I'm sure that, at one point in you're life, you've had this thought:
Well, there's nothing stopping you from being a great writer yourself! It just takes a little practice. I'll help you out--finish this short story and get started on your writerly journey!
I had Chinese food; she had a large, cheese-only slice of Sbarro pizza. You can get pretty much anything in the food court of Sweet Valley Mall.
“Orange chicken?” Jasmine asked.
“I’m stealing some,” Jasmine announced, giving me a friendly smile as she did. We’re practically siblings, so I let her, but I was fully planning on eating her garlic-encrusted pizza crusts.
I glanced over the huge food court. There were people everywhere, and about fifteen different food vendors selling everything from pretzels to McDonald’s to Thai cuisine. TV screens suspended from the ceiling played music videos.
“I wish they’d play some Christian music,” Jasmine muttered. She blew on her pizza before she took another bite. “Ow.”
“Are you okay?” I asked, almost laughing, as she desperately sucked ice water out of a straw. There was probably more ice than water in her glass, and it wasn’t helping her any.
“I burned my mouth.”
I took some wooden chopsticks and tried to pick up a piece of orange chicken with them. “That’s literally the only bad thing about pizza.”
“That and the carbs,” Jasmine said. “I should have gotten a salad. I’m going on vacation in two weeks, and I’ll need to wear a swimsuit. I want to look nice in it!”
“You can’t change too much in two weeks,” I objected.
“I know. I just want to feel like I’ve been trying, you know?”
Jasmine picked up her pizza and decided it was still too hot to eat, so she pointed at a blonde girl at the table beside us. “Look at her hat.”
“What do you mean, ‘what hat’?” It’s really cute, and I’ll bet she never has to wear sunscreen. It’s such a good idea.”
I got a closer look, and it turned out that her ‘blonde hair’ was actually an oversized sunhat. I marveled at it.
“You’d look really good in that, Jasmine,” I said.
“I’d always be getting it shut in doors. And look at that guy.” Jasmine pointed to the stream of people walking in through the doors. “He’s wearing a hoodie. It must be 80 degrees outside!”
I scanned the crowd, and I saw the guy Jasmine was talking about. He was wearing a blue hoodie and cargo pants, staring at the ground, hood up. “Dang,” I said.
“Can you even tell what color his hair is?” Jasmine asked. She leaned backwards, trying to get a better look at him. “I wonder if he’s homeless. He’s got a backpack.”
Suddenly, the hoodie guy looked up at us. His face was a strange combination of surprise and shock and horror, and I’d never seen anyone’s eyes open wider. He made eye contact with Jasmine, and then with me. The color slowly drained from his face.
“Holy crap!” he shouted. He ran out of the mall like his life depended on it, but no one else seemed to notice.
Who's the guy in the hoodie? Why did he freak out? Does he know the narrator or Jasmine? And what's the narrator's name? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! God bless you, dear reader--and don't forget to like us on Facebook!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.