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Look guy's, I know it went over 1,000 words, but 1,070 words is better that the last one at 1,086 words. I'll take my chances that you'll accept this, even bow, beg that you'll forgive me for the extra wordage.


by Richard Norway

'Tomorrow,' Elliot thought.

"Shit, why me? What did I ever do to him?

"Look El, you're the one that just HAD to piss him off by the way you treated him."

"Yeah Colin, go ahead and take Jason's side."

"I'm not taking anyone's side! I'm trying to tell you that he's going to fight you tomorrow because of the way you treated him. You treat him like shit and he never deserved that"

"Yeah, like what did I ever do to him?"

"Like what? Like WHAT? You've got to be kidding. When was the last time you ever just said 'hello' to him, just for no reason?

"Well, why should I? Everyone makes fun of him."

"Why? Because he's a nerd?"

"Well, yeah."

"I can't believe you man."

Colin got off of Elliot's bed and started walking around the room, his hands on his hips, pissed. Finally he stopped and turned toward his friend.

"Look El, do you remember what you did to him yesterday?"

"Yeah, I told him that he needed to get a life. And he does. He never joins us in B Ball. All he ever does is read his books."


"Well, that's just not normal Colin. Guys should hang together. He just never does."

"El, how long have you known him?"

"We grew up together since we were like three when I moved in next door to him."

"Has he been a friend before?"

"Well, yeah. We grew up together, and played together."

"So what's changed between you and him?"

"Ever since we got in high school, he's just been weird. He's just changed."

"Like how?"

"What do you mean, like how? You've seen him. He's just avoiding me."

"Yeah, right. You're avoiding him."

"I am not!"

"Get off it you dipshit, Elliot. You are too. It seems like you're trying your damnest to put a space between you two."


Elliot stayed on his bed, but turned his face from Colin. A moment passed between the two boys.

Elliot finally turned his eyes back toward Colin.

"You think so? Have I really been doing that?"

"Yeah, man. You have."

Elliot stopped and thought for a moment, not turning his gaze on his friend Colin, starring at him.

"I've been a shit, haven't I?"

"Yeah, big time."

"Jason's going to kick my butt tomorrow, isn't he?"

"Yeah, there's a good chance of that. He's got you by two inches and like twenty pounds, you know?"

"Shit. Tomorrow's my birthday, you know? Why of all days does he have to do that."

"Oh man, you know why. Just try to be his friend from now on. He's been trying to be yours, but you've been so wrapped up in 'image.' So what if he's a little bit different than you. So what if he likes to read more than the comic books that you read. He's still a friend, right?"

"Yeah. He's been there for me," Elliot looking out the window.

"He's always been there for you. Didn't you know that?"

"Yeah, I guess I did. There was this one time. Just after my mom died, Jason came by to see me."

Elliot got off the bed and walked to the window, looking at the oak tree wavering in the wind. He paused for a moment, not keeping his eyes from wavering from that tree.

"Colin, he was the only one from school that ever came to see me, besides you."

Colin moved to his friend and put his arm over his shoulder.

"See what I mean El. He really wants to be your friend."

Elliot turned abruptly, throwing Colin's arm off of him.

"But he wants to fight me. He wants to kick my butt tomorrow."

"Yeah, and you deserve it too."

"I know, but shit. I don't want to fight him."

"Then don't."

"What? The whole school heard what he said. I don't know how to get out of this."

"So, where are you supposed to meet?"

"At his house, next door, an hour after school lets out. I guess his parents won't be home so he can annihilate me."

"You want me there tomorrow with you?"

"Yeah. And bring a wet rag to wipe up my blood."

When Elliot's last class bell rang to send him home, he hung back. He knew what was coming. Jason deserved to pound him, and he knew it, and he knew that Jason could do it.

Slowly he got up from his desk and started his long and lonely trek home. His eyes filled with relief as he saw Colin come up beside him.

"Thanks man. Thanks for being here." Elliot said as he looked at his friend.

"What are friends for, man?"

Elliot turned and started the walk down death row. Slowly his house came into view and then Jason's home next to his own house came into view. Elliot's heart beat increased. He knew that it was time to face the music and that he was about to have the shit beaten out of him, but he also knew that his friend Colin was there with him.

"Colin? I don't want to fight him."

"I know. Well, I figured that you didn't. What are you going to do?"

"I think I want to apologize to him."

"For being a dick?"

"Yeah. I have been. I hope that I get the black eye after I say what I have to say."

"I hope you get two black eyes."


"Don't you deserve both?"

"Why don't you go home? You're not helping much."

Colin put his arm around Elliot's shoulder and headed him toward his doom.

"Come man. Let's just get this over with."

The two boys walked up to Jason's front door, Elliot pulling back slightly before Colin rang the door bell.

The door opened in an instant by Jason. He stood silently observing his 'guests' for a moment before he spoke.

"Welcome," with an evil and foreboding grin.

Stepping aside, Jason bowed his hand in a welcoming gesture for his friends to enter.

Forthcoming dread filled Elliot. He couldn't move. Finally Colin grabbed Elliot's hand and pulled him into the house.

The house erupted with the sounds of "Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday dear Elliot. Happy Birthday to you." from all of his friends.

Elliot turned toward Jason.

"You shit."

"Yeah. Aren't I though." was all Jason said.

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I don't think anyone here worries much about actual word count. Just how good the story is. I'd hate to think someone would take a perfect story idea that could be told exactly right in 1153 words and diminish it by forcing it into a 1000-word framework.

Here, we worry more about the story being right than about it's length.

This was pretty good, Richard. Thanks.


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Too many words?

There are just as many words as it needs to tell the story, neither too few or too many.

Which words should we take out? also ala Amadeus.

Nice story Richard. I loved the surprise ending. :icon6:

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Brings out book, writes ticket for too many words. Has author promise to write another story in lieu of paying fine for ticket. Word policeman is a pushover.

It was a sweet story about friendship. I liked the ending, it was nice. Got so wrapped up in it I forgot to count the words. I'll try to do better next time!

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  • 4 weeks later...

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