One Chapter Ends, Another Begins

Hello Friends!

Lots to talk about, lots to do! Busy, busy, busy! I haven’t had time to write to you in a while… I haven’t been doing much writing at all recently! I had a request from a lovely friend of mine, as I needed a friendly reminder, to post another Never Never section! I’m just putting you in so much suspense, dear readers! Well, here goes! At the end of this post, I’ve got lots of exciting news to share with you!!!!!

I woke back up again at 6:30. I leapt out of my bed. I’d be late! I lumped my pillows into a Thalia-shaped pile and left the note on my dresser. I said a final goodbye to my room and hopped on the bus, crossing my fingers that mom would only find the letter tonight.

Nolan was not happy with me.

He said his sister was crying this morning because Natalie had sent her an awful text. He said that they were enemies. Perfectly to plan.

“Nolan, look. I’m sorry! I just can’t do it! We’ll get our sisters friends again if I go back home,” Nolan’s eyes shone and Rose cocked her head at me. “IF,” I emphasized. I wasn’t going back any time soon. “Your sister’s picking you up right? Not your mom or dad?” Nolan nodded, obviously unhappy that I’d changed the subject. “Good. That gives us more time to tell her, though your parent’s could be easier. Unless they’re at work.”

“They work until 6 tonight,” Nolan started to perk up as we walked into Uptown Middle and down the hallway on our way to our classes. Rose and I parted ways from him as we headed down to Drama.

“Alice needs to sound very surprised when you fly down the tunnel, following the Hare. So Rose practice your worried look,” Rose scrunched up her face and her eyebrows furrowed at Mr. Calahensky’s command. “And Thalia work on looking as surprised as possible. Your mom just told you you’re 16 and can drive.” I raised my eyebrows and pushed them together a bit, trying my best to imagine myself rolling down a tiny dirt tunnel after a rabbit.

“Good! From the top!”

I was sitting in my tree, I followed Rose, I was tumbling down a hard, plastic pipe, designed to look like a dirty tunnel. I actually got dirt on my clothes and face. Wiping a stray hair from my face I looked around, supposedly very surprised.

“It would be so nice if things began to make sense for a change,” I said in my very best Alice in Wonderland voice. The rest of the class started applauding and I stood turned around and curtsied. “Thank you, oh thank you!” I imitated Alice’s voice.

“Now, now everyone! Class is dismissed!” Mr. Calahensky chuckled and students rushed out the double doors. “Could I please talk to you Ms. Brown?” I stopped and told Rose to go on ahead and that I’d be right there.

“Yes, Mr. Calahensky?” I asked. Did I do something wrong?

“Thalia, I think you are very talented and I’d like you to choose a play for us to do after Alice in Wonderland. It will be the before Christmas Break play so you have some time, but I thought you would like to help with the auditions, too.” I gawked at him.

“Me?”

“Yes you, Thalia. If you don’t want to that’s okay-” I leapt forward and scooped my teacher into a great big bear hug. “I suppose that’s yes?”

“Oh yes!”

“The before Winter Break play? Really? Auditions too? Oh how I’d love to be you!” Rose spun around in a circle and bumped into another student that was on the way to lunch. “You could do anything! Little Women, Jack in the Beanstalk, Romeo and Juliet, Peter Pan!”

“Yes! Peter Pan! Then lots of people can fly around the stage! It would be fantastic! And we could do a modern twist, too!” Rose and I squealed with delight. RIIIIIIIING! A voice went on the intercom.

“Class dismissed!” The whole school rushed to the doors as they clicked open. Nolan grabbed my hand. I looked at him and blushed a fascinating shade of flamingo pink.

“So I don’t lose you,” he mouthed. It was too loud to hear anything other than the hubbub of the kids.

Sam’s car was a brown toyota. It was old. It was plain. It was rusted. But at least she had one. I adjusted my backpack on my shoulder as Nolan and I walked to Sam’s car. Choruses of “Nolan’s got a girlfriend, Nolan’s got a girlfriend!” rang out, but only from a few kid’s mouths. Thanks a lot. He signed in sign language. I grinned and stuck my tongue out.

“Why, is she here, Nolan?! Her sister-” Sam was cut off by me slamming the door.

“Hit the gas, Sam. We’ll explain on the way,” I told her.

“Okay so let me get this right, you want to get back at your mom and sister so you’re running away to live with us? And Nolan and I have to hide you from our parents. And Rose can’t do it why?” Sam turned around in the driver’s seat.

“Butler.” I replied at the same time as Nolan.

“Right.” said Sam thoughtfully. “Fine. But if you get in trouble, blame’s not on me.” Nolan and I nodded.

“Right. So. Your parents get home at six so I have to eat by then, right? And then wait for you to come back up to your room after dinner.” They nodded. “Okay, so what about breakfast? What time do they wake up and leave for work?”

“They wake up early but leave at 6:00 for work so you eat breakfast in the car to school so we can get to school early and no one will see you come to school with me. And on weekends, you stay locked in our room. Dad’s usually writing stuff for the paper and mom is doing a shift at the hospital usually, but extra precaution is always good.” Nolan told me. I nodded as we pulled into a long driveway of a ranch. Sam and Nolan got out and I followed suit. I pulled out my really heavy, really puffy backpack and lugged it inside. It was pleasant inside the little ranch. The kitchen and living room were clean but I assumed the bedrooms weren’t.

“My room’s this way if you want to put your stuff in there. I’ve got a bunk so you can sleep on bottom. We can play XBox after homework too.” I smiled up at Sam. I’d always wanted an XBox. And a good big sister.

I plopped my stuff on Sam’s bed. Her room was a really bright shade of green and she had posters covering every inch of it on one wall, a picture collage next to her bed, a closet on one wall, and the door on the other. I loved her room already. Her door was painted with chalkboard paint too, and it never really closed unless you pulled hard. I took out my homework and walked to the living room. I sat down on the fluffy brown sofa next to Nolan who was studying his geography map. I took out my lines for Alice in Wonderland and read them over and over in my head.

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be and what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” Sam giggled from across the room working on her math homework and Nolan applauded. The garage door opened.

“Quick! Hide in my room!” Sam shoved my homework into my arms and I dashed off, slamming the door hard as Nolan’s dad walked in.

“Hey kids, I’m gonna go work in the study until supper, okay. Get your homework done before you play on the XBox.”

I let out a deep breath that I seemed to have been holding in all day. It was going to work. It had to. I heard a door close somewhere on the other end of the house and I waited a few moments before tip-toeing into the living room. That was close. I signed. Nolan nodded and whispered to Sam that they were using sign language. Sam signed, with the help of Nolan, that she wasn’t very good but they had a sign language club at school that she had joined recently. I smiled. I really do love coincidences like these.

I finished the small bit of homework I had to do before we played on the XBox. We played Wii and Mario Kart and after we were done I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Guys! Who are you talking to?” Their dad called.

“Sam!” Nolan replied wincing.

“Okay! Just remember, homework comes before playing with the neighbors!”

“Neighbors!” Nolan whispered. “You can pretend to be our neighbor, Megan Gripling! Dad doesn’t get out much so he won’t know the difference.” I’ll go knock on the door. I signed and tip toed to the door. KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK! Sam appeared at the door.

“Hey Megan! How’s it going?”

“Good. I was wondering if I could hang out with you guys!”

“Oh yeah! Sure,” Sam paused, “WE JUST FINISHED OUR HOMEWORK!!!” she called loud enough for her dad to here. I mocked ear injury. “Let’s play Fruit Ninja on our XBox!” I smiled and nodded. Already, Sam knew me too well. We hung out the rest of the night. Finally “Megan” left and Nolan and Sam’s mom came home. I sat in Sam’s room and played on her phone. Too many times I went back and looked at the text I sent from Natalie’s phone. It felt wrong to keep something so big like that from Sam. She was like my sister now. I quit out of Subway surfers and laid face up on the bunk staring up at the wooden planks below Sam’s bed. I took out a pen from my pocket and wrote l on the board above. 1 day I had been here. I would make a mark for how many days Sam was my sister and Nolan my brother just like they did in the movies. How many marks would I make until I went back to my family?

The next morning when I woke up I didn’t know where I was. Until I saw the bright green on Sam’s walls. Then I remembered everything. My plan, school, dad. I missed him. I wanted to know how he was doing. I wanted to know if I could visit him. But the last question I already knew. I couldn’t visit him. The nurses would tell mom that I visited with Sam and then they would find me and that would ruin everything. My sisterhood with Sam would be over forever.

We drove to school in the old brown toyota and we got to school and 6:30. I stuffed the rest of my pop tart into my mouth and Nolan and I headed to the big oak tree to wait till 6:45 when the doors would open. The grass was wet and soaked my tennis shoes and the chilly November air nipped at my nose and fingers. I shivered. Nolan scootched a little closer and we shivered together in the cold, cold air.

The stampede of kids stampeded into the middle school and raced to our classes. I said goodbye to Nolan and headed off to Drama. Rose was already sitting when I got there. She leaned over and whispered in my ear,

“How’d it go?” I told her everything about the night before and she gave me a double thumbs up.

“CLASS!” Mr. Calahensky boomed, his voice alone quieted the room. “Hello! Have you been practicing your lines?” Almost everyone nodded yes. “Good! Now we have a final detail run-through before the performance for the whole middle school on Thursday! Yes, that’s two days from now. Then! A very special guest will announce the play that we will be doing for the Winter Show that the WHOLE COMMUNITY sees! Yes? Yes!” And with that we all scuttled to the dressing room. Mr. Calahensky caught me. “What play are we doing?” He whispered, if it could be called that.

“Peter Pan.” I replied and hurried off to get in my poofy dress.

The run-through was not, in fact, quick. It took most of the class period but when it was over, the whole class was buzzing with excitement. They all wanted to hear me say what play we would do. Except they didn’t know I was announcing it.

“Give a big hand to Thalia Brown who will be helping with the auditions and play arrangement!” Mr. Calahensky’s voice echoed around the whole auditorium. At first, only Rose cheered and clapped and whooped but as I climbed the steps to the stage I heard a dozen kids cheering me on loudly. I turned around and smiled. Mr. Calahensky handed me a microphone and I spoke confidently into it.

“This year, for the Winter Show, we will be putting on the play PETER PAN!” Everyone cheered. Not a single his or boo to be heard. I continued. “But that’s not all, we are going to put a modern twist into this beloved old fairy tale!” The “crowd” roared including Mr. Calahensky which was probably the reason why it sounded like a roar and not a cheer. I bowed and jumped off the stage and took my seat. Rose high fived me. I was beaming, grinning from ear to ear, and really, if I smiled any bigger, I don’t know if I’d have any face left with that smile!

School zoomed. Everyone was asking my autograph. Everyone wanted me to talk about my “acting career.” One kid even asked if I would pick according to friends or talent, the nerve! Of course I’d choose by talent though I think Rose might be getting the part of Wendy or Tiger Lilly.

The rest of the day, I feel ashamed to say, was boring. So was Wednesday. We started with Ms. Emily Bentley’s math class and science and after that I just got pestered by kids thinking I was some famous actress. And I thought I would never be famous or have a nice older sister! Sometimes I wonder how two completely opposite girls became best friends.

Wednesday melted into Thursday which brought the play. I was in the dressing room getting ready when I heard one of the two voices I didn’t want to hear for a long time. And then I saw the person attached to the voice.

Natalie.

I made a beeline for the bathrooms but it was too late. She had seen me. Luckily Mr. Calahensky grabbed her shoulder before she could step in after me. I took this distraction and ran straight into the bathroom stall. I heard Mr. Calahensky telling Natalie that this was a play for the middle schoolers to watch not high schoolers and that one was on the 14th of December and I heard Natalie tell Mr. Calahensky that I ran away. And I heard nothing more. Other than Natalie leaving. I crept out of the stall and down to Mr. Calahensky. He looked at me and I looked at him and he nodded and walked away and started calling orders to the curtain and lights people.

The curtain went up. I was sitting in my tree. Rose was crouched in the roses. Funny coincidence. The music started and I began humming the song I had practiced over and over. On queue, Rose hopped out of the roses and I giggled. I didn’t remember if I was supposed to giggle or not but I swung down from the tree. All of this was like second nature to me so I just let it take me, doing what my hands and feet and voice told me to do. Before I knew it, people were standing, cheering, clapping, whistling and I was being rushed out to curtsy. People began stomping when I did. I smiled and waved and ran off again.

After I left the changing room I tried to find Rose and Nolan. It turned out, they actually found me. Both congratulated me on my spectacular performance and I told them about Natalie in the dressing room. Both listened with frowns on their faces.

“Well, we gotta go,” Nolan said grabbing my arm. Everyone left the auditorium and we just sort of floated with the crowd. We scanned for Natalie, if she was there we would separate so she wouldn’t suspect anything. We dashed out to the brown toyota it the parking lot like we were running through a cold sprinkler. We leapt into the car, giggling like two year olds and breathless. I looked at Nolan and he looked at me and we stopped laughing at just that one moment as our eyes locked. And then we opened the garage door.

I read the rest of the night. Mostly the old copy Peter Pan that the Merriweathers had on there great big book shelf in the living room. I heard a gentle knock on the black chalkboard door. Before I could get up and open it, Sam stepped into the room. She was quiet, which was odd for Sam. I sat up and pushed a strand of hair out of my eyes. It was longer than it was when I came here, now about down to my armpit. Sam sat next to me, her head ducked down so she would fit under the bed. I looked into Sam’s eyes, the same blue as Nolan’s, and I could tell she was sad. No, not sad. Lonely.

“Hey.” Sam smiled but her eyes were still lonely. I wanted them to be happy and excited.

“Hey,” she replied.

“Wanna go play on the XBox?” I asked. I’d do anything to make her eyes bright again. She shrugged.

“I thought I could teach you how to play chess,” she answered. I nodded.

“I’d love to play chess.”

And so she taught me how to play chess and the more I think about it, the more I realized that I wasn’t a pawn anymore. I was growing up to be a knight.

That night I made the fourth mark on the 2×4 above my bed.

Saturday came in a hurry. Rose was sleeping over and I had to pretend to be Megan again because Mrs. Merriweather was home. It was kind of like being in a play. You had to pretend to be a different person but you couldn’t spill the beans that you were just faking. We still stayed out of Mrs. Merriweather’s range of fire, though, in case she realized I wasn’t really Megan because Megan didn’t have freckles. I almost showed Rose and Nolan the marks above my bed but I didn’t. For some reason I felt like it was my secret. I didn’t have many secrets but if I did, I wouldn’t tell anyone. I wondered what dad was doing and whether mom and Natalie were missing me at all. I didn’t know if I missed them. Rose slept over Sunday too. We stayed up late into the night talking about things. School. Sam. Friends. Plays. Natalie.

“Rose?”

“Hmm?”

“Do you ever wonder about things?”

“What do you mean, Thalia?”

“The things in books or plays, there so… unreal. But do you ever wonder if something like that would ever happen?”

“Never say never.”

“Goodnight, Rose.”

“Goodnight, Thalia.”

I hope you enjoyed that! I really need to take the time to go back and reread Never Never. It’s one of the first stories I actually felt proud of and it’s how I discovered online writing in GoogleDocs. How do you like to write? Let me know in the comments. I’ve heard some very interesting strategies before, and if I get enough different ways, I might do a post on it!

News!:

It was my birthday on Saturday! Unfortunately, I was feeling under the weather, but I did get lots of lovely cards and presents!

I’m not sure how to say this lightly, but most of you already know it, so I’ll just go full force! I’m going back to Holland Christian next year! Yay! I’m very excited, although I’ll miss all my sweet, loving Friday Addition friends! I only knew you for a year, but we were starting to feel like family.

As  one chapter ends, another begins. Sadly, the chapter of my life titled “ballet” is ending. It will go with lots of tear and I will miss everyone at Turning Pointe SOOOO much, but everything must come to an end some day. 😦 Although, like I said, as one chapter ends, another begins, or in my case, restarts! I am going to pick piano back up again!

Everyone is probably wondering why I’m making all these crazy decisions in a few weeks! I went to New York to visit my cousins. Either the scenery and family is inspiring or everyone is crazy and makes you incurably crazy as well!!

Well, that’s all for today, ladies and gents! I hope to talk to you very soon!

Your forever, writing and bookish pal,

Abigail June

The Valley

This was a poetry cold write from last year… tell me what you think!

Once there was a valley in a far away place

It was a bright green valley full of beauty and grace.

A river twisted through it like a thin, shiny snake

Some people might look on it and call it a fake.

A merchant came along to see if he could find

something to sell more beautiful than a watermelon rind.

He travelled day and night till he came to this place.

The bright green luscious valley full of beauty and grace.

The birds were singing sweetly and the grass was wet with dew.

Appreciation for this valley in the merchant’s heart grew.

He found a little patch tucked far away

He found a plant that could make him rich in only a day.

No one knew what this plant was when he brought it home,

All the merchant knew was that the valley he must roam.

He hopped upon his ship and steered her to the same place

where he found the bright green valley full of beauty and grace.

But as he was a’ sailing he came across a beach

Where little did he know that would him a lesson teach.

As soon as he set foot on that pretty sandy shore

The ground opened up and swallowed him like a sandy door!

He fell and fell and fell until he came to a stop

he stood up but his legs were shaky from his long drop.

He stood up very cautiously to see if he could see

a drop of light in the distance to which he’d proceed.

But alas, he could not wander for he fell to the ground

as he was emptied of all hope that he might be found.

He thought of all that he would miss if he were to die,

he thought, “Perhaps it may do me good to try,

To get out of this darkened room and find that one place,

With the bright green valley full of beauty and grace.”

So our merchant fellow did all that he could do

to see if he could find away out of the cavern but grew

So hungry, so thin

That even he himself thought he’d blow away in the wind!

“Wind!” he thought filled with hope

And sure enough, there was a slope!

He climbed and climbed for hours on end

But along the way he thought of his friend

Who would tell him “Keep going, you’re almost there!”

And thought if he did quit that he plain wouldn’t care!

So he sat down promptly and began to think of that place,

That bright green valley full of beauty and grace.

He fell asleep there to stay forever more,

But while he slept above him came a door.

A man fell through the door holding that one exotic plant

And screaming to heaven that help God would grant.

And surely you must know from where he came

For really it believes that life is just a big game.

That merchant came from a far away place.

A bright green lovely valley full of beauty and grace.

The Map to Atlantis

Hello, hello, hello wonderful readers!

I come to you today with humble offerings of a new story I entered in a writing competition! I have yet to see how I did! How good do you think it is?

If everybody had GPS devices, there would be no need for maps and a world without maps is indeed one I’d like to live in.

Maps do not seem to like me. My mother, an explorer trying to find the prehistoric town of Atlantis, was dead. She died trying to decipher whether to go left or right to get to her magical, underwater city. She took a left and no one ever saw here again. I always knew that left was a detrimental direction.  Anyway, she left me and my twin sister, Astra, alone.

Astra never understood why she couldn’t follow in our mother’s footsteps. She never got the part in “not real,” that means, don’t do it. And so she left. She’s not dead, but she’s not alive, either. Just gone. I haven’t seen her since our fourteenth birthday.

And so why do I hate maps? Because those stupid pieces of paper took away my mother and my sister. They took away my family. The day my sister went missing, I swore that I would never leave Cutler, Maine. Not for a million dollars. Until the police brought the map to me. They said that they couldn’t find my sister. Case closed, they told me. And then one guy with kind eyes handed me the map.

“I’m sorry, Tanner,” he said softly. “This is all we could find.” And then I snapped.

I don’t think you could call me insane. No, that’s not the right word. I guess social workers call me a “troubled adolescent.” I’m not troubled. The definition of troubled is “showing stress or anxiety, beset by problems or conflict.” No, I’m not troubled either. So, we’ll call me paranoid.

The first year I’d ever been put in a foster home, I freaked out. I’d lived with my aunt after my mother died, but she didn’t like me, only Astra. Perfect, quiet, sweet Astra. So, when Astra went AWOL, poor Aunt Sheila couldn’t handle me any more. Apparently, I was too “mentally challenged.” Too much like my mother.

My social worker, Mrs. Tyfe, rhymes with “strife” as she always says, knocked on the bright red door and politely introduced my to Mr. and Mrs. Wallgreen. Okay, really? Who’s last name is “Wallgreen” other than the guy who started the pharmacy.

There was a map on the wall, the big kind, that you use as wallpaper. Well, I went ballistic. I turned around, ran, and didn’t stop running. When the police finally caught up with me, the Wallgreens had decided that I wasn’t the foster kid for them.

Maps call to me. They seem to glow, just on a particular spot. Sometimes, when I’m not paying enough attention, my feet start to wander. I always end up in the same spot, the beach. I’ll be walking home from school and then, before I know it, I’ll be two miles away at the beach. It’s weird. And to be honest, it scares me.

Currently, I live with Mr. and Mrs. Adeler. They have no maps hanging on their walls. They have no cats (I’m allergic to the beasts). And none of their hallways turn left.

One normal, average day, I was walking. I wasn’t walking anywhere in particular. Just walking. It was a Saturday afternoon, the first day of summer vacation. Guilt hung in my chest, as heavy as the humid air around me. For the first time, I had taken the map out of it’s dusty box under my bed. I didn’t believe in magic or the supernatural, but it seemed like it had been calling to me for the past week. My dreams had been about my mother and sister and their last moments in this world. So today, I was going to dispose of it.

I had tried before. Oh, I had tried. I’d thrown the map into the fireplace, I’d tossed it in the garbage, put it through the paper shredder, everything I could think of, but it always ended up in that same, dusty, prehistoric looking box shoved under my bed. Now, I was truly going to destroy it.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath as I walked down the sidewalk to Cutler Public Beach. The edges of the sidewalk were starting to turn sandy and bits of it were wiggling their way into my tennis shoes. A soft breeze rippled through the trees on the other side of the street.

The map was still heavy in my sweatshirt pocket when I arrived at the white shores of Cutler Beach. I slipped off my shoes and socks and waded into the frigid, dark blue water. My calves ached with the cold but I tugged the yellowed, torn map from my pocket with my one dry hand.

“Say your last goodbyes,” I whispered to it bitterly and was about to dunk it in, when a hand yanked me under.

I thrashed under the icy, dark curtain of water.

“Help!” I tried to yell but it turned out more as “Emp!” I choked as water rushed up my nose and throat. There I go. Just like my mother and sister. A watery death. A stupid, watery death with a stupid, yellow map. My family is cursed. I thought as the water got darker and colder. Just as my eyelids were about to flutter closed, I was pulled to the surface.

“Huh!” I gasped, filling my lungs with the fresh, salty air. I looked around.

I seemed to be in a rock. But that’s impossible, so I decided I was in a cave. It was dark and my voice echoed. I could touch the rocky bottom of the pool that I was floating in with my big toe, but just barely. Surrounding the pool was a thin ledge of rock. I heaved myself onto it and stood there for a moment. The map was gone. Finally, I had gotten rid of it. I looked up to see if I could find a crack in the rocks, some way other than underwater to get out.

Splash!

“Go away, Astra,” I said, rolling my eyes. Wait, what? Astra can’t be here. Stop making stuff up, Tanner. I turned around. My eyes were still adjusting to the dark, but there was definitely something there. “Who are you!” I called. “Come closer!” I mentally kicked myself. What kind of idiot was I, asking some random stranger who grabbed my ankle and pulled me underwater for what felt like a half a mile, to come closer?

The shape floated closer.

I bent over. Wide, blue eyes blinked at me in the darkness. She was submerged up to her nose. Light blonde hair floated around her in the dark water.

“Come on,” I said softly. “I’m not going to hurt you.” I reached my hand out tentatively. The girl grabbed it. She was surprisingly heavy and she almost pulled me into the water with her.

She rose above the water, about to her stomach and flicked her feet in the water.

Wait.

Those weren’t feet.

I jumped backwards.

“Aah!” I yelled. “What are you?” Well, isn’t that kinda obvious, Tanner? She’s a mermaid! My inner voice told me. But mermaids don’t exist. My logical half argued. The girl looked at me as I gaped at her. She gestured for me to come into the pool. She looked confused that I wasn’t in the water. I shook my head.

“I can’t breath underwater, creeper,” I told her, scooching forward a little bit. She cocked her head and warbled at me. “Uh, inglése por favor?” I said, raising an eyebrow. More warbling. Her voice was actually quite beautiful. It seemed to rise and fall, like the waves of the ocean.

I jerked backwards. Somehow, while I was distracted, my toes had inched themselves into the water.

“Stop it!” I yelled. “How are you doing that?” She responded with some more trilling. “Okay, I’m just gonna leave now-” The girl, or mermaid, or whatever she was, turned on me. She bared her teeth and narrowed her eyes. I put up my hands in surrender. “Okay, okay! Sorry!” I sat back down. “So, do you know anyone who speaks my language?” I said, pointing to the water and then me and then my throat. She smiled widely and did a summersault. “I guess you didn’t get that,” I grumbled, resting my head in my hands. She sang some more, but this time it was different. This time, I could understand bits and pieces of what she was saying. Something about the sea, and rescuing, and Amatheia, and-

“Astra? Where is she?” When I opened my mouth, sounds I’d never made before erupted from my lips. Low humming and then swelling, rising higher and then sinking back down. My hand flew to my mouth. “My name is Tanner Odell. I am fifteen years old. I am a human. I do not speak mer,” I muttered over and over.

“You don’t, do you?” A smooth, clear voice startled me from my thoughts. I looked up. The girl was messing with some button on something. “Dang it. Sorry,” she said, smiling and look up, “The welcoming program failed. Hang on.” I gaped. “Oh, here we go! Now pretend you just got here!” She said pressing a button.

“Hello,” a robotic sounding voice like the kind in those audio museum tours ricocheted off the walls of the cave. “And welcome to Atlantis. This is your tour guide, Amatheia,” At this point Amatheia waved and smiled. “Please select a language.” The voice went through the speech in at least a dozen languages.

“You’re supposed to say what language you want,” Amatheia whispered, leaning in.

“Oh, English! Please,” I stammered.

“You have selected the language ‘English.’ To reselect your language, say ‘back.’” The voice paused. “Atlantis is the ancient city that sunk thousands of yearst ago-” The voice rattled.

“And, you can skip this,” Amatheia said pressing a button and laughing. “Technically, I’m not supposed to do that,” she whispered, grinning.

“Please state your mode of transportation,” the voice droned. I hesitated. What was I supposed to tell it? That I was trying to destroy a map and Amatheia grabbed me? “Please state your mode of transportation,” the voice said again.

“Skip,” I said.

“I’m sorry. I am not programmed to skip this question. Please state your mode of transportation,”

“Foot?” I didn’t know what else to say. Amatheia’s eyes widened and she shook her head vigorously.

“Please state your species,” the voice said cooly. Amatheia smacked her forehead with her hand.

“Human.” What else would I be? Mer?

“I am sorry. You are not authorized to enter the land of Atlantis. Please exit,” A light flicked on by a slab of rock. Now that I looked at it properly, it did look a bit like a door.

“Okay, no! You are not going to leave!” Amatheia grabbed my hand as I turned around. “You’re Tanner Odell, right?” I nodded. “Yeah, you can’t leave. Astra and your mom have been asking about you.” My jaw dropped to the floor.

“Astra? My mom? Where?” I was shocked.

“In Atlantis! But now you can’t get there because you messed stuff up with the security thingy! We’re not supposed to have humans here! Or speak English! Astra taught me so I could try to find you and then you had the map and you were going to dunk it in and so I grabbed you and now you’re here and we have to go!” She rambled.

“Um, okay? Where?” I asked.

“Jump in when I tell you,” Amatheia stared at the ceiling.

“What?”

“Now!” I jumped in the pool just before the ceiling came crashing down.

The water bubbled around me. Bits of rock floated down and landed on the pebbly floor of the cave. So that’s how all those rocks got to the bottom! I thought. I felt a tug on my wrist. Amatheia was pulling on me, wide eyed. Come on! She seemed to say.

I kicked my feet and swam after her. She kept yanking on my arm because her blue tail could propel her much faster than I could swim. I squeezed my eyes shut and kept swimming. Suddenly, the water felt a little warmer, the pressure in my ears a little lesser. I opened my eyes to see Atlantis.

It was not like how I imagined it.

There wasn’t a huge castle in the middle and mermaids with rainbow tails. There were ruins of what used to be huge buildings and temples covered with sea moss and kelp. Seagrass waved in the currents and all the merfolk were out of sight.

“Where are they?” I whispered. I opened my mouth again, but this time I didn’t choke on salt water.

“They heard the warning from the security cave. That means, you’re wanted,” Amatheia wouldn’t look at me. I grinned.

“Like in those old westerns with the wanted posters? ‘Tanner Odell. Wanted dead or alive. Reward: 3,000 dollars,’” I held up my hand like a picture frame, envisioning my name in the old, cowboy font.

“No. Well, maybe. I haven’t ever seen a western. We live in Maine. Maine is north. But whatever. Swim faster!” Amatheia complained, wrenching on my wrist.

“Well, you can tell she’s been hanging out with Astra,” I grumbled. Suddenly, Amatheia stopped. I slammed into her. “Why’d you stop?” I said, looking around.

“Patrol.” Amatheia pointed to a group of merman with midnight blue tails swimming in front of what you could call the Palace of Atlantis. Really, it was just a big lump of old rocks, but an especially beautiful lump. “Come on, we have to get into the palace. Astra and your mother will be there,” Amatheia and I swam through the gates and into the palace. It was strange how easy it was. They had a fancy tour guide voice in a self-destructing cave, but they had no actual security within the city.

Something barreled into me.

“Tanner!” Astra squealed, hugging me so tightly I thought my ribs would crack. I hugged her back.

“Astra!” I pulled away. “Where did you go?! I am so mad at you right now!” I said, grinning from ear to ear. I got really quiet when my mom stepped up.

“Tanner,” she whispered. “You’ve gotten so big. My little Tanner’s all grown up,” she clutched me to her.

“I missed you, mom,” I said into her long, black hair. “Thank you Amatheia. We owe you one,” My mother said to Amatheia, who was smiling on the sidelines.

“Oh, no problem! I love family reunions!” She shrugged cheerfully.

“Oh you do, do you?” A deep voice boomed from behind us. Amatheia shut her eyes tightly and then opened them.

“Dad! Yay,” she said unenthusiastically. A tall, broad shouldered merman with long gray hair and a dark green tail swam up.

“Amaethia, what are you doing? This is illegal! These women have chosen to become part of Atlantis! You are showing them a human to tell them what they’ve lost?” Amatheia’s father shouted.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” I interrupted, possibly saving Amatheia from a slow, painful death. “Are you Neptune?” I said. When in doubt, compliment the guy who wants you dead. The merman turned to me.

“No. Who is that? I am the Bob, King of Atlantis!” His deep voice echoed off the walls. I snorted slightly.

“Bob? How kingly!” I said. “So, what were you saying about my mom and sister being part of Atlantis?” I asked, trying to sound as casual as possible.

“You haven’t noticed? Look down.”

I did.

Light blue tails flicked from the end of my family’s waist.

“T-tails?” I stammered. “You guys, you’re mermaids?”

“Don’t look so shocked, T!” Astra said, punching my shoulder, but I could tell this was awkward.

“So, you guys leave me to become mermaids?” I have to admit, I was completely and utterly horrified.

“Yes, they did,” King Bob cut in smugly. “So say bye-bye.” He yanked me away by my shoulders. I glared at my mother and sister.

“Um, Daddy? You’re forgetting something really important!” Amatheia pulled me away from her father. “He gets a choice. He can join us.” I looked into Amatheia’s bright blue eyes. They sparkled with determination, and for the first time, I admired someone I wasn’t related to.

“Oh goodness, deary. Did you have to bring that up?” Bob sighed.

“Yes.”

“Okay, then. What’s his name?” The king said, pulling a trident out of what looked like a back pocket.

“Tanner,” everyone except me answered at once.

“Right. Tanner, according to the laws of mer, any human that’s smart enough to get through our high tech security system, gets the choice to leave and never say a word about Atlantis ever, or stay here and get a tail, swim around the ocean, you know. Mer stuff. So now you get to choose. Will you stay? Or will you go?” King Bob paused dramatically. “Okay, make up your mind already. I’m done being patient.”

Stay or leave. Leave or stay. The two thoughts bounced around in my head. If I stayed, I could be with my mother and sister and Amatheia. If I left, well, I would be going back to foster homes and bullies and homework.

“I chose to stay.”

Amatheia’s smile was enough to convince me that I had made the right choice.

“Then welcome to Atlantis!” A bright light filled the palace and the next time I looked down, instead of seeing two skinny legs and too big feet, I saw a silvery blue tail.

Atlantis is my home now and the mer are my family.

No longer do I fear that map. Actually, I thank it. It brought me home.

 

The Optimist

Shards of glass

Make rainbows on the walls.

Darkness

Makes the light shine brighter.

Broken

You are stronger the second time.

Rain clouds

Are the first step to rainbows.

Falling

Run even faster.

Sinking

Jump higher the second time.

Nothing is as bad as it seems.

101 Waves

Dear Readers,

Wowzers! It has been capital “F” Forever since I’ve posted! I have been in such a bad habit of giving you story remnants on a shiny silver platter and then quick snatching them back. I realized just the other day that I started to post Never Never and then forgot to give you the rest! If you’re interested in finishing that story, I will put the link to it on Google Drive at the end of this post.. I’m too lazy to hit copy and paste =D

Just yesterday, I was with one of my dearest friends, Lydia (you should TOTALLY check out her blog! I will also put this link below.), and we were wondering what to do. We always have that difficulty. I’ll get to her house and she’ll ask me what I want to do.

Lydia: So.

Abigail: So.

Lydia: What do you want to do?

Abigail: I dunno, what do you want to do?

Lydia: I don’t care.

Abigail: Me neither.

Lydia: You decide.

Abigail: I decide that you decide.

And so on, and so forth. Well, yesterday we decided, with her cousin Elinore, to have a snack. We went out on their front porch. It was a beautiful day, 62 degrees in the middle of January, and we sat there, nibbling on our graham crackers and apples. They live near downtown Holland, so lots of cars pass by and before long, we were waving at the cars. Snacks forgotten, we waved and waved for multiple half hours. Soon we had gotten to ten waves. We took a break from waving, but later on, we started back up again. We pretended each person was a celebrity and we were asking for their autograph. The more enthusiastically we waved, the more people waved back.

The porch wasn’t good enough for us. We wanted to make more people’s days, but we were too far back for people to see. So we went to the side of the road, on the side walk, taking turns sitting on the swing on their small tree in the front yard.

Fifteen minutes later, we had quadroupled the amount of waves we had received in return.

Thirty minutes- sixty waves. The number just got bigger and bigger!

By the time my mom came to pick me up, we had gotten 101 waves. That’s 101 people who we made smile. 101 people who had there day made by a small wave by two random girls on the side of the street. We felt fantastic!

While we waved, we observed the different types of waves and the kinds of people that didn’t bother to wave.

Middle aged women- they were either smoking or had there nose in their phone, although some did wave back.

People with passengers- we tended to get a wave from both. This proves that people are kinder and better when they are around their friends.

Kids- eh. One wave. Maybe two? Typical teenage drivers didn’t really bother to wave back.

Older people- They are so sweet! There’s the old man “how-dee-do” and the little, old, lady hand flap.

One of our favorite waves was when a sweet old lady in an old car who leaned out the window until she looked like she was going to fall out, and flapped her hand at us with a huge smile across her face! It was so sweet! Another one I liked was when a younger person, the type that don’t usually wave back, waved enthusiastically from her car.

The funniest wave award was when a car came rolling by and the driver waved while his wife applied mascara. It got Lydia and I laughing so hard that we missed three or four cars!

And the award for lamest wave goes to… a teenager who drove past without even smiling, upon second thought, flopped his arm out the window. I almost missed that one.

This brings me back to a school theme a few years back when I lived in Pittsburgh. I think we also touched on this in fifth grade, but it’s something that people need to talk about more. Random Acts of Kindness. We were encouraged to do something little for someone else each day. It could be as easy as smiling, and as big as leaving some one and note and some candy in their locker. In the end, it’s the little things we remember. We don’t remember the huge dinosaur stuffed animal we got for Christmas and got left in the closet, collecting dust for all eternity, but we do remember the sticky note on the camp mirror telling us that “You are unique!”

So I encourage you to go outside the next time it’s warm enough, and wave. See how many people you can get to wave back. Maybe shout “hello” to the passing car. I swear, it will make someone’s day just a little brighter.

If you are looking for a FANTASTIC blog similar to mine but 10 times better, check out https://lidzer.wordpress.com/!

The link to the rest of Never Never is https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LZl4lfZ34N5Zq0zjk3lGulEZDsQS8lJ9qMkuzGjIuu8/edit. I apologize if this is an inconvenience and I will try to remember to post it later, but I can’t promise I will remember!

And that’s a wrap for this week folks! Stay tuned with the blog because I’m planning on adding yet another story and dabbling in poetry!

Adios!

Abigail June

 

Never Never Part IV

Hi, hi, hi!

School’s out!!! This summer, I am doing my books I’ve read so check out the new tab next to last year’s! Well, let’s get to Never Never! I really hope you love this next section because, well, you’ll find out soon enough! So ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… Never Never Part IV!!! (Oh and by the way, you might need to back track a little. This part starts rather abruptly)

“Well! I’ve often seen a cat without a grin; but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I’ve ever seen in my life!” And then I launched into some long song about cats. When I was done, Everyone applauded me politely. Then Rose went. Then a bunch of other people.

            “Well now! That was very good! Sorry I jumped you in so quickly but the more time to practice, the better! Lists of who got what will be announced tomorrow. Class dismissed!”

            I waited a whole 24 hours until that list came out. I dashed out of the bus and ran to the bulletin board outside Mr. Calahensky’s auditorium. There was the list. It read:

Hare- Rose Chi

Mad Hatter- Ty Rendall

Chesire Cat- Lilly Van Alder

Flowers- Emily Brace, Julia Emerson, and Hannah Chat

Queen of Hearts- Tanya Smith

Cards- Ty Rendall, John Alberstein, and Frank Fellwood

King- Lilly Van Alder

Alice- Thalia Brown

            I nearly screamed! Rose was the Hare! I was Alice! I’d done it! I was a girl! I skipped all the way to Botany. Rose met me on the way and I told her our exciting news. When we got to Botany, Nolan asked us what was so exciting.

            “Thalia got Alice! She’s going to be Alice in the play!” Rose flung her arms around me and we jumped up and down, squealing. I had always wanted this moment. The moment where you are being absolutely immature with your best friend. The moment I had seen for years with Natalie and had always envied. But now it was mine and I was going to cherish it.

            I came home from school on bus 2206 and found an empty house. Or I thought it was empty until I heard sobs coming from mom and dad’s room. I opened the door and peeked in. Natalie and mom were both red faced and their eyes were swollen from crying. White tear streaks streamed down from their eyes. How was Natalie already home? True, she wasn’t on the bus, but still. She could have gone home with one of her friends.

            “What happened?” I asked when nobody looked up.

            “Dad-dad got into a car accident. He was dr-driving home from work and-” Natalie started sobbing again.

            “Tell me the truth!” I yelled. “Don’t lie about dad! What’s wrong!” Mom stood up. She towered over me. I felt a chill go down the back of my neck all the way down to my toes. I understood. “Is he- is he dead?” I whispered. Natalie shook her head.

            “Worse. Much worse. He’s paralyzed. Forever. No more piggy back rides or being pushed on the swing. And his life expectancy shortened to 10 years from now,” Natalie said, rocking back and forth, her purple streak in her long blonde hair was plastered to her face.

            “How come Natalie got to come home early? How come you didn’t take me out of school? How come Nat’s always so much better that Thalia? Dad would pull me out if you were hurt. Why can’t you like me too?” I yelled as I rushed out of the room. Big fat baby tears rolled down my freckled cheeks. Why today? Why now? I locked my door and threw myself onto my bed. Why did Natalie have to be so much older, so much better? Why didn’t mom pull me out of school? So much for me being a part of the family too. I never would be. Not really. And dad would never get better. Nothing good would ever happen.

            And so I decided to live with Rose.

            I was up all night emailing her. At first she disagreed with me. She thought I should “work it out with my family”. I told her my family wouldn’t even listen and I may or may not have told her that my family probably wouldn’t feed me supper tonight. Hey. sometimes you gotta stretch the truth to get what you need. DING! Another email from Rose.

 

To: thalia56@gmail.com

From: rosieposie.chi@gmail.com

Re: living with you

What about my brother? He’ll find out and tell your sister. And I can’t keep you hidden. Our butler and cleaning service would find you hiding under my bed! And then they’d quit because they think that you’re some murderer or something.

Love,

Rose

 

            I sighed. Rose did have a point. But we’d have to figure something out. I couldn’t live another day in that house with those terrible people.

 

To: rosieposie.chi@gmail.com

From: thalia56@gmail.com

Re: living with you

I can’t stand another day here! You can take me home from school on Monday and then I’ll just hide or something. Please Rose! I don’t have any other friends that I can go to their houses. Nolan’s sister and my sister are best friends so unless we get them not best friends it will never work. We could try to get them to be enemies so his sister would want to hid me but that would be really hard.

Love,

Thalia

 

            It would serve Natalie right for all the mean things she ever did to me to make her have no best friend. Natalie didn’t even have another friend, despite what she tries to tell everyone. Sam just always tells everyone to be nice to her because everyone likes Sam and Sam likes Natalie. DING! I glanced down at my school laptop.

 

To: thalia56@gmail.com

From: rosieposie.chi@gmail.com

Re: living with you

We could try that, but wouldn’t that be mean? I understand you can’t live your family but I still think you should talk it out. Maybe you can… Make Sam and Natalie enemies and then you leave your mom and sister a note saying something like: I couldn’t live with you… I’ve gone some place better… if you try to find me, I’ll never come back or speak to you again… I won’t speak to you again anyway. Blah blah blah.

Love,

Rose

 

            Yes! Finally a plan that would work! I got out a pen and paper and began my letter. I didn’t get to bed until 10:00 that night but when I had, my letter was complete. Tomorrow I would live a day with no Natalie, with no mom, and with no shadowyness. Other than I’d have to hide from Sam’s parents. I sent Nolan and Rose a copy of the letter. To Nolan I explained more.

 

To: rosieposie.chi@gmail.com, NOLAn24@gmail.com

From: thalia56@gmail.com

Re: living with you

Rose: here’s my letter.

Dear Natalie and Mom, sorry I’m gone. Sorry I can’t live with you. Sorry you can’t be a true family. I couldn’t live another day more of slinking into the corner and being a shadow. I want to show off my true sparkle and I can’t do that living with you. I’ve gone some place better. Don’t try to find me. If you do, I’ll never speak to you again. I’ll never speak to you again anyway. Natalie, don’t come to the middle school. I’ll be there, but kidnapping is against the law. I’m sorry about the way stuff turned out.

From,

Thalia Brown

Nolan: explanatory

I’m going to make Sam and Natalie enemies and then I’m going to go home with you and you and Sam are going to hide me because I can’t live with mom and Natalie anymore. No buts. It’s already planned.

Love from,

Thalia

 

            I got a great big string of emails from Nolan saying how it’s not enough time yaddi yadda, blah blah blah. I didn’t answer. I packed my stuff into my backpack and went to bed.

 

            With Monday morning finally at our doorstep I woke up feeling refreshed and excited. Except I didn’t have a plan to make Natalie and Sam enemies. Do I do it by text or by words. Text probably. I glanced at the clock. 4:58. I had just enough time to nab Natalie’s phone and send Sam a great big long text about how bad she is. 5:00. I tip-toed to Natalie’s room. Her phone was charging on her dresser next to her door. I turned down the volume all the way and got to work.

 

Sam, I am sick and tired of you. You’re sick. I want to be by myself but you’re always imposing on my private space. You’re

            I tried to think of something Natalie would say. It popped into my head.

You’re just as bad, if not worse, as my bratty little sister. I don’t want to be your friend anymore. I wish you didn’t ever see me again. To bad we go to the same school. And don’t talk to me about this.

No love from,

Natalie

            I surveyed my work. Harsh but very able to get the two girls to be enemies. I hoped. Before I returned the phone to it’s charging station I double clicked the text and selected HIDE MESSAGE. Now Natalie would never know why Sam hated her all of a sudden.

Sorry it’s so long! I really thought this part needed to go together. Please, please, please comment and tell me what you thought! Well, ta ta for now!

Love from,

Abigail June

 

Part III of Never Never

Hello again,

This is the second post for today because I am trying to make up for not posting more of Never Never in a LONG time! Well, here it is! Part III!

When we finally reached room 62B, I was hit with a blast of excitement. The teacher was sitting in her desk grading papers but when the boy and I stepped in, the teacher lept to her feet and rang a bell.

“No!” I muttered. The boy looked at me. I shook my head. This must be the secret language that authors write about.

“Class!” The teacher’s voice was not harsh and she was younger than I thought. Her name tag read MS. EMILY BENTLEY. “Guys, quiet!” the class hushed with only one stray giggle. “Okay, so this is Thalia. She’s new so be nice everybody. If I find bullies, lunch detention.” The class nodded. “So Thalia do you want to, like, tell us about yourself?” I was still stunned that she said my name right but I nodded jerkily.

“Um, I’ve been homeschooled my whole life, I’m afraid of dogs, I like to read, and, well, I live in Lower Uptown.” Ms. Emily Bentley smiled.

“Cool! Well, today we’re starting with geometry. If you get confused, Thalia, just raise your hand and we’ll go over it together.”

Math and Science came and went. They were amazing. Break finally arrived and I found the boy sitting on a bench all by himself. I walked over. Be bold, be brave. I sat next to him and took out my book.

“Hey.” he looked up.

“Hey.” I answered, kinda rudely since my nose was still stuck in my book.

“Whatcha readin’” I flipped the cover toward him. He nodded, “I’m Nolan, by the way. Nolan Rider. I nodded and opened my mouth to say my name but then remembered that he already knew it. “Hey!” I swear, that boy startled me so much that if I were a dog I would have had a heart attack and died. I took a deep breath. “Sorry, but we get to sign up for electives today. You want to come with me and sign up? It’ll be super fun!” He ran off and I surprised myself by following.

Drama

Botany

Movie Making

I had a whole list of electives I was taking. Nolan was doing Movie Making and Botany, too but he didn’t feel like signing up for Drama. I looked at the list of people who did and nearly choked when I saw handwriting that clearly said “Rose Chi”. I added my name next to hers. “Thalia Brown”. I scanned the rest of the list. Nolan should have signed up. There were only 3 boys. What if we did some sort of army thing? You can’t have just three guys in the army and I did NOT want to be stuck being a boy. I’d had that in past drama clubs so much that one old lady who always came to the plays told me that she thought I was a very nice young man. At least I had until Monday to start the electives. I could catch up on my iMovie skills and practice my voices.

2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th period breezed by. Soon it was lunch and I nearly threw up when Nolan told me that the high school kids got to come and eat with their siblings today.

“WHAT?!” I sputtered. “No way! I’ll die before I eat lunch with Natalie!” But it was too late. Natalie had already arrived looking just as grumpy as me. Next to her was a girl with the same blue eyes as Nolan and so I assumed they were related. I grabbed Nolan’s arm and tugged him next to me. “My sister won’t be mean to me in front of her friends,” I whispered. He nodded in acknowledgement. Natalie sat across from me and the girl with blue eyes hugged Nolan and sat across from him. I narrowed my eyes at Natalie and she cocked her head and smirked. But then I felt someone else slip next to me. They slid their hand in mine. My sister was gaping at me and so was Nolan’s sister.

It was Rose.

“Hey Thalia! My brother’s coming, too. Oh there he is!” She stood up and waved. So did Natalie and her friend. A boy with dark chocolate colored hair and bright black almond eyes was walking towards us.

“Hey Rose! Natalie, Sam,” he nodded at us one by one. “You must be Benji’s little hero! I’m Jordan. And you’re Nolan, right?” Nolan and I nodded. I was probably blushing.

“Thalia, I didn’t know you saved Benji! That’s so cool that you get to be friends with the richest and nicest people ever!” She shone what she probably thought was a dazzling smile at Jordan who backed away ever so slightly. He sat next to Rose. Everyone finished their lunch in silence before the high schoolers left and Rose, Nolan, and, I were left alone.

***

The next three days soared by on wings like a doves. Peaceful, pure, amazing. I made friends: Nolan, Rose, Jordan, even Sam. In technology class, I also met a deaf girl named Sasha. She was even teaching me sign language with the help of Nolan and Rose. Monday finally arrived and the first class I had was Drama. Rose and I walked to Mr. Calahensky’s classroom and we talked about what we had done over the weekend. It turns out, we both LOVE the books “The Thickety” and “Charlotte’s Web.” When we opened the door, before us was a huge auditorium. I looked at Rose.

“This is awesome! I thought it would be like a classroom with desks!” Rose shook her head. We climbed down and took first row seats. They were the kind in movie theaters that pop up when you stand and they were amazingly comfortable. A man swept into the room wearing a purple cape.

“Good morning!” He boomed. “I am King Henry the III and today we will be conquering auditions!” He brought his cape up to his face and his voice changed. “I am Dracula and I vant you to know what not to be afraid of when auditioning,” the class giggled as he stuck out his incisors. He straightened up. “I will call on someone randomly after you practice the part I hand to you. We will be doing a play next month called Alice in Wonderland.” Rose and I went off to practice. Rose pretended to be the hare.

“I’m late, I’m late, oh deary me, I’m late!” I giggled and then pretended to be Alice.

“It would be so nice if things began to make sense for a change,” I burst out laughing but Rose was looking at me open mouthed. “Cents for a change?” I giggled, my face still red.

“That was really good,” she said. I shrugged.

“Alright kiddos, come back down and audition!” Mr. Calahensky bellowed.

“He certainly jumped right into things, didn’t he?” Rose asked.

“Mmmhmmm. That’s for sure.” We took our seats.

“First up: Thalia Brown!” I choked on my own saliva. He must have gotten names mixed up. But Rose was already pushing me up. I stepped on stage.

That’s it for today, folks! Have a great week!

XXX,

Abigail June

P.S. Are X’s hugs? I think so because you cross your arms when you are giving someone a hug…right?

Never Never Part II

Hey guys!

Sorry for the delay in getting Part II of Never Never out to you guys! To make up for it, I’m gonna post two parts today so don’t forget to check them both out!

We walked through the automatic doors and I pulled at my charm bracelet I had gotten from my grandpa. He had gotten it on one of his tours of Paris. Unlike us, grandpa was filthy rich. Or had been until he’d gambled his life away. My eyes swept over the premises. There were two girls about Natalie’s age chatting happily and sipping their iced coffee in the café. There was a mom and her baby looking at the scarfs on the clearance rack and there was a two year old and his older sister looking at the junky dollar section. I was about to jog past them to catch up with Natalie and mom when I caught a glimpse of the girl’s face. She was about my age. I’d seen her before at the Birkham Public Library before. I’d never talked to her or asked her her name before. I’d seen the little boy, too. I slowed down. She turned her head so I quickly flicked my eyes over to a rubber ducky. Trying to make her think I was actually interested in the thing, I fingered it. When she looked away, I dashed off to my mom and Natalie who were browsing in the girl’s clothes section.

“Mom, I see my friends looking at the iPhones, can I PLEASE go with them? I don’t want to be seen with her,” Natalie paused to make a dramatic grimace, “and they asked me. Please?” Mom sighed and nodded. Under her breath I heard her mumble something like, why can’t they just get along? I wondered that sometimes myself. I didn’t have time to think about whether I wanted dark jeans or light jeans before the girl from the library showed up. There was nowhere to hide nonchalantly to I ducked behind the nearest rack of clothes. Soft lilty fabric brushed my ear. I squinted my eyes shut, hoping the girl wouldn’t see me as she walked past. I often tend to have bad luck but I probably have never hoped like this before. Except for maybe the time when grandpa was dying I had hoped with all my heart that he would live. I’m not super religious but I prayed my little heart out. But he died anyway so there’s bad luck for ya.

The girl was above me. She was staring down on me with dark almond eyes. Brushing a stray strand of jet black hair away from her eyes, she stuck out her hand to help me up. I didn’t take it.

“I’m Rose. You seem to be lost?” Asian. That was it. I couldn’t put my finger on it before. Her accent was Chinese but it was buried under American.

“Thalia. I’m not lost. Just dropped my…” I mentally kicked myself. Now what? I’d turned into a lier. pulled a dollar bill out of my pocket and placed it carefully behind me. There. I had dropped something. “Dollar bill. Dropped my dollar bill.” I picked it up from behind me and held it up with a nervous smile on my face. One dark eyebrow climbed on the girl’s face.

“Okay. Bye.” She walked off to the shoe aisle. I blinked. Her little brother wasn’t behind her. I heard the fire alarm go off. I jumped on top of a clothing cart and scanned around. No flames. I knew where the fire alarms were. I knew which ones worked and didn’t work. I heard Rose scream. She must have discovered that her little brother wasn’t behind her. I ran as swiftly as I could to the fire alarm at the back of the building. Closest one that worked. I guess after all these years of running away from Roxy, I got pretty fast. I saw a little boy shrieking, his little hand still on the lever. I kicked the OFF button for false alarms and swooped up the little boy. People were screaming and running out the door. I jogged to the shoe aisle, my hand on the little boy’s head to keep his skull from bouncing around too much. I’d seen this in movies. I’d always assumed I would be the bystander but this time, I was the hero. Rose was clutching a rack and wiping a tear from her eye. When she saw me turn the corner she plucked the toddler out of my arms.

“You found Benjamin!” She beamed at me. “Naughty boy. Don’t run off like that, Benji!” I shifted my weight from one foot to the other, my hands held neatly behind my back. Rose put down Benjamin and wrapped her slender, pale arms around me. “Thanks!” she said and then grabbed Benji’s hand and skipped off. And that was that. No money, no press, just a hug. I had known it from the beginning. I would never be famous.

***

Mom smiled at me from across our dining room table, I buried my face in my hands. No way. I was NOT starting school in the middle of the week. Uh uh. No way Jose. But yet I was. I would already be three weeks late. I wanted to finish out the week on a good note not a bad note that screams I DON’T BELONG!

Mom had said she’d bought me a new backpack but I’d seen her take it out of Natalie’s closet and washed it in bleach and tie-dyed it. It still looked like Natalie’s back pack though. The purple was shining through, underneath the bleached layer.

“No, no, no, no, no, no! NO.”

“Thalia, honey we think you should start as soon as possible. You’d start on Thursday and have Friday, Saturday and Sunday to hang out with your new pupils.” I shook my head. They weren’t going to budge. My mom would keep bribing me until I said yes and I would never get any of the stuff she promised. Once, when I was in kindergarten, I told her I didn’t want to go to the doctor’s office to get shots and she told me she would get me a pony and we would live in a mansion and now look at us. Stuck in a dump.

“Fine! You want to shove me into a brand new school tomorrow, go ahead. It’s not like I’ll make any friends anyway. Just two more days of misery more that necessary,” mom looked as if I’d slapped her and dad looked as if I’d just told him he couldn’t watch the Super Bowl. I immediately wished I could take back my words. Before either of them could send me up to my room I tromped out the door and up to the second floor. I could hear Natalie giggling at her phone talking about how this guy was cute and that guy was nerdy. I sighed. Bed time. Tomorrow I would have to get up bright and early to go to school.

Thursday morning arrived. I woke up at 6:00 and Natalie started scolding me for sleeping in. I think she did it for the fun of it. Usually she gets up later than this. I put on one of my new itchy t-shirts and my new stiff jeans and my new green tennis shoes that were probably from the boy section. I brushed and brushed and brushed my knotted, shoulder- length strawberry blonde hair until it was so full of static electricity, I felt like a light bulb. Or a poodle. An electro poodle. I grabbed five bucks out of my piggy bank and jumped into bus 2206. I felt like I was going to tip over backwards, I was so heavily loaded down with books and binders and supplies. What   if the teacher called me Tha-lee-a (long a and th) instead of Ta-lee-a (short a and no th)? I hate when people do that. The bus arrived at Uptown Middle and Natalie kicked me off. Literally.

School was buzzing with activity. Girls giggling amongst each other and boys high fiving and playing football. I felt WAY weird. Someone pushed me.

“Move already!” I winced and stepped forward. I walked as fast as I could to the nearest hiding place which happened to be a huge oak tree. I rushed to the side facing the field and leaned up against it. I felt relieved but I felt like there was someone within a foot of me. Infact, as I turned, I realized there was someone right next to me.

The boy turned his head.

“Oh, hey! Didn’t see you there! I don’t think I’ve seen you before. You new here?”

I had no idea what to do.

“ Um, yeah. When do classes start?” The boy checked his watch.

“Right now, actually. Do you want me to point you in the right direction?” I nodded and handed him a slip of paper that mom had given me this morning. He smiled and his blue eyes looked into my brown one’s. “You’re in my class for first period! Follow me!” I slid behind the cheerful kid, hoping I looked like a shadow.

Thank you for reading! I really hope you are enjoying this story! Don’t forget to keep checking for more updates and comment if you liked it!

Yours truly,

Abigail June

P.S. There might be more stories coming after Never Never!!!

Never Never Part I

There was once a street with a long, golden road and all the shops on this particular street were always open and all the people in the shops were always friendly and there were smiles and colors everywhere you went. It was always the right weather and it was always there’s always plenty of time and no traffic. There were absolutely no dark alleys where gangs might hide. No one was rushed or angry and there were plants and all those plants were green.

Sadly, I made this up.

My name is Thalia Brown and I live on a street with long, muddy cracks in the sidewalk with musty shops that are usually closed and with all the people that are in the shops when they’re open are mean and there are scowls and lots and lots of gray wherever you go. It’s always either too hot or too cold or too rainy or too gray and there’s never time enough for anything and there’s always beeping horns and jammed traffic. Gangs hide in dark, twisting alleys and people are always in a hurry and always rushed. I’ve never once seen someone walking. And there are no plants. Zero, zip, none, nada. What so ever.

So you see what I mean when I say that there is never, ever going to be a street that’s perfect.

But one day things were different. Or as different as thing get around here.

I was walking, no joke, on the very muddy, dried up, cracked cement side walk when I saw something that I haven’t seen in the whole three years my family has been living here. I saw a blade of grass. A single green finger reaching up as if it were trying to touch the gray sky above me.

I knelt to get a closer look. I was about to stand up and run home to get a camera when I heard a noise that always means trouble. The bark of a great, big dog.

Roxy Winters is the only person on our run down old street that owns a dog. And that’s not a good thing. Roxy is big and mean and the worst gangster in town. His dog, Boulder, is big and mean and the scariest dog in town. Well, he’s probably the only dog in town, but he’s still big and mean.

Roxy and Boulder would for sure ruin this tiny slice of hope. Hope of a better, brighter town that would probably be gone the next day anyway when all the rush started back up again, but hope all the same. Roxy was that kind of person. The kind of wretched, terrible, twisted person that would never ever be good news or even close to that. And so I did the first thing that came to mind. I took out a pencil to dig out the tiny plant but Roxy and Boulder were too fast. They were already at the top of the hill. He smirked at me. I narrowed my brown eyes and flicked my blonde hair. He doubled over laughing. I didn’t know what to do next. And so I forgot about the plant and ran for home. Boulder bounded after me barking and nipping at my heels. I screamed. I am SUPER afraid of dogs, especially Boulder. I heard wicked peels of laughter from behind me that could only belong to Roxy.

At home I sat on my tiny bed in my tiny room and sulked. If it hadn’t been so good outside, my day would’ve been better. I flipped over onto my stomach and stared at my pillow.

“Thalia! Come downstairs, honey! It’s time for dinner!” I groaned and pulled my very flat pillow over my head. My mom’s voice didn’t stop. “THALIA! We need to talk!” I pulled my pillow away from my head and rolled off the bed, my feet landing with a THUNK on the floor. I sighed. I hate dinner and I hate talks. I only hate dinner because that’s when I have to talk to Natalie, my older sister who is almost very much as bad news as Roxy.

I trudged down the steps. Then sure enough, there was Natalie nose in her phone. There was mom, nose in her book. There was dad, staring into space doing absolutely nothing. They all looked up as I walked in. Natalie groaned.

“Mom, can’t she eat in her room? She’s so ANNOYING!” My mom smiled and shook her head. I knew what was coming.

“She’s part of the family, too Natalie.” This is the part where I become invisible. I slunk away to my chair and just sat there, waiting. Sometimes I wait for 10 minutes. Sometimes more. But this time I only waited about 2 before my mom turned to me.

“Thalia, babe, we’re going to send you to school when it starts up next week. My mouth slid open way far. I’d been homeschooled since preschool! Natalie went to Uptown High but I just like staying home and doing my work on the torn up brown sofa. They couldn’t send me to school!

“You’ll be really happy there, Thals,” I closed my mouth and looked away. Silent treatment. Or at least until they told me more. “You’ll be only a block away from Natalie so you can take the bus home from school together!” This time it was Natalie’s turn to gawk.

“What?! No, you can’t do that, dad! That’s torture!”

“Mom, really I like it at home!”

“Honey, we want you to make some friends!”

“You’ll get a better education there!”

Soon the whole family was yelling at me. There faces were red and I was just sitting there. I would never like this new school. EVER.

 

The next day was Tuesday, school supply shopping day. We bought clothes: stiff jeans and itchy t-shirts. We  bought school supplies: mountains of notebooks, pencils, pens, calculators, erasers, and highlighters. When we finally got home, it was 8:30 at night.

Breakfast was bright and early Wednesday morning. Today was more shopping. We had forgotten paper, colored pencils, and a jacket. Also, apparently I needed some annoyingly tight long sleeved shirts.

We drove to Target all the way in Birkham which is, according to a 50 year old map, a whole 30 miles away. That’s 40 minutes in a small, hot, sweaty car with Natalie and mom.

Don’t forget to comment and tell me if you liked part one of this story and remember to check out the next part of Never Never.

Love,

Abigail June

The BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS!

Dear Readers,

I have a really terrible habit of not blogging enough.

We are having some really awful spring weather considering it is the last day of April. Last year around this time it was shorts and t-shirt weather and I am actually going to school wearing jeans and sometimes sweaters. That is not fun when you are looking forward to Tulip Time’s bright, sunny, warm weather. Why?! I just want a bit of sunshine!

Well, this post I have some pretty big announcements! I wrote this story that is super long and I really want to share it with you guys. Problem is, it’s about 23 pages and I have a feeling that WordPress won’t let me put that many words onto one document so we are starting a series! Every week (I will try really hard to make it every week not every year) I will post a little bit more of the story. The story is called Never Never and I really hope you like it! This will be a short post since I am going to make another post today of Never Never.

Other big announcement! My parents and I have been thinking this over for a while and we finally made the decision to homeschool for 7th and 8th grade! Homeschooling has always been one of my mom’s biggest dreams and I think it would be super fun to try it out!

So that is all! Told ya this would be a short one! Don’t forget to check out Never Never Part I and tell me what you think about it in the comments section! Thanks and goodbye!

Yours most truly,

Abigail June