Rin and I go to a newspaper club, where we be the unproductive people we are. Finally, she suggested the general idea of this, so I set to work on it for the club… then I thought, why not drag AF in and put this up? So I did. My writing style has probably changed, seeing as Rin insists that it adapts depending on my current NOW book… which is the Bartimaeus trilogy.
Disclaimer: I don’t own AF, this tongue twister, the invention of tongue twisters, the invention of books… or writing, really, or —
Beachgoers lay scattered about the sandy expanse by the body of water that was an ocean. Many teenagers, scantily clad in their bikinis, were refusing to enter the water, choosing instead to lounge on colorful towels. And, of course, choosing to ignore the fourteen-year-old boy who resided next to a washed-up cardboard box, one where a pitiful display of seashells sat.
This was Jacques Orlando Bradinsky’s fifth day of waiting in the same beach for someone to take notice of him and his box, and his fifth day of being disappointed. People swarmed around him, but no matter how loud he shouted or how nice his shells-of-the-day looked, Jacques was ignored. Some locals had even gone to frowning, pointing, staring, and spitting at him in disgust. The boy idly fingered a cracked fragment before sighing and lifting his head to stare at the distant horizon.
He turned his head and forced a weak smile, sickly in the healthy glow of the sun. “Hey, Reese.”
“How’s your business, eh?” Reese was grinning as he gave Jacques a fist-pound.
“It’s not a business, per se.”
“Ah, you’re avoiding the subject again. C’mon, tell me. My surfboard rental’s great, just great.”
“Well, my seashell ‘business’,” Jacques sighed, “is failing miserably.”
“Cheer up. Have you tried the north?”
“Yeah. Maybe I should call it quits.”
Reese gasped melodramatically, opening his eyes wide despite the blinding glare. “You wouldn’t.”
“I haven’t had a purchase in weeks,” Jacques lamented.
“Things could always change.”
“When? When are they going to change? I haven’t got forever. I should find a job while I’m still young.”
“A real job? You wouldn’t.”
“I don’t really have a choice, do I?”
“Live off of me, of course!” Reese cried.
“I can’t. My pride –”
“Don’t give me anything about your pride, mister.”
“I’ll be fine. All comes to worse, I’ll find you.”
Reese shook his head. They both knew that Jacques would only seek help when he was too weak to move, and by then, it’d be too late (seeing as he wouldn’t be able to move). They also both knew that Jacques wouldn’t budge from his position in an argument.
“I’ll see you soon, then, right?” Reese asked.
“When? A week?”
“I don’t know, maybe.” Giving Reese one last, wry smile, Jacques scattered his shells on the sand and threw his cardboard container away. The boy traipsed to the boardwalk and beyond, to the faintest hint of a bus stop. His journey had begun.