#FridayFlash: Tricks

Now that it’s no longer a secret (because my mother-in-law *is* a friend on Facebook even if she probably hasn’t logged in since my niece set up the account), I can let it be known that we’re headed to Omaha tomorrow. Eric’s staying for the weekend for my mom-in-law’s birthday party and I’m staying on the rest of next week to see my people. This means that tomorrow is going to me nuts. Heck, considering our flight is at 8am and our first league game is tonight, *tonight* is going to be nuts.

So, a catch-all post! On Thursday!

—###—

This #FridayFlash is a clean-up of a writing practice from August 29, 2002. Obviously, around this time of year I begin thinking of autumn and October and Halloween.

Tricks

Crouched behind the park bench, Shelly waited for Bentley.  When he was three feet away and she could stand it no longer, she popped up.

"Boo!"

He didn’t jump. He didn’t act scared.

"You need to stop that," he said flatly. His red hair and freckles fit in so well against the yellow and orange leaves.

She smiled and her heart beat just a tad bit faster. "I need to practice for Halloween."

"You’re mother’s going to have cow," he said, pointing the spots of mud on her pants.  She had knelt in the mud without realizing it.

He continued on and, for a second. Shelly debated the merits of not following him.

Bentley had lived next door all her life, but lately he didn’t have time for jokes or fun. It was all an act, it had to be, but he laid it on thick when he was around her. She had walked with him to and from school since before she even attended school. She could hang out here now until he was well out of sight, but hanging out really didn’t reap anything. Just moments of silent boredom.

She collected her backpack, also muddy, and ran. "Hey! Wait up!"

He stopped and cocked his head to one side. Though she was two years younger, they were the same height. If his hair belonged to autumn, hers was firmly stuck in summer, but passable on days like this. Today, the sun shone golden and the trees shed their leaves after the cold rain last night.

"So," she addressed him, "what are you going to be for Halloween?"

"I’m not dressing up this year," said Bentley, gray-sky eyes straight ahead.

"You’re kidding me," she said. "You’re absolutely joking."

"Nope. I’ve decided I’m too old for that silliness."

She shook her head and managed to keep step with him. "You are such a nerd," she said finally.

"Whatever," he replied.

"Your grade’s organizing the whole school’s stupid party. Everyone’s going to wear costumes."

"Well I’m not," he said simply.

Shelly didn’t care about the party. She had long ago decided that anything the school organized was lame. Even Bentley’s participation in planning this year’s party couldn’t make it good. But she was concerned about whom she would trick or treat with, emphasis on the tricks. She loved the holiday too much to end up drearily accompanying her six-year-old sister.

"Who am I going to play pranks with this year?" They always headed out stocked with the good stuff: toilet paper, eggs, shaving cream, chalk. Halloween night the past few years had been long and exciting, and usually ended with one or both of them grounded.

Shelly stopped in her tracks. "Why  are you suddenly abandoning me, Bentley Harris?"

Bentley walked a few more steps before he turned back to look for her. Carefully, a smile crept over his face.

"Boo," he said.

She shook her head. "Bent, you are cruel, cruel, cruel," she said. Her blue eyes betrayed her awe. "You really had me going there."

"You have a lot to learn, Shell," he said. They continued on home.

She would be a skeleton this year and he would be a strange bubble-headed alien.

—###—

And a short entry to 30 Days of Writing:

14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?

Weordan (of course) has gotten the biggest treatment, including a poster board continent map. Usually, the maps I use while writing are more like X-O sketches of buildings and people moving. Writing in the contemporary United States, I’ve been turning to Google Maps on many occasions.

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