The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe - Willow & Tara Forever

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 Post subject: Untitled short story by Anticoolsuperstar
PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 5:36 pm 
Hey there Kittens,



This is a short story I've been working on for my writing class. It's not entirely finished yet, but when I do finish it, I will post the last part. Please let me know what you think of it, but please, please, please be nice (even if you think it sucks, try to say it sucks nicely, haha) because this is the first time I've really shared any of my stories with anyone.

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Lindsay was the kind of girl you could fall in love the moment you met her. Well, okay, not the moment, but pretty soon after. There was just something about her, with her dark brown hair, crystal blue eyes, and the way she was able to act so damn mysterious all the time, that once you met her, you were done for. With Lindsay, I fell in love all too easily.

        Lindsay and I had met during our sophomore year in high school. We instantly bonded over our love of all things punk rock, and throughout the years we went through more identity changes together than Madonna. Overall, though, our friendship remained strong, even though I gradually had to keep my feelings for her hidden.

        Everything changed when Lindsay met Brian. He seemed nice enough- an intelligent local indie-rock star with more in common with Lindsay than anyone she’d met since me. That was my problem with him because she was mine, right? How dare he just waltz right in and steal her away from me. The more time they spent together, the more jealous I became. As I found out, though, sometimes things, as they say, aren’t always what they seem.

*                                                *                                        *

“Let me tell you a few secrets about playing guitar,” I began. “The moment you pick one up, you are seen as being about ten times cooler than everyone else. Also, these indie-rock kids? Don’t believe their bullshit preaching about how it’s ‘all about the music’ and how corporate rock is ‘evil’. The real reason anyone picks up a guitar, well unless you’re from Mexico or something, is to be cool. It’s all about being a rock star, making money, and getting chicks. Hell, deep down, even the female guitar players want to get the chicks; some just don’t know it yet.”

Lindsay was playing with her empty soda can at this point, pretending to listen to what I was saying, but I could tell that she was in a world of her own. The expressions on her face told me that she was having one of her infamous mood swings.

“Hello? Is there anybody out there?” I said, waving a hand in her face.

“Huh? Oh…sorry,” She said putting down the can. “I don’t think I want to talk to Brian anymore…or see him…or have anything to do with him for that matter.”

“O-kaaaay…why?” I asked her, a knot developing in my stomach.

Please, God. Please let this be it…

“I don’t know,” she paused and looked around the room. “I feel like I’m the one putting everything into this relationship…or whatever it is. He told me before that he didn’t want a serious girlfriend and I can’t be with him if he doesn’t want to be, well, serious. Besides, I don’t even know how I feel about him anymore anyway.”

“Well…” I began, “if he doesn’t want to be what you want him to be, and if you’re not even sure what that is, then maybe you should, uh, back off a bit.”

“Maybe.” she replied.

Yeah, sure…

“Hey,” I said, putting down my guitar, “you’re just…well, you’re amazing. He’s an idiot if he doesn’t see that. He…he doesn’t know how lucky he is.”

Lindsay sighed and looked around the room. I couldn’t tell what was going on in her head, but, then again, I never really could. Still, I wondered if I had said too much.

“Do you wanna go to the shore?” I asked. It seemed like a good place to go to clear the head.

“Sure,” she replied, grabbing her bag, “Can you drive?”

“Of course.”

And we were off.

*        * *

        I always loved driving to the shore with Lindsay. We’d put in our album-of-the-month, turn the stereo up, open all the windows, and speed down the road leading us to our destination. When we’d reach the island, the sides of the bridge connecting it would absolutely glow, making me feel as if I were in some sort of warp zone. The cool night air would rush through the windows, messing up our hair and stinging our faces.

        The trip to the shore that night was no different. Almost everything we’d talked about back at my house was forgotten and at eighty-miles-per hour, and Weston’s new album sang our sorrows away. It was a relief, really, to let her forget herself in the songs, laugh out loud, and let the perfection of it all take over.

        I parked the car a few blocks away from the beach so we wouldn’t draw attention to ourselves. The cops there don’t like people, especially those “damn kids” like us, wandering around at night because we might be doing the drugs or breaking into the multi-million dollar homes that line the beach. All we wanted was to sit and watch the ocean without being harassed, so we learned long ago to be sneaky.

        The walk to the beach was absolutely freezing. I should have thought ahead to bring my heavy coat instead of my leather jacket, because the beach in January is a cold, nasty place to be without one. Lindsay had it worse than me, though, wearing nothing more than a hooded sweatshirt and a pair of mittens to keep her warm. Still, we laughed as we made our way to the dunes, and she laughed at me as the wind kept foiling my attempts at lighting a cigarette.

        “See!” she giggled, “You shouldn’t be smoking!”

        “Yeah, yeah,” I replied, jokingly giving her the finger, “Eh, fuck it.” Defeated, I put the cigarette back in its pack.

        When we reached the top of the dunes, the beach and the ocean spread out before us and the sky was so clear that all the stars were shining brightly. Stopping, we took it all in for a moment, and proceeded down the beach, our shoes filling up with sand with each step. Finally we found a nice, dry spot directly between the ocean and the dunes and sat down.

        We sat in silence for a while. Lindsay fell onto her back, her arms behind her head, and was staring intently at the sky. I paid more attention to the sea, watching and listening as the waves crashed on the beach, yet casually stealing tiny glances at Lindsay out of the corner of my eye. It was torture. Sheer torture.

        “What are you thinking about?” I asked, breaking the silence.

        “I don’t know,” she said without moving. “I guess, well, I was thinking about what we were talking about earlier.”

        “Earlier?” I shifted my position so that I was leaning on my elbow in the sand, looking directly at her.

        “Yeah…what you said…earlier.”

        I didn’t like where the conversation was heading, but I was trapped. Walking away was definitely not an option. So, I sat silent for a few moments, looking down, up, sideways, anywhere but directly at her.

        “I meant it, you know.” I whispered nervously.

        “I know.” She sat up and stretched her arms out in front of her. I stayed where I was, elbow glued to the sand.

        “Lindsay,” I began. “I…um…w-w-well…” Shit. My stutter. She knows that this only happens when I’m nervous. Take a breath, that’s it…

I froze. Memories of all the times I’d ever been rejected came flooding to the surface and my heart stung with the inevitable failure of any possible attempt at telling her how I felt. I couldn’t risk saying anything more.

        “I know,” Lindsay whispered, putting her hand on mine. She got up and started walking down the beach toward the ocean. I followed her, unsure of what exactly was taking place.

        “I think we’re going to have to be secretly in love with each other and leave it at that.” She turned to me. I knew that line, it was from The Royal Tenenbaums, a film we’d watched together many times, and I had to smile. We stood there, facing the ocean in complete silence for a very long time.

*                        *                        *

       

The car ride home was silent except for the faint humming of a random radio station. We both seemed to be in our own respective worlds, but, still, I had so many questions I wanted to ask her. The first question of course would be “Why? Why do we have to be secretly in love with each other?” I was frustrated to say the least and I needed answers. Still, the better part of me knew that it was not the best time to press her for this information.

        When I pulled up to her house, I placed the car in “Park.” We sat in silence, neither knowing what to do or what to say. Finally, I turned the key in the ignition and shut the car off completely.

        “Do you want to go for a walk?” She asked me.

        “Sure.”

        We walked around her neighborhood in silence. The sky was beginning to get cloudy and I couldn’t see the stars anymore. It was like the weather was mirroring my emotions and I laughed out loud at how ridiculous that thought was.

        “What?” she asked.

        “Oh, um, well, I was thinking about how the sky got cloudy and how it, um, kind of reflects my mood right now.” I looked down at the pavement.

        “I know what you mean.”

        “Sometimes my brain can be so cheesy.”

        “Yeah…” She shook her head. “I mean, no…I didn’t mean you. What I meant was, mine too.” I stopped walking and she turned around to look at me.

        “Why are we such dorks?” I laughed.

        “I don’t know.” She shook her head and smiled.

        “You know, we’re just torturing ourselves by avoiding actually talking about what’s on both of our minds right now.” I took a seat on the curb of the road.

        Lindsay sat down next to me and picked up a leaf off the street.

        “I know,” she sighed. “It’s just, I wasn’t expecting this…to happen…tonight.”

        “So you were expecting this to happen?”

        “I don’t know, I mean, I thought about it, but I never thought…” She ripped the leaf in half and tossed it onto the road. “What about you?”

        “Everyday since the day I met you.”

        “That’s a long time.”

        “That it is.” I bit my lip and looked over at Lindsay. She was looking up at the streetlight.

        “It’s snowing.”

        “So where do we go from here?” I asked reluctantly. Lindsay stood up and grabbed my hand, pulling me up with her.

        “We walk.” She grinned, not letting go of my hand.

        “Well, alright then.”

* * *



Well...That's it for now. Some of the paragraphs got a little messed up in the transfer and I can't fix them on the board, but the paragraphs ARE indented in the version I'm turning in!



~* Jen *~



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 Post subject: Your Short Story
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 7:09 am 
That was amazing. Wow. It flowed so naturally, so easily. I'm amazed at how you were able to build a mood, a scene, a feeling, without talking about the scenery and the surroundings. It was all done with dialogue, which is so impressive. With little to no character description I felt like I got a pretty clear idea of who these two girls are, just from what they said. Beauty in simplicity.



It's really very excellent. I'm looking forward to reading your ending.



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 Post subject: Re: Your Short Story
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:46 am 
This does ^NOT^ suck. Quite the opposite. Very clever, terse, and skillful.



First person... very intimate and bold. Normally, first person narrative puts me off a bit (because I'm scared to try it, myself,) but you've really handled it well. So well, in fact, that I'm beginning to think of starting a first-person project now. Like Big Dummy pointed out, it's they way that you use the dialogue to reveal most of the story's motion which really gives it a swift and comfortable tempo.

I like to use the dialogue for as much a s possible, myself, so my admiration may be a little biased ;)



You established the goal and introduced the conflict right away, which is the best possible way to do it. Once I saw the goal and felt the conflict, I was eager to follow right along to the eventual disaster (point where the goal is either attained or lost,) which you have yet to deliver.



The internal narrative is really, really slick and natural. There's that first-person intimacy, but even beyond that your POV character's ideas, moods, notions, and desires are delivered in a fresh, conversational tone which is identifiable and realistic.



Of your external dialogue, I think some of it should be a little more streamlined. The words and sentences exchanged in this are very realistic. You have a good 'ear' for verbal intercourse as evidenced by what you've written. Realism, however, does not always make for good dialogue. Sometimes, you need to boil it down for the sake of reader attention and artistic expression.



[“if he doesn’t want to be what you want him to be, and if you’re not even sure what that is, then maybe you should, uh, back off a bit.”]



It’s a great, natural line, but there’s a bit of repetition which sounds okay in speech, but looks monotonous in prose. Consider rewriting this line in particular. Maybe even break up the sentence with a little micro movement (facial, body) between clauses. There’s ALWAYS a better, clearer, more interesting way to write everything… that’s why writers, as a profession, have a fairly-high mental illness and suicide rate ;) That's my theory, at least.



So, they decided to head for the shore… That perked my eyes immediately. There’s only one ‘the shore,’ and it’s my home.



Great story, great flow, wonderful characters, and a tidy slick narrative. Excellent. I look forward to reading more. I hope that your assignment gets the high grade which it certainly deserves.





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 Post subject: Re: Your Short Story
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2004 3:43 am 
Well I dont have a list of insightful opinions and corrections to make like the other wonderful kittens, but I do have my own thoughts as a reader. I really loved this, it flowed so well, so naturally, it was very real. Im really looking forward to the next part, cant wait to see how the girls work things out- and to be this impatient from one short part, is really something! Well done.



Stace xx



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 Post subject: Re: Your Short Story
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2004 11:15 am 
I agre with Stace, I don't have insightful comments either..but I do know that I love it..and I can't wait to read more. Love sam xx

"Sometimes things happen between people that you don't really expect. And sometimes the things that are important are the ones that seem the weirdest or the most wrong. And those are the ones that change your life." - Jessie Sammler (Evan Rachel Wood)



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