Good Threat

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Good Threat

Post  adverseaffects on Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:21 am

She sat alone is her own atmosphere of misery. It’s called isolation. Her thighs pressed together on the bench in blue fabric sweats. The mushed sandwich her father had lovingly packed for her remained in it’s white paper sack, re-used from the prescriptions he’d picked up from the pharmacy.
The sandwich was wrong. It was wheat and he just slathered the peanut butter on like it didn’t matter. It was wrong just like the lunch bag her dad had haphazardly thrown it in was wrong, something white trash picked up from the counter. As long as it worked. It was wrong like she was wrong, with her sweaty palms and her body that felt slow and ponderous.
She wished he hadn’t made her come.
She was sitting in the white-lighted cafeteria all alone and she couldn’t even eat.
There was no where to hide except in plain sight. She should move as little as possible, she must hold her face immobile so she doesn’t give herself away-
There was a clatter of a lunch tray.
“Hey, what’s your name?” It was a boy’s voice. Heart constricts. Oh no. Threat, threat threat. She sneaks a glance. Brown hair, tall, skinny boy body, pokemon shirt, she looks back down, he is scary and most of all he shouldn’t be sitting with her. She’s embarrassed for him. She’s embarrassed for herself.
“Uhh. Macy.” Her voice felt like syrup. It was heavy. It wasn’t hers. She hated it. She hated that he had to hear it.
“Cool. I’m Brian.” Brian was eating and talking at the same time. He had normal kid foods, a package of fun oreos, lunchables. His mom had packed him a thermos of soup. Macy blinked at it. No one in her family would ever have time to heat her soup, put it in a thermos, wrap it in a paper towel. It was always something smushed and improvised… “…he’s pretty famous but I think that’s stupid, he doesn’t even know how to play. Do you know baseball?”
“Sure,” Macy mumbled. No. She wasn’t athletic. She embarrassed herself every time.
“Awesome!” This was all Brian needed to launch off again. Macy was irritated. She played with the soggy sandwich in it’s bag. Sure, he wasn’t catching on to her total stupidity yet, but it was going to happen, and the longer it took the worse it was going to be.
Laughter.
Macy turned.
Brittany, Cierra, Taylor, all sitting at the popular girl table, hair braided, clean faces, skinny. Making faces at her. Contempt. Macy jerked around, face hot. They were wondering why Brian was sitting with her. She was a fool, she was a joke. He had to go. He was drawing attention to her.
“You’re really stupid,” she said, point blank. The words just came out.
Brian opened, surprised, confused. It took him a second to gather himself. “Fine,” he said shortly, “I’ll sit somewhere else.” He grabbed his lunch tray and moved a table over, to somewhere else, she didn’t follow him with her eyes.
She laid her head in her hands. Her stomach hurt. She would have felt bad but he wouldn’t have hated her at some point anyways.
Relief.
It’s a relief to be alone.
The bell rang. She made her silent way to the line, trying to integrate in, being pushed out, straggling along.

“How was your day?” Dad asked in the car, collecting dust in it’s stick shift. The top was down. It smelled like his climbing equipment.
“It was good,” she said, looking out the window.
“…Macy. Macy!”
“What Dad?”
“Finally heard me. You’re always in your head. You were smiling about something. Did something good happen?”
“No. Nothing good happened.”
“Of course not,” he muttered sarcastically.
To anyone else, it was nothing, it was sad even, the boy who left her lunch table after five minutes of one-sided conversation.
He chose me. For a little bit, he chose me.
Dad could get mad at her if he wanted, she had someone else to keep her mind busy for the drive home. She wouldn’t say a word, that was for sure: no one could make her compromise silence, the last defense.
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Re: Good Threat

Post  Admin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:03 am

Good job on setting up the character, and awesome opening lines. I definitely felt some empathy for Macy, not to mention some anxiety! (body felt slow, voice like syrup, heart constricts, good sensation-evoking lines) I thought the correlation between the haphazardly prepared lunch and herself worked well. It also helped to show what kind of a dad she has too, and why she knew he wouldn't understand how she felt to have been chosen by Brian, even if for so little. It was sad to see her forced to make Brian leave, but such is the life of a wallflower! Good flash fiction ^_^

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Re: Good Threat

Post  adverseaffects on Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:47 pm

Admin wrote:Good job on setting up the character, and awesome opening lines. I definitely felt some empathy for Macy, not to mention some anxiety! (body felt slow, voice like syrup, heart constricts, good sensation-evoking lines) I thought the correlation between the haphazardly prepared lunch and herself worked well. It also helped to show what kind of a dad she has too, and why she knew he wouldn't understand how she felt to have been chosen by Brian, even if for so little. It was sad to see her forced to make Brian leave, but such is the life of a wallflower! Good flash fiction ^_^

Ohh thanks Evan, yeah the flash is fun because you have to accelerate character, opening, closing, the point, it's just dicking around. This was actually taken from my life, though there wasn't a Brian, the FEELING of Macy is the same.
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Re: Good Threat

Post  FairyDust on Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:00 am

Really enjoyed reading that. I can definitely find empathy with Macy.. It only takes a little thing to set off my daydreams and put a smile on my face.

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Re: Good Threat

Post  TheBikloptiKon on Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:10 am

Nicely done Very Happy I particularly liked "Sure, he wasn’t catching on to her total stupidity yet, but it was going to happen, and the longer it took the worse it was going to be." Not sure whether I would have have "cauterized the wound" if I were in the protagonist's shoes, but that's what made it interesting, I'm thinking. I find it troubling that Macy would dismiss a good natured boy, and in the end resign herself to a fate with the inattentive father, but hey, I can believe that.
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Re: Good Threat

Post  adverseaffects on Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:29 pm

From the perception of Macy, the boy is a "popular boy" who is going to mock her. She is threatened and scared by his presence. Partly because, the other kids are mean to her, her father doens't understand her, she does not KNOW how to connect with people. The other option of getting along with the kid, making converstaion, she literally does not know how. The only available course IS to isolate herself in her mind. It's ok, Macy will figure it out five years down the road and lead quite a happy life.
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Re: Good Threat

Post  WannieTheSane on Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:51 pm

Great! Really let me get inside Macy's head. I didn't agree with how she acted, but I completely understood why she felt she had to act that way.

The school I was attending in grade six ended and fed into another school that went to grade eight. I was always funny and easy to get along with so I had no problem making friends, but I noticed one kid named Adam who had obviously been deemed a social outcast by the rest of his classmates who had gone from kindergarten to grade seven with him. Even though I fit in with the "cool kids" I was friends with pretty much everyone, and being INFP I suppose, I didn't like the way he was treated.

Anyway, I was walking past him in the school yard one day and said "Hey Adam", his immediate response was "Shut up pizza face!" I was not mean (I also didn't have very bad acne), and I had said hi very good naturedly, but he was so accustomed to being made fun of he just assumed I was setting him up for an attack. We later managed to become friends and walked home together sometimes, but your story completely brought me back to that moment he attacked me and what I knew must have been going on inside his head.

Tl;dr: Wicked charactisation!
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Enjoyable read

Post  OpRise on Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:04 pm

This continued to build my interest and I liked the ending a lot. It was thought provoking and allowed the reader to transition from "in her head" to a more outside perspective. I got the impression by the end that the father was caring and Macy's perception of mushed food and careless bag was more about her perceptions of self worth and comparing herself negatively to others than something objective. Definitely found aspects of the character I related to in high school with regard to the feelings of exclusion from "those popular tables." Her reaction wasn't something I related to, and the contradiction between how she reacted to Brian and how she felt about his interest was really interesting.
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Re: Good Threat

Post  adverseaffects on Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:03 am

OpRise wrote: I got the impression by the end that the father was caring and Macy's perception of mushed food and careless bag was more about her perceptions of self worth and comparing herself negatively to others than something objective.

I am so glad you saw this. Yes. Macy is a child, and she cannot see beyond her limited perspective. Just like she read intentions onto the nice boy, she cannot see her father's real intentions because she feels like such a victim. She actually, while feeling so hurt, causes a lot of hurt.
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