Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps" (without using the actual phrase). (01/31/08)
TITLE: The Question of Kat
By Marita Vandertogt
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Sassy stood at the side of the road and waited, with Kat. They listened for the sound of the big black Harley that should be coming down the street any minute now. Kat pulled a cigarette out of the inside pocket of her leather jacket and lit it up, the red flame creating shadows in her face. Sassy kicked at the ground with a worn boot, and checked her watch.
“So,” Sassy’s voice was a little nervous, as she watched Kat pull at the smoke from the cigarette, filling her lungs. “How much longer do we have to wait. I got someplace to be in half an hour.“
“Relax.” Kat leaned against the car. “Listen, it’ll just take a minute and then we can go. I promised him, okay. I don’t go back on a promise.” The sound of a motor off in the distance, grew louder. Kat took one more long drag off the cigarette and tossed it into the bush. “Okay,” she said. “This’ll be quick. You get in the car, and I’ll be right there.”
Sassy pulled her coat tight around her and slid into the passenger’s seat. She slammed and locked the door, and waited. All she’d wanted was a ride, into town. This was too weird.
The night was as black as Kat’s hair as she walked up to the bike. Sassy sunk down into the seat, and watched from the window, watched her friend walk over to the Harley parked now on the other side of the road, three more coming up behind it. The man on the bike was fidgety. He pushed on Kat’s shoulder, and she pushed him back. Sassy couldn’t tell if it was in fun.
“I couldn’t get it, okay.” Kat pulled her pockets inside out to show there was nothing in them. The man’s response was low, unintelligible to the listening girl. By now, the bikers were in a little group, and Sass sunk lower into the seat.
“Hey, we got a cute little one in here Jake. What do we do with her?” The man pulled at the car door, laughing. Though it was locked, Sassy slammed her hand against the lock again, to be sure. Then she stretched over and leaned on the horn, making it blast a noise through the dark night.
“Leave her alone,” she heard the first guy on the bike yell over. “C’mon, let’s get out of here.”
With that, four engines revved and moved away, one by one, leaving Kat sitting on the side of the road, tears rolling down her face.
Sassy got out of the car and walked over to her friend. “You okay?” she asked without knowing what she’d do with the answer.
“Yah,” Kat got up and picked the cigarette up off the grown where she’d thrown it. It was still burning a faint red ember. She pulled at it like it an oxygen tank.
“That was my brother,” the girl started to explain. “I promised him some money. You know. Family stuff. Anyway, I couldn’t get it. He’s my little brother Sass. What can I say.”
With that Sassy looked at her watch, and then at the girl she thought she knew. “Can I get my ride now. I’m kinda late.”
“Yah, sure, sorry.” They walked over to the car. “Where ya headed?”
“Well,” Sassy coughed, a little afraid at the possible response. “Just let me off at the corner by the lights.”
Sassy slammed the car door behind her as got out. “Take it easy,” she called back to Kat. “Thanks for the ride.” Sassy felt her legs shake as the realization of what just happened sunk in. The Bible in her duffel bag all of a sudden felt heavy. She made it through the door of her church on the next corner, and sat down on the step. Kat was a friend, one she’d spent time with, but she realized now, didn’t really know. She’d heard rumours, but that was all.
Sassy headed down the basement for the prayer meeting that was already taking place. She sat down and started to pray, quietly to herself. With this new information, what should she do about Kat, as she bowed her head to join the prayer already in session.
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