Excerpt from Runaway

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a short excerpt from my story Runaway as well as my first post on Booksie. I am posting this in hope for some feedback and thoughts on my writing. I apologize for some of the formatting issues. Thank you so much.

Submitted: March 30, 2017

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Submitted: March 30, 2017

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Callum

 

NIAGARA, FRIDAY 9:32 P.M., 6390 BURDETTE DR

 

It’s an average Friday evening.  Or at least I think so. While Alpine is munching away some dog treats, I’m sitting in front of the T.V. eating butter popcorn and barbecue chips. The movie playing isn’t catching my interest, and I don’t even know what it’s called, but Drunkie made me watch it. It’s “his favorite movie” apparently. But I’ve never, ever seen him watch movies.

In case you haven’t realized, Drunkie is my father. I call him that because he’s pretty much always drunk, always smoking, and always high; it annoys the crap out of me. (Believe me, I’ve tried convincing him to stop, but why’d he listen to an unwanted son like me?) Anyways, the only thing Drunkie actually cares about—that’s related to me—is sports. He spends most of his bits of money on my basketball andtrack stuff, whether it’s clubs, Nikes, or sweatpants; I’m the one who has to buy all of Al’s food.

A knock on the front door steals my attention from the television screen. Putting a hand on Alpine, I hush his usual husky yapping. I watch as Drunkie stumbles out of his “office” (he doesn’t actually do much except gamble) and reach for the handle. My mind searches for possibilities of who’s at the door, but I can’t think properly.

The door squeaks open like a little mouse. I try to look past my bulky father as he begins to speak.

“What the hell are you doing here?” he murmurs. I can tell from his tone that he’s trying to stay reserved. By now, I can deduct that the visitor is a woman. She stays quiet.

When the guest doesn’t reply, Drunkie raises his voice. “Had enough fun with Elliott and now you’re bored?” Hearing the name, my grasp tightens around the bowl of popcorn. Elliott. My eyes widen in realization.

I squint to see the figure in the doorway. The sight of her haunts me. My royal blue eyes, my tawny brown hair. It’s her.

“Will you please stop speaking to me like that, Cam?” asks my mother.

“Do not call me that!” blasts Drunkie. He cuffs his hands around Mom’s neck, squeezing the air out of her. I can hear my mom gasping for breath, but I don’t feel the sympathy. She left me right after I was born. She abandoned me. She left me in a ditch like I was a piece of crap she could just throw away. As much as I want to, I can’t feel a single bit of pity for this woman. After a moment, Drunkie releases her. She coughs loudly.

“Look,” the witch whispers, “Elliott doesn’t want me.”

Drunkie snorts in a mocking way. “Don’t you think you deserved it? Karma exists for a reason, Poppy.”

Mom’s mouth forms a straight line, and I can tell that her lips are sealed tight. She’s speechless. ‘Cuz my father’s right.

“Look,” she says again. “I need your help.”  

Drunkie slaps his forehead, eyeing her carefully. “And what makes you think I’d help you? After all that you’ve done to me and Callum, what gives you the courage to come back here?” It’s rhetorical, a question not meant to be answered. But Mom opens her mouth to speak.

She inhales a deep breath before replying. “My daughter.”

And that’s when I absolutely cannot take it anymore. I get up from my seat, spilling the kernels as I do so. I shove past my surprised father and greet my mother’s dismal expression. She’s trying to earn my condolence of some sort, but I force myself to stand my ground. “Mother.”

“Callum,” she says almost breathlessly.

“Where’s the girl?”

She looks at me blankly.

“Where’s your daughter?” I say the words more impatiently and loudly than I expected.

Shrinking back, Mom turns to the black Jeep waiting in the driveway. A little girl in the back seat looks up as my mother approaches the vehicle. She’s been playing on her iPad this whole time. I step out of the house to get a better look. Her sunflower blonde hair is tied into braided pigtails, a wreath of flowers crowning her head. My mother holds her small hand as she jumps down. A white floral dress reaches down to her knees, and a pair of gold sandals strap onto her red, nail polished feet. Diamond earrings dangle from her ears, a ruby pendant necklace hanging down her neck. She looks like a princess out of a fairytale storybook. Seeing her outfit, I guess Mom must’ve spent a fortune on her. It stabs me in the chest to see the difference between how she treats me and how she treats her daughter.

By now, the daughter must be about ten years old. It hits me with a pang of incredulity. My mother’s raised this girl for ten years, and she hasn’t been willing to spend a single second with me. A part of me wants to shut the door right now. To make them go away. But another part of me feels sympathy for the girl; my mother doesn’t even deserve to be called a mother.  

As the girl walks up to the doorway, I notice her take short, skeptic glances at the house. I wonder if she’s trying not to look disgusted by the small-looking home; she must’ve lived in a castle with her king of a father. When she finally reaches us, she curtsies awkwardly; she obviously didn’t want to do that. Drunkie grunts without trying to hide it—Mom must’ve told her to do that just to get on our good side.

“Meet Elaine,” mutters my mother. The edge of Elaine’s mouth quivers as she smiles at us politely. I can see the one word this girl wants to say in her emerald green eyes. Savage.

In my head, I can’t stop thinking, If Drunkie and I weren’t Mom’s abandoned husband and nonessential son, would she have announced that proudly? Maybe even boastfully?

 

 


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