Wordy Wednesday (“Innocent”)

Three awesome things happening this week:

  1. Hunger Games tickets are on sale (YAAAY!!!!!!!!!)
  2. Miss Snark’s First Victim is starting a new sort of contest (talk about exciting — the contests Authoress already does are pretty freaking awesome, so can you imagine a new one? WHOA.)
  3. Yesterday was Fat Tuesday (SO MANY DONUTS, SO LITTLE TIME!)

One not-so-awesome thing happening this week:

  1. I gave up ice cream for Lent, and already I’m craving it. This is going to be even worse than when I gave up Youtube last year (and that was horrific).

Mmm. Paczki, paczki, pazki!

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is going to be a short story I wrote called “Innocent,” which garnered an honorable mention from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards this year, as a part of my senior portfolio. Enjoy!

_____

“I can’t believe you’re making me drive five hours for this.”

Adelaide’s voice is terse, but not angry. I rest my head against the window and don’t reply. On the other side of the glass, the highway glides by, on and on and on, but inside everything is quiet, save for my friend’s exasperated voice.

“Do you hear me, Maggie? Five hours. That’s a long time just to visit some stupid playground.”

“Shut up,” I murmur, blinking my eyes shut. I can picture the park in my mind – the slides and monkey bars and swings – and there’s no way she’s going to talk me out of it. She already knows that or she never would have agreed to drive me in the first place.

And if my car hadn’t been totaled in the accident, I never would have asked.

But still she goes on – “I just don’t get it.” – as if I never spoke.

“It was my childhood, Adelaide,” I sigh, not opening my eyes.

However, then I do open them, because I’m picturing myself soaring, soaring through the air, and tears bite at my eyelids. Last time I flew, it was into a windshield.

“Don’t you start in on that innocence kick again,” she says.

I think, Sometimes innocence is just what you need.

 

When we reach the park, it’s nearly dusk, but even in the lowlight I can tell that it’s changed from when I last visited. The trees are taller, the benches are maroon instead of that putrid green that I remember, and the metal structure of the swing set has given way to rust. A couple of children play in the sandbox, laughing, but otherwise the place is empty.

I feel almost like an unwelcome bystander, staring at it, and I wonder, as I have every moment since I saw that truck swerving towards me, if I turned out the way my childhood-self wanted me to.

With a determined inhale, I walk to the swings and plop down in the one on the right. My fingers trace over the chains before looping around them.

I breathe in, I breathe out.

The grass tickles the arch of my left foot like a thousand fingers reaching up from the dirt as I drag it over the ground, swirling my big toe in the soft strands and closing my eyes, letting my skin soak in the sunset, trying not to think, trying to slow my heart.

Adelaide sits beside me and I feel her gaze settle on my face.

“I just don’t get it, Mags,” she repeats.

I don’t look at her as I say, “Everybody has a dream, Adelaide.”

She’s silent after that, for once, and I can’t help but notice the crickets chirping, and the children laughing, and my skin tingling in the cool breeze; how alive I am.

Without thinking, I lean back and kick off – feel the air breathe over my bare feet.

Innocent.

Higher and higher, and for an instant it feels like I’m flying.

_______

 

Have something you’d like me to talk about in a future post? Leave your ideas in the comments!

 

~Julia

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7 thoughts on “Wordy Wednesday (“Innocent”)

  1. I lurved this!!! I love how you fit all of this AWESOME into one short story, with all of the underlying stuff (the accident which hinted at why she thinks all about innocence, etc.) and….AHHHHH!!!!
    Awww…Jules.,,,why’d you give up ICE CREAM??? That’s like giving up HAPPINESS XP

    Like

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