Coeur

United States

girl who likes flowering trees and cats.
biopic drawn for me by my dear friend "bogsoup"

Message from Writer

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival."
C. S. Lewis

Nothing Happens in Small Towns

November 16, 2020

    Marina flattened her fingertips against concrete. Sunlight reflected on her mulberry nails. One beam winked across the gem on her middle finger. It was almost enough to blind someone. Bite marks littered Cal's plain nails. She'd clenched the lip of the pool hard enough to turn her knuckles as red as Marina's sunburned nose. Both girls hung off the pool. Unfinished stones bordering the edge bit into their underarms. They hardly noticed. The scent of summer lilacs, chlorine, and hot-dogs waltzed into their nose and brain. Sweat and water droplets clung to their burned skin, and humid air tickled the hair at the napes of their necks. These things blotted out the mild discomfort of concrete.     
    In the last forty-five minutes, Marina had spoken for twenty-seven seconds. Earlier, she'd popped an earbud into one ear. Cal implied that listening to music while talking to other people was rude. Marina implied that she hated this remark by cussing Cal out. (That was the twenty-seven seconds.) Then: radio-silence.     
    There was only so long Cal could take the quiet. So, she burst out- "My phone fell out of my backpack. I'm gonna put it back before somebody steps on it or something,"      
    “Or steals it. This is a public pool.” Marina pulled one earbud out. She didn't look at Cal.  
    "No one steals here. Actually, I'll take that back. Maybe someone will steal your coffee table at Beans-For-Days or something,” Cal spoke around her giggles as if to hide them. Her mother did that too. 
    “As if. There's got to be bike thieves or something.”     
    “You’re just used to North Jersey. Nothing bad happens here.” Cal pulled herself out of the pool and bent down to pick up her phone. Her bright orange tankini and friend's violet bikini differed drastically. At the beginning of the summer, the girls had fought over this. By July that fight petered out, though.     
    Water flared up as the girl plunged back into the pool. It crashed down on the Marina and dripped from her black bob onto her ears. Cal shook her straight, strawberry-blonde hair like a labradoodle. Half of it fell from its customary pigtail and swirled around her like molten rose-gold. The other pigtail still swung above her ear. Her friend pointed out its lopsided appearance with a raise of her eyebrow.      
    “Oh! Did I splash you? I thought you were out of range.” As she babbled, Cal gathered her hair into a nondescript bun.     “Sure, you did.” One of Marina's infamous eye rolls accompanied this line.      
    The eye-roll recipient flinched. She'd never learned how to react any other way.  
    "We're meeting with Davy today. Let's go," They clambered out of the pool, pulled jeans on over their suits, and strode to the road. 
    Their flip-flops pounded on the sidewalk while Cal gazed at the sky. Compared to the graying sky, the white clouds were starbursts of vibrancy. When she upturned her face, she didn't have to pay attention to Marina's inexplicable silences. Cal's home was always loud, always full of noisy brothers and the foghorn voice of her exasperated mother. Marina knew that. She'd been to her house. But she never thought about how bewildering her silences would be to someone who grew up there.  
     Marina side-eyed the old-lady boutiques they passed. To the canoodling couples of cafe goers, she shot her best death stare. While passing petunias preening in bronze urns dotting the curb, Marina dealt them all a vicious backhand. She cared little for boutiques, canoodling, or even petunias. She liked to pretend she cared little for everything. When you cared about nothing, it made nothing caring about you easier.          
    As her toe grazed the crosswalk, a car sputtered to the intersection. Smoke trailing from its exhaust clung around its sleek body like a cloak. Marina cocked her head. Why would a car need to go that fast in New Jersey? Why would anyone need to go fast in South Jersey especially? This town was too small to even warrant speeding. No movie theatres, no good places to eat, no — Cal?       
    A scream and sickening thud resounded through the humid day.       
    The car screeched to a halt. Cal's candle flame-colored hair fluttering was the only sign of life. Then, dazed, she pulled herself to her knees and turned to the road. Her tanned face paled to the same sickly pallor as the clouds."Mar-Marina?"     
    Her friend flexed her fingers. She marveled that these hands had shoved another human being out of death's clutches. They'd clenched so tight around Cal's left arm that her knuckles were redder than the flecks of blood dotting her manicured nails. The little red dots shivered as her fingers -all of her- trembled. This irritated her, so she jutted up her chin to glower at the car. It had shrieked to a stop mere centimeters from her face. 
    She could stare into the eyes of this... maniac. Or, she could've if he hadn't hidden his face behind sunglasses and a yanked down hat brim. His hand hovered over a black object on his dashboard...like a gu-     
    Though the temperature had to be pushing 80, goosebumps erupted over her flesh. Either she was going insane or that guy looked like a hitman. No-    
    Cal's sweat-slick palms tugged Marina onto the sidewalk.  "We need to call Davy... He's got a car... he can drive you to the ER..." the car bolted away. Its tire tread crushed the petunia petals littering the sidewalk. The noise and smoke it left tore a hole in the tranquility of the tiny town. The scent of its exhaust coated the girls' throats and noses and left them choking on the crosswalk. 
    Marina flattened her red nails to her chest to muffle the ricocheting of her heart. The last of the sun's rays flashed over her hand and reflected off a cracked gem on her middle finger. It was blinding.   
    I imagined it. Must've.  
    Because
nothing happens in small towns.    

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4 Comments
  • BlueWolf (Semi Hiatus)

    :) This was amazing!!! It flowed really well and I enjoyed it!!! Good luck for the competition!!! :)


    10 months ago
  • mystifiedtulip

    I love the descriptions and build-up of the plot! WHY IS IT SO GOOD xD!

    - tulip <333


    10 months ago
  • tas (yellowbrickrd)

    I love this! The tension and dramatic buildup is incredible. Good luck!


    10 months ago
  • Huba Huba

    Heyyyy! Is this your final draft? It seems that you're doing very well with this piece, and good luck to you for the competition!


    10 months ago