but anyway. exploring a new style. let me know how it works. it's about four pages long, double-spaced. suggestions, questions, comments?
Rita lay under the desk, listening to the sounds of the other room. Light meandered in from under the door, but otherwise she was in darkness. No one missed her. No one ever did. She didn’t know why she kept getting invited to these slumber parties when she never showed up in the photos, appeared in the games, or added to the noise that always brought an angry parent’s head in the door. It was all a part of going to the same church. Invite one girl, you invite them all. Rita was glad that this particular party was a fifteenth birthday party. Maybe now, the girls would start to consider themselves too old for such childishness as slumber parties. Then Rita would not have to repeat this ritual that she’d done so many times in the past.
Every time a girl threw one of these things, Rita would be sure to dawdle until at least an hour after the party started. She’d gladly put up with the screams of her mother to hurry up to arrive at the party just as the music was getting loud, just as the food was being torn into. She would be welcomed by the mother of the partythrower, who would then scuttle out of sight to avoid the wrath of her teen daughter on the brink of embarrassment. Rita would then be free to tuck her belongings out of sight, find the nearest empty, dark room, usually a study or an office, and lay flat on the floor. There she would lie, listening for the sounds of actual slumber. Sometimes it never came. But usually it did, which is when she would creep out and find the pizza or nachos or whatever and eat in peace. Then she would sneak back to her hiding spot and lie in wait for the sounds of cars in the driveway. Rita was a well-trained expert in hearing her mother’s car motor, and even more skilled in the art of making it from the floor of a study to the front seat of a car in six seconds flat.
No one ever noticed she was there, no one ever noticed she was missing ,and Rita wanted this party to be no exception. She pressed her body into the hardwood floor. She couldn’t remember which girl’s house she was at, but she hated her for not having carpet. The last party had lovely plush carpet. The cool of the floor seeped up through Rita’s shirt and jeans.
The hardest part of these parties was not sleeping. If she fell asleep, it was likely that she’d stay asleep and miss the car sounds. Then her mother would come in the house looking for her. What would she say if she found her daughter, lying under a desk, avoiding the parties that her mother was so proud to take her to? The jig would be up. Rita’s mother would catch on to her ploy, and start delivering her on time, maybe even walking her into the house to make sure Rita joined the festivities. Rita shuddered at the thought, and decided to be glad for the cold.
Rita pressed harder into the floor. The cold bit through the entire length of her long, gangly legs. Giraffe legs, thought Rita. She was the youngest of the slumber party girls, but by far the tallest. She grinned to realize that someone usually so noticeable could get away with this sort of thing. The cold crept up past her ears and started to envelop her nose. Rita hated her nose. It was enormous, an apple in the middle of her watermelon face. Too much fruit for one head. The size didn’t daunt the cold, however, and soon her entire face was freezing.
The cold found its way around her ribcage and permeated her breasts. The only breasts left to laugh at in the entire group of slumber party girls. When she wasn’t Apple Nose or Giraffe Legs, she was, inevitably, Button Boobs. Rita could feel every inch of their smallness as the cold pinched each tiny bit of her skin.
The cold soon curved around her thighs, nostrils, ears and lips and flowed into her open places. Rita was filling up with cold. She was soon the same temperature as the floor. Had a person walked into the room and tread on her, they would have only been able to distinguish Rita by her softness.
And even that was beginning to change. The chill was beginning to harden inside of her. Rita felt it first inside her mouth. The insides of her cheeks no longer felt wet and resilient. Her tongue felt heavy. When she used her tongue to feel the rest of her mouth, it made a knocking sound.
She started to bring her hand up to her mouth, but found her limbs too heavy to lift. Pulled down by its own weight, Rita’s body began to flatten out. She could feel nothing but the unchanging cold. She sank and sank until she was completely flattened.
I am the floor, Rita realized. The legs of the desk pressed into her. Her corners felt dirty.
Her flatness was spreading. Rita soon found that she was not limited to being just the floor of the study, but could extend herself into the living room, where the girls had finally fallen asleep. The puffy gentleness of the sleeping bags felt better against her than the desk legs. The sleeping bodies were warm spots amidst all the cold. The girls formed one large pile of heat, pressed up tightly against each other. There wasn’t any room for anyone else. Rita wanted to move away. The cold was more familiar and the heat was becoming too much. But a floor can’t decide where to go, and so she was forced to lie there beneath them all.
The morning came. Rita was pummeled by bare and sock feet running towards the even colder tile of the bathroom. When they returned, their feet had picked up the chill and left foot-sized cold spots all over Rita.
The coming of the cars was not as welcome to Rita as it usually was. What would her mother say, coming in to find that her daughter had, in fact, become architecture? It would be worse than her mother discovering her slumber party ritual. Rita wouldn’t be able to escape the lecture, would have to lie there and take it.
Her mother came in, took one look at Rita and immediately pulled her up. She paid no attention to the splintering wood that flew at her eyes, or the horrible creaking of Rita’s boards being pulled up. Rita felt her arms lose their stiffness. Her legs began to flesh out again as her mother yanked them from their horizontal position. Only the chill remained. Rita’s mother tried to shake it out of her, but the cold had settled in.
Rita glowered at her mother. The slumber party girls looked at her, shocked. They felt betrayed that Rita had been underneath them all night. Who knows what she could have heard? What she could have been thinking? They rubbed their feet as if she’d made them dirty.
Rita backed away from all of them and huddled up beside the wall. It was cold to her touch. She pressed herself into it.
thanks for reading.