Creative Spotlight: “Tomahawk” by Hannah Pos

7 February 2020
By Kathleen Danielson

This week’s creative spotlight features Hannah Pos (’20). A Political Science major from Salt Lake City, UT, Hannah can usually be found obsessing over the government, specifically the women of the Supreme Court and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Beyond her love of democracy, Hannah has a soft spot for rom coms, pinafore dresses, and brachycephalic dogs. Check out her flash fiction piece “Tomahawk” below!


You know that when a boy takes you to Tomahawk, you’re going to do it. It doesn’t matter if you go to the parking lot, pull off to the side, and crack open the windows a little bit. Or if you hike in on the dirt path to the second clearing on the left, the one with the abandoned lawn chairs. Or if you sneak into the vacant house by slipping through the hole in the chainlink fence and climbing through the broken window in the basement. You’re going there to do it. And maybe he won’t tell you; he didn’t tell the girl he went with last month. But the next day, Maggie from Spanish class will know, just as well as your best friend, that you two did it. Because people only really go up there to do it. That and drugs.

Jake takes you on the Saturday after the Homecoming dance. It’s weird he invites you. At first, it seems like a joke because you’ve known each other for forever and because you thought he was still kind of hooking up with that senior in your science class. But he texts you that Thursday. Your mom says you have to go because she misses his mom, and his dad, and middle school, and carpools. You respond with Saturday? because it seems nonchalant, noncommittal even. Your mom doesn’t know where he ends up taking you. If she had, she wouldn’t have pushed you to go in the first place.

Jake picks you up in his dad’s old Subaru. The same car that picked you up in when you were seven for Thursday morning carpool. He doesn’t get out and open the door for you. He texts you and you run out to his car, quickly closing the front door behind you. Thank god your mom doesn’t try to wave from the front porch. He’s playing Kanye when you get in, because, of course he is. And he offers you the aux, but of course you say no. So you sit in the bass-rattling car, not really talking. You don’t go directly to Tomahawk, so you relax a little. You think you’re just hanging out as friends, even though you haven’t really done that since since middle school, and now you’re juniors thinking about college and life after high school slow dances.

You’re at his favorite burger place getting milkshakes. The kind that are too think to drink with a straw. He orders Peanut Butter Oreo, and you order Strawberry, and it finally doesn’t feel so uncomfortable. You sit in the sticky red booth talking about nothing in particular until you both decide you’ve made reasonable dents into your milkshakes. When you start driving again, it feels tense with hormones, like you’re in seventh grade again. Only this time, instead of throwing candy wrappers he found lodged between the seats at you, Jake puts his hand on your upper thigh. You make a right on to the street that unmistakably begins Tomahawk. You tense up and he probably felt it, but he doesn’t move. You’ve been here before right, he asks. And you have, just not to do what he’s asking about. You say yes, anyway.

Jake pulls over in the parking lot and you think maybe this is it. You’ll do it in the car with the seat pushed as far back as possible, windows cracked just a bit. But then he rolls up the windows, opens his door, and gets out. You get out, too. He leans against his door and you walk around to face him. What’s up, you say. He pulls you in by your waist against his body. He kisses you. He tastes like peanut butter and Axe body spray. When he pulls away, he smiles. He looks so young. Like in the basement of your best friend’s house, playing spin the bottle for the first time – giving you a small peck on the lips and smiling after, making you blush while all the others holler.

He pushes himself off the car and you walk together. You walk past the rusted metal gates of the entrance to the trail. He holds your hand and it’s warm. A little too warm. But maybe it’s your hand that’s too warm. You keep holding his anyway because you don’t want him to know that you’re nervous. Just like seventh grade. You walk towards the vacant house. You slip through the hole in the chainlink fence. You climb through the broken basement window.