I wrote five paragraphs today. I ended with 21 total paragraphs. Next step, I’ll stretch 10 of those into 10 pages.
15. On my first day of second grade everyone in Ms. Link’s class had to say what animal they were most like and I, a fidgety child with a habit of storing treasures in my pockets, went with kangaroo. The other kids loved it. Half the class suddenly loved kangaroos best. I rode the wave of that victory for weeks, for years really. I still get a tingle of pride when I picture Billy Williamson’s wide-open eyes and wholly-won-over-to-kangaroos grin. It took more than 20 years and a real kangaroo to teach me something about true persuasion.
16. Basements have a bad reputation, but Jasper’s basement saved everyone in Mrs. Peele’s third period class. It was the year of the Covid, a few weeks before the school’s shut down. Mrs. Peele had mentioned the virus to us in class, but no one but Pearl paid much attention then. It was happening far away and it was just a virus, like the cold, and I was much more focused on the soul crushing suckiness of being dropped by my best friend. That’s how I ended up agreeing to a late night class outing to Jasper’s basement.
17. I’d never admit this to Sherbet, but in my Dad’s shed, I’m engineering a tiny elephant. Sherbet is my little sister and she’s 100% against hybrid animals. I agree with her, mostly. I think people should adopt mutts and stop designing funky dogs. Still, Sherbet will forgive me when she sees Beag, that’s the elephant’s name. Well it will be, when I’m done making him.
18. Last Christmas I nearly drowned in the fountain in Merchants Square. It wasn’t the actual Merchants square, or the actual fountain across from the Moravian bookstore. It was a model in the center of the Putz in Shia Rainstone’s extra living room, and how I ended up an inch tall, doggie paddling for my life in that tiny fountain isn’t even the craziest part. I was there with Shia.
19. Rain against the roof used to help me fall asleep, until the night Pete escaped. The rain started as a drizzle that afternoon. I was dragging out the recycling, and I admit I was annoyed and wearing my headphones. Three hours later, flopped back in my reading bean bag chair, I noticed Petey wasn’t trying to knock my book off my lap, which is usually what he does when I settle down in my bean bag. It was a monsoon by then, but I threw on my coat and red rain boots and spent an hour calling for him. By the time I returned home I could barely breathe from the worry.
20. My ears perked at the sound of the text message jingle. It had to be Liam.
21. When Isla was a girl monsters filled her dreams, and though those nightmares faded as she grew, deep down she was certain something giant and fierce would end her. She didn’t understand the danger of small things. She married Troy because he was a good man, and love grew green between them at first, but they let a word cut here, and a misunderstanding bite there, until both Isla and Troy were nothing but scars. [Love]