Mouse – Trifecta Week 87

Below is my offering for week 87′s Trifecta challenge word, which is ‘charm’. As you will see from the relevant blog post, the challenge is to write between 33 and 333 words of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose, based on the 3rd definition from the Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary. This week the 3rd definition of ‘charm’ is:

– to control (an animal) by charms (as the playing of music)

Here’s my offering below – I hope you like it! Please check here for the other entries!

*****

– Mouse –

Graham can charm anyone. It’s just how she is.

Of course, her name is the best ice-breaker ever. ‘Oh, Mum is American,’ she says, as if that explains everything. In middle-of-nowhere, suburban England, it works like magic.

She accompanies that breezy statement with a flick of her perfect blond hair. Everything is so effortless for her. I adored basking in her reflected rays when I was younger. I was ‘Graham’s friend’. Often it was ‘Graham and Sarah’, like we came as a package, which we did. Still do, really.

All that innocence and mystery started getting to me when I reached that awkward teenage stage. I got spots – she developed breasts. My chest remained flat as a pancake for so long, even my mum wondered if I should go to the doctors, muttering about hormones.

I really resented all the attention she got from boys. They couldn’t keep away – she was perfect, a vision of youth and beauty. I stood in her shadow, getting her cast-offs who were just not interested in a short, stocky, brown-haired, teachers’ daughter.

I was jealous. I admit it.

Then, I wasn’t. I must have been about fifteen. I turned up at Graham’s one day, unannounced. I’d left my cherry lip-gloss in her bedroom and I really, really needed it. So, I sneaked into their house, quiet and unobtrusive, like the mouse that Mrs Edwards chose to call me.

There was Graham in the kitchen, cowering in front of her shouting, red-faced mother.

‘You will not do that ever again! Do you hear me? When I tell you to cook the dinner, I mean prepare it properly, not just heat up leftovers in the oven!’

And then she swept all the plates, the cups, the saucers, the food, everything off the table. Crockery smashed, cutlery bounced and food spattered, mostly over Graham herself. She stood, dripping in gravy, head down.

I backed out, unseen.

Envy cured, instantly.

Trifecta

32 thoughts on “Mouse – Trifecta Week 87

  1. Lovely story! I enjoyed the narrator’s voice and the way you have portrayed and depicted her jealousy. The details are very well-chosen and realistic. Everything rings so true.
    Then there is Graham and the scene with her mother, utterly believable too. A cousin was telling me the other day about a tantrum she witnessed when a teenage girl she knew yelled at her mum for forgetting her equestrian helmet. Graham is the same kind of teenager.
    It also very well-written throughout – down to the last line which is perfect!

  2. Thank you, Gabriella. It’s funny, I’ve stolen a mixture of names, people and events from all different parts of my life to put this one together. I knew a girl a bit like Graham – I used to wish I was her too. Thankfully, she didn’t suffer at the hands of her mother like that.

    1. I got the tantrum scene wrong then! That’s what happens when one reads a story on a phone. Note to self: read blogs on an iPad or a bigger screen.
      Still utterly believable. Sometimes when parent and child come together for a parents’ evening, I can sense some drama – either ways – between the parent and the child.

  3. I am wordless.. because so many times, I want to shout out loud to anyone listening that you don’t know how it is like to be some one you’re not..
    we can envy someone’s life but we do not know how it is really.. the truth that hides beneath the mask.
    Such a heart felt story… great job!

  4. Jealousy or no, I would have run to my friend’s side at that moment instead of running away. One definitely shouldn’t be so quick to judge others for reasons like this!

  5. Now all the primping and such makes sense; she was trying to hide the hurt inside. This is a powerful, sad tale.
    Thank you for linking up. Please remember to return for the voting.

  6. I think a lot of people who have the perfect front have spent a lifetime learning out to put it into place. Sadly.

  7. I agree with other commenters – great voice. I think many of us knew a Graham growing up, where on the outside, it looked like their life was perfect. It’s disheartening and confusing the moment we find out that they have their own problems….issues different than our own, but still, it tarnishes what we once thought of as perfection. In a twisted way, it does help bring acceptance of our own circumstances.

    1. Yes. Speaking for myself, I found the ‘perfect’ ones utterly intimidating, but then I was astounded to learn that people thought of me as totally self-assured… When inside I felt anything but!

  8. I really like the innocence that accompanies the jealousy.
    What a sad reality Graham had to face when she wasn’t the school beauty. They always say be careful what you wish for, especially when it’s someone else’s life. Point proven in this story!
    -Alicia Audrey

  9. Freya, You can write. Your sharp, witty, observant and think out-of-the-box. I always look forward to your entries – I just didn’t ‘get’ this one. It was well written and all, but didn’t ‘ping’ me like your stuff usually does. Sorry – can we blame it on my liquid lunch?

    1. Hi, Paper Wizard. Well, we can’t please everyone all of the time. I write to get better at it, and I also like to try different types of writing. I have a comfort zone – breaking out of that doesn’t always produce my best work, nor suit every reader. Thank you for your positive comments though 🙂 and thank you for reading.

  10. Oh, I’ve been that short, brunette friend-of-the-goddess, and I’ve felt that same green-eyed monster. Coupled with a lack of maturity, it lead me to do/say some things in my youth that I later came to regret. Your flawed protagonist was very relatable.

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