Just kidding. I actually knew that this month’s Snazzy Snippets (hosted by Alyssa and Emily!) was a bimonthly event, and this broke the pattern—but I guess we have to make exceptions for Valentine’s Day and stuff. Admittedly, Valentine’s Day was two-ish weeks ago.
On top of that, this round’s prompts request heartwarming scenes, kissing, or depicting love interests together for the first time.
I searched my MS—in the 140+ pages I’ve edited so far the word “kiss” has only appeared twice. Let’s just agree to give me a break. This is one of the two times that a kiss appears—I guess where the love interests interact the first time. Sort of.
Like I said. A break.
Caitlyn looks surprised, or maybe alarmed. Probably because I’m crying. In reality, I am not the type of person to cry at any little thing on an average day. But this has not been an average day.
“Was it something I said?” she whispers to Quinn.
He shakes his head. “Nah. She’s been acting super weird since we got on this island. I think her fear of lizards set her off.”
“What?” Caitlyn’s brow furrows. “Lindsay isn’t afraid of lizards—she had one in third grade until it died.”
“Sorry,” Trog whispers.
I don’t want to talk about it so I continue to work the twine between my fingers. Because I won’t let them go. I won’t. I won’t.
“Lindsay?” Caitlyn squats beside me. “Listen to me. I’m going to take you home, okay? Just give me your hand, and we’ll go.”
“Aaaaargh!” I shout, and punch her in the face. We both groan at the same time. Of course, Uncle Chris wouldn’t have let me go to middle school without learning to punch someone without breaking my thumb, but her face is hard. I stuff my throbbing knuckles into my stomach to try and stifle the pain.
Caitlyn looks at me, both hurt and surprise written on her face. I look away. An unexpected shame wraps around my chest and squeezes until I’m not sure I can breathe. I don’t know what came over me, really. Maybe it was that lizard shell’s desire to kill. Maybe I’m just upset. But mostly, I think I’m done being treated like other people know better than me when it comes to my chimeras.
“Are you okay?” Quinn kneels at Caitlyn’s side. She grimaces, but nods. Quinn leans down and kisses her cheek where I punched her, more tenderly than I would have expected from, well, anyone our age. “Better?”
Caitlyn smiles in a way she probably imagines is brave. “Yes, thank you,” she says, accepting his hand as he helps her up. She leans into him, so that when she next looks at me, she is cocooned in his arms. She gets to look down from somewhere safe.
“I really was trying to help,” Caitlyn whispers. “Quinn?”
Without a moment’s hesitation, Quinn slides his arms out from around her stomach and goes to the corner. A dog-eared notebook lays on the seat of the chair there, but Quinn reaches underneath and pulls out a roll of duct tape.
“Time for you to cooperate,” he says. He passes Caitlyn the notebook, and she writes something down. Unbidden, my wrists rise out before me, and Quinn wraps them firmly in duct tape. Then he sits me down against the wall, and does the same to my ankles. Caitlyn, sitting primly in that little chair, draws her pen across the paper and my butt sticks into place on the ground. I can’t move, and I can’t pretend I can move, either. Quinn pulls the gun from his waistband.
That’s probably a good stopping spot, eh? Thanks for reading, and thanks to our marvelous hostesses for doing as they do.