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Old 09-30-2008, 08:08 PM
  #1
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Lemon Froth [Original - G/PG]

Note: I wrote this as an assignment for my Intro to Creative Writing class last year. The assignment was that we had to write six pages (minimum and maximum) in a first person opposite gender point of view. Though difficult, I actually quite enjoyed the story. Plus, I don't write so much about kids.

Link: Lemon Froth - Fictionpress.com

~+~

It was a breezy September afternoon. I had returned home from college for the summer when I saw Mr. Bromwell, my next door neighbor. He sat on the chair reading today's paper while he chugged down a can of Bud Light. As soon as he saw me make my to the garage, he gave me a slow wave before he returned his attention back to the Sports section.

I dug my hands in my pockets and noticed the same flower stand that stood beside the mailbox. Its wooden box remained intact, as well as the childish scribbles that read, "Flowers: $1. Bouquet: $5" written in red ink. The "S" was written backwards, as how any kid would write it. However, there were no flowers out on display and the people that passed by didn't give it a second thought. I looked at the stand that had been deteriorating and began to reminisce in the childhood memory.

~+~

She moved in to my neighborhood when I was seven. The last kid who lived next door…well…let’s just say his mother didn’t enjoy the fact that I threw balloons filled with grape juice on a daily basis. I had my whole summer planned right before the last day of school. I was going to wake up at noon, watch cartoons, hang out with friends at the park a few blocks away, and stay up for hours on end.

It didn’t happen that way. In fact, every morning at precisely seven thirty, I would hear a shrill voice screaming “Lemon froth! Lemon froth! Only theventy five thent a pop!”

What followed after was the sound of a bell ringing. That girl would not shut up until the sun settled behind the horizon. There is no way my perfectly summer was going to be ruined by a shrieking rooster.

So one day, I decided I was going to do something about this.

After I changed in to a pair of loose shorts and a green shirt with the number twenty seven imprinted on the front, I made my way to the wooden house next door and to the lemonade stand that stood in front by the sidewalk. The rooster of a girl wore a black tank top and a pair of brown shorts, while her black hair in multiple ponytails that stuck out in all directions. Each rubber band that held those tails was in a variety of colors.

She must have seen me standing there because she finally stopped ringing that damned bell. “You that kid that liveth in that houth?” She then proceeded to point at my house. “I’m Violet. I juth turned thix in April. I moved here from Houthton.”

I had to take at least one step away from her since when she talked, she would spit right at me. “It’s ‘six’, not ‘thix’.” I corrected.

Violet gave me a strange look as if I was from another planet. “I thaid that. I thaid thix. What you? Deaf?” She cocked an eyebrow at me. Apparently, she had a lot of difficulty pronouncing her “S” words. “And you are?”

I’ve met girls before but Violet takes the cake as being the craziest one of them all. “Mike. I’m seven,” I emphasized on the “se” pronunciation when I told her my age. “I’ve lived here longer than you have.”

Violet flashed a toothy grin and handed me a white plastic cup. “Want thome lemon froth? Only theventy five thent a pop!”

I looked down at the cup filled with yellow shaved ice. I guess she was trying to say “frost” because it looked like yellow snow. Being daring at that time, I took a sip from the cup, unaware of the contents that were in there.

And there it was. This lemon froth of hers was loaded with sugar and no lemon.

Instantly, I spat it out. Now I know why no one trusts these lemonade sellers on the street. You don’t know what they put in your drink. I glared at Violet, before I shook the cup, the frosty slosh swirled around. “This tastes like horse piss!”

In return, Icky gave me the same glare before holding out on her hand. “That’ll be theventy five thenth.”

“No way! This horse piss ain’t worth nothing!” I gave her a sneer.

“You drank it!” Violet crossed her arms over her chest. “You bought it. That’ll be theventy five thenth thir!” Once more, she reached out her hand, as if she expected some coins to magically drop.

I mocked her in a high pitched voice by using the same lisp that she used. “You want theventy five thenth for thisth?” And at that, I splashed the entire contents of the froth on Icky. I felt a surge of satisfaction and expected her to cry her eyes out and run to her mommy like what girls would usually do.

Icky looked down at her clothes with an expressionless look on her face. I waited for her to cry. But she squatted to the ground and for a brief second, I expected she would start bawling. Instead, she stood back up with a handful of rocks in her hand. One by one, she threw these rocks right at me. I ran away from her but she continued to chase after me all the way to my house. One of them struck my left shoulder. From then on, I referred to her as “Icky Violent”.

~+~

Violet must have told her dad about the incident because we had never gone to the same school despite being next door neighbors. I went through the public school system while she went to an all girls’ school in downtown. I saw her everyday when I came home from school but I had not said two words to her.

Every summer, Violet stood in her yard, making feeble attempts to sell her all too sugary concoctions that she called lemon froths. However one day, I noticed that she was no longer ringing her bell and screaming at the top of her lungs for people to come by her froths. In fact, I haven’t seen her outside for months. I do see her heading towards her house in her school uniform but that was the closest I got. Her froth area stood there, abandoned and untouched for the past year. While the silence of the bell was pleasant, gradually, I felt her absence.

I was thirteen that summer I gave up on my curiosity of Icky Violent. I assumed she wasn’t making enough money to get by. All of a sudden, I heard the familiar bell and screaming outside. I peeked outside my window to see Violet swing her bell. But instead of the froth that she normally would sell, there on display would be flowers. Strangers would stop by and bought either a single flower or a bouquet worth.

“Flowers!” Violet would yell as she continued to swing the bell. At least that annoying lisp was gone because I finally understood what she was saying. “A single flower for a dollar! On bouquet for five dollars! Get it while you can!”

After five minutes, Violet sat on the stool. She reached inside her pink backpack and took out a bowl of salad, a small mug of latte, and placed it in front of her. I approached her with my shades on and watched as she settled in to lunch. The salad nicoise looked a bit spoiled to me but she didn’t seem to notice or care. She grew her hair and had it in one short ponytail unlike the many tails she used to have.

“So…” I started the awkward conversation. “Why the sudden change from froth to flowers?”

Startled, Violet’s arms flailed about and knocked her latte off the table. “What the hell? What…why are you here?”

I looked over the orange tiger lilies that were on display. My fingertips ran down the orange petals before it reached the center.

“So tell me,” I gave Violet a grin. “What’s the deal with the flowers? The weather’s too hot for these kind of flowers. What happened to froth?”

Violet rolled her eyes back, mockingly laughed at me. “I never made too much money with that. I’m trying to collect money for my trip to Cairo. Or Paris. I heard they got great dancing classes like fox trot and waltz.”

I looked over the tiger lilies on display before explaining to her that I wanted to buy a bouquet.

The same odd look she gave me when she was six years old crossed her features. I couldn’t blame her for being skeptical about whether I would actually buy flowers or shove them right at her like I did with her lemon froths.

“You’re actually going to pay for the flowers?” She arched an eyebrow at me, being suspicious of my motives.

I nodded once and gave her a five dollar bill. Violet wrapped the tiger lilies in a bundle. As she handed me the lilies, she continued to watch me, thinking that I might shove the flowers down her shirt.

“Who are the flowers for? Your girlfriend? Ooh, Little Mikey’s got a girlfriend huh?” Violet chuckled, as if she were ready to throw a book of insults at me.

For some reason, I could not help but throw a smirk back at her. “Let’s just say it’s for someone I know.” I turned on my heel and walked down the sidewalk, heading back home.

“You know,” she called out. “My dad said that you have to stop coming to my house.”

No surprises there that Icky Violent’s dad wasn’t too impressed with me ever since the whole lemon froth incident took place. “I’m already aware of that.” I continued to head home with the tiger lilies in hand.

She called out again. “I thought you ought to know. I’m sick.”

Having stopped in my tracks upon hearing the news, I wasn’t so sure how I should take that. Did she say sick? Or had her lisp problem slip up? She couldn’t possibly be sick, could she? She was only eleven years old.

I approached back at the flower stand and had hoped I wasn’t hearing things right the first time around.

“You look as skinny as a twig.” I said casually. Violet had always been skinny ever since I first saw her.

Violet gave me a look of irritation. “No! I never said thick. I’m sick! Sick! You know, cough, choke, gag?” She then proceeded to make choking noises.

“You mean sick?” What’s the big deal? So she caught a cold or a couple of coughs. “Take some Nyquil, go to sleep and sell your flowers some other time. Why so worried?” I knew Violet was crazy but it’s as if she was so obsessed with her little flower shop. I looked at the tiger lilies, roses, sunflowers, daffodils and other plants on display. For a moment there, I had a nagging feeling that Violet’s sickness was no ordinary one.

Violet shook her head once more. She hung her head low, her fingers picked off the sunflower petals one by one. “I’ve got leukemia,” she whispered, her eyes not once looking up.

I stood there in front of her. Both of my hands pressed on to the wooden table, unable to register what she just said. I don’t know much about the disease except that it had killed my Aunt Bridget. I always thought the kind or people that got leukemia were in their adult years. Violet, I mean, she’s only eleven.

After a few minutes of silence, I looked at her once more. I didn’t want to ask her about this new twist. I didn’t even know if I wanted to talk about it. This was the same girl who, despite the speech problem she once had, wasn’t like any other girls. She was the odd ball who used to make her hair look like a palm tree. She was the one who would ring her bell in the early morning and scream for people to buy her froths and flowers.

“I’ve had it for a year,” she whispered as she placed the petal-less sunflower in front of her. “That’s why you haven’t seen me as much, other than my father still being mad at you.” She looked up at me, forcing a laugh. “I know you, Mike. You would wait for me until I got home so you could ambush me. You wanted to get back at me for those rocks I threw at you when we were kids.”

I held out my hand that held the bunch of tiger lilies and placed it in her hand. Icky looked at the flowers, then back at me. “Look, I can’t return your money. All sales are final.”

Instead, I shook my head at her. “I told you, I was buying it for someone I know.” And before she could protest, I closed her fingers around the flowers. Icky felt her face burning scarlet red, all the more surprised at what I had just done.

~+~

Violet had relapsed after Christmas that year. Two months later, I saw an ambulance truck with its sirens on. The paramedics carried her on the stretcher and that was the last I saw her. Violet’s father had came on our front doorstep one morning and explained to my parents that Violet had died on the way to the hospital. I chose not to attend her funeral, nor did my parents force me.

I’m nineteen now and still found it hard to believe that she was gone for good. Violet would have been seventeen, possibly traveling somewhere in Paris or Cairo like she wanted. Or maybe she’s selling something ridiculous like clouds.

I glanced at my watch, which struck noon, then at the empty wooden stand, expecting to hear bells and loud noises.

There were none.

Last edited by Lain; 10-04-2008 at 05:34 AM
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:33 PM
  #2
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Thanks for the thread! I really love the title you chose! I know it gave you troubles


I don't think I've ever written a story in first person before, I think that would have been a hard assignment for me.

Can't wait to read!
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:30 AM
  #3
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I've read it and wow, it gave me chills! It is so wonderfully written, Kris By the end, I had a little tear in my eye
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Thanks for the thread! I really love the title you chose! I know it gave you troubles
The title was no trouble. Although it was either this title or "Icky Violent"

Lynn, thanks. My teacher, when she read this, kind of feared that it was going to turn in to one of those "A Walk to Remember" sort of thing because of the girl getting sick.
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Old 10-05-2008, 02:45 AM
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What's so bad about A Walk To Remember?
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Old 10-05-2008, 03:06 AM
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We're trying to not make it too cheesy.

Although the odd thing is throughout that entire semester in that class, I had not written a story that dealt with romantic relationships.
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Old 10-05-2008, 03:28 AM
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I think you did great on the story and it definitely wasn't "too cheesy"

I love drama I love to write it and I love for my characters to be the observers
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