writing about writing


Posted by Flood on May 5, 2006

Entry for Poetic Justice Contest

"They say the doctors could tell she was alive when she was dumped in that field because she had fistfuls of grass in both hands." Jeremiah lets his face absorb the sun.

"Whaddya mean?" I know I shouldn't ask, but my mouth just goes right ahead and does it anyway.

"Think about it, stupid. If she was dead when she was left there, would her hands be holding the grass?"


"Right. She was still alive when she was ditched there."

"How come you're telling me this stuff?"

"'Cause you are just a dumb kid and I don't like you. Go home."

I walk my bike home because my legs feel too rubbery to ride. I keep looking behind me in case Jeremiah is following me, but I don't see him. I would have punched him in the head for talking about her like that, but he's bigger than me. I am going to have to find another route to and from the lake this summer.

Katlyn was just a kid too, but she wasn't dumb. She'd come frogging with us or play soccer-baseball. I found out she knew how to play Atari as well as any boy. She beat me at Space Invaders three in a row, one time, and I had to give up because the jerks were laughing at me. I thought it was pretty decent, though, that a girl would be able to do something like that.

Four days ago, she was supposed to meet me at the gas station and never showed up. We were going to try to fix my motor scooter. She had watched her brother fix his and thought maybe it was a bearing problem. I never told anyone I was supposed to meet her. For a while there I was worried that it was my fault that she got killed. I think that's normal.

Now that I am thinking about it, maybe just being a girl is what got her killed. It's sad, yeah, but it's totally freaky that someone I was that close to isn't here anymore. It makes my stomach kind of flip around. I don't think I will go to Katlyn's funeral. If I am gonna cry, okay then, but I don't need a bunch of jackasses reminding me about it for the rest of my life.

When I get home, I find my mom in the kitchen frying up hamburger. She sees me and smiles hello.

"Sloppy Joes?"

"Awesome," I say and lean against the counter. "Mom? Did you hear anything about Katlyn being alive when whoever killed her dumped her body?" She stops stirring the meat around and looks at me.

"Don't say 'dumped.'" She says, testily.

"I know it's sad but she was dumped." I explain.

"There is no reason to think she was left there. Maybe the killer found her there. Look, it's nearly supper, so perhaps you could choose another to discuss this, okay? I want to talk to you about it, really." She angles her head forward to convince me.

"But I just want to know what you heard. Was she alive in the field for a while before she died?" My throat hurts and I hope my mom answers me quick, because I don't want to have to say anything else. I blink fast, hoping nothing comes out of my eyes. Mom comes over puts her arm around me.

I start bawling.

"Oh honey, honey," she whispers. She hugs me tight. I feel awful because Katlyn's mom can't hug her kid. I feel bad that I didn't feel worse when I heard the news. I feel bad because I wanted to keep playing Space Invaders with her.

I sob for so long my brain feels like it's swelled in my head. When I finally get a hold on myself, my mom gives me a glass of water and sends me to lie down.

When I wake up, maybe 4 or 5 hours later, I hear someone at my bedroom door.

"Honey? It's Mom." She peeks around the door frame. "You better now, sweetie?" I think I am so I tell her yes. She asks me if I want anything to eat. I say maybe later. She tells me she'll be back soon to check on me.

When she closes the door, I decide that I need some fresh air. I climb quietly out of my bedroom window and lie on the cool, damp grass. I feel completely empty, but not in a bad way. I just watch the stars, but I don't really see them.

What I do see, after about three seconds of looking at it, is Jeremiah's face hanging over me. My entire body gives up a tremor.

"Hi," he grins, "I forgot that Katlyn wanted you to have these."

He drops some wheel bearings on my head.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: