Here is the next story included in my creative writing capstone!
Debris of the Day
Julie crouched on the lawn, rocking back and forth over the dandelions before picking them one by one. The white pinafore she wore revealed the faint freckles scattered on her arms while the sun illumined the golds and reds that streaked her brunette hair. When she had collected a small bouquet of yellow she ran back to the large white house called home.
“Mommy!” she called. “Mommy! Mommy!” Her bare feet slapped against the hard wood floor as she searched the house for her mother.
“Julie, hush!” Julie turned the corner and saw her mother bending forward to put a cake into the oven. She wore a pink apron that extended from her neck to the hem of her dress. Her apron and nose were smeared with flour.
“Now Julie, don’t yell. You’re ten years old. I expect more of you than that,” Viola said in a low tone. “Why aren’t you in the other room with your brothers and sisters making a birthday card for your father?”
“I picked some flowers for you,” Julie said lifting the bouquet in her hand.
“Look at your feet. I’m going to have to clean you up again before your father comes home.”
“We can put them on the table for dinner.”
Julie lifted the dandelions again.
“Oh, thank you dear,” Viola said, taking the flowers from her. “Have you made a card yet?”
“Yes. I put it on the table.”
“Good. Now stay inside and out of trouble. I have to finish baking and cleaning.”
Julie planned to stay inside but it was too hard to stay in the boring house and too easy to disappear among five children whose busy mom wasn’t paying attention. She bounded outside again and into the front lawn. She looked up at the large oak trees that surrounded the house, sheltering it with clouds of green.
“Hey, Jules!” Davey shouted from the next yard. He was in her fifth grade class. His blonde hair was combed forward and his ears stuck out. He ran over to Julie.
“Hi, Davey. Do you think if we climbed that tree we could touch the sky?”
Davey laughed, exposing a front tooth that had only grown in halfway. “No! The sky’s a lot higher than a tree! Besides, you can’t climb a tree. You’re in a dress!”
“I can climb a tree in anything I want.”
“I can!” Julie’s blue eyes flashed as she bolted to a tree with a low hanging branch. “Wait, you go first. I don’t want you to see up my dress.” Julie said.
“You go ahead. I won’t look,” he lied.
She grabbed the hanging branch and wrapped her skinny legs around it. Then she pulled herself on top of it and reached for the next branch. Davey peered up and saw the lacey pink ruffles underneath her dress. Before she could look down to see what he was doing Davey had already grabbed the branch himself.
They climbed until they reached the highest branch that was sturdy enough for them sit on together.
“It’s a long way down,” Julie said as she straddled the branch and clutched it tightly with her hands.
“Are you afraid?” Davey asked.
“I found a whole bunch of frogs by the pond down the road. Maybe we could go see them some night. They come out especially at night.” Davey said.
“We could catch some in a net,” Julie said.
“You gotta catch ‘em in jars. They’ll just jump out of a net.”
“When’ll we do it?”
“Maybe tomorrow night. We’ll have to sneak out.” Davey looked down and scratched at the tree bark with his nail. “Hey, Julie? Do you like Bobby Clayton?”
Davey stopped scratching at the bark and looked up. “The kids at school say you do.”
“Well, I don’t.”
“I think I might love you.” He looked down again as he said this so that Julie could barely hear him.
“You love me? I don’t love you, Davey.”
Davey swung himself down to another branch and traveled back to the ground rapidly.
“Davey! Wait!” Julie called as she chased him. She scraped herself on the tree trunk as she slid down.
He was about to run back to his house but Julie caught his arm. She made him face her. She saw a birthmark below his nose and a scrape on his chin. She put her hands on his neck and pulled herself to him until her lips landed straight onto his. When she released him, Davey looked stunned. His blue eyes were blank before they lit up and his smile returned.
“So we can go frog hunting tomorrow night?” he asked.
“Let’s meet at this oak tree after bedtime.” she said.
“Okay!” Davey closed his eyes and leaned in to kiss her cheek but Julie dodged his lips and ran back to her house.
“Bye!” she hollered as she ran.