Two Months Shy of Nine


Frank gestures to the Post-it Notes decorating three walls of Phillip's cardboard box. "I know you ain't wrote these yourself, 'cause I know you can't read and write."

Phillip hangs his head. His mother had tried to teach him for four years, slapping him when the words he tried so hard to fit into his brain refused to cooperate. In the end, she'd turned him out, two months shy of nine. He's spent the better part of the past eight years living in cardboard boxes. "The words never stuck," Phillip says now, ashamed.


Frank scoots over to one of the walls and begins reading. "Believe," he says, then snorts. "Why you put these up here?"

"They're pretty," Phillip says. "I like the pattern they make. I got the blues over there and the yellows..."

"Proverbs 27:17. Like I got a Bible on me to look that up." Frank glances at Phillip. "Who wrote these?"

"Evelyn McReedy." Phillip beams.

"Social worker?"

"No."

"Homeless lady?"

Phillip shakes his head. "Every day she stops outside and hands me a ten dollar bill wrapped inside one of these notes."

"She sweet on you?" Frank teases.

Phillip feels himself blush. "She never looks at me."

"How you know her name then?"

"I heard her one day, sayin' it into her phone. 'Evelyn McReedy, Attorney.'"

"What you do with the cash?"

"I don't care about the money. I just like the notes."

"Can't eat notes," Franks says. "How she dress?"

"Real nice," Phillip says.

"Rich-like?"

Phillip nods.

Frank grins and yanks a note from the wall. "Exhaust all possibilities," he reads.

"Put that back." Phillip reaches.

Frank stuffs the note into his pocket.

"Where you going?"

"I got to pay my attorney a visit."

After Frank leaves, Phillip stares at the blank space on the wall. What can he do? Frank is smarter. Bigger. Faster. Frank can read. "Exhaust all possibilities," Phillip whispers. He backs out of his cardboard home and gives chase to Frank.

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was exhaust.









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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Two Months Shy of Nine

Monday, February 18, 2013

Two Months Shy of Nine


Frank gestures to the Post-it Notes decorating three walls of Phillip's cardboard box. "I know you ain't wrote these yourself, 'cause I know you can't read and write."

Phillip hangs his head. His mother had tried to teach him for four years, slapping him when the words he tried so hard to fit into his brain refused to cooperate. In the end, she'd turned him out, two months shy of nine. He's spent the better part of the past eight years living in cardboard boxes. "The words never stuck," Phillip says now, ashamed.


Frank scoots over to one of the walls and begins reading. "Believe," he says, then snorts. "Why you put these up here?"

"They're pretty," Phillip says. "I like the pattern they make. I got the blues over there and the yellows..."

"Proverbs 27:17. Like I got a Bible on me to look that up." Frank glances at Phillip. "Who wrote these?"

"Evelyn McReedy." Phillip beams.

"Social worker?"

"No."

"Homeless lady?"

Phillip shakes his head. "Every day she stops outside and hands me a ten dollar bill wrapped inside one of these notes."

"She sweet on you?" Frank teases.

Phillip feels himself blush. "She never looks at me."

"How you know her name then?"

"I heard her one day, sayin' it into her phone. 'Evelyn McReedy, Attorney.'"

"What you do with the cash?"

"I don't care about the money. I just like the notes."

"Can't eat notes," Franks says. "How she dress?"

"Real nice," Phillip says.

"Rich-like?"

Phillip nods.

Frank grins and yanks a note from the wall. "Exhaust all possibilities," he reads.

"Put that back." Phillip reaches.

Frank stuffs the note into his pocket.

"Where you going?"

"I got to pay my attorney a visit."

After Frank leaves, Phillip stares at the blank space on the wall. What can he do? Frank is smarter. Bigger. Faster. Frank can read. "Exhaust all possibilities," Phillip whispers. He backs out of his cardboard home and gives chase to Frank.

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was exhaust.









Labels:

22 Comments:

At February 18, 2013 at 8:02 PM , Blogger Sam Edge said...

This is very nicely done ... I want more ...

 
At February 19, 2013 at 2:28 AM , Blogger Sandra said...

This is very intriguing, the dialogue feels so real. I want to know how it continues :(

 
At February 19, 2013 at 2:48 AM , OpenID theeclecticeccentricshopaholic said...

brilliant -- that's all i can say. well done!

 
At February 19, 2013 at 9:06 AM , Blogger Bee said...

I love the dialogue here -- well done!

 
At February 19, 2013 at 10:54 AM , Anonymous Brian said...

Awesome! If this were the start to a novel or a longer story, I would read on eagerly. What a great set up, and such interesting characters to have a conflict.

 
At February 19, 2013 at 11:24 AM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

Oh, good for Phillip. I'm not sure what exactly Frank has in mind, but I'm pretty sure I don't want him to get it. Your descriptions here are spare but the characters come through really well with the details you've chosen.

 
At February 19, 2013 at 3:20 PM , Blogger Bo said...

This is terrific. Very good dialogue.

 
At February 19, 2013 at 4:27 PM , Blogger j umbaugh said...

What a great plot you unfold. I agree with others, we need more!
On another note, Just finished and reread "The Rebirth" in your book. One of my all time favorites!

 
At February 19, 2013 at 5:29 PM , Anonymous st said...

nice. I got to get to my own trifecta, haven't had a chance to do it yet. Barely got my Tale Tues up with the kids home again...

 
At February 19, 2013 at 8:46 PM , Blogger Draug said...

I love the natural interaction between the two characters. I want to know more!

 
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At February 20, 2013 at 12:51 AM , Blogger Sandra Crook said...

Excellent - I'd love to see what happens here

 
At February 20, 2013 at 4:41 AM , Blogger kymm said...

Dove right into that one, and love the resolution!

 
At February 20, 2013 at 9:47 AM , Anonymous st said...

different. NIcely done.

 
At February 20, 2013 at 11:18 AM , Anonymous steph said...

Awesome, kelly.. I can't get past the horror of a mother turning her kid out onto the streets 2 months shy of nine. Great title, dialog and ending!

 
At February 20, 2013 at 2:09 PM , OpenID joe2poetry said...

Frank does not sound like a likable fellow!

 
At February 20, 2013 at 4:56 PM , Blogger Flippa Bird said...

Your dialogue is fantastic! I want to know what happens next to the laywer lady. :)

 
At February 20, 2013 at 7:28 PM , OpenID jannatwrites said...

I love the voice of this one. When Frank asked if she was sweet on him, it made me think of the 'olden days'. How sad that a mom would send a young child to live on the streets, though.

 
At February 21, 2013 at 4:38 AM , Blogger Victoria KP said...

Great interaction between these two. I love that Phillip goes after Frank in the end.

 
At February 21, 2013 at 10:59 AM , OpenID trudgingthroughfog said...

Wonderful dialog. I love how easy it is to identify with Phillip.

 
At February 21, 2013 at 12:00 PM , Blogger Suzanne said...

Great piece of writing and great character development. I was rooting for Phillip by the fourth paragraph. Would love to see more of him!

 
At February 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM , Blogger Morgan said...

Well done - vivid dialogue. The characters came to life and within just a few paragraphs I was rooting for Phillip and hoping that Frank would take a hike. So glad that Phillip isn't cowardly and I'm still cheering for him!

 

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