Saturday Story Starter

Welcome to Saturday Story Starter 2014!

I’m hoping to make this a more regular feature of my blog this year, so check back often for new story starters, OK? As those of you who have participated before know, this is purely for fun, just as 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, 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 here and here and here and browse to your heart’s content.)

What with the Polar Vortex (don’t you love that name?) we’ve been experiencing and all, I think we need a blast of summer to kick off 2014, so here’s this week’s photo:

Maui Toes

Yep, those are my toes, taken a number of years ago when I was researching THE EDUCATION OF PATIENCE GOODSPEED. Bliss!  Going on location for research is one of the perks of a writer’s job, and this was a particularly great gig, especially since I’d never been anyplace tropical before. I know it looks like I was on vacation, but seriously, I was working!  And now it’s your turn to get to work.

STORY STARTER:  Use this photo as a springboard to invent a character. What’s her name? Where’s she from? What is she doing on this beach? Describe her for us in detail. If you want to spin this into a story, go right ahead. If you just want to write a character sketch, that’s fine, too. It’s up to you. And if you need a jumpstart, here’s a first line you can use:

Her toes had never been this happy before…

Ready, set, WRITE!

73 thoughts on “Saturday Story Starter”

  1. Abby Beneden was the happiest girl in the world.
    Her favorite beach, her best, BEST friend, and nothing to do the whole summer vacation.
    “Hey Saphira!” I called to my best friend, who was sticking out her toes in the sand. I did the same, and we giggled as we saw our bright pink peticures we had given ourselves earlier that day.
    “I saw a vending machine over by the stairwell–And I’m thirsty, so we should go.”
    My best friend nodded in agreement and we decided to meet up at the stairwell. We ran there, but when we got there, there was some kind of force pulling us. I went the opposite way as my friend. I screamed, but none of the other beach-goers seemed to hear me. My brown hair was sticking out. Saphira’s black hair was too. Suddenly, I noticed why. It was the name.
    “Mirror Image Beach.” I whispered.

  2. “Hi! My name is Alise. I’m fourteen and just really bored. I’m from Kansas where we have no beaches, no oceans, and really cold winters. Its Winter Break and I have been at home for the last week and a half with my six little brothers. They are driving me crazy.

    I really want to be an actress or famous or get away from my family but ugh that’s not happening! I want to go to Europe or go on a cruise but that’s not happening either!

    My best friend Taylor is on a cruise right now. She sent me a picture from the beach. Taylor is really pretty and I miss her so much. We used to be inseperable! But since we only have 1 semester of eighth grade left we’re trying to stay friends but not best friends since we are going to different high schools. I’m really sad about that.

    I look down at the post card. I can see Taylor with her pretty blonde hair and blue eyes relaxing on her beach towel. Taylor is beautiful. Everyone says I am too, but I disagree. My hair is just plain brown, not a light brown or a dark brown, just brown. Ugh it sucks. Its really indecisive! Not curly or straight. Its frizzy. And my eyes are brown too with purple glasses. I’m really short and “big-boned.” I’m pretty popular though. Not like mean popular, I just have a ton of friends. Which is fun but can be confusing too.

    I guess that’s all about me.”

    I hoped you guys liked it!

  3. Yay! I love Saturday story starter 🙂
    I kind of had a difficulty using description, but I think it’s okay.

    There she sat, hunched over, fingering broken shells and grainy sand. Her thick auburn hair masked her quivering lips and her searching emerald eyes. Her white teeth faintly bit her lip as she waited. To burn the wasted time, she began to layer thin sheets of sand on top of her, letting the specks trail down her tan legs. The rich lime green dress she wore fluttered in the wind, causing creases in the floral design. Green was her favorite color, and she admired how well it complimented her hair. Her toes faintly brushed against the tips of the foam that surged towards her and then retreated back quickly. By the time her ten rosy toes were completely concealed with sand, she heard shouts behind her.
    In an instant, she jumped up; shaking off bits of sand still left, and darted towards the boy. Her feet sank in the sand, but she managed to pull them out and produce a shaky laugh. The glare of the sun bored into her eyes, but if she squinted hard enough, all she could see was him. Building up endurance granted her rushing winds that wrapped around her, pushing towards the grinning boy.
    “Jennie!” he called, lifting her up in a single swift motion. He then set her on the ground as the two produced smiles and laughter in the salty air. Jennie began tugging the boy’s arms towards the crisp, azure waves that increased in strength and power. Their white caps towered and crashed into the shore. The boy placed a firm hand on Jennie’s shoulder, amber eyes glancing around nervously as he reached into his shirt pocket. Pulling his hand out, Jennie stole a glimpse of something glinting in the sunlight.
    A gasp climbed up her throat, struggling to break free as the boy fingered an emerald ring with a golden band. It consisted of brilliant facets that caught the sunlight up above, twinkling with mischief and beauty.
    “To match your eyes,” he whispered, taking Jennie’s left hand. Jennie forced the trembling in her fingers to stop as he slipped the golden band up and over her knuckle. A smile played across her lips, tears scrambling to her eyelids. She closed her eyes to feel the moment, to capture it and lock it deep inside of her. The salt that stuck to her lips, the wind that wove into her hair, the sand that enveloped her toes and feet, and the ring that held a story of love all of its own.

    • Nice, Grace! I love the image of her sifting sand onto her legs, and letting it trail down her legs. We’ve all done that, and know the feeling. Things like this can really help readers connect to your character. 🙂

  4. she inhaled deeply,feeling the cold air rushing through her lungs. she felt so free, sittingatop a hill, gazing at the beach. her toes streached in front of her, wiggling in the sunlight. a light breeze swayed her hair,moving it back and forth. her hands swiftly moved across her writing tablet, taking note of every movement.

  5. As I’m looking through my old piles my finger lingers across a certain one. It was I picture of my feet, I remember that day.


    The day was hot and I felt like I was I on fire. I decided to get some water. As I reach into my purple beach bag I pull out my empty water bottle. “Ugh” I complain. My brother walks over to me tousling my blonde curls, which he knows I dislike. I pull it back into a ponytail so he can’t do any further damage.

    I walk over to the water kiosk with my turquoise sundress blowing slightly. As I hand him my money, I notice he looks very familiar. I decide to ignore it and head back to my seat on the sand. I set up my portable chair and slip on my sunglasses. (1/2 an hour later) I finish my chapter and look back up at the water kiosk.

    I notice the worker is staring at me so I close my book and walk over there. He’s pretty good looking I notice as I stride over there. Once I finally get to the kiosk, we immediately strike up a conversation. We talked and walked and before I knew it we were out surfing in the ocean. I showed him my awesome tricks which he thought were super cool.

    I saw a huge wave approaching and decided to go for it.

    •End of Flashback•End of Flashback•End of Flashback•

    I shudder deciding to stop thinking about it and stuff my picture back into the drawer letting it be long forgotten.

    • Well done, Kay — and I like the last sentence, too. It’s intriguing — something happened back then, and now the reader wants to know what…

  6. Aug! Today is Sunday, but I will write any ways:)

    Shelly danced about on the beach. Her long blond hair rippling in the wind. So peaceful, So calm. The sun shone brightly down on the sand, warming her skin. Earlier on that day, Shelly, Cloe and Veronica had given them self a pedicure. Red was Shelly’s favourite color after all. After their nails had dried Veronica went back to the beach house and Cloe had gone for a swim, and had later abandoned Shelly for the gift shop. As Shelly lay on the beach wriggling her toes she begain to think. ‘ah, summer at last.’ broken out of the relaxing momment Shelly checked her watch.
    “Oh Shoot! Look at that, time to meet daddy at the motel” Shelly mummbled to herself, scrambling to collect her stuff. Along with Cloes of course. It was quarter past by the time Shelly reached the beach house the girls were staying in. Unloading her stuff inside Shelly called out into the emty house “Veronica? You there?” after getting no answere she went back out side and locked the door behind her.
    “Dad?” Shelly said into her cell phone.
    “Hi sweetie, I’m at the restruant can you meet me here?”
    “Oh, sure. See you in a minute!” Shelly shut her phone and made a mad dash for the restraunt. The clouds had moved in and the water became dicey.

    Thats all I have time for….:)

  7. Clara sat in a comfy chair gazing at the beach. She usually took advantage and raced her sister down to the beach. That day, she wasn’t feeling like her usual cheery self. She felt tired and sore. She had been up all night reading mystery books and sketching in her journal. Clara was determined to be an artist one day. ” Come on, come on, let’s get to the beach!” Her older sister Raina called. ” Okay,” Clara replied. When she got down to the beach, she jumped into the water. Suddenly, something strange happened. She saw something bright and green glimmering in the sun. It looked like a tail! It couldn’t be! How could a tail come from the middle of nowhere? Clara was frightened. She decided to swim as far from people as possible. She decided to get to her secret hideout which would be perfect for a situation like this. Her secret hideout was a cave that had a tiny pool. It would be perfect to test her tail situation. While she swam, she occasionally turned to see if her legs would reappear. But instead she saw the shimmery green tail. What could be happening? Was this a joke? Or was she a mermaid? Mermaids didn’t exist. But here she was- a normal fourteen year old girl with a tail! Clara swam all the way to the cave. She got up and walked in the sand. Her legs were back but when she entered the water her tail appeared. Clara was confused. She had no idea what happened but she knew that no matter what she should keep her situation a secret. When, she walked out of the cave she saw a girl with frizzy red hair. ” Hi,” the girl said. “I am not sure who you are but I need you to pinch me,” the girl continued. “Why?” Asked Clara. ” I am probably dreaming but when I was swimming down at the beach I had a tail,” the girl explained. ” Really?” questioned Clara. “Yes, I saw it, it was pink,” the girl said. ” I know you are a stranger but I am really scared because I have a tail too,” Clara said. ” What is your name?” The girl asked. ” Clara,” Clara replied. ” I am Bella, ” Bella stated. ” ” I know we just met but maybe we can talk once we get down to the beach,” Clara decided. ” Yeah but I think we need to make a promise,” Bella suggested. ” We need to stick together and not tell anyone else that we are mermaids,” Bella said. ” You took the words out of my mouth,” Clara admitted. The two girls held hands before getting in the water. Clara was afraid with her new mermaid situation but she was sure of one thing: at least she had a new friend that would understand her situation.

  8. Which MDBC character am I?

    My blonde hair blowing in the wind gets stuck in my mouth. “Ptt” I say spitting it out. My brother comes over and slaps my head. “Ow!!” I say
    I run to the ocean and put my toes in the water. It felt so refreshing, my turquoise halter top bikini clings to my body as I jump in.

    Can you guess who it is?

  9. 1917
    I didn’t know why I was here.
    Or how I had got dragged into this.
    My friend, Alicia, scampers along the beach. Its hard to see her so care free here, just as its hard for me to even be here.
    I look at the water. The ghosts of last summer, the last summer with Caleb, dance before my eyes. We splash and giggle….and then…ohh, the blood.
    I can’t look.
    At least Caleb died in his favorite place on Earth. He loved the sea, and everything in it. Including the shark the killed him.
    Alicia told me I had to come here to let it go. I was willing to try. I had to try.
    I look to the water again. The ghosts dance again, the saga in motion. I watch Caleb deeply this time, and when the shark comes, instead of panic, I see this odd look on his face.
    It’s his scientific look. It means he’s done a experiment successfully.
    I feel light. Oh, Caleb, I still don’t know what truly happened, but you did something you loved. Something new and amazing.
    I look to the water one last time. No ghosts ripple the waves. Its peaceful.
    I have let go.

    I’m sorry if its a little dark; its an idea that struck me when I saw that photo- for anyone who guessed, yes the idea did come from the 1916 shark attacks.

    • Oh my goodness, Abigail — dark indeed, but intriguing! I know absolutely nothing about the 1916 shark attacks. Was that a real event? Where? What happened?

      • Well, basically in the summer of 1916, along the Jersey shore, 5 reported shark attacks happened. The first one was on July 6. Charles Vansant was vacationing along the shore and decided to take a quick dip in the water. Soon after entering the water, he started shouting and waving. People on the beach believed he was calling to his dog. Too late, they realized a great white shark was attacking him.
        He bled to death.
        His sister watched all this from her porch balcony. She saw how quickly the water turned red. She watched him die.
        And so the summer went. Along the shore and in nearby,fresh-water, Matawan creek, sharks kept attacking humans. Boys saw their friends die, a girl watched a her sweetheart was pulled underwater by the shark; the man later bled to death.
        Of the 5 reported attacks, 4 of those people died. Note I said reported. It was likely more people died or were injured, because they found and killed a great white along the shore. Inside its stomach they found a human limb. No reported attack had lost that limb (I can’t remember what it was, maybe a leg).
        The movie Jaws was loosely based of these attacks.
        How I learned of these was a radio podcast/play by How Stuff Works. It was a really neat podcast-they actually read from the diaries of the people who either died or knew someone who died. I highly recommend it!! It’s what got me interested on the subject, and really gives great insight on what happened.

  10. So for this guess what MDBC character this is, you have had to pay attention to detail in the series. Here we go!!

    My long eyelashes fluttered in the wind with my jacket fluttering behind me. I was sitting with my boyfriend, it was a perfect day. We decided to go to eat at his house. His dad is a great cook.

  11. Sorry to be pushy, Mrs. Frederick, but I would just like to know if there’ll be a S.S.S today? Sorry I just really look forward to it. <:)

    • Not today, I’m afraid. I’m aiming for once a month, possibly twice. All I can fit in at the moment!

  12. You guys are so good at this!!! It is Jess, this one will be even harder!!

    My toes wiggled spraying sand everywhere which makes me and everyone around me laugh. I grab a book out of my beach bag, I’m re-reading Pride and Prejudice for what seems like the gazillionth time (exaggeration). Nothing better to do than cozy up with a book on the beach. Lily Wong (Mrs. Wong), the mayor, offers me a tofu cookie. “No thanks” I ate a lot already I lie.

  13. I have a question for all you MDBC lovers out there!
    What MDBC couple do you like the best?

    A) Jess and Darcy
    B) Cassidy and Tristan
    C) Cassidy and Zach Norton
    D) Megan and Simon
    E) Becca and Theo Rochester
    F) Emma and Stewart

    I will see which couple got the most votes and post a comment on Wednesday the 22nd so don’t forget to vote!!!

  14. “This is the life.” Though Kayla to herself with a sigh of content. Surely this must be what heaven is like. Blue foaming waves crashing against the warm golden sand, sun shining brightly in the distance, and enough good times to last a life time. Kayla stretched her perfectly hot pink painted toes outward, letting the salty sea breeze blow between them. The beach is perfect, with the exception of the annoying gulls that are noisily circling overhead.

    “Could this get anymore perfect?” Kayla asked Brandy. Brandy was Kayla’s crazy copper haired bestie. Brandy momentarily lifted up her lime green sunglasses and replied to Kaylas question with a brief smile and no before returning to her sunbathing position. Little did Kayla know just how much more perfec the beach was about to become.

    In the middle of enjoying a refreshing nap on the warm sun, Kayla was jostled awake by Brandy’s elbow. “Kayla! Kayla!” Whispered Brandy not-so-quietly.

    Kayla gave Brandy a somewhat annoyed look, “What?”

    Brandy’s eyes flashed as she gave Kayla a sly look. “Check out the cutie at twelve o’cock.”

    Kayla veered her eyes straight ahead and gasped. Braanandy was right, it was a cutie! A boy who looked around her age was surfing the waves. His black wetsuit totally showed off that he was in really great shape. Wet sandy blond hair dripped water onto his extremely tan face. His dark skin brought out his emerald green eyes even more. He was the definition of the wrods beach boy. Kayla and Brandy both sighed.

    Kayla looked at Brandy, “Althouh he is a dream, we can’t get involved with him. We’re here on vacation! We don’t have time for boy drama.”

    Brandy nodded in agreement,”Amen, sister!”

    The two best friends returned to their duty of tanning, without any furthermore thoughts of the surfing beach boy.

  15. Maui Toes
    Kaimi and I had been on Lahina Beach all day long. We had just got back from walking down Front Street from the ABC Store. I bought, with my weekly allowance, a bright red nail polish color. “How’s it coming, Malia?” Kaimi asked. “I think this label needs revision!”I replied. It was supposed to be a 40 second to dry liquid, and I should have known before spending the money, but it wasn’t drying. I really wanted to catch a few more waves with Kai before ukulele practice, except, my nails were being stubborn. After all, it was the last few weeks of summer before Kai went to college at James Madison University, in Virginia. I touched my toenails one last time, and they were finally dry. I grabbed my surf board, the essential item to have in Maui, and ran to the shore. “Hi Malia!” Kimo, by brother’s best friend, called from floating on his surfboard. “Hey Kimo! Care if I join you?” I asked. “No, jump right in! The water’s nice!” He said, but then glanced at my brother to make sure that it was okay. “Malia, don’t you have practice?” Kai asked me. “Yeah, but not for twenty minutes.” “You should go now. It will take you ten to go home and get changed and stop by the parlor before you leave. It also will take you a few minutes to Mrs. Palakiko’s house.” “Okay, Okay, I’ll go! You’re like an extra parent, Kai!” I said playfully. “I know!” He shot back. “Do you have practice right now, Malia?” Kaimi asked once I got back to our towels. “Yes, but I’ll be back around 4:30.” I told her. “Okay, see you then!” She replied. I was on my way!
    Once I got home, I dug through my drawers to find my yellow Billabong shirt I had bought a few days ago with my Tutu, my Grandma. I ripped off the tags and threw it on, after all, I was in a hurry. I found my ukulele in the office, and ran out the door. I hurried back to Front Street to my family’s parlor: Lappert’s Ice Cream and Coffee. “Hi Mom! I’m on my way to Mrs. Palakiko’s house for lessons. I will check in with you after.” I shouted, to make sure she heard me from behind the counter. “Okay, honey. See you in a bit.” Mom said as I walked out the door. “Malia? Are you still there?” She asked. “Yes I’m right here.” I replied.”Take these chocolates to Mrs. Palakiko’s house, they are for her.” She told me. “Okay Mom!” I shouted halfway out the door.
    I arrived at Mrs. Palakiko’s house, 1328 Alika PI Street, which is 4 blocks away from the parlor. I walked up the path and rang the doorbell. Mrs. Palakikio opened the door, and welcomed me with cookies and lemonade. I handed her the box of chocolates, which she appreciated greatly. Mrs. Palakiko is an excellent ukulele teacher, but she is the type that will make you play Mele Kalikimaka in July. That’s because she is older, but as everyone says: older is wiser, which I agree with. In Hawaii, you must respect your elders. “Malia, would you like to do an activity with me before we get started with your lesson?” Mrs. Palakiko asked me. I replied,”Sure!” ” Oh, great, I thought maybe you’d like to make some leis. Have you ever done that before?” She asked me. “No, but that sounds fun to me!” I stated. “Alright, Malia, let’s go!” Mrs. Palakiko told me.
    “Picking the flowers is the best part!” Mrs. Palakiko told me once we got to the destination, which was her yard. “Go ahead and pick your four favorite flowers.” She said with a smile. I picked four kinds of flowers, then brought them back to her. The whole time, I’m pretty sure she was watching me. “Here is how you do it. Watch carefully, Malia.” She told me. I watched Mrs. Palakiko, and soon got the hang of it. Still, she watched me the whole time. When we finished, she told me, “Malia, I didn’t really know your personality that well, but knew you. I can tell you are a strong, kind, gentle, and fair ‘ōpio wahine. Although, you did seem a little frustrated when you were making the lei. Also, your facial expressions told me you are worried, or scared. Is that that so?” “Yes, Mrs. Palakiko, I am worried. Right now I don’t feel like a strong ‘ōpio wahine.” I told her. “And why is that?” “Do you remember my older brother, Kai? Well, he is going to college in Virginia, and I’m scared for him. I will miss Kai. Also, this school year I will be going to Lahina Intermediate School, and Kaimi may not be going with me.” “Ah, I understand, Malia. Why, I went through that too. In fact, almost everyone goes through it. Kai is probably scared also, and he will miss you too, but, you will get over it. Cheer up, it’s no way to spend your last few weeks of summer. Enjoy the sun, come visit me! There’s lots to do!” “Okay, I will! Bye Mrs. Palakiko. Thanks for the advice! I’m going to give my lei to Kai, so he can remember me.” “Bye Malia!” She told me.
    To this day, I will always remember Mrs. Palakiko and her words of encouragement. After all, he wai wai nui ke aloha. ( love is a great treasure )

    • Karly, this is BEAUTIFUL! You really transport the reader right to Maui — sounds like a place you’ve visited, or lived, or know well somehow…

      • Thank you! Maui is a place I might consider home, even if I don’t go often. It’s beautiful, and you can come up with lots of ideas for writing! 🙂

  16. This is waaaay late, but….

    The day had began periwinkle blue, eventually shifting to a clearer sky blue later in the day that reflected perfectly off of the gently lapping waves.
    Sitting on a shelf of sand that dipped down to the water, Shira had a perfect view of that, along with her toes. She had burrowed her feet halfway into the sand and they poked out. The flip-flops, laying discarded next to her, were the beachiest things she owned. Not that a loose t-shirt and Jean shorts weren’t, but unlike most people at the beach, Shira didn’t even have a bathing suit.
    A slight breeze lifted Shira’s white blond hair off her shoulders, a welcome relief from the pounding sun. Yes, she’d need a bathing suit at some point. Whenever Mom was in a better mood. Given how she had just abruptly grabbed Shira and said, “We’re going to the beach. Pack.” Shira estimated she had one or two days at best.
    However, at the moment, Shira was content watching people come and go, children’s voices mixing with the hull’s cries and the back-and-forth lull of the waves. Shira liked listening, liked sitting and watching and observing. Probably too much. Most people just didn’t understand her yearning for silence- or at least for letting the white noise fade away and feel as though in a completely different place.

    Somewhere along the way, as the sun scorched its way high above (Shira was at least glad to have sunscreen) Shira noticed the hole she had been digging around herself, subconsciously. Realizing that she most likely wouldn’t be returning to the condo until sundown, the idea came to Shira that she should make a sand castle.
    Not just any sand castle, though. Shira remembered all the stories her mother would tell her, with small smiles and conspiratorial whispers. They were sometimes vast fantasies, other times heartbreak-laced tragedies. They never needed dragons or terrible monsters- humans, Shira’s mother had told her, were worse than any beast.
    Then her mother had stopped telling her, and Shira didn’t understand why, and her father had told her more things she couldn’t understand, and they’d yelled at each other things Shira didn’t understand. And Shira had read more and more and needed silence more and more and suddenly they were at the beach.
    But she always remembered the stories.
    So Shira dug her hole and constructed her castle. She stopped for a break once, getting a soda along the way, but worked all afternoon. At one point she decided to add on to her mother’s story and dug more holes and made more structures, even towns. People passing by would stare at her, crouched in a deep hole trying to stop tunnels from collapsing. One boy asked her incredulously, Did you make that?”
    She’d nodded and smiled and continued working. Even though Shira was sticky with sand and wet, too, by the time the sun started to descend beyond the horizon, she was proud of the rather detailed sand-towns she’d made. And she loved coming up with stories for them. Oh, Shira wanted to have stories to tell when she grew up, like her mom.
    But Shira did know that you couldn’t just substitute a story for a reality you didn’t like. It still helped to have one to fall back on, though.
    Shira settled herself on the shelf of sand to watch the sun set. The beach still had people, just not nearly as many as it had the afternoon, and the ones out and about were mostly couples.
    Briefly, Shira’s stomach rumbled. But she decided resolutely she wasn’t going to leave until the sunset. Maybe she’d even be able to coax her mom out before dinner. To help her remember.
    The sun spread orange and red onto the deep blue of the ocean, a halo of yellow and pink clouds surrounding it. It was majestic. It was what everyone, when they came to beach, wanted to see.
    And even hungry, covered in sand and unsure of everything, from the view she had, Shira knew her toes had never been this happy before.

  17. Yay! I LOVE Saturday Story Starters!

    Cambridge Miller, queen of sixth grade, lay on a chevron blanket in Maui, Hawaii. Every individual in her entire school knew that she was there- she’d announced it proudly, handing out special glares to anyone who scoffed or rolled their eyes as she explained exactly why the trip to Maui was in order- her family was rich. That was it- Cambridge had told her mother, “I want to go to Maui,” plane tickets were bought and here she was. Relaxing in the sunshine, long blonde hair billowing down her back, tan skin glowing. Aquamarine waves washed over the shore and onto the pearly white sand. Cambridge’s toes waggled in the sunlight- they were painted a gorgeous red labeled, Grandma’s Apple Pie. She, of course, opposed to the name (“way too old fashioned,” she had whined) but it was the only red available in the salon that would perfectly match her brand-new bikini. “Beauty doesn’t come cheap,” was her motto. But as Cambridge gazed into the beautiful, beyond-describing-words sight she was soaking in, she felt like saying-well, that wasn’t good enough…shouting? Yes, shouting, she decided, something that had never once crossed her mind: Maybe this is better than being beautiful.

    Whoops- I kind of did cross between a character sketch and a short story. 😀

  18. Today’s my birthday! It is one of the only days I feel happy and loved. Even my mom puts on a smile. When I was 7 my parents divorced, and after that my Dad went crazy and was sent to jail. I used to cry myself to sleep every night. Sometimes I still do.

    I remember the nights when we would gather around the campfire and roast marshmallows. I remember the laughs when someone burnt one. I don’t remember fights or screaming. “Why?”, I asked my mom “Why?”

    My mom became a workaholic and I spent most of my time home alone. She would come back late at night and leave early in the morning. She wasn’t the best mom, but everything happens for a reason, right? But why does it have to be so sad?

    I snap out of my daze and look around. The few friends I have sit around the table my mom set up. We set it up at the beach. My mom stands pushing the candle in the cake. Once she lights it everyone starts singing. After they finish with “Happy 16th Birthday Mackenzie!!!!!”
    we cut the cake. It is a vanilla cake with chocolate ice cream inside of it.

    Then I notice someone I didn’t invite, Parker Jensen, he is my forever crush and my friends know. They squeal and I try to run before Parker try’s to talk to me. I trip and scream then all I see is black.

    When I wake up I’m in the hospital with my arm in a cast and stitches on my head. My mom is asleep in a chair next to me and she looks like she has been crying. Then I hear the door open a little. I close my eyes and hear Parker say “Thank you”.

    I open my eyes a little so it still looks like they’re closed. Parker comes to the bed and kisses me on the forehead. “Ahh!!! Parker Jensen likes me!!” I say in my head. He pulls up a chair and sits there holding my hand. I open my eyes and say “Hi”. His head jerks up and blushes.

    Then he says “This is all my fault. I should’ve told you I liked you and you never would’ve fallen.”
    He says then pushes a strand of my blonde curls behind my ear. “No it is not your fault” I manage to say. “I should’ve told you that I liked you and I never would’ve run away from you.” “You, Mackenzie Cartier, like me ugly old Parker.” He says and I giggle.

    He grins and chuckles that deep chuckle. “There’s something I should have done a long time ago”
    He says. “And what’s that?” I ask smirking. “This” and then Parker kisses me. “So this is what love feels like” I think. He pulls away and hugs me tightly. “Now let’s get you out of here.” He says.

    1 year later:

    I’m sitting at the dining table on my 17th birthday, next to my boyfriend, Parker Jensen. After we eat cake, he pulls me outside. We sit on my front porch for a while talking and laughing. Then he kisses me, fireworks explode all around me. He pulls away and I open the mailbox. “Way to ruin the moment Mack.” He jokes. There’s a letter from the jail my dad’s at!!!

    “What’s that?” He asks. “It’s a letter from my dad” I reply. “Open it” he coaxes. I tear open the white envelope and pull out a piece of paper it reads:

    Dear Cartier Family,

    Jack Cartier has been sentenced to execution because he was the cause of multiple people’s injuries. He caused 8 people to have life changing injuries. We are sorry that this had to be this way.

    Gattinville Jail

    I look at Parker. “We have to do something” he says “We can’t let your dad be executed.” Tears drip down my face. ” I agree, but first let’s show my mom this” I say waving the letter.

    • Lots of drama here, Kay — you took a bit of a dark turn, didn’t you?! 😉 Love your enthusiasm, though!

  19. My toes had never been this happy before, I thought, as I glanced straight ahead at the twinkling turquoise waters. My red nail paint sparkled in the sunshine and my copper tan skin was glowing. Who knew a lame road trip could be so awesome? This thought wandered in my mind but within a few minutes, I remembered why I had been so against coming to Hawaii. “Tag, you’re it!” a shrill voice came over the breezy air and I felt an icy blast of water on my back. Furiously, I turned around. “Who did that?” I yelled, without noticing that the suspects had already run off, footsteps marking the way. People stared at me, probably wondering if I was crazy and all those calm and relaxing thoughts escaped my mind, as fast as they had come. I picked up my beach bag and began dumping in my belongings, a stack of magazines, a new novel that I had just began, and my polka-dotted beach towel. I slipped my feet into my flip-flops and took off in the direction of the beach resort where I was staying with my parents and the loud and annoying bunch of people, also known as my relatives. My mom was laying on a beach chair in the patio, sipping ice tea, “Honey, how great was this vacation idea?” she asked me, blowing me a kiss. “Sure, mom, it really is something!” Since I knew that this family reunion was not my mom’s idea (no, my crazy uncle and aunt took credit for that), I decided not to mention that I was currently considering locking myself up in the attic. I headed upstairs to my room and placed my bag on my bed, considering whether to head down to the outdoors cafe for the concert or to the souvenirs shop. I was a sappy old collector, with almost a thousand key-chains, brochures, post cards, magnets, and any other knickknacks that didn’t cost me over ten dollars. Covered in grains of sand and smelling like the summer heat, I lay down on my bed. The exhaustion settled in as I felt myself drifting off, unaware of anything around me.

    Hi Mrs. Frederick! 🙂
    This picture has inspired me to write a long story, but I just wanted to share what I’ve written so far! 🙂

    Hope you like it,

    • Great job, Ibadat! I laughed out loud at the line “the loud and annoying bunch of people, also known as my relatives.” Who can’t relate to that?! 😀

  20. Hey guys!! So I’m freaked out that there is a book about my life!! Has anyone showed this to Emma yet? You know what I’ll just ask her.

  21. Erynn looked down at her well worn journal with pride. She took a sip of her pina colada and placed it back on the lounge table next to her beach chair. “There’s a lot of good stuff in here!” she thought. Out of the blue, her immature little brother Joey popped up and plucked the diary out of her hands. “I bet there’s a lot of good stuff in here!” he taunted. “Joey,” Erynn ordered. “Give the book back to sissy, there’s no pictures in there.” He ran farther across the sand, opened the journal, and began to read aloud sarcastically. “Joey is the best brother ever! He is so amazing, wonderful, cool, awesome and fun that you can’t even know!” Erynn stood up and marched over to where Joey stood, tides lapping against her feet. She looked down and noticed how jolly the circus balloon red of her brand new nail polish looked. “My toes have never been this happy,” she thought. Then Erynn snapped back into reality. “Joey! Give it NOW!” “NO!” “YES!” “NO!” Erynn grabbed ahold of the soft leather of her diary and frantically began to pull. But Joey pulled harder. As Erynn watched helplessly he jerked the book out of her grip and stumbled back towards the ocean. Everything seemed to go in slow motion and Erynn heard a heavy plop. The journal began to sink down to the deep coral below, carried by the rhythmic waves. The ink looked as if it was floating off the pages. Erynn pivoted to look at Joey, her heart filled with rage. His face looked like the person from the Scream, his mouth frozen in a permanent O. Salty teardrops were streaming down his face and in that moment all of Erynn’s hate disappeared. She embraced Joey. “It’s okay, it’s okay.” she soothed.”I’m th-th-thirsty,” sniffled Joey. “Well, there’s a pina colada over there calling your name!” Erynn said. She turned and watched him run to the table and start chewing the straw of the glass. He danced around with happiness and Erynn felt like she could dance for a million years. Her heart felt as light as the circus balloon red of the polish on her feet

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