Metal, Wire & Dreams This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Strange sounds had been reverberating from the brick cornerstone at 5135 Crabtree. At times nosy neighbors and inquisitive children were seen crouched by the basement screen listening for clues as to the source of the racket. Even curious strangers paused, hoping for insight.

On this particularly humid afternoon, if one opened the front door of 5135 Crabtree, plodded down the hallway scattered with photographs, passed through the neglected kitchen and traveled down the rickety wooden stairs, the instigator of the neighborhood ruckus could be found bent over a makeshift operating table.

A large yellow Labrador paced back and forth, handing the slender woman tools as she requested them. "Ratchet, hammer, screwdriver. Max," she announced, "we have done it. We have created the perfect man." Samantha McNally paused in her commentary to immerse her hands in the cold metal, flesh and blood form taking shape in the shadows of her dimly lit laboratory. Her purpose was clear. For years, Samantha dreamed of the ideal man, or more correctly, her ideal man.

"He could be the one, Max," she said, then made a second note to herself to stop talking to the dog. "This could make my dream come true. Finally, a man who listens and takes advice, maybe even asks for directions once in a while." Her list of criteria included: chocolate-brown eyes, caramel-streaked hair, and being so sweet you could eat him with a spoon. And, of course, personality, brains and rock-hard abs.

Samantha's emerald eyes darted about the room, recognizing the immense significance of this creation. As the moon began its ascent, she found herself mopping her brow, pushing back her tightly bound hair and unconsciously reminiscing as a rueful smirk contracted the lower muscles of her jaw. "Mike Hulsey!" she exploded. "That jerk never knew what he had." Still fuming, she raged, "Mike Hustler is more like it, dropping me like a hot tamale for the next girl that happened to glance in his direction. So what if she's a model with legs up to her ears."

A wince contorted her features as she remembered the 52 ice cream sundaes it had taken to soothe her heart. "True love, my butt," she exclaimed. "I'm 30, practically old and decrepit and I am ready for my chance. Bring it on," she challenged the room. "Bring it on."

She ran her slim hands over the light switch, contemplating the effects this would have on her life. "Mother will have to stop begging me for grandchildren, and Grandma will stop trying to fix me up with men from the senior center, or the cable guy, or the plumber."

As the sun rose over Crabtree Lane, a steady buzzing filled the air and the words "He's alive, he's alive," could be heard through the basement screen of the brick cornerstone. That week was a strange one for the inhabitants of Crabtree Lane, for not a sound came from 5135.

Samantha could scarcely control her frustration as a feeling of emptiness coiled around her heart. She felt lost when she immersed her hands into a new mound of metal, flesh and blood. Sighing, Samantha recounted the past few days. He had been so perfect, gorgeous on the outside, even sweeter on the inside. But something still had not felt right. She recalled the fancy restaurants, breakfasts in bed, and heated intellectual conversations.

"Max, he swept me off my feet and was the only guy I knew without an absurd obsession with football. He even stood up every time I entered and left the room, and chivalry is a lost art! And I took him apart."

There was something wrong still, she could remember feeling it in her limbs, slight misgivings she pushed aside. "It will never be, Max," she said matter-of-factly. Samantha sighed again, then continued tinkering with the new form on her laboratory table.

Strange sounds, loud plunks and other obscure noises had been reverberating from the brick cornerstone at 5135 Crabtree Lane. They seemed to be louder now, more insistent. Only now there was a beating sound mixed in with the clamor. The inhabitants of Crabtree Lane could feel something, a foreboding in the air. It was almost as if a broken heart were trying to mend itself behind that basement screen, mend itself with metal, wires and dreams.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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bookworm14 said...
Jan. 22, 2011 at 10:01 am
amazing writing! although a little confusing about what was happening at times, only a little ;) but seriously you're an amazing writer, i see lots of potential! keep it up :)
 
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