Tag Archives: literature
“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”
It was announced this morning that Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird and it’s long-awaited sequel over fifty years later Go Set a Watchman, had passed away in her sleep. She was 89 years old.
To Kill a Mockingbird was an instant classic when it was published in 1960 and has since remained a staple in literature classes. It was definitely one of my favorite novels that I read in high school, touching upon racial inequality, rape, and the destruction of innocence, all loosely based on an event in her hometown when she had been ten years old. The book is widely used as a lesson on tolerance and prejudice, and is a book that everyone should have a chance to read. It’s a timeless classic that can still share its lessons with the world today:
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Thank you, Harper Lee. May your stories and lessons continue to brighten the world.
A continuation of “Crown.” Hope you like it!
Rosalie smiled to the little freshman whom had asked for directions. “Of course I can help,” she said, placing an arm around the girl’s shoulders and steering her toward the northern stairwell. “The art department is right down these stairs, all the way to the ground floor, and to the left. You can’t miss it.”
The girl thanked Rosalie and followed her instructions. Rosalie’s smile dissipated into a smirk as the girl disappeared down the stairwell. The girl’s skirt was frayed on the side. Not too noticeable, of course. In fact, the boys of Rothwright would be more interested in its length – or lack of it – than the state of the material.
“That’s not the way to the art department.”
“Of course not, Noelle,” Rosalie said. “Anyone who thinks she can pull off an outfit like that deserves to get lost.”
“You’re just jealous of how great her ass looks in that skirt,” Noelle said. Rosalie huffed and returned to her locker. She primmed in front of the mirror hanging on the inside of the door, checking to be sure her red hair was straight, her teeth were free of lipstick or lunch, her mascara perfect.
“My ass is going to be the only one that Flint is checking out this year,” Rosalie said, her eyes glancing at Noelle behind her.
Although Noelle’s gaze was focused on her cellphone, she scoffed. “Please, that hottie can have any girl – and probably any guy, for that matter – in this school with just a wink of those gorgeous blue eyes. The worst part is that he knows it.”
“Which is why I’m going to stand out,” Rosalie said, slamming her locker shut, the clang drowning out the school’s bell. “I’m going to stand out and make him work for my attention.”
Noelle walked beside Rosalie to their class, brushing past other students with her elbows as she returned a text message. “Come again?”
“That’s my plan.” Rosalie beamed to a few young men that she had the pleasure of knowing. She giggled at one’s smirk, but she returned to a more serious air as soon as the boys were out of earshot. “I’m going to become so irresistible that he will become the chaser rather than the chased.”
“Good luck with that,” Noelle said.
“You don’t think I’m good enough–”
“Guess what my gossip ring has just informed me?” Noelle showed Rosalie the series of text messages she had been absorbed with throughout the morning. “New student this year. A sophomore, like us, a somewhat pretty thing with dark hair, eyes, and last season’s fashion trends.”
“Are you taking bets on how long she’ll last?” Rosalie asked, chuckling to herself as she read the texts’ description of the new girl. Apparently, she seemed shy and polite. When she had bumped into one of Noelle’s more reliable ring members, the new girl had ducked her head down and apologized. “With how demure she sounds, I wonder if she’ll stick around even for the semester.”
“It depends, I suppose,” Noelle said. The pair slowed down at the end of the corridor. “Who knows if someone will guide her through Rothwright or if she’ll be left floundering all on her own. Ciao for now, Rose. I can’t keep Mr. Hunks waiting too long.”
“I’m sure Mr. Hanks,” Rosalie said, enunciating the teacher’s proper name with a smirk, “is missing you terribly right now.”
Noelle laughed and strode down the left hallway while Rosalie went to the right. She strutted into her English literature classroom, nodding to the teacher while taking her seat. Miss Lason looked exasperated, as expected, at Rosalie’s slight tardiness, but apparently did not feel the need to scold Rosalie. It would not have done any good, of course; Rosalie was never bothered by being a few minutes late to class.
“Welcome back to Rothwright, students,” the teacher said, gaining most of the students’ attentions. “If you would, please be kind enough to welcome a new student in the area.” Miss Lason beckoned to a young woman in the front row.
Rosalie quirked an eyebrow as she watched the other woman stand up beside Miss Lason, and found it a touch amusing that the new girl would be in her first period class. Sizing the new girl up, Rosalie scrutinized the simple pairing of a black sweater with snow leopard print skirt that reached her knees. White pumps completed the ensemble, and Rosalie wondered if they were to help compensate the girl’s lack of height. Even with the heels, the girl barely reached Miss Lason’s shoulders.
“This is Crystal Bowen,” Miss Lason said. “She’s from Boston, isn’t that right?”
“That was my last city, yes,” Crystal said, her accent light with a hint of a southern ring to it. “I was born in North Carolina. It’s exciting to be in in New York City.”
“We hope you enjoy living here,” Miss Lason said, directing Crystal back to her seat. “Now, class, we’re going to start the year off with To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.”
Rosalie didn’t spare the teacher passing out copies of the novel a glance. Her eyes were focused on this Crystal and the appreciative looks that a few of the boys were granting her. Not that the new girl noticed as much. Perhaps Rosalie will take Noelle’s words into consideration and teach Crystal about what goes on in Rothwright outside of the classrooms…
A new story concept, it’s tentative title is “Crown.” I have no idea why, that’s just what popped in my head when I went to save it to my flash drive. Considering that the majority of what I read and write is considered fantasy, this was fun to write. This little blurb would probably be considered young adult drama, but it is extremely early to tell.
Who knows, maybe it’ll end up fantasy eventually. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this nonetheless, and comments and critique are always welcomed:
Crystal was named after all the wealth her mother wished to have. She had been the result of a fling when Sheryl Bowen had been seventeen years old and smitten with a foreign exchange student who claimed he was a prince. He had returned to his home country when Sheryl had been about to pop. Sheryl had never heard from her supposed prince again.
Despite growing up fatherless, Crystal had seen her fair share of men. After five years, her maternal grandparents refused to shelter Sheryl any longer due to her many boyfriends and unsteady jobs. Crystal went along with her mother wherever Sheryl ended up. Growing up, Crystal had met many of her mother’s male “companions.” Most were decent, and the only true complaint Crystal had were her lack of friends.
Generally Crystal adapted well, however, and enjoyed living in many different towns and cities. Sheryl had a habit of moving after interesting jobs she found online. She claimed to keep switching jobs to keep from being bored and to expose Crystal to different elements of the world. Crystal knew that her mother just preferred to follow guys.
The father-figure that Sheryl planned for this year was a Mr. Charles Hensley, some businessman from New York City. Sheryl had an “accidental” meeting with Mr. Hensley when she was a receptionist at a publisher’s firm that he visited in their last city. One look at Mr. Hensley’s strong jaw, broad shoulders, and ocean-blue eyes a woman could dive into – all Sheryl’s words, of course – and it was good-bye Boston, hello New York. Sheryl said Mr. Hensley had left her his business card with his address. Crystal believes that Sheryl found Mr. Hensley with the help of Google.
New York wasn’t the worst place to move to, so Crystal didn’t complain. She had been getting rather bored of Boston’s schools, and was looking forward to starting high school in a new city. Their apartment wasn’t so bad either, despite being a bit small.
“No penthouse?” Crystal asked as she took her first steps into the apartment. Her shoes clicked against the hardwood floor while she wandered into the living room, her hands funning over the leather couch.
“I thought it would be tasteful to work our way up,” Sheryl said, joining her daughter.
“Or is this all we could afford?” Crystal asked, moving away to look out the window. There was a park across the street, the greenery flanked by dull, gray buildings.
“Of course not.” Sheryl’s heels clicked over toward the open kitchen, and Crystal turned to watch her mother begin to unpack dishes. “It did help to cover the cost of your education.”
“Did you have to dip into my college savings again?” Crystal opened a couple of boxes, trying to find her belongings.
“No, no, that was just one time.” Sheryl had abandoned the dishes and had moved to another box with books. “I was talking about your new high school.”
“Since when does public high school cost more than the taxes?” Crystal asked.
“It doesn’t,” Sheryl said cheerfully. “The Rothwright school costs a pretty penny, though.”
Crystal gawked. “I’m going to school there? Mom, how… Why?”
Sheryl smiled and tapped Crystal’s cheek when she passed by with a box of curtains. “Only the best for my daughter.”
Crystal watched Sheryl hang the curtains, then leaned against the wall, her arms crossed in front of her. “Does Mr. Hensley work nearby…?”
“Don’t be silly,” Sheryl said. “Charles works downtown, near the Brooklyn county line.” Crystal waited but a moment before Sheryl added, “His son goes to Rothwright.”
“Ah, a natural ice-breaker.” Crystal nodded in understanding, yet rolled her eyes. “Planning on ambushing Mr. Hensley at a PTO meeting?”
“Perhaps.” Sheryl winked. Growing somber, she said, “You do understand how prestigious this high school is, yes? Everything you do will be noticed by everyone.”
“I’m also the new girl,” Crystal said thoughtfully. “I’d be scrutinized more than the average student.”
“Very true,” Sheryl said. She went to her daughter and tugged at Crystal’s sleeve, eying the material. “You’ll need a new wardrobe.”
“What’s wrong with my clothes?” Crystal pulled away from her mother’s grasp.
“Please, dear,” Sheryl said, shaking her head. “We’re in New York, a city that is always at the height of fashion, among other things. Your appearance will be a key factor in creating a lasting first impression. Come, let’s go shopping.”
“What?” Crystal watched Sheryl grab her purse and head out the apartment door. Crystal jogged to catch up to her mother. “Now?”
“No time like the present,” was Sheryl’s response. Crystal sighed and resigned herself to her mother’s plans.