Thursday, March 24, 2011

Of Doughnuts and Dancing, The Red Dress Club Prompt

It was completely out of character for Hilary to steal. She couldn’t quite believe herself as she quickly slipped the frosted treat into her bag, glancing around the room nervously. The other students were gathered around the lab desk of Brandon Adams, who was putting on a rap performance with a partially dissected frog. Hilary felt sweat dampen her armpits, and waited for someone to point her out and scream “THIEF!”. But as always, Hilary seemed to be wearing a cloak of invisibility, and no one paid her any mind.


Two periods later when Hilary was safely in the school library, she brought the pastry out for examination. For the past three weeks, the school had been abuzz with stories of flow-nuts. They were the invention of the school genius, Jason Kruggs, an underachiever of massive proportions. Jason should’ve been bound for the Ivy leagues, but instead he wasted his time partying and hacking into the computers of large corporations. He once slipped a code into the design programs of a large architectural firm in town. When the architects tried to use the program, their designs would fall to pieces, and an animated wolf would stalk across the computer screen, proclaiming “I HUFFED AND I PUFFED AND I BLEW YOUR LOUSY HOUSE DOWN!”

So it wasn’t surprising when Jason came out with his flow-nuts. No one knew exactly how Jason had invented them, but there were plenty of theories. Some claimed it was a mixture of X and a specially processed sugar. Others felt like he used an herbal base – ginseng and valerian. Whatever his method, Jason supposedly devised this new drug and laced it into the frosting of glazed doughnuts. The consumer who ate the doughnut suffered very little side effects (possible stomach complaints being the most common), but would find a vibe – a flow – taking over the body. Soon enough, a user would be dancing all over the room, grooving to invisible tunes, the body overridden with rhythm.

Hilary didn’t buy it. Not one bit. There couldn’t possibly be a drug that would make you dance, not even from the school’s most legendary genius. She set the flow-nut on top of her neat, brown-paper covered Earth Science textbook. The flow-nut looked innocent, decadent in its sprinkles and sugar. Hilary had never taken a drug in her life, but it wasn’t as if kids were overdosing from the sweets. More importantly, if she could dance, if she could really dance, would other kids notice her? Would she lose her invisibility and start to make friends? Just thinking about it made her heart beat nervously. She hated being such an outcast, with the wrong clothes that never fit her apple shape and her springy, unruly curls.

Hilary glanced around the library, but it was quiet. Ms. Potter was bent over her computer, inattentive. Before she could change her mind, Hilary lifted the doughnut to her mouth and took a bite. The sugared frosting melted slowly on her tongue. It tasted just like a normal doughnut. Soft and chewy. Before she could change her mind, Hilary quickly downed the rest. Then she waited. Nothing. She didn’t feel any different. The room looked the same.

Hilary sighed with disappointment and opened her textbook. As she began answering questions about rock formations, Hilary didn’t notice when her foot started tapping. She didn’t notice when music and a beat filled her ears. But when she found her head bobbing to music, her eyes widened in surprise. Soon, her whole body was bouncing, and she’d pulled her curls down from her ponytail. She was up on her feet, dancing with abandon, the music piping through her veins as she danced and rocked across the library floor, unable to fight the movement in her body.

This week's Red Dress Club prompt was to write a piece based on this delicious picture:
You can go read more creative writing on doughnuts this week at The Red Dress Club.
Also, critique is always welcomed.

35 comments:

Karen said...

I think I need one of those donuts...

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love the Big Bad Wolf! The donuts sound like they lead to great naps!

A Rural Journal said...

Incredible story. Flow-nuts. I love it! :)

Sandy said...

How very creative Lisa. My favorite part was the wolf...lol

Jane said...

You are talented! I smiled all the way thru this. Great little story I loved it! Blessings jane

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Best creative riff on a donut that I ever saw!

Greenacresmama said...

Really creative! I loved the wolf part, too.

Ginny said...

YOU wrote this? Wow, I'm impressed! I had thought you were giving us a snippet from a book you are reviewing. I have no critique, because there is nothing to critisize! You need to write books for older children!

texwisgirl said...

Very nicely done. But I couldn't help my brain yelling at her to "Just say No!"

Shell said...

I definitely need one of these donuts!

Andrea (ace1028) said...

I really liked this, Lisa. Loads of little things that grabbed me. The stealing, the way she wanted to be noticed (people steal things to be noticed, too, but you already knew that).

Where was she stealing it from? Another kid? I lost that a little bit there. I assumed so, as they were in school and not a store.

I could have done w/o the line about the kids all around some other kid's desk. I don't need his name, or even the name of the genius, and while I love LOVE the wolf part of the story, I think it could have been cut here. You could have just said "wasted his time partying and hacking into large corporations." and left it at that.

I love Hilary, though. I loved her disappointment, even in her disbelief, the hope that the doughnuts would prove her wrong.

Don't hate me, but I don't need Ms. Potter, either. ;)

Anyway, sorry for being a total pain, I know this one was SO hard. You kicked butt at it. It's totally original and honestly, it might be one of my favorite things you've ever written (or at the very least shared here!). Well done!

And I totally agree, you seem to have a Young Adult niche about you and I love it! Woo hoo! Can't wait to say I knew you when. ;)

blueviolet said...

It kinda reminded me of how I felt about taking a drink in high school. I wanted it to loosen me up. Just like her, I did it, and it worked. :(

Chatty Crone said...

Great story - and all I needed was coffee and a 'donut'! sandie

(Florida) Girl said...

My favorite part of this was the flavor of the characters you created. I wanted very much to like both Hilary and Jason.

And thanks for stopping by my red dress post.

Mamarazzi said...

now i want a donut...i love that you are able to turn a simple prompt into something so awesome!

Shanae Branham said...

I enjoyed your story. I didn't know you were a writer. Way to go... Thanks for stopping by and supporting Ann. It was fun hearing your story about your ring!

Jack said...

Very clever. I liked all the details and background.

Home In The Hollow said...

I thought the idea behind your story was wonderful and that she stole it!!!...:)JP

Galit Breen said...

This post was so creative and FUN!

Secretly, I'm so glad that the invention worked- both for Hillary and Jason.

This line: "But as always, Hilary seemed to be wearing a cloak of invisibility, and no one paid her any mind." Heartbreaking, perfect.

Nancy C said...

Super clever. I adore how you capture the way high school kids all know about everybody else's business, even when they are on the fringes.

I love her dancing at the end. I love the gradual way it sweeps her up.

I think I want to see her isolation more. A flashback to a conversation? A comment by a teacher? Something to show how isolated she is, as opposed to how isolated she feels. That may or may not be the same thing.

This absolutely could be a YA novel! Imagine a magical realism thing where food brings out all the qualities the kids secretly desire. Hmmm...I'll steal it if you don't take it.

XOXO

amygrew said...

I kinda love this Jason kid. He sounds like a good time. I don't think I will try one of his famous donuts but I wouldn't mind seeing the big bad wolf in action!

Nicely written!

So Who Is The Crayon Wrangler? said...

I how I would have needed one of those donuts in school. I can't tell you how many times I wrapped Ace bandages around my ankle when it came time for a school dance just so that I wouldn't have to dance...and it gave me an excuse as to why nobody asked me to dance...

Vivid story and I was happy to meet all the characters and can't wait to see if you continue to play this out a little longer...

Sara said...

What a creative take on this prompt. It was a fun story to read and I loved that she danced in the end.

I could use a donut like that right now! I also thought your use of the "clock of invisibility" was very on target. I can remember that feeling myself.

This is a minor suggestion. I'm older and reading online is sometimes difficult for me. I notice that you center your paragraphs. This may be just me, but I have a harder reading them in that format,

Still, if that's your style, I like your writing and I will come back regardless:~)

Jbutt said...

A lot of fun to read! And I'm pretty sure I went to high school with Jason. I agree with previous commenters - I could see a YA series coming out of this...but about whom, Hilary or Jason?

erin margolin said...

Wonderful job, Lisa! I definitely need a Flow nut, too! I can't dance at all.

For some reason this reminded me of one of my girls' favorite books. Pinkalicious. I agree you are taking off with the YA stuff here! Great details and I enjoyed where you went with this.

Honest Convo Gal said...

What worked? Your development of Hilary as an invisible girl--the high school wallflower, at least in her own mind.

What could use work? You could tighten your description and exposition. I am a proponent of fewer adverbs. Watch how often you repeat a character's name. Could you substitute a pronoun for flow? Do you need every single word? If not, lose it.

What I loved? The concept! What fun and creative idea! I am just in love with the creative place you took the prompt. With a longer word limitation you could take this just about anywhere.

Karen Peterson said...

This was a lot of fun to read and I'm so glad you shared it.

There were a few things that felt unnecessary and pulled me out of the story just a little bit. As part of a larger piece they might work, but the back story about the kid who invented the flow-nuts didn't feel like it needed to be there. A funny bit, of course, but I think simply explaining he was a genius who had pulled off some grand schemes would have been sufficient.

But, really, this was good!

Tanya Tringali said...

Great take on this prompt, and go Hilary! Sometimes you have to take chances in life if you ever want things to be different. Thanks for sharing-

Cristina said...

I have a huge smile on my face... this story is AWESOME! I loved your description of how the music just snuck up on her. There were some details that didn't seem all that important to the story, stuff about other kids, I think others already mentioned it.

and I want me one of those doughnuts!

K Pugliano said...

I thought this was so creative!! I love the line "They were the invention of the school genius, Jason Kruggs, an underachiever of massive proportions."- Isn't it funny how the smart kids can fall into such a place?

The wolf was pretty good too...

And I love that she danced at the end!

Great job!

Law Momma said...

I liked this a lot. I liked how you captured that feeling that kids get in middle/high school where they just want to be recognized ... even if it's for something bad.

I liked the back story on the "inventor." My only criticism is actually on the final paragraphs. I wondered why she chose to eat the doughnut in the library if she wanted to be noticed and your description of the music taking over felt a little rushed.

But honestly? None of that mattered because you had such a strong voice throughout.

Erin said...

I think I need one of those doughnuts!
What a creative story!

Lizz said...

I loved this! Really well written and such an original storyline! Some didn't care for the additional details, like the wolf hack or the dissected frog rap, but I love them! I feel like your writing style is very much how someone thinks; the things you notice...
My only crit is that you use Hilary's name a LOT... I think several of those could be replaced with "she" or even just restructuring the sentences could make some of them unnecessary altogether.
But otherwise, it's a super-fun little read, and I'm happy that Hilary got her groove on!

Schwandy (Stephanie) said...

I just love this piece. It's so creative and like nothing that I ever would've been able to dream up.

Nicole said...

Great story Lisa! Loved it! You are so very creative. Don't forget us little people once you become famous! :) Or at least send us an autographed copy!! lol