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Thread: "Memoirs of a Wallflower"

  1. #1
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    "Memoirs of a Wallflower" (please comment if you so choose)

    (This short story contains some profanity and some adult terms. Recommended for mature readers 18 years or older).
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (3,940 words)

    Author note: This short story is written in the style of a descriptive narrative. It contains no dialogue and the main character remains anonymous throughout most of the story. All people, places, and ideas are completely fictional and are works of my own imagination.

    Weekends...preferably Sunday afternoons, out with certain friends, walking through the fields, high bright contrast, girls with the big white sunglasses and the thin baggy messenger bags slung over one shoulder. Smoking when she can, she roughly discusses the most recent gossip. Taking in the mid-summer's fresh air and embracing the slight, cool breeze, she up and looks around toward the trees while experiencing the common light-headed marijuana high. It's now evening; she comes up to a small pond, with the overwhelming sound of bullfrogs and crickets. She kicks off her flip-flops and sticks her feet into the water's edge after sitting down on the grass. Leaning back on her elbows, she observes the evening sky above. Showing colors of orange, purple, blue and light yellow. Recent jet streams are woven over the sky while light rays are piercing through the edges of the clouds. Taking another drag from her Marlboro, she falls into vertigo...call the EMT's.

    She apparently landed on a rock and was knocked out. The flashbacks of her and her friends as little kids laughing and running through the back yard with a rubber kickball, living in the fisheye lens. They contained all the uncertainty of being looked over by a new doctor for the very first time. The same uncertainty of feeling stuck in the car, raining, waiting for her mother to come walking out from inside the garage. While dogs bark at the car from the outside. Are those dogs barking to help or hurt her? She finally wakes up from her numb, feeble state of mind, just in time to see a black dog run from her, going toward the tree line under the moonlight. That dog ended up looking back from where it ran from, and then it put its head down sniffing the ground while slowly walking into the woods. The girl gets up; she feels a cold wind come down across her, blowing her hair forward from behind, slow-motion beauty. Wind as cold as the initial dry stick of iron gates in the wintertime. She looks up, has her hands on her forehead, and then drops to her knees. Who couldn't hear the screams...?

    It started to rain. She was cold and wet, and started to cry with the overwhelming, hard to breath tightening in her chest. She kept spurting in breaths, trying not to cry as much. All she wanted was to be at home where at least she knew it was safe and warm. She decided to try and look for the fastest way out of the field that she was in and away from the pond. She headed over by the tree line where she saw the dog run to after she woke up. Started to look around, up and down the tree trunks, she spots an old brown tainted Polaroid photo of her mother by an ancient looking olive tree. The photo was lying among various dead leaves. She crouches down to pick it up and squints closely at it, trying to figure out who it is. The photo of her mother was of her not even looking at the camera, because she cared too much about her daughter to look up at the camera. The actual photo was crinkled and dried from water damage, with a brown tint of old dirt sticking to the back of it. Just like an old musty book with the dried wavy brown pages. She holds on to the photo while scratching the top of her head as she keeps looking around along the ground. She then turns around and heads back through the tall grass of the field, past the pond toward what looks like a long skinny gravel road. It was only a couple feet wide, had more dirt than actual gravel though. She starts down the gravel path while occasionally looking at the photo of her mother, still trying to figure out who it is while walking down into the rocky abyss.

    She keeps walking down along the rocks, comes up to a small waterfall with a shallow pool of water around it with rocks piled around it, almost like an entry to a cave. She sets the photo down between a two bigger rocks. She then kicks off her flip-flops and starts wading into the water, with the water running across her legs from the current. Another beautiful sight of her slowly walking up to the falling water with her hands out to catch it. She then closes her eyes and tilts her head back as the water runs down her body. Afterward, she is sitting on a rock with her knees up to her face, still barefoot in her short, one-piece summer dress, with her brunette hair all to one side, still wet from the water. She moves her feet around in the water while again looking at that photo and thinking about whom it could be. She lightly bites her finger, squints and looks around from where she is sitting. She wishes she was still with her friends during nighttime drives with the glow of cell phone screens, and the car windows open to feel the breeze from the interstate. She closes her eyes as she runs her hand through her hair along the right side, grazing past an old scar on her temple right by her hairline, while trying to hold back tears from what gave her that scar. It's now mid-morning and she heads further down through the rocky path that led her to the small waterfall. Her dress eventually dries from the sunlight. She lowers her white sunglasses back down from her head and holds onto the photo tightly as she keeps walking around the trees away from that small waterfall. After hearing a dog ruffle through the grass, she was then drawn to curiosity and decided to follow it.

    She continues to follow the sound she heard from the dog. Before she knows it, she is on a beaten down path with the grass all pressed down from other people walking on it. Slowly but surely, she starts to think about the recent flashback she had with the dogs barking at her. Trying to piece together the how and why of that flashback, along with the photo that she still had. All this confusion made her feel that she was living reflected in the spoon. She continues to walk down the grassy path trying to keep an eye on that dog. Wondering where it was taking her, she stopped to look around at where she was, the problem was, she had no idea where to go to get out and back to civilization. By now she's wondering, is it worth risking more time trying to get back to where she was, or just keep walking to find out where that dog is really going. As she stands by a tall oak tree with the sunbeams shining down across the front of her, she looks around with anticipation, before heading off farther into the woods to follow that dog to wherever it leads her. There wasn't much in the way of thorns or really steep hills, just nice slopes and valleys. The dog was about thirty to fifty feet in front of her sniffing as though it was tracing a scent. With its tail still wagging, it started to bark at a certain tree. The girl caught up to the dog to see what it was barking at. For as strange as it sounds, the dog was barking at an old baby pacifier, which was lying lodged between two big branches. It was pretty old, all brown and faded in color. The actual rubber part of the pacifier was faded to off white. She pries it out from the tree branches to look at it more closely. At first glance it looked like any old pacifier. She then started to compare it to the photo that she had found a while ago.

    And with that photo she discovered something abstract, but at the same time sort of surreal. The pacifier that she was holding had the same design as the one in the photo. She was shocked, and then started to think that most of all pacifiers have a very similar design and is most commonly used by infants. But for some strange reason the one this girl had found had something about it that made her want to believe that it's the same as the one in the photo. She was willing and able to quietly resist the fact that there was some truth within the finding of this seemingly unimportant infant device. But there was a truth behind this finding. A strange, feeble, would be grotesque if at all possible truth. If only she could figure out what that truth was. She then sits down in the tall grass by the tree that she found the pacifier. She really starts to re-think the flashback she had of herself in the car while it was raining, waiting for her mother to come walking out from inside the garage. The reality of that is her mother never came out. Was her mother caught up on the phone or was she talking to her husband about something? To help this girl try and clear these things up more, she begins to walk around the flat area with which she was in. Lighting up another Marlboro, she paces around while concentrating on the flashback. It all seemed pretty vague because it was like remembering a dream after you wake up. A lot if it just wasn't there. Something new that she did remember from that flashback was that there were red lights flashing around and the so-called "car" had only two small square windows right next to each other and the inside was like a big white box. The dog was almost asleep by the base of the tree by now. It was around early evening, the sun was already turning orange as it was setting, so the girl decided to stay where she was until the next morning.

    Strangely, after she woke up she was able to remember more about that flashback from recently. The red lights and the two small square windows were part of an ambulance. It was now as apparent at a showcase trial on television. She checks her cell phone; it only has one bar of service because she was down in a valley far from any road or commercial building. A little digital icon of an envelope was flashing on the top of her phone's screen, it was a voicemail message. She walks around to try and find a more active spot for her phone to keep at least that one bar of service. Dials the security code for the inbox and listens to the message. Scratchy, it plays: knew I had to finish her off for good, that blonde headed *****. All the **** she was doing with my boss, sucking his dick in the restroom stall, blowing in his ear whenever she was standing behind him in line at the bank. I knew I shouldn't have invited him to dinner that one night. At any rate, if you get this Athena, I moved to Miami last year and got a decent contracting job with some local Mexicans. I know it's hard for you not to have your mother around anymore but in the long run, it would have helped you out for the better. Hopefully I'll be able to stop by next time I'm in Arizona for Christmas. I love you. Athena was now in tears so bad after listening to that message, she was about to scream as loud as any conscious person during the Holocaust. Within the couple of minutes that it took to listen to that message, Athena had to let the reality sink in that her father was a killer and still out in the public. Like working in contracting was really a smart thing to do. Being inside future homes and buildings of the workplace, he could easily leave the gas lines open in a house for some unfortunate bastard to light up a cigarette and be blown to bits. All Athena knew now was to do all she could to get out of the area. She had to find some road or at least an area where her cell phone can pick up more service bars. After crawling up a semi-steep hill, Athena came up to a road guardrail. The road was freshly covered in blacktop with the odor of new tar all around. She starts walking, not knowing where this road will lead her. At least she knew it was to end up somewhere.

    Athena was trying to walk faster on the fresh pavement so that her shoes wouldn't stick to the tar. As for the recent voicemail message, she was starting to become desperate for someone, anyone to drive by and give her a ride far away from where she was. It was now about an hour of walking since she jumped over the guardrail and onto the road. She sat on the same guardrail to rest, with chin in hand, and elbow on leg. A cool breeze came by while Athena was trying to forget ever opening that voicemail message and also holding back tears. She was now shivering, wishing she were indoors or at least had warmer clothes on. She still had the light summer dress on from the beginning. Her semi-curly brunette hair was now in a ponytail, and she still had on the big white sunglasses to block the sun, which was about as bright as a handful of starlit diamonds. It wasn't humid out, just really sunny. A few cars had actually passed on the road that Athena was on. But passing was all they did out in the Arizona countryside, with nothing but a cell phone with hardly any service. She continues to keep walking down the road after seeing a state trooper coming up from behind her from about three hundred yards away. Within about a couple minutes, the cop slows to the same pace as Athena's walking. All she could see was her own reflection in the cop's sunglasses. The cop kept driving after picking up normal speed again. Athena's father had done contracting work all along the southern coast of the United States for about the past year. The chances of him being around California or even Arizona was pretty unlikely since a lot of older newly retired people move to Florida looking for new homes. This was what Athena was also thinking about while she kept walking along the side of the road, along with the possibility of actually seeing her father again. But what are the chances of that? Right now, slim to none.

    Memories of Athena and her mother running by the water in the wet summer lawn when Athena was only a child were going through her head. She was now at a train station on the outskirts of some dead end town. Ended up staying the night there because by the time she got there, the last train had already left. It's now around 10:30am, and Athena was patiently waiting for the first train to arrive. The strange thing about this particular train station was that the first train of the day didn't arrive until 1:00pm. The last train left the station at 9:00pm. Athena was now starting to shake due to nervousness because she was reading a chart on the wall that had all the possible places that the train traveled to. To her surprise, a train actually would leave Arizona en route to Miami, Florida. Only one train at 8:30pm, it was one of the last trains to leave the station each day. It was almost 11:00am now; she wasn't really planning on sitting around all day to wait for that one train to leave at 8:30 that night. She walked outside to see what was around, only the road which she walked on for a couple of miles, and the bright desert sun overhead. It was like an old cowboy movie, but without the stringy bails of straw rolling past on the ground. She looks across the horizon with a puzzled expression on her face of not knowing where to go. Deep down inside, she really wanted to be in Miami right now to reconcile with her father. This stage in the game, trying to reconcile with a killer would be a far cry from anything productive. For Athena, it was worth a shot. By 8:25pm that night, Athena was pacing around the station waiting for the train that would take her to Miami. Along with her, there were about twenty-five other people also waiting for either the same train or the very last train that would go to Austin, Texas. Before she knew it, the train to Miami had arrived and Athena got on and so did about ten other people. The train left the station and Athena was about to arrive at her father's feet and reconcile.

    Athena slept most of the way to Miami after getting on the train. She woke up when the train was about five miles away. About ten minutes later, the train had arrived at the outskirts of Miami. She waited for the air brakes to make their final jerk to a stop, she stood up and walked down the aisle of the train car and stepped out into the warm summer air. In search to find a taxi or a nearby gas station to get directions, she saw a Texaco station about half a mile down the road. While walking along the sidewalk, all she heard was cars and Latino voices fading in and out from house to house beside her along with big SUV's with plangent sounds of hip-hop resonating from inside the cars. Athena finally made it to the Texaco station in search of directions to her father's workplace. The cashier told her to go two miles north, into the industrial part of the city. That was all the cashier knew. So Athena left the Texaco station and flagged down a taxi. She told the driver to take her north to the industrial side of town. After fighting the heavy traffic, she finally made it to what looked like a construction site. The ground was all dirt with bulldozers and pickup trucks all over the place. She motioned to the taxi driver that she was at the right place. Athena looked around the site in search for an office building or some kind of temporary building where the white-collar workers hung out. While walking along side of the other workers and trying to ignore the perverted taunts and suggested after hours plans, Athena finally made it to the main outlet building of the white collar workers. She asked one of the workers where the contracting company that her father worked at was. He told her that it was on the other side of the entire construction site, and offered to give her a ride over. The worker seemed kind enough; he was one of more mature and older workers. It wasnít until the worker actually drove around the premises of the construction site when Athena realized how big the whole site really was. The worker then arrived where the groups of contractors were discussing future plans to the new buildings.

    Athena got out of the truck and thanked the worker who drove her from the opposite side of the construction site. She began to feverously look around and find her father, even though itís been years since she had seen his face. She still remembers his voice. She purposely stayed in the shadows back by the tree line on the dirtís edge while still trying to spot out her father in the small crowds of contractors, all with orange hard-hats. Athena then turned around toward the trees after feeling her cell phone vibrate. She checked who was calling, it said Ďprivateí. Not thinking anything of it, she turned back around only to look straight up at her father, the killer of her mother and a killer still out in the public. Athena stood there for about two minutes, not saying anything, but she had recognized her fatherís face this time. Something told her that this man standing in front of her was who she thought he was. Her father slowly started walking toward Athena and kept walking as he pushed her back into the brush of trees about ten feet. It looked like she was just walking backwards right up next to her father as he was walking forward. The father shoved Athena back and into a tree trunk, asked her what the **** she was doing on a construction site all the way here in Miami. She told him that she wanted to try and settle the score for the death of her mother. Athenaís father really didnít care at all about his wife, especially after the affairs she had with his boss. Even though Athenaís father told her in the voicemail message that it was for the better that her mother was not around anymore, made Athena think all the more less of her own father. He then violently grabbed Athenaís head and bashed it against the tree truck that was right behind her. Letting out a defenseless cry, Athena was trying with all her might to grab hold of her fatherís arms to control them. It was like a physical fight in a dream, what you try to grab on to just doesnít seem to stay, it was like trying to grab and hold onto soap. Her father had her by the wrists and was dragging her down a hill of thorns and brush down toward a stream of water. He then tossed her in front of him like a bag of sand, wiped his mouth with his forearm and pulled out his hammer. Athena was so terrified now, she was too nervous to move. She had the tightening feeling in her thighs right above her knees. Of course her father didnít care, he never did. With snot dripping from his nose and a mouth in a disgusted position, he crept up onto Athena with his hammer. Slamming it right next to her face, he leans in and tells her to forget everything that had just happened, everything from the voicemail message to her being dragged through the brush. But as he said that, he relentlessly threw his hammer back and stuck Athenaís face down into the water of the stream hoping to drown her. After about two minutes of doing this, Athena wasnít moving. Her father came to the conclusion that her daughter, her only daughter was now dead. Her father got back up to his feet, spat to the side and turned to walk back up to the construction site after picking up his hammer. He was done. She was done. But she was only done for another five minutes. Athena was not dead but only relaxed. She was actually relieved of the fact that her actual father now thought she was dead. Because of this she was able to escape and find a new life of friends, and a future family. That was what she did. She escaped very quickly. She kept running down through the woods away from the construction site. Finally coming to a main road, Athena flagged down another taxi. As she opened the door to that taxi, a new life awaits her.
    Last edited by garrett-k; 09-16-2009 at 10:22 AM.

  2. #2
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    Lost me after the second paragraph. Couldn't relate to the character.
    It was less a story and more a shopping list of actions she took and events that happened.

  3. #3
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    Could you break down the paragraphs more? This is very hard to read.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeDuck View Post
    Could you break down the paragraphs more? This is very hard to read.
    rather excellent advice

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice. It was intentional to have to read like a list of events. I was wanting it to feel like memories from someone who knew the main character, retelling the memories from the past events. If that makes any sense.
    Last edited by garrett-k; 09-16-2009 at 04:40 PM.

  6. #6
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    Opinion

    The other respondents seem to have missed the very acute observation and description of the thoughts and images that the girl had in her mind.

    I'd agree with them that you do have to concentrate a bit to keep up with what is going on, and paragraphing would help.

    I felt the story was a bit incomplete, in that I would have wanted to know in what way the experience changed the girl. We witness a gory scene, with nothing to reassure us as to what happened next.

    Very fluent writing. A bit of a dark subject.

  7. #7
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    Thank you... I shouldn't have copied and pasted it from its original Microsoft Word format, lol.

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