Hide and Seek Chapter Seven

I’m very sorry to my from-the-beginning readers lol! I took an unplanned hiatus when my novel writing stalled a bit. But here’s the next chapter. 🙂

Willow ate breakfast the next morning and immediately asked her mom to take her to the library. “Research for my story,” she told her.

She’d agreed quickly, and they’d left the boys and Rhiel to their own devices for the rest of the morning. Her mom sat down by the fiction section near the door and told Willow to meet her back there in 2 hours. So Willow went to the nonfiction section first, to deter her mom’s suspicions, just in case she was watching or anything like that. Then she went over to the news and periodical section. She checked articles in only the past five years. She felt that it would be the most helpful section.

         But how would she look for a person she couldn’t identify? As far as she knew, the man didn’t have a name. She decided to look under “Des Moines” first, rather than anywhere else, since that was where it had all started. Then she realized something: It wasn’t where it had started. She vividly remembered a time about 6 months ago when she was in the courtyard with her friends. She’d noticed a man with a shaved head watching her from a distance. But at that time, she hadn’t thought much of it. She’d just looked away, ignoring him. She shuddered at imagining herself doing that. How had she ever done it? Regardless of the memory, she went to the section marked “Local” and began to look through the newspapers: The Register, The Tribune, and the CITYVIEW. She started with the Tribune; since it was the biggest one. She flipped through page after page of sports headlines (apparently the Des Moines hockey team had won 12 of 14 games that season), political notes, and birth announcements. She was beginning to get very bored.

         Finally, after going through all of the Register and half of the Tribune, she gave up. This had turned out to be a useless visit. She hadn’t expected it to be overflowing with information about a person that she couldn’t even identify, but she had expected to find at least a vague reference. She put all the newspapers back onto the shelves with the help of a young librarian who had noticed her struggling with the weight of all of it and then went back over to where her mom was sitting, immersed in a mystery novel. “Let’s go, Mom,” Willow said. “This wasn’t helpful.”

“How so?”

“I didn’t find what I was looking for.”

     They drove back to the hotel in awkward silence. When they arrived at the hotel, Willow’s mother veered to the right. “I’m going to go to the restroom, okay hon?” Willow nodded and headed up to their room. But when she reached the door, she was filled with horror. There was a small shape next to the doorframe.

         Oh no, no, no, no, no, she thought. She took a deep breath and slowly walked forward to retrieve the object she knew was a package addressed to her. She didn’t enter the room this time, and she sat just outside the door to open it. She opened it slower than the last two, knowing this time what it contained. This time the note’s words were different: You know why I’m here. She sat back against the doorframe. How would she face this? Then a new thought struck her: What if her mom found it? Willow could only imagine how confused she would be. She stood up slowly and twisted the door knob. As soon as she opened the door and went into the room, she shrieked. The man was standing right in front of her!

         “You know why I’m here.” He said in the eerie, whispery voice.

“No, I don’t,” Willow tried to say, but her voice seemed reduced to a whisper. She was unable to speak normally. “Why are you doing this?”

“You know why,” he said.

“But I don’t!” Willow said. She turned around and tried to run, but ran right into her mother.

         “Who were you talking to?” her mother asked after the initial shock of the collision.

 “I was just talking to myself,” willow said. She desperately wanted to tell her, but felt that it was better to keep it to herself. She knew by then that the man was real, and that she was the only no one else could see him, or so it seemed, since he always disappeared by the time someone else showed up. But why her? Why then? Her questions were endless.

         “Where’s your father and Carson and Rhiel?” her mother asked, bringing her back to reality. Willow looked around the room. “I dunno,” she said. Then she spotted a note on the nightstand.

I’ve taken the kids to lunch. Carson was complaining about being hungry.

        “Looks like they left,” Willow said after reading the note. “Do you think we should go meet them? I mean, I’m kind of hungry too. Research does that to a person.” She was rambling, and she knew it. But she wanted to get away from the hotel as quickly as possible after what had just happened. “Might as well,” her mother replied. “Did they say where they went?”

Willow looked over the note again. “Nope,” she said. “Try texting him, see if you can find out.”

          So Willow’s mother pulled out her phone and sent her husband a text message. They waited for 10 minutes before finally getting a response. It was a somewhat cryptic note that said: Escape the confusion, discover the solution. Her mother sighed. “Guess Carson and your father are in the middle of another of their riddle battles,” she said. “He doesn’t send things like this unless that’s the case.” Willow knew that it was her father (her mother was right about the riddle thing, plus it didn’t really sound like one of the notes from the packages), but she still felt uneasy. Riddles had become a feared thing for her after the packages had started to arrive.

         “I guess we’ve just got to guess,” Willow said. Her mom nodded. “My guess is that they probably went to Maxie’s,” She said. “It’s pretty well-known around here.” 

         So they got back in the car and went there. It turned out that Willow’s mother was right on both counts: They had gone to Maxie’s, and Willow’s father and Carson were in the middle of another one of their riddle battles.

         The girls took a seat before Willow’s parents turned to her and Carson. “Kids, since some of you-“ here their mother stopped and looked pointedly at Willow- “Were not at all looking forward to this trip, we’ve decided to make it a little more fun for you.” The parents smiled at each other. “We’re going to make it into a road trip, like a vacation!” Willow forced a smile for her family’s sake, but inside she was screaming What? No! Why can’t we just go home already? Please let us just go home!

As selfish and somewhat awful as it was, she almost wished for something to happen that would cut the trip short.

         As her parents and Carson chattered excitedly about everything that they would see and do on the trip, Willow sat quietly. Did this mean that the man would continue to follow her and appear everywhere? She recalled the time when she’d she had seen him back in fourth grade. That told her that it happened back home too, so clearly his appearances were not restricted just to Des Moines.

         “Are you okay, Willow?” Carson said, looking at her rather strangely. “You look like you’re about to hurl!” Willow had to laugh.

“I’m alright, Carson,” she said. “Just lost in thought.”

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Stop Dismissing Writer’s Block

A great post about writing for all my fellow writers out there. 🙂

Cozy Creative Writing

Recently I read an article that dismissed writer’s block as being a non-existent thing simply because it’s a mental problem, not a physical problem.

The article was in regards to a quote by Robert B. Parker which goes:

Writer’s block? I’ve never heard of a plumber complain about plumber’s block.

Robert B. Parker

There are a few problems with this mentality, which I will go into:

View original post 580 more words

Hide and Seek Chapter Six

Willow decided to make a bold choice. She didn’t know if it was a good idea, and it probably wasn’t. But she would go through with it regardless.

     While her family was inside, watching her aunt and uncle dance during the reception, she slipped out of the building and sat on the steps just as she had the day before. She waited and watched the street and she closed her eyes. Nothing happened.

     She was disappointed, but she also breathed a sigh of relief. The man hadn’t showed up. She stood up and turned to go back inside. But just before her hand touched the doorknob, she knew he was there. Willow turned back around very slowly and kept her eyes to the ground. He was standing right in front of her. “What do you want?” she whispered as loudly as she dared. She willed herself to look up slightly. He was actually quite normal looking, it was really just his eyes, the eyes that never left her face.

     The man stayed silent, but the piercing gaze seemed to intensify. “Why are you here?” Willow said, trying not to show her fear. “Because of you,” the man said. Then he turned around. Willow blinked, and he was gone. She leaned against a pillar next to her, having lost the ability to stand up straight. She felt dizzy. What was happening? She slowly went back inside and sat down with a cup of water.

……………………..

Willow stood at the sink in the hotel that night, brushing her hair. “Mom, have you ever had something happen to you that completely terrified you?” Willow asked. Her mother looked at her strangely. “Umm…probably,” she responded. “Why?”

     Willow flailed around for a good answer. “I, uh…I’m writing…a story. Yeah, I’m writing a story. My English teacher told me that if I wrote a story over summer break I could get extra credit for next year.” Her mother narrowed her eyes as though she didn’t quite believe her, but she complied.

     “Well, when I was about 10 years old, I came across a note in the basement. It said “you’re next” on it, and I was absolutely convinced that it was meant for me. I was terrified. But then when I showed my family, my sister said it was just from a prank she tried to play on our brother, and he’d never found it. It was actually a bit funny after the fact, but when I first found it, it was pretty terrifying.” Her mother smiled, remembering her ridiculous fear.

      “Ah, those were good times. Anyway, does that help you?” Willow nodded, although it really didn’t help her at all. “Yeah, that’s good,” she replied. “I think I’ll do a bunch of short stories, and that can be the first one.” She put down the brush, having finished with her hair, and left the bathroom. She sat on the bed. Well, that wasn’t productive, she thought. There’s got to be some way to find out more about this man.

     Willow had been shaken to the core, and she intended to figure out why. She decided to see if her mom would let her go to the library in town the next day and do “research” for her “story”. Of course, what that really meant was checking through newspapers, journals, and past books to see if she could find information about the man. The only problem: He didn’t have a name. Not one that she’d given him, not one that someone else had called him (because of course, he always disappeared before anyone else could see him) and not a name that she’d seen somewhere, because no one else seemed to know that he existed. It was a large dilemma. She decided to stop worrying about it for the rest of the night, since it was all she’d be doing the next day, and go play with her family.  She got up and grabbed her backpack to get her swimsuit. The rest of the family was downstairs in the hotel pool.

……………………..

“Marco!” she shouted. “Polo!” her brother called back. Ugh, how was Carson so good at this? They hardly ever went swimming back home!

     “Marco!”

“Polo!”

     He wasn’t far! She dove forward, and her hand struck something. “Dang!” her brother said. “Ha!” Willow shouted triumphantly, opening her eyes and tossing her hands in the air in victory. “I win! I’m queen of the world!”

     Her brother shook his head. “How are you so good at this? We never swim at home!” Willow couldn’t help but laugh. How were they so good at it?

     “I was just thinking the same thing about you!” she said through her laughter. “I guess we’re even.” she climbed out of the pool for a minute and wiped her face off with her towel. Then she took a sip from the water bottle she’d brought with her.

“Let’s play a different game now,” her brother suggested.

      “Sure,” Willow agreed. “What game do you want to play?”

“What about underwater Hide and Seek?” he said.

     And just like that, all the joy and carefreeness of the last hour was knocked out of her. She’d begun to think of the whole thing with the man as a terrifying game of Hide and Seek. So when her brother mentioned it, it brought all the thoughts and memories and feeling from the last few days back. “Actually, I think I’m done for now,” she said. “Oh come on, Willow!” Carson said. “Come back!”

      “Carson, I’m done,” she said, more sharply than she’d intended. She took her feet out of the water and went to sit over by her parents.

Hide and Seek Chapter Five

“I now do NOT pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss your bride.” The preacher said jokingly.

     The guests laughed. Willow applauded with everyone else from her mother’s side. “Okay, now that we’ve got that done, let’s go eat! We’ll be meeting at Centro for the rehearsal dinner.” The Des Moines natives cheered, and the rest of the group pulled out their phones and looked up the restaurant.

     They all got excited after they found out what it was, and they quickly went to their cars to drive there. Once they pulled up, they oohed and aahed at the elegant look of the tables and the building in general. Willow and her family were seated near the head of the table close to her aunt and soon-to-be uncle. They ordered their food and ate, then everyone split out to their separate cars. But before Willow’s family reached theirs, Willow was taken aside by April.

     “Willow, your dress for tomorrow is still at the reception hall because they had an amateur seamstress that ruined it, so can you ask your parents to let you come with me to the reception location and get it? I had to go collect it this morning before everyone arrived.” Willow nodded.

     “Sure, I’ll be right back,” she replied. Her parents, of course, said yes, so Willow rode awkwardly with her aunt in her car, answering her question about school, her home, and her family.

     Finally they arrived at the hall, and her aunt stopped at the door. She leaned down and picked something up “Um, it looks like this showed up here for you,” April said, handing Willow a small package. “I’m not sure why it would come here instead of to you, but it did! Now, let me go get your dress. Just hold on one minute.” She left Willow standing by the door while she went inside and upstairs. Willow sat outside on the steps of the building and opened the package.

     Ugh, not another one of these, she thought when she realized what was in it. It was a single slip of paper with words, the same message this time: I am not imaginary. She rolled her eyes and stood up to go get rid of the paper, but as she did, she noticed something that made her sit back down, shaking.

     The man was there, on the sidewalk in front of the building. He was staring at her just as intently as he had when she first seen him at the Wendy’s. She couldn’t help but notice how piercing his eyes were, almost as though they could see into her soul, and she couldn’t tear her own away. “You aren’t real,” she whispered, thinking out loud. “You are imaginary. You can’t be real.” But the man shook his head almost imperceptibly just as her aunt walked outside with her dress. “What did you say, honey?” April said, and Willow jumped a foot in the air. Her aunt noticed and asked her “Is something wrong?” Willow decide to tell her. “Yeah, that-“ she started to point toward the street, but she paused when she saw the spot where he stood. He wasn’t there! The spot was entirely empty. Willow went pale and shook her head. “N-no, everything’s okay. You just scared me.” She stood up and headed to the car, quickly followed by her aunt.

…………………………..

Willow laid in the bed in the hotel that night, tossing and turning. She was going over everything she knew about the man, and also everything she didn’t know. Apparently, every time she saw him, she would get a package with a note in it shortly before or after. If she opened the package, would she still see him? Why did he always disappear as soon as she looked away? And why did he always disappear before someone else could see? She rolled over and closed her eyes, determined to put the man out of her mind and go to sleep.

                                                                                    ……………………………..

She woke up the next day with the goal of not worrying about the man at all. She ate breakfast with her family and played with Rhiel for a while before she had to head to the reception hall for preparation. She brushed her hair and tried as best she could to brush it behind her ears so that it would be easy to work with later. Then she went with her mother to the car. Carson and their father would be riding with their grand parents to head to the set-up area.

     She sat and got her makeup done while chatting with her cousin, who was also a bridesmaid and would be walking down the aisle one spot before her. Then she put on her dress. It was a lovely light blue strapless dress that went down to just above her ankles. It certainly didn’t look like anything had happened to it like her aunt had told her. Then they headed to the park where the wedding was going to take place. She walked down the aisle behind her cousin and stood up next to her mother. She smiled and clapped as April became the wife of her new uncle. But through all of this, the man stayed in her thoughts.

Hide and Seek Chapter Four

Random note, I totally almost called Diana ‘Aunt May’ here without thinking. *facepalm* XD

Enjoy! 😀

They arrived at their aunt’s house with about an hour to spare.

“April? You here?” Willow’s mother called as she opened the door. “Hey!” their aunt called, rounding a corner and entering the foyer. She hugged her sister. “I’m so glad you’re here! And all the kids! They’ve gotten so big!” Willow forced a smile, then turned and rolled her eyes. The whole “they’ve gotten so big” thing was starting to really bug her.

     “Willow! How are you? You keeping your grades up in school?” She asked. School? What was wrong with this lady? It was summer! But she nodded anyway, if only to keep the mood from souring for the rest of them. 

     Then Diana turned to Carson. “Carson, the single boy! How are you doing with no brothers to keep you company?” Carson laughed. “It’s pretty annoying.” Diana laughed too.

     “And Rhiel! You weren’t even born when I last saw this family. And now here you are, big and adorable!” she pinched Rhiel’s cheek, and Rhiel looked confused.

 “Come on in! Let me show you the house!”

     So they followed April around the house and looked in all the rooms. It was truly an enormous house, with at least 5 large bedrooms, a few sitting rooms, and even a small kitchenette in the finished basement. When they came back upstairs from the basement, the last room on their house tour, Willow’s mother expressed her amazement. “April, this house is amazing! How did you ever get it so cheaply?”

“Oh, it isn’t mine. I’m just renting it for the reception! We’ll also have a few people staying here until after the wedding.”

     Willow found that somewhat surprising. The way her aunt was dressed suggested she’d be able to afford to live there.

     Right after they finished their “tour”, the other set-up volunteers and chefs began to show up. “Alright everyone, let’s meet in the dining room for your debriefing!” April announced. The group gathered around the table in the dining room.

     “So, we’ll be heading down to Forenta Park in about ten minutes to set up the chairs and the aisle, and then for those of you who are in the wedding party,  we’ll be doing the rehearsal about 3 hours after that. You won’t need to dress up for the rehearsal. Now, who is here for food prep and production?”

      Several people raised their hands. “Okay. You guys will stay here, and you can start frying, or roasting, or whatever you’ll be doing. Is everything clear?”

 There was a chorus of “yes!”’s and “Got it.”s.

“Perfect! Let’s all head out for set-up now.”

     The group dispersed and the majority of them headed outside to their cars, including Willow and her family. As she walked out the door, a man brushed past Willow. “Oops, so sorry,” he said, not very sincerely. Willow stared at her arm where he’d bumped her…or rather, not so bumped her. He’d gone right through her!

     She looked up at the man, who was looking back at her. Willow suddenly got shaky. It was the same man from the restaurant, the one who’d been watching her through the window! She went pale, and turned around. Then she looked over her shoulder. He watched her for another few seconds before walking away. Willow looked down at her hands, which looked as though an earthquake was happening inside them. She went back inside, sat down on the stairs and buried her head in her hands. Who was this person? Why was he following her everywhere? And most importantly, how had his arm gone through her? It was impossible!

     “Willow, are you okay?” a voice said. Willow looked up and saw April looking at her. She forced a smile.

     “Yeah, I’m alright. Just a little bit of a headache. I’ll be fine.” Her aunt nodded. “Do you want some Aspirin or anything? Gotta make sure you’re all ready for the set-up and rehearsal later!” Willow shook her head, and her aunt left. Should she tell someone? She didn’t know if she should. For all she knew, she was just imagining this creepy person. She shook her head and headed out to the car to join her family and go to the park for set-up.

………………………….

“This looks so great, everyone!” April said with a huge smile on her face. They’d just finished setting up the chairs and the aisle and bringing the piano for Willow’s father, who would be the pianist for the wedding. Everyone looked around and admired their handiwork, grinning just as largely as April was. “Okay, let’s head back to the hotel until the rehearsal so we can get ready, and then come back here.” The family returned to the car and went back to the hotel.

   Willow still felt uneasy, and had decided not to tell anyone. She was pretty sure she was just hallucinating, for some reason. Maybe it was the heat.

     “Can you grab the key from my purse and go unlock the room for us, Willow?” her mother requested. “I’ve got to go change Rhiel and you brother needs to help your dad with the stuff in the backseat.” They’d left the set-up with a few gifts from their aunt as a thank-you for helping with the set up. “Okay,” Willow replied, leaning forward. She pulled their room key from the outside pocket of her mother’s purse and entered the building. She examined the key out of boredom while in the elevator on the way up. When she reached their room, she noticed something on the floor in front of the door.

     It was a small UPS box, addressed to her. Why am I getting a package? Willow thought. I don’t do any online shopping and I haven’t won anything recently. Plus, shipping companies don’t usually ship to hotels.

     She examined the shipping label. There was no return address. Weird. She entered the room and sat down on the bed to open it. It felt strangely light, she noticed as she turned it over to rip off the tape. She opened the flaps and discovered…packing material. She took it out and discovered another layer, and another. She took out more and more before finally getting annoyed and dumping the contents of the box onto the bed. She sifted through it and found only a small piece of folded paper. What the heck is this? She thought exasperatedly.

    She unfolded the paper, revealing only 4 words: I am not imaginary. Willow sat back on her bed. Why on Earth would she be getting a package with a random, four-word note while at a hotel in Des Moines? She shook her head, crumpled up the paper, gathered up the packing material and box and tossed it in the trash. Just then, her mom came in the room holding Rhiel. “What was all that?” she asked, glancing over at the trash can.

“Nothing, just some trash I forgot to take out of my backpack before we left.”

     Willow’s mother looked a little skeptical, but she let it be. Soon after, their father and Carson tromped into the room, carrying 4 bags. “We have arrived!” Carson announced. He tended to be somewhat overdramatic upon entering a room. Willow rolled her eyes.

 “Willow, do you have your rehearsal dress over there?” her mother asked. Willow looked through her backpack and found it near the bottom. She pulled it out and held it up. “Yup, got it right here. I’ll go change.”

Study Schedule and Plan + A Question

Hey ya’ll!

So, we started our second semester of school today. It went pretty well, and in my case that was because of this schedule that I made beforehand.

It took WAY longer than it should have to make, mostly due to the formatting. Anyway, we attend a virtual (online) school, and we can see all of our lessons, quizzes, etc. ahead of time. Therefore, I was able to make this handy schedule and estimate about how long it would take to finish each subject.

Feel free to adopt this format if you use schedules! 😀

Now, for the question. 😀 What’s the darkest character/scene you’ve ever written/read? I’m planning out my next book and my villain might be REALLY dark. I’ve never done it before and I could use any tips you might have! 🙂

Hide and Seek Chapter Three

Carson had woken up and begun to be obnoxious again. He cracked Rhiel up by making weird faces, but when he sent a snot rocket in the direction of Willow’s book, their parents had made him call it quits. He’d sat, annoyed, for the next 10 minutes before pulling out a book of his own. They read in silence for another 45 minutes before they pulled into the parking lot of a hotel. They looked up from their books at the giant building and smiled. “Whoa!” Willow said, her jaw dropping. It was the biggest hotel she’d ever seen. “Is this where we’re staying?”

     “Yup,” her father replied. Carson pumped his fist in the air, grabbed his books and such, and headed to the trunk to get his bag of clothes. Unlike Willow, Carson had chosen to pack all his entertainment materials into the back pockets of the seats in the car.

     They headed into the hotel, bogged down with their luggage. “One room, please,” Willow father said to the desk clerk. “Preferably with several beds.” So they received a key to their room and went up to drop their luggage off.

     “Oh heck yeah, it has a pool!” Carson announced, rather louder than he probably should have.  He got a look from his mother.

     “We might go into it later but not quite yet. First we’ve got to go help your aunt with the wedding.” Willow’s spirits drooped a bit. She’d actually forgotten the reason they had gone on the trip. She set her backpack on the floor next to the door and sat down on the bed, looking around as she did so. “Whoa!” she said. There were large beams on the ceiling, and there was a divider between one bed and the other.

     “Will we be able to get a place for Rhiel to sleep?” Willow asked. Her father nodded. “They should be coming up with a fold-up crib anytime soon.”

     Finally, they were all unpacked, Rhiel’s crib unfolded, and the door relocked. They headed out of the hotel and toward the car to reload. Riding along in the car again, Willow reopened her sketchbook and showed her brother the picture she’d drawn of him sleeping. His reaction was hilarious; he looked like a fish out of water and snatched the sketchbook out of Willow’s hands. “How dare you!” he said, flipping through it. “Did you draw any other stupid pictures of me?”

     Suddenly he stopped and turned the book toward her. “Whoa, when did you do this one? It’s amazing!” She looked over at it and got goosebumps again when she saw what it was: the picture of the man from the restaurant. She snatched the sketchbook back. “I-it’s nothing. Just something I drew the other day when I was bored.”

“You drew something that good just because you were bored?”

“Yes!” Willow snapped. She turned away, feeling inexplicably worried.

Hide and Seek Chapter Two

When she nervously went outside to get back in the car later, she glanced around and saw no sign of the man anywhere. Thank goodness for that, she thought. She strapped her seat belt in and looked back out the window. Then to her horror, she saw him right outside the door of the building! She’d just left the building a second ago, and he hadn’t been anywhere; it was impossible! She turned back around and took a deep breath. You’re just seeing things, Willow, you’re just seeing things, she assured herself. She left her books in her bag this time and payed attention to what her family was doing.

     She didn’t know why. Maybe to see Rhiel hiccupping again. Unfortunately nothing happened this time, and she fell asleep before she knew it.

     She was woken up to Rhiel crying 4 hours later. “Oh, Rhiel,” Willow said sleepily. Her twin was still asleep, and her mother was close to it. She sighed and unbuckled her seatbelt. She turned around to face the back of the car and stroked Rhiel’s head, talking to her gently. It was the only way to calm her. Finally Rhiel stopped crying, and Willow turned back around.

     It was getting light out by then, and she watched the sunrise through the window. “Dad, we’ve been driving all night, how close are we?”

     Her father didn’t respond for a minute. “Oh, Willow. It’s you.” He said, seeming a little out of it. “Sorry, I’m so tired. We’re uh, about 2 hours away, I think. It won’t be much longer.” Willow leaned back and pulled a sketchbook and a box of colored pencils out of her backpack. She sketched Rhiel in a wedding dress aflame with colors. Weirdly, she enjoyed to draw her baby sister doing everything from sitting at the dinner table to going skydiving. It was a satisfying hobby.

     Willow continued to draw, this time drawing her brother sleeping in the seat next to her. He was drooling and his head was tipped forward, which made for a hilarious picture. After she laughed to herself, she flailed about for something else to draw. Soon, something came to mind: the man she’d seen at the Wendy’s. She shivered at the thought and began to sketch. When she finished, she had a perfect image of what she’d seen. It was almost scary how accurate it was.

     Finally she put away her sketchbook, having lost her desire to draw, and sat back. This trip had turned out not to be quite as boring as she’d expected.

Chapter One: Hide and Seek

Alright! Today I’m starting to post one of my recent stories, Hide and Seek. I’m aware that there’s some clunky sentences, slight plot holes, and such. It’s only a first draft. 😀

All feedback is welcome and please enjoy! 😀

“Willow, why aren’t you dressed yet? We’re leaving in half an hour!” Willow’s mother told her, exasperated. Willow pulled herself up off of the couch reluctantly. She was not looking forward to this trip. She’d been informed 2 months ago that they would be traveling to Des Moines, Iowa to help her aunt with her wedding. Having never really met her aunt, except once at a birthday party for someone else she didn’t really know, she was happy for her. But she didn’t see the point in going to the wedding at all, though she was a junior bridesmaid.

     Despite her annoyance, Willow went upstairs to her bedroom and pulled on a t-shirt and a pair of leggings. She brushed back her short, wavy brown hair back behind her ears and stuck her feet into a pair of flats. There, she thought, looking at her reflection in the mirror. That should satisfy Mom. “Did you brush your teeth?” her mom called. Oh, come on! She threw her hands in the air, heading to the bathroom.

…………………

“Carson, would you stop it!” she said to her brother, who was sitting in the backseat of the car next to her. He was making obnoxious noises and poking her in the side every 2 minutes as they drove from their home in New Orleans to Des Moines. He looked at her and stuck his tongue out. Why was he like this? They were twins, yet she was the bookish one who enjoyed reading and school, while he was very loud and didn’t much like school. How could twins end up so differently? It confused Willow profoundly.

     She leaned against the window and rolled her eyes. “Carson!” she said again. “Carson, leave your sister alone,” her mother said. Carson stopped poking her, but continued to make noise. Willow turned and grinned at her 7 month-old sister, Rhiel. Rhiel grinned and waved her tiny hands at Willow. Willow laughed and turned around. She pulled a book out of her backpack and began to read to pass the time.

………………………………

Before she knew it, it was dark outside and she couldn’t see her pages. She looked up in surprise. Hadn’t they only left the house a little while ago? She glanced at the clock in the front seat. Holy cow, it was 7 o’clock! She turned around to glance at Rhiel again. She was asleep and drooling. Willow put her hand over her mouth to muffle her laughter. She was adorable.

Willow turned back around and leaned forward. “Dad, when are we stopping? It’s 7 already and I’m getting hungry.” Her father looked at the car’s clock. “Oh, you’re right!” he said. “Honey, are there any good places to eat near here?” he asked his wife. She consulted her phone.

“Well, there’s a few fast food places pretty close by. I’ll pull up the directions for you.” She plugged her phone into the car’s stereo and the voice of the GPS immediately blared through the car. Quickly she reached out and turned it down.

   It was about a 5-minute drive to the nearest Wendy’s. “Alright, Rhiel,” Willow said softly to her sister, unbuckling her car seat when they arrived. “Are you hungry? Ready for some food?” Rhiel woke up slowly, opening her eyes and wiggling in Willow’s arms. “It’s alright, don’t move too much,” she said to her. She climbed carefully out of the car and handed Rhiel to her mother. “What are we getting to eat?” she asked. “Probably the Four for 4 meals,” her mother responded, gently bouncing Rhiel.

“Sounds good.”

     They walked in and discovered that it was almost completely empty. It was just them and the 4 workers. “Go pick some seats, guys,” her father told them. She and Carson headed to the middle of the restaurant and grinned. Despite their extreme differences, there were definitely things that they both did and agreed on; one of them was that they loved to sit right in the middle of whatever building they were in.

     Several minutes later, their parents came back with Rhiel and trays of food. “Mom, let me take Rhiel for a minute,” Willow said, holding her arms out. “Thank you, Willow,” her mother said, gratefully handing the baby to her older daughter. Then she began to dole out the food. “Chicken sandwich, fries, nuggets and a drink to Carson,” her mother said, handing the items to Willow’s brother. “And Willow gets a burger, fries, nuggets, and a Frosty.”

    “You can just set the stuff on the table, Mom.” Willow said. Her mother did so, then took Rhiel back from Willow. “Do you want to feed her, Willow?” her mother asked, smiling. “No thanks, you can take her,” Willow laughed. One time when Rhiel was about 4 months old, Willow had tried to feed her sister, and she’d ended up with a shirt covered in spit-up and baby formula.

     They ate their food, discussing ridiculous things that had happened on the ride there. Of course, Willow had missed most of them, as she was reading her book almost the entire time. Apparently Carson had told some weird jokes and Rhiel had gotten a horrible case of hiccups that cracked them all up. “I can’t believe you were totally oblivious, Willow! It was so funny!” Carson said jubilantly. Willow rolled her eyes. Carson’s idea of funny was different from hers. But honestly, she could see why Rhiel hiccupping would be funny. Such a tiny baby making such a loud noise was a comical thing to behold.

     Willow finished her food and went to throw her trash away. But as she reached the trash can, she noticed a strange, tall man with a shaved head standing outside the window looking in. He seemed fixated on her. Chills ran up and down her spine and she walked back to her family, putting him out of her mind.

My First Post!

Hi everyone!

I’m very excited to be debuting my real blog (finally!). I used to have one on Blogger, but it wasn’t very good and I decided to try again.

Anyway!

I’ll be regularly posting things such chapters of my most recent stories, book and movie reviews, and tales of random things. When I travel (which isn’t often, but still), I’ll post pictures and such.