Here is a short story I wrote a few months ago, it is a prelude to something I’m still working on. Tell me what you think, and if you want to hear more.
Ari was walking on a small path in the park near her house when she saw her, the new girl who had been at school the day before.
She was very small for her age. Her short hair was knotted up in a tangled mess at the back, her jeans had rips in the knees, and her shirt was stained.
The little girl was sitting in the dirt, with a small bunch of wilting dandelions clenched in one hand. Ari watched as she wiped her nose on her dirty sleeve.
Feeling like she should introduce herself, she jogged over, and suddenly she saw the flower the girl was about to pull up from the dirt.
“NO!!!” she shouted as she ran nearer. The dirty little girl screamed and almost fell over backwards. “NO! That’s Fox Glove! It’s poisonous! It’ll make you all itchy.”
“It will not!”
“Why did you fall over?” Ari held out a hand to help her back up, but the girl brushed it away and pulled herself up. Now that she wasn’t hunched over, she was actually a little taller than Ari.
“I didn’t fall over. I just…the ground needed a hug.”
“Then why were you crying?” Ari asked quizzically
“It was…um…a very sad hug!” She said defensively
“I don’t- oh well.” Not wanting to fight, Ari let it pass. “Anyways, why were you going to pick that flower?”
“I was getting it for my mommy. She is sad, and I want her to be happy.” The little girl looked down at her tattered tennis shoes as she spoke.
“Why is she sad?”
“Nothing! Now, I have to get some more flowers, okay?”
“Okay…Hey! I have such a pretty garden, and I bet I have some flowers you can give to your mommy!” Beaming, Ari grabbed the surprised girls hand and began pulling her back towards her house. When they got there, she showed her right around the back to a quaint little four foot garden, full of beautiful flowers.
“There! I planted it all myself, and I water it everyday. Except, some flowers need more watering than the other ones.” She frowned slightly as she examined a drooping bluebell. “Well, you can have one of every type of flower, just choose which ones you want, I’ll go grab my gardening scissor-things so I can cut the blossoms off for you.”
“Thanks!!! They are so pretty…”And the girls hurried to choose the biggest, and prettiest flowers, cutting off nice long stems of roses, daffodils, daisies, and more.
“Anyways, what’s your name?” Ari asked sweetly, as she trimmed off the thorns on a red rose so the other girl could hold it.
“I’m Beatrice. But I don’t like my name, so call me B. Or Bug. My daddy used to call me Lady Bug…” She trailed off, the happiness from the pretty garden disappearing as she thought of something obviously painful.
“Okay. I will call you Bug. I’m Ari, and it’s very nice to meet you.” She stuck out a grubby hand, stained brown and green and yellow from all her time in the garden. Slowly, cautiously, Bug raised her hand and shook Ari’s.
“So, is Ari your real name? It’s pretty.”
“No, my real name is Arielle. But I like it either way.”
“And I’m Josh, hi.” Another voice had joined the conversation. Unnoticed, a young boy with blonde hair and huge blue-green eyes was grinning at them, dimples and all.
“Hi, Josh! This is my new friend, Bug. Bug, This is Joe Nelly.” Ari giggled, and pulled her bushy brown hair out of her face as she continued. “He thinks he is very funny.”
“I am very funny, and I’ve told you, its Josh Nelsen, NOT Joe Nelly. Nelly is a girls name. Anyways, what are you doing chopping up all those flowers?” He eyed the flowers scattered around the girls. Bug finally spoke up,
“We aren’t chopping them up, we are chopping them off. And they are for my mommy.”
“Oh cool. But how are you going to get them back to your house, they are all over the place.” The girls looked at each other, momentarily at a block. Then Ari said,
“Oh, I know. Josh and I will help you carry them back, of course.” Josh agreed, and so the three seven year olds grabbed handfuls of flowers and began walking along on the sidewalk back up the block to Bug’s house.
Along the way they were all startled by a shout. Looking up, they saw a car had just parked across the street and two little faces, a boy around their age and a girl a bit younger were leaning out the window, waving their arms and shouting “HI! ITS NICE TO MEET YOU! WE JUST MOVED HERE!” Ari and Josh waved back yelling, “HI ITS NICE TO MEET YOU TO!” When they noticed that Bug was just standing there, arms hanging at her side, Josh grabbed one of her hands and Ari grabbed the other and they lifted her arms up and she waved her arms, and Josh was laughing, and Ari was giggling, and the boy, Darcy, and his sister, Charity, were laughing, and for the first time since her father had left her mother and her, homeless, jobless, and depressed, Bug was laughing too.
And so they waited until Darcy had helped his sister out of the car and into her wheelchair and then pushed her across the street and then all 5 of them went down the street, Ari hooking arms with Bug, and Josh and Darcy talking animatedly and Charity entertaining them all by saying different things in her British accent, which they all found hilarious.
And so, Friendship began.