Thank The Devil

“Get up. Please. It won’t hurt. Much.”

Groggily I opened my eyes and felt pain surge through my leg. Wincing, and the memories flooded back.

“Where is she?” I asked. It couldn’t be real.

“She’s dead, Noah. Stand.”

Feelings piled up inside, like a massive car collision. You can imagine, but they all came to a halt with regret. I let my best friend save me. We should both be alive right now. No. The fire should have never happened. No one would want us dead. At least no sane person.

“Did they find who started the fire?”

“No. No one started it, boy. It was a natural forest fire, and there’s no reason to think anyone would want either of you dead. If you want to blame anyone, blame God, which doesn’t sound like a good option.”

Oh right, like those are reassuring words, nurse.

Three raps on the door. The nurse walked over and swung open the hospital room’s door, revealing a woman in a black suit, decorated with necklaces and super tall heels. She had a clipboard and laptop tucked under her arm.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Pregler. A moment?” Formal. Ugh, can I just try to remember my friend who i’ll never see again, please?

“Alright.”

“Thank you.”

I talked for a while about what Maddie was like, and how the fire happened. I tried to convince her i saw someone else while we were out there. But she didn’t believe me.

“Noah, I know this can be hard for you to understand. You want to blame someone. Any teenager would want to. But you can’t. It was natural, from what the investigators say. Now how’s your leg?”

“It’s burned. It’s fine.”

“Alright. I’ll be off. Maddison’s funeral is tomorrow. I’d be glad to take you, if you’d like.”

“Thanks for the offer, I’ll think about it.”

She got up and left, thank god. Except I’m angry at him, so I thanked the devil instead.

~

I didn’t eat anything that night. I couldn’t. All my thoughts were on Maddie and how much I botched up. Sleeping was hard, but eventually this restless state gave way to dozing off.

~

“Noah. Noah I can’t reach you but wake, please!”

“What?” I groaned, but it came out more as a “mhuuu?”

Turning over I found myself in a void. That jolted me awake.

“Where am I? Who are you?”

The place was definitely not what I imagined a never-ending vortex would look like. It wasn’t time- and spaceless. In fact, it seemed like all time was in this spot. It was pulsing with energy and I was reminded of many memories from many times. Four years ago, when I won the Lego building championship, all the way back to fifteen years ago, when it was my first birthday. Everything in life was crystal clear again.

But the place itself was just a school hallway, complete with off white linoleum floors, and lockers that used to be white. Light brown doors flanked every fifteen lockers. Through the windows on the doors I couldn’t see squat. They were all clouded inside.

The hall went down pretty far, ending with some, what appeared to be abandoned, construction equipment. A fire extinguisher sat next to me in a glass box. At the very end I saw three glass doors, the light shining through, brightening the corridor. It was so bright I couldn’t see outside.

I leaped off my bed, surprised. Then I realized I was walking through a school in a hospital gown, which might not be the best idea. I turned back to grab a blanket, but the bed was gone.

“Noah! Look up, the lights. You’ll be able to see me there.”

I glanced up, confused. But there, suck in a light panel, was Maddie.

“What?! Maddie! How’d you get in there?”

“You’re trying forget me. I ended up here after . . . Look, this isn’t the best time to explain, but you’ve got to get me out!”

I looked around. How was I supposed to reach a fifteen foot tall light?

The construction site.

I raced to the end of the hallway, which took longer than expected. It didn’t seem very long, but then again, I was dreading the plank walk in a hospital dress. Luckily, no one saw me.

There was a ladder. It cold and metallic to the touch, but it would get Maddie down from the lights. How the hell did she even get up there?

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Sending Off (pt. 2)

Amber hummed along to the radio.

The eight-year-old was on her way to the airport with her family, sending off the Bennett family’s only son to Hawaii for three weeks.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon. You’ll be fine,” Spencer whispered in his little sister’s ear, reassuring her. He knew she was worried about him being away, but he would not give up this trip. It was a once in a long time opportunity. After years of studying, he would finally be able to put his Hawaiian to use.

“I hope so,” Amber replied.

Spencer stayed quiet for a minute. There was a lot more to this then just going to use is Hawaiian.

“Are you sure you’ll be okay?” Spencer asked

“I don’t know.”

“’Kay, whatever.” He paused, and watched his little sister for a minute. She was special, and not always in the good way.

The taxi driver drove them in silence the rest of the way to the airport, watching the girl out of the corner of his eye. He’d seen her before.

            Ralph was Spencer’s biological father. He was moody, and didn’t care for Amber much. He didn’t like the idea of adoption. He found, after having Amber two years, that adoption was an adventure, at least.

Lu, his wife, was a calm, quiet ladylike woman, keeping Ralph’s temper in check. He often lashed out, furious at Amber. She had caused them amounts of trouble over the year, in varying sizes. So far the worst she had done was cause the neighbors a tantrum, a lone silhouette wandering around in the middle of the night. Soon after calling the cops, they found the young girl.

Amber was a free spirit. She also wasn’t a human spirit. Having the ability to control plants, water, fire, and ice proved that. Spencer was the only other person who knew about what Amber could do. Whenever she was in human form she had straight, light brown hair, and deep brown eyes. Freckles dusted across her olive cheeks, and her hands and feet were rough and calloused.

When she was in her ‘unnatural’ –as she and Spencer called it— state she had dark black hair, and ruby red eyes. She was more muscular, a bit taller, and seemed to almost glow. But she didn’t have full control over her unexpected abilities. She tried not to use them, but it was hard. She would sneak out to try to practice now and again, but she rarely had the time or energy.

That night, after the airport, the rest of the family went out to dinner. By the time they arrived home, it was late, and Amber went to bed immediately.

Weeks passed, the family’s life at home continued normally. Spencer would call and recount his experiences. His host family was very kind, and he was becoming friends with the middle brother.

“He’s pretty nice,” Spencer explained. “There are three boys, Kahikina the oldest is seventeen, Hani is the middle and fourteen, and Makana is the youngest, only two years older then you.”

“Say something else in Hawaiian!” Amber begged.

“Um, okay. Pehea e pili ana i keia mea?”

“What did you say?”

“Never mind. How’s it going down in Orlando?” Spencer asked.

The Bennett Family lived in Orlando, Florida, in the suburbs. They lived in a smaller house, and people often asked them how often they’d been to Disney, Sea World, Universal and other theme parks. Amber had never, while the rest of the family had been to Disney twice, and that was it. Money was getting tighter, as Lu had just lost her job.

“Good, I guess. Nothing very interesting is happening. Lu is still looking for a new job. I think she’s going to give her resume to Siemens,” Amber said.

Amber refused to call any of her adopted parents ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’. She didn’t think they deserved the respect, so she often just called them by their first names. Or nicknames. Often she called Ralph ‘Jerk-Face’ or ‘The Soulless One’. Spencer had no idea where she picked these names up, but he didn’t care all that much. But it did make his parents, Dad especially, annoyed.

“I thought you weren’t supposed to know about that,” Spencer noted.

“Well, I’m not, but I know about it anyways. Ralph was having a fit about it last night, so that’s how I know.”

Most of their conversations were quick as these, but they had multiple a day, so Spencer let it slide.

            The next day Spencer was to come home. Amber was energized.

“How long?” She asked for the, what it felt like to Lu, millionth time.

“How about you go outside, burn off some of the excitement?” Lu suggested.

She paused, and gave Lu a curios look, which bothered Lu a bit. Eight-year-olds weren’t supposed to question their mothers. They were supposed to do as they were told.

“Alright,” Amber said, picking her words carefully. Then she darted outdoors, happy for the fresh air.

Amber picked her way through the trees, making her was down to the lake. She hadn’t used her strange abilities the whole time Spencer was away, but she decided she ought to try now. She knew that eventually, Spencer wouldn’t be home all the time. He’d go to college, get a girlfriend, get married, and Amber would be on her own again. But that was okay, as long as she could talk to Spencer.

By the time Amber had reached the crystal clear waters, the sun had set. Darkness webbed throughout the trees, making itself at home, and the moon glancing down at its newfound territory.

Amber touched the water’s edge, watching the ripples race away from her fingertips. Amber often wondered who her real parents were. Why had they gotten rid of her? Did she have any siblings? And did they have powers too? Amber obsessed over that question. Hundreds sprouted from that inquiry.

“Amber?”

Quickly, she turned, to find Lu staring at her from glassy eyes.

“What’s wrong?” Amber inquired, surprised Lu would cry. Sure, she was emotional, but what was there to be dejected like Lu was now?

“I— oh Amber! It’s too terrible,” Lu stepped forward, to the rock Amber sat upon, setting her arm across Amber’s shoulders. “Spencer . . . He—”

“What happened to my brother?” Amber yelped, standing up briskly. Something had gone horribly wrong in Hawaii. Thomas warned her, but she had figured her ghoulish friend wasn’t talking about her brother.

“She not just your brother, child!” Lu chided.

“What happened,?” Amber growled, lowering her voice in as though she was threatening a little bit more than being mad at Lu, again.

“Do not use that tone on me, girl. Now as for Spencer—” her voice cracked. “The plane back from Hawaii crashed into the Pacific, and no one has come out.”

Amber stared at Lu for a solid minute, emotions running through her mind at a hundred miles an hour. Then she ran.

________________

I’m sorry about the last cliff hanger . . . Here, have another!  Part three will be coming soon.

Amelika I. Kaumaha

A Man, a Whale, and a Camel

“Help!” I shouted as Ed shot flaming arrows towards my head. I hastily ducked out of the way, my hat swept from my head. Ed is my friend; that is, he was, until this morning. I was knocking on the door of his house, I wasn’t expecting to be running for my life ten minutes later. I had no clue that he had gone crazy overnight. He was my best bud before.

“Go, Ellie!”

I leaped into the mouth of my whale. Quickly, she closed her mouth. All I could see was darkness and feel the damp air, but I knew she was diving me to safety, as I could feel my ears popping. While I started to catch my breath, I patted the massive tongue I was sitting on. Ellie took me up to land, after my heart was at a normal pace. After a bit, I was spit out of the giant mouth, which is when I saw something I had never seen before.

I picked up the soft camel shaped object, coughing because of all the smoke.

“Hello?” I asked the creature, “Are you alive?”

The tiny camel, whom smelled strongly of fetid cigarette smoke, hacked and wheezed, then climbed up to my shoulder. I brought him back to my house and put him into my spare room. He stayed with me for weeks, and shared with me that his name was Charles and that he is a rare and endangered uahi paka camel species.  One day Charles and I were walking in the park, and stopped to enjoy all the gorgeous colors of spring. Suddenly, he passed out! Quickly, I put him in my pocket as I ran to Ellie who brought me to the Emergency Room. The doctor told me that he could do nothing.

“He seems to have died because of lung disease,” the doctor continued, “I’m sorry sir.”

I was riding with Ellie and telling her about what had happened, and a few minutes of sobbing in our grief I heard a knock on the door. I opened it and there stood Ed. I slammed it, not wanting to make Ellie anymore depressed.

“Hey! It’s Ed!” he yelled.

“I know, that’s why I am not opening the door!”

“About that; I’m sorry about what happened. I hadn’t slept for four days because of this terrible smoke. I didn’t know where it was coming from, but I couldn’t sleep. Now I am all better, and awfully sorry. Will you forgive me?” Ed asked.

“Sure,” I replied. I needed a great friend, like Ed again.

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I wrote this one pretty late at night . . . Honestly, I have no idea what I was thinking, but hopefully it’s not too weird. 🙂

Amelika

Not Right

She rolled over onto her stomach, the tall grass crunching under her thin belly.

“Amber!! Where are you??!” Someone yelled across the now overrun field. Who knew it grow that quickly overnight?

Amber sat upright, her long light brown hair tumbling over her shoulders. A dark vine raced through her hair, making her look like a young, female Tarzan. Standing she could barely see over the grasses, so she scampered up an oak tree. Curiously, the seven year old watched two irritated parents and one anxious brother scan the tall field.

“Where is the damned child? I told you Addison, this was a horrible idea!” That was the father.

“Honey, calm down. I’m sure she’s her somewhere. But you know what they said. We have to be more careful.” That was the mother. The adoption agency was sure to alert the parents, that Amber had a tendency to run off into forests, fields, or really anywhere.

Amber knew she shouldn’t leave. She knew it made any family she was with anxious, but she needed to run wild. Sometimes it was to visit Thomas, sometimes it was just to get away from the indoors. Either way, she still left, causing stress and annoyance in her wake.

Amber was adopted. Many times, actually. This was her fourth family. The first one gave up on her. The second and third she had run from. They just weren’t right. But she always ended up back where she came from, the Children’s Home of Boone, North Carolina.

Spencer was the first, and only, born of the Bennett family. They could not have any more children now, so they decided to adopt. Being fifteen, Spencer was very protective of his little sister, even if it wasn’t the coolest thing. Now he was very worried that Amber had left them.

Lu was proud of Spencer. Smart, strong, and handsome, (if you don’t mind her speaking of her son this way, but honestly he was gorgeous) Spencer was everybody’s dream. Amber was happy to be his sister, which is a lot to say for her personality.

Lu Bennett had always wanted a baby girl to play with, do her hair, paint nails, and all of the girly things Amber despised. Slightly disappointed by Amber’s ways, Lu tried to bond with her, but they just did not click. It was like trying to force two puzzle pieces that didn’t belong together.

A strong personality, Ralph Bennett was not pleased by Amber. He wanted his wife to be happy, and clearly Amber was not helping with that situation. As he waded through the weeds, he wondered if the child had really run off. That would be glorious. But, just his luck, Amber swung down from the oak, and run over to Spencer.

“Spencer!” She called, the grasses rippling as she skipped through the field. “Last night I climbed the tree and Thomas visited again!”

Amber had explained Thomas to Spencer many times. “He’s a ghost who comes with me everywhere! He was there when I ran away from my second family, and when I came to this one. He very nice, he likes spaghetti and he keeps me company at night. But sometimes he likes to wait in the fields for me, so I go out and find him.”

“So you leave to talk to your imaginary friend, Thomas?” Spencer asked, trying to right the situation.

“He’s not imaginary Spencer!” Amber had tried to reason. “And not always to see Thomas. I don’t know why I leave.”

As Amber made her was to Spencer, Ralph exploded in an angry fit.

“WHAT WERE YOU THINKING RUNNING OUT LAST NIGHT LIKE THAT?!”

“Ralph, honey, calm down,” Lu tried. But Amber had a sharp tongue she couldn’t quite control.

“What do you mean, what was I thinking?” Amber replied calmly, “I was thinking I want to get away from you for a little while. I don’t understand how they put up with your babyish fits.”

Ralph was about ready to strangle Amber, but he didn’t, as his wife told him to calm himself.

“Amber, do not talk to your father like that. Go to your room, now. And don’t run off again,” Lu scolded.

Quickly, Amber darted off to her room. Ralph was not her father, and Amber could talk to him however she pleased, she thought as she closed her door.

Amber didn’t do much in her room. There was a bed, and few dolls she never touched, and a window with baby pink curtains. She waited until she heard the rest of the family trudge inside and closed the back door to make her escape.

“Go talk some sense into your sister, Spencer. I do not want to see imbecile that for the next, hmm… ever!” She heard Ralph grumble.

She slid the window open, climbed out, and made her way back towards the lake. Her hands and feet were callused, as she rarely wore shoes, and climbed trees, rocks, and any other structure she could find.

She passed the field she was just in, not surprised to see the grass had receded to a normal height. If she was ever around for more than five minutes all the grass grew at an amazing speed. She figured it didn’t really matter, so she hadn’t told anyone.

Ducking under a few more trees, she smiled at the sight of the lake. She scanned the rocky shores, finding no one. Pebbles lined the lake, along with a few boulders. The water was as still as if was holding its breath.

Amber climbed onto a rock that had been tipped over, and intruded into the lakes waters. She shuffled all the way to the end, and tentatively touched the water. In the summer heat, the whole lake froze over.

Spencer knocked on the wooden bedroom door for the seventh time.

“Amber! Open up!” Spencer shouted. Then he listened. Not hearing anything, he went into the garage, grabbing a screwdriver to pick the lock.

After sliding open the door, and finding Amber was not there, he knew he could not tell his parents. Dad would probably kill someone, he guessed Amber. Slipping outside, he heard Amber trudging down the hill, weaving through trees. He followed her silently, wondering where she would go.

Soon they both emptied out at the lake. He ducked behind a tree as her eyes scanned the shores. She scampered up a rock with astonishing agility, and leaned down towards the lake.

Grasses popped out of ground. Spencer stumbled, shocked that the plants raced up the rocks, reaching for Amber’s toes. It explained why the field grew so speedily. Suddenly the lake froze over.

He gasped, and saw Amber’s hair was now jet black. Her eyes were ruby red instead of dark brown. She was stronger, taller, looking almost dangerous.

She opened her palm, and a spark danced across. Taking a deep breath, she dropped her hand, and the flame went out. She blew across the icy blanket over the lake, and it disappeared as quickly as it came.

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Hey everybody! Here’s a short story I’ve been working on for a while. I have some ideas for a second part, so if you have any feedback or if you’d like to see the next part, make sure to leave a comment to let me know. 🙂 Thanks guys.

Amelika

You Are What You Eat

The story of how this saying came to being . . .

Once upon a time in the land of Mr. FoodHeadlandia, there was a potato named Mr. Potato Head.  He was with his family, and his friend Mr. Cherry Head, and his family. They were all going to have a lovely picnic together. Son Potato Head asked his father what he brought to eat for the Potato family.

“I have potato chips, mashed potatoes, and potato salad for lunch. The Cherry’s said they’d bring dessert,” Mr. Potato Head replied to his son.

The Potatoes and Cherries had a fun time playing their favorite games: Hot Potato, Bowl of Jello, Duck, Duck Goose (the Potatoes where very bad at this game and tended to land is the Mushin Pot a lot).

Everyone grew hungry so Mr. Cherry Head suggested they eat lunch. Mrs. Potato Head and Mrs. Cherry Head unpacked the lunch. After they prayed over the food everyone dug in. Mr. Potato Head noticed Son Cherry Head and Daughter Cherry Head didn’t seem to enjoy his food that much.

“Does it not taste good?” he asked.

“No,” Son Cherry Head replied, “it’s just that we don’t enjoy potatoes that much.”

“Oh, sorry, I just figured you’d like them it’s our family’s favorite.”

“We’re more of the cherry type,” Mrs. Cherry Head said, pulling out a Cherry Split (that’s cherry ice cream on a boat of cherries with cherry sauce, and a cherry on top).

Then Daughter Potato saw this and laughed. “I guess you are what you eat!”

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Here is a short story I wrote a while back. It isn’t the best thing, but I thought it was funny. Enjoy!

Amelika