Friday, February 24, 2012

How Rusty Got Her Name

 This is a short story about how my main character, Rusty, got her name, and yes, this deals with my young adult science fiction novel. And yes, Rusty is a girl. All thoughts are welcome. :)

Short Story: My Brothers suck.
My mother finished washing out the dye in my hair, coating the sink with a golden blonde paste; however, something seemed odd about the color. It had a slight rustic tint, but I couldn't figure out why. As my mother took out her hair drier, she spun the chair around so I couldn't see into the mirror. Warm air danced across my face when she turned it on, and I closed my eyes, allowing the heat to hug my face. As the air disappeared, my mother fetched for the purple brush on the countertop, beginning to comb through my hair, and a wrong feeling washed over me. It was as if knots had developed everywhere, and as my mother tugged on the brush, pain surged through my scalp.
I reached up to touch my hair and caught a gasp in my palm. My hair felt like a thin layer of rust coated it. Turning around to face the mirror, I met a horrible sight. A rustic look sat upon my hair, covering up its natural beauty. Yanking the brush out of my mother's hand, I ran out of the bathroom, tears streaming down my cheeks. "I'm so sorry, honey. We can fix it, I promise!" my mother called after me, but I didn't listen. I dashed to my room as fast as I could, but as I reached the living room, my three brothers blocked the hallway leading to it. They smirked and laughed at me, and with my hair brush in hand, I realized why.
Hunter, the oldest of my brothers, stalked forward, zipping up his black fleece jacket. I retreated, gazing back at the front door and fled toward it. He grabbed ahold of me and said, "Look at her. She looks like she rubbed her hair against Dad's old, rusty car." All of my brothers snickered as I struggled to break free of Hunter's grip. He launched me backwards into Matt, the youngest brother, who then shoved me back to Hunter. Back and forth I went between the three, unable to break free of their twisted game.
            "Mom should really take to the car wash," Matt said as he pushed my back as hard as he could, sending me to the ground. My knees hit the shaggy carpet, followed by my hands. Sharp, heated pain shot through my knees, and the skin peeking out of my jeans turned bright, strawberry red. I sucked in all the tears that begged to run down my face; I couldn't let them win.
When I finally caught my breath, I glared back at Matt's matted appearance. His hair was tangled on a daily basis, and mud always coated his jeans and boots. A large, gaping hole sat on the sleeve of his white shirt, and underneath, his skin looked filthy. Finally, I found the right words to fight back, "Maybe Mom should hose you off in the back yard like Spike." At the mention of his name, Spike wagged his short, stumpy tail on the couch to my left.
Matt clenched his fists, his knuckles turning chalk white, "What did you just say?" He advanced forward, and I had to tilt my head toward the sky to see him. "It's not my fault you look so rusty.”
I grabbed a handful of my hair, unsure of what to say. A tear slid down my cheek, and I bit my lip, wishing he would just disappear. My hair would be forever ruined, and they'd never leave me alone, unless I beat them at their own game. I searched for the right thing to say, anything to fight their ceaseless comments. Finally, I found the words to say, "Being rusty suits me." Matt was taken aback. He rolled his eyes and headed for the front door, my other brothers following after him. I couldn't believe it worked, but ever since that day, they’ve never stopped calling me Rusty.

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