• Writings From a Past Life: Installment 1

    Posted Posted by Guest Writer in WBN News & Events     Comments 4 comments

    Writers write and grow. That’s what we do. Oftentimes, it feels like that’s all we do. So, in an effort to celebrate what we’re good at, send us work from your childhood or teenage years for inclusion in our newest online series: Writings From a Past Life. We’ll post it here on our blog, and across all the major social media channels.
    You know you were a prodigy. Now the world will know too.

    The first installment, “The Expendable 38,” comes from WriteByNight owner Justine Tal Goldberg. Goldberg wrote this little story at the ripe age of 13. Her teenage angst was just beginning to sprout. Believe us, it got worse from there.

    The Expendable 38
    by Justine Tal Goldberg

    “You have to see this,” he said at 12:23 a.m., and that’s all the convincing I needed. A 12:30 curfew seemed petty in the face of an opportunity such as this; to bear witness to tonight’s match. “It’s a show,” he told me at 12:33 as we approached the house. “They’re not really hurting each other.” 

    Nothing could have been farther from the truth. At 12:37, the first punch was thrown, the room went into an uproar, and my stomach performed a summersault. Things went on like this until 12:41 when what seemed to be the climax of the event revealed itself to me. Andrew, lying dazedly on the floor, gazed upwards at his baby brother with this absolutely indescribable expression on his face. My eyes were glued to him while everyone else’s eyes were glued to me. Never before and not once since that moment have I felt uncomfortable as the only member of the gentle sex present at a gathering. 

    Through choppy laughs and strained breaths, Frank mumbled something under his breath. It was meant for Andrew but I heard too. “Asshole. You’ve been beating me my whole life,” as a wooden rod split in two over Andrew’s head at the split between 12:42 and 12:43. He got up at 12:45, displaying an inch-long gash below his hair line. Thirty seconds later, the area was stained red.

    That night, seated comfortably in a large chair, surrounded by laughs and cheers, I played the role of the outsider, burdened with the gift of insight. Eric took a picture, Frank lit a butt, Brian got sick of the music so he changed it. I cringed and headed for the door without saying goodbye. I was in bed by 1:01 and my curfew suddenly seemed really important.


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