Hiccups This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 3, 2011
By , London, United Kingdom
She gave me another one of those awkward looks. Oh they're awful, what's in that? Is that fear? Eyes wide and saying something her mouth can't quite communicate. I put my foot down. "Look Vanessa..." I began, turning my eyes to hers - then bailing out at the last moment and staring at my suddenly very interesting cup. Then I realised she was looking at me again, and braced myself for impact. There they were, looking more sunken than usual - probably the inordinate amount of alcohol. But nevertheless just as there - deepest damned brown.

My head caught a thought and my mouth laughed, "...What are you afraid of?" I said with the disbelief audible. As the words hit her face changed and the easy smile regained its usual place.

"What d'you mean?" She asked - I only got it on the repeat.

"You know...always the big eyes..." I trailed off and my sentence drowned in the shallows of confidence. She gave me the look again - or was it different? In the beginning I could read her like a road sign - f***ing easily. But now, now there's a riddle up there. I realised I was still staring into the wide-eye abyss and I tore my gaze from it. That's why I didn't like looking at her eyes - because it hurt all the more to look away. Then, if I remember correctly, she gave her little laugh to a more interesting person than me and I fell deeply in love with my cup.

She spilt something on her top that night - and borrowed mine. I picked it up in the morning, it reeked of her, Vanessa and her dark orbs. F***ing perfume is a racket. As if it is not enough to be assailed on the other senses: I saw her, I heard her, I touched her - I even damn well tasted her. But no, it is not enough, the strange twist of an anonymous perfume haunted my favourite jumper for days. It seemed whenever it could my nose caught the tiniest remnants and magnified them. I failed to escape.

Days passed and the incessant tick-tock of the watch sitting on my desk blurred them into nothingness. Back then, I saw myself as some sort of poet scrawling my feelings into words, complicated little things with barely recognisable meaning - its 'all s*** now, I can't write a thing. I've come to the conclusion that good poetry can only be written when one is in Emotion's disillusioned grip, it is the same with songs. They are all about emotion. They are all about mere chemicals floating about are bodies making us 'feel' - I do not listen to music.

"You get drunk far too often," I lied. In fact I enjoyed the ridding of inhibitions. The looks got less often with every drink, it was like brief and blurry time travel to before.

"You can talk," she said, flashing a smile - something hopped lamely in my chest and my eyes looked for anywhere but the place they landed. She hiccupped. "Your lovely you know," she slurred as she threw her arms and her perfume around me. She didn't mean s*** - and I knew it but I still smiled. I always smiled. Her body was awfully warm, lovely lines which softly undulated. For a moment, in a moment like that, there is ecstasy as for a split second you can dream reality is not reality. But, like looking into the twin eye-pools, it only made it harder for me to tear away my gaze.

And I procrastinated. I always ended up doting on her; getting her a drink, a cloth, some company. Totally unnecessary of course, Vanessa and her eyes were on far too many men's minds. I always thought it strange that it was her who had the ever faithful followers. She was not innately beautiful - her eyelids were puffy without her ever-present makeup and her face round with a jaw, perhaps on the cusp of the masculine. Her clothes were oddly formal, expensive and perfectly nice. They left one with a strong desire to see her in a shorts and t-shirt and no shoes. When I first saw her she passed under my gaze, yet I did not under hers. Vanessa picked me out like a bald eagle does a foundling lamb - or at least that's how I feel with afterthought. You see here I go putting these damn chemicals to paper as if they are mine. It is sad that we are merely machines, with an input, an output and a f***ed up bit in-between.

She brushed my leg. She was wearing socks, thick and wintry and very soft back in late august.
"I bet you he's gonna die," I said, pointing to the television.
"He's the wimp, he's first," she replied matter-of-factly.
"Nah he's second, the stupid blonde one's definitely in for it," I smiled and she laughed.
"No, don't... that was going to happen," she protested to the oblivious characters on the screen, "What are they doing? No!"
"Calm down," I teased, unable to not smile.
" When will they learn there's no time for romance when there's zombies about?" She asked. Someone else said something and out of my mouth my mind slipped.
"There's always time for romance."
"P****," said someone who I liked. Yet I saw the corner of a smile on a round face and the ill frog that slept within my chest leapt.

I refused to be one of her followers, for they are the ones I pitied the most. They lived only in dream, in the potentially possible but the practically Im-. Whenever she spoke of them, of him or him, I always defended them. To be consumed by those eyes was awfully painful and she never truly understood that. So I told her to get rid of them. To cut, slice, sever the little strings she had tied to their limbs and let them drop off the stage and float down the river. She never did, thought it was cruel - how far from the truth, I thought it was crueller to do nothing - but I could not argue with those dark browns.

I sat opposite her, in a circle of friends, far into the future from august. I hated sitting opposite her because I saw her charming those around, I saw her talking to someone or someone-else and jealously sat hidden on my sullen face. I could not concentrate on talking to the boy to my left, whose own feelings about another girl were concealed too deep for me to dig up awkwardly - which is exactly what I wanted to do. I needed a case-study, a comparison, anything to help comprehend the weird concoction of feeling that accompanied those puffy eyelids and ever-so-slightly masculine jaw. It was as if I was chained, by nothing more than ignorance and social convention, to the opposite wall and she was there sitting on her chair all alone - giving me that damned look, the wide, dark eyes and a touch of pity-fear-melancholy. I didn't have a clue.

"D'you want it? I thought it'd be nicer," she asked lightly showing me her half-licked lollipop.

"No thanks - It's been in your mouth Ness," I replied with a tinge of a tease, then she paused and I knew what she'd say before it reached my ears.

"So have you," Big eyes and a girlish smile. The thing resting on my heart twitched.

"So I have; wet, cold and very drunken" My mind ordered my mouth coolly. The tips of my teeth visible in the tiniest of smiles. She hiccupped.

"Can you cure my hiccups for me?" She asked, simultaneously a girl and woman in the wonderful amalgamation of adolescence.

"You need a shock."

"Where am I going to find that?"

She played with me unfairly. My light brown met her dark and for a fraction of a second everything was beautifully still. The mystery of moment and potential enchanted me, to say the least - distracted me. Yet Time does not wait for its clients and I fell once more into the abyss. It seems she was not attracted to Fallers but only the rare to be seen Flyers. I did not know which one I was. Perhaps it was ignorant, but at the time I saw myself as a Floater - struggling to get away from those soul-seeing eyes and that soul-sucking abyss. Then she hiccupped and turned her head away - to some relief.

I did see her in a t-shirt and shorts in the end, at the beach. It was a day where it was warm in the sun and cold in the shade. The hundreds of prone bodies had a calming effect, the sun bright, and I felt inordinately happy. Maybe it was that t-shirt and those shorts, with hair tied up for ease. I remember thinking it was such a strange sight - all that skin. Vanessa fitted it all with a touch of the self-conscious and I laughed inside that such a girl could feel that most child-like of feelings. Her rarely seen legs were pale and softly defined by whatever sport she did. The wind sent the few strands of hair not caught in her hair tie scudding across her face. She gave a little look of annoyance every time one landed in her mouth and I started to giggle. This girl couldn't harm me, not this t-shirt-and-shorts-Vanessa.

"What are you laughing at?" said she with the tone of the victim.

"You." I replied truthfully. With that she exclaimed, laughed a little laugh and gave up trying to catch the strands of hair.

"You...you b******!"

I was still giggling, drunk on the sun and the sea. I started running towards the water and she gave chase, but I was too fast for her. Skipping over rocks and sun-bathers I reached the cold waves long before she did. I looked back, still running in the shallow water, and watched her politely circling the other beach-goers. I stared out to sea, still jumping through the little waves, then I glanced back again and tripped into Alison. Vanessa hiccupped.

Join the Discussion

This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

wannabeaphotogirl said...
Jan. 6, 2011 at 3:20 pm
For some reason, my comments are not being posted. my story is under romance and called one more time. whats yours?
wannabeaphotogirl replied...
Jan. 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm
ignore this, it was supposed to be a reply. i like the story
DreamsAreBroken said...
Jan. 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm
I really liked this, very innovative and imaginative, incredibly thought provoking. :)
SilverLuna replied...
Jan. 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm
I really, and truly enjoyed this. As said by DreamsAreBroken it was, indeed, very thought provoking. You have a gift, I hope you continue to share it.
StarredCritic said...
Jan. 5, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Starred Review:

1 STAR: Dull

2 STARS: Typical

3 STARS: Good

4 STARS: Really Good

5 STARS: Great

"Hiccup" 2 1/2 STARS


wannabeaphotogirl replied...
Jan. 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm
hey i wrote my first short story and maybe if you critique you could read it sometime? if not understand if you could that would be really cool!
Emmaline2 said...
Jan. 5, 2011 at 10:58 am
I didn't really get this...is the main charcter a girl? and she likes other girls? I was like really confused through the whole thing!!
TheLittleString replied...
Jan. 5, 2011 at 12:39 pm
Haha i just read it again and it works with the main character as a girl. - but no the main character is a boy :)
keembahhh said...
Jan. 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm
i love this!! continue writing and keep the rest of the story coming! i need to know whats gonna happen next!
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