You really want the list?
Nah, forget it.
He exited the train at Buenos Aires. That was as far as his ticket would take him. He wandered around the city for a while afterwards. It wasn't much, so he boarded a flight to London. The flight stewardess was pretty, but not overly so. Her hair was perfectly tied up in a bun and her lips were pink, straight out of a Barbie Doll. He smiled at her. She smiled back. That was as much as he would allow himself.
When he got off in London, he walked to where his house had been. He stared for a while...
"Write," she instructed.
So he did. He wrote. He wrote of many things, and when he was done, he presented the neatly bound typewritten pages to her. She didn't even look at them.
He wrote more. He wrote of how he felt when the sun in the afternoon cast dappled lines across the floor. He wrote about prison bars and he wrote about prison food. He wrote about her, and how her dark hair was short and clipped above her ears. He wrote about how her brown eyes pierced his soul and tore him apart and all he...
The oil had come months ago now. They had thought it would disappear. It had always done so before.
But it had remained. It had refused to go. It had clung to them, like a desperate duckling clinging to a mother, only this duckling was parasite.
It had tainted them.
There was no escaping it. None whatsoever. They had tried it all, but it followed them. They wore it like a winter coat they had no reason for. It was summer now.
So he had set out, away. That had been his goal at first, but later when he saw...
The water was clear, so I stared at it, looking at my reflection. I was ugly, there were no two ways about.
She had been right.
I kept staring at myself. The disfiguring scar curved an unappealing path through my cheek. My hair was matted with dirt and dust. I wasn't even handsome in a macho kind of way, like someone who had just emerged from a bout with a bear.
She had been right.
My eyes were red and puffy with tears. My lips were chapped and sore. When I ran my tongue over them, they felt sharp and...
She turns around, but he has vanished again. She weighs the pros and cons of speaking before opening her mouth.
"I can see you," she says.
"I know," he replies. "I know."
Those two words send a chill up her spine. "What do you know?" she asks.
"I know," he repeats. Out of the corner of her eye she catches a blur disappearing behind a tree. That's where he's hiding, then.
"What do you know?" Now, she must simply be careful. It will be easy enough to catch him.
"I know." These last two words are breathed down her neck....
Spinning. Spinning. Spinning. That is all she knows now.
"You'll become dizzy soon," he whispers in her ear. She smiles deliriously as he turns her around, spins her again. His hands, big and strong, fit around her waist perfectly.
"Spin," she tells him. "Spin." Again he twirls her. She is tiny in front of him. She smiles again.
The world has become a colorful blur around her. In this spinning she can forget everything. Maybe her past blurs behind her now, and all the lies blur into something deeper, into truth. Maybe this way everything can blur and blur till...
"Listen," I whisper. "Hear the waves crash."
She listens, head cocked to one side. Her beautiful golden hair cascades down her face, a blonde waterfall.
"They're telling you stories," I tell her. "And you can hear them, if you listen."
You can almost hear her, the force it takes for her air-filled brain to concentrate, and listen. Now, she is perfectly poised, on the edge of the cliff. The waves break below her, screaming in her ear. It only takes a slight shove, and she topples off the edge. Even in death she is picture-perfect. For a few moments she...
He watched from a distance, hidden behind a bush. The two tigers snarled at each other, circling around, judging each other's strengths, weaknesses. His camera was held up to his eye, and the only part of his body were his fingers: depressing the shutter, muffling the click, repeat. They were magnificent creatures and couldn't have been more than three years old. Most likely this was their first time encountering another, hostile male. This would be the fight where they proved their worth. Maybe they were fighting over a girl, the age-old battle. But msot likely it was territory: this is...
They were listening.
He knew, and he didn't care. It didn't matter. Nothing would matter, after all, after this.
He kept moving forward. Sometimes it felt inevitable. Sometimes it felt like it wasn't his feet propelling him, but something else, a force of nature, a gravity holding his life in balance. He kept going. It didn't matter what kept him going, after all. Nothing would matter after this.
They were watching.
He could feel their eyes even as he moved, boring giant holes into his skin, mining his body for- for what, he didn't know. Their eyes had been a...
I step back and look. It seems complete.
Ms. Johnson comes over and looks at it. She barely glances before saying, "Wonderful, wonderful. Fantastic job." She's forgotten my name again. I doubt she'll ever remember.
I leave it on an easel and walk out of the classroom. No one looks back at me. No one calls my name or asks me to meet them at their lockers. I keep walking. Soon I am beyond the reach of our cloistered middle school existence into worlds beyond. High schoolers pass by. None of them look at me either. They have their own...