Monday, August 17, 2020

New Beginning 1090

I am twelve. I have reddish blond pigtails, a retainer, big front teeth my orthodontist says I will grow into. He made me feel bad when he said I was in the ugly duckling stage. I wanted him to fix, really fix my teeth. I read the story when I was six, my Dad read it to me when I was three. I know what an ugly duckling is. It isn’t nice to be called names.

Especially that name when you know that is what you are.

I have glasses. I have to wear them at school. My teacher makes me. She makes me sit at the front. I don’t want to be in front. The side, the back – anywhere but the front.

I got up from my front row desk, walked over to her at her desk and told her “You are very sick.”

I think she thought I was being rude or nasty. I put my arms around her. She felt stiff. I told her it was okay, we all get sick one day. Her sickness just came early. I touched her face, told her it will be fast and not to worry.

I handed her tissues as her eyes filled, we have to carry tissues in our breast pocket at school. I felt bad.

I took my glasses off. I always see better without them. I closed my eyes, my arms still around her.

“I will miss you when you go.” Tears dripped down my face. I tasted salt.

My teacher went kind of soft and put her arms around me.

“Thank you.” She whispered close to my ear. I hugged her more.

I am an Indigo Child. And that means...

"But," she interrupted me, "It's indolent. You are an indolent child. Look it up -- it will help you with your essay: And I'm not going anywhere until you finish it."

As I stepped back, she thanked me again with a firmer voice. Then she took my hand, un-clenched my fingers, and took back the pearl necklace I had removed from her during the hug. "First my purse, then my cellphone, now this," she said, shaking her head. "You're the one who is sick."

Opening: Wilkins MacQueen.....Continuation: ril


Evil Editor said...

I like this. I would like it more if it maintained the present tense throughout. The past tense in paragraph 1 is necessary, as the orthodontist and dad stuff happened in the past, but from "I got up" to "I hugged her more" can all be present tense ("I think she thinks I'm" is a bit bothersome, but that can be changed to "She probably thinks I'm."

Of course if you've written an entire novel in past tense, changing to present may be too much work or may be inappropriate for the whole book. But starting this passage in present, switching to past and finishing in present isn't working for me.

Wilkins MacQueen said...

Excellent point, thanks.

Great continuation.