Thursday, November 11, 2010

Round Robin: Part Deux

It's Thursday, folks, and we all know what that means.  Yes, you guessed it!  The second installment of the FUN AND GAMES WITH K & K writing experiment that Kelly Breakey instigated is now available for your perusal.  Whoa.  Big words for a Thursday morning :)  Now, if you missed the first snip, in which Kelly threw down the challenge that scared the freaking daylights out of me I accepted with gusto, go here and get caught up.

Now, it's my turn to step up to the plate.  Have fun with it guys!

Harper was halfway across the lot when she heard her name being called out, by two distinctly different voices. Behind her, Grace fairly flew at her, footsteps skipping along the cracked asphalt with little more sound than a quiet murmur. Ahead of her and to the right, Owen barreled forth, his mission clearly etched in the lines of his angular face.


“Harper, wait up! You forgot your—“

“Harper, we need—“

A groan and a growl both fought their way up the back of her throat, each vying for the coveted position of first in line to jump out of her mouth. Not here. Not now. She just couldn’t deal with either of them right then. Why couldn’t they see that she just need a minute to herself, and some space would be good, too.

Too late now. They’d already closed ranks.

“I swear, you’d forget your name if it wasn’t sewed onto your jacket,” Grace huffed. She shoved the flute case into Harper’s arms, eyeing the boy now hovering over her friend. “You must really have a lot on your mind if you’re forgetting an instrument. They’re, you know, like your children.” The last was said with a snicker, although not in a mean way but in a I’ve known you so long I’m allowed to tease you without fear of retribution way.

“Yeah well, it’s small, and you have Frenchy so over-loaded, it’s a wonder I even made my way out alive. Besides, I thought I had it,” she countered, nervously.

“We so have to come up with a better name for my car. Volkswagen’s are German, you know,” Grace pointed out.

“No, it fits perfectly.” When Grace had first gotten the little piece of pink scrap metal, she’d careened down the street, nearly taking out three different mailboxes and a wayward poodle, the windows all rolled down—even though it was the dead of winter—and the Grease! sound track blaring. A pink car for one of the pink ladies, Grace had said, to which Harper had replied that if Grace was Sandy and Harper was Rizzo then that left Frenchy for the car.

He didn’t say anything, just watched Harper verbally sparring with her friend, all the while warring with herself as to whether she could get away with simply ignoring him or if she should just bite the bullet and introduce him to Grace.

Grace. Perfect Grace. The girl who everyone wanted to be friends with…who everyone wanted to be like. Tall, blonde, utterly gorgeous…both inside and out—Harper’s complete and total opposite. Grace was the type of person to blow off any insult, laugh through even the worst pain, but she was also fiercely loyal to those she cared for. In a word, she was…well, her name said it all. She was grace personified.

And, right then, the curious—and very determined—look on her face told Harper that there was no dodging this.

“Grace Monroe,” she sighed in resignation, waving her hands back and forth between them. “Owen Lancaster. Owen’s in seventh hour with me,” she added by way of explanation.

Seventh hour. The “extra” class that only the most die-hard of the band geeks took. The additional hours involved—after school when most kids just wanted to get the hell out or at least take part in normal extra-curricular activities…like sports or student government—not to mention the label of dorkiest of the geek squad kept attendance in this class at a mere handful of students. In fact, besides Harper and Owen, Grace was fairly certain there were only four or five other kids taking it.

“Oh, yeah?” She looked him over, scrutinizing him in such a way that would have had most people cringing and fighting the urge to cover themselves. “What do you play?”

It was a test, they both knew. Grace had long ago named herself Harper’s champion, and she wasn’t about to have the title taken from her without a helluva fight.

Owen shot a quick, questioning glance at Harper, one that told her they needed to talk, privately, and he wouldn’t be so easily deterred. Then, he ran a hand through his hair, pushing soft, springy curls the color of strong coffee out of his eyes. “Percussion, mostly.”

“A little drummer boy, huh?” On anyone else, a big, toothy grin would’ve looked beyond ridiculous, but on Grace, it was the most beautiful thing imaginable, cheery, awe-inspiring, and brighter than the sun. “Well, you know—“

Saved by the bell. Harper sent up a silent prayer of thanks to whatever gods watched over class schedules and grabbed Grace’s arm. “We’ve got to go, Owen. Grace hates to be late, and I already made her so once this morning.”

Grace threw back her head and laughed, wind chimes tinkling in the cool morning air. “So you admit it?”

“Yeah, sure…whatever,” she mumbled, dragging her friend toward the entrance, and not once looking back at Owen. Harper knew what he wanted to talk about…what he saw at the party. Well, at least what he thought he saw, but he was wrong. She’d find some way to deal with him later…when she had a chance to figure out how to explain things to him, how to make him understand that no one could ever, ever know the truth.

 
And, this is where I leave you hanging, hopefully on pins and needles to see what Kelly does with this.  Look for her snip on Tuesday.  I will, as always, be here, polishing my nails, eating bon-bons, and generally being a lazy good for nothing writer...or maybe I'll whip out a tease from my current WiP.  Only time will tell.  Until then peeps, don't forget about my FRIDAY FIVE CONTEST.  Today is the last day for entries.  :)