Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Escape (01/02/06)
TITLE: Amelia Jane
By Karen Jimmy
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Looking back now, I can’t say I ever remember seeing that little girl smile.
By the time we all reached high school, nothing much had changed. Amelia Jane learned to take showers at least, but still there was this unmistakable stigma about her, as if she wore a sign warning people to keep their distance. She still had no friends, still had a lousy reputation with the teachers and was always in some kind of trouble.
Amelia Jane’s troubles started to extend beyond school. It wasn’t too long before tales of her weekend mishaps began drifting across cafeteria airwaves…
“Did you hear what Amelia Jane did with that Johnson kid this weekend?” Though people feigned shock, the entertainment value obviously never waned.
Having myself long since tired of all the mockery of this very private girl, and beginning to feel a certain pity for her plight, I let my curiosity about her lead me one night to her house.
It was a Friday evening, just after dark. Crouched behind a bush under a side window of her rundown family home, I listened. For a long time there was nothing. Then, suddenly there was a THUMP so loud I nearly cried out. Before I could gather my thoughts there was a sound like someone running down the hallway, and the muffled sound of broken sobs. The front door slammed, and a light came on, almost revealing me there in my hiding place.
An angry man shouted- “Ameli-YAAAAA!!! Get back in here!”
THWAACK!!!! Something slammed into my thigh- Amelia Jane! Breathless and on the verge of tears, she gave me a look of such terror that it compelled me to do the unthinkable. Embracing the long-time outcast, I dragged her further in under the cover of the bushes.
There we sat, wordless, waiting for her abuser-father to follow the scent of his whiskey back inside. When eventually he did, I turned to look into her upturned, tear-streaked face. Nodding to her, I placed my hand at her elbow and gently nudged her out from hiding.
The smell of yesterday’s whiskey clung mercilessly to her hair, but I held her close all the way out of there, and together we made her escape.
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