I DID IT, FOLKS. 6K words and 2 Chapters of CORNERS written! How many words did you write today? You better tell me you wrote some, or else. Here is the promised excerpt from the 1st chapter, the very opening.
Chapter 1. Number 348
The world had corners. All kinds of corners. Dark creepy corners, dusty corners, corners full of spider webs—not that Bells was afraid of spiders, she wasn’t, but we’ll come back to that later. What was it again? Ah, corners. We were talking about corners. Secret forgotten corners (ohh, are you scared yet?). Hidden corners. Corners to be discovered, like pages of a book that hasn’t been read. Hasn’t even been written. Waiting to opened and fallen inside. If you knew where to look, of course. Bells knew. And didn’t. She didn’t know she knew, she was about to find out.
"Piss it!" She yelled at Peacock.
"Watch where you’re going!"
"Gee. Bossy today." Peacock steered his bike out of the way.
Bells furiously pedaled past, head high, dark pony tail whipping in the wind.
"Girls." Scoffed Peacock.
"I know, right?" Came from Rusty.
Rusty only shrugged. He always shrugged when Peacock scolded him. It was better not to argue with Peacock. His grandmother Agnieszka told him not to. "Never argue with your friends, Russell. You hear me?" She’d shake her veined manicured finger at him. That is, before pugs Teeny and Weeny would yap to her attention. It was no time to think about grandmothers, however. It was time to enjoy skipping school. The day before last of the fifth grade, to be specific.
Rusty straightened his shoulders. "Girls. Right?" He tried on Grand.
Grand didn’t say anything. He pedaled last in the group, his jiggling girdle giving him trouble. His white socks grey from the dust kicked by tires. His face red, sweaty, concentrated. Nothing ever was easy for Grand. It took him effort, deep thought, and lengthy pessimistic ruminations, mostly picked up from his mother, a funeral home cosmetologist. He was often envious of Peacock and his two dads and their nonchalant style of life, but kept it to himself.
"Here!" Cried Bells, turned into a dirt road, dropped her bike and ran up to the water, picking up stones and skipping them across the lake.
"Nice choice, Bells." Peacock carefully dismantled his prized multi-speed possession, passed a hand through bright periwinkle faux hawk—it was only periwinkle this week, last week it was turquoise—and sauntered up to her. There were two things on his mind. What color hair he should pick for next week, acid-green or magenta, and if he could beat Bells this time. She always won, always. No matter how hard he tried, how many exquisitely flat and polished pebbles he found, Bells managed to tilt her head just so, lift her arm that special way, squint her right eye, and fling the stone, twisting it perfectly, watching it hop one time, two, five, ten!
"Glorious tulips! How do you do it?"
"With female grace, you dolt." She clapped her hands to get rid of the sand. Female grace was something her mother mentioned quite often, when rehearsing for her next opera, and Bells thought that it was a great way to get back at the boys. It’s something she had and they didn’t, and it made her feel superior. In any case, she was feeling great. It was sunny. It was warm. It was a nice June day. And she didn’t have to see Ms. Carbuncle’s poisonous face. And it was poisonous, especially her lips, two slugs that dropped mean words like slaps in your face.
"Sit straight!" She’d yell. "Take out your notebooks! Use your pens! I don’t want to see any scratch marks, so better think before you write! Belladonna Monterey, what are you looking at?"
Bells didn’t hear her at first, fascinated by the spider weaving a net behind the window. See, I told you we’d come back to the spiders, didn’t I?
Every girl in class was scared of the spiders, except Bells. Girls despised her unhealthy, in their opinion, love for the insects. Boys adored it, Peter Sutton especially. Peacock, that is. They were friends since first grade, since that moment when he picked up Bells’ tooth—milk tooth, mind you, it was falling out already—that she lost after that fat redhead Wilma Pufpaff whacked her on the head with a heavy backpack for stepping on her foot. Bells bravely tore out a chunk of Wilma’s hair for that, but that’s a whole another story.
"Belladonna Monterey!" Ms. Carbuncle would shout right in her ear, and Bells jumped.
"I’m talking to you, miss! Answer me."
"Nothing? Nothing??" Ms. Carbuncle’s already purple face turned the color of it’s-about-to-explode.
What happened after is not as significant as is the fact that Bells decided it was reason good enough to skip school the next day.
Whatever Bells decided, Peacock, Rusty and Grand would do without question. When she declared last year that Belladonna Monterey is a grossly inappropriate and a rather pompous name for a ten-year-old future scientist, because, mind you, she would never, never, become an actress or a singer like her mother wanted, naturally, her being an opera singer and all, her faithful friends agreed that they should do the same for all of them.