In my creative writing class we had a contest as our final. We submitted what we considered our best work by genre and then we peer judged genres that we had not submitted under. For example, I submitted a drama piece and I was a judge in fiction.
We have pen names in this class. Brother Babcock gave us clear instructions “I will read allowed the pen-name for each genre winner. If your name is called come on up, accept the prize and read your piece. Okay first genre is drama. Drama winner is “Sonya Evershed” Sonya Evershed, who are you?”
I stood. The class applauded. I crossed the room to where Brother Babcock sat on his professor throne. “Madison great piece, Daddy’s Girl, we saw this a few weeks ago…” I stood there feeling awkward as he talked about my piece. Firstly I was sick. I was dizzy, I felt like I was going to throw up, I just wanted to sleep, I just wanted to eat in spite of also wanting to throw up.
Secondly I was wearing red. This was a mistake. In my defense I hadn’t exactly known I would win, so I hadn’t dressed in a blush-proof way. But then, when you are of my complexion there is no way to dress blush proof. But red made a flustered blush into an “I just ate eight over ripe jalapeño peppers” blush.
Finally I was embarrassed because I was only winning because I was the only person who submitted under the genre of drama. All the other winners would have been competing with three to eightish other writers. I had just written in a genre no one else liked to.
“Madison, do you want to read this, or read part of this, or act it out, or say anything or none of the above.” Brother Babcock turned to me.
“Um, yeah. Nothing.” Please remember I felt like I had eaten raw fish.
“You don’t want to read?”
“Nope.” I realized I was sounding like a temperamental ungrateful artist; I grappled to regain my dignity. “This is an older draft. I’ve already revised it since I submitted this and I don’t like this draft.” Not a lie. Very true, but not why I didn’t want to read.
“You already revised?” Brother Babcock sounded impressed. There, at least I didn’t sound like a brat, just like a purist. “Well, Madison we’d like to present you with this fairly Gothic looking candle holder for a job well done.” He smiled, holding up a VERY Gothic looking candle holder. It was wrought iron and looked like something a poor innocent heroine would carry on her way down a dark, windy passage. The candle inside, a deceivingly sweet shade of pink, would illuminate the skeleton she would undoubtedly find in said passage. I could see a heroine who looked suspiciously like me, but with curly hair that reached my lower back, in a long white night gown, the hem slightly damp from the passage staring horrified at the skeleton. She/I would hold the rocking candle as steadily as possible when a noise would be heard behind me/her. As she/I turned the freckles wind would blow out the candle and leave me alone with the skeleton and whatever was behind me.
“Um, thanks.” I said. “I feel very Bronte now.”
Yeah, so, that’s what happened.