Original Fiction -- Writing Fiction Assignment
Warnings: Amateur Artists
Rating: PG for a curse
Those Kinds of People
Cassandra was stopped in the hallway, her fellow college students going around her and the young woman, Erika, who had pulled Cassandra aside. Erika was leafing through her book bag, babbling insistently as she tried to find a specific sheet of paper.
“I was staring at this guy all through class working on this, and I think it turned out okay, and I wanted to ask you since you’re an art major, but we share that government class Oh did you write that paper last night? I’m sooo stuck on that, I didn’t understand any of the topic so I went to the library—” Erika’s voice became a drone, and Cassandra tried in vain to find an escape route, knowing from experience that walking away just invited Erika to follow her. So instead she braced herself, knowing exactly what was coming.
“—so I asked for his number and Oh I found it!” Erika pulled out the sheet of printer paper with gusto. Pencil marks marred its surface and she passed the drawing to Cassandra, “I rather like it, but you’ve got a better eye than me, so can you tell me what you think?”
Gingerly taking the paper, Cassandra looked it over while chewing on her inner lip, going through every escape maneuver she’s ever used to get out of meetings like this. There were reasons the students in the busy hallway put effort into not pushing Cassandra as they went around the two of them. Cassandra looked back up after she selected a getaway plan that she hadn’t attempted trying with Erika before, and met the young woman’s eyes. Just like all the other times previously, the girl’s expression killed every word on Cassandra’s lips, every cruel truth and every callous retort. Pure delight and hope. It would have been like kicking a puppy.
The picture was clearly drawn with an amateur’s hand; the lines were shaky and vague in all the wrong places. Cassandra looked it over again and hoped that lightning would come down and slay them all. Then she wouldn’t have to do this. Or her government paper.
“It’s good,” Cassandra said with a forced smile. “You spent a lot of time on the hair and it really shows.” The glowing look on Erika’s face compelled Cassandra to continue, “You also got the eyes the right shape and distance from each other, which can be very tricky. And you got that trick with the glasses right.” Damn the puppy eyes. Damn them to the same place in hell that has five thousand word essays.
“Really?” The blatant delight in Erika’s girly voice made Cassandra grind her teeth as she nodded.
“You should erase some of the lines around the line work to clean it up—”
“Cassie, you’re so great! Thank you! I spent a long time on this and everyone kept making fun of it but I knew it was good, they just don’t know anything about art and you do and you like it and—” Erika’s mouth went off again as she hugged that terrible paper to her chest and danced in place, drawing curious looks from all around them.
The other students graced Cassandra with pitying eyes and a few barely hidden sneers of glee at seeing her put on the spot. Cassandra hefted up her portfolio bag, intent on ignoring the
leech stalker self-appointed apprentice for as long as possible. Which wasn’t very long.