- Go to Weheartit.com.
- Click on the pink
rectangular button that says “random image.”
- Keep clicking until you
find an image that sparks an idea, but try to limit yourself
to no more than 10 clicks.
- Write a short piece, less
than 1000 words, on the image you choose. It can be flash fiction or
just the beginning of something longer.
- Good luck.
The blood kept gushing from the tear in my knee until a widening flower-shaped stain had bloomed in my previously white kneesocks, turning them a rusty brown. My best friend, Nash Warfield stood over where I sat next to Alicia Jordan, who had her hands on her hips and was popping bright pink bubblegum that smelled like strawberries and chemicals. Frankly, combined with the sight of my own congealing blood, it was making me nauseous. “What the –?” someone yelled across the gymnasium and then the sound of squeaking sneakers came closer until they stopped behind Nash and Coach Avery was suddenly there.
“What's going on? What are you --” he said, pushing Nash and Alicia aside and getting a good look at me. “Dori? Are you hurt?” Dumb question. “What happened here?” I was too woozy from the metallic smell of blood wafting into my nostrils to answer. He looked around for an alternative reply. The rest of the class was starting to gather, but no one had seen.
“I can go get the First Aid kit,” my friend, Hedy was offering.
“Be quick about it,” the coach said and Hedy sprinted to the locker room, her wheat-blond hair bobbing up and down in her ponytail. He asked again: “Can anyone tell me what happened here?”
“Doreen fell is all I know, coach,” Alicia said, still popping her gum. I wanted to slap her.
“I think she just reopened a wound from an earlier injury,” Nash said. “Here's Hedy now.” He nodded toward her, jogging back with the plastic box in her hand. In a matter of minutes, Coach Avery had disinfected (ouch!) my knee and bandaged it up with gauze and adhesive.
“Thanks,” I said hoarsely. “I'm feeling a little sick, though. Is it okay if I --”
“You don't have to participate today, Miss Perry,” Coach said. “Why don't you go to the nurse's office and see about getting a little rest before next period? Alicia, would you go with her?”
“I'll go,” Nash said, stepping up and pushing Alicia aside. Coach's brow furrowed but he didn't argue, luckily. Nash linked one arm through mine and helped me into the hallway. “Just like old times,” he whispered with a snicker. I didn't tell him what a cruel joke that seemed.
Instead, I said, “I don't seem to recall you carrying me about very much when we were going out.”
“Well, you didn't fall down and go boom very often, either. I think quitting cheerleading has made you lose all that fancy balance and grace.”
“Is that your way of telling me I've gained weight?” I said.
“What sort of gay best friend would I be if I told you something like that?”
“I thought gay guys were all about brutal honesty. Queens don't tell lies, or whatever,” I said.
“Do I seem especially queenie to you?”
“Not today,” I said, but laughed. Nash was not stereotypically gay in the least. Instead, he was athletic, muscular and okay, so he was more recently sporting a blond streak and had an earring. But plenty of straight guys had those, too!
“You're here,” he said, nodding toward the nurse's office.
“Right,” I said, “Guess you'd better get back to class.”
“Oh, joy,” he said and then glanced away from me. His mouth gaped at something he saw over my head. I turned to get a look.
Standing down the hall, outside the door to our guidance counselor, Mrs. Rothschild's office were a slender brunette in her forties and a tall, husky mustachioed man around the same age. Next to them was Mrs. Rothschild herself and a boy about Nash's and my age. He had wispy black curls, Zac Efron eyebrows and Paul Walker eyes. As I stared, he looked up and smiled at me. I blinked.
“Omigod, Dori,” Nash said. “I think he just smiled at me.” He looked at me. I felt my face grow hot. “I call dibs.”
|For Dori: recall a young Jenny Lewis, in her Foxfire days.|