YAFF Muse: Every Opportunity

15 Dec

Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

Foggy sunlight by walyir

 

Every Opportunity

by: Rachel Marie Pratt

“Mackenzie, get up.” Trae nudged me in the leg with the tip of his steel toed boot.  A solid reminder, last night hadn’t gone at all how I’d planned.  On my way down to Peterson’s barn, I played over and over in my mind how perfect we would be together. But reality was nothing like I imagined. Laying on a haystack opposite him for five-long-hours, listening to the torrential rains pummel the sides of the barn, the trees splintering as the wind wrestled the branches to the ground. I didn’t get a bit of sleep.

Through squinty eyelids I peeked up at him and stretched as if I was just waking. Lord, he was beautiful in the morning. Even in torn jeans and a filthy shirt, he looked good. Of course, it helped that under his dirty clothes were the lean muscles of a bull rider. I pushed from the scratchy straw to stand. Pieces of last night’s bedding poked my hands as I combed my hair with my fingers.

“I’m sorry about coming here. It’s just I thought—”

“I know what you were thinking, Mac.” His head shook and he walked toward the barn door.

Of course he knew, I didn’t exactly leave much to his imagination coming there wearing nothing but high heels and a trench coat.

Slowly, I crossed the barn to stand beside him. The minutes past while I mustered up the nerve to whisper, “The truth is I like you. A lot.”

“I like you too.” He continued to stare straight ahead.

“Yeah.” I lowered my voice, pulling the trench closer. “Just not enough to be with me.”

“Christ. You’re oblivious, you know that?”

My chest tightened at the frustration in his voice. He really must hate me. The thought turned my stomach sour. What was I thinking coming here? We’d been friends for as long as my dad stabled our horses at Peterson Farms. From day one, I talked to Trae without feeling self conscience. At least until the day I realized I wanted him more than anything else in the world.

Tears burned my eyes.

“I’d better go.” I went to move around him.

The shock of his hand sieving my arm, halting my retreat, was nothing compared to his mouth suddenly capturing mine. Like an electric current coursed through me, my body tingled. His lips crushed mine with feverish demand. I ran my hands up the front of his shirt, bringing them to rest at the nape of his neck. When I tugged him closer, deepening our kiss. He groaned and pulled back.

“What?” I asked, breathless.

His hesitation stirred my fear. “Mac, last night…I wanted you. I still want you. But not like this. Not here. Don’t you see?”

He waved his hands through the air at our surroundings, at him and me.

“See what?”

“I’m nineteen.” He began to pace. “I muck out stables for a living. Dammit. You’re not even seventeen.”

“I will be in a week.”

“You’re dad talks about you and Harvard.” His pacing stopped and he turned to face me. “Harvard, Mac. Not community college or working in a factory.”

“So you can’t like me because of some college?”

“That’s not it at all. I love you enough not to get in the way.”

“Love?” The word hung there, a web of admissions spun between us. He loves me. I love him. “What if I don’t go—”

“No.” Trae bowed his head. When his chin lifted the pain in his eyes is unbearable. “Can’t you see I don’t want you to give up your dreams?”

“Then don’t push me away.”

His mouth parted, but no words came. For the longest time we watched one another. Neither of us moved. My mind was made up a long time ago. And by the way he looked at me I could see his was too. It looked as though it might come down to whoever was more determined, when the barn door burst open.

“Daddy?” I gasped. My gaze shifted to Trae then back to my father, who grabbed me by the forearm and yanked me outside.

In wake of the storm the sky hazed over with a thick fog, but it didn’t hide the anger that drew hard lines across Dad’s face. “You’ve got some explaining to do young lady.”

“But—”

He twisted around to Trae. “I’ll be talking to your boss.”

“Dad, please.” I begged as he rushed me to the car.

“You think I’ve given you every opportunity so you could blow it all on some cowboy and a romp in the hay?”

“We didn’t do anything.”

“You expect me to believe that boy didn’t take advantage of you?”

I stopped walking. Dad halted too.

“His name is Trae. And he didn’t take advantage of me.” Tears flowed warm on my checks. “I came here because I thought he might like me. But he didn’t want anything to do with me, except to say, we could be friends.”

Relief softened Dad’s features. “We’ve got a lot to talk about, Mac. You can’t go around offering yourself to every guy you think you like.”

I stayed quiet. It was better to let him believe that than to admit that I’d fallen for Trae years ago, and that he loved me too, especially if I wanted to save Trae’s job.

“Lucky for you that boy’s got morals.” He pointed at me.

Dad was right. Trae never once crossed the line. He wanted what was best for me and now, more than ever, I knew he was it.

I settled into the passenger seat then glanced at Trae in the side mirror. As the car pulled away, Trae disappeared into the fog. A smile tugged the corners of my mouth. We’d be together again. Just not today.

© 2010, December 15, rmg.

Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment. This will be our last Muse until after the holidays! But make sure you check back after the first of the year for more YAFF MUSE!

Miranda Buchanan

Rebekah L. Purdy

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

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NEW BLOG CHECKLIST:

14 Dec
  1. New Name
  2. New Header
  3. Sidebar w/links
  4. Pages in Order
  5. First Blog Post Complete…

Holy Shweet, I knew I was forgetting something.  Let’s see, what should we talk about? How about Santa? Yes, I believe in Santa for 2 reasons:

1. I have a  5 yr old

and

2. If anyone in our house says they don’t believe, they don’t get jack-crap.

So, yeah I believe. Though normally, I don’t mind if I don’t get anything under the tree, this year there are a few items on the wish list.

First off, I love Simone Elkeles and all of her books so far. Despite that I’ve taken to reading them bass ackwards. (Beginning with Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction). I recently moved on to Leaving Paradise. And now I absolutely cannot wait to read Return to Paradise. I’m hooked. Hooked. HOOKED!!  So I’m hoping to work it out that Santa brings me Return to Paradise for Christmas.

The second, and much more costly item is a camera. One that isn’t fuzzy in each and every shot. I heart taking pics. (My current record is over 900 in a 2 week period) So yes, I would love to have a camera to feed that particular creative hunger. And I have to admit, it would be awesome to take some nice pics of the family on Christmas Day.

So what’s on your wish list?

(#5. First Blog Post )

Writer-All-Nighter

4 Oct

If you’re a writer there is a good chance you’ve experienced one or two writer-all-nighters. If your not a writer, think about being up with a baby that’s teething–you know–running a fever, screaming, pooing–the works. Yep, that’s a bit of what it’s like. Except in this case the baby is a laptop.

So this is where I’m at, pulling all-nighters to finish an adult piece that if I’m honset has been more painful to write than when I had my wisdom teeth extracted. Of course, I had a million and one interruptions yesterday during the daylight hours, which is when I prefer to write. But in the world of, ‘Hi, I’m-Rachel-wife-mommy-daughter-wannabe author’, the ‘Hi, I’m daughter’ overruled the weekend with a thousand phone calls and visits from my parents. <–An obvious exaggeration, but what can you expect? I’ve been up all night and I write fiction.

So when was your last all-nighter? (Anything remotely close to up late works too.)

And for those who participated in Friday’s QUIZ, here is a list of Super A+ Blogger WINNERS!!! (Some got all the questions right, and the others are A+ bloggers because of their honesty–the little cheaters. lol.) Grab your blog sticker here and let everyone know how smart you really are!

Harper Bennett

Vanessa

Rebekah L. Purdy

Joey Nichols

Min

Soooo Crazy Week With BG

1 Oct

So let’s see here, it’s Finally Friday again, and are we glad!!!

BG: I am. *yawn*

This week has been a test of academic capability to the 3rd power. (You’ll understand this after BG explains how her teachers conspired to push the minds of all 6th graders and their parents to the brink of mental meltdown.)

BG: It’s true…Hours upon hours of studying vocabulary words like exponential form, standard form, and coefficient. And almost bursting my brain to memorize the continents, oceans and all the invisible lines on the map and what they mean and do, and turning around to face more torture studying what the difference is between Abiotic and Biotic components and ecosystems. Just a memo, if you got any of this, I had a math quiz, geography quiz and science quiz all in one day. So I’m tired.

But okay. The worlds most AWESOME thing about studying hard is the SUPER A’s that come with it. YAY ME!!! (oh and I had a little help). *smiles at mom*

Aww. A shining moment between Mom and daughter. Quickly snuffed out by daughter teasing mom for mentioning the shining moment…

Anyway, in honor of quiz week, I think I’ll give a quiz…

BG: Noooooo.

To our readers.

BG: Yes! I have questions: Can you solve these?

7(6+5) – 3(8) + 4 to the 3 power

Name all seven continents?

Define Abiotic Components  <–that’ll be hard. <–insert evil daughter laughter.

Yikes, okay, maybe I’ll ask the questions.

1. In last Friday’s blog post what grade did BG say she is in?

2. BG is now featured on my sidebar, what color is her hair?

3. How many more days until BG’s next post?

If you can answer these, we’ll give you one of BG’s SUPER A’s to put on your blog.

You can chose to answer my questions OR BG’s. Personally, I’d answer mine, because they’re a bit easier.

BG: But if you do mine, be sure to show your work. 🙂 And EVERYONE who gets mine (or mom’s) right gets a SUPER A for their blog.

Remember NO cheating.

BG: That’s right or your grounded and we’ll take everything you love away from you. At least that’s what mom tells me.

Happy Friday readers. And good luck with this very short quiz.

YAFF Muse: Such a Thing as Perfect

29 Sep

Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

Photo Credit:keithcr at MorgueFile.com

Such a Thing as Perfect

By: R.M.Gilbert

“Welcome to Dairy Cone, what can I get you?” I asked Darcy Flick, knowing full well what she wanted.

“Don’t screw with me, you know I’m here to see Ryan,” she said. The redhead chomped her gum like a cow and leaned over the counter. “Ryan Bradley!”

“He’s in the cooler.” I scowled.

“Don’t tell me you’re keeping tabs on my boyfriend?”

“No,” I said, but if I was honest I would have said yes and been done with it. Of course, I secretly adored Ryan. What girl wouldn’t? Heck, I’d bet my life that some of the guys at school crushed on him too.

Ryan was that guy. The one who’s nice to everyone: geeks, stoners, jocks, rich, poor, it didn’t matter. And never—not even once—had I heard a single person say a bad word about him. Considering I have lived in Vanilla Beach since birth, that was saying something. Yep, Ryan Bradley was the greatest guy I knew.

“Hey, Brainfart.” Darcy waved her hand in front of my face. “I asked for an orange float.”

Darcy, on the other hand was a high class bitch. And the daughter of a Senator who bought a summer home on the beach this past year. It seemed to me, she thought it was her God given right to trample on those she deemed ‘beneath her’. Which was pretty much everyone.

Moving to make her float, I spotted Ryan knelt down in the back, helping Mrs. Dairy Cone herself pick up a stack of napkins off the floor. The old woman must have knocked them from the shelf again. That made three times this week.

I grabbed a foam cup and scooped ice cream into it, thinking maybe her eyes were getting worse. Her current glasses magnified her pupils to the size of Ping-Pong balls, and I wondered if there was prescription strong enough to help. I shook my head, sad that I couldn’t do anything more for her, and finished filling the cup with ice cream, then moved toward the soda fountain.

“Justice,” Ryan said, coming from the back.

“Yeah?” I tried to focus on the pop machine and ignore the fact that he smelled like ocean salt. But he stood so close it was impossible to do anything but look at him.

“Mrs. Moore wants to meet with us after our shift today.” He smiled, and as it always did it reflected in his eyes.

My breath caught in my throat for a second before I nodded and handed him Darcy’s order. “Your girlfriend’s here.”

His and my hands roped around the orange float, sending a sensation of tingles surging over me like the waters wake and I trembled. His gaze locked on mine, the corners of his mouth faltered to uphold his smile.

“So-sorry.” I released the cup and stepped back.

“You’re fine.”

Something changed in his eyes as he moved past. Leaving me to wonder if in this one instant I gave myself away? For the longest time I had managed to hide how I felt. Since the second grade, it had been my greatest secret and now…

A customer stepped to the counter and rang the service bell. I cleared the knot from my throat, apologized for being distracted, and asked for his order. The entire time my attention divided between the man’s indecision and Ryan and Darcy’s conversation.

“But you said you’d go,” Darcy whined. “We’re leaving for Washington tomorrow. It’s my last night at the beach.”

“I can’t, Mrs. Moore asked to meet with me after we close,” Ryan explained.

“Can’t Justine fill in for you, for just a little while?”

As sure as I was standing there, Ryan’s eyes burned into me, but I stared straight ahead. He didn’t need to know I was eavesdropping.

“Her name is Justice,” he muttered. “And I’m not going to ask her to cover for me on the busiest night of the season. Everyone’s getting in ‘one last night’ before they leave, Darcy.”

“Fine.” She pouted some more, but then her voice turned sweet. “Meet me later? At Daddy’s. A bunch of us are throwing together a bonfire on the beach after the sun sets. You’ll be done by then, won’t you?”

“Sure.”

After encouraging Ryan to bring his friends as well, Darcy flounced off.

Heavy on my chest were the feelings I fought to ignore, and I held back my foolish tears. What else had I expected? This was Ryan Bradley.

By the time our shift ended and clean up finished, Mrs. Moore had called twice to remind us of our meeting.

“You want to ride over together?” Ryan asked, nearing his car.

“If you don’t mind,” I said. “Otherwise I’ll have to walk and I don’t want you to have to wait for me.”

Ryan didn’t say anything, he rounded the side of the car to open the passenger door.

“Thanks.” I slid into the seat. For a second, it sounded as though he’d said, “my pleasure”, but I was confident my ears played tricks on me.

Riding in silence, I watched Vanilla Beach stretch out beside us. The water glistened under the last moments of sun as though it wanted to suck up as much of its beauty as possible before nightfall. And the fragrant scent of ocean spilled through the car windows. I closed my eyes to enjoy every second of its aroma.

“We’re here.” Ryan slowed the car to a stop in front of a modest beach house. Smaller than those surrounding it, but still well kept.

Not giving him a second chance to prove his chivalry, I pushed out of the vehicle.

“Come in, come in, come in,” Mrs. Moore prompted us inside. Then, with the door closed behind her, she turned to Ryan. “Have you asked her yet?”

“Not yet.” He smiled, taking the older woman by the hands and leading her to sit down.

“Asked me what?”

“She wants you and me to take over the Dairy Cone.” Ryan said.

“Us? Why?”

“Because you belong there, together,” said a straight faced Mrs. Moore.

One glance at Ryan and I knew I couldn’t survive another summer with him. Thoughts of him consumed me and if I wanted to maintain my sanity I’d have to keep my distance as much as possible.

I folded my hands and kept my voice soft. “I can’t Mrs. Moore. I’m sorry.”

“And why not, my dear?” She reached for me with one hand and Ryan with another. “This is a union I’ve been planning since you both came to work with me years ago.”

If only there was such a union to be made.

“I appreciate that, truly I do, but—” Tears pressed against the rim of my eyes and I squeezed her hand, wishing with all my heart she could read my mind and know what she asked for was impossible.

“Oh, you poor girl,” Mrs. Moore tugged my hand closer and placed it in Ryan’s. “You two are more alike than you know.”

The warmth of him spread throughout my body. No matter how much I told myself to pull away, I drew closer.

“I’ll say what should have been said years ago,” Mrs. Moore spoke quietly, “You’re perfect.”

“He is.”  “She is.” We whispered simultaneously.

“What?” I asked, looking at him confused.

All the color floods from his face as we stepped nearer to each other. “I’ve always thought you were perfect Justice, ever since I met you in the second grade.”

He leaned in and at moment his mouth lingered over mine, I knew Ryan Bradley was the greatest guy, and he was mine.

© 2010, September 28, rmg.

This weeks muse was inspired by a number of things: first loves, mean girls, boys who don’t disappoint. But really it’s about love and how sometimes we don’t realize when someone right under our noses loves us so deeply, it hurts. This was probably my favorite YAFF Muse to write, I hope you enjoyed it.

Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Jennifer Fischetto-Nice Girls, Bad Guys, Grave Drama

Rebekah L. Purdy

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

Our winner is…(followed by a weekend update)

27 Sep

BG: Mom let me pick the winner this morning and I’m really excited to send you Flipped. I hope you like it like we did. (I still don’t know when my book order is coming in but I will make sure Mom puts it in the mail when it does) Oh and Mom decorated the winner thing to look like a tree because in Flipped Juli has a tree that she loves to climb. But Mom says not to tell you any more about the book so that you’ll want to read it.  :-)) Anyway off to school. Hope you liked our first giveaway. (And so you know I commented back to all of the comments I got Friday. It was kind of hard.)

Okay, stepping in here as it’s time for BG to go to the bus stop.

BG: See ya.

And that’s one kid out the door this morning. And congratulations on the WIN Jennifer. Jennifer blogs at Me, My Muse, and I. So if you get the opportunity to stop in and congratulate her on her win that would be great.

That said, while there should have been more writing accomplished in the Gilbert house this weekend, after a slew of unending interruptions I opted for the NO WRITING WEEKEND. I swear on Sunday I sat down a dozen times with my laptop. But after phone calls, running into town, being called for an unexpected favor, which ended in more running, our puppy begging for attention, 3 kids and a husband coming in and out of the room, irritation began to rise instead of word count. As I’m not the type of person to be buried in frustration I decided instead that the writing could wait, because life outside of my laptop could not.

Yep, they LOVE me so much, I can’t get anything done!

Finally Friday Segment:Introducing Baby Girl, BeeGee, BG.

24 Sep

Sitting back I realized a big part of my sanity when it comes to reading and writing stems from the moments I share with my 12 year old daughter, who I’ll call BeeGee (not like the group, but like a way cooler nickname than Baby Girl). Hmm, maybe I’ll go lazy and just use BG, I think I will. Moving on.

So BG and I sat down together this weekend and came up with the idea to do blog posts together. Sometimes we’ll have giveaways, she’ll write a post of her own. We’ll talk ‘stuff’ and focus as best we can on reading, writing, and life in the Gilbert house.

Since this is our first Finally Friday Segment we’ll begin with her introduction.

How about you tell the readers something about yourself…

BG: Well, as Mom said, I’m 12. What she didn’t say is I’m in the 6th grade. I love to…

Should I have told them you’re in the 6th grade?

BG: I think you should have. *smiles* Anyway, like I was saying, I love to read, listen to music, and I really like learning about Egypt. Also, I enjoy a good mystery, even if I’m the one who wrote it. I’m not very fond of math. Science is okay. (But I would rather be in Social Studies or Language Arts.)

So would you rather read or write?

BG: Probably read. But I guess, it depends on the day.

Would you rather do LOTS of math or get a tetanus shot? (Seeing as she just went in for her shots it should be an easy comparison).

BG: MATH, big time!!

I’ll remember that next time you sit down to do homework.

BG: (Thank heaven she doesn’t remember things too well. Hehehe!)

Don’t worry; it’s going on THE LIST! Mwahahaha!!! *clears throat* Okay, now back to reading. BG and I are going to celebrate the launch of our Finally Friday Segment with a GIVEAWAY. Yay!!

BG: Oh my gosh Mom, we’re only giving away a book.

Yeah, but tell ‘em what book.

BG: It’s a really cute comedy book that we read together.

That’s right, it’s about this girl, Juli–

BG: And this boy named Bryce–

I read Juli–

BG: Oh, and I read Bryce–

Juli was a bit clueless and naive and totally crushing on Bryce.

BG: Bryce was hilarious and tried his best to avoid Juli.

But eventually things flip and the two begin to see one another differently–

BG: Yeah, my favorite part was at the beginning when he’s trying to get Juli to let go of his hand and he’s thinking about how she has him ‘in a death grip.’

I loved that part, (lol) and her thoughts were priceless: ‘I almost got my first kiss that day, I’m sure of it.’ When the whole time Bryce is trying to get away.

The book we’re talking about is Flipped By: Wendelin Van Draanen.

BG: Yeah, Flipped is totally flipping awesome!!

Um…yep it is. At the heart of the story is true friendship, finding something to believe in, and the value of family. If you want to win a copy of Flipped for you–

BG: Or someone you love.

Go ahead and leave a comment. Anything to add, BG?

BG: How will the readers know who wins? Maybe we could number the comments and draw a number.

Sounds good.

BG: Do I get to draw the winner?

Sure, and we’ll announce who’s won on–

BG: Monday!

Okay, so there you have it, you have the weekend to comment.

BG: Adios!!!

Thanks for stopping by. And a quick recap, don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win Flipped and while you’re here say ‘hi’ to my baby girl–don’t tell her I said that–and let us know what you think of our Finally Friday Segment.

https://i2.wp.com/www.randomhouse.com/kids/vandraanen/images/cover_flipped_ebook.jpg

BG: Be our first WINNER!! (And so you know, we ordered the book from my scholastic book order…and I’m not exactly sure how soon it’ll be in).

YAFF Muse: High Temps

22 Sep

Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

The Room By:trublueboy

High Temps

A hundred and two degrees and sunny, yesterday. A hundred and five degrees and sunny, today. The heat never dissipates. I shift among the sheets on my bed looking for the spot. You know the one, where it’s still cool, and for a split second you find relief.

Relief is a luxury these days, air conditioning that no one can afford, water that’s untainted, ice. Oh Lord, I remember the days of ice. Summer months spent with the wonderful treasure at my disposal. How many times a day would I sneak to the freezer and grab a cool, slick piece of frozen water from its tray? Each crunch of the cube a tasty treat, wetting my throat and freezing my tongue.

I turn, becoming tangled in the bedding. Someone takes a cloth to my forehead and wipes away the perspiration. I want to thank them but my tongue is like a sand-trap and the words are caught inside. My inhales become raspy and exhales catch in my throat.

And for the first time since the high temperatures began, I give in to the thought that they’ll be death of me.

*****

“The fever has taken hold, Sonny.  Her temperatures a hundred and five degrees today,” says Dr. Roth. “I think your sister’s ready to let go. It should be anytime now.”

She nods, allowing the tears to flow. Months of going without heat, so we could eat. Burning our furniture with the exception of this bed, all of it was for nothing. The wind blows its freezing breath through the gapes in the side of the house, she shivers. “Dear God, I pray she doesn’t feel this cold.”

©2010, September 21, rmg.

Pretty sure this weeks muse was inspired by the fact that I was sick most of last week and the weekend with a flu bug. Feeling better now, so it was time to make my characters suffer, I guess.

Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Jennifer Fischetto

Mindy Buchanan

Rebekah L. Purdy

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

YAFF Muse: Long Ride Home

15 Sep

Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

Photo by: phypet

Long Ride Home

By: R.M.Gilbert

Leaning, with my elbows against side the viaduct, I peered out at the old neighborhood. The rundown apartment I shared with Mom. The train tracks below, where I played chicken with the subway. But nothing felt like home more than the maple tree at the far end of the road. My haven whenever Mom had a fight with one of her guys.

I inhaled the stale air, thick with the scent of rust and moldy wood. Who knew one breath would bring back the past?

The clatter of alcohol bottles echoed in my mind. I put my hands over my ears, but the cli-clank of glass got louder. And the neighborhood before me turned fuzzy like an out of focus lens.

Music blared from a boombox on the floor next to the coffee table, competing with the screams of my baby brother. Mom’s by the door. A guy stands next to her. Long greasy hair stringing past his shoulders, a scar on his right cheek and a bum eye.

“I’ll give you a half ounce, for five minutes alone with your daughter,” the man said. He dangled a small bag full of white powder under Mom’s nose. She probably thought I was too busy making the baby a bottle to hear, but I heard everything. And this guy was not going to lay a finger on me. Not one.

I watched the door closely for any signs he might push his way in. Mom’s feet shifted as she twists to glance at me in the kitchen. With the rear of her hand, she wiped her nose. Her nostrils flared and beamed bright red against the pale of her skin. The consideration in her drugged gaze was all the indication I needed to go to my special spot.

Slipping from the kitchen, I edged the wall of the living room. And while they negotiated I sneaked to mine and my brother’s room.  His tiny hands reached. Not for me, but for the bottle. I wondered if Mom fed him while I was at school. I pushed the bottle into his mouth, kissed his tear covered cheek then laid him back in the crib.

“Someday I’ll take you from all of this,” I said and turned to the window, knowing that was an awfully big promise for a twelve year old to make.

I sighed, taking one last peek at the crib before I shimmied down a vent pipe. The rusted metal scraped like gravel on the way down. But scratched hands were nothing compared to a mutilated spirit. The tips of my toes touched down and with the earth beneath me, sirens wailing around me, I raced to the end of our road, climbed to the highest spot I dared to climb in my tree and waited.

Waited for the sun to come up.

Waited for Mom to pass out.

Waited for the men to leave.

Waited for the five o’clock train to tell me it was safe to go back to my brother.

I listened for the train now, but instead…

“Are you okay?”

My eyes refocused and I glanced at the hand grasping mine; the fingers aren’t as tiny as they were then. “Yeah,” I whispered.

“Is that the train you took me out on?”

I searched the commuter cars, long deserted on the tracks, their graphitized walls.

“That’s not the one.” I shook my head. “Ours went the other direction. Downtown. To the police station.”

“Hey kids,” Aunt Pauline called from the end of the viaduct. “It’s getting late and you still need to eat and shower.”

Off in the distance I heard a screech on the rails. I squeezed my brother’s hand thankful for the five o’clock train.

©2010, September 15, rmg.

This weeks muse was written last second. My baby girl turned 12 yesterday so I wanted to portray a story of a girl the same age. But a close look at the picture this week and everything in the neighborhood looked broken down, so I put a 12 year old there and asked myself: What would her life be like? How would she survive? Who would be there with her? Where would she find an escape if not in something bad?

In the end, the answers would heartbreaking and yet a relief at the same time. She’s  courageous, a survivor, and a savior.

Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Cambria Dillon

Mindy Buchanan

Rebekah L. Purdy

Vanessa Barger

YAFF Muse: What They Don't Know

8 Sep

Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

Mexican Souveniers By: haak78

What They Don’t Know

By: R.M.Gilbert

Midnight, I rub sleep from my eyes and twist my neck side to side until I hear the crack of adjustment. The Lucky Mart twenty four hour gas station sign buzzes outside the car window and paints the wet pavement and the hood of the Taurus in its golden yellow glow.

“What the hell is taking him so long?” I mutter and reach between my legs for my purse. Opening the clasp, I push aside the cigs and lighter, grab the pack of spearmint gum and sit upright. A single stick of gum isn’t going to do it tonight. So I chew on two. Anything to get the taste of him out of my mouth. Whatever the deal is with guys and oral—

The door creaks open. He settles into the driver’s seat, sets a paper sack in my lap, and laughs. “The guy didn’t even card me.”

“That’s great,” I say, then blow a bubble as I peek in the bag. “Whiskey?”

He smiles.

“You know this shit makes me sick.”

“More for me.” He dips his fingers in the bag and pulls out the pint. His hands come off the wheel and the car swerves as he opens the bottle. I reach for the wheel to correct the car, but he slaps my hand away. “I’ve got it.”

“Yeah, try to keep it between the lines.”

He grins, tips his head back and takes a long swig. Air bubbles float through the amber liquid with each gulp.

My stomach tightens and I cringe, reminded of my last affair with whiskey at Susie Wheelers party. How it burned the back of my throat, and gave me the worst hangover in after prom party history. I should have stayed at the dance like I told my parents I would, but I couldn’t resist an invitation from Susie’s brother then, just like I can’t resist him now.

I glance over at him. Bottle stuffed between his legs. Black tufts of stringy hair falling over one eye. A goatee, strong cheekbones, and a hard jaw. The local badass. And he is all mine.

“Look what else is in there,” he says.

Reaching in the bag, I fumble around its bottom until my fingers wrap around a small figurine. I pull it out. A little man, carved out of wood, wearing a wooden sombrero. “What is it?” I ask.

He guzzles down more of the whiskey, then says, “I thought we should make your trip to Mexico more believable.”

“God, you think of everything.” I hug the figurine to my chest. Mom and Dad think I’ve taken a road trip with Susie. What they don’t know won’t hurt them, I think and glance out the window as we near the road for home.

The car whizzes through a stop sign. Bright lights blind me and I slam sideways. My screams are deadened by the scrape of twisting metal and the shatter of glass. Mom and Dad’s bloody, expressionless faces in the other vehicle.

What they don’t know can kill them.

©2010, September 8, rmg.

There are times we make decisions and don’t fully understand the consequences. In this weeks YAFF Muse I wanted to show this to the extreme. Sad thing is, this happens. If I had written a lengthier piece the reader would have found out that the girl in this story survives only to find out her parents discovered she wasn’t in Mexico and she’s the reason they were out searching for her that night. I guess you could say the moral of this story is that every action has a consequence.

Thanks for stopping by. Please drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

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