Skip to main content
PBS logo

The Eclectic Pen - If You Whisper

By: Lindsay M. (theresacowinmypants)   + 9 more  
Date Submitted: 1/31/2007
Genre: Literature & Fiction » Short Stories & Anthologies
Words: 1,040

  Wiping away the drying tear tracks that still clung to my cheeks, I turned to face my mother. “No, really, Mom. It’s fine,” I assured her, forcing a smile. I tried not to make eye contact with her, instead fixing my gaze on the rays of rainbow light from my west-facing window that danced upon her cheek. When I moved slightly to the left, the light was erased from existence upon her skin.
“Well, if you’re sure,” she said hesitantly. Still, she didn’t move. My gaze traveled upwards on her face, as if I were daring myself to meet her eyes. After a moment, my breath left me in a sigh. I couldn’t. My hesitation to meet her eyes was enough to make me realize that I wasn’t ready to meet anyone’s gaze, and it wasn’t worth the risk of another flood of tears.
I felt slightly guilty as I saw the wrinkles that were etched into her face, and couldn’t help thinking that a lot of them were there because of me. Swallowing hard, I turned away, staring at the swiftly darkening scenery outside of my window. The last flickers of the sun had rapidly deceased, the lingering glimmers of light being pulled into the glints of the Earth’s omniscient black eyes.
My eyes drifted shut when I heard my mom leave the room, closing the door softly behind her. At last, I was alone. With a sigh, I walked over to the stereo plugged into the wall beneath the window and turned on the switch to play my CD. Muted strains of Coldplay greeted my ears, and I turned up the volume, desperately wishing that I could drown in the music.
Almost absently, I picked up the papers that littered the floor around me, gathering them into neat piles. As I picked them up to place them on my desk, I glimpsed a flash of red. Curious, I picked through the papers and plucked the paper out of its place to stare at it. My breath caught painfully in my throat as I gasped, eyes widening.
It was a picture from three years ago at summer camp; Jas, Casey, and I had posed together for the camera as the camp counselor had taken the picture. “Casey,” I whispered, my voice sounding unnaturally breathy. “Oh God…” Shutting my eyes tightly, I gripped the picture harder then I should have, the edge wrinkling slightly.
I barely had time to catch my breath before I was plunged into a memory.

It was hot.
That was the first thing I noticed when I had arrived at Camp Cantaway. It was sweltering, sweat dampening my t-shirt to make it already more uncomfortable than it had been earlier, when I realized as I put it on in a rush that it had not yet fully dried.
My cabin had been assigned to me over the phone since I was arriving late. This thought in mind, I trudged wearily to the door with the small piece of paper fluttering in the wind with the number ‘13’ scrawled on it in obnoxious letters. Scowling, I tried to erase the thought of superstitious numbers as soon as it came to mind.
Just as I was about to turn the handle on the door, it opened, admitting a redhead who stopped in her tracks as soon as she spotted me. She was a little bit shorter than average height, with red curls springing every which way under an askew Sixers hat.
“Hiya,” she said with a grin, rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet. “You must be Hailey.” When I nodded mutely, she continued. “Pleasure to meet you. My name’s Cassandra, but all my friends calls me Casey.” She tossed another grin in my direction before bouncing past me, teeth flashing in the gleam of the sun.

Ever since then, we had become best friends. She lived ten minutes away from me, but I had never seen her at school due to the fact that she was home-schooled. We had gotten together every weekend since that meeting at camp.
Except for this weekend… and every weekend after this one. I still could remember the phone call from Casey’s mother two days ago. Mom had answered the phone, then passed it to me with a curious glance. Casey’s mom started crying as soon as I greeted her, bursting into sobs after every word she managed to squeeze out over the phone. And only the last two words had managed to pierce the dense cloud of my consciousness. ‘Casey’s dead.’
A pricking sensation formed at the back of my eyelids, and I opened them slowly, trying to process the reality that had suddenly shifted under my feet. When I brought my fingers up to touch my eyelids, they came away wet.
Before I knew it, I had fallen forwards, my face caught by both of my arms. Sobs tore from my throat as I raised my arm to throw the picture away from me. “No, no, n-no…” I whispered, swallowing rhythmically to try to ease the flow of tears. I couldn’t throw it. It didn’t matter how badly I felt, I couldn’t throw it…
Collapsing completely on the floor, I rolled into a ball and rocked slightly back and forth. I pressed the heel of my palms over my eyes and pressed until I could see individual colors flash before my closed eyelids. Purple, green, red…
Eventually, everything faded to black, and the rest of the colors seeped into those gleaming glints in the sky...

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Lindsay M. (theresacowinmypants)

Member Comments

Leave a comment about this story...

Comments 1 to 3 of 3
Jim H. (Pecos45) - 1/31/2007 3:58 PM ET
Great beginning here, Lindsay, but I feel like I've just read the prolog to a book. Where's the rest of the story? :)
Stephanie B. (ButterflyAngel86) - 2/3/2007 3:49 AM ET
I love this... I agree with the previous comment you need to continue the story... You are a wonderful writer...
Shari L. (shari) - 3/28/2007 1:35 AM ET
Keep going! How does Hailey deal with the death of her friend?
Comments 1 to 3 of 3