For Imaginary’s prompt. Warning, the middle bit with Shad has suggestions of abuse and overuse of the word “pussy.”
Sharach, Meshach, Agatha, and Acacia are characters in Addergoole
Nine years before Addergoole Year 5
“And then we’ll head to Italy, and you’ll go to the college prep summer camp.”
“Mom, I want to go to Italy with you and Dad.” Ten-year-old Agatha frowned at her mother, not pouting: pouting was unattractive. “The camp has bugs.” And everyone was bigger than her there. Everyone was bigger than her everywhere, but it was worse at summer camp.
“Agatha, you went with us to France and Spain. We need some alone time, and you need to starting thinking about college.”
“But I don’t like it there.”
“I suggest you learn, young lady.”
Two weeks later, Agatha tucked the last of her belongings into her billet – the worst bunk, in the back of the cabin, but the other girls had gotten there first – and headed out into the well-manicured grounds. Perhaps she could find a place to hide, before the other kids got settled in.
She stopped just short of running into a tall, broad-shouldered boy. A bully-sort, but he wasn’t smiling meanly. “Hello,” she offered.
“Hi.” His smile looked real. If he liked her, everyone else would leave her alone.
“I’m Agatha.” She offered him a hand. “Do you want to be my friend?”
Eight years before Addergoole Year 5
“Come on, Shad, don’t be a pussy.” His older brother Meshach was halfway up the edge of the gorge. Shad glanced back behind him, then back up at the wall of rock. He cleared his throat, and called back.
“Come on, Neg, don’t be a pussy.” He reached out an arm for their little brother Abednego. “We’re going up the wall, there.”
“It looks awfully high, Shad.” Trust Abed to voice it, so that Shad had to think about the damn thing. He punched the little whiner in the arm.
“It’s not that high. Maybe as tall as our house. We jumped off that last year.” He wished his voice would stop squeaking. It made him sound like a pussy. Meshach’s didn’t to that.
“You broke your leg doing that.” And then their dad had broken his arm, for good measure, for being stupid enough to jump off the roof.
“Look, just shut up and let’s climb the damn thing, okay, before Meshach has to come back down and get us.” He grabbed his little brother’s arm, and hoisted him to the first ledge. “Hold on tight, and don’t let go. We can do this.”
“We can.” It killed him, sometimes, how much Abednego trusted him. But he trusted Meshach… and Meesh trusted Dad. He wasn’t sure any of it made sense.
Seven years before Addergoole Year 5
“I’ll be home by dark.” Acacia threw the lie over her shoulder as she ducked out the screen door.
“Don’t do anything wild and reckless.” It was her mother’s joke, although it had never been quite a joke.
“Nothing tooooo wild.” She grinned at the door and then took off running. She would have to hurry to be back before Mom started to worry, even if that was long after dark.
Several hours later, on top of the abandoned Terrance Building (Rumor had it, it had once been a psych warn, but too many people had died), she grinned at her friends. “We did it. Now all we have to do is get down without getting caught.”
“That might be problematic. I think I see a police car in the distance. Get down.” Geoff grabbed her neck and pulled her down under the low saftey wall; Acacia rolled and kicked him in the nuts in a move she’d been practicing for months.
As the cop circled the base of the building, 15 stories down, and Geoff rolled in pain, she grinned. “Nothing too wild.”
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