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19 February 2016 @ 11:34 am
LJ Idol Friends & Rivals: "Off The Chain"  
Off The Chain
idol friends and rivals | week 10 | 682 words
Pinocchio's first date


I ain't that boy, not like they said.

Pa calls me wooden-hearted sometimes, says I gotta learn. But I ain't some dead-eyed monster got loose after bein' locked up too long. I got a home, they told me I did. Always said it was.

Dark walls, one door. Just me most of the time. Never felt much like home, but they said I didn't know. Said I gotta listen.

That girl, though. Yeah. That girl was real pretty.

I saw her a couple times before. Riding to the doctor's with Pa, out the window. Hair as bright as anything, a pink dress once, a little skip in her walk.

Stop lookin' at me like you know, you don't know nothin'. I didn't think about her that way at first. Just noticed, is all.

I'd heard about "pretty" from books—yeah, I can read some, I ain't ignorant. Pa read me things too, and Ma used to, back when. Books tell about boys and girls and special feelings, and "pretty as a picture." Never made sense before I saw her.

I didn't know her before, and she didn't know me. Couldn't. How's she gonna? I never go outside almost, 'cept to the car. To see Doc. Don't know anybody, hardly. Seen her, though. Thought, Yeah.

Yeah, that's the one.

Guess maybe I thought it a lot.

Hold it in, Doc always said. Hold your temper, and the wanting. The strange. Lock it tight.

Ain't nothing strange here, I'd say, just me.

Doc never liked that. S'what I said, boy, he'd yell, now listen!

Got Doc yellin' and Pa yellin' and the dark room with one door. I got tired of that, thought Maybe.

Maybe I'd go out some, have a look around.

Pa brought breakfast late one morning, and it was mush. I hate mush. I waited 'til he was gone, stayed by the door. Heard him go out the front, waited some more. Ain't Pa's puppet—and Doc's neither. No sir, I ain't.

Used the spoon to pry up the door hinges so's I could get out.

The street was loud, and the sky hurt. I saw her, though, at the corner. Nice blue dress and yellow hair, and maybe she'd be mine. Like a story in a book.

I didn't have flowers, thought I'd show her some. She was pretty as a flower. More. But still, that was how they did, in those stories.

I asked did she want to come look, and she didn't say nothin'. Tried to run, I think, but I picked her up. I took her two houses away to a garden, put her down close to have a look. Real close.

Pa… he says I broke her.

Can't break a girl like a plate, I don't see how. Pa says, though, and the policemen too. And Doc says.

I tried to see was she okay, but she didn't move or talk. A van took her away.

I don't know what happened. I keep askin'. Doc gets mad and says Stop lyin', but not knowin' ain't lies! It ain't.

Don't think Doc believes me.

I was out for a while. Outside. Rooms with metal bars. Somewhere big, like when Ma took me to the movies. Didn't like it, though. Too much angry talkin', and a lot of waiting. Then back to the metal bars, the room like a cage.

I think her name was Daisy, that girl. The pretty one. Never got to ask, but I heard someone say.

I ain't that boy like they talked about, though. Ain't some kinda angry kid that ain't human all the way through. They's wrong about that. I told and told 'em.

They took me away from Pa. Moved me. The new room ain't as dark as the old one, but the rest is the same somehow. Like I already know it.

No windows and one door. Always just me most of the time. Like that.

And this new room they put me in? Well, yeah. That's the thing.

This new room here don't feel like any kinda home neither.

-- / --

I am part of a team this week, where votes for the team as a whole matter! Please vote for any entries you enjoy from my Weird Sisters team and any other teams. All stories are here...

prog_schlockprog_schlock on February 22nd, 2016 04:11 pm (UTC)
I saw your mention in your reply to rayaso that you thought this was the least workable prompt. I did too - I had entry ideas for the other three mapped out in my head and suddenly my entry came to mind and it was a much more interesting take. So far, I'm noting many people gravitated to this one. Interesting!

Another outstanding entry. I like how this one was less a re-imagined fairy tale and more of a X-Files-ish fairy tale influenced nightmare. Nicely done.

It took me years to realize this song was about something sinister. Because I'm thick sometimes. But it seems like a good response:

Edited at 2016-02-22 04:11 pm (UTC)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 22nd, 2016 09:24 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised this prompt was so popular, though a lot of people used only the "first date" part of it, which broadens it. What was the last one? I can't even remember. It did nothing for me, and my husband was already writing about racing hedgehogs, so there was no residual fun to be had from that prompt!

I always thought "Possum Kingdom" was slightly sinister, though more about luring some girl off to have sex. The singer says it's some implied vampire thing. That video, though? Ulp. THAT's sinister. :O
prog_schlockprog_schlock on February 22nd, 2016 09:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah, when I read about the vampire thing I was like "Oh, ok, some sort of Sookie Stackhouse thing is happening here." The video kind of drives the point home a bit - I had never seen that until years after the song was popular!