008. The Marvelous Minstrel

by crfricke

*This post is part of A Grimm Project, a series of short fiction pieces using each of the Brothers Grimms’ Nursery and Household Tales as writing prompts. For more information about the project, click here. For more about the story which inspired this freewrite, click here.*

Once upon a time there was a marvelous minstrel who walked through a forest all alone and thought about all kinds of things.

He thought about Shannon, first of all, and the t-shirts she wore that covered her whole chest, but that were too tight around the bust, making her breasts look like large, flat couch pillows. He thought about how she had offered to go down on him in instrument storage after practice, and he wished he’d taken her up on it instead of laughing and getting nervous. He wasn’t sure if she’d been serious or not. He wasn’t supposed to like Shannon, although they’d grown up as neighbors and played at each other’s houses for years before high school hit. He wasn’t supposed to like her, because she walked with her back hunched just slightly enough to make her look mannish, and she laughed too loudly at lunch, usually with something half-chewed still in her mouth. She wore nothing but t-shirts and jeans and sweatshirts from places her family had taken her on vacations—Fudrucker’s Miami, Dauphin Island, Universal Studios. The other boys in band called her the yeti. He wasn’t supposed to like her, but he should have let her go down on him—if she wasn’t joking, that is. He should have said sure, and planned to meet up later, in these woods, behind their street.

Then he thought about whether or not he’d tell anyone if it happened. It might help her, in the end. Knowing that she’d go to third base could change the way some of those guys, the guys in the band and at the lunch table, talked about her. She might still be a beast, but she’d be a beast with a secret, who did stuff that not everyone would do, or had ever experienced. The other boys would respect that, or at least he could imagine how they might. And if they didn’t, at least they’d respect him, and that was the best part. The only other one in his group who’d had a girl put her mouth on his junk was Brandon, and that was no big deal, because he and Katy had been dating for a whole six months.

The minstrel reached the end of the woods, and he walked through the backyard to his house. Entering, he set his backpack and his clarinet on a kitchen chair and opened the fridge. He poured himself a glass of juice, some sugary-sweet berry medley that advertised a whole serving of vegetables, but that tasted like a melted fruit popsicle.

There was nothing more to think about.

Cate Fricke
October 2013

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