Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mallory the Overdone

Mallory stared at her computer with a Google doc open on the screen. No words could come to her mind. She didn't know what to write. She watched as the thin, black typing line blinked on and off, on, off...

She hadn't typed a single word. Her creativity well had gone completely dry.

Last week she wrote a short story. It had taken her several hours of hard work to get it just right, then she proudly put it up on her blog for all of her friends to see. Mallory was quite a daydreamer, and oftentimes after a personal accomplishment she would imagine several people congratulating her and telling her she's one heck of a writer. She had friends to support her, and they would be the start for getting word out about her stories!

...Mallory's friends didn't read it. She'd ask them,

"So, whadjya think of it?"

They'd nod politely in an obviously-I'm-bluffing manner and say, "Yeah! It was -" pause, " - good..." followed by an awkward silence or an immediate change of subject. That, to Mallory, was far worse than them not reading it at all.


2.Mallory groaned, closed the vacant window and decided to check her Facebook.

Typety, typety.... username..... Typety, typety.... password... Enter.

Ah! A notification!

Mallory's excitement died when it was only some person she didn't know inviting her to an unknown group event. She closed Facebook. Mallory didn't get it; she posted brilliant statuses, famous quotes, and viral videos but never get any "likes" or comments. She even tried to make her profile pic look sexy but apparently that did nothing. Somehow though, Mallory was not surprised.

Ever since she started high school her popularity went down the drain. Well, she never was popular, she just had a lot of really close friends and got along well with everybody. Now she feels invisible. Her "friends" apparently have better things to do like go talk with the blonds or the jocks.

Mallory got up and went to the mirror. She adjusted her glasses and frowned.

"This story feels so typical," she said to herself, "I've heard it many times before. What can I possibly do to change it?"

She was referring to herself as she picked at her teeth, hair and clothes.



Mallory had written up a new fan-fiction about the latest hero movie that sold for about a zillion dollars. She actually hadn't seen it (unlike everyone else), but she looked up the basic plot line and characters and understood generally what it was all about.

Once again she hit up Facebook and her blog. Typety, typety... Enter.

Story posted.

After she finished watching a couple of hours of Cartoon Network and MTV downstairs she went back up to her room, checked her computer and, same as before, zilch.

"ARGGH!" Mallory screamed, "What is wrong with me?!?!?!?"

She plopped onto her bed and buried her head in her pillow. Soon the pillowcase was soaked.

"Tears are so typical..." she whimpered, "This is so lame... There is nothing to cry about... I am better than that... Why can't they just see that?"


A couple of years ago Mallory's mom gave her a diary that came with a gel pen. The cover was pink and had obnoxiously orange flowers peppered all over it.

"This is for you," her mom said, "You're going through a lot of changes now and you will be for the next few years. I think it'd be good for you to write down your feelings and experiences here."

"Thanks," Mallory said hesitantly.

Mallory hadn't actually used it until she started making internet stories a few months ago. She didn't like to document what had happened in the day, because her life was simply too boring and repetitive, and frankly she wasn't into history to begin with. She instead would write poems on her better days, create short stories on neutral days, and  scribble violently across a page on bad days.  

Today Mallory was sick of the annoyingly bright diary cover.

"I've gotta trash this," she said.

Mallory wasn't much of an artist (but she could draw a nice stick-figure), so she glued cut-outs from her magazines to illustrate the front. Next she put a picture of herself on top.

"Something's missing..."

She reached for the Sharpie and added a mustache, top hat, buck teeth, and a speech bubble on the photo.

"Much better," she said, "this isn't my diary, it's my story."



"Cloudy with a fifty percent chance of showers and thunderstorms," a weather guy said on the radio, "so as you plan for your day please be cautious and aware of that..."

"Honey, what's the matter?" Mallory's mom asked as she slowed down for a red light.

Mallory grunted, "Nothing, Mom."

"Your arms are crossed and you're not looking at me."

 "I said, nothing, Mom."

"You've been like this for the past few days. Is everything OK in school?"

"I'm FINE, Mom." 

Silence, except for the radio:"High of 50 today, low of 35..."

Her mom proceeded through the green light.

"I'm here if you want to talk about whatever whenever, alright, sweetie?"

Mallory sighed. "OK, Mom." Then she thought to herself: "I wish I could tell you everything, but I don't even know what's wrong with me."


 After school, Mallory waited outside on a bench for her mom to pick her up. It was quite chilly, so she wrapped her big coat around her tightly. Suddenly, the wind picked up and blew her homework  loose! She chased after it until she collected each and every page.

Returning to sit back down, another person was sitting on the bench, picking up her story book.

The stranger asked: "May I?"

Most people would probably snatch their personal belongings away from the snoopy weirdo while shouting, "GIVE THAT BACK!" or, "That's private you idiot! Have you no respect for other people's privacy?" or perhaps, "STOP! THEIF! Help, police!!" For some reason, Mallory didn't seem to care.

"Go ahead," she replied, "but you're not going to like it."

The girl scanned the first few pages which had Mallory's internet stories glued on top.

"This sucks," said the girl.

Mallory blinked at her.

"This sucks big time."

Mallory looked at her shoes. "Yeah... I know...."

"Have you ever been taught how to write? This is pretty bad..."

Mallory began to defend herself, "Of course I've been taught how to write! What do you think I do at school?"

The girl giggled at that. Mallory had to also. Their school wasn't the best in the world...



"What's your name?" Mallory finally asked.

"My name is Naomi."

Mallory smirked. "Sure beats the name, Mallory."

Naomi was a naturally beautiful Asian girl who appeared to be a senior. Mallory hadn't really noticed her before, even though she had seen her in the halls of school often.

"Hmmm...." Naomi said, turning a page. "Actually, this part isn't so bad."

Mallory looked up and saw that the girl was looking at... the scribbled up pages? On the next page, Naomi read some poems.

"Wow! This is actually very good." The girl finished the book and closed it. "Would've been a great story if it weren't for the beginning part."

"You actually thought it was good?" Mallory asked. "What about the original 'this sucks big time'? Also, this is like my notebook full of randomness. It's not like they're made to be well-constructed or nice or sell big or anything like that..."

The girl set the book down.

"As a fellow writer, might I make a suggestion to you?"

Mallory nodded.

"Maybe if you stopped trying so hard to please everyone you'd do better."



Mallory thought about this. Huh, that's strange, all this time she had been working only for the sake of winning everyone's approval, to get attention. Why hadn't she seen it before?

"Your opinion sways so much from what other people do or don't do that you get confused and upset. You can't even rely on your own gifts and natural abilities anymore."

Mallory's eyes got wide, "You know, you're right! That's EXACTLY how I feel! How did you know? I couldn't even figure it out, myself!"

Naomi laughed, "Girl, I was in the same boat. I only wrote for the sake of gratitude. In the end I wasn't happy with myself. And I still struggle with it now. Just remember, you're not being selfish for expressing yourself, because you have a lot to offer, so just be original."

Mallory smiled. "Dude, you don't know how glad I am that I talked to you."

After a few minutes they chitchatted on their favorite TV shows, books, bands, and the like. Then at last Mallory's mom showed up.

"Better go," Mallory said as she stood and slung her backpack on.

"Wait!" Naomi said. "Have a Facebook?"

"Yeah, I do."

"Add me, and we can talk more." She quickly scrawled her name down on a sticky note and handed it to Mallory. "Glad to have met you."

"Yeah, same here!" Then Mallory got in the car.



"Today it looks like things are going to clear up and be sunny with a high of 83 and a low of 74..."

Mallory skipped her usual afternoon of TV and went outside for a change. She hadn't worn her shorts in a while, and they felt great. It's been a week since she had met Naomi, and ever since then a lot more stories have been written. Something about Mallory had changed, it was like a new season had started for her.

Mallory posted her first story on Facebook - her first real story. It was quite random with whimsical characters dealing with unusual situations in a surreal world... But it felt good to put into words, and it turned out quite funny, actually. Later that evening Mallory wanted to check her Facebook to see if anyone had read it.

Typety, typety.... username..... Typety, typety.... password... Enter.

There was one notification that read: "Naomi Ono liked your post."

It was a start. Mallory left a quirky comment on one of Naomi's statuses and then shut down her computer.

Mallory went to the mirror. She looked the same as ever. Yet she was smiling, with her eyes.

"Every story has got to have a beginning," Mallory said to herself, "pfft. So typical. Good thing that's all over."

Mallory left the mirror and skipped down the stairs.

"Climax, here I come!"

Teal Moustache