I'm following the writing prompts in an ebook called 30 Days of Inspiration by Creative Writing Now.
Day 2 prompt: Write a story that includes: a tombstone, a first kiss, and a butterfly collection...
Here's my short story. Constructive comments are welcome.
If only he hadn’t decided to show her his butterfly collection, then maybe, just maybe their date would have been magical and not the disaster that it was.
Dylan had been interested in Maddie for ages. Eons. A life time. What he didn’t know was that she liked him too. He found this out only when, to his absolute shock and amazement, she asked him out.
Really. She asked him: Dylan, the Dork from Dora Creek. Mister No One. The Loony from Lakeview Lane. Maddie Napeworth asked Dylan out. On a date. Just the two of them.
It happened during a school excursion. Their Year 9 history class were spending the day at an archaeological dig. A building had been torn down and in the process a whole heap of colonial era remains were found – parts of buildings, old machinery, household items., even part of a graveyard had been found, buried under layers of river sand and building rubble.
Dylan’s history teacher had contacts at the site, so his class go to spend a day there helping out and getting some hands on history experience.
It was while Dylan was absorbed in the ruins, trying to make out the words on a tombstone, that Maddie approached.
“’Sup Dylan”, she asked.
“Nothing, just trying to read this tombstone,” Dylan replied, speaking normally, not realising who he was talking to. If he had realised, thought Dylan later, he was sure he would have said something really stupid or not spoken at all. He liked her that much and was far too nervous to talk to her directly.
To Dylan’s surprise, the two of them chatted easily about the dig. It seems they were both enjoying the day and both had an interest in history.
Just as some other students were walking towards them, Maddie blurted out, “Dylan, let’s walk home from school together one day. Just you and me, OK?”
“Yep, erm, yes, er, alright”, Dylan stuttered out.
The afternoon of the date arrived. Was it really a date, thought Dylan, totally unsure of dating etiquette. Who could he have asked to find out? His friends were as clueless about girls and dating as Dylan was and there was no way on this earth he would ask his older sister. Ever.
Again to Dylan’s great surprise, the afternoon went smoothly. The two of them got off the bus at the shops then walked across the road to the park. From there they followed the bike path than runs for several Ks along the lakefront.
They talked about school and the other kids at school. They talked about the teachers they liked and didn’t like. They talked history and what YouTube channels they watched the most.
It was easy and comfortable and relaxed.
Even their gentle first kiss was easy and comfortable and relaxed. It seemed the most natural thing in the world for Dylan – the Dork from Dora Creek, Mister No One, the Loony from Lakeview Lane – to lean over to Maddie and gently touch her lips with his.
Her shy smile and return kiss made Dylan’s heart soar to new, unimagined heights.
Perhaps it was the kiss, or the walk, or too much sun, but Dylan lost his mind that afternoon. He completely, utterly, lost it.
In the glow of Maddie’s regard, Dylan forgot himself completely. Dylan, against previous experience, took off his school jacket.
Is this meant to be some big deal, some big event?
It was if you knew Dylan.
You see, Dylan never, ever, ever took his jacket off. No matter what the weather, he always had long sleeves on. Jacket, T-shirt, hoody. If he had to wear a short-sleeved shirt, then he wore something long over the top. Part of his reputation for a being a bit odd was based on this habit of his. Even in heat waves, when all the kids in his class were slouched on the floor and even his teachers gave up the pretence of working, Dylan would have his school jacket on.
He covered his arms at all times, except when he was at home.
At home he could relax, could be himself, could reveal and revel in what he had covering his arms.
“Butterflies!” shrieked Maddie, “You have butterfly tattoos covering your arms! What sort of a freak are you?”
“A freak that likes to collect butterflies”, called Dylan to Maddie’s retreating back. He doubted she heard him.
Maybe it was time to bring his butterflies out? They’d like the sun, Dylan decided as he slowly walked home, soon putting Maddie out of his mind, admiring the play of light on his many and varied, brightly coloured butterfly tattoos.
Dylan, the Dork of Dora Creek. Mister No One. The Loony of Lakeview Lane. Those kids at school did not know the half of it.