Three-Twenty Woodland | Teen Ink

Three-Twenty Woodland

May 24, 2010
By Bassoonkelley GOLD, Tampa, Florida
Bassoonkelley GOLD, Tampa, Florida
15 articles 0 photos 49 comments

God willing, my mother was going to beat the Devil out of me.
By now she'd caught a glimpse of Him, dancing at the corners of my mouth, and she'd tried scrubbing Him out, forcing that fifth commandment down my throat with toothpaste and scalding water.
Our home was more than immaculate, which it always needed to be.
Its grey siding was pressure-washed monthly, as were the white shutters of every window. I would spend my weekends scrubbing the front door clean after it had been tarnished and corrupted by the hands of children. Our hard green sofa with its dozens of pillows - arranged by size - ran parallel to the kitchen table, polished and always completely set. The kitchen, a blinding shade of hospital white, tasted like bleach and lemons, made complete with a pantry that was always stocked but disappointing to the neighborhood kids, its shelves and crevices filled with unsalted almonds and rice cakes. The Twin Hall held both my sister and I; two closets on the left with their doors properly shut, and two bedrooms on the right with their doors wrenched wide open. My sister's room was a little porcelain miniature of my mother's with its pale chiffon drapes and the solemn mahogany of her armoire, her bedspread ironed into a perfect pane of glass. You could catch her rolling socks mechanically if you walked by slowly enough, her translucent skin stretched taut over blue and green wiring.
In my own room I could feel my mother's insults, a broad, violent garnet across her walls. I could see them snarling, revolted by the forbidden laundry sprawled across her dark blue carpet, the artwork pinned up with tacks that pierced their eyes. They stood heavy and severe, towering beneath her wallpaper, sneering at me with my mother’s carefully polished fangs:


I would pray to her God on the worst nights; a child begging him to turn my stone mother to nectarine. I wanted to slice her open and see more than just spotlessly clean rock, to nuzzle her sticky skin against my cheek.
Most nights I just begged her for mercy, which she consistently told me I did not deserve. Every apology letter was torn to pieces and thrown away as I stood silently, illicit tears biting at my throat. To my mother apologies and tears were insignificant. Empty.

Some days we would visit neighbors, sharing cookie recipes and discussing holiday decorations competitively. My mother would slowly loosen her shoulders when she saw their cluttered living rooms, and her smirk would inch toward her ears as she saw stains on their kitchen counters.

It was on these days that you could see the juices leaking from her eyes; the stringy pulp stuck between the teeth of her smile.

The author's comments:
Just a little nonfiction project... I wrote this on an especially bitter day, just trying to get some emotions out of my head.

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This article has 6 comments.

on May. 6 2012 at 3:16 pm
i_am_so_very_large_and_towering SILVER, Mililani, Hawaii
5 articles 1 photo 114 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?"

you are such a great writer, and you captured such great emotion in this piece!!!!!! 

KatsK DIAMOND said...
on Feb. 20 2012 at 3:45 pm
KatsK DIAMOND, Saint Paul, Minnesota
57 articles 0 photos 301 comments

Favorite Quote:
Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind.
~Hans Hofmann
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
~Ray Bradbury

I totally agree with WhiteShadows-- you're really good!!!!! next to you, i feel really unaccomplished. you're my new favorite teenink contributor :)

LastChapter said...
on Oct. 27 2010 at 4:24 pm
LastChapter, Hempstead, New York
0 articles 0 photos 215 comments

Favorite Quote:
(couldn't think of anything better at the time) "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."-Dr.Martin Luther King Jr.

i second that! (i'm reading all of ur work now, btw. i read one, and i just had 2 read them all! you should SO write a book!)

WhiteShadows said...
on Oct. 24 2010 at 4:00 pm
WhiteShadows, Ocala, Florida
0 articles 0 photos 38 comments

Favorite Quote:
You've gotta work like you don't need the money/love like you'll never be hurt/
Sing like no one is listening/ and live like it's heaven on Earth.-Anonymous

That is sad.

But that was wonderful writing. I was surprised (in a good way, of course) with this and "the color of the inside of my mouth". God, you could write a book!

\I'm serious. You really should write a book. Lots of books. I will read them, and im sure othyers would

on Jul. 6 2010 at 7:01 pm
ultrabookworm BRONZE, Equestria, Kentucky
2 articles 0 photos 65 comments
This piece is so good that it twisted my stomach with the injustice of it. You're really good at expressing your emotions in writing. (Me, I just write some bitter and bad poetry in my journal and never show it to anyone)... anyway, good work!

on Jul. 1 2010 at 3:07 pm
OfficialApprover PLATINUM, Orefield, Pennsylvania
48 articles 0 photos 1752 comments

Favorite Quote:
Grab life by the balls. -Slobberknocker
We cannot change the cards we're dealt just how we play the hand
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted
It's pretty easy to be smart when you're parroting smart people
-Randy Pausch

Wow, this was great, and sometimes I just write things to vent, too.  Great job.  Keep writing!

Btw, will you check out and comment on my work?