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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Black (10/15/09)

TITLE: Black Thoughts.
By Elaine Jane Dalton


William blew air out between his teeth, got up and left the room, being tried of his companions’ lengthy arguments. After several minutes of forced silence his mind wandered back to Suzy’s remark about black. The color had been his favorite since he was a child but hadn’t become part of his attire till several years ago when he was almost killed. The only down side to wearing black was that he couldn’t always tell if he was wounded or if he was just sweating a great deal more than usual.
Suzy would disagree with that, William thought to himself. Suzy was a short young woman who’s orange-blonde hair {Probably dyed, it’s so unnatural!} covered a brain almost completely focused on fashion, fingernail paint, makeup and what people thought of her. Every time he happened to meet her {which he tried hard to avoid doing}, she would always pepper him with questions that ranged from colors to food to fingernails. It drove him half out of his mind but he tolerated it simply for Kevin’s sake, with whom he’d been working with for the last two or three years since his last partner turned on him.
William suddenly froze in both his mental examination of Suzy and his absentminded walk when he heard the brakes of a car screeching loudly as the vehicle sped away down some dimly lit road nearby. Remembering that they were suppose to be in hiding and that he wasn’t suppose to be outside at this hour, William quickly ducked back inside the building but instead of reentering the living room where he could still hear Kevin and Suzy talking, he went down to the basement where he’d stashed his belongings. Feeling moody and just plain tired of everything that had happened to him in the past couple weeks, William dug out his backpack and after a moment’s search found the pictures of his family. The first picture in the small stack was a recent one of Johnny, his nineteen year old stockcar racing younger brother; he was laughing, facing someone off camera. William liked to think that Johnny had gotten over his grief of finding that William had run away from home when he was sixteen. William grunted bitterly to himself, He’d only been seven, probably doesn’t even remember me.
Putting aside the picture of Johnny, William saw a photo of Benjamin, his youngest brother. Benjamin’s blue eyes were serious while his lips were parted in a half grin of amusement. He was only ten and therefore had never met William but William knew who he was and nearly everything about him because he’d kept a distance eye on his youngest brother alongside his wilder one. Under the photo of Benjamin was one of his parents, both middle-aged now and retired from their respective careers as a computer designer and interior decorator; while both were smiling in the picture, William noted the many lines on their faces that hadn’t been there before he left home and blamed himself for them, forgetting for a moment that more than ten years had passed since that day and that his parents had aged since then.
William put the three pictures away several minutes later, rubbed his tired face with his hands and tramped back upstairs to see what the siblings were doing.
“Oh, we’re having canned corn and beef hash for dinner tonight Willie,” Suzy said in answer to his question. She turned from him and promptly opened the said canned food where she stood in the middle of the small kitchen while he mentally groaned and left the room. I sure wish those guys in headquarters would make up their minds what to do with us before we die from Suzy’s cooking!! William thought to himself before he paused in consideration and mentally remarked, My clothes aren’t the only things that are black today, my thoughts are. I’ve been feeling put-out all day long when just a simple smile or a kind word to Suzy and Kevin would have brightened this place a good deal more than my moodiness and cheered me up at the same time! Black clothes may always be in fashion but black thoughts should never be allowed to exist!!

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This article has been read 263 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mark Bell10/23/09
good development of the main character. nice tie in to the theme, too.
Marie Fink10/25/09
We all suffer from black thoughts, but we should never tarry there for very long. Good reminder.
Ruth Brown10/26/09
Some good things here, but a bit confusing and hard to read. perhaps you had trouble at submission with formatting.
I felt the black, that's the real point!
Jan Ackerson 10/27/09
A great start!

There's some editing needed here for spelling and punctuation--and I really didn't understand the relationships between your characters, what the "headquarters" were...several necessary details seemed to be missing.

But you've definitely got a storyteller's heart, and I hope you keep writing. Study the entries in Advanced and Masters to see what works here...and keep going!