Monday, April 09, 2012

Fiction Fun: Devil's Lake, Part 1

Here's part of a short story I wrote about ten years ago. After writing this, I did several exercises with the same main character...which I might share with you at some point. :) Anyway, enjoy!


DEVIL'S LAKE

Devil's Lake National Park, my favorite place in the world. When I’m there, I feel free to do what I please, think what I like, and go where the wind takes me.

But it never seems to last long enough. Almost as soon as we get there, we’re packing up to go home. Back to the hum-drum life of washing dishes and cleaning the bathroom. And homework. But it was summer now, so I wouldn’t have to worry about homework for a while.

"Alex?” Dad absently flipped through the stack of today’s mail. “Are you daydreaming again?"
"No."
"Then you can empty the dishwasher."

That’s my dad, the cleanest and most efficient person in the world. Didn’t he ever make mud pies when he was a kid? Probably not.

I opened the dishwasher and began to put the clean dishes away.

Dad stacked the opened mail into a neat pile, then gathered up the empty envelopes. “Have you packed yet?”
“For what?”
“Alex, how could you forget? I’m leaving for Chicago this afternoon. You’re staying with Mrs. Nelson until I get back tomorrow.”
I groaned. No, I hadn’t forgotten. I just didn’t want to go. “Can’t I stay home by myself? It’s only one day. And I’m fourteen! Practically an adult.
Dad flicked a glance at me. “When you’re older.”

Does “older” ever really get here? Or is that just something parents say to silence their kids?

I trudged up the stairs to my room and threw some clothes and my toothbrush into a bag. I probably should have spent the rest of the day with Dad, but I didn’t. I shut my door and shoved earbuds into my ears until Dad let himself in. Apparently, I’m not old enough to have any privacy, either.

“Mrs. Nelson is at the hospital with a friend of hers, but she’ll pick you up in an hour or so. I have to leave now, though, or I’m going to miss my plane. Stay here and wait for Mrs. Nelson.”
“Sure.” Like I had a choice.
“I’ll call you when I get to the hotel.”
“Okay.”

Dad loaded his suitcase into the trunk of the car and then backed out of the driveway. I watched until the taillights weren’t visible any more, and closed the drapes.

I flopped into the big armchair, turning on the television, and a rerun episode of That 70’s Show flickered across the screen. Were the 70’s really like that? Those kids seemed to have more freedom than I’d ever have. I wish I’d grown up with them. 


...to be continued next week...

6 comments:

Kelly Hashway said...

Looking forward to reading the rest!

Diane Carlisle said...

A lot can happen in a day! :)

Lily Cate said...

Hey, Devil's Lake! I know that place :)

Tabitha Olson said...

Kelly - hope you enjoy it!

Diane - it sure can, especially in fiction. :)

Lily Cate - awesome! I grew up going there almost every year and loved it. :)

Jessica L Buike (AuthorJess and Operation Relax) said...

Hi! Found you through the IBBA awards nominees for YA on Goodreads! :) thought I'd make some new friends while trying to win votes in the Adult Fiction category! :) I'm now following your blog and I hope you will consider following mine (and voting for me in the Fiction category if you haven't already voted for someone else): http://authorjess.blogspot.com/2012/04/grand-opening-giveaway.html

Tabitha Olson said...

It's lovely to meet you! I'm now following your blog. :) And I hope you'll consider voting for my blog in the Children's Fiction category!