A Quiet Soul, Part 1 of 3: Potato Chips

Fiction By Clare Marie // 1/12/2011

 **I'm sorry for being so out of the loop....I really do hope this will mark the recapitulation of regularly posting on AP!**



"A Quiet Soul"


Part 1: Potato Chips



          Dillon knows he is being watched.  Some sixth sense tells him so, a sensitivity he cultivated as a child -- at first a tottery, vague uneasiness which tickled his hair and sent a feeble moth fluttering around his heart like a light.  But now it is a subtle, insistent alarm ringing in his ears.
          Dillon knows he is being watched; and he does not like it.  
          The sense points his head to the right.  Dillon throws a sideways glance out of the corner of his eye.  Quick look, back again.
          A girl.  A girl sits curled in the corner, one leg tucked underneath her, the other dangling over the edge of the seat.  She regards him curiously, with the steady, thoughtful look of a child who has not yet become acquainted with the ways of the world.  She has a rough wooden choker around her neck which she fingers often, as if for comfort.  She does not notice his swift glance.
          She reminds him of Hayley.
          Dillon turns his eyes down to the book in his lap.  Geography.  There aren't many things Dillon hates, but geography is one of them.  Hayley, though younger than he, always helps him with his geography homework.  Hayley loves geography; her life dream is to travel round the world.
          The girl blushes and hurriedly picks up her notebook and pen, evidently embarrassed she has been daydreaming.  Dillon wonders absently if she likes geography.  He keeps his dark, gentle, sleepy eyes on her and passes his hand over his chin.  This is his thinking habit.  A classmate told him last week that the only enjoyment she gets out of their world history class is watching him rub his chin.  Dillon doesn't understand her lack of amusement; he loves history.  He and his best friend Brendan put on a production of the discovery of America in their senior year at high school a few years ago.  Brendan is one of Dillon's few friends.  He is going to Ohio State for college, so Dillon bought an Ohio State windbreaker.  He is wearing it now, and as his thoughts turn to Brendan, he glances down at the jacket with the big red O on it.  The girl shuffles her feet, and Dillon's mind is brought back to ponder her existence.  Is she a Buckeye fan?
          He is thinking about the girl again.  Dillon stands up, gathers his books and backpack, and begins the long walk to his next class.  People always stare at him, probing him with their judgmental eyes which seem to gaze into his soul.  It unbalances him.  He makes a point of not wondering about strangers, because he doesn't want anybody evaluating his life.  As if life could be figured out by just looking.  Life must be experienced before it can be brought to conclusions.  Dillon rarely experiences other people enough to determine their character.
          He stops by the vending machine and punches in some numbers.  $1.15 for a bag of potato chips.  Dillon's lucky his parents help pay for school.  His job at the Marathon gas station doesn't give him a lot of cash, but Dillon loves potato chips.  He only wishes his cat Tyrone were here to share the snack with him.  Tyrone may be a lousy substitute for a dog -- Dillon is allergic -- but at least he eats like one.  That counts for something.  Dillon doesn't like worrying about things he can't or shouldn't have.  Just like these potato chips.  Dillon rips open the bag with a joyous crinkling, and pops one in his mouth.



I love the writing style of

I love the writing style of this. It's very clear and yet dreamy. Does that make sense?

Anna | Thu, 01/13/2011

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

I agree with Anna...this is

I agree with Anna...this is quietly lovely. I shall look forward to the second and third installments.

Annabel | Fri, 01/14/2011


I love how it isn't written like it's from the twenty-first century.....it's awesome Clare!!!!

Bernadette | Fri, 01/14/2011

This is interesting and

This is interesting and well-written. I'm glad you're back!

Hannah W. | Fri, 01/14/2011

 Thanks, everyone. :)

 Thanks, everyone. :)

Clare Marie | Sat, 01/15/2011

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

very nice!

Good job, Clare! This is very well done... Keep writing!

Elizabeth | Sun, 01/16/2011


The Holy Spirit is the quiet guest of our soul." -St. Augustine


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