Ah, writing's so weird, isn't it? One just never quite knows where the characters are going to take something! This is a bit more serious than I thought it might be. And actually, I'm starting to think this whole thing is a flashback in a bigger story set in the future or something. *headdesk*
Hee, yeah, Kris is, well, pretty much bowled over by Adam, isn't he? It was a rhetorical question, lol -- everyone probably knows I'm a slasher at heart by now, right? Kris just can't help but notice, well, pretty much everything about Adam.
YOU ARE TOO SWEET.
I'm going to post a reminder on my lj about the auction and mention this thread later, along with yours and others' flashfics, just haven't had time, and am running off now to rl stuff ...
OMG, my heart. These boys are so wounded and beautiful and adorable. You are awesome Cathalin. I would totally love to read more of this in snippets or a larger story. And I definitely do not think these boys can stay just friends:)
Would be happy to donate if you are still planning on writing more.
CATHALIN! This story is AMAZING. You get the teenage boy dialogue and awkwardness and humor down so perfectly. You weave in Kris's faith and both of their questioning and yearning for something bigger so movingly. And of course, this needs to move beyond *just friends*. Wow, thank you!
ETA: ugh, username fail! This is for Kairi, not Kaila! *facepalm* Apologies, dude.
Valley Christian Academy has won the Regional Show Choir Invitational for the past six years running, so Mr. Cook thinks going to see them perform might be inspirational. "In a secular way, okay?" he says, leading them across the field to the parking lot. "Glee Club is a faith-neutral zone." He's wearing a fedora today. He also has a rubber-chicken-shaped finger puppet on his left hand, which is kind of making it difficult for Kris to take him seriously.
"Mr. Cook?" says Megan, from the front of the group. "I don't see a school bus yet."
Mr. Cook adjusts his hat, finger puppet waving over his head in the sunset, like a little yellow flag. "Yeah," he says. "About that." He's stopped walking now; the rest of the group stops walking, too, gathering around him. "School buses are apparently pretty expensive and the school board is not exactly swimming in cash. So we're improvising." He pats the hood of the van behind him with one hand, beaming at everybody impartially.
The van is purple (and white in spots, where somebody tried to cover up some rust with house paint). It has stickers with little flaming skulls on them all along the front bumper. Across the sliding door on the side of the van, someone's spray painted The Malignant.
"The malignant what?" asks Anoop, from behind Kris.
Mr. Cook ignores him. "All right, there should be just enough seatbelts. I hope none of you guys is claustrophobic." He pulls open the door.
The seats are covered with what looks like green muppet fur and there's kind of a...smell wafting out from inside. People hesitate. Kris gives Mr. Cook a doubtful look.
"It's a band van," Mr. Cook says. "Band vans are supposed to smell like that. Come on, guys, seriously. We're going to be late."
Megan shrugs and climbs in, heading straight for the back row of seats. Kris follows her, grabbing the window seat in the second row. The actual window is covered with more spray paint -- Kris wonders what's written out there, on the other side. The ceiling's fabric covering is missing. Somebody stuck little glow in the dark stars to the remaining foam stubble, and also drew a smiley-faced penis on it in sharpie. On the dashboard, there's one of those little grass-skirted dancing girls, only its head has been replaced with the head from a George Bush bobble head doll. The end result is disturbing on a whole bunch of levels.
Adam settles into the seat next to Kris's, fishing for his seatbelt kind of gingerly. Kris nudges him, points at the bobble head thing. Adam gives an elaborate shudder.
"Okay," says Mr. Cook from the driver's seat. "Who likes Supertramp?" He waves his own hand in the air, wildly, bouncing in his seat. People shift nervously -- it's an hour's drive to VCA. "Just kidding!" says Mr. Cook. "The stereo's actually busted. Ha. You guys are such suckers." And then he starts the engine.
The VCA show choir is called Unlimited. They have shiny sequined vests and bowties, and their show starts with an actual pyrotechnic thing that goes off right on the stage. There's a kind of hush as the smoke clears, and then some dude with a voice almost as husky as Allison's sings "Jesus, you are my best friend, and you will always be," his voice rising above the soft "ooh oohing" of the rest of the chorus. It's an audience favourite apparently; the crowd goes wild. The guy whose voice it is steps out from the rest of the choir to pace at the front of the stage. His vest is slightly sparklier than everybody else's. The lenses of his glasses catch the light. "It's a tough world out there for teens," he says, lifting a palm toward the ceiling. "A lot of temptations. A lot of pressures. We have some public school guests in the audience tonight and I'll bet they know what I'm talking about. Drugs. Liquor. Aaa-aal the pleasures of the bod-aaay."
The audience goes "amen" all around them. Some girl reaches over Allison's seat to rub her back in a supportive way. She edges a little closer to Kris, her eyes wide.
"But when things get too hard," says the kid on the stage, bouncing a little on his wingtips. "When things get too hard, I'm here to testify tonight that there is somebody who will always be there." And then he does this twirly thing with an arm outflung and the rest of the choir joins in on the first verse, singing in eight-part harmony, waving their arms over their heads in perfect unison.
After the show, they file outside into the parking lot behind the school, their ears still ringing, and huddle by the doors while Mr. Cook goes to get the van. They're all kind of subdued and quiet -- regionals already seems like a lost cause and it's only the beginning of the year -- so everybody notices when a plain metal door swings open at the side of the school, revealing a small group of sparkly-vested Unlimited members. The kid who'd been preaching during the first number leads the group to them, smiling broadly the whole time. "Hi," he says, reaching out to shake hands with Anoop, who happens to be nearest. Anoop looks vaguely alarmed. "I'm Danny Gokey," the kid says, shaking hands with Adam (who's beaming like it's his birthday) and Megan and then Kris himself. "We just wanted to come out and say hey to you guys, maybe provide some encouragement and stuff. We know things must be hard."
There's a pause. "Okay," says Anoop, eventually. "Thanks?"
Danny beams at him and nods a few times. "No problem," he says. "And listen, what we were singing about in there, we really believe that. If any of you ever wants to talk about the Lord or being saved or any of that, I'm into it. You can hit me up on MySpace, okay?" He puts his hand on Kris's shoulder, gives it an encouraging squeeze.
"I already am a Christian," Kris says.
Danny seems not to hear him. He rocks Kris back and forth a couple of times, letting his gaze sweep the group of them, then shakes his head and presses his lips together. "You all are just so inspiring," he says to them. "Trying to make music in such a dark place. Stay in touch." And then he leads his friends back inside.
Nobody says anything for a moment, and then Adam puts his hand on Kris's shoulder and shakes him back and forth a few times, peering earnestly into his face. Kris rolls his eyes, grinning in spite of himself. "Cut it out," he says, shoving at Adam's wrist.
"Sorry, little buddy," Adam says. "It's just, you're so inspiring. I can't help myself."
Kris shakes his head, still kind of laughing, and shoves two hands over his face. "We are so doomed," he says.
Oh, man, Cathalin! SO MUCH LOVE for Mt. Caramel! Seriously, this is so gorgeous (and is totally making me miss the ocean!). Sad!Kris is breaking my heart and I ADORE Adam here, so uncertain and not quite there, but still totally himself. I am really happy you decided to write more of this and can't wait for the next piece.
AHAHAHAHAHAHA OMG "You all are just so inspiring," he says to them. "Trying to make music in such a dark place. Stay in touch."
OMG I seriously LOLd so loud I scared my dog. ;D The van is *perfect*, Mr. Cook is to die for, and the sparkly vests adlkfsdlfk!! And I love how you have Danny just right, totally a preachy douche but really sincere and with a heart of, well, gold? Maybe?
Okay, now you HAVE to keep writing this, Sprat, like forever. A chunk a day I think will be fine. It's my happy place, seriously.
Switching to Adam's POV for this section because that was how it wanted to work, and who am I to argue? This follows right after the first piece I posted, I think. Thanks again for being so generous, Jerakeen!
The sun is setting when Adam gets outside, slanting orange rays making the cracked concrete steps look like something from an art film. The wind smells like burning crop stubble and dead leaves. The school grounds are pretty much deserted. He pulls open the flap of his messenger bag and finds the squashed cigarette package behind his history textbook. The only cigarette left inside is kind of bent, but it's still smokable. He sticks it in his mouth, plucks the lighter out of the awesome little breast pocket of his velvet coat and uses it. He really only smokes because it goes with his outfit, with the whole thing he's been doing lately: 1920s man about town. It's mostly just a prop, and he doesn't actually inhale much; that's how he plans to avoid getting addicted.
He cuts across the athletic field, letting his shoes scuff through the dying grass, most of his attention on his ipod and the playlist he's making. Which is why he gets most of the way to the parking lot at the other side of the field before he notices that it still has a few cars in it, a few guys with duffel bags and letter jackets lingering there. He stops walking, takes a drag on his cigarette and squints at the guys through the thin haze of smoke. "Fuck," he says, softly, to nobody in particular, and he has this brief but vivid daydream in which he has mind-control powers like that ugly guy from Star Wars: "I am not the fag you're looking for", finger wiggle.
He sighs. Apart from the ones that let into the parking lot and the school itself, there's only one gate in the fence, way over on the far side of the field. He changes his trajectory and heads for it.
His mom is reading a book at the kitchen table when he gets home, moccasined feet propped on a second chair. She looks up when he stops in the kitchen doorway and smiles at him, her eyes huge behind her reading glasses, her hair doing its best to escape the bobby pins she's stuck in it. Crazy little mom. He smiles back at her.
"School okay?" she asks.
He shrugs. "I joined the glee club, though."
She puts a finger in her book to mark the page she's on, lets it fall closed in her lap and puts her head on one side. "Huh," she says.
"Yep." He takes off his bag and drops the strap of it over the back of the chair she has her feet on, then grabs a plate from the dishwasher. On it, he puts twelve stoned wheat thins and then tops the whole thing with some shredded cheese and sticks it into the microwave. "Apparently, glee club is what they meant when they told you they had a musical theatre department. I guess you sing some broadway r&s and you have to dance, so. Totally the same thing."
"Aw, honey," his mom says. She looks really worried about it so he makes a face at her, shrugs again. "It's, I mean. The teacher's actually pretty cool, I think. And I met a kid. A guy. Who seems nice." The microwave beeps. It's a good excuse to look away from the sudden glint of whatever-that-is in her eye. He pulls the sleeve of his jacket over his hand and uses it to grab the plate from the microwave, blows on the sizzling cheese for a couple of seconds before he finally takes a look at her face again. She's reigned it in, mostly.
"Well," she says. "That's good, anyway."
He nods. He scoops some hot cheese up between a finger and thumb and puts it in his mouth. Yum.
"You have any homework?" she asks, after a moment. He nods. She lifts her eyebrows at him, tilts her head toward the door.
"Oh my god," he says, hooking his uncheesy little finger through the strap of his messenger bag so he can lift it off the chair. "You're so rigid! I need more flexibility! My brain has a unique infrastructure." He's being Neil. He does a pretty great Neil impression, which is one of the side benefits of having had to actually live with Neil for the past fourteen years. His mom tches at him, but she's smiling, he can see it. He flings the strap of his bag over his shoulder and Neils his way out of the room.
Post by amyloidplaque on Sept 7, 2009 9:08:50 GMT -5
WOW. I feel like a kid in a candy store! SO MUCH TO LOVE! ;D
Cathalin - MY HEART. Aaah I love your Kris and Adam: not completely sure of themselves, still struggling with their identities, a little awkward. I'm aww-ing and flailing at their interactions so far. Oh, I can't wait till this develops into something more. (Which I hope it does. Heh.)
Sprat - I love Mr. Cook. The MALIGNANT. LMAO. And ooh I love your use of Danny here. I can totally imagine him like that as a teen. And your latest instalment is hilarious! I love the insight we get into Adam's mind. 1920s man about town indeed! I love his Neil voice too.
Imma stalk this thread like there's no tomorrow! <3