A quick note about my entry: this story idea was inspired by a quote I came across recently:
“Then may I tell you that the very next words I read were these – ‘Chloe liked Olivia…’ Do not start. Do not blush. Let us admit in the privacy of our own society that these things sometimes happen. Sometimes women do like women.” - Virginia Woolf, A ROOM OF ONE'S OWN)
The Trouble with Chloe and Olivia
Word Count: 195
Age Group: YA
My secondhand sneakers are scuffed. A splotch over the left toe resembles that old mystery director, Alfred Hitchcock.
Or maybe my grandfather.
Grandpa loves Hitchcock movies. While I’d never tell him this, I think it’s because he looks like Hitchcock. I’ve had time to study the Grandpa/Hitchcock stain since I’ve spent all morning avoiding this school...avoiding these new kids.
Only that isn’t right. They aren’t new—I am.
Two sparkly white tennis shoes and a pair of cowboy boots are ahead of me in line. I notice mud clinging to worn boot heels. Then they’re both turning...turning...turning toward me.
“Hey, what’s your name?”
It’s Tennis Shoes. Unicorn socks show above her double-knotted shoelaces. Her voice is low and musical. A leading lady’s voice.
I try to look up...to reply, “Chloe.”
My fingers twitch, longing for my camera. Why was everything easier behind a lens? My red canvas-covered right foot covers Hitchcock as my stomach flips. The smell of burnt fries and spoiled milk wafting through the cafeteria isn’t helping.
Even Alfred Hitchcock couldn’t solve the mystery of making friends here.
“Come on, Olivia,” Cowboy Boots says. “She’s weird.”
They go away.
Fall Writing Frenzy 2022
About this poem: I grew up in southern USA, where twilight is sometimes called "dark thirty." It's a magical time of day, with the sun glowing below the horizon, bats squeaking overhead, and fireflies dancing all around. When I saw this photo, I immediately thought of dark thirty and all the magic that exists for a kid during the twilight of their childhood. I hope it comes through at least a little bit in this piece.
Thank you for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments.
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