#116 Orange Juice

by Sarah Hina, Guest Writer

“Hang on. I want to grab some orange juice for my brother.”

“Teddy sick or something?”

“Or something.”

Angie ducked into the convenience store and made her purchase, stuffing the bottle into her backpack, next to her notebooks. When she went back outside, Noah was gone.


She took a few halting steps in the freshly falling rain.


She shrieked as he grabbed her waist from behind and spun her clean around. Raindrops fell on her tongue, and the sky swam big above her.

She turned to him, laughing.

“I ought to—”

His kiss cut her off.

“I ought to . . . ”

“Uh huh.”

He took her hand as they started walking again. The rain stopped. After the long summer drought, a drizzle in Iowa was spit to an ocean.

“Study later?”

“Study you? Sure.”

He squeezed her hand and turned toward home. Angie returned his mom’s wave from the kitchen window.

Her mom wouldn’t be back until 5:30. If Noah came beforehand, and Teddy minded his own business, they should have time. She walked the three blocks swiftly, stopping abruptly at her driveway’s edge.

Teddy’s car wasn’t there. Angie looked down at the puddle where the car had sat for the last three days. For a moment, the water appeared to hold the sky’s reflection. But it was merely oily residue.

Her neck lifted. A car’s motor was running inside the sealed garage. Angie began to run as her backpack hit concrete and the bottle of juice burst open.


Unknown said...

Such a sweet set up...I was completely unprepared for the turn at the end. Masterfully done!

Anonymous said...

Well done Sarah. I particularly loved " a drizzle in Iowa was spit to an ocean."


Margaret said...

Always wonderful to read your work, Sarah.
It felt so real that I gasped at the ending.
Great example of how carefree living can come to an abrupt end.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Love the tension build and defusing and then a quick build again at the end. Beautifully done.

Aniket Thakkar said...

Have to say this war very un-you. If your name wasn't up there I wouldn't have guessed this was your work.

I mean that the writing is just you, but the dark ending isn't. Looks like you are mutating. :)

You were already a beast when it came to writing. Who knows what you'll turn into now!

Sarah Hina said...

Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate your taking the time to comment.

Aniket: like The Doctor, I regenerate from time to time. ;)

Catherine Vibert said...

Oh jeeze, the ending is a horror coming after such sweetness. That is absolutely 'fractured' reality. Excellent Sarah! I love it!