Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Writing Prompt 4

From Elite Writing Prompts Feb 1st.

Using these three words

write a short story or scene where you use the above mentioned words in one sentence.

I didn't really want to do one today, but since I didn't do anything else (plan to go back home got cancelled) and I didn't do it last week I knew I must today. These two girls have been running around in my head for the past two or three days. Jamie is the character from my 2008 Nanowrimo story and I'm thinking about rewriting because I have a different idea how to present it.

Petra was talking a mile a minute behind the wheel of her big sedan. I wasn’t listening to a thing she was saying but she knew that. That’s why she was talking. Her voice flew out the windows with the wind. The front windows were all the way down and the back two cracked to Petra’s precise specifications. Our hair did not blow in our faces. If we weren’t careful our cigarette butts came back in.

I chain smoked without realizing I did it and chewed my nails, squinting through the smoke. The warm day and bright sunshine and rich spring colors in the countryside around me went unnoticed. It had been six hours since Petra had high jacked me from the stool in my hometown’s favorite Bar & Grill, Avery’s. She had driven out from the city to see me and found me in an agitation that I could not precisely explain or shrug off.

She dropped herself onto the stool beside me and stared at me with her brilliant brown eyes, framed in glittering blue eye shadow. Her black hair fell shaggily around her ears and in her eyes and featured bright stripes of pink. This week. Her clothing was toned down for the day, only a simple pair of jeans and an over-washed vintage shirt, probably one stolen from her father’s stash. She was beautiful that moment she sat down beside me and that was what I had noticed most.

When she asked me what was wrong I just shrugged and said I needed a drive. She understood that fully and smiled her approval. We bought bottles of soda from Tom Avery Sr. and headed out to her car. I dumped my bag in the backseat along with my stash of art supplies from my pickup. I left my keys under the seat, the window rolled down and the door unlocked. I loved my small town.

We went hundreds of miles taking back roads and main roads through bigger towns and littler cities. We crossed county borders and then stat borders. We made our turning decisions based on an origami fortune teller I fashioned quickly from my drawing paper from my bag. When I finally got around to telling her what was going on she said she needed to stop for gas and smokes. She handed me some change and pointed me toward the payphone and told me to call him.

“James, where are you?” Tommy Avery Jr. asked me when he picked up the phone. “I have been waiting at your house for 20 minutes already.”

“I know, I’m sorry,” is all I could start with. I didn’t know for sure where I was, and even if I did, need I tell him?

“Are you on your way here, or what?” he asked with a hint of hopeful excitement that made me sad and angry and confused all at once.

“No, I’m probably not going to be able to make it back before dark,” I answered him vaguely. My last cigarette is broken so I finagle it back together with the phone stuffed into the crook of my shoulder.

His silence is thick as I flick my lighter flame on.

“Where are you?” he asked slowly.

“I don’t know, some gas station some where. I ran into Petra and we decided to take a drive. We just stopped for snacks so I doubt very much that we’re done yet.” I know how I sound.

“We were supposed to have our date tonight. Right now, in fact,” Tommy said to me.

“I know,” I answered. Not sadly, not angrily, not regretful. No emotion.

“And you left with Petra,” he asked. “Why?”

“I had to get out of town Tommy, just for a little while,” I told him as honestly as I could. Why did I have to get out of town? Would he ask me that, and would I answer as truthfully?

“Jamie, what is going on?” he asked me. I could hear Petra’s footsteps crossing the gravel behind me.

“It’s nothing. I’ll be home later, and I’ll stop by and we will talk. Listen I have to go.”

“No, no Jamie please,” he said. “What’s happened? Why did you leave town?”

“Tommy I can’t talk about it right now, not here in this phone booth,” I told him finally. “I will call you later.”

I hung the phone back up before I could hear another word from his end of the line. I put my face in my hands, careful to keep my burning ember out of my hair.

“You okay babe?” Petra asked.

“I feel like squishing his head like an orange, but I don’t know what to say to him,” I told her as I turned away from the booth. We started back toward the car. “Can we get an orange? I’ll tear it to pieces and send it to him and then that will explain everything.”

“While I am willing to debate with you the sense in putting an orange in an envelope, how about we talk about something else right now instead?”

“Something else like what?” I asked as I rubbed the ember out of my cigarette on the bottom of my shoe. I stuck the butt in my hip pocket. I looked around at the unfamiliar bit of country road where we had stopped to refill the gas tank.

“The beautiful gas station attendant who was willing to sell us cigarettes has given me directions to the hottest dance club in the city about 15 miles from here. If we get back on the road we can get there before the stores close. We’ll get a snazzy new outfit and then we’ll go dancing,” Petra peeled the cellophane off of the illegally purchased cigarettes and pulled one out. “How does that sound?” she asked as she lit one cigarette then placed it between my lips.

“I think I could use some dancing,” I agreed easily. Mindless jumping around and sweating seemed just the thing to get two idiot boys out of my mind. Tonight was to be all about Petra and Jamie, two girls with nothing on their minds but dancing.

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