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Young Writers, Chapter 1

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Chapter 1
Ross and Palmer


Ross was looking for Palmer, and Palmer’s search for the other was going as well as it could be. She’d checked every book but the Gulliver’s Travels series, and like any worried friend, was working on that. In her secluded room in the attic, Palmer looked through every book diligently.

Ross, on the other hand, was not just looking but calling. “Palmer, Palmer!” she yelled, now out of breath. The whole morning had been dedicated to looking for Palmer, just as the morning before had been filled with yells for the stubborn red head Ross shared a house with. The 24 hours were up, and the police were lazily scanning the area for the missing writer. No luck, no news, nothing to put Ross’ mind at ease.

And then she found the door. Palmer’s door, labeled in good cursive with “Do Not Enter,” squarely on a piece of computer paper. The sheet hung, fluttering slightly, a page for the humble Palmer. Ross remembered this door, from yesterday, trying the door and finding it locked and bobby-pin safe. She’d dismissed it as a lost cause and a waste of time, other rooms to check, other stones to turn.

With even the police finding nothing, no thread leading her to Palmer, at least her trail, Ross decided to give the door another go.

The lock hanging heavily on the other side of the handle barred entry. Inside, Palmer eavesdropped on Gulliver without disturbance.

“Palmer?” Ross called. “You in there?”

Palmer could have easily ignored her friend’s call. Easily have gone back to the book and dealt with the rest of her tiring life later. But could she really? When the rest of the world looked to her at one time or another. Palmer put her finger to her chin and thought for a long while, keeping Ross tapping her foot on the already worn wooden floors, hoping, pleading with the door and its steady sign for a response.

There was a shuffling of pages and a few books dropped before the lock gave to a key, and Palmer opened the door.

Ross stood, open-mouthed, watching the redheaded girl with the broad-rimmed straw hat canter back to her fortress of books, magazines, and those slim pamphlets she got every time she paid a visit to the post office (the people there were always very nice to her. She had to be the main source of their incomes, with all the manuscripts she sent out on an almost-daily basis.)

“Palmer! I-“

”Don’t pretend you’re not happy to see me,” Palmer said, returning to her refuge.

“I am glad to see you,” Ross said flat-voiced. She crossed her arms over her swelled chest, and Palmer smiled. “It’s just, what the h.e.l.l have you been doing for the past few days? Up here?”

“...Studying.”

“You expect me to believe that excuse? Studying for three days and not tell-“

”It’s been two days and only two days.”

“Whatever, Palmer. Whatever, you should have told me. I called the cops on you, I thought you were really missing or kidnaped or something.”

Palmer scoffed. “You sound like my mother.”

“Is that all you have to say?”

Palmer consulted the ceiling, its plaster frozen dripping. “Yep,” she said, finally, highlighting every letter.”


Ross sat down on the chair guarding a white-wood bookcase, filled to the stuffing brim with books upon books upon.... “Palmer, I get you’re an isolationist and everything, but this is too far. I respect you and your ability to be alone, but you seem to not understand that you have had someone living with you for a year now and if you go and disappear, that person will get worried and call the cops.”

Palmer considered this. She really did. She could see her thoughts overlap each other on the ceiling. All different colors, across the rainbow. “I guess you’re right. But I wouldn’t have bene alone if I told you where I was going. I’d be half alone if I just left a not telling you I’d be gone for a little while.”

“Why?”

“Well,” Palmer started. She was leaning back with her hands in her lap and her head tilted to the gritty, plaster white sky. “If you knew where I was you’d be tempted to come visit me. And even if you trumped your human instincts- oh, my dear Ross, when it comes to the forever existing presence of human instincts, you can never trust- you’d be thinking about this place. Even if I’d left you a letter, you’d be thinking about the place poor old Palmer slunk off to. So you see, I planned and carried it all out so that I wouldn’t be followed in any rhyme or reason, action or thought.”

Ross sat, staring at Palmer for what seemed like a long time. She was shaking her head in such a minuscule amount, Palmer didn’t notice it, and for a time the stubborn redhead surrounded by her books and papers thought she’d just frozen in time as she had tried to condition herself. And then, Ross put on a smile that fit perfectly on her face.

“You’re wrong and right, Palmer,” Ross concluded. “If we lived in the dark ages or something, you’d be right without consequences.”

“Precisely,” Palmer said, pleased.

Ross stood from the armchair and opened the door. “I’ll do some yelling at you later. You do have consequences. I’m going to call the police and say that you’ve been found. Then I’m going to come up here and...and... make you brush your teeth with soap!”

“Fine by me,” Palmer said, flatly, dark eyed.

Ross shook her head, unsmiling, and left the room. Palmer considered clicking the door shut, locked, and barred from further intrusion, but left herself in her corner with her books. And oddly, though in the past she’d never been bothered by disappointing someone, Gulliver had gone mute.



Join the Discussion


This article has 13 comments. Post your own!

MoraleAsh said...
Feb. 12, 2012 at 10:07 am:
Woah this is confusing, but it has potential. Like many comments have already suggested, try starting somewhere else. No, i lied. Start exactly where you did, just add more reassurance and detail to it. I like how it started off in the middle of something; that's how Shakespeare did it. It's unique. Keep on trucking :) Please check out My Play On Love! Thanks!
 
BluBliss replied...
Feb. 12, 2012 at 10:46 am :
Thanks guys. :) I wrote another version with the same title that should be up soon. Please tell me if its better than this one. Morale, I'll check yours out n comment. :)
 
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GreenSerenity said...
Feb. 10, 2012 at 10:04 am:
I'm confused. This definitely does not seem like a first chapter. I don't know who the characters are. I have no idea what to expect or what to assume led up to the events in this chapter. I'd strongly suggest adding another chapter before it, or even more than one. Now for some things I liked about it :) Your characters seem like they're on their way to becoming very three-dimensional and relatable to your readers. I like the unique names you picked for them. You should check your grammar, but ... (more »)
 
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Stormy9890This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm:
This is really good! I hope you continue it, though it is a bit odd.. Either way, odd is a good thing in my book so keep it up! And if you need ideas or anything else don't be afraid to ask me!!! I love helping any fellow writers!
 
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JustAnotherOwl said...
Feb. 3, 2012 at 8:18 pm:
I like this, mostly. It's interesting, and I'd really like to see where it goes. That said, there are some things that are a little...off about this. This seems much more like you were taking it from the middle of the story, than starting at chapter one. It doesn't seem to fit and makes it confusing, because you know nothing about the characters when it begins. Maybe adding something in toward the beginning about the characters and their relationships or something would make it less confusing. I... (more »)
 
BluBliss replied...
Feb. 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm :
That's good to know (no sarcasm.) I wrote another version of this and I hope its better. I hope you read it when it's out. i'd love to hear your response.
 
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tealbird said...
Jan. 29, 2012 at 11:09 am:
Hmmm...this is a very interesting piece. I have to say that I'm curious to see where this goes. Yes, you should definitely continue, because your tone is superb and you have an excellent approach to story telling. I love your dialogue--it really makes your story come to life. I do have to say, though, that the reader is kind of shoved into the action a bit in the beginning. That's not a bad thing, of course, but I found myself being slightly (only slightly!) confused at the very beginning. I wou... (more »)
 
BluBliss replied...
Jan. 29, 2012 at 11:38 am :
Aw, thank you! I'm proud of the dialogue myself. I'm writing another draft of this chapter and just sent it in for publication. I hope people think it's better than this one.
 
BluBliss replied...
Jan. 29, 2012 at 11:39 am :
By the way, if anyone has any ideas of where this should go, please tell me.
 
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projectwarbird said...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm:
(ALERT! I apologize if this seems harsh, I don't want to discourage you. I'm going to be honest however and trust me, it's for the best. I'd rather be harsh now and see a successful story later than be soft and watch it all come to ruin. At the end I've given some tips on ways to fix the problems that I've spotted. I'm not going to leave you hanging in the breeze.) Where to begin....well let's start at the beginning. The first two or three paragraphs are a little confusing the first time through... (more »)
 
projectwarbird replied...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 7:18 pm :
If you have any questions or want any advice feel free to ask. I'm always ready to help a fellow writer.
 
projectwarbird replied...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm :
And yes, you should keep going. Far to many stories fade to dust because they got off to a rocky start.
 
BluBliss replied...
Jan. 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm :
This wasn't harsh at all, at least to me. Thank for the critique. I started off this idea without an idea of where it was going to go- I figured the goal of Ross and Palmer would come to me. That's proving difficult. Thanks for the critique again, that is after all the only way people learn. :)
 
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