Here’s that excerpt I promised. For your added convenience, my snarky comments have been peppered throughout. You can tell them apart because they are coherent. Also, they are in parentheses.
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Here’s part 1.
Part 6-The Mermaid (Where’s parts 1-5?)
Gwen cried at her desk, Why did it have to be this way? Why can’t “Elizabeth” or whoever just go away? Will is going to be mine. I need him… (Oh, great. Scary, jealous tendencies showing from an early age.)
Her thoughts were interrupted by Arianna and Anastasia. They had crashed through the seaweed curtain and now lay on the floor looking up at her. “GWEN! WE GOTTA GET TO CLASS!!!” Arianna shouted. (Caps lock was used in original manuscript). “Oh, right. I forgot!”exclaimed Gwenivere. She went about collecting her books and putting them into her seal skin bag. Yes, I know it’s cruel! (Please, PETA, I didn’t know what I was talking about when I was 13…I’m sure mermaids just use the skins of seals that have died of natural causes.) She stopped and looked at her friends. They were standing up now brushing themselves off. (How are they standing!? Aren’t they mermaids???) “What happened to you guys?”
They both looked down shyly. Then looked back at Gwen. “Well, I made out with a MAN!” they said in unison. (Oh, dear lord. Both of them? I guess I was advanced for my age?) Gwen gasped then smiled. She folded her arms. “What was he like?” They stopped staring at each other and said dreamily with their eyes to the ceiling, “Oh! He was wonderful!” They had done it again. They said it at the same, exact time. Gwen giggled.
Anastasia said confidently, “Mine was better.” Arianna scowled and pointed an accusatory finger at Anastasia, “You probably stole him from ME!” (As you can see, I’ve really captured the feminine psyche. At 13, I understood that women would fight about men, and that’s really the whole of it.) Anastasia was before turned to the wall, but at this last statement she turned around. “HOW DARE YOU?”
Gwen didn’t know the time, but she knew they were late. “C’mon girls!” She pushed them out the door, still arguing, and off to class.
After swimming down Mermaid Plaza, they finally got to the Academy. Unfortunately, Anastasia and Arianna were still fighting. “ME?” Anastasia shrieked. “Yes, you! You…you…” “Girls, shut up, we’re late to class!” Gwen shouted as she reached for the shell shaped handle on the door. They folded their arms against their chest and glared daggers at each other, but fell silent. Gwen sighed as she opened the door. The hallways were eerily silent. No one was even at their shockers. Shockers are lockers made of shells, no it’s not a typo. (Sassy!)
Bad sign. Really bad sign. “Come on!” Gwen hissed shouldering her bag and taking her friends by the hands. She dragged the girls down the hallway for their first night-class, Geography. They slipped into class and slowly turned around. “YOU’RE LATE. NOW SIT DOWN.”
“Yes, yes, Mr. Codd,” sputtered Gwen.
“We will take our seats now, sir.” Arianna said nervously.
“Won’t happen again!” added Anastasia.
“SEE THAT IT DOESN’T!” Mr. Codd demanded. “Now as I was saying, sirens sing all around the world…” They took their seats quickly. Gwen tried to pay attention, but drifted into a day-dream. About her and Will. She drifted from reality to dream-world throughout the class. Finally, the bell rang and they all filed to the door. Finally, Gwen thought. Her next class was singing. Her favorite. Arianna, Anastasia, and Gwenivere were considered the best in the class. They swam down the corridor shouldering people. (What?) They rounded a corner and entered the chorus room. “Mrs. Bass, how are you?” Anastasia asked sweetly. “Oh, fine dear, just fine!” Mrs. Bass was a dark-skinned mermaid with a wide girth. (What, too much sushi? What is fattening in the sea? Isn’t she swimming all the time?) She wore large necklaces and colorful shirts. Her hair was curled in taut, dark curls. Her spectacles sat curtly on her nose. “Take a seat, ladies!” called Mrs. Bass. Many more girls flowed into the room, but at once took their seats. If you wanted to be a siren you needed above all to sing so every one got down to work in chorus class. “Now let’s begin!” Mrs. Bass called tapping a shell stand with a thin piece of driftwood.
You’re still here? Well, there you have it. Check again for cringe-worthy pieces of my childhood!