Saturday Story Starter

May 28th, 2016

Howdy, fellow writers!

It’s high time for a new story starter, wouldn’t you say? How about we kick off Memorial Day weekend with a new one?

For those of you who haven’t participated before, Saturday Story Starter is purely for fun, just a way to exercise those writing muscles (think of it as Heather’s Literary Gym). There are no prizes, only the simple joy of putting words on paper (well, OK, on the computer screen). Also, I won’t be offering critiques, just brief words of encouragement, but I will read all your entries, that I can promise! (And if you’d like to read some of the earlier stories that have been shared, click here and click here and click here and here and click here and here and click here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here to browse to your heart’s content…)

Let’s get started, shall we?

LOVE

Now this is intriguing, isn’t it? Someone took a lot of time and put a lot of effort into gathering the elements for this sign and then putting it together. Who do you think did it? Who do you think were they hoping would read it? Was it ever discovered and read? What happened then?

You’re the writer, so these decisions are yours to make. Set the scene and tell us a story…

Ready, set, WRITE!

52 Responses to “Saturday Story Starter”

  1. Emily says:

    I have been sobbing for days now. My dad let me take the rest of the week of school off, since all we are doing are end of the year parties. He is doing the same with work, I’m not sure whose coping worse. I don’t even care I am missing some stupid ice cream sundae bar, or a chinese buffet, I would much rather have my mom back. She has been fighting against breast cancer for more than a year now. But she lost.
    Whenever I calm myself down, memories of my mom come flooding back into my brain, and I just start to break down all over again.
    “Hey Mary”, my dad called, “Do you think you can muster going to get the mail?”
    “Yeah, sure.” I reply, I haven’t stood up for hours. Only to use the bathroom or to get food or water. I open the mailbox to find a bunch of letters, and a magazine from mom’s subscription.
    ‘No Mary,’ I think, ‘You are not going to cry.’
    I lost that fight too.
    I dropped off the letters to dad and brought the magazine back with me to my room. When I plopped it on my bed, a note fell out. It was one of those cards you fill out that the magazine puts in there if you want a subscription to it. I noticed writing on it.
    ‘Hi sweetie. This is your mother. I know that I have died from cancer, and I am so sorry that I can’t be with you anymore. We can’t make anymore memories, but I will always be watching you doing everything you do. I left one surprise for you at the at the old lake. I will always love you, Mommy.’
    After I calmed myself backup, I yelled to dad I was going to get some fresh air. I go my bike, and rode to the lake. I dropped it off against a big willow tree, and walked the 10 steps to the water’s edge. The water reflected my reflection back to it. I looked just like my mom. We both have long, wavy brown hair, and bright hazel eyes. She was so beautiful, IS so beautiful. I went to sit on the fat rock, where I used to sit on my mom’s lap, and I felt so soothed with her leg rocking me. I just wish we could do that one more time. But we couldn’t. There was a message on the rock. There was just one word, LOVE. One simple word that is so powerful. I already knew what mom was trying to tell me. She is always going to be watching me make different kinds of memories, ones that she couldn’t see if she was still here. When I got home, I sat down in our driveway and looked up in the sky.
    “I love you mom. I always will.”
    Then my dad walked out of the house to join me. I could just picture my mom watching us and saying, “I love you too”

  2. Maddy says:

    I glanced up at the clock. Only ten more minutes until I can leave work. I made my last copies and checked my email one last time. It was Friday, and I was going out with Josh, my boyfriend. It was my 25th birthday. I met Josh at a fancy restaurant.

    “Hey,” he said.
    “Hi,” I smiled at him. I’m so glad he’s free today. He was a fire fighter, dangerous job, but I admired him for helping so many people.

    It was lovely dinner and he treated me to my favorite dessert, chocolate cake.

    Afterwards, we took a walk through the park. It was almost dusk and the sunset was a beautiful vivd pink in the sky. The air was warm, and it was slightly breezy, the perfect birthday and the perfect evening.

    I must have been walking fast because Josh told me to slow down. He grinned. Then, he took my hand and led me to the left.

    I saw a large rock decorated with sticks and stones. It read “I love you.”

    “Awww,” I said. “Someone must have spent time making it for a special someone.”

    “Hmmm,” he replied, and when I turned around, Josh was on one knee. I gasped. He pulled a black box out of his pocket. It opened, displaying a sparkling ring.

    My heart raced.

    “Will…you marry me, Jade?”

    “Yes, yes yes!” I said. “Of course.”

    I got up to hug him and we laughed and cried. It was the most magical evening.

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

  3. Riley says:

    The year was 1914. Annie Jackson, a tall, lanky, 17-year-old, was sitting by herself underneath a tall oak tree on William Smith, her lover’s, property.

    “Ugh,” Annie complained, puffing out her breath, sending her dark bangs a-flying. “Will he EVER get here?”

    The couple had planned three different picnics, this being the third. Both times, William was a no-show, using excuses (the first time, that he had a forgotten-about doctor’s appointment, the second time, that he had a bad head cold) that Annie suspected were untrue. Did William really love her at all?

    After waiting for the former for a half-hour, Annie surveyed the feast spread out before her on a red and white checker blanket. She decided to eat – after all, why wait for William when he wasn’t coming?

    “Tough luck, eh?” Asked Mr. Myra, the gardener, as he passed by Annie.

    “Sure is,” the girl complained. “A no-show! Again!”

    “Sorry, duck,” the old man said. Mr. Myra was from England, and the first time he had called Annie “duck” she thought it an offense – until he explained it was just a term of endearment.

    After Mr. Myra had passed and Annie had eaten her fill, she decided to go for a walk.

    Jim, a sweet Spaniel belonging to William, found her in the gardens. “Hi, Jim,” Annie said, bending down to pet the sweet boy. “Come on!”

    Dog and girl raced each other through the gardens, until Annie, out of breath, plopped down on a green metal bench.

    Annie gazed around the gardens, in full bloom. The roses smelled so fragrant, Annie was tempted to reach out, pluck one, and see if it tasted good.

    Annie’s eyes settled on a sign, fashioned out of wood and rocks, that proclaimed “love.”

    “Ha!” She laughed. “He does really love me after all.”

  4. Bella says:

    I love your writing so much!!! And the Mother-Daughter Book Club my favorite series ever (my actual #1 book ranking (:–not kidding)!! I finished the Mother-Daughter Book Camp within 1.5 days–it was so goood!!!! And this is really long–sorry about that 🙂

    The boy walked around the forest, alone and confused. “How-and the… What?” he mumbled to no one in particular. “Mom?” he called out. He tried to see if his cell had gained any coverage in the past five minutes. Nothing. “Dad?” No response. He sat on a large rock, tears welling up in his eyes. How great. His first day on a vacation and he gets lost in a forest. Why him? Why now? His family was probably off looking at tree roots by now. Or walking across a bridge that swoops over a river. Or maybe it’d been so long they were already at an ice cream shop outside of the park! He shrugged it off, not wanting to freak himself out too much.
    He scrolled through his phone, deleting some old photos so he’d have more storage space for new ones. His thumb came to land on his favorite photo, one he hadn’t seen in a long time. It was his birthday, his family posing in front of the Universal Studios globe. Everyone was smiling and laughing, and his brother was so small his head didn’t even reach the boy’s waist! The boy sighed. He missed his family. The way his mom would always stroke his hair when he wasn’t happy, or when his dad gave him high fives after every test–even the ones he failed. Or when his older sister laughed so hard she had tears in her eyes. Or his little brother, who never failed to make him smile. A tear rolled down the boy’s cheek and onto the rock where he perched. The salty liquid dissolved into the rock, disappearing from view. The boy shook his head and collected himself. He wiped off his face, jumped up, and began to search.

    Bethany hid behind the rest of the group, hoping to blend into the background as usual. The tour guide continued to talk about redwoods, so she wandered off a bit. Hours of trees can get to your head. “Come along now, girls!” her Girl Scout group’s leader screeched, clapping her hands together in a way Bethany assumed had disturbed the wildlife. She adjusted her glasses, the sweat making them slip, just as her book was doing the same from her firm grasp. Other girls had little duct tape bags and camping gear, but she brought her book. And a flashlight. And, of course, her handy dandy bug repellent. You always need that.
    The tour guide went on to talk about the tree’s leaves, so Bethany explored a little bit. She‘d always wondered about the people in the trails before her, what they’d left behind to show their existence. Like dogs when they go to the bathroom… But, less disgusting. Bethany shivered at the thought. Sometimes, she found old trash. And others, like at the beach, she found notes in the ground. Even if they weren’t meant for her, she treasured them. People had tried to get in touch with other people they didn’t know. Bethany was such an outsider, that was all she needed. Just some comfort or laughs every once in awhile. Or snow angels, just to show that at least someone had a good day.

    He found eight sticks, two flowers, and 28 rocks. Well, obviously he found more than that but he only kept the good ones. The boy had decided to keep himself busy until night, when he guessed he’d have to scour for food. His phone had almost died, but he decided to keep it alive in case he was somehow able to receive a call from someone.
    The boy didn’t know who he was making this for, but he did it anyway. He loved his family, and that seemed to be the word of the day, so that’s what he spelled out, right on the big rock. This was a problem since this also was his seat, but he made it work. The boy was one clever kid.
    He smiled. He always took a liking to seeing other’s remains. It was like a story, something you could always imagine and wonder about for forever. He pulled out his phone and took a picture of the word to show her when he saw her again. If he saw her again. His phone died, leaving him totally alone. The only sound was the bird in the trees, and the boy was afraid of birds.
    Suddenly, a helicopter flew overhead, and he knew he was saved. But the helicopter didn’t land. It flew over him a couple times in circles, and then back to where it came from. Tears started pouring down his face. He knew he was never going to be rescued now!
    Minutes later, a strong-looking man appeared next to him. “Who are you?” He questioned in a deep voice. His beard looked scratchy. The boy told him his name, and the security guy called out to the middle of nowhere, “Ma’am? We’ve got your son.” Suddenly the boy’s whole family popped into the circle. The boy was grinning ear to ear as he hugged his mom. He showed her the word on the rock. She thought it was a present for her, but the boy corrected her.
    “No, ma. It’s a present for the world.”


    Bethany could immediately tell that something was different about this spot. The trees carved outwards and a big round circle of space was carved out around a big rock. She had wandered so far away from her troop she couldn’t even hear the tour guide drone on in his monotone voice. Clutching her book in one hand, she hoisted herself up onto the rock. A sharp jab of pain shot up her leg. Jumping off the rock, she didn’t see the expected pine needles. Instead, a grouping of rocks and sticks lay there in some orderly fashion. They seemed to make out… a word? Bethany straightened out a few of the sticks so they’d connect, and backed up, admiring her work. On the big rock, the sticks and stones spelled out the word “Love”. Instantly, Bethany felt better. She didn’t know who put that there, but it was all she needed. She never felt love, btu someone had enough care for a random stranger–outsider–, like her, to do that. Her little story-filled brain set to work on what type of mysterious person could’ve left that there.
    Maybe a sweet little girl wrote it for her mother as a thank you for a cookie. Bethany hoped not. She wanted the word to be meant for her, or at least a complete stranger. Maybe a girl as mean as Jessica, a bully at her school, left it for her dad. That would be nice. If Jessica ever did something nice like that, Bethany would let it slide that the word wasn’t for her. Bethany shrugged it off and opened her book. It was back to the world of The Mother-Daughter Book Club for her. She was just settling back into a peaceful book club meeting when an alarm startled her. “BETHANY JOHNSON. BETHANY JOHNSON. PLEASE REPORT TO THE MAIN OFFICE IMMEDIATELY. PLEASE REPORT TO THE MAIN OFFICE IMMEDIATELY.” Alarmed and confused, Bethany jumped up and tried to find the nearest trail. But she couldn’t! There was no way out of this circle! She started to cry. She was never going to see her friends again. She’d be stuck here forever! Forget about her family, her Girl Scout troop, the tour guide. She wouldn’t see any of them ever again! She might as well be dead.
    Tears poured down Bethany’s face as she spotted the rock again. “Love.” she said aloud. Bethany realized that she should stay calm. The security would be here soon. All she needed was faith and courage that she wouldn’t get eaten by a rabbit. Seems simple enough.
    “BETHANY!” The Girl Scout leader burst through the trees, relief flooding her face. Bethany had never been happier to see that woman in her whole life. SHe rushed up and hugged her leader, who hugged her right back. When they started to leave, Bethany ran back to the rock, gave it a hug, and said, “I’ll never forget you, stranger.”

    • heathervogelfrederick says:

      Bella, this is great! I love the way you intertwined two different stories! Well done! 🙂

  5. Mary says:

    I have a quick question, Heather…
    One the events page, it says Hadley is the last chance to get live autographs…aren’t you traveling more?

    Thanks! I’ll start my story…

  6. Rose Ninja says:

    “Hey, I miss you, call me.” Here we have an 18 year old boy in his dorm kitchen. He has royally screwed up. A little under a week ago, he accidently kissed his girlfriend’s twin sister. He feels really bad and hates it, but while he tries to call his girlfriend (hopefully), the twin is calling *him* with love notes. It all happened because of a date, roller rink, dark strobe, wrong place wrong time, and it ended with nachos on some boy’s head. He planned it all out. His girlfriend loved hiking while her sister did not. And so, while seeing one of the girls out one day, not knowing who it was, he asked, “Would it be alright if I planned a hiking trip to help mend the rift between us?” She stared at him for a moment. “Of course I want to go hiking with you! Saturday, noon? Mystic falls?” This was definitely his girlfriend. Only she would know so much about hiking trails! So on that Saturday, and hour before, he rummaged around the forest to set up his nature filled passion. And down she came. “Hey! I have something to say. I, you.” She had a bewildered look on her face until she saw the assortment of nature. Then she kissed him. “Ah!” She laughed happily. “Finally gotten over my dumb ‘ole sister eh? Time you two broke up anyways.” And he looked at her suddenly. This was not his girlfriend. “I the to hike, but not with you.” And as she started off, it took all him control to not scream, ‘C’mon! I don’t, you, I, you sister!’

  7. Chloe says:

    It must have been a sign. First the flowers, and then the big, bold letters that spoke to Violet with mysterious intensity. Could it be possible that her father could actually be coming home?
    LOVE was spelled out using mishapen sticks and pebbles on Violet’s thinking rock. Ever since she was five, she had decided that the most ideal place to ponder about any troubles in her life was sitting on a smooth rock near the neverending, lulling movement of the nearby river. Her father, a thoughtful man, had sat with Violet on the thinking rock for many hours, both of the gears in their minds twisting and turning at a rapid pace. Some days they would write out words using natural elements they found around the thinking rock. The last word they wrote was GONE.
    And that’s what Violet’s father was. Gone. And each week, he was leaving hints to his existence. Violet hung onto the shread of hope that he would come back.
    Each clue (the tulips, the word LOVE spelled out on her thinking rock) raised many questions. Where was her father? Why wasn’t he visiting Violet yet? What was the point of all the clues? Would he actually come back home?
    And would he stay home?

    • heathervogelfrederick says:

      Ooo, a mystery! Love it, Chloe! And I like the way you’ve linked it to the last storystarter. Well done!

    • Anna says:

      I like your story, Chloe! I want to know what happens! You should continue it on with the next SSS and maybe have her father leave clues with each picture! Good job1

  8. Ems says:

    It just makes me feel like my relationship right now. I love him, but its like its hidden, and you can only see it if you look close enough. But, I know that he doesn’t like me in the same way…

  9. Natalie says:

    This was an anniversary gift from a husband to his wife. He chose to make it out of seashells because the beach was where they had their first date, and where he proposed to her. When she saw it she was overcome by emotion, and joy. And a little while later he saw that she too had made a message out of seashells, but this one had a different message: FOREVER. And since then seashell messages have always been a special tradition between them. The end.

  10. Lexi says:

    I believe it was a complete utter stranger who just wanted to show that all we need in the world is love. This person wanted on-goers to see that there is more to life just than money and looks. Very many people saw this work of art and realized they need to change the way they spoke or acted to their spouse or anyone in general!
    ~Lexi~

  11. Sabina says:

    Can you PLEASE do a fan mail friday soon? They are my FAVORITE!

  12. Emily says:

    Rachel Elizabeth is awakened by the usual monotonous banging outside. ‘It’s just the construction’ she tries to tell herself, only for reality to sweep into her like one big brick and say ‘it’s been over a year of banging every morning.’ A year ago, her next door neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, had simply said,
    “We’ll be having some construction done on our house,” and left the next morning without a trace. But the house still remains, construction happening daily. Although nothing from a year ago when the Johnson’s left has changed on the house, Rachel Elizabeth’s step-parents continuously tell her,
    “Major construction, just some major construction.” She tries to forget about it, but the peculiarness of it can’t seem to leave her mind.
    In a daze of though Rachel Elizabeth gets dressed and runs downstairs for breakfast. She finds a seat at the wooden table and begins shoving the cheerios mixed in with milk into her mouth. With her bag swung around her shoulder, she walks out of the house and towards the Johnson’s former house. A few construction men were sitting on the stone wall lining the front lawn. Rachel Elizabeth says,
    “Sure some construction going on.” Barely paying any attention to her, they nod.
    “How long have you been working on this house?” she asks. The construction men continue talking, either ignoring her or not having heard her. A bit louder she repeats,
    “How long have you been working on this house?”
    “About a year,” one of them replies.
    “Why so long?” Rachel Elizabeth asks. Not wanting to come across as demanding she finishes with, “just wondering, you’ve been working on it for so long.”
    “Yeah, quite a bit going on,” another replies. Rachel Elizabeth inquisitively nods and says,
    “Best be on my way.” They nod in response.
    Instead of following her usual route, she turns to the back of the house, out of the construction men’s sight. She finds her way towards the back yard where instead of green grass there’s a gaping hole in the ground. She bends down to get a further look only to trip and fall down the hole. The fall only being a second, Rachel Elizabeth lands onto a dirt path with a small ‘plump’. The halls being lit with lanterns, Rachel Elizabeth walks down the path to find the word love spelled out in sticks and stones.
    “Pretty neat, huh?” spoke a startling voice. Rachel Elizabeth found the silohette of a figure nearing her. As the figure got increasingly closer, Rachel Elizabeth made out a tall and lanky man.
    “Yeah, pretty cool,” she responded. The man chuckled and said,
    “Been working on this a long time, almost a year.”
    “A hole in the ground, that’s what you’ve been constructing for a year?” Rachel Elizabeth exclaims almost angrily. A year of construction for some silly hole!
    “It’s not the hole, it’s the word,” the man says.
    “It’s a bunch of sticks and stones,” Rachel Elizabeth yelled. For she did not understand love. She never truly experience it. Her real parents died when she was young, and was adopted by two people that gave her basic necessities, but never showed her affection.
    “That word means more than your whole life,” the man calmly responds. Now aggravated Rachel Elizabeth yells,
    “It’s a word! So what!”
    “Calm down, love. Let love seep inside of you, into your heart, your soul, everywhere. Appreciate it, you can love, some can’t. Love means so much, more than most,” the man speaks. Rachel Elizabeth takes a deep breath and attempts at analyzing love. It’s a word, a feeling, has four letters-
    “Now don’t think too hard about it, love doesn’t involve too much thinking, don’t hurt your mind now.” Love, Rachel Elizabeth repeats. How could a four letter word hold so much meaning? It’s because it’s love, the concept of love goes much deeper than anything, she must love, appreciate, and most importantly, be happy.

    (I know this isn’t Saturday, but I didn’t check until today, Thursday, so I decided to post today. At the end of my story, I know I didn’t explain a lot and I simply couldn’t think of what to write so I rambled a lot, sorry for that!

    • heathervogelfrederick says:

      SUCH an intriguing idea — and ha ha about rambling at the end — all writers do that with first drafts. It takes work to tie things up neatly with a bow! Keep going! Well done! 🙂

    • Chloe says:

      This is so good!!! I love how you made her fall into a hole

  13. Gwyneth says:

    Yay for more Saturday Story Starters! This one got really long though, whoops…

    x-x-x

    The sun was high in the sky by the time Dylan emerged from the forest and crouched behind his rock, wiping the dirt off of his nose and rubbing at a scratch he had received from a run-in with a particularly thorny bush further down the trail. It was hard and sometimes dangerous work being the Supreme Ruler of the Forest and doing its daily patrols, but Dylan took pride in the title and found joy in his duties, thankless as they usually were.
    He settled back into the dirt and peeked around the edge of the rock. It was large and was the favorite spot for picnics, sitting, or just about anything in the park; but it was also imposing and sturdy and so Dylan secretly considered it “his” rock. It was his castle, and his throne, and beneath in, in a small hole he’d dug, he kept his impressive collection of sticks and rocks, accumulated over many sunny afternoons in his local park.
    There was a decent amount of people today; Dylan was watching them go when a tell-tale ringing of bells and upbeat music hit his ears. It was the ice cream truck, on its daily summer run, and as he listened to it, his stomach grumbled so loudly he was pretty sure the grandma on the bench adjacent to him jumped, even without her hearing aids.
    All Dylan wanted, and all he had ever wanted, was something from that ice cream truck. Every time it came by children would line up, dragging their parents with them, and return with rocket pops and Italian ices and double-scoop chocolate cones. And every time, Dylan would watch them enviously, from his rock. His mom would yell if he asked, he was sure; and his father would spew ash at him, like a dragon burning down a village with its firey breath. So all he could do was watch, even though he was hungry, even though he’d just eaten the last Pop-Tart and the pantry was dusty and dark and full of spiderwebs. But Dylan’s stomach lurched as he remembered the time he’d tried eating something that didn’t belong to him, found on the ground of the park, and how he’d cried and writhed and Mom had been so, so mad. He’d just have to wait.
    He flounced back against his rock, closed his eyes, and imagined all the monsters he’d fought that day, tracing over his dirt stains and scratches with triumph in an attempt to make himself feel better. He paused over the scratch given to him by the thorn bushes; right below it was a large bruise, blooming red and blue. It was one of his greater battles, one that belonged with the burn mark on his temple, and his finger that looked funny because of the way it healed after it’d been twisted too hard. These were his greatest battles, made even more so by the fact that they were fought right outside of his bedroom door.

    x-x-x

    Lee Ann was a simple woman. She didn’t have too many desires or objections in life, and wherever the tide took her, she followed. So when her boss told her she’d be transferring to a new job in the city, she’d done so without a single complaint. And when she discovered that her apartment didn’t actually have a rooftop garden, she’d shrugged and started walking. And when she found herself sitting on a rock in a local park while a six-year old boy stared at her from behind said rock, she did the only thing she could think of, and smiled.
    She thought that’d be the last of it, as she sipped her coffee and watched the birds fly through the trees while a group of children kicked a soccer ball in the distance, but only moments later there was the sound of scrabbling, and the boy was seated next to her.
    “This is my rock,” he proclaimed. “But I guess you can sit here.”
    “Oh,” Lee Ann replied. She paused, watching the sun filter its golden rays through the tree and the boy’s hair. There was dirt all over his face. “Well, thank you.”
    “You’re welcome!” he said. “What’s your name?”
    “I’m Lee Ann,” she replied, not even to get another word in before the boy, who introduced himself as Dylan, launched into a tirade about the forest and how he was its ruler… or something. Lee Ann smiled mildly and tried to figure out where this boy’s parents were, and if it was commonplace for him to approach random strangers and speak to them.
    She wasn’t very good with children. She was an only child, after all.
    “So, Dylan, where are your parents?” she asked after he paused for breath and she had nodded and smiled her way through his explanations. He finally looked away at this question, before jerking his thumb in a vague direction.
    “I live over there,” he said, “And I walk here every day! Come talk to me tomorrow, ok?”
    And because Lee Ann just went with the flow, she did.

    x-x-x
    Talking to Dylan soon became a regular thing; after work, Lee Ann wanted fresh air and coffee, and almost unfailingly, Dylan was there, behind the rock, waiting for her.
    He would talk to her, ask her questions, and it was almost startling to have someone care so much about her opinion, moreso if it was a six year old boy with eyes so wide she felt like they could see right through her and to the forest beyond. He would show her his favorite spots in the park, and go through her purse; once he had a taste of her coffee and spat it out immediately, spending almost a full ten minutes rinsing at the water fountain.
    For awhile he stared at her work documents, squinting at the words; “What does this say?” he’d asked, making Lee Ann read it to him, even though it was highly boring company reports.
    “You know, when you’ll go to school, you’ll learn how to read.” she’d told him. He simply stared at her, brow furrowed.
    “School’s not for a long time,” he said, and she believed him, because what did a childless woman know about elementary school schedules?
    “In the mean time, you can practice at the library,” Lee Ann suggested. “Or read books you have at home!”
    “I don’t know if we have any books at home…” Dylan said, and Lee Ann could tell he’d never thought about it or even looked, and he was never at home anyway, she’d noticed. He was too scrawny and dirty and wore his bruised jaw and wrist like battle scars, and she knew she should do something but at the same time she couldn’t, and didn’t know how, so instead she gave Dylan her library card and smiled.

    x-x-x

    Some days later, Lee Ann arrived at the rock as usual and nearly sat down before she noticed something out of place. Or, rather, many things out of place. Spread all over the surface of the rock (to the other parkgoers’ chagrin, she’d imagine) were a variety of rocks and sticks; but more than that, she recognized them as Dylan’s rocks and sticks.
    At first she thought it was a random arrangement, but upon closer look Lee Ann could see, through shaky rendering, the letters L-O-V-E placed onto the rock, forming the word…
    She remembered how much Dylan had loved the library, when she told him about it; she’d actually been worried when he didn’t show up for a few days, but he came back and told her about all the books he found and all the letters he was learning and how every Tuesday and Friday the librarian had story time for all the children who came in.
    Lee Ann raised her head. “Thank you,” she called into the woods. Not a response came, but she heard the rustling of leaves and the sound of feet scampering through the undergrowth.
    And in that moment, Lee Ann was hopeful– and she knew what she had to do.
    She sat down against the rock, careful not to disturb the message, pulled out her laptop, sipped her coffee, and began the first step of writing a happy ending for the two of them.

  14. Lexi says:

    It’s me again! I hope you can do another one of these again soon! I really love doing it! I love your books!! 🙂

  15. Isabella says:

    “Well, is this it?” Mrs. Lewis looks down at the crumpled dollar bills and coins. “I would’ve thought more people would’ve been interested in our fundraiser.”
    Beside me, I see my best friend, Sierra biting her lower lip. “Is it enough?” she asks.
    “Mmmmm, I’m afraid not.” Mrs. Lewis replies concerned. I sit on the nearest bench next to me and place my chin on my hand.
    “There has to be a way we can all do this!” I say. Losing the animal shelter will by far be my greatest lost.
    “What will we do with the animals if we have to close down?” Sierra asks.
    “Well, we’ll have to put them to sleep.”
    Sierra’s eyes fill with tears. My are starting to well-up as well.
    “Don’t take it so hard sweetie, all animals have to go eventually.” Mrs. Lewis takes a sip out of her water bottle.
    “Riley, will your parents let you keep any more cats, or dogs, or anything?” Sierra asks hopefully.
    “No, I already asked.” I shake my head in disappointment.
    “I think we’ll all call it a day. I’ll see you all tomorrow at ten, and we can get brainstorming. ‘K?”
    Sierra and I both nod and heads and walk out the door.
    “We just have to do something!” I blurt out. “I couldn’t bare to see Mr. Higgins, or Charlotte and Jenna, or any other pet go!”
    “I know. I can’t either.” Sierra sighs.
    “I’ll see you tomorrow, I guess,” I shrug my shoulders and droop off and grab my bike off the rack.
    When I get home, I park my bike in the shed and open the door quietly. The last thing I want is my parents seeing that I’ve been crying.
    “Hey, Riley!” I nearly jump out of my skin when I abruptly turn around to see my little bother, Logan sticking a lollypop into his mouth.
    “Oh, hey.” I reply flatly.
    “Have you been crying?” he gives me a sidelong glance.
    “Uh…allergies.”
    “Okay. Do you need any medicine?”
    “No. I’m fine,” I shake my head. Four-year-olds can be really cute.
    I start walking up the stairs and I bump into mom.
    “Hey sweetie! What’s wrong?” She asks.
    “Riley has allergies,” Logan says. “And I think she needs medicine.”
    “Is it the animal shelter again?”
    I look down at my shoes. “Yes.” I whisper.
    “How many horses do you have there?” Mom asks.
    “Um, two…why?”
    “I think I have an idea.”
    Twenty minutes later, I’m in the kitchen baking brownies, cookies and cupcakes while mom is on the phone talking to Mrs. Lewis.
    “Uh-huh…..No……Of course!…….*laughs*…..” Mom is a smooth criminal on the phone. “Thank you. See you tomorrow at eight!”
    Eight rolls around.
    All I can think right now is I LOVE my mom. Overnight, we created flyers and hung them up all around town and at everyone’s door. It took forever, but it’s sure going to be worth it. Right now, mom brought some leftover party streamers from Logan’s birthday last month and we’re decorating the front of the animal shelter.
    We’re having a little fair in the shelter. We’re doing horse rides, and we’re selling baked goods and lemonade. We’re also giving people a tour of shelter to let people know what we’re trying to save, and we have a drop box for donations. All money will help save this shelter. And I hope this works.
    “Mom! How will this work? What if people don’t come?”
    “Love is the only way, dear.” She replies.
    I go over to a rock and write LOVE with scraps of nature I find. Then I get a piece of paper from the desk and write, PLEASE LOVE THESE ANIMALS FOR US!
    Hours pass, and we’re all waiting for the count of the money.
    “We’ve raised over 500 dollars!” My mother exclaims.
    The whole shelter erupts in cheers. “And how many animals did people adopt?” I ask.
    “Enough to keep this shelter going for a long while,” Mrs. Lewis replies.
    I smile.
    “I think it was the rock Riley made,” Sierra says.
    Mom winks at me and we all head home.

  16. Natalie says:

    Hi again, here is another story by me………
    Is I sat there on the rock crying I started to think if this was the right choice. One half of my brain said to go along with the original plan: run away. But the other half kept reminding me why is was here: it all started a week ago when I came home from school. It wasn’t the best day of school in my life, I wasn’t focusing because the thought of my parents getting divorced was swimming though my mind. And the situation when I got home didn’t make my life any better. Both of my parents were in the kitchen arguing about something, I wasn’t that surprised because they have been arguing a lot these past few months. But I was surprised when I heard what they were arguing about, they were arguing about ME!!! They had already signed the divorce papers, and now they were trying to decide who got me. My dad was the first to see me, and I wish now that I had just snuck upstairs. Because when he saw me he grabbed me, my suitcase( I guess that they packed it for when it hey decided who I would go with.) And put me in the backseat of his car and drove away, I would have been in tears right then if I hadn’t been so shocked. I didn’t have a clue where we were going, but soon I realized that we were in the rich part of Los Angelas, I had only been here once because it was bring your kid to work day; and by dad brought me to his office. But instead of going to his office, he drove to these fancy apartment buildings. I carried my suitcase as I followed him up the stairs to room 102, there were two bedroom, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, and a living room. Then for the first time since he put me in the car my dad spoke, and said, ” Now, this is your new house, and you will live with me. I had hired a governess to look over you, and to teach you since you won’t be going to school. From 5am to 9pm I’m at work, don’t bother me, or call me unles it is an emergency.” Then he left and my governess whose name was Mary, lead me to my room and helped me get unpacked. Mary, was a young girl, probably 21 or 22, her hair was an astonishing red, and had bright green eyes. She was as slender as a ballerina, and as beautiful as a model. As we were unpacking I realized that today was my 13th birthday! And both my mother and father forgot. Right then and there I started to cry, then I told the whole story to Mary, my parents, the divorce, being brought here, and that everyone forgot my birthday. Mary comforted me, and asked what was my favorite food, I was about to tell her when she said, ” who is this?” In her hand she held a picture of my boyfriend, me and my best friend at the yearly fair. ” Nobody.” I lied, then I told her that pizza was my favorite food. After dinner I sat looking out the window, there I had the idea to run away, away from my dad, away, from the pain. So I repacked my suitcase, and after Mary had left for the day opened the door, walked down the staircase, and out into the street. The rich part of the city was right on the ocean, and so I decided to go to the beach it was deserted and so I sat on a rock and cried and thought about what to do. Go back to my dad, go to my mom? Suddenly my phone started to buzz, I had two messages, the first was from dad and he wasn’t happy: WHERE ARE YOU?!?!I TOLD YOU THAT THIS IS YOUR HOME, YOU LIVE WITH ME, YOU ARE TO COME HOME RIGHT NOW!!!!!! The next ,estate was from mom: HEY SWEETIE, HOW ARE YOU? I KNOW THAT YOU PROBABLY ARE CONFUSED, I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW TWO THINGS, ONE THAT YOUR DAD TOOK YOU ILLEGALLY AND THAT WE HAVE TO BRING THIS MATTER TO COURT, AND THAT THE COURT HAD DECIDED WHEN WE SIGNED THE PAPAERS THAT YOU WOULD LIVE WITH ME. BUT YOUR DAD WASN’T TOO HAPPY WITH THAT. LOVE YOU, ADN HAPPY BIRHTDAY. MOM. I didn’t know what to do, so I took a walk down the beach, and something caught my eye, it was a rock but there was something on it written in seashells was the word LOVE. And that word made all the difference, I wore replies to my mom saying that I would call a taxi and come home, and to my dad I said that I belong to my mom, not to him. And now my mom and I live happily ever after. The End.

  17. Anna says:

    ——1 year earlier—–
    “Ben, what are you doing?” I giggled. He led me along the beach with my eyes shut tight by a blindfold.
    “Shhhhh!” Ben was saying the whole time. “It’s a surprise!” Soon, we slowed to a stop. He pulled off the blindfold, and there, right before my eyes, was… our rock? I curiously stepped closer, and there I noticed a message written with seashells, sticks, and lava rock.
    JOY.
    Every week, a new message appeared, waiting for me on the rock. “Peace” said one. “hope, you are beautiful.” read another. Each time I saw the kind notes, they brought a smile to my face. But there was one thing missing: the word LOVE.
    Every time a new message was there, I glanced hopefully. But love was never there. What had I done wrong? Did I not deserve Ben’s love?
    ——Present Day———-
    If only I could see him one last time. If only I could tell him that I loved him. If only I could tell him that I knew he was the one.
    Ben had had cancer for his whole life. We thought it was in remission. I guess not. That last day I saw him, one week ago, us sitting together on our rock, it never seemed like he might have known that it was his last time to look into my eyes, his last time to hold my hand. My last time to be with him.
    But now he’s gone.
    Forever.
    I have to go back. I have to go back to the last place I saw him, with this final glimmer of hope that he might be there smiling just for me. But he’s not. One thing is, though… the word LOVE.

  18. Chloe says:

    This is amazing!!!

  19. A Hidden Message

    Jane’s P.O.V
    I ran nervously across the freshly cut lawn. I was six minutes shy away from receiving my first tardy of the year. All my life, I wanted to prove I was a perfect role model just like my mom, Headmistress Godmother. I used to be very insecure about my looks but now I wore my silky black hair long and loose or with a headband. I was done wearing the silly bows my mom made me wear back when she paid attention to that sort of thing. I tried desperately to be a straight A student but somehow I always messed up in Physical Education since sports were on a long list of things I couldn’t do well. The only reason I was late was because I had stayed up late last night organizing my school locker so I wouldn’t have to spend time doing it at school. I also memorized my schedule, teacher’s names, locker combination, classmate’s names, and the names of my classes. Oh no! I just remembered I forgot my outside reading book! It was lying on my bed. I could always text my mom but my mom would probably be mad that I was running late.
    “I can just grab it during 4th period study hall,” I thought.
    Just then, I saw Chad Charming running around. I guess he was late too. No big surprise there since he took an eternity to brush his hair and look at himself in the mirror. I was surprised that he wasn’t with his girlfriend, Audrey Beauty. She was practically glued to his hip ever since they began their relationship. I guess she liked arriving early nowadays. Even though, Chad’s mom and my mom are from the same fairytale we barely make eye contact. Chad thinks he is too cool to talk to common folk like myself. He only talks to me when he needs help with his homework. He pulled the same trick that he pulled on Evie back in middle school. I was so desperate that he was actually paying attention to me that I practically worshipped the ground he walked on. Now, I have to admit that I still have a tiny crush on him mostly because he is charming but my main crush is on Carlos DeVil even though he is taken.
    “Jane!” Chad Charming called.
    “What do you want?” I demanded angrily.
    “Nothing, I just wanted to wish you good luck in school,” Chad Charming replied a little taken aback at my lack of interest.
    He probably expected me to be drooling that he had taken an interest in me.
    “Thank you Chad,” I politely replied.
    “What class do you have right now?” He asked me.
    “History of Auradon with Margaret Sun,” I replied.
    What I really felt like asking was why are you suddenly so interested in my life?
    “Cool, I have to go catch you later,” Chad said and walked off.
    I glanced at my pixie watch. It seemed strange but only three minutes had passed. I still had three minutes left. Wow, for the first time in forever time was passing as slowly as a snail struggling to escape a hungry beast.
    I finally made it to History class with no time to spare.
    “You were so close to arriving late,” Evie whispered.
    “I know, right?” I replied.
    “Good morning class, my name is Ms. Sun,” Margaret Sun announced.
    “I am the philosophy and History of Auradon teacher,” Ms. Sun continued.
    “Where is she from Hotsylvania?” Chad called out.
    Most students laughed. I glanced to see how Audrey was taking it and I noticed that she was spitting mad.
    “Where are you from Annoyania?” Ms. Sunny countered back.
    Chad looked confused. Maybe he didn’t even know the fifty states.
    Today we will scan the syllabus and then I will assign your partners for the year. I quickly looked at the people sitting next to me. Evie and Jordan.
    Evie was really smart but sometimes I got mad at her because she was dating the boy I liked. I liked Jordan because she was so stylish and I loved visiting Agrabah. She also had an amazing singing voice and she was also a take charge kind of person. She was kind of lazy and wasn’t into doing her school work but her father, The Genie, told her that if she wanted to attend Auradon Prep she had to work hard.
    As Ms. Sunny was passing the syllabuses, I was tempted to pretend that I needed one when in reality my mom had already given me the syllabuses for all the classes. I just didn’t want to give my classmates any reason to call me a goody-goody or a teacher’s pet. But my mom told me that lying was bad so I just told the teacher that I had already received one from my mom.
    I buried my face in my textbook to avoid all the stares my classmates were giving me.
    “Lucky, you already know what to expect,” Mal whispered.
    “Yeah I guess,” I mumbled.
    The History of Auradon textbook had been written by my mother and Queen Belle as well.
    “I bet you have dozens of copies of this book at your house,” Chad whispered.
    I nodded bashfully.
    “Great, so if I lose mine then I won’t get in trouble,” Chad thought to himself.
    I rolled my eyes. I knew what he was thinking.
    “For your first assignment, you will be researching your family’s history and creating a family tree presentation,” Ms. Sunny announced.
    “With all do respect Ms. Sunny, wouldn’t it be more beneficial if we researched about our partner’s family history instead of our own?” Audrey asked.
    “Yeah!” Dandelion (daughter of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine) and Chad agreed.
    “That wasn’t what I had in mind but I guess it couldn’t hurt,” Ms. Sunny decided.
    “I bet your family history is so interesting,” Audrey complimented her boyfriend.
    “Not as interesting as yours,” Chad replied and they kissed.
    Ugh gross!
    “Sorry to disappoint you but Audrey you are partnered up with Dandelion,” Ms. Sunny said.
    Dandelion smiled eagerly but Audrey was as grumpy as Doug’s uncle.
    “Jane you are partnered up with Chad,” Ms. Sunny stated.
    I sighed. Chad would probably make me do his report and mine. I was also expecting Chad to get upset that he wasn’t working with his girlfriend but to my surprise he seemed pretty content that he was my partner.
    “I can’t wait to research your parent’s history,” Chad said.
    “Why, are you so eager?” I asked Chad suspiciously.
    I bet he just wanted to find out more about my mom’s powers but to my surprise he said, “I want to find out who your dad is.”
    I froze. My dad. I never thought about my dad. I had a ruby locket engraved with a J on it. In it was a picture of my parents but since that picture was taken in the 90’s it was black and white and kind of blurry. My mom never mentions dad. She told me he was alive but he lived really far away. I never had the guts to find out who he was. Sometimes I pretended that my mom couldn’t have children so she created me with her magic wand so she wouldn’t be alone. Whenever I start thinking of my dad, I just push the thoughts away and think of my hypothesis instead.
    “Me too,” I whispered.
    Wizard Merlin’s P.O.V
    I was gallivanting through the Forbidden Forest on my noble steed. I had to rescue my brother from the Isle of the Lost. I needed his help. There was no way I could pull this off without him. He was down to earth and taught Weird Science at Dragon Hall back in the Isle. Now before you get the wrong notion, my brother is not a villain. He was sent to Isle by order of King Beast to instruct the villain’s kids to live without magic. The only downside was that he was forced to live there. He could never leave. King Beast came up with this rule just in case Yen Sid, my brother, became corrupted by the villains and decided to release them. As I approached the barrier, I was nervous. I didn’t want my magic to backfire and then the fate of Auradon would rest on my shoulders. I had just fought Madam Mim for Pete’s sake! I grabbed my blue wand and poof! I was in the Isle of the Lost. No one would know where I came from and hopefully no one knows who I am. Oh no! There was a large billboard of me in the middle of the town’s square. It was a picture of Madam Mim and myself fighting each other.
    “I hope I don’t run into her daughter and her granddaughter,” I mumbled.
    All of a sudden, Hades appeared.
    “What business do you have here?” He questioned.
    “I am looking for Yen Sid,” I replied.
    “What do you want with him?” Hades demanded.
    I have to admit Hades was driving me nuts! He kept asking so many questions.
    “What you seek will be found,” Hades said mysteriously.
    Why was he being so ominous? I started to walk away, when Dr. Facilier started screaming at the top of his lungs.
    “Freddie, can’t you do anything right?” Dr. Facilier yelled.
    Freddie shrugged her shoulders. She was at that rebellious stage where teens didn’t care about anything.
    Dr. Facilier grabbed her and pushed her into a cell. There were snakes slithering all around her and a poisonous spider hanging from the wall. The tiles looked like they had an intricate pattern. Maybe there was a certain way to cross the floor and free yourself from the cell. Freddie just sat there and stared at the ceiling.
    “Freddie, I will feed you to Bruce if you don’t clean up this mess!” Dr. Facilier threatened.
    “Feed me then,” Freddie snapped back defiantly.
    Dr. Facilier rolled his eyes and asked his assistant, Mr. Lawrence, to whip Freddie.
    I watched all of this through the window. When I turned back around, Hades was right next to me.
    “This wizard is here to see you,” Hades announced.
    Oh, brother. I will never make it at this rate. I wish I could just zap Hades off the face of the earth but I can’t use my powers for evil.
    “What do you want?” The local witch doctor asked.
    “I don’t want any trouble I just wish that I could see Yen Sid,” I wished.
    “Your wish is my command,” Hades stated.
    “Back off Hades, he is my customer!” Dr. Facilier growled.
    “Actually, he appears to be correct,” I butted in.
    Hades stared at me intently. “Be my guest,” He said.
    Dr. Facilier beckoned all of these forces and said something about having friends on the other side.
    Other side? Why did those words sound so familiar? Wait, a moment! He is going to twist my words and grant my wish in another way. Well, good luck finding a way to twist my words! The name Yen Sid is hard to twist!
    “Repeat your wish again,” Dr. Facilier commanded me.
    “I don’t want any trouble I just wish that I could see Yen Sid,” I repeated.
    “Perfect,” Dr. Facilier said.
    With two violet pots and a serpent staff, he poured some goo on me and all of a sudden I was sitting on a chair in the air.
    I couldn’t use my wand because unfortunately, the only who had permission to use magic in the Isle was Dr. Facilier. They didn’t call him a witch doctor for nothing. He could manipulate magic far better than anyone.
    I was tied up in a manner of seconds.
    “Do you want to see Yen Sid?” Dr. Facilier taunted.
    “Well, we will bring him to you!” Dr. Facilier said and within a puff of smoke, Yen Sid arrived.
    He coughed. “What is going on doctor?” Yen Sid asked.
    “Nothing much, this wizard wanted to see you,” Dr. Facilier replied and cackled to himself.
    “Why is he tied up?” Yen Sid demanded.
    “He said he didn’t want to cause any trouble but he lied,” Dr. Facilier stated.
    “He is the old wizard Merlin, the same wizard who defeated Madam Mim, he is trouble!” Dr. Facilier boomed. “Second of all, don’t think I don’t know that my daughter has been attending Anti-hero meetings that you are hosting,” He continued pointing to my brother.
    Yen Sid blinked back innocence. “I may not be a villain like you but I would never train these kids to defy their parents,” Yen Sid replied.
    “Right,” Dr. Facilier said doubtfully.
    “Nevertheless, you will both be sent to your doom!” Dr. Facilier announced and before we knew it, we were both trapped in cells next to each other.
    “I granted your wish Merlin, now you can see Yen Sid in prison!” Dr. Facilier laughed wickedly.
    How were we going to escape if my wand didn’t work in here? We would have to use our brains. Fortunately, I was stuck in a cell with my brother. If my brother was nearly as smart as he was when we were children, getting out of here would be a piece of cake.
    “Before you try it, the bars can electrocute you so if I were you, I wouldn’t touch them,” Dr. Facilier advised.
    I snorted. I didn’t trust a word Dr. Facilier said. He was probably just saying that so we wouldn’t try it and would be stuck in here for all eternity.
    “I am going to visit the Underworld,” Dr. Facilier said. “I have plans for you,” He stated maliciously.
    “I know Dr. Facilier, he is probably going to offer us as a sacrifice to the God of the Dead (Hades),” Yen Sid remarked.
    “He actually worships Hades?” I asked doubtfully.
    “Yeah, they look like they hate each other but Dr. Facilier is actually scared that Hades will steal his soul and he will become a spirit,” Yen Sid replied.
    “Do you have any friends here besides the children?” I questioned.
    “Madam Mim and I were friends before she caused havoc,” Yen Sid admitted. “She might have been a loony old hag but she was also mischievous and smart in her own way,” Yen Sid continued.
    “Did you like her?” I pried.
    “Well,” Yen Sid began.
    “I can’t believe you liked that ugly witch!” I exclaimed.
    “Stop, I didn’t have many options,” Yen Sid said defensively.
    “How about, The Evil Queen?” I suggested.
    “As if, she would like a man like me,” Yen Sid replied.
    I looked around to see if Lawrence was gone. He seemed to be. “Brother, you are smart there has to be a way out,” I said.
    “Wow, you seem really eager to get out,” Yen Sid noted.
    “I need your help with something,” I said.
    “Maybe you should just use your wand and get us out already,” Yen Sid suggested.
    “It’s complicated but the only one who can access magic is Dr. Facilier,” I responded.
    “I need to see her, I want them back,” I whispered to myself.
    “Who do you want back?” Lawrence demanded as he entered the room.
    Jane’s P.O.V
    I was typing on my laptop, my fingers flying across the keys. Just as I suspected, Chad was too busy gazing at his reflection in his cellphone’s camera while I did all the work.
    “Aren’t you going to start your report?” I asked impatiently.
    “Why are you getting so worked up?” He asked and placed a hand on my shoulder.
    I swear his arms felt like electricity. I guess the little crush I had on him was bigger than I thought.
    “Stop that,” I ordered.
    “What?” Chad asked innocently.
    “Giving me that look, you are trying to flirt with me,” I accused.
    “Geez all I did was place my hand on your shoulder,” Chad said as if that wasn’t a big deal.
    “You held Evie’s hand and almost kissed her so she would do your chemistry homework,” I reminded him.
    “Don’t forget the love note I sent her and I also told her she was pretty,” Chad reminded me and chuckled to himself.
    “Ugh,” I said exasperated as I kept typing.
    “Listen,” He began holding my hand.
    I tried to pull away but he held on tightly.
    “Sure, I pretended to like Evie but what does Evie have that you don’t have?” Chad asked me.
    “She may be gorgeous but she is nowhere as intelligent and caring as you are, she doesn’t have perfect attendance, or a super cool mom like you do,” Chad complimented.
    “You think my mom is cool?” I asked doubtfully.
    “Yeah, she gives you access to important documents and you knew about the classes and teachers before we did,” Chad replied.
    My face clouded with worry. What if Chad made me give him the keys to the school so he could change his grades or get a cheat sheet to all of the tests?
    I backed away from him. “Just so you know, I won’t give you the keys to the school,” I told him.
    “I don’t want any of that, I just want you,” He said and pulled me towards the stacks.
    He was about to kiss me when my mom walked in. He chickened out and walked out of the library.
    I don’t know why I wanted him to kiss me. I knew he was a flirt and a jerk but there was something about him that seemed almost likable. I went back to my laptop and continued researching. Finding out about Chad’s family tree might be more interesting than I thought. I grabbed a freshly sharpened pencil and a pink pad of paper. I wrote Chad’s family tree at the top.
    Chad’s Family Tree By: Jane Godmother
    Name: Chad Charming
    Date of Birth: February 14th
    Chad’s dad’s name: King Charming
    Chad’s mom’s name: Queen Cinderella
    Chad’s grandpa’s name (dad’s side): Charming
    Chad’s grandma’s name (dad’s side): Felicia
    Chad’s grandpa’s name (mom’s side): Auguste
    Chad’s grandma’s name (mom’s side): Lucille
    Chad’s step-grandma’s name (mom’s side): Lady
    Tremaine
    Chad’s step-aunt’s names (mom’s side): Drisella and
    Anastasia
    The most important element in Chad’s story was who killed Cinderella’s father? Supposedly, he died in a carriage crash but no one knew if it had really been an accident. A lot of questions remained unanswered. Without his death, would Cinderella still have married King Charming? Would their love have been the same? Would Cinderella have been more pampered and spoiled? Would Cinderella’s story be just as juicy as it was? Would Anastasia have turned nice? Would Lady Tremaine continue making peoples lives miserable everywhere she went?
    Jane had a lot to figure out. Her whole report depended on it. But what she really wanted to figure out was why would Chad kiss her? What did he want with her? She was also really eager to find out who her dad was. Suddenly, her computer crashed. She had forgotten to charge her laptop! She felt like screaming but since she didn’t want to disturb anyone, so she decided to take a walk instead. A walk in the Forbidden Forest seemed like a good idea. I had my own secret place there. I walked towards the entrance of my cave but it was being blocked. Three strange creatures were blocking it.
    “Excuse me, can you please leave me alone?” I asked. “I need some privacy,” I explained.
    The creatures laughed. “We are the forest pixies and we hold environment meetings here from five to six thirty,” Harelow (the leader of the pixies) explained.
    “Is it just the three of you?” I asked.
    “No, but why do you want to know anyway?” Harelow asked.
    “I am just curious about your meetings,” I replied.
    Harelow’s expression softened a little. “If you would like, you can ask Her Majesty, Crystal Winter or her assistant Farrah Goodfairy if you can join us,” Harelow told me.
    I nodded. Wait, Goodfairy? That was my last name. It must be a strange coincidence. There was no way I had a sister I didn’t know about.
    Farrah Goodfairy appeared. “Who is she?” She asked Harelow.
    Harelow was about to respond when I butted in, “Who are your parents?”
    Farrah’s face clouded. “My dad lives in Camelot and my mom is the Fairy Godmother,” Farrah replied.
    I gasped. She was my sister! “This might be strange but I think we are sisters,” I concluded.
    “Is your mom the Fairy Godmother?” Farrah demanded.
    “Yes, do you know our father?” I questioned.
    “Sadly I don’t remember him,” Farrah said.
    “With whom do you live with then?” I asked my sister.
    “I live with the forest pixies,” Farrah stated.
    I stared at the forest pixies.
    “But they are so small!” I said exasperated.
    The forest pixies grew angry. “We have special powers that you wouldn’t be able to imagine in your wildest dreams,” Deerla informed me.
    “How come you have a wand?” I asked my sister.
    “Mom gave it to me when I was four,” Farrah replied.
    I instantly got jealous. “Why?” I whispered.
    “She thought it would protect me from the dangers of the Forbidden Forest,” She stated.
    “Don’t you miss mom?” I asked.
    “I hardly remember and besides she never came back for me,” Farrah snapped.
    “Why did she give you up?” I asked her.
    “Come here, there is something I need to tell you,” Featherly said.
    “When your parents got married, all your dad cared about was magic, going on conquests, fulfilling his destiny,” Featherly began. “Magic was his life and since your mom was focused on her raising you two she left magic aside to collect dust,” She continued.
    “Your dad protested and told your mom to teach you girls magic,” Deerla stated. “But your mom refused and insisted that you were too young,” Deerla continued.
    “She was afraid magic would govern your life and you wouldn’t be interested in learning anything else,” Harelow explained.
    “Let me guess, dad got fed up and left her,” I guessed.
    “Yes and also he disagreed with your mom’s method of protecting you from Lady Tremaine,” Harelow added.
    “Lady Tremaine hated your mom because she made all of Cinderella’s dreams come true and didn’t give her daughter’s an ounce,” Harelow said.
    “She vowed revenge on your mom and Cinderella and hates your mom even more because she was sent to the Isle of the Lost,” Harelow explained.
    “Did mom leave Farrah with you three to hide her from Lady Tremaine especially because she has magic and I don’t?” I asked.
    “Yes and believe me, the only reason your sister knows more magic than you do is because your dad secretly taught her before he left,” Deerla replied.
    “But she doesn’t remember him?” I questioned.
    “It was your mother’s wish that the two of you wouldn’t remember your father so she cast a memory spell on Farrah so she would forget her dad,” Deerla replied with a sigh.
    “How could she?” I sobbed.
    “Jane, would you like to live with me?” Farrah asked me.
    I could tell that she wished to have another person to talk to. I hesitated. Sure, it would be fun to live a thrilling life in the forest but I would miss my mother and friends too. And then there was this Chad situation. But then again, Farrah could teach me magic.
    “Why did mom let her keep a wand?” I asked.
    “Even though, she was totally against magic she wanted Farrah to have protection just in case we were far away and there was an evil villain in her way,” Harelow replied.
    “I will live with you,” I decided.
    “We aren’t comfortable taking you without your mother’s permission,” Harelow began.
    “Please,” I begged.
    “Fine but under one condition,” Featherly stated.
    “Sure anything,” I promised.
    “You go back to live with your mom in a month,” Featherly ordered.
    “Okay I will,” I promised.
    “Good then off to the cave!” Harelow rushed us and shut the door.
    Well, it was more of a stone if I do say so myself.
    “So how do you go to school?” I asked Farrah.
    “I am homeschooled but next year, I plan to attend Ever After High,” Farrah stated dreamily.
    Princess Crystal Winter cleared her throat. “Farrah, who is this girl?” She demanded.
    “Pardon me Your Majesty, she is my sister and the daughter of the Fairy Godmother,” Farrah explained.
    “It is a pleasure to meet you,” Crystal greeted.
    Farrah snorted. “She isn’t usually this formal but sometimes her mom’s habits kick in,” Farrah apologized.
    “No problem, meeting the daughter of Elsa has always been my dream,” I gushed happily.
    Crystal backed away. She seemed a little bit creeped out that I was acting like an obsessive fan girl.
    “Sorry,” I apologized and blushed profusely.
    “No problem,” She replied.
    “Nina Thumbell, Jillian Beanstalk, and Crystal Winter are the only three visitors I get,” Farrah informed me. “Crystal Winter is my best friend and I knew her since we were babies before she moved back to Arendelle with her mother,” Farrah continued.
    “Awesome and let me guess, Nina and Jillian love nature and know the forest pixies,” I assumed.
    “Something like that,” Farrah replied.
    Boom!
    “What was that noise?” I screamed.
    “Don’t worry, it is just an explosion,” Farrah consoled me.
    “How can you be so calm?” I asked.
    “Because we hear those noises all the time?” Crystal stated.
    Crystal was starting to act a little bit too diva for my taste. Perhaps she didn’t know any better.
    “What if it is dark magic?” I suggested with fear.
    “Please, dark magic is far away from here,” Crystal replied.
    “How do you know?” I challenged Crystal.
    I was getting sick and tired of her know-it-all attitude.
    “Because there are hardly any villains out of the Isle of the Lost?” Crystal said.
    I hated when people turned every sentence into like a question?
    Boom! No!
    “Girls, let’s go farther back in the cave,” Harelow instructed.
    “How far away are we from the Isle?” I asked.
    “Two and one half miles,” Crystal responded.
    “What if something bad is going on there?” I said worriedly.
    “Who cares if people die there, they’re all villains,” Crystal said rolling her eyes.
    “What if a good person was captured and taken there?” I snapped back.
    “We live in this cozy cave/garden while there are kids imprisoned on an island because of their parents mistakes,” I said.
    “Yeah I guess it is sad,” Crystal admitted.
    “Gather around everyone! We will hold an execution here at midnight! The famous wizard Merlin and Yen Sid will be sacrificed for high treason!” a voice declared.
    The wizard Merlin? He was from Camelot! What if he was my dad? Or what if Yen Sid used to live in Camelot and then he was taken to the Isle of the Lost to teach at Dragon Hall?
    Something inside me told me that if I wanted to find my dad, I had to take risks.
    “Can we please go find out what is going on?” I begged.
    “No, I promised your mother to take care of your sister and I promised myself to take care of you,” Harelow replied.
    “What if I go alone or with one of you three?” I suggested.
    “Out of the question,” Deerla told me.
    “Let her go,” Featherly advised.
    I pushed with all my strength, but I couldn’t move the stone. All of a sudden, it disappeared.
    I looked all around me. I guess one of the forest pixies must have moved it. Featherly was supposed to accompany me but since Farrah snuck away when no one was looking I told Featherly I was fine going alone. I was ready for the dangers ahead but was I ready to meet my dad? I wasn’t sure.
    Wizard Merlin’s P.O.V
    Wow, I can’t believe this is happening to me! I am about to be sacrificed and I never had a chance to tell my wife that I loved her. The worst part is my brother is going to die with me. Oh why did I have to make that stupid wish? Two goblins are escorting us to meet our doom. We are going to be burned alive! In a hot flaming fire courtesy of a purple dragon (Madam Mim.) She can turn into a dragon but she can’t escape. Or can she?
    We were tied up by magical strings and weren’t able to move. In one hour, we would be killed. To top it off, I didn’t even have my wand! Jafar made sure of that. He stole it from me when I wasn’t looking! For a chubby man, he had lighting quick reflexes.
    “We are here to offer up a sacrifice to our god the Mighty Hades,” Dr. Facilier announced.
    Hades appeared and bowed to the roaring crowd. “Thank you all so much,” He said.
    The crowd didn’t really love him. They were all afraid of him.
    “Now in the left corner we have the science teacher that held secret Anti-Hero meetings with our own children!” He exclaimed and looked shamefully at his daughter.
    “The children will all be beaten for their crime in a moment,” Hades declared.
    “No not my grandson!” Lady Tremaine replied.
    “Or my daughter,” Mother Gothel agreed.
    “Or my granddaughter,” Madam Mim said.
    “Or my sons,” Gaston agreed.
    “Yes, they are excused,” Hades decided.
    The rest of the kids were forced to line up. Freddie Facilier was beaten first by Lawrence (her father’s assistant.)
    While the kids were being beaten, I noticed something in the bushes. I could barely make out a figure. Hopefully it was some kind of rescue.
    “Dad?” a voice called.
    “Who is this?” I thought.
    “Dad, it’s Farrah Goodfairy and Jane,” Two girls whispered.
    I could not believe my ears! It was my daughters! But, what were they doing here?
    “Over here,” I whispered back.
    They had tears in their eyes and the youngest one looked upset. Maybe it was my imagination.
    Suddenly, I noticed a forest pixie. What a strange creature! I hadn’t seen one in years. Granted I didn’t go to the Forbidden Forest very often.
    “We are going to rescue you wizard,” The forest pixie said.
    “Who wants to go first?” A voice taunted.
    “I will,” My brother spoke up bravely.
    “Wait, there is something I need to say,” I spoke up.
    “I am willing to help all of you escape if you release us,” I compromised.
    Dr. Facilier lifted up an eyebrow. “How do I know that you are not lying?” He asked.
    “You can trust me,” I replied solemnly.
    Dr. Facilier decided to trust me, so he untied me.
    Hades got mad which caused fire to start bursting out of his head. Literally.
    “Doctor, you know those prisoners belong to me!” Hades exclaimed.
    “Especially when one of them is a powerful wizard,” Claude Frollo added.
    He despised magic.
    I hoped my daughters and the forest pixie had a plan. Just then, a puff of purple smoke started to form. Who could it be?
    “What is that?” Hades demanded.
    “It was not there a moment ago,” Dr. Facilier protested.
    “Command it to disappear,” Hades ordered.
    “Disappear,” Dr. Facilier snapped.
    It did. “Good,” Dr. Facilier thought.
    In a matter of seconds, three pixies were at our sides. They began to untie us. Dr. Faciler started to chase them. They disappeared just as fast as they appeared. Either they were fast runners or they used magic. It turned out that it was a little bit of both.
    Farrah and Jane were no were to be seen unless, one of them was the puff of smoke? Hmm…
    We all ran as fast we could and were about to reach the border when Lady Tremaine held Jane.
    “If you want her alive dad, you will return and free us all,” Lady Tremaine threatened.
    I slowly walked back.
    “Now!” Farrah yelled. As she created another puff of smoke, Jane tripped on a rock and fell down a well.
    Hades was right behind us, so we had no choice but to disappear.
    “Wait, where is my wand?” I asked.
    “Seriously dad, Jane is trapped and you are worried about a wand?” Farrah snapped.
    “Sorry but,” I started.
    She didn’t want to listen to anything I had to say. “We worked hard to try to rescue you but we should have let you die since it is obvious that you don’t care about us,” Farrah remarked harshly.
    “How can you say that?” I asked horrified at what her mother had told her of me.
    “The Forest Pixies told us the story,” Farrah added.
    “What do they know?” I demanded.
    “Mom sent me to live with them,” Farrah continued.
    “Wow,” I replied because I didn’t know what else to say.
    Meanwhile, Jane was stuck in a well.
    “Hello?” She called.
    A moment later, she was free or so she thought. Lady Tremaine’s bratty daughter, Drisella, tied her up and pushed her towards her mother.
    “Can we keep her?” Drisella asked.
    “Yes, she will make the perfect slave girl,” Lady Tremaine replied.
    “Who said you could take her?” Hades asked.
    “She is the descendant of one of my biggest enemies,” Lady Tremaine simply stated.
    “She disrupted my sacrificial ceremony,” Hades argued.
    “Excuse me, can I just go free?” Jane interrupted.
    “No way,” Drisella said. “You know how to use magic,” Drisella continued.
    “Actually,” Jane began.
    “What didn’t that old lady teach you anything?” Lady Tremaine sneered.
    “You take her as your slave on one condition,” Hades stated.
    “Which is?” Lady Tremaine demanded.
    “She marries my son and becomes the goddess of the Underworld,” Hades replied.
    “That seems reasonable enough,” Drisella reasoned.
    “You numbskull, his son is in Auradon and in love with Scarlet,” Lady Tremaine announced.
    “Yeah but he sends me letters,” Hades argued. “And he broke up with Scarlet,” He continued.
    “Alright,” Lady Tremaine agreed doubtfully.
    Jane was led to a small brick house far away from the village. She would live there for the rest of her teen years until she was old enough to marry Haden. What a life of drudgery awaited her!
    Back in the Forbidden Forest, everyone was worried sick about my daughter. We had no idea what cruel fate awaited her.
    “I have a magic wand, I can rescue her from the Isle,” I volunteered.
    “They probably sealed Lady Tremaine’s door with dark magic,” Harelow reasoned.
    “We will have to meet up with the council of Auradon and your ex-wife,” Deerla decided.
    “But for now, the wisest move is to remain hidden,” Featherly said.
    “If we are going to live for a while in hiding, can I do one thing first?” I asked.
    “What, magic?” Farrah asked sarcastically.
    “No,” I said and walked over to a small garden hidden underneath a willow tree.
    “Is this Rapunzel’s tower?” Farrah asked.
    “See for yourself,” I told her.
    “It looks abandoned but kind of pretty,” The forest pixies noted.
    I noticed a humongous rock. Yen Sid helped me gather some sticks for the message I wanted to leave my wife. It was simple but genius in its simplicity.
    The forest pixies and Farrah joined us.
    The hidden message we left my wife made out of sticks and rocks spelled out Love.
    Sure, I was the one who had been immature, self absorbed, and had left my wife but deep down inside, I had always missed her and I hoped that one day she would see this message and know that someone out there still loved her and was willing to give our marriage a second chance. Now, you might think this story is the end but like all great writers know, the end is only the beginning in reverse.
    The End

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