Sunday, 1 March 2015

Charge and Story

I have a charge for you*.

*"you" especially means YOU, silent followers. 

If you are reading this and have come here via your Blogger Dash or your Bloglovin feed, please, please, please leave a tiny comment to that effect. Following the URL Change I don't think my posts are reaching a lot of you, so this is a test run. Please?

(Slightly desperate-sounding) charge aside, I have a story for you!

Yes, indeed, you may well look incredibly surprised, because who knows when I last posted writing on this blog? I've been working on The Novel for so long that I barely write short stories any more (I know, I'm a bad writer), but after at least a couple of you said (via the poll, in which you can still vote, go go go!) that you like my writing-ish posts, I thought I'd share.

It doesn't have a title.

From where I’m sitting, the girl’s face is half covered by shadow. She’s blonde, smiling, pretty enough in her school uniform to know she’d be a knock-out at a party. Toby is leaning forward, eyes following her face. He laughs at something she says, not with his head thrown back like when we were little but in the way he has been practising in front of the mirror. I’ve made fun of him for that, and regretted it when I see the hurt in his face. This is why I’m trapped like this, in this limbo. I can’t talk to him like before. I can’t make things the way they used to be.            
The girl’s phone beeps, and the spark in her eyes jumps backwards, away from Toby and down into her pocket. She flips it out, casually rude, and scans the screen. Toby wipes his hands together. It is not the girl that he wants so badly, that etches this disappointment onto his face. I know him well enough to see that what he craves is the glamour that surrounds people like her. I remember when he didn’t care, when wonder came from a hermit crab wriggling in a rock pool we found together, or from the shapes we could make in the clouds. Now he is desperate for something else. 
“Toby,” I say. He looks up with brow furrowed, eyebrows telling me the words he is about to say.           
“Not now, Lucas,” he hisses. “I’m trying to—” He moves his hand in place of words, as he has always done, and the girl glances up, for a second distracted from her distraction. He smiles at her, and shoots me a furious look as she turns away again.            
“Get lost!” He speaks through gritted teeth.            
“Hey, come on,” I say. “Don’t waste your time on her. Let’s go, there’s time before Maths, we could go to—”            
“No!”            
“What?” says the girl. She slides the phone away and Toby forces a smile. 
“Oh, nothing,” he says. “But you were telling me about your party?”            
“Yeah,” she says. Her mouth is glossed pink, eyes outlined with black. She is chewing gum. I watch the muscle in jaw working and tune out her voice. Toby is nodding, running a hand through his hair in the gesture I remember from years ago, four summers and a lifetime past when we holidayed in Anglesey. We ate barbecued food on the beach, sausages charred on the outside and pink in the middle, and swam in the sea until the stars came out and Toby’s mum forced us inside. We didn’t talk about the future. We barely knew that it was coming. I smile, but it feels more like a sigh.            
Toby’s eyes flick to my face, and he sends me a warning look. “Go away,” he mouths. Part of me wants to punch him and leave right now, but I know I can’t. He needs me. I think.        
“Toby, come on,” I say again.            
“Shut up, Lucas!” he says, and the girl laughs, perplexed.            
“What was that?” She looks behind her, through me at the posters on the classroom wall.            
“Nothing,” Toby says, smooth as ever.            
“I almost thought there was someone behind me.”          
He laughs and shakes his head, making eye contact with me for a second. My hands look pale beneath the strip lighting. 
The girl laughs with him, tongue between her teeth, pretty mouth teasing. She leans forward. “You don’t have an imaginary friend, do you?”              
Toby laughs louder. “Of course not,” he says. I lean against the wall. It feels as though I am sinking into it. Maybe it’s this fluorescent light, but my hands are very pale.

So. Thoughts? Musings? Constructive criticism? Come to think of it, I've not read any of your stories in a while; I feel like we've all stopped posting our writing, when we used to share it a lot more. So if you have posted some recently, link me up!

Emily x

12 comments:

  1. Wow, I love your story! Especially that ending - have you read Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend? It's kind of like that, but with a lot more implications and the characters seem older. I love your descriptions as well.

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    1. Thank you Kat! I haven't, although I'll look it up! I was trying to keep implications to a minimum for a shock ending haha! I think these characters are about 14.

      Thanks so much!

      Delete
  2. I got here by your fabulous blog redirect c:

    Okay now dude I'm just going to say that your writing style is flawless. Flaw. less. Honestly, it's so great to read.

    BUT WHO'S LUCAS??? (Is he a ghost??????????????????)

    Amy;
    Little Moon Elephant

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    1. I see I see, so that means you went to my old url specifically to see if I'd posted THANKS BRO! I don't think many people are doing that though hence an extreme pageview drop D: D:
      My url redirect is pretty fab, a very wise blogger told me what to do ;)

      THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU x22359028

      Is the ending not clear?? D: It was meant to become obvious in the last two paragraphs: Lucas is an imaginary friend, who's fading away because Toby is growing up.

      Delete
    2. I'M SO SORRY ABOUT THE PAGEVIEW DROP, but your blog content is awesome so I'm sure it'll only take two weeks-ish to build it back up.
      NO PROBLEM DUDE!
      And ohmygosh, literal facepalm, it's so obvious. Honestly. But then again, the first time I watched the last Harry Potter film I realised that Hagrid was in fact Hagrid - not Dumbledore as I'd always thought. Don't even ask, I don't know.

      Amy;
      Little Moon Elephant

      Delete
    3. Thanks! I need to actually produce some "awesome" content though ..... which is not happening currently with so much work on!

      I ...

      don't even know where to start.

      There are so many questions.

      ...

      You should read the books.

      Delete
  3. Okay, that is a great story. I really like it.

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  4. I don't do the whole gfc / bloglovin thing... so can't help you there. I just casually saunter into blogs I like whenever I have the time :D

    As for the story - YES! Your writing has gotten ridiculously good! I mean it! Like you've always been naturally good at writing but it has come on leaps and bounds. I love this story. Nothing major happens but at the same time there is so much subtle happenings here, in relationships, the way people act, growing up etc. I love how it's from the pov of his imaginary friends. Really great idea!

    I hope you're almost finished that book and on the way to publishing because I NEED to read more from you that does't end when I scroll a little down the page! ^_^

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    1. This is the strategy I mostly adopt these days, because I don't have time to sit scrolling through my Blogger feed! It makes it very easy to miss good posts, though.

      THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU (repeat) You are so kind. This comment is making me grin like an idiot.

      hahaha yes of course! *ahem* I *am* working on it. I am. Don't look at me like that, I am! But slowly. And right now, I have literally lost the plot.

      Delete
  5. Hi Emily! I wandered into your blog via Paper Fury today, read your post on female friendships, and then stumbled onto this little piece of gold. o.o This is amazing and beautiful and just...*happy sigh* I love discovering fellow young authors who have such a good grasp on mechanics like you do. And not just mechanics, but /storytelling./ I'm serious, that was a gorgeous piece! Well done! (And now I'm following you. ^^)

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    1. Hi Tracey! Thank you so so much - this comment really made me smile! And thank you especially much for the follow. You are very kind.

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Thanks for commenting! :)