xmeimcontagious (xmeimcontagious) wrote in locowriters,

i'm brand, shiny new. i'd just like some criticism from someone other than the one friend who has been faithfully reading every chapter throughout the entire process. someone who hasn't been there through the tremendous editing. it's not incredible. i'd just like a little feedback. under the cut, i'll put chapters one and two of four, with five in-progress. hope you enjoy :)

“…Draighean?” Katia curled her top lip in mock disgust.
“Yeah….we’re too Irish.” DeeDee bowed her eyes slightly. Her curls rustled. Her full name was an illegible disappointment.
“Well, I’m not sure what to say. Want some?” Her doe-eyed friend passed off the Rocky Road and let her stomach burst out as she slumped into her cushion of the yard-sale-chic sofa; $29.89. It was Role family tradition to give second-hand items a spin first, however, this the girls didn’t leave for 24 hours every weekend. It was a wise purchase in some aspects. The refrigerator mysteriously was rid of its fatty contents at some point in the night though.
“God, he’s so beautiful.”
“What?” DeeDee’s sugared-up romantic of a friend had one hand supporting the explosive contents of her stomach and another on the pause button of the DVD remote, her eyes reflected the chiseled cheek bones and pasty lips of one wispy-haired Legolas.
“You know, neither of us is into myths and gore, but we always seem to find ourselves watching one of the trilogy. Explain.” Katia rolled over onto her side and snatched the afghan off of DeeDee ankles. The screen went black as the DVD’s logo bounced between its four corners; ping-pong.
Katia was a newly acquired visitor; since November at Carlson Train High when she plopped down next to Draighean and offered her a square of Dentyne Mango Peach Blast, asking participle guidance in return. December brought the leave of Tom, February the leave of Jim, and March the cheating two-faced son of a bitch that was Elijah. This Saturday evening the topic of discussion was specific; namely, Gerard Crushion. DeeDee pushed off of the cushion she had melted into over the course of the last six hours and snatched the remote from the coffee table. She switched off the power and the room went black.
“Puh-AAAAN-cakes con shuh-coh-lot!” Katia proclaimed through a thick forkful of oozing chocolate-peppered cakes. She was a professional eater and you could do nothing but take advantage of her pre-noon speed and agility with a box of Bisquik. Despite the powdered doughnut that was now the kitchen counter, breakfast was always unquestionable.
“Oo watch for eggshells.” While Chef never seemed to be the bearer of the tainted hotcake, DeeDee’s always had a little extra crunch.
“ ‘Fanks.” Kiki looked on as she licked her snout in one graceful swipe like Katia with her hand. Only Kiki mewed. Katia shoveled one forkful after another with a clean screech from the plate to her mouth, beaded with syrup.
“S’ool i’ ehn uh twe’ny mih’nuts. I’ take teh’ tuh get the’uh.”
In one quick sweep from kitchen table to the end of the house, dishes were clanked down into the bottom of the deep-set kitchen sink, clothes were hurtled up, down, left, right, and everyone was seated comfortably and breathing heavily in the four-door sedan.
“All righty. We’re off.” Katia adjusted mirrors and the sedan ripped out of the driveway and peeled back into place safely on the street at an always risky but note-worthy speed. With Carlson Train High growing rapidly on the horizon, DeeDee began to feel sick with the anxiety of another week. The structure was daunting and ambitious in design; like the courthouses downtown. Grass was scarce and lanky, hunching figures clustered like pigeons picking at mouth-watering rumor and scandal.
“Four red lights? Four red lights! The hell?” She flipped her ironed hair over her shoulder -- the red strands were enviably pronounced in August’s sun – and heave-hoed her book bag over the other, slammed the door and stalked up the grass and pavement to room 212. They went their separate ways; one to Advanced Statistics, the other Eleventh Grade English, 212.
In the stir of ticking pencils and mayonnaise avec bologna, DeeDee found an empty rickety desk-and-chair at the far-right table. The entire classroom was unsound; the windows leaked rainwater when it wasn’t raining, the floor was peeling, the ceiling was lacking tiles, there was a gap in the blinds between every three where pieces went missing, the lights decided to work only half the time so the bulk of work was expected to be done in the dark, and trusty eighteenth century chalkboards were still in devoted use. Mr Pearl took impressive strides up to the spotlight of the room where a cluster of lights decisively shone through sleet, earthquake, and rotting fly carcasses, and cleared his throat. Then cleared his throat again. He bobbed and swayed from the knee, up, and fastened his hands around a batch of chipped sticks of peach chalk while he addressed ratios with dignity. The side-combed gray wires that were his hair never inched and he barely bent his knees, with his toes turned inward, when he stepped. Wednesday always included the addition of a plaid sweater vest -- given him by his mother two years before -- to his corporate casual image. The tie never matched. Today was themed; casserole. Beige socks, tan leather slip-ins, polyester slacks cuffed and pleated, stone-grey button-up, and a vest from his summer selection of wool. This was not a pullover but came with engraved buttons of the brand’s logo and full access to fold back in non-existent spilling tails of his shirt. He wore it wide open while his belly rested safely on his belt.
DeeDee nodded her head while she rocked in a chair with its screws and hinges broken loose until the caffeine could pump no longer in her system and she dropped and tucked her head into her arms on the chilly surface of the desk. Her eyes darted up, fishing for distraction, to her neighbors and snagged on an unusually divine face of some boy two seats to the east of her. Her eyes traced the green veins in his translucent hands and stopped on a pair of flecked, river water dazzlers, half-lidded and seemingly fatigued; as was his whole face while it still managed an entrancing, washed glow. He was entirely adhered to his work, this boy with wax paper skin, so she turned back but that very second felt someone’s gaze stab and leave her with chills all down her left side. She could hear her arteries throbbing, the blood struggling with her irregular heartbeat.
“Mmkay. Uh’kay. That’s it. Bring that by Tuesday.” Mr Pearl was a scarcely confident man when speaking and kids were already congesting the doorway by, “Uh’kay.”
Once close enough to be heard, Katia stopped and let out a breath with, “Hi,” in it. DeeDee stretched the corners of her mouth in reply and followed at an idle distance back to the car. She knew what she wanted to see but was reprimanding herself for wanting it.
“Tacos then?” Katia twirled the car keys, tink tink tink, in her fingers and drove out into the road determinedly without an answer.
Once in the parking lot of Maria’s Mexicano Shack, doors slammed and DeeDee shrugged off whatever had come over her. The glass door swung wide and a breath of cold, beany air swooshed into their faces. Katia moved towards the counter without hesitation and DeeDee turned off course towards the restrooms. In the mirror that greeted her was reflected a beautiful, peppermint splotch of toothpaste dribble on her chest. Tearing out a paper towel and drenching it, she scratched at the mark of thorough disgrace while keeping apathetic.
“Si’ dow’ Dee.” Her ravished friend already had lettuce shreds and cheddar cheese dangling from her mouth when she scooted to the right and let DeeDee into the plush red booth they had occupied for several months now. DeeDee snatched at a purple-wrapped surprise and dove into it. When the orange plastic tray’s paper advertisement of Maria’s Famous Nacho Grande was visible, and wrappers were balled and piled to the left and right of the satisfied pair, they picked up and planned for a spot to digest and talk while Katia went at the corners of her mouth with both a brown paper napkin and her tongue.
“The bridge?”
“The bridge.”
Down Elm, past Bark, Fern, left on Sequoia, and straight through Coachella, a man-made river complete with a man-made bottom and a constant flow of filtered water supplied the minute, disconnected suburb’s reservoirs. The Dosborough Bridge, the only one leading out of town and the only one needed, was suspended across a twenty foot dive straight into cement between two narrowing, pristine granite eighty degree slants. There was, however, a brief ledge on the side going out of town and a patch of yellowed grass on which to rest and toss items into the water, including yourself. The water poured in at a harmless rate, making wanting a dip on a day like this and there being only one way to get in look like attempted suicide.
There was never steady traffic between the two sections of the man-made island because people in suburbs live there to be undisturbed and no one felt the need to expand so everyone stayed put. This fact did, however, leave room for kids to congregate. They came to dangle the second half of their legs over the edge, wait for a flash of adrenaline, throw off their shirts, and tumble full-force, limbs flapping, mouths open, lungs open, squinting in the clash of wind on skin. It was sheer ecstasy if someone could collect the courage.
“Wanna jump today, Dee?” Katia was already in the process of shedding articles of clothing and, stripped down to swimsuit -- which every kid in the city went out with as undergarments -- she leapt from a larger dented-outward gap in the safety bars to the green below, plish.
“No thanks.” DeeDee hugged her book bag tighter as if it would keep her anchored to semi-solid ground. The bridge had a fair history but was only barely on the verge of snapping in two. A breeze started up and clouds moved in, darkening the water. Katia continued to splash on her back, wheeling around weightless. She had been made magnificently. Her hair cascaded, her eyelashes swooped upward, her pink lips naturally pouted, and her legs were seventy-five per cent of her height. DeeDee had an odd name, untamed hair, stout fingers, splintered nails, and legs that were only forty per cent of her height. Her thin lips certainly didn’t pout but disappeared when under anxious strains and her cheeks were always pale and sunken. She felt she didn’t quite contribute to their friendship either. Katia’s done all the confiding, sobbing, giggling, and even arguing.
“Jump Dee!” She unwrapped one stout finger at a time from her bag, debating, but twice was enough. DeeDee set aside her bag, undid laces, peeled off socks, shirt, shorts, and took the plunge. The water was fresh and icy. The clouds thickened, the sky was a gloomier hue, and the water had an eeriness about it. DeeDee shut her eyes and squinted until loops and angles of pink and red popped from her eyelids. Her legs went weak with a sudden irrational fright.
“Looks like rain. We should start getting back up soon.” Katia forfeited her afternoon soak and obeyed the imminent threat that was unannounced weather. DeeDee promptly came up onto the ledge like a monster from the swamp smelling of mildew and chattering with wet chills. Katia followed in faltering step, shaking and smacking her ears to rid of uncomfortable slooshy water sounds, completely indifferent to the weather’s indecision. Getting up from the river was trickier than tossing yourself off of a bridge, and both were barefooted so scaling the sides was out of the question. To get back from in between cities, there is a twenty yard shimmying of the ledge on the other side until you reach a set of iron rod step-handles for repairmen and construction. From there it’s solid ground, back over the bridge, and solid ground.
The seats of the car were slippery on wet legs, and the drive home was a clammy, disagreeable one. The Bendy Straw Marijuana Experience was becoming staticy and indistinct through the rain droplets clobbering the windshield. It was soggy all year round this end of the suburbia.
“We need to get groceries. Madre asked Thursday.” As DeeDee stressed the former date, Katia’s eyes widened. She signaled left while squirming and maneuvering between traffic.
“But we have to go all the way to the other side of town!”
“Yeah, that’s why she makes us do it.”
“Shit. But I have to read for like ten hours tonight!” DeeDee rolled her eyes and gripped the edge of the passenger seat as Katia sped for her grade’s life.
Lots-O-Stuff was the premiere food provider of upper suburbia. Katia double parked, hurled herself out of her seatbelt and into the neighboring parked car, pushed up her sleeves, doubled over and spun around to snatch her wallet off of the floor under the driver’s seat. She let DeeDee grab a cart from between parking lines. Squeaking up to the automatic sliding glass doors plastered with deals was always risky because the doors were uncommonly late. If one was to barrel through too recklessly, they could end up face first in the basket. If one goes too slowly and appears too cautious, fellow shoppers have every right to stare. Fwoosh and they were in with the reek of cold vegetables.
Go-Go’s, and Pizza Pi’s, and two large yellow squash, and Kotex, and granny smith, and half pound ground beef, and Happy Cats, and Vita-Water, and Birdview Broth, and Shmackers flew from all angles while DeeDee dashed from imported pineapple to frozen chicken breasts to canned chili sauce to travel size shampoos, gunned it around corners, thrashed through abandoned carts, and careened around pyramids of Cheesy Cha-Cha-Cha’s.
“Okay. That’s it.” DeeDee huffed as Katia made her plan for attack on shortest lane. She cheated and stood artlessly in the Express 15 Items or Less lane, thumbing through this week’s issue of The Weekly Questioner.
“How many people know when they have fifteen items or less?” Katia shrugged and pointed out a blurred grey and white photograph of something menacing and hairy on page six.
Mike The Cashier rung them up, peeking up at everything but Katia’s face.
“Thanks.” He grinned at her chest and she seized the change and receipt, crumpled it in her fist, and went for a bag from the belt. Making her exit-in-fury memorable, she bounced her hips to and fro more fiercely than usual. DeeDee scuffled demurely behind her stomping counterpart.
The radio had finally sung its last of Madonna and died in a fuzz of static. Katia smacked the power button off and the car was disturbed only by arbitrary gravel in the road.
“Hm?” DeeDee chewed on her bottom lip and plunged,
“Who’s Daniel?” Katia blinked, arched her back and,
“What do you mean?” DeeDee twisted her head away and went back to counting raindrops that landed and skidded down the side window, leaving a trail of smaller beads.
“No. I mean, what happened. What kind of person was he…what did he do?” Katia blinked again, her eyes fell. “You never said a word about it, you know. I just felt like I have some right to know. In a non-intrusive way, of course.”
“He was a good guy.” And that was the end of it. DeeDee was exhausted and so left everything unsaid. The car rumbled uphill into the driveway and Katia hesitated before bounding out of her seat to unload.
“Get the watermelon?” Katia lifted her chin towards the car, her arms embracing stiff brown paper bags with items spewing from rips straight across corner-to-corner.
“Paper’s never reliable and plastic’s horrible for the environment. Did you know it takes about a thousand years for one to start to decompose? And that cashier had no respect for our bread!”

“Kay. Get out.” DeeDee exhaled a rough attempt at laughter and grinned. She lunged out of the passenger seat into her driveway anyways, waving and blowing kisses. She rounded the corner of the walkway, up to the ornamental oak door trimmed in sky blue and polka dots. That was not the theme of the house. That was her bra, splattered in mud and strung up like an Easter flag for all the neighborhood to admire. She tore through her bag searching for the house key, cracked open the door, hopped up to seize the vandalized undergarment and, “Dorian!” reverberated through the house, drowning out the explicit foray into Experiment de Death and Super Extreme Bike Relay blurring two doors down on the first right. Doors and cabinets and drawers in the kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, garage slammed one after the other until DeeDee had clasped in both hands an electric drill and a sneer on her face. She marched, heavy-footed, straight down to the residence of the perpetrators, and knocked with the end of the drill. There was no reasoning with these small men when they got together in one dense flock of hoodlums. “What, buttface?” The other boys knew full well to scatter and went squawking. They were out the door in one long stream of frayed and stringy denim jeans trailing behind shaking ankles, flapping wings, and “Byethanks.” Dorian flipped off the GameBox, swirled the volume down on his stereo and waltzed up to the woman he rarely feared. “Is this yours?” She shoved the laundry in his face and his eyes went scared at the glimmer of the power tool. “It was just a joke!” The corners of his mouth immediately tautened and his top lip tensed to a point as, “Dray-un! What on earth!” The mother moved forward with her spidery limbs outstretched to coddle her boy’s tight, grubby curls and, “Dorian, younkh man, wkhat deed you doo?” the father’s voice was yawning and rich with importance; thick with far eastern European, cerulean eyes half-lidded with weariness. The legal guardians shuffled furiously and paced decidedly up to the scene, arms swinging, hands in Dockers pockets. “Dee, put-uh dowkhn duh power dreel, ee, mykh son, don’t be khan ass!” That was how he spoke; giant and extravagant with round wagging fingers and arteries bumpy on his pink forehead’s receding hairline. Mrs Palek’s wide eyes were painted with a shaky hand, her hair tugged upward with a plump iron, one gray chunk asserting her age on the black wiry backdrop, and her glossy tomato red nails were chipping. Her fingers bent three times, each section disguised as the average finger alone, and swathed her son’s shoulders generously. “Let’s keep your sister’s things alone. Keep to yourself now. Go on.” The boy was shooed back to his lonely activities and that was the end of it. DeeDee ripped at a section of knotty curls, strung around a hair rubber three times and tightened. Unruly and unsympathetic spirals spilled out from all sides into her face and neck, as she sucked her teeth and grinded her bottom lip until it bled. She reclined in a pillow against the headboard and faced a blank wall. It had nothing consoling to say. It wasn’t the deed so much as the deeds. Dorian Jacob was a rank, ungrateful barely-teen. He had little friends with all their little girlfriends to encourage him in any life-threatening stunt, along with a girlfriend of his own to kick around. She was still faithful and discarded on his unmade bed at this very moment, no doubt. There was no pleasure in the company of Dorian and his love affair at the table that night. After many stagnant minutes of forks scraping plates, ice clinking at the sides of glasses raised, and prodding glares, DeeDee was sent with a plastic dish in each hand of four ladles of glop, two chicken thighs with a double helping of sour cream atop, and something green and extraneous to the dish set off alone on the side. She booted the door with her toe. The girlfriend answered after nine beats. Her eyes were lined in black and gloppy with mascara and the straps of her top barely hanging on. Her torso was level and elastic, hardly disturbed by the slightest indication of womanhood, and her feet were still neatly tucked away in an immaculate pair of black canvas chucks, grafittied and slackly laced. She wasn’t made to feel welcome here and in obvious relief at seeing another face, she tucked her slick hair behind one ear, and hoisted the plates into the crooks of her elbows. She thanked DeeDee whole-heartedly, and shut the door with her backside. Kiki mawed and turned over onto her back, her long rodent feet curled under at the toes and her paws drooping above her, wriggling into a comfortable position in the comforter. DeeDee snaked out into the kitchen, past short breathing behind her brother’s door, past Mrs Palek’s nightly dose of Yearning Midwives generating an inaudible white light in the murky kitchen while Mr Palek’s sinuses brayed as he dozed in the opposite corner of the sofa, one healthy first supporting his cheek, mushed and misshapen under the pressure, and the other arm across the back of the couch, his hand sprawled and stumpy. His stringy black brows twitched with thought and plain gold wedding band reflected the streetlight’s orange glow staining the Venetian blinds. DeeDee warily, forgetting to breathe, took the knob of the farthest right cabinet between her fingers, stretched, and released a larger bowl from the precarious stack. She drew up the drawer beneath her to fish for a spoon, and set them down easily to fetch the Raspberry Lemon Promenade from the freezer. After troweling for two, three, four blocks of the creamy dessert, she lidded the frosty tub, replaced it, and scuttled back to her room. Settling into the ice cream, she pulled up the month’s issue of Teen Attraction magazine to see what more could lower her self-esteem while swallowing shovelfuls of three hundred calories. Twiggy legs, olive complexions, deep-set eyes that disappeared under smoky tincture, and sheer black fabric, she was starting to become indifferent to the vice and carnality of modern media tactics. DeeDee rested her polished bowl in the plush of the carpet beside her bed and flopped down on her back with the glossy pages of the magazine propped up at eye-level on her belly. She began to study her own thighs, arms, collar bone, ankles, tummy. They could be that of any painted icon in these pages, taken and smushed long-ways. Dragging up the overlarge pajama t-shirt draping her engorged form, she puffed out her belly, sucked it back in, and compared Cecil Darbrooks’ torso to the misshapen blob that was hers. She suddenly felt every organ in her body sink as she squeezed her eyes together to make it vanish. She’d be skinny in the morning. Cabinets, drawers, silverware, ceramic thudded. Pans spat and toast popped, cat cried for Happy Cats; chicken and lamb puree in natural gravy. “There ya go.” The cat mewed as Mrs Palek dumped out the tan fishy mixture into a bite-size bowl and dropped it down in front of her. It was edging close to eight o’ clock and still DeeDee ran her fingers down the rack of hangers again, threw her arms up and decided to grapple for the first thing she could pull out. She slapped on a pair of roomy denim jeans and her flip flops to finish it off; the red ones with a groove worn down in the spongy plastic under the heel and ball of her feet, and bounded down the hallway to breakfast waiting steaming on the island. She was surrounded by sizzling, frantic faces, yellow debris jetting from hollering mouths, and butter being spread by an angry woman. DeeDee set herself in front of the plate untouched with a measly portion of runny yellow scramble, punctured wheat toast, and two strips of charred bacon. She picked up her fork unfazed, nudged the eggy soup, jabbed at the bacon which, at the touch, shattered, rolled her eyes, and stuck the toast between her teeth. The cherry jam reminded her of congealed blood and she bit down harder. Seven o’ clock was Advanced Statistics with the stubby and balding Mr Pearl every morning. Eight thirty, Ms Capillary’s Advanced Biology and an hour and a half of the smell of algae, Mr Stalenn’s History and dry, musty piles of books suffocating the room, Mr Cohen, ever delightful in the angry way, Composition and Literature, and then lunch. After a face full of meatball sub, sour cream and onion potato chips, and a thirty-two ounce diet coke, Miss Janie and the mile run. Mr Pearl was outfitted in the prime of his summer fleece wardrobe; he was dressed to kill, literally. His convict orange L.L. Pea vest with chest and hip industrial quality plastic zipper pockets, chocolate brown and chocolate stained, creased slacks, and transparent white button-up, rolled and scrunched to reveal his shriveled elbows, was distraction enough not to mention the multiple ribbon zipper handles that leapt when he paced from back to front, waiting for an answer. DeeDee tapped her pencil to no particular rhythm and scanned the room. From her vantage point – barely conscious, cheek against the desk – she could see only her hand. Everything beyond that went out of focus. This pencil was a rainbow of colors, sleek, and the grip was worn down to smooth clear plastic. It was Katia’s. DeeDee’s head immediately rushed with blood, remembering she had never been lent such a fine and beloved utensil. Identical off-white canvas messenger bags were expected to be mistaken for one another. Instead of letting disorientation settle in, she became more than curious as to what this brimming bag of spiral bound one subjects, all in forest green, held. Katia had learned to decipher English from Pre Calculus from French by the stage of dilapidation and estimating page count. DeeDee’s head twittered with interest and the thought that she was a meddling friend only occurred once in her mind. “She had nothing to hide, why should Katia” was justification enough. She would appear to be Spring Cleaning while snooping during the next Independent Study. Ms Capillary’s room was arctic and dank like the aquariums it housed, green and muculent, on every side. There was one peeping-window behind her desk, always shuttered to preserve comfortable, artificial light for the reptiles she fostered. Ms Capillary, herself, was of an amphibious nature. She slinked, lethargic, her hair slicked down, parted exactly in the middle, her skin spotted brown with age and flabby. Her black bean eyes were alert and constantly moving from one face to the next as if she felt preyed upon. “Now, he was king…Naples. By his marriage to Isabella of Castile…1469 he united…established the Inquisition…Granada…Columbus…In 1492, Chet, he ordered the expulsion of Jews and Moors from Spain....” Mr Stalenn slipped deviant pupils’ names into Tuesday’s fifteenth century history drones to keep them awake. Despite the monotone, it wasn’t effective. Gathering mental notes after the class, one can only remember crumbs about some Chet being part of the Spanish Inquisition, assuming the title of “Sovereign of all Russia,” and two-headed eagles. He was notorious for whispering loudly. DeeDee turned the gum around in her jaw. It had gone hard and bland after hours of gnashing. Her flip flops smacked the linoleum steps hard and fast as she galloped to Independent Study, three flights down from the History department which was five flights up from the ground; the tallest school uniting all of suburbia under one skyscraper, square in the middle of the amateur man-made island. Within twenty feet of a door, one can recognize a notice declaring changes in schedule, inconvenient for all. This one had the audacity to be eye-watering yellow and read, “Period Four Independent Study No Longer Open To Students Tuesdays Through Thursdays. Sorry For The Inconvenience. Thank You.” They were not one drop remorseful and had nothing to be thankful for, of course. The Great Bag Snoop would have to wait and more than four minutes was needed to clamber up two tedious flights of stairs without a repulsive pink tardy pass to your name for Mr Cohen. He was a brawny man with a severe frame and face. His top lip disappeared beneath a permanent pout and slacks hardly managed to touch the peaks of his ankles. His nose was squashed and bubbly, his eyes, beady and bloodshot, his teeth he never showed when speaking, his chins doubled in number when he cleared his throat, and his fingers were unpredictably bony with claws yellow and horrific. “You’re late… Miss Palek.” His voice was an intimidating gurgle. The class had the chance and every right to stare so took full advantage. DeeDee shuffled past the comment into her assigned seat two rows from the front and slumped down. “The significance of Shakespeare’s humor here was…And you’ll need those tonight, obviously. Chapter one of each, I expect read… memorized… understood… loved… and ready to discuss…Tomorrow! The Fish Flew Through, Ballad of a Dead Man, Lying Grass.”

thanks :)
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