Weep


She sits alone in the Reading Center, feigning interest in a thick paperback book.  She shoves up her glasses.  Scratches at her knee.  Listens to the girls around her.

The pretty girls, the girls with the flouncy dresses, the girls who hand her empty envelopes to get around the rule: Party invitations distributed on school premises must be extended to all classmates.

The teacher rings her silver bell.  “Time to clean up, Third Grade.”  The centers disperse.  It’s recess time.

She places herself at the end of the line.

* * *
They seek her on the playground.

“Hey, Fatty.”  Pretty Julia with yellow ribbons in her hair.

“Fatty, Fatty two by four.”  Amelia with the purple dress.

“Ugly.”  Heidi.  Red sparkles on her shoes.

And even Kim, with her bright green eyes, Kim, who used to sit at her kitchen table and drink cocoa, legs swinging back and forth.  “Four eyes.”

She is shoved to the ground.  The unyielding blacktop skins her knees and the palms of her hands.  She rests there.  She watches the sparkly shoes walk away.

* * *

The next morning, her knees are raw and ugly.  They’re red and purple.  They ooze anger, yellow and green.   

She closes her eyes and pulls up the blue tights to conceal her wounds.

She limps into the classroom.  Her teacher puts down her silver bell.  “What’s wrong, Maggie?”

“Nothing.”

“I think there is.  Kim, please accompany Maggie to the nurse’s office.”

The girls walk down the hall in silence.  Kim leaves her at the door.

The nurse sends Maggie behind a screen; directs her to remove her tights and sit in the little orange chair. 

“Oh, my, look at that.  They’re infected.”  The nurse dabs at Maggie’s knees with a cotton ball.  “You really shouldn’t’ve covered those up.”  She sprays something on the wounds and smiles her perky smile.  “All better now.”

Maggie pastes on a smile and walks away.  But she is not all better.   

Some wounds are invisible.

Some wounds just won’t weep. 

This piece was written for the Trifecta Writing Challenge.  This week's word was weep, as in 3: to exude (a fluid) slowly : ooze <a tree weeping sap>.  

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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Weep

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Weep


She sits alone in the Reading Center, feigning interest in a thick paperback book.  She shoves up her glasses.  Scratches at her knee.  Listens to the girls around her.

The pretty girls, the girls with the flouncy dresses, the girls who hand her empty envelopes to get around the rule: Party invitations distributed on school premises must be extended to all classmates.

The teacher rings her silver bell.  “Time to clean up, Third Grade.”  The centers disperse.  It’s recess time.

She places herself at the end of the line.

* * *
They seek her on the playground.

“Hey, Fatty.”  Pretty Julia with yellow ribbons in her hair.

“Fatty, Fatty two by four.”  Amelia with the purple dress.

“Ugly.”  Heidi.  Red sparkles on her shoes.

And even Kim, with her bright green eyes, Kim, who used to sit at her kitchen table and drink cocoa, legs swinging back and forth.  “Four eyes.”

She is shoved to the ground.  The unyielding blacktop skins her knees and the palms of her hands.  She rests there.  She watches the sparkly shoes walk away.

* * *

The next morning, her knees are raw and ugly.  They’re red and purple.  They ooze anger, yellow and green.   

She closes her eyes and pulls up the blue tights to conceal her wounds.

She limps into the classroom.  Her teacher puts down her silver bell.  “What’s wrong, Maggie?”

“Nothing.”

“I think there is.  Kim, please accompany Maggie to the nurse’s office.”

The girls walk down the hall in silence.  Kim leaves her at the door.

The nurse sends Maggie behind a screen; directs her to remove her tights and sit in the little orange chair. 

“Oh, my, look at that.  They’re infected.”  The nurse dabs at Maggie’s knees with a cotton ball.  “You really shouldn’t’ve covered those up.”  She sprays something on the wounds and smiles her perky smile.  “All better now.”

Maggie pastes on a smile and walks away.  But she is not all better.   

Some wounds are invisible.

Some wounds just won’t weep. 

This piece was written for the Trifecta Writing Challenge.  This week's word was weep, as in 3: to exude (a fluid) slowly : ooze <a tree weeping sap>.  

Labels: ,

26 Comments:

At January 10, 2012 at 5:47 PM , Anonymous Lance said...

"They ooze anger" = awesome

This is heartbreaking but very realistic. Well done. Envy weeps from my writer's ego.

 
At January 10, 2012 at 5:56 PM , Anonymous Katie Clark said...

What a beautifully written story. It may make ME weep.

 
At January 11, 2012 at 8:57 AM , Anonymous Elizabeth Young said...

As always, intensely personal and extremely perceptive.

 
At January 11, 2012 at 11:23 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Elizabeth!

 
At January 11, 2012 at 11:23 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for stopping by, Katie.

 
At January 11, 2012 at 11:25 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Lance. I'm not especially thrilled with this one. Hard to stay within the 333 words.

 
At January 11, 2012 at 12:58 PM , Anonymous Carrie said...

Oh, I can feel for this girl. The torment of the bullies and the loneliness she must feel. Very powerful piece

 
At January 11, 2012 at 4:20 PM , Anonymous Rossandra White said...

Beautifully done, Kelly. Until I read your response that it was hard to keep it under 333 words, I thought it was so much shorter; I was that engrossed. I'm glad I came over here in response to your answer on SheWrites.

 
At January 12, 2012 at 3:22 AM , Anonymous Lara said...

A very moving piece. It may be hard to keep within the 333 words, but I think you make every word count! Well done.

 
At January 13, 2012 at 12:46 AM , Anonymous joules said...

I loved this, especially they ooze anger, yellow and green. You really evoked emotion with these words.
It's funny, I have a hard time on the other side. My goal is to reach the word limit. One of these days. Maybe.

 
At January 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM , Anonymous Tara R. said...

Very moving. Bullying is such an insidious thing. The final line is perfect.

 
At January 13, 2012 at 2:49 PM , Anonymous Amelia said...

Awesome. It just broke my heart, makes me want to keep my kid home forever.

 
At January 13, 2012 at 3:47 PM , Anonymous jesterqueen1 said...

Bully stories appeal to me at a very deep level because they are so close to my own experience. I loved saving 'weep' for the last word. It's like a punch in the gut, or a former friend pushing you down on the playground.

 
At January 13, 2012 at 4:06 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thank you for reading! I look forward to reading more on your blog.

 
At January 13, 2012 at 4:06 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Well, it is fiction. And there are a lot of good people out there, too...

 
At January 13, 2012 at 4:06 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Tara.

 
At January 13, 2012 at 4:07 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

This keeping to 333 words has been good for me. I tend to go on and on.

 
At January 13, 2012 at 4:07 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading, Lara.

 
At January 13, 2012 at 4:08 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Glad to see you here, Rossandra. Thanks for reading.

 
At January 13, 2012 at 4:08 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Carrie.

 
At January 15, 2012 at 9:10 AM , Anonymous CB said...

I love the way you made us see the bullies.

 
At January 16, 2012 at 2:50 AM , Anonymous Satu Gustafson said...

Great piece! When I talk to people about their school years, it's surprising to see how many were actually at the receiving end of mobbing and bullying. There are just a few at the top of the "food chain" and they make everybody else's lives miserable. You describe that very well - I like that Kim as the "would be her friend but doesn't dare oppose the others" character. There's always one like that.

 
At January 16, 2012 at 11:23 PM , Anonymous karen said...

Mmmmmmm. Ain't that the truth. The hidden wounds take so much longer to lance, and have a tendency to reinfect easily at the slightest trigger ...

My favourite was how she identified each of the insulting girls with an item that can be identified as beautiful. With such ugly words, my stomach churns at the thought.

Um, and also the empty envelope. Ouch. Brilliant.

 
At January 17, 2012 at 3:46 AM , Anonymous Trifectawritingchallenge said...

Thank you for contributing to this week's Trifecta challenge. Like the others, I really enjoyed your response. The envelope detail, I thought, was nicely done. I also liked the image of the girl lying on the ground, watching the shoes walk away from her. Kim is the character that most intrigues me. Those friends who turn on you--I like the dimensions. Hope to see you back next week.

 
At January 17, 2012 at 3:47 AM , Anonymous Trifectawritingchallenge said...

Thank you for contributing to this week's Trifecta challenge. Like the others, I really enjoyed your response. The envelope detail, I thought, was nicely done. I also liked the image of the girl lying on the ground, watching the shoes walk away from her. Kim is the character that most intrigues me. Those friends who turn on you--I like the dimensions. Hope to see you back next week.

 
At January 17, 2012 at 3:48 AM , Anonymous Trifecta said...

Thank you for contributing to this week's Trifecta challenge. Like the others, I really enjoyed your response. The envelope detail, I thought, was nicely done. I also liked the image of the girl lying on the ground, watching the shoes walk away from her. Kim is the character that most intrigues me. Those friends who turn on you--I like the dimensions. Hope to see you back next week.

 

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