Abandoned Playground

Last creative writing prompt for the class, and I’m pretty sure I just bombed it. I honestly have been in the shittiest of moods lately, and this prompt, which required innocent and tender friendship/love to be described in detail, using vivid imagistic description….yeah, it didn’t work so well. Take  a look.

The girl sat on a swing, her feet lazily skimming the blacktop of the dingy, abandoned playground. It was a small forgotten ordeal – the rusty hinges on the swing creaked so much she could only move a few inches forward and a few back without hearing it cringe under her weight. The swing’s support seemed to sag more and more each day she visited, and she knew that it would not be her companion for much longer. The slide, a dilapidated job of rusty metal, was scary. The first time she’d tried to slide down, she’d felt the metal buckle under her body, and since then, she stayed away from it.

Larissa came here every single day, right after school, swinging lazily for a little while before she went home. She would unlock the door, neatly place her books on the desk, take off her shoes, and change into pajamas. Then she would go to the kitchen and pull out the snack her mom had made for her before going to work. After finishing that, she would turn on the TV and wonder when her mother was getting back. After half an hour of cartoons, she would go to her room and do her homework. By the time she had completed these rituals, it would be past six in the evening, and her mother would be home as well. But sometimes, her tired eyes would close as she watched TV, and her mom would twist the keys in the door, laughing silently when she saw her daughter’s head give a guilty start.

– – – – – –

There was another boy who got off at her stop – Ronnan. She actually had class with him this year, and he was her desk buddy. Since third grade was a “big people” grade, the classrooms had paired their desks instead of quadrupled them, and so, each person was assigned a desk buddy on the first day of school, back in September. So Ronnan was her desk buddy, and she thought he was very funny. Once, in class, he had drawn a smiley face on a piece of paper, and then passed it over to her. She gave the headless emoticon a not-quite-round face, and passed it back to him. He had then taken on the liberty of giving their silly face some hair, and she’d retaliated by giving it a stick figure body. They had continued this until the paper was full of silly doodles, and from that moment forward, the true foundations of a lasting friendship had been cemented.

Ronnan liked to pretend that once he got off the school bus, he went straight home from school. But really, he would go sit down in a quiet abandoned playground nearby. He sat in the grass, yellow from lack of water, and dreamt about spending even more time with Larissa. He would wait for her to disappear into the horizon and then make a wide circle around the park, jumping a fence that had fallen down just enough for him to be able to scale it in one bound. Entering the park, he would sit quietly on his grass and watch from far away as she sat on her swings. The two sections of the park were not all that far apart, but still, Ronnan left her his privacy. After all, school was beginning to get hard, and he wanted her to have all the time she needed to come to terms with third grade.

He would sit there on that mound of grass for around an hour, stretching himself out and leaving the park only after she had gone. He liked to wait until she left – this way, he was her protector in a way. And he was far enough away to not risk cooties. Everybody knew the cootie shot only worked in school. But still, she was the best desk buddy he’d ever had.

– – – – – –

Observation/Reflection: I was extremely inspired by Nettles – though lengthy, it encompassed such vivid scenes that the story was imprinted within my mind. I’ve noticed that one’s interpretation of a reading changes depending on the mood that one is in, and because I was in a rather somber, contemplative, and slightly upset mood as I did this assignment, I found the heartbreak in the story somewhat comforting. I related to the story a little bit more, but I can see how, were I any happier, I might not have liked the plot as much. I have to admit though, that this prompt was really hard to follow, and I don’t think I did it justice at all. I’m going to attempt this same prompt when I’m in a happier mood and compare the two stories – I’m sure the latter will be much better than what I am handing in.

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One thought on “Abandoned Playground

  1. I Heart You
    I enjoyed the first paragraph the most in this piece. It was filled with detail that made me the girl and not just someone observing her. I could feel the black rubber crisping against the tips of my sneakers. Once you got into the rest of it, I become overwhelmed by the lists you made. Perhaps if you’d kept it more simple, it would have worked better. That is my personal opinion. ❤

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