This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by Figment, the online community writing site for young readers and writers.
By Jenny R.
On an ordinary Friday afternoon, Gracie Jones declared war.
War on corsages, limos, and rent-a-tuxes. War on glitter, up-do's, and mall-bought makeovers. War on the idea of a single king and queen to be crowned the rulers of a dancehall monarchy.
War on Prom.
One week to go.
One week until she'd take arms against the tyranny of an age old high school tradition.
She'd make the most of guerilla preparation, while the pretty boys asked pretty girls to be their dates, and the plainer girls stayed hopeful.
The battle began with a dress, and hers had to shine with the colors of revolution.
"Green," Gracie thought, "It had to be green."
But not just any green, vigilante green.
Dress picking was meant to be quick and painless. Gracie didn't need sequins or shimmery fabric, just something simple. Not a single store in twelve malls had simple, and nobody'd heard of vigilante green. Everything was sequined, everything shimmered, everything sucked. So, Gracie turned to sewing.
Betsey Ross sewed the American flag, Gracie Jones would stitch her own prom dress. And it would be perfect.
By the time she'd finished, her dress looked more patchy than perfect, but the patches gave it charm.
On Monday morning, the siege began. Gracie dragged her black chucks through white halls slathered in pink posters put up by the prom committee. Sequined, shimmery posters. The colors of oppression. "The tyrants," Gracie thought.
Gap-toothed Tyler, passed Gracie a note in History class. She didn't read it till lunch. How dare he interrupt the chapter on the French Revolution.
"Vive la Prom," he'd said. "Yay, or Nay?"
Gap-toothed Tyler wasn't aware of Gracie's revolution, he was only aware of Gracie. He hung on every word she'd said in history, fell in love with her in French class, and hadn't stopped falling since.
He'd gone almost four years, stuck in the study buddy zone, until he passed the note. Prom would change everything, he thought. She'd be his queen and he'd be the luckiest guy in his high school.
He'd hoped to see her open the note, watch the apples of her cheeks royal flush with girlish delight, and hear a thundering "Yes" escape her lips. She left class without so much as a word.
He didn't see how ever so slightly green she turned when she read his note. She was Gracie Bonaparte, the spirit of a teenage Joan of Arc. She walked alone, she worked alone. Unless, he wanted to run errands of course.
"I abstain. Meet @ Party Smart after school. Need your help."
Gap-toothed Tyler gap-tooth grinned at her text. He'd help her with errands and she'd hand him her heart. Plain, simple, effective. His battle began at Party Smart.
She bought 250 plastic tiaras, and 250 paper crowns. Gap-toothed Tyler footed the bill. Gracie smiled at him as he lugged two garbage bags of nonsense across the parking lot to his car.
He drove her home twenty minutes in the opposite direction of his house. He didn't care. He enjoyed the drive. Gracie thought his car smelled like old Twizzlers. He'd had a stash under the front seat for months now. He offered her one, she took it, and ate the whole thing just to be polite. He'd always known she was a lady, underneath her punk rock tank tops and green military jackets.
Gap-toothed Tyler parked outside Gracie's house underneath a broken street lamp. Gracie said the flickering made her feel like a moth on the nights she'd sit outside and look at the stars. Gap-toothed Tyler wanted to kiss her even though she smelled like old Twizzlers. She got out with her crowns and tiaras in hand before he could try.
"What about prom?" he asked.
"I'm going as Robin Hood, you can come along if you agree to the role of Little John," she said.
Gap-toothed Tyler flashed a gummy grin.
"Sure! Pick you up at 6," he said.
Gracie didn't tell Gap-toothed Tyler about her plan. Not yet, but soon.
Gap-toothed Tyler went home happy. Gracie went home hopeful.
It rained on prom day. A great sign for Gracie. Prom committee Kyle was out with the flu. Gracie volunteered to hang the net of balloons over the gym for him. Gracie was good with her hands and not afraid of heights so getting the gig was simple. After school, she brought a bag of balloons, along with her crowns and tiaras and dumped them all together in the net over the gym. The prom committee didn't know about the crowns and tiaras. Vive la revolution.
Gap-toothed Tyler picked up Gracie at six. She was the prettiest Robin Hood he'd ever seen. She thought he made a handsome little John. They both kept that a secret. Gracie gave Gap-toothed Tyler a CD. "Robin Hood and Little John" was the only song. She told him to give it too the DJ. Gap-tooth Tyler would do whatever she asked.
Gracie stole the "Prom King and Queen" vote box when no one was watching. She found the entrance to the stage, snuck past the band, and waited till they stopped playing. Gap-toothed Tyler paid the DJ to put on "Robin Hood and Little John".
When the music started, Gracie cried "Vive la revolution" and set the vote box on fire in front of everyone. There wouldn't be a king or queen this year. There would be five-hundred. Gracie ran off stage and pulled the line to the net with her many colored balloons. The balloons floated beautifully in their own time, while the paper crowns and plastic tiaras fell into the open hands of her senior class.
Vive la Revolution.
Gracie and Gap-toothed Tyler walked out with applause at their backs. Cheers from the pretty boys, and pretty girls on the dance floor and the plainer boys and plainer girls on the bleachers. They'd be in the principal's office on Monday. Maybe they'd get suspended, maybe they wouldn't. They didn't care, they were bold, ballsy, and green. Vigilante green.
Gap-toothed Tyler drove Gracie home. He parked in the driveway and sat with her under the flickering street lamp so they could watch the stars. He pulled an old bag of candy out of his pocket. Him and Gracie talked and chewed until their teeth turned licorice red. When Gracie kissed Gap-toothed Tyler, he turned licorice pink.
She didn't mind that he tasted like old Twizzlers.
Vive la revolution.