Let’s try something a little different….

Posted: September 20, 2013 in Writing Prompt
Tags: , , ,

It’s not different for me to use WordPress.Com’s daily post as a jump-start for my post; I’ve done that several times.  But lately, even as First Life time pressures on my firsty have been squeezing my time to be me, I’ve been feeling more yearning to exercise my fiction writing voice.  The poetry I wrote the other day, my recent struggle to determine my own past as opposed to my firsty’s past, have helped underscore that one passion my firsty and I share is writing and that we need to that more.  So today, I’m going to post a fiction scene, inspired by this prompt:  Are you comfortable in front of people, or does the idea of public speaking make you want to hide in the bathroom? Why?  Photographers, artists, poets: show us PUBLIC.

“Emma?  Miss Reis?  May I borrow your attention for a moment?”  My new teacher, Mr. Oxeman’s voice was dry, with a slight rasp and a faint hint of accent I couldn’t identify.  I looked briefly around the classroom before I realized everyone else was looking at the new girl.

“Emma Reis?  That’s my name!  I mean, that’s me.  I mean, yes sir.”  Except it wasn’t my name, and I had almost blown my cover and it wasn’t even lunchtime.  I could hear the kids in class snickering and feel my cheeks flushing bright red.  What had seemed like a great idea over a pitcher of Bad Juans on Tuesday night now seemed like a horrible execution on Friday morning.

“Would you please come and stand next to my desk?  The rest of you benighted savages should quietly be thankful I’m not embarrassing you today before I change my mind.”  The giggling faded and most of the class managed to stare semi-attentively.  Which meant they were staring at me.  My cheeks flushed an even warmer red.  One of the boys was even looking me up and down with a frankly speculative leer, although he looked away when I made eye contact.  “Over the first two weeks of every school year, Miss Reis, I make all of my students come up before the class and introduce themselves so I can learn their names.  Even though you are a late arrival to the district, it would hardly be sporting to allow you to miss out on my little ritual.  Particularly since it appears I’m not the only one who needs to learn your name.”  He paused briefly to allow a fresh wave of titters at my expense before continuing.  “So for the sake of the class, tell us the boring stuff: your name, your age, where you’re from, and then tell us three interesting facts: something about yourself, something about your family, and what you want to learn in my modern history class.”  My mouth dried as Mr. Oxeman yielded focus to me with a languid wave of his hand.

“My name is Emily… that is to say my name is Emma Lee Reis, but everyone has called me Emily since I was a little girl.”  Norm would be unhappy that I had changed Emma’s middle name, but I needed people to call me by a name I would hear.  The real Emma was a sophomore with a nervous mother, so a little mental arithmetic told me that, “I’m sixteen years old, and my dad and I just moved into the district from Kettering so he could be closer to his job.”  In reality, I was twenty-four, but I looked like I still waiting for puberty, which was one reason why Norm thought our hair brained scheme might actually work.  Four of the five missing girls had attended Morrison High, and it seemed likely I might find a clue if I nosed around.

Someone yelled “Boo firebirds” sotto voice, and I remembered that Morrison’s football team, a perennial punching bag, had won one of their two victories that fall at Morrison’s expense.  “Hush, Chad,” murmured Mr. Oxeman, “the floor is Emily’s.  So, what are your three interesting facts?”

I stared at a spot on the wall, trying to ignore the silent judgement I felt watching me.  It was silly, there was no reason I should care, but I felt like everyone was just waiting for an excuse to disapprove of me.  I flipped my bangs out of my face idly as I thought.  “First fact: Nine times out of ten, I can do a Grosman grab blindfolded.”  I tugged at the gauze wrapped around my right forearm.  “This wrapping is to cover the scars from the tenth time.  Skateboard falls can be pretty nasty.”  I’d had my share of arguments with the concrete back when I was in high school for real, but the real reason for the wrap was to hide my tattoo.  The tattoo, a divining rod extending from past my elbow to the base of my index finger, was unique enough that anyone who had seen it when I was working at Giovanni’s might recognize me as Emily, waitress instead of Emma Lee, new student.

“Second Fact: My mother was a circus psychic when my dad met her.”  A story I had heard from Uncle Norm, because dad refused to talk about my mother ever since she walked out of the house one December Sunday and never returned.  Norm wasn’t really my uncle, just my godfather and my dad’s former partner before he left the police department to start his own investigation firm.  Unlike my dad, Norm was fascinated by the gift I had apparently inherited from my mother.  Dousing was mostly good for parlor tricks, but I had helped Norm before with a couple routine inquiries as a “consultant.”  Norm’s company, Landings Security, hadn’t actually been hired by anyone connected with the missing girls, but Norm was still nosing around the case, looking for an in.

Over the last month, five local high school girls had apparently vanished into the ether with nothing but the clothes on their back.  Like my mother, they had disappeared and left no traces.  There were no signs of assault or abduction, but if they had runaway they had left no notes and packed nothing with them.  The press was trying to stir panic and controversy, but the sheer lack of facts left them nothing to work with.  If I could get my hands on something that belonged to one of the girls, I might be able to use my gift to get some idea of where that girl was and whether she was alive or not.  Norm had tried to approach the families, but gotten nowhere with no official connection to the case.  He had been sharing his frustrations to me a few nights ago, and after a few drinks and “what-if”s, I had agreed on the current foolishness.  As a new student, I might see something the eyes of authority wouldn’t be allowed to see, or might be able to get my hands on a book or picture or project that still had a psychic link to one of the missing girls.  If I didn’t find anything, nothing was lost, but if I could get a tingle on anything, it might change everything.  “Third fact: I’m in this class because I want find out what happened to those who came before me….”

P.S. I did get a picture to post as well, although it doesn’t fit the story.  The outfit is Rockstar Mentality from Envious.  I’m wearing the Candy shape and skin from Wow skins.  I’m obviously wearing my Lolas.  Also the Whisky hair from Loq, my rave neko tail and ears, and my favorite boots from Prozak.  Take care all!

Rock star mentality from Envious

Rock star mentality from Envious

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