Short Story Sunday 234: Zigzag

Short Story Sunday | Flash Fiction | Creative writing | writing prompt | RachelPoli.com

Stella poked her head into the living room. She wanted to check on her younger brother, who was being awfully quiet. Their parents had gone out for the night and had entrusted her to keep an eye on the four-year-old. It was a Saturday night and Stella would have preferred to be at her friend’s house or even just up in her bedroom listening to music, reading a book, or even just lying in bed alone. Anything was better than babysitting your little brother, right? Still, she wanted to get a little spending money since she was going to the mall with her friends the following weekend.

Walter was quiet in the room. He laid on the floor with blank paper and a box full of crayons. He couldn’t make too much of a mess with crayons, right? Stella tried to see what he was doing but couldn’t. She didn’t want to get too close to him. He was so quiet and calm that she didn’t want to disturb him. This was the easiest babysitting gig she had ever had and she didn’t want to ruin it.

Deciding that he was fine, Stella turned her back to go back out into the kitchen. Some new baking show was coming on and she wanted to watch it. She had never really watched baking shows before but all her friends raved about them so she thought maybe she’d give it a try.

“Stella?”

She winced. She was caught.

Stella backtracked to the doorway and looked over her shoulder. Walter was still where he was but now he was staring directly at her fiddling with a purple crayon in his hands.

“Yes?” she asked.

“Hi,” he smiled.

“Hi,” she deadpanned.

“What are you doing?”

“I was going to watch TV. Do you need anything?”

He shook his head.

“Good. Enjoy.” Stella turned back around to walk away.

“Stella?”

She groaned walking backward again. She stepped into the living room and leaned her body against the archway. “Yes?”

“Do you want to color with me? I’m making zigzags.” Walter held up a piece of paper to show her.

Sure enough, there were zigzags on the blank page, but it was just a couple of lines. Stella stepped further into the living room and looked down at all the papers he had. They all looked the same, just different colors. The pages were barely filled and each only had four or five zigzagged lines on them.

“What a waste of paper.” She muttered.

“What?” Walter asked.

“Nothing, I mean… they look good. But don’t you think you should put a little more color on the pages?” Stella asked. She squatted down beside him pointing to a couple of the pages. “There’s a lot of white on there and you have so many crayons that haven’t been used yet.”

Walter sighed in annoyance.

Stella narrowed her eyes at him. “What?”

Walter sat up and began rearranging the pages. He placed them beside each other, making their edges touch. He put some above, some below, and some next to each other. Stella watched carefully as he did this so precisely and narrowed her eyes trying to figure out what he was doing.

When all the pages were arranged accordingly, Walter sat back and looked at Stella expectantly. Stella too sat back impressed at the large picture before her. He had colored on about ten pages so far and when placed right beside each other, all the lines were connected to another page somehow.

“It’s a puzzle. Want to help?” Walter asked.

Amazed, Stella nodded her head. “I don’t think I’m going to be as good as you though.”

Walter grabbed a pink crayon and handed it to her. “Don’t worry. I’ll teach you.”

Words: 626

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Short Story Sunday 233: Package

Short Story | Package | Flash Fiction | Writing Prompt | Creative writing | RachelPoli.com

“A package came for you.” Ryder said dully. He flipped through the mail in his hands, his gaze focused on the letters and bills.

Marvin looked up from his handheld video game. He placed it down on the couch beside him and sat himself up. He stretched his neck to see though Ryder was standing right in front of him. He didn’t see a package anywhere.

“I did?” he asked.

“Hm,” Ryder replied absentmindedly. He dropped some of the letters onto the coffee table holding onto one. He sat down on the armchair across from the couch and moved his thumb across the inside flap of the envelope slicing it open.

“Where is it?” Marvin asked pushing himself up from the couch. “Did you bring it in?”

“No, it’s on the stoop.”

Marvin rolled his eyes. Well, at least Ryder was nice enough to tell him it was there. It was supposed to rain later and he didn’t want it to get wet. Whatever it was.

He walked across the living room making it over to the front door which was still left open by Ryder. “Why didn’t you bring it in?” he called as he opened the storm door.

He thought he heard Ryder reply, but he couldn’t make out what he said. He bent down, picked up the package, which was surprisingly light, and brought it back inside the house. He held it in one arm and closed the front door locking it with the other hand.

“Why didn’t you bring it in?” Marvin asked again once he entered the living room.

Ryder shrugged his shoulders. He rested his elbow one the arm of the chair and cradled his head in his hand while holding onto the open letter in the other hand. “I was carrying the mail, I didn’t have enough hands.”

Marvin remained silent. He certainly could have said something more to Ryder, but he wasn’t going to bother with an argument. If Marvin was the one to get the mail, he would have just put the letters on top of the box and carried the box in. It was certainly light enough to do.

He put the box down on the coffee table. A pen was resting on the table as well along with a notepad that had incoherent scribbles on it. Marvin was going to use the pen to slice open the box, but he turned his attention to Ryder instead.

“What is that, anyway?” he said motioning with a nod of his head to the letter in Ryder’s hand.

“Oh, just a letter from my mom.” Ryder replied with a sigh.

Marvin straightened up putting the pen down on top of the box. “Is everything okay?” he asked with a cautious tone.

Ever since Marvin and Ryder had come out and decided to move in together, both sets of parents were a little weirded out and shy around them. Marvin didn’t understand how parents could be shy around their own offspring, but apparently it was possible. His parents mostly understood though. They were supportive and asked about Ryder often, but they didn’t get it. It was a hard concept for them to grasp but they tried.

Ryder’s parents, on the other hand… They needed a lot of convincing. In fact, Marvin couldn’t remember the last time Ryder had even spoken to his parents. Marvin wasn’t even sure that his parents knew their address. Yet, Ryder’s mother sent a letter to the house.

“Yeah, everything is okay.” Ryder said his eyes growing a bit in shock. “I mean, I haven’t heard from her in a while so I was expecting a letter telling me Grandma had died or something.”

Marvin walked over to the chair and stood above Ryder putting his hands in his pockets. “What does the letter say instead?”

“She invited us both over to dinner. She misses us.” Ryder said sending a smirk Marvin’s way. Marvin couldn’t tell if that smirk was out of excitement or disbelief. Maybe it was a little bit of both.

“Both of us? Or just you?” Marvin asked. He rubbed the back of his neck. He knew it was a rude question, but he felt it was valid all the same.

“Both,” Ryder answered handing Marvin the letter.

Marvin couldn’t help but smile. “Hey, maybe your parents are coming around. That’s great.”

“We have to go tonight.” Ryder bluntly stated.

Marvin narrowed his eyes at the letter. “Oh, yeah… The date of this letter was a month ago. How come it took so long…?”

Ryder held up the envelope. “It’s post-marked last week. It still took a little while for it to get to us, but my guess is that my mother wrote that letter a while ago and just had a hard time sending it.”

Marvin smiled handing the letter back to Ryder. “She’s trying.”

Ryder chuckled. “Oh, definitely. This letter is going on the fridge.”

Marvin laughed patting Ryder on the shoulder. “Well, your parents live about 30 minutes away and we should pick up something to bring to their house. Come on,”

He grabbed his jacket, then Ryder’s, tossing it to him. Ryder caught it and put the letter down on top of the coffee table. He put one arm into his jacket. “What are we going to bring.”

Marvin raised his shoulders to get his jacket on all the way. “Wine?”

“Wine…?”

“Do your parents prefer beer?”

Ryder shook his head. “How about we bring a dessert?”

Marvin thought for a moment. He had only met Ryder’s parents once and it was certainly an interesting meeting. He nodded his head. “Fair enough.”

He walked over to the front door, opening it and stepping aside to let Ryder go first. Ryder grabbed his car keys from the hook beside the door and smirked at Marvin.

“Are you driving?” he walked out onto the front porch.

“Are you kidding?” Marvin deadpanned. He hated driving and Ryder knew that.

He followed Ryder out the door, closing and locking it behind him. Together they walked to the car, Ryder getting in the driver’s seat and Marvin in the passenger seat. They backed out of the driveway, arguing over what kind of dessert to get.

Both of them too occupied to realize they had forgotten about the package.

Words: 1,051

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 232: Deal

Short Story: Deal | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

“Are you interested?” Steven asked. He leaned back in his desk chair interlocking his fingers together behind his head. He crossed one leg over the other making himself comfortable. In his mind, the deal was done. There was nothing else that needed to be said. The man before him would say yes, write a check, and then Steven would happily go to the bank.

“Um,” Grayson stammered. He stroked his chin staring down at the ground deep in thought.

Steven narrowed his eyes while Grayson wasn’t looking at him. “What do you mean, um? This is what you came here for, am I right? What is there to think about?”

“The price,” Grayson looked back up at Steven who forced his lips into a pleasant smile again.

Steven uncrossed his legs and sat forward again, folding his hands on the surface of his desk. “This price, huh? What about it?” Of course he knew what Grayson was going to say, but he needed to buy himself some time. He needed to think of something to convince Grayson the deal was worth it.

“It seems a little high.” Grayson shrugged. He stood up from his chair and walked over to the window. He stared at the car outside. “It’s an old car with a lot of miles on it and it’s been in quite a few accidents. I don’t know if I’m able to trust it.”

Steven frowned. “A few accidents?”

“You don’t think I didn’t look up the history of the car? Or yourself, for that matter, before coming here?” Grayson said looking over his shoulder at Steven. He smiled at him putting his hands in his pockets.

Thrown off guard, Steven couldn’t help but force a smile back. “Uh, no of course not. I’d think you’d be silly not to look up the history of the car… or myself.”

Grayson turned around so his full body was facing Steven. “I’ve heard a lot of things about you and the shady business you conduct.”

“Shady?”

“You don’t have great reviews on the internet, though there are a couple promising ones. The cars you haven’t aren’t in the best of shape and you don’t offer to help repair them for your customers. Just what kind of an operation are you trying to run here?” Grayson said.

Steven stood up and pressed the palms of his hands firmly onto his desk trying to keep himself standing steady. “Honestly, I’m shocked those are the kinds of things that are going around myself and my business. But, you know what they say, you can’t trust anything that’s said on the internet.” His demeanor changed in the middle of his speech. He stood tall and shrugged with a light chuckle.

Grayson frowned and let out a sigh. “Steven, I know everything. It’s not just the internet, it’s friends and family too.”

“Really?” Steven stiffened.

“I’m sorry to say I believe it all. Now that I’m here I see for myself what everyone was talking about. I thought I would give you the benefit of the doubt, but I’m beginning to see I was wrong.” Grayson explained.

Steven let his shoulders drop and he gazed down at the ground in defeat.

“Despite the reviews, I came here because you’re my brother. I was hoping you’d treat me as such instead of a customer.” Grayson said shaking his head in disgust. “I mean, really. This car is for your niece. Don’t you care what she drives? Don’t you want her to be safe?”

Steven looked back up at his little brother. He finally sighed nodding in defeat. “Alright, fine. I’ve got the good ones out back.”

“The good ones?” Grayson asked suspiciously.

Steven nodded. “I save those for the rich customers. That’s why no one you know has ever told you about it.”

Grayson nodded. Fair enough. Their family didn’t come from money.

“Pick whatever you like… and it’s yours.”

Words: 653

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 231: Wish

Short Story: Wish | Flash Fiction | Blogging | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

“Close your eyes.”

“Why?”

“So you can make a wish.”

“Why do I have to close my eyes in order to make a wish?”

Ash glanced up at his wife, who shrugged her shoulders in response. Still holding the round cake in his hands, Ash looked back at his now 6-year-old daughter.

“I guess you don’t have to close your eyes if you don’t want to, Julia.” He said.

Julia tilted her head to the side. She tapped a finger to her chin and stared at the seven burning candles on top of her cake.

“What are you thinking about, honey?” Her mother, Zoey, asked with a smirk across her face. Julia was exactly like her father, though Zoey knew Ash didn’t see it yet.

“How does blowing out candles make my wish come true?” Julia asked.

Ash put the cake down on the table in front of her and he stood up straight. He looked at his wife and shrugged pointing to their daughter, allowing her to take this one.

“Well, candles are special.” Zoey stated.

“I blow out candles all the time when you light them around the house.” Julia countered.

Zoey paused and Ash snickered.

“Birthday candles are special.” Zoey said quickly. “They mark another year for you. They make it so this next year is going to be extra special for you.”

“But I’m six years old now. You put seven candles on my cake.” Julia counted the candles with her fingers.

“It’s for good luck.” Ash stepped in again. He smiled down at her thinking that was going to be the end of the conversation. Instead, Julia craned her neck to look up at her father with a confused expression on her face.

“Wait, I get a wish and luck?”

Zoey facepalmed. Ash stared at the six-year-old with his mouth gaping open. Why was she asking so many questions? It was her birthday, people blew out candles on a cake on their birthday, why was she reading into it so much?

“…Yes…?” Ash replied slowly. He wasn’t sure what the right answer was.

“You don’t sound sure.” Julia shook her head.

“The extra candle is what gives you the wish and it also has a bit of luck to help the wish come true.” Zoey joined in on the conversation once more. She nodded to Ash, who nodded as well. Certainly they made a great team under pressure.

“Why doesn’t my sixth candle give me the wish and the good luck, though? I am six, after all.” Julia commented again.

“Well, the seventh candle is there because you’re six now, but this year is your seventh year, leading up to your seventh birthday.” Ash explained. He scratched the top of his head. He had never thought about birthdays like that until now.

“If I’m going on my seventh year, then why isn’t this my seventh birthday?” Julia asked.

Ash finished scratching the top of his head and was now rubbing his eyes instead. He had to admit that she brought up good points. Birthdays were certainly weird. She was going on her seventh year, so why wasn’t this her seventh birthday? Then again, she wasn’t exactly seven year old, so that made it her sixth birthday instead… she’d been alive and in this world for six whole years.

“Julia, blow out the candles, you’re getting wax on the cake.” Zoey said sternly with her arms folded across her chest.

Julia opened her mouth to protest – or maybe she just had another question – but Ash stepped in. He bent down so his face was beside his daughter’s and smirked at her.

“Blow out your candles or I’m going to get to them first.” He drew in a deep breath acting as though he was going to blow them out.

Panicking, Julia blew out the candles quickly. No six-year-old could resist blowing out candles. Ash straightened up taking the cake out of her way while Zoey clapped and cheered.

The great birthday debate was now over as Julia quickly forgot and just wanted to eat the cake instead.

Words: 681

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 230: Vision

Short Story: Vision | Flash Fiction | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

“Tell me what you see now.” Scarlett said.

Isaac shrugged. He had one hand covering his right eye and he was supposed to read the fourth to last row of letters on the seeing chart that hung upon the wall on the other side of the door. “You know, this would be a lot easier if you just let me look with both eyes.”

Scarlett cracked a smile. “Yeah, that’s not exactly how this works.”

Isaac groaned. He narrowed his left eye trying to see well, but the letters in the row weren’t getting any less blurry.

“Try reading the sixth line from the bottom instead of the fourth.” Scarlett suggested.

“Sure,” Isaac took a step forward.

“Hey,” Scarlett said catching him immediately. “Step back.”

Isaac obeyed taking a step back but didn’t reply as though he had done nothing wrong.

“Read the letters to me.” Scarlett ordered again. Her tone was calm and gentle though it was obvious to Isaac she was getting a little impatient. It wasn’t his fault she was making him close one eye and stay ridiculously far away from the chart.

Isaac groaned. She probably already had it written down in her chart that he was blind. She was probably making him continue just to get a kick out of it.

“Okay, this isn’t working. Try covering your other eye.” Scarlett said.

“Well, now this is much worse.”

Scarlett looked up from jotting something down on the clipboard. She sighed when she noticed Isaac had both his eyes covered. “Stop being a smart-guy, Isaac. You know what I meant.”

Issac uncovered both his eyes and grinned at his eye doctor. “Yeah, but it was funny, right?”

“Cover your left eye and read the sixth row from the bottom.” Scarlett repeated unfazed by Issac’s antics.

Issac did so and wrinkled his face in disgust. “This is worse… my right eye is all blurry. How do you expect me to see anything better than I did with my left eye?”

Scarlett let out a sigh. “Your eye is just adjusting to the light again Issac. Give it a minute.”

Issac nodded and silence filled the room for a little bit. He remained in his spot, his hand still covering his left eye. Scarlett watched him, waiting. Expecting him to be begin but he didn’t seem like he was going to anytime soon.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“I’m letting my eye adjust.”

“Issac.”

“Alright, alright…” Issac sighed.

More silence.

“You can’t read the chart, can you?” Scarlett finally concluded.

“Nope.” Issac said quickly.

“Can you at least read the first time?” she wondered exasperated.

Issac uncovered his left eye and squinted. Scarlett let that one slide despite him still needing to cover an eye.

“A, B, C, D, E, F, G.” Issac beamed. He turned to Scarlett and nodded with a large grin.

Scarlett let out an annoyed sigh. “There are only six letters on the top row.”

“Oh,” Issac turned his attention back to the chart. He tilted his head as though that would help him read it better.

“Okay, I think you need some glasses.” Scarlett finally declared.

“What? Why?”

“You can’t see.”

“I can see in front of me.” Issac protested. “Why do I need to see things far away? If you want to see something that’s far away then just walk up to it. Unless you’re at the zoo, then you should stay away… so probably just don’t go to the zoo at all.”

Scarlett pinched the bridge of her nose. “Issac, how did you get here today?”

“I drove,”

“And how was that?”

“I hit two curbs and took up two parking spaces. Why?”

Scarlett sighed exasperated. “This is why you need to have the ability to see far away.”

“But–”

“I don’t want to hear it. If you don’t get glasses today, I’m going to call your mother to come pick you up.”

Issac folded his arms across his chest and pouted. “This is stupid.”

“Well,” Scarlett couldn’t help but smirk, “this is what happens when you don’t come for an eye exam in seven years.”

Words: 687

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 229: Union Academy [Part 2]

Short Story: Union Academy (Part 2) | Flash Fiction | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

“It wasn’t a mistake, Erin.”

Erin turned to look at Kay. She furrowed her brows in confusion. She wanted to ask what she meant, but was almost afraid to say anything. She looked all around her hoping that no one was overhearing this conversation.

Kay pressed her lips together rubbing in her fresh coat of lipstick. She closed her compact mirror and turned around to face her friend. “I told my parents that I wanted my own room this year. Only poor kids have to share dorm rooms.” She sneered.

Erin rolled her eyes. “I know. We can all afford our own dorm rooms. But the four of us agreed that we would share so we would all be together. Olivia and Zoey were supposed to share a room and you and I were supposed to share a room.”

Kay shrugged her shoulders. “Well, I changed my mind.” She turned her head to look the other way as though she was bored with the conversation.

“Fine, but you could have at least told me. I would have told my parents I wanted my own room.” Erin protested. She folded her arms across her chest and lifted her shoulders up. She turned her gaze down to the ground. Even though Kay wasn’t looking at her, she felt intimidated for some reason.

“Where are they…?” Kay muttered.

Erin looked up and noticed Kay craning her neck over the crowd of people. Did Kay even hear her? Of course she did… She was just ignoring her.

They stood in silence for a few more moments. Kay standing before Erin with her head held high looking like the almighty while Erin stood with a slouched posture and her gaze plummeting to the ground.

Kay scoffed. “Whatever,” she turned her attention to Erin. “Let’s head up to my room. We can text the other girls from there and tell us to meet us.”

Erin nodded her head and stepped to the side. Kay shouldered her way past Erin and walked on ahead, Erin following reluctantly behind.

*

Kay opened her dorm room door pushing it all the way open. It opened wide knocking into the wall and starting closing on its own. Erin pushed it back open to let herself in. When she crossed the threshold she looked around the room in awe.

“You already decorated the place?” Erin asked.

The walls were painted a pale pink and her silk throw was already covering the bed with a white see-through canopy over it.

“My father made some calls and they allowed me to come in a little earlier to set up the place.” Kay explained. She crawled onto her bed. She sat up by the pillows and put one on her lap.

Erin walked over to the other side of the room where Kay’s desk was set up. Her notebooks and pens were lined neatly up on the surface. A picture frame was on the corner of a picture herself with Kay, Olivia, and Zoey. Erin smiled remembering that day.

“Hello, hello!”

Erin turned around to see Olivia and Zoey enter the room together. Olivia closed the door behind the two of them and crawled onto the foot of Kay’s full sized bed. Erin watched not realizing that she had a bigger bed size than the other dorms too.

“Kay, this room is amazing! I wish I could have gotten my own dorm.” Olivia said.

“Hey, what’s wrong with bunking with me?” Zoey asked.

“Nothing. But it’d be so cool if we all had our own space, you know?”

Zoey nodded with a satisfied shrug. “Still, I’m glad you and I are roommates.”

“Me too!” Olivia giggled.

Erin folded her arms across her chest and leaned her back against Kay’s desk. She looked down at the ground. She couldn’t believe this was how high school was starting out. She was ditched by one of her friends and had to bunk with someone poor. Meanwhile, Olivia and Zoey were having the time of their life as though nothing was going on whatsoever.

“Who’s your roomie, Erin?”

Erin looked up like a deer in the headlights. Olivia and Zoey were staring at her expecting an answer while Kay was smirking at her. She sighed wondering if this was something Kay had cooked up to make their high school career start off with a bang.

Erin swallowed a lump in her throat and let off a shrug knowing her friends wanted an answer.

“I don’t remember her name.” she muttered.

“Sorry you have to share a room with a stranger.” Zoey frowned.

Erin cracked a small smile, but only because Zoey seemed genuinely sorry, despite that it wasn’t even her idea in the first place.

It was Olivia’s idea for the four of them to share rooms so that they could stay close with one another. Now that Erin thought about it, Kay didn’t seem to be too thrilled about the idea. They picked each other’s names out of a hat so the room assignments would be random. Olivia had pulled out Zoey’s name. That left Kay and Erin together.

Erin was excited at the time. She always had a feeling that Olivia was Kay’s favorite one of the group, but she thought that if they were roommates then maybe she would get to step up in the ranks of their small group. Apparently, Kay didn’t want to be with Erin.

She wondered if she was bunked with Olivia would she still have opted to get her own room? What if she was bunked with Zoey?

“Erin, it’s fine.”

Erin looked back up at the three girls. Kay was rolling her eyes at her.

“Just think of all the juicy gossip you can get on your roommate and her friends.” Kay explained.

“What makes you think she has friends?” Olivia laughed.

“Poor people have to stick together.” Kay replied.

Erin cleared her throat. She took her phone out of her pocket and checked the time. “Guys, I should probably get back to my room… I haven’t unpacked any of my stuff yet.”

“Be sure to meet us in the lobby tomorrow before orientation.” Kay reminded her.

She nodded as she put her phone back into her back pocket and headed for the door. She opened it up and noticed that the halls were clear. Everyone must have been in their rooms, unpacking, meeting their roommates, or meeting up with old friends. That was something she should have been doing, but for some reason… She just didn’t feel comfortable with them anymore.

Words: 1,093

I hope you enjoyed this final part of the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 228: Union Academy [Part 1]

Short Story: Union Academy (Part 1) | Flash Fiction | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

“You have everything, right?”

“Well, if you forgot anything, just give us a call and we’ll bring it straight to you.”

“If you get homesick, call us and we’ll come get you.”

“Mary…”

Alex’s blue gaze shifted back and forth between her mother and father. Her mother, Mary, was worried and sad to see Alex leave. Her father, Andrew, was less than thrilled, but he was proud of her and excited she was able to get such an opportunity.

As Andrew tried to reassure Mary yet again that this was the best decision and that Alex had wanted this, Alex lost interest in the conversation. She looked over her shoulder.

The small family stood in front of Union Academy, a prestigious high school for the gifted. Alex wasn’t entirely sure why the school had chosen to give her a full scholarship to the school. Academics came naturally to her and she was a straight-A student. Her junior high school mentioned Union Academy to her parents. Apparently it was linked to all the prestigious universities.

Her parents had taken the brochure to be polite to her guidance counselor, but when Union Academy got in touch with them about a full scholarship, they weren’t in any position to say no.

It was a boarding school and while Alex was nervous to be away from her parents, she knew this was the best decision. They didn’t have a lot of money and this was a free ride. Not to mention that she would be able to basically get into any college she wanted to.

Alex looked around the campus. Today was move-in day, but there didn’t seem to be any parents around. She sighed suddenly feeling like the black sheep. She already knew she would be since it wasn’t often someone got a full scholarship. Her classmates were all going to come from rich backgrounds.

“Mom, Dad,” Alex whipped back around to face her parents. They stopped arguing in hushed whispers and turned to their daughter. “I, uh… I think I can take it from here.”

“What?” Mary looked appalled.

Alex shrugged. She noticed her father looking around and then he nodded. He understood what she meant.

“Mary, maybe we should let Alex check in on her own.” Andrew said gently. He put a hand on his wife’s shoulder. She stared at him in shock in response. “I’ll explain in the car.” He whispered.

Mary’s bottom lip jetted outward. Alex looked around quickly hoping no one was watching. The last thing she needed was her mother to start crying in the middle of campus.

It took a little convincing but Alex was able to get rid of her parents. After a long hug and a couple kisses goodbye and some reassuring to her mother that Alex would call later on that night Alex stood in the middle of the campus watching her parents get to the car and drive away.

Once her parents’ car was out of site, she turned around and looked up at Union Academy. She drew in a deep breath not realizing how big the building was up until now. She picked up her suitcases and she started walking towards the front door of the building.

When she crossed through the front doors of the main lobby she stood in the middle of the room in awe. She had seen many pictures of Union Academy on its website and in the brochures but she never expected it to be this fancy.

The main lobby looked as though it was a castle from a fairytale story. The tile flooring was gold and shiny from a new coat of wax the janitors had probably just done and there was a large crystal chandelier hanging right above her. She shattered wondering what would happen if the chandelier had fallen. Then she wondered if that had never happened before.

“Good afternoon, are you new here?”

Alex looked over her shoulder upon hearing a female voice. Sure enough there was a tall blonde woman standing right behind her. Alex nodded her head to the woman assuming she was talking to her.

“Are you a freshman?”  The woman asked and Alex nodded her head once more. The woman looked down at her clipboard and flip through some pages asking, “What’s your name?”

Alex cranes her neck to see what was on the clipboard, but the woman held it closer to her chest. “Alex Berry,” she said meekly.

The woman flipped back a few pages and scanned the list. Alex assumed it was some sort of attendance record that was listed in alphabetical order.

“Right,” the woman sighed, “I’ll show you to your room.”

Alex nodded her head once again, slightly intimidated by this woman, and she followed her through the lobby pushing her way through the many kids that were already flooding the room. It was hard to get by saying she was carrying all of her suitcases on her own. She was a little annoyed that the woman didn’t bother to ask if she needed help carrying anything.

Alex tried to stick close to the woman, who now that Alex thought about it, never introduced herself. There were so many people in the hallways, students and faculty alike, that it was hard for Alex to really take a good look around the place.

The woman led Alex over to an elevator and together they went up to the third floor. Alex stood in the back of the elevator, putting her bags down on the ground by her feet. She let out an exasperated sigh. She hadn’t realized how heavy her bags were until now. Her father was gracious enough to carry them for her earlier.

When they made it to the third floor, the elevator beeped and the doors opened up.

“Follow me,” she grunted.

With a heave and a hoe, Alex picked up her bags once again and staggered along behind. She stepped out into the hallway and was immediately forced into the wall. She looked over her shoulder, but whoever knocked her to the side was walking away as though nothing even happened. She rolled her eyes, picked up her bags again, but when she turned around, the woman was gone.

“Great…” she muttered.

Alex continued to walk down the hall in hopes that she would run into the woman again. She ended up making it to the end of the hall and sure enough, there was the woman staring at her clipboard.

“Excuse me?” Alex said. She put down one of the bags and was just about to poke the woman in her arm when she abruptly turned around.

“There you are,” she grunted. “This is your room, 3R. Quickly, now. I have many other freshmen to see and help.” She pulled a key out of her pocket and handed it to Alex, who took it.

She didn’t want to be with this woman any longer than she had to, so Alex quickly unlocked the door and stepped through the threshold.

Alex took a look around the room. It was smaller than she thought it would be, but it was much bigger than her bedroom back at home. When she looked over to the right, she noticed one reason why the room seemed so small. There was a second bed. On the website, she thought the dorm rooms were individual. She turned around and the woman shook her head.

“You’re on scholarship, honey. Your roommate should be along shortly.” With that, the woman left shutting the door behind her.

Alex tossed her bags onto the bare bed to the right. The room was empty, so she assumed her roommate didn’t know that this was her room yet. That meant Alex had first dibs on everything in the room. And she wanted to have the bed on the right side of the room. It was farthest away from the door and probably had the most chance of privacy. For what little privacy she was going to have.

After Alex had made her bed and began unpacking some clothes into one of the closets, the door opened up again. She turned around and there stood a young woman, around her age. She looked Alex up and down and then narrowed her eyes at her.

“Who are you?” She demanded.

“Alexis Berry, but you can call me Alex.” Alex forced a smile. She stepped forward with her hand stretched out to shake. “You must be my roommate.”

“Oh, no.” The girl stepped back shaking her head with disgust. “There is a mistake. You need to leave.”

Alex slowly brought her hand back down to her side not knowing what else to do with it. She wiped her hand on her jeans as the sweat in her palms started to build up. “I’m sorry, but one of the professors or someone brought me up here. She had a clipboard with my name on it and sure enough, this is my room.”

“Well, then there’s a mistake.” She snapped. “I’m supposed to be roommates with Kay.” She folded her arms across her chest and glared harshly at Alex. “I am going to go back down stairs and fix this. I suggest you pack up your things and follow me down stairs.”

Alex opened her mouth to protest, but the girl had already turned away and stormed off down the busy hall. Alex stood in the doorway to call to her, but she was already gone in the mass of people.

She sighed. School hadn’t even begun yet and she already knew this was going to be a long year.

Words: 1,604

I hope you enjoyed this part of the story! I was experimenting with something new. Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 227: Underneath [Part 4 – Final – Interactive Story]

Short Story: Underneath (Part 4) | Interactive Story | Flash Fiction | RachelPoli.com

Did you read Parts One, TwoThree?

            Pixel picked up her school bag and swung it over one shoulder. She walked over to the front door of her house placing a hand on the doorknob. Her father stood by the front window watching her carefully.

“You need to go to the library to study now?” he asked.

Pixel nodded. “I have a lot of homework and I want to get to a good start on it.”

“It was only your first day.”

“It’s high school.”

Her father sighed. “Can you even get into the school this late at night? What’s wrong with the local library right down the street?”

“I met a couple friends and this is what they do.” Pixel replied.

“Can you trust these friends?” he wondered aloud.

Pixel sighed exasperated. “Dad.”

He threw his hands up defensively. “Alright, alright. I just want to make sure you’re safe and know what you’re doing. Sometimes people aren’t always what they seem.”

“No kidding,” Pixel cracked a smile. “I’m half-fairy, remember?”

Her father chuckled. “Fair enough. Just be home by 10, alright?”

“I promise.” Pixel said. She kissed her father on the cheek and left the house. As she walked down the walkway and onto the curb, she didn’t bother looking back. She knew her father was going to watch her from the window until she was out of sight.

Pixel knew she very well couldn’t tell her father what she was doing. However, she told him that she’d be at the high school, so it wasn’t completely lying, right? She felt guilty. She never lied to her father. But it was just one night. She had a feeling the Underneath wasn’t even going to be anything special and she’d make a couple friends out of it. It was a win-win situation for all, right?

She needed to have a couple friends in order to get through high school in a normal way. High schoolers had friends and socialized a lot, right? So this was what she needed to do.

The high school wasn’t too far away from her house. She wasn’t old enough to learn how to drive and she certainly didn’t want her father to drive her. Lucky for her it was close so her father trusted her enough to walk.

When she made it to the high school, she walked to the back of the school where the student parking lot was. Just as she rounded the corner, she noticed two figures in the shadows. She stopped for a moment, hoping it was Alvin and Miles, though it was hard to tell.

Pixel wasn’t there long when one turned around and took notice of her.

“Ah, there you are!”

Pixel recognized Alvin’s voice and let out a sigh of relief. She walked over to the two boys and smiled in greeting.

Miles curled the corner of his mouth into a smile. “I was beginning to think you wouldn’t show.”

“Sorry,” she said, “My dad thought it was strange I’d be at the school so late at night.”

“You told him?!” Miles glared at her.

Pixel took a step back. “No, no! I told him I was going to the library to study with some friends.”

Miles let out a breath. She couldn’t tell if it was out of relief or if he was still annoyed.

“No worries,” Alvin said calmly to Miles. He turned to Pixel and winked. “We’ll teach Emily to sneak around soon enough.”

“Yeah, you really are new around here, aren’t you?” Miles grunted.

“Emily?” Pixel repeated. She looked over her shoulder but no one was there.

“Em, sorry,” Alvin corrected himself.

Pixel was about to say something but then she realized she was Emily. Oh, right. She had forgotten she had lied to them too.

“Where are you from anyway?” Alvin asked.

“Uh…” she hadn’t thought that far into her back story.

“It doesn’t matter right now. We’ve already wasted enough time.” Miles interrupted. He turned away from them and led the way to a door inside the school. He took out a pair of keys and started unlocking the doors.

“How did you get keys to the school?” Pixel asked.

“His dad is a janitor here.” Alvin replied.

“And he just gave him the keys to the school?”

“Geez,” Miles chuckled, “you really are naïve, huh? I stole them from his dresser while he was in the shower.”

“He won’t notice?” Pixel asked.

“Not unless I don’t put it back by the time his shift starts tomorrow morning.” Miles replied.

They entered the school without saying anything else. Pixel didn’t appreciate how dark it was in the school. It was spooky and everything looked different – not just because of the lights but because she hadn’t gone to this part of the school before. She had no idea where they were.

Miles closed the door behind them as Alvin led the way through the school. Pixel followed him and Miles followed her, neither of them speaking. It was obvious they knew what they were doing and where they were going. She didn’t understand why she had agreed to go with them or why they even let her tag along in the first place. She figured, as long as stuck close to them and did what they told her to do, she’d be fine. They were only in the school, after all. They weren’t actually going to an Underneath place.

“How do we get into the basement?” Alvin asked.

“There’s a code. I think it’s 8-4-6-2.” Miles said. Then he paused.

Alvin opened the code box and punched in the number eight.

“Or was it 8-4-6-1?” Miles whispered to himself.

Pixel heard him but when she looked at Alvin he was punching in the numbers four and six. She suddenly had a bad feeling. “Wait–”

An alarm blared throughout the halls.

“Well, damn. I guess it was 8-4-6-1.” Miles muttered.

Alvin turned around with wide eyes. “What do we do?”

Pixel reached for the door and turning the knob. Of course, it was already unlocked. “Guys, in here.” She opened the door and disappeared into the basement.

“How’d you do that?” Alvin asked.

“Just run!” she exclaimed.

Alvin followed, as did Miles, closing the door behind them.

The three of them dashed down the stairs and ran through the hallways trying to find either a good spot to hide or a way out so they could get home without being detected.

“My dad is gonna kill me. He’s going to the one the alarm company calls.” Miles sighed.

“And he’s not going to have his keys to get in.” Alvin replied. “You’re definitely screwed. Em and I are fine though. As long as you don’t rat us out.”

“Gee, thanks.” Miles glared at him.

“Guys, I don’t think now is the time to bicker.” Pixel said. There were a few doors lined up down the hall but they all had signs – various storage rooms, the boiler room, and more. However, there was one door that didn’t have a sign.

“There’s nowhere for us to go.” Miles sighed.

“How about here?” Pixel pointed to the unmarked door.

The boys blinked at her. “Uh, Em? That’s a wall.” Alvin stated.

Pixel cocked her head to the side. Was it too dark for him to see the door? How could they not see it?

Without another word, Pixel grabbed the door knob and opened it revealing a bright light. Both boys gasped and Pixel grabbed them both by the arm and shoved them through the door.

Words: 1,253

Thanks for reading this 4-part short! The full novella will be posted on Wattpad in 2019. Let me know what you think will happen next in the comments below! Let me know where you think the door might lead or what The Underneath entails. Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this final part of the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 226: Underneath [Part 3 – Interactive Story]

Short Story: Underneath (Part 3) | Flash Fiction | Short Story | Interactive Story | RachelPoli.com

Did you read Parts OneTwo?

            Pixel’s mouth gaped open. She hesitated for a moment, but only just. Once she caught Miles and Alvin exchanging confused looks, she blurted out the first normal name that came to mind – even though she had planned on telling the truth.

“Em… ily…”

“Emily?” Alvin repeated. “Is Em like a nickname?”

Pixel was about to respond when Miles cut her off.

“Em it is.” He said proud as though he had named her himself.

Pixel wanted to correct them but she had no idea how to take that back. She didn’t mean to say that. She didn’t even know where the name Emily came from in her head to begin with.

“Anyway, have you heard of the Underneath before? Or were you just curious from eavesdropping on us?” Miles wondered aloud.

Pixel shrugged.

Alvin tilted his head to the side. “Why so shy all of a sudden?”

Pixel looked over her shoulder before turning back to the boys. “Uh, should we be going to class or something?”

Miles and Alvin cast neutral glances to one another before bursting out laughing.

“Dude,” Alvin said in between breaths, “first period is just about over. It’s a little late to be concerned about class now, isn’t it?”

Pixel rubbed the back of her neck in embarrassment. “Well, it’s the first day and…”

And why was she still talking to them?

“And it’s obvious you’re a freshman.” Miles retorted. “Did you want to check out the Underneath with us or not?”

Pixel was taken aback. “Wait, you’d let me tag along with you guys? We just met. How secret is this Underneath place?”

“It’s no secret, but it’s also just a myth. No one is really sure if it exists or not which is why we’re going to check t out. After school, of course. Tonight.” Alvin explained.

“Plus, we kind of have to invite you along since you already know what we’re planning. You’re not going to tell anyone, are you?” Miles added with a light glare.

Pixel shook her head.

“Good.” He smiled.

Alvin grinned. “Meet us in the student parking lot at 8 tonight?”

Words: 361

I’m writing this story with your help! Please be sure to vote in the poll above for what should happen next in the story.

I hope you enjoyed part one of the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

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Short Story Sunday 225: Underneath [Part 2 – Interactive Story]

Short Story: Underneath (Part 2) | Flash Fiction | Short Story | Interactive Story | RachelPoli.com

Did you read Part One?

            Pixel turned around to walk away. She could hear the two boys chatting away about this “Underneath” thing, their voices getting softer the more she distanced herself from them. She had barely made it around the corner of the corridor before she twisted her heels right back around continuing to walk at her usual pace but back toward the boys again.

“Hello?” she called to them immediately flinching. That greeting didn’t sound convincing at all.

Still, it got their attention. Both boys immediately stopped speaking, frozen, eyes wide.

Pixel stopped once she was a few feet apart from them. “Uh, hi.” She said again.

“Hi?” Alvin responded. His eyes shifted toward Miles, who kept a steady gaze on Pixel.

“Can we help you with something?” Miles asked. He stood taller folding his arms across his chest, his muscles flexing in the process. Pixel took a step back. Was he going to try to fight her or something?

“Probably not,” Pizel said shaking her head. “I mean, you probably shouldn’t. I really came over here to talk to you because I’m nosy. Sorry. I didn’t want to interrupt. In fact, I walked away… but then I decided to come back for… some reason…” she began to chuckle. It was the kind of laugh that escaped your lips when you were really nervous or embarrassed – and she was definitely feeling both emotions.

Miles dropped his arms by his side. He sighed. “So, you heard us talking, then?”

Pixel hesitated to answer. She wasn’t sure what the right answer was. If she told them the truth that she was eavesdropping, they might get mad. Then again, it seemed as though they already knew she overheard them. So, if she lied, they might get mad at her for being a liar.

“I’m a freshman, new here, I don’t know where my class is. Help?” she blurted quickly and immediately regretted it.

Alvin burst out laughing. In fact, he nearly doubled over in he was laughing so hard. Pixel couldn’t tell, but it seemed as though there were tears coming out of his eyes. Miles, on the other hand, just looked confused.

“Listen, Lady,” Alvin said in between breaths, “while I believe that, I think it’s pretty obvious why you’re talking to us right now.”

Pixel felt herself blush.

“You wanna know about the Underneath too, huh?” Miles said with a smirk.

Pixel found herself nodding. She didn’t know why either. She didn’t want to be attending high school. She wanted to keep a low profile. Whatever these boys were thinking or planning, it must have been against school rules. So why was she trying to get involved in it?

Miles stretched out a hand. “Miles, as you might have heard. I’m a sophomore here.”

As Pixel shook Miles’s hand she noticed Alvin waving behind him. “I’m Alvin. I’m a freshman too, though I’m supposed to be a sophomore. I stayed back.”

Pixel nodded. She had no idea what that meant though she had a guess. She certainly didn’t want to repeat any high school years. Talking to these boys probably wasn’t the best decision she’s made… and she’s only been in high school for about an hour.

“So, you’re a freahman, new here, apparently.” Miles prompted. “What’s your name?”

Pixel opened her mouth and then froze. Pixel wasn’t a normal name. She was to keep a low profile here and she knew with a name like Pixel people would ask questions.

Words: 591

I’m writing this story with your help! Please be sure to vote in the poll above for what should happen next in the story.

I hope you enjoyed part one of the story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around. Also, check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

Blog Signature | RachelPoli.comPatreon | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | GoodReads | Double JumpSign up for Rachel Poli's Newsletter and get a FREE 14-page Writing Tracker! | Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com