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ReflectionShelley sat on the edge of the roof, legs dangling over the side, heels kicking at the brickwork. If she leaned forward the wind howling up the front of building was deafening, it was deep and strangely musical, almost like a funeral dirge.

From her vantagepoint she could see straight up the street for blocks, Billy and Jesse were still visible in the distance. By the way the playful jostling had changed, Shelley guessed the game had deteriorated into calling each other names. It was name calling that had brought them together.

Shelley, whose real name was Rachel and not Michelle as everyone mistakenly assumed, had fallen in with Billy and Jesse on their first day of school.

Billy had been unfortunate enough to get lumbered with Wilbur after his mother's affection for Charlotte's Web. Apparently the ramifications of naming her child after a pig didn't occur to Billy's mother.

Shelley's grandfather always said that Jesse's parents had to have been stoned out of their goards to have named their son Jester. Her visits to Jesse's place indicated that not much had changed since then.

Billy and Jesse had been the brunt of bullying that first day, until Shelley had waded in to battle beside them. She could bite with a vengeance and knew where to aim a solid kick that would give grown men pause; six year olds didn't stand a chance. There wasn't any more name calling after that, at least not to their faces, and the three of them had been firm friends ever since.

It the grand scheme of things, while her friends had gotten the cool nicknames, Shelley's mother had managed to see that her hated name was used by all. Only her grandfather called her Rachel now, but she swore that one day she'd shake her awful diminutive and get her real name back.

As her friends finally vanished over the hill, Shelley stood and stretched. She turned, picking up her gear and walked back to the stairway to find somewhere to bunk down for the night.

15minuteficletsword #80: elegy
Part of the Abandoned!verse


( 6 howls — talk to the wolf )
16th Nov, 2004 14:16 (UTC)
Apparently the ramifications of naming her child after a pig didn't occur to Billy's mother.

Lines like this - just crisp and crackling with dry humor - are one of the reasons I love your writing. Bravo!
16th Nov, 2004 21:53 (UTC)
You're too kind to me. ::Hugs::
16th Nov, 2004 15:09 (UTC)
I have a baby grandxdaughter clled Isis. Lord knows what she'll turn out like! Sorry, just bitching.

Good story! :)
16th Nov, 2004 21:59 (UTC)
Poor Isis.

I have a friend who's a primary school teacher. I've read through her list of students this year. All the boys names are bearable, if all coming from the list of popular names when they were born, so you have ten kids with three names between them. Unfortunately, half the girls have names that sound like their only career prospect is prostitute or trophy wife.

I cringe every time I hear my neighbour called her six year old, the poor kid scored Callista.

Some parents should be throttled for the names they dump on their kids.

Denmark has policies in place to stop parents giving their offspring stupid names, but for the rest of us, at least most places will let the kids change their names when they get older.
17th Nov, 2004 09:31 (UTC)
Oh, wow. I love this. It's witty and... almost poignant, for a reason I can't quite place: perhaps because of the wind. That Charlotte's Web line was pretty snappy. I knew I guy named Wilbur, once, and he got plenty of jokes about The Rescuers. Great piece. XD
17th Nov, 2004 21:13 (UTC)
Thank you.

Wilbur is won of those names that went out of fashion, kind of like Bertha. My nan scored that one and hates it with a vengeance, she's always called herself Billie instead.
( 6 howls — talk to the wolf )