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First draft of Colors, a short about a girl who swallows rainbows available here
First draft of One Bright Moment, in which a young woman named Rue makes a sacrifice and learns to live with the consequences available here
(Where We Keep Our Sorrow- Excerpt)
Jayce sneezed, not bothering to cover her mouth. A fine mist sprayed over everyone unfortunate enough to be sitting near her. “I’m dying,” she said by way of apology. Then she flopped to the left, wiggling until she’d managed to sprawl out across everyone’s lap on the couch. “Here is my deathbed.”
“First of all, you can at least let someone else up on the couch. This is precious butt space you’re wasting with your dramatics.” Elle reached over the knee currently in her lap for another handful of popcorn. It also required reaching between the two people propped up against the foot of the couch, everyone wedged carefully so no knees would be digging into backs, at least until Jayce had upset the balance and now there was a mad scramble as the boys both shouted SHOTGUN, pawing at each other in their efforts to get enough leverage to wedge themselves into the spot Jayce had vacated.
Autumn did nothing to help or hinder but secretly she hoped Matt won. She may have agreed to let Tolton in on their movie night but that didn’t mean she wanted to be closer to him more than absolutely necessary. Touching shoulders went far, far beyond necessary.
Matt did win, using a couple of unsavory tactics if the shrieked YOU BIT ME was anything to go by.
“Did he break the skin?” Elle asked, shifting to the side to make room for Matt. It was a tighter fit, he was broader than Jayce. A squeak came from the far side of the couch, presumably Gracelyn being squashed into the arm of the couch. “Sorry Grace. Tolton, if he didn’t break skin then you’re fine now will everyone please be quiet, some of us come to movie night for movies.”
This felt somewhat disingenuous as this week was Gracelyn’s pick and she had squandered it by making them watch Les Mis. Again. It was a testament to the strength of their friendship that nobody had locked her in the trunk of a car yet.
“This is lame,” Tolton groaned, rubbing the spot on his hand where he was presumably sort of bit. “Hey, can I pick next time?”
A tense quiet fell over the group. Autumn pretended to be enraptured by Éponine’s song on screen. In theory, theirs was a group of democracy: everything decided on equally and until all parties were satisfied. But for some reason, everyone let her boss them around on this one issue. Maybe it was because they used her house? Usually, there wasn’t an issue, they’d followed the same rotation for two years now, since they started this.
This was the first time someone new had breached the group.
Even the others, the people she actually sort of liked who would pop by for the occasional movie night but weren’t a fixture in her house had never asked if they could throw a wrench into the carefully rotating wheel of movie night.
“Guys?” Tolton twisted to look at everyone on the couch. “Anybody alive up there?”
She could feel their eyes on her even though everyone kept their heads carefully forward. Matt was leaning a little heavier against her side. She played with Jayce’s hair and said nothing.
Eventually, Tolton turned back around, his posture stiff and tight. This was going to cause a problem. “At the end of the rotation,” she said sometime later, probably after everyone else had forgotten the conversation except her and Tolton. It cost something from deep inside her to allow this additional concession to his admittance in the group. “Before the cycle starts over. So in about a month, if we manage to meet up every weekend.”
They wouldn’t. They never did anymore. There were too may extracurriculars and work schedules stuffed between them now to ever meet so regularly. Still, his shoulders lost their tenseness a little and his head shifted, a bob of acceptance hard to catch in the low light of the room.
A tension went out of everyone on the couch too that she hadn’t noticed until then. Jayce had been holding herself stiffly, ready to jump up in case… in case of what? In case Autumn had another fit like a toddler? That was a distressing thought, that her friends considered her so little. Jayce’s head thumped against Autumn’s thigh over and over. Autumn sighed, giving in to the demands and carding her fingers through Jayce’s hair. The other girl gave a sigh of contentedness, snuggling further against the bodies on the couch.
Matt shifted slightly more towards her, which was really an impressive feat and if they weren’t careful soon he’d have pretzeled himself onto her lap too. An amusing thought but she didn’t really relish the idea of becoming the bottom of an impromptu snuggle pile, especially not on the couch. “You okay?” His breath tickled her ear he was so close. She nodded back, keeping her eyes on the screen. She didn’t feel like she had many words left for the day and wanted to save them. “Autumn, I –”
Finger to lip was still enough to garner some respect. Matt sighed, sitting back straight again. Autumn switched hands in Jayce’s hair, elbowing Matt with her free arm until he lifted his arm enough for her to snake her hand through, twining their fingers together and giving his hand a gentle squeeze. She hoped he knew what she was trying to say; that it was okay. She wasn’t mad at him and she just needed time.
She wasn’t used to the five of them needing anyone else. Even Gracelyn, the only one of them who had any kind of steady romantic relationship, often confided in them more than her partners. What did Tolton offer Matt that none of them did? That even their fringe friends apparently didn’t? Why all of a sudden were the two of them so close?
It nagged at her not knowing, being on the outside of something with someone who she was usually so close to.
|What I Write||
Above is the first draft of a novel that is pretty much my characteristic wheelhouse: stories about depression and coping, about family both blood and found. Stories about finding your way, your voice, your path when everyone around you says no, says hush, says listen I know best. There will always be an edge of once upon a time (in this case: a knight errant, a touch of death, a decision thrice made.) There will, when I do my job right, be feelings and resolutions and moments that you, the reader, walk away from feeling better for having experienced them. (there will be comma abuse until I run things by an editor. Alas, the comma splice has me deeply in its grasp.)
None to speak of yet. Most of my writing can be found on my website listed above or if you’re brave enough, a collection of fanfiction over at Archive of Our Own
750 words a day is the goal this time around. What the words go to remains a mystery but hoping to put a majority of them towards projects already in work. With that said, I am aiming to have the first draft of a flash fic finished by the end of each week. Links will be made available as the write-a-thon progresses.
I do not feel confident enough to aim for a set amount, any amount given is appreciated.