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mocha 21 + cherry - 'wolf country'

Author: hi_falootin
Prompt: mocha 21. too close for comfort
Topping: cherry
Word Count: 345
Rating: PG (slight sexual themes)
Notes: Jason's POV. I gave myself a cherry for using primarily past-imperfect, when I usually write in present tense. Oh and despite its length, I totally consider this piece its own stand-alone story. Let me know how that works ;)

By Laramie, he must have known he was going to leave us. Every morning he'd drag us out of the trailer to the stretch of dry grass on the west side of the park and we'd practice.

By Laramie, he must have known he was going to leave us. Every morning he'd drag us out of the trailer to the stretch of dry grass on the west side of the park and we'd practice.

Or rather, Dad and Dee would practice. I'd watch. Dad thought this stuff was so important--like we'd need it to defend ourselves any moment now, like everyone was out to get us. First he was just showing us how to fall, how to roll, how to get up once you're on the ground. How to make a fist.

Then there was the grappling, the rolling on the ground, and I was sure as hell not going to practice that with my sister. It made me uncomfortable enough when she practiced with him.

Dee had hit a growth spurt or something going into eighth grade and now all her t-shirts were too short. She had a stripe of tan across her back that would show when she did her ground escapes, when she pushed Dad off of her by hooking an ankle around his neck, knocking him off balance.

I wanted to say, That would look sort of perverted if anyone else was watching.

She'd scramble on top of him, planting her foot on Dad's chest like he was her kill, her prize. Triumph! Pumping her fist in the air.

Your turn, Jason? Dad would ask, almost a question, the way his voice went all hopeful at the end.

No, I'm good.

My turn again, then! Dee'd kick Dad's legs until he laughed and tried to pin her again. She loved the challenge, loved to feel tough. I'd just watch them going back and forth in the grass, like a couple of wolves. They were so much the same. I could make excuses, I just couldn't understand them.

Later, I asked her, Didn't you know he was going to leave us? That that's why he wanted to teach us that stuff?

Yes, of course. Of course I did. She looked at me in surprise. That's why I let him.

Feedback way appreciated on this one! :)


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 18th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
Fantastic! (As usual.) You should be really proud of this one. I like the title, for one, and the subtle way it comes out in the story ("like a couple of wolves"). The incestuous undertones are quite well done, I think. I particularly like your attention to Dee's growth spurts and the "stripe of tan across her back" that's visible because her shirts are now too short. And speaking as someone who's done lots of grappling/self-defense (often with family members, LOL), this part is also nicely done.
Oct. 18th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
eeeee, thank you so much!! I'm really super glad you liked it :D Now I have to babble about the incestuous undertones thing for a second...I don't know how reliable a narrator Jason is in this piece. Like, I hope it seemed ambiguous and not...idk, too creepy? I didn't think about it a lot as I was writing it. If I were to do an extended version of this piece I'd probably have mentioned that this is very close to the time when Dee starts sleeping with boys (LOL YES SHE'S LIKE 13, AWKWARD) and I think what Jason knows about that kind of colors what he sees with the grappling. TMI? ;)
Oct. 18th, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
I think the scene was very ambiguous, and I agree with you that Jason is not an entirely reliable narrator. Actually, what I liked most about it was the suggestion of possible incestuous emotion from a very young character...youth makes us prone to misinterpretations (the movie Atonement, if you recall, is all about the tragedy and misery resulting from the actions of a young girl who mistakenly interprets adult behavior).

You could add something about this being around time time when Dee starts having sex - and I'd be interested to see how you work this in - but it's not necessary. Just the fact that Dee is now post-pubescent is suggestive enough.

Also, and I'm just noticing this now, Dee's "That's why I let him" at the end is a nice closer...it can sort of be read two ways, can't it? Not that I would argue she's referring to literal acts of incest, but the vague suggestion ties in nicely with Jason's suspicions/attitude. Not sure if you intended that, but it works!
Oct. 19th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
haha, I love how similarly our minds work XD I did intend for the end to read EXACTLY that way, so kudos for picking up on it. Thanks for all the feeback! <3
Oct. 19th, 2008 06:03 am (UTC)
Of course! I'm proud of myself for picking up on that. :D
Oct. 18th, 2008 07:41 pm (UTC)
Nicely written and self contained. Almost introspective in a way. I like your attention to detail and the use of italic text rather than speach marks for the remembered dialogue. I felt that worked particularly well.

The only thing that confused me was the last line of dialogue. Did Dee say that? I wasn't entirely sure because its placement is where I would expect to find response dialogue rather than contination.
Oct. 18th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
thank you so much! I'm glad the italics worked as that was totally what I was going for :) And thanks for letting me know about the last line confusion...you're totally right that it looks like a response so I should fix that (just dropped it for emphasis anyway--it was Dee talking!).
Oct. 18th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
If you want to keep the emphasis you could write it like this:

Yes, of course. Of course I did... That's why I let him.


Yes, of course. Of course I did. She looked at me in surprise. That's why I let him.
Oct. 18th, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, I think I like the second one :) That's a good fix, TY so much!
Oct. 18th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
You're welcome :)
Oct. 18th, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
Aww, that's so sweet. And sad, in a way.

Great job!
Oct. 19th, 2008 04:20 am (UTC)
thank you! :D
Oct. 22nd, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
Well done! I think it stands alone really well as a self-contained story. The ambiguity is great. I thought there was a possibility that Jason was right about there being incestuous implications to their behavior, but I wasn't even remotely prepared to just take his word for it. I liked the way you kind of left us wondering.
Oct. 22nd, 2008 05:32 am (UTC)
yay, I'm glad that worked for you! That's totally what I was going for. TY so much for the comment :)
Jan. 5th, 2009 12:00 pm (UTC)
I think the incestous undertones that Jason sees were very well handled. He's, what, 10, 11? Kids taht age are very aware of that stuff, maybe see it in places where there is none of that. And I just love how Dee let Jake teach her all of that because she knew he was going to leave them and wanted to make him to not feel so bad about it when he did it. It's something quite mature to do.
Jan. 5th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
yayy! you got like, everything out of this that I was trying to say. so that's awesome <3 <3 thanks!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


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