This week Karla and I are unveiling our Round Robin writing experiment. This is where we work together to create a literary master piece. My posts will go up every Tuesday and she will be posting over at her blog, The Last Word every Thursday so make sure you stop by to catch the next installment. We hope you like it so make sure you tell us either way.
Grace Monroe flew out the door on a run, almost losing her book bag in the process. She was late and she hated being late. It was all Harper’s fault. Smiling to herself, she decided she liked that excuse and was going to keep it.
She had to yank on the door handle three times before getting the driver’s side opened and flinging her books in the back seat. With the flick of her wrist, the old broad came to life. Another smile tipped her glossed mouth as she thought of the name Harper had christened her car with.
Her father had gifted the car to her three weeks ago as an early Christmas/guilt gift. Jack Monroe was an airline pilot who spent more time flying the friendly skies than spending it with his teenage daughter, when he remembered he had one.
Grace’s care was handled primarily by Mrs. Maguire, the live in housekeeper that was brought in after her mother died when she was three. It didn’t bother her all that much that she and her father didn’t get along or for that matter really know each other. She only had the rest of this year to get through and then her life would officially begin. And she couldn’t wait.
Pulling out of the driveway Grace left the thoughts of a discorded family behind as she headed out to pick up her best friend, Harper Simonson.
Harper and Grace had been friends since pre-K and while Grace didn’t remember the exact nature of how they met, Harper’s mother did and she liked to tell the story often. Smiling over the memory she almost missed the turn on Harper’s street but caught it at the last moment and made a screeching right, not quite on two wheels.
God she loved driving this little car, even if her father only bought it to appease his own conscience. Slamming to a sudden stop in front of the rambling house the Simonson’s called home, Grace laid on the horn. It drove Harper nuts, especially when she was already on the sidewalk waiting.
Harper was petite. No other word could or would do her justice. She had a small frame and Grace mostly felt like a giraffe when standing next to her friend. With long brown hair that was always neatly clipped back she had the presence of someone wise beyond her years. “An old soul” as Mrs. M liked to call her. She liked hiding behind her stylish square framed black glasses of which Grace was pretty sure didn’t even have a prescription.
Sliding into the car, Harper tossed Grace the pop-tart she had warmed in the toaster for her. “You’re late, and no way is this my fault,” she added before Grace could give her excuse. Turning she stored her violin and flute in the back seat before strapping her seat belt on. “Hurry before the brat gets out here and wants to bum a ride.”
Grace just grinned over the pop-tart she had stuffed in her mouth, put the car in gear and hit the gas.
“Did you bring the CD?” she asked around the pastry.
Harper shot her a look sideways and shook her head.
“Come on, I want to hear it.”
This time Harper shrugged.
This was one of the things that really drove Grace crazy. She loved Harper, she really did but it drove her nuts how insecure Harper was about her music. She was a freaking genius. A savant or whatever they called musical Prodigies and she got all twitchy about letting Grace hear her stuff.
“OK, look. We can go the ten rounds like normal, but you know you are going to just give in and play it. So, can we just skip to that part today since we are already running late?”
A steady stare was her answer.
“If I say please?”
Harper leaned forward, removed the CD from her bag and pushed it into the player. “Just remember it’s not finished” of which not finished was said in tandem.
Listening to the rough cut, Grace was once again struck by what her friend could do. And if a little bit of jealousy streaked its way up her spine, well it was understandable. Harper was one of the lucky ones. She had great parents, an enviable talent and she even had brothers. Grace sometimes found herself just sitting in the midst of the chaos that was the Simonson family grinning for no more of a reason than the fact that she was there.
Pulling up to the back entrance of the School Grace was just about to lavish praise when she noticed the young man who detached himself from the building and started moving in their direction. He stopped a few feet away from the car, waiting. Waiting and watching. She knew the exact moment Harper noticed him, her posture went from relaxed and friendly to arrow straight and don’t come near me.
With a quick “Nobody” Harper got out, leaned back in to retrieve her stuff and tried to smile. Without meeting Grace’s eye she murmured “I will catch you later at lunch” and slammed the door.
Okay, that is the start, be sure to check out what happens next on Thursday when Karla picks up the ball or in this case, the flute and runs with it.