Anyone who actually follows the ramblings I post here probably knows I have been dabbling with some writing. I have a full WIP that has been ‘under the knife’ for several months now. Just your typical editing for a first time writer: hack, slash, and rewrite. *grin*
Well, the last several weeks to months I have had a new story occupying my brain when I try to distance myself from WIP #1. It’s another YA type dealy-o, only more sci-fi-ish with fantasy elements.
I am probably certifiably crazy for doing this, but I would like to share a little ditty that spewed out the other day when working on character development for my main gal. This is background info that sort of morphed into a semi-short story. I like it, it makes me smile, and I thought y’all might too. Feel free to let me know your thoughts if you wish. Enjoy!
Pop had said a ‘boozer’ once meant a person who drank tons of alcohol. That was before the Collapse and everything changed. Now it just meant someone who was really sick from the ash and rotten food. Lots of times kids with Boozer folks had problems, like being blind.
The difference was I wasn’t really blind. I faked it to stay safe. Have my whole life. All eleven years of it.
I hated the glasses. The lenses were so dark you couldn’t see my eyes behind them, but that was kind of the point. They were like goggles and made me look like a bug. That was why the other kids teased me. I was different. The other blind kids in my class couldn’t afford glasses so their crazy looking blank stares were open to everyone. Nobody had much money around here, but Pop was good at improvising. My glasses were proof of that.
“What’s wrong, Moira? Have you gone deaf too, you Boozer freak?” sneered the white-blond boy in front of me. Paul, Peter, or Pecker somebody, I forgot his name. I didn’t care to remember it. “Maybe you can get a fancy headset for your ears to match your glasses.”
Did I mention I hated the glasses? I ground my teeth. Where’s Fin?
What’s-his-face wouldn’t leave me alone. I tried my best to keep the anger deep inside like Pop taught me, but it still boiled in my gut like last night’s potatoes. Lately it had gotten harder to bottle things up. Pop said it was puberty. Ugh. If I could just hold on until Fin showed up, everything would be okay. He would get the creeps to leave me alone. He always did.
Without moving my head, I glanced around the school’s front quad. Where is he? He’s never late.
What’s-his-face pushed me and I almost fell back off the bench I sat on. I grabbed the edge with one hand before I could topple over. My knuckles tuned white on the cane in my other hand. That does it!
I stood and began walking toward the school, guiding my steps with the cane. What I really wanted was to beat the crap out of Jerk-O with it, I knew how, Pop and Fin made sure of that, but it was ‘strictly forbidden.’ Nobody could know what I could do.
Jerk-O and his friends followed me. He stalked right behind me and continued poking me in the spine with a sharp finger. They kept singing their stupid song, fueling the fire in my blood. I fought to keep cool. I was losing.
Glancing up to the sky, my stomach sank. Dark clouds rolled in, shielding the once blue March sky. Crap. Calm down, Mo. I needed Fin. The familiar churn of energy was building in my gut, just below my ribcage. It pulsed with my racing heart.
I angled my walk toward the parking area. There were people over there so maybe Dipwad and his Goons would leave me alone with witnesses. Then I could calm down and wait for Fin.
Fat raindrops fell from the sky like someone had overturned a giant bucket. People in the parking area ran for cover. The creeps didn’t seem to notice the change in weather and never let up on their teasing. The wind whipped my black hair around my face with a sting. Thunder clapped overhead and the sky darkened. No. No. No. This can’t happen.
Assface and Company were laughing at my direction, making jokes about a blind girl driving a transport. A pair of palms jammed into my shoulder blades and I pitched forward into the mud. My cane clattered to the ground and my glasses bounced off my face and out of reach. I scrambled in the mud trying to reach them as the wind howled past my ears, dragging my long hair over my head, blinding me. The words Jerkoff yelled at me were lost in the wind, but I caught ‘freak’ and ‘witch’ and something about ‘toxic waste.’
The boot to my stomach was not lost, however. I gasped for air and curled to my knees as Assface pulled back to kick me again. The wind got stronger, the rain was a full on tsunami, and I fought to keep the power from escaping. It was no good. I couldn’t hold it. It was too strong. It had never been this strong before. I squeezed my eyes shut. The raging elements intensified with my fear. My body started shaking from trying to fight the pulsing energy.
A crunch of plastic snapped my eyes open. A booted foot lifted from in front of my face to reveal my broken glasses. No! A deafening boom turned heads to the east where a black tornado began devouring the field behind the school. People screamed and the ground rumbled underneath me. It cracked and zigzagged across the lot before opening wide in the parking area. Several cars were sucked into the gaping earth.
Balled up in the mud, I stared in horror as people ran around trying to keep away from the widening gap. Their screams filled my ears.
Another boot to my side flipped me to my back with a loud grunting growl. I wrapped arms around my middle and glared at Assface. His suddenly wide eyes and open mouth almost made me laugh, if I were not so beyond angry and scared. I knew what he saw. The reason I was to wear the glasses at all times. My bronze colored eyes, that had an odd metallic sort of sheen, were glowing gold.
Assface found his voice. “You are nothing but a crazy, mutant FREAK!”
The fury and hatred filled me. I could not hold it any more. It wanted out, and now. My whole body shook and, even though the wild wind and tornado threw freezing rain in every direction, my skin was hot. A car in the parking area exploded and fingers of flame shot up to the sky, angry swirls in the wind. Then another. And another.
Something was wrong. The energy from my core pulsed out along my body, guided by something other than me. This was not good. I had never felt like this before, so helpless.
I sat up and looked at my hands with a start. All along my arms and hands danced an odd golden flame, but it did not burn me. It moved like liquid and was not affected by wind or rain.
The Jerkoff grabbed my shirt and pulled me toward him, his disgusted scowl in my face. I stared at the refection in his brown eyes; my reflection. My long hair swirled weightlessly around my head like I was under water. The golden flames danced in and out of the wavy tangles.
“You are a witch!” he snarled. “You…you…you’re EVIL!” He spat on me and scrubbed an arm across his face.
My head was thrown back as a surge of energy built up under my ribcage. My eyes stared up into the blackened sky. Jerkoff didn’t have his hand on me anymore and I couldn’t feel the ground under me. Am I floating? I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move.
Fin’s voice broke through the torrent of screaming, rumbling, and crashing around me. He was screaming my name. Fin, help me! I can’t stop it!
The power that filled me, swirling like a whirlpool gone mad, brought tears to my eyes. It hurt so bad, but felt good at the same time. I surrendered to it.
I looked out at the school grounds and the chaos I created. As if in slow motion, I saw people pulling others out of deep crevices in the earth, exploding cars, flames reaching for the sky and freedom. Debris flew through the air as the tornado closed in, rivers of water surging through the parking area and spilling into the open earth.
And there was Fin. He ran flat out toward me, his face a mask of fear and worry. I could no longer hear his words, but his mouth moved with the letters of my name. A pulse rocked my body and I dropped to the ground.
The energy rippled around me like a pebble in a pond. When the rings of energy spread, anyone in its path was thrown back like an explosion, flat on their back. The ripple faded into the earth several feet away in all directions.
I jumped to my feet, searching the fallen for Fin. No one moved.
My cousin’s familiar shape rolled to his feet, swaying slightly. He turned and ran to me.
“Mo! Are you okay?” He grabbed my thin shoulders and gave me a good once over. His hazel eyes were full of worry and his auburn hair full of mud.
“I – I don’t know.” I looked down at Assface at my feet. “Oh God, Fin! Look!”
Assface, the boy whose name I didn’t know, didn’t care to remember, stared into the sky with sightless eyes. Blood traced lines from both eyes, his ears, his nose and mouth. His skin was pale and sickly as the rain beat down on him. The others around me all looked the same as the boy.
Fin reached down to the boy’s neck then laid his head on his chest, ear to the boy’s heart. A moment later Fin sat back on his heels and looked at the others on the ground. I didn’t understand the dark expression on his face.
He stood and wrapped an arm around my shoulder. Fin was only a year older, but always seemed more than that.
“He’s dead, Mo.” He looked out at the other bodies circling me. “They’re all dead.”
My brain stopped working. What had I done? My hands covered my mouth, but no scream came. I was numb. I was a murderer. I was – evil. My heart beat crazy in my chest and I couldn’t breathe.
“Mo?” Fin tightened his grip on my shoulder. “Moira!”
Everything stopped. The wind disappeared, the tornado vanished, the fires swallowed themselves whole, and the rain cut off like a faucet. Spots danced in front of me and I swayed.
“Moira!” Fin grabbed me as I fell limp in his arms and the world faded away.