Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: Call Me Chameleon

Since my Tuesday is now free, I’m doing a teaser (-: This is from my Nanowrimo 2009 project, which I wrote completely for fun and breaks lots and lots and lots of rules just for the hell of it. It has not one but two prologues, characters with names beginning with A (I banned myself from A names after using five seven in the same book), starts with long description not action, and the title calls to mind a certain eighties pop song. But still I like it.

Background: For some people, their names make them who they are. If you’re called Wisdom, you’re really wise. If you’re called Dolphin, you can swim like a, um, fishy mammal. The main characters Chameleon and Raven have just started ‘normal’ school.

“You’re from that weirdo hippy cult commune, aren’t you?”
The question came from behind me. I wondered if I should ignore it, but Raven had already turned around, his arms crossed.
“What weirdo hippy cult commune? I don’t know any weirdo hippy cult communes.”
“You all have names like Flower and Tree.” The boy was shorter than Raven, and a bit chubby. He was squinting at us like we were some strange new species of insect.
Raven’s face was dark and he opened his mouth to say something in return, but I trod on his toe. “Actually, we don’t have anyone called Flower or Tree. Those would be stupid names. I’m Chami.” I stuck out my hand and raised an eyebrow, daring the boy to take it. After staring at my hand for way too long, the boy gave a grin, shrugged and took it.
“I heard your names in class. I’m Charlie. What’s up with Raven, though?”
Raven glared at him. “What’s up with Charlie?”
“Shut up, Raven,” I muttered, stepping forward a bit so I was between the two boys. “Look, we’re new here and we don’t really know our way around. I think I’ve got French next, but I don’t know where it is. Could you show us?” I’d spent ages studying the map of the school yesterday, so I actually knew exactly where it was. What was I doing?
“What about Raven? What does he have?”
“German,” Raven growled. Charlie’s face went back into the pursed-lips mask it had had before, and I thought about kicking Raven.
“Well, I’ve got German now and the French class is just a few doors down. I suppose I could take you.” He looked back to me, and I smiled at him. His lips twitched back, he shrugged, and waved us to follow him.
“Why are you being so prickly?” I whispered to Raven. His eyes were narrowed at Charlie’s back.
“What’s the point of trying to make friends with people who insult you instead of introducing themselves?”
“You can’t dislike someone this quickly. It’s the first day, try to make some friends.”
He didn’t answer. Charlie led us out through the main door of the biggest building and along a path between some spindly trees to the languages block.
“You guys are from that commune, though, right?”
“Well, it’s not a commune,” I told him, trotting a bit so I was beside him. Raven stayed behind us. “It’s just a village. We’ve been there like forty years.” We weren’t allowed to say that much about the village, or why we’d lived there. “It’s great, it has a waterfall and stuff. Where do you live?”
He looked around at me, surprised. Maybe this wasn’t something you asked someone straight off. “I live about five minutes walk away, next to the auto repair shop my dad owns.”
“Oh, so you know about cars?”
He shrugged and grinned. “I know a bit.” He was obviously trying to be modest.
“Yeah, I learned to drive over summer. It was fun. On a nineteen-seventy-three Mini.”
“How old are you?”
“She’s fourteen,” Raven spoke up from behind. “But we’re out in the country, and they mostly let you do what you want. She wanted to learn.”
The reason I’d wanted to learn was so that I could beat Raven home from the far fields, but I didn’t tell Charlie that.
He looked impressed. “I can drive a bit, but only down the driveway. Dad won’t let me do anything else until I’ve got a Learner’s. Nineteen seventy three Mini? Is that a Mark 2 or Mark 3?”
“Mark 2,” I said, wondering how I knew. I didn’t remember being told. “We put gravel tyres on it so it goes well up in the mountains.” And I had no idea where that information had come from.
Thanks for reading ! (-:

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