Sunburn | Teen Ink


January 27, 2011
By Descant GOLD, Huntington Beach, California
Descant GOLD, Huntington Beach, California
15 articles 40 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened" –Albert Camus

She intrudes into the patch of air he contemplates: a lightness in the black, impossible to ignore.

“A night like this, and I can still see you?”

“No clouds have ever been quite thick enough to keep the moonlight off me.”

“Snow White must’ve had a hard time hiding.” He slouches further down against the wall.

“You should come inside,” she says. He thinks he he sees her reach out, slowly waving her arm back and forth, as she approaches.

“I’m over here, to your left. And I’d rather stay.” He grabs her searching hand and she flinches.

“Sunburnt wrists. Please don’t touch,” she says. He releases her, his hand brushing her side and snagging against the lace of her favorite white nightgown.

“I forgot. Why’d you wear that citrus stuff? Didn’t you say it’s in tanning oil?”

“It’s also in the only perfume I’ve ever liked, and it’s not as if I don’t have to hide from the sun anyway.”

“I don’t like you to freckle.” He sees the pale blob of her face pull back.

“Oh? And I was thinking you cared that it hurt, or were worried I’d get skin cancer!”

“Why the hell should I be thinking about cancer?” He pushed off the wall and stood as tall as he could. “I may think you’re stupid, wearing that stuff, but not stupid enough to give yourself cancer.”

“Thats a ridiculous thing to say.”

“Ridiculous? I’m not the one frying myself in perfume. Which, by the way, I could smell the instant you stepped out of the house.”

“Well then, I’ll remove the stench from your presence,” she says. He watches her hurry to the door, a beguiling hint of bergamot still lingering in his nose. She switches on a light: a glare that obscures all of her but the red marks of the sunburn.

The author's comments:
Inspired by one of the three-word prompts on a flash fiction blog, but I didn't want to post it there because the participants are often professionals; it's intimidating.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Mar. 23 2011 at 1:03 pm
NorthernWriter, Fargo, North Dakota
0 articles 0 photos 326 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Only dead fish swim with the stream"

I like the undermining tension of the relationship here. It makes you want to read more. The word choice isn't super elaborate, but it's super descriptive. I could imagine everyone perfectly.