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VancouverLady
June 17th, 2012, 05:41 AM
Hi guys, this is my first. Let me know what you think.
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Hawkwood Girls

There are always those kids in a neighborhood that nobody really likes, but you all pretend to be friends with them anyway because they have something you want to play with. Usually it’s a trampoline, or maybe one of those big swimming pools with a slide.

What Niki Davis had was a beautiful father.

We were all sort of in awe by Mr Davis. Mandy said he looked like Russell Crowe, only in a more tortured-artist sort of way. Mandy was really good at comparisons like that. She could pick out any person in the whole world and tell you exactly what celebrity they looked most like. And she was right. Mr Davis did look a lot like Russel Crowe. He had a really slow, perfect smile. The kind of smile that always made you feel like he was smiling just at you. No one else.

He was also funnier than the other dads. Whenever we came over he’d bring out boxes of ice cream sandwiches, and then pretend to be all surprised when we ate them.

“You mean, you girls like ice cream?” He’d say. “I’ve never heard of such a thing! Just wait until I call Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! They’ll do a whole story on it!”

That always sent us into hysterics.

Mandy said it was a real miracle that Mrs Davis had scored such a hunk. Mrs Davis was a sort of dumpy, severe looking woman with a hooked nose. None of us could really understand what Mr Davis saw in her. Mandy was the one that proposed the bet the year we all turned sixteen. She said that it was a matter of time before Mr Davis left his wife for somebody better, and it might as well be us. Whoever got him first would have bragging rights for life.

Mandy was probably the wisest of us all. At sixteen she knew a great deal about everything. She’d taught me most of the useful knowledge I had about the world, and everything I knew about men. For instance, whenever a man touches his belt buckle it means that he’s thinking about having sex with you. Semen is good for your teeth. If you eat tuna-fish you’ll never have a boy baby because the of mercury. (I ate tuna sandwiches every day after she told me that. I wanted to have six daughters. I thought I’d name them after the months of the year, and braid their hair every day.)

That year, we started hanging out at Niki’s house a lot. We wore obscene outfits that left little to the imagination, and perfume samples that we got from the Bay called ‘Seduction’ and ‘Very Irresistible’.

Mandy often set the bar for what was appropriate. After seventh grade, when we all started wearing bras, she was the first one to buy a push-up one online from La Vie En Rose. It was tangerine with lace in the front, and when she wore it her breasts made little mounds over the top of her shirt. We were all very impressed by this. She started wearing short skirts that flipped up with the tiniest gust of wind. Sometimes she’d wear high-heeled boots that went all the way up to her knees. Then she’d walk along the road, and give the finger all heroically to all the guys that honked at her.

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Mandy was the one that planned Niki’s sweet sixteen. She dictated that it was semi-formal, so we all wore poufy-prom style dresses, and took time styling our hair. Mandy said it was an adult party. The menu was Shrimp Alfredo, and de-alcolized wine.

After cake we sat around giving Niki presents. Mr Davis took pictures of Niki opening a Claire’s makeup kit, the Twilight book series and a cherry-printed evening purse. We all sat, straight-backed and lips-pouted while he took the pictures.

“Nothing good, huh, sis?” Said Tanner, Niki’s brother. He had made it through dinner, slouched in his chair and making wisecracks. He ate two helpings of Alfredo and all of my shrimp after I scraped it into a gooey pink glob on the edge of my plate and refused to touch it.

“Waste not, want not,” he told me.

After supper Mandy decided that we should all go to Niki’s room and give each other makeovers. Mandy did most of the makeovers, because she was really good at them. She could make you look exactly like Kim Kardashian if you asked her.

When my makeover was done, I decided I’d head downstairs and have a second slice of cake. I was helping myself when Tanner wandered into the kitchen.

“Whoa! What’s going on up there?” He pointed to my face.

I wrinkled my nose at him, stuffing in a mouthful of vanilla icing. “I got a makeover. Duh.”

“Uh huh. Well I hope that stuff washes off.”

I was too busy shoving in cake to say anything, but I made sure that he saw my outraged glare.

“Bring that outside,” he said, pointing to my cake. “I’ve got something.” I followed him onto the patio, mostly because I was a fascinated by boys at this point in my life, but also because I wanted to know what ‘something’ was.

When we got outside he lit up a cigarette and the air smelled suddenly of skunk. He took a long drag.

“Want some?” He asked me. I knew exactly what it was. Every great movie from the Pineapple Express to True Romanze had taught me what pot was. I nodded, and he handed me the joint. The first puff felt like I had inhaled a lungful of Windex. It burned in an unpleasant, chemical sort of way. I coughed and coughed.

Tanner started laughing. “Easy, tiger,” he told me, taking the joint back. He took another drag, and smiled at me as he blew it out in a fancy ring. I noticed that when he smiled he looked just like his dad.

He offered me the joint again and I took another drag. It went down easier this time.

“How’s that feel?” He asked me, and I started laughing for some inexplicable reason. It felt like warm water running through me. He started laughing too.

After the joint ran out, we stood there in silence for a little while.

He kept looking over at me with a sort of warm, glazed over look in his brown eyes. Like cute boy mixed with pothead. I decided that I liked him.

“You know, you’re really beautiful, Mia,” he told me.

It was the first romantic thing that a boy had ever said to me. I was too high to enjoy the full impact of it. Instead I watched the way his mouth got all round when he said my name: Meeeee-Ahhhhh.

He thought I was beautiful. And I liked him. That was nice.

I imagined us getting married on a beach somewhere in Hawaii. Then we’d live together for a long time in a mall-side bungalow. It occurred to me, that after that I’d get old. And then what? Then I’d have grey hair and crows feet like Mrs Davis.

“Don’t think too hard when you’re on this stuff,” Tanner told me, “you’ll freak yourself out.” He glanced at me and started laughing again. “God, that makeup’s bad.”

“I’m going inside,” I told him. I suddenly didn’t want to stand outside with a boy who liked me because I was beautiful, but would leave me for some seventeen-year-old skank when I got old.

When I grow up, I’m going to live in an ivory tower with my six daughters and never come out.

Jon M
June 17th, 2012, 05:58 AM
Is this a complete story or an excerpt from a larger work? I ask because I hope it is an excerpt. It has enough going for it to be longer.

Overall I think this is very good. The first half in particular is excellent. Second half feels a little rushed, like you didn't spend enough time with the details, characters, didn't explore the moment enough. But there is a lot to like here. Details are great, voice is great, Mandy's characterization is great.

VancouverLady
June 17th, 2012, 06:02 AM
Thanks Jon,

Actually yeah, it's quite a bit longer, and that's probably why the second part felt a little rushed, because I cut out the middle and then tried to cram the meaning of the story into the end. Sort of frankinstein creation. I thought it was too long for this place...

rae
July 14th, 2012, 06:52 PM
wow! I love this little excerpt. Your writing is smooth, natural. my favorite line: "...like warm water running through me." I love how you take us through her hawaii fantasy, and then Back to reality's tower with six daughters. Fun. :-)