Marissa and her best girl friends were sitting outside of Van's cafe having a late lunch when her friend Maxine nearly choked on her coffee. "Isn't that Seth?" she said.Marissa looked across the street and coming out of Black Vinyl was Seth with a tall and very buxom blond. The exact antithesis of Marissa, who had short black hair and a petite frame. Her friends jokingly called her "Pixie."Marissa jumped up from her seat and ran across the street nearly getting hit by a van, whose driver honked and yelled. She ran up to Seth, who at this point, had his arms around the blond and was giving her a peck on the cheek."Bastard!" Seth stumbled back as Marissa's right hook, hit him square on the jaw. "I hate you!"Marissa turned and started running back to the cafe to get her bag. "Please don't turn your back on me Marissa." Seth cried. "It's not what you think.""I know what I just saw!" Marissa was seething. "Not only did your little secret get discovered, you managed to completely humiliate me in front of all of my friends!"Seth started after her, but traffic impeded his crossing the street and by the time he made it over to the cafe, Marissa was gone. He ran down the street and saw her trademark red and black stockings getting into her car. "Marissa! Stop, please! Let me explain."Marissa turned and gave him a cold stare. "I can't believe you. Don't you know what today is? I catch you cheating on me on our anniversary. Unbelievable!""It's not what you think." Seth began."I know what I saw, Seth. Who is she?""Her name is Buffy.""Buffy, are you freaking kidding me?" Marissa laughed. "What kind of name is Buffy?"Seth looked down at his Doc Marten's. "It's my grandmother's name. She was named after my grandmother."Marissa looked confused. "What?""She's my cousin. She's a public relations manager in California. I was trying to get tickets for Dropkick Murphys and she knows thier promoter.""Dropkick Murphys? They are my favorite..." Marissa's voice trailed off and tears welled up in her eyes."Your favorite band," Seth finished her sentence. "Yeah, I know. I meant to surprise you for our anniversary." Seth put his arms around her.Marissa reached up and trailed her fingers over the bruise forming on Seth's left cheek. He winced and leaned down to give Marissa a kiss."Happy Anniversary, Pixie.""Happy Anniversary, Seth."
The first day of the Poetry Festival was Students’ Day. Kids and teachers from local high schools and nearby colleges, along with the regular poets, poetry-lovers and other festival-goers filled the park’s grounds to capacity. Horun Ettebiani Demitriou, the Nobel laureate, actually made a rare appearance at the festival and now that he’d finished his 2:00PM reading, he was sitting in the autograph tent, signing copies of his latest book, Surrendering, Iris. The line to meet and greet the great man of letters was very long.Standing on queue in front of Michael (a senior a Stanton Valley Prep) was a girl with green streaks in her bangs. The rest of her outfit was pretty much in line with her hairstyle, from her layered tanks and t-shirts to her flouncy denim skirt, and from her red and black striped leggings to her black Converse Chucks. Michael and the two friends who joined him on line were more acceptably dressed (in their estimation, anyway) in sweaters, blue jeans and Doc Martens.Michael said to the girl, “C’mon! You aren’t serious with that get-up, are you?”She turned around to look at Michael and his friends. “Something wrong with it?” She did not seem to be intimidated by Michael & Company so much as annoyed.“Only that you look like a reject from Ringling Brothers’ Clown College!” Michael’s friend Tim pointed to her leggings. All of the guys laughed.“No! No, man! Not Clown College,” said Frank, the other guy in Michael’s posse. “Pippi Longstocking! That’s who she looks like!”“Pippi has red hair!” Tim snorted. The girl crossed her arms across her chest. “No guys – not Pippi and not Clowns. You got it wrong! You know what she looks like?” Michael looked up to the sky and then straight down to the ground.“What?” gasped Tim and Frank.“You remember the scene in The Wizard of Oz where the house falls on the Wicked Witch of the East – and then after the ruby slippers disappear, her feet and legs – in those weird striped tights, you know? – curl up and then go under the house? That’s it!”All three boys howled and nudged each other in the side. “Good one!”“Very mature,” said the girl. She hitched up her self-illustrated black messenger bag on her shoulder and turned away from the guys. They all moved up with the line, pretty close now to entering the autograph tent..“So,” said Michael, not willing to leave the girl alone, “You a poet? You a fan of Demitriou? Or what?”“Or what.” The girl said flatly. She didn’t turn around.“Oooh! She’s a funny one, isn’t she? I’d say a real knee slapper, but they’ve already been slapped silly by those tights! So, what’s your name then? I’m sure it’s not Miss Striped Socks!” Michael’s friends laughed even louder.The girl turned around this time and glared at the three fellows. “My name is Alicia. I like Demitriou just fine – and yes, I am a poet. Okay? Satisfied?” She hitched the bag up higher on her shoulder. Her eyes were wide and angry.“And just what kind of poetry does a girl like you write?” asked Tim. “O Death, Death, Death!”“No! She probably writes junk like, ‘He was my love from heaven above!” Frank made a heart out of his fingers and thumbs, which he held by his chest.“Neither,” Alicia said simply, adding, “But please, tell me you three don’t consider yourselves poets, too!”“Oh yes we are – and we’re all award-winning poets at our school. We edit our literary journal even. And that’s why Demitriou is going to be so pleased to meet us!” Michael gestured to himself and his friends. “He will recognize talent when he gets to see it. And he will see it because I even brought some of my work to show him.” Michael pulled a small notebook out of his pocket and waved it at Alicia. “Something you can aspire to, Ah-lee-Shah!”“You think so?” Alicia stared back at Michael.“Next!” yelled the festival worker who was controlling the crowd lines.Alicia walked up to the table where Demitriou was sitting. The three guys smirked and poked each other until they realized that Demitriou was smiling happily at the strange girl. He said, “Alicia! My darling niece! What a lovely surprise! I didn’t expect to see you here - because your mother told me you were in Europe - but I am extraordinarily delighted nonetheless! Come give your favorite uncle a hug!”
I like your story. When I first glanced at the picture, I too had the image of the wicked witch under the house with her feet shriveling up.