Five-Year-Old Siren Song

I attended a Chaffee County Writers Exchange workshop today about point of view and took a trip down memory lane with two of the exercises. The first was to write about a childhood memory from a 1st person perspective present tense, like we were experiencing the event for the first time and delivering a blow-by-blow account. We had only 5 minutes to write, so it’s brief. Here’s what I wrote. Don’t judge me.

*  *  *  *  *

There he is. He’s wicked cute. He’s the cutest boy I’ve ever seen. I love his blond hair and his tan. Wish I could get a tan. It looks real good. I bet he’s nice. Cool bike too. I wonder if he knows who I am since I live down here and he lives way over there. I like him a lot. I wanna kiss him. I feel all tingly. Mom would kill me. But I’m gonna do it. There he goes again. I’m gonna do it.

“Hey,” I yell at him. He looks over at me. Probably thinks I’m just a kid. He’s probably 10, maybe even more.

“Hey, come here. I have a secret.”

Five-year-old bombshell!
Five-year-old bombshell!

Oh boy…he’s riding over here. I can’t believe I’m gonna do this. Wish he’d get off his bikes.

“Come here. Come closer.” I wave him toward my lips, ‘cuz I have a secret. He’s leaning over. It’s now or never.

“Smack!” I kiss him right on the forehead and run away. My heart’s beating real fast and my tummy feels all weird.

“EEwwww! Cooties!” he’s yelling and riding away real fast. That hurts my feelings a little bit. But I think he likes me.

I’m gonna marry him someday.

*  *  *  *  *

Our next exercise was to write about that same incident (we had about 7 minutes for this) from a 1st person past tense perspective at our current age. Here’s what happened:

I was as little hussy by the time I was five, most likely because I watched and envied my three older sisters with their constant stream of hunky boyfriends.

I honestly believed no boy would ever love me. Why would they? I was a chubby little freckle-face pale thing with curls that erupted from my head at all angles and bangs that my mother always cut too short.

When I saw Andy on his bike that day, I have no idea how I mustered the courage to do what I did. I had little-girl-lusted after him all summer. He was the new boy, their family having moved into a house on an adjoining street earlier in the summer, and he was the perfect specimen of a 10-year-old boy. He was confident and cute. I knew I’d never have a chance with him.

Somehow in my 5-year-old brain, I knew I’d have to trick him. When I got his attention and called him over, I don’t think I really had a plan, but evidently I had an innate ability to improvise.

I’m pretty sure I closed my eyes when I went in for the kiss, which is probably why my lips landed on a cool forehead rather than on their intended target, but hey, I was only five.

I wonder where my mother was while I was kissing my first boy.

*  *  *  *  *

So there you have it. My first act of passion. I wonder where Andy is now?


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Laurel lives and laughs and publishes and podcasts in Colorado's Rocky Mountains! She has published several multi-genre books and hosts the podcast "Alligator Preserves," where she interviews fascinating people, talks about the human condition, and shares scary stories from her "Dark Ebb" collection.

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