Sunday, August 16, 2015
1st 5 Pages August Workshop - Hartley Revision 2
Name: Erin Foster Hartley
Genre: YA Contemporary
Title: Skylar’s Kids
House passes sperm donation bill
By Dirk Stimmel, USA Today
February 12, 1997
WASHINGTON — The House passed a billlimiting the number of sperm donations individuals may make for the purpose of artificial insemination, but only in cases where the donor won’t be directly involved in raising the resulting child.
Passed 398-12, the Reckless Procreation Prevention Act — otherwise known as the Skylar Webb Bill — received nearly unanimous bipartisan support from its inception. The president has vowed to sign it into law immediately.
Last September, in the midst of a highly-publicized nervous breakdown, movie star Skylar Webb auctioned off samples of his sperm to 100 female fans. How many of these women will ultimately follow through with conception remains to be seen, but typical intrauterine insemination success rates are between 10-20%.
The current whereabouts of Skylar Webb are unknown. The first of his offspring are expected to be born mid-July.
ALEXANDER / AGE 16 / IOWA CITY, IOWA
Principal Grimes’ jagged, dingy smile is nothing if not a cautionary tale for proper dental hygiene. “Come in, Alex,” she says. I cringe at her unwelcome nickname and take a seat next to Mr. Gillespie, the drama teacher. “We’ve been discussing the school musical. Unfortunately,Hedwig and the Angry Inch is just not an acceptable choice of material.”
“I’m sorry,” Mr. Gillespie says. “I know you had your heart set on this.” A muscle ripples along his jawline as he swallows. He’s just six years older than me, and it’s his first year teaching at City High. His pores are kinda large and he’s got a weird cleft in his chin, but he’s the school’s only gay teacher and I can’t stop obsessing over him like he’s freaking Bradley Cooper — even now when I have bigger things to focus on.
“What’s wrong with Hedwig?” I ask. “It won the Tony last year.”
“And I’m sure it was well-deserved. But a teenage boy in drag playing a transsexual rock star is going to raise more than a few eyebrows. I’d hate to see Mr. Gillespie come under fire from the PTA.”
“We don’t care what the PTA thinks,” I say, leaning forward. “It’s not fair. This is discrimination. We’ll fight it all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to.”
Principal Grimes, clearly not appreciating my spontaneous Atticus Finch moment, pulls something from the top drawer of her desk — one of the scripts I printed out in the school library last week when I got yelled at for wasting so much paper. Its edges are adorned with a variety of neon-colored sticky notes. She flips to a yellow-marked page and clears her throat. “Hedwig climbs into the lap of an unsuspecting audience member and rhythmically thrusts her pelvis in his face, the fringe of her skirt tickling his nose. Hedwig: ‘It’s a car wash, ladies and gentlemen!’” She fans through the rest of the pages marked in green, blue, pink, and orange, and shakes her head. “There’s a fine line between provocative and vulgar. This play is about six miles east of that line.”
“We still have plenty of other options,” Mr. Gillespie says. “Jesus Christ Superstar. Or Chicago, even.”
I roll my eyes. I don’t want to play hippie disco Jesus or Richard Gere. I want to do drag, and Mr. Gillespie knows this. Why is he being such a Judas? “Could I play Roxie Hart?” I ask.
He and Principal Grimes exchange a look. “What about Cats?” she says. “You’d make a wonderful Mr. Mistoffelees.”
I stifle a shudder and focus on channeling my inner Elsa from Frozen. Let it go, let it go… Ooh, there’s an idea.
“Alex? Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” I say, but I can’t bring myself to open my eyes. “I’ll take it into consideration.”
“Oh, wonderful. Here’s a list of PTA-approved plays, which Mr. Gillespie really should have consulted in the first place. Let me know what you decide on by. I want to announce auditions at the pep rally.”
Outside Grimes’ office, Mr. Gillespie puts his hand on my shoulder. “Again, I’m sorry,” he says. “If I wasn’t so new around here, I might have had a better chance to defend you.” At least, I’m pretty sure that’s the gist of what he’s saying. It’s hard to concentrate on anything else besides the heat from his palm seeping through the fabric of my t-shirt. I somehow manage a nod.
“Don’t worry,” he says. “Whatever we end up doing, I’m confident you’ll be spectacular.” He gives me one last atta boy smile before taking off down the hall. I’m too busy watching him go to notice my friend Mathilda approaching.
“Give it up, Blueberry,” she says, grabbing my sleeve and pulling me into the girls’ restroom. “It’s never gonna happen.”
“It won’t.” She hoists herself onto the counter and takes a drag from her e-cig. “You need to stop watching so much gay porn. It’s warped your sense of reality.”
“Whatever.” I stick the play list in my back pocket and make a pouty-face at myself in the mirror. I dyed my hair blue last week (hence Mathilda’s brilliant new nickname for me) but it’s already starting to fade to a greenish-gray. Not a pretty sight. “Grimes killed Hedwig, BTW.”
“Bloody ‘ell. A fucking surprise, that one is.” Mathilda watches a lot of British TV shows, and she likes nothing better than to randomly whip out her crappy Cockney accent. “Did you seriously think that was gonna fly?”
I pick up a local events magazine that someone left by the sink and flip through a few pages. “I guess I sort of expected it.”
“So what’s your plan now? I mean, besides going home to fap to Mr. Gillespie’s yearbook photo?”
I raise my middle finger at her without looking up from the magazine. “He’s not in the yearbook. Do you think I’d make a good Angel fromRent?”
“Oh, sure,” she says, exhaling a puff of vanilla-scented vapor. “If there’s one thing sexier than playing a character with a one-inch dick, it’s playing one dying of AIDS.”
“I didn’t join drama club just to get into Mr. Gillespie’s pants, you know. I actually do care about the musical.” I flip past an article on this weekend’s kombucha festival and three pages of ads for hipster used clothing stores and sub shops before my eyes catch on something interesting.
THE ALLEY CAT
IOWA CITY’S ONLY 19+ LGBTQ NIGHTCLUB
Saturday: Amateur Drag Show*
*Winners may be invited to join The Alley Cat’s Drag Troupe: THE P*SSY POSSE
“Uh, Mat? Does your brother still hang out with that guy who makes fake IDs? I’m gonna need one by Saturday.”
She raises an over-plucked eyebrow. “Creepy Carlos? Yeah, but a rush job will cost you. Why, what’s Saturday?”
I sigh and clutch the magazine to my chest. “My debut.”