The History of Hilary Hambrushina
Publication date: May 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Hilary has one goal for her first year in junior high: to become popular. But her plans are turned upside down when her best friend leaves for the summer and a quirky girl named Kallie moves in next door. Kallie paints constellations on her ceiling, sleeps in a hammock, and enacts fantastical plays in front of cute boys on the beach. Yet despite Kallie’s lack of interest in being -cool, – Hilary and Kallie find themselves becoming friends. That summer friendship, however, is put to the test when school begins, reigniting Hilary’s obsession with climbing the social ladder. As Hilary discovers the dark side to popularity, she must decide who she wants to be before she loses everything.
When I reached Kallie, I stopped, and we both turned to face the shore. At least now the water hid our bulky clothes, and we wouldn’t have to wear them again on the beach. I noticed two good-looking guys laying down towels and grabbing Cokes from a cooler. Maybe this day won’t be so bad, I told myself.
“Lo! ’Tis Gorgolia!” Kallie said. She sounded as if she’d found the Holy Grail.
She signalled for me to speak. “’Tis!” I spat.
“And now,” said Kallie, “the time of our mission draws near. Let us, dear Aloosha, shed our skins so that we may better camouflage ourselves against the Forces of Universal Destruction.”
“Let us, dear Alooha,” I mumbled, as I looked around. A man was swimming less than ten feet away from us, and three girls were closing in on us. But Kallie looked annoyed at my lack of energy. I was afraid she might make us act the scene out again, so I said heartily, “Let us go forth and gain valuable information to bring back to the Wise Ones of our land, so that we may defeat these hideous forces and our people can again live in harmony and prosperity.”
“To freedom!” Kallie shouted, wielding her sword above her head.
“To freedom,” I said.
Kallie trudged forth, waving her sword and hooting wildly, which was not part of the plan. I followed, trying not to trip over my cloak. But the material had absorbed so much water I had difficulty moving. Finally, I came close to the shore. It was time to cast off my cloak, so I planted my sword in the sand and fumbled with the drawstrings of my hood.
I glanced ashore in time to see Kallie ripping off her trench coat and hopping out of the water, sword still held high. The two guys on the towels were looking at us. I struggled with my cloak, but the drawstrings had tangled. With each wave pushing me closer to shore, I tried pulling the cloak over my head. I’d just managed to get my costume off when a giant wave hit me from behind, throwing me onto the shore stomach first. I landed with a plop, feeling as if a football player had just punched me in the kidneys. The guys were roaring with laughter, pointing at me. I couldn’t figure out what was so funny about someone being thrown ashore like a fish until I felt a coolness on my chest.
That’s when I realized. The force of the wave had pulled down the top of my bathing suit. My breasts, small and wet and shriveled, were exposed for everyone on the beach to see.
The guys’ laughter rang in my head like a maniacal clown’s. I couldn’t move. I looked down at where my bathing suit straps were floating in the water like two blue snakes. Something dripped from my face, but I couldn’t tell if it was water or tears.
A Journey Prize nominee, Marnie Lamb earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Windsor. Her short stories have appeared in various Canadian literary journals. Her first novel, a YA book named The History of Hilary Hambrushina, is forthcoming from Iguana Books. When she is not writing fiction or running her freelance editing business, she can be found cooking recipes with eggplant or scouting out colourful fashions at the One of a Kind Show.
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