An Old Rivalry (StoryADay)

“Wow, you must really hate Mackenzie,” Fabian said to Shara as he noticed her glaring at the other girl. Shara was sure Mackenzie wasn’t serious, not if she had anything to say about that.

Of course, Fabian didn’t know that Shara knew Mackenzie before they both became students at Harrison Creek High School. Back then, Shara knew Mackenzie as Denise Tillman when they were living in San Francisco; Shara was 10 years old and Denise was 12. Denise was a troublemaker while Shara was a good student. Denise was also a bully, as she bullied one of Shara’s friends, Christina McAllen, for being disabled.

“Well, you can say I knew her a long time ago,” said Shara. “But I don’t like her, not where it counts.”

“Whatever,” said Fabian, not knowing that the truth about about to come out…

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What if Juniper Explained Everything (StoryaDay Post)

What if I told you that I did have another choice when I was so seeped in my own fantasy world?

they say that kids grow up differently, but let’s not forget that kids who survived traumatizing events don’t grow up as well as their non-abused peers. I don’t know what that means yet, but I knew that i was completely different from the other kids, and this is why.

But that didn’t mean I had to stay that way.

After English class, I walked towards the front office instead of the library, as I wanted to avoid the librarian and her criticism. She was angry with me for choosing the read the Trees of Light as opposed to some silly teen novel, but what did she know? She didn’t have an abusive childhood like I did. She didn’t have people trying to “help” her with her “problems”. I mean, the people trying to “help” me really don’t like me at all, or they would have done something about it.

Just as I passed the library, the librarian said, “Juniper, we need to have a talk.” I tensed, knowing that like it or not, my unmentionable secret of being beaten up by the school bully was about to come out…

Turning Point (StoryADay)

What was the point where my life changed? What happened to me to make me the way I am? I wasn’t the only person in the world to read D.B. Painter’s “The Trees of Light” trilogy, but something happened to me to make me hold on to the imaginary world I created instead of putting the book away and growing up.

As you may have noticed, Rodney and Sylvia McKenner are NOT my parents. (In fact, I don’t know who my parents are.) All I knew was I was living with them since I was 8 years old. Of course, Bruce, Kelvin, and Lydia McKenner have gone out of their way to make me feel unwelcome, as if I was the unwanted child. That doesn’t surprise me, since that was how I was treated when I lived with the Tannenbay family.

To start, Mr. and Mrs. Tannenbay were middle class and their children went to private schools. Since I was a foster kid, I could only go to public schools. Also, the schools I went to were second and third-rate schools, full of kids who couldn’t function in a decent class setting. I would often retreat to a dark corner of the library to escape from the chaos surrounding me.

But the part that led me to where I am now isn’t pretty.

As you can see, there was a kid who made everyone’s lives a living nightmare. He was cruel beyond all reasoning, punching kids who dared to better themselves. All I know was one day, he caught me trying to go into the library during recess, and let’s say that what happened next was unfit for publication. He had grown angry with me because I had ignored him or refused to interact with him.

Of course, after THAT incident, all I had was my imaginary world, which I created while I was reading “The Silver Tomb“. Most of the other kids shunned me for not talking to them and even the teachers couldn’t get me to yield. Social services was contacted and I was eventually taken out of that terrible school and away from the Tannenbays. (You can guess where I ended up.)

After I went to the McKenners, I withdrew into my imaginary world, reading “The Trees of Light” as a way to deal with the pain I had gotten from the bully. I also pushed away the other kids, fearing that they would be like the bully. No one could talk to me, not even if my life depended on it.

So that’s how I grew addicted to reading “The Trees of Light” and rejecting the other books out there. Plus, I rejected the people who would have become my friends if I put down the book and spoke to an actual person, but that’s a given.

Second Look (StoryADay)

Takes place after Marie discovers Nicholas and Leo planned to hit back at her for attempting to hire a concubine.

(Marie’s POV)

I cannot believe that my son and that Leo Trichenberg have managed to undermine my plans to help provide him with a healthy heir. Not only that, but Alexandra found out what I had planned to do and she sternly lectured me on the duties of a husband to his wife and why no man should stray from the marriage bed, not to get a son. I believed she threw in the Biblical story about Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar to illustrate her point.

It’s not like I was asking my son to commit adultery; I just wanted to hire a concubine for him. Kings used to do that in the old days, so what was the problem with that?

Except that the woman I selected for him grew angry and ran away; she screamed something about morals and what the czar should or shouldn’t do. Plus, with Nicholas and Alexandra being more exposed in public, a concubine would be nothing but trouble.

Of course, I had to hear the last line from Leo himself; I should have remembered that his late wife Slavena had four children, and Leo didn’t hire a concubine to build his family either. And I know his other women would’ve have given me some serious hell if I tried to hire a concubine for him.

As for the woman in question (I think her name was Lana), I saw her talking to Lady Emaria in the gardens. I know they’re plotting to provide me with some form of punishment, as Emaria is at an age with Nicholas and she would not accept any form of wickedness, not even from his own mother.

Nightmare (StoryADay)

I had a nightmare last night. I woke up and started writing, “To whom it may concern,

“I’m writing this letter to inform you all of what I had done during the summer of 1995. I am not proud of what I have done, and what I did was inexcusable. But I must tell you about the summer of 1995 nonetheless.

“I was playing outside my front yard when I saw Diana Kirkland speaking to a person in a black car. I knew that it was never a good idea to talk to strangers, especially if they can grab you and force you inside their cars, but I didn’t do or say anything. I turned away from the scene to talk to one of my friends, who had gotten a new dirtbike from his grandmother. By the time I looked back, Diana was gone.

“I gasped in horror, knowing that she was kidnapped by the person in the black car. Instead of telling my parents what I saw or having someone call the police, I went back to playing and did nothing. Little did I know that that mistake was going to cost me everything.

“When the police came to our house, asking my parents if they had seen Diana, I knew I had one chance to make everything right. I should have told the police that Diana had spoken to a stranger in a black car and was taken by them. But I didn’t do that, as I willfully ignored the crime in favor of seeing my friend’s new bike.

“I should have spoken up that day, but I didn’t.

“Later, the news reported that a 12-year-old girl was found dead next to the Arching River. Many people panicked, knowing that she had been murdered by the stranger who kidnapped her. Because I didn’t speak up or told anyone, Diana was dead. And it was all my fault.

I set the pencil down and thought to myself why did I not speak up when I had the chance? Why did I stay quiet? Diana is dead because of me, and I have helped the strange man kill her with my silence.

The truth is, though, silence has killed more people than wars and diseases combined, and I have added to that number.

What He Said, What I Thought (StoryADay)

He said his brother was disabled.

I wondered what that meant, as I never heard that word before. What is disabled? What did it mean? I had to speak to him, because I didn’t understand the word disabled.

He said his brother was creative, which meant he was very good at creating things. I felt so embarrassed that I didn’t speak to him for the rest of the night.

Nor did I speak to him since that day.

A Mysterious Situation (StoryADay)

You’re not going to believe what happened, but I’m telling you the truth. But you have to promise not to say anything until I have finished speaking, OK?

Several weeks ago, my friends and I received a message which described a mysterious incident that occurred in San Francisco, California. In fact, the incident occurred over six years ago. I don’t know what to make of it, as it had been a year since I moved to Harrison Creek, Oregon from San Francisco. And to make the story more interesting, the message was addressed to me, saying that I needed to help Randal McAllen find out what happened to his younger sister Christina, who had disappeared over six years ago.

At this, I didn’t know what to do or say. All I knew was that Randal and Christina didn’t get along, and Randal hated anyone who spoke to her, which included teachers. I was among those brave enough to be friends with Christina, which earned me Randal’s wrath.

So why would he ask me to help him find his sister? As far as I knew, she could have ran away from home due to the hate she was given, especially from her own brother and parents. If I was in her shoes, I would make sure that I was never found.

So, I have no choice but to take this case. Who knows? Maybe finding out what happened to Christina McAllen would help me in the long run.