Monday, May 15, 2017

Final Blog

Winthrop place was just a rundown apartment building on the wrong side of town, nudged between a laundry mat and coffee shop. In the scheme of things, it really didn't matter to anyone. When the occasional tourist wandered away from the nearby city and happened upon the town, they usually avoided the stretch that was Blackburn Ave and focused on the "local color of the Rose Records" or the "charming little skating pond". 
No, Winthrop didn't seem like much to anyone else. A traveler would know nothing of the handful of wanders who found their way to Winthrop, or the girls who lived in the flats, attempting to escape the past, and the small children who miraculously survived alone, or the shut-ins too afraid to set out on to the dimly lit hall of floor 9. 
But to Sail, she could feel all these things as she glanced around her faded apartment walls for the last time. There's something cursed here she thought. Or at least something tragic and forgotten.
Maybe is was this that had pulled her and the wicked Primrose girls to the building in the first place. Or had inspired the gothic mystery party. Or the reason that three murders had been tied to Winthrop Residents. Like the nameless girl that Sep had killed last night. 
Yes, something tragic. Sail tucked her chin under her shirt and sighed. This was the end; no more murder, carnivals, strange children, or disappearing handymen. This was a goodbye to Winthrop, one final time. And there was something tragic about that too. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Of Course

Sail never thought that a magical, glowing rainbow would whisk her off to the fluorescent, futuristic floors of her neighborhood IKEA. I guess I’m really not meant for adventure, Sail mumbled to herself.
Two seconds ago she had been standing in the center of the Winthrop Woods, reaching out for the shining arc in front of her. This was supposed to be her change, her new life, an escape. But all the anticlimactic rainbow had done was carry her a mile west to the giant superstore, which was now filled with seemingly hundreds of people milling around. This is what I get for trying to dip my feet into the realm of magical realism, Sail sighed.
After wandering around the Swedish furniture and brightly colored door knob BOGO bins (and moping in her lack of daring escapades), Sail found herself among a crowd of shoppers listening to an announcement.  
Glancing around, she noticed many of them were from her old apartment building, and Sail remembered how the last time she was with all of them, a dead body was found.
Suddenly, the booming voice on the loudspeaker rang out, “Now, we will finally find the Winthrop murderer.”
This again, of course. Sail felt like that rainbow was still in the woods, laughing at her. “How’s this for adventure?”

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

One Year

It was too soon to return to her apartment. Too soon to be greeted to her graying kitchen and her tousled bed, probably with blankets still strewn on the floor from the last sleepy morning she'd awoken there, one year ago.
One year ago when her father had knocked on the door, crisp and professional as always, face revealing nothing. But his fist clenched around a rolled up newspaper does.
a gulp, a slammed door, and clothes hastily shoved in a bag. And then goodbye. 
One year wasn't enough time to distance herself from that apartment and those girls. 
But the shady, green forrest that stretches its trunks and branches tall into the sky is shelter enough from that town.
There's nothing here but the rhythm of wind and leaves falling and sticks cracking apart. And the smell of a retreating spring shower.
And then, suddenly, a rainbow is raining across the woods to an unknown spot behind boulder. It whispers something unknown.
She knows she should go back to see those she left behind. Timma, Noel. 
But, one year isn't enough time to return to a town that sees your hands covered in blood. But one year is enough time to realize its time for something new.

sprint past the forrest
see that rainbow? it calls you
to journey forward 

Monday, January 23, 2017

#6 Powder Blue

She was woken up from her afternoon nap with a loud rap on her apartment door, a steaming cup of hot chocolate, and an annoyingly awake and chipper grin.
“C’mon, we’re going skating.” Noel had practically been jumping when he said it.
Sail had begrudgingly accepted the hot chocolate but not his offer.
“It will be fun!” He’d countered, “And I can start my research for your in depth exposé on the secret societies of Brookline Academy.”
“Society,” Sail had corrected him, “there’s only one at Brookline.” He shrugged, leaned against her doorway, and held out a pair of powder blue ice skates.

Half an hour later Sail found herself wrapped in a baby pink sweater stepping onto the gelid blue ice behind the Winthrop police station.
“So you guys were responsible for the mayor’s missing goldfish and replacing every album in Rose Records with whale sounds?”
Sail stumbled a little on the chipped ice. “Haha yep.”
Noel barked out a laugh, he seemed to find all their pranks amusing.
Sail winced. She hadn’t gotten to the big one yet, if she got to it.
Maybe he wouldn’t even remember about the giant pool of blood in the park. The town had virtually forgotten all about it only two weeks later.
As if someone could sense her guilt, the police station backdoor swung open, revealing two cops. But they paid no attention to Noel and Sail. Instead, they walked over to the other side of the pond with 3 inmates shuffling behind them, handcuffs and all.
Sail stopped skating, baffled.
“Oh yeah, they let the inmates out here sometimes,” Noel nonchalantly said, following her gaze, “aren’t they cute?” he half joked as they watched the criminals slip around on the ice.
A laugh escaped Sail’s chapped lips. All she could think of was Caroline and the other Primrose Girls out here in orange jumpers fumbling around, all of their pranks finally catching up with them.
Her cheeks reddened from laughter, joy bubbled up in her chest from the outrageous, amusing picture.
But then Sail remember she’d be out there with them. She’d been a part of all of it. She looked over at Noel, who was currently attempting a figure eight. He thought he was writing a story about missing goldfish and innocent jokes, but he completely oblivious to the, not-so-innocent,  pool of blood still weighing down on Sail’s chest.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

#5 Gold Tinsel

“That’s $14.” the jean-jacket clad girl behind the movie theatre counter quietly said. Her red and white striped candy cane pin gleamed up from her blue shirt. Sail noticed a small tear glide down her pale cheek.
“I’m sorry.” she wiped at her face, “It’s just- I’ve just found out that my father is sick, and I can’t go home, and-”
Her face was streaming with water now and she looked away. Sail wondered how someone could care for their parents with this much emotion. Sail only knew betrayal from her own; lonely nights and listening to harsh words being yelled through closed doors.
“I’m so sorry.” but she didn’t know what else to say. So she silently took her change, ticket, and shuffled off to the theatre.
That was why she was at the movies. She didn’t want to go home for holiday break, unlike Caroline, and Noel, and all of the Primrose girls.
She found a seat near the front in the empty theatre and poured her chocolate candy into her popcorn. Then, her foot bounced against something below her seat. It was a clear bag filled with glimmering silver and gold tinsel that seemed to have been abandoned.
Sail got an idea.
10 minutes later, her and the movie theatre employee, Timma Jean she’d found out, were munching on popcorn, wrapped in the tinsel. They were wearing it like Christmas trees.
“We look ridiculous.” Timma Jean had cried out and Sail had agreed with her. But they kept the bizarre tinsel on and watched Christmas movies until her shift was over.
As far as holidays went, it wasn’t a bad one.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

#4 The Murderer

Irony. That’s what it was: irony.
Irony that Sail had been given a tiny white card with the words “murderer” spelled out when she walked into the 7th floor that night. It was like whoever creepy mastermind who orchestrated this whole murder mystery party knew about the pool of blood, and the chandelier, and the countless other pranks she’d been a part of this year.
Now, awkwardly standing on the edge of the party, Sail pulled at her blue velvet dress and focused on the glass of water in her hand, avoiding eye contact with all of the furtive glances of her neighbors probably searching for the murderer. She shouldn’t be here. She should be back in her shoebox apartment on the phone with Noel talking about the article he was writing about her.
Sail was about to bail on the party when Paul Paul stood up on a chair, assumed the stance of a detective, and gleefully called out, “I do believe we have our murderer,” he paused and everyone silently leaned forward. He raised his hand and steadily pointed straight across the room to where Sail was standing. “ It is Ms. Sail Vanleer.”
A few people faked screamed, Paul Paul grinned, and one little girl glared at Sail so deeply, it seemed like she really thought Sail was a murderer. Red flooded Sail’s cheeks, and the water in her glass splashed over the sides because of her shaking hands. There was no reason to be embarrassed, it wasn’t like she was an actual murderer, but it felt real.
Then the lights went out, offering Sail a short relief. Someone screamed- a real one this time-, and when the lights came back on, a body was lying on the floor.
For a moment, only Sail saw the body because everyone's gaze were still fixed on her, but then a girl in a long green dress gasped, heads turned, and everyone saw it; a real murder mystery had just been handed to them on a silver platter.
And even though Sail knew that this whole party was fake, and that her role had just been some coincidence, she knew that the image of her face and a dead body would forever be engraved in minds of every resident of Winthrop Place.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

#3 The Journalist

Sail didn’t know the reason she ended up going to the Environmental Forum. Maybe it was because she was so intrigued by the green gilded envelope that slid under her apartment door at 5 that morning. Perhaps it was the gusts of freezing winter wind that seemed to push her all the way to Poultry Lane. Or maybe she ended up at the Bar instead of Brookline because she was supposed to go to a Primrose meeting after school and she needed an excuse to skip.
Either way, something had beckoned her there, and she was feeling reckless.
Upon entry into the Bar, Sail realized how little the town cared about the environment. The stage that usually held up and coming indie groups now had a meager collection of pamphlets on the environment. In the corner, a dusty washing machine sat. There wasn't even a presenter on stage.
Disappointment sat in Sail’s chest. Her escapade couldn’t even manage to be interesting.
Nevertheless, she found a seat -not like there was a lack of seats- next to two men. One of them was vigorously scribbling in a black notepad, while the younger one was reaching down and petting the dog at his feet. When Sail sat down, the younger guy turned and smiled at her.
“Thank God!” he jokingly began, “I thought I was the only one in this town who enjoyed a good environmental forum.”
Taken aback by his sarcasm, Sail just laughed a little and leaned down to pet the dog.
“Who’s this?”
“This is Tug,” He gestured to the man next to him who was still furiously writing, “and that’s Paul Paul. We’re from the paper.”
“Oh,” Sail exclaimed, “So that’s why you’re here. To cover this incredibly interesting story.” He coyly shrugged.
Then, Sail didn’t know why she ended up doing the next thing either. Maybe it was the way he reached over to shake her hand and said, “The name’s Noel.” Or, maybe, it was the warm, secure sense she got from being looked at by his amber-tinged eyes. Perhaps it was mixed with her new-found disregard for her obligations at school, and her eagerness to get back at Caroline.

Whichever one it was, Sail found herself grinning back at Noel and saying, “What if I told you I had a really good story for you to write?”