Wednesday, July 13

a short story

I've been inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald to write about real things in my life... he once said that every writer has a few experiences which affect him/ her profoundly, and they draw most of their work from those few experiences. So, I am writing a story based on real things, and on speculations about the gloomy looking red headed boy on the side of the road.

The red-headed boy walked in a cloud of gloom, drawing to him all the doom and depression hidden under the mask of an idyllic summer day. Ten minutes walk from the center of twon, the unlined road he lived on felt to him like a wild borderland. Adventures-to-be-had tugged at him, chained to his legs, the late afternoon torment of a teenaged Jacob Marley dragging around him as he trudged the straight street of boredom.

His first year of high school had ended in the controlled chaos of final exams, with little studying to be done and most of his last school days spent playing Hi Lo Jack and talking about funny lines from raunchy comedies in a cafeteria with the unofficial slogan "One Thousand pieces of Tacky Gum Under Every Table." He had thought up the slogan himself, but credit was given to Joe Siphon who, by some combination of volume and popularity, was considered funny. The afternoon after the slogan became the high school's most widely spread joke, the red-headed boy explained to his friends over a bowl of barbecue flavored chips his chagrin at being overlooked, although he tried to make it sound as if he didn't really care. His friends always met at his house because his parents, who by some combination of a well-stocked junk food pantry and a nonchalance towards swearing, were considered cool. Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher-Smith didn't receive quite the same regard from their son, who at that point couldn't see to forgive them of their capital sin: meeting through a love of fantasy role-playing and then naming their only son Haraldain after his father's alter-ego, a princely master of the blade, third in line for the throne of Alderia.

The family vacation was at first too remote from the life-nexus which for two glorious weeks had seen not a single hall pass in its corridors. Here I will add more to the details of the family vacation. In the next paragraph, it's back to Haraldain walking along the road.

He felt as if he were being sucked into a vacuum. Pondering the career perks of being a door-to-dooor vacuum cleaner salesman, he waded through the eighty degree ennui of Pendulum Peak Road, past a cluster of "Beware of Dog" signs which hinted at dripping fangs and high voltage canine rage. Haraldain kicked at an empty Coke bottle on the side of the road, as if to punish it for giving him even less mental stimulation than the finer details of door-to-door selling or the contrast between the high fence with its warning signs and the pair of cocker spaniels which it actually contained.


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