I've been itching to do some creative writing, and I wanted to post some on the blog today! I haven't mapped out exactly where it's going yet - but I wanted to share the first draft/first part of a potential story!
A little background first - I'm a huge fan of YA fiction (young adult). This is such a fascinating world of writing, and one that I think is super important. There are a lot of fantastic books out there for young adults and teenagers, but there are also a lot of issues with some very mainstream YA novels involving - you guessed it - gender and sexuality. First off, there's a major lack of LGBT literature out there for teens (thankfully, every year more seem to get published!). There is also an abundance of books that send skewed messages of sexuality. Some YA fiction delivers disturbing and outdated ideas on virginity, relationships, and sex in general. I can name countless books that offer a heroine who either a) is not sexually active because it would make her impure or whoreish and/or b) when the heroine does engage in sexual behavior, it's only because her male counterpart deems it alright (and usually assures her of everlasting love). Even when, on occasion, a female protagonist experiences lust and longing for a man (something many YA books shy away from even addressing or make clear is the markings of a - gasp! - "slut"), it is the male who turns her down, warning that it might not be a good idea (Bella and Edward, I'm talking to y'all). But, when said male then determines said female is the love of his life, he gives her the go-ahead and they get down and dirty. Uh what? Why is he suddenly the keeper of her morality?
It drives me nuts! But enough with the ranting (for now haha)- there really are a lot of amazing YA books with incredible messages regarding sex/gender/femininity/etc. I'm hoping to provide a list of a few of my favorites in a coming post!
But today I want to share a piece of my own creative, YA-ish writing that I hope to charge with a unique look at sexuality/virginity/all that good stuff! This is just the first bit, but I hope you enjoy!
Moxie swung her legs over the old carousel horse. It had been here since she was little, a faded, scuffed relic from years past. As a child she’d made up tales for the wooden horse – fantastic, whimsical stories about love triangles with a Pegasus and a unicorn, curses that had made the once regal horse inanimate…children’s stories. Now, 17 and only slightly more grown up, she’s stopped inventing fantasies. These days, she came to the carousel graveyard to catch sun and smoke cigarettes. There had been other animals once, her mother told her, a whole decaying garden of dead eyed mares and camels and the occasional dog or dragon. But one day the carved creatures had been carted away, and – for reasons unknown – only one horse remained. The whinnying horse was propped up against the wall of an abandoned building, a place that had served cotton candy and popcorn back when the carousel had actually been intact. Now, the field where the ride had once resided offered nothing but dry grass, a tire or two, and whatever trash blew in from off the nearby road.
Moxie was usually the only one there – occasionally she’d run into the homeless man who wandered through town, his hands mashed into the pockets of his navy blue suit. From time to time she’d come across other teenagers smoking pot or making out against the tires. But, for the most part, the carousel horse was left untouched and, after making sure it was leaned securely against the wall, she’d hoist herself up and sit with both legs draped over the side.
On this day in particular she was alone. The sky was stunning – lit from the inside out with the golden glow of late afternoon and early evening. Shadows were beginning to melt into darker puddles, but, leaning up against the crumbling building, Moxie’s face was drenched in sunlight.
She breathed heavily, letting the taste of summer and smoke settle in her mouth. This, she thought, was perfection.
Her arms dropped to her sides, grazing the pale, soft skin of her legs. Moxie loved the sun but often wondered whether it loved her back. For all the time she spent outside, her skin remained the silkiest shade of cream. But now, the coming sunset kissing at her lips, Moxie felt adored. And when, from the corner of her eye, she spotted the outline of the moon etched into the horizon she grew euphoric .To see the sun and the moon in the same sky was the best of luck.
She kicked her sneaker-clad feet slowly back and forth and leaned her head against the wall. Long, severely straight hair fell over her shoulders and turned the color of new daffodils in the light.
A sweet and fuzzy calmness settled in her veins.
“Do you have a lighter?”
The voice sliced through her state of bliss jarringly.
She opened one eye (it made her look mysterious and owl-like) to find a young man standing in front of her. She wondered briefly how he’d snuck up on her so suddenly.
Moxie must have looked disgruntled, because he put his hands up.It might have been an apologetic action had he not been smirking.
“Didn't mean to bother you, I just need to borrow a lighter.”
Moxie eyed him silently. She disliked people infringing on her space.
He was tall and gangly, dressed in all black, though not in the gothic way that some of Moxie's classmates dressed. More like punk rock, she mused, only a little bit intrigued. She thought his hair looked funny, it was an almost black brown and poofed up in what might have been an attempt at style. Or irony. She wasn’t sure. So she frowned. But this only widened his smirk, which – despite being annoyed– she found oddly attractive. Plus he had a tattoo of something on his hand, and Moxie loved tattoos. She didn’t have any - didn’t want any. But she liked looking at other peoples’, it felt like a way of knowing something more about someone. Of course, you had to look at the ink in just the right way and in the ideal light, but it felt like reading a lost chapter or a forgotten prologue.
She took a drag from her cigarette.
“What’s your tattoo of?”
Her chest fluttered, “The one on your hand."