FF – New Beginning

Well, this story really didn’t go where I thought it was going. Consequently, it really has nothing to do with the photography from Emmy L Gant that officially prompted it, unless you count a general colour scale, but that’s coincidental. Still, I offer it to you, for your thoughts and feedback. If there’s too much confusion I’ll try to post an explanation as and when time and children permit.

emmylgant

New beginning

V saw the girl immediately: wearing black and slouched in a corner as if she could somehow disappear there. Classic emo. She’d see V’s scars and say “Me too,” then she’d flash a few of those deep-enough-to-look-good-but-not-really-hurt scratches on her forearms and pretend they were the same.

V headed for the opposite corner, dropped her bright yellow backpack and pulled out a jotter plastered with smiley stickers. She started sketching butterflies around the first page and hummed Justin Bieber loudly.

“New school, new beginning,” Dad had said. “And none of that misery nonsense goes with you.” Like emotions respected walls.

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42 Comments

Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

42 responses to “FF – New Beginning

  1. Dear Jen,

    Unless I missed something, I’d say that it’s Dad who has something to hide behind the bright stickered walls, Well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    • The Dad isn’t what you’d call ‘in touch’, Rochelle. He’s decided everything’s alright and that’s all there is to it. Mental illness is a cruel fate in itself, but the way other people handle it – whether it’s sufferers putting barriers between themselves, or family members denying the problem – adds an extra level to the problem.
      Jen

  2. The last sentence tied it all together… I like the way how you describe the lack of sisterhood in pain…

    • In my experience, teenagers often seem to think they are the only one ‘really suffering’, but emo is/was also a scary trend that made fake misery cool, and maybe it did distract from the pain of those who really did need help.

  3. I hope she is able to make a new beginning. And hey, if smiley stickers and Justin Bieber helps — or at least, scares off the people she doesn’t want to befriend — more power to her.

  4. I the shades of emotion in this.

  5. I’d say the tone of this story matches the tone of the photo prompt quite well. Good ending too.

    All my best,
    MG

  6. Good one I’d have made a separate paragraph for the last sentence.

    • Hmm… fair point, although I don’t want ti too separate from Dad’s opinions but yes, I think a new paragraph would fit. Thanks, as ever, for taking the time to read, consider and share your reactions, Sandra

  7. Very good story.

    When you say ’emo’ do you mean MO, as in Modus Operandi, or is this Newspeak that I don’t know about?

    • Newspeak. It’s a bit like goth, although both the emo-types and the goth-types would probably be upset with me for saying that. My understanding of emo is it describes a form of teenage angst that manifests in black (like stereotypical goth) but is more about self-hate. And in some places, created a sort of ‘self-harm is cool’ fashion, which is one of the reasons V has so little time for the ‘classic emo’ girl and her superficial scars.
      Make sense now?

  8. Liked the story – can easily relate to teenagers I have known!

  9. Yep, Dad does not understand depression and loneliness all right. But I still don’t know if the girl is V or if V is an imaginary person she sees or the character in that movie. No matter; it’s a powerful piece.

  10. V at least will be left alone by the emo kids. I hope she finds better help than her dad though, and the bright colours. Great story, matches the gloomy mood of the picture perfectly.

    • Funny how it matches the picture’s tone, gah; the actual evolution of this story was from a very different interpretation of it. I guess I came full circle. And yes, the surface change of bright colours and bright music probably isn’t enough, whatever Dad may think.

  11. V headed for the opposite corner, dropped her bright yellow backpack and pulled out a jotter plastered with smiley stickers. She started sketching butterflies around the first page and hummed Justin Bieber loudly.

    This is so child-like for what’s going on in the story. Love the contrast between all the above and the scars from self-inflicted wounds.

    • Thanks, Alicia. She’s somewhat older than a lot of this might suggest – Dad’s idea of what makes happiness is influenced by her pre-teen pleasures – but I’m glad she came across as young.

  12. Once again, Jen, you did great. The stickers made all the difference, too. Emotions, etc., are all there. Nice job!

  13. A well told story. The last line sums it up nicely.

  14. Well written. Love the impact of the last line.

  15. ‘As if emotions respected walls’ is a really powerful ending. This piece gets very much inside the world of self-harm and, as you said, explores (and dismisses) the notion that there is anything cool or popular about it. I think it’s interesting that V assumes the girl is a ‘fake’ — she could be right, but it also shows how lost V feels, and the walls she has put up against others. The feeling of disconnection is really strong here; you’ve created a very powerful character who is simultaneously drawing me in and pushing me away.
    I’m a newbie to Friday Fictioneers, and am really enjoying reading everyone’s work. I look forward to reading more of your stories!

    • Hi Helena! Welcome to the fictioneers and thank you for your detailed thoughts. I’m glad you liked this story and felt the disconnection that V feels. Looking forward to reading your stories over the next feel weeks too!

  16. Poor child – this echoes the bleakness of the picture brilliantly.

  17. Very well written as always, you really captured the emotion of the outsider. The father’s line ” none of that misery nonsense goes with you” sums up his lack of feeling and maybe even lack of concern.

  18. Teach me! I love to see how experienced writers come up with these subtle (to me) points – shows how much I have to learn! Well done!

    • I’d love to teach you, Susan, but in truth I think the best way to learn is practice practice practice! With this length of story, and the support of the Fictioneers, it’s easy to do lots of them over a relatively short period of time. That, and reading as many of the other submissions as I could, is what made me comfortable with the genre.

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