A friend who has been working with me on writing challenged me to write a unique one or two page fictional piece. This is one of my drafts
Dreams of Leaving
There was a four way stop in Heldon, at the intersection of Bear Pass Road and County Rd 652. A traffic light acted as the unnecessary witness of the roads’ meeting. A 7-11 stood on one corner and Zeke’s Bar N Grill blared country music from across the street. A pizza place and an auto shop occupied the other corners of the intersection. This was the entire business district of the dying town.
Down Bear Pass Road, a lanky teen stormed up a creaking wooden porch. He brushed past his mom, only stopping long enough to grab a bag of chips from the kitchen cabinet.
Damien was lost in thought. He was imagining himself a hero– like that guy at the end of the book he’d read today in English.“Would I be that brave?,” the dark haired boy wondered as he tossed an Algebra book onto the bed. The characters in books made him long for… something. He didn’t know what it was yet. Damien likened his life to being stuck on a gray planet in a Technicolor universe. His cell phone buzzed.
Damien fished the phone from his jeans and looked down. Sweet. Tris wanted to meet up. They’d walked home from school together last week. She’d asked if was he was driving yet. Tris wanted to get out of Heldon, at least for an afternoon. Damien didn’t have his license yet. They ended up in a long conversation about their plans for the future and their dreams of leaving town for good. He got the feeling that things were hard for Tris at home. He’d almost kissed her. God, she was hot. Damien couldn’t believe she wanted to hang out again. He texted the girl back, getting excited. He’d meet up with her at the store in an hour. He rushed to get his chores done before he left.
The 7-11 lot was littered with broken beer bottles, empty drink cups, and other assorted trash. The scent of beer and piss mixed with the smell of pizza and gasoline. It was a sweltering late afternoon. A small wooded area next to the convenience store offered some relief.
Tris leaned against the building, on the side near the woods. She intentionally stayed out of sight of the bar, she didn’t need any drunks harassing her. She glanced at her reflection in a store window. Hazel eyes stared back at her. She looked critically at her chubby cheeks and mousy brown hair. She glanced down at her phone.
Nothing yet from Jake. They’d met online. He was sweet, he always complimented her, and seemed to really listen when she talked about how much it sucked at home. Tris was excited to finally meet him in person. She was also a little bit scared. She texted Damien a few minutes ago to meet her, just in case the guy was a creep or something. She’d heard the stories.
Jake should be here soon, the girl thought, playing nervously with her hair. Tris stayed where she was. She had a good view of the road. She kicked a green glass fragment with her toe. Granny would be so angry if she knew what Tris was up to. She told herself that she didn’t care. She was tired of it. Tris was tired of Granny’s drinking, and the yelling, and the tirades. Tris was tired of the mess that she was left to deal with while Ma worked crazy shifts at the nursing home. At least Jake appreciated her.
A dark sedan pulled up next to Tris. Music blared from the interior. A rough looking boy rolled down the window. “Hey beautiful,” he called to Tris. As he leaned out of the window, a blue inked tattoo peaked from under the sleeve of his green t-shirt.
“You must be Tris”.The first thing Tris noticed was his warm brown eyes. He had a crooked smile and a little scar above his lip.
Tris suddenly felt very shy. She gave him a half smile. “So you’re Jake”.
“And you,” the boy replied, “are even more gorgeous in real life. How’s it going at home?”.
Tris leaned in to speak with him, relieved to have someone she could really vent to. Jake was so mature, so warm, so easy to talk to. He wasn’t all caught up in trying to impress her, like a lot of the local boys.
Damien finished feeding the chickens and hogs in record time. He also showered and brushed his teeth. He bolted out the door with his hair still wet. Damien never had a girlfriend before, and Tris had seemed pretty friendly and interested last time they’d talked. He made his way up Bear Creek Rd. He could see Tris leaning into a car window, talking to someone. Damien quickened his pace.
“You know,” Jake said, “with your looks you could make a lot of money. You could get out of this place”.
“How?” Tris countered, leaning further in the window. She missed the sight of Damien jogging up the road.
Jake smirked at her seductively, “Why don’t you come with me for a ride and we’ll talk about it?”
Tris bit her lower lip. She was only uncertain for a few seconds. Jake was such a good listener. It couldn’t hurt to hear what he had to say. Besides, he really seemed to care about her.
Damien watched with disappointment as Tris got in the passenger side of the mysterious car. He cursed under his breath. He should have known that a girl like Tris was out of his league. Damien heard screeching tires as the car pulled away. Tris had finally found someone to get her out of this dump. Damien turned around and headed home.
Tris never came home again.