Fiction Friday: Rage

Standard

Last week I introduced you to Patrick. He’s one of the major characters in my WIP, but the book is in another person’s point of view. So when Red Writing Hood assigned us to write from the vantage point of another gender, I decided to work out his troubled history from the inside. Patrick is a kid from the bad side of town who adores Kitty, a childhood friend. He finally asks her to Prom, but just when things are heating up between them, he receives a cryptic text message telling him to get to the ER because his sister Gracie had an accident. And now…

*

English: Ignition of a cigarette lighter.

English: Ignition of a cigarette lighter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Patrick was eight years old, he loved standing on the pedestrian bridge over the interstate while cars rushed past. He imagined himself in each car, envisioning distant places where nobody came home smeared with the contents of someone else’s plugged drain.

Tonight, at the edge of the dance floor, he felt the same sickening sense of vertigo –the fear that something wonderful had missed him by a hair, so close he could feel the wind of its passing. Fear that crystallized when he saw Joel Summerhill dancing with Kitty.

Two hours he’d spent, looking for his family at the ER, screaming at nurses who wouldn’t tell him anything. Finally he had the sense to call home and find out the whole thing was a prank. Gracie was safe in bed, right where she should be.

Fury sent out fingers, testing for weaknesses in the shell of his composure. Beside him, a pair of Don Juans leaned on each other’s shoulders like a twisted J. Crew ad, laughing. “Tough break, man,” one of them said. “I can’t believe you fell for that text. I told Joel you wouldn’t. You cost me twenty bucks, man.” He slapped Patrick’s shoulder. “Oh well. Better luck next time. Here, have some booze.”

The flask, cool against his palm, highlighted the heat building beneath the surface. Whatever happened, he was not going to lose it in here. He was not going to embarrass Kitty by pounding that smug half-smile off Joel’s spa-treated face. No matter how badly he wanted to.

Next thing he knew, he was standing in the cool night air beside Joel’s tricked-out Beamer. His rage focused to a point. He poured a strip of vodka up the midline of the car and pulled out a lighter. In the light of the dancing flame, he smiled.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Fiction Friday: Rage

  1. bgildea

    Love this! Really well done! I was all set to pull out my little red pen and ask, “really? is a teenage boy that controlled” when suddenly – he’s at the car. Loved it!

    Some other notes:
    “…where nobody came home smeared with the contents of someone else’s plugged drain.” – fantastic image.

    “Tonight, at the edge of the dance floor, he felt the same sickening sense of vertigo –the fear that something wonderful had missed him by a hair, so close he could feel the wind of its passing. Fear that crystallize…” Evocative prose

    “Fury sent out fingers, testing for weaknesses in the shell of his composure.” Just plain brilliant word choice and imagery.

    Great read! This is one WIP I’d like to read!

    – barbara @ de rebus
    www(dot)barbaragildea(dot)com

  2. I had two dates to my prom. (long story, don’t ask, it wasn’t my idea) and neither one of them slugged each other. The tension was certainly there. Whether they didn’t fight because of embarrassing me or because fighting would’ve got them expelled from school, I’ll never know. One had a black belt in some sort of martial art and the other was a center or guard in football. Lanky vs. HUGE. I find myself wondering who would’ve won.

    I’d’ve been the one with the lighter and the vodka, if I knew such things existed then. I was a bit naive as a teen.

    Anyway, I personally don’t find it hard to believe that teens can be that controlled or that they would worry about embarrassing a girl they liked. High school is a very cliquish animal and one wrong move can toss you or someone you care about into the “invisible” crowd. If one can be a sparkling vampire and be believable enough for an entire series of books, these characters can certainly shine on their own merit. Teens are just adults with more hormones that they can handle and not enough life experience to be taken seriously.

    Very, very well done!

  3. Kathleen, this is great. I love it. You’re in his headspace, it’s real and not over simplified, and yet still male and raw, and typically teen boy stupid. (which I say even while applauding the vodka, the lighter, and the doomed BMW)

  4. evanscove

    Of course, there are plenty of adults who do the same kinds of stupid, selfish, irresponsible things. But yes, those high school students tend to have way more hormones than sense.

    Had I been in his shoes, I would have been super mad, though I’m sure with Christian scruples I would never have resorted to vandalism–however tempting it might have been…

    Oh, the craziness of adolescent romances! You’ve done a great job tackling this subject.

    Evan

  5. While you really got inside his head with this one, the bit that stood out the most was the introspective memory at the beginning. Really nice work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s