Lines (Part One)
By Artelle Lenthall
There it is. The finish line. I can see it. They're all running desperately, sweat pouring off them like tears, tripping over themselves to get to it. The gun went off before, it hurt my ears. I jumped. Then I ran. That's what you're supposed to do. I saw a really incredible bird yesterday, but it flew away before I could get close enough to draw it. I sketched it at home from memory. It was lousy. No details. I saw it again, just as the race started. I had to get my sketchbook and pencils. They were upstairs in my desk somewhere. I walked off the track to find them.
I raced back to where I saw the bird, just near the track. They called my name over the microphone. I don’t like the microphone. Too loud. They gave me a ribbon for participating, even though I didn't. They all cheered when I got my ribbon, but it sounded muffled and distorted, distant. I walked away. I sat and sketched at last. Lines. Short and sharp. Long and curved. Lines of feathers. They walked over to snoop. Some of them were still talking about the race. Some called out, "What are you doing, Lines?" They all made noise. They bird flew away. I was angry. I picked up my stuff in the hand that wasn't clenched. Someone said, "Loopy Liam" and "Lines is at it again". I swung round, fists and feet flying.
They grabbed me. It got all blurry. I wiped my wet cheek and saw someone pick up my sketchbook, but I couldn't get free. "Give it back!" I screamed. There were sounds and colours and swirls everywhere. I was dragged away- away from the person- the person with my sketchbook. I sat silently, staring out the window of the Principal's office. I still couldn't see the bird. I poked the toe of my shoe into his carpet. Hard. He used his patient voice. Eventually, he sighed, gave me a Lunchtime Detention (If the bird came back and I missed it again) and took me back to class.
I sat at my desk. I saw the Principal, whispering to my teacher. They looked at me. I think the kids did too, but I didn't care. Teachers talk about me all the time. One will look at me for less than a second and the others will glance all around, pausing for a second on me, giving the first one a small nod or smile. They talk about other kids too. Other kids don’t notice though. They never notice details. They really miss heaps. That reminded me of the bird and my sketchbook. I wanted my sketch book. Now. I jumped up and yelled, "Where is it? I want it back!" They looked at me, confused. Why didn't they understand? Why didn't they ever understand?
"Now, Liam," the Principal started. People sneered, "Loopy...Lines...Loon...Lia..." I wouldn't let them finish. I wheeled about. Ready.