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1 Bendtsen Bethany Bendtsen Tutoring in Fiction Writing Assignment #1 September 18, 2013 Fink’s File It was the place no one wanted to be, no one good anyway. Its walls looked the same as the futures of its regular visitors: murky and bleak. As soon as he appeared in the doorway he noticed the disgusting dark finger marks along the walls and the obscene graffiti scattered across the worn wooden tables. To make matters worse, Doug Patterson and Craig Gary sat at the back table, talking animatedly about Craig getting to third base with Trish Romans in the back of his Camaro last week. As Andrew sulked over to the front table, he saw Craig glance at him sideways and decide he wasn’t worth acknowledging. No surprises there. Slamming his puke green lunch tray down on the table and slumping into a deformed plastic chair, Andrew began to practice his signature scowl. Suzy Owens had told in the fifth grade that girls love boys who brood, but it hadn’t worked for him yet. Today, it was mostly the thought of walking around for the rest of the day smelling of detention -- old baloney, sweat and desperation -- that depressed him. The worse part of lunch detention was Mr. Jenkins, a senile old science teacher who was so jovial that no usual tactics of the usual rebellious, badass crowd could deflate him. It was like spending an hour being force fed Valium. It was to Andrew’s great surprise that the teacher who walked through the door several minutes later looking frazzled was definitely female and below the retirement age. Her hair stuck out at odd angles from her tight ponytail, and she strode through the door at top speed without a word or glance at the occupants. On her way to the desk, a piece of old gum

2 stuck to the bottom of her heel and she attempted to free herself but nearly fell in the process. Finally she slipped her foot out of her shoe and pulled it from the sticky substance, looking repulsed. She looked up at the students in the room for the first time and opened her mouth as if to say something, but sighed instead and plopped the manila folders in her arms unto the front table before exiting theatrically. Andrew picked up his plastic spork and began to stab his bruised apple disinterestedly with it. He didn’t notice Doug get up from his seat or move until Doug was standing at the front of the room, skimming through the stack of manila folders with his thumb, grinning. “Shall we see what you all are in here for?” he said, theatrically, and Craig laughed from the back. Several of the people in the room look up from their tables, suddenly interested. “I don’t think you are supposed to do that. Those are only for the teacher,” piped in a tiny girl with glasses who looked like she was in detention for correcting the teacher too many times. Doug only laughed, “Watch it, freshman, or I’ll read yours first. That bitch looked like it was her first day. Who leaves confidential information in plain sight in a room of ‘degenerates’?” Several more people laughed at this, and Doug only smiled wider, “Any volunteers to share first?” he asked, scanning the half-dozen students in the room, “Freshman first, maybe?” The tiny girl shook her head, horrified. He continued, pretending to think, “Let’s see… let’s see. Who to pick?” Then, his thumb landed on the folder he had been looking for, “Perfect,” he said, separating it from the rest and lifting the cover, “Andy Fink.” Andrews jaw tightened and his stork froze in mid-stab, but he didn’t look up. Doug continued, “Yes, let’s see what little Andy Finkerton is in for. Last time I checked wearing that much eyeliner isn’t against the dress code, even if it does make him a big fag.”

3 Bendtsen Several people laughed and Andrew’s jaw began to throb with the effort of keeping it clenched, but he only rose his head and gave him his signature ‘I don’t give a fuck look.’ Doug winked in his direction and looked back down at the folder, “According to Ms. Diangelo, Andy was writing notes in class, and when she asked him to read the note to the class he told her to ‘fuck off,’” He laughed, “Writing notes is a little junior high isn’t it Andy?” “Fuck off.” But Doug was listening to Andrew’s clever retort. Something in the folder had caught his eye, and he looked like he was doing to pee his pants, “Holy shit. Guess what I found?” “What?” piped up Craig Gary from the back of the room. “Ms. Deangelus included the note in here. It looks like a fucking love letter to his queer boyfriend.” A new level of attention rippled through the room like everyone in the entire room had received an electric shock at the same time. Andrew was out of his chair in an instant. “Well now that I’ve got Andy’s attention, why don’t I read it aloud for all of you?” Andrew clenched the table with all his might. He could definitely take Doug but Craig would be there to pull him off in a nanosecond anyway. Doug cleared his throat, and read: “Dear Alex, Please give me another shot. I know that you already have a boyfriend, but he’s a tool. You deserve better. You pretend you hate me now like everybody else but I think what happened after the football game against Jefferson proves otherwise. Meet me in the parking lot at 4, Andrew.’”

4 “So, Andy, who’s this new beau? You two fuck after the football game? I bet you’re the chick.” Doug mocked and chuckles erupted around the room. His knuckles had turned white, but Andrew refused to move a muscle in response. “Aw, c’mon now; it’s not nice to keep secrets. Who’s the fairy prince of your dreams?” “None of your fucking business.” A beefy hand clenched down hard on Andrew’s shoulder, squeezing painfully and pushing him toward the floor with a million times the force of gravity. Andrew turned to see that the hand belonged to the acne-scarred face of Craig Gary, who was breathing Funyun breath menacingly down his neck, “He asked you a question, faggot.” Andrew shot an icy glare at him at turned back to Doug, wanting to wipe the sadistic smirk off his ugly face. Now that he thought of it, why not tell everyone? He’d get his ass kicked and Alex would probably never talk to him again, but it would be totally worth it to see the look on Doug’s face. He took a deep breath and said in the loudly, annunciating every syllable, “Alexis Valenti. I fucked your girlfriend.” Andrew’s last thought before Doug’s fist hit his face was that the look on Doug’s face was even better than he’d imagined. He should have taken a picture.

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