this Sandbox assignment, to write a description of an imaginary reader of my future novella, was actually rawther fun. my first instinct was to be self-deprecating– but that’s a bit clichè. mindless bragging isn’t particularly pleasant either, so i tried just being realistic. but then, realistic can be boring too… but whatever. i’m just rambling now… i had fun, that’s all, goodbye. :-}
“Keep that thing away from me!” Justine hissed with feigned drama, remembering just in time not to yell. She was in a library, after all.
“Aw, come on!” her friend Rose giggled, while shoving the objectionable book in Justine’s direction.
Her other friend, Mindy, added with a sly grin, “You want to find out which guy she chooses, you know you do!”
Neither Mindy nor Rose was actually a fan of the romance series, but they were keenly aware of Justine’s abject distaste for the books. Being the good friends that they were, they loved to tease her any chance they got.
“Actually, no, I don’t,” Justine retorted. “When you find a romance novel that’s not mushy, unrealistic, and sentimental, let me know. Until then, you’ll find me in the historical fiction aisle.”
“Historical fiction?” Mindy queried. “I thought you preferred high fantasy? Lord of the Rings kind of stuff?”
“First,” Justine began, “let me say I’m rather impressed that you’ve managed to retain terms such as ‘high fantasy,’”—Mindy rolled her eyes—“Second, yes, it’s true. Fantasy is usually my cup of tea. Today though, I found a World War II story that looks promising; I’m actually pretty stoked to read it. I think I saw a couple more copies if you girls want—”
“No thanks!” Rose interjected, “I think we get quite enough history reading from school assignments. Doesn’t that stuff ever bore you?”
Justine shrugged, “Sure. But see, our school reading tends to be educationally informative, and usually lacks a certain creative intrigue—”
“Enough!” Rose cut in again, raising her hands in pleading. With a patient sigh, she asked, “So what’s this book about, anyway?”
“Well,” Justine grinned, unperturbed by her friend’s interruptions, “it’s partially a military story. It’s about a lieutenant during—”
“It’s about the military?!” This time it was Mindy breaking in. “Are you serious?” She raised an eyebrow in concern.
“Ah, but wait, there’s more!” Justine playfully punched her friend on the shoulder.
“Yeah, like?” Mindy folded her arms.
Justine turned the book over and began scanning the back cover. “Well, like… oh, there’s a teenage girl in the story too.”
“Oh, well that sounds promising,” Rose said. “Is she involved in a romance?”
Now Justine was flipping through the first couple of chapters for more information. “Uh, no. It looks like she’s the one telling the story. But it’s not really about her.”
“Is there any romance at all?” Mindy asked. “There has to be romance.”
Looking up, Justine said, “Ok, now it’s my turn to ask if you’re really serious.”
“Well, there’s got to be some kind of romance!” she said defensively. “I mean, I’m not all into the chick flick sort of novel myself… but without any romance at all, it can’t be very captivating.”
With one more searching glace at the cover, Justine sighed, “No, there doesn’t appear to be any romance.”
Mindy shrugged, “Eh, not interested.”
“But, but…” Justine protested, “it’s about a heroic lieutenant in the U.S. Army! It’s about courage, and self-sacrifice—and finding purpose in life!”
“Justine,” Rose said, finally exasperated with her friend’s persistence, “you haven’t even read the book yourself. Besides, how could a fictional story be so inspiring? It’s just another made-up tale.”
“If someone can imagine it, then it can happen,” Justine trumped. “Besides, I think it did happen—it’s based on a true story.”
Rose and Mindy seemed to be waiting for elucidation.
She perused the descriptions again. “Well, loosely based, anyway… ok, so, some of the plot points were inspired by true events. At any rate, the heart of the story is real. That’s good enough for me.”
“Sorry, Stina,” Mindy said, patting her friend on the shoulder, “it seems like a nice book, but it’s just not my, uh, ‘cup of tea.’ Anyway, I gotta get going. See y’all tomorrow!”
As Mindy walked off, Rose said, “Same here. War just isn’t my thing, girl. But you enjoy it, mmk? Get all, you know, inspired by it and whatnot. Later!”
Standing in the library aisle alone, Justine ran her hand across the cover.
“Looks like it’s just gonna be you and me,” she whispered to the inanimate object. Grabbing her backpack, she checked the book out, and headed for home.