Tag Archives: california

Queen Bee

I went to one of the hottest high schools in Malibu. Money being no issue, glamorous attire was a must. Life there was superficial as all hell.

Lucky for me, I was the queen bee. Higher in the food chain than any of my colleagues. With a raised eyebrow I could ruin any of them.

Everyone wanted to be me, my friends constantly bickered for my attention. Just for a splash of the limelight I was born into. My secret? I was a SoCal ten, which is like a real world twelve.

That is before the accident.

A drunk truck driver swiped the side of my convertible while I was cruising down the coast. I was thrown from the car and took a tumble down the cliffside. I was out of school for weeks.

The doctors said it was a miracle that I didn’t break any bones. That I was lucky there was only superficial damage.

And despite the surgeries and skin grafts, I was left a mutilated mess. My face seriously looked like Michael Jackson got attacked by a cougar.

On my first day back at Seaside High I was met with a cold shoulder. None of my friends visited me while I was recovering and it seemed like they wanted nothing to do with me now. I was like a total pariah.

To go from the public eye to being snickered at in the hallway, was literally the worst. I wanted to strangle every last one of those BITCHES daring to forget who I was. But I played it cool and went to work planning my revenge.

I made the first few attacks look like accidents. Bethany slipped on a waxed floor, shattering her teeth and biting off her tongue. Katy S. opened her locker and her textbooks fell, fracturing her skull. And Katy F. was brutally beaten in the school parking lot by some townies I hired downtown.

But I knew that people were already suspicious. So I decided to go wholesale with the whole vengeance thing.

My grandpa fought some war in Korea and I remember him telling me he killed Chinese people with this stuff called white phosphorus, apparently it like burns you really bad and has to be cut out of your body.

Like I said, money was was no issue. I ordered a few bags to my house from some chemistry supply site. And a simple trip to Pinterest showed me how to make homemade glitter bombs.

I walked into fourth period history with a secret underneath my Burberry trench. And I’m glad I sprung for the two-day shipping because the cops showed up to class and totally put me on the spot. Some fogey named Detective Diaz had found me out and was trying to get me to do a walk of shame in front of everyone in class. All of my so-called friends were watching and I definitely couldn’t give them another reason to laugh like the jackals they totally were.

I unzipped my coat, exposing the DIY chemical weapon duct taped to my pink Gucci sleeveless tee. It was time for those backstabbers to LOOK as ugly as they acted.

Detective Diaz pulled his gun and I didn’t think twice about slapping my palm onto the makeshift trigger on my chest.

White chunks and thick powder exploded throughout the room. Students threw their hands over their faces. Screaming came from all directions. Even the police rolled around in agony.

I looked down to see a hole in my clothes and a white chunk the size of a quarter slowly sinking into my stomach. I pushed through the pain without so much as a squeal. Though my eyes burned and blurred, the only tears that escaped were those of joy. A comfortable feeling rolled through my body.

For a brief moment I was the queen bee again. They feared me up till detective Diaz put a bullet between my eyes.

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Precious Wasteland

I cut off the engine and coasted by bike to a peaceful stop on the side of the road. Gravel crunched pleasingly under my tires. As I stepped off I fumbled around in my backpack for my guidebook. When I found it, I flipped to the page I had bookmarked last night.

Gravesend, CA, U.S.A-

A community formed on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Once a thriving town, the population was driven out following the acquisition of water rights by the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power. It has since become a lawless hotbed for those who seek to live off the grid of modern society.

Movements like these had overtaken the country. Millions of people sought an escape from the pressures of life. A distinctly American instinct arose- a need to get away to the wilderness. To establish oneself anew. The phenomenon was well documented in my book I was writing: “Hermit Habitats”. That is the theory behind the movement. I had the metrics, but I was missing actual accounts, detailing what these communities were like. That is why I rode out to Gravesend.

I would be the first to record what it was like in an actual “Hermit Habitat”.

I dusted off my jacket and strutted down the street towards a hastily built gate with a lone gunman standing in front.

“Hey you!” The man yelled. “State your business!”

From my research I had learned that visitors were turned away from the isolated communities. Only permanent residents would be allowed within the city gates.

“I’m looking to move out here-” I responded. “Got room for one more angry 20-something?”

The man chuckled and gestured for me to proceed. I jogged back to my bike and turned the ignition. I accelerated through the opened gate, giving the guard a two finger salute off my forehead. A few hundred feet past the wall, small houses dotted the sides of the street. I parked in front of what seemed to be a general store and dismounted.

I stood for a while and took in the small details of this paradise. Every home was roofed with solar panels, tarps for collecting rainwater formed sweeping canopies over the gravel sidewalks.

“Are you new here stranger?” A voice interjected.

I spun around, dazed by the interruption of my thoughts. The words came from a young redheaded woman. She grinned at my confusion and pushed a mess of hair from her face.

“Uh- Yeah. I just came in today.” I mumbled nervously.

“I noticed you admiring our rain collection network.” She explained. “First thing you outta know about Gravesend is that water is king. And the second it touches the ground it belongs to the City of Los Angeles.”

I nodded in understanding and whipped out a notebook. “Could you explain more of the rules to me?”

“Certainly” She stammered guardedly. “Though there aren’t many rules. What would you like to know?”

“Why do people move out here?”

“If you’re moving in wouldn’t you know?”

“Uh- Well yeah, but I was wondering if there was a cause behind the movement in general ya know?”

“Movement?”

“The emigration of individuals from the bigger cities of the United States to parts of veritable wilderness to form their own communities.

“Why?”

“I’d like to know the reason behind this phenomenon.”

There was silence.

My curiosity had gotten ahead of my common sense. I had ousted myself. I could tell by the pissed off face of my redheaded acquaintance. She took a step in my direction.

“To answer your question.” She raged. “We are out here because we don’t appreciate being treated less than human. Outside of this city you are: a consumer, a voter, a drivers license number, a phone number, a social security number, a bank account, a sucker. I’m a person damnit!”

She snatched the notebook from my quivering hands and flipped through the pages. Her expression grew dark as she read.

“Let me explain!” I pleaded.

“Your work speaks for itself Mister Investigator.” She put two fingers to her mouth and whistled loudly.

Within moments, people began peeking out of windows and cracking open doors. As if they had been summoned to gather.

“I’m sorry that you came all this way.” She teased. “But we despise numbers, and you’re trying to put us in a fucking box.”

The mob of people conglomerated, cutting off my routes of escape. I wondered.

If my blood soaked into the ground would it too be owned by the City of Los Angeles?

It was much to late to publish, but I now understood their anguish.

Friday Fictioneers- Her Collection

Photo courtesy of Sandra Crook

100 Words


Sasha fingered through her collection of driftwood, shells and carbonate rocks. With sudden anger, she swept the treasures off the table with a swift arm. They cracked and shattered on the floor.

I watched from the open doorway as she collapsed onto her knees and wept.

Since she was a girl, she saw magic in the world. It was hiding on the cusp of the Pacific.

Last night she had gone out to watch turtles hatch on the beach.

Last night she was pulled off the sand and into a stranger’s truck.

I could tell that the magic was gone.


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers- Check out more takes on the photo prompt with the link below!

Tadpoles

Isn’t it curious how when you are younger time seems to pass so slowly?

I could fit a whole adventure in the backyard in between lunch and dinner. Things felt eternal, but somehow they weren’t. Every year I told my little brother that we’d catch tadpoles at the park together. But it was always either too early or too late. That sweet spot ever alluded me.

Sure things moved slow, but I moved slower. I hesitated to take advantage of my youth, saying that I’d have time another day.

We can always catch tadpoles next summer.

What a load of shit.

My brother is growing up, he doesn’t want to spend his time catching tadpoles with his brother.

Me? I can’t seem to find the time anymore.