June 03, 2011

The Great Wikipedia Blogfest

Today is Rachel Bateman's Great Wikipedia Blogfest. If you'd like to join the fun, or would like to read all of the entries, click here.

The rules are:
1. Go to Wikipedia
2. In the left-hand sidebar, click the 'Random Article' link.
3. Read the article…or skim if it’s super long.
4. Write a scene or piece of flash fiction involving whatever the article is about.
5. On June 3rd, post your scene to your blog, making sure to link the Wikipedia article.

Then see what everyone else wrote!

Fun, easy, unique. My kind of blogfest. Thank you, Rachel!

Now, I bent the rules a little. My first attempt was Pembroke Pines Charter High School, but I'm not in the business of getting sued, so I skipped that once since it's a tad too specific. Then I got spiders of Australia, but that was a stub, not an article. Next was John of Jandun. I drew a complete blank on that one. And next?

Next I got something I could work with:

Virginia Brown Faire

Virginia's eyes drooped. Her mom, Terri, looked over, set the popcorn on the couch, and sighed. She pressed pause, the VCR tracking fuzzing over the still shot of a glowing, dark-lipped woman onscreen.

"C'mon, Ginny. It's only 9 o'clock."

Virginia's neck snapped up. She breathed deeply, almost snorting. "What?" She rubbed her head. "Sorry, Mom.  I'm just..." Her eyes drifted closed again. She reopened them slowly, as if each eyelash weighed a pound. "Between work and school, I'm just not getting enough sleep."

Terri picked popcorn salt from beneath her neon blue acrylic nails.  "I know you're busy, baby, but is it really so hard to give your old mom two teensy hours for a mother-daughter night? All you do is study study study."

Virginia scooted to the edge of the couch and stretched her legs. "Well, I have to study study study if I want to get into UCLA next year."

Virginia Brown Faire as Tinkerbell
Peter Pan, 1924

Terri's face hardened. "You mean, next year when you abandon me?"

It was Virginia's turn to sigh. "I'm not abandoning you. I'm going to college. Living my dream? Like you always told me to do?" Virginia gestured to the screen.

Terri pulled a turquoise spaghetti strap further up her freckled, too-tan shoulder.  "Well, I was wrong, wasn't I? That town chewed me up and spit me out. You see where my big Hollywood dream got me, don't you?  Here in Nowhereville," she flapped her hand toward the ceiling, making her bracelets clang, "living in my mother's basement. Do you want to end up like that?"

Virginia repressed the urge to tell her she had already ended up like that, by simple default of being Terri O'Flynn, wannabe theatre actress's unplanned daughter. Instead, she scratched the back of her neck and made her way the short distance across the basement to her bed. "Mom, the SATs are tomorrow. I've got to beat my previous score or I won't have a chance." She yawned. "Deep down, I know you understand. Goodnight."

Terri huffed, turned back to the TV, and pressed play. Virginia shook her head at her mother's back, wishing there was a way to make things better.

Too bad the only way Terri'd be happy is if Virginia stayed in Centreville, waitressing at Applebee's until her carpal tunnel put her on disability somewhere around fifty, living in the windowless basement watching the silent film version of Peter Pan every night, oohing and aahing over Virginia Brown Faire, an obscure old-Hollywood actress who was the triple whammy of Tinkerbell, Terri's inspiration, and Virginia's namesake.

Virginia clicked the light off, trying to doze despite the equations and analogies running through her brain, despite the flicker of the old television set and Terri's crunching and sniffling.

Virginia loved her mom, really. But one more year was almost more than she could bear.


Pam Harris said...

This is so cute! I wish I had known about this blogfest beforehand. :(

Rachel Bateman said...

Poor girl. I hope she does well on those SATs and gets to go chase her dreams! Sounds like she's raising her mom more than her mom is raising her.

Thanks for playing along with my blogfest. It's even okay that you had to cheat - I had to skip a couple articles to find one that worked for me, too.

Yahong Chi said...

Wow, what an excellent blogfest idea!

Love the "...she had already ended up like that, by simple default of being... wannabe theatre actress's unplanned daughter". This piece seems to have hope and despair, all together, just yearning to break out. :)

Abby Stevens said...

Pam: Aw, I'm sorry, Pam! I will have to let you know about it next time I do a blogfest like this!

Rachel: Thanks for hosting such a cool blogfest! And glad to know I wasn't the only one.

Yahong: It was all ^Rachel's idea. She held an awesome one last June, too. And thank you! I really enjoyed writing this.

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