Welcome to my weekly Wednesday Brief flash fiction entry! This is just a free piece of flash fiction (between 500-1,000) words based off of a prompt. I’m part of a wonderful group of flashers 😉 and I’ll have a link to a site where you can read other stories, after my piece. I am also working on Tide Pull, but I’d like to alternate the stories weekly so I don’t get burned out on one.
Time of Reckoning
Layla and Diane are assigned as partners on a massive school project. The two young women, different in their own ways, will find that they’re connected on a level that no one expected. They’ll face their darkest nightmares, and hopefully come out of it with high marks, and their souls in tact.
She laughed, pushing wayward strands of hair out of her face. “As unbelievable as this is, Grady isn’t that bad, I can handle my own against him.”
“Yes, but why would you want to?” I said as I filled out the research proposal sheet. “To call him abrasive would be a compliment.” Making sure my handwriting was legible I filled in the lines on the form, signed my name, and turned it toward Layla who signed and dated it as well.
“I have Faden for homeroom, do you want me to turn it in then?” She asked. “No big deal.”
“If you don’t mind, I don’t see why that would be a problem.” The paper disappeared into her backpack with a small smile. “I should start heading home though.” The rain had stopped momentarily and the coffee shop we were at was sixteen blocks from home. I took the city bus to and from school, since Grady had taken command of the car, and I didn’t want to burden him with being seen transporting the ‘nerdy’ twin.
“You want a ride?” Layla had gathered her belongings and a set of keys dangled from slim fingers. “I don’t mind.”
“It’s alright, I like the walk, and it helps me clear my head.” I slung the strap of my messenger bag over my shoulder, adjusted it and flashed what I hoped was a winning smile at the other girl. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” ducked my head, stuffing ear buds into my ears as I stepped out onto the damp sidewalk. Individual sunbeams could be seen, filtering down between the clouds and high rise buildings. The traffic roared on the street alongside me, and I concentrated on staying on the middle of the pavement, just enough out of the way of other pedestrians, and to prevent from getting a rainwater shower.
Grady had won a football scholarship to Mason Prep when we were getting ready to “graduate” from middle school. On a whim, I took their entrance exam and passed, also gaining scholarship. The school was located downtown, surrounded by banking buildings and exclusive yoga clubs. The high school football team practiced and played games at one of the local colleges, all against other private white collar schools. I didn’t mind it too much, and at least I could fly under the radar without too much attention drawn to me. It paid to be the quiet twin.
I stopped at a red light, bouncing a bit on my heels, the cold seeping in through my hoodies and soles of my shoes. I had put away my earbuds once I was out of sight, my phone and ipod dead. A car pulled up alongside me, the engine purring enthusiastically.
“Pidge, get in.” My brother called to me through the open window. He reached across, and pushed the handle, swinging the door out. I shoved my bag into the back seat, and slammed the door shut, fingers stiff from cold, fumbling with the seatbelt.
“Why didn’t you call?” He was chewing on a straw, his fingers tapping along with the low bassy tones of the song on the radio.
“I wasn’t sure if you were done with practice.” I turned my hands toward the vent, and he turned up the heat. His hair was a brilliant shade of orange, and stuck out at odd angles, face and limbs covered in freckles. We were identical in freckle count, though I did luck out with the hair color. His mirrored carrots, and mine was richer, more auburn in tone.
“We let out early.” He turned left, taking another route home. “I have to pick up a new set of cleats, and workout gear.”
“Yeah, she was the one that told me you were staying late, and probably trying to walk your dumb ass home.” He snorted, and continued to chew on the straw. “She’s working late, so food is on us anyway.”
“It was for school, and I left my bus pass in my locker.” I said. “I was running late as it was.”
“The anthro project?” Another left, then a right, four lights and a second right. The car lurched as we cleared a low speed bump and entered a parking garage. “Jackson was talking about that. Doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.”
I shrugged, picked at a thumb nail. “My partner isn’t too bad, and we have a subject picked out already.”
“Yeah, you got Layla Grout.” He smirked, pulling effortlessly into a parking spot. “She’s so hot, but crazy.” Turned the car off and glanced at me. “Are you coming with me, or are you going to hide in the car.”
“I’m coming.” I muttered, undid my seat belt and was out of the car, heading for the mall entrance before he caught up to me. “Just wasn’t sure if you wanted to be seen with me.”
“What kind of bullshit is that?” He flicked his straw into the trash can. I got the good hair color, he got the height, towering over me. He had hit 6’3 and was all arms and legs with a killer arm. “You’re my sister.”
“You’re the football player.”
“I can read, believe it or not.” He added in undertone. “Sometimes I read things without pictures.” The snort of laughter was out of me before I could stop it. He shook his head, and poked me in the side. “If you smiled more Pidge, you could accidentally make some friends.”
“I thought you promised never to call me that in public.” I sidestepped his attempt at a headlock/noogie combination. The nickname came from my love of a character on an old 80s anime called Voltron. Grady and I had snuck the dvds from an older cousin’s collection and watched it through–and reenacted scenes on the front yard with yardsticks and a lot of yelling. Most of which he was loathe to remember.
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