[mousepoet]: 243.Contest entries-prose.
There's a night every year, always a different night, when you can look out of the window at the top of the tower in Alder House, and you can see Things. Rachel told me about it, and she heard it from Becca, whose older sister snuck in one night with a six-pack of cheap beer and a boy all dreamy-eyed over her. Becca’s sister always did things like that.
But, hours and alcohol all run to a blur, when she heard a noise outside, and she poked the exhausted boy to get him ready to run from the cops, she looked out the window. And since then, she’s become a very different girl. A model of good citizenship. A flawless student. A paragon of chastity, even, which is the most shocking.
Rachel said that Becca said that her sister said that she doesn’t even remember exactly what she saw, just that it was a Thing. And she said it with a capital there, right on the T, so I’m saying it like that too. I’m not friends with Becca anymore, but Rachel is, so I believe it. Alder House is somewhere that anything can happen, any Thing. Becca’s sister’s miracle change of heart is the least of the rumors swirling around like its own dust stirred up. Some Things are too out-there for me to believe.
But this is different. I could see the difference right in front of me. Before Alder House, she ran around with a devil-may-care smirk on her face, the smell of smoke in her hair, and always that dreamy boy of hers on her arm. But now she comes to class, she’s stopped smoking, and she left that dreamy boy with a handprint on his face and didn’t cry about it once. And that boy walked around with a confused look on his face for the next week and a half.
So now I’m here, in the tower, with a six-pack of cheap beer, and a swooning boy, and I’m praying that when I look out that window, something will change. I’m praying that I’ll pull back the moth-eaten curtain and see something, some Thing that will tear my heart in two and tape it back together with morality. I’m praying that today is the day that a Thing will take what I’ve become I make me what I was, back when I was friends with Becca, back when Alder House smelled of ghosts and Halloween, not pot, back when this boy that says he loves me had shy eyes and a lopsided smile, and was scared to hold my hand.
If there is a God out there, let tonight be the night I can look out the window of this abandoned house, where the dealers deal and the junkies fly and the wispy, tired girls come with too-eager boys and cheap beer, let this be the night that I can see Things.