Yes, I know that I posted already this morning. But after I made that post, I realized that I promised to announce the contest winners today. Haven't seen my contest yet? Go HERE.
Alright, let's start with my thoughts on each entry.
Nicki T.'s entry:
Your story was quite interesting. I thought it was kind of violent, but interesting. It was also short, but I didn't mind that either. It made it quicker and easier to read. Thank you for entering, Nicki.
Darby May's entry:
I enjoyed this story! I liked the ending, but it seemed kind of sad. I felt sorry for Anna and her family. But you also gave the end a happy feeling. Thanks for entering!
It was really good! You must have put a lot of time in to it! The ending was good, though I felt sorry for Taylor. I would feel pretty bad if someone in my family went away to college. I also enjoyed the beginning of the story. Thanks for entering, Faith!
I loved your story! It was original and a nice length. The only problem I found with it was that you didn't realize use my sentence to create the story. You used the sentence, but it didn't set the theme for the story. Thanks for the story!
And now for the winner! *drum roll please...*
Darby May! with her "Annabelle Martin" story! Her blog is http://www.picklehoppercentre.blogspot.com/.
Here's a medal for you to display on your blog!
Honourable Mention goes to...
Sierra! with her "Not So Bad After All" story. Her blog is http://www.missionkool.blogspot.com/.
Here's a medal for you to display on your blog!
And now for their stories:
My sister has never ceased to amaze me, but this really was the limit. Not only did Fern steal - that wouldn’t be too bad, I could simply do my mother’s bidding of returning the item and apologizing for my little sister’s wrongdoing - but she stole from the one person that I cannot stand. And now I had to return it. Ugh… I tried to convince my mother to have my other sister do it. But she was adamant.
So, one day, I changed out of my gray work dress and into my deep blue outing dress. See, the women in my village hardly ever left their houses, so it was a social standard to change out of your home clothes when you’re going out, even if it was only to buy a tomato or return a stolen item. Anyway, I changed into my blue dress and put on my cream colored bonnet – another social standard.
After I was finished I walked down the lane and stood for a moment outside the blacksmith. Not only did I not like the person I was giving it too, but I had to give it to him in one of her least favorite places. The hot, dangerous blacksmith, where everyone was always sweating and dirty.
Finally I walked in and looked around, trying to figure out what to do. Luckily, he spotted me and walked over.
“Anna.” He greeted me. He didn’t dislike me, but he knew I disliked him, so he was naturally cold in his greeting.
“I came because my sister… She’s five… She took your pocket watch.”
His face became alarmed and he checked the dirty pocket on the front of his shirt for the missing item. “Do you have it?” He asked, quickly.
I did, of course, have it, but I couldn’t understand what the hurry was about. “Yes.” I said, reaching into the pocket on my vest and pulling out the item.
It was a nice pocket watch and I didn’t see how he afforded it – gold, with a silver design around the clock part. It also had the initials J.R. engraved on it, which was strange as Jer’s initials were J. K. – Jeremy Kingston.
He took it from me and searched it for scratches.
I didn’t like him, but I couldn’t help but feel sorry that my sister had taken something that was obviously important to him.
I started to walk away – too ashamed to tell him I felt sorry about it. But he stopped me, saying “Thank you, Anna.”
“You’re welcome.” I said, and then added quickly “My mother made me return it.”
“I know. But you still returned it.”
Again, I started to walk off.
“Anna, I didn’t mean to do it.” He said to my back.
It was how he ended every conversation. He was referring to what had happened five years prior. We were both ten when it happened, and getting ready to graduate from the village school. It was a childlike standard that, although the girls didn’t mind the boys, the boys always resented the girls. Despite that, Jer liked me, and we were friends. But one day, I overheard the other boys teasing him and saying it was obvious that he was a weenie for being soft on a girl. He denied it, but I heard the other boys say that he was too nice to me. The next day, he broke my favorite wooden doll. Since then, he has said, every time I saw him, that he didn’t mean too. I almost believe him, since he says it so much, but it has become a habit to resent him.
I walked home slowly, taking the long route as it was a lovely day and I had no desire to go back to stuffy housework.
On my way, I passed a girl. A little girl - she couldn’t have been more than five years old. She was sitting by the road. It was strange that I had never seen her. I knew everyone in the village and I taught Sunday School to all the children under eight years old. But I had definitely not seen this girl before, or her tattered and torn dress. I knew I had never seen her, because I would have remembered the red, red curls that flowed around her face.
She looked at me with big, brown eyes as I past. Eyes that were way too mature for someone her age. Not playful and happy, but dark and sad.
I passed with a sick feeling. I didn’t know what the girl had been through, but I felt for her.
When I got home, I went to see my mother. Her health had been rapidly declining as of late, and I spend every spare moment with her.
When I got to my mother’s room, I saw that my thirteen year old sister, Riley, was already there, helping my mother sip her hot soup. When Riley saw me, she gave a relieved look and whispered “Anna, she is worse. I didn’t want to leave her, but now that you’re here I’ll go for the doctor.” And she was out the door.
I knelt beside my mother. “Mom.” I said “Are you ok?”
My mom sighed. I could tell she was in pain. “I hope so.” She replied.
“I hope so, too. Don’t talk. Sleep.” I said.
I got up to get Mother a cool, wet cloth to put on her burning hot forehead. As I was pumping water out onto the gray cloth that had once been part of a pair of trousers, I glanced out the window and saw Jer carrying Fern toward the house. Fern was obviously unconscious and I could catch glimpses of blood. Jeremy shouldn’t have been out of the blacksmith yet. It had been barely more than an hour since I saw him last.
“The bully! What did he do to her?!” I said aloud as I ran outside to meet them.
I took the child out of Jeremy’s hands as soon as I got to them.
“What did you do?!” I yelled at him, before I started wiping at the blood with the cloth that was meant for mother.
“I didn’t do it!” He defended himself “She came to me in the blacksmith and tripped and fell. When you think about it, she was lucky that she only hit something hard and not the hot stuff. She wouldn’t be living if she had fallen on something like that.”
I ignored him and started to walk home.
“Anna, do you want me to go for the doctor?”
I wasn’t too angry. I believed him when he said he hadn’t hurt Fern, but I wanted to get inside to tend on her and my mother. I wanted to ignore him. But I knew that if I ignored him, he would go for the doctor.
“No, Riley went. My mother’s ill.”
“Ok.” He said, and started to walk back to the blacksmith, but I couldn’t live with myself if I let him go without saying something.
“I believe you, Jer. Thank you for bringing Fern home.”
I didn’t wait to see what his reaction was. I was inside within seconds.
The next day, my mother was worse. Riley had stayed up with her all night, so at about 4:00am, before anyone was up, I sat with her and let Riley sleep.
My mother was not completely unconscious. She was too ill to speak much, but when she was strong enough, she spoke to me a little.
“Annabelle.” She said. She always addressed me with my given name, and not my commonly know nickname. “Annabelle, your deceased father has a sister – here in town. Never comes out of her house. She is very antisocial, but kind, too. I go and see her sometimes. I want you to take care of her, as her oldest niece.”
“Yes, mama.” I agreed. I was surprised that I had never known that I had an aunt, but I didn’t show it now. I was too worried about my mother.
A few minutes later, she looked like she was asleep, but I knew otherwise. I felt her pulse, and listened to her heart. She was dead.
Tears streamed down my face and fell on my departed mother’s face. I let out a little gasp of misery as I cried. I cried hard for several minutes, and I would have cried longer, if there had not been a knock on the door.
I didn’t take the time to wipe my tears or wash my face. I simply went to the door and opened it.
“What’s that matter?” Jer asked me as he saw the tears on my face and my eyes, red from crying.
“Nothing.” I said.
I expected him to ask again, and then I could tell him, but he just looked at me, sympathy in his eyes. I couldn’t not tell him.
“My mother just died.” I said, and more tears came flowing down my face.
“Ok, I’ll go. You get some rest, ok?”
“Mmm-hmm…” I agreed, though I knew I wouldn’t.
The funeral was the next day. I cried again. I didn’t want too, but it is hard to see a casket lid shut over your mother’s lifeless face.
After the funeral, I asked the mayor’s secretary, whose name I knew was Miss Rebecca, if she knew of any other people in town with the last name Martin. She said that there was a Belle Martin who lived on the other side of town.
I went to visit my aunt the next day – to tell her about my mother’s death.
I knocked on the door. I heard shuffling inside and then the door opened to reveal a thin, sad woman.
“Hello.” I said, trying to be solemn, yet sociable. “I am Annabelle Martin, you’re niece. Your brother’s eldest daughter.”
She let me in without a word. I stepped inside and immediately saw the girl I had seen two days before. She had been my cousin all along!
I sat down and my aunt gave me a cup of hot tea.
“Have you come for any particular reason, Annabelle?” Her voice was low and gruff
“I’m afraid so.” Now was the time to relay the bad news. “My mother has passed away, Aunt Belle.”
Aunt Belle dropped the pan she had been holding on her toe. “Dead? Gina is dead?”
“Yes, Aunt Belle.”
“Then… She told you?”
“Told me what? All she told me was that I had an aunt – you – who lives in town. Is there something else?”
“Yes…” She hesitated for a few moments. “ I hope it is ok for me to tell you. You can’t tell anyone, you understand? Not even your sisters.”
I was worried about the secrecy, but I was curious, so I agreed.
She whispered, so that the little girl wouldn’t hear “Your father isn’t dead.”
I smiled. Then I realized that she was serious. “But of course he is! I went to his funeral.”
“But you never actually saw his dead body, did you? It was faked, because he is in prison for life. He was put in prison for assassinating the mayor. You didn’t know, because you were just a child.”
“No. That couldn’t be.”
“It is. Everyone in town wanted him gone. He was one of the few men who actually did something about it.”
“Are people allowed to visit him?”
“Yes, but there’s more. The current mayor - the assassinated mayor’s grandson – doesn’t know that you’re related. If he finds out, you could be thrown in prison, too. And me, also. You can’t visit him.”
I left just a few minutes later. I was going to visit my father, no matter what my aunt said.
When I went into the smelly, dirty, prison, I didn’t know what I was going to say. When I approached my father’s cell, I decided to go with plain and simple.
“Dad? It’s me – Annabelle.
“Annabelle?” I heard a deep, smooth voice say.
Out of the darkness came my father’s face. Handsome, as always, but gruff and unclean. Tears filled my eyes. Here was my father – who I hadn’t seen in 5 years – who I thought was dead – right before me.
He reached his hand through the bars and stroked my check. “I’ve missed you, darling. You’ve become such a beautiful young lady. I’ve missed all of you. Gina, you, Riley, and the baby who I barely knew. How are all of you?”
“Oh! Mama… Mama died of bad health, Papa. She went peacefully.”
His face saddened, but he didn’t cry. “I loved her.” He simply said, after a moment.
“How is everyone else?”
“Fern had a fall in the blacksmith, but she is ok. Riley and I are fine.”
“Fern – that must be the baby.”
I had forgotten that he wouldn’t even know her name. It had been so long.
My father looked down. He, too, was thinking of the years they had been apart.
A few seconds later I felt a hand clasp tightly around my wrist and a voice, quiet and stern.
“You’re his daughter, aren’t you? Show me to the rest of your family. You are going to get more time to spend with your father in prison.”
“Dad, what do I do!?” I yelled.
The man who had me screamed and let go of my wrist. I whirled around and saw that my father had thrown a rock at his head.
“Annabelle! Get your sisters and run. Out of the village. Now!”
I ran. I ran faster than I had ever seen anybody run. I almost ran into Jer on my way, but he stepped out of my way. I threw open the door of my home and yelled “Riley, Fern! No time to change. Grab your bonnets and come, I’ll explain on the way.”
We were out the door in seconds. My sisters asked questions while we ran, but I knew it would waste time. Someone grabbed my arm and stopped me as we past the library. I yelled. I thought it was a guard.
It was only Jer.
“Jer. I have to go!” I said, tugging.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m not sure. Let go!” I ripped my arm out from his grip and started running.
“I didn’t mean to do it!” he yelled at me.
I couldn’t leave town forever without letting him know. “I believe you!” I yelled over my shoulder.
My sister Never ceased to amaze me, but this really was the limit.
It was the first day of the school year and she had already won an award, got a new boyfriend and made a zillion friends.My?I'm not really a social butterfly.I have a teacher that hates me, my best friend of four years suddenly decided she didn't like my fashion style a week before school started and the guy I like doesn't know I exist.I walk outside and the bus is already down the road.I'm not running after it today.I'll just walk home.It's only a few blocks.Our Mom doesn't like us to do that.She says that"such pretty girls make easy targets". One time can't hurt. It's nice "sunny,warm and a nice breeze" day. I'm two blocks down when I notice a middle age guy behind me.I speed up hoping my mom was wrong and that he'll keep his pace.He speeds up too. I keep going and start pleading to the one good,great thing in my life.
Daddy, Lord, if you can hear me please don't let this guy catch me!I'm scared!Please hold me and defend me!Keep me safe and give me comfort.Please Father!
I turn the corner and my house comes into view.I look back and the man is gone.Maybe I do have it pretty good after all.
Thanks for entering everyone!
Sweet and Sour Meatballs for a Crowd
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