View Full Version : Life As We Don't Know It: An Anthology

January 30th, 2012, 04:26 AM

I've decided that I'm going to make this an anthology of sorts, and write a bunch of short stories about people where something weird happens. If something isn't answered at the end of one story, all will be answered for the last short story which ties them all together.

EDITED (2-1)

On a lovely, sunny afternoon, a girl was working on a school project in a group with Robert and George. They were making a poster about the book The Lorax by Dr. Suess. “I’ll get the orange marker and draw the Lorax!” She said helpfully. The boys didn’t even look at her since they were too busy beautifying the poster’s title. When she got to the markers, she stopped and first looked back at her group members. They were playfully wadding together scrap sheets of paper and adding glue to it, as if her leaving was an ‘A-Okay’ for them to mess around. She knew why, they like to use up lots of glue and add it to paper just because they can. Their hands were a sticky mess, but they didn’t care. She shifted her attention to the rest of the class who were all talking, cutting, and drawing, and the teacher was on her computer. No one saw her at all, so she decided, on a sudden, random urge, it would be alright to touch the ivy plant that was near her. The leaves felt smooth, and then she touched its veins. She removed her hand from the plant and turned back to eye the class. Since no one was looking at her still, she started to turn back to the plant. No one cared about her and school didn’t even matter. Her parents never have the time to help her with her homework, and when she would ask them for help, they’d tell her, “Sabrina, not now.” It’s like they don’t even know what she says-ever. They never remember later. So if her parents don’t care, why should she?

She was about to touch the ivy’s leaf again, but when she turned to it, it was no longer right there. She looked around on the rest of the window sill, and then on the table. It was no longer anywhere near… so what happened to it? As little girls often do, she let her imagination run wild.

Maybe my teacher has super speed, took it, and put it on her desk, she thought. After thinking it, she was sure she was right. What other explanation could there possibly be? She ran quickly to her teacher’s desk, as if the plant, if it were on her desk, would suddenly disappear. By now, all the girls were looking at her with strange expressions, while the boys looked at her like they wanted to join her: it was almost time for recess. “Sabrina, we walk when we’re indoors,” her teacher said. She had nothing to say in reply. When she made it to her desk, she scanned it frantically for the ivy. It wasn’t there. The teacher looked at her with concern. “Sweetie, is there something wrong?” She didn’t show any sign that she heard at first. She was raised on telling the truth (her parents weren’t all bad). She was sure that they lied, but just because her parents did, didn’t mean it was right for her to, she was old enough to know that. But right now, she couldn’t exactly tell the truth. She would just make her go to the nurse, since that’s where her teacher would send Lilly after she did something weird. She tried to stay away from her because she was also raised to consider weird as bad.

Instead of lying or telling the crazy truth, she decided not to say anything. But then, what was she supposed to do when her teacher asked, “Does this have to do with your group?” She tried her best to ignore the question by walking away from her teacher. She knew it was rude to do so, but she had no other option. She’s heard horror stories about the nurse. She once ripped a kid’s baby tooth out and the blood wouldn’t stop flowing out of its socket… no way could she go to the nurse!

“Excuse me Sabrina, I just asked you a question.” Her voice was more sincere than unpleasant. “Um… I can’t tell you.” It wasn’t until just now that she looked back at her fellow classmates. They were staring at her wide eyed. She blushed and stumbled near her group members and sat down, looking at the floor. George tapped her and whispered (though it was a very loud whisper), “what is wrong with you?” She could practically feel her blood pumping throughout her whole body. She tried to play it off like nothing happened, “what are you talking about?” To ignore the situation, she remembered the orange marker and decided to use it to draw out The Lorax, like she was going to originally. She could feel that it wasn’t in her hands, so maybe she put it in her pocket. She felt around in her right pocket, and then her left, and it wasn’t there. She looked back at George and Robert with a smirk on her face, but they were already looking back at their glue paper wad. She mentally wiped her brow. Boys sure forget what’s happening quickly, she thought. She looked back at the rest of the class, and was relieved. They were all looking back at their posters. I guess all kids forget what’s happening quickly, she thought, I’m lucky for that. She smiled along with her thoughts. But then, she looked behind her, and saw her worried teacher looking down on her.

…Though, adults always remember everything… “Sabrina, may I please speak with you in the hall?” Before she could answer, she saw what George and Robert were doing. “Boys, stop playing with the glue that way!” She pointed to the sink. “Go wash your hands, and then continue your project.” They didn’t answer, but did as she said. Stupid boys, she thought. Then, her teacher looked back at her. “Come on.” Her teacher started to speed walk away, so she was forced to jog after her.

When they got out of the classroom, her teacher closed the door inaudibly. “Sabrina, is there anything that you would like to tell me?” Rapidly, she shook her head. “No.” Her teacher smiled lightly, with obvious sympathy showing through. “I called the guidance office, and Mrs. Polvasky is ready to see you.” Her stomach flipped. “What… why?” was all she was able to think of. Without a direct answer, her teacher put her arm on her shoulder and said, “You know the way there, don’t you?” Go to the office and say that you were supposed to see Mrs. Polvasky, and she’ll see you right away. She’s very nice, don’t worry.” Her teacher opened the door, and looked back at her. “You’ll be fine.” She smiled, and then went to join her class.

For a minute, she just stood there and she started to think about the plant, now that she was alone, without the prying eyes of her teacher and classmates. Why should she see the guidance counselor? She didn’t do anything wrong, she just saw a plant disappear, then ran to her teacher’s desk to see if she could find it there, and wasn’t able to articulate what happened to her teacher.... Because that would not only make her go to the nurse (why was she supposed to go to the guidance counselor versus the nurse anyway?), but would also mean that her teacher would think of her as bad. But she didn’t do anything, just saw a plant disappear! She had no good option… now. Sure, she could’ve ignored the plant disappearance, and, therefore, wouldn’t have reacted to it… but it was too weird to ignore. She knew what she saw, and was positive that it was there, and then it wasn’t.

Because she had no answer, she decided to put the incedent aside, and started to walk aimlessly, not at first meaning to talk with the guidance counselor. She would just attempt to figure out what made her freak out, and her teacher didn’t know what made her tick, so, of course, the guidance counselor wouldn’t know either. She’d have to tell the truth of course, because she couldn’t take it anymore! Who cares what her teacher and the counselor thought! She saw what she saw! The counselor would have to understand. Because she’d be telling the truth! Yeah-of course she would.

She stopped suddenly when she turned a corner. There was a teacher looming about, and may ask her where’s she’s going. She could say that she’s going to the restroom or something, but she’s never been a very good liar. And then the teacher would accompany her back to her classroom… and her teacher would be disappointed that she never went to see the guidance counselor, and would make sure that she makes it there this time. She’s spent her whole year trying to gain her teacher’s trust, and she didn’t want to break it now. Sure some of her classmates called her a teacher’s pet, but she didn’t care. No one liked her anyway, so her bond with her teacher was all she had.

She bit the bullet and turned direction, to ensure that the teacher never saw her, and to go the right way to the office. She couldn’t prolong the encounter anymore.

When she made it to the office, the secretary smiled at her. “Ah, Sabrina, Mrs. Polvasky has been waiting for you.” She stood there numb. She didn’t want to talk to her. She just wanted to go back to class and act like this never happened. When she did nothing, the secretary said, “Her office is that door to the left.” Shyly, she ambled to her door. When she got inside, the counselor smiled at her warmly. “Ah, Sabrina. Come in. Have a seat.” Quite willingly, she took her seat. She didn’t like the feeling of an adult she didn’t know towering over her. After she sat down, the counselor closed the door after her. “What’s the problem, honey?” But she was already zoning out, and only could tell that she was saying something, but she didn’t care. Instead, she was looking around at the counselor’s office. It was a rather small, cozy office. She scanned past posters, like the ones in her class, and saw a painting of a cat chasing a dog, and she giggled. Mid-giggle, her view of the painting was obscured as the counselor came in front of her. “Hon, can you please talk to me, and then you can leave. And I may even have a treat for you when you leave…” She motioned to a jar of candy on her desk, and the girl marveled in delight. There was an assortment of miniature candies on it, and she even eyed her favorite one: Twix.

“So if you could please sit down….” She obeyed, now that candy was in the cards. “Is there anything upsetting you?” Her impulse was to shake her head, but when she looked at her with big, worried eyes, she froze. This is exactly what her mother would do to her when she wasn’t quite telling the truth. She didn’t want to prolong this any longer, so she decided telling the truth would equal candy, “Yes, something is wrong… very wrong.” “Yes, what is it?” “My teacher wouldn’t believe me, that a plant disappeared by the window… but it did happen, it did! It did I tell you! I shouldn’t even be here. Where did it go?” The counselor didn’t say anything for a long moment. “Oh, you silly girl! Such a big imagination! Please tell me what your real problem is.” She was appalled that she didn’t believe her. She never lied, so why would she start now? She wasn’t telling a story, it really had happened! When something involves candy, she can only be dead serious! “I’m not lying! There was a plant… boom! And then… boom again, and it was gone!” The counselor sucked it in, and took out a notepad. She must’ve been bored of this conversation too. She wondered what she was drawing. “Alright, then that’s all I need to know. Pick out a piece of candy and you can go along to your class.

Happily, she dug around for her Twix and ran back to class, not caring who saw her. She was so glad that that was over!

January 30th, 2012, 10:48 AM
Hi Dramatism,

It held my interest but I kept asking: what grade could this be? Sabrina’s thought processes started out as a very young girl and then seemed to become much more mature as a high level awareness became apparent. A third or fourth grader (the education level that I inferred) is unlikely to consider her perceptions as ‘crazy.’ There are a couple more examples. You might want to consider dealing less with her thoughts and let her unwillingness to explain herself to the teacher speak for itself through actions and speech. In this way, you could cut out a lot of words, advance the story more quickly, and eliminate mature thoughts that I thought were incongruous (unless Sabrina is unusually precocious or the change that has occurred in her [giving her the ability to make things disappear] has in some way aged her mental state).

I enjoyed the excerpt. Perhaps it could be condensed and tightened a bit.

January 30th, 2012, 07:08 PM
Thank you, I was wondering about that. But the grade of her isn't really important. I know that you're saying she seems both old and young and I certainly get that. But the point of this story isn't her, really, as you'll see as it progresses. That's why her name is only mentioned in quotes. I will try to change that a bit.

It will get even weirder than this. Just wait, its true nature of being sci fi will start to show through.

January 30th, 2012, 09:08 PM
I agree with what LaughinJim said above, and it's interesting to note that you say Sabrina (I was wondering if you'd gone for that name for the obvious Teenage Witch reasons) is not the main point of the story when you devote so many words to her detailed thought process. I would suppose that the glue and paper activity puts her age at about six or seven, and although I can imagine that a child of that age would think,at least subconsciously, along similar lines to these - which I thought were nicely conveyed towards the start - it's perhaps not all necessary. There is some repetition of her thoughts, particularly towards the second half.

I am quite intrigued to find out what the 'thing' is in this plot, if it's not about Sabrina. No doubt the plant had ended up somewhere rather interesting. If the whole thing is too long to post, or you don't want to, then a brief synopsis of what's to come might help contextualise this intro.

January 31st, 2012, 03:34 AM
Actually, the name was quite random. I just thought of a girl's name. LOL! I know what you're thinking, when you say (not in your own words) 'I devote a lot of words to her thought process.' Though she isn't important her thoughts are... you'll understand later.

I will eliminate much of the thoughts of her after her teacher left, though I do think the beginning thoughts she has are necessary. I think I'm going to search on how to write about children since they obviously don't think the same as adults. I think I acheived that well in the beginning, but deterred a bit once the teacher left.

You won't expect what this 'thing' is, I'd bet on it. So get ready to be surprised!

January 31st, 2012, 04:25 AM
I added the revised/new parts of this story to my first post.