burnadette_dpdl: FledglingGabrielle (Fledgling Gabrielle)
[personal profile] burnadette_dpdl
Tori would be that one XD Mind you that I am not a big YA person, really. No real reason. If YA is like hers, then, yes, I want more. 

Being so cryptic, let me elucidate: OMG. So [personal profile] pointedulac  needed a prompt for an extra 300 words of writing and I offered one, not expecting that she'd even be interested. She was, she did, and I just had to post this here for safekeeping/sharing because it's so very good. Link to it on tumblr.

My prompt: A 13 yr old girl in the suburbs finds, almost stepping on, a special piece of jewelry in the woods behind her house. What is it?

Thanks for playing “keep Tori writing but not the stuff she’s supposed to be writing.” This is a first draft, mostly unedited, and it’s 1,100 words. My brain is weird, this is what you get! :D
 
“Look,” Kylie says, waving the dirt-encrusted necklace in my face. I bat it away.
 
“It’s a piece of junk,” I say. It’s a piece of gold costume jewelry with a giant fake emerald smack dab in the center of the pendant. I finish patting dirt around the tomato plant. Kylie practically smacks me in the head with her new toy. “Put it back and show mom when she gets home.”
 
“It’s not junk. It called to me.”
 
“What’d it say?” I ask, wiping my hands on my jeans. I don’t like the necklace, but only because it’s ugly and I don’t like jewels, fake or otherwise. And anyhow, Mom’s drilled it pretty hard into our heads not to take things from strangers, or even the ground. Mom’s been kind of crazy about it lately, in fact. She yelled at me when I came home wearing Eric’s sweatshirt, like it was weird to wear my boyfriend’s clothes. But I guess Ky doesn’t think the backyard counts.
 
“Not like that,” she says, rolling her eyes. “God, Oliver, mom’s right. You’re too big for your britches.”
 
I ignore her. Mom and I haven’t been getting along. My friend Lara has that problem, but she’s always saying it’s just a girl thing, that girls and moms go through a phase and it’s normal. I’ve never heard of it being normal for dudes, even gay dudes, but maybe it is just normal teenage weirdness. It’s just lately, it’s like she doesn’t trust me. She questions my every move and when she doesn’t think I’m looking, I catch her staring at me all misty-eyed and sad. When I leave for school or anywhere, she makes me promise to be careful and not take anything for free. It’s starting to freak me out.
 
“Maybe it grants wishes,” Kylie says, swinging the faux jewel back and forth like a pendulum.
 
“I doubt it.”
 
Kylie rolls her eyes again. “Seriously, Ollie, if you’re going to be grumpy all of the time just because you’re eighteen now or whatever—“
 
“What?” I ask, honestly startled. Grumpy? When have I been grumpy?
 
Kylie shrugs. “You’re just so weird lately.”
 
“I’m not weird,” I say. I survey the garden. It’s only a small patch of our backyard but the six-foot square is filled with plants. It might even bare fruit—or vegetables—eventually. “How am I weird?”
 
I head back inside the house. Kylie follows but doesn’t answer. She just stands in the doorway, leaving the screen door wide open, swinging the necklace. I grab for it. She pulls it out of my reach. I grin at her. This is good. I know this game. This is normal sibling stuff. I grab for it again. Kylie is a head shorter than me but she’s fast. Eventually, though, she lets the necklace swing too far forward and I grab it.
 
The pain is immediate and searing hot. I let go and shake my hand. My palm is red and blistered. It’s like grabbing the handle of a hot pan. I grit my teeth and let out a yelp. My eyes water.
 
“Ollie!” Kylie looks from my hand to the necklace and back. Then she reaches for the stone. I gasp a no, but she ignores me. She touches the emerald and… Nothing happens. She frowns. “What happened?”
 
I shake my head. I don’t know. I race to the sink and run water over the burn. And it’s definitely burned. The imprint of the necklace’s pendant is outlined in my skin.
 
“I’m sorry,” Kylie says. “I didn’t know.”
 
“It’s okay,” I assure her. “Not your fault. Get the first aid kit out of the camper, okay?”
 
Kylie sets the necklace down on the counter and heads outside to the RV. I know that kit has burn gel. It’s going to be okay. The front door opens but instead of Kylie, my mom comes in the kitchen. She’s wearing her work clothes—business chic, blue pants, white blouse—and carrying a brown grocery bag.
 
“What’s going on?” she asks. Her eyes flick to my hand. She gasps. Then she spots the necklace and screams.
 
It’s a strangled scream but not the kind of sound you want emanating out of a parent.
 
“What did you do, Oliver?”
 
I shake my head, trying to make sense of everything. My throat is dry. “I burned my hand. It’s okay. I’m not sure how it happened but—“
 
“What’s that?” she practically hisses. She points to the costume jewelry. She grabs my wrist and sees the burn. She drops my hand. “Oh god.”
 
“It’s just junk, Mom. Kylie found it in the yard.”
 
Mom makes a sound no human should make. It’s a sob of utter agony. Her legs collapse beneath her and she catches herself on the counter. “I’m so sorry. I knew I should have been more careful.”
 
“What are you talking about?” I ask. Mom only shakes her head.
 
The windows start to rattle, like there’s a big truck passing by. But the rattling doesn’t stop. The mid-afternoon light darkens, like a giant cloud is passing over the sun, only it’s too dark for a cloud and it doesn’t pass. Mom whimpers. “Where’s your sister?”
 
“The RV,” I say.
 
Mom nods. “Good.”
 
“Mom, what’s happening?” She shakes her head again. My heart beats in my hand. Blood thrums in my ears. “Mom!”
 
“I’m sorry, Ollie. I was supposed to keep you safe. I should have known they’d find a way.”
 
“From who? A way to what?”
 
The windows and walls shake harder. The dishes rattle in the cabinets.
 
“A way to claim you as their own.”
 
I don’t understand any of this. My hand aches.
 
“I made a bargain long ago,” my mom says. She’s not looking at me, but at the fake emerald. “I couldn’t have children. So I bargained with the fair folk for two, a boy and a girl.”
 
“What, like fairies?” I ask, unable to keep the sarcasm out of my tone. This is too insane. I keep my back to the window and watch my mom.
 
“The deal was, they could tempt you once when you turned eighteen. If you accepted anything of theirs—food or jewels or clothing—you’d be stolen away.”
 
“Mom,” I say. I want to say that it’s crazy. But the walls are shaking harder and the dark is pressing in.
 
I turn and face the window. I see them swarming into the yard, an army of tall, beautiful people. Hands press against the windows.
 
“I’m sorry, baby,” Mom says. She heads around the counter and it takes me a second to realize what she’s doing. “But if they get you, they won’t get your sister.”
 
“Mom! You can’t let them—“
 
She opens the backdoor and all of my protests are drowned out in a cacophony of music and laughter so beautiful it sends chills down my spine.
 
 
 
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Emily

November 2016

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