вторник, 29 июля 2014 г.

June super contest

My winning piece for the June Super Contest on scribophile.com. First time first place, big thanks to all the judges and congrats to the other winners.
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I'm walking down the street wearing nothing but a smile. I'm not an exhibitionist, or a nut house fugitive, and, God no, I'm not a werewolf. I'm as ordinary as it gets. My wanna-be-original parents called me Mason. I looked it up. It tops almost all most popular name lists. Unlike my name, I'm not popular. Well, I wasn't, until now.

I'd better start with a party before spring break. I'm late and I'm skidding around the corner when I get a text. It says to get booze. I'm in high school and, funnily enough, it's both the reason why I can't buy liquor and why I can. I'm underage, but high schoolers are the most inventive people in the world. I find a girl who feels sorry for me, because I have puppy eyes (or so I'm told). I pay her from my savings and run to Dylan's house with a backpack of jingling bottles.

Dylan, the guy who sent the text, is on the porch, snogging my ex-girlfriend, Allison. I met her thanks to him, and lost her to him. But he's a better match. He's hot, rich and rules High School. All I have is puppy eyes.
"Macy, buddy!" He makes a grand gesture of welcome and pats me on the back. The bottles jingle, and he swings the backpack off me. "I'll pay you back later, deal?"

"Yeah, fine."

He never pays back, but he buys me stuff like clothes, gadgets, hair product, so I don't mind. 

"Hi... Allison," I say to my ex, actually, to her back, because they walk inside and he's whispering in her ear, making her laugh.

I follow them into the acrid fog of dancing bodies and elbow my way to the couch. Lola flops beside me out of nowhere and with a grin shoves a beer can into my hand. I thank her with a nod and take a sip. A swig of cold bliss feels like a reward for the hard day. 

I like Lola because she's different. She acts like she's a college girl who came to school for a visit. And she's not enchanted by Dylan. In fact, she's a jerk-free version of Dylan.

"Running errands for him again?"

"Huh?"

She snaps her fingers in front of my face. "What did he ask you to do today?"

"Nothing special, just get some stuff."

"Illegal?"

"Not exactly." I shrug and smile. She shakes her head at me.

"He's using you dirty, don't you see that?"

"I owe him."

"Owe him what? Life as an errand boy?"

If you think she's right, you've never been bullied in High School. I know Dylan's a jerk, but for the three months under his protection I never once had to put ice pack to my face or worry about a broken rib.
"Lola, we've been there. For the hundred's time, Dylan's my friend."

"I should think so," he says and towers over us. Lola scoffs, as he leans to her, close enough to make my hands itch with jealousy.

"Scoot," he says. In response, she presses her middle finger to his nose, pushing his face away. He snatches her hand, and she groans through her teeth. I'm not sure what to do, so I just say his name. He turns to me, still squeezing Lola's fingers. "You wanna say something?" His look is magnetic, powerful, like he owns me.

"Let her go," I mutter.

"Sure." He slackens his hold and Lola bolts up to leave, but Dylan stops her. As he pulls an envelope out of his pocket, I feel sick to my stomach. I stole this envelope from the principal's office this morning. Dylan told me he needed it to help someone.

"My friend Mason, here, delivered this to me," he says, slowly ripping the envelope to pieces. "But I'm not Lea Olivia Leighton. You are." He smirks, letting the pieces fly. "Oh, was it your college application? Jeez, the deadline's today? I'm sorry."

Lola shakes, and I can't even move. I had no idea what her real name was and no time to get to know her better. I want to strangle Dylan with my bare hands, so I stand, but he freezes me with his look.
"She's no good for you," he says. "I'm trying to protect you."

He pats me on the cheek and leaves. Lola's crying, and her eyes tell me I lost her forever.
"Stop lying to yourself," she says and drowns in the crowd.


When I'm done feeling like crap, I come to school and meet Dylan and Allison in the hall. He's all grand gestures and smiles, but I don't smile as I give him a slap. Before he can react, I yell, "How could you do that to me? You're breaking up with me for her?" I point at Allison. The hall goes quiet, I can feel all eyes on us.
"What the hell are you—"

I don't let him finish. "Is that because she's better than me in bed?"

His eyes are so wide I'm afraid they might fall out, but I don't stop. "You know what? I don't need you. I don't need anything of yours." I start taking off my clothes and throwing them at his feet, till I'm standing in my boxers. "Take all of it. Give them to another boy-toy of yours." And then I kiss him. His lips are tight, but he's too shocked to resist. I pull away to see his face, purple with rage. He makes a move to hit me, but his fist freezes in the air, because I take my boxers off. "These boxers I borrowed from you," I say. "They are too small."

As I walk out of school, I hear, whispers, laughs and another slap.

"Him? Seriously?" It's Allison. She tells Dylan to get away from her, and I smile. 

I've just lied to the whole school. But it hurts less than lying to myself. Actually, it feels pretty good.

четверг, 24 июля 2014 г.

Zelder summer series

Zelder summer series...
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One morning I went to look for myself. I didn't remember losing myself, but I knew I had to find me.

You know, one good thing when looking for yourself is you don't need a picture. You can just point at yourself and say, 'Have you seen anyone looking exactly like this?' I learned that people see you in all kinds of places. It's hard to hide even in the biggest city of the country.

In the end, I did realize I was doing a pointless thing. When you run after yourself, you inevitably run away from yourself. So I stopped and stared.

There I was, just where I had left me.