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Disco 2000s

by Cadi


2002. I'm ten, but I've been ten for long enough that people have stopped saying "ooh, double digits" every time they see me. I like horses, books and maths lessons, and right now, I am at a school disco.

The DJ is set up on the movable stage blocks in the assembly hall - speakers, disco ball, smoke machine - and he's playing The Ketchup Song. Asereje, ja, deje, dejebe tude... it's one of those songs which has dance moves, apparently, as the kids on the dance floor are showing, but I'm not sure where everybody learnt them.

You won't find me in the hall.

The corridor outside is busy, too, because this is where the food is - chocolate fingers, triangular sandwiches, and Panda Pop. I'm not eating, either, though, so keep going, right to the end of the corridor. You'll see two doors - the Year Six bathrooms. Take the left.

This is me: the girl at the sink with the mirror, scrubbing at my face with cold water and bar soap. Blue jeans, long hair, my new, glittery top. The soap isn't working. I guess make-up doesn't come off that easily?

Yeah, I actually tried make-up. People keep giving it to me for Christmas, and this is a disco, so I went for it. Shiny red on my lips, shimmery blue on my eyes, glitter all over my cheeks. I look fab.

At least, I thought I looked fab, until I walked into the disco fifteen minutes ago. Gave Mrs McEwan my pound coin, got a stamp on my hand. Found Anna Maltman, and Ella and Jennifer, straight away, and said hi. They looked at me and giggled, and Anna said,

"Have you put eyeshadow under your eyes?"

I didn't have to make an excuse, or run away. I just had to not follow, as they laughed their way past the sandwiches to the hall. And then take the burning in my chest and the crushing feeling in my skull away to the bathroom, which is where you came in.

* * *

2008. I'm sixteen, which is better than ten, so far. Old enough to do a bunch of things I don't care about; almost old enough to drive, which I do care about. I like anime, books, and messing around in maths lessons. Don't worry: the maths is all easy anyway. But right now, I'm at a school disco.

Someone plugged an iPod into the sound system in the hall, and there's a set of lights flashing between the speakers on the stage. Up front, there's a pulsing crowd of teenage girls in fancy dress - burglars and cats, nurses, pirates and Tyrannosaurus Rex - jumping and shaking to the beat. It's Katy Perry, it's Lady Gaga, it's the Time Warp from the Rocky Horror Show. 

It's okay, you won't have to push through the crowd to find me.

If you pull back a little, to the far end of the hall, you'll see a small group of five or six, rocking out with a level of headbanging that's kind of at odds with the Top 40 pop thumping through the room. They're all kitted out in all-black, not so much fancy dress as an excuse to break out the subculture fashion statements. Note the spike-studded collars and New Rocks.

I'm not dancing with them, but I am with them. Look to the side, at the pair sitting on the catwalk, arms and legs cosily entangled. Not the one with the blue hair, the one with the skinny black coat, and eyeliner thick enough to hide how much I blinked when we put it on.

I'm having a good time! This is a party, and these are my friends, and if I concentrate on the throbbing beat, on Sam's hand on my arm, and the antics of the group in front of me, I can just about forget to wonder whether the cats and dinosaurs are looking at us funny. Easy. I'm definitely not remembering the eyeroll Jess got when she broke out the spiky collar, or the eyebrows that went up when Sam and I sat down together. The awareness of other people definitely isn't pressing in on my forehead and the back of my skull, like the weight on a deep-sea diver. I'm fine - can't you tell?

* * *

2010. I'm eighteen, which is officially adult! But I'm also at uni, which is like the cycling-with-stabilisers of adulthood. I like video games, books, and commiserating with my classmates over the fire-hose of confusion that is our Calculus lecture course. And right now, I am at a college disco.

The bar is the undercroft of a very old building, all low, arched ceilings and weird brick pillars, and it is packed from wall to wall with students. The air is solid with heat and smell and sound: the sweat of the crowd, the nostril-stripping reek of spilt beer, and the blast of Taio Cruz. If you value your hearing, or your personal space, this is not the place to be. But if you're looking for me, you'll have to come on in.

I'm in there.

Right in the middle of the crush, pressed up against the guy with the periodic table on his T-shirt, and the girl in the black-and-white lace dress. Yeah, there - the one with five colours in my hair. The whole room is jumping, and I'm jumping with them; the whole room is shouting out lyrics, and I'm joining in. Check out the smile on my face!

My feet ache, but in a good way. My chest is filled, not with smouldering worry but with the glorious fire of energy; my head is bursting with the bliss of being a voice in a chorus of approximate unison.

This is good. I am good. We are good.


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Wed May 23, 2018 8:04 am
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RamHood17 says...



This is not a bad thing. You showed the atmosphere of the disco very realistic and lively.




Cadi says...


Thanks :)



RamHood17 says...


)))



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Tue May 22, 2018 4:57 pm
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scribbleinks wrote a review...



Hey Cadi! I'll be swinging by for a review today :)

I like horses, books and maths lessons, and right now, I am at a school disco.


Personal preference here, but I think this could have been broken up into two sentences since it addresses two different things (what speaker likes vs. what she's doing/where she is), and because making it one forces the use of several commas. But again, might just be my preference!

it's one of those songs which has dance moves, apparently, as the kids on the dance floor are showing, but I'm not sure where everybody learnt them.


I know what you're talking about here (one of the songs everyone knows the dance to, yes?), but the way you word it is a little off to me. Most songs have dance moves, and every song has potential for dance moves, so separating this one as 'one that has dance moves' doesn't, overall, make a lot of sense to me. This section is also a little awkward to read based on the way you've phrased it, but I'm not sure if you did that intentionally because speaker is younger(?). Which would be kinda cool :)

I didn't have to make an excuse, or run away. I just had to not follow, as they laughed their way past the sandwiches to the hall. And then take the burning in my chest and the crushing feeling in my skull away to the bathroom, which is where you came in.


:( rude children. would personally give speaker a hug.

(on another note, this seems like an odd transition? The last sentence seems like it's a lead-on to something, but then it just...stops, and goes on to the time skip)

It's Katy Perry, it's Lady Gaga, it's the Time Warp from the Rocky Horror Show.


that's a handful of nostalgia o:

They're all kitted out in all-black,


So, 'kitted out' refers to appropriate clothing for a situation, but then you follow with them trying to break the fashion statements. I love 'kitted out', but I'm not quite sure it fits here? I could be wrong though.

Not the one with the blue hair, the one with the skinny black coat, and eyeliner thick enough to hide how much I blinked when we put it on.


I think here you could have provided more separation, because the first time I read this, I was thinking blue-hair, skinny black coat and thick eyeliner were the same person. (Like 'Not the one with the blue hair, but the one with the skinny black coat...' perhaps?)

The awareness of other people definitely isn't pressing in on my forehead and the back of my skull, like the weight on a deep-sea diver.


I like the reference at the end there! I am going to complain about the 'pressing in on my forehead' line though, since I'm just going to take a wild guess you're going for a headache and not something actually pressing against her forehead.


-I love the progression and character development in such a short time! (getting closer to the dancing, going from ashamed of makeup to the exact opposite, etc) I think you did a really good job from that angle!


That's all I have for you today! I hope there was something helpful in there for you :) Keep up the good work!

I hope you have a great day!




Cadi says...


Thanks so much for the feedback! I'm glad I succeeded with the overall progression of the character - and I'll have a think about the suggestions you've made :)



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Fri May 18, 2018 4:00 pm
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Quinine says...



This will be a very short review :)
Very nice story! I like it. Your writing is pleasurable and simple to read. However, either the writing is aimless to a degree, or the aim isn't clear enough. This might be a problem.
Also, perhaps you could add more descriptions to add form and imagery to the scene. :D
In short, what I am asking is-what is the purpose of this story?




Cadi says...


Thanks for the feedback! :)



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Wed May 16, 2018 3:39 pm
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LivitheWriter4 wrote a review...



This is a very good story, and it feels like we're having a conversation like I am asking, "So where were you at the disco?" and, "Were you there as well?" One thing is to check for grammar and proper spelling of words, like math. At the very end, the three sentences about being good, a suggestion is to connect them into one sentence. Please don't take this in as criticism, it's not. I hope you write more stories like this in the future.




Cadi says...


Hi, thanks for the feedback! I'm so glad you liked it. Just to note, "maths" is the correct spelling in British English, so you'll see it written that way in works by people from this side of the Atlantic :)





Oh, thank you! I live in America, so I don't really know much about British English.



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Tue May 15, 2018 9:23 pm
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Banana25 wrote a review...



Wow! This is amazing! I really love how you worded all of this and made me feel like this character was speaking to me directly. You clearly showed her progression from young and kind of shy, to who cares I'm gonna have fun anyway type of girl. You had excellent grammar and your wording was great!

Just one thing:

"I guess make-up doesn't come off that easily?"

There shouldn't be a question mark there, I'm pretty sure.

This is awesome and I am looking forward to seeing what else you write!

-Banana25




Cadi says...


Thanks for the feedback!




A diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure.
— Unknown