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Reverse Sunshine

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This is my entry for June's One-Shot contest! Please help me be a winner!


"Carolyn! Carolyn come out! You can't hide in your closet forever!" My dad shouted. I glanced through the window at the moon. Full moon. Beautiful. I wondered if Alex was looking at it, too. The moon is my happy place. My mom's happy place. My brother's happy place.

My dad yells all the time. He beat my mother until she left. Why I'm still living with him, you may ask? My mother died three years after she left. She died in a car accident. She was pregnant with my little brother, Alex. He's alive, but he was two months premature. He has aspergers. I have dyslexia. Alex wants to be an astronaught when he "gets big" as he says. He's fourteen. I'm seventeen. And I'm in my closet, hiding from my abusive father? That's just it. The day usually ends like this. Dad yells at me, then I yell back, then he chases me, then I hide. He unplugged the phone in my room. I couldn't call 911. But today I thought was special, because it started like this....

I sat in the car with Alex, eating chemically enhanced "chicken" from McDonalds. Alex munched on his burger. He rolled his HotWheels car across the dashboard.

"You like your new car, Alex?" He looked up at me with his adorable blue eyes. He kept playing with the car. He wore his favorite NASA t-shirt, dark blue jeans and Nike sneakers. He pulled his red sweater onto his shoulders. "Alex?"

"Oh," He put the car away, "Yes. Yes I like the car, Carolyn. Hey, did you know that, the Altus II unmanned robot plane can circle for up to 24 hours over wildfires, beaming images and data back to computers via satellite?"

"No, Alex. I did not know that." I smiled. He gave me a big grin. His shaggy blonde hair swayed at her made car noises. The social worker told me that the best way to get him to open up was to listen, because people with AS loved to talk. But honestly, I actually liked to listen to my brother talk. I only got to spend a few hours a week with him. My step-dad Jason, Alex's dad, took care of him. Jason had asked millions- and I mean millions- of times if I could live with him and Alex, but my dad always yelled at him and called him a 'Nosey Bas**rd'. Once I turn eighteen, which is in two weeks, I can move in with Jason and Alex. My dad will have no custody of me. I can be free.

After I dropped Alex off at Jason's place, I drove to my boyfriend's house. Thayer, who was a six foot tall guy, welcomed me with a hug. Prom was on saturday. He'd bought an amazingly hot tuxedo and all I'd planned to wear was a plain blue tulle dress.

"So," he slumped onto the old scratchy wool couch, "I got us reservations at Earls. Do you want a corsage?"

"Sure." I snuggled up to Thayer. He pulled up his laptop and we watched "=3" for two hours. On my drive home, I decided to stop by the park. I wondered through the maze of pathways, trees and monuments of random writers and founders until I found the spot. It was secluded, a small spot where the hill down to the river. It was where the trees didn't shroud the moon.

I lay there for a few minutes, staring at the full moon. I counted all the holes that i could see. I'd done this with my mom for years. After my father had passed out from downing two or three beers, me and my mom would come here. She'd tell me the myths about the moon. Like Artemis, the Greek goddess of the moon. Or, Kuekuatsheu the wolverine and The Moon. She was an astronomer. The moon was my portal to her.

My cell phone bleeped. I'd missed two calls from my dad. He was pissed. I drove home immediately. He sat on the couch, with a half empty beer can in his hand. He looked up at me with his bloodshot, brown eyes. His hair was matted and thinning. He stunk of day old pizza and beer and cigarettes.

"Carolyn!" He jumped, tipsily, from the couch. "Where've you been!?" He slurred.

"Out." I responded. I kept my eyes on the dirty floor.

"Don't get sassy with me!" He lunged at me. I dropped my bags and ran straight for my room. I locked the door and hid inside my closet.

"Carolyn! Carolyn come out! You can't hide in your closet forever!" He yelled. So now, we're back to the beginning. But... this isn't a fairytale. There was no happy ending. It was a terrible ending. Why am I speaking in past tense? Why do I sound so calm now? Why am I rambling about terrible endings?

I died. Murdered. Killed. Shortly after, my own father broke through the door and in a fit of rage.... he killed me. He strangled every last ounce of life from me. But as I was dying, I glared helplessly at the moon. Then, my pain was gone. I floated to the atmosphere. My mother and I are now sitting on the moon, waiting for Alex's day that he'd join us. We will live forever on our moon. Our moon. Nobody else's. Just... the moon.


Writer's Note:

Okay, you may not think that it's about the moon because she isn't on the moon or talks about the moon (very much) but... the moon is her sanctuary. Carolyn died and went to the moon to be with her mother. Another thing is that I tried to step out of my comfort zone of fantasy and hero crap. Anyways, I tried tragedy. So....

Well, let's hope it wins! *crosses fingers* Please enjoy it, even though it's a sad story.

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