I missed the workshop last time it was up due to being on holiday, but I am back, hijacking the fortnightly prompt for my own fictional ends! This week was Big Screen Inspirations – choosing a quote from a film to inspire a piece of writing. I chose an old favourite quote of mine ‘Sometimes, I guess there just aren’t enough rocks’ from Forrest Gump. It was the first quote that came into my head, and even after reading through a load of ‘top 100 movie quote’ lists, it was still the one sticking in my mind.
This hasn’t been proofread, so any mistakes – please let me know! Once again, click the writing tab above for the previous intalments.
Sometimes, There Aren’t Enough Rocks
by Liberty Gilmore, 08/08/11
Adam takes out his frustration on some rocks.
Life’s like a box of chocolates, Forrest. You never know what you’re gonna get.
‘This film is stupid,’ Adam said, sneering in the direction of the TV.
Holly released Graham’s hand for a moment to throw a fistful of popcorn in his direction, but missed, accidentally showering Ava.
‘Nice one, Holl,’ Adam said, grinning as he picked a piece from Ava’s long hair.
‘Sorry,’ Holly said, shooting a tentative smile at Ava.
They were still on the uneasy post-argument stage, both keen to make amends and not tread on each other’s toes, but both still smarting from the argument. Ava gave Holly what she hoped was a warm smile, but everything about Holly was aggravating Ava at the moment, and it was difficult to put that to one side.
It wasn’t Holly’s fault. Ava wanted her friend to be happy more than anything, but her happiness, the smile she couldn’t help as Graham’s fingers entwined with hers, reminded Ava of everything she couldn’t have all too keenly.
She was only allowed to continue visiting her friends because it would look abnormal for her to suddenly lose all interest. Natalia had made it clear she wanted Ava to lose touch with these people in the chaos of University life. Natalia liked her daughter to have acquaintances, as long as they were useful, but not friends. Friends were a distraction. It wasn’t normal for Fey to befriend Humans.
Still, she was happier than she had felt in weeks, and hadn’t felt close to total meltdown for a few days.
‘Can’t we change to something that has a few more explosions in it?’ Adam protested once again.
‘Adam!’ Holly’s voice was a near growl.
‘What? It’s not like you’re even watching it, too busy making kissy faces…’
Before Holly could launch across the room at her brother, Ava stood up and dragged him out of the room by the ear.
‘You guys enjoy the movie,’ she said. ‘I’ll keep Adam entertained.’
‘Ava, you don’t have to…’ Holly began, but Ava could see she was happy at the thought of some alone time with Graham with no Adam to interrupt.
‘It’s okay, I’m sure your mum still has some Playdoh or colouring books or something else suited to his maturity.’
Graham and Holly both laughed, Adam’s offended cough only serving to make them more amused.
‘Thanks, Ava,’ Adam said with heavy sarcasm as they shut the door on Holly and Graham. ‘I’m only two years younger than you, you know.’
Ava raised an eyebrow at his unusual defensiveness. ‘I was just teasing.’
‘Yeah, well, maybe I don’t like the suggestion…’ Ava silenced him with a finger over his lips.
‘Come for a walk with me?’
‘You don’t have to hang out with me just to make me feel better about being kicked out by my sister.’
‘It was me who kicked you out, and to be honest I was kicking myself out with you.’
‘I know, right?’ Adam said, much more his usual self. ‘Those two can’t stop making gooey eyes at each other. It’s disgusting.’
‘It’s sweet,’ Ava corrected.
Adam’s expression was disbelieving.
They walked out of the house and down the quiet side roads of their home town, wandering aimlessly and in a silence that didn’t quite manage to be companionable.
‘You seem tense,’ Ava said after a while.
‘You seem relaxed,’ Adam said.
‘I didn’t know that our moods were inversely proportional.’
Adam smirked briefly, but his expression soon settled back to something like a grim smile. Ava reached for his hand and he flinched away from her.
He looked torn between apologising and sulking, and decided after a moment that storming off was the way he wanted to play it. Confused, Ava followed after him. His path took them into a fallow field, near the small river that flanked their town. It was an area the local kids often went to hang out.
‘Adam? What’s the matter?’
‘What?’ he said, turning suddenly, anger on his face. ‘You thought you had monopoly on storming off without so much as an explanation?’
‘Adam!’ Ava closed her eyes a moment, let the maelstrom of conflicting emotions calm inside her before the grass about her feet started growing wildly in response to her energy. When she opened them again, she met Adam’s cold gaze. ‘I know I’ve been a bit of a train wreck lately, but that doesn’t mean I don’t absolutely appreciate every time you’ve been there for me.’
‘Well, maybe I don’t want to be the person you only talk to when you’re upset with everyone else!’
‘I don’t only talk to you when I’m upset, do I?’ Ava said, a stab of hurt cutting through her at the thought that she could be so awful to a dear friend. ‘I’m talking to you now?’
‘Because Holly’s a little preoccupied with Graham.’
‘Well, partly, yes… But that’s not to say I don’t enjoy spending time with you, Adam.’
‘Please, I’m just a kid. An annoying little kid.’
He stomped off again, down to the water’s edge. When the river halted his progress, he lashed out, kicking at a nearby rock, sending it far out into the water. It landed with a resounding splash. In the time Ava took to walk down to the river bank beside him, he’d sent four more in to join it. As the supply of loose stones dried up, he sank into the grass with a frustrated scowl.
‘Feel better?’ Ava asked, sitting beside him.
‘No,’ he said sullenly.
‘Sometimes, I guess there just aren’t enough rocks,’ Ava said, nudging Adam with an elbow as she hammed up the southern accent.
A smile flickered across Adam’s face for a moment. ‘I hate that film.’
Ava leaned her head against his shoulder. Felt the tension still in his body.
‘I don’t really understand what’s bothering you,’ she said, ‘but I’m sorry for my part in it. I shouldn’t have used you as an emotional crutch.’
Adam let out a sigh and shifted beneath her. Ava picked up her head and turned to face him.
‘It’s not that,’ he said. ‘I’m happy I can be there for you. I just…’
Ava took his hand and this time he didn’t snatch it from her reach. She linked her fingers with his and gave them a squeeze.
‘You can talk to me, Adam.’
He took a deep breath, but didn’t use it to speak, the words caught somewhere between his lungs and mouth. His brown eyes shimmered with something Ava couldn’t decipher, though they were close enough to take up most of her field of vision.
Adam released her hand, raising his tentatively to her face, fingertips brushing her cheeks as he edged closer once, twice, finally landing his lips against hers.
Ava forgot a lot of things in that moment. Forgot that it was her Fey aura that made Humans attracted to her. Forgot that her mother would kill her, and whoever kissed her if she was caught. Forgot that it was Adam doing the kissing, snaking his arm round her waist, tangling his fingers with her hair and pulling her closer to him with each passing second.
It was like the happiness had filled her brain, leaving her incapable of thinking about anything but the feel of his lips moving against hers, the touch of his hair as she ran her fingers through it, the feel of his t-shirt as she gripped it, holding him against her.
She could have happily forgotten everything for a lot longer, but she was drawn out of her reverie by the cold touch of something damp against her ankle. She opened her eyes, turning away from Adam to see a fox sniffing at the bottom of her jeans, its nose touching the bare skin revealed between her trousers and her shoes.
The fox was not alone, she realised. The animals of the surrounding area had been drawn by her energy. A number of birds were hopping around, a group of rabbits were sat watching her, unconcerned by the fox by her side. As reality came crashing back into focus, Ava realised exactly what she’d been doing and it was her turn to flinch away.
Her sudden change in mood sent the animals running. Adam opened his eyes, his lips slightly swollen, his hair ruffled, and looked at her.
‘I… I’ve got to go,’ she said, standing up.
Adam looked like his brain was still in a kiss induced fog, but her words started sinking in and his expression began to sharpen. Ava turned and walked away as fast as she could without running into the nearby trees.
She found a tree large enough to hide behind and slipped down the trunk to the floor, her legs shaking so much they couldn’t support her weight. Her hands were trembling too, her emotions churning. She took a deep breath and channeled her energy outwards, watching as multicoloured blooms erupted from the woodland floor, their chaotic entanglement reflecting her inner turmoil.
‘What are you doing?’ she asked herself, only she didn’t have the answer.