The DVD case is a jarring shade of translucent pink, though against the dark wood of the bookshelf, it looks blood red. Clumsy writing, only just recognizable as my own, scrawls across it in silver gel pen. The words are smudged by years, some to the point of illegibility, but that matters little. I know exactly what they say.
This is it. This is the silly dance and weird little skit that my elementary school best friend and I put together during a sleepover one night.
I can at least remember the dance fondly. Blissfully unaware of the true form of The Chicken Dance, my friend came up with a “chicken dance” of her own, accompanied by a song composed entirely of exaggerated bawking. I don’t appear onscreen at all during this; it was her creation, and she pulls it off better than I ever could, then or now. My rhythm extends only to my brain, lungs, and vocal cords.
No, it is definitely the skit whose memory makes me wince. My brain has already generated a list of explanations for this abomination. We were, like, ten, it reminds me. We were in elementary school. This was back in the mythical time before the iPhone; you can’t be counted upon to have good acting skills. Or writing skills. Or taste.
The skit is half-roleplay, half-fanfiction, inspired largely by the Inheritance Cycle, though at that point it was still called a trilogy and only comprised one published book and one in progress. I play a Dragon Rider, while my friend takes on the role of a lynx-person. Not a werecat, mind you, a lynx-person. Her pretend name is literally “lynx” with some extra letters tacked onto the end.
I contemplate watching the DVD’s contents, just to see precisely how bad it was, but decide against it. This was not meant for human eyes. Not even mine.
I deposit it in a box of my old projects and shudder.