So this is a series for Teen Writers who emailed their work to me and they showed exemplary and exceptional skills in their writing and have conquered their fears to write down what their mind wants.
Anastasia has done just that and I would like to present her first chapter of her short story, Spark. There are links to the rest of the chapters.
Summary: Stacey Alexandra Xavier awakes in a maze with other people of diverse ages. They are given one task: find the door that leads to light. And the reward of going home. The stakes are high as friends are made, and previous bonds are broken. But as Stacey discovers that she must risk everything to find the light, she realizes she will have to make the decision that could change her life forever--or insanity will take over first.
Chapter One: The Start-Anastasia Reimann
What has happened to me?
I awake in a bright room.My head is pounding, but I can’t remember why.
I push my dark golden hair out of my face nervously.“Where am I?” I ask, to no one in particular, for there are many other people in the room.
“Nobody knows,” a middle aged man answers gruffly.
“Everyone has asked the same question,” a younger voice adds, belonging to a blonde girl.She rolls her eyes.“It’s getting pretty annoying.I was the first one here, so every new arrival asks me, ‘Oh, where are we?What are we doing here?’My name’s Madeline, by the way.”Madeline rises from her sitting spot in a corner of the room.She tosses her hair back, like a diva.Great.The first person who talks to me and already she’s acting like the queen of the world.
I look around the room.White.It’s all white walls, really.There are about ten other people in the room, all different ages.I see three young girls that look about six years of age each, huddled together, obviously terrified.
“Oh, don’t bother with them,” Madeline scoffs.“They’ll only ask you why we’re here.And nobody knows the answer to that, do they?”
But I’m not about to let Madeline tell me what to do.I push my glasses into place with determination.“Hey,” I call to the girls.
Two of them just stare at me with blank expressions.But the other one, timid and frail, scoots over to me.
“What are we doing here?” she whispers, her voice soft, but fearful.The girl has frizzy blonde hair that falls about to her chin and mournful hazel eyes.
I swallow.How should I know?And, even if I did, what would this girl’s reaction be?She looks scared enough already.
“I know as much you do,” I answer flatly, hoping she won’t make a big deal about it.
The light in the pupils of the girl’s eyes slowly diminishes.She tilts her head slightly down.“That’s what I thought,” she mumbles.
I don’t want to linger on this subject any longer, so I start with the first question that comes to mind.“What’s your name?” I ask.
“Katherine,” she replies.
“Well, I’m Stacey,” I say, noticing that when she hears my name, Katherine’s face goes from a tense expression to a more relaxed one.
“I’m so scared, Stacey.I want to go home.I miss my mom.No one has even told us why we’re here.I can’t remember how I even got here,” Katherine says, her voice trembling.
I open my arms, and she falls right into them.“I will take care of you,” I whisper, running my fingers through her hair as she buries her face in my shirt.“I promise.”
I feel Katherine’s arms slowly stop clutching my shirt.I stand, and walk back over to Madeline, a smirk on my face.She slightly puckers her lips, glares at me, and then looks away.
Only now I realize that I might have some time to think.But only one question pops up in my head: why am I here?And that question blossoms into a million more:When are we going to leave this place, if at all?How did we get here?Who brought us?What do they want?Why are there so many people here?
I ponder on the last one the most, my eyes scanning the room.There are all sorts of people here.I study the features of the man who told me that no one knows why we’re here.A red bandana is tied on his head.His straight brown hair stops at his shoulders, and he has a moustache and a beard.The man wears a black leather vest and jeans.He has a tattoo on his right arm that reads: Bulldog Run; Tougher than nails with a picture of a mean-looking bulldog on it.This man looks like he was taken right off his motorcycle.
My gaze shifts to Madeline, who is twirling her hair and pacing back and forth in that little corner of hers.She looks bored; she has a distant look about her.
I jump up as I hear a snippy shout of “Hey!”It’s Motorcycle Man, and he’s shouting at one of the six-year-olds, who is shaking all over with fear.She must have tried to get a closer look at his tattoo, and the man must have woken up.
The girl starts to cry.Soon she’s wailing so loud that one would think Motorcycle Man had slapped her.
“Shhh…Don’t worry; it’s okay.”The voice I hear is a new one, quiet and calm.So I lift my gaze from the floor to the boy whose mouth it came from.He is tall and lanky, a ginger.His hair is cut high and tight.His face looks flushed, as if he’s just stopped running.The boy takes the red-headed girl in his arms, and rocks her back and forth.They look like they could be siblings.
He catches me staring at them, and gives me a warm smile.I blush, feeling a grin tug on the edges of my mouth.His greeting was unexpected, after all.And I think that, even though he didn’t say anything, that boy has been the only one who has welcomed me here.To a place in which nobody knows where we are.
Katherine is sitting with a black-haired girl.She sits with her head bowed, looking at the floor.I see Katherine talking to her, pointing at me.The girl looks up at me, her sad blue eyes filled with excitement.She walks over to me with Katherine.“This is Cecelia,” Katherine introduces.
Cecelia clutches my arm.“Will you take care of me, too?” she asks hopefully.
I laugh.“Of course,” I answer.You had better keep this promise, Stacey Xavier, I think.These little girls need somebody to be there for them.And it’s not going to be Motorcycle Man.Or Madeline.No; besides that boy who comforted that third little girl, I bet I’m the only one in this room who will actually hold true to that promise.
That boy.I step away from the wall and saunter over to the other side of the room.I think the little girl in his arms is a friend of Cecelia and Katherine.
The girls follow me, “Lucy!” they call, “We’ve found a new friend!”
Lucy grins, her eyes wide.“Really?So have I!”She runs over to me and grasps my left leg.
“She’s going to take care of us, Lucy!She promised!” they chorus.
“Well, my friend says he’s going to protect me, too!”Lucy excitedly points to the boy, who stands and strolls over to us.Then the three girls run off to their spot in the room to make sure no one takes it.
“Hey,” the boy greets, smiling at me.
“Hello,” I reply quietly.What should I say to him?The words die on my tongue.
“You handled that whole thing with Lucy wonderfully,” I say.
He laughs.“I have siblings at home.You did a good job comforting the other two girls.”
“Thank you.I…I guess I haven’t formally introduced myself.I’m Stacey Xavier,” I stutter.I fiddle with my glasses, not knowing what else to say.
Thank you Anastasia for sharing your short story! What I liked about it was it reminded me of City of Ember and I just adored your theme. You showed great plot skill and vivid descriptions. This story is amazing work for a teen, keep writing!
If you guys want to see more about Anastasia, click Here for her Goodreads Profile. Hugs and Candy! :)
If some of you guys are interested also and would like to know more about the Teen Writer series, simply go to the 'Email me your Writing' tab from this blog. Hugs and candy :)
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