TITLE: Little Things
GENRE: Middle Grade
Ellie is thirteen and has recently discovered miniature toy-like people perfect down to the last detail on a nearby sidewalk. She doesn't know who puts them there or why, but she is the only one who can see them. After she discovers an old woman placing them, Ellie begins to have dreams. She is an independent, strong girl. I want to be sure these dream sequences fit her voice and/or age.
Everything was black. Not just the color, but the feel and smell. Amidst musty, dense, dark clouds, billions of small white particles streamed from her fingertips. They flowed away from her like she had always imagined electrons and protons behaving. She experimented wiggling her fingers up and down and they formed into rippling waves of motion streaming off into the blackness. She looked down where her body might be, but there was nothing to see. She just was .
It didn't feel like a dream exactly. It was too real. There was newness to it. More like she was in an untouched place that felt somehow familiar. All of her focus was on the particles coming from the edges of her. She concentrated on following the streams. At first it was overwhelming. All of her, her entire self, whatever that meant was just flowing outward. Then she found if she focused on one finger, she could jump on board as if on a river and follow it outwards. That was the only way she could categorize it--a goal--something somehow worth seeking. Then she was pulled forward quickly into the other "place."
Then she was sitting up in her bed, disoriented, staring at her poster of the Seattle Sounders soccer team, and trying to make sense of what had just happened.
She got a glass of water to shake off the weird feeling. On the way to the kitchen, she noticed her dad asleep on the couch. A scene from Josey Wales bathed him in creepy, glowing flashes of light. She turned off the television, covered her dad with a blanket, and went back to bed.
* * *
It was Sunday and Ellie had the streets to herself. Last night's experience left her unsettled. After waking up that morning she realized she had forgotten her language arts at school. They had a big root word project next week and a ride to school sounded good after her strange dreams. The wind blew newly fallen yellow and red leaves around the tires of her bike. She hoped the school was unlocked on the weekend.
A couple of men rummaged around a dumpster as she whisked by a 9th Street alley. A garbage truck beeped its warning, its yellow flashers lighting up the street.
* * *
Ellie pulled up to a red light at the next intersection. Flamingo. The woman from the park with a scarf over her hair, stood next to a pretty woman in a form-fitting green dress. Both were waiting to cross the street. Ellie smelled a mix of expensive-smelling perfume with a faint odor of mothballs. Seconds later a mini-van pulled up next to Ellie's bike and idled, adding exhaust to the air. The cab driver tapped the steering wheel to the beat of some Reggae, and a cigarette dangled from his lip.