Thursday is the day I post a bit o’ fiction.
This was written in response to the Three Word Wednesday challenge. This week’s words: Avoid, Class, Sticky.
Tell the Truth
Marta took a deep breath and stared at the screen. The bluish light from the monitor bounced off her pale skin, the worry lines around her eyes and the grooves in her forehead looked like someone had traced them with a fine-point pen – the marks looked like gruesome slashes in the dim glow.
So I went to ‘Blogger’s Unite’ this past weekend and I can honestly say I had the time of my life.
Marta frowned and continued typing.
Everyone was so nice and I can honestly say, I didn’t feel intimidated in the least.
“You’re such a liar, Marta,” a female voice sounded behind her.
Marta stiffened, but she kept her eyes trained on the computer monitor. “What are you talking about?”
Marta could feel her sister leaning over her shoulder, her warm breath, which smelled faintly of eggs, brushed against her skin.
“You told me that the conference sucked. Royally.”
Marta shrugged. “It did.”
“So why are you blogging that it didn’t?”
Marta leaned back in her computer chair and lifted her arms for a deep stretch. “Because I’ve got sponsors that expect me to gush and be all … girly about what a great time I had.”
“But it’s not true.”
“Well, not entirely.”
“Your readers will see through you.”
Marta glanced up at her sister and bit her lip. She had earned the reputation for being a pretty straight-forward sort of blogger. Granted she wasn’t as popular as the “big kids” on the cyber block but she had a pretty decent following. Though she didn’t deliberately go out of her way to be offensive, she knew that most of her thoughts and opinions were often times considered brusque and yes, even cruel at times. She hated lying to her readers, but she wasn’t sure she could be completely honest – not this time. She hated the conference from the first moment she walked in and could see nothing but lacquered hair everywhere she looked, though to be fair, there were a few moments, maybe two out of 1,000, that didn’t suck too bad.
“They aren’t going to know,” Marta insisted. She laced her fingers together and proceeded to pop them one-by-one.
“What, are you kidding me?” Calla pointed to the computer screen, her tone of voice dripping disgust. “That sounds like something a suburban soccer mom would write.” She pantomimed a huge yawn. “Boring and predictable. In other words, not you. Oh, let me guess,” she held up a hand, “next you’ll be posting pictures of all of the bloggers you meant over the weekend and talk about what beautiful, nice people they were, blahblahblah … give me a break.”
Marta arched a brow. “I didn’t take any pictures, actually, and aren’t you a bitch today.”
Calla plopped down onto a bean bag chair next to Marta’s desk and leaned her back on the overstuffed fabric. “Have you forgotten how depressed you were when you got back? Have you forgotten the number of times these so-called ‘friends’ of yours openly snubbed you?” Calla shook her head. “All I know is this, if I had gone there with you, and I’m wishing now that I had, I would have kicked some major ass.”
Marta didn’t doubt her sister. She rubbed her eyes, suddenly tired of the whole subject. “I may have exaggerated a tiny bit.”
“Marta,” Calla said softly, waiting until she turned her head to look at her. “I saw your face. I heard your voice. You did not have a good time. It was like that damn sorority disaster all over again.”
“Okay fine, the conference sucked. But I have to say, a lot of what happened was my own fault.” Marta said, her voice dipping into a whisper. “I should have known I wouldn’t fit in. I’ve never been very good at approaching people, or making that annoying small talk that no one cares about or ever remembers. In fact, if I had known the conference was going to focus more on finding the biggest, or most popular parties, dancing in the aisles of a major department store and making a fool out of yourself, consuming mass quantities of alcohol or kissing my fellow bloggers all for shock value, then I wouldn’t have gone.” She ran a hand through her short, spiky hair, her movements jerky, her features twisted into exasperation. “It was like a damn Girls’ Gone Wild video. I mean, come on, grown women? I can understand getting together and having fun, even going a little nuts, but come ON! The way some of those people acted … I was embarrassed for them. And I wasn’t even that impressed with the sessions, quite frankly. I thought they were lukewarm and slapped together in a hurry – like they were a cover-up, or an excuse, to throw a huge party, really.”
“There,” Calla lifted a hand, “that’s what I’m talking about. Talk about that.”
“But no one wants to hear anything negative, or even honest. It’s all about being the most popular.”
“Who says? You?” Calla snorted. “I bet there were a lot more women there for the same reasons as you – yes, to meet other bloggers, but to learn more about the craft, or their business, as in your case. To learn how to entice sponsors and how to write compelling entries that would leave a lasting impression on readers. I’m sure the majority of bloggers who went to this thing weren’t all that interested in how many mojitos they could drink.”
“It’s … sticky. I don’t want to alienate myself more than I already have. I’d like to be a blogger with SOME class.”
Calla twisted out of the bean bag chair, lifted up to her knees and took the mouse from Marta’s hand. “Since when did you start avoiding confrontation?”
“Since I learned that sponsors weren’t all that interested in what I had to say, as opposed to how many RSS readers I had.”
Calla’s eyes narrowed on the computer screen and Marta watched to see what she was doing. “Okay, look at those stats,” Calla said while sitting back on her heels. “Those are pretty good, Marta. Contrary to what you may think.”
Calla placed a hand on her sister’s knee. “I’ll lose respect for you if you change. I’m betting a lot of your readers lose respect, too. Is that really what you want? To write about what everyone else is writing about and not staying true to yourself?”
“If I write about my experiences, they won’t be flattering.”
Calla continued to look at her.
“They won’t be all goody-goody and nice.”
Calla arched a brow. “But they’ll be honest.” She said after long moments.
Marta shrugged and stared at her hands for several minutes. She finally nodded her agreement. She swiveled around in her chair, placed her fingers on her keyboard and with a deep sigh, began to type.
So I went to ‘Blogger’s Unite’ this past weekend and I can honestly say, that will be the last time I attend this conference. It was a waste of my time, money, and here’s why …
Here’s another writing prompt idea:
Don’t let the name fool you – it’s a writing exercise you can use any way you wish – everyone is welcome to participate.