Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing month. Write a novel in the month of November.

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?”


“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.

Nano-Day 9 (I missed day 8 so now I have to make up for it) First Draft

Current word count: 18,173

*Part in italics taken from the end of Day 7, and not included in todays word count

Cover of "Stand By Me (Deluxe Edition)"

Stand By Me 

“Oh my gosh! River Phoenix is sooooooo cute! I totally want to marry Chris Chambers! ” Angel squealed at the end of the movie and grabbed a pillow and hugged it close to her body as she rolled onto her bed.

“He dies?” Roseland was sitting on the edge of the bed. She had both her hands up and out like a question. “He grows up and tries to help someone and he dies?” She looks over at us. “That’s lame. I don’t like that. He shouldn’t have died.”

“Oh who cares.” said Angel sighing, “It’s just a movie. At least River Phoenix is alive and he is going to live forever and I am going to marry him!”

“You just said you wanted to marry Chris Chambers.” I said feeling irritated. “So Chris Chambers is who you get, and he dies so too bad so sad.”

I had never really liked boys much before this year. Some of my friends from before had boyfriends even when they were in second grade, but I didn’t like them. I thought most of them were pretty stupid. I remember when I was six and I was playing with this neighbor girl Cathy. Her mom and her dad were both doctors and they had just had a baby. He was almost a year old when her mom got pregnant again and her stomach started to get big. We both knew that babies came out of moms’ stomachs, but we didn’t understand how they actually got there. I had seen puppies be born before so I could kind of understand how the babies got out, but I wasn’t really sure how they come out of a mom because dogs and people were different. So one day Cathy and I asked her mom how babies were made and born. Her mom sat us down in their living room and she brought out a book that had all these pictures that were drawn, and she told us everything, the whole story about how babies were made and born. She showed us the drawing of a penis on a boy and a vagina on a girl. She told us that the boy puts his penis in the vagina of the girl and then a baby get’s made. Then she told us how it is a fetus and it grows into a baby and then it comes out of the girl’s vagina. I did not like this story one bit. After words I had felt really disturbed like something was really wrong with the whole world. I remember that Cathy didn’t say much either. We went and played on her swing set. It was one of those fancy new metal swing sets that you can buy in the store and put together at home. They had put the swing set under the huge fig tree that grew in their backyard. I remember as we were swinging that I could smell the figs and see them turning purple some of them were still green on the top but they would be ripe soon. A few had fallen to the ground and the gooshy insides and purple seeds had splattered onto the path that her parents had built in their backyard. The hanging and fallen fruit made me think of pregnant women. Her mother had walked out of the house carrying her baby brother. She had him on her hip but it looked like he was riding on her belly and sitting on the new baby that was growing inside her. She set him in the garden as she did some work watering the plants and picking some of the vegetables. We swung back and forth on the swing set neither one of us were talking and there was only the sound of the swings squeaking and the smell of figs. I watched her brother sitting in the garden as he picked up a snail. He held it in his hands and then pulled the snail out of it’s shell and put it in his mouth. He chewed on it for a little bit and then spit it out and as the chewed snail fell out of his mouth brown spit came out too. I felt my stomach get sick and I thought, boys are so gross. A that moment I looked at my friend Cathy who was also watching her brother. “I don’t care what grown ups say,” I said to her, “I don’t want a baby. And I will never ever ever let a boy put his penis in my vagina. Ever.” She nodded in agreement.

I had really thought boys were more of a bother than anything. I liked to play with them to beat them at games and stuff and some boys were okay to play with but older boys were just stupid, and my brother got more and more dumb the older he got. I was fine without them, but like I said some of the girls that used to be my friends liked boys differently. I had thought if they new about how babies were really born then they might not feel the same about boys as they did today. I never liked them until the first day of school this year. I really hated boys after my brother died, and not just because they were simply boys, but because once I started to change like wear all black and stop playing with the girls I used to play with the boys got mean. Boys being mean can not compete with girls being mean, but still it made me mad that boys who I used to play with or boys that once were friends with my brother started calling me a freak, and trying to push me around and stuff. They don’t try stuff now since last year I pretty much beat up every boy in my class, but like Jason Sanders they like to try and call me names when they are out of my arms reach. I really didn’t like them at all not even to play with until this school year. On the third day of school a new boy came to our school. His name was Sam Rider. He had been living in Ridgeview his whole life, but he had been going to the other elementary school, but his parents had sold their house and moved to the North Ridge. We would have lived in the same neighborhood if my dad hadn’t of moved me to my grandparents. I didn’t know exactly why I liked Sam. It was weird because I had always hated boys, but Sam was different. It was the first time I actually really noticed a boy. It was really weird, but I thought Sam was cute. Sam looked kind of like River Phoenix in the Stand by Me movie. I never really thought even movie actor boys were cute until I saw Sam. I was keeping it a secret though because I didn’t know why but I didn’t want to let anyone know that I liked him. I haven’t even tried to talk to him, but sometimes I find myself just staring at him. He dresses different from all the other boys and I was wondering if it was because things were different at the South Ridge elementary, but in a “What I did for Summer Vacation” paper that we had to read out loud in class we learned that Sam had spent his summer in France. He had an older sister who was an exchange student in France and that his parents let him stay with her for the whole summer. I don’t think any kid wanted to read their paper in front of the class after hearing Sam’s story. What was really strange was that sometimes boys like Sam get bullied at my school. Most kids here would think he was showing off that he lived in France or that he was better then them he was certainly different, but somehow Sam became the most popular boy in school in the first week he was there. He was nice to everyone and he was really funny. It was like he was magic or something. Lots of girls liked to talk to him and he never sat at lunch alone. I kept as far away from him as possible, but sometimes I when Wendy and I would sit outside at the school picnic table and Sam was out on the field playing with his friends most of who used to be my friends I would just kind of stare at him and not even hear what Wendy was saying. I didn’t do that much now that we had Roseland because now there were three of us, but that was okay. He sat in the front of my class and I sat in the back and I really liked this because I could stare at him anytime I wanted and he couldn’t see me. It was funny because I knew that girls who liked boys liked to talk about liking boys, but I hated it. I really didn’t like liking Sam and sometimes it made want to be even meaner to all the other boys.

“I don’t really like boys that much.” Said Wendy.

I could always count on Wendy.

“What?” Angel sat up on her bed. “You don’t? I don’t think that’s normal.”

“It’s normal.” I said coming to Wendy’s defense.

“Do you like boys?” She said asking me.

I shrugged. I wasn’t about to come clean to her about anything, but at the same time I was worried about not seeming normal and I didn’t know what Roseland would think. “They’re okay. They’d be better if they weren’t so stupid all the time.”

“But you think River Phoenix is cute don’t you?” She asked.

“Yeah. Sure. I like Chris Chambers in the movie.” I said because that seemed safe. Then I had a strange realization about all the boys in the movie, I kind of liked all the boys in the movie, but I didn’t know why. “I kind a like all the boys in that movie.”

“Yeah, but I mean like differently. Like do you want to marry Teddy LaChance or do you want to marry Chris Chambers?”

I didn’t even have to think about it. “Chris Chambers.”

“Do you like boys?” Wendy asked Roseland.

She shrugged like I did. “A little.” She said. “There was this boy last year that I liked to play with and I liked him like you know like just  normal kind of boy, but sometimes I felt like I liked him more, but I don’t know. I don’t like any boys at this school though so I don’t really think about it much.”

“Wow.” Said Angel. “I’ve liked boys since kindergarten. I remember there was this boy Matt that would chase all the girls around and when he’d catch them he would kiss them, and I always let him catch me.”

“Ewwww. Matt Foster? Ewww. He would chase me too and I thought it was gross. I did not let him catch me.” I said totally disgusted.

“Ewww. Me neither.” Said Wendy.

“Well, I don’t like him now. I just mean that I liked boys ever when I was little.” Angel said. “My other friends like boys too. It’s mostly what we talk about. We like the junior high boys. Next year when we go to junior high there will be boys from South Ridgeview there and if they are all like Sam Rider its going to be so great.”

I felt my face get hot and I had a really strange feeling in my stomach that was kind of like all my insides fell out. I felt like I was going to be really really mad. First my family and then my friends, then River Phoenix and now Sam Rider? I was about to belt her one right in the face, but Roseland sat next to her on the bed. Then Wendy climbed on the bed too. I stayed on the floor just staring at them. I felt really betrayed and angry, but I didn’t want to let anyone know. I didn’t like how I was feeling and I just wanted to be mean to Angel. Really mean, but I didn’t know how.

“I don’t like boys that much.” Roseland said again, “They just kind of annoy me, but I do think some boys on t.v. are cute, but they seem different.”

“I like boys.” Wendy said.

” I thought you just said you didn’t like them.” I kind of barked at her. “One minute you like them the next you don’t. What are you just tryin’ to look cool for Angel or something.”

Angel wrinkled her eye brows at me as the other two just looked at me strangely for a second.

“No. I mean I like to play with boys but I don’t like ’em like ’em.”

I felt a little stupid with them all staring at me like they were so I didn’t say anything else.

“I want to play the same kind of games as boys sometimes, you know. Like I like to play race cars, and run and climb trees and play pranks and stuff. I like my dolls still, but sometimes I want to play with boys, like when I was little I used to play with all the boys in the neighborhood, but they don’t like me anymore. They all say I’m gross or that I have cooties, but I just want to play.” Wendy looked really sad.

“I don’t play with dolls.” Angel said. “I don’t like boy things. I like clothes and I want to wear make-up, but my mom says no, but maybe next year. I just like to kiss boys.”

“EEEEwa!” Squealed Roseland with a short laugh. She shook her hands in disgust. “Gross!” She laughed and threw her face into a pillow.

“What?” Angel yelled. She wasn’t mad I could tell because she was smiling.

Wendy looked grossed out. “You kiss boys?” She stuck her tongue out like she was going to puke.

“So.” Angel laughed.

“Gross!” Roseland screamed into the pillow. She started kicking her legs on the bed and the other two started laughing and piling on top of her. I smiled at them and part of me wanted to climb on the bed to and crawl into the pile, but I also felt too mad at Angel to join them so I stayed on the floor and watched. My smile began to fade as a feeling of being lonely came over me. I felt like I wasn’t a part of their group. They were all misfits too. Angel was too loose at too young of an age, Wendy was not accepted as normal by other kids and she was slow and awkward, and Roseland while being a really cool girl was the only black girl at school and that made kids be mean to her. If they knew that she had a black mother and a white father who knew how the kids would be. They were all misfits and rejects, and I still didn’t fit in with them.

Roseland pulled herself out of the pile. She was still laughing as she kicked at Angel. “I think if a boy kissed me I would puke.”

“You have to use your tongue.” Angel said.

“Ewwwwww!” She screamed again throwing herself back down on the bed.

We all screamed even me. That was way too much all I could think about was Cathy’s brother and that chewed up snail and brown spit coming out of his mouth.

NaNo Day 7- First Draft

Time: 1986
Current word count: 15,794

Roseland’s parents were probably the nicest grown-ups I had ever met in my life. I used to think that my parents were the best parents in the world, but all that changed of course, now I don’t have any parents. Roseland’s parents were different then mine were like Roseland’s parents seemed younger than my mom and dad. My parents had all kinds of rules for themselves and us, but Roseland’s parents still kind of acted like kids. They also asked Roseland for her opinion of things that were going on in the house. They actually asked her opinion about things going on in The Ghetto, because it was a community and the community had a say on everything. I thought the whole thing was totally weird, but her parents were really cool. It was Roseland’s choice to go to our school. She said her mom homeschooled her, and none of us had ever heard of anything like that before, but the idea of not having to go to school sounded like the greatest invention on the planet, and why in the hell would she choose to go to public school. After she told us about how she didn’t like it because she didn’t have any kids to hang out with that were her age and that she got lonely I kind of got it. She said, our school sucked because we had a lot of kids in the school that said stupid and mean things to her and it was really bad for her brother in the middle school and that was why he left, but that if she hadn’t gone to our school she wouldn’t have met us. I thought that was a really nice thing to say and it kind of made me feel good. I thought about the idea of being homeschooled and thought maybe I wouldn’t like it. I’d be stuck at home with my grandma all day. She didn’t know anything. She was nice, but she only graduated from high school and then was a wife and a mother. She only knew how to do things around the house, and she didn’t like to think too deep. That’s what she’d say. Don’t ask me that honey, I don’t like to think too deep, she told me once when I was asking her for help on my geography homework. I knew homeschool would be terrible for Wendy. It would just be her having to work around the house, getting beat, and not learning anything. I think at that moment that I kind of realized that public school was for kids like Wendy and maybe Angel because if they didn’t have public school how would they learn anything? If my mom was still around and things had never gone bad then maybe she would be a good teacher for me and my brother. I’d let Roseland’s mother teach me, but I also understood about getting lonely and wanting to meet other kids your age. There wasn’t really any other way to meet kids here except for school. There was no where to hang out and no place that was the main place to play. School and the neighborhood you live in and that’s it. I used to love Ridgeview, but now that I’m twelve I’m kinda starting to find it boring. Maybe it’s just because I don’t feel good anymore.

Roseland’s dad made a really good lasagna. It was so yummy that I didn’t even miss the meat. Wendy tried her hardest to eat, but she picked around the carrots and zucchini and only ate the fat ribbony pieces of pasta, the cheese, and the sauce. Roseland’s mom was so nice though she didn’t even give Wendy a hard time about it. If it bothered her you couldn’t tell. Sometimes adults that aren’t your parents or teachers like to tell kids what to do like they know better. Maybe they do know better, but still it doesn’t seem right that just because you are a grown-up that you can say things to kids about how they eat or dress or talk if they are not your parent or teacher. It’s not like Wendy is hitting other kids she just doesn’t like her vegetables. I noticed some stranger adult will say something like you kids shouldn’t act that way, but they never stop a kid from bullying another kid. Where are the adults then? When I grow up I’m going to be different. I’m never gonna tell kids, I know more than you even if I do know more because its like they think we don’t have a brain or feelings. Like adults who knew my parents or my brother are always saying you should stop wearing black, or go out and be social it is good for you or you’ll feel better. Whatever. They were my parents. My heart. I wished I could trade places with Roseland. I wanted to tell her parents what happened. I wondered if they would adopt me. Would they do that thing where they shake their head, and give me the pity act? I wondered, if their kid died and the other one lived would they act the same as my parents did? Of course, Roseland’s brother had a different dad. Roseland’s dad would never leave his daughter, but would her mother be like mine? I wondered.

After dinner Roseland’s dad drove us home. Even though Angle lived close enough for her to walk Roseland’s dad wanted to drive her. Ridgeview was normally a safe town, but last month a girl said that a man in a red corvette had followed her and asked her if she wanted a ride and that when he opened his door he didn’t have any pants or underwear on and that he was touching his thing. Roseland’s parents were like the Ridge parents even though they were poor an they were hippies living in a commune called The Ghetto they made sure all the kids were safe. Wendy’s parents and I think maybe Angels parents probably didn’t even know this guy was out there. When I was six I could go around anywhere I wanted by myself or with my friends even when it was dark, but everything changed after that boy Adam Walsh got killed. All the parents got scared. I was just a kid then, but I remember watching it on the news and I didn’t know why but I couldn’t stop watching it. I wasn’t scared. I didn’t know what I was I just knew that he was my age. When the movie about him came out I really wanted to see it, but my mom didn’t let me or my brother watch it. She said, it would give us nightmares. I think  really she was worried about her own nightmares. They never caught the person that killed him either. He was still out there. He could be the guy in the corvette. I kind of made myself feel a little sick thinking about all of this stuff so I thought about the dinner and what I learned about Roseland’s family.

Roseland’s mother was born in Oakland. I knew where Oakland was because I’d been to the Bay Area a lot, but I had never been to Oakland before. Her mother was really smart in school, but she had gotten pregnant when she was sixteen. Her boyfriend was black like her and they tried to live together and be parents, but she said it just didn’t work but that he was a good man and loved his son. When her mom was a little older she went to Berkeley. She said she was involved in the women’s movement and the environmental and civil rights and she wanted to change the world and they way people thought about the world and others and it was at one of these different meetings that she met her now husband Roseland’s dad. She said that he loved her son like he was his own, but also didn’t get weird about Rosleand’s son’s father. They moved to San Francisco together because of the hippie movement and some stuff about music and art and stuff, but they decided to move to further into Northern California to get out of the city and have a communal life with some friends that had already set all this stuff. It was all over my head really, but I liked to listen to them talk. I also liked that I had never met any people like them before and I hoped that maybe more people who were different would move to Ridgeview. Now it seemed like there were only people who were poor and people who thought they had money but they all acted the same kind of boring. Also, Roseland’s mom and dad were not married because they said they didn’t believe in that institution, even though they call each other husband and wife. I didn’t know really what they meant by that, but I did know that most grown-ups thought you had to get married when you became an adult, even though in truth I wasn’t exactly sure why you had to get married I just knew that you did. I mean everyone got married, even the people who got divorced got married again. I’d never heard of it called the institution, but it seemed like they acted the same as being married so it didn’t really matter to me. I wondered how Wendy was handling all of this new kind of life. I bet her brain was just melting and I knew she couldn’t wait to get out of the car so she could ask me all kinds of questions. Of course we couldn’t talk much because I knew she had to get home. She was for sure going to get a whipping for getting home late, and not because her mom is worried about the guy in the red corvette.

We dropped off Angel and she waved goodbye before running into her house. I was really upset that she had weaseled her way into our group. I had to think of a way to get rid of her. Now we had plans to go over to her house tomorrow to watch Stand by Me and to make halloween costumes. Halloween was on a Monday this year but that didn’t stop anyone from going trick or treating and we needed costumes for school. Angel said she had a ton of clothes that we could use as costumes. I already know that Wendy is going to wanna be Madonna and of course Angel has the clothes for that. I didn’t care what I was I just wanted to get rid of Angel. Why did she want to hang out with us anyway? She already had friends. She hung out with all the bad sixth graders who hung out with all of the older kids in middle school and even high school. They acted more grown up even though I knew they were still kids. She was into boys and once I heard her say she already had her period. I wondered what she was up too. I wondered if she was just trying to get to Roseland or maybe even take Wendy away from me. I felt like her family already took away everyone I ever loved so why wouldn’t she try to take over my friends too? I didn’t even want to go over to her house tomorrow, and it was supposed to be a sleep-over. I thought that maybe I should just say no and tell they others that if they hang out with her than our friendship was over, but I did kinda want to see all her clothes and I wanted to watch Stand by Me so I was going to have to think of another way to get rid of her, but how?


“Oh my gosh! River Phoenix is sooooooo cute! I totally want to marry Chris Chambers! ” Angel squealed at the end of the movie and grabbed a pillow and hugged it close to her body as she rolled onto her bed.

“He dies?” Roseland was sitting on the edge of the bed. She had both her hands up and out like a question. “He grows up and tries to help someone and he dies?” She looks over at us. “That’s lame. I don’t like that. He shouldn’t have died.”

“Oh who cares.” said Angel sighing, “It’s just a movie. At least River Phoenix is alive and he is going to live forever and I am going to marry him!”

“You just said you wanted to marry Chris Chambers.” I said feeling irritated. “So Chris Chambers is who you get, and he dies so too bad so sad.”

Nano Day Six- First Draft

Time: 1986
Current Wordcount: 13,593


None of us talked until we reached the street that lead to where Roseland lived. She pointed us in the direction of a steep paved hill and told us that we were almost to her home. As we passed a mint green house Roseland told us that the man who lived there owned many snakes. He sometimes would let the kids from the Ghetto to look at them. She said he had a gigantic python that he kept in a glass case that took up the size of a bedroom. Both Wendy and Angel seemed interested in seeing the snake, but I had no interest in snakes what so ever. When I was five my brother and I were playing at my aunt’s house. She lived in the small farm town of Durham that is an hour away from Ridgeville. Durham is hot and flat and dry and it is the perfect place for Rattlers. My aunt lived in this giant white farm-house that was far back away from the main road. Her mailbox was at the top of the road and it was about a five-minute walk to go and check the mail. My brother and I wanted to check the mail ourselves. It gave us a reason to get away from the grown-ups and there were some kids that live in a house that was once an old fire station. We had been trying for a week to convince these kids to let us come over so we could slide down the fireman pole that they told us was still in the house. We had been talking so much about how we were going to get them to invite us over that I hadn’t even notice when we got to the mailbox. I saw it from the corner of my eye so without even looking I turned to the mailbox and reached my hand up, but thank god my brother was looking and that he heard the rattle. Curled around the bottom of the mailbox was the hugest rattlesnake we had ever seen in our lives. It was fat and had its tail up rattling and its head was back. I don’t remember what happened after that because I was so scared that I blocked it out, but when I opened my eyes I remember seeing on of the teenage neighbor boys wheeling it away in a rusty old wheelbarrow. There was something sad about seeing its huge body tossed in the barrow with its long neck and head draped over the side lifeless and limp. My brother chased after the boy asking him if he could have it’s rattle. The boy said, no and pushed the snake up the dirt road. Before the snake was alive and huge and frightened and moving and then suddenly it wasn’t worth anything except for it’s rattle that showed how big and scary it once was. I don’t know why it made me feel sad. If it had bit me I could be dead. It was me or the snake. The river or my brother. The pills or my mother. No. It doesn’t work that way, it only works with living things facing living things.

“What’s a ghetto?” I heard Wendy ask.

“It’s what my mom and dad and all the other grown-ups call the place where we live.” Said Roseland.

“What does it mean?” Asked Angel.

“I don’t know.” Roseland shrugged. “I never asked. It’s just where we live.”

We reached the bottom to a point where the paved road curved off to the left and Roseland pointed toward a wide gravelly road to the right. We followed her along this road till we came to a large open clearing that had four houses that were in a kind of circle. In the center of all the houses was a giant garden with big leaves of vegetables. Big dark green leaves that were the size of my head with bright orange pumpkins and round yellow squash. In the center of the garden holding a green hose a very dark-skinned black woman was watering the plants. I figured that the woman was Roseland’s mother even though her mom was so much darker than her. The woman was wearing gold, brass, and copper colors. She had a long loose flowing dress that part of she had tossed over one arm so that she wouldn’t get mud on the bottom. Her neck was long and she had a pretty face and big eyes. I had never seen a black woman before except on t.v. and I had never seen a woman who looked like Roseland’s mother. Her skin was so dark and smooth and her hair wasn’t straight but round almost like a ball. I didn’t know how she could get her hair like that like it just grew that way.  She was really  pretty and had round cheeks and a round chin. She almost looked like a teenager. She looked bright  like a flower in all the colors that were around her. She looked over at us standing in the road staring at her. When she smiled I felt warm and safe deep inside. I felt like I was in love with Roseland’s mother even though I had not even talked to her yet. I just couldn’t imagine that anyone so pretty and with a smile that nice and good could possibly be a bad person. I wanted right at that moment for her to be my mother.

“Hey, Hon.” She called over to Roseland, “These your girls?”

“Mmmmhmm.” Roseland nodded.

“Give me a second. I need to turn off this water. I’ll be over to meet your friends before you rush them off into the house.” She stepped over a giant pumpkin and walked toward one of the houses to turn off the facet and then after wiping her hands on the skirt of her dress she walked toward us. The dress bounced up like small curling waves as she walked. She stood with her hands on her hips and smiled down at all of us. “So introduce me.”

“This is my mom.” Said Roseland reaching for her mother’s arm. “Mom, this is Angel, Wendy, and Brianna.”

“Hello girls.” She bent down and gave each one of us a hug. When she held me I could smell coco-butter and fresh dirt, and plants. She smelled like the earth and she was warm. It had been almost two years since I was hugged by my mother and I didn’t want her to let go of me. I wanted to cry and have her pick me up and hold me, but I couldn’t so I let go. She looked down at me like she knew like she felt how badly I wanted her to hold me. She brushed the bangs from my eyes.

“Look how long and tangled your hair is child. You look like a hippie.” She leaned down and kissed Roseland on the cheek. “Take your friend’s into the house your dad is making lasagna for dinner. I’ll be in in a second, I need to pick the last of the tomatoes. I hope you girls like your vegetables.” She said to us.

I could see Wendy wince, but she smiled because she was too afraid to say she didn’t ever in her life eat vegetables.

We followed Roseland toward one of the houses. They were all painted white and they all looked like they were falling apart kind of like Angel’s house except instead of broken down cars in the yards there were gardens, and porch swings and flowers growing out of anything that was once broken. The paint on all of the houses were chipped and peeling, but each house had bright curtains, that some looked like sheets or flags. Roseland’s house had rainbow curtains that were made from sheets. Little kids were playing and running around the houses and some people were sitting on a porch here or a porch swing there. Music was coming out of some of the houses. It sounded like someone was playing a guitar. As we walked up the wooden steps to Roseland’s porch we could hear music coming from inside her house. The door was open and Roseland had us take our shoes off before stepping on to the thick shaggy brown carpet. It was weird to me to take my shoes off and I could tell from the expressions on both Wendy and Angels faces that they didn’t think it was normal either. Roseland skipped into the kitchen yelling, dad. The three of us stood alone in the living room staring at all the things that were in the space. Everywhere there were plants. Hanging plants, big plants with fat leaves in giant clay pots, plants with flowers, plants that climbed up the wall; it was like a garden in the living room. They didn’t have a t.v. but they had a stereo with tons and tons of records. On the walls were pictures of people who I guessed were musicians, some I knew some I didn’t. There was a big picture of John Lennon wearing a shirt that said New York. I knew who he was. My dad used to listen to The Beatles all the time. I remember exactly when John Lennon died because it made my dad cry which I thought was really strange. I couldn’t understand why this man who my father never met in his life would make my father cry just because he died. He didn’t cry as hard as he did at my brother’s funeral and he didn’t cry at all at my mother’s, but John Lennon died before both of them so maybe my dad didn’t know much about dying then. I guess I could get it now. I think I would maybe cry if Madonna died, but I wasn’t really sure. There were also other musicians like Jimi Hendricks, Janis Joplin, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, all people I didn’t know until I saw the bright red jacket with gold zippers and the matching red pants that only went to his ankles and the white socks and his black shoes. I knew that the Michael Jackson poster had to belong to Roseland. I thought it was so cool that her parents let her put up her own decoration in the front of the house. Like you just knew she wasn’t just a kid in the house, but that it was her house too.

“Look at the rainbow.” Wendy whispered.

She was pointing at a rainbow that danced on the wall over the face the man with brown hair in The Doors poster. He had his hand out and open like he was holding something and the rainbow bounced from his hand to his face. It came from a prism that hung in the large front window. There were many prisms. I had always liked prisms, but my mom had said that she thought they were kind of tacky, but she let me have a tiny heart shaped one that I used to keep in my room. My dad forgot to pack it. I knew we were in a very different kind of home. It wasn’t just that Roseland was poor. I could tell she was poor and that most things in her house were old even the record player, but I had been in the houses of people that were poor before. Wendy was poor and she lived in a trailer, and Angel was poor I could tell even though I had never been in her house before, but it wasn’t about money. My parents had money, and we had once had a really nice house. My grandparents have a really nice house, and when my family was all together we always had new things. It wasn’t about money at all it was something else it was, but I didn’t know what to call it, like everything was taken care of everything was loved.

“This is my dad.” Roseland said as she came out of the kitchen followed by a man drying his hands on a towel.

“Hi there ladies. I hope you’re hungry.” He said smiling.

I couldn’t talk for a second and I hardly heard Roseland say all of our names. Roseland’s dad was white. It suddenly made sense why Roseland was not as dark as her mother. I had never seen a black woman before, but I had never in my whole whole life even heard of a black person marrying a white person. They never showed that on television. I wondered where they came from because I knew that there was no way that they came from these mountain towns. Her father was really tall and thin and he had long long blonde hair that went past his shoulders. It was like he had a woman’s hair and I remembered my dad once talking about hippies and saying that they wore their hair long. He had asked me if I would like him to grow his hair long and I said no, that long hair was supposed to be for girls. Roseland’s dad had really long hair that he pulled back into a braid.

“The lasagnas still cooking in the oven, but it won’t be too long before we eat. Roseland why don’t you give the girls a tour our home and The Ghetto.” He kissed the top of her head and then walked back into the kitchen.

Roseland lead us to a room way in the back of the house and opened the door. The walls were covered of pictures of Michael Jackson, a picture of Ralph Macchio, and a small photo from the movie The Explorers with the only boy I’ll ever love, River Phoenix. As soon as Roseland shut the door to her room Wendy almost exploded like her brain must have been on fire the whole time we were talking to Roseland’s dad.

“You’re a half-breed too!”

Even though I totally knew that Wendy didn’t mean to say something bad, I knew she said something bad. I think Angel knew too because she didn’t say anything. In fact, all three of us were quiet while we stared at Wendy who was still grinning, but also looked confused.

“Why do you say such stupid things sometimes?” Asked Roseland angrily.

Wendy stammered a little. “I… I don’t know. I just thought, but I’m that too.”

“I’m not like you.” Said Roseland. “My parents are together. We’re a good family.”

I could tell that Roseland must have heard things like that a lot, maybe even more than Wendy.

“Go easy on her Roseland.” I said, “She doesn’t know any better. She’s not trying to be mean. It’s not her fault. You don’t know.”

“I know that is isn’t right to call someone that.” She said. She had her arms cross tightly in front of her chest.

“I didn’t mean it bad.” Said Wendy. Her eyes started to look wet like she was about to cry.

“Wendy,” I said placing my hands on her shoulders and looking into her face. “Do you like it when people call you that at school?”

She shook her head no.

“So Roseland isn’t going to like it either. Think before you just yell stuff out.”

“But I didn’t mean it like that. I wasn’t trying to be mean or stupid.” She said, almost crying. “I just was happy I wasn’t alone. I thought maybe because if we were both like that and you’re family so good that maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing and that all the kids at school were wrong about me, cause if your good and great than maybe that meant I was too. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m so stupid.” She turned toward the door. “I’ll go home. I’m sorry.”

“Stop. Stop.” Roseland ran after her. “It’s okay. I’m not mad.” Roseland grabbed her hand and smiled at her. “Sorry.” She hugged Wendy.

I sat down on Roseland’s bed and pulled at a tiny thread that was coming loose on her blanket. I didn’t know why the whole thing was making me feel uncomfortable. I wish I could stop Wendy before she talked sometimes, but Roseland seemed like she wasn’t mad anymore.

“Maybe it is a good thing.” Roseland said pulling away from Wendy and looking at her. “Like we’re special. Like we have super powers or something.”

Wendy smiled and wiped a tear from her cheek.

Angel had been standing in the corner watching all of us. She looked like she was kind of uncomfortable and kind of bored. She looked over my head to something on the wall.

“The Explorers.” She gasped. “I love that movie. River Phoenix is totally my favorite. Have you guys seen Stand by Me? That movie is so good. I totally fell in love with him in that movie. I’m going to marry him.”

Over my dead body. I thought. Now she was going to try and take my future boyfriend? No way.

“I have the movie on video if you guys ever want to come over and watch it some night. It’s totally, totally good.

NaNo Day 5- First Draft

Time: 1986
Current word count: 10,521

“I don’t know.” I whispered back.

“Listen, if you think you are takin’ a dig at me by sayin’ somethin’ about hippies you’re gonna have to try harder than that because that word doesn’t insult me.”

I almost grinned. Roseland was not about to let that Angel Rogers bully her. I was glad that Wendy wanted to talk to her and we had her on our side.

“Who said I was takin’ a dig?” Angel asked cooly. “I don’t give a crap if you find the word insulting or not. I just call things like I see ’em.” She tugged at the bow in her hair and tucked a few loose strands of her dark hair under her headband. “I happen to like to go down there in the summer to swim in the creek. My brothers and I are always playing down there. My brother Gunner likes to get his pot from some of the hippies that live around there. You ever smoke pot?”

“No.” Said Roseland with a snotty hint to her voice. “My mom doesn’t allow that.”

“That’s cool.” Said Angel and she pursed her lips together. “You must have a good mom.” Her eyes flashed over Wendy and me.

I felt heat rise in my face. I wanted Roseland to push her down so we could kick all the grass in her face.

“I do.” Said Roseland. “The best. I have the best mom in the world.”

I felt my heart sink a little at hearing Roseland say this. I wanted to have the best mom in the world. I wanted my mom. Best or worst I wanted my mom.

“Well, you’re lucky.” Angel said. Her face looked a little sad for a second, but it quickly changed as she moved onto a new subject. “Can I come over to your house too?”

No! I thought in my head no. No you can not come. Roseland doesn’t like you. Wendy doesn’t like you. People think you are a slut. Your family totally ruined my family. You’re not invited and not allowed.

“Yeah. Sure.” Roseland shrugged.

“What?” I couldn’t stop myself. Both Wendy and Roseland looked at me a little strange and I got that they didn’t understand why I wouldn’t want Angel around. How could they. “I mean… isn’t your mom going to get mad at you for bringing an extra person? I mean aren’t we having dinner?”

“I don’t have to eat.” Angel said.

“My mom doesn’t care. We’re a commune, so there’s always people coming over and sharing food, and eating stuff. We have a huge garden and goats.”

“You have goats!” Wendy nearly screamed.

“We’ll some of the people in the commune do, but they’re for everyone.”

“What’s a commune?” Wendy asked.

“It’s like when a bunch of different families live together and share everything, and take care of each other’s kids and stuff. And the adults play music and kids play together.” Roseland said.

“It sounds fund.” Wendy said.

“It kind of is, except I’m the oldest and most of the kids are babies so I have to watch them sometimes and the grown-ups are having more fun. I’d have fun but the oldest kid beside me is six and that’s just a baby. My brother is two years older, but he went to live with his dad.”

“She’s a vegetarian.” I said to Angel to try and get her to not want to come with us.

“What’s that?” She asked looking at me.

“I don’t eat meat.” Roseland said.

“You don’t eat meat?” Angel stared at Roseland with a confused look on her face. “Weird. But whatever.”

She was actually going to come with us. Angel Rogers the slut girl and person from the family that totally destroyed my family was going to come to dinner with my friends. What was she trying to do ruin my only friends’ lives too?

“Lemme put my book in my room and get my sweater. I’ll be right back.” She turned and ran toward her house the flat feet of her jellie shoes flashing neon green as she ran.

I turned to look at my friends. I had to end this right now. I could not allow Angel Rogers to invade our lives to ruin our reputations and our happiness. I had to tell them that she killed my family. Well she didn’t kill anyone, but I was sure that one of her brothers were responsible.

“I can’t believe the Angel Rogers wants to play with us!” Wendy nearly squealed.

“Who is she?” Asked Roseland.

“She’s totally popular.” Wendy began-

“Yeah, with the boys. Like all the boys.” I interrupted.

“True, but she’s so cool looking. She’s super pretty don’t you think?” Wendy looked in the direction of her house. “She the best dresser ever.” She sighed. “I totally wish I could have her clothes. I mean sixth graders never dress that cool. She’s like a high school dresser.”

“It’s just because she has older sisters.” I mumbled feeling a little jealous over Wendy’s adoration of my secret enemy.

“She does dress like Madonna.” Said Roseland with a shrug.

I was happy to see she was not as impressed.

“I know!” Wendy squealed again.

Angel came running back out holding her sweater in her hand.

“K. I’m ready.”

The four of us walked along the road. Wendy and Roseland walked on either side of Angel and asked her a ton of questions as I stayed behind them. I wasn’t really used to being the one that was in the back. When I had a lot of friends and was popular I was never in the back I was always the one that the kids wanted to talk to, and when I stopped having friends then I was just by myself leading and following. I was everything all at once. Then when Wendy became my friend it was like she was that Warner Brother’s cartoon where she was the little dog and I was Spike the bulldog. Then with Roseland it was still me in the center, but now… now this. I felt like these new friends were traitors. I kinda knew it wasn’t their fault how could they know what I felt or what had happened, but I couldn’t understand how they couldn’t see who she really was-she was a Rogers. A bad person, a slut, and trashy, and I secretly hated her. I hated that she was anywhere near me, and I hated that I loved her clothes.

“You have a brother?” Angel asked Roseland.


“So are your parents divorced?” She asked.

“No my parents are together. My brother has a different dad.” Roseland said.

“Me too!” Wendy yelled. She got easily excited. “My baby brother has a different dad too. I have two brothers. My older brother has the same dad as me. Well we don’t have a dad cause he’s dead, but my baby brother has a dad. I don’t like my baby brother.”

“Or his dad.” I muttered.

“I have brothers and sisters from different mom’s and dad’s too.” Angel said. “Only, my parents aren’t divorced.” She laughed a little which I thought was strange.

“What is the book you are reading?” Roseland asked.

“It’s called The Outsiders.”

“Wasn’t that a movie?” Wendy asked?

“Yeah, with the cutest boys ever. Matt Dillion. He’s super cute.” Said Angel.

“There were a lot of cute boys in the movie.” Said Wendy. “I didn’t know it was a book. Did you see that movie Brianna?”

“Yeah. Like a million times.” I mumbled.

“I’ve never seen it.” said Roseland.

“What?” Angel gasped. “How could you not see it. It’s like on cable all the time.”

“We don’t have a t.v. and I didn’t see it when it came out. I think my mom thought it was too violent. It’s about fighting right?”

“Kind of.” Said Angel. “I kind of think it might be about not fighting, but I was too stuck on watching the boys to think about it.”

“I cried.” Said Wendy. She curled her bottom lip under and shook her head at the memory of the scene in the movie where Johnny is in the hospital. I knew the scene. I had cried too.

“I’ve just started reading it. I’m only on the third chapter, but so far I really like it. The coolest part is that it’s a book about boys, you know teenage boys, and the main character, is fourteen so he’s like only two years older than us so like I can totally relate to some of the things, like the greasers and how their families are and stuff and being from the bad side of town and things like that, but the coolest part of it all is that it was written by a girl.”

“A girl?” Wendy asked.

“Yeah. A girl. A fifteen year old girl.” Angel said, nodding her head in that way when you’re so impressed you just nod your head.

“Fifteen?” I said out loud. “A girl?” I didn’t mean to be actually listening to her, but I had never heard of a girl writing a book before, especially a book about teenage boys. I mean if a girl who was only three years older than me could write a book then what could I do? What could we do?

“Isn’t that the coolest thing?” Said Angel.

“Wow.” Wendy looked dazed. “I wish I could do something like that.”

“What’s stopping you?” Asked Roseland. “Can you write?”

“Yeah.” Said Wendy shyly. “But, I can’t spell.”

“So what.” Said Angel. “Just write in your diary. You can write it like a book it doesn’t matter no one has to read it.”

“But, I’d want people to read it. Like they read The Outsiders.” She said sadly.

“We can read it.” I said, “And we don’t care about spelling.”

“Yeah. And maybe you can fix the bad spelling.” She clapped her hands together. “You guys are smart you can fix it.”

“Sure.” I said distracted.

I stopped following them. We were at the north gate of the Ridgeview cemetery. The three of them didn’t notice that I stopped and they continued walking a few feet before one of them turned around to look back at me. It was Roseland. She paused and stared at my face for a second before the other two stopped to turn and look at me.

“What’s the matter?” Wendy asked.

“Nothing.” My voice came out in a whisper and it sounded scratchy and tight like I had a sore throat. I couldn’t really think. I couldn’t move. They were in there both of them rotting. They were not mine anymore they were nothing they were dead. I hated them I hated the both of them rotting and stinking and filling up with air till they popped and splattered all over the fake silk material. My brother’s black material my mother’s white. How long before they were bones? Would it be a race? Did the young rot faster? Did the way a person die make them decompose faster. Would they have bugs and worms on them? Why’d we put them in those caskets? Why did we put them in this ground? Why couldn’t we have put them in the woods far away. Somewhere that I didn’t have to cut through in order to go to a friend’s? Why did he leave too?

I felt a hand on my arm. I looked up I didn’t know where I was, but I was looking into someone’s dark brown eyes. It took a minute for me to focus on the face. It was Angel.

“Are you okay?” Her voice was soft. “Is it because of your brother?” She whispered.

She knew. She knew he was here. Of course she knew. I remembered her now. I remembered seeing her all in black standing around his casket as they said empty prayers, and dropped dirt and flowers on his casket as my mother fell to the ground crying and my father tried to pick pull her up by her shoulders. Angel was there watching. She was there because it was her family’s fault. Her brother, who was alive and doing stupid things, her brother.

I threw her hand off my arm. “You don’t fucking know anything.” I yelled and then I stormed through the cemetery like I was a soldier.

I could feel them staring at me, but I didn’t care. If they wanted to be friends with her I didn’t care. I didn’t need anyone. I could be alone. I didn’t need them or her or him or anyone. I heard the sound of running behind me. All three of them ran till they caught up with me and then they fell back and walked in silence as we made our way to the other side of the cemetery. This time I was the leader. This was my war.