The Lovely Child

The Lovely Child

A Story by themaidenlenore
"

It's about a girl who was kidnapped when she was six and everything she thinks comes true because the boundary between her mind and reality is non-existent.

"

The Lovely Child

1. Do not Blink

2. Look behind you wherever you go

3. Don't open the closet

4. Do NoT LooK UNDER THE BED 











"Don't be afraid." the man said. But I was afraid. I didn't know where I was, I didn't know who he was. The man. The one who took me here. Kidnapped me is more like it. Right from my bed. My home. My eemie. The very thought made me want to cry. I remember my eemie telling me not to cry once and she'd give me an ice cream cone.

Hush, she had said. I had been playing a game where I was jumping on those slabs on stones in front of parking spaces. It was in front of our apartment. Only I had tripped and hit my knee against the ground and my knee had started bleeding. It had hurt, too. A lot. But my eemie had calmed me down; made me stop crying. Hush, she repeated in a soothing voice. It's alright. Then she sang me a lullaby. Hush-a-bye, don't you cry. Go to sleep my little baby. When you wake, you shall have all the pretty little ponies. In your bed, Mamma said. Babies riding off to Dream Land. One by one, they've begun. Dance and prance for little baby. Then I stopped crying. Eemie smiled at me and said, come on, let's get some ice cream. In my mind I was playing the lullaby over in my head.

Blacks and Bays,

Dapples and Grays,

Running in the Night,

When you wake,

You shall have,

All the pretty little ponies.


Can't you see the little ponies

Dance before your eyes.

All the pretty little ponies

Will be there when you arise.


Can't you see the little ponies

Dance before your eyes.

All the pretty little ponies

Will be there when you arise.


Hush-a-bye

Don't you cry

Go to sleep my little baby.

When you wake

You shall have

All the pretty little ponies.


All the pretty little ponies


(Hush-a-bye, Don't you cry)

The thought of my eemie made me sad. I started to cry. The man looked sad. At first I thought that he would cry too, but then I remembered that grown-ups don't cry. Most of the time.

But instead he reached into one of the pockets of his long coat and pulled out a small music box. He held it out to me and I took it. I ran my small fingers along it and laughed when I saw it. It had a little duck on it with big webbed feet and it was holding a black umbrella in its right wing. I handed the music box back to him, smiling. He smiled and turned the key on the bottom. A song poured out of it. I liked the colors that I saw when I heard it. Some sounds, like a screechy sound, send sharp greys and greyish-blues through my head. Or I see dots. Bad dots. Mean dots. I don't like those dots. They hurt. 

But these colors were good. Happy colors. Nice colors. Happy red, fun orange. Calm blue. Pillow. Bed. Eemie.... Eemie.... Eemie.... Eemie....





1

Ten years and 349 days later

Winter's here, again, oh Lord. Haven't been home in a year or more . . . . 

The sound of my alarm clock woke me up. Two in the morning, ugh. Honestly, I am really not a morning person. I'm more of a night person. Oh well, time to get up.

There was already an outfit laid out at the foot of my bed. It was a dark blue, long sleeved sweater and brown cargo pants. Baggy but warm. 

First, take shower. Second, get dressed. Third brush teeth (no breakfast for me :(, sad, I know). Fourth, last minute packing.

"Lenny, are you almost ready?" my mom called up to me at two forty-five. "It's a six hour drive and we'll be there by nine if we're lucky."

"Ken, eema." I shouted back to her. 

Just so you know, Lenny is not my real name. It's a nickname that my eema gave to me. My real name is Lenore Schwartz. My eema's (mom's) name is Ranita. And my abba (dad) lives in New York. His name is Owen Cooper. My parents used to be married, but they got divorced when I was just a little kid. Like three. I'm still  little kid, well, sort of. Now  I am .... I don't really know. I think I'm six. But my birthday is on October first. Does that mean I'm turning seven? Now it's September fifteenth. Tuesday. And it's three o' stupid clock. :P Or am I ten? I think it has something to do with the number ten. Maybe ten plus six. Sixteen. Am I sixteen? 

Currently, me and my eema live in Boston. But that's all about to change. That's because we're moving. To the small, tiny actually, and I mean teeny, tiny, super tiny, town of Eastport, Maine. And I'll be going to Shead High School. Home of the Tigers.

"Lenore! We have to go! There's traffic, even at this time of day." 

"I said I'm coming, eema!" Even though it doesn't seem like it right now, me and my eema are best friends.  

The reason me and my eema are biting each others head off right now is because, like me, she isn't a morning person either.

Oh well, gotta go downstairs. Gotta get in the car. Got to go to stupid Eastport in the stupid middle of nowhere and go to stupid Shed whatever it's called high school. As I have just told you for the millionth time, I am not a morn-

"Lenore!"

"Ken, eema!" FIne, I'm coming, I'm coming. I dragged my bags downstairs and helped my eema put all the stuff in the car. We were leaving our furniture (except for pictures, lamps, books, blankets, etc.) in our former house. That's because there's all this furniture that used to be my uncle's (he's the one who used to own the house until he died) was left there. I took one last look at what used to be my home. I never realized how much stuff I had taken for granted. I loved this house. I loved it's green paint with white trim. I loved the plain windows that I used to pretend were gateways to other worlds. I hated the white sign in the lawn that had a red sticker over it that said: SOLD. I hated the people who were moving here, even though when they came to see the place they had been so nice. They were a man and a woman with their twelve year old daughter and puppy. I had hated that girl. Sasha, I think was her name. I hated her strawberry blond hair, her rosy cheeks, her dimples when she smiled, which was often. She was the daughter that every parent wanted. And most of all I hated the fact that she had a puppy. An adorable puppy. It was a border collie that the girl held in her arms with its tongue sticking out. When she set the puppy down it ran over to me and licked my hand. Everyone laughed, including me. But honestly, I was jealous of the girl. I don't know why, though. I mean, I'm happy with my life. Really happy. I don't know. Maybe it's because she lives with both of her parents and that her dad didn't back out of being a family man when his daughter was born. I don't know. Maybe. Or it could just be that she had a puppy, yeah, that was probably it.

"Okay, let's get this show on the road." my eema said. She was wearing her mouse brown hair in a messy bun and was wearing a pair of blue jeans and a bright orange and pink tie-dye short sleeved shirt. She pushed a few strands of hair out of her chocolate brown eyes and shifted in reverse and backed out of the driveway, narrowly missing hitting the neighbor's trash cans. She pulled her lips back as the tires squealed against the pavement when she came to an abrupt stop as a stampede of cars came jetting from either side.

"Three fifteen." I said, glancing at my watch.

"Really? Oy vey." In case you haven't picked it up by now, me and my mom are both Jewish. Hence the hebrew words, the use of the word oy, and the fact that we both are very Jewish looking. I don't mean that as a stereotype, but I have noticed that most of the other Jews I know have brown hair and brown eyes, although I have a few flecks of green in mine that I get from my dad. "Come on, come on!" My mom muttered, slapping her hand against the steering wheel, accidentally honking. She pulled her lips back again as several other cars speeding by honked back at her. One even opened their window and yelled a very nasty thing at her. We glanced at each other and burst out laughing.

"Did you hear him?" I asked between intervals of laughing.

"I know. Wait a minute please." She stuck her head out the window and shouted at the man who had cursed, now disappearing along the curve of the road, "Yeah, well same to you too, pal!" Although I don't think that the man even heard her. "Hey, watch where you're going." Then she added quietly, "Schmuck!" My eema never calls anyone, and I mean, anyone, pal. So, I'm pretty sure that's a bad thing. And I'm also pretty sure that a couple of people gave us dirty glances. One even yelled back at us, well, I do not think that I should tell you what he said. Trust me, you don't want to know!

"Okay, let's listen to some tunes." I said and turned on the radio. I was lucky and found the channel that I was looking for. I don't know what it's called, but it plays the best classic rock songs ever written on the face of the earth. They were playing Boston's Peace of Mind. Love this song.

I understand about indecision

But I don't care if I get behind

People livin' in competition

All I want is to have my peace of mind.

"So, this has been a fun day so far." My eema said. Sarcastically, of course. She said it with a smile on her face. My mom has a very pretty face. She's kind of tan and has a narrow face. Her eyes are a rich milk chocolate color and her hair is a mouse brown and has subtle waves in it.

I, in the other hand, am not as fortunate. I have a heart shaped face and a few freckles. My hair is dark brown and curls slightly past my shoulders. I have brown eyes like my eema with a few flecks of green in them, although my eyes are way too large for my head and face. And besides that my nose is a bit askew (seriously! It sort of points to the right a bit), and I have sort of, kind of, a little bit pale skin. I hate that. I'm not albino pale, but I'm not tan like my parents. Oh well, you've got to live with what you've got and you can't change that.

"Yeah, I know!" I replied back, also speaking sarcastically. "A bunch of people honked at us and gave us dirty looks, and on top of that, two men swore at us! What a great day."

"I know, this day has been awesome so far!"

Take a look ahead, take a look ahead, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah... whoa! 


Now everybody's got advice they just keep on giving. 

Doesn't mean too much to me. 

Lot's of people out to make-believe they're livin'. 

Can't decide who they should be!


I understand about indecision

But I don't care if I get behind

People livin' in competition

All I want is to have my peace of mind.

Take a look ahead, take a look ahead. Look ahead.

Eema threw her hands up in the air. I quickly grabbed the wheel and pulled the car back into the right lane.

I looked out the window. Despite the early hours there were a bunch of cars outside. The streetlights were still on and the sky was a smoggy gray, but at the bottom of the clouds I could detect the faint rise of the sun and a smudge of pink on the clouds. It was like an oil canvas painting and we had just stepped into a magical land that no one but us knew about, and no one would ever find it. Like our own kingdom. And my eema was the queen, and I was the princess.

I stared as we passed by Harvard. There were a few college kids walking by. One was wearing a red and white short sleeved shirt with a collar and baggy blue pants that were down too low and he was wearing a camouflage colored backpack. Good-bye Harvard, I thought. Good-bye kid who really needs to pull up his pants, even though I don't know you.


2

"Lenny, wake up. We're here." I awoke in a very uncomfortable position. I was curled up and hugging my legs to my body. My neck was bent against the side of the car and my pillow that I had taken from my suitcase was under my head and I had used my jacket as a blanket for the ride.

My muscles screamed as I stretched my arms and legs. I heard each one of my fingers go, crack-crack-crack!, as well as my neck, which I massaged with my left hand. Then I stretched again.

"Mmm? What? Where's here?" I asked. I opened my eyes. 

"We're in Eastport. It's nine thirty-five." My eema stroked a lock of hair behind my ears and turned back to the wheel. "We'll be there in five minutes. Oh, and if you don't mind, can you pass me my sunglasses?"

"Sure." I said groggily and searched through her bag. I double checked. Then triple checked. "Wait a minute, they're not here. "Uh, eema?"

"Ken."

"Are you sure that your sunglasses are in here?"

"Ken."

"Well, they're not here."

"Ken."

"Is that all you can say?"

"Lo."

"Oy vey."

"Ken." I could see that my eema was trying very hard to keep a straight face. She turned to me and burst out laughing. And, seeing as laughing is contagious, so did I. "So wait, what did you say?"

"Oy vey!" I repeated.

"Well, huff puff, mr. grumpy head." I pulled the pillow over my head.

"I'm going back to sleep. Wake me up when we get there." My eema pulled the pillow off of my head.

"We're here." she said.

"What?" I asked and sat up. I looked out the window. We were parked in the driveway of an enormous house. I immediately loved it. It had four stories and had red siding with white trim. There was a small tower at the top of the house that I presumed was the attic. There was a covered front porch and a balcony on the second floor. There was a white fence around the yard and a large oak tree growing by the balcony. The house used to belong to my great uncle until he died a little while ago. I didn't know him very well but he must have lived here his whole life, or at least since he was a kid because there was a small playground and a treehouse in the yard.  Also, my mom told me this when she read the will. You see, we were his only family left besides my aunt, who didn't want the place, or so she claims.

"WOW! I call the tower!" I said in exclamation and jumped out of the car. I ran to the back of the car and pulled all my stuff out. It wasn't very much, just a suitcase and two small backpacks. But anyway, I grabbed all my stuff and ran to the front door, where I set my stuff down and ran aimlessly around the yard. My eema came and joined me.

"What? That's not fair!" Eema said.

"Hey, I called it." I replied. 

"Fine." Eema puffed. Then she added, "Shall we?" signaling to the side door on the deck. But, alas, poor miserable me, a prisoner of poetry. Nevermind, anyway, guess what? We got locked out of the house. And my eema lost the key. We exchanged desperate glances as we thought that all hope was lost, not really. Well, at least it's not raining, I thought. I pictured what it would be like if a thunder storm and a tornado hit at the same time.

Thunder tore open the muddled grey clouds in the sky, lighting streaked down to meet us and receded back to its kingdom as quickly as it had come. The wind started shaking up a terrible storm. Dust flew, leafs snatched at our hair as it was sucked away from the cold, dead branches that reached at us with their hideous fingers, like a witches hand. 

We were quickly engulfed by water which ran down our faces like tears. The mighty grasp of the wind took affect and grabbed at the trees until one by one they all fell down like sticks planted in the ground.

"Quick! Lets get onto the porch, there will be shelter there." Eema cried above the shrieks of the trees and the fence being ripped out of the ground. It made me think of some crazed dentist pulling the teeth of a patient out one by one. The shrieks that you would here. Well, that's what we heard. And that's exactly what this is. It's some freak dentist, in this case a storm, puling out the teeth, in this case trees, bushes, etc., of a patient, in this case, Mother Nature.

We ran up the stairs to the porch safely. In the nick of time, too. The treehouse started to creak loudly in back of us. We turned around and screamed as we saw it about to crush us. I screamed again and covered my head, although I knew that it would do no good. I heard the sound of breaking bones as the treehouse crashed through the top of the deck.

"Oh, here it is." my eema said. I just stood there calmly. Sorry, I just have a really wild imagination. I would picture new adventures and pretend that an old abandoned shop is a cave or a bird is a dragon. Those kind of things made me different in Boston. I had a few friends. Two, actually. Until a couple of years ago. One of them was Alex. He was nice, a bit too quiet and unadventurous, but he went to a private school because his parents said that he read too much and needed to meet some new people. Also because he got ideas from me. Haven't heard from him since. Then there was Alice. I used to like her. I especially liked her glasses. She had these thick rimmed, rectangle glasses and frizzy, red hair. Then in sophomore year of high school she got contacts and started straightening her hair. And then she became super popular and dated a jock. Sound great, doesn't it? Not really. She also started getting D's and F's in school, and man, her parents really didn't like that. But I'm not going to go into those details. The point is, since then I just sat by myself at lunch and wrote. And you know what the weird thing is? Sometimes-

"Hey, you coming?" eema asked me, standing in front of the door.

"Oh, yeah." I said and picked up my stuff and followed her inside.

3

I flopped down on my bed and looked around. I was lying on a wooden framed bed with a colorful blanket that I made. It was made from a variety of fabrics and patterns. There were teddy bears, dogs, cats, aliens, clouds, flowers, zig zags, etc. I just cut an assortment of shapes out of different fabrics and sewed them together. The wallpaper had a catgrass green background with gold and green leaves on it. I liked it. It reminded me of being outside. But the walls (wall, I should say, seeing as the tower was round) were still empty. I hated it right now. 

I jumped up from my bed and opened one of my backpacks. I pulled out a very large neon orange folder with doodles on it and a bunch of pictures sticking out and took out a bunch of drawings and some tape. Some of them were paintings and some were colored pencils drawings. Either way they were all colorful. Some of them were drawings of insects, only they weren't colored realistically. They were colored the way I saw them. For example, you heard someone clap loudly or a gun go off in a movie, to you, that's just a sound, but to me, it's a red and orange ball of water dropping into a lake, splashing it's color everywhere, mixing with the rest of the water. If you haven't gotten the hint yet, I have synesthesia. I draw things like daises with bright purple and orange stripes and blue petals. I remember getting in trouble in art because we were supposed to be drawing an outdoor scenery that was realistic. Instead I drew green clouds and yellow sky, with orange roses and purple trees. It was in sixth grade and I had . . . . Mrs. Victoria. Yes, very strict woman, didn't like her much. And in third, no, second grade, my math teacher asked me to go up to the board to solve a problem, I don't remember what it was, although I remember that it had something to do with the number two because I remember that a dark, plum maroon was involved, which is how I see the number two, but anyway, the teacher sent me to the principle, who in turn called my parents, who had a nice, long chat with Fergie. Which is what everyone in the school called him. Don't know why, though, I mean, his name didn't sound like Fergie, it's just what everyone called him. So my parents took me to a bunch of different doctors. Finally one had the answer, Max Molina. She was nice. She told me that there are a lot of people who have the same condition as me. 

I pulled out my favorite picture. It was one of a gold and silver griffin. I have many drawings of griffins, but this is my best. I jumped on my bed and taped the picture on the ceiling above my head. I like to think that he's watching over me. And yes, it's a he. And yes, I named him. His name is Leonardo. It's Italian for as brave as a lion. And that's what he is. He's like a security blanket for me.

Okay, back to work. So I spent the next twenty minutes taping pictures up to the walls and ceiling. But there were still a bunch of pictures left. The only thing that kept me from completing my task was the mighty roar of a lion.... That kinda, sorta, a little, came from my stomach. Hey! I haven't eaten all day! 

The mouthwatering aroma of falafel forced me to walk downstairs as if in a deep, dreamlike trance in a straight line. I walked down the steps like a zombie, trusting my nose, not my eyes. Sounds kind of creepy, doesn't it? 

"Hey," Eema smiled when she saw me coming. In a dramatic voice she added, "Thou art just in time for the grand premiere of Oz ze Gweat and Tewwible. Starring the lovely pita and falafel, along with the delicious fries and peppers, and let's not forget what gives it that WOW!, drum roll, please." I hit my hands against my legs as a mock drum. "Hummus with pine nuts! Bon appetit! Lunch is served." I laughed and grabbed a pita. For the first time I looked around at the kitchen. My mouth practically dropped open in amazement. It was exactly like some old fashioned diner. There were two round red tables near the wall and they had those matching red squishy seats that were in a half circle around the table. Along with that there was a counter, yet another red thing, with three red stools. 

"Holy crap!" I cried.

"I know! I never realized how rich Uncle David was. I mean, we've been to this house before, but man! How big is this house?" Eema asked.

"Pretty big. It must have been built when he was a little kid, or even before that. How long ago was this built?" I asked.

"I'm not sure. It's been in his family for generations. Although they added some of the rooms about fifty years ago or so. Let's see, Uncle David was ninety-seven when he died...." Me and my eema found out a week ago that Uncle David had died. It took us that long to pack and say goodbye to everyone. Even though I didn't have any friends in school, I babysat this family a lot. The kids really liked me because I told them stories and drew pictures with them. Their parents liked me because the kids didn't watch TV a lot. Apparently they were pretty wild, which is why they got a babysitter. They couldn't leave their kids alone even to go to the garden. They were really into gardening. They spent a lot of time at flower shops and taking pictures. They're both photographers, so there hose had tons of pictures, and flowers of course. They were nice too, but a bit obsessive. The kids' mother's name was Alice Henshaw. She was in her early thirties and always wore her hair up in a ponytail that was falling apart. She wore these glasses that were on the edge of her nose. She kept pushing them back up, but they kept sliding back down. It seemed as if she were overalls everyday. Usually she would wear a solid colored T-shirt underneath her overalls. Along with that she would wear a rimmed hat and gardening gloves and Nike shoes. Her husband, Mitchell Henshaw, had sandy colored hair and freckles. He wore baggy jeans and plaid shirts (he claimed that flannel shirts were too warm to be wearing when you spent all day in the sun), and also wore gardening gloves. They were very nice, as I said before, quiet too. The exact opposite as their kids. Three boys and one girl. Two of the boys and the girl were four, the other boy was six. They all had brown hair, like their mother, and similar faces. But I noticed details that helped me  to identify them. Nicholas, the six year old, had freckles like his father, Angela, the girl, had glasses, Freddy had bright green eyes, and Arthur had a distinct scar above his eyebrow (when he was two he fell down the stairs, this was before I started babysiting them). 

I was really going to miss them. 

"So, when do I have to go to school?" I asked. Shead High School. Home of the Tigers. Right. Eema would be working at her own shop. 

"Tomorrow." I groaned and dropped my head backwards, staring at the offwhite paint on the ceiling with a few cracks in it. 

"Hey, eema? Why is there a picture of Elvis on the ceiling?" we both tilted our heads to the ceiling. Sure enough, there was a poster of Elvis playing a guitar and singing into a microphone. He was wearing this funky white outfit with gold stitched around the edges of it. He even had the little twirl of hair down his forehead. From this angle and in this light he looked kind of . . . . well, to be honest, weird, creepy, freaky, strange . . . . There are a lot of words to describe it.

"A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn no other way." Eema said.

"What?" I asked. She shrugged.

"I dunno. I just felt like quoting Mark Twain."

"Where did you learn that?"

"You know how in seventh grade the teacher makes you look up Mark Twain quotes and repeat one of them to the class?"

"Please tell me you didn't."

"I did." I groaned

"But seriously, how did you get from Elvis being on the ceiling to Mark Twain."

"I just wanted to freak you out. Oh, we have to drop by the store today." My eema is a designer. She makes her own clothes and sells them. In Boston we had this little store where she sold dresses, shirts, pants, skirts, jewelry and stuff like that. She taught me how to use wood and torches and needles, as well as clay and wood, so I helped her out.

"Let's go now." I said and pulled my eema out the door by the arm. 

"Wait! My wallet! Ah! And my pita!" We ran out the door and were immediatley blinded by the unexpected light. During the time we had been inside the clouds had drifted away, leaving the blue sky clear  and the burning star we call the sun shining directly in our eyes.

"Shall we?" I asked, holding out my arm. We linked arms and started our journaey through the perilous town call Eastport. Population: 1,640.










4

"So, where are we?" Eema asked. I looked around at the surroundings. There were a few cars out. I noticed some people walking. There was salt in the air, but that was because we were right near the coast. Ships passed by. Tons of them. All differnt sizes and shapes. Big ones, small ones, short ones, tall ones, fat ones, skinny ones, fast ones, slow ones, hairy ones, bald ones, okay, I'm getting a bit too carried away with this. I also noticed that across the street there was a small diner. It reminded me of our new kitchen. But what really caught my attention was all the flyers that were up. They were a bright, eye-popping yellow with black, bold faced print. I saw three on a single telephone post by us. It said: AHOY YE MATEY! TALK LIKE A PIRATE! SEPTEMBER 19TH ALL DAY AND NIGHT. YO HO HO! SHIVER ME TIMBERS! TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY! -NO SIGN UP -NO REGISTRATION -NO SCURVY

"Hey, let's go in there." Signalling to the diner. We quickly crossed the road and entered the green painted, old fashioned diner. A little bell went off and the door slammed closed. A small orange line  raced across my mind, followed by a pile of snow falling off a rooftop. The only two people who were there at the time turned their heads. They smiled and waved at us. We returned the kind gesture and went to sit at the counter. 

"Where are you from?" The woman asked us. She was in her late sixties or early seventies, so was the man. They both had short white hair, and the man was wearing a green button up shirt and large glasses that magnified his eye and made them seem huge.

"Excuse me?" I aked.

"You two are tourists, aren't you?" The man asked.

"Uh, no. We just moved here today." Eema replied politely. 

"Oh, we just thought that you two were tourists who were here for Talk Like A Pirate Day. It's this Saturday."

"Oh, so that's what the flyers outside were about?" I asked.

"Why of course." The woman seemed shocked and looked at me through wide, grey eyes. "Every September nineteenth is the annual Talk Like A Pirate Day. There are tons of events. There's pie eating contests, sail boat races, sword fights, not with real swords, of course. I'm surprised that you've never heard of it."

"Oh, well, we used to live in Boston, which is about six and a half hours away...."

"Oh, really? How exciting! Oh, I'm sorry, would we be fishing if we asked you questions?" The woman asked. She seemed to be doing most of the talking. The man was just listening intently.

"Oh no." Eema said, waving her hands. "Fish away." This certainly pleased the woman, for she had a delighted smile on her face and took a breath.

"Well, first of all, what are your names?" This time it was my time to talk.

"Well, my name is Lenore, like in the Raven, and this is my eema, Ranita. What are your names?" I asked.

"Well, I'm Elizabeth. And this is my husband, John. We've been married for almost fifty years." Elizabeth's voice got kind of dreamy and she placed her hand on top of John's hand. Then she shook her head and laughed. She sounded young when she laughed. "Oh, but enough about us, what about you two? Tell us about yourselves."

"Well," Eema began. "I design and make my own clothes and sell them, and I make beads and wood and clay sculptures."

"And I," I started. "Well, um, I help my eema with her work and I babysit and I write."

"Oh, really? That's very interesting. What do you write about?"

"Fantasy, mostly. Sometimes I'll have to write a report on something, so.... You know."

"And you make clothes? Is that right?" John asked eema.

"Uh, yes. I just rented this little shop on Hammleton Street."

"Oh, well in that case, we'd better go there sometime, John!" Elizabeth said. "When are you opening?"

"Well, it will take me a couple of days to get set up, so.... I'm guessing ..... Friday?"

"Oh, well isn't that just lovely!"

"Huh? Isn't what just lovely?"

"I mean, you're opening up right before Talk Like a Pirate Day! Then those last minute shoppers, you know how young people can be so daft!, can come to you for pirate supplies! Yes! You could have a special day where you sell pirate swords and clothes and eyepatches and hats! You know what else you could do? You could-" At that moment a man wearing a dark green long sleeved shirt with sleeves that were rolled up to his elbows came up. He had black hair that was slightly longer than the usual length guys' hair was.

"Hey Elizabeth, John." The man said. Elizabeth waved and John tipped his hat to him. 

"Well, we best be going now. But we'll come by your shop when it opens. See you Kevin!"

Me and my eema turned around to face Kevin, who was standing behind the counter. He looked friendly enough.

"Thank you." Eema said with a sigh.

"Don't mention it." The man said. "So, what can I get you two?"

"Uh," I flipped through the Ooh!!! Mud pie!! I love mud pie! "Can I have a mud pie, fries, a salad, and onion rings? Oh, and some coffee, please?"

"That sounds good!" Eema said. "Make that two mud pies, two fries, two coffees, and two onion rings!" Kevin glanced at us as he wrote everything down. 

"So, what, no salad?" he asked.

"Nope. Salad bad. Ooh, can I also get a burger!"

"At ten thirty in the morning?" 

"Yep a doodle doo!" Eema said in a joking voice, bobbing her head up and down.

"Oy vey." I muttered. "Please excuse my eema, she's not used to being around normal people, she gets it from me. And heads up, don't even try to tell her what they do to the chopped up cow in burgers. Trust me, it doesn't work."

"Thanks for the tip. So, I here you two are new in town?"

"Yeah, just got here this morning." Eema said.

"Where are you from?"

"Oh, we lived in a house in Boston. We used to live in an apartment before that but ...." I replied. I exchanged a sad glance with my eema and tried to put on a smile to show her that it was okay. But it didn't work. I don't like to talk about it. So forgive me if I seem rude. I don't even think about it.

"But we moved to a bigger house when we got enough money." Eema replied. That's not really true. That's only part of the reason. 

"Thanks," I mouthed to eema.

"Soooooooo." Eema started. "What's your name?"

"Kevin. Taylor. Kevin Taylor. Yep, that's me. Well, you already know that that' s me because I just told you that that was me. But wait, okay, nevermind."

"Yeah, our awesome mind power can do that to people." I said. 

"Okay, I'm going to get your food. Seeing as I have nothing else to do because nobody's even here. So, two mud pies, two fries, two onion rings, two coffees, one salad, and one burger.... Uh, what are your names?" Kevin asked.

"Uh, I'm Ranita and this is my daughter Lenore. We're the Schwarts." Eema said.

"Lenore Schwartz...... Lenore Schwartz......" Kevin murmured quietly. "Where have I heard that name before? Oh, I remember. Hey, aren't you the Lenore Girl?"

"Huh?" I asked.

"Remember, eleven years ago, there was a six year old girl named Lenore Schwartz, who everyone was calling the Lenore Girl, or Baby Lenore? It was a really big deal to everyone here." I made a face. But this time eema took over.

"Oh, no, you must have the wrong person."

"Oh, really, but the girl was from Boston, it was on her sixth birthday, she and her mother lived in an apartment.... Okay, sorry, I guess I made a mistake. I'll get your food now. Okay, shutting up now." As he was walking over to the coffee maker, he tripped over one of those yellow caution signs that warn you about the ground being wet, sending a loud BANG! throughout the diner, sending ugly dots running across my mind. Kevin straightened himself quickly and nodded to us, turned around again, moved the sign out of the way, and started to make the coffee. 

"Whoa, what happened?" A muffled voice seemed to come from the floor. To my amazement, one of the colored tiles on the floor started to wobble, then, slowly, it started to slide up and then, gently, was pushed to the side by two, very white hands. Next came a ball of red flaming fur. No, that's not right. Wait, no, it's short, bright red/orange hair on someone's head. Thirdly was a pair of futuristic glasses, which actually turned out to be thick rimmed, square glasses, you know, the ones that you'll see the nerd wearing in chick flicks, but I like those glasses. If I had glasses, those would be the kind that I got. 

Now I saw a face. A white face. Pale face. Freckled face. Red shirt. Old man with funny, white hair sticking everywhere on shirt. He was sticking his tongue out. He looked weird. Underneath the shirt said something. An equation. I remember that one. E=Mc2. EINSTEIN! It was Einstein in the picture! The reason why I couldn't recognize him at first was because the shirt was covered in dirt. From the tunnel, I'll bet!

"Everything okay, Uncle Kevin?" It was the same voice. Only it wasn't muffled this time. I realized that I had been drifting off. That happens a lot. I go to my own world. It's the world that everyone goes to when they dream. That's the only time other people can go there. But I can go there whenever I want. I like that world. It's a much better world then this one. Anything I want will happen. It's my own personal Heaven. But no one else is allowed. It's mine. My own world. 

The boy who had spoken out had come through a doorway from the back, like Kevin. Now that I could see him clearly he looekd pretty much the same, although I could much more easily recognize the picture on his shirt. 

"Oh, um, hey." he said to me and my eema. His voice was high pitched, and he kind of seemed, well, you know how you can tell on TV when a guy is, well, gay? Well, he seemed a little bit gay. I'm not saying that it's a bad thing. Or that I'm biased against gay people. There's nothing wrong with gay people. I knew a boy who was in Boston. Only, kids started picking on him when they found out after some kid found his diary somehow and he started reading it and told everyone that he was gay. That kid was a jerk. I wanted to say something, but I couldn't. I tried. But then Alice started picking on me because I was helping the boy, so, I don't know, I guess I just stopped. I hate myself for that. I'm really ashamed about it. But anywway, it didn't really matter after that because the kid moved to a different school. I saw him a couple of times around the park on Maine street, and we exchanged a bit of small talk and crreid on. 

"Hey." I said. Kevin sighed and wiped his hands on his pants awkwardly, still embarrassed rom the incident.

"Oh, nothing much." He sarted. "I just, uh, slipped. Oh, Marty, this is Ranita Schwartz and her daughter Lenore. They just moved here today from Boston."

"Oh, hi, Ranita, Lenore." Marty said. Yep, definitley gay. But I don't care. Why would that make a difference? Just because someone is gay, or Jewish, or African American, doesn't mean that they're not nice people. Just because they're  little bit different they shouldn't be treated differently. Or if they're a bit strange, like me.

"Shalom, Marty." I said, waving my hand across my face.

"Hi, Marty." Eema said.

"Hi," he repeated awkwardly. So, can I get you guys anything?"

"Oh, no thanks. We're all set." Eema replied back, giving him a thumbs up.

"Oh, okay. I like your necklaces." he said to me. I was wearing two necklaces. One was a star of David made out of silver and filled in with ruby. The other was a pencil that I had tied to a string and decorated by covering it with fabric and beads and yarn.

"Thanks," I siad. "This one," meaning the star of David. "used to belong to my mother, but it's been in my family for years."

"What about that one?" He asked, meaning the one with the pencil on it.

"Oh, this is just a pencil that I covered with scraps of fabric and beads and yarn and stuff. I just tied it to a piece of string so that I'd never lose it. It's a very special pencil too. Want to hear a secret?"

"Sure." I leaned foward. So did Marty. And so did eema and Kevin.They all held their breath.

"Everything that I write with this pencil comes true." I whispered. They all leaned back. Somehow, they seemed disappointed. Marty raised his eyebrows and Kevin shook his head.

"Okay then. Um, are you serious?" Marty asked in a confused voice, not rudely.

"Yeah. Once I wrote that planes would crash into two skyscrapers in New York, and it happened. And the next day, three planes crashed in New York," I continued very slowly. "On September .... Eleventh .... two thousand two." Again Marty raised his eyebrows.

"Soooo, you're telling me that you caused nine eleven to happen and caused the deaths of hundreds of people and the destruction of the Twin Towers?"

"Pretty much. That's why I don't use this pencil ... anymore. Now I have to live with the deaths of those people on my conscious."

"Has anything else that you've written ever come true?"

"Yeah. Once I wrote when I was five that I could fly, and I jumped off of the roof of me and my eema's old aparment and I flew."

"Hey, did anyone, I don't know, like, maybe adults, or teachers ever told you what happened in the nine eleven or that humans can't really fly?"

"Yeah, they kept tellign me that I was wrong and not to say such silly things, but that's like saying that the Nazis during World War II were just humans who were unusually cruel and heartless and some of the worst people in the world."

"And what do you propose that they were?"

"I say that the Nazis were not completely innocent, but that they were really horrible people, but not bad enough to do what they did, but that they were possessed by demons and that is why the Holocaust happened and six million Jews died."

"What makes you say that?"

"Well, how can a single human be that evil? I mean, I know that there are some horrible people out there, but how can anyone be that evil?

"Easy. They just are. They might not have been born that way, but they soon became like that. I mean, you hear about those people who have been caught after killing four people. What do you say about them?"

"I say that they're scrouges."

"Scrouges?"

"Yeah, hideous monsters disguised as humans. Or schroogles. Half squirrel. Half gobblin."

"Half squirrel? What's so scary about a squirrel? I mean, they're so cute and everything."

"Oh, but not these squirrels. Thes squirrels live in the darkest forests, where the light fails to shine, where the sun is gone, and the moon and stars dead. All that is left are the dead trees that house them. And the eyes!" Marty swallowed. I flashed an evil smile. I could tell that eema and Kevin were listening.

"What eyes?" Kevin asked. I turned to look at him. He glanced away quickly. Suddenly I wasn't six, almost seven, anymore. Now I was a wica. A witch. I lived in the forest of Shan Hu. Who is Shan Hu, Marty asked. Shan Hu is -was- the most powerful sorcerer every to have lived. And lived he had. He lived for more than five thousand years. Almost five thousand years of pain and suffering caused to the villagers of Delafrey. 

The schroogles serve Him. Shan Hu. What did Shan Hu look like? Like death. No, not a grim reaper. He was much more frightening than that. His skin was all tight, and pale. Ever so pale. His eyes? Were they like snake eyes? Narrow slits that let in barely any light and were practically blind? Oh no, you can never look at his eyes. He wears a hood made of spider webs that covered his face. But if you unfortunate enough, he would remove his hood and whoever saw his eyes would go mad, for if you have seen his eyes, you have seen the secret of death. What is the secret of death? How should I know? I've never looked into the eyes of Shan Hu. Do I look like I'm mad?

"Well..." Marty started. Then he quickly added with a laugh, "Nah, I'm just kidding. I'm sure you're perfectly sane." 

"Coffee's up." Kevin said as the machine beeped twice. "Here you go." he said as he placed it in front of us. 

"Thank you." Me and eema said. Kevin went to get the rest of our food and eema had to go to the bathroom. Which left just me and Marty. I took a sip of coffee and practically burned my tongue. There were a couple of trays with little capsules of milk in them and another one with packets of sugar. I used two of the capsules and was reaching for a third sugar packet when I realized that Marty was raising his eyebrows again.

"Um, you don't mind if I...?" I asked.

"Oh no, go ahead." In total I used five packets of sugar. I was tempted to use six, but I felt that I shoudn't and I was probably right. 

"Hey," Marty started as I was taking a sip of coffee. "Are you, like, the Lenore Girl?" I started chocking on my coffee as he caught me with surprise. 

"Who wants to know?" I asked carefully after the coughing had stopped.

"No, I was just wondering. I mean, you know how almost eleven years ago exactly there was a girl named Lenore Schwartz, six years old, who was kidnapped on her birthday, and everyone was calling her the Lenore Girl or Baby Lenore?" If eema was here she woud have said no, but everyone has been asking me that, well, everyone who didn't know me, for almost eleven years, wait, it's been eleven years? Then I am turning seventeen. Sorry, I'm a bit confused about certain subjects.

"I'll tell you if you promise to keep it a secret and if I can ask you one question." I held out my hand. He shook it.

"Deal. So, wait, are you really the Lenore Girl?" I nodded, biting my lips.

"Yep." Marty leaned back and let out a sigh.

"Wow. Um, I don't really know what to say. Well, I'm sorry about that and, Wow! So, wait, I don't mean to be rude but, you know, what was it like?"

"Honestly? I don't really know. I mean, I can't remember what happened. My mind sort of blocked it out. But unfortunately, there are other things that I have forgotten."

"Like what?"

"Like my age, for one. I can never remember how old I am. If you asked me my age, I'd say that I was six. The doctors say that, in a way, I have the mind of a six year old."

"What do you mean?"

"My imagination. I believe in things that, apparently, are not real."

"Like scrouges and schroogles?"

"Yep. And dragons, and mermaids, and anything fantasy pretty much. But it's not fantasy! Not to me."

"Wow. That must be kind of hard. You know, like in school and stuff."

"Oh yeah. At the beginning of this year I wrote a report on George Patton and I said that he had been infected with a disease by a bug that came from Mars, and I got an F. So, after all the doctors and pills and brain scans they said that my brain wasn't developing like it was suppossed to and they told the school and somehow the kids found out and that's why me and my eema moved here, besides the fact that my uncle died."

"Why was't you brain, you know, um, developing?"

"Because it was protecting me."

"From what?"

"I don't know. But it has something to do with with my sixth birthday."

"You mean when you were kidnapped?"

"Yeah. I always wondered whether he did something to my brain, I don't know. If he messed me up somehow. All I know is that everything that I have told you is 100% true." In my mind, at least.

"Even the schroogles?"

"Even the schroogles." I said with a laugh. Next I drank about half of the coffee at one time. Coffee is a soft orange. Like fur. Not dead fur. Dead fur is bad. Dead fur is murder. Live fur. Live fur is good. Live fur is warm, and it has a beating heart. I heard someone clear their throat. Me and Marty turned to see Kevin at the doorway, only feet from where we were, close enough to hear what we had been talking about.

Oh, hey, Kevin." Marty said awkwardly and turned back to me. "So, you still haven't asked me your question."

"Oh, right. Okay, so, why aren't you in school today?"

"Easy. Teacher's convention." I nodded quickly and made an O shape with my mouth.

"So, what were you guys talking about?" Kevin asked.

"Oh, nothing. Just the usual, you know." Marty answered.

"No I don't know." Kevin said.

"Oh, um, really? You don't? Just, you know, Schoorgles and scrouges." Marty said.











5

"Right, schoorgles and scrouges." Kevin said, nodding his head. He knows, I though. He knows, he knows, he knows. He thinks I'm crazy and he knows.

"Right. The hideous monsters disguised as humans and the half pig half goblin creatures." "Actually, um...." I paused as everyone turned to me. Sometimes I can be quite shy. "Schoorgles are half squirrell, not pig." I added quietly, glancing down.

"Yeah, she was just .... telling .... uh, me, about .... Schroogles. Yeah .... be-cause ... um, I didn't believe her, when she was saying that they were real." Marty said, slowly at first, but then at the end he was speaking very fluently.

"Right." I said. "And I was trying to prove to him that shcroogles are real." Kevin gave us both incredulous glances and then shook his head and sighed deeply.

"You guys really suck at lying, you know that?" he said.

"Yeah, we know." Marty said.

"The back room looks brilliant." Kevin said. I detected something in his voice, but I couldn't tell what it was. Whatever it was, Marty didn't decipher it either, seeing as he thanked him. 

Eema came back from the bathroom right about then. She sat down on one of the stools and took a sip of coffee. I just downed the rest of mine. 

"So, what did you two talk about?" Eema asked. Kevin leaned forward.

"Yeah, what did you talk about?" Me and Marty cast glances at each other. SALMON!!! I though. Salmon. Salmon. Salmon. Salmon. That's what we were thinking about. Salmon! Marty hesitated.

"Salmon." He said. I smiled. "We were talking about salmon."

"Salmon?" Eema asked. I nodded.

"Yeah, because I read this book and in this one part there was a salmon jumping in the water." I started. "I think it was trying to jump up the stream to get to its birthing place, and I was asking Marty," I threw a quick look at him. "If that was true."

"And is it?" Kevin asked in a suspicious tone.

"I don't know." Marty shrugged. "I've heard about it, so I said that it could be true,"

"But we didn't know. So-" I said.

"We decided that we would go to the library to look it up." he finished.

"Couldn't you just look it up on a computer?" Eema asked.

"Why use laptops? Whatever happened to the good old-fashioned way of opening a book and reading? Someone must preserve the joy of books." I said dramatically.

"Alright." Kevin said. He seemed convinced. "When were you planning on doing this?"

"Um...."

"Today." Marty said.

"Now?" I asked. He turned to me and shrugged.

"Why not? I mean, we go back to school tomorrow so there won't be any time then."

"Okay," Eema said. "Um, Lenny, do you want me to come with you two?"

"Oh, no, that's okay." I said. "I mean, Marty knows the way, but I'll come straight home afterwards." 

"But wait," Kevin started as we ran out the door. The door banged closed. "Don't forget .... your food."













6

I liked the Eastport library. It was quieter than the one I went to in Boston. And smaller, and less crowded. It was warm. I like the smell of libraries. It's sort of a warm, soft smell. Like Peaches. I like peaches. They're colorful and tasty! 

"So wait, why are we here?" I asked Marty.

"To read about salmon." He replied.

"I know that. But why are we here?"

"Well why did you tell your mom not to come?"

"Because I could tell that you didn't want anyone to listen!"

"Listen to what?"

"I don't know! Whatever we were going to talk about!" I answered in frustration. We were both keeping our voices at whispers. As we turned around the corner of one of the shelves we came face to face with the librarian.

"Oh, hello, Marty." She said in  pleasant little voice. She was very small, shorter than me, and I'm five seven and wouldn't grow anymore. I was very tall for a six year old. But anyway, she wore her light brown hair in a loose bun and had round glasses that sat on the edge of her nose. She was wearing a light beige cardigan over a pale blue shirt and a brown shirt that was midway between her ankles and her knees. On her feet she was wearing a pair of brown sandals. And she looked like she was around her forties. She looked exactly how you'd expect a librarian to look like.

"Hi, Penny. How are you?" Marty asked. 

"Oh, I'm good. Very good. Thank you for asking." Penny replied in her small voice, like she had been so used to keeping her voice down that it was stuck like that. She was looking at Marty and smiling, like she was waiting for something.

"Oh, yeah. Penny, this is Lenore Schwartz. She just moved here this morning with her mother, Ranita." Marty said, pronouncing the OH! as he realized what she meant. Penny held out her hand. I shook it and smiled innocently.

"Hello, Lenore. I'm Penny McJames, the librarian of the Eastport library. Welcome to Eastport! Oh, I'm sorry, but you're name sounds so familiar!" Penny said and paused to think. Here we go again. Is everyone who hears my name going to ask me the same question?

"Oh, I know! Is, or was, I should say, your great uncle's name David Schwartz?" Finally, a question that I could answer.

"Oh, yeah. That's Uncle Davie. I still can't believe he's gone. I mean, I only met him, what? Five times or something?" It's true. I was really shocked when I heard that he had had a heart attack.

"Yes, I believe so. Tragic, isn't it?" Penny sighed. "Yes, you're great uncle will be missed very much around here." For a moment I felt something that I had never felt before. Jealousy. I've only felt happy, excited, and occasionally sad, or hurt a few times at my old school. But now I wished that I had known him more than I had. But these people here had known him their whole lives. Something that I never had.

"So!" Penny exclaimed in a whispering voice. "What brings you two to the library on a day when there's no school?"

"Salmon." Me and Marty whispered at the same time.

"Yeah," I whispered when I saw the look that Penny gave us. It was sort of a confused smile, but she shook her head and chuckled. "At the diner I asked Marty a question about a book I had read. In the book there was a part where a salmon was trying to jump up a river to get back to where it was born. So I was wondering whether that was true about salmon."

"Oh, what book was that." Penny asked. It wasn't that she didn't believe me it was that she was just curious.

"Fell. It's the sequel to The Sight." I replied.

"Oh, I absolutely love that book!" She whispered excitedly. She chuckled and added, "Even though it's a children's book. Oh! That reminds me. I have something of yours." Now that confused me. It felt like I was already known in this town. Well, in a way I was, because of the whole being Baby Lenore and the fact that everyone knew my great uncle apparently.

Penny disappeared into a room for a few minutes and returned with something in her hands. It was square and colorful. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that it was a book. Well, not a real book. It had a cover and there were three holes punched through the pages with three rings through them. 

"I believe," Penny started. "That you wrote this." She showed me the picture and I immediately recognized it. The cover was laminated and said in big letters that were cut out of colored paper,  THE LION WITH AN EAGLE'S WINGS. There was a picture of a lion, drawn, that had wings with long feathers and it was flying through the sky, leaving the other lions below. It was about a lion that was born with with eagles wings and no one liked him because he was different. I looked up at Penny in awe. She laughed when she saw my expression.

"Yes," she said. "He kept it, if that's what you're asking. But then he worried about losing it and asked me to hold on to for it a while. I thought that it was very good," I blushed. "So I laminated the cover, punched a few holes through it and put the rings through it. I tried to make it look like a real book. Everyone loves this book."

"Huh?" I asked. I was confused. How did everyone love this book?

"I hope you don't mind, but I read it to some kids and they absolutely loved it! Now all the kids have heard it, oh, I don't know how many times, but even the adults love it! But don't worry, I haven't let anyone take it out of the library." Penny added. I was speechless. Literally. I couldn't think of anything to say. 

"You wrote that?" Marty asked. I nodded shyly. 

Okay, this is how the story goes, well, I kind of have to tell you the whole thing.






7

The Lion With an Eagle's WIngs

There was once a savannah in South Africa. It was inhabited by a pride of lions.The leader of the pride's name was Ariel. He had a mate named Sarafina. They had one son, named Vuur Hart, which means Fire Heart. But, to the dismay of his parents, he was born different. A freak. For he was born, first of all, too small, and his eyes and ears were too big, and his paws too clumsy. Second of all, he was born with wings. Eagle wings. He was not a lion, some called him, but a chimaera. One part lion, one part goat, and one part serpent. It was meant as an insult, of course. What else would you say to someone like him? 

Vuur Hart's parents stayed by his side as he grew up and protected him from the young, mean lions at school, where they learned the ways of the Lion and were taught how to hunt, and even more important, how to roar. 

But sadly, soon it was only his father who stood to defend him, for his mother had been stepped on by an elephant. It happens sometimes. Not much, but it does happen. It happened on a day like any other day. The sun was shining, the clouds were moving across the sky, the crocodiles were ripping young wildebeest apart limb by limb, you know, just your average day. Sarafina had been out hunting with the other lionesses, when..... BAM! Out of nowhere, just as she had been heading to make the kill, the elephant's foot came down on her. It wouldn't have been so bad if it had been only once. Just a broken back and.... a few broken bones .... and a slight headache, of course. But then its back foot came down on her. BAM! Now she had gone. But it didn't stop there. A whole herd of elephants came now, all stepping on her, one by one. In fact, by the time they got to sarafina, there wasn't much left. Just a few scraps of .... well, you don't really  want to know the details.

So, with Sarafina gone, and Ariel busy taking care of the herd, I mean, pride, Vuur Hart was left all by himself. As he got older, and it was time to mate, there was no one who would be his mate. His father eventually retired and another, younger lion took over. This lion happened to have grown up with Vuur Hart, and, believing that Vuur Hart was a freak and a threat to the pride, cast him out, to hunt and fend for himself.

One day while taking a drink from the watering hole, Vuur Hart took a look at his reflection. He saw himself. He truly saw himself. Not how the pride had seen him, which is how he had seen himself while he had been growing up, but how he really was. He was not cursed, he was gifted. He had wings! Wings! How many lions could say that about themselves? 

What did he do? Why, he flew away. Far away. Above the skies, over the moon, through mountains, alongside the birds, but not with vultures, they're icky. I mean, they eat dead animals that have been lying around for who knows how long! 

He did come back. Not for a while. But the point is he did come back. And when he did, what he saw was not pretty. The grass was shriveled up, animals lay on the grass who had died from dehydration. There were a few that lay or stood licking the ground in a search for water. The trees were long dead. Vultures circled at the air, waiting for some animal to come and open up the puny carcasses that were completely drained of life, or they picked at the bones of an old meal.

Last of all, he saw his pride. Not his pride, like inside of him, but them you know, the other lions. Not inside of him, well, he did see inside of him, he learned that it didn't matter what you looked like, but what was on the inside, not that that matters.

Vuur Hart learned that the watering hole had dried up and there was not any more water for miles. Few had tried to find the cause of the drought or to go in search of more water, but none have returned. The first one was Ariel. He had gone to find another source of water. He claimed that he would rather do something for his pride than die an old, useless lion. That was days ago and no one had heard from him since. 

This brought a new emotion to Vuur Hart. Bravery. Courage. He would go and find the cause for the drought and in doing so, would save the pride and at the same time save himself, for he could not live if he let them die. 

Miles he went. Miles that seemed to stretch on forever without any end. New lands came and went. Vuur Hart new that he had only days before his pride would die. But he himself was also growing weak.

Alas, the cause of all this trouble ... was man! They had built a dam around the source of water, blocking it and drying it out. 

As hard as he might try, there was no way to break the dam. He thought day and night devising plans, none of which seemed possible. But finally he came up with what seemed the perfect plan. 

When night finally came, Vuur Hart snuck out of his hiding place among the stars and flew down silently and, using his sharp claws, cut a small hole into the concrete. You say his claws are not sharp enough? Well you'd be wrong. You'd also say that lions don't have wings, but you'd be wrong there as well. 

Water trickled into the dried up riverbank and flowed its course. When Vuur Hart made it back to the pride, he was welcomed back as a hero. Life fled through the savannah again, and all was well. Vuur Hart became the next leader of the pride and many more good things came to pass when he was ruling.

The End

The Beginning





8

Darkness. Utter darkness. Eternal darkness. That's what it felt like. During the day there are many good creatures that come out, but during the night it's just the opposite. Creatures crept alongside the shadows. Cars passed by, casting light across the room, allowing you to see the Ganaths scramble across the room, sending bouts of high-pitched laughter echoing through your head. What are Ganaths? They are the shadows that you see at night that creep and hiss. They hide under your beds and in your closets. Children believe in them. They know they're real. Grups (grown ups) don't. They hear them, yes, but they ignore them, cast them to the side and claim that they're not real and that they can't hurt them. Oh, but they can hurt them. They can do so much. Have you ever heard of someone being ripped to shreds at night while they're in bed? Well, that's the work of Ganaths. 

I heard them laughing. In my mind I shouted, Show yourself! Come out here and let me see your faces! But I knew better. That would bring no good. No, there is no way to defeat the Ganaths. You can only hide from them. I pulled my blanket over my head and shut my eyes tightly. I imagined them gone. Gone, gone, gone. GONE! But they didn't go away. That's because I didn't believe that they would go away. You see, the only things that come true are the things that I believe. 

I was tired. I wanted to go to sleep. But not here. No, I couldn't sleep here. Not with these Ganaths around. It's hard enough to deal with them in a place that you're familiar with. Let alone in a place that's not home.

I knew where I would go. To my world. The one that I can only go to when I'm asleep. Well, I'm not asleep now, so I can't get in that way, but I knew another way to get in.

☀ ☾ ☆

I stood in my smurfs T-shirt and blue sweat pants as the wind flowed against my skin and blew my hair out of my face. I wiggled my toes on the dark grey slates. I leaned over the edge of the roof and stared down at the yard and the playground and the treehouse. The lawn sloped down, creating a small hill and there was a knotted rope tied to one of the branches of the treehouse. For a moment I could see a young boy swinging on it. He was about my age, five or six, and had brown, curly hair, like me. He was laughing. I saw his face and I knew who he was. Uncle David. I'd seen pictures of him from when he was younger. But why am I seeing this? I thought. Could he have been a ghost? Or perhaps, simply a dream?

The younger image of my great uncle was swinging back and forth on the rope. 

The boy was slightly tanned skin and had semi short, dark, curly brown hair and was wearing a red T-shirt and faded blue jeans. I couldn't see very many details because I was so far away. 

But suddenly he stopped laughing. He let go of the rope and dropped down onto the ground. I turned to see where he was staring. I couldn't see anything. I had heard somewhere before that some ghosts are stuck in certain ... scenes. They keep replaying one act over and over. Maybe this was an example of that. Could this have been a ghost of Uncle David from when he was a small boy? Did something happen? I'll have to investigate. Man, I feel like one of those kid detectives, like Nancy Drew. 

Suddenly the ground jumped toward me. No, the ground wasn't moving towards me, I was moving towards it. What's the difference? Oh, who cares? Someone, something, had pushed me off the rooftop, and now I was falling to my death. But I wasn't afraid. In fact, I smiled and turned to point my face to the ground. At the last moment I swerved up and started to fly. I flew far away. It takes eternity to get there, and even longer to get back. 


© 2010 themaidenlenore



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Awesome, I really like the dialogue and the perspective you gave.

Posted 2 Months Ago



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Added on January 10, 2010
Last Updated on January 10, 2010
Tags: Fantasy, Children's fantasy

Author

themaidenlenore
themaidenlenore

Bangor, ME



About
Hi, I love writing. I am currently writing a story about a girl who was kidnapped when she was six but she can't remember anything about it and she still thinks she's six when she's really 15, about t.. more..

Writing