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Grapemo 2011 Week #2 TEASER TUESDAY

4 great teasers, 4 distinct voices. Thank you all--I love reading these!


I go for a walk to clear my head. The sun is performing its final yawn, leaving the sky a soft, dusky purple. The buildings on the outside are ravaged from war; broken down, pilfered, and infected by newly growing weeds and ivy wrapping itself around broken glass windows. I take a deep breath of the cool, fresh air and it feels like it’s the first real breath I’ve taken in years, not indoors or underground, even if muffled by a radiation mask.

I stride slowly through the burnt-out city, taking time to observe the smallest details; the growing cracks in the faded concrete, the shambles of metal girders and crumbling steel hanging from the edges of buildings. It's these details that make all the difference in the end. In battle; in life. It's not the name or shape of someone that holds fast to our minds, it's the breath, the embarrassed blush, the uncontrolled laughter at an inside joke. The smells, even the arguments about nothing, these are what we remember. The details are all that remains of David.

I exhale as I brush my boots through the scattered ruins of what was once a house. Even with everything else going on, I still can't chase these thoughts out of my head. I've run halfway across the country, and still the past follows me. My head shoots up at the peel of a high-pitched giggle. I look around and see nothing, but then I hear it again; the laughter of a child. I crouch low and follow the noise, trying to remain as silent as possible.

I turn the corner of an old street, and am stuck still momentarily at the sight of the little girl with pigtails. She nearly glows in the moonlight, a bright grin lining her face.

"Hey, kid!" I shout, bursting into a jog toward her. She giggles again and hops off through the rubble. I spit in frustration and run in pursuit. There is something strange about this girl, something not quite right. I need to know who she is and why she's stalking me. I run until I no longer see or hear her, until all that's left is the ghost of the wind weaving throughout the city.

(Opening: Chapter 1)

Standing naked in front of my closet mirror, I come to probably the biggest decision in my short 13-year-old life. There is no way I can die without clothes on. I mean the thought of some stranger putting a bra on these peanut-sized boobs would be just too humiliating. And it wouldn't much matter if the undertaker was a woman. In fact, that might be worse, because even if she wore a triple A cup, she'd still be more endowed than me. And she'd probably spend most of the whatever you call that process feeling sorry for the poor chick on her table that went through life with a chest like a board.

But then, I reach for my school uniform and think, what's the worst that could happen? I couldn't exactly die of embarrassment at that point, right? I mean I'd already be dead. So maybe I don't need to worry about dying after all. Although my fixation with that issue probably explains why I have this habit of always sleeping with clothes on - well, as least wearing a sports bra.

Okay, I'll admit it. I have boob envy. You know, like penis envy they say guys have, except they won't admit it. It's not that I walk around staring at girls' boobs. And, no, I'm not gay. But when you don't have something that you really want – and the whole world thinks that that missing something is God's gift to…well, to the whole world, it's hard not to be interested. Kind of like how chocolate and desserts always look so much better when you're on a diet. Any other time, it's just…well, chocolate and desserts. Okay, I'm making up the part about how they don't look delicious ALL the time.

The thing is I'm not really some kind of whack job like I sound. I get good grades and once I get my braces off, I won't have an overbite that compares to a toucan's. I'm fairly good in sports and I have a lot of friends. But, if you had a grandmother who says you got your boobs from your father, well….

But before you think I'm only interested in one thing - make that two - let me tell you about my life. Maybe after you hear my story you might actually understand where I'm coming from.


The voice grows more urgent.

My eyes fly open. Fear grips me, its long fingers penetrating through my cocoon of dreams or more like nightmares. The familiar darkness of my living quarters erases some of the dread but not the total fear. Still dozy, I try in vain to turn over, erasing the nightmare of the latest execution. Hands shake me, harder this time.

“What?” my voice squeaks out, fearing one of the leaders had come in to drag me in for questioning though I’d done nothing wrong.

I struggle to get up, blinking back the sleep in my eyes. Afraid of what I might see but not wanting to come across as guilty.

A dim florescent light flashes on. I blink. The artificial lightening gives my friend and rooming mate Xochil an almost angelic glow, softening her usual warrior appearance. A long dark braid tumbles down the front of a jacket of some kind that didn’t fit with el Compuesto’s required uniform. Her large chocolate colored eyes emerge under a close fitting cap. She’d replaced the required one piece white jumpsuit with a haphazard collection of camouflaged khaki-colored items - jacket, shirt, and pants. The color drains her olive skin into a sallow hue, giving her an almost sickly appearance.

“What’s up with garb?” I ask, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. Not waiting for her reply, I add. “Go back to bed.”

I turn away, not sure whether to be angry or annoyed at her waking me. If anything I should thank her for interrupting the whole nightmare of Lupe 2013 execution which for now fades to the background. For how long I don’t know.

“You have to listen to me,” she pleads, refusing to let me slip back into oblivion.

Yes, listen. I’d been listening to my living partner’s crazy tales of half truths of el Compuesto for the last few days. She kept insisting our leaders were keeping truths from us. Just like Luz. Look where that got her.


Laura H

She woke up panting, covered in sweat. Her mother. She climbed out of bed, and rushed across the hall to her mother's room. She hoped to find her sleeping soundly. What she found was her mother sitting on her window seat, facing out toward the woods.

"Mom," she whispered, but her mother did not look at her. 

"Mom... please look at me," she tried again, sitting down on the seat beside her. Her mother turned to her then. Tears streaked her face, like silver rivers down her moonlit face.

"Allison," Elizabeth whispered. "You look so much like him."

Allison was surprised by the clarity of Mom's words. She wiped her tears away with a tissue from the nightstand.

"I'm sorry if that hurts you, mom," Allison murmured.

"No," Mom answered staring into Allison's eyes in a way she couldn't remember her ever doing. "Your father was beautiful, just like you."

"Did he hurt you?" Allison knew she shouldn't be talking to Mom like this, but her dream was so confusing. Usually the dreams were glimpses of things that might have happened in the past or could maybe happen in the future. But, this was an entire scene, almost like a movie. She wanted to know if it meant something. She'd always wondered if the dreams were her imagination, or if it was some weird sort of ESP.

Her mother shuddered, and then she was gone. Her eyes became vacant again, and she turned her head back to the woods.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
Standing naked in front of my closet mirror, I come to probably the biggest decision in my short 13-year-old life. There is no way I can die without clothes on.

This one really caught me up immediately. I laughed. I felt for her and definitely identified with her.
Feb. 8th, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Voice
I am always, always blown away by these teasers. It's my favorite part of Grapemo. Thanks for stopping by.:)
Feb. 8th, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC)
Laura H is my friend (personally know her) and her teaser is AMAZING! What a great job by everyone. I suck at writing. I can't even write a first line! You guys rock!
Feb. 9th, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC)
I love reading these teasers. Thank you for sharing your work!
Feb. 10th, 2011 07:11 am (UTC)
Wow, so many talented Grapenuts.... I was eager to read more after reading each of these teasers! :D
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


Jeannine Garsee

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