Chapter One: What Ever Happened So Slowly?

Chapter One: What Ever Happened So Slowly?

A Chapter by Lauren!!

The background of their lives, that will set the story of the rest of the book.


Chapter One

         Jackson, a small suburban town outside of New York City, was the most dangerous jungle any biologist would ever dare venture into. Of course, Jackson was not a jungle, but for some, it did seem that way. You know that girl; the girl who wants to be the best wherever she goes. Well, that girl would never survive in Jackson. Jackson is filled with rich, snotty, conceited, Dolce and Gabbana-wearing girls. And those were only the commoners of Jackson. Your basic upper-class girl would be holding a Hermes bag in one hand, Prada sunglasses, and an Haute Couture dress. Next to her, would be her daughter wearing a Burberry dress and a Tiffany’s necklace that was way too long for a four year old.

         Jackson Jr. High, however, was filled with Juicy Couture wearing blondes. They were still able to wear jeans to school without it looking cheap. The queen of Jackson Jr. High was Valerie.

Valerie. She was perfect in every way. Her white-blonde hair reached a few inches below her shoulder. She looked good, even when she doubted herself. Everyone loved her, and looked up to her in such a way, she was almost a religious figure at Jackson Jr. High. She was the kind of girl you had to like, whether you’ve talked to her or not.

Everybody wanted to be Valerie’s friend. Few fulfilled this wish, though many tried. Valerie’s best friends were Danielle, a spunky, down to earth, soccer playing brunette, and Skylar. Skylar had always wanted to be an actress. She had been in fifteen local plays, and starred in every school play. Though Skylar spent most of her time auditioning for commercials, memorizing her lines, and drinking water to keep her voice clear, she still had time to spend with Valerie.

Danielle and Skylar were the ones who knew Valerie’s secrets, even the juiciest ones that were going to come back to haunt them.

 Valerie spent a lot of her time at soccer practice. There, she would meet up with Danielle. She and Danielle were the best players on their middle school team, who both played mainly offence. Danielle wasn’t the smartest girl out there, but she was depending on a soccer scholarship to get her somewhere in life. She really was Valerie’s best friend, though Skylar thought she had that title in the bag.

Things were going great as seventh grade year ended. Valerie had the perfect boyfriend, Danielle had some time to rest from soccer, and Skylar had her very first commercial appearance.

But something happened that summer. It was one of the hottest summers in Jackson, and after going to the local pool, Danielle, Valerie, and Skylar were ready to go to Valerie’s house and relax.

After an eight minute car ride in Valerie’s mom’s black Lexus (it still had that new car smell) the three girls rushed up to Valerie’s bedroom. There were school pictures, magazine covers and cutouts, stickers, and Juicy Couture bags pinned up on Valerie’s bedroom walls. They dried off, and then started trying on Valerie’s clothes that she had gotten at the mall the other day. Skylar’s phone had rang five times while she picked out a pair of jeans from Valerie’s walk in closet that was so full, you could hardly take a shirt from the closet without everything else falling down.

“Skylar!” Valerie said, opening the door to her closet a few inches. “Your phone is ringing!”

Skylar screamed. “Hey! I just picked out a pair of jeans.” She held out a pair of distressed MEKs. “You like?” Skylar giggled, and started to take off her boot-cut Luckys.

Valerie immediately slammed her closet door shut. She did not need to see Skylar change her jeans. Valerie instead, walked over to Skylar’s pink Razor that was resting on the white carpet by Valerie’s bed. She picked it up, and read Skylar’s text message.

Hey Skylar. It’s George. Just wanted to let you know that I found a commercial for you to audition for. It is a Verizon Wireless commercial. You will be auditioning for the part of Hailey, a preppy girl who wants the coolest new phone. I will give you the script next time I see you, so be prepared to memorize! Memorize! Memorize!

Danielle came form behind Valerie, holding a tube of Prada mascara. “What are you doing with Skylar’s phone?” The rays of light that came through the window grasped Dani’s wet hair, making it shine.

Valerie almost threw the phone in surprise, but instead dropped it back onto the floor. “Oh, nothing.” She sat down on her bed, and set one of her pillows on her lap.

Danielle shrugged. “Whatevs.” She then went back to the bathroom and continued putting on mascara.

The door to the closet swung open, and Skylar came out. “Why was my phone ringing, again?” She walked over to Valerie’s bed, and sat down next to Valerie.

After yawning for a few seconds, Valerie answered, and rested her head on Skylar’s shoulder. “George texted you.”

Instantly, Skylar sprang up from the bed. “George? Where’s my phone?” She took a few steps forward in search of her phone. She then looked down, and picked it up off the floor. After a few seconds of checking her text messages, Skylar yelped with joy. “Oh my gosh! I get to audition for another commercial!”

Danielle walked into Valerie’s room again, her eyelashes looking longer and darker. “Why was Skylar screaming?” Dani rolled her eyes, and leaned against the closet door.

Skylar ran up to Danielle, and put her hands on Danielle’s shoulders. “I have another commercial audition!” Skylar screamed again, and started jumping up and down. Danielle joined her, but very sarcastically.

Valerie and Dani soon became bored of Skylar yacking on about her new commercial audition. The two of them agreed to go outside and play soccer (they knew Skylar hated that sport).

So, they went downstairs, through the hallway, and into Valerie’s huge, perfectly watered lawn. Right next to that was a stoned swimming pool, where many of the three girls’ parties were held. There were palm trees surrounding the pool, and the water glistened against the rays of the sun that were pouring down upon Valerie’s backyard. Summer in Jackson was always great.

They played for a little while, using the wooden goal that Valerie’s dad had built. Valerie had told Dani that her dad kept all his tools in the shed, and that they were never to go in there. Obviously, he wasn’t that great of a builder, for there was a piece of wood that hung from the top of the goal. Sometimes when they would kick the ball into the goal, the ball would bounce off the piece of wood and back at them. But they didn’t mind. Anything to keep them away from Skylar.

“Valerie,” Danielle said, grabbing the soccer ball from the ground, and resting it against her hip. “I have to go to the bathroom. I’ll be right back.” She started heading toward the back door that lead to the kitchen.

“’Kay.” Valerie replied as Dani passed her the soccer ball so that she could continue to play.

Danielle left. She opened the door and headed toward the bathroom. After washing her hands, Danielle looked at her reflection in Valerie’s mirror. Her hair had dried from the sun, but she had started sweating. Her face was red, and her hair looked greasy.

“Ew.” Danielle said simply. She turned on the sink, and poured some water into her hand. She splashed the water onto her face. She looked less red, but she was still sweaty. Danielle was about to get some more water to pour on her hair when she heard a piercing scream…it was coming from outside. She ran outside as quickly as her strong legs to carry her, just to see Valerie on the ground. She was still yelling.

Valerie’s left shoulder was drenched in maroon blood. There was nothing attached to her shoulder, which startled Danielle. She couldn’t talk, she didn’t know what to do. Her mouth stayed open as tears started trickling down her face. The grass around where Valerie was laying that had used to be a bright, vibrant green was now dark red. Danielle instantly started bawling.  Dani bent down next to Valerie, put her hands on her stomach, and cried. She was crying almost as hard as Valerie.

Skylar then came through the back door and stepped outside. She saw Valerie, and took out her phone to call the ambulance. She didn’t seem half as alarmed as Danielle did.

For some reason, Danielle never wanted to know how Valerie’s arm became how it did. It was a fact to her, not a story. That’s how she wanted it to be. Valerie quit soccer after that, and she stopped hanging out with Danielle. Danielle then stopped hanging out Skylar. As Valerie started fleeing away from Dani and Skylar, a domino affect occurred and their group split. Valerie’s boyfriend broke up her that summer, for reasons of which only Valerie and Skylar knew.

Valerie wasn’t the most popular girl anymore, though she did get an arm prosthesis. Her role had then gone to Danielle, but they had grown up a little bit since seventh grade, and the truth was going to come to them in a way they weren’t prepared for.

© 2009 Lauren!!

Author's Note


My Review

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I enjoyed it and will be reading the rest! A good twist on any typical girl high-school as I'm intrigued to know why it happened.
Although, I do agree maybe expand the characters a little but as I've only read the first chapter and as you are dealing with a bigger range of characters I think it's good :)

Posted 10 Years Ago

Hmm, well, before I say that it was amazing, etc, etc, I have a few suggestions.

First off, I don't think your characters are well-rounded enough. Right now, I know nothing about them. Not even what they really look like. Sure, you want your characters to evolve throughout the story, but right now, they aren't showing any emotion or character. She screamed, she smiled ... they aren't good enough descriptions.
I don't know if Valerie is a sarcastic person, if Danielle is quiet and shy, or if Skylar really loves giving people gifts. You can reveal so much about a character by their actions.
Valerie rolled her eyes and laughed haughtily, Danielle looked down towards the ground and rolled a rock around in the dirt, Skylar moved her hands around in her pockets as she walked passed a homeless person. I think you're off to a good start, but once you give your characters more depth, then the reader will be drawn in immediately.

I'm also confused at the sentence: "There was nothing attached to her shoulder, which startled Danielle." Does that mean Valerie's whole arm came off?

And again, she screamed ... she cried. Really show us the emotions. Danielle breathed quickly, sucking in air. Valerie's face became pale white and her eyes nearly popped out of her sockets; her tears flowed silently down her cheeks.
You told us that Skylar was calm as she called 9-1-1, but instead of telling us, show us. Skylar took one look at Danielle ... and with calm motions, took out her cell phone and dialed 9-1-1, while talking in a slow, purposely steady tone.

Once you expand on your characters and give them three dimentions, your story will captivate readers.

Keep it up!

Posted 13 Years Ago

Hmmmm. What happened to the arm? We need to know that. The first chapter transitions well up until the very end. The last paragraphs are succinct and without detail. While the reader knows another chapter is coming, I think I would keep the same word flow and descriptions throughout each chapter. This story doesn't really need a prelude to the next part. It just needs to die. The next chapter will fall into place, UNLESS...UNLESS...UNLESS you are going to start chapter two with a completely different set of characters which will merge with Skylar, Danielle, and Valerie later. I Haven't got that far yet though. Don't let the chapter endings wane....Kay?


Posted 13 Years Ago

Valerie is a pretty name :] nice writing.

Posted 13 Years Ago

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4 Reviews
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Added on April 4, 2009



Chico, CA

I am not the oldest writer out there, but I still love it. I am in my early teens, but I would still love it of you gave me some feedback on my uncompleted manuscript. The book that I am writing i.. more..