Ginny tapped her pen against her pad of paper. She nervously chewed on her lower lip and looked toward the clock: ten minutes before class was dismissed.
She wasn’t sure she would last another ten minutes.
“So, the author did a good job of telling us about the scene,” one overweight woman piped up, her beady black eyes sliding to Ginny with malicious intent, “but that’s the problem, she TOLD us, she didn’t SHOW us. Her description lacked imagination. I actually found myself nodding off a few times.” She looked around the classroom to search for confirmation of her opinion; her thin lips curled into a derisive grin.
Ginny thought her mouth looked like the tilde character on a keyboard. She’d never be able to use that particular key again without thinking about the obnoxious fat woman in her creative writing class.
Ginny stole a few glances herself and noticed no one was even paying attention to the woman. She felt her shoulders relax somewhat and withheld a smirk of satisfaction. Though no one had come right out and said it, she sensed that the 20 some-odd number of students couldn’t stand this particular woman. Ginny couldn’t even remember her name, quite frankly.
Shelby. Sarah. Sally. Something with an S. Or did it start with a W? Her brow furrowed as she tried to think of the name.
“I have to disagree with you,” the instructor interjected, his soft gaze staring a hole into Ginny’s downcast skull. “I thought the writer did an excellent job walking the reader down this particular path. I not only saw what was going on, I felt the girl’s uncertainty and certainly her fear.”
“Did we read the same story?” the woman snorted out with a snarky chuckle.
Ginny’s entire body tensed at the woman’s sarcasm. She suddenly had a vision of this woman crossing the street and smacking headlong into a speeding bus. Or would it be a train? The woman was so fat, a bus might not be enough to stop her.
She smirked to herself.
“Actually, I was wondering the same thing,” another girl spoke up. Ginny glanced at the girl from under her lashes. “Because the points you’re trying to make don’t even apply to this particular story. Did you even read the right story?”
Ginny, along with everyone else stilled. The tension was nearly palpable.
The woman spurted a nervous chuckle. “Of course I read the right story. ‘Midnight’ by Lisa Coleman.”
The entire room groaned and Ginny could have sworn she heard one guy mutter “idiot” under his breath.
“Actually, we’re supposed to be critiquing ‘Violet’ by Ginny Matthews,” the instructor said.
Ginny glanced at the woman – her face was ashen and her massive frame seemed to have shrunk within itself leaving only rolls of fatty tissue. She looked like a turtle minus its shell. It was actually quite fascinating to watch and she jotted a few notes down in her notebook to record her observations. She would use it the next time she wrote about a character’s discomfort.
“Annnd I think this would be a good place to stop,” the instructor said. The students immediately began to shuffle papers and stuff notebooks and pens back into their book bags. “Ginny. Do you want to talk about your story next time, or should we move on to the next one?”
She raised a palm and offered a shy smile. “I’m good.”
“Alright then,” the instructor said, raising his voice to be heard over the commotion. “We’ll begin with Todd’s story on Thursday. Have a great day, everyone.”
“Ginny!” a girl’s voice sounded behind her, but Ginny pretended not to hear her and scurried out of the room as fast as she could without actually running people down.
Thank God that was over. Now she could get back to her characters.
She had missed them.
She walked through the campus and back to her dorm room, her head lowered, her eyes trained on the sidewalk in front of her. She immediately shut the world out around her and turned her thoughts to her story … to Violet.
Things were heating up and she wasn’t sure where to take the story next.
She let herself into her room, threw her book bag onto her bunk and immediately booted up her laptop. She was relieved to see her roommate was already gone for the day. Lori was a peppy, outgoing girl and though Ginny liked her, she didn’t feel very comfortable around her. Lori was constantly trying to get her to do things with her and she simply didn’t want to. She was much happier immersing herself into her fantasy worlds.
Grabbing a Diet Dr. Pepper (it was all Lori kept in the fridge, she personally preferred unsweetened tea), she sat down at the desk and opened Violet’s file.
“Hey, it’s about time you showed up,” a voice beckoned her and Ginny smiled and began to relax for the first time since leaving her room that morning.
“I’m so glad that’s over,” she said. “You wouldn’t believe what that fat witch did today.”
“Oh?” Violet stretched out onto the love seat beside her. “Do tell.”
“She had nothing but stupid things to say, as usual,” Ginny smirked. “But get this, she was ripping the wrong story to shreds!”
Violet burst out laughing and Ginny followed suit.
“What a dork,” Violet said and Ginny nodded her agreement.
A few moments slid by while the girls surrendered to their amusement.
“So, what am I doing today?” Violet asked and stood up.
“I’m thinking a little romance,” Ginny said, her eyes trained on the screen in front of her.
“Oooh, I like that,” Violet said.
“Are you ready?”
“Ready for what?”
“To get back into the story?” Ginny said, turning to face her beloved character.
“But I like it out here,” Violet whined.
“Oh trust me, this world,” she gestured to her laptop, “is much, MUCH better.”
Violet studied her creator for long moments before nodding. “Fine. I’ll go. But you have to come with me.”
“Come with,” said Violet with a charming smile.
“I can’t go with you,” Ginny sputtered with a nervous laugh.
“Because … that’s not possible. It’s crazy.”
Violet gave her a snicker. “And talking to me isn’t crazy?”
“Well,” she swallowed before answering, “no.”
“You’ve been manipulating me for weeks now,” Violet said. “I think it’s time you stepped into the world you created and experience it first hand.”
“But ..” Ginny swallowed the basketball-sized lump in her throat and felt her chest begin to heat up. “What if I can’t get back?”
“You said yourself, it’s MUCH better in there. Why would you want to come back?”
Ginny opened her mouth to reply and then promptly shut it. Why indeed.
Violet gave a toss of her long, raven black hair before dissipating before Ginny’s eyes. “Last one in is a rotten egg!” And with that, she disappeared.
Ginny’s gaze shifted from the space where Violet had been moments before to the laptop in front of her.
A drop of sweat trickled down between her breasts.
“I’m waiting,” Violet’s voice came from the screen.
She ran a hand through her short, spiky hair and looked around the room. What exactly was she leaving behind anyway? No one ever paid attention to her. She didn’t have any friends, other than Violet. Who would miss her?
Ginny closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and jumped …
[Fiction] Friday Challenge for June 19th, 2009:
Include this line in your story…(your character) closed his/her eyes, took a deep breath, and jumped