A Story of Modern Letters

I also wrote this one to a prompt.  I didn’t win the contest, but I loved writing this one.

  1. Write a story that sets the stage through letters between two people.

A Story of Modern Letters

September 25, 2018

9:19 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

I miss u. its been a whole month since I saw u. can u please just answer me once? I need to know if ur okay. I know that the hospital will let you have ur phone and contact people. Maybe u don’t want to talk to me, but I want to know ur okay.

Max

September 26, 2018

4:16 P.M.

To <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

From <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

Dear Max,

I’m okay, Max.  But I told you not to contact me.  I am still recovering, and I need some time.  Please just give me some space. I will tell you that I’m getting out in October.  Don’t worry about me.

Anastasia

September 26, 2018

5:00 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

Thank god ur okay.  I know that u told me not to talk to u, but I can’t help it.  I still love u, Anastasia. I miss u so much; people are asking what happened to u.  I don’t want to say anything, but I can’t do this.

Max

September 26, 2018

6:00 P.M.

To <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

From <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

Dear Max,

I know, I miss you, too.  But it hurts so much to think about you.  It’s getting easier, I think, through these emails, I guess.  And I told you, what happened wasn’t your fault, it was mine. It was my choice to do that I did.  Just calm down. I’ll be back at school in October, no matter what. I promise.

Anastasia

September 26, 2018

7:37 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

Can we keep emailing if this makes it easier? its so hard not seeing you in school.. October seems so far away. but if you promise to keep writing itll make it easier for me.  Plz? Also, it is my fault that everything happened. if i had noticed earlier, then I could have prevented it

Max

September 26, 2018

7:50 P.M.

To <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

From <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

Dear Max,

I guess we can keep emailing, if it makes you feel better.  But Max, it was not your fault. I’ve told you a million times, it was my fault!  I made some stupid choices, and I am paying for that. You can’t blame yourself because you didn’t notice.  I made it a point that people couldn’t notice. Please don’t feel bad for that. You were always there for me, and I’m thankful for you.

Anastasia

September 26, 2018

7:59 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

It IS my fault! Damn it Anastasia if i had noticed you wouldnt be in the freaking hospital right now!  Its always my damn fault im such a terrible person. I was ur boyfriend, i was supposed to make u feel better and make sure u were happy. i should have noticed how UNhappy you were. I should have noticed that u were afraid to go to school everyday because u were bullied!  i should have stood up for u! i was a terrible boyfriend so I can see y u didnt want to talk to me anymore

Max

September 26, 2018

8:10 P.M.

To <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

From <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

Dear Max,

Max, I didn’t get myself into the hospital because of you.  I made sure that people didn’t notice I was cutting, I covered my scars up so no one would know.  I made sure that you never saw me without a smile. And that wasn’t too hard when I was with you, because you can make me smile when I’m about to break down and cry.  Even now, even through digital screens when we’re miles away, you still make me happy. When I tried to commit suicide, the hardest part was thinking about how upset you’d be.  But I told myself that you’d be okay, because you didn’t need me. Max, through everything, you were my golden ray of sunshine, everyday, who I could count on. You made my life amazing, even through my Dark Ages.  I was in a lot of pain, mentally, and every time I was with you, I could forget all about that. You couldn’t have noticed I was bullied, we had almost no classes together. The classes we were together, no one dared bully me, because they were scared of you.  Max, I love you. Please don’t blame yourself, you were a perfect boyfriend.

Love, Anastasia

September 26, 2018

8:30 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

I love u, too, Anastasia.  I love ur smile, ur laugh, and u were amazing.  I love ur quirkiness, ur r so weird. Y on earth would u try to take urself out of my world when u r the most amazing person on this world?

Max

September 26, 2018

9:03 P.M.

To <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

From <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

Dear Max,

I tried to kill myself because I thought I was worthless.  I would cut because I thought no one liked me. You were the only one who saw my weirdness as something to admire.  Every night I would think about how worthless I was, what my purpose in life was. I never could figure out the answer.  I would overthink everything you said to me each day, trying to figure out if you loved me or not. My thoughts are like tornados, sweeping me up.  They never stopped, making the chaos and noise in my head deafening. One day I couldn’t take it and decided that I wasn’t meant for this world. I took those pills with an intent to kill.  My one regret was you, Max. I knew that you’d blame yourself, but I back then I thought that you didn’t love me. My death wouldn’t kill you, too. You’d be just fine without me.

Love, Anastasia

September 26, 2018

9:26 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

If u had died that day I don’t know what I wouldve done. Died, maybe. Idk. when ur mom called me with the news that you had tried to take ur life away with overdose, I couldnt breathe.  She told me she found out youd been cutting for a long time, and I blamed myself instantly for not noticeing. i had no idea u didnt know I loved u so much. I wouldve told u everyday if I had known. can u tell me the address of the hospital?

Max

September 26, 2018

9:38 P.M.

To <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

From <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

Dear Max,

876 Elm Street

St. Gredin, NE 68710

Why?

Love, Anastasia

September 26, 2018

9:43 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

Im coming to see you when the hospital opens. i want to see ur beautiful face again. is that okay?

Max

September 26, 2018

9:58 P.M.

To <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

From <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

Dear Max,

Yes!!  Come at 8:30 in the morning, that’s when the hospital opens.  Max, I love you more than anything!

Love, Anastasia

September 26, 2018

10:10 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

I love you more than the whole world put together.  See you tomorrow, my beautiful princess.

Love, Max

 

Anastasia….

The morning after our email conversation, I was a little more than slightly nervous.  It’s one thing to talk to someone on screens, but a whole other thing to see them in person.

I wondered what he would think of me, what I knew everyone must have been thinking of me.  “Oh, look, it’s the girl who tried to commit suicide. Hope you feel better! Attention seeker….” I knew that people would look at me and whisper about me behind their hands.  I knew that they would point and gossip after I left. But, I deserved that, I guess. That’s about the only thing I did deserve.

Although, I didn’t think that Max would treat me any differently.  I loved him when we were together in school, he was my everything. I loved him more than I loved air.  He was the only one who saw me as me, who saw all my faults as beautiful things. Max was different from other guys I knew, he was more thoughtful.  All other guys I knew were just focused on the present, on making people laugh, flirting, and enjoying themselves with being ornery. Max was popular enough in our school, he was just a little more quiet, more content to sit silent, listen, and observe.

My stomach gave way to butterflies when I noticed the time; 8:00 A.M.  Max would be here any minute.

I was surprised when he walked through the door just five minutes later; he must have driven over the speed limit the whole way.

He stopped short and looked at me; at the same time, I took a lingering look at him, scrutinizing his expression.  His light chocolate hair was slightly damp, probably from the rain outside. His jawline was more sharp than I remembered.  His eyes, dark dark brown, stared at me for a long moment. It seemed like he couldn’t look away. There was nothing accusing me in his eyes, instead some other intense feeling I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

I came to my senses soon after and tried to get up off the bed.

“Max!” I cried, overjoyed even though I knew that we weren’t really together anymore.  No doubt he wouldn’t want to be with me, I’d hurt him too much.

He rushed to my side and pushed me back on the bed.  I tried to resist, but I was still to weak to do much of anything.  Once I was seated again, I reached up and wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling him to me.  I didn’t care if this was going to hurt again when I was alone, or if I had more nightmares because of this.  I was going to hurt anyways, I might as well do it thoroughly.

While I was thinking this, Max wrapped his arms around me as well, surprising me.  He buried his face into my hair and neck, whispering something I couldn’t hear.

We stayed like that for what seemed to be hours.  He had to pull away first, but when he met my eyes, I knew that he didn’t really like the idea of that, either.

“Anastasia,” he said in his deep, beautiful voice, “you will never do that to me again.  Understand?”

His eyes were so serious, it hurt.  It hurt even more to think about all the pain I’d put him through.

“I promise, Max,” I said, just as serious as him.

He sat me back down on the bed, and he sat in the chair next to me.  We talked of casual subjects for while, like school, class drama, hospital cafeteria food, etc.  I was surprised at how easy it still was to talk to him, even through everything.

“So,” Max said, “are we going to talk about everything?”

My heart started beating more quickly than what was necessary.  So, we were finally at this part, huh?

I swallowed. “I made some bad choices, but I’m better now.”

Max raised his eyebrows. “That’s not exactly what I was talking about.  Although, that does have a major role.”

I frowned, beyond confused.

“Anastasia, do you still love me?” Max said, his eyes burning into mine.

I was staring back at him so hard that it took me more than a few seconds to answer. “Of course, I do.  Max, I never stopped loving you.”

He grinned the brightest smile I’ve ever seen. “Good.  That means that you’re still mine.”

I grinned back at him, happy that he was mine, too.  How could I be so lucky?  I had always wondered how a broken person like me could ever deserve someone such as Max.  But I was glad that I somehow got him, because I was never going to let him go again.

 

I liked this story a lot!  I loved writing the emails, especially when I got to be sloppy and type incorrectly. 🙂

Yours in writing,

Adrienne Parker

Two Years Silent

So I wrote this short story about the writing prompt below.  I entered it into a short story contest, and I’m still waiting to hear back from them.  I’ll update in the comments if I won or not.

 

  1. Write a story about an author who has just started writing again for the first time in a couple of years.

Two Years Silent

I draw a deep breath as I stare at the blank page on the computer screen.  

“This is it,” I think to myself.  “Today’s the day my life finally starts again.”

My hands start shaking as I put my fingers on the worn, familiar keys.  Everything about this is just so comfortable to me. The white screen, my hair up in a messy bun, sweatpants and a jacket, the words slowly making a sentence, a paragraph, a page, a story.  Everything is perfect about this. But is it, really? This depression I’ve been in had gotten better after everything, but now it’s ever worse. How could it get better now? Am I doomed for endless melancholy?

I start typing.

I stare at the small, but large, world outside the airplane window.  I’m finally landing in Florida, where I will live the rest of my life.  The cylinder shaped bronze and silver buildings look like stacks of coins, the little cars like children’s toys.  The millions of small home pools like a small aquamarine dots on the surface of the green earth….

I withdraw my hands.

“UGH!” I shout in my head.

I haven’t been able to write for about two years.  How could I, when….

“No.  I can do this,” I tell myself, breathing deeply again.  “I was strong enough to make it through everything, I can write a short story for the thousands of viewers still waiting to hear something from you.  No pressure, no pressure at all….”

I give my head a little shake, and I wonder what I need right now.  Meditation? Relaxing massage? A little reading time? Some music?

But the answer comes to me, and I’m just tired of fighting it all.  I always knew that at some point I’d have to think about everything.  I can’t just ignore it forever. And this writer’s block is only going to get worse.

I stare at the little part of my reflection I can see on the computer screen.  Long, fiery-dyed hair, bright blue eyes, light skin, and black glasses. I’ve changed so much over the years, I’m hardly recognizable.  But I’m me, and I need to get back to being me, not the person that everyone thinks I should be.

As the memories consume me, I’m glad for a second.  I’m finally on the road to recovery. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s the right thing. I close my eyes….

I stare at the wall of rain outside the window.

“What have I done?” I think to myself as the rain pours down from the heavens.

My guilt is endless, I can’t get rid of it.  People say that the grief and guilt fades into something sweeter, into memories.  But not for me. This is forever, I’m doomed to this misery forever. I can’t deny it, I was always destined for pain.  I deserve it.

I open my eyes, gasping through tears that I didn’t know I was crying.  I shake with sobs for another couple minutes, until I calm down. Even though this time will be more painful, I close my eyes again….

As I raise the blade over my wrist, I think to myself, “This is good for everyone.”

I cut myself over and over, the sink starting to turn red.  I am so consumed by my own destruction, that I don’t even notice when the bathroom door slams open.  I hear a terrible scream, and feel the knife wrenched out of my grasp.

“It’s over, it’s finally over,” is the last thing I think as the world fades into an inky black.

I open my eyes, surprised to feel nothing.  No pain, no anger, no grief. Nothing. Just a sense that something has been lifted from within me, something that has been weighing me down for a long time.

I take yet another deep breath, and pull back my jacket sleeve.

The scars are still there, angrily accusing me.  But I don’t feel their sting anymore, they seem to be fading a little.  Healing, just like I am. My eyes close of their own accord this time….

The darkness surrounds me, wrapping me up in a blanket of stars, keeping me safe from the evil world out there.

But through the comforting darkness, a terrible voice.

“Einmana!” the voice cried out, sounding as though it was in a desperate pain. “Please!  Don’t leave me!”

The voice faded away, leaving me alone with the darkness.  But in the darkness, a blinding white crack. I knew, somehow, that the crack in the darkness was reality.  It was the way to escape the darkness and go back to the real world, back to the voice. Should I go back? I was never wanted there, though.

“But,” I argued with myself, “that voice says something differently.  You are wanted, didn’t you hear them? That was the sound of the most tangible human pain.”

Maybe I was wanted.  Maybe I had a purpose in life.

As the darkness retreated a little, I was able to think properly.  I thought about everything that I loved. Fresh coffee, the breeze through the trees as I sat outside, my best friend, Annabelle, reading while listening to the rain outside, and my boyfriend, Alexander….  Every time I thought about something new that makes life worthwhile, the crack in the darkness widened. The crack soon consumed the darkness, making the pain I had been starting to feel alive and within me.

I opened my eyes and found a white room with white walls, a white bed, and white curtains.  Someone was in the white chair beside my bed, making the strangest of noises.

“Alexander?” I asked softly.

The person jumped about a foot in the air and looked at me with red eyes.

“Einmana?” he cried, hopping out of the chair. “You’re awake!”

“Of course I am, silly.” I said, realizing just how much I loved him. “Did you really think I’d leave you?”

Alex broke into the biggest smile I’d ever seen.  He leaned down and kissed me, slowly and carefully, as if I was made out of the most fragile glass.

“Oh, Einmana,” he said as he pulled away from me, his face crumpling into a frown. “How could you do this?”

I smiled sadly.  I smiled because I was just comprehending that I really did belong here.  I belong in this world. I belong because I have a purpose, why else did that crack of dazzling light bring me back?  But it was a sad smile because of how much pain I had caused.

“Oh, Alex,” I said sadly.  “I was in a terrible state.  I’m so sorry to have caused you so much pain.  I didn’t realize that I belong here, that I should be here.  I thought myself worthless, but I’m not, I see everything so much clearer now.  I won’t ever try and leave this place again, I promise.”

He smiled, although it was also a little sad.  I was glad to see that he believed my promise, though.  He really did, he really did.

I open my eyes.  My breathing is deep and loud, and I’m surprised to see the current Alexander standing right in front of me.  His eyes are wide, his curly blonde hair tousled from sleep. His face is terrified, and he’s shaking me desperately.

“Einmana!” he cries.  “Are you okay? What’s happened?  Do you need to go to the hospital?”

I grin at him so brilliantly, he stops shaking me and looks even more panicked.

“Einmana?” he asks again, his voice a little higher than usual. “Are you okay?  Please!  Talk to me!”

I keep grinning, then through myself at him and kiss him.  I can feel the surprise in him, but he soon melts into my tight embrace, kissing me back just as fierce.

He has to pull away hard to make me let go of his face.

“Einmana?” he asks yet again, although much calmer than before. “What’s happening?”

“Alex!” I say, the first time I’ve spoken in two years, “I love you!”

 

I liked writing this short story, I liked the twist at the end.  Bet you didn’t see the hint in the title?  Interesting prompt, but a good one.

Yours in writing,

Adrienne Parker

White Grave Wedding Dress

I’ve recently been getting into writing short stories.  I love it so much!  This one is my favorite, and by far my best.  Side note; the bet inside the story is true.  I made the exact same bet with my sister.  I hope you enjoy my short story!

White Grave Wedding Dress

As I sneaked into my girlfriend’s apartment that evening, I was a little more than a little nervous.  I had been thinking about this night for more than a month, planning out every single detail. Everything HAD to be perfect.  A few days before, I could hardly eat. Wild thoughts raced through my head when I was trying to sleep at night. What if she says no?  What if she doesn’t feel the same as I do? Will she break up with me? Will my heart ever heal again if she does?

For I was planning on proposing to her that night.

Asena and I met when we were in 6th grade.  I had always noticed her, how could I not? Even in 6th grade, I knew she was beautiful.  Her long auburn hair hung to her waist when she left it down. Her eyes were hard and calculating when she was on edge, but when she was comfortable they were warm and light.  She hardly spoke to anyone, only to her best friend, Via. Even in class, she didn’t like to speak. Everyone knew she was smart, but she just didn’t let on much. Everyone in our class noticed her, but I doubt anyone noticed her as much as I did.

Despite my attraction to Asena, we didn’t really start talking until high school started. Over that summer, she had changed, grown into herself.  She was more beautiful than ever. I was still too afraid to talk to her, for fear she would shut me down. But it was my love for music that enabled me an excuse to talk to her.

I loved music, it fascinated me.  Classical music by Beethoven and Bach, but also modern music.  When I was at home, I’d just listen to music for hours, hearing the blend of voices, the background beat, and piano, guitar, or whatever instrument I could hear.

I took the choir class, trying it for the first time.  My elementary music teacher told me I had a good voice.  I couldn’t be sure, as I had never really sang in front of her.  In elementary, you don’t really care that much about music, you never really sing, either, you just kind of mumble and hope that your teacher won’t yell at you after the concert.  Anyways, I was eager to start.

Asena and I started talking when I noticed how wonderful her voice was.  I asked her about her preferences in music, and we just started hanging out.  We’d go over to my house and listen to some new music I’d found. When she concentrated on the music, it looked like she was trying to set fire to the carpet with her eyes.

We didn’t start dating until the summer before sophomore year, when we’d started to spend the most time together.  We went to the park together, just as friends, to just listen to the sounds and feel the breeze. But the best time that summer was when I took her to her first concert.  When I saw the ads, I started saving up. Asena’s favorite band, Careless Rain, was playing. I knew that she had never been to a concert, and I knew that she would have the time of her life.

When I finally presented her with the tickets, she just looked at them for a long moment.  My heart was beating so loud, I worried that she would just cast them away. Before I knew what was happening, she leapt at me and hugged me, for the first time, so tight it was hard to breathe.  But I didn’t care, I didn’t care.

At the concert, she just closed her eyes during the first song.  I don’t think she even noticed how hard she was grinning. She was completely lost in the music.  To this day, I’ve never seen anything more beautiful. After the first song, she opened her eyes and looked at me with bright eyes and an even brighter smile.

“Thank you,” she said to me, and hugged me, more gently than that first time.  I hugged her back hesitantly.

She let go of me, and lost herself in the music again.  When the concert was over, I drove her home. I walked her up to the front door, but she didn’t open it and go inside, like usual.  She stood in front of me, just looking into my eyes. I couldn’t move. She moved closer to me, and kissed me.

We became a couple soon after that night.  Asena had been hiding so much of her personal life from me.  After we started dating, she told me more about her family than I would have ever guessed.  Her father left her mother when Asena was only three years old. Her mother had a drinking problem for most of Asena’s childhood, although she was getting better.

Asena also told me that she had been enslaved by her thoughts for a while in junior high.  She couldn’t control her thoughts, she had been depressed. She told me that sometimes she would get home and cry for hours.  Soon after she told me this, I had been so angry at her stubbornness. Why didn’t she get help? But I knew, she was too prideful to admit she couldn’t do it alone.

During high school, I started saving up for my future, I got a job working as a farmhand on weekends during school and every other day during the summer.  I didn’t know then quite what I was saving for, but I would know in a few more years.

After we graduated high school, we went to the same college, quite by accident.  I had been looking at Martinez University for a long time, because of its excellent music program.  I could learn about the music industry, mostly about digital music production. I decided to get a degree in media planning in marketing.  We got quite a few scholarships between the two of us.

Asena went to Martinez University to also learn about music, mostly vocal and instrumental music, and get a degree in therapy and journalism.  She had always wanted to help young people overcome mental issues like anxiety and depression. She would be perfect for her job, either therapy or journalism.  She would also fit the music business, her voice was so beautiful.

College was amazing, I met a lot of new people.  My dorm roommate, Derik, was one of the best people I’ve ever met.  Asena’s roommate, Renna, was also a great person. Renna really helped Asena overcome some of her shyness in front of large groups of people.

After college, Asena and I each bought an apartment, even though I was secretly planning to propose by this time.  Asena got a job at the local newspaper, and she was making pretty good money. Her employers loved the way she wrote, how she related to every person who read her articles.  I also got a job working as a media planner.

Which leads me here, where the story began.  Sneaking into my girlfriend’s apartment, laying everything out with my hands shaking.

I had no idea what to do for my proposal for Asena.  Instead of putting out the cliché rose petals, I used dozens of bouquets she had pointed out to me in her favorite flower shop.  They were a mixture of Vendela roses, Dusty Millers, Anemone, White Ranunculus, Blue Thistle, and Silver Brunia. When all the flowers were laid out, all thanks to Renna, I set out the speakers in the hallway.  I was planning on playing, “Like An Angel” by Careless Rain, as it was Asena’s favorite song.

The rest of the setup was a blur, I’m surprised I made it through without collapsing from nerves.  Renna was the one who made everything go correctly. I vaguely remember Derik stopping by and helping, but I can’t be sure.

“Can I see the ring before I go?” Renna asked me.

I wordlessly pulled out the small box, and handed it to her.  She gasped when she opened it. I admit, it is a beautiful ring.  It was silver, the top molded into a rose shape. In the center, a beautiful diamond resided.  The sides were twisted with the tiniest of diamonds on them. Asena would love it.

The clearest memory was when I heard the front door’s lock turning, and I knew that it was Asena.  I raced to the bedroom, where I would put my heart out on the line, where it could get hurt. I pushed “play” on my phone, and heard the quiet music start.  In my mind, I imagined Asena seeing the white envelope, taking out the letter and reading it with the concentration I loved to see on her.

As the doorknob turned slowly, my heart jumped into my throat.  I tried to swallow.

Asena walked into the room and stopped in her tracks when she saw me.  We stared at each other for a solid thirty seconds. I then came to my senses and slid off the bed to stand before her.  I looked into her gray eyes and forgot what I was supposed to say. So I improvised.

“Asena,” I said in a quiet voice. “I love you.  I have loved you since we became friends in high school.  I still can’t believe that I’m lucky enough to call you mine.  But you’re not completely mine, yet.”

I sank onto one knee and pulled out the small velvet box.  I opened it slowly.

“Asena Jackleen Linz,” I said, still staring into her eyes. “Will you make me the happiest man in the world?  Will you marry me?”

For about a minute, Asena just stared at me.  Then, to my surprise, she also dropped onto one knee.

“Will,” she said in her melodious voice. “I love you, too.  I have ever since that first concert with you. You’ve proved to me countless times that you are a great man, and I sincerely believe that.  I will always be yours, no matter what.”

She put her hands on my frozen ones around the small box.

“William Daniel Thomason,” she said. “Will you make me the luckiest girl in the world?  Will you marry me?”

I stared at her, wondering how a person could surprise me so much.

“Of course, Asena,” I said, my eyes never leaving hers. “I love you.”

“Then, yes to your question, as well,” she said.

I slid the beautiful ring on her finger.  She watched my hands, mesmerized. I kissed her, hardly believing my luck.

She pulled back and hugged me.

“Oh, Will,” she said. “Meira won the bet.”

For a moment, I didn’t say anything.  I was sure that I’d heard wrong.

“Come again?” I asked, pulling away to look her in the eyes.

She smiled the saddest smile I’ve ever seen. “Meira, my sister.  She won the bet.”

My brain reeled.  A sister? In the near ten years I’d known Asena, she’d never mentioned a sister.

“I didn’t know you had a sister,” I said, not knowing what else to say.

“I didn’t,” she said, further confusing me.  Until I heard her continue, “I had two.”

Soon after these bewildering confessions, Asena led me to her car and drove us out of town.  She wouldn’t tell me where she was taking me, only that I’d understand soon. We came to a small piece of land surrounded by a white fence, with many trees around it.  I saw the headstones, the flowers, the words written on each stone. Oh.

Asena got out, and started walking to the middle of the graveyard.  I caught up to her and held her hand. She squeezed my hand, as though reassured herself I was really there.  She walked down about ten rows, then turned right and continued for five more stones. She stopped in front of two graves, side by side.

One grave read,

Here lies

Vanya Mirella Linz.

Birth; December 10, 2004

Death; December 16, 2014

“Your spirit goes on while your body is left behind.”

The other grave read,

Here lies

Meira Evette Linz

Birth; June 13, 2000

Death; July 6, 2014

“Keep up your happiness, it’s the only thing keeping you here.”

I was shocked.  How could Asena not tell me that she had two deceased sisters?  That seemed like something that you should tell your significant other.

I was too busy with my wild thoughts to notice that Asena had fallen onto her knees and put her face in her hands.  I sank down beside her instantly, and put my arms around her.

She gasped and took her hands away.  She touched Vanya’s grave, then Meira’s.  Tears were falling down her face like a rain shower.  She didn’t seem to notice.

“Meira and Vanya were my sisters,” Asena said.  “They were the happiest and sweetest girls I’ve ever met.  Vanya died of cancer when she was ten. Meira died in a car accident when she was fourteen.  Before she died, Meira and I made a bet. Meira bet me $10 that I would get married. I agreed, saying that I wouldn’t.  I said that even if she died, I would put $10 on her grave. Of course, I never dreamed she would die so young.”

“Asena,” I said, speaking for the first time since entering the graveyard. “How could you not tell me something as important as this?”

My voice was not harsh or angry, as I wasn’t angry, but Asena flinched. “I didn’t want people looking at me like I was a kicked puppy.  The poor girl with two dead sisters. I meant to tell you once we started dating, so many times. But I could never get the words out. You’re the first person I’ve ever told about them.  It’s so hard to talk about, even now.”

She turned her eyes away from the graves to look at me beseechingly. “I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you, Will.”

I looked into her eyes and saw a still-raw pain.

“Asena, I know this has been hard for you.  I forgive you. But they would be proud of you.  I know they would, you’re amazing,” I said, meaning every word.

“Thank you, Will,” she said, leaning into me. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

We sat there for a long time after that, just sitting there, not even talking.  When we finally left, we went to Asena’s apartment and laid on the couch together.

Several months later, the wedding was finally starting.  I was so nervous, especially when Renna evicted me from the room so she could dress Asena up.  Who thought of the rule that the groom can’t see the bride before the wedding?

When I saw Asena walking down the aisle, my nerves were gone.  I knew that my life was starting, that it was going to be wonderful.  All because of that beautiful woman walking towards me, in a pure white wedding dress.  I knew, and I was right. My life has never been better.

I hope you enjoyed my first published short story!  Thank you for reading!

Yours in writing,

Adrienne Parker

Scythe

Image credit; http://www.amazon.com

Author; Neal Shusterman

I read this book for my teen book group, and it is a really amazing book. I love the imagination of all the different aspects of the story. Hope you read it!!

Summary;

Society has evolved. People can no longer die of disease, hunger, or even “splatting” or jumping of a roof or into the way of a moving car for fun. People who die are called “deadish” and can be brought back to life inside a revival center. In order to keep the population under control, Scythes are established. They have a quota to fill and must glean, as they call it, people as they wish to do it.

Scythe Faraday met two young people in two different ways. He met Citra Terranova when he came to her house to borrow a knife to glean their neighbor. He met Rowan Damisch at his school when he came to glean a student there that Rowan did not know. He accompanied him until the student was dead.

Scythe Faraday decided that he would take on two apprentices, if they wanted it. Citra and Rowan both decided they wanted it. But there was a problem. They could not both be installed as scythes in a year, one of them must leave. It will be a competition, and Scythe Faraday will be the judge on who the new scythe must be.

At the Scythe Gathering, Citra and Rowan are challenged by one of Scythe Goddard’s followers. She says that they have been too comfortable with each other, and now they are pitted against each other. The one who wins the apprenticeship will have the “privilege” of gleaning the other.

Citra and Rowan both show strengths over the year, but something happens that leaves them petrified. Scythe Faraday dies. It is said that he self-gleaned, which is a violation of the scythe’s law. Citra is taken on by Honorable Scythe Curie, one of the most renowned scythes, nicknamed the Grande Dame of Death. Rowan, however, is taken on by Scythe Goddard, a vicious scythe who enjoys gleaning to the fullest.

What will happen between Citra and Rowan? Who will win the apprenticeship? Good questions, but I cannot answer them. Thank you for reading!

Personal Summary;

I love this book. I like the imagination that Neal Shusterman uses in this book. I like the idea of scythes and gleaning, and the Thunderhead, an extremely smart computer program (or so they think). Thank you so much Neal Shusterman for creating a great world! I also hope you read the sequel, Thunderhead. Very well written.

I rate this book 4 1/2 out of 5.

Sexual Content; none

Violence Content; reference to violence with all gleanings and pretty much everything (not too explicit)

Drug/Alcohol Content; none

I hope you enjoyed reading this review. I certainly enjoy writing them!

 

Yours in writing,

Adrienne Parker

Everything, Everything

Everything, Everything

Image credit; www.amazon.com

Author; Nicola Yoon

I almost could not put this thing down! I got distracted way too many times (sorry, Mom)… I love it a lot; definitely on my top 10 list.

Summary;

Madeline has a disease called SCID. She has lots of triggers that could cause her to die. Her house is completely sanitary and has an air filter system running through her house. If people want to visit her, they have to go through a cleaning process that is a pain. Madeline spends time with her mother all the time and has never understood why teenagers are always mad at their parents. Madeline’s dad died in a car accident a long time ago, and her mother is still upset about it. Madeline has no problem with the way she lives. Until he moves in.

Olly is a teenager who lives out in the world, and right next door to Madeline. He always dresses in all black and can do gymnast moves that dazzle Madeline as she watches him out her bedroom window. Olly’s dad is abusive and yells at his family, and his mother just complies. Olly sometimes has to fight his dad to save his mother, though she tells him not to. Madeline begins to IM Olly and feels like she really knows him. This is obviously not enough for Madeline because she eventually asks her caretaker, Nurse Janet, to allow him over to visit her. She convinces Nurse Janet and Olly is allowed over. They gradually come closer and closer together until they finally touch, even though Madeline is risking her life to do so. Maddy, as he calls her, is experiencing something incredible that she never thought could happen to her. But she know that it will eventually have to end. She can’t keep Olly a secret from her mother forever.

When Maddy’s mother finally finds out about Olly, the situation is messy. Her mother forbids her to ever see him again and takes away her Internet privileges. No more Olly.

But Maddy cannot stop loving Olly. She goes to Hawaii with him, since she wants to see the place that her mother went to with her when she wasn’t sick and her father. Maddy has a horrible sickness attack at the hotel where she and Olly stay. After Maddy gets home, she doesn’t talk to him until he leaves. But Maddy discovers something that turns her whole world upside down. What will she do with this earth-shaking truth? Since I am truly evil, you now have to read the book to find out. Hehehe. 😁

Personal review;

I really loved this book. Full of twists and turns with just the right amount of predictability. I love it!! But I would recommend it to ages 13 and up. The only thing I wish it could have had was an epilogue about what happened with Olly and Maddy. 

I rate this book 4 ½ out of 5.

Sexual Content; reference to sexual content to Olly and Maddy in hotel in Hawaii

Violence Content; reference to violence with Olly and his father

Drug/Alcohol Content; reference to alcohol with Olly’s father, reference to smoking with Olly’s sister

 

I hope you enjoyed this review! Thank you for reading. Sorry I haven’t been updating much. I have a lot on my plate with school.

 

Yours in writing,

Adrienne Parker

Bitter End

Bitter End by [Brown, Jennifer]

Image credit; http://www.amazon.com

Author; Jennifer Brown

This book was really good. I read it in one day; I couldn’t put it down!

Summary;

Alex is a senior and has been planning a trip to Colorado since she was eight with her best friends, Bethany and Zack. She wants to go because her mother died in a car crash on her way there. Alex and her friends are going to go at the end of graduation as a present to themselves.

Alex is tutoring Zack one day when the supervisor tells her she has a new student. His name is Cole, and he just transferred from a different school with many athletic badges on his jacket. He makes friends with Alex right away and eventually asks her out. Cole treats her like a queen and is gentle with her. He is so sweet and seems like he genuinely loves who she really is.

But Cole has a problem with Alex’s relationship with Zack, saying that he just wants to be with Alex and always has his hands all over her. She keeps saying that they’re just friends and that she wants Cole, not Zack. Cole eventually takes Alex to a merry go round and ignores her protests as he spins her faster and faster until she is scared. When she gets off, he calls her whiny. But all her anger drain away when he says three words; “I love you.”

Alex’s relationship with Cole starts going down hill as soon as he shoves her. He gets jealous and angry and hurts her wrist badly. Cole says he’s sorry over and over again and puts roses in her car to make it up to her. She forgives him and she thinks it is a one time thing. But it’s not. He hits her this time, and she stays home from school to hide until the bruises fade a little more. The process repeats and she forgives him again. But the next time is the shocker. Cole shoves Alex down into a ditch where she goes rolling into a tree. At the party they were planning on going to, Cole gets drunk and leaves the party without taking her home. She gets home and tries to sleep. But she is awakened by Cole’s drunk voice. He is shouting at Zack who won’t let Cole inside to see Alex. Zack is almost arrested for beating Cole up.

Will Alex choose herself over love?

Personal Review;

I liked this book. Abusive relationships are a big issue that are hardly talked about. I loved how this book appealed to the love side, and how Alex couldn’t let go of her abusive boyfriend because she loved him. I loved the ending, how she was still broken, but healing.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

Sexual Content; reference to sexual content with Cole and Alex several times and jokes with Zack

Violence Content; reference to abuse

Drug/Alcohol Content; reference to alcohol with Cole at a party

 

I hope you enjoyed this book review! Keep reading and refer this site to people you think would enjoy it as well.

 

Yours,

Adrienne Parker

The Only Road

Image credit; http://www.amazon.com

Author; Alexandra Diaz

This book was actually really good. I picked it out at the school library because it looked interesting, and it was really action-packed. It has a little Spanish in it, but that’s okay. It was really good.

Summary;

A cry starts us off with this action-packed book. Jaime’s mother cries out, and his pencil skates across the paper. It couldn’t be… them? But it is. The Alphas, a local gang, have struck again. They have beat Jaime’s cousin and best friend, Miguel, to death. The funeral takes place soon after, and Jaime must not become upset, for that will confuse the spirit.

The Alphas then set their eyes on Angela, Miguel’s sister, and Jaime. They give them time to mourn their member, then they must help deliver a “package” that can only be illegal drugs. So Miguel’s father sends them to their older brother who lives in America. They sew American dollars into the lining of their jeans, and sends them off.

They cross the Guatemalan-Mexican border with Pacho, an elderly man who has always sold his wares in the small town where Jaime’s family lives. Once across the other side, they make their way into a town and stay at a church run by a unique pastor. He lets them stay for free, as long as they help with chores once in a while. While at the church, Angela and Jaime meet three other boys, who help them on the way to their goal. All of them eventually leave Jaime and Angela in different ways.

One of the boys leaves after a couple men confront the group. He goes with them to help steal, sell illegal drugs, and other awful things. Another of the boys, (the youngest and quietest) who was attached to Angela, leaves after deciding to take the train and tell the last remaining boy to stay with Angela. After he leaves, Jaime realizes that “he” was not a boy. The last of the boys, the oldest, is killed in a terrible and adrenaline-pumping truck chase in which Angela gets injured and cannot walk.

Angela and Jaime eventually make it to a farm where the lady inside lets them drink water, fix gates, and watch after the children. She also takes them to the United States-Mexican border.

Will Angela and Jaime make it to their brother, Tomas? Will they ever talk to their family back in Guatemala again? Read this exciting book to find out!

Personal Review;

I loved this book. It was really exciting, and I don’t think that I reviewed it quick enough after I read it to portray the excitement and loss that I felt from this book. I really hope you read this young adult fiction book!

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Sexual content; Sexual reference to when they are crossing the border, they must take of almost all clothes and some men look at Angela. No elaborate descriptions.

Violence content; Reference to gory content, separated limbs beside train tracks.

Drug/Alcohol content; none

 

Always,

Adrienne Parker