Hello! I’m back from my break, and I’m ready to share a story that I wrote a few months back. I wrote it for a writing contest, and I’m going to be posting it here in parts. Here we go!
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It did not bother Helena that her mother was staring her dead in the eyes.
“What do you think you’re carrying?” her mother asked, blue eyes boring into her brown ones. Helena always had a terse, never-changing, monotone response. “It’s just my bucket. I’m putting it back in my room.” As she was about to head up the stairs in the routinely, borderline robotic fashion, her mother grabbed her shoulders and turned her around. Helena raised an eyebrow.
“What are you really doing?” she inquired, skeptical.
“You caught me when I was going to go upstairs and review my plans to infest the planet with chicken ninjas,” Helena deadpanned, evading the question. “It was really a surefire way to take over the planet.”
“I’m not sure you’re really trying to do that,” her mother pressed.
Helena rolled her eyes. “ Duh, Mom. That’s a painfully obvious statement.”
“Don’t give me sass, young lady!” her mother snapped. “Now give me the bucket.”
“Why?” Helena retorted.
“You always carry that thing!” her mom complained. “I want you to walk around the house without carrying that orange bucket for once! Why is that thing so important to you?”
Helena sighed. “We don’t need to go over this again. I’m trying to get Thomas Bucket into space.”
Ever since she was four, Helena had been trying to launch her bucket, Thomas Bucket, into space. Her father had given the bucket to her and told her that anyone could do anything with an empty bucket. Helena tried launching the bucket into space that afternoon by merely tossing it in the air, but there was no luck. After that first attempt, Helena would always plan out ways to launch her bucket into space with her best friend, Antonio. The two of them started something called the Bucket Fund, which consisted of all of the money that Helena and Antonio had ever owned. It went directly toward the bucket effort, and every single dollar from their allowances, every gift of money, and every bit of spare change would go into the Fund. There was probably two hundred dollars total in savings.
Her mother returned the sigh and gave her an expression Helena couldn’t decipher. All Helena could tell was that her mother’s eyes were bleeding blue sadness. “Helena, can you follow me to the living room? I have something to tell you.”
Helena knew what this was about. “This is gonna be about, ‘Your father was trying to make you happy, and you know a bucket can’t go into space!’ You’re kinda predictable.”
“No, Helena, it’s not. I want you to just follow me.”
“Oo-kay. Whatever you say.” Helena followed her mother to the living room. Sunset was streaming through the large backyard window door and through the living room window. Helena’s mother took a seat on the old, brown leather sofa and motioned for Helena to sit next to her, eyes still bleeding sadness.
“We need to talk about your bucket,” Helena’s mother said.
“Why?” Helena rebutted. “We already talked about this.”
“Helena, I’ve been getting comments on whether or not you have hobbies. I’ve only replied saying that my daughter likes machinery and engineering. If they had heard that my fourteen-year-old daughter is overly devoted to her bucket, they would think…they’d look at me and ask me why…why…I let my daughter…” She sighed and put her face in her hands. “I love you, Helena, and as your mother, I am concerned for your reputation.”
Helena scoffed. “My reputation is gonna be fine, Mom. It doesn’t really mean anything if I want to send a bucket into space.”
“I understand that. But there are terrible people who look down upon people who are different from others and have different hobbies and interests. They are such closed-minded people who live under a rock and think that different is bad. So for your own good, I want you to just give up on this whole bucket thing.”
I want you to just give up on this whole bucket thing.
Helena flinched. Those words felt like a slap to the face. And they came from her own mother, the woman who always told her to never give up.
“This is for your own good, love,” her mother said, trying to fix what she broke. Too late , Helena thought as she rolled her eyes. The deed was done. The words were spoken. Words, like time, can’t be taken back.
Helena said precisely this. “Words, like time, can’t be taken back.”
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That’s part one! See you on Friday with part two!