Scorched Paradise

Scorched Paradise

A Story by Jester

A "modern Cinderella story" that we had to do for 8th grade.



The cool night air was quiet, white flakes falling from a velvet sky dotted with diamonds, the clouds above parting just enough for it to be seen. The florescent lights of a nearby nightclub lit up the street, reflecting softly off of the black asphalt, gleaming in the melted snow on its surface.  Inside the club pulsed with music and dancers, the soft murmurs of fabric against fabric, skin against skin. The bar to one side of the dance floor was about half full of patrons, party goers resting for a moment before rejoining the mass of bodies. The bar tender, a middle aged man, turned out drinks left and right, trying to satisfy the ever replenishing thirst of the partiers. A waitress, a young girl maybe seventeen years old, sweeps by to pick up a tray of glasses, headed up to the VIP lounge on the upper floor. This waitress is special, different than the other girls, because she is the step daughter of the one who ones the club. This, one thinks, should make it so that she doesn’t have to work, especially at so young an age, but the truth of the matter is that her stepmother hates her. Her father was the original owner of the club, called Scorched Paradise, and remarried to her current stepmother, who was very different then. Her father contracted cancer, an effect from smoking a pack of cigarettes every day for over fifteen years, and died from it within a year. This teens name is Katrina Mattock, though her friends all call her Kat for short, a nickname they came up with after hearing about a cat fight between Kat’s sisters and herself. Her sister are two of the biggest blonds on high school campus, and are always vying for the attention of that years senior class president, Matthew Markins.

            As Kat walked up the stairs leading to the second floor she couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if her father had lived. As she reached the tables she couldn’t help but notice that Matthew Markins was there, sitting, or rather squashed, uncomfortable between two of his friends. She wondered what he was doing here, at this night club, before deciding that by the look on his face that his friends had dragged him here. Kat walked up to the table set their drinks, several cokes and root beers plain, with a cheery smile and walking off.

            “Hey, Kat, your shifts over, See ya’ tomorrow.” The bar man, a burly man nicknamed Tank, called over to her. Kat nodded over to him, her waist length onyx hair, currently in a braid down her back, swinging rather violently behind her.

            “Hey watch the hair Kitten. We don’t want a repeat of last time, do we?” Kat spun around and through her arms around her best friend, a frighteningly tall guy at 6’3”, as opposed to Kat’s diminutive 5’2”.

            “Spence! I thought you weren’t supposed to be back before Sunday night. When did you get back?” Spencer laughed at her breathless questions, all the while supporting her much smaller frame against his own. Spencer Stanford was a one of a kind friend, and had been with Kat since before they even started Kindergarten, back when Mr. Mattock was still alive. Spencer’s eyes sparkled even after he stopped laughing, his shocking green staring into her own sapphire blue from behind shaggy brown hair.

            “Wow Kitten breath every once in a while, it really helps you in the long run.” His voice was still hiding amused laughter, and he suddenly reached down and grabbed Kat’s waist, forcing her to put her hands on his shoulders, and swung her around several times. “And for your information I just got back and just had to come see you so I convinced my gram to drop me here instead of at home.” Spencer half smirked down at Kat, laughter playing in his eyes along with deep sibling affection.

            Kat smiled up at him, her eyes sparkling with unshed tears. “Thanks Spence.” Spencer suddenly mock bowed and offered his hand to her, grinning as she took it and they walked out of the club, neither realizing the pair of eyes that followed them from the second story.


            Matthew, or Matt as he preferred, had only just gotten away from his friends, who were trying to hook him up, again. It wasn’t that he didn’t appreciate the effort they made, but he wasn’t ready for dating some blond girl who couldn’t remember her name if you paid her. He watched as the waitress who had brought their soda up met up with a kid from his class, what was his name, oh right Spencer Stanford. Matt watched with a pang of something, was it jealousy, was they hugged and walked out of the club together. Who was that girl that Spencer was with? She looked kind of familiar but he didn’t know her name or anything, and that was what he wanted to know. Just who was she?


            Kat was blissfully unaware of the conflict that currently raged through the head of the current senior class president, instead focusing on the fact that her stepmother was trying to keep her from the Halloween dance. Kat turned and ran off to her room, also known as the previous attic, and flopped down on her bed, eyes filling with unintentional and unwanted tears.

            “It’s not fair.” She sighed into the pillow she was currently face down, and turned onto her back, staring at the constellations she had painted up there. One of her father’s favorite sayings came up in her mind:

Life is never fair, but we must make the most of it regardless.

            He had told her that just before giving her the most prized possession she has, her mother’s wedding ring, resized so that it fit just her. Kat wore the ring around her neck on a chain that she had to get replaced, who knew when it would fall off. She sighed again trying to think of a way to get out of working the night of the dance, the one dance she really wanted to go to. Kat sat bolt upright, that was it, she could ask the others at the club if they could cover for her, slip into costume and go. She slumped back down again, thinking over the fact that she didn’t have a costume to go in, and let one of her tears of frustration leak out of her eye. She angrily wiped it away, and looked up when her computer gave a ping signifying an instant message. Kat looked at the sender and was pleased to see it was Spencer, maybe he could help her! She quickly typed her dilemma out onto the instant messenger, and waited for him to reply, which wasn’t very long. He asked her to come over to his house and that he had phoned Zoë, one of their friends who always knew what to do when it came to clothes and the like.

            As Kat’s old car pulled up into the driveway of Spencer’s house she couldn’t help but wonder what they were going to do. As Kat walked into the doorway she was surprised to see not only Zoë there but also her higher up at the club, a thirty year old friend called Tammy. Seemingly reading her thoughts Tammy answered her unspoken question about why she was here.

            “I’m hear to help create your costume Kat, and to tell you that Tank and I can cover for you tonight.” Zoë and Tammy almost immediately got to work finding an outfit that would go well with Kat’s pale complexion and dark hair. Eventually a red satin dress was picked as the lucky gown to accompany Kat to the dance, and with a plain red mask covering her face, Kat didn’t have to worry about her stepmother. Kat’s hair was taken out of its braid and tumbled down her back in loose waves, framing her face with curling fingers of onyx. Her eyes were surrounded by a little bit of black eyeliner, bringing out the blue and making them stand out that much more. As Kat, Spencer, and Zoë got into Tammy’s car Kat couldn’t help but feel that tonight was going to change her life forever.

            As Tammy pulled into the school parking lot she turned around towards the back seat to talk to Kat.

            “Remember you have to be at the club by twelve or your stepmother will know that you skipped and then we’d all be in trouble.” As Kat stepped out of the car and shut the door, Tammy drove away to get to the club on time for opening. The three friends turned to the school cafeteria doors and pushed them open, ignoring the stares they, or Kat, were getting.

The three danced together for a couple of hours, having fun and laughing the night away. As the three drifted apart, Zoë to her boyfriend and Spencer to some of the hockey placers in his team, Kat looked around to see who she could spot without getting caught, and spied Matt trying to get away from his friends. She was about to look away when all of the sudden Matt turns to look at her, locking gases with her for a moment. Cheeks flushed Kat turns away first, her gaze trailing to the door leading into the school green houses. Heading towards the door she notices that Matt is mirroring her actions also coming over to the door to the outside. Slipping out she hears the door being opened and shut again behind her and feels Matt fall into step beside her.

            As Matt gazes at her she can’t help the blush that starts to creep along her cheeks, a faint redness turning her slightly pale skin a rose pink. She finally turns to talk to him and finds the words stick in her throat and die out as he searches her eyes, looking for something. Kat barely hears a murmured “beautiful” from him before it’s gone like so much smoke to the wind, and again breaking away from his gaze looks towards the old clock on the wall. She is startled into action by the fact that it’s already eleven forty seven and she hasn’t started towards the club yet. As Kat turns away from Matt with a murmured goodbye she walks swiftly towards the doors, never noticing as the thin chain connecting her ring to her neck broke, sending the piece of metal sailing across the floor.


            Kat sat behind the bar at Scorched Paradise and couldn’t help but wonder if the rumors were true, that Matt had found her mom’s ring and that he was getting every girl to try it on to find her. Her thoughts are broken as an amused Spencer and an angry Zoë storm out of the club, playfully arguing, and Kat couldn’t help but roll her eyes in mirth. The amusement stops however when Matt walks in, looking around the club for something, or someone. The club is almost closed up, and Kat looked back at Tammy to see if it was alright for her to go. At Tammy’s nod she gathered up her things, a hooded sweatshirt and messenger bag, and get ready to walk out the door. It’s raining fairly hard outside but Kat can’t bring herself to care, and tries to calm her thundering heart without being to obvious. She heard someone call out to her, and stands stock still, her heart pounding in her ears. She hears someone come to a stop behind her and take a couple deep breaths. Kat turned around to see who it was and was surprised when it turned out to be Matthew Markins, his back turned to her as he fished something out of his book bag.

Matt turned to her and held out his hand, palm up, to take hers, and almost whispers. “May I?” Kat gave her hand over freely her heart pumping in her at what seemed like a thousand times per minute. Matt took her mothers ring out of his pocket, and with great fragility placed it on her left ring finger, slowly pressing down to see if it would fit. As the ring slid down her finger with gentle ease Matt looked up into Kat’s face whispered a heart felt “beautiful” and kissed her.


© 2008 Jester

Author's Note

Sorry if the grammar sucks, or if some words are in the wrong place, like a said earlier, this is a piece from eight grade, and I'm kinda too lazy to go through and fix all the mistakes.

My Review

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Featured Review

You were a better writer than me in eighth grade...but then again, all I wrote was poems about HOW DARK AND DEPRESSED MY LIFE WAS AND WHY CAN'T ANYONE SEE THAT?!?!

Anyway, I really liked your take on this. I enjoyed how it was very 'modern'. Like how the 'prince' is now just the popular kid. I think the only thing I didn't like was how it kind of rushed near the end, but then again, that's to be expected for an assignment.

Posted 15 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Lazy doesn't hack it, kid. If you want to be a writer, you need to learn--and practice--your craft. No editor is willing to wade through all the tense changes, misspelled words, and improper grammar to see if there is promise. If they find one misspelling on the first page, the manuscript is tossed. No writer can afford to have that be the reason for a rejection slip.

As the header here says, this is a community for WRITERS.

That being said, I did wade through it and found it to have promise. Since you were unwilling to put any real effort into the piece, I was unwilling to give the help I usually give. If you ever change your mind, clean it up and toss it my way. I'll give you a real critique.

Posted 15 Years Ago

I love the ending, it's so cute! You should write another one like this!!!

Posted 15 Years Ago

0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You were a better writer than me in eighth grade...but then again, all I wrote was poems about HOW DARK AND DEPRESSED MY LIFE WAS AND WHY CAN'T ANYONE SEE THAT?!?!

Anyway, I really liked your take on this. I enjoyed how it was very 'modern'. Like how the 'prince' is now just the popular kid. I think the only thing I didn't like was how it kind of rushed near the end, but then again, that's to be expected for an assignment.

Posted 15 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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3 Reviews
Added on May 19, 2008



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