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View Full Version : Why, Jimmy? (YA Paranormal) Chapter 1



lmc71775
November 19th, 2010, 02:41 PM
Chapter One

Mom doesn’t know.

Dad suspects, but hasn’t said anything to me yet. And maybe he never will. He isn’t the type to start a confrontation.

“Diane,” as I like to call my mom, doesn’t even acknowledge me since my brother Jimmy died.

I walk into the kitchen, heading straight to the fridge for a glass of milk. Diane is there doing the dishes and doesn’t notice I have even entered the room.

“Did you pack me a lunch?” I say to her, even though she hasn’t packed me a lunch since last year.

And of course she doesn’t hear me, so I repeat.

“Diane, did you make a lunch for me?”

“Huh?” She snaps the word out like I just pulled her out of a trance. “Um, no, honey, I forgot. I’ll do it now.”

“No need, I’m running late. I’ll just grab some money and have a lunch there.”

I run upstairs and into my room, grab a couple of bucks off my dresser and start to head back downstairs. But before I do, a flicker of light catches the corner of my eye. It’s coming from across the hall.

Oh, my God, I think to myself. His door is open.

I walk down the hallway and peek through the door in search of the source of light. I notice it’s one of Jimmy’s medals dangling in the November sunlight. It’s weird to see it moving when there isn’t a shred of wind in the room.

I’m surprised that his door, which has been shut for several months, is open. Diane would never have it. Jimmy’s room has been off limits since he walked out that dreaded day. The one and only time I remember going in there after the accident was when I snuck back into the house that night I spent with Ryan. It was a dare and effectively the easiest way to get back in the house. Diane was fuming with me afterwards when she saw muddied footprints across his floor.

Not this time. This time the floor’s spotless—like everything else. Jimmy, however, never kept it that way. He was always a slob. But Diane didn’t even seem to mind back then. She catered to his every need—and that included picking up after him.

My eyes graze across the red painted walls as my shoes creak on the hardwood floor. The sunlight is absolutely amazing this early in the morning. The hockey trophies and medals line up on the two tall-wooded bookshelves. It’s fourteen years full of awards. They got him into hockey at three. Diane was pregnant with me at the time, so I wouldn’t remember.

It’s funny to think it’s only been three years since his death. He was only seventeen—the age I am now.

His room has a haunting presence of laughing and cheering. I could hear the roar of the crowd and the smell of warm pretzels wafting in the icy cold air of the rink. I remember my mother made me dress in layers. She hated when I’d run up and down the stone block steps of the arena. I tip the hanging medal with my finger and watch it spin in the light. Jimmy was like that—agile and graceful, yet resilient with all the hits he took.

“Ding, Ding, Ding…”

I return to the present.

I realize the grandfather clock from downstairs is on its seventh ring.

“Damn, I’m late!” I say aloud to myself.

I scurry outside his room, glancing one last time to make sure I haven’t disturbed anything, and leave the door open, just as it was. I figure Diane must be getting ready to clean it again or something and race downstairs.

“Okay, I’ll catch you later,” I yell to Diane.

I wait a second or two to see if she responds but nothing. Just as I suspect. I can give a damn if I’m late for the bus. I could just meet Ryan up and we could ditch again like we did last week. I still can’t get over that I got away with it. I wonder why the school never called. They called Ryan’s mom and he got punished for it. But me? Nothing. Ryan says the school had to have called. Who knows? Maybe Diane did get a phone call and passed it off. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Jimmy is all that matters to her these days. Keeping Jimmy’s room and everything he had touched in the house clean was her only priority now.

I let the dead leaves crunch under my every step as I limberly walk to the corner. Reaching inside my pocket, I take out my cell phone and text “Where are you?” and press send to Ryan.

I glare at the screen as I walk and quickly get a reply text back, “Hey Bee, what up?”

Even though my name is Bianca, everyone just calls me “Bee.” Even the teachers at school. Everyone, except Diane. I remember her telling me once that she loved all three syllables in my name. That she couldn’t help but always say my full name. Nowadays all she calls me is “honey.” She used to call Jimmy that. It creeps me out a little.

I continue to walk, and from around the corner a blonde hair, blue-eyed kid jumps out from around the bushes.

“Boo!”

“Halloween’s over fool!” I say to Ryan.

“Haha…funny cause I thought you were wearing a mask,” he says with a smirk, pointing his one index finger like, I got you back sorta thing.

“Whatever Rye, you gonna play that way, fine!”

“Aww is Bianca Patterson sad now? I thought she was tough as nails.”

“I’m not in the mood.”

“Oh, come on. I was only playin’,” Ryan says with a wide grin this time and eyeing me like the Joker from Batman. It was always his trick to get me to smile…and it always worked.

“Oh? Is that a smile I see?”

I laugh and say, “Okay you got me.”

“So you wanna ditch again today?”

I think for a moment or two, looking into his sky blue eyes (trying not to be so enchanted or he’ll suspect something) then decide.

“To Meadow Oaks?” I ask him like he is going to suggest another place, but Meadow Oaks was our place. We barely ever went anywhere else. I’ll have to admit, I feel alive there surrounded by all that nature.

“Let’s do it!”

We both nod in agreement and head in through the neighborhood. As my thoughts start to settle, I feel a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I remind myself that the fluttering feeling will eventually go away when we get there. God, I don’t know why I am feeling this way in the first place.

As we walk, we are silent. Ryan glances again and smiles and is clearly excited to be doing this. Yet I feel different. I know we’ve been friends since the third grade. But since our senior year started, he really blossomed. And okay I’ll admit, even if it kills me to do so, Ryan, my best friend in all the world is a stud muffin.

Now how do I put on a good face so he doesn’t suspect it?

Jeremy Taylor
November 19th, 2010, 08:40 PM
Hi lmc. I'm fairly new here but this is the best piece of writing I've seen so far. Just a few little things:
My eyes graze across the red painted walls... Can eyes graze? How about, I looked across at the...?
The hockey trophies and medals line up on the two tall-wooded bookshelves... on the two tall, wooden bookshelves...
“Hey Bee, what up?” what's up? ?

Hope it helps

Jeremy

valo123
November 19th, 2010, 09:52 PM
I only read about halfway through, but I have some pointers that might strengthen the story. First, don't tell us he and his mom don't get along right off the bat. Instead, show us. Don't tell us she's ignored him since Jimmy died, show us instead. I'd recommend taking this out--“Diane,” as I like to call my mom, doesn’t even acknowledge me since my brother Jimmy died.

Stuff like this sounds weird to me, having just been introduced to these two characters.
And of course she doesn’t hear me, so I repeat.

“Diane, did you make a lunch for me?”

“Huh?” She snaps the word out like I just pulled her out of a trance. “Um, no, honey, I forgot. I’ll do it now.”

I'd take out "And of course she doesn't hear me" It isn't as obvious to us as it is to you why she didn't hear him. Show us their relationship instead of telling us.

"She snaps the word out like I just pulled her out of a trance." This seems like an unrealistic reaction, I'd remove it.

Oh, my God, I think to myself. His door is open. You'll find things starting to sound weird if you always say, "I think to myself"after what your main character thinks. Just say what he thinks without that.

I’m surprised that his door, which has been shut for several months, is open. Stating that your surprised is unnecessary because we've already established this by his reaction..."Oh my God" Diane would never have it. Jimmy’s room has been off limits since he walked out that dreaded day. The one and only time I remember going in there after the accident was when I snuck back into the house that night I spent with Ryan.This sounds awkward. Instead say something like...After the accident, the only time I could remember being in there was when I'd used his window to sneak in the house with Ryan. It was a dare and effectively the easiest way to get back in the house If he had to get in the house, and it was the most obvious choice, why does the dare matter? I'd just take the out. Diane was fuming with me afterwards No need to say "with me," that's a given. when she saw muddied footprints across his floor.

lmc71775
November 20th, 2010, 06:46 PM
Thanks Jeremy, I appreciate the encouraging words. I will consider the changes.

Valo, I will try to work on showing more and telling less. Thanks