Snapshots from Chameleon

Snapshots from Chameleon

A Story by Alexis Raine

Tempe meets a bright little swindler.


In a flash, she’s gone back into the kitchen and I can hear her and Sonny laughing. The cold morning sun pours in through the window and intensifies the bright colors on the walls. I feel a tug on my shorts.

            “You are a friend of Malie?” the boy says Mal-lie instead of Molly.

            “Uh, yep,” I look down at him. He’s got light, curly brown hair and his head only comes up to my hipbone. He stares up at me with slightly distrustful hazel eyes. I smile down at him and his mouth twitches at the corner.

            “How old are you?”

            “Eleven,” he says. He takes my hand and leads me to the table where he was coloring. I help give him a boost onto the chair, he’s that small. He props himself up on his knees and gives me a wide grin as I sit across from him. Two front teeth are absent.

            “Are you really eleven?” I ask.

            “I am six,” he responds. He has unusually clear speech for a six year old. “My name’s Calvin but you call me Vinnie and my parents went to work but they’re friends with Sonny and everyone here so I come here.” As he rattles off his speech, he begins scribbling at a piece of notebook paper, his handwriting curling delicately.

            “What are you writing?”

            “A story. About you.”


            “Of course,” Vinnie doesn’t look up. He’s hunched over the paper, tapping his foot against the chair leg. I lean over to see, but he pushes my head away.

            “I’ll read it to you,” he clears his throat and taps the paper on the table like a talk show host. “Once upon a time there was a girl who visited here with Malie. I don’t know her name.”

            “Tempest,” I say. The name still feels raw and awkward on my tongue.

            “Her name was Tempest. Her name is Tempest and she is in search of an extraordinary human being,” Vinnie looks up at me and smiles with his gap teeth. I grin back; his eyes are so sweet and innocent. He abruptly breaks eye contact and becomes serious, staring down his paper like a mortal enemy.

 “Tempest is looking for an extraordinary person because that is what young people do. They grab backpacks and go to places they don’t know to find themselves, but they don’t really find themselves. They just see themselves in a different light, and then they come back home. Like once, my big sister did that, but she got really sick when she got back home. She’s better now though, which is good. Another good thing is that Tempest is going to give me, Calvin, a dollar in exchange for this wonderful story I wrote about her.”

“Am I now, even with that digression?”

“Of course, because you find me utterly amusing and I don’t know what digression is,” Vinnie crosses his arms and passes the paper to me. I shake my head and take a dollar out of my wallet and hold it just out of his reach.

“I want to know one thing, you talented little swindler.”


“Con-man, sly guy. You follow me?”


“Why’d you lie about your age?”

“Is that a digestion?” He mispronounces the word.

“Digression,” I say. “And I suppose so. But I still have a question.”

“What?” He’s starting to get a little whiny now.

“Why’d you lie about your age?”

“People just don’t take tiny young kids like me seriously.” Vinnie snatches the dollar out of my hand and tumbles out of his chair. The piece of paper flutters onto the floor as he zooms down the hall and out of sight. I pick it up. All it has writing in fine, fairy-like handwriting is: Everyone searches for extraordinary. Some people find its right in front of them.

I smile and fold the paper into my wallet. Best dollar I ever spent.

© 2010 Alexis Raine

Author's Note

Alexis Raine
A small snippet from a very long novel in the works.

Vinnie;s character is based on stories of me and an old childhood friend that our parents tell us. (He tricked people out of money. I used my powers for cookies.)

My Review

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"In a flash, she’s gone back into the kitchen and I can hear her and Sonny laughing"
I felt stupid because then I read that sentence I thought Sonny was laughing at a 'Woman in the kitchen" joke hahaa

"He’s got light, curly brown hair and his head only comes up to my hipbone."---we can't see the relevance to know how tall he is because we dont know how tall SHE is.

I lvoed this story! I thought it was not only original but very creative and imaginative. Keep it up!

Posted 13 Years Ago

Little Vinnie is so cute! The dialogue is so on point for the characters_ I love this short story_ Great write

Posted 14 Years Ago

This is so beautiful! I love this so much, and want to read a lot more! Vinnie is adorable- a really amazing character.

Your descriptions were good, the story is so cute. You've got me gripped.

Posted 14 Years Ago

this is good. I like it

Posted 14 Years Ago

I love this 'snippet'.. Vinnie does seem much older than six .. a beautiful story he wrote and I would agree, best dollar ever spent.
I enjoyed this.


Posted 14 Years Ago

I take it that Vinny is advanced for his age.I can feel that because I have an average 7 yr old and Vinny's level of reasoning is far greater than his .like believing that people don't take little kids seriously.Not only does he believe that 7 makes him big he couldn't care less if we take him seriously.Also he won't lie about his age.He will lie but only if you tell him the lie.His mind doesn't work like that.He tells everyone he is a ninja but it is not a lie because he believes it.One time I tried to get him to lie about his age to get out of a not having a booster seat ticket and he told me he did not even look nine.I got the ticket.Thats why I am guessing this kid must be like a gifted child,or maybe my kid just isn't.I think the story reads well and I hope you write more so I can answer that question

Posted 14 Years Ago

Aw, Vinnie sounds cute. This is good and I'd love to read it if/when you make it into a novel. It's kind of like reading a blurb but blurbs are usually summaries, and this seemed to be somewhere in the middle? It definatley wasn't the beginning, it'd be too rushed and it can't be the end because my curiosity wouldn't be sustained. And I'm talking too much, so bye.

Posted 14 Years Ago

Oh my goodness, this is cute. I think the little brother is an extraordinary character with a lot of wisdom I can really relate to a lot. The children know and see things we as older people miss. Ah, I love the little peoples, lol.

Anyways, I love the name. I considered giving my character a name like that, but Tempest sounds like a raw and awkward name and I didn't know what to do with it. Wonderful job.

The characters will probably drive the story is what I infer as the reader. I complement you dearly for sharing this.

Posted 14 Years Ago

Cute. I like the little kid's character.

Posted 14 Years Ago

i like it

Posted 14 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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13 Reviews
Added on May 23, 2010
Last Updated on June 9, 2010
Tags: tempe, chameleon, book, children, mischeif


Alexis Raine
Alexis Raine

You can call me Roo, or any variation upon my name. I live in a land of trees, where it is possible to drown by just looking at the sky. I enjoy writing, mostly prose, and some screenplays. I al.. more..


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