🦋 Out of the Shadows – Jenna’s Secret
It has it’s own page located right here on Riverside Peace.
Please stop by and read the background and details of the book.
Tommy entered the kitchen, his head bent forward to watch his feet as he walked. His hair skimmed the underside of the kitchen counter as he cut the corner.
‘Grandpa, can you help me tie my shoelaces, please?’
‘Sure. Up we go.’ He lifted his grandson onto a high kitchen chair.
‘Grandpa, why is it so hard to learn how to tie shoelaces?’
‘That’s a good question. Everything we learn in life can be hard.’
‘Because it’s part of learning.’
‘Well, if everything was easy to learn in life there wouldn’t be any strength to our character.’
Grandpa slowly looped a shoelace as Tommy watched. ‘Let me put it this way,’ Grandpa continued as he twisted one end of the lace around the loop. ‘Do you remember when your daddy and I took you fishing last summer?’
‘Yes.’ Tommy’s face screwed up. ‘It was so hard to get the worms to stay on the hook for the fish to bite them.’
‘That’s right. Do you remember how many times you had to practise to get it right?’
‘Lots.’ The little boy nodded once and continued to study his grandfather’s hands.
‘By the end of the weekend you had it just right and you caught the biggest fish for supper.’
Tommy’s face beamed and revealed a toothy grin. He let his foot drop and held up the other one.
‘Your turn,’ Grandpa encouraged.
Tommy wriggled his foot onto his other leg and concentrated on the shoelace. It took a few minutes but eventually he made the final turn and pulled the loop through.
‘There will be other things in life you will need to learn and they won’t be easy either.’
Tommy sat looking at his shoes in thought. ‘Like what?’
‘Oh, all sorts of things, like how to know the difference between right and wrong, when to make an important decision and how to choose which decision to make.’
‘Because that’s life and we need to learn lots of things like tying shoelaces and how to fish. Making a decision when choosing what kind of friends we should have can be a tough one.’
‘That sounds really hard. Will I have to learn how to talk to grandsons too?’
The old man laughed. ‘Yes, but not for a while yet; that’s a grow-up’s lesson. You can wait for that.’
‘Look, Grandpa. We tie shoelaces the same. Maybe you practised lots too.’
‘Yep, I practised lots too but some life lessons took longer to learn than others.’
‘Can you teach me how to learn other life lessons, Grandpa?’
‘I certainly can but right now… why don’t we have some ice-cream?’
Tommy giggled and his eyes shone. ‘I guess we don’t have to learn how to eat ice-cream.’
Jenna’a Secret is now in the hands of her new publisher www.skoobebooks.co.uk
It’s the story of a girl who, at the brink of going too far, learns from her mistakes and from witnessing the devastating effects to those who crossed the line.
Note: Out-dated language has been revised for the modern teen reader.
The original cover design by Debbie Sickler, USA has been given a brighter appearance. The back cover still exhibits a note about the author, Chrissy Siggee and her book reviewer, Tammy Johnson, a pastor’s wife and teacher from the Northern U.S. I couldn’t be happier with the latest overall presentation.
For this re-launch, ‘Out of the Shadows – Jenna’s Secret’ will be sold direct from the Skoobebooks website at 40% off the RRP internationally for four weeks only using this link: https://www.skoobebooks.co.uk/services/shadows-jennas-secret/
Time to introduce another grandchild’s talent.
Dylan is 11 years old and has always liked drawing dragons.
The lunch bell rang. The din of chairs screeching, student chatter and books slamming closed echoed in the classroom.
‘Peter Mason, I’d like a word with you in my office over lunch.’
Peter had only been at this school for six months. His father’s job regularly moved them from state to state. This was his second school in three years, making it difficult to make friends and to be accepted by his peers.
‘Hey Mason, what’s Olsen want to see you for this time?’ Jeremy Spears sniggered.
Jason shrugged and kept walking.
‘Mason,’ Spears shouted after him. ‘See you after school … usual place.’
The gym was his favourite place. Oddly enough, it was the only class he didn’t share with Jeremy. He entered the locker room and quickly changed into his gym gear.
One of the team’s pole-vaulters came over while Peter was placing a sweatband around his head. ‘Mason, I didn’t think you were going to show. Good to see you.’ He snickered and slapped Peter’s back.
Peter turned but the guy was gone. What’s he on? Peter pushed open the swinging doors, entered the gym and did his usual warm-up routine. His favourite apparatus were the rings, and he was grateful he had them to himself for the next hour.
‘Mason,’ the coach shouted. ‘Didn’t you hear the bell? Go shower. Principal Olsen is waiting.’
He showered quickly, dressed and was running his fingers through his matted hair when the coach entered the locker room.
‘Mason, you have an ability that will get you to the 2024 Olympic Games. Don’t waste your time painting walls in your spare time.’
‘Coach, I …’ But the coach had already left.
What is it with these jerks? He stormed off to the administration block, notified the secretary he had arrived and plopped in a chair to wait.
‘Come in, Mr. Mason. Take a seat.’
Principal Olsen didn’t even look up when he stepped behind his desk and sat down on his swivel chair. He picked up a newspaper and started reading.
They both sat in silence for a few moments before Principal Olsen spoke. ‘It’s come to my attention … again, that you were seen immediately following the latest graffiti incident here at the school. Somehow your picture and story made front page news.’ He emphasized his last words by tossing the folded newspaper across the table for Peter to read.
Peter stared at the photo, obviously taken by a security video camera, and the caption below. ‘Graffiti King Identified on Camera.’ In the hood of his jacket was a pressure-pack can.
‘How? Spears, it had to be Spears. Sir …’
‘I’d like to believe you, I really would. However, Spears is seen … here.’ He pointed to a gate, to the left of what appeared to be Peter. ‘He may have avoided the ‘camera rotation but …’
‘Why would I carry a spray can in my hoodie, Sir?’ Peter felt his pulse racing.
‘I’m sorry, Peter. This time I have to issue a suspension. Your father has been notified. You can collect your things now before classes resume. Return to the office to collect your suspension letter for your father and leave while everyone’s in class … to save face.’
Peter left in a daze. He couldn’t believe it.
He emptied the contents of his locker into his backpack and shut the door. He made his way back to the gym and wandered over to the rings. He was overcome with disappointment. He took one last look and turned to see the coach standing nearby.
‘It’s only for the remainder of the term, Peter, and unfortunately, Olsen won’t let you use the school gym after school hours either. I tried, but he won’t budge.’
‘Coach, I didn’t do it. Honest.’
His coach sighed. He placed his hand on Peter’s shoulder and spoke with compassion. ‘Look, stay away from Spears. He’s bad news. If you can keep out of trouble, I’ll talk to Principal Olsen about a summer training program.’
Peter smiled weakly. ‘Thanks Coach.’
With regrets, Peter returned to the administration block, collected the letter and headed home determined to hold on to the hint of hope that his coach had given him.
© Chrissy Siggee
It was Eric’s third morning of his mountain holiday. He’d just nestled back against the decaying roots of a fallen tree that lay balancing over the edge of a large waterhole. The trickle of a lazy waterfall created tiny ripples across the surface of the water where sunbeams played. The peace was interrupted by the sound of a twig snapping.
‘What the…? How’d you know where I’d be?’
Gertrude giggled and approached Eric. ‘I got up early to follow you. I thought you might be lonely fishing by yourself. Besides, this is one of my favourite places.’
‘Well, I’m not lonely, so you can go home.’
Gertrude paid no attention and began to toss pebbles into the water. ‘I can catch fish too, you know.’ She stepped into the water and inched her way toward the waterfall, splashing about as she went. ‘Here, fishy, fishy.’
Eric rolled his eyes. He looped a worm, spearing it onto his hook with the last turn. He was two years older than his pain-in-the-neck cousin and he didn’t particularly want her around. His parents decided the summer holidays with thirteen-year-old Gertrude at her family’s mountain property, would be good for Eric. He doubted it.
‘Get out of the water and keep quiet, you’ll scare the fish.’
‘Only if I can help.’
Eric scanned the parameter of the waterhole and began to work on a plan. ‘Okay, I need more worms. Lots of worms and they have to be long, fat ones. You could try over there.’
He pointed towards a small opening in the rocks behind the trickling waterfall, almost twenty feet away. The waterfall is really only a trickle and the water doesn’t look deep. She’ll be fine. He smiled at the thought.
Eric cast his line, leaned back and closed his eyes. This is nice…
* plop *
Eric opened his eyes towards the sound. His bait tin had blown into the water. It was then that he noticed the dark clouds overhead and the strengthening breeze. He reeled in his line and scrambled down to retrieve his tin. He paused. Uh oh…
‘Gertrude, where are you? We’d better get back.’
He did a quick check of the area. I guess she took the hint.
Light rain fell as he packed up his fishing gear, but by the time he put his backpack on, it had become a heavy downpour. He was about to leave when he thought he heard his name being called. He stopped and listened.
‘Help me, Eric.’
The call repeated and although it was faint, it was definitely Gertrude. He couldn’t tell where it was coming from. It seemed to be coming from under the ground. Eric was baffled.
‘WHERE ARE YOU?’
Her reply was barely audible. ‘I’m in here. Behind the waterfall.’
Eric dropped his backpack and ran straight through the waterhole. He climbed over slippery rocks and slid behind the falls that now flowed steadily down the rock face. The ground inside the narrow cave was muddy and he struggled to stay on his feet.
‘Gertrude, where are you?’
‘This way! Be careful, the wall’s collapsed.’ Her voice echoed faintly but Eric could now hear her clearly.
He gingerly felt his way along a dark tapering, downward tunnel. ‘Gertrude…’
Eric almost tripped over his cousin. He crouched and felt the ground around them. Mud had covered her legs.
‘Can you move?’
‘Yes, but I hurt my ankle when I slipped with the mudslide.’
Eric dug the mud away with his bare hands and eased Gertrude to her feet.
‘Lean on me,’ he said gallantly.
Once they were moving and fumbled their way back up through the short tunnel to the opening behind the falls, Eric found himself whispering. ‘What is this place?’
Gertrude grimaced and leaned heavily on Eric’s arm for support. ‘This whole area around the waterfall is a maze of caves and tunnels. I’ll show you around in a few days when the ground dries out. Heavy rain comes unexpectedly up here… I should have known better. The upper streams don’t take long to fill and create enormous changes in the falls and waterhole.’
She paused momentarily. ‘Hopefully, we can swim back to where you were fishing, before the water rises.’
With their back against the wall, they eased their way around to the far end of the waterfall where its flow was less intense. They jumped simultaneously into the water below. Cascades of water plummeted down on them, thrashing them below the surface.
Coughing and breathless, they finally dragged themselves onto the bank and into the shelter of a huge rock.
He watched Gertrude shiver and squeeze the water from her shirt. She wasn’t really a kid.
‘Gertrude,’ he asked quietly. ‘Why do you have to be so, so…’
‘Annoying? I don’t know. I just wanted to be friends.’
He studied her face. ‘Can we start over?’
After a few moments Gertrude nodded causing drips of water to fall from her hair and spill down her face like huge tears.
‘Okay, but call me Trudy. I hate Gertrude.’
They both laughed.
‘So, Trudy, what do you want to do when the rain stops?’
© Chrissy Siggee