Achromatic: Chapter 1 Scene 7

PM November 5, 1962

Cody High School, Wyoming

The pair of outcasts sat on the top row of the bleachers, watching the other students rushing out of the school building.  Despite everyone else trying to make it home in record time, the girls did not seem to be bothered by the chill, warm jackets covering their school jumpers.

Despite the green ribbon woven through her ponytail, the strong breeze made the loose strands of Emma’s hair dance erratically.  Next to her, the girl’s pale blonde hair was set in rows of thin braids, the beads at their ends clinked together as they gallantly fought the wind’s attempt to blow the hair away from her face.

“I like your new hairstyle, Citrine.  Everyone’s hair around this town is as boring as a football game, so it’s a welcome change to the sameness of this place.”

Citrine looked to Emma through the braids, her hazel eyes full of sadness.  “It hasn’t stopped the name-calling.  Even when these help keep them out of view, I’m still ‘Zits’ to everyone.”

“I know, honey.  It’s the curse of being a teenager; some of the girls have disgustingly perfect skin, while others get them as bad, if not worse, than the guys.  It’s just one of those things, and you’ll grow out of it.”

Emma’s friend pushed the fine braids behind her ears.  The angry red spots on her face demanded attention, yet these were often ignored.  The largest pimples ran the length of her cheekbones, the redness accentuated by pale green.

“But nothing works.  Dad has bought every bit of Phisohex the chemist has in stock, and still it hasn’t helped.  Everything else to treat these sorts of pimples is experimental, since significant side effects have been reported according to the chemist.”

Emma threw a sympathetic arm around Citrine’s shoulders.  “Perfect skin is overrated.  The cheerleaders never complete their homework because they’re too busy primping.  If we work hard, and not worry about getting the attention of a guy, we’ll get to the college we want.  Just remember, your brain lasts longer than your looks.”

“You sound like my parents.”

The green-eyed girl laughed.  “Hell, I sound like MY parents.”

“They weren’t angry about the weekend?”

“A bit.  Staying in my room all of Sunday got them more worried than angry.”

Citrine smiled.  “A little bit of emotional blackmail never goes astray.”

“I wonder at my parents sometimes.  Being National Park rangers, you’d think that they’d be all about saving the animals, no matter the cost.  Yet they are happy for the elk to be culled, instead of relocating them to a less populated area, or even another National Park.  Mission 66 should say something along those lines.”

“Maybe your parents know more about the situation than you think they do.”

“All animal life is precious, and should not be destroyed before all options are exhausted.”

Citrine arched an eyebrow.  “Maybe you do need to fly to Switzerland and join those WWF folk.  You’d fit right in… well, apart from not speaking Swiss.”

Emma gave her a playful glare.  “Just you watch.  They will catch on in the United States, and maybe even the rest of the world.”

“We’ll see.”

“Did you see the new girls today?”

Citrine laughed.  “Who didn’t?  First day here, and already they were walking around like they owned the place.  I didn’t have any classes with them though.”

“They were in my English class, in their fancy clothes.  Fancy names too.”  Emma put on an aristocratic accent.  “Amy and Lavender.”

The pale-haired girl snorted in amusement.  “Lavender certainly sounds uppity, Amy not so much.  How were you able to tell them apart?”

“Lavender wore the darker shade of purple.”

“Once they have to wear school uniform, it will likely be impossible to tell them apart.  They’ll help each skip classes, just you watch.”

Emma laughed.  “You’re such a conspiracy theorist.  Is the government still covering up aliens too?”

“Of course they are!”

The confident declaration made Emma laugh harder.  “I reckon both the government and the aliens have better things to do.  The government’s too busy with Vietnam, and the other planets would have to be more interesting to the aliens.”

“Maybe they heard about the Apollo Program.”

“If they can get here already, I doubt they’d be looking for tips on building rockets.”

Emma looked to her watch.  “We better get going.  I’ll walk home with you.  Dad made me promise to apologise to your parents.”

“But my Mum and Dad didn’t even know you were supposed to be coming over.”

“I’ll apologise for forgetting to come over.”

Citrine furrowed her brow.  “That will just confuse her.”

“Oh well.  I can tell my dad I apologised and not be lying.”

“Crafty.”

Emma shivered.  “It really is getting cold now.  Feels like it’ll be below thirty-two within a week.  Let’s get going.”

“I wonder how the princesses will handle the cold,” Citrine laughed, beads clinking as the girls descended towards the football field, where the first frost was beginning to show.

– Î –

 

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2 responses

  1. Im very curious about just what this story is up to….

    1. The joys of weekly serials; the chapter introducing everyone takes two months to post. Hope it’s keeping your interest 🙂

      Thanks for reading 🙂

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