Besides writing No Innocent Victim, I am currently working on expanding one of my short stories—Jewel—into a novella. The short story version is currently under consideration for award. I am extremely excited about this particular project and would appreciate some feedback—positive or constructive as always—from those following my writing endeavors. Please feel free to leave a comment under the “comments” section beneath this entry. I will do my best to respond to everyone who takes the time. Thanks!
She was new—to our school anyway—so I suppose that in some uncanny fashion, that made her fresh and exciting. In the first few days of her arrival, we all flocked to her like moths to a flame. Maybe it was the cute red hair and freckles or maybe it was the helpless look she had about her—our young male egos already starting to bud like an insipid forbearer of things to come.
Jewel was sullen and that puts it as rather a bland understatement. A more appropriate term may be haunted, which fell nearer the mark than anything; she had red hair that hung in clumsy strands over sunken pale blue eyes that almost never opened to their full potential, shoulders that slumped just a bit too far forward causing her back to hump precariously. Jewel made a habit out of the way she played with her fingers—wringing them when nervous, which was almost always—as she stared at things no one else could see. Jewel never wore sleeves and her gangly arms seemed to dangle like pendulums from her bony shoulders. Her bare freckled arms and white skin accentuated the faint bruises on her forearms that never seemed to quite heal up. They matched in a rather fiendish compliment with the red scrape on her forehead. She reminded me of a tortured soul without a voice—a flower not watered and stepped on, uprooted and wilted. Dead
I noticed all this before she had ever parted her thin lips to utter a word, but then she did and my world changed forever. The other moths had already been singed well enough for their tastes—for eleven year olds, attention span was still a bitch. They fell away like moth corpses in the breeze. I always was a glutton for punishment so fluttered about her longer than most—perhaps too long. In fact, I remember the day in which I knew I had hung on a bit longer than prudent.