Thursday, February 25, 2010

Okay, since everybody dropped off the face of the earth...

Fine, I'll post. Gosh, you guys. Get with it already! Just kidding... sort of. =P

The following is a (partial) response to one of the Writing Magic prompts. You'll figure out which one it is pretty quickly, I think.

*WARNING*: The following is (very) strange because it's the combination of like five totally disparate ideas. And I was really bored when I wrote it, which doesn't help.

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If somebody didn’t do something soon, we were going to have a catastrophe on our hands.

Make that an apocalypse. At this moment, I was peering into a huge rent in the earth that was belching fire and black smoke. The entire fleet of Harriers the U.S. owned had their sights trained on me and my friends, Josh and Heath. They had a missile lock on us… their fingers were reaching toward the triggers…

Josh poked me in the side, and Heath snickered.

“Hey, Trish, you awake?” Josh asked. I shook my head to clear it of any remaining murkiness and realized that I’d been staring into the dreadful abyss of a storm sewer. No fire and smoke, and especially no Harriers.

“Yeah, I’m awake. Just daydreaming; that’s all,” I mumbled. Josh and Heath rolled their eyes and laughed simultaneously. They were identical twins, and the only way I could tell them apart was by the long, slender scar on Heath’s forehead that he’d gotten when he tried to vault a fence and didn’t quite make it.

We were certainly an odd threesome. Josh, at eighteen, was older than Heath by seven minutes and older than I by fifteen. He considered himself more refined and erudite than either Heath or I, and was forever opining about purportedly highbrow subjects. Heath and I poked fun at him for this, but I don’t think he ever got it that we were making fun of him.

Though he looked just like Josh—except for the scar—Heath was Josh’s polar opposite. He never read anything but adventure books if he could help it; in fact, he never read at all unless he was under duress. He was always outside, either catching some animal or climbing on a rock or tree, and generally tearing himself to ribbons in the process.

Neither of them had much imagination, so that’s where I came in. My imagination was vivid, so vivid that I sometimes mistook what I imagined for real life. Heath and Josh made fun of it, probably because they couldn’t understand it. I was a writer, primarily. I loved to write. I’d produced volumes upon volumes of fiction, ranging from fantasy epics to hard-boiled detective novels. I also loved to draw, so there were usually fifteen or twenty of my latest drawings decorating the walls of my room. Though I could debate with Josh about the separation of church and state if I so desired and rock climb just as well as Heath, I preferred to keep such talents to myself. I didn’t need to give people any more reason to think I was a weirdo than I already had.

We crossed the street and made our way to the local public high school. We were all homeschooled, but we took a few classes at the public school just to round out our curriculum.

Josh ushered Heath and me inside, and I set my teeth in preparation for the inevitable jibes from the “public-schoolers.” I had learned over time that the best way to deal with bullies was to ignore them. Unfortunately, neither Heath nor Josh had learned this. Josh would argue with the bullies about his freedoms as a citizen of the United States, and point out that they had no right to accost him. This usually earned him a derisive laugh. Heath ignored them most of the time, but every now and then, something they said or did would get his ire up, and he’d light into one of them, fists churning. Generally, he got a bloody nose and detention.

The problem was that the bullies couldn’t tell Heath and Josh apart. Thus, they’d sometimes get a lecture about the Constitution when they were expecting a fight, and vice versa.

They always knew me, though. There was nobody else like me in the school. I usually wore a pair of cargo pants, sneakers, and a t-shirt. When it got cold, I added a sweatshirt and sometimes a snowboard jacket to my ensemble. Apparently, most of the girls didn’t dress like that. The ones I saw dressed in ways that made me blush and hope that Heath and Josh didn’t see them.

If Heath and Josh happened to see one of those girls, they would normally look away and turn bright crimson. Josh would mutter something about an abuse of freedom and Heath would sniff uneasily and stick his hands in his pockets.

As we entered the classroom, one of those girls stepped right in front of us. Josh and Heath gave their characteristic responses, as did I, but then something about the girl caught my attention. I nudged Heath.

“Is it me, or is there something weird about that girl?” I whispered. Heath gave me a look.

“Other than the fact that she forgot to get dressed this morning?”

“Well… yeah. Something’s just weird about her. I don’t know what.”

Heath cut a sidelong glance at the girl and reddened even further.

“I don’t know. Honestly, I’d rather not look long enough to know,” he hissed, and pushed me down into my chair. I let out a stifled groan, since my backpack was pinching me between the desk and the chair’s back.

By the time I extricated myself from my backpack’s clutches, the teacher had started droning. I took notes dutifully, but my mind kept returning to the girl. What had been different about her? I looked over at Josh and Heath. They were concentrating on the lecture, so I knew I would find no answers there. They’d probably forgotten about the whole thing by now, anyway.

When we started walking home, I realized that they hadn’t forgotten. It seemed that Heath had figured out what was so strange about the girl.

“She looked just like you, Trish,” he told me. I guffawed.

“Oh, right. Give me a few hundred thousand dollars and I could have plastic surgery to look that perfect,” I scoffed. Heath shook his head.

“News flash, Trish: you’re pretty. If you wore makeup and all that, you’d look just as perfect as that girl… although I hope you wouldn’t dress like that,” he said. I looked at him long and hard, trying to divine whether or not he was serious.

“Yeah, very funny. Good one, Heath,” I returned sarcastically, and promptly ran into a signpost. Heath grabbed my arm to keep me from falling on my keister.

“No, really. I’m serious,” he insisted, once he got me standing on my own feet. “She’s pretty, isn’t she, Josh?”

Josh came out of whatever political argument he was having with himself and looked at Heath blankly.

“Who is?” he wondered. Heath sighed.

“Trish.”

“Oh. Yeah, sure. Prettier than a lot of those other girls, anyway,” Josh replied, and went back to Political Land. Heath turned back to me.

“See? Even my airhead brother thinks you’re pretty.”

We both chuckled at this. Then we walked in silence the rest of the way home.

Our houses were right next door to each other, and we usually split our time between the two places. Josh and Heath came to my house for English and writing, and I went to theirs for math and science. Today was writing day, so we went to my house.

Since I was a much faster writer than either Heath or Josh, I finished first by far. I stared out the window, somewhat bored, as I waited for them to finish.

Suddenly, I noticed that Heath was looking at me from outside the window. He was dressed strangely, like a gothic wannabe. I blinked and rubbed my eyes, but he was still there. I turned toward where he had been sitting and saw him there.

“Heath?” I squeaked. He glanced at me absentmindedly and caught sight of his doppelganger outside the window. He jumped up from his chair, upsetting it, and pointed out the window, attempting to form words. This was enough to distract Josh from his writing, and he glowered at Heath, clearly annoyed.

“What’s the matter with you? Can’t you sit still for five minutes?” he demanded. Heath was finally able to get words out.

“That guy outside the window… he looks just like me,” he blurted, still pointing. Josh looked in the direction of Heath’s finger. There was no one at the window. Josh sighed, exasperated.

“Come on, Heath. Trish has enough imagination for all of us. We don’t need you adding to it.” He went back to his work and was soon absorbed in it again. Heath picked up his chair and then sat down in it.

“He was there. You saw him, right?” he asked me, almost pleading. I nodded.

“You’re not imagining things… unless we’re imagining the same thing at the same time,” I mused. Heath frowned.

“I guess we could be. But Josh saw the girl who looks like you. He can’t deny that. How did you know it was me at the window, by the way? Did you see the scar or something?”

Now that I thought about it, I didn’t know how I knew that it had been Heath at the window.

“Well… I don’t know. I guess I just had a sense that it was you. This is getting a little creepy,” I whispered nervously. Heath grinned roguishly.

“That’s when it gets fun.”

My mother poked her head into the room then to see what we were yammering about, and Heath bent over his writing studiously. Only I could still see the mischievous smile playing at one corner of his mouth.

Several days passed before I saw anything out of the ordinary again. Heath said that he’d seen a couple of golden eagles recently and he wanted to find their nest so he could take pictures. Naturally, he didn’t want to go alone, so Josh and I got dragged into an impromptu hike.

For once, Josh and I were of one accord. We passed the time on the hike by muttering about Heath and his inordinate interest in the outdoors until we came to the top of a mountain. Then we both fell silent and stared in awe at the vista before us. Heath grinned, giving us the nonverbal equivalent of “I told you so.”

At that moment, three golden eagles swooped down toward us. Heath tried to snap some pictures, but his camera wouldn’t turn on. I pulled out my cell phone and noticed that it was dead, too. A shiver went down my spine, even though the day was warm, as the eagles landed a few feet away. Two of them were identical, except that one was missing a couple of feathers on its forehead because of a scar. The third was shorter, darker, and slenderer than the other two, and it seemed a bit shyer, also. The eagle with the scar made me think of Heath, and with a shock, I realized that the three eagles were essentially animal versions of Heath, Josh, and me.

Heath’s representative eagle suddenly screamed and jumped toward Heath, startling him into ducking. He happened to turn around a little when he ducked, and when he stood back up, he pointed, too shocked to speak. Josh and I turned slowly. I, for one, was afraid of what we might see.

5 comments:

  1. OH MY GOSH! I love this! I haven't gotten this excited to read something in a long time! POST MORE, I BEG OF YOU!!!!!!!

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  2. i ditto what Charli said , but with more !!!!!!!'s

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  3. Hey paradox, that reminds me of a weird dream Dakota had the other night. The whole youth group had vampire doubles and mr. you-know-who was killed then his vampire double became good and something of that sort. It was weird.

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  4. All in good time, peoples. All in good time. After this Friday, I should have time to write more. Right now I have like two sentences beyond what I've posted here, so I don't think I'll post that just yet. It would be boring and anticlimax without the ending.

    Ellie: email me. Why do you and Dakota always dream about the youth group? I never even dream. Maybe that's why my writing gets so weird... I'm dreaming in the daytime...

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  5. i know this comes a little late, but I havent got time to read it all.....

    so, ditto-ing the above comments, i have to say it.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    That's amaaaaaaaazing........... :D

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