Alice Flung Her Pencil Onto Her Desk...

December 16, 2007
By Zachary Vito, Tucson, AZ

Alice flung her pencil onto her desk in sheer disappointment. She was sick of trying to learn how to write in cursive, after all according to her old and oh so wise seventh grade brother, “You’re never going to need to write in cursive ever again.” He knew everything, so she was obliged to believe him. She scanned her room, looking for something else to do while her mother prepared dinner. The faint sound of sizzling food on the stove almost made her mouth water. She picked up her favorite beanie baby and began to frantically move it around her room. She crouched onto her knees and began to force it to hop around, imagining her messy room and as a clustered, misty swamp. She weaved it in between her bed, pushed through piles of clothes and slid it up her wall. She sat it down on her windowsill and was about to head to her bed when something caught her eye. Her window faced an alley behind her house, dimly lit by a streetlight beside her house. Her window was high up, as her room was on the second story of her house. A dark grey car with rusted rims was parked directly below her room. Alice never saw anything down there besides the odd alley cat perching on a fence. Being the curious little girl she was she pushed open her door, and carefully crept down stairs. Each step her bare feet took on the cold wooden floor sent shivers up her back. She grabbed her pink jacket from the coat rack as she arrived at the bottom of the stairs. It was muddy from her playing out in grass earlier that day with her father. It had rained the past four days so everything outside was wet. She crawled in front of the kitchen counter, making sure not to be seen by her mom. She moved smoothly across the ebony wood as she neared the door that led to the alley. She grasped the bronze knob, and used both weak hands to turn it clockwise. The cement was damp and cold when she emerged outside, but she was to intrigue by the mysterious vehicle to even notice. As she neared its dark tinted windows, she saw her steamy breath flutter in front oh her face with each deep, nervous sigh. It appeared that the car was empty, but she needed to investigate further. Standing on her tiptoes, she could barely see through the window. Her forehead pressed up against the icy glass, leaving an oily imprint. The streetlight above her fluttered on and off, catching her attention. She continued to stare into the window, enthralled by the mysterious blackness of the car’s interior. A gust of wind blew the alley door shut making a load slam noise. This frightened Alice and reminded her she needed to go back inside. As she began to trek back inside, calmly, a warm, firm hand grasped the top of her head and her heart sunk into the depths of her stomach.

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