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The Secret Society of Lefties This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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You won’t ever read about it in the morning newspaper, you won’t ever hear about it on the news, and you won’t ever be a part of it.

Because, you see, it’s a secret.

We hide it so well that some of them don’t even realize that there is a world outside of these walls. For them, this is life; for some of us too, this has become all we know.

I don’t think any of us know exactly how it started. We just all had an obsession … no, obsession is the wrong word. We had a desire to become as wonderfully unique as they were, and to make them feel as special as they could possibly be.

It was innocent at first, I swear. We never intended it to go this far, but somehow it escalated. First, it was just small gifts to the special ones – a notebook or a pen, you know, to make them feel loved. Then we started befriending these special people, asking them questions about what it was like to be the way they are and do what they do. That earned us some strange looks. We didn’t care. It only pushed us to try harder to get to know them, their ways.

Then somehow, and I’m still not sure how, someone had the idea of keeping these special ones safe from the world’s harm, where they would be ours.

We keep them a secret.

***

“Oh my God, she is so heavy,” Claudia said.

“Suck it up. We’re almost there,” Monica replied.

“Shush! Do you want someone to hear?” Grace asked.

The three girls trudged down the long hallways of Grace’s house, which she had inherited from her parents. Years of decay caused the floors to creak. Mice scurried across the wood parquet, into the cracks that danced along the walls.

“Hang on. She’s slipping,” Monica said. They stopped and re-adjusted.

“Why do I always get the heavy end?” Claudia asked.

Monica rolled her eyes. “You don’t. Remember when we had to carry that kid Jason, and he weighed like 250 pounds? You didn’t hear me complaining when I got stuck with his massive thighs.”

“Can you two please shut up? We have work to do,” said Grace.

They had reached the basement door, which looked out of place in the dilapidated Victorian. It was a vibrant purple, with stained-glass windows and yellow trim. It opened with ease, and the stairs didn’t creak as the girls made their way down.

The sight at the bottom of the stairs was something out of a movie. All ideas of the house upstairs were forgotten in a rainbow of colors resembling a kindergarten classroom. The walls were bright blue with posters of smiling children. Circular carpets were arranged in the center, surrounded by desks of red, green, and blue where the lefties could sit and learn about their ancestors, their beginnings. They could read about the scientific studies, and of course, practice their writing. Along the walls were larger desks, where the society members could watch them. Observe them. Know them. Learn with them.

The next room was packed with army cots covered in flowered bedspreads and sheets. They placed the girl they were carrying on an empty one before hurrying back upstairs.

Once Claudia and Monica left, Grace went into the kitchen and dialed three digits. Two rings and then silence.

“Lefty number 213, secured. No problem. We’ll gather same time tomorrow morning,” Grace said.

Again, silence.

***

I suppose, by now, we owe you some explanation. And as the head of the society, it is my duty to fill you in.

Trust me, we’re not stalkers. We’re not kidnappers. And we are most certainly not pedophiles. We are protectors. These people need us. They need us to tell them how special they are. To let their skills grow in a secure environment. No one else understands them the way we do.

So we keep them where they are with their own kind and are the dominant ones.

They are our secrets.

They are locked in the basement of my house, just below our meeting room. We don’t force them to stay. They can leave any time they want, if they can figure out how to get out. As of yet, no one has.

As a society we befriend these special ones. Sometimes it takes time. Others are very open to us. We tell them that they are interesting and that we want to learn about them. And then we take them here and lock them in the observation room.

They don’t mind. In fact, they love it. They thank us for all they have learned.

***

Grace set 11 glasses of lemonade on the coffee table. The ice cubes clinked against the glasses. She picked up one and sipped it thoughtfully, the condensation rolling off the bottom and hitting the floor.

A piercing scream rang out from below.

“Just in time,” said Grace.

She walked to the outer wall where a calendar hung. With the pen dangling on a string, she made a small mark in box number 13. It was only one letter: S. The legend at the top explained that S stood for scream.

This is Grace’s job since she is the head of the society. The lefties are kept in her house, in her care. She listens to them all day and keeps a log of their activities.

***

A while later, the door to Grace’s house creaked open and in walked 10 girls. Nothing was out of the ordinary about them. They all looked to be high-school age, they wore normal clothing, and they talked of normal subjects.

The floor’s groans sounded like tree branches rubbing in a wind storm as the society traversed the dark halls that hid cobwebs in their shadows. The girls slipped one-by-one through a door just like the basement door.

Once everyone was settled on the couches and had taken out their notebooks with the spiral on the other side, Grace passed out the lemonade.

“Has everyone been practicing?” she asked. A few girls nodded.

“Wonderful, because we need to be just as perfect as they are.” Grace smiled and closed her eyes, running a pen through her left hand. “Splendid. Now, down to business, did everyone get the call last night?” Again, everyone nodded. “Monica, they may want to know the details. Why don’t you fill them in. And,” Grace paused, “it would be best to take notes.”

All 10 girls obliged. After all, they loved to write.

A while later, after the eight society members not present during the latest mission had been filled in on the events, Grace changed topics.

“As you may recall, Lefty 214 is a hard one to capture. Her name is Melissa Jones. Do you all remember?” Grace looked at the nodding heads. “Good. She is, as of now, the last lefty in our school, the end of our mission. We need her to be complete. You know how we tried to do it before. We shall do the same, tonight,” Grace said.

“Are you sure we’re ready to try it tonight? I mean, it took a month to plan Jessie’s kidnapping, and Melissa is a tough cookie,” Nicole said.

“Are you questioning me? Have we ever failed when I was in control?” Grace asked, standing her ground.

“I agree with Grace. I think tonight’s the night for a mission this big. We’re ready,” Claudia said. She stood next to Grace. “Come on, girls, think of all the work we’ve put into this. She needs us to do this for her. Melissa doesn’t know how much she’s lacking from being around the righties all the time.”

“She does need us,” Hillary said.

The girls nodded.

“We can do this,” said Monica.

“So all is a go then?” Grace asked. Clapping and cheers erupted from the girls. “Perfect.”

***

Six girls tiptoed down the sidewalk and across the manicured lawn. The metal ladder they were carrying clanked, the sound piercing the clammy night.

“Her window is on this side,” Monica whispered.

They were in front of Melissa’s house. Four girls would crawl up the ladder and through Melissa’s window, before standing in the darkness of her room.

One would watch the area. One would hold the ladder. Then the four who were in the room would drug her, tie her up, and take her down the ladder and across the lawn to the van. She wouldn’t make a sound. And she wouldn’t fight. None of them ever do. Grace would watch from the sidewalk, dressed in black. Once everyone was in the van, the driver would peel away through the deserted town.

When they arrived, the other three would be waiting, ready to make the long haul into the basement where Melissa would spend her days, forgotten by the rest of the world. Where she would be kept a secret. They would place her on what would forever be her cot. They would untie her and drink lemonade upstairs, congratulating themselves on a job well done.

***

Her eyes opened, but she shut them immediately. The fluorescent lighting was too bright. But she didn’t have fluorescent lights in her bedroom, she realized. She shot up from her pillow and looked around. Disgusting green paint decorated the walls, and the many cots around her were filled with sleeping strangers. She didn’t know where she was, but she knew one thing for sure: this wasn’t her bedroom.

And so Melissa did the only thing she could, she opened her mouth and screamed.

***

Grace didn’t even look up from her notebook when the scream ripped through the floor. She only smiled, and made a small mark on the corner of her paper. Another S.

They had done it, goal complete. All 214 lefties were now theirs to watch and learn from. It was only a matter of time until there would be more. Because they were always on the lookout, to make them feel good about themselves.

She smiled again and said quietly, “Our special secrets.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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Kyrene1079 said...
Aug. 14, 2008 at 5:43 pm:
The writting quality is wonderfull, but the story line itself is a bit confuzing. My brother is left handed, so it seemed a bit frightening to me as well. You left alot up to the readers imagination. Distrubing, but in and odd way, nice work.
 
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