Teen Reading

Out of the Shadows – Jenna’s Secret

JennaFinalFrontCover

This is a novel about 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.

Read more about this book on my Teen Novel page or go straight to the publisher to ORDER NOW!

 

Stinky

Thirteen-year-old Sarah stood in the kitchen doorway; arms firmly folded. Defiance kindled her annoyance. Tension grew as she watched her mother fill the dishwasher.Im not going, Sarah declared. Give me one good reason why I should.

Its only going to be a month. Please Sarah; you know your father needs this cruise to help with his recovery.

But Aunt Carla stinks. She knew it wasnt a nice thing to say, but it was true. Everyone knew it.

Sarah remembered their visit to her Aunt Carlas at Christmas. She lived in a sun-bleached clapboard house in an old neighbourhood. With no car, she walked once a week to the store and post office. Her only apparent regular visitor was a nurse every Wednesday. Sarah recalled the embarrassment she felt when they took her smelly aunt to the Christmas service.

Her mothers voice drew her back to the present. I know how you feel about your Aunt Carla, but shes close to school. You wont be with her all day every day. Even church is nearby and you can phone Pastor Jim for transport to youth group.

Sarah unfolded her arms and opened her mouth to respond, stopping short at the sight of her father staggering in from the yard. His mouth drooped on one side and spittle hung in mid-air about two inches from his bristly chin. She turned and ran to her room, throwing herself onto her bed. Her mother followed.

You will go, Sarah. The doctor said it will take time and this cruise will help. Hes fortunate the stroke didnt affect his walking.

Okay, Ill go to Aunt Carlas.

Sarah ate her breakfast in silence. She ignored her aunt sitting opposite. The kitchen smelled musty and mingled with mothballs, which lingered in the air throughout the house. Neither had spoken much since Sarah had arrived three days earlier. In the evenings, the only sound heard was the tinkling of silverware against old dinner plates while they ate their evening meals. The spacious sunroom, consisting of a large comfortable day bed, a closet and an antique table, was where she would stay out of Aunt Carlas way.

Would you like something special for tea tonight? I can make hamburgers and chocolate chip cookies, your fathers favourites.

The packet macaroni and frozen pizzas her aunt had prepared the previous night, invaded Sarahs already depressing thoughts. Thats okay, whatever you want.

Aunt Carla rose to her feet and wheezed heavily; her foul breath caused Sarah to cringe. The older woman took her breakfast plate to the sink and stood with her back to her niece.

Sarah felt a pang of unexpected guilt. She finished her breakfast and hurried to collect her things for school. Her aunt was still at the sink when Sarah passed the kitchen on her way out. She heard her aunt sniffle and watched as she removed a tissue from her pocket. Leaving the room noiselessly, Sarah step outside and closed the door.

Sarah, whats ya doin at Stinkys? She looked up to see a face disappear back through the window of a passing school bus.

Keeping her eyes downward, Sarah began walking in the direction of school. She quickened her step and almost immediately bumped into someone approaching from the opposite direction. Sarah quickly apologized and knelt to pick up the items the woman had dropped. Sarah lifted her head and realized this woman was a community nurse. Oh, you must be going to see my aunt.

Yes, Im Jenny and you must be Sarah. Carlas been so excited about you coming to stay. You know, I overheard that boy. Im sorry. It must be hard to hear people say such nasty things about your aunt. They just dont understand that some forms of terminal lung disease cause the body to produce odour from dying cells.

What? Oh尖eah. I better get to school.

Sarahs heart pounded and her breathing accelerated, but it had nothing to do with her vigorous walking. She began to cry thinking about the terrible things she had said and thought about her aunt.

Oh God, Im so selfish. Help me to be a friend to Aunt Carla. Please look after Daddy and make him well. I think you have a few things to teach me while Im here. Help me learn

穢 Chrissy Siggee

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

Archived in
Younger Teens by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

 

Carlas Big Chance

Carla answered her mobile phone after the second line of her special ringtone “Nobody Weird like Me”, Traviss favourite song. ‘Hi, Travis. Whats up?’

‘Not much, I just wanted to see what my baby sister was up to.’

‘Oh fine, I guess. I just wish Dad would ease up on me.’

Travis chuckled. ‘Still skipping classes?’

‘You know I hate school, Travis. Why do I need an education to be in movies? Its’ Carlas voice trailed off.

‘I know, Sis. You just want to hit the big time now.’

‘Yeah, as if thats going to happen when Im in a stupid Math class or something. What have you been up too?’

‘I had a few minutes. Just wanted see how my kid sister was doing beforeIironed my uniform, polished my buckleand shine myboots.You know how it is.’

It was Carlas turn to chuckle. ‘OK, have fun at boot camp. Dont let them catch you with your mobile phone.’

Carla rested back on her pillows and sighed. She missed Travis; missed his loud music and after school visits with her to the youth centre to play snooker when she was supposed to be doing homework.

Her phone buzzed. ‘Hello,’ she answered without checking the caller ID.

‘Hey, Carla, you up for some fun?’

It was Toni, a girl shed met a few weeks ago at the youth centre. Toni wanted to be a model and Carla liked her right off.

‘What kind of fun?’ Carla answered half-heartedly.

‘Remember Kevin?’

‘Yeah, hes the nerd that was playing chess at the youth centre. Goes to that snooty school off Main Street.’

‘Yep, thats him.’ Toni sounded excited. ‘Hes making a video for his school. Kevins uncle is on the school board and has heaps of money and some neat video equipment. He likes Kevins script and wants to enter him in a junior filmmakers competition in Hollywood!’

‘So, whats that got to do with me?’

‘Kevin needs a couple of girls to do some acting for him.’

Carla sprang from her bed. ‘Youre kidding! When?’

‘Were meeting them at the youth centre in half an hour.

‘Im on my way.’ Carla ended the call. This could be the break Im looking for. If Kevin wins the competition, Toni and I could be on our way to Hollywood.

It took less than a minute for Carla to see Toni talking to Kevin near the snooker tables. They were talking to another young guy who was leaning against a soda machine. Carla smiled at the handsome young man. He reached out to shake her hand. She was mesmerized by his presence.

‘Hi Carla.’Kevin broke the spell. ‘My uncle is waiting for us at his home. Were doing the video there.’

Kevins uncles house was a few blocks from the youth centre. On the way Kevin explained his script. ‘Its a film Im doing for my photography and visual effects class. My uncle offered to help with his equipment.’ He laughed. ‘He doesnt trust me with his precious stuff.’

They arrived at a huge two-story house surrounded by an immaculate garden. They climbed the front stairs and Kevin unlocked the door.

Carla was elated as she stepped into the impressive entry. She looked beyond an archway where two video cameras and a still life camera were set up on tripods facing a sofa a sofa covered with cushions and satin sheets. Toni grinned at her and winked. The boys walked on past the girls and headed to one of the cameras and began to adjust some dials.

‘Whats going on, Toni? Wheres Kevins Uncle?’ Carla began to panic.

‘Who needs his uncle? They have the equipment and we have the opportunity of a lifetime right here.’

Steve returned to Carlas side and skimmed his index finger down her cheek and flicked her hair. ‘Hey Carla, dont fret. Isnt this what you wanted? Glamour! Fame! Its worth a hundred bucks.’

Carlas heart raced and her breathing quickened. With one sudden movement, she turned and ducked through the still open front door. She raced up the path and onto the street turning her head to see the three of them standing outside. They were laughing at her. Carla gasped and began to run.

When Carla was sure she hadnt been followed, she slowed her pace. Tears and sweat streamed down her face. She drew in deep breaths and swallowed repeatedly trying to regain control before returning home. Maybe I should wait a few years before I think about Hollywood.She wiped her brow withthe sleeve of her sweater and wished for some big brother advice.

‘Im home,’Carla called from the front room. ‘Ive got an assignment due. Ill be in my room.’

‘OK,’ her mother called back. ‘Well be eating at seven. Im running late.’

Carla entered her bedroom and closed the door. She took her mobile phone from her pocket and hit Traviss speed-dial. Taking a deep breath she struggled to fight back more tears.

‘Hey Sis, you just caught me. Whats up?’

穢 Chrissy Siggee

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

Archived in
Younger Teens by Chrissy at Riverside Peace