NaNoWriMo Teaser: Stand

So we’re back to NaNoWriMo and last year a few of us posted weekly snippets from our unedited, very rough first drafts…and I thought I’d do the same this year.
For the uninitiated  NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month (November) where us rather mad writerly types attempt to write 50,000 words in one month. I’m on track…
Here’s my first teaser:

This gives you an insight into Jasmine’s character in ‘Beneath the Stormy Sky’.
A teeny bit of background is necessary…in lunch break Jasmine got carried away applying eye liner, and pencilled blue waves from one eye and a shark fin, and a mermaid beneath her fringe across her other eye. Their teacher is losing her patience with the class, having already had altercations with other pupils…

Photograph by Bekah Shambrook (Please do not use)

The class opened their books and began getting pens and pencils. Jasmine grinned, casting a smug sideways glance at Tayla and Amber.
“Will you be joining us Jasmine? Got your maths book with you?” Mrs Rhodes fixed her eyes on the back of the room. Jasmine started and unconsciously flicked her fringe away from her eyes as she opened her bag. She hunted for her book and pencil case. Her maths book appeared to be hiding and Jasmine’s skin prickled beneath the teacher’s stare. The book was nowhere in her bag. She searched again, flicking through books and junk.
“Miss Scott, we’re waiting.”
“The book probably fell through her fingers Miss, that’s what happened in netball…repeatedly!” Tayla scowled.
Jasmine buried her face in her bag, frantically rummaging. She heard Mrs Rhodes’ footsteps tapping on the classroom floor and…there it was, squashed down underneath her lunch box. She retrieved it with relief and dropped it on her desk. She looked up, right up into the teacher’s face.
As Jasmine met her eyes, Mrs Rhodes squinted.
“And who are you today Jasmine?”
Jasmine shook her head, not understanding the question.
“Are you in the right place or were you expecting a field trip to the beach?” Mrs Rhodes fixed her with piercing eyes.
Again Jasmine shook her head. “No, Miss…”
“Then why the face paint? I can see the shark…is that me?” Her lip curled in what Jasmine could only perceive as a sneer. “And you’re the…” she reached down and with barely a touch, gently lifted Jasmine’s fringe. “And you’re the mermaid.”
Jasmine recoiled and shook her hair back across her face. She reddened and licked her lips, her fingernails pinching her palms beneath the desk.
“So sweet, but, this isn’t an art class, we’re a maths class and art doesn’t belong in a maths class.”
Jasmine began to burn as students stared and Tayla grinned.
“So, please take a moment to remove your work of art and return back to us when you’re as plain as an equation.”
Denis snorted, and snickers spread across the class.
Jasmine sat, simmering, her heart pounding and her head throbbing. “No,” she said quietly, “I’m not taking it off, it doesn’t hurt anyone.”
“Pardon me?” Mrs Rhodes raised her eyebrows so high Jasmine thought they’d fly off her forehead.
“No.” Jasmine bit her lip and glowered. Daggers prickled her body and she burned.
“I think you’ll find I’m the teacher here, and what I say goes.” Mrs Rhodes pursed her lips. “Now please go and remove the make-up. It’s against the rules for one thing.”
Tears stung Jasmine’s eyelids.
“If you won’t remove it then you can stand outside.”
Jasmine slammed her maths book back into her bag and slung the bag over her shoulder. She kicked the chair backwards and let it fall, clattering to the floor as she stood. She held the desk with one hand, gripping it for all she was worth, and smoothed her hair out of her face, tucking her fringe behind her ear and exposing her make-up, with the other. “I won’t stay where I’m not wanted!” she spat out the words, spittle landing on her teacher’s face.
Mrs Rhodes watched as her pupil marched out of the class. “Stand outside!” she called as Jasmine slammed the door. The door bounced against its frame.
“Yeah, right!” cried Jasmine and her feet thudded down the corridor.
The classroom door flew open. “I said, wait outside!” called Mrs Rhodes.
“You never said wait…you said stand…and I’m taking one!” shouted back Jasmine.
“Taking what?” yelled Mrs Rhodes.
“A stand, I’m taking one!” and Jasmine was gone.

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