Fiction Friday #2 ~ Crystal Lake Bit #1

June 8, 2007 at 10:10 pm | Posted in Fiction Friday, Writing | 1 Comment

Fiction Friday is a challenge my good friend Mark made to himself to remind him of how much he enjoys writing.  Dreal joined him in this challenge and so have I.  I jumped in last week.  This is my second Fiction Friday installment.  If you would like a fun way to keep yourself writing, just let Mark, Dreal, or I know.  We’ll link to you so we can all be inspired by each other’s work.  Otherwise, please read what we’ve been writing.  We’d love to hear what you think.

This is the first bit of what I’m entitling Crystal Lake.  I have no idea if this will take on the form of a short story or something longer.  We’ll see.  In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy the first installment.  Here goes:

Crystal Lake

The urge to vomit was overwhelming and it pained her that she had nothing inside her belly to regurgitate. The dry heaves, when she gave in to her gut, only make it worse. It would be as if the spirits remained inside, mocking her feeble attempts to conquer everything that is so far out of her control. For they knew better than she that there were no more resources left. There was nothing left at all.

She would look a sight to any passersby, but people rarely ventured down this desolate, dusty, gravel road. The pine trees on either side of the road appeared drooped in despair over their location. She only stopped where she did because she couldn’t run any longer. Only the plentiful orange-breasted robins nesting in the branches betrayed that beauty is intended by nature. In mid-summer they knew nothing of suffering. Food was abundant and the clear Michigan sky was a glorious playground in which to be alive.

It was the sweet, expectant song of those robins that eventually calmed and settled Shannon. Still facing away from the road, she sat back on her Keds and wiped her lips with the back of one hand and then the other. She raised her head toward the heavens and took a deep breath. She breathed out slowly through her mouth before she wiped her damp cheeks on the sleeves of her coral t-shirt. The waves of nausea were no longer compelling and were finally dissipating.

Crossing her legs, Shannon leaned back on the palms of her filthy hands and continued to breath deeply. There wasn’t a breeze to speak of, but with the sun hot on her face, the hair matted to her forehead was drying quicker than expected. Shannon wondered if this is what her baby chicks used to feel after hatching. The constant 95-degree temperate must feel great after immerging from the moisture within their shell into the world of their incubator. Either way, they had it good. They had no concept of hunger, thirst, or their futures. They always have each other, and when they don’t, they don’t care.

She sat up and reached over for her olive green knapsack and dug inside for her thermos. The water was warm, but it couldn’t feel better if it were glazier cool. She took out a pack of peanut butter crackers and ate them slowly. Sticky peanut butter was not all that appetizing or easy to eat after being sick. She needed energy, though. She didn’t know for certain where she was headed, but she felt it was a ways away. She needed her strength. Now that she was as far away from the farm as she’d ever been on her own, she could walk instead of run. For all anyone knew, she could have gone anywhere. With any luck, they wouldn’t have bothered to start looking anyway.

Feeling stronger, Shannon stood up and looked around. The pine trees were grouped haphazardly on either side of the road. There were a lot of weeds poking through the gravel, except in the deeper groves the size of heavy-duty utility tires. She looked down the road as it marched straight back into the woods. She forgot her watch in the rush to get out of the house. She looked up at the sky. The sun was descending to the west. She didn’t want to be here or any further down this road when it started to get dark. There was no “Beware” sign posted, but she trusted her intuition. Nothing good or helpful was that way. She turned south and walked a quarter mile until she reached 17 Mile.

If she went West she would eventually walk right into Martiny Lake. She didn’t want to go there. That’s where Jacob, Cheyanne, and Kelly’s families spent their weekends during the summer. She wasn’t taking off on her own to accidentally run into any of them. Crystal Lake is what she would really like to see. Tonya always used to talk about taking vacations there before her family moved to Mt. Pleasant. She said that there was no place more beautiful than Crystal Lake. She’d head there. Once she got there, she knew that there would be a sign or something to help her figure out what to do next.

Now that her sweat was drying, her scalp was itchy. Shannon scratched all over hear head and then turned East on 17 Mile. She had no idea how to Crystal Lake. She only knew that Mt. Pleasant was East of Barryton. Maybe she could find Tonya and they could walk there together. She smiled and started to skip a little along the side of the road until she noticed her tummy. She slowed down and walk. Hopefully there would be a gas station or store soon, she thought. She needed a map.


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  1. as usual, I am jealous of your writing. =) I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

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