Thursday, April 24, 2008

Miriam's Locker

A short-short story I just wrote while trying to break out of this non-writing monotony. Please let me know what you think! (And yes, something to the effect did happen, and I'm not proud of it...but our wrong-doings do sometimes bring story fodder.)

Miriam's Locker

I felt really bad about it. I mean, it hadn’t been my fault. Not exactly. All I had done was point it out to them. And yet, as I glanced sideways at Miriam's locker and the Kotex pad stuck to it, I cringed.
Behind me, the hall burst into snickering and evil laughter, and when I turned, I saw Miriam kneeling in front of the mustard-yellow locker door, head bent to the ground. Circling her were the boys, and a few girls, who had recently decided she was the best target around.
I knew I should help her. I should have walked through the thick of them and ripped that pad right off the door. But instead, I stared for a moment and then slipped my backpack over a shoulder, slinking off to Earth Science.

At first break, she careened through the hallway towards me. Her chin was high and her eyes were as sharply angry as any Egyptian I’d ever seen painted on pyramid walls—she carried her lineage in her boiling blood each step of the way. I froze.
“How could you do that to me?” she asked, spitting out the words with a flicker of obsidian hair.
I gulped. “Do what?” I widened my eyes for the best effect.
“You know what I mean. The pad. That was the most horrible thing anyone could have done! And I know you helped them.”
Trapped, I hung my head. “I just pointed it out. I didn’t know what they were going to do.”
Miriam hissed at me with perfectly asp-en teeth.
“I can’t believe I thought you were my friend. You’re a traitor.” She flipped a lock of hair, again, and ran away.
How could she be mad at me? I hadn’t even touched her locker. Tugging on my backpack straps, I ducked into the library.
There, Nicholas sat hunched over a table with two other guys. My heart skipped as I sauntered over to the rack of anthropology books and peered at them through the bookshelf.
The boys chuckled.
“That was the best prank ever,” Mark said, his voice low.
Nicholas nodded. “Yeah, Amber's such a poser. She’d do anything I asked.”
At that, all the blood in my body fell to my feet. My fingers clung to the bookshelf, as if keeping me from sinking through the floor, and I held on until the bell rang and the guys left.
I ignored the small voice that said I should go to Algebra, just as I had ignored it when I helped Nicholas, he of the Mediterranean-blue eyes.
He had called me the most un-respected title in school: poser. He had used me, like that old pad.
The worst thing about it was that, even as my daydreams of Nicholas spun off into nightmares, I knew I was more asp than my Egyptian friend: I might have stuck that pad on her door myself, if they had asked.


Kaylie said...

I like. What do you plan to do with it? Congrats on getting your MS into the hands of some publishing people. You're further along in the process than I am. I saw your comment on squeetus--sounds like you struggle with the writing/children balance, like so many of us. I'm still trying to find an agent or editor who will pluck my MS from its obscure place on my hard drive and on to some bookstore shelves.

tone almhjell said...

I was one of those girls, ready to throw caution and consequence to the wind if there was a boy with blue eyes. Thank god she had a library shelf to hold on to.

I liked it. Have to say that I don't really know what a kotex pad is, since I live in Norway, and most everyday references tend to get lost in social translation, but I can guess.