In My Head - The Move


CONTRAST - A line, shape, color or value that differs from those which are dominant in the work.

TRAVELING - A moving violation. When the player moves with the ball in hand without dribbling, passing or shooting.




Forward

In My Head

Kaden –

Sometimes I wonder what it’s like in my head when it happens. Doctors say it’s like a short circuit in the brain. A wire gets overloaded and shorts out, and everything shuts down. This always reminds me that I can’t buy new circuits for my brain; not a pleasant thought.

I read online somewhere that it’s like a room full of mousetraps. Throw a ping pong ball in, and they all go off like a huge chain reaction. That makes me wonder, who throws the ping pong balls? And who sets the mousetraps back up afterwards? And I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of a bunch of mousetraps in my head. Mice and Swiss cheese, not my idea of a good time.

This is what I believe. I have a gym in my head. All the people—the players, the coaches, even the spectators—they’re all neurons in my brain. Ever been to a live game? You know that moment when something huge happens out on the floor, and the spectators can’t help but leap to their feet. Say the game is tied, and your team just committed a turnover with ten seconds left on the clock. You’d be going wild, right?

When it happens, that’s what I imagine going on in my head.


The Move

A Change

Logan –



I read the sign and breathe a sigh of relief; we’re almost there. I’m so ready to get out of this car. Six hours behind the wheel is a real claustrophobic nightmare. After three hours all I could think about was how I’m breathing in this stale air, and the space inside this car’s seriously shrinking.

“This is our exit, Logan.” Dad’s voice sounds gravelly coming through the wireless radio.

“Finally,” I say under my breath as I follow Dad’s red Toyota and Mom’s white Mazda up the exit ramp, and we slow to a crawl as we merge into gridlock.

The first thing I do is roll my window down.

The second thing I do is check my brother in the passenger seat. His black hair is a mess of loose shaggy curls, and his tawny skin looks a bit washed out. As far as I can tell, he’s dead to the world. The thought makes me watch for the slow rise and fall of his chest. He’s not dead; of course he’s just sleeping.


My eyes wander out Kaden’s window and land on the ocean coast. I take in the sandy beaches and breaking waves. A couple chicks in bikinis catch my eye, and I let myself stare. It’s noon on a school day, and there are still hot babes on the beach. I could get used to this.

“How’s Kaden?” That was Mom’s voice from the wireless.

I grab the wireless from the cup holder. “He’s still sleeping,” I say. He must be really wiped out, which doesn’t surprise me. It was really bad this morning.

Kaden will need to get up soon anyway, so I might as well show him the beach. I reach over and squeeze his shoulder. He inhales and jerks awake. “Whadisit,” he mumbles, still half asleep.

“We’re almost there. Check out the beach.” I point across him and out his window, just as we coast to a complete stop at a traffic light.

Kaden squeezes his eyes shut, not even bothering to look. That’s when I realize he probably doesn’t remember leaving Oregon.

“I’m sorry,” I say. He rolls his eyes. I lean over and put my elbow on his reclined seat. “I know this is hard . . . Moving sucks, I get that, but maybe it’s not as bad as you think. Look out that window and then try to tell me you’re not at least a little bit excited to be a single guy living in California. I know I’m excited to be single for a change.”

Kaden’s face softens. He props himself up on his elbow and looks out the window. “I hate to break it to you, Logan . . .” He looks over and shakes his head. “This isn’t a change for you. You’re always single.”

The tension in my shoulders releases. “The change is that I’m excited about it this time,” I say, and Kaden actually scoffs at me, which is practically like laughing for him. Finally, I can breathe easy. “Mind if I turn on the music?” I ask.

Kaden shrugs; I push the pause button on the CD player. “The Unforgiven III” blares from the speakers. I drum my hands on the steering wheel and follow Mom through the intersection.

“Dude,” Kaden says. “Metallica. Not the best thing for my head right now.”

“Shoot, I’m sorry.” I turn the volume down to a whisper. “Want some ibuprofen?” I lean over to open the glove compartment with one hand on the wheel. The car swerves.

“Whoa, let me get it.” Kaden nudges my hand back and grabs the meds himself.

We make our way through a few traffic lights, and my stomach starts to growl. I pick up the wireless again. “Hey Mom, are we gonna eat?”

“Not right now, no,” Mom says.

Dang it, I’m starving! “Hey Kade. My stomach is trying to eat itself. I think there’s still chips and jerky in the back. Can you . . . ?”

Kaden pivots and kneels in his seat to search the back seat, swaying a little as I step on the gas and follow Mom’s car through another green light. “I don’t see anything,” Kaden says, and he sits back down. Then he points out the window and says, “McDonald’s!”

“What?”

“Let’s hit the drive-thru, come on.” Kaden nudges my arm.

“We’ll get left behind.”

“So? You said you were hungry.” He grabs the steering wheel and jerks it playfully.

“Okay, okay,” I say with a laugh. Kaden lets go and grabs my digital watch from the cup holder, and I turn off the road to get behind three cars in the drive-thru. “Wow, lucky us. Check out this line.”

Kaden stares down at my watch. “It’s San Francisco. There’s another McDonald’s right across the street.”

I snort. “Technically, we’re in Berkeley. You know, we’re in the same time zone; you don’t have to reset my watch.”

Technically we’re in Berkeley,” he says, doing a pretty good impersonation of me. “You and your logic,” he teases.

“You and your wonky explanations,” I joke back.

The wireless radio blares with Mom’s voice: “Logan! Where did you go?”

Kaden snorts and holds up my digital. The stopwatch is ticking away. 00:00:16 “It only took her fifteen seconds to realize we weren’t behind her.”

“Logan?!” Mom’s voice crackles as she yells through the wireless radio.

I let out a sigh and pick up the wireless. “Yeah, I’m here.”

“Well, where did you go?” she demands.

“The McDonald’s drive-thru.”

“Logan! What did I just tell you? We don’t have time for this.”

Kaden nudges my arm. “Here, let me.” He takes the wireless from me. “Mom?”

“Oh, hi sweetie.” Mom’s voice automatically shifts from the outraged tone she was using with me to a soothing croon.

“I’m hungry. We’re already in the line; just let us grab something quick, okay?”

“You’re going to get lost . . .”

“We’re already lost,” Kaden says, but he wasn’t holding the button down. “Mom, I’m hungry,” Kaden repeats into the wireless.

“Oh, of course you can grab something quick,” Mom says. Typical. I want food and Mom says to wait, but if Kaden says he’s hungry, Mom gives in just like that.

“Sheri,” Dad says. “You go back to the McDonald’s for them, and I’ll stick with the movers. Say boys? Why don’t you pick up something for all of us?”

“Okay, Dad,” Kaden says, and he sets the wireless radio down. I pull up to the speaker and ask Kaden what he wants.

“I’m not hungry.”

When are you ever hungry anymore? “Kade, you haven’t had anything to eat all day. Your stomach is empty. You are hungry, you just don’t know it . . . Now what do you want?”

Kaden sighs heavily and gazes at the menu. “I dunno, an ice cream cone?”

“Not without some actual real food too. How about some french fries at least?”

“If you say so,” Kaden says.

I put in our order and pull forward. “Thanks, Kade,” I say.

Kaden leans back in his reclined seat with his hands behind his head. He smirks at the ceiling. “No prob,” he says. “I’m glad I could help you out for a change.”

It takes a second for me to realize what he means—he talked Mom into letting us go through the drive-thru. He lied about being hungry, so that I didn’t have to wait to eat.

But that’s not why I said thanks. I didn’t even think about how Kaden talked to Mom for me. He tried to blow it off like it didn’t matter, but he almost smiled about it. Something as small as that, and it practically made his day.

My stomach aches from more than just the hunger. For a change, he said. I didn’t even know he wanted to help me, and apparently it really gets to him. I help him out so much, and he’s trying to make it even, like he thinks he owes me. But there just aren’t that many things he can do for me, and they all pale in comparison to everything I do for him.

Who knows, though? So much is changing because of the move. Maybe this can change too. Maybe somehow we really can be even.

More by this Author


Comments 33 comments

Dobson profile image

Dobson 6 years ago from Virginia

I like this AC! You have done a good job setting up the opening plot. Now I want to know what is going on between the brothers as well as Logan and his mom.


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago Author

Hi Dobson!

Thanks for the read, and thank you a lot for leaving a comment! I'm very glad to see that you're wondering about some stuff, it makes me feel like I did my job.

The biggest reason why I write the way I do is because I love to figure things out while I read, so I wanted to give my readers a chance to ponder and infer before I just come out and tell them what's what. I hope you continue to enjoy my style!

~AC


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

Very interesting. I'll definitely have to come back to read more. The part when Logan said his stomach was trying to eat itself really made me laugh. Haha. Good Hub!


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago Author

Yay, K Alto!

I'm happy to see you stop by! Please let me know if you think the pacing is slow. It's my biggest concern. That, and even though it's first person, I strive to show instead of tell (That's why there isn't a whole lot of inner monologue). Let me know how I'm doing!

~AC


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

AC! I love this. You're really quite good. You've been feeding me a line I think, and I'm happy about it. I was very interested from the very beginning and was sorry to reach the ending so quickly it seemed. I can't wait to read the rest of your stuff. Wow!


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago Author

Christoph,

Thank you! You are truly too kind. Your comment has made me very happy! Wow!

~AC


parrster profile image

parrster 6 years ago from Oz

OK, I started this, which wasn't a good idea... time, you see. I don't have enough of it to start reading another of your enticing stories... you really are a very good writer.


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago Author

Oh Parrster,

If you do find the time, and you give me a good reason, I will consider trying to post more of this story. This one isn't quite like Dillon's story, in that I have written most of it already. But it would still require a bit of my attention, and I have put it aside for now. So don't worry, you will not be missing much right now if you wait to read it. :)

Thank you for saying I entice you. You are too kind, my friend!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, like someone said above, I was so engrossed that I was suprised when I got to the end! lolI will definitely be back to read some more, cheers nell


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago Author

Nell,

Thank you for coming by! There is talk about discontinuing this serial in the comments, but I have since decided to keep posting this up through part one, so I hope you enjoy. It's a long one....

I appreciate your comment!

~AC


silverfoxygirl108 profile image

silverfoxygirl108 6 years ago

Typical teenagers. :) You're story left me with quite a few questions about what's going on! Ok maybe not questions but I jumped to conclusions more than once. I liked the beginning of this story and I like the way you write! :)


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago Author

Silveryfoxygirl,

Don't be mad, but when I work on Inside My Head, the writing that comes out tends to have a way of doing that, and I like it, so I don't fiddle with it when I revise. You will have to just keep reading until things make sense. :) Have fun with it! I'm glad you like the way I write.

Thanks for coming by!

~AC


silverfoxygirl108 profile image

silverfoxygirl108 6 years ago

AC,

Dont' worry, I'm not mad! I don't think I've ever been mad a hub. I just expressing my thoughts on the different characters. :)

~SFG


bluejay900 profile image

bluejay900 6 years ago

Great hub, AC! I couldn't actually read it until now, but it was awesome! Keep hubbin'!


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago Author

Thanks for taking the time to come by Bluejay! I'm glad you enjoyed it.


Website Examiner 6 years ago

First person narrative captures the reader right away. Interestingly, “driving, driving, driving all freaking day” and “16 years… teenager” isn’t actually that well-written at first glance, but it works anyway – making the reader connect.

Soon, the title “Inside my head” is embedded into your text, which is elegant. That’s how it is to be on the move, when life is changing at a speed our mind is unaccustomed to: Remaining sane becomes the overriding struggle, here one must simply let events flow by for later processing. Moving football teams becomes an analogy, a foothold in a situation where the Hastings’ move is essentially involuntary, at least driven by necessity rather than genuine desire.

As the story progressed, one thing that became noticeable was the absence of warmth. I did not sense it in how the family members interacted during the transport, nor when they arrived at the glorious new home. Facilities and infrastructures, patterns of communication, all were in place, but where is the emotional warmth that keep families together? For this, we will need to look deeper, these practically oriented people are not immediately appreciated for their emotional depth.

So far as the writing style is concerned, the first person, present tense work well here. You have a funny way of capturing the picturesque (beautiful scenery) with the merely appetizing (bikini chicks), blending words of lofty elegance with something a little more crude within a single sentence. Unusual! Once again, this adds to a credible picture of your main character as being both intelligent and naturally boyish. Surely, he is protective of his brother.

What struck me harder than anything else was the remark that the elder son had so much more to offer his brother Kaden than vice versa. It seemed cold to the point of cruelty at first, but as the story progresses this thing fell into place: It is the simple truth, for which there is a rational explanation, namely Kaden’s illness, the gradual understanding of which is the underlying theme for this story.

W.E.


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago Author

WE,

I am surprised to see you come by. Thank you for this insightful comment. I wish you the best.

AC


Website Examiner 6 years ago

As I have explained to your friend Kaltopsyd: Read my profile page, and you will see what W.E. is all about. This "mission statement" has always been the same. Comments on hubs are not the ideal way of fulfilling this purpose, hence they are seldom. Feel free to delete this comment in case you find it inappropriate, although I do believe that the commenter's perspective is a relevant and indeed valuable supplement to the comments themselves. W.E.


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago Author

WE,

No worries, I believe your comment is fine right where it is. While you may or may not be interested in receiving some of those free services that you hand out, I still extend my offer, meant to encourage and also to thank you.


Website Examiner 6 years ago

AC, you are a good person, I have no doubt, and I'm sure the same thing can be said for your friend Kaltopsyd. You two are talented writers yet to find a literary foothold; or a solid literary voice for that matter. I have written fiction almost every day for quite a long time, and essentially reached my creative goals. Spending some time editing and critiquing for others is not a problem for me, whereas for you two getting your works completed and up to a publishable standard must be a top priority. Knowing how many other things you both have got to do, I would be reluctant to take up your time, which can better be spent for creative writing. Just hang in there, write, and keep me posted. W.E.


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago Author

WE,

I'm glad to hear that you feel fulfilled in your writing. I hope your future with editing and critiquing writing is bright and exciting!

Thank you for the encouragement,

AC


sammyfiction profile image

sammyfiction 6 years ago from Australia

Nice start to what seems to be a great story building up :) I'll be reading on for sure! Thanks, Sammy :)


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago Author

Sammyfiction,

I am happy to have you come by. Please do let me know if you come by again. I'm glad you enjoyed the intro. :)


KristenGrace profile image

KristenGrace 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

Whew, AC, I had to scroll through a lot of comments to get down here haha - You have quite a following for this story!

I'm very glad I took the time to read through this beginning chapter.

The brothers' interaction is interesting, and I'm curious as to why the mother favors Kaden, which by the way is an AWESOME name... Must keep reading :)


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago Author

Kristen,

I love his name too! I'm very glad you came by. Thank you so much for picking up my story. I hope you hold onto it for a while. :)


2patricias profile image

2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Wow! I am blown away - what an amazing start. You've sketched 2 characters, established a setting and teased the reader about the plot.

Your following for this story is certainly well deserved.


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago Author

2patricias,

Thank you for coming over to read my hub. I love to meet new people, so I'm very excited that you left me a comment. I hope you continue to read even after the tease is over. Thanks again for your kind words! I'm on my way to visit you now!

~AC


fortunerep profile image

fortunerep 6 years ago from North Carolina

I just read your first chapter and i am already thinking that this is great and why arent you doing this and submit it in print. This potentalyy a great novel and with series too you are givin it away doing it online. Hub Pages is a wonderful place for writers and i love it but you might want to think of at least making it an e-book. this is great look forward to reading the rest. Great job,

dori


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 6 years ago Author

Well, hello there Dori,

Thank you for your high praise. You have put a smile on my face. Most of all, I really appreciate that you read it. My goal with this serial is to entertain and educate mostly, as well as to develop as a writer. I'm fine with giving it away. Maybe it will put my name out there for later, when I write something new. If not, then at least people can read my stories.


emmaspages 5 years ago

I may be a beginner blogger but I know a good peice of writing when I see it. Good job!!


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 5 years ago Author

Thank you emmaspages. I'm glad that you read it, and very happy that you left me your thoughts. We were all beginner's once.


warmpumpkin profile image

warmpumpkin 5 years ago from Auburndale Florida

I love the beginning. I am a teen therefore I enjoy reading things like this. I'm looking forward to getting to know each of your characters:)

~Warmpumpkin


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 5 years ago Author

Thanks Warmpumpkin! I'm glad to hear that a teen enjoys the way this reads. I hope to see you back to read more!

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