1. Ferret

    Ferret New Member

    Nov 26, 2006
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    The parts of your soul you refuse to recognize.

    SS 04 Winner

    Discussion in 'Monthly Short Story Contest Archives' started by Ferret, Jul 23, 2007.

    Congratulations, baywriter.
    Writing Forums - View Single Post - SS Comp 04

    A Friendship at War

    Note: These are two characters that I have previously established in an eariler novel. Cheyenne is one messed up teenager, and Neill is her best friend. In this particular addition, they are going through an extremely rough situation that puts them in an emotional duel with each other. Enjoy.

    Cheyenne stepped lightly over mahogany wood, her breathing faltered and heavy. She ran her hands along her face softly, turning in small circles. Her mind was wavering in nonsense as she paused. There had to be a way out of this. Breath hitching, her eyes fixated themselves on the only open corner of the room. A metal baseball bat was propped carefully against the navy wall, whispering to her tales of escape and relief. As she moved slowly toward it, a smile passed over her.

    “I’m sorry, Cheys,” Neill said suddenly. He was sitting with his back against the dark headboard of his bed, his shoulders raised and head low. He watched her curiously, leaning forward. She seemed utterly entranced by his wall, her movements leisurely and hypnotic. Clearing his throat, his eyes narrowed. “I don’t know what I was thinking…I…” He bit back a gasp as her hands curled around his old baseball bat. “What are you doing?”

    Cheyenne turned around quickly, swinging the bat aimlessly by her side, her eyes frozen as if holding back tears. “I am your best friend,” she murmured through a stifled sob, letting her gaze borrow his. “You do things that you shouldn’t have to for me. You stand up for me, and you are always there when I need you.” As her knees brushed the edge of the bed, she set the bat in front of him. “I need you now. I need… I need you to hit me with that.”

    “What?” Neill felt himself choke as he shook his head furiously, sitting upright. “No! Cheys, why would you even—”

    “Please!” She let her hands grasp each side of his face, leaning to meet his eyes as her cheeks flushed over with the heated glaze of tears. “Please, Neill! I’m pregnant, and I can’t… No one can know. I need you to help me end this…” Her palms gently fell to his shoulders, her thumbs softly caressing them with touches like falling rose petals. “Do this for me,” she pleaded, voice brushing inaudibility. “Just do this for me.”

    Neill was at a loss. He swallowed the growing lump in his throat, tucking a stray hair behind her ear. “Cheys, I… Yeah, you’re my best friend.” He took a deep breath. “I can’t hurt you.” Seeing her torn expression, he pulled her onto his lap, his arms binding her tightly to his chest. “We have to tell someone,” he said as he ran his fingers slowly across the back of her head, letting her body relax against his. “We can’t just face this alone—you can’t. We can talk to your mom or to mine if you want—”

    “No.” She pushed herself back to look at him. “Don’t you dare say anything about this to anyone,” she pressed firmly, forcing her way out of his nearly impenetrable hold. “And if you’re not going to help me, there’s no reason for me to stay here.” Taking a quick glance at him, she hurriedly grabbed the bat, holding it as if it would shatter at the lightest of touches. “And if you’re not going to help me,” she said again, “I’m sure I can find someone who will.” She moved toward the door.

    “You’re not leaving!”

    “Oh, really?” Cheyenne shot him an incredulous look, daring him to stop her as she cautiously turned the silver doorknob, her eyes never leaving him. “I didn’t think so.”

    “So which are you going to do now?” Neill asked with a feeble laugh, rising to his feet. “Are you going to use drugs or have sex with your father?” He watched in triumph as her mouth dropped, and he stepped slowly in her direction. “You tell me over and over that there’s nothing wrong. You’re fine. You’re not scared. Everything is great.” He shook his head. “You’re thirteen,” he said. “You’re thirteen, and you’re pregnant. You’re telling me there’s nothing wrong with that?”

    “I have to go,” she let out quickly, backing away from him.

    “No.” His hand snaked around her, his eyes meeting hers sharply as he pulled the door shut. Seeing the tears cascading down her face, his heart grew heavy. “What would you be going home to anyway?” he demanded meekly, softly brushing a hand across her cheek. “You need to get help. Stay… All you’ve got at home is a father who hurts you.” He tugged lightly on the bat, chills coursing through his spine at the feel of the cold metal. “Let me have this, and we can figure out what to do. Please…”

    Cheyenne bit her lip, evading his penetrating gaze, hesitating. “He’s not hurting me… He loves me.” Her face was stern, emanating perfect confidence, but her voice shook fiercely. “Stop trying to come between something you don’t understand!” She ripped the bat from his grasp, gritting her teeth as her chest quaked with each stuttered breath she mustered out. “Don’t get involved!” she said hotly. “It’s not your business, okay?”

    “How is it not my business? We’ve been friends for three years! Are you saying that I can’t be involved until you’re found dead by the hands of someone that doesn’t even care about you?”

    “He does care!” Cheyenne insisted, shaking her head slowly, her back leaning forwardly against the door behind her. “He does…”

    Neill’s voice dropped to a poisonous murmur, each word slipping off his lips with the sole purpose of devouring the seething sense of grandeur his friend held. “If you’re so sure that he cares about you,” he began, “then why are you trying so hard to make sure he doesn’t find out?” He nodded knowingly down at her stomach, stepping back, nearly pausing at each movement he made. “You’re afraid of him, Cheyenne. You’re afraid of what he’ll do to you if he figures it out.” His eyes distant and glazed, he smiled in spite of the moment. “You’re running.”

    She said nothing at first, swinging the bat intently at her side, her foot tapping against the hardwood floor in tempo with her racing heartbeat. He had done it—had lit a smothering fire that was now blazing throughout her body, charring her insides like worthless brush. She could only stand there and let it burn. “I’m sorry,” she let out unevenly as nausea quickly overtook her. “I just… I can’t stay here. I need to leave…now.”

    “Cheys, let me have the bat if you’re going to leave,” Neill said, his face weary and infused with thriving disappointment.

    Her eyes darkened, and she tightened her grip around the bat. “Just let me use it for a little while… I’ll give it back.”

    “No,” he spat out firmly, his hand reaching for the bat.

    Cheyenne didn’t know what to think. Everything was shot to an embracing blurriness that filled her mind like a driving mist of perpetual clouds. She swung the bat, clenching her eyes shut as if to keep what she knew was coming from happening. The hard metal slammed into Neill’s right side, and Cheyenne felt her heart stop, if only for an instant. She dropped the bat.

    “What…was…that…?” Neill struggled out, his hand rushing to his throbbing side.

    Watching him intently, she smiled. “Wow. I didn’t think you were so weak,” she said quietly. She paused. “You’re stronger than that, right?”

    Neill was standing straight up now, having regained his footing. A glare struck his face. “I’m not weak.”

    “Then hit me back.”
  2. Heather Louise

    Heather Louise Contributor Contributor

    Dec 10, 2006
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    congrtas Baywriter, an excellent peice :)
  3. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    May 19, 2007
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    Massachusetts, USA
    Yes, excellent story, Baywriter! Congratulations!
  4. Gannon

    Gannon Contributor Contributor

    Jan 15, 2007
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    Manchester, England
    Extremely well done. Jealous!
  5. Domoviye

    Domoviye New Member

    Jan 8, 2007
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    Proud Canadian. Currently teaching in Nanjing, Chi
    Congratulations, it was a very good story.
  6. Torana

    Torana Contributor Contributor

    Mar 13, 2007
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    congradulations Baywriter it was a very well written piece.
    Well done to all who entered, they were all really enjoyable to read actually.


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