41 comments

Submitted on 07/03/2020

Categories: General

I stood alone and watched the morning sunrise. Before leaving, I checked my bag one more time to make sure everything I needed was in there; my towel, a grey baseball cap, and sunscreen. My mother smiled and blew me a kiss from our front porch, I waved goodbye to my parents and watched them disappear into the house. Five minutes later a grey, boxy Nissan pulled into the driveway. The back door swung open and my friend Tom gestured for me to get in. 

“Good morning,” I’m greeted by Tom’s mother.

“Good morning, and thank you for the ride.”

“It’s no trouble dear, Jimmy's house is just a couple of streets away.”

She shot me a big smile and pulled out of the driveway. Tom had a serious look on his face, business as usual. 

“You’re going a bit fast, mom,” he said. 

I blushed, it was true.

“Don’t worry,” she said with a sly grin, “the police can’t stop you if you’re just a blur.”

“I see you’re one step ahead,” he said with a wry grin. It added a couple of lines to his forehead, deep ones that appeared often. All the sarcasm was making his face age faster. 

Tom was a lot like his father, which is probably why he chose not to live with him after his parents divorced. Both are great guys, but neither is much fun. On top of his dry personality, Tom also inherited his father’s eyes, green and grey. He had smart features, and any time he got quiet it looked like he was in deep thought when most of the time he was just thinking about something boring and inconsequential. Tom was the most practical guy I knew, even his wildest dreams were down-to-Earth. 

Five minutes later we pulled into Jimmy’s driveway. 

“Bye boys, see you later,” Tom’s mother said. 

She shot me one of her patented smiles and waved goodbye. 

We walked up to Jimmy’s house together. It was an old, low, beige house with a brown roof. We rang the bell twice and waited for somebody to open the door.  Jimmy’s father came out in a shabby grey shirt and blue jeans. He was a large man, we had to take a step back to avoid intruding on his personal space. He had a round face, thin grey hair and light blue eyes. He offered us a tight smile, turned around, called Jimmy, then left. Jimmy appeared at the door.

“Hi,” I said.

“Hey guys, come inside.”

He turned around and led us through the house to his backyard, where his family installed a pool last summer. Jimmy claimed that he and his parents built this pool themselves.

Three big, blue floaties lay waiting for us in the water. Tom said that we should race them, from one end of the pool to the other, using our legs to propel ourselves forward. It wasn’t exactly fair, Tom was on the swim team and the track and field team, but I don’t mind losing. Jimmy made a counter-offer; he said that it would be more fun to try and knock each other off the floaties. He was tall and well-built and played on the football team. The guys looked at me expectantly. 

“We have plenty of time, let’s do both games,” I said. 

That’s exactly what we did. We began with the race, Tom beat us with ease. After that, we tried knocking each other off the floaties, and while Tom and I got some good hits Jimmy won that game. 

The sun made its way west, but it still shone with the power and intensity that our short summers granted to it. Tom and Jimmy spent the sunny season sitting in their rooms, poring over their comic books so they could argue about them when the three of us met in person. I have never been able to enjoy comic books, so when the discussion inevitably goes in that direction I nod my head and do the best I can to follow along. 

We sat in the lounge chairs by the pool, and I knew Tom and Jimmy were going to start talking about comic books, more specifically, ones about superheroes. It always led to a bitter fight, with Tom attaching to one character and Jimmy to another while I sat on the sidelines and watched. Their argument took a strange turn today, instead of fighting about the actual content of their comic books, they clashed about what to do with their vast collections. 

“See, I like to read the comic book once or twice, with latex gloves on, then I store it in a protective bag,” Tom said. 

“Why’s that?” Jimmy asked. He narrowed his eyes and turned to face Tom. I felt a deep sense of foreboding, a storm was brewing, one that threatened this perfect, sunny day. 

“I want to pass them onto my kids,” Tom said with a stony expression. 

“What would you do if your kids didn’t want your comic books?” I asked. 

“Or if you didn’t have any kids,” Jimmy added. Tom ignored Jimmy and addressed me.

“If they decide not to read the comic books they can sell them, I have some pretty valuable stuff in my collection. The point is, it doesn’t make sense to keep the comic books to myself when I grow up.”

Jimmy scoffed and ran his hand through his long brown hair. 

“What do you plan on doing with your collection?” Tom asked Jimmy. 

“I’m going to keep it for myself.”

“You’re going to outgrow comic books eventually,” Tom said. 

“No, I won’t.”

“What if your kids want the collection?”

“If my kids want comic books I’ll be happy to buy some for them.”

The sun continued it’s journey west as the boys argued. Eventually, they stopped looking at each other and turned to face me. A feeling of dread welled up in my stomach. It had occurred to me that they were nerdy, everyone in school knew, but somehow that only made them more popular. Their love of all things superhero humanized them in everybody’s eyes and strengthened their bond with each other. The drawback was that it often divided them. And no matter what, whether they agreed or disagreed, I never had my own opinion. They only ever used me to settle their disputes, like a coin you toss in the air. I didn’t have a strong personality which made me unpredictable and as such a fair way to settle arguments, a fifty-fifty chance of me leaning one way or the other.

“What would you do?” Jimmy asked me. Tom nodded his head. 

I exhaled a deep sigh. I’ve always felt like an imposter around my friends. Not just because of the extra attention they received from our peers, but also because of how certain they were about their own personality and their futures. Everybody knew Tom and Jimmy enough to predict what they would do in a situation. They both knew they wanted to start families and have kids. They weren’t just coins you tossed in the air to settle a dispute. I wasn’t bold, sarcastic, strategic, or easy-going.  I didn’t watch movies or read books or play sports.

“I don’t know,” I told my friends. 

We settled into deep silence and watched the sun disappear underneath a row of suburban homes. I don’t know, but maybe one day I will. 

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41 comments

B. W.
14:26 Sep 07, 2020

Hey Itay i think i may need your help with something

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Itay Frenkel
23:30 Sep 07, 2020

Sure, what do you need?

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B. W.
23:46 Sep 07, 2020

I need Help trying to think of something new to do, it could still be fantasy like my other ones but i just don't know what it could be about, just anything fantasy though so i was wondering if you could help? i do have a small idea if ya wanna know it but i don't think its that good.

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B. W.
01:30 Sep 08, 2020

Sorry though if thats not really specific enough or anything

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Itay Frenkel
02:40 Sep 08, 2020

Alright, tell me your idea and maybe we could think of ways to expand it. As for my own prompts/ideas for you...I have a couple, they're kind of cliched but I think you could pull them off. - Somebody finds a strange-shaped egg, they take it home to care for it and it hatches into something weird. - There's a world where everyone has to have magic, or nobody is allowed magic, but one person has/doesn't have it, and their family has to protect them. - A wizard disguised as a fake birthday magician discovers that one of the kids he's p...

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B. W.
02:47 Sep 08, 2020

Okay my idea is this MC (main character) gets taken to an au where everything is messed up and AU MC (au main character) is evil and wanted so when they arrive theyre mistaken for the au version and they hide where they find someone else who knows MC isn't AU MC and doesn't belong here so the two become friends and they decide to hide MC for a bit and try to get them home

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B. W.
18:40 Sep 08, 2020

Also some good news :D whenever the new prompts come out i plan to try and add you and a few other friends into a story together ^^

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Itay Frenkel
20:18 Sep 08, 2020

That actually sounds really cool, let me know if you end up writing that story. As for the AU idea, I think it's great. It can be fantasy, but it can also be sci-fi, depending on how you decide to write about it. In fact, it could even be horror if you choose to make the AU scary, lots of different ways to do it.

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B. W.
00:34 Aug 26, 2020

I really liked this, you did great with it. I never really give advice because i'm bad with that but you should just continue to write stories. i'll give this a 10/10 ^^ i was also wondering if you could go and check out "goddess child" and "Legend of evie" (im not sure if you have or not, but sorry if you already have)

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B. W.
04:57 Sep 23, 2020

okay- a lot of things just happened

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Itay Frenkel
15:08 Sep 24, 2020

Oh, good things I hope, what happened?

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B. W.
15:10 Sep 24, 2020

Okay, so we kinda figured out who the Down-voter is

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Itay Frenkel
15:20 Sep 24, 2020

Really? It's like a reedsy mystery 😂 who is it?

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B. W.
15:23 Sep 24, 2020

Mia Rigini, though ya probably don't know her. a few days ago she literally said in her Bio about how she was 'proud to say' that she was the one down-voting everyone. Though a bit later she changed her Bio and explained something else and how she was lieing to get attention, though because of her she made Brooke leave. (at least for a little while but i'm not entirely sure) I still believe that she's the down-voter but even if she isn't she's still being completely rude

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Itay Frenkel
15:25 Sep 24, 2020

Wait I do know her! Not in person, but other people have told me she's the downvoter, though I think she said that she was just lying about that.

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B. W.
16:37 Sep 17, 2020

Hey so ya know that crossover thing i'm doing with Kate Ulrich with my demi-god series? she just put out part 2 for it and it's really great, you should go check it out :)

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B. W.
21:43 Sep 11, 2020

after ya do check em out later i think i need help again

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10:03 Aug 13, 2020

That is a cute story, and you explain the personalities well. The interaction between the boys and the thoughts in the protagonist's head are well described. It was a good read!

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Itay Frenkel
15:59 Aug 13, 2020

Thank you!

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Shreya S
07:20 Aug 13, 2020

I love the character and his personality so much- his indecision makes him relatable. I think you managed to display the others personalities really well too, to contrast with the main character’s, and of course, perfect ending! I think maybe some of the dialogues are a little redundant- like ‘hi’ or ‘bye boys’, so the thing would work well even without them. Of course, even otherwise, it’s a really great work! Also, I’m in high school too, and regarding the book recommendations- if you’re into fantasy fiction then I might have some fo...

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Itay Frenkel
15:58 Aug 13, 2020

Thanks for the feedback! I think you're right about some of the dialogue being redundant, I add lots of it in my stories and some of it does become unnecessary. As for book recommendations, fantasy is something I want to start reading more to develop my imagination a little, so I'd love to hear your book recommendations!

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Shreya S
16:49 Aug 13, 2020

No problem! Well then you should start with The Lunar Chronicles, which is a series of 5 books based on fairy tales like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and Rapunzel. It’s worth reading and one of my favourites. And if you haven’t at all read any fantasy fiction maybe you should also try the classic Harry Potter and Percy Jackson- I promise they’re not overrated. Other books: The raven cycle, The darkest minds, Eragon, narnia chronicles, LoTR, good omens, the game of thrones etc.

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Itay Frenkel
18:13 Aug 13, 2020

I just looked up the Lunar Chronicles and found out they're a combination of sci-fi and fairytales, which is pretty awesome. Thanks for all your recommendations, I'll definitely give them a try.

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Shreya S
03:06 Aug 14, 2020

No problem! I’d be happy if you get into the fandom :)

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A. S.
18:33 Jul 28, 2020

Good job! I love how clearly defined each of the characters’ different personalities are. I really enjoyed reading the main character’s thought process and how he is determined to discover who he is and to not just be a coin toss anymore.

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Itay Frenkel
17:56 Jul 29, 2020

Thank you, it's really nice to hear positive feedback. I was worried that the story would come across as boring since most of it is in the character's head and not the real world.

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Grace M'mbone
07:47 Jul 28, 2020

I don't know but maybe one day I will. Brilliant finish Itay. I loved your story, the flow of ideas and everything. You are a potential writer,keep practising.

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Itay Frenkel
17:16 Jul 28, 2020

Thank you Grace, that's great to hear!

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B. W.
13:09 Sep 22, 2020

i kinda hit writers block, could ya help?

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B. W.
04:48 Sep 21, 2020

Could you maybe help me get some ideas for this weeks prompts? they really aren't great but i at least wanna try to get some out

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