to hurt me by saying so. At least his manners were better than mine.
“Well, it’s triggered some memories. You see, when I was in Fourth Grade, I used to be terrified of the teacher who had Fifth Grade, in the classroom next to ours.”
“Really?” He sounded excited. “That’s cool.”
I frowned, remembering all the times we’d heard him through the walls, shouting at his pupils. I remembered how terrified I’d been that there was a chance he would shout at me next year.
“Why is that cool?” I asked him, and his fingers jerked to his specs in that meanwhile familiar movement. I noticed his nails. Maybe just a wee bit long for a guy, but they were clean and evenly trimmed.
“Well,” he said, waving his hand in a vague circle, “I mean – every story needs a good villain, right?”
There it was again, the sound of our intermingled laughter. If I told him now, that this sound seemed familiar to me already, would he call me a weirdo? Maybe not. There was that way in which he looked me up and down, eyes lingering here or there… My hair maybe? Or my boobs? It had better be my face! Yes, my face, which of course had to flush then, with a hot rush of blood. But that unnerving calm in his eyes.

“Yeah, well, he was very loud, you see,” I said quickly. “If you walked down the corridor, there was our classroom first, then his. And the windows went out onto the courtyard.” I giggled, remembering. “We often jumped out of the windows, when our teacher wasn’t there to pay attention.” His hand was on my shoulder.
“Hold on,” he said, and I did. I tried to hold on to his hand with my shoulder, willed it to stay.
“You guys jumped out of the window?” He looked sceptic. But there was also something else in his eyes.
“Of course,” I said. “Oh, the windows were on the ground floor. It was really quite safe.” I smiled, enjoying the moment. Then his hand was gone. I stopped smiling and turned to look at him. That elusive something I’d noticed earlier had turned into a frown and the spiders in my lap twitched, almost ready to wake up again. But then he gave me a nudge.
“So what happened next? That teacher caught you, right?”
I shook my head, then watched my hands.
“By that look in your eyes it must’ve made you quite sad, whatever did happen,” he observed.
Surprised, I looked up at him, tried to look through him. What if he wasn’t – ? I’d make such a fool of myself. But it was too late now anyway.

“Yes, it made quite an impression on me. Well, we were writing a paper one day, when we heard that teacher scream again, through the walls. I really didn’t like him at all. He just had such a bad temper.”
He nodded emphatically. Recognition, maybe?
“Anyway,” I went on, “That day, I remembered looking up when I heard him, and I took a moment to look around, and out into the courtyard. And there he was, standing in his classroom, and he ripped open the window.”
I noticed that his eyes were literally following every movement of my lips. I couldn’t say that it disturbed me either.
“He ripped the window open?” he asked slowly.
I nodded.
“And then?”
“And then, he turned, grabbed a chair, and threw it out into the courtyard.” There was his hand again, on my leg this time.
“He grabbed behind himself again, and this time scattered an armful of books, and loose leaflets out of the window.”
He was very pale.
“Then he reached again, and before I knew he heaved a desk out. It made an awful lot of noise, I remember.” I wondered what was piercing deeper into me, his fingers, or his eyes. But I withstood both. It was now my turn to be calm.

“After the desk, a boy scrambled out of the window, chased by the teacher’s yelling, and after him, the window slammed shut.”
“What –” He ran his tongue over his lips, and I saw his Adam’s apple jump as he swallowed. He tried again, “And what did the boy do?”
I put my hand on his and nimbly his fingers encircled mine.
“Well, he retrieved his chair and his books. He put the desk upright. And then he just sat there, all alone in the courtyard.” I took a deep breath. “He may have been crying, but I don’t know. He had his back turned to me. I know, I was crying at any rate.”
“So was I,” he said, and looked at me with sparkling wet eyes.
“You were in the same school as I?” he asked.
“Karen,” I said
“Karen,” he echoed, with wonder in his voice, then, “Ryan.”
I got what I wanted. I knew his name. I held his hand.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2007, 06:19:38 AM by Nephtys » Logged

Quote from: J-Pod by Douglas Coupland
You can't fake creativity, competence or sexual arousal. If you have none of these three attributes, then pack it in right now.
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Re: Memories - Sweet short story
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2007, 01:35:50 AM »

there's not really much reason to bring down some critic hammer on this. seems pretty good to me. only that the first two paragraphs bugged me.

did she believe that this ryan was a friend? or was she apologizing for disturbing him? compared to the rest of the work, it's real hard to know what exactly she was feeling or "politely remorseful" about.
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Re: Memories - Sweet short story
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2007, 05:45:45 AM »

Hmm, she was quite sure from the beginning that he was the guy from 5th grade, but thought he'd recognize her. When he didn't, she wasn't quite sure that she was right anymore. That's why she apologized. But she stayed, and told the story, because she still had that hunch that she was right after all.

And now you gotta be even more confused.
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Quote from: J-Pod by Douglas Coupland
You can't fake creativity, competence or sexual arousal. If you have none of these three attributes, then pack it in right now.
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Re: Memories - Sweet short story
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2007, 03:52:21 AM »

i know we've already had some serious discussion about this, but i was shown the way in my sleep last night, so i thought i'd add a few things.

there's no sensory detail here except sight.  gimme some sounds, some tactile sensations, smells!  i think  you've wound up doing a lot off telling rather than showing.  there's some ... like with her hands, but for the most part it's just telling.

i'll still need something to draw me into the story, and something that will keep me reading though.

also i have some problems with a real dichotomy in her "voice".  in the narrative for example, there's cultured words like "Ostensibly, of course ..." and "He nodded emphatically ...".  but then she also uses very base vocabulary like "cunt" and "boobs".  which in my opinion are more in line with the voice your really trying to convey.  i wouldn't go overboard with these though, because she could come off like trailer trash rather than someone you'd expect to see in a book store.  look for that happy medium between halter tops and hoop skirts.
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Nephtys
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Re: Memories - Sweet short story
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2007, 03:54:13 PM »

I don't think I like your new sig.... But thanks for the advice. Cheesy

I'll try and get some of the other senses in. The problem with telling rather than showing is, I think, my narrator. She tells this story, so it's not always easy to withstand the temptation. When you write something like this you easily slip into a more telling style. I'll take care of it.
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Quote from: J-Pod by Douglas Coupland
You can't fake creativity, competence or sexual arousal. If you have none of these three attributes, then pack it in right now.
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Re: Memories - Sweet short story
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2007, 06:38:51 AM »

nice one Neph. i really like the way you write down human emotions into words, but on some parts it was confusing. Or maybe its just because im sleepy.

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Re: Memories - Sweet short story
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2007, 07:26:37 PM »

Well, I tweaked on it some. Here's the result:

Memories

“I was shocked when it happened, you know.”

He started out of his world which was organized neatly in the Tolkien between his hands. His fingers pushed his glasses up on his nose and he studied me for a moment. I had to admit, this look of perplexed curiosity was not the reaction I’d counted on. Eventually I sighed. I had been gathering up my courage for days, and now this? The young man before me wasn’t the boy from back then? “I am sorry,” I told him. “I must’ve mistaken you, I guess.” Okay, it had been years, but I had been so sure when I saw him sitting there, all alone, on that bench. In fact, ever since I’d come to University and had started running into him then and again. I lingered, running my sweaty palms down the sides of my skirt. “Mind if I sit?”

After a moment of confusion, he followed the implication of my pointing finger and the words stumbled out of him; “Oh, I’m sorry. I was, I mean, my book…” He made an effort to shut up and I couldn’t help but smile. “Go ahead,” he finally mumbled, and by the time I had, he valiantly tried to shield a blush with his novel.

I leaned back on the bench, enjoying the afternoon sun, and stole glances at him while pretending to lazily follow other students with my eyes. They were passing us, as they travelled to and from the library. None of them seemed to care for our idle island; they all looked like they had things to do and places to be.
“A pity really,” I said and he looked up from his book again with a short puffy exhale. His face, however, belied this show of discontent. His slightly arched eyebrows and intensely brown eyes looked curious, rather than angry, to me. In fact, the faint hint of a smile played around lips which had a natural pout. I imagined them as two orange petals, wandering silkily over my skin. A warm shudder danced down my spine and I sucked in a deep lungful of crisp air. Now. And let it out again. Or never.

“Do you mind if I tell you a story?”
He put a finger between the pages, as if he had expected something like this.
“Sure,” he said, and patted the cover of his book. “I like good stories.”
A giggle snuck out of my mouth. “Fantasy and good stories, isn’t that quite a paradox? Most of them are crap.” I winked and added, “But of course that would be a rude thing to say, right?” I waited for a smile that didn’t appear and berated myself for being such a cunt. My hands wouldn’t keep still in my lap. He watched them, with his serious face, as they writhed on my jeans skirt, like vicious entangled spiders. I could feel his eyes on me, and they burned. I had to leave.
“You are right, you know.” His voice touched me like a soothing cream. Again his hand rose to push up his glasses, hiding his face. When it retreated, I was surprised to see a grin had spread all over his face. “Most fantasy stories are crap,” he said. “But they’re fantastic crap!”
I laughed again, and this time he was laughing with me. He put the book onto the bench – forgetting about his place-holding finger, I noticed – and seated himself more comfortably, his sneakers raking the gravel underneath. His back on Tolkien, he now doted on me. “So,” he said, “You promised me a story, right?”

I clasped my hands on my knees, and wondered briefly where to begin.
“I’ve recently been back to my school. Primary school. Have you ever noticed how big you feel, when you do that? Almost like a monster?” My hands were moving again, the treacherous little spiders! He noticed and gave them an appeasing nod.
“Yeah.” It came out a drawl, as if he wasn’t quite convinced but didn’t want to hurt me by saying so.
“Well, it’s triggered some memories. You see, when I was in Fourth Grade, I used to be terrified of the teacher who had Fifth Grade, in the classroom next to ours.”
“Really?” He sounded excited. “That’s cool.”
I frowned, remembering all the times we’d heard him through the walls as he shouted at his pupils. I remembered how terrified I’d been that there was a chance he would shout at me next year.
“Why is that cool?” I asked him, and his fingers jerked to his specs in that meanwhile familiar movement. I noticed his nails. “Well,” he said, waving his hand in a vague circle, and the moment was gone. “I mean – every story needs a good villain, right?”
There it was again, the sound of our intermingled laughter. If I told him now, that this sound seemed familiar to me already, would he call me a weirdo? There was that way in which he looked me up and down, eyes lingering here or there… My hair maybe? Or my breasts? It had better be my face! Yes, my face, which incidentally was lighting up then with a hot rush of blood. But that unnerving calm in his eyes!

“Yeah, well, he was very loud,” I said quickly. “We’d hear him through the walls. His classroom and ours were next to one another, you see, and our windows went out into the courtyard.” I giggled, remembering. “We often jumped out of them, when our teacher wasn’t there to pay attention.” His fingers lightly touched my shoulder.
“Hold on,” he said, and I did. I tried to hold on to his hand with my shoulder, willed it to stay.
“You guys jumped out of the window?” He looked sceptic, but there was also something else in his eyes. I hoped it was the shadow of a memory. I didn’t really fancy making a fool of myself.
“Of course,” I continued, after a brief silence. “Oh, the windows were on the ground floor. It was really quite safe.” I smiled, enjoying the moment. Then his fingers were gone and I heard him clear his throat – the sound of embarrassment. I stopped smiling and turned to look at him. That elusive something I’d noticed earlier had turned into a frown and the spiders in my lap twitched. With an effort of will I restrained them and he rewarded me with a warm smile.
“So what happened next? That teacher caught you, right?” he asked.
I shook my head, then watched my hands.
“By that look in your eyes it must’ve made you quite sad, whatever did happen,” he observed.
Surprised, I looked up at him, tried to look into him. “Yes, it made quite an impression on me,” I said. “Well, we were writing a paper one day, when we heard that teacher yell again, through the walls. I really didn’t like him at all. He just had such a bad temper.”
He offered comfort with a nod. Had he come closer? I suddenly noticed I could pick up his aftershave. Nothing fancy, but a light musky smell which struck me as oddly sexy.
“Anyway,” I went on, “That day, I remembered looking up when I heard him, and I took a moment to look around, and out into the courtyard. And there he was, standing in his classroom, and he ripped open the window.”
I noticed that his eyes were literally following every movement of my lips. I couldn’t say that it disturbed me either.
“He ripped the window open?” he asked slowly.
I nodded.
“And then?”
“And then, he turned, grabbed a chair, and threw it out into the courtyard.” There was his hand again, on my leg this time.
“He grabbed behind himself again, and this time scattered an armful of books, and loose leaflets out of the window.”
He was suddenly very pale.
“Then he reached again, and before I knew he heaved a desk out. It made an awful lot of noise, I remember.” I wondered what was boring into me harder: his fingers or his eyes. I withstood both. It was now my turn to be calm.

“After the desk, a boy scrambled out of the window, chased by the teacher’s yelling, and after him, the window slammed shut.”
“What –” He ran his tongue over his lips, and I saw his Adam’s apple jump as he swallowed. He tried again, “And what did the boy do?”
I put my hand on his, and nimbly, his fingers encircled mine. They were cold as ice, and I rubbed them slightly with my own.
“Well, he retrieved his chair and his books. He put the desk upright. And then he just sat there, all alone in the courtyard.” I took a deep breath. “He may have been crying, but I don’t know. He had his back turned to me. I know I was crying at any rate.”
“So was I,” he said, and looked at me with sparkling wet eyes.
“You were in the same school as I?” he asked.
“Karen,” I said
“Karen,” he echoed, with wonder in his voice, then, “Ryan.”
I got what I wanted. I knew his name. I held his hand.
Logged

Quote from: J-Pod by Douglas Coupland
You can't fake creativity, competence or sexual arousal. If you have none of these three attributes, then pack it in right now.
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Re: Memories - Sweet short story
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2007, 12:06:11 AM »

those were some nice tweaks. they painted on a much better image this time around.

just out of curiosity, was the intent of the story more on finding out if this guy had gone to the school or more conversation-like? the part you added in the beginning made me a little curious.
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Listen: all i want out of life is for my bank account to have 58,008 dollars in it, so that when i read my bank statement upside down, it says "BOOBS".

-Dinosaur comics
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Re: Memories - Sweet short story
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2007, 06:11:19 AM »

Hmm... A bit of both. Karen is quite sure she recognizes the boy in the guy before her, but there's still some doubt. So telling the story is her way to find out.
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Quote from: J-Pod by Douglas Coupland
You can't fake creativity, competence or sexual arousal. If you have none of these three attributes, then pack it in right now.
Nephtys
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I have t3h connection, biatch!


Re: Memories - Sweet short story
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2007, 09:32:39 PM »

More tweakage! Basically I just expanded the beginning. Added a trigger to the story, based on advice given by D. The rest is still quite the same. Anyway, enjoy, and do leave some C&C if y'all feel like it.

-------------


Open Window

Freshmen! They are an insecure, annoying, constantly confused bunch, without exception. Of course, that description included me. Fresher’s Week got to me as it did to anybody else. Between boring talks from various old but apparently important people and almost tear-wrenching hunts all across the campus to find room F-something in Llanbadarn building, between missing old friends and making new acquaintances; all my senses were on overload.

Probably that wasn’t the best moment to see the kid again, that I'd been obsessing over since I was a little child. I’d last seen that boy when I had been in fourth grade, and was left with the certainty that I was never going to see him again, since dad had gotten a new job in that year. We had moved out of town, and I didn’t even know his name. As a matter of fact I knew almost nothing about him, but I thought what little I did know, was really all that mattered.

I saw him again, as I was making my way to the elusive Llanbadarn building, for my first lecture. He was leaving the building just as I got there and we passed each other as he held the door open for me. His eyes met mine for a few moments and broke the seal I had carefully put over my memories. Then I was in the building and he was gone. I hesitated for a few heartbeats. My first lecture or the boy which the child in me stubbornly kept calling my first love? A sheepish grin spread over my face and I followed the boy.

As I trotted to catch up with him I thought that I would really have to stop referring to him as ‘the boy’ though. In fact – careful to keep a safe distance – I was following a young man, who manoeuvred the campus back-alleys and short-cuts with all that self-confidence that screamed second-year student. Obviously, I thought. He was, after all, a year older than me.

As far as I could tell, we were headed for the library, when suddenly he stopped to talk to a group of students headed the other way. I froze for a second and my throat tightened. What was I going to do? I couldn’t just stop here, and wait. That would be awfully suspicious. Seeing no other possibility I kept walking. As I passed them, I could not help but crane my neck to get another glimpse of him. Scanning his face for an echo of the past, I was quite sure that I wasn’t mistaken. The eyes, the mouth… Yes, it just had to be him.

But then, he gave me a glance accompanied by a scowl. I felt like the temperature had dropped considerably in a matter of half a second and hurried past the group on numb legs, until I had reached the library. I took a look around and eventually decided that the grass off the library’s left would probably make a good vantage point. While waiting for him to take leave from his friends and disappear into the library, I tried to calm down. I really was behaving like a schoolgirl who had her first crush!

After what seemed like an eternity, he came out again, with a book under his arm, and I observed him as he went to a bench before the library entrance, sat down and started to read. Heart fluttering against my ribs like a frightened bird against the bars of a cage, I slowly walked towards him.

“I was shocked when it happened, you know.”

He started out of his world which was organized neatly in the Tolkien between his hands. His fingers pushed his glasses up on his nose and he studied me for a moment. I had to admit, this look of perplexed curiosity was not the reaction I’d counted on. Eventually I sighed. Had I been gathering up my courage for this? Wasn’t the young man before me the boy from back then after all? “I’m sorry,” I told him. “I must’ve mistaken you, I guess.” Okay, it had been years, but I had been so sure. This was bad; I was really going to make a fool out of myself. Oh, stop it, will you!

I lingered, running my sweaty palms down the sides of my skirt. “Mind if I sit?”

After a moment of confusion, he followed the implication of my pointing finger and the words stumbled out of him, “Oh, I’m sorry. I was, I mean, my book…” He made an effort to shut up and I couldn’t help but smile.

“Go ahead,” he finally mumbled, and by the time I had, he valiantly tried to shield a blush with his novel.

I leaned back on the bench, enjoying the afternoon sun, and stole glances at him while pretending to lazily follow other students with my eyes. They were passing us, as they travelled to and from the library. None of them seemed to care for our idle island; they all looked like they had things to do and places to be. “A pity really,” I said and he looked up from his book again with a short puffy exhale. His face, however, belied this show of discontent. His slightly arched eyebrows and intensely brown eyes looked curious, rather than angry, to me. In fact, the faint hint of a smile played around lips which had a natural pout. I imagined them as two orange petals, wandering silkily over my skin. A warm shudder danced down my spine and I sucked in a deep lungful of crisp air. Now. And let it out again. Or never.

“Do you mind if I tell you a story?”

He put a finger between the pages, as if he had expected something like this. “Sure,” he said, and patted the cover of his book. “I like good stories.”

A giggle snuck out of my mouth. “Fantasy and good stories, isn’t that quite a paradox? Most of them are crap.” I winked and added, “But of course that would be a rude thing to say, right?” I waited for a smile that didn’t appear and berated myself for being such a cunt. My hands wouldn’t keep still in my lap. He watched them, with his serious face, as they writhed on my jeans skirt, like vicious entangled spiders. I could feel his eyes on me, and they burned. I had to leave.

“You are right, you know.” His voice touched me like a soothing cream. Again his hand rose to push up his glasses, hiding his face. When it retreated, I was surprised to see a grin had spread all over his face. “Most fantasy stories are crap,” he said. “But they’re fantastic crap!”

I laughed again, and this time he was laughing with me. He put the book onto the bench – forgetting about his place-holding finger, I noticed – and seated himself more comfortably, his sneakers raking the gravel underneath. His back on Tolkien, he now turned on me. “You’ve been following me around, haven’t you?”

I froze. What should I say? He was looking at me and it made my skin tingle.

“Aw, nevermind,” he said, “You promised me a story, right?”

I felt doted upon. Clasping my hands on my knees, and wondered briefly where to begin. “I’ve recently been back to my school. Primary school. Have you ever noticed how big you feel, when you do that? Almost like a monster?” My hands were moving again, the treacherous little spiders!

He noticed and gave them an appeasing nod. “Yeah.” It came out a drawl, as if he wasn’t quite convinced but didn’t want to hurt me by saying so.

“Well, it’s triggered some memories. You see, when I was in Fourth Grade, I used to be terrified of the teacher who had Fifth Grade, in the classroom next to ours.”

“Really?” He sounded excited. “That’s cool.”

I frowned, remembering all the times we’d heard him through the walls as he shouted at his pupils. I remembered how terrified I’d been that there was a chance he would shout at me next year. “Why is that cool?” I asked him, and his fingers jerked to his specs in that meanwhile familiar movement. I noticed his nails, very clean, and carefully trimmed. Not bitten like yours, that little voice of guilt piped up in me.

“Well,” he said, waving his hand in a vague circle, and the moment was gone. “I mean – every story needs a good villain, right?”

There it was again, the sound of our intermingled laughter. If I told him now, that this sound seemed familiar to me already, would he call me a weirdo? There was that way in which he looked me up and down, eyes lingering here or there… My hair maybe? Or my breasts? It had better be my face! Yes, my face, which incidentally was lighting up then with a hot rush of blood. But that unnerving calm in his eyes!

“Yeah, well, he was very loud,” I said quickly. “We’d hear him through the walls. His classroom and ours were next to one another, you see, and our windows went out into the courtyard.” I giggled, remembering. “We often jumped out of them, when our teacher wasn’t there to pay attention.” His fingers lightly touched my shoulder.

“Hold on,” he said, and I did. I held on to his hand with my shoulder, or tried to; I willed it to stay.

“You guys jumped out of the window?” He looked sceptic, but there was also something else in his eyes. I hoped it was the shadow of a memory. I didn’t really fancy making a fool of myself.

“Of course,” I continued, after a brief silence. “Oh, the windows were on the ground floor. It was really quite safe.” I smiled, enjoying the moment. Then his fingers were gone and I heard him clear his throat – the sound of embarrassment. I stopped smiling and turned to look at him. That elusive something I’d noticed earlier had turned into a frown and the spiders in my lap twitched. With an effort of will I restrained them and he rewarded me with a warm smile.

“So what happened next? That teacher caught you, right?” he asked.

I shook my head, then watched my hands.

“By that look in your eyes it must’ve made you quite sad, whatever did happen,” he observed.

Surprised, I looked up at him, tried to look into him. “Yes, it made quite an impression on me,” I said. “Well, we were writing a paper one day, when we heard that teacher yell again, through the walls. I really didn’t like him at all. He just had such a bad temper.”
He offered comfort with a nod. Had he come closer? I suddenly noticed I could pick up his aftershave. Nothing fancy, but a light musky smell which struck me as oddly sexy. “Anyway,” I went on, “That day, I remembered looking up when I heard him, and I took a moment to look around, and out into the courtyard. And there he was, standing in his classroom, and he ripped open the window.” I noticed that his eyes were literally following every movement of my lips. I couldn’t say that it disturbed me either.

“He ripped the window open?” he asked slowly. I nodded.

“And then?”

“And then, he turned, grabbed a chair, and threw it out into the courtyard.” There was his hand again, on my leg this time. “He grabbed behind himself again, and this time scattered an armful of books, and loose leaflets out of the window.” He was suddenly very pale. “Then he reached again, and before I knew he heaved a desk out. It made an awful lot of noise, I remember.” I wondered what was boring into me harder: his fingers or his eyes. I withstood both. It was now my turn to be calm.

“After the desk, a boy scrambled out of the window, chased by the teacher’s yelling, and after him, the window slammed shut.”

“What –” He ran his tongue over his lips, and I saw his Adam’s apple jump as he swallowed. He tried again, “And what did the boy do?”

I put my hand on his, and nimbly, his fingers encircled mine. They were cold as ice, and I rubbed them slightly with my own. “Well, he retrieved his chair and his books. He put the desk upright. And then he just sat there, all alone in the courtyard.” I took a deep breath. “He may have been crying, but I don’t know. He had his back turned to me. I know I was crying at any rate.”

“Yeah, I was crying,” he said, and looked at me with sparkling wet eyes. “You were in the same school as I?” he asked.

“Karen,” I said

“Karen,” he echoed, with wonder in his voice, then, “Ryan.”

I got what I wanted. I knew his name. I held his hand.

« Last Edit: October 16, 2007, 08:40:04 PM by Nephtys » Logged

Quote from: J-Pod by Douglas Coupland
You can't fake creativity, competence or sexual arousal. If you have none of these three attributes, then pack it in right now.
Nephtys
The Pen Of The Future
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scd cult

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I have t3h connection, biatch!


Re: Memories - Sweet short story
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2007, 08:41:37 PM »

Just a nitpick, but I changed the title, cos I never really was happy with 'Memories'. It is now called Open Window. Thoughts, preferences?
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Quote from: J-Pod by Douglas Coupland
You can't fake creativity, competence or sexual arousal. If you have none of these three attributes, then pack it in right now.
tijames
underpaid hobo

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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2007, 09:12:12 PM »

Heh, [...] but good otherwise, sorry for a short reply but it's all I got, I'll do a more detailed one when I have more time.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2007, 10:54:14 AM by dmizer » Logged
tijames
underpaid hobo

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Re: Memories - Sweet short story
« Reply #12 on: Today at 10:56:17 PM »

This was a really well written short story, and of course, that makes me dislike it. I always want more and I love very long books, but this story gives me a good impression of what the characters felt and gives me a lot for what little is there is. Even though it is something that I wouldn't write myself it definitely has a style of expression that I really enjoy and would want to use myself.
One thing that I felt wasn't right was how the guys acted like women, I suppose that is how gay are, I'm unsure.
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