Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mia - Untitled

**In the midst of working on the next short story, this came to me after hearing a devastating clip on the news about something a child accidentally did that took the life of a loved one. The target audience for this would be middle school aged children, especially those that carry heavy burdens. Clearly it's not finished, but was curious what some might think about the following:

Mia - Untitled

Chapter 1

     Every kid in my middle school seems to have some great claim to fame. Take Sandra’s dad. He works at the radio station. Sandra makes sure to remind us every morning during breakfast in the cafeteria: “Did you hear my dad’s new catch phrase?” “There must have been hundreds of people calling my dad on the show this morning.” “That joke he said about the dusty banana…I wrote that for him last night!”
     My best friend’s claim to fame is her stuffed dog. When Emily first told me about Fluffy I thought she owned a large toy dog. I even sat on it one day at her house, admiring how realistic his fur felt. Turns out the dog belonged to her parents when they were young and had a taxidermist preserve their dead pet; I nearly fell over. But for whatever reason, all my classmates think owning a dead dog gives you special status.
These things don’t just make you famous; they help kids deal with the hell of middle school. Khareem has an uncle who wields nunchucks professionally. For a guy, that’s about as cool as you get, which is why no one makes a lot fun of his really thick glasses. If Khareem didn’t wear his glasses, he would probably need a seeing-eye dog. That would only make him more popular.
Jaimee, of course, never gets picked on. She has everything: good grades, good looks, good parents. When we were in the sixth grade every single eighth-grade boy asked her out to the end-of-year dance—literally every single boy. They stood in a line out in the baseball field after physical education class one day and took turns inviting her. Of course, she said no to all of them except for Howie who uses a wheelchair to get around school. She’s just too perfect.
What do I have? Nothing—except for the nickname “Banshee.” It stuck when we learned in English class that a Banshee is a demon fairy that appears before someone dies. So everyone calls me that now, even some of the teachers. “There goes Banshee. Don’t let her cry around you or you’ll die next!” The teachers don’t actually say that, only some of the other kids, but I’m pretty sure everyone thinks it.
            They gave me the nickname when I first moved to Gettysburg from Hayden, Ohio. Somehow the whole school found out I was that two-year-old that appeared on the news crying in a shopping cart at a Walmart. A store clerk found me wailing, tears soaking my face and neck, but I wasn’t one of those abandoned babies. My mom was there, but she had passed out and lay sprawled on the floor. She died that day, and since then I have felt like the unluckiest girl ever.  

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