The Hug by Shashank Shekhar
“Here we are,” Cynthia tapped the steering wheel with one finger, her anxiety building. Her daughter eager to sprint from the car, bag and dreams in hand. Yet Cynthia’s heart quivered at the sight of so much excited abandon. Their sideways hug lingered. DNA was breaking off once more. Goodbye.
Hey all! Wrote this shorty in response to the DP Weekly Writing Challenge. I simply loved it! It was hard picking the right words and hard to end it right at 50 but WOOO what a challenge. Can’t wait to experiment with super short bits like this some more =)
Mercy lay as still as her body would let her. As frail and easily snuffed out as that body was it was a gift nonetheless. The new sheets she had just put on her bed were soft but smelled foreign, like plastic really. Mercy hated the smell of plastic. She allowed a subtle turn of her head so her nose could bury itself into her shoulder and inhale a familiar scent.
The rain pounding away on the roof only added to her sense of comfort. It was a hard and steady rain, her favorite. When it came down like that, the sound of a constant downpour created a sort of white noise that Mercy liked to imagine is what her mother’s womb had sounded like. Not loud and grainy like TV static or the harsh tones of an empty radio channel.
There are clothes everywhere in my room. On the floor, on my bed, on the hamper (as opposed to in it) and on the dryer. There’s probably an even mixture at this point of clean and dirty clothes. Also scattered around are dog toys, bits of paper, odds and ends, DVDs, and books! Oh the books with no home to call their own!
For a week now I’ve been wading through the mess every day to get dressed, go to bed, to basically function. At first it didn’t bother me. In fact I rather enjoyed it in some ways. There was a freeing quality to leaving it so messy. As if my life had just exploded all over the place. I told myself I didn’t have the time, that I was always rushing in and out of the house so it didn’t matter. It made me feel like I finally have a life in this new town and that filled me with a strange pleasure.
To start off with let me explain what a HOA, Home Owners Association, essentially is for those of you who may not know. At its core it is a group of home buyers given the ridiculous responsibility to ensure that the neighborhood in question stays within a given set of standards. These standards, rules, restrictions, what have you, are meant to make sure that the homes in the neighborhood retain if not increase their property values. If viewed in a simplistic manner- the neighborhood looks nice and clean and uniform then our value goes up- would seem a good thing and some would agree.
“Janise Marie Zayas, with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature,” the announcer waved me forward, handing me a tiny slip of paper that basically read I had finished my degree. It was an acknowledgement of a real degree on the way in certified mail, ready to frame and admire on a wall. I walked forward, a huge smile on my face and the sound of my family cheering in the background.
It was the moment I had waited for since I was 8 and I had promised myself I’d go to college and I would graduate. Back then it had been a dream partially sculpted by my parents and partly from books and TV showing off how fun college was supposed to be. Don’t get me wrong, it was a blast. It flew by in the blink of an eye and then it was over.
Derek felt his legs beginning to ache as he sprinted past another large redwood. The tops of the tree branches groaned and leaned against the growing wind. Dark clouds shifted across the dimming sunlight, sending shadows playing ahead of Derek’s feet. His pace was hard to keep but he had no choice.
A scream drifted in on the wind to his right. Mid-stride he changed direction, his feet slipping slightly in the undergrowth. There wasn’t a chance in hell he was going to let this son of a bitch get away, not again. Four days of little sleep and chasing leads had finally led Derek here to one of the Redwood State parks just outside Eureka, California.
Name Nobre Nome Ainm Název
Way back, in the 7th grade, when I was 12, I started at a new middle school in a new neighborhood with zero friends. I had already completed 6th grade in a middle school setting so I wasn’t frightened by the change like many of the kids at this new school were. Their advantage however, lay in the fact that many of them had gone to Elementary school together and knew one another.
In my first class of the day the teacher was busy calling out names and pointing to seats so we’d know where we would be forced to plant ourselves day after day when we filed in for that particular class. Being that my last name starts with a Z I was used to being placed in the back so I made my way in that general direction and waited to be called last.
The other part of the routine that I was more than familiar with was the teacher inevitably butchering my name. Honestly it’s not that hard. See my name is spelled Janise and it’s pronounced jah-niece but many people tend to say jan-niss or even duh-niece. Yeah, that’s right, they would actually make a D sound when it’s clearly a J in the beginning of my name. Once I even had a substitute say (with much conviction) jan-is-ee.