Short Story Challenge

Happy 2015, everybody! 😀 I found out from Anna Lee about a 24 hour short story writing challenge on Liam Wood’s blog, so here’s my attempt!

Warning: Unedited, can have grammatical errors, & is definitely chock full of clichés. Character names not thought out. And last thing- the plot wasn’t thought out. At all. So I basically started writing without a plan & went where the story seemed to take me.


I couldn’t sleep. Even after a long, tiring day of classes and all the drama that had gone down during lunch, I couldn’t sleep. This managed to amuse me, but nothing could prepare me for all the amusement that was heading my way that night (or, should I say, morning, considering that it was almost 1 am).

I climbed out of bed & instantly groaned as my feet hit the floor, sending a stabbing pain through my right calf & knee. I mentally cursed myself for what felt like the billionth time for not having walked away from the scene in the cafeteria without managing to hit my right leg on a nearby chair (although I don’t think that making a graceful exit would’ve helped my case much, since I’d already supposedly messed up enough, but at least my leg wouldn’t have been hurting).

I stepped out of my room & walked down the wooden staircase, wincing at every other step. My footsteps echoed through the empty house. My parents were at my uncle’s house, & my 10 year old brother, Jake, was at his best friend’s house for a sleepover. Somehow, much to my own surprise, I managed to walk to the washroom that was down the hallway.

I was greeted by my reflection as soon as I entered. Mockingly, I bowed down to greet it, & then I assessed it. My hair was slightly disheveled from having attempted to sleep, but it still fell like a black curtain down the sides of my head in all its stick-straight glory. You know, my hair’s role model’s probably spaghetti. It has a record of being fried to death by my curling iron countless times, but not even once have the curls stayed for more than 15 minutes. Sighing, I walked over to the sink & washed my face. I contemplated whether to go back to my room or go to the kitchen, & obviously, the kitchen won, because, one word, FOOD. Or, to be more specific, COFFEE.

I ambled to the kitchen like a penguin, given the condition of my leg. But of course, were the stars in my favour? NOPE. We were out of coffee. Great.

There were 2 options for me, a) go to bed, or b) get some coffee at the café of the 24/7 convenience store that was at the end of my street. Obviously, I was not in the mood for the former option, so the latter it was. (Or, should I say, latté.)

I needed to change before stepping out of the house though, because a tank top & sweatpants weren’t going to suffice in the chilly October air. But it will be easier to just grab the cardigan that’s lying in the living room, I thought, & then I commenced to penguin-walk to the living room to get my cardigan. In 10 minutes, I was out on the street, making my way (err…penguin-ing?) to the store, wearing a cardigan & keys & wallet in pocket & front door locked & all.

I walked into the store & immediately appreciated the transition from a cool to a warm atmosphere, & then I went to the built in café of the store. What I didn’t appreciate about the store, however, was Clarisse Ridges, the cause of the previously mentioned scene in the cafeteria, sitting on one of the stools of the counter.

I planned to sneak around her & somehow drink my coffee in peace, but of course my plan didn’t work. As soon as I approached the counter, she whipped her head towards me, with an expression suggesting that she wanted to strangle me right then & there.

But, you know, she couldn’t do that, as we were in a public place & the barista would become a witness.

“Oh, look what the wind blew in,” Clarisse said in form of greeting in a sickeningly sweet tone, with one eyebrow raised & a fake smile plastered to her face. “Look what the cat dragged in,” I replied in an equally sickeningly sweet tone &, just to spite her, I took a seat on the stool next to hers.

Clarisse rolled her eyes. Such a witty response. I could almost see the steam coming out through her ears, & then I felt the barista’s eyes on us. I turned to him, & he was looking at us in a weird, almost frightened way. Probably contemplating whether he should run away.

“What are you doing here, Garnett?” Clarisse demanded. “Breathing. What about you?” I snapped. Clarisse rolled her eyes again, & turned towards the counter again, tossing her shiny blonde hair in my direction.

“Err, miss? What would you like to have?” The barista asked me cautiously as he handed Clarisse a cup of tea. “A plain latte,” I replied, while at the same time, Clarisse muttered under her breath, “She’d like some poison.” “Eh, okay…” the barista said, looking between Clarisse & me, & then headed off to make the latte.

Clarisse took a sip of her tea, & then turned towards me again. I raised an eyebrow in question. “Why do you hate me?” Clarisse suddenly asked me in an exasperated tone. “I don’t hate you,” I replied, shrugging my shoulders. Clarisse considered my answer for a moment, and then said, “Yes, you do.” “Nope,” I shrugged again. Clarisse paused for a second before speaking again. “But today? What about today? In the cafeteria? You-“she trailed off.

“Look, I’ve already told you this, but never mind. Once again it is – I didn’t do it on purpose. It was an accident. I’m just a little clumsy. I’ve already apologised before,” I said to her slowly, enunciating every word. I noticed that her eyes were looking glassy, so I added, “And this isn’t something that should be cried over. You’re sixteen, not six. No offence, but please, grow up a little.”

“I’m not crying,” she said as she quickly swiped her hand over her eyes, just as the barista brought over my latte. “Thanks,” I said, smiling at the barista. He nodded at me, & then went back. I took a sip of my coffee.

“Garnett?” Clarisse said to me. “Yeah?” I asked, getting annoyed by Clarisse. The usual dramarama creator suddenly turning into a crybaby wasn’t exactly in my list of tolerable things. “You really didn’t do that on purpose?” Clarisse asked softly. “For the last time – NO,” I snapped, “I had no intention of tripping & falling on my back in front of the whole school & managing to make my tray slip from my grip & having you covered in nachos & salsa sauce. Trust me, if I knew that you’d got your hair styled by one of the biggest hairdressers in London & that you were wearing your new Kate Spade coat, I would’ve been more careful & not tripped on somebody’s foot.”

“You don’t understand!” Clarisse said exasperatedly, throwing her hands in the air, “I have a reputation to maintain! Getting covered in red sauce & corn chips & becoming a laughing stock doesn’t help it!” “And here I was, thinking that you probably don’t know what nachos are made of,” I muttered. “Urgh!” Clarisse groaned, apparently frustrated. “What do you want me do? Go back in time & un-trip myself? And you’ve made a lot of people a laughing stock, so I don’t think you should be saying anything about that,” I snapped at her.

“Sorry,” Clarisse said, shrugging her shoulders. I gave her a blank look. “I won’t complain about it anymore,” she said. “Glory!” I replied. “I’m sorry,” she said again. “It’s okay,” I said to her.

“So you really don’t hate me?” Clarisse asked me in a surprised tone. “You can rest assured that I don’t,” I said to her & took a long sip of my latte. Clarisse gave me a small smile, & then picked up her tea. “You really weren’t taking revenge for that incident last year?” she asked.

“Oh, the one in which during volleyball, you & your cronies – sorry, friends – repeatedly threw volleyballs at my head whenever I turned around for no reason? Or the one where you people were picking on that exchange student during lunch, & I tried to defend her, & you turned on me & made me a laughing stock?” I asked Clarisse coolly, & then grabbed 3 packets of demerara to put in my latte. What? The latte wasn’t sweet enough for my liking.

Clarisse looked down sheepishly, her face the colour of beetroot, and then said, “I’m sorry about those. I really am. And I was talking about the volleyball incident, by the way.” “Eh, okay. I forgive you,” I said, flapping one hand dismissively & snorting, “& I wasn’t taking revenge. Just remember, the revenge still awaits you.” “What?” Clarisse exclaimed, snapping her head up. “Kidding,” I said, snorting again. “Cute laugh,” Clarisse deadpanned. I gave her a Look, & then we simultaneously dissolved into 6th-grader giggles.

“You aren’t that bad,” I said to her once we managed to get our laughs under control. “I know,” Clarisse said, & giving her hair a flip, added, “I’m gorgeous.” And that was enough to make us start laughing again.

“Cheers,” Clarisse smiled, picking up her cup of tea. “Cheers,” I echoed, picked up my latte, & clanked it against her cup.

I’m not going to say that we co-existed harmoniously after that night, but I’d just like to say that there’s always the possibility that maybe, just maybe, everybody is not what they seem.

The End




P.S. Did anyone notice the Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen reference in the story? And the Percy Jackson reference? Hee.


3 thoughts on “Short Story Challenge

  1. Pingback: Short Story Challenge: The Result | This Page Intentionally Left Blank

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