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Coming of Age Contemporary Drama

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

(CW: There are bombs. Nobody dies, though.)

Well, that was dramatic. I feel bad, I haven’t posted anything in over a week. If anyone was reading this blog, I’m sorry, I honestly am. I didn’t, like, die or anything. You know, cause the bomb was in my bathroom and all that. The thing is, after I went to go check on that, everything spun, if you can believe it, even more out of control. I’m not sure where to start with it, though, so I’ll start right where I left off, at the beginning of the end. 

I walked into the bathroom. There were about forty minutes left on the bomb timer. I picked up the doll and faced the window, peering down into the busy street below. For a second, I considered chucking it out the window. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t, but I considered it, I won’t lie about that. I imagined, for more than a minute, about being safe while the crowd shuffling to and fro from work blew up into a million tiny doll bomb pieces. I stopped imagining it when I remembered how vivid my brain made certain things. When I thought I felt the first little bit of brain matter land on the back of my hand, I stopped thinking about it. I put the doll down. I picked it back up. I shook her by the shoulders and made an unappetizing growl noise in the very back of my throat, like swallowing gravel. 

“Mom?” I called her when I left the bathroom for the second time. “Are you there?” She answered me, but I heard water running and I wasn’t too sure she was listening to me. When I was in grades four through nine and thought I was a lamp, she didn’t listen to me either. She spurred the delusions by telling me to “shine bright, darling!” Little did she know, at night I stared at the ceiling fan light bulbs and hoped that one day I would be so round and shining as they were. 

“Honey, what? I’m in the middle of something right now.” 

“Me too, mom,” I said, “Do you know how to defuse a bomb?” 

She shuffled around, “No, don’t be stupid. Are you-?”

“No,” I sighed, “I’m not on anything. I’m just in a little bit of trouble. There’s this doll in my bathroom-” 

“I’ve told you one thousand times not to call girls dolls. It’s rude.” 

“No, that’s not what I mean.” I was trying. “Never mind, mom. I love you.” 

“Of course, honey, I know. I love you too. Call me later, yeah? I’m busy.” 

She was, she always was, but at least she wasn’t lying to me about it so she didn’t have to talk to me. “Okay, mom, I’ll call you later.” I hung up the phone and thought about calling my best friend and ex roommate, but then I changed my mind and went to the fridge and picked up the head of lettuce in the bottom of the vegetable drawer. I took a bite out of it, just like an apple, and sat on the couch. Was my life really over, I wondered? I didn’t want it to be. I didn’t know what to do with it, sure, but I still wanted it. It was mine, after all. 

What would you have done, if it was you? Would you have thrown the bomb out the window or crawled out the window or maybe just put a whole bunch of pillows down the front of your shirt and stayed in the back room and hoped for the best? I didn’t do any of that. I called my landlord and told her to evacuate the building. 

“Appley?” 

Her name is Apollonia St. Lucinbur, but there’s no way I can take her seriously with a name like that, so I call her Appley. I said her name, “Appley?” and waited for an answer. I hoped she wasn’t like my mother. Appley is different from my mother in a smattering of ways, the main one being I’ve kissed Appley at least three times and I’ve never kissed my mother, only my old Aunt Gurth when she came over for Thanksgiving and forgot we didn’t live in the eighteenth century. 

“Are you there? I have to tell you something.” 

“Nah, if this is about the other day, I’m sorry. I was tired and I was angry at Gary,” Gary is her miniature bulldog, not a boyfriend, don’t worry, “And you always listen so well, honestly, I don’t know why, but I feel like you’re the only one who understands me sometimes-”

“This isn’t about that,” though it was nice to know, “But thank you. And I’m sorry about Gary. I know it upsets you when he does the explosive poop thing.” 

“Gosh, see? You listen so well, Nah.” 

“Uh huh, well, hey, it’s your turn to listen now, okay? There’s a bomb in my bathroom, and I need you to evacuate the building right now. I promise you I will answer your questions later and no, I didn’t put it there.” Appley didn’t say a single word. I thought she hung up, but then I heard a sharp breath and she was back. “Appley?” 

“I’m here.” She took another sharp breath. “Are you kidding?” 

“No. Never been more serious.” 

“Okay, okay. I’ll get everyone out. But if you’re lying-”

“I’m not lying, Apollonia. I wouldn’t lie.”

“You lied about being with me when Durd asked where you were on Monday, though, you said you were bowling. But, Nah, you’ve been banned from the bowling alley.” 

“I know,” I did lie about that, but it was only because Durd is a turd and he smells like old ham and broken holidays and it was none of his business, anyway, “But that’s different. That was then, this is now. Get out, get everyone out, and I’ll see you on the other side.” I pressed a hand to my chest. My heart batted against my ribs. “If all goes well, I’ll see you on the other side of the door and not, you know, when I’m dead.” 

“Okay, Cadoc.” 

“You know my real name?” 

“I helped you file your taxes last year, of course I know your name. I didn’t think your mom named you Nah. What, were you born, then she looked at you, and said, “nah, I don’t want this one?” I didn’t think that.” 

“Thank you for not thinking my mother hates me.” 

Appley sighed, “You’re welcome. I’m gonna go now.” 

“Yeah, that’s for the best.” I hung up the phone. It was time to put the next part of my plan into action. I hoped Appley could do it. I really hoped she trusted me enough to do this one thing, and as I watched the people file out of the building from my window, I realized she did trust me. Enough to evacuate the building, but also enough to not call the police. I knew if I did that, Willow and Noel would win. They craved attention like a vitamin deficient person craves sunlight, or chalk, or rolling dirt into squares and eating them with salad. The sirens would only lure them closer. 

I had to face the music- or in this case, the explosion- on my own. 

The doll glinted up at me, a crooked attitude beaming into my eyes like too bright light on the weekends. I took a deep breath, lifted the cleaver I grabbed from the kitchen drawer, and stuck it deep into the doll’s stomach, past all the stuffing and memories it no doubt held. The bomb, cold and round and as heavy as a cherry, landed in my palms. I laughed. It wasn’t gonna hurt anyone. It wasn’t even a real bomb, just a chunk of a real one, something Willow or Noel must have stolen from someone. It sounds weird, but then again, consider the people I’m talking about. They planned this whole elaborate thing just to scare me… I glanced at the timer again. Thirty seconds left. Thirty seconds till what? Till this loathsome piece of junk killed me, blew me to pieces, made me wish I’d never angered two random subway hippy freaks? Well, that was a bunch of rotten deli meat. I put the tiny imposter in the sink and threw the doll’s carcass in the trash can. 

I held the timer. Five, four, three, two, one. Nothing happened. I relaxed. I pressed my palm to my chest again, and exhaled. At the same time, the sink exploded. I stood still for half a second, but then I realized what was going on- I was very, very wrong- and I jumped out the bathroom window without thinking about, you know, the landing part of things. 

“Nah! Cadoc!” Appley started screaming. I couldn’t really answer her, I was falling out of a window and also, see, there was an explosion going on behind me, therefore my whole eardrum situation was understandably compromised. I just saw her forlorn face, mouth stretching in a large O as my life flashed in bits and pieces around me. The sink faucet, actually, was falling right beside me. I reached out and grabbed it. I thought it would act as an anchor, maybe, but then, that’s not really what I needed. I needed a parachute. 

My elbows flailed behind me as I continued to fall, bending like pasta in the wind. Then, suddenly, there were arms around my waist. Someone had caught me right around the middle and was gently, ever softly, placing my feet back on the ground. The arms were soft, familiar, Appley.

“Nah? Are you okay?” 

“I’m fine, yeah, but-” 

She put her hands on my shoulder and steered me away from the building, back towards the other side of the street. “Don’t you dare worry about that building. It’s fine.” She slipped her hand into mine. “Bricks and sinks can be replaced.” Her fingers were bent against mine, pasta in a different pot. “You can’t.” And then, as we stood on the curb and watched the entire side of my apartment fall to pieces, as I saw people around me recording on their phones, I wasn’t scared. I was, more or less, grateful. If Willow and Noel thought they could kill my spirits- or, you know, blow me to pieces- they were wrong. I’m stronger than that. If it took a doll and a locked door for me to realize that, well, that’s okay. I hope you’ve enjoyed this next blog entry, if you’re even reading this anymore, and yeah, I’ll be back next week, or tomorrow, or whenever, I guess, something interesting happens. It shouldn’t take too long. After all, if my name isn’t Cadoc “Nah” Perry, then nothing interesting will happen at all. But, as I’m quickly realizing, that’s not true. Not at all. 

December 09, 2021 13:56

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1 comment

Keya Jadav
14:39 Dec 09, 2021

Whew, this is good! I liked how you built the suspense till the end. I was clueless the whole time about what was going to happen next. I also loved the humour elements added in between. It gives the story a whole new charm. The flow was amazing! No crits that I could think of, just a few personal remarks- # so I’ll start right where I left off, at the beginning of the end. --- This line made me raise a brow. Good one! # When I was in grades four through nine and thought I was a lamp, --- I am not so sure of what this line means. # ther...

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