Unique: Story of a Girl

Unique was a regular girl. Her eyes were as brown as her hair in a bland-beige kind of way. It wasn’t that people actively ignored her, they just didn’t notice her. They say apples don’t fall far from the tree. They don’t know what they’re talking about. Blanche, Unique’s unique mother was voted most likely to stand out in a crowd of stander-outers.

Unique knew beyond being pre-destined to wearing braces due to an excessive overbite that her destiny was grand. Unique was going places, she was going to leave her mark. This feeling became clear on the night of Sunday May 22 1983. It was just a regular Sunday night during a routine family dinner feasting on Chinese take-out. Stuffed on sweet & sour chicken and garlic spare ribs, each picked a fortune cookie. They broke them in half and started reading their fortunes aloud.

going places

Unique carefully removed her small piece of paper, flattened it and glanced down. She swallowed the words and crumpled the fortune. She buried the crumpled piece of paper in the bottom of the front pocket of her Levi’s. She was goose-bumped over the words. Her family shared their fortunes but nobody took note that Unique never shared hers. It was, after all, a routine night.

She washed the dishes, set them to dry, and cleaned the kitchen while the family retreated to the living room to watch the Sunday Night NBC Movie. Such was the routine. Unique quietly made her way to her bedroom after a quick stop in the bathroom. She closed her door and went to bed.

After a series of bizarre dreams she never woke up.

Want more Unique?

………………………………………
S30PBadge (1)This is a Studio 30 Plus prompt: UNIQUE. I woke up with the words Unique was a regular girl. And then this followed up once I sat down with my pen and my notebook. I don’t know how old Unique was, nor do I know how many siblings she had. All I know is she did have brothers, but the story didn’t need to tell you this. I wrote this with my favorite narrator in mind: Morgan Freeman.

This is also following the 5-paragraph approach as suggested by Michelle W on The Daily Post.

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43 thoughts on “Unique: Story of a Girl”

  1. I can hear him saying, “And that was the longest night of her life,” ala Shawshank Redemption. That ending would’ve been the last thing I ever suspected. My guess (per your epilogue) is that she couldn’t withstand the lofty expectations of her high school graduation earlier that day.

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    1. It was one of those things. LIke the stories you hear of people who save all their life for the travels they’ll do after their retirement, then they die the day after they retire…

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  2. wow! well Morgan Freeman reading the phone book is a dream of mine as I drift off to sleep. 😉

    this was so good, it flowed so smoothly, it filled in on itself like water in a bowl and even as you realize that she died in her sleep, you (I was ) are moved to think, “maybe that is exactly where she needed to be, in the ‘after'”.

    With a name like that how could she be anything but?

    did I say Wow? WOW!

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  3. damn. wicked good…it almost lulls you in and then wham what a firggin ending…at least in her dreams she went somewhere…great choice on her name…and pairing that against all the routine…reall a well constructed piece…

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    1. Oh Brian! Your feedback surely makes me so happy! You do know that you don’t have to be so nice (gnaaa) but that I would also love constructive criticism too! 😉

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    1. Is it too harsh? I like a story that remains with you and I couldn’t figure out any other ending that would suddenly make her story really unique.

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    1. I sat there and debated over what kind of life I could give her that would appear realistic yet unique. I had to kill her! She falls in love, gets married and then what? Argues over dirty dishes and laundry? Lives a life traveling on a boat after years of racing? Who would ever believe that? 😉

      I’m really starting to go towards stories that disturb the readers. I find those are the ones we remember most since they throw us into so many conflicting emotions. Not sure if you know anything about those?

      Thanks for catching the detail about the date!

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      1. I loved it! I felt like you did just that – throw me into so many conflicting emotions and yet left me so impressed at how well it was written. Very inspiring piece. Thanks!!

        Also, I’m glad you didn’t have to spell out suicide but definitely wove it in =)

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        1. You know what’s weird? I never even thought of suicide! At all! And now that I read back, she may have stopped in the bathroom to get some pills, but in reality, she stopped to pee like I always do before going to bed. Unique is sneaky even to me!

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  4. “Unique knew beyond being pre-destined to wearing braces due to an excessive overbite that her destiny was grand.” something awkward here, i think in the “beyond.” or mayb “doomed” instead of “pre-destined.” yeah, maybe it’s because of “pre-destined” and “destiny” in the same sentence. one needs to change.

    “…feasting on chinese take-out” capitalize Chinese.

    “They broke it in half …” should be “them in half.” more than one cookie among all of them, right?

    “…reading their fortunes out loud.” “out loud” is kind of a grade school expression. better to say “aloud.” but it’s not necessary to change it. personal preference.

    “Her family shared their fortunes and nobody took note…” try “but” instead of “and” because what follows the first part is kind of opposite.

    “She did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen…” you can come up with a more descriptive, active word than “did” for the dishes. scrubbed, scoured, or even cleaned the dishes and the rest of the kitchen. something more detailed than “did.”

    ugh! i wanna know what the fortune said!!! although i have a really strong idea. poor girl. and well done. thanks for steering me to it.

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    1. Oh wow! Thank you so much for the notes! I know how my writing can be awkward, I just never know how to fix it. All the spots you’ve highlighted where areas that did jump out, but I couldn’t figure out how to correct them. I knew something was wrong just not “what”.

      I chose the double pre-destined with destiny on purpose, but I guess it didn’t pass… I’ll change it.

      In regards to the fortune, the fact I didn’t write out her fortune was also intentional (I love giving enough guessing room for the readers) but do I ruin it with the image? Should I throw more fortunes out there? LIke one between each paragraph (visually it could be interesting) or take it out all together (I have an assortment of fortunes I’ve kept through the years, just because).

      Thank you so much for your comments and feedback! Having you read my story means a lot to me.

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      1. i think you played the fortune exactly right in terms of what you revealed. however – consider this. instead of her being dead, how about something like “she was never seen again.” it’s a little less gruesome because she still might be dead but maybe ran away. maybe kidnapped. maybe taken by aliens, maybe all kinds of things.

        but that might change it too much. i tend to do that sometimes, take other people’s writing and push myself too far into it.

        as for double “destiny,” if it’s intentional, then that’s different and more acceptable.

        either way, it was a very good piece that just needs and little polishing with a few caps and commas, and then you’ve got it nailed down. thanks for showing it to me.

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        1. That alternate ending makes me smile. It reminds me of the ending in K-Pax. Have you seen that movie? It’s very intriguing… I’ll re-work with your edits.

          These type of “errors” I’ve made, which are usually structural mistakes, are common to my writing. I’m not sure how I can improve without going through the agony of English classes.

          I think of grammar complexities and I cringe (high school flashbacks). We were off the hook since all our classes were “English – Second Language” whereas in French we really hit the grammar hard. It was painful, I’m glad they didn’t impose this with two languages. I know how much I can be lacking when it comes to fine tuning my writing. It all comes down to how much do I really want it…

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          1. it also comes down to how much you work with it. for example, you might get a new cell phone or computer, and the more time you spend with it, the faster and better you get at using it. same thing with language and other skills like math and learning foreign languages too.

            you’ll get better. and the grammar things are easy to fix because it’s easy to get help, easy as asking me. it’s much harder to come up with good stories.

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          2. Thanks for your kind words of encouragement… I’ve seen a lot of improvement since my earlier posts. I come up with stories all right, but sometimes I just don’t know how to end them. Or other times my story ideas start with the ending and when I sit to write I rush it out too much with my eagerness to throw that ending out there.

            Would you believe as I learn Spanish my biggest challenge it with the prepositions? I see a pattern with 3 languages establishing itself! 😉

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          3. i admire anyone trying to learn new languages. when you have stories that you want someone to read, please come here and give me a link to it because i barely ever take the time to go to other blogs. but when people ask me to read anything, i always make sure i do that. so please don’t hesitate to ask.

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  5. Excellent, as always. It may seem like a sad ending, but when you think about it, maybe just having the hope of a better tomorrow is not so bad once you don’t know tomorrow isn’t coming.

    Some people don’t even have that.

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    1. “maybe just having the hope of a better tomorrow is not so bad once you don’t know tomorrow isn’t coming.”

      Wow Vinny! Deep thoughts… 😉

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  6. I can’t believe you cliff-hangared us, and in the worst possible way – leaving me wnating to know more and more about what’s going on here.
    Great writing!

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    1. I am a fan of the cliff hangers (not the Stallone lame movie type of cliffhangers) I know as a reader I love when I get to choose how I interpret a story and decide how it ends. Sarah Selecky’s entire writing lessons are based on “write what you want to read” so what that means is I should start writing ‘You are hired’ every morning!

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  7. Love it. And the last line was a gut-punch of enviable darkness. Blackness, really. Morgan probably read it aloud in rehearsal and was like, “I believe there is a typo of some sort on my script. A typo on my script…”

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