Chapter Two: Long-Lost Family

Chapter Two: Long-Lost Family

A Chapter by Joshua Donahue
"

Forbidden. After realizing that he MUST attend this cookout that his mother has signed him up for, Evan goes quietly and meets his long-lost family, but he learns more than he bargained for.

"

FORBIDDEN

 

BY: J O S H U A  D O N A H U E




Chapter Two

Long-Lost Family

 

The two days that I had until Saturday were now behind me. They went by so slowly that I tried numerous times to keep myself preoccupied by playing online or listening to music. Of course, I also tried several times to convince my mother that I was not going Saturday. That didn’t go so well.

When was she ever going to learn that I was growing up? I did not need her over my shoulder, and soon, once I reached the age of eighteen, I would not have to take orders from anyone. Then I could do what I wanted, when I wanted. If I wanted to go back to San Francisco and relive my city life of countless days roaming the metropolis, then so be it.

In the meantime, however, I was undesirably stuck in Hell.

            Attempting to get me out of the confines of my room, my mother kept assigning me chores to do outside, hoping I would become curious and take a stroll about the place, but there was no chance in hell her attempts were going to work. After so many futile attempts, she finally gave up; she had pointed out that I was going to have to meet new people Monday while she attended some job interview at the seafood restaurant in town, and I was to attend my first day at Hale High School.

*      *      *

I woke up Saturday morning and headed downstairs to grab a quick bowl of cereal. My mother had left to go to the mini mart for some groceries, so her note read. She would be back later, and she told me to be prepared for this afternoon. I crumbled the piece of paper up and slam-dunked it into the trashcan nearby like a basketball of my anger towards her.

I made a bowl of breakfast cereal and headed to the living room to watch some television. My mother had all the essentials set up the day before we arrived: the phone, Internet, and television. This place wouldn’t be so bad if I could just stay in the house all day, I thought. After all, I didn’t really have to step foot out of this structure, did I? Suddenly, I remembered high school, better known as the state penitentiary for teenagers, of course.

            I was becoming pretty familiar with my surroundings by now. Most of the downstairs section had hard, wood-paneled floors just like the kitchen. The living room had a couch, two chairs, and a few stands along with a coffee table in between the flat screen television and the couch. Most of these things were stuff that we had before my dad died, and they were all still in working condition, like the flat screen, which was my father’s birthday present last year from my mother. On that particular birthday for him, I bought him a limited edition Ty Cobb baseball card, signed by Ty Cobb himself.

            My father was an avid baseball card collector. He had been collecting them since he was twelve, which gave him plenty of time to collect thousands of cards. Of course, some of them were priceless and some were useless, but regardless of the value, he wanted the cards. It gave him a hobby, he once told me.

            However, running low on cash, my mother sold them after my father died; the money she received for them was dried up within weeks. Since then, I began to resent her for her greed and willingness to sell things that didn’t belong to her.

            Pushing the past to the back of my mind, I plopped down on the couch and began skipping through the TV channels. I would have normally known what was playing on the television, but we were in a completely different time zone now. If it wasn’t for my mom setting my alarm clock, I wouldn’t have awoken when I did. It would take some time adjusting to this new time zone, among other zones.

As I scrolled through the channels rapidly, I found nothing really interesting, so I just settled for one of the James Bond movies. There were so many that I had forgotten which one I was currently viewing. I didn’t care. As long as I had something to entertain me while I ate my cereal, I would be okay.

*      *      *

Later, my mom arrived home. The clock, according to the television, claimed that it was twelve ‘o clock. I was still in my sleepwear, which caused my mom to look at me with irritation as she entered the house.

            “Why are you not dressed, Evan?” she asked me with brown paper bags in her hands, which were obviously the groceries.

            “I"”

            She cut me off before I could come up with a feeble excuse, “Oh never mind that! Just go and get the bags out the jeep, and be snappy about it will you? We have to get ready.”

            “Jeez, what’s your problem?” I questioned sarcastically while lifting myself from the comfort of the couch.

            After accomplishing her meager task effortlessly and finally waking up from my lazy haze, I went back to where my mom was putting away the groceries. I decided to help. But as soon as I picked up a can of vegetables, she said, “I got it. You just go upstairs and start getting ready, Evan.”

            I knew what she was doing. I decided I would play her way and go along to the cookout.

Once I got to my room, I began to plunder through my closet for something to wear. I thought about wearing a pair of ripped blue jeans and a ragged T-shirt just to make my mom ticked off, but then she hollered up from down below in the kitchen, “Oh, and Evan, honey, make sure you wear something decent. A pair of clothes without holes or stains. We have to look formal and make a good impression on everyone!”

            I groaned and threw down the jeans with frustration.

            I knew I was not going to wear khaki pants and preppy clothes like the man and woman I had met before. I may not be able to wear my ragged clothes this afternoon, but I had no plans to be like them.

            By the time I was ready to put a smile on my face for everyone, my mom was climbing the stairs to get herself dressed. She looked a bit rushed as she passed me, so I thought it best just to keep quiet and stay out of her way until she was ready. 

I went down the steps to the living room to watch some television because I knew it would be a while before my mother would be ready. She always took forever. That was one of my dad’s chief complaints about my mom. Especially when they were getting ready to go out and hit up the town at some adult, jazz club. While she would be in the bathroom getting gussied up, my dad would sit with me a while and check out sports on television. Of course, he never was the one to lay down the ground rules about no partying and such, because, if anything, he encouraged me to party and be a normal teen. My mom, however, had different opinions when it came to the rules.

Dwelling on the past made me smile inside and become delighted at how things use to be, but the longing inside for the past overpowered the joy. My smile quickly faded"I had to forget the past. I needed to forget the past.

Bringing myself back to the present, I glanced at the clock on the screen of the television. I couldn’t help but think that we were going to be late.

            “We have to look formal, and make a good impression” my mother said. Well, these were her family members, so what kind of formal impression did she need to make on them? Maybe there was something missing that I didn’t know about.

            My mom came down the stairs while placing an earring in one of her ears.

“Evan, have you seen the car keys? I forgot where I laid them at,” she said.

“Nope.”

She began digging around for the car keys.

I just stood by the side door, waiting on her to realize that they were hanging on the key hook in the hallway where she had so obviously placed them. Unfortunately, my mother found them, and we were out the door, in the jeep, and down the road within minutes.

I didn’t have the faintest clue as to where these people lived, but I was sure that it was not far considering the size of the town. As my mother drove, I gazed out at the pedestrians roaming and the children playing everywhere. What I saw made me sick because it wasn’t San Francisco"which typically consisted of cars honking to either move it or lose it. I couldn’t stand looking any longer since it made me nauseous. I slumped down in the seat, gazing forward trying to ignore it all and allow it to pass me by.

I felt like texting, just to keep my hands busy and have something to do, but my fanatical mother made me leave my cell phone at that place we now call home. She thought it would be rude if I was on the phone the whole time and not talking to anyone. Hmm…

Within seconds, I immediately recognized our destination: it was a two story house plastered in blue. There was a tall, wooden fence blocking off the backyard and the party. The rising smoke, which was most likely from a charcoal grill, was noticeable. These people act as if they’re in the suburbs, I mentally noted. And this was not the suburbs, to be sure. This was a very shady, over-planted, diminutive, hell-hole place that I just so happened to be currently residing in. And yet, these people were dressed all preppy, had nice homes, and wore too much cologne!

It appeared as if the whole town was in fact attending this get-to-together, due to the amount of vehicles that littered the sides of the road and the driveway itself. Yet, my mother ended up finding a parking spot where she wedged our jeep in between two other cars.

Was it really necessary for me to go through that fence? Walking through that fence was like going straight through a pack of hungry lions. Although that did sound better than all of the shallow people I was about to meet.

Sigh. I missed San Francisco terribly.

My mother removed herself from the jeep while I on the other hand, remained motionless. Then she looked at me with a you-better-get-out-of-that-car-right-this-instant-Evan glare on her face.

With a groan loud enough for her to hear, I climbed out of the car and headed to the big blue house.

As we neared the fence, music and loud laughter along with easy conversation was heard. I took one last look down the street at Pleasantville before entering this dreadful place with my mother.

As soon as we stepped behind the fence, I could instantly feel people watching us out of the corners of their eyes as their conversations died down to get a look at us newcomers.  

            “Hey, Elana and Evan!” came Daryl’s voice from beside the grill and through a wall of smoke that shrouded it. He casually walked over to us.

            Automatically, the awkwardness was gone thanks to Daryl"but that was the only thing he was getting from me"and the conversations around continued.

            Apparently, preppy clothes were not the norm for Daryl. I only noticed, because presently he now wore a pair of old jeans and a t-shirt like a normal person.

            “Hi, Daryl! Where’s Sarah?” my mother said, walking over to greet him with a hug.

            “She went to check on Derek and Michael.”

My mom gave me an intruding look and pointed her eyes at Daryl so that only I could tell what she was indicating.

            “Hey, Daryl,” I said, ignoring the use of the word “uncle”"he wasn’t family…yet. Then I reached out for an available hand that wasn’t holding a cup of fruit punch, and we shook hands.

I noticed a slight frown on his expression"probably from my lack of genealogical recognition. That strange smell of cologne that seemed to cling to him all of the time made me want to gag, yet I refrained.

            “Who’s this, Daryl?” a female voice said, coming up beside Daryl.

            The voice belonged to a woman who looked about thirty. She was a little bit shorter than Daryl, with little tan on her fairly thin body, and she wore a pair of blue jeans with a multi-colored striped t-shirt. Her hair was tied back into a ponytail.

            “Rachel, this is Evan, Elana’s son. Which makes him our"”

            “Our nephew,” interrupted a different male voice from beside Daryl. “Hello, Evan. I am Trent Woods, your other uncle. And this lovely woman,” "he was pointing to a woman who stood on the end with his arm wrapped around her" “is Veronica, my wife.”

            I shook both of their hands. Like his brother, Daryl, Trent was a muscular frame. I have to admit that their size intimidated me a little. Comparing them side by side, I noticed they both were fairly similar. I received the impression that they were in their middle thirties; they both also had short hair"Daryl with a crew cut and Trent had the cut, just no crew. Daryl was landed with emerald-filled eyes and Trent had sapphire. I could immediately tell that my father was related to these two.

            “Okay, Trent, that is enough of your introduction,” said Rachel. “Hello, young man. I am Rachel, your fabulous aunt. And I see that you have already met my neurotic brothers, Daryl and Trent.” I observed that she seemed gauchely out of place. She had a tie-dyed shirt and simple jeans. Her wrists were covered with bracelets of various beads, and her neck was bound with necklaces of intricate shapes.  She was noticeably a very liberal person.

            I glanced at Trent from the corner of my eye and saw a small hint of irritation.

Rachel ignored him, however. “Hello, Elana, it is so good to see you! We have only met once or twice, I think. Good to see you nevertheless.” She hugged my mother.

            Then Trent, pushing his sibling rivalry away, said, “Yes, it is good to see you, Elana. How was San Francisco?”

            “Good…for a while. But then"well, it got a little crowded. But we are here now, in Hale. How are the boys?” my mother asked, trying to do a quick change of subject.

            “Good. They get into trouble often though. They are a handful, but boys will be boys right?” Trent said, clearly getting into a lighter mood.

            “I agree. I only have one, and that one is enough for me right now.” She placed her hand on my shoulder only to direct all eyes on me. I felt a little embarrassed by her action, so I turned my head to ignore the stares.

            “Actually, the boys are around here somewhere. I just don’t know where. Probably off scheming some plan that will get them grounded. Honey, I should go look for them and let them know that Elana and Evan are here,” Veronica said to her husband.

            “Can I come? I am dying to see what they look like at their age!” my mother squealed with enthusiasm as she removed her hand from me. I have to admit, seeing her so excited brought a small smile to my face. It had been a long time since her last genuine smile of happiness.

            “Of course. Coming Rachel?” Veronica said.

            Rachel followed my mother and Trent’s wife off through the crowd of people. Perfect. Now my mother left me here with two guys who claim to be my uncles, yet who still are two random strangers. What was I going to say to these guys? Should I just walk off or start up a conversation?

So doing neither, I just allowed my eyes to flow over the people that were mingling, laughing, having drinks and reminiscing over childhood memories"there were a lot of people here to be sure. The backyard was quite large in order to accommodate so many attendees. The tall fence was plastered in decorations of various colors to lighten up the mood of the occasion, and picnic tables and chairs were scattered everywhere for people to relax and enjoy themselves. The high fence gave me the impression of being protected from Hale and its everlasting happiness filled with green grass and not tall buildings and the absence of the Golden Gate Bridge. But then I realized that the impression was false seeing as how these people fit their surroundings.

            Then, pulling me back from my thoughts of back home, Trent asked, “Would you like something to drink, Evan?”

            “Uh, no. I’m good.”

“So, what grade are you in?” he questioned as he swallowed his beverage.

            “Tenth. I’m sixteen,” I answered while trying not to acknowledge the discomfiture.

            “So, how do you like Hale? There aren’t any trolleys here,” Daryl said.

            “You’re right about that. This place is nothing like San Francisco. But I’ll adjust to it. It’s just things are so different. Plus not to mention the time zone is messing with my head a bit"jet lag.”

            They laughed a little at that.

            “Yeah. But you’ll get used to it. When are you going to start high school here?” Trent asked.

            “Monday,” I said disappointingly.

            “Um, so are you doing well, since"uh"you know, what happened to your dad and all?” Trent asked sheepishly.

            Before I could say anything, Daryl butted in and began whispering something too low for my ears to detect to Trent.

            I saw a slight nod in Trent’s head. Then he said, “No need to answer that Evan. I am being insensitive. Would you like to meet my sons? There are many other people here, and they’re just dying to meet you. Especially Elana’s family.”

            “Okay,” I muttered, not seeing that I had any other option but to ignore his “insensitive question” altogether. That was a subject I would not touch, now or ever.

            I followed Trent and Daryl through the crowd of people.

            After catching a few glances from other people attending the cookout, I found myself face to face with Trent’s three sons that I had heard so much about recently. They were throwing a football when we showed up, but Trent called them over for us to be “properly introduced.”

All three guys looked like the reckless types. The tallest of the three went by the name Edmund. He obviously had a height and muscular advantage on me being as he was seventeen. He had dark hair and piercing brown eyes. His younger brother, Luke, was sixteen with blonde, fair hair and cobalt eyes completing the picture. He and I were more similar in the size department. The shortest of them all was Christopher"or Chris, as they called him. He was fourteen with dark blonde hair and matching brown eyes like his older brother. I found it a bit odd that I could easily tell what their eye colors were or the fact that I even cared, but they seem to standout from their appearance. It was weird, but I assumed it was just one of the family traits.

            “I’m Evan.” That was a short answer, couldn’t I at least elaborate?

            “Oh, yeah! Aunt Elana is your mom, right? Yeah, we just talked to her a few minutes ago,” Chris said.

            “Where did they go, Chris?” Trent asked his son.

            “Um, I think they were going to get some drinks and then head on over to see Michael and Derek and find Aunt Sarah,” he replied to his father.

            “Okay. Well Daryl and I are going to leave you boys alone. Play nice now,” Trent said with a glare from his eyes that was directed his three sons.

            They glared back at their father, as if signaling a silent agreement was in place.

            Then Daryl and Trent walked off to find my mom and the other women. I would have rather followed them than stand where I was and talk to people more my age; it was easier to talk with adults, you could just tell them what they wanted to hear and they would shut up. Teenagers are a different story.

            After the departure of Daryl and Trent, Chris took up the notion to learn more about me. “So what grade are you in, Evan?” he asked.

            “Tenth grade. I’m sixteen,” I answered simplistically.

            “You’re going to attend Hale High then?” Chris asked.

            I nodded.

            He sighed in response.

            “Oh, good! Luke will show you around sometime then. You know, to get to know the people and stuff at Hale High,” Edmund said with a bit of forced enthusiasm trying to be as friendly as possible to provide me a good impression. Something told me that he also wanted to establish the fact that he was leader of his brothers.

            “I will? "I mean, I will! Yeah, I will. It’s a cool place. But some of the people there may be a bit too pushy. We rarely get any new people in this small town, you see. Not to mention that you are from San Francisco, which is across the U.S.,” Luke said.   

            Why did he have to bring that up? It was bad enough that I had to live with the fact that I had to move, but he did not have to rub it in like that.

            Catching my emotions, Edmund asked me politely, “So, you wanna toss the ball back and forth with us?”

            I agreed, but only because I knew that I couldn’t be rude to the three guys that were trying mysteriously hard to be friendly with me.

            The yard was immense. It had a nice secluded spot towards the very back where we threw the football between the four of us, nothing but a vast forest acting as a barrier to the back edge of the yard.

Between us four, it was nice, like we were friends or something"even though I had known them for a mere five minutes. Yet they seemed friendly enough. They took turns asking me questions about what San Francisco was like and what I did for fun. And after the many questions of purgatory eased down, it was my turn to ask the questions. So I let it all flow out like a river. I first asked about them. What they did for fun and gracious questions like they had asked me. Then I began asking questions about Hale. I wanted to know about the excitement (if any), and I wanted to know what kind of things occurred and what the people were like. I was very curious about their inexplicable lifestyle.

            Eventually, I got enough information to learn a bit more about Hale in order to gain a slightly new perspective on it. I learned that it was indeed a boring place, but it did have carnivals and festivals for holidays and such. There was hardly any crime at all, but there were occasionally a few reports of teen vandalism and a few arguments"but mostly of adults having futile quarrels over branches overlapping a neighbor’s yard and getting in the way or something else just as boring.

            We talked for a bit like this, as if we were buddies, and for some strange reason, I felt like we were. I mean, after all we were cousins. Besides, I would eventually see Luke at school a lot because he was in my grade. I would see Edmund occasionally, even though he was one grade above me, but Chris I would not see so often"only after school if we ever hung out. He did seem happy that I had arrived, and he even sighed after I had told him what grade I was in. It made me wonder if he wished that we shared the same grade level. Newcomers really were rare in this Hale, SC.

Afterwards, Trent motioned for us from over by the grill.

We obliged his command and walked over.

            As I got over there with Luke, Edmund, and Chris, I noticed some other people were there of whom I did not know. They all were standing around in a circle, laughing with everyone. My mom introduced them as her mother, sister, and brother along with his wife (who had a daughter, but she was roaming around with Daryl’s sons Michael and Derek).

            Trent and Daryl and their annoying sister, Rachel, introduced me to my grandfather and grandmother on my dad’s side of the family. They were aged and went by the names of Otis and Susan Woods"both of which owned the house at the cookout was being held at. 

            After everyone finished passing me around, shaking my hands, and asking me lame questions about my age and grade and how I was enjoying being in a small town such as Hale, I finally got to just sit down, rest, and eat. I sat between both sides of my family at a picnic table. My dad’s side was to the right of me, and my mom’s side to the left. I heard so many stories of my mother’s childhood (and some more than necessary for my ears) that I couldn’t take much more. I tried to block it all out by talking with Luke, Chris, and Edmund.

They liked to hear of what the outside world was like in San Francisco. Whenever I answered one of their questions about California with elaboration, they would just stare in awe at me. It was cool to see their reaction. But when I questioned them if they had been anywhere, they said that they had never been outside the state of South Carolina.

            I had, of course. Every year, my mom, dad, and I traveled somewhere in the United States for summer vacation or just to get a break from our world. So far, I had been to Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. This year my dad was making plans to visit the tropical island of Hawaii to explore its vast waters and flowing volcanoes. But that was way back then. Things had obviously changed now.

            The conversation proceeded as normal. That is, until I heard some faint whispering off to my right. It was barely audible, so I had to shift my sitting position to see who it was"Daryl and Trent"and to hear what they were murmuring about. Thank God Edmund, Luke, and Chris were talking amongst themselves now about the tales that I had told, I was able to perk up my ears and listen to the two men. Eavesdropping was disrespectful and invading to one’s privacy, but that was the farthest thing from my mind. Nonetheless, I was not able to get the entire conversation for it was too low, but I was able to hear clips of it.

            “Trent, ...was just hit with it,” Daryl whispered so softly.

            “But…the virus...to hit there for another few weeks?” Trent replied inaudible.

            “It’s growing. Look we….need as many recruits as possible especially…”

            “…safe to wait for him to transform, since we have to face the plague and…?”

            “We need him. How can…even they are worried. Their leader…”

            “Well, we’ll have to…quickly and swiftly. No matter….I think we should proceed no matter what. But wait until….to decide that. M’kay?”

            “ ’kay. But we can’t just….and pretend that nothing is occurring.”

            “I know that. We’ll act soon. Very soon. But this is not the time or place for…”

            Then the quick and softly-spoken conversation was over, and the two men returned to their food like nothing had occurred between them; not one person was looking sideways at them like I was.

            What did this mean? Him to transform? Recruits? Plague?

            Maybe they knew that I was listening and was playing some weird, southern joke on me.

            I waited to see if they were going to shout excitedly and tell me so.

Nothing happened, however.

            Over the next few minutes, I pondered over every possible scenario that could lead to this queer conversation. I came up with zilch. It had appeared that I was the only one who noticed anything at all, because everyone else was done eating and were still talking. I had barely even touched my food, which so happened to be “normal” cookout food surprisingly. Due to the recent strange conversation that I stressed over so pointlessly, I had lost my appetite.

            I needed someone else to listen in on, so I could push away the other conversation I had overheard. Thus, I listened to Rachel and my mom chit-chat back and forth about some trip after they had quit talking about my mother’s childhood, of course.

            “So, Rachel, I hear that you’re leaving on vacation soon?” my mother asked my father’s sister.

            “I am. In fact, I’m leaving Monday. It’s my world adventure. I’m going to Canada first, then overseas to England. I’m gonna head south towards Africa, then back up to Italy, and I plan on stopping by Russia before I get to Japan. Lastly, I will be a few places in South America, and along the way home, I may stop at the Bahamas,” Rachel explained blissfully.

            “Sounds wonderful. How long will you be gone?” my mom asked.

            “I’m not sure exactly. I’m just sort of going with the flow, you know? It makes life more interesting. Besides, they’re some of the places that I have always wanted to visit before I die. So I wanna make the most of them,” she said.

            “Hopefully, she’ll stay gone long enough,” Trent joked at his baby sister from nearby.

            Rachel glowered at him.

            “Just don’t hit on too many guys,” Susan said with a smile at her daughter.

            My mom and Rachel both laughed.

            “Then what’s the point in going?” Rachel replied jokingly.

            My mom laughed again.

            The conversation seemed wearisome, so I tuned it out.

            Nodding my head and pretending to pay close attention to conversation was quite simple. I would just pay enough interest so that I could notice when there was a pause to mutter a simplistic “yes” or “no.” I did not want to appear rude to my audience. I was stressing over one other thing in my mind: what in the hell were those dudes muttering about earlier?

            I am not the next Tom Cruise, but I was acting good enough to cause my mom to smile at me whenever I made it look like I was enjoying myself. This caused her to be delighted, so at least it was somewhat beneficial.

            I tried paying closer attention to Trent and Daryl to see if they were going to spill some more secrets, but they stood around other people and acted as if everything was cool. But I knew better.

            The cookout ended later in the day around six ‘o clock. Well, it ended at about five, but my mother insisted on lending a helping hand to Daryl, Trent, Rachel. We all helped carry the heavy stuff back to its proper place, including the picnic tables and chairs. Afterwards, we tossed the ball back and forth, making small talk as I communicated with Derek and his younger brother, Michael, for the first time. Meanwhile, the women took down the decorations, and Trent and Daryl did the rest. By the time we were all done, we said our good-byes"quite easily and happily"and we were back home, I was worn out.

            My mind still raced over every small aspect of the day: the weird smells, the glares, and the whisperings. It seemed to fit in some way, but I just couldn’t find the right link. It was like one of those jigsaw puzzles that were nearly impossible to figure out because each piece looked the same as the one before it.

            After I got ready for bed, I told my mother goodnight. Then I shut the blinds and pulled the curtains closed. I got under the covers and plugged my iPod into my ears. While residing in the dark that surrounded me in the utter stillness of my strange room, which still seemed foreign to me, I listened to the harmonies emitting from the small speakers. Then I realized I had forgotten something. So I placed the currently-playing song on pause, knowing I had overlooked my biggest problem yet because I was brooding over those two men and their dumb, distracting conversation that had me nearly falling out of my seat to hear. It wasn’t all of the names that I thought my mom would ask me about sometime (even though I had practically forgotten everyone and their role in the family). It wasn’t the cookout, the conversations, the new town, or even the odd new home.

            It was what I would have to face Monday.

It was Hale High School.


*FINAL VERSION 04.16.11

 




© 2011 Joshua Donahue



Author's Note

Joshua Donahue
FINAL VERSION 04.16.11: A much improved version has been added thanks to an English master of mine who is reviewing this for me. (Only grammar/vocabulary edits have been made. Plot changes may be made at a later date). Thanks.

I've waited long enough. This is Ch. 2 of my novel Forbidden. If you haven't read my 2 poems that go along with this or Ch.1, please do so! As always: Read. Rate. Review. xoxo

Chapter 2 is up! So please let me know what you think. I have edited this to my best ability, but I have missed anything please let me know. I accept all criticism! This is not my fave chapter, but things do heat up a little bit and, hopefully, entices you for Chapter 3 (which will be posted up in a few days. It's finished, I just want to see my feedback for each chapter before I post anymore). I was forced to cut some characters from this chapter mainly because introducing so many characters is too much. But there aren't that many people now (so nobody better point it out! :D). As always: Read. Rate. Review. And send me read requests AFTER you have reviewed mine and I'll do the same. xoxo

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1. "After accomplishing the meager task effortlessly and finally waking up from my lazy haze, I went back in to where my mom was storing away the groceries."

If you were standing on a corner telling this story, would you tell it like this? Would you use these sentences? You should write a story as though you were standing around, telling it to three friends.

2. There are some grammar issues here which I am sure you plan to tackle with future editing passes. For example ...

"The yard in which everyone was in was immense."

This is redundant. Should be ...

"The yard was immense."

or

"The yard that everyone was in was immense."

As far as story content, you have piqued my curiosity a bit. What WERE they talking about? You have managed to insert a bit of a hook. This is a good thing. This is what holds readers in every story.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.



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Reviews

Wow. This is amazing! Your writing is really good. I can't wait to read on!

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

1. "After accomplishing the meager task effortlessly and finally waking up from my lazy haze, I went back in to where my mom was storing away the groceries."

If you were standing on a corner telling this story, would you tell it like this? Would you use these sentences? You should write a story as though you were standing around, telling it to three friends.

2. There are some grammar issues here which I am sure you plan to tackle with future editing passes. For example ...

"The yard in which everyone was in was immense."

This is redundant. Should be ...

"The yard was immense."

or

"The yard that everyone was in was immense."

As far as story content, you have piqued my curiosity a bit. What WERE they talking about? You have managed to insert a bit of a hook. This is a good thing. This is what holds readers in every story.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

There were some places that seemed like they needed a comma. I can't find them right now, but maybe just read through the chapter one more time to see if you can find them. If not, it's great as it is now.

One thing I'm confused about is how the two families know each other. Where his parents high school sweethearts? Just something to think about.

I loved the plot and where it's going and I can't wait to read the rest of it. I sense something magical is on the horizon =)

Great job and keep writing!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very interesting. Your story here has a very realistic feel to it. I like that.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Most of the stuff I said before applies to this too.
Exciting! I can't wait to read what comes next! Luckily I don't have too. On to chapter three!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Seems like that would have been a very uncomfortable situation, guess he has more of those coming real soon.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Great read, evan has a lot of funny comments and ideas ( i loved when you wrote, 'My mom came down the stairs while placing an earring in one of her ears.

“Evan, have you seen the car keys? I forgot where I laid them at,” she said.

“Nope.”

She then began scrounging away for the keys.

I just stood by the side door, waiting on her to realize that they were hanging on the key hook in the hallway where she had obviously placed them.').

Also , description on surroundings is great too, it makes you see the scene playing out in your mind's eye. There was one thing I didn't like, its tiny..tiny really...buuuuut, i was wondering why you didn't mention more about Michael and Derek, because Evan seems to be talking about them a lot at the beggining of the party. That's about it, i'm going on to the next chapter to find out what happens on Evans first day at school. :)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I have to disagree with the featured review. I actually don't find it odd that he's never met any member of his family outside his immediate. That was basically my situation, too. My parents moved from Illinois to Florida when I was five and all my relatives live up north. I barely know my relatives and the only contact I have with them is from visits once a year which have now dropped off significantly. Had my parents been wealthier to be able to go to other places on vacation I'm sure my once a year visits to the relatives' houses would have been significantly reduced. My husband still meets members of his extended family that he's never me or hasn't seen since he was a toddler. Maybe tthere are very good reasons for Elana to have never introduced her son to his family.

Some more things to think about: Get rid of the messy attributives. It should be he said/she said. Period.


One thing that does bother me, though, is that you set this up as a small town but you have them driving everywhere. Driving to pick Derek and Michael up from a friends house and then driving again to the grandparent's barbeque. If it's a small town why couldn't they have walked?


This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Okay, so I did read Ch 1, but the one thing that I keep coming back to is why in this childs 16 years on earth and all their travels has he never met any other family members outside of his immediate family? Why have none of them visited in all that time? It seems really odd.
I am hoping this is addressed at some point in the story.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Great second chapter. I didn't get lost in your number of characters, I thought it gave a realistic sense of being in a new setting with Evan, lots of new people. I do think that if you look at chapter 1 and 2 together, there's too much info before we get the first hook, (the overheard conversation) you'll lose some impatient readers. For me it was good. I don't crit the grammatical stuff, but I saw some errors that can be cleaned up in a final edit. Well thought out write... can't wait to read more.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on July 14, 2010
Last Updated on April 16, 2011
Tags: chapter, two, long-lost, family, romance, teenager, paranormal, love, supernatural, werewolves, nymphs, forbidden, Evan, Woods
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Joshua Donahue
Joshua Donahue

Jefferson, SC



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