Posts Tagged With: Young Love

Say Something

Say Something


*An Adventures of Jude and Tammy story*

Tammy slowly swung back and forth, the tips of her sandals gliding through the sand.  She looked up, hearing Jude’s voice across the playground.  He laughed and chased Katy around, trying to place a ladybug in her hair, knowing she was scared of them.  Tammy smiled and kicked off to make her swing go faster, higher. 

Katy’s squeals echoed off the brick wall of the school. “Jude, stop!”  She ran into the circle of her other friends.  “Help me, Alex, Chris, Rob.”

The three friends circled around Katy and then grabbed hold of her.  The tall skinny boy named Chris blurted out, “I’ve got her, Jude.  Do it!”

The five friends squealed and laughed in their circle as Jude pretended to place the ladybug in Katy’s hair. Tammy giggled watching the chaos from the swings.  Katy frantically searched through her hair for the bug and everyone else busted out laughing. Chris and Jude fell to the ground holding their stomachs, Alex giggled into her pig tails and Rob shook his head.  They then launched into a game of tag, covering the entire playground.

Tammy swung higher and higher, closing her eyes so she could feel the catch in her stomach as her swing fell back down to the earth after soaring high into the wide blue sky.  The warm rays of the sun kissed her cheeks with a light burn.  Her pale, porcelain skin always turned pink when exposed and caused a patch of freckles to appear across her nose.  A soft, sad song played in her mind as she lost herself in the swing.

“Hey, Tammy!”

She opened her eyes just as she reached the apex of the back swing and then smiled as she soared toward Jude standing beside the swings, his hands cupped over his brows like a visor to block the sun from his eyes.

“Hey, Jude.” It took a couple passes, her toes running through the sand to bring the swing to a stop.  “What’s up?”

“You should have seen it, Tammy.  I pretended to put this bug in Katy’s hair and she went all crazy. It was so sweet,” Jude told her as his eyes sparkled with excitement.

“I saw it,” Tammy responded.

“Did you see how she screamed? She sounded just like you when you scream.”

Tammy nodded.  The bell rang, indicating the end of recess.

Jude turned his attention to the school and then back at Tammy.  “Well, I’ve got to go.  I’ll see you tomorrow.”

With a small wave, Tammy responded, “Bye, Jude.”  She walked slowly into the building with a huge lump in her throat.


Tammy hung upside down on the monkey bars.  She closed one of her eyes and held out her tiger-eyed marble, catching a ray of the late summer sunshine in it and it sparkled.

Jude walked up beneath her.  “Hey, you still got that thing?”

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I?”

“Can I borrow it?”

Tammy wrapped her fingers around her marble and scrunched her brows at Jude.  The pressure in her brain grew heavy from being upside down for too long, so she pulled herself up and sat on top the bars.  “Why?”

“Chris wanted to play a game but I didn’t have a shooter.  We can play if I borrow yours.”  Jude held out his hand.

Opening her hand, Tammy looked down at her most precious treasure and then at the marble in her hand.  She bent down, placing the tiger-eye into Jude’s hands. “Take care of it.”

Without looking back, Jude took off running toward his group of friends and waved over his head, “Thanks, Tammy.”

Her fingers ached where the marble had once sat.  She closed her eyes to stop the tears that wanted to fall.


Watching the pretty pink ink flow across the paper, Tammy carefully formed each of her letters.  Her teacher told her earlier that day she had the best penmanship in the class and her stories were very imaginative.  She lay in the grass, swaying her legs back and forth behind her as she scribbled words across the lined page.  The black beetle scurried across the moss-covered log.

A ball bounced onto her paper, causing her to mess up the letter-g.  She raised her head and shouted, “Hey, watch where you throw your balls!”

Jude ran up, his steps crunching over the fallen autumn leaves and grabbed the ball.  He looked down and said, “Sorry, Tammy.  I didn’t see you laying there. Your brown sweater camouflaged you.”   He cocked his head to the side.  “What are you doing?”

“I’m writing a story,” Tammy answered.  “It’s about that time at the start of school …”

“Jude, come on!” Chris yelled from across the playground.

“See you later,” Jude said and took off running.

“… that we saw a black beetle in the woods,” Tammy finished saying.  She closed her notebook and placed her face into the crook of her arms and cried.


The cold winds came and snow fell, making the playground look like a winter wonderland.  Tammy loved her pink coat, boots, hat and mittens.  They had been an early Christmas gift from a grandmother she didn’t know who lived in the city. It was the last day of school before the winter break.

Tammy stepped through the snow until she came to the familiar plastic tunnels.  She liked to crawl into the end of the one placed by the edge of the playground where the other kids rarely played.  She liked to write there, free from the sounds of laughter, the wayward ball, the stares, or simply the sight of anyone else.  She crawled inside and pulled out her tattered notebook, now almost full of her stories.  She pulled out her pink pen that was now almost empty of ink and began to write.

The princess swung her sword and slayed the mean dragon, saving the kingdom.

“What’cha you doing in here?”

Tammy looked up, surprised to see Jude peering into the edge of the tunnel.  “I’m writing.”

“You’re still doing that?” Jude slid into the end of the tunnel and sat next to her.  “What are you writing about?”

Tammy blinked.  Her bottom lip trembled.  She snapped her book shut and said to Jude, “I missed you.”

Jude looked up at her and answered, “What are you talking about? I’ve been right here.”

She shook her head.  “No, you haven’t.”

He smiled. “You’re being silly, Tammy.  I see you every day.”

“No, you haven’t seen me in weeks.  You haven’t played with me or talked to me.”  She stuffed her book and pen into her pocket and climbed over him to get out of the tunnel.

Jude sat there quietly and stared at Tammy.  Confusion covered his face.

“Say something …” Tammy started, but then snapped her lips shut.  Tears sprang into her eyes.  “I was your best friend and would have followed you anywhere.”

“You are my best friend,” Jude muttered.

“You forgot me.” Tammy shook her head.  “I gave up on you when you took my marble and never gave it back.”

“It was just a stupid marble.  I’ll get you another one,” Jude said.

Tears coursed down Tammy’s face.  “It was mine and precious to me. You were precious to me.”

Jude pulled himself out of the tunnel and crossed his arms over his chest.  “You’re being such a girl, Tammy.”

“I am a girl.”  Tammy turned away and started walking away. “Good-bye, Jude.”


Till next time,

~T.l. Gray

Related Articles:

Categories: Blog Post, Flash Fiction, Short Story, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Friends – Part III of the Adventures of Jude and Tammy

New Friends


Jude jumped up and down, pumping his little fist into the air.  “Yeah, I smoked you, Tammy!”

Tammy flicked her long auburn hair over her shoulder and smiled up at her celebrating friend.  “You got me this time. But, my turn is next.”  She picked up her favorite tiger-eyed marble and stuffed it into her dress pocket.

Snatching up the remainder ducks, Jude filled his pockets with his treasured marbles.  “What you wanna play next?”  He plopped down in the dirt next to Tammy?  He looked over at her and smiled.  “Just so you know. You’re my best friend, Tammy.”

Tammy wrinkled her nose and looked up at Jude, who had the bright sun behind him, causing her to only see his silhouetted outline.  “You’re my best friend, too, Jude.”

Jude shrugged.  “Okay, cool.”  He looked around and then asked, “Do you want to play hide and seek?”

“Who’s it?”

“I’ll be it.  You go hide.” Jude smiled.

Jumping up, Tammy bent over and placed a quick kiss on Jude’s cheek and then took off running into the woods.

Jude reached up and quickly wiped the kiss off. He wrinkled his brows and pursed his lips together and grumbled, “I wish she’d stop doing that.” He stood up and shoved his hands deep into his pockets and started walking into the woods, now in no hurry to seek Tammy and her stupid kisses.

Walking down the wooded path, Jude started kicking a pine cone down the trail and wasn’t watching where he went.  Angry at Tammy because he had told her a ton to stop being a silly girl, that he didn’t like kisses, but she didn’t do what he said.  He reared back and kicked the cone as hard as he could, sending it flying into the woods.

The cone hit a nearby tree, pinged back and then rolled down the hill.  Jude took off running after it.  He loved to run.  The cone bopped, bounced and hopped down the hill and then rolled onto the edge of the playground, coming to stop just below one of the see-saws.  “Katy, stop!” He yelled at the girl riding high on the see-saw as it drifted toward the earth toward his pine cone.

Her little feet touched the ground, but she held the see-saw from coming all the way down and then turned her head back toward him.  “Oh, hey, Jude.”

Jude gave her a little wave and quickly bent down to pick up his pine-cone football.

“Can you help me off?” Katy asked, nodding toward the other see-saw rider.

Rearing back, Jude took aim at a nearby tree and launched his pinecone with a mighty throw.  Together the two children watched it fly through the air, hit the bark of a nearby tree and then bounce off into the underbrush.  Jude then reached over and held the see-saw while Katy slid off, and then slowly lowered it for the other rider.

“Thank you, Jude,” Katy answered.  She nodded toward the other rider.  “Silas is heavier than me and every time I slide off, it makes him hit the ground hard.”

Jude shrugged.

Katy smiled at him.  “Do you want to come with me to the pond and race boats?”

“Nah, I don’t like racing boats.”

“Climb the monkey bars?”

“Nah, I did that already.”

“Well, what do you want to do?”

Jude poked his hands in his pockets and pulled out a handful of marbles.  “Do you like to play marbles?”

Katy smiled.  “I never played. Can you teach me how?”

“Sure,” Jude answered, and then launched right into explaining the rules of the games as he walked beside Katy toward the sand box.

Together, Jude and Katy played marbles well into the afternoon.  She learned the rules quickly, loved to laugh out loud and squeal with delight every time she sank a duck into the center hole.  Jude loved teaching her how to play and he didn’t mind her giving him a hug every time she sank another duck. Though he had fun, something tugged on the edge of his mind, but he kept pushing the feeling away so he could concentrate on the game.  If he didn’t watch it closely, he could lose, and Jude hated losing more than anything.

It wasn’t too long, Jude heard his mother calling him and he began to gather all his marbles.  Katy handed them all over willingly except for the white shooter he called Snowball.

“This one is so pretty.  Can I have it?” Katy asked.

Jude froze.  He looked down at his marble then back up at Katy.  Everything inside him wanted to snatch his marble away, but he found himself shaking his head up and down.

Katy squealed with delight and reached over and kissed Jude on the cheek.

He wiped the kiss off his cheek and grumbled.  “Tammy, I already told you stop doing that!”

Katy pulled back.  “Who’s Tammy?”

A sinking feeling hit Jude in the center of his stomach as he looked over his shoulder into the darkening woods, back toward where Tammy had ran earlier that morning, where he never went to find her.

Categories: Inspirational, Musing, Writing | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Want My Marble

Want My Marble

“I got you now, you evil beast!” Jude bent low, lined his favorite tiger-eye shooter with one of the dozen or so multi-colored ducks surrounding the inner hole. The knees of his jeans already sported patches from the amount of time he spent on the ground playing his favorite game in the world – marbles. “You thought you could hide from Jude Singleton, but …”

He poked the end of his tongue out the side of his mouth, closed his left eye so his right could get a better view, and with his thumb and steady hand, he flicked the large gold and black-swirled marble toward its target.

It shot across the dirt and gravel toward a small hole dug in the center of a large round ring, surrounded by several other smaller marbles. Jude held his breath and watched as his favorite shooter bounced, bobbled and weaved its way toward the center, knocking the nearest duck closer to the hole. He opened his closed eye and sat up as the red-swirly edged closer to the rim and slowed to an agonizing crawl.

Moving more sluggish than a snail, the marble seemed to have almost stopped. Jude raised his dirty hands, partially covered his face, but through the finger-slats kept his eyes peeled on the marble as it drew to a stop. His jaw dropped and Jude was about to let out a long line of exasperated expletives when the sparkling-red glass ball moved another micro-millimeter and teetered on the rim of the hole before finally dropping in. Jude jumped to his feet, arms and fists pumping the air in victory, as he continued his earlier phrase, “…no one gets away from the Marble Mutilator!”

“The Marble Mutilator, what’s that?”

Jude froze. Every muscle in his six-year old body tensed. He cut his eyes at the source of the voice that invaded his fantasy, and then his head followed. “That’s me. Who’re you?” His voice exuded a crass, irritated tone, but it didn’t match the feelings flooding his little body, or the strange thoughts coursing through his little mind. He little hands went to his hips and he turned to stand in front of this strange angelic creature he quickly identified as …a girl.

“I’m Tammy Greenleaf.” She smiled at him, revealing a small gap between her two front teeth. She looked past Jude at the small collection of colorful marbles still sitting in the dirt. “I like all your pretty marbles.”

Jude huffed. “Marbles ain’t pretty, and neither are girls!” He crossed his arms over his chest.

Tammy ignored his outburst, and though she wore a yellow-flowered sun dress, she dropped to her knees and surveyed the position of the marbles on the ground. She pointed to the gold and black-striped shooter Jude had just recently used. “That one’s the prettiest of them all. It reminds me of my cat, Leo.”

Jude plopped down next to her and quickly snatched up his favorite shooter. “I said marbles ain’t pretty. They don’t look like cats either!”

Cocking her head to the side and smiling at Jude, the sun light caught the green, gold and brown specks in her hazel eyes and reminded Jude of some of the beautiful colors he admired while studying his marbles. “Well, I think they’re pretty, and so are you.”

Eyes bulging, Jude blinked several times but found he couldn’t move. Without thinking, or even under his direct command or control, he held out his favorite tiger-striped shooter to Tammy. “Want my marble?”

Tammy looked at the marble, then back up at Jude before she leaned in and placed a soft, wet kiss on his cheek. He stopped breathing. He sat petrified as she reached out and took the offered gem. “Thank you,” she whispered.

A few seconds later, but what felt like an eternity to Jude, feeling returned to his body and this mind started to once again turn. He looked down at his empty hand and immediately felt despair. “Girls!” he grumbled under his breath through gritted teeth. “They should all be shipped to Mars.”

Jude shoved his hand in his pocket and pulled out another shooter. This
time it was a solid white one he called Snowball. He bent down once more in the dirt and lined his shooter with his next target, but not before he cast a quick glance at the swing set to notice Tammy sitting there, her beautiful hair blowing in the wind, holding the tiger-eye up to the sun in admiration.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at