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 Post Post subject: Untitled as of yet...
Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:30 pm 
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I've been writing this story of sorts, (I guess it would be called that, it's got chapters, but I don't think of it as a book... :-k) Anyhow, I'm posting the first chapter, I'll post more if people want to read it :) Comments and Criticism welcome!



I heard the sirens screaming in the distance, I could still hear the ringing of the gunshots, all 7 of them. As I looked around, trying to make sense of what just happened, Elijah came up, and slipped his arm around my shoulders, drawing me into a protective side hug. I looked up at him with questioning eyes, and through the lump in his throat, he whispered “I don’t know why Chaela, but you’re safe now”


Chapter 1

The beginning of the end of life as I knew it began sometime last spring. I can’t pinpoint the exact day, but looking back, it was a gradual decline onto a slippery slope. A decline that none of us saw coming until it hit us in the face.

It was a busy spring for us, living on a farm, we were always dependent on the weather, and this year planting had been especially late. Sometime during the rush to plant corn, beans, and potatoes, my parents had an argument. Something seemingly small and unimportant to me, they’d argued before, but it had never really affected me. Throughout the summer there was some tension, but I always found a way to excuse it, lack of sleep, heat, drought, sickness, etc... Looking back, I see how wrong I was.

“Michaela?” my younger sister Adalie called, “What Addi? I’m kind of busy right now. Dad wants to talk to you” she said, with a nervous look on her face. “What now?” I said, as I got up and walked downstairs. “Thanks Addi, be right back” Walking down the stairs Michaela prepared herself, Kevin Harris had been in a bad mood for the past 3 weeks, and today was no exception. “Chaela, I just got a phone call from Patrick Johnson, he was checking in with me to see how things were going, he said that you had asked him to be in prayer for our family. Is that true?” Michaela took a step back, a little surprised at her fathers angry tone. “Yes, I just mentioned to him and Mrs. Johnson that things have been tense around here, due to the drought, and that our family could use some prayer. That’s all.” “I see” he replied, “listen here Chaela, I don’t want you mentioning any so called ‘family issues’ as Patrick put it, to anyone. Got it? We’re just fine. If I hear of you doing anything like this again, there will be consequences. Do you understand?” Michaela nodded, trying to hold back the tears that were threatening to spill over, and managed a small yes sir. Walking back upstairs, Michaela let her tears flow, Adalie came around the corner and saw her big sister crying, “did daddy hurt you Chaely? Why are you crying?” Michaela smiled at the little girl with the big blue eyes who was so concerned, “No Addi, at least not physically, I’ll be okay in a minute. You know what would help? What?” Addi asked, “a big hug from you!” Happy to comply, she hugged Michaela, and then told her very seriously that her friends were waiting for her, and she must go. Smiling, Michaela watched her sister skip happily into her bedroom to her waiting stuffed animals. “If only my life was as carefree as that”, she thought, as she headed into her bedroom to grab her journal, a pencil, and tissue and headed out to go for a walk to clear her thoughts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


I had another run in with daddy today, this time he yelled at me for asking Mr. and Mrs. Johnson to pray for us. I asked our friends to pray for us! Is that so wrong? It’s not like I went into detail about how he treats his family, or the language he uses, or the way he leads family bible time, Oh, that’s right, I forgot, he doesnt. All I said was that we were going through a tough time and that we could use some prayer. I just don’t understand. It’s days like these that make me want to count the days until I turn 18.... God, I don’t know what your purpose is for all of this, but please Lord, reveal a little piece of it to me? I don’t know how much longer I can stand this. I think- “Chaela! Chaela! where aaaarrrrrrreeee you?” Michaela sighed, I guess the rest of this journal entry will have to wait for a later time. “What Cody? I’m right here. In the tree!?” Cody exclaimed, “What were you trying to do, hide?” He asked. “No, just looking for a quiet place to think, plus, the cherries are pretty good up there” she said with a smile. “Did you need something?” “Oh yeah, can I borrow your bike? I’ll be careful and put it back when I’m done” “Why can’t you ride yours?” Michaela wanted to know. “I popped one of my tires, and dad said he would help me fix it, but that was 3 weeks ago, and we want to go for a bike ride. Please Chaela?” “Alright” she agreed, but make sure you put it back when you’re done.” Later, as she was walking back across the field, she sighed, “He never follows through anymore, not with Cody’s bike, or with his promises to do things with us, not to mention bible time or anything else. Why? What changed in these 3-4 weeks? What happened?” As she walked into the mudroom, she prayed “God, please get me through this. Please.”

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 Post Post subject: Re: Untitled as of yet...
Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:04 pm 
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Interesting story. You need some editing (as all writers do), but the story seem's pretty good. I'm interested to see the next chapter.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Untitled as of yet...
Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:51 pm 
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This is a very interesting story! I really like it and am looking forward to reading more!

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 Post Post subject: Re: Untitled as of yet...
Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:58 pm 
Country Girl
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Thanks Sapphire and Astronomer! :) Here's the next two chapters. I'm not quite sure about the last bit of chapter 3, but it's the general idea.


Chapter 2
Michaela rolled over and glanced at the clock, 11:37. She’d been in bed for over an hour now, she concentrated on the sound of her sisters breathing, as the yelling grew louder and louder as her dad walked closer to the bedrooms. “Please God, make this stop, I don’t know how much more of this I can take” As the yelling died down, she rolled over again, and let her tears fall.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



“Welcome to our home!” Kevin said, as he invited Justin and Marie Lampken inside, “I’m so glad you could join us for supper tonight.” Michaela smiled at the couple as they came in. Kevin continued, “Let me introduce you to my family. This is my wife, Diana, and our children, Michaela’s the oldest, then Cody, he’s 14, then comes Luke, who is 12. Lillia’s 9, and Adalie is 7, Joseph is 4, and our baby Aimee is 18 months. Guys, this is Justin, the man I was telling you about, and his wife Marie.” “It’s so nice to meet all of you” Marie said with a smile, “Justin speaks very highly of your father” Michaela heard Cody choke back a laugh, and glared at him, this was not a time to evoke their fathers wrath. The rest of the evening with the Lampkens, Michaela felt like she was in a normal, happy, christian family again. Her dad was kind, he didn’t raise his voice, and for the first time in a long time, she didn’t feel as if she had to walk on eggshells. It looked as if her mother felt the same way, and by the end of the evening, Michaela started to second guess herself and wonder if she wasn’t overreacting.

After the Lampkens left, Michaela and Lillia helped their mom get Aimee and Joseph ready for bed, and then Michaela went upstairs to write in her journal. She had written about a page and a half when it struck her that for the first time in a long time, they had gone an evening without their father getting upset and unreasonable, and that she herself, had gone an evening without worrying about what might trigger her fathers anger. “If only things could always be this way” she sighed, as she shut her journal and went to get ready for bed.


Chapter 3
August 19th dawned bright and clear, the blue skies and warm, balmy weather put everyone in good spirits. As the Harris family gathered around the table for breakfast, Michaela heard Addi pipe up “Is it today Chaely? Is today your birthday?” Michaela smiled, trying not to laugh, “Nope Addi, my birthday is tomorrow, but tonight is my celebration. Is that what you meant? Addi nodded seriously, and Lillia chimed in “Ruth’s coming with Moriah, right?” Luke elbowed Cody, “Basketball, now that’s what I’m doing tonight. Should be a great game, since Chaela invited the Carlens, I heard her say that they’re all coming, so that means Chris and Ian will be here.” Michaela looked over at Lillia, “Yep, I talked to Moriah yesterday, and she said that they’ll all be here, she said that Ruth’s looking forward to playing with you” Lillia smiled, Ruth was her closest friend, and they hadn’t seen each other for 2 weeks, since Ruth’s family had gone on vacation to Yellowstone.

Just then, Cody noticed something was missing, “Where’s dad? he asked, “why isn’t he here?” Diana Harris sighed, “I don’t know, she answered, he said he wanted to go down to the range and sight in his guns for the coyote hunt he’s doing on Tuesday. “I don’t know why it couldn’t wait...” The phone rang, and Michaela got up to answer it. “Hello? ... this is Michaela, ... hi! .... you are?! .... I can’t believe it! what a surprise! ..... well I invited you guys, but, i mean, i never expected .... this is awesome! .... I can’t wait to see you guys! ... Okay, see you soon ... bye.” The rest of the family waited expectantly while Michaela hung up the phone and came back to the table. That was Hannah, she’s coming! She said that she, Elijah, and Elliot are going to come down this afternoon! I never expected this, this totally made my birthday!” Cody and Luke exchanged glances, Elliot was coming, this would be one awesome night. “Chaela, where are they staying?” Diana asked, Michaela looked up, “I didn’t ask, I should call her back, is it okay if they stay here?” her words tumbling out a mile a minute, Diana smiled, “of course, it’s only your best friend and herbrothers, the guest room is all set up and Hannah can sleep in your room.” Michaela ran back to the phone and dialed the numbers. “Hello? .... this is Michaela Harris .... hi, I was just calling back to ask if you guys needed a place to spend the night? I was so excited to hear that you’re coming, that I forgot to offer our guest room. .....Okay, cool! We’ll see you later today then, ..... yep, the party starts at 4, and the food will be around 6. ...... okay, thanks Elijah, ... see ya, .... bye.” Skipping back to the table, she announced “they’re planning on leaving around 10, and then staying over tonight, and driving home sometime tomorrow.” Diana smiled, “sounds like a plan then.”


“Someones here!” Addi screamed, Lillia and Joseph came running, and baby Aimee toddled after them with her wobbly, toddler steps. “Who? who is it? Is it Ruth?” Diana smiled at the kids excitement, it was so nice for them to be able to enjoy this. All day Kevin had been in a great mood, smiling and laughing with the kids, teasing the boys, and just acting the part of a loving father. “Maybe all my prayers haven’t been in vain after all” she thought.

As the afternoon went on, Michaela walked into the house to get a glass of water, as she came back out, she looked around. Cody and Luke were playing an intense game of basketball with Elliot, and the other boys that had been invited. She saw Addi and Lillia, with Ruth attatched like Lillia’s third arm, surrounded by a group of little girls playing something. She knew her mom was in the kitchen, getting the food ready, all that was missing was her father. “Where is he?” she wondered, “Hey Elijah, have you seen my dad?” she called. “Sorry Chaela, I haven’t seen him for a while, I think I saw him heading inside a while back” Michaela sighed, “Okay, thanks, I’ll just find him later.” Michaela felt a tap on the back, “Chaela, there you are. Why so serious?” Michaela turned to see Hannah smiling at her, with a sparkle in her eye. “Oh, nothing, I was just looking for my dad real quick, but I can find him later.” Hannah smiled, “they need one more person to start a volleyball game, I volunteered you. Unless of course you don’t want to play volleyball. “ Michaela laughed, “Hannah, since when have I not wanted to play volleyball?” “Exactly” Hannah replied, “lets go!”

Adalie came running up. “Chaely! Dad wants to have a quick family meeting before we have dinner. Over behind the garage right now.” “Okay Addi, I’ll be there as soon as we score game point,” she said, “we’re tied at 20 now, so i’ll just be a minute.” “K, chaely, I’ll go tell them” yelled Addi as she ran over to the garage. Michaela scored the point, and was about to go over and meet her family, when she heard someone yelling for her. Looking around, she saw Elliot motioning her, “yeah Elliot? do you need something?” She jogged over to where he was, standing by the basketball hoop. “Is it okay if I run in and grab a drink of water? The water cooler’s empty” “Yeah Elliot, thats”- just then, Michaela heard a sound, a sound that made her heart stop short, and her knees go weak. She turned her head, and heard it again. Pop. She looked around, confused. She saw a look of terror written on Hannah’s face, and a sense of panic started spreading through the group. Gunshots! Michaela distantly heard a scream, and then three more in quick succession. Michaela, too stunned to move, felt Hannah come up behind her, grab her arm, and pull her to the tree by the volleyball net. As they crouched behind it, Michaela saw two men, she couldn’t tell who they were, running in the direction of the garage. “To get daddy, and warn him that some lunatic is on our property shooting people.” She thought. She saw Elijah dialing his cell phone, Pop. Pop. She heard mens voices, it sounded like they were fighting with someone, She saw Mr. Johnson and Elijah run over to the garage. Still crouching behind the tree with Hannah, she saw 3 men half carrying, half dragging a 4th between them. The man was struggling, attempting to get free from his captors. As they got closer, Michaela got a glimpse of the mans face, she gasped, and then it hit her.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Untitled as of yet...
Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:24 am 
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The last part was very intense. Keep writing!

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 Post Post subject: Re: Untitled as of yet...
Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:38 am 
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Wow, nice cliff hanger! I think I might know what is going on, but I'm a little puzzled.

Here's a tip: when a different person starts talking, start a new paragraph. That makes it easier to tell who is speaking.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Untitled as of yet...
Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:13 pm 
Country Girl
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Astronomer wrote:
Wow, nice cliff hanger! I think I might know what is going on, but I'm a little puzzled.

Here's a tip: when a different person starts talking, start a new paragraph. That makes it easier to tell who is speaking.

That makes sense. That was one of the things I was struggling with while trying to write these chapters. I will do that. Thanks :)

Chapter 4


I heard the sirens screaming in the distance, I could still hear the ringing of the gunshots, all 7 of them. As I looked around, trying to make sense of what just happened, Elijah came up, and slipped his arm around my shoulders, drawing me into a protective side hug. I looked up at him with questioning eyes, and through the lump in his throat, he whispered “I don’t know why Chaela, but you’re safe now”


The next half an hour was a blur for Michaela, she sat with Hannah and Elijah by the tree, blankly watching what was going on. She watched the emergency vehicles arrive, the EMTs running behind the garage, the police coming, Mr. Johnson talking to them and then leading them over to the garage where the man was being held. The whole time, the only thing Michaela could think about was the man who had done this, his face burned into her mind, Daddy. She watched as the police led him away in handcuffs, as the EMT’s emerged, with stretchers covered with sheets. As she was counting the stretchers, 7 of them, she felt Elijah’s arm around her again, and heard him whisper something to Hannah. She nodded, and got up and walked inside. A few minutes later Mrs. Johnson came over, and said something to Elijah, who looked over at the EMT’s and nodded. “Chaela, lets go inside” She nodded, got up and followed him in, where Mrs. Johnson was waiting with Hannah. “Chaely” Hannah said, as she put her arm around her “are you okay”

“I’m fine Han, thanks for asking.” she said, feeling her knees starting to weaken. She went over to the dining room table and sat down. “Can I get anybody anything?” Mrs. Johnson asked. “Chaela? Hannah?” Michaela looked up, “Oh, could I get a glass of water please? Hannah shook her head, “I’m good, thanks though.” Mrs. Johnson disappeared into the kitchen, with Elijah close behind her. Michaela put her head down, still trying to get a grip on what just happened. She couldn’t believe that her father would do that, and yet, he had. She was too shocked to cry right now, and for that she was grateful. She knew that once she started crying, it would be hard to stop, and she didn’t want an audience of everyone who had come to celebrate her 17th birthday when it happened. Just then she felt a splash of cold water in her lap. She looked up in surprise, and saw Elijah, with a sheepish grin on his face, “Sorry Chaely, I didn’t mean to.” The way he looked as he said it was comical, and despite what she was feeling at the moment, she smiled back, and the three of them started laughing.
Later, after the police had gone, and most of the crowd had left, Michaela, Hannah and Elijah were sitting in the family room processing what had happened that day. Elliot was upstairs on the phone, talking to his parents. Elijah had called home, and filled them in on what was going on, and they had wanted to talk to Elliot for a while. Everyone else was down in the family room. Michaela was sitting cross-legged on the couch, hugging a pillow. “ What’s going to happen to me?” she asked weakly, “i don’t have living grandparents, and the only cousins I have aren’t going to be able to help me, I know that.” Elijah was sitting across from her, praying harder than he had in a long time, for the future of his friend, as well as comfort and peace for them all.

Patrick and Anna Johnson stepped into the room just in time to hear Michaela’s question. They exchanged a look filled with sadness as well as peace, and locked hands. As the attention turned to them, Patrick prayed, “give us the strength we need to get through this. And please God, help us to know what to do, and how to proceed. Keep Michaela safe, and comfort her hurting heart. Thank you for keeping her safe today, in your name we pray, Amen.”

“Mr. Johnson” Michaela asked, “What am I supposed to do? Where am I supposed to go? I’m.... I’m not really wanting to stay here...” she said with a catch in her voice. Anna Johnson smiled at her, “We were thinking that all of you would come and stay with us, Chaela, we’ll talk more about your future tomorrow, but for tonight lets just go over to our place and try to sleep. Does that sound good?” Michaela nodded, relieved, and overwhelmed at the Johnson’s kindness to her. “They really are the hands and feet of Jesus” she thought.

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 Post Post subject: Re: Untitled as of yet...
Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:07 am 
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I want to read this, but I can't.

Dialogue:
"Hey, how are you?" My friend asked, smiling at me.
I smiled in return. "Fine, thanks; how are you?"
"Awesome! It's good seeing you again."
I nodded.

That's what Astronomer meant. Each time a different character speaks or does something, it has to be on a new, separate line. :)

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