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The Quiet One (standard:horror, 2771 words)
Author: ChrysalisAdded: Sep 17 2000Views/Reads: 2864/1385Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Are you ever intrigued by someone who seems as if they exist only on the edge of reality..Dont you ever wonder..about the quiet ones?
 



You know, I don't really know where she came from. The rest of us in the
creative writing class were a loosely knit group. Most of us were 
acquainted from other classes at the college and we knew each other 
fairly well. At least as far as stuff like..where we were from..dating 
, married or single..gay or straight..etcetera. She was a bit of a 
mystery. Not a very interesting one, mind you, but a mystery 
nonetheless. But she was so..bland looking, it was easy for her to fade 
into the blond woodwork of the tables and chairs and the few selections 
of desks strewn about the room. I mean, her hair was..kind of a vague 
blonde color...Tan. Or beige maybe. Blended well with her washout skin 
tones and her pale lips. I couldn't tell you what color her eyes were. 
The few times I glanced at her, her eyes were either downcast, her chin 
tipped awkwardly in her narrow palm..or rivetted unblinking on the 
professor. But her eyelid color was a pinkish grey. I know that well 
enough. 

She never talked much but that didn't surprise me. People like her..the
quiet ones..never say much. I always wonder how people like her end up 
in classes like creative writing and drama and such. The others of 
us..well, it's not that we're so special or anything, but we're pretty 
confident. Cocky. We all sit around patting each other and ourselves on 
the back for being so gifted and so smart and so talented. 

There's one in particular in this class. Karl Middendorf. He's a real
piece of work. Personally, I don't really care for him..or his style. 
But he does have a way of..convincing you of his superiority. He's the 
literary king of our group. He's not afraid to let anyone of us know 
it. I spend alot of time rolling my eyes and guffawing over his 
overblown comments and terrible jokes and the way he rips up other 
people's pieces. 

We spend part of the class each week sitting around in a loose circle of
chairs and the prof reads various stories or poems we've turned in and 
we critique them. Karl always sits with his long legs spread, one foot 
lolling out to the side in his loafers if he comes from his financing 
job, or his reeboks otherwise. He folds his arms over his slumped 
chest, his head tipped to the opposite side of his sardonic lopsided 
grin. I sometimes find myself tracing the pattern of the fluorescent 
lights on his glossy brown hair if I get bored and my mind wanders. 
Which it does alot. Which is probably why I noticed the quiet girl so 
much. 

You know, it's odd. I can't even think of her name. It was...hmmm...like
her, it was so innocuous, not even the syllables of her name stands out 
in my mind. Cindy or Sandy. Something like that. Anyway, during these 
readings that the prof did, i could always tell which ones were hers 
because the tips of her ears blushed. Just there. Not her face or 
anywhere else. She'd sit there gripping her hands tight in her lap over 
thin legs, all of her barely discernable from the light wood chair and 
the light toast carpetting except for two twin glowing red bits on 
either side of her head. 

I seem to recall that alot of what she wrote was pretty good. In
a..well..a bland, prosy sort of way. Her images seemed vague though. I 
always had a sense that I never quite knew what she was talking about 
what with her penchant for ghosts and mists and vampires and the like. 
And she never seemed to quite finish her thoughts. All her pieces and 
stories seemed like long fragments of dreams and images. With no 
distinct begining or end. At the end of every story,..I'd retain a few 
blurry images in my mind that she'd created..but I'd totally forget 
what the point of the story had been. I wonder now if she'd done that 
on purpose. Like any truly good writer. 

Karl, now..dear God..Karl just loved tossing his opinions about like
candy at Mardi Gras. He loved nothing more than to bite into someone's 
fragile little story..offered up the way it was by the prof like a 
dainty dish and sink his large chops into it and shake it about like 
some big dog with a chew toy. 

Most of us could take it pretty well.We all knew how Karl was. And to
tell the truth, though he didn't always do it in a ..well..a diplomatic 
fashion shall we say..most of the time he was pretty well on the mark. 
He truly was talented. His writing was very good. But so was his 
criticism. He knew his shit. He just didn't know how to deliver it with 
roses. He liked nothing more than to really piss one of us off with his 


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