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Blame it on september, p.1
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       Blame it on September, p.1

           Students of Montague Intermediate
 
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Blame it on September


  Blame It On September

  Montague Intermediate Anthology

  2012

  Kindle Edition

  Copyright 2012 by the students of MIS

  All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may no be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author or publisher except for the use of brief quotations in critical articles or reviews.

  ***

  This is a work of fiction. Names, places, businesses, characters and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, actual events or locales is purely coincidental.

  ***

  Cover art (copyright) by Chloe Jardine. All rights reserved.

  Edited by Patti Larsen.

  ***

  Kindle Edition, License Notes

  This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Amazon.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

  ***

  Dedication

  The students would like to dedicate this book to

  their teachers, friends and family.

  ***

  Teachers Preface

  A wonderful opportunity presented itself in early May of 2012. Patti Larsen, a Prince Edward Island author, was going to be presenting at the Montague Regional High School. With Patti already travelling East of Charlottetown, she was more than willing to visit our school to work with some of our budding writers. A group of thirty-nine students from grades seven, eight, and nine were selected by their English teachers based on ability and interest level in writing to attend a writing workshop run by Patti.

  The writing workshop blossomed into an anthology of student stories. With Patti’s guiding hand, students have compiled an outstanding collection of short stories for your reading pleasure. It is hoped that through an opportunity such as this one students will have gained an insight into the process of writing a book or novel and perhaps consider story writing as a future career.

  I want to take this opportunity to thank Patti for giving up her time and energy to foster the writing spirit in our student body. She has committed a great deal of her own time and energy working with our students promoting her love for writing. Her passion for writing and the energy she brought to the student workshops is one of the main reasons this project was so successful.

  I would also like to thank Kevin Stonefield, our principal, and the entire Montague Intermediate staff for allowing our students time to take part in this writing project. The flexibility of our staff and willingness for them to allow students release time from other subject areas is a testament to their desire for student excellence.

  Finally, I would like to recognize the students for all of their contributions during this process: the initiative displayed creating their stories, their willingness to accept feedback, and ability to work as a team in the publication process. Without their creative ideas this process would not have been possible and I hope they learned as much about the process as I did.

  Sincerely yours,

  Mark Quinn

  Teacher-Librarian

  Montague Intermediate School

  ***

  The Twisted Ways

  Abby McManus

  The lamp crashed to the floor. I awoke with a start, glancing around the hotel room for the source of the noise. Seeing nothing but the dying embers of the fire and broken lamp, I plopped back onto my pillow.

  Whooshing out a sigh, I picked up the photograph of my sister, my father and I from my bedside table. I looked at it carefully, trying to recall the day in my mind.

  I remembered it – not one of my best days, for sure, I certainly cried enough.

  My mom and dad had gathered us in the kitchen and were telling us about it, though we didn’t fully understand what “Lung Cancer” meant. We just assumed that he would be going away for a while, or at least that’s what I thought. My sister was thirteen, and I was eight at the time.

  After explaining to us, mom thought it would be a good idea to take some pictures.

  But I was sad, because everyone else was sad, though I didn’t know why. So when the camera flashed, no one could smile.

  But then my sister leaned down and whispered in my ear, “Smile though your heart is breaking,” and we smiled, with great effort, for the last picture.

  ***

  Just two weeks later, dad was lying in a hospital bed with only a couple minutes left in his life. He slipped a small package into my hand and said, “You’ll never be alone.”

  Then the machine made the sound that announced his death and my world shattered.

  Five years later, as I tried to find sleep, I whispered into the darkness, “You’ll never be alone,” and drifted off.

  Had I paid a little more attention, I would have noticed the dark figure looming in the corner, red, hatred-filled eyes burning holes right through me.

  ***

  The next morning I awoke with a prickling sensation of being watched in the back of my neck, but I quickly shook it aside.

  I tried to remember where the kitchen was. The penthouse we were staying in was enormous. Somehow, I found my way, after many wrong turns.

  When I walked in the door to the kitchen I saw Mom and Teresa, now eighteen, groggily eating cereal.

  “Morning,” I greeted them.

  They didn’t say anything, but I didn’t expect them to – we hardly ever talked since dad died. The reason for conversation left along with him.

  I grabbed some toast and orange juice and then dropped into my chair. Still no one spoke. Unable to bear the unspoken, unseen tears any longer, I scooted back my chair and stood up.

  “I’m going out for some air,” I told them.

  My mother just nodded, so I went up to my room to change.

  Closing my bedroom door behind me, I selected a simple outfit, a t-shirt and shorts, slipped into my jacket, and then went down the elevator into the lobby.

  I was finally alone, going through the twisted back roads, pondering everything that happened to me. When all of a sudden, I saw movement to my left and glanced around – but there was no one in sight.

  “Hello?” I called out, not really expecting an answer. Hearing nothing, I resumed walking.

  But a figure came out of no-where, appearing right in front of me. The figure was dark, and I couldn’t see a face or recognize who it was.

  I muffled a shriek as it glided towards me, not actually seeming to walk.

  It spoke in a dry, rasping voice;

  “All alone you stand,

  All alone you will land.

  Deserted you are,

  From safety you are far.

  Trapped forever now,

  For you to leave, I will never allow.”

  Then the figure disappeared without as much as a wisp of smoke.

  Confused, and a little afraid, I hurried home to find my sister frantic with worry.

  “Where HAVE you BEEN? I’ve been worried sick! You were gone for seven hours!”

  “What?” I replied, “I’ve only been gone for about half an hour!”

  Teresa pointed to the clock, and I realize she was right… but how was that even possible?

  This day keeps getting stranger and stranger, I thought. But my thoughts were interrupted by Teresa starting to talk again.

  “Mom went to look for you an hour ago, but obviously, she’s not
back yet. And she is going to be so mad!”

  Groaning, I sank onto the floor. This day was NOT going well.

  The phone started to ring right then, giving me an excuse to get away from Teresa for a moment.

  “Hello?” I spoke into the mouthpiece.

  There was static, and then, “Hello? Is this Teresa or Rose West please?”

  “Rose West speaking, “I replied politely, “How can I help you?”

  “This is the New York City Hospital, and I am Nurse Johanna. I regret to inform you that your mother has been in a car accident and we suggest you come quickly.”

  Everything seemed to go in slow motion from that moment. I couldn’t get to Teresa fast enough, explain the phone call, and drive there without getting into an accident ourselves. I rode the whole way, willing Teresa to drive faster, the traffic to clear, for Mom to hold on just another moment longer.

  “She’s still in surgery,” said a pretty nurse at the front desk, “But you can wait in the waiting room for as long as you’d like if you need to.”

  The waiting was torture, hours on end of not knowing anything, no updates from doctors. We were the only ones in the waiting room, and all the doctors and nurses other than the one at the front desk were in surgery with mom.

  It was another couple hours before the head doctor came out with a grim expression on his face. Teresa and I stood up to receive the news.

  “I am so sorry. I’ve done all I can.” He told us.

  I felt my sister grasping my hand, and I squeezed her hand back, trying to hold on to my sanity. But I could feel myself slipping away from this world, and the last thing I saw before everything went black were the tears in my sister’s eyes.

  ***

  I came to in my room, facing the ceiling and filled with a sense of loneliness I couldn’t quite place. Until I remembered the events of the previous night.

  Closing my eyes, I tried to find the comfort of sleep again, but there was none. Then, out of nowhere, I hear rasping. It sent fear shooting through me, and the air threatened to suffocate me.

  “All alone you stand,

  All alone you will land.

  Deserted you are,

  From safety you are far.

  Trapped forever now,

  For you to leave, I will never allow,

  Another has fallen.”

  The words weren’t the only things that were horrifying – every time the words were repeated, they ended with cold, cruel cackle of madness and hatred. Goosebumps began to cover my flesh and I leaped out of bed, screaming. When my feet reached the floor, I could feel sharp talons piercing my back painfully.

  I whirled around and faced – nothing. Whatever it was had gone as quickly as it had arrived.

  Teresa came crashing in, hollering, “Are you okay? What’s wrong?”

  I just stood there, silently, not answering until I caught my breath. Then I whispered, “Something was here. It attacked me.

  And I think that it killed Mom.”

  “It was just a nightmare, baby girl,” Teresa reassured me, “and Mom, well, she died in a car crash. You know that.”

  I turned to show her my bloody back and prove her wrong, and glimpsed my reflection in the mirror as I did so. There was no mistaking the horrifying long cuts; they had been made by no natural thing.

  “It was here! And it keeps telling me this weird little rhyme, and its scaring me Teresa… you have to believe me!”

  As I faced her again, I saw fear creeping its way onto her face. It wasn’t something I liked to see, but at least it meant she believed me.

  “Rose,” she said softly, “what’s going on?”

  “I’m not sure exactly. All I know is that this creepy supernatural thing is stalking us, killing everyone we love, and I don’t know why!”

  I burst into tears and sank to the carpet. Teresa rushed to hug me, but she didn’t tell me that it was going to be all right. Because the truth was, neither of us knew if it actually was.

  ***

  The next couple of days were weird. We were extremely depressed, but nothing out of the ordinary happened since the creature’s last visit.

  On the third night after I was attacked, I could hear someone calling out to me. Just as I was drifting off to sleep, I recognized the voice. It was my father’s. He kept calling out to me, saying,

  “Rose. Rose. You’re never alone, Rose. I’m here.”

  I shot straight up in bed, and I could see him everywhere. In the stuffed animals on my bed, saying good-night to me. He was everywhere, and he was in my heart.

  For the first time in a year, I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

  I woke up with my sister sitting on the edge of my bed, looking down at me with an odd expression.

  "You wee smiling in you sleep," she said.

  "Dad came to me last night!" I exclaimed, "In my dreams. But when I woke up I could still feel his presence, you know?"

  Teresa just looked at me.

  "You'll never be alone."

  The whisper hung in the air for a moment, and Teresa's eyes opened wide with surprise. I glanced around, surveying the room, but no one was there. I could have sworn, though, it was my father's voice that whispered it; and there was no denying it.

  "Daddy?" Teresa breathed, looking towards the doorway.

  I glanced in the same direction and saw a transparent, ghostly version of my parents. They were smiling and holding out their hands, reaching for us with love. They started gliding towards us, telling us it would be okay.

  They enfolded us in their cool arms, but darkness was growing in the corner, and the room filled with hatred as the dark figure appeared once more.

  "No. They're not real,” it hissed, “Simply an illusion of your tortured mind, Rose. You are alone. Now come. You come with me, and you won't be alone," The shadow reached its hand out to me, beckoning. Waiting or me to fall into its trap.

  I looked from my parents to Teresa and to the shadow again, still extremely confused.

  "I don't even know who, or what, you are," I spat out, "And you expect me to waltz away with you? You’re crazy!"

  It just grinned horribly at me, and then spoke. "My name is Oderunt." I thought back to my Latin classes, recognizing the Latin—Oderunt meant Hate.

  “Why are you doing this?" I asked.

  "I am no mere human. I am purely my name, pure hate."

  It raised its hand and I watched in horror as it cast a shadow across Teresa's face. Her skin immediately turned chalk-white and she began screaming, a blood-curling scream.

  "And hate kills things." Its tone turned mocking and cruel.

  "NO!" I cried in despair as I watched the life leeching out of Teresa's face. "I won't let you take away anyone else I love! Once you take them away, you can't hurt me anymore! But even if you did - they'll always be beside me, and in my heart! You can't hurt my family, not anymore! I love them far too much for you to hurt them. So just leave."

  I grasped Teresa's hand, now so cold, and my parent’s transparent arms encircled me. I looked into those red glowing eyes of hate, and felt no fear. Only pity.

  Strengthened by some great power so deep I never knew I possessed it, right there, in that moment, I knew what Love truly was.

  Finally, we were free of Hate's twisted ways.

  ***

  A couple days later, Teresa and I found ourselves sitting on the floor, looking at the package my dad gave me before he died.

  We looked at each other, and slowly, together, opened the package.

  Inside was a CD, and a note. Slipping the CD into the CD player, we listened. On the note there was just the name of the song on the disc, but it was also so much more than that.

  "Your Never Gonna Be Alone."

  ***

  The Dream

  Ali White

  The alley was dark , the air heavy with the stench of something unbearable. He had nothing to lose. He lost everything... everyone. There was nothing left to love or believe in anymore. Peop
le had been warned before about Cos Alley. Whoever went in was said to never come back out. He was about to take a chance that would have cost him everything, if he had anything left.

  He grabbed his worn down backpack and headed towards the darkness. There was a never-ending wall of fog just in front of him. He stopped and thought about it. The boy looked down at his cross, kissed it and slowly made his way through the fog.

  Beep, beep, beep, beep!

  The roar of the alarm clock woke me. I jumped out of the bed and landed on the cool, wooden floor. The boy. I dreamt of him again. I couldn’t get him out of my head and the dream never finished. Something always woke me up right before it would; it was like there was no ending at all. And maybe that was it. Maybe I needed to make the ending. I knew this boy was part of my imagination but he felt so alive and real. It seemed as if he was out here somewhere, waiting for me to save him.

  I got ready for school, still thinking about the mysterious boy. What was his name? Did he even have one? Where was he and where was he going? I wanted to know about this helpless boy, to understand and help him. Yet, I couldn’t do anything if I knew nothing about him or where he was.

  I drove to school in my beaten down hybrid and parked by the gym beside my best friend, Blakely and my boyfriend, Tevin. They met me at my lockers before the first bell like usual. Everything was so normal and perfect around me, but all I could think about was that boy and what he was doing.

  Tevin must have noticed how pale and oblivious to the world I had been.

  “Hey, are you all right?”

  “What? Oh yeah, weird dream last night.”

  “Oh, well you better cheer-up, ‘cause guess who’s birthday it is today?”

  Damn. How could I forget? We had been best friends since eighth grade and we had been dating for two of them and I forgot is eighteenth birthday. How terrible of a girlfriend could I be? All cause of that stupid boy I shouldn’t even be thinking of.

  “Your birthday of course! How could I forget that?”

  Just to show him I didn’t forget at all, I jumped up and gave him a long kiss on his cold, soft lips. He lingered there, wanting more, but I knew if I was going to get him his present today, I would have to leave now and skip school to drive to the mall in Turin. I needed to get him something nice and expensive. Just the way he wanted it.

 
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