Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hawai'i is Beautiful as Always (blogfest)

Hey everybody! I'm participating in my very first blogfest:

Its hosted by Roh Morgon @ musings of a moonlight writer. Click here for more info and to read all the entries! The blogfest is in honor of back to school. Scenes must be set on a campus and less than 999 words.

I decided to step out of my element. I never write in third person, and I never write about boys. So...


Title: Hawai'i is Beautiful as Always
Words: 964.

Simon’s backpack rammed into the palm trees as he passed by a bunch of picnic tables, ignoring all of the college kid’s nervous writing and pencil-biting. He did listen in long enough to hear some chick say in to her cell phone, “Thank you for the gifts, and please tell me your address so I can send you a thank you note. Alright? Hawai’i is beautiful as always. Call me soon. Thank you. Love you…” And then in a final act of desperation, she said, “Bye.”

Simon was new in this weird place called Honolulu, and he didn’t really get why people sacrificed everything to come here. It was dirty, hot, and third-world in some places.

When he got home, he would freeze the coke he had bought at school until it was just getting sloshy, and then down it guiltily. Mom and Dad were much busier in Honolulu, and he was in seventh grade now. Seventh grade! So he didn’t need as much looking out for. The only thing that made him really nervous was having to walk through the college campus to get home. It was the fastest way, and all the cool kids were doing it, but he wasn’t walking with them.

Simon continued on, brushing past every palm and fern with an angry oomph of his over-stuffed backpack. There was a woman on the ground with plumeria flowers all around her, stringing them into leis. What did she think this was, Waikiki? Well it wasn’t. Do college kids lei each other on the first day of school?

Simon chuckled to himself, and the woman looked up past her hardpressed wrinkles thinking him a rude child, rude like all the rest. Just perfect…

She held out a lei to him and he stopped laughing. Eww. Now this hag wanted some five-foot-nothing, blond bowl-cut action? Simon didn’t think so.

Wiping some sweaty strands off his forehead, he turned his back to her and kept walking.

“You need some Aloha, boy,” she croacked out. Her lips were totally nonexsitent and her tongue a little sleeping slug.

Simon said, “no thanks.” All this tourist shit was following him everywhere. He lived here now. He needed to be a local boy. Walking around with a lei wouldn’t help that. Just then a plane flew overhead, and at the same time one of those random, powerful, gusty, unexpected tropical breezes scattered the loose plumeria blossoms across the old lady’s many skirts. The finished lei smacked Simon in the face.

The hag cackled and pointed a crooked finger at the maroon, yellow, and white flowers that now slumped over Simon's shoulder. Everyone was staring, he was sure of it. But when he looked around no one seemed to care. Of course. 

“Told you so. Need some Aloooohaaaa! Hahahahaa!!” the lady said, laughing.

Shruging off the lei, Simon let it fall to the ground. So fast it made Simon jump, the lady skittered to her feet and grasped the lei. “Don’t let it fall!” she said. It was already too late. “Don’t let it touch the ground.”

She brushed the bad air vibes off the petals and extended her arm, waiting. Simon just stared at it for a second, then turned to leave, smacking into something warm and solid. He pulled back.

A college girl. Older than his sister. Pretty. She had boobs, real boobs, like boobs that were probably done growing, and she was six inches taller than him. “Sorry,” he said.

The girl said it was alright and turned to leave, but when she saw the lady’s stubborn, wobbly arm, she paused. “Auntie?” she asked.

With a sneaky little grin, the lady said, “Give that boy some Aloha.” 

The girl had golden skin. Black hair with sunkissed streaks. Ethnicity: indeterminate. She inched her book bag higher up her shoulder and let the lady ring the lay around her fingers.

With the lei’s soft petals fragrancing her small hands, she turned towards the boy, but he was already slamming into some other plants in his heated race for a caffeine fix. She presented the lei to the old lady, who held up one obstinate finger and shook her head, stiff wiry hair unmoving.

The girl gave a little bow and ran off after the boy. “Hey. Wait!” she said.

Simon could hear the tropical lilt in her voice. Less like a lilt, more like deepness. Something extra added. Like the umami flavor to the mangoes or the natural spice to the coffee. That something extra didn't make him turn around.

The girl held the lei in one hand and spun him around firmly with her other. “Just take this,” she said.

“Why?” He definitely wasn’t trying to impress this girl. What he needed was a friend his age.

“Because today is my little sister’s birthday,” she said, a wink betraying an idea.

“So?” Simon asked.

“There she is. And don’t forget the kiss on the cheek.”

Simon knew all about that. His parents had paid an extra thrity bucks for them to all get leid upon landing. A younger, tinier version of the girl parted a pair of palm leaves softly and emerged onto the lawn.

Simon heard the old lady cackle, but he ignored her and stepped into some less sweaty version of himself. He placed the lei around the girl’s neck, kissed the air next to her cheek, and said, “Happy Birthday.”

The girl recoiled and tugged on the lei. At least she kept the thing on as she walked away silently. Simon was going the same direction, but waited, let them walk first, and then went on slowly, not wanting to catch up. He was embarrassed and fully convinced that Hawaii was a really weird place.

p.s. in case you don't know this already, everyone in hawaii is one big ohana. kids call people older than them uncle or auntie. someone same age you call brudda or sista.


  1. getting leid is a college students past time isn't it? :)

    Cool story. I enjoyed.

  2. Not sure I get all the implications (there are some, right? That's why she recoiled?) but nicely written! Congrats on your first blogfest entry!

  3. I like the way the characters in this one come across, and it's very well written.

  4. "Do college kids lei each other on the first day of school?"

    hahaha Awesome. I really liked this. The voice was well-done.

  5. Good voice here. Thanks for sharing!

  6. "Do college kids lei each other on the first day of school?"

    I burst at this line! its perfectly fitted. wonderful!

  7. I'm intrigued about this and wonder what's going to happen to him in Hawaii. I totally snickered at the lei joke -- great! :D

  8. So funny that a place most people save to go and visit is his worst nightmare. How great to juxtapose the sunny beauty with the dark cloud hanging over his head.

    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  9. Thank you everyone for the warm fuzzies!! This was a really fun exercise. This is my first blogfest, but certainly not the last. What a great way to push ourselves.

  10. You did a nice job bringing a sense of the culture to life. Simon's disgust at being in a place that everyone else desires to visit is amusing and handled well.

    You do have a couple POV shifts (from Simon to the college girl), but those should be easy to correct. It's tough to write 3rd person when you're used to writing 1st (I know - I've done it), but with a little more practice, you'll get the hang of it.

    Nice entry. Thanks for participating in my blogfest (and your first!), and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to stop by

  11. Thanks for the crit Roh. I do struggle with 3rd! And it was a fun blogfest. :)