Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
The two blocks Rick and I had to walk to get home from the bus stop were the longest two blocks I’ve ever walked. Rick leaned so heavily on my shoulder I ached right down to my hips. I glanced up at him once and saw his face was the color of cheese and slick with sweat. His eyes were dull with pain.
“Almost there,” he muttered through gritted teeth and I don’t think he was talking to me. We turned into our street and I could see the lights on at our house. I was so glad to see the place, I could have cried. I wanted to run the rest of the way, but Rick couldn’t move any faster. We made it to the door. For a moment we stood on the doorstep, Rick gulping air and wiping sweat from his face.
“Ready?” He glanced down at me and tried to smile. I nodded and pushed open the door.
Alan sat in one of the armchairs reading the newspaper and turned when he heard the door open. He froze for a moment, staring at us, then dropped the paper on the floor and got up.
“You’re here!” Alan leaped toward us. “Thank God!” He was not surprised to see us and that seemed strange to me. Thinking about it now though, it shouldn’t have been. Will would have told him that we’d disappeared, and where else would Rick and I go? Where else did we have to go? The only thing Alan would have been surprised by was how long it had taken us to get there.
He stopped just in front of us and took in our appearance. I wonder what he saw. I knew we were filthy and scrawny from not having had enough to eat. He saw the way Rick leaned on me, and the stick, and came around behind us, slipping an arm around him and helping him to the couch. I shrugged my stiff shoulders several times, trying to work out the pain that had settled there from carrying much of Rick’s weight along with the two backpacks.
“What is it?” Alan asked, crouching down on the floor next to the couch. “Where are you hurt?”
“My ankle,” Rick said. Alan pulled the coffee table closer and very carefully lifted Rick’s injured foot so it rested on the edge.
“Can I take a look?” Alan was already pushing the wet, muddy leg of Rick’s jeans up.
Rick nodded. “Sure.” In the light he looked worse that he had outside on the street. His face was almost bloodless and the circles around his eyes were so dark that it appeared his eyes had receded into his head. He cried out once as Alan unwound the filthy bandages from around his ankle. The sticks I’d used to splint it fell to the floor. Rick’s foot sat at an awkward angle, the flesh around it black and swollen.
“Oh Rick!” Alan exclaimed. “That’s terrible. When did you do it?”
“Three or four days ago.” Rick’s voice was small.
“My God! Are you in agony?”
Rick started to shake his head, started to give Alan the same wry smile he’d been giving me for the past couple of days, but then stopped and nodded.
“It hurts,” he admitted. “It hurts a lot!” And then he was crying and it was a terrible thing to see. Rick had been so strong, so brave. It seemed wrong for him to be crying now. Alan got up and sat by him, putting his arms around him. Rick wrapped his own arms around Alan’s neck and sobbed into his shoulder.
“It hurts,” Rick choked, “I was so scared….”
Alan rubbed at the back of his head. “Shush. Don’t cry. It’s okay, Ricky. You’re home now. You’re home and I’m going to take care of you.”
“I missed you so much.”
“I missed you too.” Alan kept petting Rick. “You have no idea how much I missed you.”
I realized I was crying too. I still stood by the door, the two backpacks clutched in my arms. I dropped them to the floor and shuffled across to the couch. Before I’d even gotten all the way, Alan had one of his arms around me and pulled me down to sit on his other side, holding me tightly.
“Are you okay, little girl?” Alan’s voice was husky. I couldn’t speak, so I nodded and pressed my face into his chest. For several minutes Alan held the two of us, not speaking, just rubbing at our hair and the back of our necks. Rick stopped crying first and Alan turned back to him, face grim as he let go of me.
“We’d better go and get that ankle fixed up before we do anything else,” he said in a low voice. “It doesn’t look good. Do you think you can get up, Ricky?” Rick slid forward and started to get up, but fell back a moment later, whimpering. Alan didn’t say anything, just scooped Rick up in his arms as if he were a child, as if he were me.
“I’m too big!” Rick protested.
“No you’re not,” Alan said. He had no problem carrying Rick. “You’ve lost a lot of weight. You don’t weigh a thing. Casey, can you grab my car keys off the table?”
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
By Kate Larkindale
Bare branches arced overhead, reaching for scuttling clouds like a nest of anorexic limbs. Gone was the lush summer foliage, the only reminder a single yellowed leaf clinging to the end of a branch, battered this way and that by bitter wind. She couldn’t see the water from where she knelt, but could hear its chuckle as it chattered across the loose stones.
She shivered, drawing her cardigan close in an attempt to keep out the chill wind. Her bare legs prickled with gooseflesh. She hugged the cardigan tighter, over the layers of t-shirts she wore, layers that protected her, layers of memories. Removing even one would render her bare, vulnerable.
At the bottom was his shirt, the one she’d pulled off him, soaking wet. That one never came off.
Over his shirt she layered others. The t-shirts from the many concerts they’d attended, obscure, loud bands with names that made her father wince when he read them: Smut, Corpse Jerk, Hellions, Slut Culture. T-shirts he bought for her online – vintage shirts, their slogans antiquated pop culture sayings that made them giggle.
Tears filled her eyes, running down her cheeks to pool in her ears. The wind dried the streaks, but she still felt them, raw runnels. Her legs were stiff as she hauled herself to her feet. She had no idea how long she had been there. Time held no meaning now. An instant could last days, and days could fly past without her even noticing.
She drifted to the water, watching ripples dance over the three boulders beneath the surface. From here she could not stop her eyes from searching out and finding the scarred branch, bark worn by years of friction. Already the scar was fading, nature erasing evidence of the rope that had swung there for as long as she could remember. She ached to gouge out the scar, make it fresh and new again. Next time she’d bring a knife.
The sun sat low now, traces of pink and orange rinsing the horizon. She stood at the base of the tree and looked upward, through the clamoring branches to the pastel clouds above. Keeping her face toward the sky, she began climbing, feet scrabbling against the rough bark as she searched for branches on which to stand. Her hands grabbed at twigs that broke off in her palms, yet she kept ascending.
When she could climb no higher, she stopped, standing on a thick beam that overhung the creek. She could see the scored branch below, the rope’s mark more defined from above. In the golden glow of dusk, the water seemed alive, dancing merrily along its course. She could still hear its gentle voice, the soft rattle of stones chinking against one another in their endless communion.
As the sun sank behind the hill, leaving behind a carnival of colored light, she leaned on the trunk, bark rough against the knobs of her spine. The boulders gleamed, golden in the twilight.
Monday, November 7, 2011
This week, take a moment to look at the trouble you get your MC into. How do you kick them while they’re down? Without revealing too many secrets about your WIP- take us through your MC’s arch.
The challenge for this week is to visit as many blogs as you can and based on their exerpt/summary, come up with a title for their WIP. Your title can be funny or serious, whatever you’d like."
So, here goes....
My MC starts off the book shy and kind of blending into the background. She tries to stay under the radar, letting her more outgoing brother and sister take the limelight at home, and her vivacious friends everywhere else.
Here are a few lines to demonstrate her arc...
The telephone on the table beside me rang, making me jump. I reached out to pick it up. My hand sank into the leaping orange flames that shot up with each electronic bray. The color was so intense I could taste the heat and for a moment the sensory overload was so great, I couldn’t even move to pick up the receiver. Hannah did, and handed it to me. It was a surprise when it wasn’t hot.
On Monday, I stepped into the lunchroom with caution, eyes scanning the crowd. There. Hannah sat at our usual table, Sam’s head bent toward hers. I started in that direction, stopping when I realized Mel was at the same table, across from Hannah, her hand nestled into Eddie’s. As I watched, Eddie raised her hand to his lips and kissed it. I guessed the weekend went well for both of them. I headed toward them, stopping when I realized there wasn’t a seat saved for me. A sick feeling punched my gut and I turned, my backpack twisting with momentum behind me. The swinging doors whapped open and shut as I hurried out.
Bianca bent her head and her lips settled upon mine. They were warm and soft, slippery with lipstick. I shivered and pressed my own lips more firmly agains hers. Her mouth opened a little, and I followed, admitting her inquisitive tongue. It tickled mine, darting in and out, waltzing across my tastebuds. The flavor of wine, exotic and sour at the same time, flooded my mouth.
“Oh! There….” A voice speared into my consciousness. A familiar voice. Hannah’s voice. It made no sense for a second, and I thought I must be imagining it. Bianca’s weight jerked away from me. I opened my eyes and found Hannah in the doorway, staring at me.
Bianca peered at the tickets, reached over and fingered one, then looked at me with questions in her eyes. “I thought you…”
“I know.” I cut her off. “I know what I said. But I walked past the table, and I just really wanted to go with you. So I bought them. I wanted to surprise you. Ummmm…Surprise?”
The music changed. The anthemic rhythm grew softer, the notes melodious as they drifted around me. Pastel colors threaded their way between Bianca and me. I drew her closer, my arms around her waist as we swayed with the rhythm. My head rested on her chest and I could hear the slow heavy beat of her heart. My own heart soared. This was heaven. Nothing had prepared me for the perfection of this moment.
Now, can you think of a title for this story??? Pretend like you don't already know what it's called if you're a regular follower...