Audrey's Story

Chatterbox: Inkwell

Audrey's Story

Audrey's Story

So, I've been writing a story and sharing it with literally everyone, so I decided to post it here! Be warned I might stop suddenly at some point; I abandon stories all the time. 

I'm going to wait until this thread is up to start posting my story, but I'll try to post every day/ every other day. Maybe. If I write often enough.

Give me your critique and plot ideas, though I already have most of my plot planned out. I hope you enjoy! 

submitted by WordSong, age Forever, My bed
(June 30, 2020 - 9:42 am)

I would love to read it!

submitted by Luminescence, age XI, California
(June 30, 2020 - 1:54 pm)

That sounds awesome!

submitted by Agent Winter, age Classified, evading K-Sec
(June 30, 2020 - 3:15 pm)

Oops sorry it's so late. Here's part one:

Yesterday, there was a humongous flash flood near us. Luckily, we only got the outskirts of the storm. But that didn’t mean that our house was habitable. I pick through the mess, my shoes sopping wet. My socks aren’t any better. Half the stuff I pick up goes in the trash bag. The other half I sort into the bag labeled Audrey and a bag for unknown. Some of the stuff I recognize as Mom’s, but most of it is indistinguishable. I grab a notebook and toss it in my bag. I hope the flood didn’t ruin it. That was one of my favorite stories. It was about a girl. In the end, her best friend dies. The only reason I finished it was because I was like 7 years old. It’s not written amazingly, but I still harbor hopes of rewriting it and making it better. I can tell what’s going on well enough.

Anyways, I should probably hurry up. I can hear Mom calling me from outside. “Audrey!” she yells, “Make sure to be out in 10 minutes!” 

“I will!” I shout back. I trudge up the stairs into my slightly-drier-but-still-damp bedroom. I climb into my bed. It’s the top bunk of a bunk bed. My dad made it before he died. He and Mom were going to have another baby. It still makes me sad to think. about it, but I was too young to ever really get to know him. 

I shake off the sentimental thoughts. I need to be outside soon.

None of my stuff really got harmed. For some reason I keep just about everything I own in my bed, which turned out to be a good thing in the case of a flood. Slowly and methodically, I pick through my things, trying to take only the things that matter. But with all my stuff… I just can’t choose. I can limit my stuff to only five, but I want to salvage all of it. I start tossing things in my bag, figuring that I’ll take as much as the bag will hold. 

15 minutes and 4 reminders from Mom later, I step outside, breathing in the fresh, humid air. A nice change from the stale air inside. I drop my bags on the ground. My arms ache from carrying them around. 

“Audrey!” My mom calls. She’s frowning. “What took you so long?” 

“I couldn’t decide what to bring!” I answer honestly. “Well, it’s too late to change it now,” she says. She motions with her arm at the car. “C’mon. We need to get going. We’ll be late to your aunt’s house.” 

I roll my eyes. Aunt Madin is a professional button maker, and she was so embarrassed when Mom, her only sibling, got the perfectly respectable job of a baker, instead of joining her in her embarrassment in the button making facility. She’s my only living relative (besides Mom), so we’re going to live with her in Lorain, which didn’t get hit by the storm.

I climb into the car and throw the bags of stuff that we’re keeping onto the seat next to me. I rummage through my bag and grab a notebook. I open it up and find one of my stories in progress - my only attempted novel made of poems. It’s really sad, though. About a girl whose brother dies. I open it up and start reading it from the beginning. Once I’m done, I am so glad I don’t have any siblings. If my younger self was even remotely right about some of the things I wrote about, it would be horrible to have one of them die. The only person I’m actually close to is Mom. And as far as I know, she’s not going to die any time soon.

I close the notebook. Have you ever read a story that makes you just want to read another book, or read the next book in the series? For some reason, my story is one of those, even though I only wrote, maybe 10 pages? I sit in silence with my mom for approximately 15 minutes. Then I sigh and decide to write anyway, even though I just want to read. I leaf through my bag and grab a notebook, promising myself that I’ll work on it, even if I don’t like the story very much.

The story is kind of boring so far, about a girl who is kidnapped by somebody. I forget who. I must have thought of something, but I don’t remember, and as I leaf through the pages, it doesn’t mention it. But that gives me free rein over what it will be about. I slip a pencil behind my ear, because why not? I begin to brainstorm a new idea that probably has nothing to do with the original story. It’s about a girl who’s aunt and uncle are holding her for ransom. It’s actually fairly exciting, now that I’m this far into it.

 

Hope you like it. I'll post more tomorrow! (If I remember.) 

submitted by WordSong, age Forever, My bed
(July 7, 2020 - 5:28 pm)

TOP please!

submitted by TOPSong, age TOP, My TOP
(July 8, 2020 - 4:56 pm)

Okay, part two:

I don’t notice we’re pulling into Aunt Madin’s driveway until we lurch to a stop. The girl’s parents have decided that they are going to pay off the ransom, but they don’t have enough money. I don’t know why I added this part. It just came to me. Opposite of writer’s block, I guess. My mom opens the door, breaking the comfortable, stuffy silence of the car ride. I yawn, even though it’s about 3 in the afternoon. Long road trips (a trip more than 1 and a half hours long is considered long) do that to me. I grab my bag, nearly tripping over my own feet as I start to lug it to Aunt Madin’s front door. 

Mom grabs my elbow and pulls me back to the car before I get halfway down the driveway. I turn to her, startled. 

“What was that?” I exclaim. 

“Sorry,” Mom replies apologetically, “Your aunt Madin always prefered back doors to front ones. She would get pissed off if we went in the front door.” 

“Oh.” I say, still shaken. I turn around and head the other way, to the other side of the house, still hauling the garbage bag full of my stuff. When I reach the other door, what Mom said is immediately confirmed. Aunt Madin’s back door is decked out in all sorts of welcome signs and things. Some of them are falling off, like maybe the tape didn’t stick. 

I stand in awe of the door for a few seconds more before I ring the doorbell. As soon as I hear the ding dong of the bell echoing inside her house, she comes bustling over and unlocks the door. Flinging it wide open, she grabs me in a scruffy hug, before pulling away and glaring at Mom. 

“She’s so thin! Do you starve her over at your house!” 

“No, she eats plenty, she’s just a slim child-” Mom tries to say, but Aunt Madin is already muttering about child abuse and that ‘just because you’re unnaturally thin doesn’t mean your child has to be too’.

After a minute our new host composes herself again, but her grin is obviously fake, unlike the welcoming smile she gave us when I first got here. “Well, I guess you better come in and put your stuff down!” she says through her clenched teeth, “Just dump it all in the living room, I’ll show you your rooms after supper.” She’s trying to sound cheerful, but I can tell it’s forced. She walks back into her house. 

Mom and I hesitate for a second, but then she turns back around. “Well, are you going to come in or not? You can’t stand there forever!” This time she doesn’t try to hide her annoyance. She sighs irritably.

We tiptoe hesitantly onto the soft carpet of her kitchen. At least, I think it’s a kitchen. It looks more like a 6-year-old’s playroom with a stove and a refrigerator. No sink. As Aunt Madin later explains to us, she uses the bathroom one to wash the dishes. And then she keeps all the clean dishes with the pile of stuffed animals, and the dirty ones with the board books. So, technically, she uses it as a kitchen. It just doesn’t look like one.

Aunt Madin ushers us into the dining room. “Knew you would be late, you’re always late, Marie. I already cooked supper, and set your places, figured you raised Audrey lazy as a sloth, I’ll get some manners into her, but there’s no time right now…” And she’s off muttering again. 

Mom nudges me with her shoulder. I look up at her face. “She gets like that sometimes. Usually when she’s nervous, or angry. She should calm down by tomorrow,” she whispers out of the side of her mouth. I nod like I understand, but I can’t imagine this lady being at all calm. 

At least her cooking’s good. She serves us some delicious mac & cheese, and forces me to eat approximately a thousand and seven servings. (I lost count after the third one. That’s all I normally eat. Luckily, I didn’t throw up. ) Mom looks like she’s going to lecture her, but I think she knows Aunt Madin will just start muttering.

After dinner, she drags us into bed. I ask about taking a shower, but she looks at me like I’m crazy. “Take a shower in the morning. I’m sure you’re too tired from traveling to shower.” I try to tell her I still want to, but Mom shushes me with an elbow to the ribs. I wince and rub the spot she jabbed. Instead of getting her talking about showers, Mom’s nudge has sent her muttering about child abuse again. I throw a helpless look at Mom. She just rolls her eyes.

 

submitted by WordSong, age Forever, My bed
(July 8, 2020 - 5:00 pm)

This is really good so far! The character seems well-developed, the writing itself is really good with a distinctive voice that helps you understand the character, and I want to read more. Overall, very well done.

submitted by Blackfooted Bobcat
(July 9, 2020 - 10:35 am)

Audrey sighs. "If I'm on the second page, nobody will read about me! Can you please TOP." The TOP comes out in a loud, obnoxious voice.

submitted by TOPSong, age TOP, My TOP
(July 11, 2020 - 7:02 pm)

Part three:

Mom is kind of right about Aunt Madin. The next morning, when she greets us for breakfast, she doesn’t have to try quite so hard to fake her smile. I have a sneaking suspicion that she’s not actually trying to ‘fatten me up’, this is actually just so she can spoil me, because I’m the only one left that she can spoil. But I’m still not sure if I really like her. She has a … complicated personality. But who knows. I’ve only known her for about 12 or 14 hours so far.

Breakfast is eggs and bacon. We sit around the table, eating our eggs in silence. I try to think of some way to politely tell her that me and Mom are strictly vegetarian. I nervously prod my eggs, probably too hard. My fork goes straight through the eggs and almost chips the glass table underneath.

Oh, I think I forgot to mention. Aunt Madin hates plates. We’re eating directly off of  the table in her living room. (Her dining room is too cluttered from last night’s dinner). I hesitantly pick up the eggs off my part of the table and shove them into my mouth. I really hope she doesn’t notice me and Mom totally ignoring the bacon. Or maybe she will, and she won’t care and she won’t cook us any meat. That would be… nice. But I bet she would just think Mom forced me into it. Or something like that.

If you ignore how awkward it is, the silence is kind of peaceful. I can hear the buzz of bees outside, and the wind whistling through the leaves of the trees. Other than that, it’s quiet. I try to focus on those small noises, and not the tension hanging between us.

Suddenly, Aunt Madin stands up, taking me by surprise. “Well, I better get going. I don’t have all day.” She turns around and walks out of the room before I can figure out where she’s going. But soon after she leaves the room, I remember that she probably has to go make some buttons. I snicker at the thought. Mom stares at me quizzically, like she can’t figure out why I’m laughing in a situation like this.

“It’s just - her job. It’s hilarious!” I try to explain, hoping I read her expression right. 

“Huh.” Mom says, suddenly chuckling. “I haven’t thought about it that way in years!” And suddenly we’re both full on laughing, and the tension floats through the open door. Or maybe it’s already gone. Maybe it left when Aunt Madin left. Either way, this is a fairly good way to start off the day, laughing with Mom about her sister’s profession.

And eating eggs, even though they’re slightly bland and slightly cold, and they probably have some bacon juice in them. Suddenly, I can hear birds singing, and they seem to be happier than they used to be, even though that is probably just my imagination. I munch on my eggs in silence again, but this time it’s friendly silence, and I can tell Mom is happy too. As I swallow, I wish for one thing : for things to stay the same between me and Mom. Because I’ve heard some people have awkward relationships with their parents, and I never want that to happen.

After I’m done, I decide to clear my place to the bathroom sink, because she says that’s where she washes the dishes. I figure if she doesn’t wash them later, me and Mom can do it. I go into the kitchen, and then I remember the dirty dishes pile, with the board books. I heave a sigh, and turn back around to the bathroom. 

By the time I finish getting all of our stuff from last night and our stuff from this morning cleaned up, it’s already 11:00. I wonder if our new host will come home to serve us lunch, or if we’ll have to figure it out ourselves. I go back in my bed, emptying out the things I brought. Not to sort, I’m done with cleaning for at least this morning. I need something to do. I grab the story I was working on during the ride here. I wonder if somehow, subconsciously, I thought Aunt Madin was going to be anything like the aunt in the story. I was so wrong.

 

Even so, I dive into the story.

 

Sorry I didn't post for two days, but I hope you like it! 

submitted by WordSong, age Forever, My bed
(July 11, 2020 - 7:03 pm)