The Pursuit of Fiction"Where's Keahi?" Clayton paused in the middle of his cooking, spatula poised above the skillet as he watched her enter the kitchen. He looked rather odd in the flowery apron, but she chose not to comment as she set the groceries on the counter. "She's talking to Mattie out back," he answered. "One of them mentioned something about manga or anime, whatever it's called, and they've been ignoring me since." "Really?" As she responded, she turned to face him, eye brows furrowed in mild surprise. "Don't tell me you're into those backwards books too." "Not really," she responded. "I've never really had time to read much books, between school and work." He gaped at her. "Seriously? When was the last time you read a book?" He added, more to himself, "And to think I was bad." "I've read before," she responded, a little too defensively. "Outside of school?" &
Conversations"I told you you were going to fall." She smiled sheepishly as she caught her sister's sideways glance. Blowing some strands of her disheveled hair out of her face, she tilted her head to the side to get a better look at her sister, grinning. "Sorry, Keahi!" She chirped, kicking her feet energetically. Keahi stiffened, turning her head to shoot her hyperactive sister a glare. "Stop that!" The girl who was currently riding on her back grinned widely, but at least her demand had been met. "How's your ankle?" She asked after a moment, her tone a notch lower than before. Mana blinked, eying her ankle curiously. The purplish color it had possessed just moments before was beginning to fade, along with the ache that accompanied it. She experimentally flexed her left foot, wincing as it immediately throbbed in protest. "It'll be okay," she responded, taking a deep breath. "I can walk." Keahi shot her another glare. "
Friends"You've never had peanut butter before?" All he earned in response was a sheepish smile. "Not really," she replied, adding awkwardly, "peanut butter and I don't . . . mix very well." "But you have to at least know how it tastes," he insisted. "Clayton," Madelynn spoke, eying the boy sternly. "You shouldn't bother Mana about it." "Fine, fine." He waved the warning off. "But you've at least had a bite of it before, right?" "I presume I did when I was little." She winced inwardly, remembering all the times she'd been steered away from the brightly colored her jars her sister had obsessed over so much. "I eat almond butter, though. That counts, right?" The pair exchanged a glance. "Sorry, Mana," Madelynn started. "Not even close," Clayton cut in. "It's just, you know . . . not real peanut butter." The boy seemed to have thought of an idea suddenly, and she
Substitution"Momma." The wheels of the cart gave a squeak of displeasure as the woman continued her trek through the store, humming quietly to herself as she scanned the aisles. "Yes, dear?" she replied, pausing briefly in her quest to smile warmly at the twins who were occupying the cart. It didn't take her long to pinpoint which of the two had spoken. One of them was still sitting in the cart, but the other had pulled herself to her feet and was currently grasping onto the bars for support. "I would like to know why I can't have peanut butter," she responded calmly, her eyes watching her mother expectantly. It wasn't the twin that liked to push her limits, and for that the woman found herself quite surprised. "That would be because you're allergic to peanuts," the girls' mother responded patiently, adjusting some of the items in their cart so the pair could sit more comfortably. "Allergic?" the child repeated, tilting her he
Stranger CircumstancesIn all truth, it was bound to happen. She'd just made a pit stop to her locker and was headed to the lunchroom when a tall woman, neatly dressed and most certainly angry, exited a nearby classroom and marched right up to her. "You," the woman snarled pointing a rather bony finger at her. "In my classroom. Now." She promptly felt the blood drain from her face. The tone that teacher was using meant trouble, and she hadn't the slightest idea what she'd done to strike that chord. "If you don't mind my asking," she nervously asked, trailing behind the woman, "is there something I did wrong?" This woman wasn't even her teacher, and that served well in amplifying her terror. "Is something wrong?" The woman sat down at her desk. "Your grade is slipping slipping, your work ethic is poorer than usual, and you have been tardy to my class far too much lately. Care to explain yourself?" This is awkward.