Irish Cream

I wrote this quick short story for a St. Patrick's Day contest.  It won the contest :P (yay) and it was fun to write. I might do more with Seamus in the future.  I really like him.  I was going to save this for St. Pat's 2010 but by then I hope my writing has improved considerably and I'll have something much better. Hope you enjoy and I hope it beings back pleasant memories  :)

Irish Cream

By L.J. Boldyrev


Seamus felt the warm sun seeping through his green sheer bedroom curtains.  "I really need to get darker shades."  He grumbled to himself as he threw an extra feather pillow over his head.  The musty smell of the down stuffing was comforting to him.  He closed his eyes and smiled.  

 "Maybe this St. Pat's won't be quite so bad after all,” he thought.

Every St. Patrick's Day that he could remember for all thirteen years of his life had been unlucky. He was the only full blown Irish student at St. Mark's junior high and the only kid in at least a ten block radius with a curly red afro and a face with more freckles then Carrot Top.

Last year had been the worst.  He tried to kiss Cassie Markowitz at lunch and she nearly threw up in his face, narrowly missing his freshly pressed trousers and adding a splash of color to his new beige penny loafers. She said the green cupcakes from the class party made her sick but Seamus figured she was just trying to be nice. 

Cassie was always nice.  She looked nice.  She smelled nice.  She even ate nice.  Seamus ate like a pig.  He was socially awkward and something about Cassie really brought that out.  Especially at the lunch table.  Maybe it was her bubble gum lips, her blonde hair straight as straw, or maybe it was the fact that she was the only girl who had ever so much as talked to him.

The alarm clock buzzed noisily in his ear. He had hit the snooze three times already.  One more wouldn't hurt.

"Seamus!  Are ya ready for school yet, boy?"  His mother called up the stairs, her thick Irish accent caused her to slur her words. "The bus'll be here now in a minute!"

Seamus let out a heavy sigh and tossed the pillow to the floor.  He reached over to the night table and turned off the alarm clock and picked up his glasses and his retainer and stumbled through the swamp of dirty clothes to his bathroom. He stood above the lime green porcelain sink and looked at his reflection in the mirror between spatters of tooth paste. He grunted loudly.

"Great...another breakout.  At this rate I'll look like crater face Cutler in a week."  Crater face was the affectionate pet name for the class drip.  He was even lower on the radar than Seamus and that was saying something. 

Seamus splashed icy cold water over his puffy red eyes.  It felt good, but it wasn't going to make that zit go away.  His mom was always plastering her face with some cake like substance.  Maybe he could give it a try.  Just for today.

Seamus tip toed down the hall to his mothers room.  He peeked over the banister toward the kitchen but didn't see her.

"Seamus!"  He nearly fell over the railing.

"Yeah, ma.  I'm coming!"  He hurried into his mother's room and grabbed her bag of make up and scrambled back to his bathroom.  It took him a few minutes but he found some sort of paste that more or less matched his ruddy skin tone.  He dabbed a little on his blemish. At least it took the red out.

Seamus heard the bus pulling to a stop in front of their apartment.  He grabbed a uniform from the closet and threw it on, not bothering to tuck in his shirt and hurried down the stairs.  He hopped on one foot trying to get the other shoe on when his mother came around the corner from the kitchen.

"Happy  St. Patty, son." She smiled. Seamus let out a heavy sigh as he jammed his foot into the loafer.

"Yeah, ma.  Happy St. Pats."  He kissed her on the cheek, grabbed his pack from the peg by the door and ran outside to catch the bus.

He took his usual seat about half way back the isle next to James Cower. His one and only friend since third grade.  James went on about the latest issue of mega man and Seamus pretended to listen as the bus pulled up in front of a perfectly landscaped lawn that preceded a beautiful white three story house with a cherry red door.  Cassie Markowitz's house.

She climbed on the bus.  Her blonde hair swaying behind her slender cream colored shoulders.  Seamus gulped as she passed his seat.  She was wearing a cute little green tank top that read kiss me, I'm Irish above a little green frog.  Cassie certainly wasn't Irish but Seamus could think of nothing he wanted more than to plant one on her.

The bus screeched to a halt in front of the court yard of the brick school house.  Seamus stood to his feet just as Cassie was passing by.  The corner of her dainty foot hit his giant shoe and she nearly fell to the floor of the aisle. Seamus grabbed her awkwardly by the arm as she steadied herself on the back of the seat in front of him. The boys in the back laughed haughtily and Seamus felt his face flush. 

"Ow, Seamus! Let go!" Cassie jerked her arm away from him and brushed her shirt with her slender fingers. She sighed heavily.  "Thanks, Seamus." She smiled sweetly at him.  He fumbled for the words by nothing came out and she progressed down the aisle and exited the bus.

Seamus grabbed his bag and sulked to class. The morning went by uneventfully.  For that he was glad.  It hadn't been a very good day so far, but it was better then last year.  Lunch was next on his schedule.  The class party would be held afterward.

Seamus met James by his locker and they walked together to the cafeteria.  He decided not to eat today.  No need to make a bigger fool out of himself in front of Cassie then he had already.  He sat down at the corner table where he sat every day and waited for James to go through the line. Seamus was daydreaming about nothing in particular when he smelled the sweet vanilla perfume that had always made his heart flutter.

"Hey Seamus." Came the sweetest chirping voice, like a snow bird anticipating spring. Seamus looked up to see Cassie standing in front of him.  Her note book held tightly in her arms folded over her chest. His mouth felt parched and he looked around for James hoping to snap a swig of his soda.  James was still at the end of the line.  He gulped and swallowed the lump back down to his stomach.

"Hey, C-Cass.  What's up?" She smiled her perfect white smile and he felt flush again.

"I was wondering, well you know there is a St. Patrick's day dance tonight in the gym right?" His heart beat faster, he was sure everyone in the noisy dining hall could hear it.

"Yeah I think I saw the flyer."  He had seen at least a thousand flyers all over school.

"Well, then you know its girl's choice, right?"  Seamus' stomach produced a loud, audible moan.  Of all days to go without lunch.

"Yeah I guess so." He shrugged his shoulders.  It seemed casual enough but it took a great deal of effort on his part.

"Okaaaaaay." Cassie slumped her shoulders. "Well, I was sorta wondering if you'd like, I dunno maybe wanna go with me?"  She bit the corner of her bottom lip. It was a cute little nervous twitch she'd had as long as he'd known her.  He scrunched his toes in his argyle socks.  He would have done back flips across the table if he wasn't slightly over weight with the dexterity of a turtle.

"Uh, yeah.  Sure.  That'd be pretty cool.  I mean I wasn't planning on going, not really my thing, school dances.  But if you wanna go, I guess I can have my mom pick you up at seven?"  He held his breath and wiped his sweaty palms on his trousers under the table.

"That sounds really cool."  She smiled a tight bubbly smile and turned away; her blonde hair bouncing over her shoulders.  Seamus gasped for air and felt the color leave his face.  He dropped his head heavily to the gray table top.  The thud was loud but he didn't feel it.

"Dude!" James said as he set his plastic tray of mystery meat down beside Seamus. 

"Did Cassie Markowitz just ask you out?" He pushed his black plastic frames up onto his scrawny pale nose.

"I think she did." He said into the table.

"Oh my god! What did you say?"

"What do you mean what did I say?  What do you think I said?  You don't tell a girl, especially a girl like Cassie, no when she asks you out.  Especially if you're me!"  Seamus sat up.  His stomach churned.  "I gotta go to the bathroom." 

Seamus ran to the lavatory, his clammy hands clasped over his mouth.  He hadn't eaten today but the contents of his stomach came out in full force. He gathered himself up off the bathroom floor and drug his feet to the sink.  He splashed his face with water and gargled.  The bell rang as he spat the clouded water back into the sink.  He didn't feel much better, but it was biology time.  Cassie was in biology.

The rest of the day went by without much incident.  Cassie didn't pay much attention to him in biology or at the party which helped to settle his stomach and nobody commented on his shade of liquid concealer.

The bus ride seemed to take hours.  Seamus sat perfectly still in his seat, hands folded neatly on his lap and clod hopper shoes tucked safely under the seat in front of him.  His stop was next to last.

Seamus trudged up the stairs to his room.  His expression was blank as he passed his mother without a word and flopped face first onto his faded spiderman sheets.  His mother crept into the doorway.

"Seamus?  Ya know that dance at the school house tonight?" Boy did he ever.

"Yeah, ma." He mumbled into the mattress.

"I know its not yer ting and all,  but I bought ya a nice set of trousers and a sport coat, case ya decided ta go." Seamus lifted his head.  That solved the first of his problems and it was so easy.  It had to be some hideous ensemble she had picked up at the Irish flea market.  Probably had a haggis embroidered on the shoulder or a four leaf clover on the elbows.

He rolled over to see a very sleek and very, very cool forest green blazer and black slacks folded over his mothers arms.

"Ya still have those new white collared shirts dontcha?" He nodded. "Good then.  I figure a handsome boy like you must have a date right?"  She smiled lovingly at her bewildered son. He nodded again without a word.  She laughed through closed lips and laid the suit down on the old rocking chair at the foot of his bed.

Seamus showered and dressed still in a daze.  He put a hand full of gel into the frazzled orange orb on top of his head and tried to smooth it down.  He looked like Alfred Neuman but decided it was the best he was going to get. 

He sauntered down the stairs to the kitchen.  His mother was waiting at the counter in her house pants, her hair in curlers and fuzzy pink slippers adorned her half painted toes. "Welcome back, life."  He thought silently to himself.

"Ya look handsome as ever, Seamus!"  She exclaimed, placing her hands on his shoulders and kissing his cheeks. He forced a smile and waited for her to turn away before grabbing a kitchen towel and wiping the crimson lip stick from his cheek. 

They pulled up to the cherry red door at 6:57pm.  Cassie was looking out the front window, her hair curled up into a pretty nest of golden locks and her eyes bluer than ever.  Seamus got out of the car and reached to knock, but the door flew open.  Cassie stood before him in a beautiful shimmering mint green knee length dress.

"I have to get back by ten or my mom will flip." Seamus swallowed hard.

"Yeah, sure.  I have to be home by then too.  I mean I don't have a curfew or anything."  He stammered. Cassie smiled and walked passed him toward the old Buick skylark.

"You comin?" She called over her shoulder.

They got to the school before most of the students had arrived.  The gym floor was decorated in green and silver with card board pots of gold and rainbow streamers on every corner.  Each table was topped with a leprechaun. 

"How very stereotypical," he thought, "but festive none the less." 

Cassie looked at the crumpled mess on top of his head.  She frowned.  Seamus gulped as she reached her slender fingers up to his hair and ruffled the curls loose.

"There." She said with a smile.  "Now you look like you." Seamus smiled back at her nervously.  "I've always liked your hair."

"Thanks.  I've always liked yours too."  He stuttered.  Cassie laughed and for a moment he thought he saw her cheeks redden.  She looked up at him, her blue eyes sparkled from the light on the disco ball. He licked his lips; his mouth was more parched then ever.  He leaned in toward Cassie, but remembered his last attempt to kiss her and started to back away. 

She grabbed him by the back of his head and quickly pressed her candy lips to his.  His eyes flew open wide, his heart raced.  He struggled to find a place to put his hands and settled with the small of her back. She wrapped her arms around his neck and slowly pulled her mouth from his and bit the corner of her quivering bottom lip.

A soft Irish folk tune played through the speakers. This was shaping up to be a pretty lucky day for him after all. Now if only he hadn't been born with two left feet. 



Carrie said...

I like the dialect, and I really feel for him. You've a talent with characters.

L.J. Boldyrev said...

Thanks, Carrie :) I appreciate that.

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