Monday, June 30, 2014

Live Writing Exercise 15

It was actually pretty cold at the cabin (and/or I am quite the wuss), and I built a fire in the stove that only heated the area directly in front of it and the upstairs.  I was only there for a day, but I still managed to get some writing done.  I realized too late that I could have taken my microphone and recorded down in the basement (which nobody slept in), or some recordings to edit.  I'll do that next time.

After a couple of hours writing (on this project and another that I was getting ready to put for sale on Amazon), I made the mistake of checking my brother's laptop for any games, and found that he had Jewel Quest installed on there.  Heck, it may be on all laptops, I dunno.  All I know is, when I looked up, it was after midnight, and everyone else had gone to sleep (you could hear my uncle snoring all the way downstairs).  So, I typed for another fifteen minutes or so, then read the book I'd taken along, "Outlander," until I fell asleep.

I could have accomplished more, this I admit.  But I did accomplish something.


            They were in front of their apartment building, and suddenly Tanissa found herself laying down on the hot sidewalk, pretending to make snow angels.  She didn’t know why she was doing it, only that she wanted to keep doing it, more than anything she could think of.

            “Still think it’s Russian?” Brekkyn asked, putting her hand out to help her up.  Tanissa’s elbows and the small of her back had burned on the concrete, and she rose up, brushing herself off.

            “How did th--” she started to say, then realized she had just fallen down and her friend had helped her up.  She wasn’t usually so clumsy.  “Ow,” she mumbled.  “Must’ve tripped.”

            “That must be it,” the girl said, and laughed.

            She laughed at Tanissa falling down? 

            But how had Tanissa fallen down?  She remembered being flat on her back, but neither her head nor her butt hurt, just her elbows. 

            “What were we talking about?” she asked.  She honestly couldn’t remember.  It was just there in the back of her mind, barely out of reach, like a song lyric you’d know if you only heard the music. 

            Song lyric?  Something about a song . . .

          “We can talk about it later,” Brekkyn said, as though it wasn’t important.  “Just know that I am a princess and the most special girl on Earth.”

            “Okaaay,” Tanissa said, but couldn’t help but think she had missed something, like when her mom fell asleep while they were talking and missed whole chunks of the conversation.

            “We had fun today, huh?” Brekkyn said once they were back inside.

            “Sure,” Tanissa said, but she was still puzzling at her loss of time in her mind. 

            “You wanna come in, have some lunch?” the girl asked.

            Tanissa was starving, since popcorn and junkfood hadn’t been a real meal.  She went into Brekkyn’s apartment, and flinched when the younger girl shouted, “Mom!  We’re home!”

            Brekkyn’s mother was in the kitchen, just putting strawberries into a blender.

            “Hello,” she said to Tanissa.  She didn’t quite smile. 

            Tanissa began to worry once again.  Clearly, there was something wrong with this woman.  She was thin--sickly thin--and her hair was thinning too, and streaked with grey.  She might have been pretty once, but she was now a big-eyed skeleton, stress lines around her eyes and forehead.

            “Hello again,” Tanissa forced herself to say. 

            The woman wore an apron and a pink jogging suit that matched her daughter’s tastes.  She had bandages on one hand, and a nasty burn on her palm.  “Do you like pineapple in your smoothies too, Tamissa?”

            “Tanissa!” Brekken shouted from the living room.

            “Oh, I’m sorry,” the woman said.

            “No problem.  My teachers usually say Tonya or Vanessa the first day.”

            The woman gave her the barest hint of a smile.  “You’re sweet,” she said.

            Tanissa wasn’t sure if she liked Mrs. . . . Brekkyn’s mother or not.  Of course, she wasn’t sure if she liked Brekkyn either, but that was beside the point.

            “What’s cookin?” the girl asked, washing her hands at the kitchen sink.

            “I have pizza rolls in the oven, and Pop Tarts ready to put in the toaster, plus strawberry smoothies to go with them.”

            “Really?” Tanissa asked.  That wasn’t a typical lunch at her mother’s house, not even when Dad lived there.  She wondered if the woman had made something special for her.

            “Do you like banana or pineapple in your smoothie?” she asked Tanissa.

            “Sure, Misses . . .”

            “Conlee,” the woman said, “but call me Muriel.”

            “Okay,” she said, but didn’t feel like she’d dare to call an adult by their first name.  Her own mother would certainly never permit it.

            “Brekkyn has said so much about you.”

            “She has?”  She’d just met the girl the day before.

            “Yes.  You’ve made quite the impression.”  She smiled, then glanced over at her daughter, as if for approval.  Wow, Brekkyn had her mom wrapped around her finger.

            “She needs a friend.  Someone to get her out of the house.”

            “Apartment,” corrected Brekkyn.  “And we went for a long walk today.”

            “Oh, that’s wonderful!” the woman said.  Was it?  A walk?  Maybe if the plump girl never got any exercise.  Tanissa knew a lot of kids who never ran or walked or rode a bike, and wouldn’t even pretend to if they got a game for the WiiFit or Kinect.

            She ate a late lunch with the pair, and though Brekkyn’s mom laughed when her daughter joked, shuddered at the description of the scary movie, and gushed with affection for both her child and her child’s friend, Tanissa got a feeling of weight and sadness from the woman.  It was similar to how her dad seemed when he’d first gotten divorced, but different, more a part of her.  She suspected the woman was putting on a performance, whether for her daughter’s or Tanissa’s benefit she didn’t know.  But she was polite and thanked the lady for all the food, then excused herself to go home and wait for Dad.

            “We’ll go out and play tomorrow again, right Nissa?” Brekkyn asked, shortening her name the way her aunts and grandmother did.

            “I don’t know,” she said.  “We’ll see.”

            “You told me your dad has to work tomorrow too.”

            “Yeah, but then he’s got the rest of the week of--”

            “Tomorrow, then!” announced the girl, grinning proudly, as though she’d won an argument.

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