Quoting Fiction: Introverted

I did have a quote exercise yesterday, but I was having such fun with it, I set it aside to expand further. I almost did that again today, but I could easily overwhelm myself with such actions. I love all of my characters. It’s so hard to say one will survive — live a longer, fuller life in a manuscript — while another will languish in a flash piece, used only to get the writing floon flowing, to be heard no more.

Today’s exercise is inspired by Placebo’s Scared of Girls. The song starts like this:

“An introverted kind of soul, the earth did open and swallow whole.”

Reminder: raw, unedited, as a flash writing exercise should be. Please ignore typos, run-on sentences, and other oddities my lovely, hard-working editor would find should we make this a sellable copy.

~*~

What was I thinking? I’m a freak – introvert doesn’t begin to describe me, not well enough anyway. Did I actually believe I could just walk into a gay bar and pick up a date? Sadly, for a brief moment or three, I did. I actually jumped on my bike and drove to the Springfield Prince. According to the internet, it was a medieval dining experience taken over by the geekier side of the GLBT community a few months back. Me? Geek? Check. Double check. Triple check. I was so geeky, I wore my cute little leather forest girl outfit. Little being the operative word. Leather barely covered my ass, leaving my thighs very bare, and it definitely didn’t cover my stomach, shoulders, or arms. It was teasing and it advertised my proclivity for cross-dressing in a safe fashion. After all, those that cosplay tended to be more tolerant of men in women’s clothing.

Looking around the room, I scratched under my left knee. There were a lot of guys waiting in the bar for the show to start. A lot. An intimidating amount. I scratched some more, letting it distract me from my goal of actually saying “hi” to someone. The knee-high suede boots I bought just for this outfit itched my freshly shaven legs. Hey, I championed the swim team to the top in high school. Shaving was normal. But, yeah, I kept right on shaving after graduation despite only swimming for fun and exercise. When I leaned over to reach that itch, my horns slipped down my forehead. Mumbling a curse, I ripped them off, untied the shoelace threaded through the ceramic black and brown horns, and quickly tucked the string under my hair and behind my ears. It wasn’t easy to tie without tangling strands of my matching brown locks in the knot, but the effect was – if I do say so myself, and I do because heaven forbid I talk to a guy who likes the look – playful and naughty, part demon, part sprite.

As I ran my fingers through my unruly wavy bangs, combing them over the shoelace, between the horns, so I looked like horns actually did spout from my head, I looked around again. This time the multitude of bodies didn’t blur into a daunting mess. This time my gaze fell on a single man – a man who, in one glance up from his beer stein – took my breath away. Now I’ve always been a romantic, but I never believed in love at first sight, or that any person could literally take my breath away, but I gasped, and then forgot to exhale. For several seconds I just stared. He’d already returned his attention to his drink, but I couldn’t do the same. He was beautiful. So handsome, and pretty, and sexy, and…

I licked my lips and then realized how foolish that might’ve looked if anyone deigned to give me a look at all. I squeezed my eyes shut, tugged at the short hem of my skirt, and took a deep, slow breath. Focus. Focus. Focus. Calm the heck down already. When I opened my eyes, he still looked amazing. He had black, razor-straight hair falling over his eyes, hiding them from me except in that moment he’d looked up – he’d looked right at me. At me! He had sharp cheekbones and full lips all of which I wanted to lick thoroughly, and from what I could see – the table at which he sat blocked some of my view – he looked lithe, slender, and athletic. He looked like the type of guy I liked. A lot. I realized I was gay while on the swim team. All those guys in very revealing “team uniforms” set my type like stone sinks in a pool. Hard and fast. Mm, yes, hard and fast.

I watched the man who was most definitely my “type” for another few moments as I reminded myself how to breathe. Then I fooled myself into thinking I had a chance by reminding myself I’d come to the Springfield Prince to break out of my introverted shell.

I will talk to him. I will walk right up to his table and say hello. I will do this. There is no reason to be so afraid.

Yeah right, there wasn’t. He was a dark-haired Adonis, and I was, well, plain ole me. A woodland character, scared shitless, even behind his mask.

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