Fly alone

by | Jul 29, 2013 | Fiction, Flash fiction, Relationships | 14 comments

I had another post in mind until I happened upon this in one of my folders today. It’s a short fantasy I wrote to explore my feelings about dating in high school. When I wrote it I was thinking about whether to tackle a sequel to my childhood memoir, Reversible Skirt. After I began working on the sequel, I forgot all about this fictional tidbit.

It might be a fun blog project for writers to share short pieces they’ve written and forgotten about. Maybe I should start something like that up by tagging a few writers, asking them to post a forgotten pieces from their handwritten journals or computer archives, and then tag a few more writers.

Fly Alone

By Laura McHale Holland

Toby and I were a new couple, strolling the halls between classes, but then slime began oozing from his hands, leaving oily streaks on his notebook and on his corduroy Levis when he tried to wipe them off. Next passing period, he came to my classroom door. I dashed to the girl’s bathroom where I stood at the mirror and brushed my hair until the bell rang, and I sprinted to class without him.

5947947490_ee6f85ca01I sipped strawberry milk at the lunch table; Cliff sat beside me, eating a hamburger as thin as a poker chip in a Wonder Bread bun. He smiled, said I was the cutest girl. I slid a little closer to him on the bench. Then he let out a belch so loud and potent all the kids in the cafeteria stopped eating, looked around for the culprit. I shrank away from the awful smell.

I danced with Graham at the youth center as a garage band did a good imitation of the Beatles’ If I Fell. His bangs draped across his forehead in a most enchanting way. I thought I could fall for him until Marissa whispered in my ear, “Don’t you know? Graham is so stupid he almost choked himself trying to knot his tie before church last week.”

4896123401_274b073528I was drawn to Jordan’s puppy dog ways: love notes passed in class, a single red rose at my locker, hugs whenever he found me in the halls. But on our first and only date at the movies, he panted and yipped and growled all the way through Goldfinger. Later, he tried to lick me goodnight. I turned my face away. His tongue grazed my temple before I slipped in the door.

Then I met Carlos: tall, thin, straight teeth, sandy hair, olive skin, and a megawatt smile wrestling with the saddest eyes I’d ever seen. Carlos. Perfection splashed with Brut aftershave. I thought I’d met someone who would understand. He took me to a penthouse party in the city. Shadows lurked below. He leaned me against the balcony, bit my lips, then pushed me over the railing. I thought I would end with a splat, but lived to learn I could fly alone.

Photos by jillmotts and wgunther


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  1. jerry

    this so funny, I loved it

  2. Alexandria

    Laura, most teen memoirs are so very predictable. The quality of your writing is so high that you make anything sophisticated. Very well done.

  3. tony pires

    Wow, that took me by surprise.

  4. admin

    Thanks, Jerry. It’s a lot more fun than what actually happened, which I’m wrestling with right now in writing a sequel to Reversible Skirt. The fun and unpredictability are advantages to writing fiction for me.

  5. admin

    Thank you, Alexandria! I’m taking a deep breath and soaking in this delectable praise. You have just put a spring in my step.

  6. admin

    Thanks, Tony. It took me by surprise, too! :o)

  7. Susan Brien

    You make me want to find out what has happened to Mike M., Jim A., Mike K., Eric B., etc. I know what’s happened to most of the others. You did surprise me and that’s the reason I LOVE reading what you write. I think one lives near me now. HUGS to you!


  8. admin

    Thank you for appreciating my writing, Suz! Ah, memories of all those sometimes glorious, sometimes strange high school romances … I bet all our former crushes are doing well. Hugs back atcha, my friend.

  9. Barbara Toboni

    How fun and magical. Lovely false memoir.

  10. admin

    Thanks, Barbara. Do you have tidbits of forgotten fiction squirreled away?

  11. Barbara Toboni

    I’ll check my files for fiction, but don’t think I have anything. I do mostly memoir.

  12. admin

    Forgotten memoir tidbits would be just as good. :o)

  13. Tanya Savko

    Very cool, Laura! I loved the ending – surprised me in a memorable way.

  14. admin

    Thank you, Tanya! I’m glad you found the ending to be memorable. Sometimes things just come together (and then sometimes they don’t, huh). I hope your writing is going well. I haven’t been to lately. I’ll hop on over and see what you’ve been up to.

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