Saturday, November 1, 2008

Short Story Saturday

Emer glanced around the classroom at all of her classmates, happily listening to their teacher reading "Green Eggs and Ham" out loud them. Personally, Emer was quite bored, as she had read that story, herself, at least five times. Truth be told, Emer thought most of kindergarten was a boring waste of time. But her parents insisted that she go.
Her green eyes wandered of their own volition towards the window. A brisk fall breeze was blowing, and she watched the red and yellow leaves dance through the air, spinning up, and away towards a destination only known to them. Emer couldn't help but wish she was blowing away with them. Sighing, she watched the happy dance of the leaves, until her teacher managed to finish the book, sending all the small children scurrying towards their seats. After an afternoon of cutting out shapes and pasting them onto brightly colored construction paper, the day was finally over and done with. She thought.
Putting her left handed scissors away carefully into her back pack, Emer waited patiently for her Mother, Eden, to come get her. All the other children had left, with either their parents, or for the bus, by the time Emer's mom came in the door.
"You wanted to see me, Ms. Johnstone?" Eden asked politely, after she gave Emer a warm hug, and a kiss. Emer was delighted to also receive the warm cookie that Eden pressed into her hand, wrapped in a napkin. Silently, she ate the cookie, while her mother spoke with the teacher. They had moved to the front of the room, and were talking too quietly for Emer to hear their words. She could see Mrs. Johnstone gesturing in an angry way towards her art work, (which she had chosen to do in black and white) and saw her mother shuffling through many of the papers and projects she recognized as her own. Tears, un-welcomed tears, came to her green eyes. She had tried to fit into this class, tried to make friends with these children, but they all sensed her different-ness, and as a result, they shunned her. Sniffing, she shrugged her shoulders and ate the last of her cookie. She had the love of her parents, and her special friend at home, an orange tabby named Lois, and that is all that mattered to her. She waited, patiently, until the adults were done talking. Her mother turned back towards her, a smile in her eyes, along with some irritation, and strode briskly towards her. "Gather all your belongings, Emer, for you will not be coming back" she instructed quietly, and firmly. In her hands, was each and every piece of art, and every written thing Emer had done during the last month, since kindergarten had started.
In truth, Eden was as angry as she had ever been in her life. That so called teacher had referred to her child as a freak of nature. She told Eden that Emer was not right, and she never would be, and that none of the other children liked her, or wanted to be near her. "She's an outcast" said the teacher, decidedly firm.
"What are you going to do about that?" Eden had asked her. Mrs. Johnstone, shocked, had managed a few guppy breaths in shock before she answered the question with one of her own. "Why should I be the one to do anything about it?"
It was at that moment that Eden made the decision to homeschool her child.
As the years went by, Emer grew older, and prettier. Each year, her parents would send her to school, in hopes that this would be the year that the other kids would accept her for whom she was, and include her in their social lives. Each year, they were disappointed. When she was old enough to enter high school, Emer decided for herself that she was going to attend the local high school, despite her peers. Thankfully, there were some good teachers there whom were delighted to get their hands on an exceptionally smart child. She spent her time learning from them, and from her parents. She graduated early, in fact, and, at seventeen, was planning on leaving their small town as soon as she could for college.
Elsewhere in the universe, someone else was eagerly watching the maturation of Emer. Ava never had forgotten the child she delivered on that windy, rainy day. There had been something irresistible about her. Normal folk may not see it, but all the people Ava knew saw it, and were drawn to the girl. They took turns making routine visits to Emer's world, doing different things, like handiwork around the school, being the "plumber" to answer an emergency call, and one lucky one even got to be her sophomore homeroom teacher. She drew them to her like moths to a flame, yet she never knew of their existence.
Then she turned 19. And her birthday, which had started out so nicely, ended up being horrific. It was a rainy day, just like the day she'd been born on. Emer had been in college for a year at that point, and her parents were coming to surprise her for her birthday. Tragically, a drunk man had also taken that opportunity to get behind the wheel in search of his next bottle of Mad Dog 20-20. They never knew what hit them. Emer got that phone call from the University Hospital, they'd been less than five miles away from her. Her world plunged into black. She quit school, closed the family hardware store, and closed up the house. Taking the money they left her, she set off traveling, living everywhere, and no where at the same time. She barely spoke to anyone, hardly ever ate, subsisting on ice cream sandwiches and cups of chai tea when she needed to fill her stomach. She passed through places without really seeing them, starting with the United States, and eventually, moving on to Europe. When she was destitute, living in Paris, Ava finally decided to intervene.....


sybil law said...

Excellent story!!!

My expressions LIVE said...

It was a pleasure reading your work!

Bubblewench said...

you are evil with these tales!! MORE MORE MORE! What the heck does Ava do?

Daryl said...


Jo Beaufoix said...

I loved that. I could really see this as a book Mie. Fab.

And the Elvira post was great too.