Author Topic: Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)  (Read 2804 times)

Offline Skip Slocum

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Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)
« on: September 02, 2013, 10:04:31 PM »
Sidney Was a Wildflower  

Growing up in cowboy town; you were a shit-kicker, motor-head, long-hair or an outcast – four main groups. In high school, cliques from each of these groups split, splintered and spread out all over campus with one unwritten rule – stay with your same kind.

Now there’s a problem with that. In every group there’s that one individual that can’t stand being told what to do or what they should or shouldn’t do.

The four of us who broke as many rules as we could became best friends, George was our cowboy. Danny was the long-hair and I was the motor-head. If it had an engine I could keep it running. The strangest crew of musketeers you’d ever seen, we were all freshman and that in itself carried its own stigma but like all rule breakers we liked telling the world to kiss our asses.

That’s three but I said there were four of us didn’t I? Three weeks after freshman year started Sidney arrived. She was gorgeous. Every guy in town noticed when she walked by.

The bell rang and everyone had to get to class. George, Danny and I had Art class first hour. This was great because we were all three good with our hands. George played guitar. Danny played the fiddle and like I said I was good with tools even if those tools were for drawing or sculpting clay.

Now, we had to mind our manners in class because Danny’s mother taught art. So there we were at the one table no one else wanted to sit at when the door opened and in walked the new girl with a note.

“Class, this is Sidney. She’s just moved here.”

Sidney sat at our table right beside me. I knew then there was a god who answered prayers. I can’t swear to it but I think we were all bug-eyed with our mouths open.

“Hi I’m Sid.” Her voice completed the package – 100% quintessential angel, sitting there looking at us.

All three of us not only forgot our names but how to talk. I can safely say we weren’t just smitten we were instantly in love. And luckily for us Sid forgave us our stumbling over ourselves and each other. Within just a few days, not only were we all friends, we were a crew. We found out she didn’t know anyone in town but us and as luck would have it she loved breaking rules.

Each one of us guys asked her out but she always said no. If it was supposed to be a one on one date she refused. If it was a group thing she was always right there with us and I do mean with us when it came to raising hell.

When weekends rolled around in our little mountain town of central Arizona the crew was ready to have some fun. We called our parties, ‘Choir Practice’. Once a month or so, we’d head out to Danny’s house. George with his guitar, Danny on the fiddle, Danny’s mom played everything but she was partial to the Appalachian style dulcimer because she grew up playing it in the Ozarks. Danny’s father played the piano and Sid and I sang duets.

Now all of us sang and we were all pretty good too – group or solo. But when Sid and I sang together our voices would blind perfectly. She was an alto and I was a baritone. Sid would lead off and I’d join her singing harmony then we’d trade off.

Sidney was a good girl a bit of a dare-devil but wholesome. She didn’t believe in playing any back seat slap and tickle games at the movies. Yet when she was happy she loved to hug and kiss. They were always buddy-hugs and friendly kisses and no one, I mean no one abused that fact. Although I always wished it was more.

During the summer the four of us would steal away out to the river where we got sunburned and toasted on too many beers. Her in a bikini, Oh Dear Lord, be still my heart. Danny and I always thought George was the biggest threat in catching Sidney’s attention because he was built and could make the ladies swoon.

I remember our second year of high school we were in George’s truck and got pulled over by the chief of police for throwing water balloons at cars. We had three new garbage cans, half full of water and filled the rest of the way with water-balloons.
Sidney smiled and pointed telling him to get back in his car, roll up the windows and switch on his windshield wipers. He did and we proceeded to wash his car for him, right there in the middle of town on the main street. She could get away with stuff like that.

By our third year we were making mental lists of what kind of trouble we hadn’t tried or been in yet so the four of us could arrange something dastardly.

Two weeks before graduation Sidney died. Evidently she’d been sick for a while but didn’t want any of us to know. They told us what it was she died from but I can’t remember. Sidney was gone and nothing they said mattered. Nothing would bring her back.

At the funeral the three of us said goodbye to her as best we knew how. I kept hoping it was one of her jokes but she wouldn’t get up. Please Sidney get up.

In the parking lot afterward, the crew looked at each other and silently said our goodbyes to each other as well. George got in his truck, Danny drove away in his Mercury coup and I got on my motorcycle.

On the way home while stopped at a light, for two seconds, two short, hopeful seconds I could have sworn Sidney was on the back of my bike telling me to punch it.

I moved away and never heard from any of them again.

Yet every so often I’ll hear a fiddle or a calloused finger scuffing the string on an old acoustic guitar or maybe a couple singing a duet – a love song or an old bluegrass ballad or hymn. I’ll see the four of us; George, Danny, Sid and me – singing, smiling, and having fun.  
And if our spirits do go on beyond this life –  I wonder what mischief Sid is getting into today.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 10:07:15 PM by Skip Slocum »

Offline 2par

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Re: Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2013, 11:20:28 PM »
Oh Skip, this could have been written as a movie in the '60s (and probably in any decade - rebellion is always hot - look at American Graffiti and Rebel Without A Cause) and been a big hit. It's a big, sentimental hit with me right now. I think it's the beginning of something. I want to know more about their dastardly deeds, maybe about that one big one that changed all their lives, and I want to see some foreshadowing of Sidney's demise, and I want to get to know your pals more fully. Maybe a YA novella?  As it is, it just goes too fast.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 11:23:53 PM by 2par »

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2013, 11:41:33 PM »
Well I wanted to keep it short so a lot of details couldn't be gotten into. And the foreshadowing part - I can see it being done but here I was trying for that quick gasp "Did I read that right?" kinda thing. Did I get you to gasp?  ;D

But yeah, I suppose this could be a story-starter for later on. By the way, the year was 1979.  ;)

Offline 2par

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Re: Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013, 11:51:33 PM »
I didn't exactly expect it, but neither was I surprised. It seemed to fit in, to be a natural part of the story. So I didn't gasp. That may be because there wasn't enough of the hi-jinks and characterizations. It has to be a real unexpected and surprising event in light of what comes before.

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2013, 12:18:30 AM »
Yeah, I wanted to keep it close to 1,000 words. I went over a little in the rewrite. But I wanted to show how three misfit, lone-wolves became friends and when the fourth joined them, she became the glue to draw them tighter. After she died, the glue was gone and young guys grieving, chose to disband and deal with their loss alone rather than let any of the others see how wounded they were. 

Offline 2par

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Re: Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2013, 12:23:51 AM »
Well, give it another 1000 and see what happens.

JewelAS53

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Re: Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2013, 06:30:27 AM »
Nice one, Skip
I didn't gasp, and I agree with 2par - it's a little disjointed at that point.

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2013, 11:46:08 AM »
Thank you Ladies. I'll go see what I can do to smooth it out a bit more.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2013, 11:47:55 AM »
Keeping to 1,000 words is hard, isn't it, Skip? ;D

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2013, 12:06:53 PM »
Yupper.

Offline bowmore bill

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Re: Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2013, 03:55:58 PM »
Hi Skip I really enjoyed this one, terrific writing. It was so real in parts that I could have been sitting on the pillion of your bike.

It was a bit of a kick in the theeth however when I got to the bit where the young woman died.

I would liketo see you continue with this, how about a part 2?

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2013, 05:41:39 PM »
Thanks Mr. Bill, I might continue this one someday. For now I have a start establishing the characters personalities.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2013, 09:50:38 PM »
I didn't gasp, but I heard myself quietly saying "Oh, f*ck" out loud.

Some good characterisation in here, Skip.

I can picture the lads wanting to compete for her, but not really trying because she wouldn't allow it.

I don't think you should foreshadow her demise.  Let it catch the reader unaware.

Gyppo
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 09:52:54 PM by Gyppo »
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Sidney Was a Wildflower // Short Story (1,073)
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2013, 10:31:06 PM »
I didn't gasp, but I heard myself quietly saying "Oh, f*ck" out loud.

Some good characterisation in here, Skip.

I can picture the lads wanting to compete for her, but not really trying because she wouldn't allow it.

I don't think you should foreshadow her demise.  Let it catch the reader unaware.

Gyppo

THANK YOU! I so hoped for a surprised emotion.