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“Coaptation” by Giovanni Ortiz

Prompts:
An animal trainer
Cornfields
Doughnuts
“Don’t eat that!”
Spending $4
Owls

***

Coaptation

By Giovanni Ortiz

There was a downpour on the window I stared out of. The city doesn’t faze me and never will. The lights jumbling up as each drop of entropy fall onto the window. The shapes outside has no form, no actual definition. Red, gold, and green seems to be all over my window. There is a Shhhh! that seems unending. Like, thousands and millions of people are outside throwing rice at the window. But, it is something beautiful and less hateful; it’s rain. I loved the rain, out in Nebraska it smelled fresher and cleaner, something man couldn’t poison with smoke. I want to stop the taxi driver and stand out there, in the middle of the street, and take a shower looking at the stars. I want the rain to fall over me and wash the sweat, tears, and nervousness off. I want to start fresh and have the rest of the day’s worries paint its picture, whether it’s abstract or objective. I want to look at everyone’s face and give them meaning. On the other hand, I need to go home. I continue to let my red eyes watch the silent movie called NYC. I’m sure he didn’t mean to break every bone in my body with only words.

I don’t think anyone would believe I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him– actually a lot of people would. I did spend the beginning of my life with him. I witnessed his first kiss. He told me all about his first time with Jessica Ramano, sophomore year, the day after they’d done it. I told him about all of my firsts. We usually told each other secrets when either he or I were on our way back home– we were neighbors– making a stop on the side of the road. You know, when you’re on the road and there’s an open field, well there were a lot of them in Nebraska. So, we’d stop and leave our school bags in the passenger seat. Then, we would chase and lose each other in the cornfields. The scent of dried grass, a field, and corn danced beneath our noses. We yelled our names, shielding our eyes from the sun, until we’re found. Usually, we’d laugh as our butt hit the ground. Our lungs, lighter and lighter, made us feel higher and higher. Is it possible to get high off of laughter? (I found out that being “high” doesn’t feel like “being high”. It felt worse. Like, a deeper pressure that made me want to cry and laugh all at the same time.) We’d whisper small secrets to each other as the sun jumps over us and dips below the corn. I’d realize I had math homework I needed to finish. My mother had a rule about being out without much permission after the sun is set. He’d guide me through the corn and find the old, faded blue 1980 impala. He’d drive home because I wanted to be in control of the radio. We never shared similar tastes in music, he was into punk and I was into classic. I wish I knew that would be one of the signs that it wasn’t going to work out. I wished we found our middle ground at the beginning.

“Excuse me, sir. Can you pull over?” I say to the taxi driver. He glances back at me, a line of sweat just beneath his hairline, black hair drooping over his forehead sticking to the sides of his face. Jeez, he was sweaty. I feel the car take a detour and my body lurch to the right. Tonight, I need something strong, to keep me away from myself. He pulls over and I ask him to wait, my box of things in the trunk reassured him. I open the door and the sound of rice hitting the window sounds like a crowd cheering instead. Opening my umbrella, I wedge myself between the two cars the taxi double parked over to get to the sidewalk. The fluorescent lights gave the store a sterile feeling, as if it’s a hospital. It’s like a morgue for wine and liquor. A middle aged man looks up at me as I walk in the store, my boots making the annoying squishy sound you get when you walk on linoleum with wet shoes. He diverts his attention back to the book he was reading.

I walk to the back of the store; I don’t know whether or not I want whiskey, vodka or gin. I was probably staring at the assortment of bottles for about two minutes. The guy shouts behind me, “You okay back there?” His voice is raspy and somewhat friendly. I grab a bottle of Scotch and went to the counter. He asks for ID, I give him money and show my ID. Maybe I need two… I grab the bag of alcohol and thank him. On my way out, I open the umbrella and make a jog for the taxi. I’m sure the hems of my jeans are soaked. I thank the taxi driver and repeat the original address I’m headed to. Cradling the bottle on my lap, I take a gander outside the window as the people’s faces blur around me. There’s traffic and I’m grateful for that. I’m not an alcoholic, I promise. But, I need something to make me feel temporarily better. Understand?

We had our first cans of beer together. I didn’t like going to parties until college, so whenever there was a party we’d sit in his basement, watch a classic horror flick, eat stale doughnuts and drink a cold can of beer we spent four dollars on. Sometimes when Dale, a senior at the high school we went to, worked a shift at the local drug store he’d let us buy cans of beer. His long pale hair sometimes mixed in with his facial hair, the drugs made him age a lot quicker than he’d have wanted, and he always spoke in a sort of whisper saying something like “Don’t drink and drive, Juniors.” He reminded me of the stoners you’d see on television with a bag of drugs sitting in their back pocket at all times. I always told him what I thought of him, too. He always said we looked more like a couple than “a pair of pair of good friends”. Actually, everyone said it. I was always first to deny, he always had a girlfriend.

I could barely imagine myself sitting in his basement, the washing machine and dryer mending the laundry, as the opening credits of a movie played. The brown carpet floor tickling my toes and the old squeaky couch sitting in front of the new-but-old television we’d saved enough money for. I would always lean back on the arm of the couch, while he sat on the other end, and let my feet touch the side of his thigh. Helen Chandler’s scream acted as background as we’d debate whether or not Bela Lugosi was the best Dracula. I remember when he realized the argument was over and that I won, he stopped talking and ruffled his hands in his brown hair and watch the movie. His hair wasn’t exactly soft and fluffy, but thin and wild, as if he’s never combed it (Probably didn’t). It still is crazy looking, from time to time. I miss spending four dollars on beer, eating stale doughnuts and watching Frankenstein in your basement.

The taxi turns the corner to my apartment. It is small and cheap. Granted that it is Manhattan, not enough space for everyone to live and breathe in luxury. I tip the driver and thank him. He looks a lot like Freddie Mercury and smells what I imagine Russell Brand would smell like if he wasn’t famous. The taxi driver helps me inside by holding my umbrella. I grab my box of things, hold on to the Scotch and make my way up the stairs. We used to live together, mainly because we were best friends and that’s what best friends did. They’d moved to New York City together after leaving their small town in the mid-west. They’d eat breakfast together and helped each other find jobs. They’d give each other ten dollar bills and felt bad when their boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with them. Best friends are brothers and sisters that were lost in the war of parenthood, and dropped into two different families by fate. That’s exactly what we were. I had to get my own apartment as soon as we realized we both grew icicles on our shoulders. There was never a warm shoulder to give anymore. We gave it a try and it didn’t work. The one thing we promised each other wouldn’t happen happened. Nothing was ever the same.

It took me a whole month to find an apartment. The movers dropped everything off earlier this morning, that’s when I realized that this was actually happening. We both moved, I moved across the city and he moved on. He probably doesn’t even care anymore. So, I try not to care and move on.

My apartment is full of boxes, the bed is bare and set up in the only bedroom and the living room is bare. I search the boxes for sheets and glasses. I walk, practically crawl, to my bedroom and sit on the floor and lean my back on the base of my bed. My feet touch the wall. The walls were white and needs a new coat of paint. Maybe turquoise. That’s the luxury I have now, choosing my own wall colors. I place the glass on the floor and pour some Scotch. I down it in one gulp. The liquor burns my throat. It always burns on the first gulp. I pour some more. Henry, the dog I’ve had since I graduated college, pounces on my lap. I lazily drag my hand across his short fur.

“I don’t need him, I only need Henry. Right, boy?” I scratch behind his ear and make baby noises at him. He wags his tail and licks my face. I grab the glass and drink the glass in a second. Another burn, only a slight tingle. He settles on my lap and huffs. I continue on a gentle stroke and decide to drink straight from the bottle.

When I was ten, I wanted to be an animal trainer. I watched all the television shows on Discovery Kids and Animal Plant. I practically begged my mom for a dog or cat. But, she was terribly allergic. I got a turtle, instead. All my other fish didn’t last long. He had a puppy. It was a golden retriever. He named her Gold, very original. I tried teaching Gold how to sit and used phrases like “give me a paw, girl!” We practically shared her. I even fed her sometimes. I really appreciated him and his family, even as a ten year old. I got Henry because I missed the way Gold licked my face. I missed how her golden fur felt soft under my hands. I even missed walking her, stepping on dog poop and having to clean my flip flops off before walking in my house. When I went to college I no longer wanted to be an animal trainer. I wanted to be something mature and sophisticated. I wanted to be something my mother could brag about, “Oh. My daughter got into this college in New York City.” I gave up my dream just to be an adult. Now, I wish I was a kid again, more than ever.

I am halfway through the Scotch; it no longer burned my throat. Henry laid across my waist as my face was stuck to the hardwood floor of my tiny bedroom. I take another swig. My head is clouded with him, him, him. I want to scream, kick, and throw. But, I can’t scream, kick or throw. I’d disturb the neighbors. I want to lie down and cry. But, I refuse to lay down and cry for my own dignity. On Henry’s collar is a small owl charm he’d bought for the dog when I first brought him home from the animal shelter. It symbolized Henry’s job as being the watchdog. Plus, the ol’ puppy had a habit of being a night owl. Henry the Sad and Lonely became Henry the Happy and Brave. I became Happy and Swooning. He became Moody and Argumentative. It was like he didn’t like the relationship part of me after a year and a half. He hated me even more after we called it splits.

I take Henry’s collar off delicately, as if it were Queen Elizabeth’s crown. I hold it up in the dim light. I have everything that I’ve given to him. He has everything he has given to me– excluding the charm, it belongs to Henry. Does he look at the things and remembers when he gave them to me and how I reacted. I remember hugging and kissing him. Thanking him for giving the charm to me to put on Henry’s collar. He was less moody and argumentative, then. He was happy and swooning. He smiled too much and his messy hair was cut short. He began to grow it out. It became the messy and scruffy mess it was when he was just a sloppy teenage boy. He still smelled like cheap cologne and talked too fast. He was angry and blamed me for everything. I’m sure Henry was happy, too. He looked happy, his tail wagging fast as I kissed him full on the lips.

Henry began licking the empty glass. “Stop!” I hissed at Henry. His tail hung low and he went into a whimper as he laid his head on my leg. It was like turning off the engine to a chopper. It died to a silence. No more whooshing. I rubbed Henry’s head. I finished the bottle of Scotch.

We went to a French restaurant. He just got a big deal for a film and was excited and happy. He was the happiest he has ever been, I wanted to cry. He knew I wanted to cry. I’ve always been an emotional fool. This was the first time we’ve ever been to a French restaurant, another first of ours. He was holding my hand. I was wearing this expensive dress my mother gave me money for. He was wearing an expensive suit his mother gave him money for. There was some violinist playing in the back and waiters with fake French accents. The room held the conversation amongst the rich. I was joking about it all in whispers to him. He laughed. Jesus, he laughed a lot. I missed that about him. He hasn’t laughed in a long time.

We ordered something that came in small portions that made us want to eat pizza an hour later. It was almost like a dream. The chandeliers and the diamonds sitting in the middle of the table were almost dream-like. I made another joke about how I wanted to dance on the tables like a drunken fool and he laughed and dared me to. I’m not a dare devil. Neither of us are. He ordered a chocolate cake that had a name I couldn’t spell or pronounce properly– he’d made sure to make fun of me for it. I was getting ready to eat a big spoonful of the cake. He dramatically gets up, green eyes wide, and nearly yells, “Don’t eat that!” I drop the spoon on the clean white table cloth. He pulled something from the food and wipes it off with his napkin. He gets on one knee and very romantically proposes. Everyone was looking and cheering us on. I did the worst thing ever and said no. His world shattered. It lasted us a month before we officially broke up. I saw it coming. It felt as if it were too late. I already denied his proposal.

The bed got colder and colder. It was like sleeping next to a ghost that haunted you. The idea of marriage scared me. He didn’t want to accept that. I blame the fact that my parent’s marriage never worked out. What makes you think my marriage would work!

He shouted at me and nagged me at everything I did. You’ll never make a good wife if you cook like this. You’ll never make a good wife if you say no to a proposal. I couldn’t take it. Neither could he and I left. We left the relationship. I had to leave the apartment. Now I miss him and wish I said otherwise. Now I wish I was booking wedding venues and tasting cakes. I wish I loved him the way he loved me. It was all my fault, or were truly never meant to be?

I wake up to Henry licking my face and the poisonous sun shining through my window. The birds are chirping a somber song and my phone is beeping along with it. I have a headache. It feels as if my head was thrown around and hitting the ground like a basketball. Then, someone delicately twisted my head right back. I groan and pull the phone out of my pocket. It’s a voicemail. I dial 1 for speed dial and put the password in, it was the first five letters of my last name. The answering machine’s voice can’t talk any faster. His voice reminds me of honey, it sweetened up my days. All he said was, “I miss you, too.”

Those four words told me that there was a coaptation of our lives. We’ll never be over because we are best friends, and by fate we are together.

© 2013 Giovanni Ortiz

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“Rich and Poor” by The Rock’n Writers

Prompts:
An animal trainer
Cornfields
Doughnuts
“Don’t eat that!”
Spending $4
Owls

***

Rich and Poor

By: The Rock’n Writers

The clouds moved across the dark sky, and crows croaked on the powerlines. And Olivia walked down the black newly paved sidwalks of the city of New York.

She took a peak behind her to make sure no one had followed her from the orphanage when she exscaped. Then she went back to foucusing on the model dress in the front window of Turnialla’s Botique. She sunk her shoulders as she touched the frosty window with her hand. It was 180 dollars. She knew she was poor. She would never have enough money to buy the beautiful dress. But oh, how much she wanted that dress.

Olivia reaches into her torn and ripped pocket. She pulls out four dollars. Next door is Newyork’s Doughnuts. Her stumach grumbbles. She decides to go in and eat. Olivia goes in the doughnut shop and stands in line to wait for her turn.

“What do ya want?” The man behind the counter asks, as if he could care less. Olivia glances at a sign taped in the window that reads: Try our newest doughnut, The Sprinkle Smasher! She looks back at the employee,

“I’ll have The Sprinkle Smasher.”

“Don’t eat that!” Someone yelled behind her. Then added, “Someone got sick eating that yesterday!”

“Here, why don’t you get the… Magic Doughnut. It will give you everything you’ve ever wanted. You’re dreams will come true!” The employee cried.

“People! They sell you things just for money! Someone said, shaking their head. Olivia didn’t care as long as she ate something.

“Yes, fine! Here.” She gave him her whole four dollars and he gave her the doughnut. She sat down and couldn’t wait any longer. She closed her eyes and took a bite… and then doughnut changed her life forever…

She opened her eyes to the voices of people yelling: “Oh my gosh! -Olivia The Famous!” Follwed by, excited screams. A crowd was forming around her; buch of blinking eyes zooming in on her and click! Click! Click! Camras were clicking faster than a race hore’s heart.

“Come on now, stop diddle- dadling with your fans!” Whispers an old women in her now, booming ears.

“Fans?” She manages to squeak.

“Yes! We have to go now, your parents are waiting for you at the mansion. And I have to get home to cook for you, since the cooks are out on vacation, for a week. She smiles as they walk out and go into a black limousine with striking black leather seats. Olivia snuggles up in the heated-massaging-chairs and thinks, “Ah, this is life!” But then she notices a flat T.V. screen that comes down from the ceiling and the arms of the chairs have pockets filled with M&Ms and lots of other snacks, the seat belts are lined all the way up and all the way down with rubbies and dimonds and the black tinted windows shine with pleasure.

After two hours of driving, she finally got the guts to ask the old women the questions that had been haunting her. “Exuse me?” Olivia asks, politley. [Allways best to be polite if you want to talk something out of someone.] “Yes?” The old women repliys back, directley. “Um… what’s you’re name? And, how far out is this place?” She says, looking out the winow at cornfields; -they had been passing miles of them. “Well, Olivia! You better stop playing your memory games. You know who I am! I’m your Nanna! – your nannie. And we’ll be there soon.” Her um… Nannie turns away for the first time with a scowl on here face. “Mhmhmh… a nannie.” Olivia says to herself.

Finally, the limousine rolls to a stop and the driver shifts the gear to park. She trys the doors but they’re locked. The driver gets out f the car and opens the door in a very formal way. Olivia stumbles out of the car and lands on red carpet. Then the driver takes her hand and leads her to two big double doors the kind that are on he white house. She’s greated by a big “Hellllloooo!” by a women with dark red hair and blue eyes with perfect, fair skin. She smiles and her whole face lits uplike a chirtmas tree. “Come, come lets dine.” Her eyes twinkle as she says this, and Olivia woners, [ the angle part of me] “Who is this person? Who do they think I am?” Then, she supposes her devil part of here says: “Who cares? This is fun! -Enjoy it while it lasts! They glind into a dinning room with a 90 ft table awaits with plenty of food and candles as lights. A man, seated at the table, around the women’s age was readng a news paper with the headline, OUR CITY, QUEENS, IN THE FAMOUS CITY, NEWYORK NEEDS MORE MONEY! “I thought the cooks were out on vacation.” Says Nannie. “Uh, well, before they left, they decided to do some cooking.” The man answered Nannie. Then his eyes lit up and he ran over to hug Olivia, “Oh, sweetheart! Are you ready for diner? Sharie, why don’t you take Olivia upstairs to her room. Honey, clean yourself up for dinner and then we’ll see you here when you’re finished with that. Nannie took Olivia up to her room, as requested.

When she passed a mirror she sw a beautiful girl. “Is someone following me?” She wondered. She went ovr to the mirror. “Who’s there?!” she cried at the girl in the miror. Olivia crossed her arms and the girl in the mirror did too. “Stop copying me!” She yelled. She sun around. But no one was behind her. She turned in all directions. No one was in etheir. With lots of frustraition she sat down with a thump! Then she noticied her shoes. They were cowgirl boots with high hills. She stood up. They made her way taller. Back at the orphanage, before she had exscaped, the other orphanes would tease her about her regular short size. She allso relized she wasn’t wearing the black and white striped dress, or her stockings that had more than one thousand ripped spots. Nor her worn-out-too small sneakers. She looked in the mirror again. She WAS that girl in the mirror. She no longer had scratches, zits or the scares on her face that she had before. Her skin couldn’t be more like Snow White’s. Her lips a pearl rose. Her eyes were bluer than the sky when she had seen her eyes one thousand times green in chipped glasses at the orphanage. Her brown hair was in curls whitch bounced with every inch, no longer looking like a hair dresser had cut it at different angles. She know was a beautiful, rich girl. No longer plain and simple. For now she diddn’t notice the gold hearts chipped in the frame of the mirror, she noticed the little freckels on her nose she had never noticed before. She smiled at herself and the girl in the mirror smiled back. Then she skipped along into her dressing room with the dress on that she had wanted that was in Turnilla’s Botique’s front window.

Olivia came down to the dinning room where her “parents” waited with a fresh purple ballgown on.

“Oh, darling, you look exsquesant!” her “mother” gasped. Oliva giggled and grinned from ear to ear.

“Manners, sweety.” Her “mother” scowled.

“Oh, uh… Sorry… Thank you, mother.” Olivia curtsied but streetched the word ‘mother’ out far enough that it would explode.

Then she saw all the wonderful food! It would have been a feast for the whole country and there would still be more! From pasteries to barbiqued ribs, from muffins to casirolls, from garlic bread to buttered peanutbutter-chocolatechip-strawberry-blueberry-banana-cherry cream soda-bacon and egg pancakes. It didn’t matter if it was dinner, have some breakfeast and some lunch! There was tacos, pizza, macaroni, tuna sandwhitches, macaroons and lemon marine pie for dessert. There was more food tha anyone could write on a peaice of paper.

Every bite Olivia took became better and better and better. When she had finished and her stomach could not take it any longer, it looked like she hadn’t tuched a ting on her plate! The tablemen took away all the food and silverwaer.

“Olivia, sweetheart, why don’t you get ready for bed now?” her “father” sugegests and skatters nannie and Olivia off to her room once again.

When olivia was ready for bed, she snuggled up, all warm and cozy in her queen sized bed with a comfurture worth over 2000,025 dollars. Then her “parents’ come in and tuck her in, kissing her forehead. But then, her “father” pulls out a wrapped-up present with a fluffy green bow on top. The box was big enough to fit a horse in it.

“For me?!” Olivia gasped.

“For you.” Her “father” replied. She tore it open and out came a puppy! I’ll name you Spot!” Olivia cried with pear joy. Spot licked her face and the whole family giggled. The two “parents” kissed her and Spot gooodnight again then turned off the lights and shut the door tight.

Suddenly, Oliva felt someone watching her. She looked around the room, but it was too dark to see.

“Who-who-who’s there?!” She asked, shaking, but no voice came to answer. Olivia ran to turn on the lights. The lights stung her eyes for being in the dark too long.What she found was one-hundred stuffed owls starring at her.

“What?” she asked aloud. She ran to her “parents’” bedroom. She knocked once, twice.

“Come in!” she heard. She came in and asked,

“Whyis there a bunch of stuffed owls in my bedroom starring at me?’

“uh….. You know why, sweetheart. Have you forgotten? They’ve always been there. But I must must answer if you have to know: because you know how you’re dad loves to collect stuffed

owls because he’s an animal trainer and can train any animal in the world! And it’s just like how I’m a famous acttress! Now, you need to go to bed. It’s getting late. Would you like to sleep in our bed?” Her “mother” asked. Olivia shook her head. She went back to her heated floor and into her heated bed and went to sleep…… Dreaming of owls.

The morning woke up Olivia. She got rady for the big day and went down stairs to seee no one around. She went to the backyard and found her parents in the hottub with a wait-tress ready to take their order. There was a pool with a glistening waterfall and a whole field with a barn and three horses in the distance.

“Come on in! Go get you’re swim-suit on and jump in! oh and tell the waitress what you want!” they encouraged her. Nannie brought her her jewled swim-suit and Olivia quickly left to change.

No longer than a minute , olivia was playing in the pool, eating a chinomon roll.

After breakfeast, her “mother’ decided they should ride their horses.

“Oh! I’ve always wanted to ride a horse before!” Cried olivia. Her “mother” frowned,

“you’ve ridden horses before.”

“Oh, yes. Of course!” Olivia lied.

Olivia jumped up and down as she petted a horse named Lucy.

They rode on horses, talking and laughing together as they rode past mountains, plush hills, a forsest and cornfiels. The laughter and talking died down as they stopped at a cliff to look over the sunset. They watched till the sun went down, the day turned into night; the clouds were replaced with stars and the light grew darker. Then the family rode back to their mansion under the stars.

Then the family was up early to go shopping. After a good day started off with breakfeast, they head out to the most fanciest place in Queens, new York.

“Get a cart and pick out everything you want! Ready? Set…. Go!’ yelled her “mom.” Everyone ran and grabbed whatever they wanted or liked. They came together at the middle of the store. They bought their things and headed for the next store and did the same thing. They did this for the whole day until they were too tired to even walk. They went home and started looking at their things they had bought. Then, Olivia’s ‘mother” came into her room.

“Is this everything you wanted?” she asks, looking at Olivia. Olivia grins. She runs over to her “mom” and hugs her and says,

“Oh, this is everthing I wanted, mother!” And this time she didn’t streetch it……..

Olivia had beeen at this “new life” for about a week. But it was the same thing every day. Get up, breakfeast in the pool and hot tub. Then go ride horses, buy EVERYTHING you want, play, eat and sleeep. Being ritch was kind of getting boring. Every day she would get everything she wanted and play with the toys, pillows, clothes and stuffed animals for a day. Then it would be the next things she bought. Then it would go on and on and on. And she would never play with the “old” toys ever again. Finally, she went to go tell her mother this. When she had finished her mother poundered it for a minute. Then said, “Olivia?”

“Yes, mother?”

“You WILL do this every day! But, I will allow you to play outside for 30 minutes. AND this IS finall!”

“Yes, mother.” Her eyes were getting teary and she felt like she just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry like a baby. “Does mother not love me anymore?” she thought. “Maybe she just wants me to have fun and hinks that I don’t like going shopping and buying everything I want. Hmph.”

On the way to her room, she bumped into her father. “Oh! Sorry!” She says, looking concerned.

“watch where you’re going! And here is a new list of rules for you to follow!” He pushes a peaice of paper into her hands.

“I said I was sorry!” Olivia called after him. But he didn’t reply back. “Maybe father doesn’t love me anymore etheir.” She runs to her room, slams the door, locks it and falls to the floor and starts cry. Then, she looks up at the mirror on the sparkling, pink door with the beautiful girl in it and SMASHES it into one million peaices. “There! Now she’s ugly! Go get a different daughter! One that’s twice as beautiful as me!” She then sobbed and sobbed until she fell asleep on the brown, fuzzy carpet.

The next day wasn’t going so well. She didn’t get to eat breakfeast in the pool OR hot tube or even swim in them. She ate in her room. – She HAD to. Mother made her. Instead of riding horses, she had to feed and clean up their filthey, stinkey, ugly, smelly, disgusteing, poop. –Yuck. Then, instead of going shoping, she had to stay in her room and study all day! I guess her mother had lied. Plus, there were new rules. But, for now she was safe playing outside with her new friend, Lily. They had only just met each other on the sidewalk. Soon, it was time for lunch. Mother came out and told her: “Its time for.” Then stopped when she spotted Lily. “OLIVIA! Get away from that girl, NOW!”

“But Mother, she’s my friend!” Olivia snapped back at her.

“I don’t care if she’s your stupid friend, or your freaking sisiter! She’s black! And she’s poor! She doesn’t even have a mother, much less food. GET AWAY! Then she took Olivia’s arm and lead her away from Lily and just abandened her right there. And they were at the park.

“Lily doesn’t know the way home!” She protested.

“If she even has one.” Her mother growled back as they ate luch at their house. Sense the park had ‘cooties’ from blacks. Her mother had said.

“Why would you do something like that?” She asks.

“Because she’s black, your white. Your rich, she’s poor. Were rich so we get to do whatever we want.”

“What?!” Olivia says, with every screaming nerve she had.

“Yes, darling, its just the way things are.” Olivia shakes her head in disgust and her eyebrows narrowed with her eyes burning a glare. One word forms from her mouth, “MONSTER!”

Later, that night, they went to play bingo because Olivia wanted the golden tedy bear and that’s what you got if you won.

They all had sheets. Almost have a bingo… Someone next to her was saying. They haded even called one of Olivia’s numbers! She glances over her father’s shoulder, two more and he could get a bingo! And her mother’s… Olivia gaspes. “Bingo!” Her mother calls out. “Ya! We win!” says Olivia jumping nup and down on the balls of her feet. “We win! Whoo hoo!0. you guys loose! Loosers! We win! We’re winners! Ha, ha, ha!” Her father yells, punching the air with his fists. “Please sit down, Mr. And Mrs. Black. You will get your prize after everyone has left.” Says the man who had called out the numbers from the bingo bowl.

Then her father whispers in Olivia’s ear, “We cheated! When the guy sittting next to me wasn’t looking I swapped mother’s sheet with his sheet. But who cares? We won!”

“Father, that’s not fair! You must say you’re sorry at once!” Olivia starts to stand up on the bench and say, “Sorry!” But her father grabs her and says,

“No! You have to say you’re sorry to ME!”

“Sorry!” She shoots him in a snotty way.

“Hmph!” Her father says and turns away from her and pouts. Then the same guy who grabbed the bingo numbers out of the bingo bowl handed Olivia the goldden teddy bear.

Her heart felt cold. On the way out of the building, She was dragging behind when she through the golden teddy bear away into a silver trash can. And then she walked away from the miserable night.

Olivia was jumping down the flights of stairs then stopped when she saw her mother have a huge stack of money in her hand. “Where did you get that from?” She asked.

“Hmm? Oh! This! I took some money from the orphange for our family. Ha! Told them they weren’t doing a good job, so I had to take some of their money. Ha, ha! Thay fell into it! Here is some money. Don’t you think that’s fair?” Her mom says. Olivia’s jaw drops opens in surprise.

“No!!!” She screams. She pushes her mother down the stairs and walks down to her.

“I’ve had enough of this! You’re too evil to be a mother!” She yells. Her father walks up the stairs.

“And YOU!” She cries. He freezes, aware that something big is happening.

“Oh, sweetheart, darling.” He tries.

“NO! You’re all the opisite of what I want! Ritch is poor! Poor is ritch! And that’s the way it is! I’ve had enough!” She leaps out the door.

She runs and runs. “I want to go back to my old life! I have to go back to the doughnut shop!” She relizes. Finally, out of breath she stops. “She yells with all her strength left. Olivia glances at the street sign, “107, Hey! This is where the doughnut shop is!” She cries. She runs to the door of the shop, but then stops. “I forgot, mother all the shops in town! This isn’t a doughnut shop anymore! It’s a dress shop!” She relizes, in horror.

“Excuse me.” Someone tugs on her dress sleeve. Olivia looks down to find an orphan.

“Are looking for doughnuts?” The little girl asks. Then adds, “They still have them!”

“No, they don’t.” Olivia says, pretty sure of herself.

“Yes, there is. Follow me!” She says and takes Olivia’s hand and leads her to the back of the store. There is a moving guy loading boxes of doughnuts into his moving truck.

“Can I have a doughnut? The magic Doughnut?” olivia asks the man. He smiles and says,

‘Really, I’m not suppose to but… sure.” He gives her the doughnut as she reaches into her dress pocket and gives him the cash that her mother had given her. She closes her eyes… But before she takes a bite, she stops and looks into the little girl’s face who smiles a wide, toothy grinn. She looks back at the man and says,

“Actauly can I have the Chocolate Waffleler?”

“Here.” The man says, taking back the daughnut and giving her the other one. She hands the little girl the doughnut. The little girl smiles but gives back the doughnut to the man and takes the Magic Doughnut and gives it to Olivia.

“Here. You deserve it.” She says. Olivia can’t help it but hug her. She closes her eyes and takes a bite.

Olivia opens her eyes. And finds herself looking at the 180 dollar model dress in Turnilla’s Botique. She smiles, and the girl reflecting on the window smiles back.

The clouds move across the dark sky and crows croaked on the powerlines. And Olivia walked back to the orphange on the black, newly paved sidewalks of the city of New York.

The End

© 2013 Coral Worley, Haven Worley

“Untitled” by Team Hammertime

Prompts:
An animal trainer
Cornfields
Doughnuts
“Don’t eat that!”
Spending $4
Owls

***

Untitled

By Team Hammertime

Once upon a time there was a man named Mr. Dean. He was an owl trainer. The date is August 7, 2243.

It’s so hot out today – too hot – maybe I’ll get a dry ice doughnut from VooDoo Doughnuts to cool me down and fight off this deadly heat After all, earth is only 15 billion light years away. It’ll only be a five minute trip.

In five minutes I’m in Portland, the only city with Voodoo Doughnuts . I heard 230 years ago it used to be a beautiful city full of parks and forests, but now it’s just a cloudy, crumpled city, full of pollution. I went inside. The next available person was dressed as a voodoo doctor. I ordered two boxes of doughnuts – one box of dry ice doughnuts, paid my $4, and went to work. Voodoo Doughnuts were the only thing that would cool me down from the planet’s heat.

Once I got to my work, I put the doughnuts down on my desk and started typing. Then an owl tried to sneak a box of doughnuts, but once I saw the tip of his feather, I turned around and said “SHOO! SHOO! DON’T EAT THAT!” and the owl flew away. I had to be careful. Once the radioactivity started to consume our planet, we became linked – humans and owls. If one of us died, the other died. Owl training seemed like a good job – keep them alive, keep yourself alive.

Once that was done, I moved the doughnuts in front of me so I could see them. I train owls, but I can’t trust them.

But then a black cloud flew over me. I remember thinking – “This is crazy – we don’t ever have bad weather here. It’s too hot. There are never clouds.”

But as it got closer, I realized it was a black cloud of owls – coming for the doughnuts. The heat was was getting to them too, and they knew because of my trip that there was relief in my doughnuts. I panicked, but one of owls grabbed a doughnut and split it, shooting the crumbs into the cloud of owls.

Later, an owl tried to sneak up behind me. I turned around and started to yell. A second came in and stole two doughnuts from the box and started to swallow them whole.

I smacked them away from the box, and realized it was pointless. I could just get more. The owls grabbed the doughnuts and took them to their den.

I was reading the news while I was flying back to the doughnut shop. Gah! Voodoo Doughnuts had run out of business. The batter had run out because of the pollution on earth. No more sugar would grow. No more flour. The owls would take what I had left, and I wouldn’t survive the summer I decided to make a trap for the owls.

I went to the cornfield and gathered some corn and took it home. On the way, I passed Hobby’s planet, where I bought some string, eyes, and gray paint.

I started to make a trap. I formed some corn leaves into a mouse shape, painted it gray,and filled it with corn kernels. Then, I headed out to the owl’s den. I put the mouse a few yards outside of the den and then started to make squeaking sounds.

The owls flew out of their hole and fought over the corn mouse. I dipped behind the swarm and went into the den, where I stole back the VooDoo doughnuts and went home. Finally, they were mine again.

It’s two months later, I felt sick. The owls were dead from the heat.. There was nothing I could do. Everybody I met seemed to be sick or dead. I feel as if I may die, lying here writing the last page in my journal…

© 2013 Aidan Tenud, Asher Tenud

“A New Dance” by Sarah Robertson

Prompts:
An animal trainer
Cornfields
Doughnuts
“Don’t eat that!”
Spending $4
Owls

***

A New Dance

By Sarah Robertson

It was Bernie, my little brother, who woke me up that morning. “I’m going to be a professional animal tamer when I grow up!” He shouted, prancing around my room in a ridiculous circus clown costume.

“Go away Bernie.” I moaned and stuffed my face into my pillow.

But for some reason in between Bernie’s loud foot steps as he climbed down the stairs combined with my mom’s off key singing coming from the kitchen, I couldn’t manage to get any more sleep. I trouped down the stairs and into the kitchen where Bernie was already stuffing his face with food.

“Good morning Kate!” Mom crowed, whisking me a plate with two doughnuts on it, a blatant attempt to soften me after our argument last night. “Did you hear the owls hooting around midnight?” Mom asked. “Maybe they will be in the newspaper tomorrow!”

That was the problem with living in Boring, OR. Nothing interesting happens.

“Mom,” I answered sarcastically, still fired up from our disagreement, “I didn’t hear them. Neither did the newspaper people. Because we were all ASLEEP.”

I had left the house and was walking across my family’s farm, wondering how I should spend the last four days of summer vacation. I could go down to the candy shop and spend my $4 I had saved up. Or I could just spend the time wandering aimlessly around our cornfields. I sighed. There was one thing that I wanted to do, I thought as I looked down at my reflection in a horse’s water trough. A girl with straw-straight blond hair and icy blue eyes stared back at me. I sighed again. The thing I really wanted to do was to take dance lessons. But they cost too much money and, even Bernie, at the age of four, would know that. Ever since my father passed away two years ago, when I was ten, my family has been very poor. That was what mom and I had been arguing about last night. The cost of dance lessons. Obviously, I had lost the argument. How would I ever end up learning to dance? With that thought I steered myself towards Mr. Song’s house.

Mr. Song was technically my closest neighbor but he lived three miles away. Unlike all the rest of the families from miles around, who had been here for generations, Mr. Song moved here recently. He came from the city only a few years ago. While it was obvious that he had no clue how to run a farm, he never gave a reason for his move only saying he was seeking the simple life.

Maybe it was because that he wasn’t really from these parts that he never seemed annoyed at my questions, unlike my mother, and he actually answered them. Although, his answers were rarely straightforward. Nonetheless, I always found myself at his house if I had a problem.

Mr. Song was sitting in his garden, his short black hair and old blue overalls stained with dirt, a large, unripe tomato in his hand. It looked as though he was about to take a bite.

“Don’t eat that.” I advised. “It would taste horrible.” Mr. Song bit into anyway, and the result was rather funny. He made an immediate retching noise and spit the bite of tomato out onto the ground.

“Oh, well,” Mr. Song sighed. “I was never much of a gardener. Now, what do you need Kate?” I began to retell the fight with my mom.

I had just finished my tale as Mr. Munchers, Mr. Song’s old barn cat trotted over and curled up in his lap. Mr. Song scratched Mr. Munchers head thoughtfully and said with a twinkle in his eye, “Your mother said that you couldn’t be taught how to dance. Not that you couldn’t learn.” My huge grin at the idea faltered almost at once

How could I teach myself to dance? Is that even what he meant? Mr. Song must have guessed what I was thinking, because he answered as if I had spoken my thoughts out loud.

“Make your own.”

I left Mr. Song’s house thought deep in thought, working out our conversation. Watching the stalks movement in the wind swept cornfield, I slowly began to understand. For me dance isn’t just graceful movements learned through years of practice. It’s song, a mountain ready to climb, the sight of a setting sun. A dance is so wonderful it can’t be explained.

The evening suddenly felt like magic. I laughed and ran through the cornfields, swishing and swirling on occasion. Soon the awkward circles became a pattern, a design. A dance! The evening breeze tickled my hair, the owls hooted and slowly my voice came to join their odd, yet beautiful song. And with a tickling-glowing, buzz sort of feeling, I realized for the first time, in a long time, that I felt truly happy.

I know the moral of many children’s tales is to follow your own path, Write your own story. But the moral of mine is to write your own dance.

© 2013 Sarah Robertson