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Thursday, April 30, 2009

There She Sat...

Picture by AVR
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Suggested prompt...
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Is it love or a math test? Is she sad, waiting, happy?
Tell me her story creatively.



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I saw her across the park. Sitting on the end of the slide in the playground. She was there yesterday, too, and the day before, always at the same time. In fact, thinking about it, she's been there every day at this time for at least a week. Always at the end of the slide, and only when I come out for my afternoon break. I see her when I come out the building door, and cross the street, then I lose sight of her when I turn to go into the corner shop. By the time I come out with my soda, she's gone. I never see her in the morning, not even the day I was late for work, and I never see her at lunch, or when I go home at night.

I want to know who she is, and what she is doing there, and if she is in a serious relationship, and why she looks so sad, and which parent gave her that gorgeous, silky brown hair. In short, I want to know everything about her.

Today, I finally work up my courage, and walk across the playing field of the park towards her. She sees me coming and stands up. When I reach the edge of the playground, she smiles. It lights up her whole face. She puts out her hand. "I've been waiting for you, Jack." Too late I see the sharp teeth in her mouth. She pulls me towards her, and the last thing I feel is her teeth sinking into my throat.

morganna

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11 comments:

Simply Heather said...

Everyone told her that he was a player but she didn't want to believe him. They'd spent weeks together, laughing and holding hands. He said that he loved her.

That was all it took for her to want to share her heart with him, and give him everything that he wanted.

She thought she made it a special night for him. Afterward, he was so cold in the way he left her. She wondered if she did something wrong, but she didn't. He said he'd call her today, but he didn't.

She went for a walk and found herself at the old playground. Taking a minute to sit and watch the kids play, she heard a familiar voice; it was him. She turned to see that he was flirting with another girl.

Feeling disgusted, hurt, angry and used; she just sat there wondering what she should do.

She didn't know that her older brother had been following her on her walk. She didn't see him standing at the distance. She didn't realize that he understood her so well or that he knew.

He took this picture to remind her, not to hurt her; but so that she'd know when the next snake came around...how she felt that day. After he took the picture, he walked over to that snake and tapped him on his shoulder. When he turned around, he had no idea what was coming. The snake slithered away in pain.

The girl? She saw it happen. She smiled inside, through the hurt and ran up to her brother. I love you, she said without hesitation and this time, she felt genuine love in return.

AVR said...

What am I doing here? I don't feel I belong. I feel so alone. So much peer pressure. I know what is right and wrong but sometimes it is so hard to handle everything. My mom does not understand, I have nobody to talk to about my insecurities, concerns, crushes. Sometimes, just being by myself, is the best thing I can do.

morganna said...

I saw her across the park. Sitting on the end of the slide in the playground. She was there yesterday, too, and the day before, always at the same time. In fact, thinking about it, she's been there every day at this time for at least a week. Always at the end of the slide, and only when I come out for my afternoon break. I see her when I come out the building door, and cross the street, then I lose sight of her when I turn to go into the corner shop. By the time I come out with my soda, she's gone. I never see her in the morning, not even the day I was late for work, and I never see her at lunch, or when I go home at night.

I want to know who she is, and what she is doing there, and if she is in a serious relationship, and why she looks so sad, and which parent gave her that gorgeous, silky brown hair. In short, I want to know everything about her.

Today, I finally work up my courage, and walk across the playing field of the park towards her. She sees me coming and stands up. When I reach the edge of the playground, she smiles. It lights up her whole face. She puts out her hand. "I've been waiting for you, Jack." Too late I see the sharp teeth in her mouth. She pulls me towards her, and the last thing I feel is her teeth sinking into my throat.

Dani said...

Today is a beautiful day. The sun shines and beats down on me. I could drink it all in except why should I? I would rather sulk. Then my mom will be sorry. Maybe if I never speak to her again she will know how important it was for me to go with Kristy to the zoo today. Sigh. Ben was going to be there! And instead I get to sit here at the stupid playground.

"Jem! Move!"

I look up to see my snot-faced little brother at the top of the slide glaring. Yes. This is what I get to see all day instead. Why would I want to go to the zoo with Kristy and see Ben's gorgeous blue eyes when I can look at this snotty freckled nose, wrinkled at me all day? My mom never understands ANYTHING.

With a groan I stand and he slides down with a squeal. So! gross! Now I have to get a tissue and wipe off that slime. What was mom doing that is SO IMPORTANT that she leave me here?

"Jem!!! JE-EM!" He whines.

I turn and see him stringing a long line of the goop from his face all over the bottom of the slide.

"Eew! CARTER! Stop that!" I go for him with the tissue and he only runs away. "Yuck! Now look what you did!" I cry after him, wiping the bottom of the slide off a bit with the tissue. "Come back over here so you don't do that again." Where is mom?!

"Jemma, Je-em, Jemma, Je-em!" He taunts me. I just give him a nice glare and sit on the slide again. Who cares if he gets that slime everywhere. Then maybe it will just be a bigger mess for Mom to clean up when she gets back. Maybe instead of just not talking to her I'll just never look at her again. She'll never see my beautiful brown eyes look at her again! That should punish her! She'll miss the twinkle and one day she'll beg me to just look at her. And I won't. Because today she RUINED MY LIFE!

"Jemma! Can you come here and help me get everything in the car? It's time to go."

Ok, here it goes. I'll do both at first. I won't look at her OR talk to her. If I HAVE to answer then I just won't look at her. I walk toward her voice, eyes on the ground. She'll be sorry now.

"Jem, Carter has dirt all over his face? How did this happen?"

Like it's my fault. I just keep walking to the van, grabbing the diaper bag on the way.

"Jem, I'm going to need a little cooperation. Carter needs you and..."

"I know, Mom!" Ooops. Dang! Well, I'll just not look at her now.

I get in the van and wait.

"Hey Jem."

What? Is that Kristy? Sure enough, I turn around and there she sat in the van. Grinning her toothy grin and waving. "Hi! What are you doing here?"

"Your mom is SOOOO cool! She picked me up and we're all going to go get pizza!" Kristy sighed, "The zoo is closed today so all our plans were ruined and I saw your mom driving by! And..." Just then Mom opened the side door to put Carter in his seat. The whole van was full of his crazy whining noises now and there was no way we could hear each other anymore.

"Oh, Carter! We just need to get going!" I looked at my mom now and could see her mouth frowning in concern. Her eyes were tight. Her hair was now falling out of the braid she'd so nicely done that morning. She struggled with much more talent than I could ever have to get that kid into his seat. She looked up at me at that moment and caught my eye. I smiled a little at her as I heard the seatbelt in Carter's seat click. Then, remembering, I quickly turned around.

Awe crap! Oh, whatever. I guess today she got away with it. But I'm sure she'll ruin my life tomorrow!

cagrowngirl said...

There she sat on the slide thinking about her life and what it was like. Her parents happy and together. This afternoon they told her the news - they were divorcing. Her world is crumbling around her. She needs to go to a place where she was safe, where happy things happened - The Slide.

Wildspirit said...

I know this girl, from...somewhere.

The sadness and despair, not knowing what to do. The girl I knew sat under a walnut tree in a snowy field, crying in the cold night, all alone, her future as barren as the frozen ground, but that was just a little part of the picture.

Like the field, planted with winter wheat, she was not barren--she carried life within her at the tender age of fourteen. She knew the father would never be with her, ever.

As her brother, three years older, I followed her tracks through the snow in the night, my boots crunching through the crust, the only sound in the cold moonlit night other than my breathing as I jogged after her.

When I got to the tree I saw her huddled, her knees to her chest, her head down. I called her name, and she burst out crying. I held her as she shook and sobbed. Gently, I tried to reassure her that everything was going to be all right, and led her the mile back through the snow to the warmth of the woodburning stove in the living room. It was 1954, a terrible time for her. She drank the hot tea I made for her, and after a long while fell asleep on the couch.

I think she felt a lot better about being unwed and pregnant, that she was not completely alone--and she was brave enough to go back to school.

Society being what it was then, she was forced to quit her sophomore year when she began to show.

Yes, I know the girl.

PersicaPit said...

Cassie likes the playground because it is quiet.

Not all the time, obviously. During the day, it's crammed full of snot-nosed brats shoving each other off swings while their airbrushed mommies gossip about American Idol and so-and-so's latest tummy tuck. Disgusting.

But once the sun starts setting, it's different. Better. Silent. Sure, there are still people around: some ugly ten-year-old looming on the monkey bars like a ginger god, a suburban mom in a velour jogging suit texting furiously on a bench (totally oblivious to the fact that her daughter's eating sand), two older kids furtively exchanging money and weed by the fence. They're all off in their own little worlds, too self-involved to notice anything but their own lives.

This suits Cassie just fine. She doesn't want to be noticed. She wants to be invisible. She's gotten really good at it; she knows just how to duck her face behind her long, dark hair and disappear inside bland, oversized sweatshirts. The hunch of her shoulders is expert: don't bother me, don't look at me, don't acknowledge my own existence. She's just a shadow slumped on the end of the slide, a silhouette as muddied and murky as the pond on the other side of the fence.

Her parents are fighting again. They're always fighting. They act like they don't (oh, honey, you know I love your dad, nothing's going to happen, we're just fine), but Cassie knows better. She can feel the tension when she walks in the front door, can taste the alcohol in her mom's good night kisses. They try to hide it from her, restrict their arguments to behind-closed-doors, but the venomous strains of their voices waft into Cassie's room via the air conditioning vent, leaving her with hazy snippets of accusations.

… that office more than you love …

… raised a manipulative little bitch just like her mother …

… don't you touch me, I'll call the …
Don't get her wrong – she's not complaining. So her parents hate each other. No big deal. Nothing to get all worked up about (even though it hurts, oh, it really, truly hurts). Cassie knows kids with worse problems. One of her friends had an uncle who touched her when she was four. Another friend won't get changed in the gym locker room because of the bruises her step-dad leaves behind. And another friend—

Except they're not her friends. Not anymore. Not since they all started high school and decided that Cassie had the easiest life, the most reason to be happy. Her parents have money. They're still married (although Cassie's beginning to wonder how long that'll last). She's fashionably skinny and gets solos in the school choir recitals. She's on the honor roll.

Clearly, Cassie sucks.

So they turned on her. Her friends stopped calling. They sent texts behind her back about how her solos are always just a little flat, how she had "book smarts" but was too naïve. They even started a vicious rumor that Cassie was a lesbian, prompting all the kids at the bus stop to throw stones at her one day after school.

That was when Cassie decided to disappear.

That's all she wants, really. She just wants to vanish into thin air, where no one can make fun of her for things she knows aren't true (but what if they are?), where her parents can't touch her (even though they never do). She keeps her head down in class and turns in average work so that no one can say she's too smart anymore. She swathes her pretty body in baggy, neutral colors so no one will mistake her for being attractive. She smiles brightly at her parents and tries to give them all the right answers, hoping her false cheer will keep them from arguing about her. She asks for nothing. She makes no demands. She just wants to be invisible.

But even that's a lie. Cassie doesn't want to disappear. Cassie wants to scream. She wants to cry and rage and pound her fists against every wall she can find. She wants to howl her sorrow at the world, wants everyone to know that she's sad, she's miserable, she's falling apart at the seams.

And more than anything else, she wants someone to hear her. Someone who will put a hand on her shoulder and tell her it's okay, she's allowed to be upset, she has permission to be hurt. She wants someone to tell her that she's human, not a shadow or a scapegoat, and she has every right to feel like crap because everybody does.

But no one's there. The playground's almost empty now. The drug dealers have finished their trade; the cell phone addict has gone home to wash the sand out of her kid's mouth. Now it's just Cassie on the slide and that freckle-faced goober on the monkey bars.

Cassie stares at the kid for a moment. It's almost eight now. Where are his parents? Shouldn't someone have run up looking for their son, their precious baby, their beloved treasure? Doesn't anybody care about him? Doesn't anybody care at all?Suddenly, the kid turns his head and looks back at her. They lock eyes for a moment, loner to loner, and Cassie reads the yearning in his eyes with ease. She knows that look well. She sees it every day in her mirror, but seeing it on someone else's face …

Cassie swallows and summons up her courage. "Hey," she calls to the little boy.

The boy frowns at her, already distrustful at such a tender age. "Yeah?"

"You want to play on the jungle gym?"

He thinks about it for a second and then breaks out into a grin. "Okay."

So they play for a while, just two kids on a jungle gym, laughing as the sun goes down behind them.

Nobody notices.

septembermom said...

Others don't see
the break within.

Slight smiles hide
the disconnect around.

Happiness pushed off
like a raft to horizon.

Remnants of first love
still pulse through veins.

Dani said...

PersicaPit! I am in awe! This is lovely!

Unknown said...

I'm not like most teenagers, I'm awkward, I don't get into fashion, boys are not on my agenda yet, I'd rather sit at home with a good book than spend all day roaming the mall and well i prefer my own company. So fitting in has always been a problem for me. My mum trys so hard to make my life easier, but in reality just makes it harder.

Sometimes I think she wishes I was more like her friends daughter Sandy. Popular, pretty, talented and well, basically the kind of daughter she's always wanted but never had. I think my mums embarassed by me, and blames me for not having many friends in her life because lets face it, would you take someone like me anywhere?

The truth is, I like being awkward, and I like that I'm not popular because then i don't have to worry about keeping up appearances for anyone sake least of all my own, and i don't get paraded around like i'm some prized shitz tzu, that everyone ooo's and ahhh's at. I get to blend into the background, i get to do the things i want and not be put under a microscope. I get to be who i want to be, which is myself. . . .awkward, book-worm Milly.

So when i'm sitting at the park all by myself at least i know no one is going to care. I can sit inside my head in my own reality and no one is going to care. I can do all these things without persecution and hassle free. So if there was one person in the world i would not want to be right now, it is Sandy. Lets see her try and do what i do.

The truth about me? I am Milly Strongman, 15 years old, and i love being me.

MindFul MiMi said...

My poem is here:
http://mindfulmimi.blogspot.com/2009/05/there-she-sat.html