AW Flash Fiction — Courage — 9/19/10 (salty language warning)

AW Flash Fiction = 90 minutes from reveal of key word (courage) to posting of complete short story.  This one is Young Adult (YA).  I don’t write YA and it probably shows.  My husband has been giving me the spin to use for the past couple of weeks’ challenges.  I check out the word when it’s posted at 6 PM, tell him what it is as we finish dinner, get his take then write.  So if it sucks, it’s his fault.  LOL


Melly logged in to her favorite messaging board and checked the bottom of her screen to see which of her friends were online. She recognized quite a few–Margo, Rita, Jenny, Michaela and Sealy. A groan escaped when she spotted Delicata’s name. Fireworks were sure to erupt, if they hadn’t already.

They had. Delicata started a thread called “Need some new jeans…recommendations?” It should have been an innocuous topic, would have been had any other girl started it. She clicked open the thread that had mushroomed to two pages in less than a half an hour.

The first few responses were helpful, pointed out favorite brands, whether they made a flat butt look round or covered the entire surface area of a curvier butt. These things were important.

By the fifth response, the claws had emerged.

“Some asses should not be discussed in public, your nasty one being among them.” — Sealy.

“LOL Do they make jeans for skanks?” — Rita

“I think Walmart sells the ‘Oh the Humanity’ brand of jeans. Why don’t you try there?” — Michaela

Melly shuddered. Sometimes her friends took their snark a bit too far.

“Why don’t you three crawl back into the hell pit that spawned you.” — Delicata.

No…why couldn’t she have just ignored them? Melly scrolled down, scanning the increasingly nasty volleys between Delicata and the other girls.

When she clicked over to page two and saw the pictures, her heart sank. Before she’d even processed the full extent of their mean-spiritedness, a chat box popped up from Michaela.

“Join the fun. Deli Cottage Cheese is waging a ridiculous name-calling war. Check out the jeans thread.”

Melly typed back, “Reading it now.”

Michaela’s reply zipped back with lightning speed, “Can you believe what that bitch wrote? She does not know who she’s messing with.”

The cursor flashed in readiness for Melly’s response. She typed, “Eh, not worth the time to get worked up about Delicata. Wanna get a private chat room going?” She took a quick glance at her chewed down fingernails, her manicure ruined in a fraction of second and she hadn’t even realized she’d done it.

Michaela’s response flashed on her screen. “We can chat later. This is more fun. Come on in…the water’s warm and the looney’s are out. LOL”

Her heart pounding, she recalled Delicato’s kind words to her at her brother’s funeral the prior year. Maybe Delicato was a little weird, but certainly not deserving of the vitriol her friends showered upon her at every opportunity.

Fingers poised on her keyboard, she considered her words carefully as she typed in the jeans thread, “Delicata, I bought a pair of True Religions last week and I was really impressed at how well they fit. Those and Lucky’s are all I wear. Bluefly even has ’em on sale this week.” Her mouse hovered over the “Post” button and with a loud exhale, she clicked it.

Seconds ticked by. Then what she dreaded appeared–a new chat box from Sealy, the queen bee of the group.

“You havin’ a retard moment here, Melly? Since when did you become Delicata’s muff diver?” — Sealy

“Don’t have a problem…with anyone. Is that a problem with you?” Fingers shaking, she hit “send”.

“Melly…What the fuck!” — Michaela

“Leave her alone, Michaela. She’s never done anything to you.” A little bolder now that she’d chosen her path, Melly hit send without hesitation.

In the jeans thread, Sealy posted, “Lucky’s are for fat assess. You been sittin’ on yours a little too much, Melly?”

The blood drained from Melly’s face. She’d been called out. This was it. She either made a joke and backed down or she took a stand, a stand that would surely alter the remaining path of her days at Alta Montana High School.

She began to type in the thead: “A fat ass can be reduced, but a bitch is a bitch forever. Give me a ring Delicata if you want to go shopping this weekend. I have a feeling I’ll have a lot more time on my hands these days.” With a smile on her face, she clicked “post” and logged off. Her heart roared like a lion’s and it felt good.