Saturday, June 1, 2013

The People's Eyebrow

So it's Day 1 of my 21-Day-Challenge!! (Hashtag #21DaysofWords)

Tonight me and Brandon are also going to join countless other wrestling fans at a Ring of Honor (follow them on twitter!) show in San Antonio!! Soooooo excited!

So Brandon thought it would be fun for me to use a wrestling-related writing prompt today. I agreed, and we put the word out on twitter and facebook for ideas. We received several good ones, but I decided to go with this:

"The People's Eyebrow returns to the ring because..."

This awesome prompt was provided by my twitter friend James Neal (@BloodandBlade on twitter). Thanks James!

And here's what I came up with:

It was late-summer hot, the sort of hot that discourages all but the meanest of children and biting bugs from venturing out. Timmy and his little sister Sara played in their front yard. They weren't allowed to leave the small rectangle of parched grass that defined their space but that was okay. Today the lawn was a wrestling ring.

Sara raised one tiny fist to the sky and declared, in her squeaky little-girl voice: “The People's Eyebrow returns to the ring because...!”

“It's People's Elbow, dumbass!” Timmy said. He was ten and very worldly so he knew these things.

“I'm not a dumbass, you are!” Sara said.

“At least I know the difference between an eyebrow and an elbow,” her older brother retorted. “You can't even put Mr. Whiskers in a half-Nelson.”

Mr. Whiskers was Sara's most beloved stuffed animal. Once he was velveteen-soft and the delicious pink of whipped cupcake frosting. Today his fur was coarse and dishwater-gray. Sara clutched him in one grimy hand and shouted: “Yes I can!” Even though she had no idea what a half-Nelson was.

“Oh yeah? Let's see it then!” Timmy said.

Sara threw Mr. Whiskers to the ground and flopped down on top of him. “Count to three, ref!” She hollered.

Timmy, who had been crouched down on his haunches, fell over on his back laughing. He laughed so loud it drowned out the roar of traffic rushing by. He hugged his arms to his belly and gulped and coughed and sputtered.

Sara jumped to her feet. Her cheeks were red with indignation. “Stop it Timmy!”

“” Her brother started, then dissolved into another fit of giggles.

“Shut up!

“You think that was a half-Nelson?” He finally managed.

There came a stirring from a few feet away.

Brother and sister stopped fighting. Their heads swiveled in the direction of the sound.

“She's getting up,” Sara said.

In front of their yard, in the strip of pavement that was the no-man's land between sidewalk and the black tar of the street, lay Kelly. She was seventeen and dangerous, with white-blonde hair that fell to her waist, a body that made all the men in the neighborhood stare, and green eyes that flashed fire when she got wound up—and she was always getting wound up. Sara had heard her parents call Kelly a lush. She didn't know what that meant, but she knew that the older girl got dizzy and fell down on the street a lot.

Sara tiptoed up to the very edge of the lawn to get a better look. Her brother followed. They stood there in silence and watched Kelly's eyes flutter open, unseeing. Suddenly, a daring grin spread across Timmy's face. He took a step onto the sidewalk. Sara gasped.

“What are you doing?” She said.

“I'll show you a half-Nelson,” the boy said and joined the semi-conscious girl in the gutter.

Timmy lifted her torso and twisted it around so that she was facing away from him and he held her arms up over her head while squeezing her from behind. Or he tried. Her arms went up and then promptly flopped back down. Her head lolled on her neck. Her pretty green eyes remained open but they didn't register anything.

“See?” Timmy said. “This is how you do a half-Nelson.”

Sara watched, simultaneously fascinated and terrified by her brother's daring move. Cars thundered past him but he seemed oblivious. He squeezed tighter.

“She couldn't move, even if she wanted to,” the boy said.

Then Kelly blinked, and life returned to her eyes. Color flooded into her cheeks. Her neck muscles stiffened. Her hands clenched into fists.

“Gah!” She sputtered.

In one swift move, Kelly ripped her arms out of Timmy's grasp, whirled around, and shoved him—hard—into oncoming traffic.

“NOOO!” Sara screamed.

Timmy's limp body sailed into the grill of a Ford pickup. He hit the truck with a spine-cracking crunch, then bounced off and flew into the gutter on the opposite side of the street. He landed in a twisted, lifeless heap and lay there, unmoving.

Kelly watched everything from where she remained—in the gutter on this side of the street. She didn't say anything, but her expression changed from fury to confusion to horror. Sara dropped to her knees. Blades of grass scratched her skin. Her tormented cries echoed back and forth across the busy street. She wanted to go to her brother and comfort him, but she couldn't. She was rooted to the spot.

She wasn't allowed to leave the lawn.

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