Book Critique Assignment *UPDATE*

So, I told you guys last week I had a book meeting. It went well, although, I was the only one to do the assignment. Next month, everyone vowed to complete the assignment, though. Anyway, I received positive feedback from my story about Lydia so I decided to share it with you all. The title is Oscar & Alphonse. Hope you all enjoy!

Oscar & Alphonse

Lydia McIntire was having an awful, no, terrible day. Today was her first day at Randall Prep Academy for Girls; a uniform wearing, straight line walking, mandatory ponytail having prison. Lydia McIntire hated uniforms. She adamantly preferred to walk in zigzags (life is more interesting that way) and most of all, she hated pony tails. When several girls her age, probably her classmates, strolled by her with their noses stuck in the ozone, Lydia automatically knew today would only get worse.

See, her mother remarried to Fred Waltz III, a rich and sometimes smelly old guy who demanded that Lydia be refined like his daughters, who were like forty five years old, and all graduates from Randall Prep. Lydia met them once at a family cookout, and let me tell you, refined is the last word Lydia would use to describe those girls.

They cornered her at that party, asking what her thirty year old mother was really doing with their sixty year old father, like Lydia had any idea. As far as she was concerned, all she knew was her mother came home one evening beaming, saying she met a man, and they were to move in with him in a few days. Lydia has heard her mother say ‘she met a man’ so many times, she learned to tune her out. She would turn Lydia’s life upside down for a man; move her from school to school, home to home, for them to be right back where they started – alone.

But, when her mother came home that day and immediately began to pack she knew this Fred guy must be serious. So, like usual, Lydia and her things were shipped from the blistering cold New York City to cool southern California to Fred’s mansion. And that’s what she told Fred’s daughters when they asked. Lydia had only been in California for a few days before Fred sprung this whole ‘meeting the family’ idea on her. Bad idea.

Despite the weather and the mansion, Lydia wanted nothing more than to be back in New York at P.S. 323 with her best friend, Priscilla Earnheart.

As soon as she told Priscilla the news Priscilla dug deep into her jean pocket and pulled out two small stones. “What are those?” Lydia asked, taking, then fingering the smooth rocks.

“They’re memory stones,” Priscilla answered. “If you rub them, you can remember happy times.”

Lydia glanced up at her apprehensively. “This one is Oscar,” Priscilla continued, pointing at the green rock. “And this one is Alphonse,” she said stroking the longer black rock.

“And you’re sure about this?” Lydia, you see, was a skeptic.

“If you don’t believe me, try it. When you’re sad or having a bad day, which I’m sure will be everyday without me, rub Oscar and Alphonse and you’ll remember the good times.”

“Promise?” Lydia asked.

“Of course,” Priscilla answered, pulling her in and embracing her best friend for the last time.

So, that’s why when the bell rang at Randall Prep Academy that day in sunny California, Lydia ran. She ran stealthily around the back of the school and into the woods. She pulled out Oscar and Alphonse and squeezed. She didn’t feel anything at first and wanted to toss the stupid rocks in the nearest largest body of water, but then her palm warmed.

She looked down and the rocks were glowing. Literally. The lines of the stones were swirling, forming a picture – a memory – an image of her and Priscilla and their last moments together, embracing.

Lydia’s heart expanded with happiness.

And that’s when she buttoned her collar, straightened her skirt, tightened her ponytail, and walked in a straight line all the way back to Randall Prep Academy, although there were a few zigzags along the way, you know, to keep life interesting.


© 2012

Hope you enjoyed!

Necole S. Ryse

P.S. I haven’t forgotten about finishing my Aladdin story…hope you all haven’t either!


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