Seventh Hour by Catherine Russell

Amid the happy chatter of soon-to-be-free students, the girl wished she were anywhere but there.

The other girls in the locker room compared bra sizes like women compared diamonds, while she hugged her books to her chest. Time stretched before her. After changing into shorts and tee, she joined her classmates amid the red dirt, lined up like the condemned before the firing squad. Each team picked players, but her outcome never varied. Consigned to whatever group chose last and banished to the outfield, she stood, waited, and prayed the ball wouldn’t reach her.

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “Seventh Hour by Catherine Russell

  1. This is so real and sad and speaks so plainly … always the best way to do this. Well done.

  2. Al McDermid

    This one sent shivers (my outcome never varied either). And ‘like the condemned before the firing squad.’ is such a great image. Nicely done.

  3. Pingback: Ganymeder » Blog Archive » Friday Flash: Seventh Hour

  4. A really pointed vignette that tells so much more about this character’s life. Nice.

  5. Very recognisable. Well written!

  6. The Four Part Land

    Very realistic, and quite depressing. Childhood is never quite so innocent as we want to remember, is it?

  7. Ah, yes, you’ve depicted the horror of the locker room/sports phase of school quite well.

    Bet she grew up to be fabulously successful while the others didn’t! :D

  8. As a father of 3 teen girls I have learned that I have no clue on what it’s like to be a blossoming young flower. Thank God!!! Thank you for the peek and the excellent prose.

  9. How many times in junior high/high school does it feel like we’re lining up for the firing squad? Good story!

  10. “The other girls in the locker room compared bra sizes like women compared diamonds, while she hugged her books to her chest.”

    This is one of your best lines, Gany. Catherine. Cathegany.

    It meshes social observation with implied individual characteristic so well and takes one into the micro-fiction. Great job on the whole piece.

  11. That broke my heart. Like Eric & John I love the lines about the firing squad and the bras vs. diamonds. Startling real. Excellent job.

  12. So sad, and so true. You nailed it. And you’re getting very adept at these tiny diamonds of flashes. Well done!

    …May I call you Cathygany, too? Love that! :D

  13. Deanna Schrayer

    This is why I had to learn to be funny. Very well told Catherine, so true to life, and sad.

  14. adampb

    The imagery here is perfectly balanced for maximum emotional impact. Brevity that speaks volumes.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  15. Randal Houle

    Nice. I liked the metaphor of “lined up condemned … firing squad.” It made me think for a moment they were in track (along with the red clay) but the outfield brought me to the right place…her least favorite place.

  16. Remins me very much of my experience of school sports. Good job!

  17. guy

    It seems my gym classes were always 1st period, but otherwise, they were pretty much the same.

  18. This says volumes in such a few words, I did especially like the line about comparing diamonds.

    The story captures the sad reality of the outsider’s position.

  19. Pingback: Ganymeder » Blog Archive » My Writing Niche (podcast): Episode #7: Nanowrimo: Week Two – The Sophomore Slump!

  20. A. S. Boudreau

    ah how this brings back memories of middle school…

  21. This is just stupendous. You captured that awful feeling of being last better than anything else, even better than Suzanne Vega. Just. Perfect. Peace…

  22. Pingback: Week #25 – least favorite « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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