Category Archives: Submissions and Contests

Places to submit and contests to try out, and my attempts at both of these things.

The Lost Mission

This is the entry for the second round of the NYC midnight short story challenge. I didn’t get passed on to the round three. I posted the feedback on my previous post. 

 

The Lost Mission

A man hears voices in his head, and one night in a Swiss Village they come for him.

When he awoke there were still no signs of human life. He felt at moments that there were people around him, like small flashes of life, but there was no one. There was no time, no past, no future. He was alone. They had taken them all, he thought. They came from the sky and took everyone. He wandered from kitchen to kitchen looking for food. He had been trapped in the hotel since the The Visitors had arrived. He sometimes tried to leave, but no matter which door to the outside he opened, it turned into another part of the hotel. It didn’t start this way, but he always knew they would try to come for him.

He had come to Montreaux on assignment to write a lifestyles article about the Jazz festival. The hotel was hard to miss. It was bright yellow with the name written in art nouveaux  lettering “Hotel Montreaux Palac”. It had been a five star hotel that catered to the rich and famous. The hotel had stood out to him, but it was the pretty Swiss woman standing outside who had really interested him. He had wanted to find a way to talk to her, and had asked her to take his picture in front of it. Her name was Maria. It seemed years’ ago that he had spoken with her, and tried to flirt with her to get a peak inside the Montreaux Palac. Now he was the sole inhabitant.

Life had felt relatively normal before his trip, and it was his first assignment in Europe. He had some troubles in his past, but his mind felt clear for the first time. Maria had worked in one of the kitchens and he had asked her to meet him for a drink after she got off work. He waited for her in one of the expensive bars. It was then as he was waiting that the voices returned. It was a buzzing insect chatter in his brain. “Come home. Your time is over.” He looked at the bartender wondering if he could hear the sounds in his head, but the bartender wasn’t looking at him. He was looking beyond the massive glass windows toward the water and the mountains. There were lights, round full brilliant lights, and many of them moving quickly toward the hotel.

He had always felt somewhat different in a way that he could never explain. When he was sixteen his parents had put him in a hospital for a year, because he believed he had come from the stars. They had said he was depressed and suicidal, but after some years of therapy and some medication he wandered through his life fairly stable and somewhat successful. Still, at times he would get this lingering feeling of being watched, and he felt like he could hear distant voices calling him. He never spoke of it because he had worried about being put away again.

 

He followed a small crowed of people outside. He forgot about Maria, and the bartender, and everything else.  The stars had appeared to grow brighter, closer, and stronger while the darkness began to pull away. It was the The Visitors. They had come before when he was young. They spoke to him, whispered they missed him that his assignment was over that he could come home now. He looked around to see the people staring into the lights. He screamed for everyone to run, but no one seemed to hear him. He covered his ears and closed his eyes. He ran back into the hotel and hid. He didn’t see them leave. He didn’t watch the darkness return and the stars fade back in the universe. He turned away from them.

He did not know how long he had been in the hotel he only knew that food was becoming difficult to find. Occasionally, he felt as if he would see the figure of a human passing through the halls of the hotel, sometimes he thought he saw Maria, but it was nothing just a whisper of a memory.

“He’s grown so thin.” The voice was genderless yet motherly.

The man spun around at the sound. He had not heard them speak, not since the first night they came from the stars. It frightened him that they were still here. Watching him. They were coming to get him. The last man! He ran through the halls looking for a place to hide. He ran from the reception to the luxury suites, until he hid in the grand pantry that once stored exotic and rare foods like fresh Beluga caviar and white truffle oil. He held his breath. His hunger replaced by fear. He waited.

“Come home son” it was like a faint whisper in his brain. Come home. He could hear the voice again, calling him to go home. There was crying, and he felt a great deep sadness.

“We send them here and then we can’t get them back.” It said. “Trapped between dimensions” it had said. “We have to leave him,” it had said. The Visitors were leaving.

Yes. He thought, yes, leave me. There were no humans left. Yet, he knew he was wrong. “Son,” it had whispered one last time, “You cannot stay here. You are nowhere.” He pressed himself even deeper into the pantry with the hope that the darkness and the corners would protect him. The door opened and a bright light washed over him he covered his eyes and began to scream.

**************

Maria, paused a moment. She thought she had heard something. A faint sound coming from the corner of the pantry. It unsettled her nerves. She thought about the man who had asked her out for a drink. The man who disappeared the night the lights came from the sky. He had called out to them. Take me home, he had said, and he disappeared, but for some reason, Maria felt as if he had never left.

NYC Short Story Feedback

I didn’t make it past the second round of the NYC Midnight Short Story writing challenge. It is not too unexpected. I had a hard time getting into the theme. I knew it was disjointed and even though I sent it off I didn’t really like it. So, although it was a slight disappointment I wasn’t surprised.

A great thing about doing the NYC Writing challenge is that even if you do not get passed on to the next rounds they still will give you feedback on your writing. I find that the feedback is very helpful. Some of the stuff I am aware of other notes are new- it is all helpful.

Below is the feedback they sent.

 

”The Lost Mission” by Adrienna Ogin – WHAT THE JUDGE(S) LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY – ……Interesting ideas. I was most interested in the main character’s history, including his teenage belief that he had come to the stars…….The mystery is presented up front, which pulls the reader in.//The tone has a distance to it which helps the reader identify with the protagonist’s predicament……………………………….I really like the inter-dimensional aspect to this story – it brings a real sci-fi flavor, but it feels fresh. The story has a nice arc and feels complete by the time we reach the end. The shift in perspective for the final paragraph is handled well, giving us just enough information to leave a ghostly after-image, without over-explaining……………………….   WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK – ……The scenes of this story feel structurally disconnected, and I wasn’t able to put it all together at the end…….There’s a switch of POV at the end — and those last lines are chilling and leave a strong impression. However, those lines would work much more seamlessly if there were some anchor at the beginning so that it’s an echo, rather than an out-of-the-blue POV switch.//When a story is rendered in the past tense, it’s important that anything which happened before the time of the story is rendered in the pluperfect…………………………….…Some of the descriptions were a little bland or too general. For example, “Life had felt relatively normal before his trip…” Normal by whose standard? Why “relatively”? And: “He had always felt somewhat different…” You can cut “somewhat” and double the strength of the statement. But even then, it might be better just to lean on the examples of his feeling different (hearing voices, needing therapy & medication) and trust the reader to know this means he felt different from other people. And: “…after some years and some medication…” How  many years? What medication? Getting more specific will help lift this story to the next level…………………….

Feedback from the Judges

I received some feedback on my first flash fiction from the NYC Flash Fiction contest. This is a pretty nice thing since you don’t always get the judges feedback on contests.

My story placed in the top 15. I had originally thought I had placed in the top five which was really exciting to me, but looking closer at their judging and scores I realized that it wasn’t 5 as in fifth place, but it was 5 as in 5 points. So if you got 14th “place,” well… you know.

I have to wait another month before finding if I made the next round. I’m going to guess that I probably will not make the cut on the next one. The second challenge just didn’t come to me and I just never felt that good about the story. And, now that I know my last story didn’t do as well as I had originally thought, I’m pretty certain my most recent entry is going to probably bomb. Hell, at least I’m writing. It’s hilarious that the only way I can now get myself to write is to pay someone else to challenge me to write. Seems to work. I grow broke, but I grow broke anyway.

So here’s the positive:

WHAT THE JUDGE(S) LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY – ………………I enjoyed the fact you included action from the opening sentence, instead of building up to it. I think it created a stronger sense of suspense and engagement. This was an excellent premise, too!…Good suspense in this story — great pacing. The first person narrative works well, and I like the writing. ……………This is a very interesting take on biological warfare and some of the various things that could happen. There is a real sense of suspense. I like how you drop the reader into the action after it has already started. I always knew where I was and what was going on, which is a real achievement.

I think that’s some nice positives. I have to say the whole including the action from the opening sentence is proof that those writing classes I took in college paid off. So many times teachers told me I took to much time to get to the meat of the story. I really thought about that when writing this piece.

Now the negative or better put- the “still needs” work.

WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK – ………………I would have liked to know more about “the Doctor”, and how he had formed a relationship with Max, Steve and Clair – just a little bit of background here could really round out the narrative….Watch some of your descriptions and try to make them carry more weight. Here, for example: where they left Clair’s stiff, but living body… Why is it stiff, but still living? Be more specific with your descriptions. ……………This story needs another edit for spelling and grammar. In some cases you have used the wrong word, e.g., effect instead of affect. Pay attention to these details and it will make your writing stronger. ………………………………

Oh my god, so much of this is the bane of my writing existence. The reasons I often don’t bother sharing my work.
I’ll begin with the non bane part. I’d like to know more about the doctor too. In all honesty the story wasn’t fleshed out at all. I was in China at the time I wrote it and got completely confused about the time difference and at how much time I actually had. I ended up writing the story and sending it in within eight hours of getting the assignment. There wasn’t any real editing or back story- na-da. It wasn’t until after I hit the submit button that I realized I had a whole 24 hours left to work on it. I was bummed, but I still got some points so I’m doing something half right.
The descriptions carry more weight comment is so important. I know this. I get this. But, I have trouble with this. I’ve always dreamt of being a poet and poets are the masters of using the less words to have the most impact. Hemingway was amazing at this. It’s because I am not a master of my own language. I’m not even an apprentice. I’m behind. And speaking of behind, let me get to the bane part.
Oh my spelling and grammar. Will I ever improve? I’m not lazy about it I’m really not. I try to improve, but obviously something is wrong with me. The affect vs effect- I’ve seen the aardvark example so many times- but the skull is thick with this one. I could say, in my defense I wrote and sent the story in with only eight hours worth of work time, but why bother. I’m not a strong writer. If I had done at least one slow edit maybe it would have been a little better, but I’m not sure.

Anyway, I’m glad to get the feedback. I think it’s helpful. Unfortunately, I sent in my second story before seeing my weaknesses so I’m sure I repeated some of them.

If you want to read the draft you can read it here.

The Doctor’s Orders

(I’ve once again entered the NYC writing challenge. It is amusing that I write “once again” which implies I have done this many times, and that is simply not true. It is only my second time playing this game. Posted below is my first entry. I was given the genre of Action/Adventure, the setting; A Train Yard, and I had to use the word Peach in my story. I had 48 hours to write 1,000 words. I received five points which put me in the top ten in my heat. I think that’s pretty cool.)

The Doctor’s Order

The whistle from a train woke Steve with a jolt. He winced from the pain in his side caused by the bullet. It had gone clean through him, but missed his vital organs. He pressed his hand to the wound and leaned up against the trunk of a tree. Flood lights from the train yard poured between the shrubs and bushes where he had been hiding. The last thing he remembered before passing out was Max yelling, “I’ll get the shit! Stay awake!”

The air was filled with smoke from the fire and blotted out the stars. He sniffed the warm night air. Chemicals. They were burning. Who knew what kind of shit was frying in that institution of horror. It needed to burn, the papers, the experiments, the workers, and especially the doctor.

Steve felt dehydrated. He remembered the peach that he grabbed from the ground from one of the doctor’s orchards where they left Clair’s stiff, but living body. He pulled it from his coat pocket and took a desperate bite nearly choking on the sweet juice. It was overripe and slightly bruised leaving a rotten aftertaste. He didn’t care he was thirsty, and in need of something to satiate his thirst. He threw the pit into the darkness and wiped his fingers over his pants. They were sticky. Sticky from peach and blood. He ignored this like he ignored the bruised fruit.

He heard yells and frenzied footsteps. Where was Max, he wondered. Their time was running out. He dragged himself through the dirt and shrubs till he could get to a spot where he could see and remain hidden. Through a space in some prickly bushes he could see men running around the train yard and jumping the tracks. He scanned the cargo cars for something, anything, that gave him a clue to where Max could be. They were dying all three of them.

Steve could hardly acknowledge the last thirty-eight hours as being real. The night before last they were having dinner with the doctor. Having conversations with his overtly charming wife and and his towheaded twins. Clair had leaned into Steven’s ear and whispered, “Don’t the children seem a little Step-fordy to you?” Clair had instinct. She always had had instinct. For years’ the doctor’s strange behavior had been chalked up to quirkiness and eccentricity. Clair had always suspected that there was something a little off with the doctor, but Steve had brushed her suspicions aside as being hypersensitive and judgmental, and now because of him, the muscles in her body were slowly turning into a cemented state, an agonizing metamorphous, till the last muscle, her heart would freeze.

A wonderful experiment in biological warfare. That’s what the doctor called it. Top-secret and military bound if his viruses worked, but he needed to test on people. After, secretly injecting the three of them in various ways, through food, or wine, or even a drink of water, the doctor took them on a stroll through his garden. I have something very special to share with the three of you, he had said.

His backyard was an animal graveyard. Horrible sounds of pain from the creatures that were still alive filled the yard like an opera of death. Dying had to be slow and painful, the doctor had said, in case they want to get some information out of a prisoner. There are of course antidotes, he said, somewhere in the train yard.

Real Dean R. Koontz kind of shit, Max had said after the three of them had watched the hospital explode. That’s when Clair began screaming. Her virus was beginning to take effect. It had all been a game for the doctor.

There was a terrifying yell from the train yard. It was Max. Steve shifted his body to look in the direction the scream. On the top of a train car he could see the silhouette of a man bent forward and clawing at his stomach. It was the disease. What the doctor gave to Max. A virus that effected the brain like a kind of schizophrenia causing the person to tear open their own stomach and remove their guts with their bare hands.

It’s Here!” Max managed to screamed.

Steve’s mind quickly jumped to Clair. He wondered if she was still alive and would they be able to save her. Shots fired through the air. Max’s body shuddered violently then collapsed onto the train car.

“We got him!” Someone yelled.

“Max.” Steve whispered. What could he do? He was injured, shot and loosing blood. His virus hadn’t taken hold yet, and the doctor never told him what it was that would happen to him. It seemed lost. He had to move. Steve prepared to haul himself up and braced himself to absorb the pain, but as he rose to his feet he felt nothing. He stood there for a minute waiting to see if he would pass out again or if the pain would return, but it didn’t, in fact he felt stronger, even somewhat energized. He lifted the blood soaked shirt to look at his wound. Nothing. His skin was crusted with dried blood but there wasn’t a hole just a red blemish where the hole had been. Self healing. Biological warfare. Something for the soldiers, he thought. A rage surged inside him burning his lungs and overwhelming his muscles. He felt Hulkish. It wasn’t too late the mission had not yet been accomplished. There was still a chance to get the antidotes and save Clair. The fools in the train yard were nothing to him. He lunged in the direction of Max’s limp hanging body. The antidote was there. He felt giant like a tank. He stormed into the floodlights as the barrels of multiple guns swung toward him, but he wasn’t afraid he was the monster now. He would leave his antidote in the train yard. He didn’t need it.

NaNo- Struggling to keep writing…

Time: 1986

Han Solo

Han Solo

“When are you going to be finished?” I whined.

I was sitting in the library waiting for Roseland to finish her research homework. Her mom had invited us over to bake some cookies and to play some board games. Wendy was grounded as usual, and Angel had made plans with some of her other friends. I wouldn’t say that Angel was popular not like a normal kind of popular where all the kids want to hang out with you, but she had a group of friends, and those friends had no desire to hang out with the other popular kids. You knew they were the bad kids. Most of them were the younger siblings of older bad kids. Families that had bad reputations. I was never exactly sure why they had bad reputations it was just known that good kids did not hang out with them and if you did then you would turn bad and there was no going back to the good side. For some reason it all kind of sounded to me like the Star Wars movies. The dark side and the side that was protected by all the Jedi nights. Once you turned to the dark side that’s it you’re done. The more I thought about it though I started to get a little confused on who exactly was the dark side. Angel’s friends, hung out with older kids, and we knew those older kids did bad things like drink and smoke. Some of the twelve year olds even smoke. I think even Angel has tried smoking. I know some of the older kids have sex too which grosses me out to even think about, but I had heard stories about Angel, stories that she once lifted her skirt in the boys bathroom and showed off her underwear. She also wears a bra which is totally funny because she doesn’t have any boobs at all, and sometimes in her class she likes to let her bra strap show on her shoulder so that all the boys know she is wearing one. I had heard even worse things about her from some of the other kids. You usually get all of your information on the playground or when your waiting outside for the teacher to let you into the classroom or when you work in groups. You can hear all of the gossip even if you don’t hang out with the people gossiping. Probably the only kids who don’t know anything that’s going on at school are the kids that are the total rejects that have been left out so much they don’t even know that people are talking. If it wasn’t for me and Roseland that would be Wendy. I don’t even know why we talk about other kids. We shouldn’t care what other kids are doing, but I guess we just get bored sometimes.

Roseland got up and walked over to the card catalogues to look for a book and then disappeared into the halls of shelves. Normally I really liked the library. I liked it when the librarians shushed you like they really cared about the books and the quiet. I liked to be surrounded by the books and it was always quiet and the perfect temperature. Warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It was funny how none of the classrooms were ever warm enough or cool enough, but the library was always perfect just like baby bear’s stuff. I had read all of the Grimms Fairytales after my brother died. I already felt like I was an orphan because neither of my parents would pay any attention to me so I would just get lost in those stories and I could be anything. Sometimes I would be the princes or the prince even but lots of times I’d be the bad guy but in my head I would change the ending and I would win. I liked to pretend I was the wolf the most of all. I doodled a tiny R2D2, and thought back to my idea that our elementary school was like Star Wars. This dark and jedi thing wasn’t not working in my head. Like the dark side was supposed to be bad, and the kids Angel hung out with when she wasn’t with us were bad. Then the Jedi’s and the rebels where all supposed to be good, and who was that? Was that suppose to be all the normal kids the kids that I used to play with? But Angel’s friends were bad like they smoked and said bad words and hung out with older kids and didn’t study and I know for a fact that they sniffed glue because I saw some kids doing it on the bus once, but they were never mean to other kids. They just stayed by themselves and did there own thing. They were never mean to all the kids that didn’t fit in or to kids like Wendy. I didn’t think they ever wanted to be there at school at all. Then the good side which were my old friends all were mean and made fun of the other kids, they made fun of me and Wendy and Roseland all because we were a little different. They sounded more like the dark side. Maybe the school was the federation and all those kids were the federation soldiers all wearing the same clothes and looking and sounding exactly the same, and the bad kids were the rebels. But, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia would never smoke or sniff glue, so maybe they are all the aliens in the bar in  the first Stars Wars where they meet Han Solo. So, who was the Emperor and who was Darth Vader? A teacher maybe? Mrs. Crabtree? Sam Rider had to be a good guy like a rebel leader Luke Skywalker maybe after he gains the force.

Roseland sat back down with some books.

What about us? I kept on daydreaming. We didn’t fit with anyone we were our own group. Maybe we were the Han Solo team. They were criminals and so were we. Han Solo and Chewbacca smuggled intergalactic stuff and we egged the houses of old racist people. Heroes and criminals. I was really onto something here and I had to share my discovery with Roseland.

“If we were the main people in Star Wars who do you think you’d be? I want to be Han Solo.”

“Shhhh.” The librarian hushed us and gave us a quick glare.

I felt myself smile. I spoke loudly on purpose just to hear that wonderful shush.

Roseland began packing up her backpack. “I’d be C3PO.” She said.

“Really?” I asked. “But he’s always whining and complaining.”

“Yeah, but he’s smart, and I like his gold color and his best friend is R2D2.”

“But R2D2 is like the cool droid.” I said.

“Yeah, sure everyone likes R2, but no one really knows or is connected to R2 like C3Po and I think that is pretty special. C3PO is loyal and under all that whining is a faithful friend that would die for you.” She grabbed the books off the table. “And he’s a really pretty gold color. And I always just liked him when I was little cause he made me laugh really hard.” She walked over toward the library counter. “I have to check out these books and then we can go.”

“What is your report on?” I asked.

“I have to do a report on something about the California gold rush like the 49’ers and stuff like that.”

“Oh that sounds kind of boring.” I said.

“Yeah.” She said. “But were are working on California history and all the good stuff already got taken.

NaNo- Roughly 20,000 words to go….

Time: 1986

 

We hid the bags of candy between some garbage bins that Angel’s house shared with their neighbors. She said the couple that lived there were really old and went to bed early so Angel knew that no one would see us putting them there. Then we set out on the streets to do some fake trick or treating. I thought it would be smart for us to look like we had really been trick or treating in case anyone wanted to know where we had been all night. Angel said it was our alibi. We stayed in a group of three taking turns with the one holding the bag of poop hiding somewhere. Once we got to Persons road we turned onto the next street so that we wouldn’t be seen trick or treating anywhere near the scene of the crime we were about to do. I didn’t think it was really a crime. It was those two awful people that Roseland said were racists that  did a crime. Roseland told us that racists were people who hated you and were mean to you because of your skin color. No one was ever mean like that to me or Angel because were were white and everyone in this town was white, but sometimes people who knew Wendy’s dad was an Indian called her all kinds of names. Her skin looked the same color as ours, but she got darker in the summer, but still they knew she wasn’t exactly like everyone else. I hated those people. I thought everything they did was wrong especially the old man and the woman who watched the church. How could they say they believe in God but wouldn’t protect a kid just cause she had dark skin. It made no sense and it burned me up to think that if the man in the red corvette had got Roseland and maybe killed her that those two people would be to blame, and no one would  ever know. It was hard to tell who was more evil the old racists or that man in the car. I think the man in the car, but it was going to take more than egging him to teach him a lesson. I thought that maybe Roseland was right about him he was a grown-ups problem. Only thing was the grown-ups didn’t know where he was. A few times as we trick or treated Roseland tried to talk us out of it. It was strange that she was the one that they treated so terribly and Angel and I were the most angry and wanted vengeance. I didn’t know, maybe I was just mad. Mad at the whole damn world and I saw these two people as people who just shouldn’t be in the same world as us. I just couldn’t stop myself from wanting to really do something to them. Angel was more determined to see it through to the end too ever since her fight with her mom, and Wendy, well Wendy just wanted to be with her friends. I couldn’t understand Roseland. It made me think we were about to do something so awful that maybe Roseland wouldn’t be friends with us anymore. But egging a house can’t be as bad as putting a hose on a kid that needs help just because you don’t like their skin color or was it? Roseland, made me think that maybe we were about to be as bad as them, but I couldn’t stop myself.

We ducked off into a cluster of trees that was behind the church and we quietly pulled out our supplies and went over the plan for the last time. We pulled the white sheets out of our pillow cases and put them over our bodies so we all looked like cheap costume ghosts. We all wore black gloves. Angel said you had to protect yourself from fingerprints. She had read all kinds of detective novels and fingerprints were the way that they always caught the bad guy. The day that I told them about my idea for Roseland’s revenge we had walked around the back of the church and we found a hole in the fence by the woods. It was probably made by some teenagers so that they could cut across behind the church to get onto Virgina Way that took you to the river instead of walking on Person. We made the hole  bigger so that we could slip through easier to make our escape. Wendy was the look out she would stand and watch the road and the church to let us know if anyone was coming. The rest of us would throw the eggs, the toilet paper and the poop. We were going to leave one at a time. Wendy first, then Roseland, then Angel, and then me. I had the least chance of getting in trouble. Although, I could be sent to a foster home if they caught me, but at least I wouldn’t get beat, and we didn’t want Roseland’s mom to be disappointed in Roseland, even though I think if her mom knew what these people did to her daughter she’d be the first to throw the poop. We left Wendy’s pumpkin and our pillow cases by one of the largest trees along with Angel’s witch hat and Roseland’s cat ears. We had to make sure we took everything with us or there’d be evidence Angel had told us. Roseland held the bag full of poop, I had the eggs, Wendy had the toilet paper and Angel carried her brothers bottle of fake blood. Then in our white sheet ghost costumes we snuck through the hole in the fence and tip toed onto the church property.

It sort of struck me as stupid that we were dressed all in white sheets instead of all in black sheets or dark colored sheets because the moon was out that night and it seemed like really thinking about it people could probably see us better, but I didn’t want to think about that because I was afraid I’d chicken out. The church was dark and quiet, and so was the little house were the two old racists lived. We weren’t exactly sure what they did for the church. Maybe he was a pastor or maybe he just took care of it but whatever they did they were allowed to live on the same property. On the porch was a God bless all little children sign.

“Unless their black.” Roseland whispered under her breath.

It didn’t seem right that a person could carry so much hate and meanness and be allowed to say who God loved or didn’t love.

The house was quiet and dark, but in the back window we could see a flickering light like a tv set flashing. Wendy stood behind a tree and watched the street as the three of us silently threw rolls of toilet paper over their house and on all the trees. We didn’t talk or whisper we just threw the toilet paper and watched the streams of white fall onto branches and dangle like twisted ribbons in front of their door and all over. Then Angel grabbed the bottle of blood and sneaked onto the front porch and dumped the entire bottle all over their white porch and their welcome mat. She gently set the bottle down right in front of the door. She tip toed back to us. We were both surprised that she had been so brave to walk up there like she did. That blood was going to be sticky and nasty. I felt excited deep in my stomach. She signaled for Roseland to give her one of the bags of poop. We had three plastic bags and Angel grabbed two. She dumped both bags of stinky dog poop all in the blood and all in front of their door. I had made up the plan, but Angel really knew what to do in the battle. Once we had set up the trap we told Wendy to go to the tree and take off her sheet, grab her pumpkin and to walk toward Main road where we had last been seen trick or treating. We waited till Wendy was out of sight. We all knew she was the one most likely to get caught. Once her white sheet disappeared into the woods. We each grabbed a couple of eggs. We looked at each other through the holes in our sheets where our eyes could be seen. I smiled and even though I couldn’t see their faces I think I felt them smile too. Then Angel threw the first egg and we threw the eggs as fast and hard as we could. They made loud crashing and popping sounds against the side of the house. The eggs burst and exploded leaving yoke and slime dripping from the door and the windows. I felt like something was exploding inside of me each time an egg smashed against the house. All of the lights came on and there was a thundering noise like the house was shaking. We knew the old man was running toward the front door.

“What the hell is going on out here!” He yelled. The porch light came on and the sudden light hurt my eyes. Right at that moment Angel threw her last egg and it splattered against the screen door.

He screamed out bad words I had never heard of before and he kicked open the screen. He made like he was going to run out after us but he tripped over the blood bottle and fell into the sticky blood and all of the dog poop. Angel let out a huge laugh and then took off running for the fence. I threw my last two eggs at him as her struggled to get up off the porch.

“What’s happening?” His wife yelled as she ran toward him.

“Call the police.” He cried.

Roseland ran forward toward the door. I almost called out to her but stopped because I didn’t want them to hear my voice. With all her strength she chucked her last egg right at the woman and hit her right in the middle of her forehead. The woman cried out in pain and then ran inside the house. The old man tried to get up but had sprained his ankle when he fell and he limped toward his lawn. He was covered in fake sticky blood and dog poo.

“You kids are gonna pa-” but his voice got stopped in mid shout as Roseland took that final bag of poop and threw it right at his face and right into his open mouth.

“You can eat shit and die you old bastard,” she yelled in a deep voice trying to sound like a boy.

I could hear the sounds of sirens in the distance.

“Come on! Come on!” I yelled sounding too much like a girl.

Roseland took off running across their lawn toward the fence and I followed behind her. We scrambled threw the hole and ran toward the woods. Roseland threw off her sheet and ran toward the two pillow cases that were left. Angel’s sheet was on the ground along with Wendy’s. Roseland grabbed a pillow case and took of running disappearing down the street. I could hear the sirens getting closer and I threw my sheet off and grabbed the last pillow case. At that moment I heard a sound behind me. It was the old man struggling to get through the fence. He screamed in my direction and I ran as fast as I could down the road toward the others. I was wearing a baby blue onesie and I was terrified he had seen me. I turned the corner onto Main, and ducked behind a tree. I could see Wendy knocking on someone’s door trick or treating for candy and Angel was standing next to her with her tall witch hat back on like they had both been trick or treating this whole time.

“Hey.” I turned to see Roseland who was out of breath. “I lost my cat ears.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. What if they find them and look for someone dressed like a cat?”

I put my hand in the pillow case and mixed with the small amounts of candy were her ears. “Here.” I said. “I have them.”

She put them on her head. “Do you think we’re safe?” She asked.

“I don’t know.” I said. “I think the old man may have seen me. He tried to get threw the hole in the fence but he was too fat and he got stuck.”

We both giggled. “But he might have seen me because I had taken my sheet off.”

“Let’s get home before the police start looking.” We walked out of the shadows and onto the street like we had just come from a house.

“Do you think they knew that we were girls?”

“I don’t know.” I said. “I kind of wish they did.”

“I wish they knew why we did it.” She said.

Wendy and Angel met us on the corner of the street toward her house. We watched  a police car drive by with a flashlight as it shined onto the bushes. The flashlight washed over all four of us.

“You girls should be going home now.” One of the police said to us.

“We are almost home right now.” I said, pointing to the house were Angel lived.

The police man looked at us. “You Rogers kids?”

Angel spoke up. “I am.”

“You seen your any of your brothers tonight?” He asked.

“Not since this afternoon.” She said.

“Well you tell them we may want to talk to them.” He said.

“Why?” She asked.

“Just tell  your mom and dad.” He said and they drove off toward a dark street.

“I hate that they just think it’s my brothers.” Angel said.

“I thought you wanted your brothers to get blamed.” Wendy said.

“Well yeah, but at least with some evidence. They just know we’re Rogers and then suddenly its my family. It isn’t fair. My brothers’ll probably will get blamed just because.”

“Well, you know.” I said kind of quietly. “There was a Rogers there.”

She stopped and looked at me. “Yeah, well it wasn’t a Rogers idea.” She walked ahead of us then turned around again. “And besides, it was for honor.”

“Yeah. I was just teasing.” I said. “I’m sorry that people blame you just cause of your name.” I was thinking about how I blamed her family for my brother’s death.  I knew they were all there, but was it their fault? I didn’t want to think about it.

“That felt great.” Angel whispered. “Like we did something right. Even though it was bad those people deserved it so much. I think we’re heroes.” She smiled.

“Secret heroes.” I said.

“Yeah just like the boys in the movies.” Said Wendy. “You’re right. We did it. We did something special and brave.”

“Yeah. I can’t wait till I see my brother this summer. He’s gonna be so proud.” Roseland said.

“Are you gonna tell him what happened and about the man in the red car?” I asked.

“Yep. Everything even not coming out from under the porch. I think he’ll think it’s okay. Because we won.”

“You told that old man to eat shit when he had shit in his mouth.” I giggled.

“You said shit?” Angel asked. “You never say bad words.”

“You got it in his mouth?” Wendy asked. “So gross!”

We snuck between the garbage cans and dumped the candy into each of our bags to make it look like we had made out like bandits during our trick or treating. The party was loud at Angel’s house. We could hear her mom’s laughter from the street. We all walked Roseland home but we went around the graveyard so as not to accidentally get attacked by dumb teenage boys.

“You can stay the night here.” Roseland said to Angel.

“No. It’s okay. I’m used to it. I’ll see you tomorrow at school.”

We then walked back to Angel’s house and sat on the porch till my grandpa arrived to pick Wendy and I up.

On the drive to our street I thought about what Wendy said. About how we did it that we were like the boys in those movies that we were heroes. I didn’t think it was enough. I knew getting back at those two old jerks was just the start. We needed to do something really big something we would remember for the rest of our lives. A real real life adventure. Something that would change us forever. We just needed an idea and a plan.

NaNo-Days behind, and unsure if I will make the deadline.

Time: 1986

“Without Wendy who are we going to have for our look out?” Asked Roseland. She was rubbing her arm because one of the boys who grabbed her pinched her skin right above her elbow. “I mean. It’s like we have so many things to have to watch out for. The mean old church people, the man in the red corvette, the police, other adults, Angel’s brothers and their friends- what are we supposed to do? We shouldn’t do this.”

“It will be fine.” I said, “In fact, it’s perfect because we can blame it on her brothers.”

“How?” Angel asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe we can get some blood from your brother’s costume and leave it there so that way they’ll know its a kid that was bloody, and we’ll tell your mom they are out there beating up kids and causing trouble.”

“Yeah.” Said Angel gleefully, “Let’s get them all back at once.”

“I don’t know.” said Roseland. “I’m scared.”

“It will be okay.” I said, “although having a look-out is important.”

As soon as we walked into the door of Angel’s house Angel began yelling to her mom about her brothers jumping us in the graveyard. Her mother was quickly moving around the house only half listening to her.

“Listen, Angel, She stopped moving and picked up a lit cigarette and took a quick drag then blew the smoke towards the ceiling, “I’m having some friends over tonight we are going to be having a little party, so I told your brothers that they could go out to their own party. Why don’t you and the girls go with them?”

“What?” Angel’s mouth dropped open.

Both Roseland and I stole glances at each other before looking back at Angel’s mom.

“Mom!” Angel was yelling, “We are twelve that’s a teenager party. And I just told you they grabbed us in the graveyard. Rodger totally pulled my dress up while Sonny held me.”

“He’s just flirting with you.” Her mother stabbed the ashtray and then grabbed a glass filled with ice and a brown liquid like a watered down coke. She took a drink and then carried it with her to the kitchen. She set the drink down on the counter and started putting cans of beer in the fridge and pulling down bottles of liquor.

Angel was yelling that type of yell that only kids can make. They kind where you are yelling and whining at the same time. My mom would say she always hated it when I used that whine and that I sounded childish. To which I would always reply, but I’m a child.

“He’s my brother. He can’t flirt with me. That’s totally gross.”

“I meant Sonny. Now get away from me Angel. I’m trying to get stuff ready for tonight.”

“But, what about me? You said you would take us trick or treating.”

Roseland and I glanced at each other again. We had no intention of going trick or treating with her mother.

“Angel.” Her mother gave her the stare that all mom’s do when they are fed up with their kids. “I never said that. I said you girls could stay here and sort out your candy and go trick or treating but I did not say I would go with you.”

“But, it will be loud here. And I have school tomorrow.” She gave out a final whine.

“Angel. Don’t give me this shit. I know that you can sleep through anything. Or you can stay the night at one of your girlfriends. We are not discussing this. I’m your mother, and I deserve to have a good time every once in awhile. Your useless father never takes me out and he’s off doing god knows what so I’m having a party and I’m not having a child tell me what I can or can not do in my own house.”

“It’s my house too!” Angel screamed.

“When you start paying the bills and putting some food on the table then it will be your house but until then you listen to what I say. I feed you, I clothe you, you get whatever you want. You’re ungrateful. And look at you starting a fight with me in front of your friends. Get out now. You either get out of my sight right now or you get out of those clothes tell your friends to go home and go to bed.”

Angel scrunched up her face. “I hate you!” She screamed. She spun around with her witch skirt twisting up around her knees and stomped off to her bedroom.

“I hate you too.” Her mother mumbled before taking sip of her drink. “Kids.” She said shaking her head at us like we totally understood her point of view. “Go girls.” She nodded her head in the direction of Angel’s room. We both ran to find Angel.

When we found her she was lying face down on her bed and crying. We sat down on the bed at her feet. “I hate her!” She screamed into her pillow and then kicked her legs hard onto her bed. Roseland and I moved out of the way of her tantrum. Angel lifted her head and looked back at us. Her green make-up had smeared onto her pillow and there were light green streams running from under her eyes wear her tears had fallen. “She doesn’t even care about me. She doesn’t even know or care.” She dropped her face back into her pillow.

Roseland sat back down on the bed and put her hand on Angel’s back. “You can stay at my house tonight. My mom won’t care.”

I looked out the window. The sun was quickly beginning to set. Kids had already begun to start trick or treating and we still needed to get our supplies.

“You guys. We have to go.” I said.

“Why do you care so much about doing this?” Roseland asked. “Let’s just stay here.”

“What? Don’t you want to?” I was surprised out of all of us I thought for sure Roseland would be the one who would want to do it the most.

“No. I don’t care.” Roseland looked down at Angel. “I don’t ever want to see those people again.”

“But, Roseland, they were awful to you. You can’t let them get away with that.” I said imploringly. In truth I don’t know why I wanted to do it so bad. Maybe it was if we got revenge on those people it would be like getting revenge on all the awful adults in the world. All the adults that didn’t pay any attention to us, all the adults who didn’t see that we were people too, all the mean kids that picked on other kids, and all the people who were terrible in the world. I didn’t understand how Roseland wouldn’t want to go after them. “Well… we can’t stay here. We should at least go trick or treating.”

“No we should just stay here and hang out with Angel.” Roseland said.

“We can’t. There’s going to be a grown up party here. A grown up party with Angel’s mom’s friends. Have you seen these adults? They’re like bikers, and dirty people and they drink.

“It doesn’t matter.” Roseland snapped at me. “You go. I’m staying here with Angel.

“No!” Angel yelled. She sat up and looked at us both. She wiped the tears from her eyes smearing more of her green make-up. “We’re going. And we’re sticking to our plan.” She stood up and looked in her mirror. “I need to fix my make-up, but we should get some of the stuff ready first.”

“Are you sure?” Roseland asked. She had her hands in her lap and was picking at her fingernails.

“Listen, Roseland, if you want to be a sissy that’s fine. They were mean to you so I don’t know why you don’t want to do this, but Brianna and I are gonna do this with or without you.”

“Maybe I can just be the look out?” She asked.

“That’s fine.” I said. “But you carry the poop.”

We had big white pillow cases as our trick or treat bags but inside our bags we had shoved toilet paper, and four white sheets, and bags of dog poop that we shoveled from Angle’s backyard. It was her brothers’ responsibility to clean the dog poop from their three dogs in the back, but they never did so we had plenty of poop. Angel’s mother had been so busy greeting her friends and making drinks that she didn’t notice us with the shovel and plastic bags. We stood in Angel’s room checking all of our supplies. Her bedroom stunk like a poo factory.

“Ugh. This is so gross.” Roseland said holding out her bag of poop.

I pulled out the extra white sheet. “I should pull this one out since Wendy isn’t coming.” I tossed it onto the bed.

“No we should take it with us and hide it so my mom doesn’t see a white sheet missing. If she finds out I stole her linen she’ll kill me.” Angel said.

“I don’t think we can ever give the pillows back. My bag is going to stink forever.” Roseland said.

There was a rapping on the window. We all jumped back. It was dark outside so we couldn’t see who it was. The rapping continued. We moved towards the door.

“It’s probably my stupid brothers.” Angel whispered.

“You guys!” We heard a familiar voice. “You guys, it’s me Wendy.”

“Wendy?” We said her name all together and stumbled over each other too get to the window. Angel opened the window and the three of us looked down on Wendy, still dressed as a hooker, and holding a huge bag of eggs.

“How did you get here?” I asked completely shocked to see her.

“I walked.”

“From our houses? That’s like so far.” I said.

“I know it took me forever.”

“You walked here dressed like that? On the road?” Asked Roseland. “How did you not get seen or picked up or what about your mom?”

“Oh my mom’s so stoned right now she doesn’t even remember she has kids. That’s what my brother said before he snuck out of the house. I snuck out after him so he couldn’t tell on me. I took the old Billie road. You know the one that no one drives on anymore. It goes all the way along the Pearson road, but it’s more in the woods so no one sees you.”

“Weren’t you scared?” I asked.

“Totally.” She smiled, “but I wanted to be with you guys.” She held up her bag. “I brought eggs.” She stuck her head into Angel’s room. “Man your room smells like dog poop.”

“I know. Get out.” Angel said pushing her head back out the window. “Did anyone see you?”

“No.”

“Good. Now we can make it look like four kids then adults who saw us out together will think there are only three of us.” She threw the final sheet out the window at Wendy. “Here.” She said. “Now shove that in your pillow case.”

“I don’t don’t have a pillowcase. I only have this pumpkin.” She held up a small plastic pumpkin.

The three of us groaned.

“Do you have the candy?” I asked.

“Yeah it’s under my bed.”

Angel pulled a box out and then grabbed two giant bags of candy. She gave them to Wendy who was standing outside. “My mom’s going to be so pissed when she sees all the halloween candy gone. She’ll totally think my brothers took it.”

There was a quick knock on the door and then it swung open and her mom stepped inside. “Woah! It smells like shit in her. Really bad. You girls need to check your shoes. Angel. You need to keep you window open.”

“We know. Brianna had some dog shit on her shoe and we just finished washing it off. We’re leaving to go trick or treating now.”

I shot her a dirty look. Why was I the one that was to take the blame for the room smelling like shit?

“Okay, well Brianna, I think you should leave through the window I don’t want you tracking that shit through the house.”

“Yes mam.” I said.

“Don’t you dare ever call me mam again.” She said.

I dropped my bag out the window and then climbed out. Roseland decided to do the same.

Angel looked out the window. “I’ll meet you two out front by the road.” She winked and then shut her window leaving it open a crack.

“Why doesn’t she want to meet all three of us?” Wendy asked.

“Oh just come on.” Roseland said grabbing Wendy by the shoulder of her pink t-shirt that she was trying to pretend was a hooker dress.

Angel walked toward us and stopped. She looked back at her house that now had cars and motorcycles parked on the lawn and people walking around laughing and growing louder. She lifted a jug from out of her bag. It was a full bottle of fake blood.

“If my brothers can somehow be blamed for what we are going to do then I will be  happy. Let’s go do some tricking.”

NaNo- Lagging behind, but still trying

Time: 1986

Wendy got sent home from school because of her hooker costume. Mrs. Crabtree said that it was inappropriate and the principle agreed. I was afraid that she was going to get beat by her mom because the school forced her to come and pick Wendy up, but she just got mad at the principal. Wendy said it was her mom’s idea in the first place, and that her mother thought it was a funny costume. Her mom made a huge scene too. She was cussing at the principal as Wendy stood behind her with her head down and her little side ponytail hanging over her forehead. I think that the principal looked at Wendy like he felt sorry her. If her mom can’t tell her it’s a bad costume than how is she supposed to know? I didn’t see what was a wrong with it.

“Why’s she in trouble?” Angel asked.

“Because they said that her hooker costume is inappropriate attire for school.” I said.

“But it’s halloween.” Roseland said as we sat on the library steps watching Wendy’s mom scream at the principal.

The whole school was watching. It was like watching a game or being at the circus, like all the kids had their lunch like they were eating popcorn and drinking soda while watching the clowns pile out of those tiny cars. I felt so sorry for Wendy. Now all the kids have seen what she has as a mother. You’d think that maybe kids would feel bad for her and maybe be nice to her from now on because no one should have a bad mom, but it isn’t like that. I could already see the Marissa kinda girls and the Jason Sender kind of boys snickering. They would just have new things to make fun of her about.

“I don’t see what the big deal is.” Said Angel. “She looks like Madonna but without any pants or skirt. Where’d she get those fishnet stockings.”

“The whats?” Roseland asked.

“Her tights they are called fishnets. My older sister has some. I totally want a pair, but my mom won’t let me she say’s not in elementary school.”

“Well, if your mom say’s it’s not okay, then maybe it isn’t okay.” I said.

“What do you mean? I think they’re sexy.” Angel said.

Roseland laughed at sexy.

“Why do you want to be sexy? You’re twelve. That’s weird.” I said.

“I’m almost thirteen.” Angel said with her hand on her hip. She was wearing black fingerless lace gloves with her witch costume. “Cyndi Lauper is wearing fishnets on the cover of She’s so Unusual and you like that.” She said all snotty like.

I was about to say that she’s not Cyndi Lauper and she’s not a grown up like Cyndi, but Wendy’s mom yelled out a loud “fuck you,” which made all the kids make an ooing sound and the principle looked too shocked to respond. I kind of forgot what I was going to say to Angel because all I could see was my friend getting humiliated by her mother, and I couldn’t do anything but watch as all these dregs and sludges of the school took notes on more ways to hurt her. If the principal wanted to say something to Wendy’s mom he didn’t have time to because her mom had Wendy by the arm and was dragging her away.

“Wow. That’s Wendy’s mom.” Roseland said. “I’d hate to have a mom like that.”

“Yeah,” said Angel. “I don’t even have a mom like that. My mom probably wouldn’t even come and get me. She’d say make her walk home. Then I wouldn’t even go home because she wouldn’t care or even notice.”

“Crud.” I said. “Now how are we going to get her?”

We had made a plan. After school we were all going to go to Roseland’s house for dinner and then we told her mom that Angel’s mom was going to take us trick or treating. We knew we couldn’t stay at Roseland’s because her mom would really take us trick or treating, and we knew that Angel’s mom wouldn’t care if we were by ourselves or not. I got my grandpa to agree to come and pick Wendy and I up and take us home. There was no way that Wendy’s mom was going to bring Wendy to Angel’s house and no way that my grandpa would pick her up and drop her off, and then come back and pick us up again later.

“We’re going to have to go without her.” I said with a sigh.

“Maybe it will be better.” Roseland said.

“Why?” I asked feeling like I was going to need to defend Wendy.

“Well because if we get seen they’ll be looking for three kids, and we are always hanging out and there are normally four of us, so they won’t think it’s us.” She said.

“Yeah, but our mom’s will know that there are only three of us tonight.” Angel said.

“Do you think we’ll get caught?” Roseland asked.

“No.” I said trying to think about how we could make it seem like there were four of us. “We just can’t get caught.” I said. “It’s as simple as that.”

I remember my father sitting in the living room with my brother months before he died. He told my brother to choose his friends wisely because bad friends can bring you down. They can change the kind of man you can be. I knew that what we were about to do was wrong and that we would get in trouble, but it seemed to me that if you did something wrong to people who were bad than it should make up for what you’re doing wrong. Even so it was my idea and I wondered if I was the one that was a bad friend. Not even Angel who has one of the worst families in town with the worst reputation for getting in trouble had thought of getting back at the old people behind the church.

The three of us walked from Roseland’s house to Angels. We had told Roseland’s mom that Wendy was going to meet us at Angel’s and that she didn’t come for dinner because her mom had wanted to have a special Halloween dinner together something that they always did together. Angel and I did all the lying since Roseland couldn’t lie to her mother. As we walked cut through the graveyard we were all very quiet. This time it wasn’t just because of my mom and brother being in this graveyard it was because we knew there had to be teenagers hiding in here. You can’t have a graveyard on Halloween without teenagers waiting to terrorize some poor kids. We got close to the gate when we heard the first sound. It was like the howl of a wolf. Then someone made a wooing noise like a ghost. I knew it was stupid teenagers, but we had a mission and we couldn’t take the choice of being slowed down by them.

“Run!” I yelled and I took off for the gate. Angel and Roseland were running right beside me. From the corner of my eye I saw someone jump out from behind a gravestone. It wasn’t dark yet so it wasn’t as scary as it could have been but we still didn’t want to get caught. They were boys and they were bigger and faster than all of us. We had almost made it to the gate when all three of us got grabbed by a boy or more. There were seven of them. We were all screaming and kicking as they held us. One of the boys was laughing.

“Man. We’ve got us some fighters!” Then he looked at the boy who had me. “Look  man you’ve got Bobby’s little sister.”

The boy turned me around and slammed me down onto the ground to look at my face.

“Get off me!” I screamed.

He had a Jason hockey mask. I could see his blue eyes through the eyeholes starring at me.

“Get off me.” I screamed again. The boy grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me up off the ground. “Let ’em go guys.”

“Man your little sister is dressing like a slutty witch.” A Jason Myers boy was holding Angel up off the ground as she was kicky and trying to twist out of his hold. Another boy dressed like Freddy Kruger grabbed Angel’s feet. “Maybe we should teach her what it means to dress like a slutty witch, Angel.” The Freddy Kruger said her name slow and funny with a creepy drag to his voice.

Jason hushed over and pushed the guy away. “Get the fuck off my fucking sister man. What’s the fucking matter with you man, fuck. You sound like a fucking pervert.”

Freddy Kruger just shrugged. “I was just joking man. Fuckin’ chill.”

All the boys were dressed like monsters or killers from the movies. There was a Jason,  a Freddy, and a Michael, there was also a zombie and a zombie vampire, and a guy who just had blood all over his face and a guy with a dumb Frankenstein mask.  The guy with the blood all over his face was Rodger Rogers, one of Angel’s brothers and the boy in the Jason mask must have been Gunner. Gunner the one who was with my brother when he died. Rodger lifted up Angel’s dress. She was still being held by Michael Myers. She kicked at him, and screamed.

Gunner grabbed his brother by the back of his shirt and pulled him back halfway chocking him. He pulled Angel out of the Michael’s arms and dragged her over to Roseland and I who were standing next to each other with the gate behind us.

“What are you doing dressed like that?” He yelled at her.

“I’m a witch! It’s halloween.” She yelled back.

I didn’t see what the big deal was. Angel normally dressed in short skirts with leggings and layers of tops. Her witch dress was all cut up but it went down to her knees. I was in a baby onsie and Roseland was also in a leotard with black tights and a long tail. It must have been something about girls in dresses that were making Angel and Wendy get in trouble. I could tell that once you got to be twelve girls had to start dressing how older boys and grown ups thought were okay. I decided I wasn’t going to do that.

“Go home and put some pants on.” He yelled.

The other boys started laughing. “What are you doing out? You should be home.” He said.

“I don’t know if you know this but halloween is for kids and you are the ones who should be home because you’re too old to be trick or treating.” Angel said.

“Who say’s were getting candy?” Rodger said. “At least not candy from old ladies.” He laughed.

“Rodger Rogers, what a stupid name.” I said. “Your dad must have been stuttering when he named you because he was scared at how ugly you were.”

“Shut up you little freak. Why don’t you go die like your mom.” Rodger said.

“Shut the fuck up.” Gunner said. He turned back to look down on us. Gunner was sixteen. My brother would have been sixteen this spring. “Go home.”

“That’s where we were going before you and your lame-o friends grabbed us. I’m telling mom that you’re out here.” Angel said.

“Tell mom we are on the way to a party and will be back late. Also, you better be at home and asleep when I get back.”

“Whatever dad.” Angel sneered.”

“Right now I am your dad. So get going.”

We started to walk away.

“Have fun torturing kids.” I yelled back.

“We will.” Rodgers laughed.

“I hate my brothers.” Angel said.

Nano Day 11: Still Pugging away.

Time: 1986
Current word count: 24,503

“It was the summer time before the story came out about the girl who saw him. We had only lived here for a month. My brother and I would go down to the river by ourselves all the time. My mom didn’t know that we were going that far she always thought we were just going down to the creek that was behind The Ghetto. Which is what we used to do, but one day we started exploring and we wandered down along the canyon and we found this great spot on the river that was like a magic place. We had to walk a little while to get there and for part of the walk we had to go along the Pearson road that went past the old white church on the corner. Once we went past the church we walked down onto a dirt road called Virginia Way and off that there was a path that took us down to the water. We found it in a funny way. My brother was always into exploring especially since we didn’t get to go very far in the city and now our mom gave us a lot more time to play outside because it was safer here until that story about the girl came out. My brother had figured that the water from the creek had to be coming from a bigger source of water and he wanted to find it so that we could go swimming. The creek was fine but it wasn’t very deep and sometimes there were too many mosquitos. He was at the market on the corner when he heard some teenagers talking about going to the river and that they needed to go to the bottom of Virginia Way. We found the path from the creek up to Pearson road and then walked one way then the other till we found Virginia Way. It took us a couple of days to find it. We can get to Pearson from  the top of the road that takes you to the Ghetto, but from the creek its faster and also we didn’t want our mother to know where we were going. She’d be too afraid of us drowning. When we moved here my mom heard a story about a boy that drowned in the river the year before and that there had been a lot of drownings because the water had a deceptive current. We weren’t afraid because we just swam in this area that was kind of cut off from the moving part of the river and it looked like a pool. It was the best place in the world. My brother and I would go there all day and nobody knew about it. We think it’s because all the teenagers would go to a different part and since we just found some secret trail we thought maybe the person that made it stopped going there or maybe it was made by deer. At least that’s what my brother thought.

It was a really hot day in July, and Malcolm, my brother and I spent the whole day at the river playing and swimming. It started to get dark and we decided we needed to hurry up and get home. While we were walking back we got in a fight. We fight all the time, and usually our fights end with me storming off and that’s exactly what happened. I got mad and I marched off up to the road. I think as I walked faster that he probably slowed down because he had absolutely no interest in catching up with me. I was just fumin’ about something he said, and honestly, now I can’t remember why we fought at all , but at the moment I was so angry that I didn’t notice anything that was going on around me. When I heard the man call out to me it totally scared me. Not because I was afraid, but because I hadn’t heard or noticed a car. I turned and saw that a man in a red car was driving slowly beside me. I hadn’t heard about the girl, and I didn’t know what a corvette looked like at the time, but I didn’t feel safe. We grew up in the city and we always had to be careful around strangers and so it was just some kind of nature thing for me to be nervous. I looked over my shoulder to see if my brother was anywhere that I could see him, but he wasn’t. I didn’t want to stop or go back I just kept walking. He asked me if I was okay and I said yes. Then he asked me if I needed a ride anywhere and I said no thank you. He said, that it wasn’t a problem and that he could take me home and that my mom would probably feel safer. Still, I said no. Then he said in a real mean voice, little girl you need to get in the car. That made me stop and look at him, and he looked at me and I just knew he was evil like a devil maybe and I just started to run, but he sped up in his car and drove the car up on the sidewalk and threw the car door open like he was gonna jump out and grab me. So I turned and I ran to the old church and I ran as fast as I could to the house that was behind the old church. I saw that there were some lights on in the house so I ran up the steps and I started banging on the door. I looked over my shoulder and I saw that the red car was still there but that the headlights were off and he was standing beside the car watching me. I banged harder on the door till a man pulled the door open. I said please help me there was man following me, and I reached for the screen door because I was just gonna run right inside, but the man held the door shut. He said for me to get the hell off of his porch. I said, please sir, please let me in that there was a man following me. He kicked the screen door open and I fell back a few steps and he came out onto the porch like he was gonna hit me. I saw his wife walk up behind him and ask him what was happening and he said that “there was little nigger girl tryin to get into the house.” I held up my hands and said, please sir over there and I pointed toward the car, but it was gone. The woman said that I was probably a thief and not to listen to me. The man pushed me off the porch and I skinned my knees on their sidewalk. When I looked up from the ground I could see just a part of the car on the other side of the church. He was waiting for me and listening he knew that these people were not gonna help me. The man from the house was standing over me and he gave me a push with his foot. Now you get the hell of my lawn and my property girl. I’m not gonna fall for your shenanigans. You should be ashamed of yourself coming to the house of the lord and trying your devilish scams. I hated this man, but I was terrified of the man in the red car. I turned to the man and got on my knees to pray to him. Please sir. There is a man in a red car he’s tryin’ to get me please if you don’t help me or call the police he’s going to hurt me. The man called for his wife to turn the water on on the hose and said if I didn’t get off his lawn he was going to hose me down, but I wouldn’t move I just stayed there on my knees begging him. Then I felt the freezing water from the hose they had turned it on me full blast and sprayed my face. It wasn’t that it was cold. It was a hot night so the cold water would normally feel good, but I was so scared that I was already freezing and I couldn’t breath because he had blasted it into my face. I took off running as the man in the house kept yelling at me and calling me all kinds of mean words and things. I knew the man in the red car was waiting for me on the other side of the church. There was a fence at the end of the parking lot, but I didn’t think I could climb over it and I knew once I turned the corner he would be there with his car. I saw a hole under the church and I crawled under it and I hid under the church in the darkness and the dirt. I could hear him walking around the church and I saw his feet right outside the opening. I didn’t know if he was going to crawl in or if he was going to try to pull me out or if  he could even fit. He kneeled down and looked in. I wasn’t sure if he could see me or not. I pushed myself into the darkest corner I could find. I could see his car through the cracks. He walked away and then I could hear him talking and it was like he was right behind me. I wanted to scream but I put my hands over my mouth. He said that he was a patient man and that he was going to wait for me to come out, but that maybe if I didn’t come out then he would just wait for my brother to come by and he’d get him instead. I didn’t think I could get more scared than I already was, but once he started talking about my brother than I knew that he had seen us before. And that’s what he said, that he knew where we lived and that he was going to come and get us and that no one was going to help us because they didn’t like us here, and that everyone was going to treat us just like that man in the house beside the church, that not even a pastor thought we were worth helping. He said that if I wanted to help my family and protect my brother than I had better come out. But, I couldn’t move. I didn’t want my brother to get hurt but I couldn’t move. I didn’t know where Malcolm was- he could be coming right up the street by the church at that moment. Then suddenly the man got in his car and drove off. I thought that it was my brother that maybe he had seen my brother and I cried out and I scrambled out from under the house and ran to the parking lot and I could see the car turn the corner. My brother. I just knew he had my brother. I ran all the way home. I felt sick and my skin hurt and I couldn’t breath, but I kept running. I ran to The Ghetto and I did’t know what to do or how to get help.  I ran into the house calling for my mom, and I was crying. She came out of the kitchen and held me. She asked my why I was wet and covered in mud. I couldn’t stop crying I couldn’t tell her about Malcolm. We had to save him. Then my dad and Malcolm stepped out of the kitchen to see what was wrong with me. As soon as I saw Malcolm I started crying even harder. I felt so bad like I would have let him get taken by that man. I saved myself instead of my brother. ”

I felt scared listening to Roseland’s story. Scared and sad and angry, but I understood now why we couldn’t just catch this man.

“Did you tell your mom what happened?” Angel asked.

“No. I didn’t say anything.”

“Why?” She asked.

“I don’t know. I was scared like if I said anything he would know where we were or he would come after us.”

“Did you tell your brother?” Wendy asked.

“No. I was afraid. I thought he would know how terrible I was that I wouldn’t have saved him.”

“I would be so afraid to go outside and play ever again.” Said Wendy. “I think I am now.”

“I was.” Said Roseland. “I stopped going to the river with Malcom. and I was terrified every time he would go.” She sighed. “I wouldn’t even go to the river with him on his last day here. That man ruined the magic spot.”

“How do you even walk to school without being scared?” I asked.

“Well I was really scared at first and I would always take the bus, but then after I heard about that girl getting followed by the man in the red car I figured that he stayed on the same street.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, that girl lived on Pearson. And we were walking up Person almost everyday to get to the river. I think that’s where he hunts. He must have seen my brother and I on that street and thought maybe we lived there.”

“Pearson is the main street that goes from Ridgeview into Greely that takes you to I-5 and it also goes up to Magalia and up into the Pines.” I said. “He might not even live here and that’s why people haven’t seen the car around.”

“I can’t believe those old people wouldn’t help you.” Wendy said her voice almost shaking like she was about to cry. “And they called you all those bad names and sprayed you with water. How could they do that? You’re just a kid.”

“Huh, and that man is supposed to be a man of God. How horrible.” Angel said.

“I hate him.” Roseland said, and you could tell she was starting to cry. “I hate him more than the man in the red car. I hate him.”

I put my arms around her and hugged her. “I hate him too Roseland.” And I did I really hated that man and his wife. “As long as you are here and we are friends I wont let anyone treat you like that again.”

“Neither will I.” I heard Angel say and I felt her arms go around Roseland and I.

“I wont let that happen either.” Said Wendy. “And I’d hug you too but I’m already being hugged and I can’t move my arms.

Wendy’s voice sounded a little breathless like she was being smothered and this made all of us laugh and we let her and Roseland go.

Roseland’s story had exhausted all of us and we all began to drift off to sleep. In the middle of the night I woke up because I felt cramped and hot from the other girls so I crawled out of bed and went onto the floor and climbed into my sleeping bag. I listened to the sound of the others breathing and to the crickets chirping outside. I thought about the movie we had watched that evening. We were like those boys. Wendy was like Vern dumb but sweet, and she was also a little bit like Teddy Lachance with a horrible mother that once burnt her back with a curling iron because Wendy forgot to shut the front door. She still had the scar. Roseland was a little like Chris Chambers how she knew what was right and wrong. And Maybe Angel as much as I didn’t want to admit it was also a little like Chris Chambers a kid from a bad family with a bad reputation and no future. It wasn’t easy to place which of the girls would be one of those boys if our life was a boy movie, but there was no denying that I was Gordy. Just like Gordy my older brother died and I became the invisible kid. I became so invisible that my mother forgot she had me and she ate all those pills the doctor gave her and my dad… my dad hates me, why else would he leave. We needed to do something great something special just like those boys something that would show people that we were strong and brave just like those boys we needed it. What could we do that would make us heroes? We had to do something. Then I got an idea. Maybe it wouldn’t make us heroes, but it would give us revenge.

NaNo Day 10! Still Writing!

Time: 1986

Cover of "She's So Unusual"

She’s So Unusual release date 1983

“Boys eat snails!” I shouted.

They stopped wrestling and looked at me for a second and then they all started laughing. I told them my story about Cathy’s brother, but I skipped the part about Cathy’s mom telling us how babies were born. I felt like I had some real grown-up information with knowing about the truth behind babies, but I didn’t want to share.

“What are little girls made of?” Angel asked.

“Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of.” Said Roseland. Laughing.

“What are little boys made of?” Asked Angel.

“Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.” We all shouted and laughed.

My mom used to say that to my brother and me all the time, especially when my brother was causing some kind of mess. To me if I was acting up she would say, “There was a little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good she was very very good, but when she was bad she was horrid.” I guess maybe all our moms had known these rhymes.
“Angel’s bedroom door swung open and her mom walked in. “You girls need to quiet down.” She said. “Angel, your dad is gonna be home in about an hour and I want you girls to turn the lights out and be in bed by then you understand?”
“Yeh.” Angel said.
“I mean it. You’re dad isn’t gonna want to hear girls giggling all night and no one will be comin’ over again.”
“Okay.” Angel said with a whine in her voice.
Her mother gave Angel a look and then shut the door.
Angel’s mother was a skinny thin blonde lady. She was almost pretty but she had a tired look to her face and she wore a lot of blue eyeshadow and other make-up. She smelled like cigarettes and had a can of beer in her hand when she opened the door to talk to us. The whole house smelled like cigarettes except for Angels room. Angels room smelled like Loves Baby soft. A lot of girls had this perfume. I didn’t because I didn’t like it. It smelled like baby powder. My grandma on my mom’s side had given me a bottle of tea rose perfume once, and I really liked the smell of that a lot more than baby powder. I didn’t really like to see grown ups drinking. I never really thought about it or noticed it before like at barbecues when adults would have drinks, stuff that kids couldn’t drink. My parents never drank beer or wine at home. Sometimes my dad would have beer when he was with the other fathers but never at home. Once my brother died that all changed. My mom just got really quiet and didn’t do anything. She’s just sit on the couch all day with her pills that the doctor gave her or she would just cry then take her pills and go to sleep. My dad tried to help her at first, but then he would get mad, and they would fight. Always yelling at each other and my dad started coming home late from work, and sometimes he would smell like beer, and he’d talk funny. Then once my mom died dad started being like her always just sitting on the couch and drinking beer like she ate pills. Sometimes I would try to talk to him like if we didn’t have any food, and I’d call to him to tell him we needed food, but he wouldn’t say anything he’d just keep drinking. Then maybe a little later he’d stand up and say that he was going out to get some food, but he would come back for hours, and I’d be starving. Maybe he’d come home and wake me up and he’d put some Burger King bag on my bed then he’d just sit there staring at me and tell me I looked so much like my mother. Then he’d cry and walk out and I could hear the t.v. turn on and I knew I would find him in the morning with the t.v. on and cans of beer all over the floor. I’d always put my burger king bag on my light stand even though I was hungry, but I knew if I ate it that night that there wouldn’t be any breakfast in the next day. I knew my dad was sad, but the beer made him seem weird and different and he always stunk the next day. I did’t trust adults who drank all the time because I thought that something had to be wrong with them, like maybe they were too sad, and they couldn’t take care of their kids anymore.
“We should plan what we are going to wear for halloween before my dad get’s home.” Angel said sliding of of her bed, and walking over to her closet.
“I want to be a hooker.” Wendy said.
“What’s a hooker?” Roseland asked.
“It’s a woman that dresses funny. Like in high heels and lots of make-up. It’s really funny looking.”
“Oh. I think I want to be a tiger. Do you have a black leotard?” She asked Angel. “I have tights and black shoes and my mom can make me a tail.
“Tigers aren’t black.” I said.
“Well. I’ll be a leopard then.”
“I’m going to be a baby. I have a footie pajama suit that I can wear and I have a pacifier. I just need to do something with my hair.” I said.
“I’m going to be a witch. I have all the stuff. I’m going to be a bad witch like in the Wizard of Oz. I even have green face paint.” Angel said. “I like scary things on halloween. Wendy you should be a dead hooker.”
“I still don’t understand what a hooker is.” Said Roseland.
“It’s a bad woman.” Angel said. “They dress like sluts. Really short skirts and a lot of make-up.”
“Like you.” I said.
“I don’t dress like a slut.” Angel said turning and looking at me.
“You wear really short skirts and you say you want to wear make-up.”
“I don’t look like a slut.” She walked over close to me and put her hands on her hips. “I dress just like Madonnna, and she’s not a slut.”
“I thought you liked Madonna.” Wendy said looking at me.
I pulled away and walked toward Angel’s boom box and started looking through her tapes. “I do.” I muttered.
“Who said you could look through my tapes?” Angel asked. She still had her hands on her hips and she was looking at me like she was daring me to fight.
“No one.” I said still looking.
“Come on you guys.” Roseland said, tugging on Angel’s arm. “We need to find clothes for Wendy.”
I could feel Angel staring at me as I continued to look at her music, and then she turned back to her closet and started looking through her clothes.
It was weird because I liked a lot of the same things as Angel and sometimes when I forgot how much I didn’t like her or her family I kind of liked her, but then I would think about my brother and my mom and then I would hate her all over again. I just would get this feeling almost like being really hungry of wanting to be as mean as I could be to her even though I think she could probably beat me up. Still, I did like that she dressed like Madonna, and I did like her music, and we both liked the same movies and t.v. shows and I also like to be scary. I would be a dead baby, but I didn’t want her to think it was her idea. I noticed a tape of something I had never seen before. I picked it up and looked at the picture. It was a woman with bright red hair like a color crayon red, and she was wearing a dress with all these ruffles and she had on fish net stocking and boots and it was like she was dancing. I had never in my entire life seen anyone that looked like her before. It said Cyndi Lauper on the front. I turned to Angel. I couldn’t help but talk to her about this tape.
“Whose this?” I said holding up the tape.
She popped her head out from her closet and had a mean look on her face but it went away as soon as she saw what tape I was holding.
“Oh my gosh. You’ve never heard that before?” Oh my gosh.” She rushed over and snatched the tape out of my hand. “You guys have got to hear this. She’s like the best thing in the whole world.”
She put the tape in her boom box, and for the first time the three of us listened to Cyndi Lauper and Girls just wanna have fun. As I listened and looked at the picture of this colorful woman I thought that maybe my life was going to change. That maybe I would never be the same again. I decided right at that moment that I was going to stop wearing black. I wanted to look like her.

Angel’s dad had come home and we could hear him and her mother in the kitchen, and we could hear the t.v. come on. We were suppose to be asleep, but instead we were all lying under the covers of Angel’s bed with a flashlight and we were whispering. Angel had a big bed but we still had to huddle close for all of us to fit. We had brought our sleeping bags, but when we were talking her mother had heard us and we all got in trouble so we decided to all cuddle in Angel’s bed so we could keep talking. It was not possible for girls at a sleep-over to go to bed like it was a school night. This was Wendy’s first real sleep-over so she was excited and for the rest of us it was the first time that we had ever had a sleep-over together. I thought Angel’s mom was crazy to think we could sleep. I felt like Roseland’s mom would have understood. Angel said, it wasn’t really her mom but because her dad got angry so easily and that was why we had to be quiet so early. I had forgotten about being angry at Angel ever since we listened to Cyndi Lauper’s tape and I wanted to ask my grandma if I could buy her record. My grandma pretty much let me have anything because my dad abandoned me. Everything except a boom box. She said I already had a record player and that I didn’t need to have a boom box too, but I really wanted one. I would just have to settle for the record for now. At least the photo’s were bigger on the album then on a tape.
As we lied snuggled in Angel’s bed we talked about all kinds of things, like what we like to do and our favorite t.v. shows and then our conversation went back to boys and movie boys that we thought were cute. Well, at least Angel and I could talk about that more than Wendy and Roseland although they did have some opinions.
“I think Ricky Schorder, River Phoenix, and Ralph Maccio are cute.” Said Angel.
“Me too.” I said.
“I think those boys are cute.” Said Roseland.
“I think Kirk Cameron, and all the boys from the Explorers, and Thomas C. Howell are cute.” I said.
“Me too.” Roseland said.
“I think, Matt Dillon, and Rob Lowe are super cute.” Angel said.
“They’re kind of old.” I said.
“I know. I like older boys. I even think Han Solo is super duper cute.” Angel said.
“Ewww.” Roseland giggled. “He’s really old, but I think he’s kind of cute like in a funny way.”
“Why don’t you like any black boys?” Wendy asked. “Is it because your dad is white?”
Roseland shined the flashlight on Wendy’s face causing Wendy to squint. “Wendy, if you were not you I’d totally knock you on the head with this flashlight. Tell me have you ever seen a black boy on t.v. that isn’t old? Tell me of one that you have seen.”
We all got quiet for a moment.
“Wow.” Whispered Angel. “I’ve never thought about it before but you’re right, there aren’t any black boys on t.v. or in the movies. That’s so weird.”
“What about Michael Jackson?” I said.
“He isn’t in the movies and he’s too old. He’s like almost thirty or something and that’s super old.” She said. “So he doesn’t count.”
I sat up making the blankets over my head form a tent. “There’s not one.” Like Angel I had never thought of this before, but it was true I couldn’t think of one movie with a black boy our age or that was a teenager that was in the movies or on t.v.
“There aren’t any Indian boys either.” Wendy said. “Maybe I’d think boys were cute if there were any Indian ones.”
“I don’t even know what and Indian looks like.” Angel said.
“They look like me and my brother. Our dad was Indian.” Wendy said.
“There are Indians on tv. Like on westerns and stuff.” Roseland said.
“No, I think those are white men painted red. They look funny like they have make-up on their skin.” I said.
“Yeah. And their old.” Wendy said.
“What about the crying Indian?” Angel said. “The one that is crying in the street because of all the litter?”
“Oh, that’s on super late at night.” I said.
“He’s super old!” Wendy almost yelled.
“Shhhhh.” Angel whispered. “Quiet. My mom will kill us if she hears us.”
“What about Teddy Lachance? Maybe he’s Indian. You kind of look like him.” Roseland whispered.
Wendy gasped. “No I don’t!” She whisper yelled.
“Kind of. He’s got dark hair like you and his skin is not as white as the other boys in that movie.” Roseland whispered.
“I do not look like Mouth!” She whisper yelled.
We all started to giggle. Mouth was the kid from The Goonies movie and he was played by the same boy that played Teddy Lachance. The Goonies was maybe the best kid adventure movie ever.
“Man,” I whispered. “Boys have all the fun.”
“What do you mean?” Angel asked.
I lied back down on the bed my head pressing gently against Roseland’s. “I mean look at all the movies that are about boys having adventures. You never see girls in the movies having adventures.” I said.
“There are girls in The Goonies.” Roseland said.
“Yeah, but it wasn’t their idea. They just came along because Andy like Mikey’s brother.” I said.
“They were still on the adventure.” Angel said.
“Yeah. I know, but I mean what about a movie where the girls make up the adventure? Like when the girls have the map and the plan and they find something, and the only reason there are any boys it’s because the boys want to follow the girls and not the other way around?” I said.
“I don’t know.” Said Wendy. “Because girls are dumb maybe.”
“We’re girls.” Said Roseland. “Do you think we’re dumb?”
“No. But, I think I’m dumb, and teachers think I’m dumb. But I mean. I think that people think girls are dumb or not important. You can tell. I mean boys have more fun and freedom and once a girl gets her period than it’s all over. You have to start acting different and stuff and then you get boobs and ugh. Then things change and you can’t play anymore. Boys get to play and men go do whatever they want and women all they do is wait for the men to come home. I don’t ever want to grow up and be a woman.” Wendy turned on her side away from us.
“I have my period, and it’s no big deal.” Angel said.
“Do you really have your period?” I asked skeptically.
Angel was quiet. “No, but don’t you tell anyone or I swear I’ll kill you.” She got quiet again. “I could any day now though. My mom said she got her period when she was eleven and I’m already twelve.”
“Why do you want it?” Wendy asked.
“Why’d you lie?” Roseland asked.
“I don’t know.” Angel sighed. “My other friends say they have and some of them are older, and I don’t know it makes you more grown up. I want to be a grown up. I want to grow up and get out of this house far away from my parents and far away from this town and just be able to do what I want.”
“I don’t want to grow up, but I don’t want to be around my parents either.” Wendy said.
“I like my parents.” Roseland whispered.
“You’re lucky.” I whispered.
“What are your parents like?” Roseland asked.
I was silent for a moment. In fact the room felt quiet. I could hear the crickets outside and there was movement in the hallway. We could all sense that a grown-up was standing outside. They stood at the door listening we guessed and then they walked away. I was still quiet and it felt like the girls had fallen asleep, but I knew they were awake and waiting. Wendy and Angel knew what my parents were like now, but they didn’t know anything about what they were like.
“They used to be okay.” I said. “But their gone now.”
“Oh.” Roseland whispered.
“Did they die?” She asked.
“Kind of.” I said. “But I don’t feel like talking about it.”
“Okay.” She said.
It was quiet again. I didn’t feel like talking about it because I didn’t want Angel to know anything about it, but I also didn’t want anyone of them to know about it. No one liked to admit that their parents hated them. That stupid Jason Sanders was right. I was a freak and a weirdo. My parents hated me so much that my mom killed herself and my dad threw me away. I didn’t want to say anything about it. I wanted to forget and just start life all over like as if I never had parents or a brother at all. Suddenly I got an idea. It was so great that I sat up again pulling the covers off the girls who made quiet whispering protests. I positioned the covers up over us all like it was a tent again. I held up the flashlight.
“We should have an adventure.” I said.
“Whaddya mean?” Asked Angel.
“We should have an adventure. We should do something big something that can make us heroes like in Stand by Me.” I said nearly shaking with excitement.
“I don’t want to see a dead body.” Wendy whimpered.
“I don’t mean find a dead body. We don’t even know of anyone that’s missing or dead. I just mean we should do something. There were four of those boys and there’s four of us. We’re kind of like them, and we live in the woods and there’s got to be some kind of adventure we can have.” I almost felt desperate. “There must be something for us some kind of thing that we can do.”
“I don’t know.” Said Angel. “I mean what?”
We were all quiet. I thought about something that would make us famous and heroes. The I got the perfect idea.
“You guys know about the man in the red corvette?” I said whispering even quieter.
“Yeah.” They whispered back.
“We could catch him?” I said.
“What?” Angel said. “How?”
“I’m scared.” Wendy whispered.
“We can plan some kind of trap. Like we can set him up.” I said.
The others were quiet.
“We’d be heroes.” I said. “We be famous and be in the paper and maybe on the news.”
“But how?” Angel asked.
“No.” Roseland said. “We can’t. That man is bad. He’s real bad.”
“That’s why we should stop him.”
“No.” Roseland said firmly and with finality. “We can’t. He could hurt us, and adults wont help us if we get in trouble.”
“Yes they will.” I said.
“Well, they wont help me and I know this is true.” Roseland said. “I want an adventure too and I think we should do something else like find something like treasure or something, but we can’t get that man.”
I was disappointed. “Where are we going to find treasure?” I said. “I bet he’s not that bad just a weirdo.”
“No. He’s bad.” Roseland said. “I’ve seen him.”
We all got real quiet.
“Can I tell you guys something?” Roseland asked. “But you have to swear. Swear to God and on your mother’s grave that you will never ever tell anyone.”
We all swore. We swore and we waited to hear Roseland’s story.