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Shelby Writes For The Dead

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Shelby dipped her foot into the lake, recoiling at how cold it was. Her best friend, Evanna, was already wading in the lake, flirting with Gavin and Luke. Shelby stared at Evanna in envy. Evanna had a beautiful shape and tan skin, full lips and a belly button piercing that drove people wild. Shelby was pale had an OK body and no piercings but in her ear. “Come in!” Gavin cried out, waving his arms around. Shelby smiled and dove into the lake, letting the cold overcome her for a fearful second. But as she got used to it, she swam over to Evanna and she grinned. “So Luke” Evanna said, turning her attention back to him, “Where did you learn to swim?” he shrugged, “My Aunt taught me when I was little I guess” Luke glanced shyly at Shelby and then at Evanna. “Hey are you okay? You look a little pale” Gavin said, catching hold of her arm. “That’s just my natural color” Shelby joked and smiled. “No, you look really worried. Is everything okay? Do you not like swimming?” She shook her head, “No, I love swimming…” she murmured, because it was true. She shook her head and tied her hair into a bun. “I have to go back to the rocks. Sorry” she said, and ran as quick as she could through the waist-deep water. Gavin stared after her in confusion and went back to swimming.


Once on the rocks, Shelby pulled out her beaded bag that her mom had given her when she was eleven. She pulled out her notebook and flipped to the end. Her hands started to shake as she wrote, not even thinking. I wish she could see that I am alright. Tell her not to worry. Tell her that I’m okay. Lisa wants to kill herself, she thinks it’s her fault. Tell her it’s not. Please. Shelby didn’t even glance back at what she wrote. Once it had gotten out of her, she threw her notebook back in her bag. “Coming through!” she shouted, and jumped back into the lake, laughing and swimming, every once in a while glancing back at her notebook.


When Gavin drove Shelby home he said, “What was wrong in the beginning of our swim? You looked unsettled…” Shelby looked down at her chipped toe nails. “Oh nothing… I just get nervous I guess…” They made a turnaround Maple Street. “It’s been like this with you for a long time, Shelby. I’m worried. Get some rest. If you need anything, call me okay?” she smiled and nodded, secretly annoyed at everyone’s worry. It was nothing! He popped open his door and led her to her porch steps. “Thanks Gavin” she said, and he put his arm around her, laying his hand on the small of her back. “Feel better, Shelb, okay?” She nodded and leaned into him, taking in the smell of the forest and the lake. “I love you” he said, and leaned down and kissed her softly on the lips, the attraction still whispering between them. “I love you too” she said warily, and got back inside, running up the stairs and opening her notebook.


I wish she could see that I am alright. Tell her not to worry. Tell her that I’m okay. Lisa wants to kill herself, she thinks it’s her fault. Tell her its not. Please. Shelby didn’t remember writing it at all. She didn’t know what in the world she was writing about, and who Lisa was. She rubbed her scalp in confusion. This had been happening a lot. She flipped back to last week’s entry: Tell the cops Henry killed me…he took the knife and killed me. Fiona won’t believe it, but once the evidence uncovers, she’ll live with a clear mind. It’s me, Greg. Who the hell were Greg and Fiona? She had been writing in the point of view of someone dead for a month now, and she was frightened. The worst part was she didn’t remember writing it. She could have been writing in her sleep or something. It scared her bad. She looked up at the portrait of her mom she had hanging on her wall. Six years this month her mom had passed away. Maybe that’s why she was thinking about death so much, maybe that’s why she was writing about death so much. She nodded, sure that was the answer.



But one month later, Shelby knew it wasn’t that. Her teacher Ms Morrison had come back from a long absence. Her father had just died and she was very lost and confused all the time. She barely remembered anything and misplaced her stuff wherever she went. Shelby watched in sadness, remembering how her dad had acted after her mother had passed. The same way. Shelby handed Ms Morrison her glasses that she had left on her table and Ms Morrison smiled sadly. “Okay everyone; I want you to all write an essay about the passage I’m handing out. It is about Anne Frank. It will be collected and graded.” Everyone groaned and got to work. After finishing the passage, Shelby started on her essay. This was easy. She was a writer, after all. Anne Frank has endured many frightening and heart-wrenching experiences as a young girl she started it off easily. Then her hands began to shake and her head went numb as her hand quickly scrawled down words she didn’t know. Tell Anita I am okay. Tell her Oliver Morrison said he loves her and he’ll never ever forget her. I’m in heaven, and it’s nice up here. I’ll see her soon. At the end of class, all Shelby had written was two sentences, one that had nothing to do with Anne Frank.


“Um, Shelby” Ms Morrison said, pulling her aside in the hallway. Gavin glanced at her and she waved him away. Once inside the English room, Ms Morrison closed the door behind her. “We wrote essays today, Shelby. And yours was rather…off” Shelby glanced up at Ms Morrison. Her eyes were red and puffy as if she had been crying. She read aloud Shelby’s essay, “Anne Frank has endured many frightening and heart-wrenching experiences as a young girl. Tell Anita I am okay. Tell her Oliver Morrison said he loves her and he’ll never ever forget her. I’m in heaven, and it’s nice up here. I’ll see her soon” Ms Morrison stared at her for some time. “Would you like to explain?” she asked, arching a thin eyebrow. Shelby felt her cheeks burn as she looked at the floor, “I’m really sorry Ms Morrison… but I don’t remember writing that.” Ms Morrison leaned in, “Do you think this is funny?” she said, her lips trembling, “I can report this to the school and get you suspended!” she screamed. Shelby felt her blood shake. She had never been yelled at by a teacher before. “I’m sorry” she whispered. Ms Morrison ripped the paper in half and threw it to the floor, “Tomorrow, I want a complete essay, but nine pages this time. That’ll teach you a lesson” she said, and opened the door. Shelby slowly made her way out, her heart quivering. What had just happened? Why were these words pouring out of her? Who were these people and why were they sending her messages. For the first time, Shelby was truly frightened.


“Come on Shelb, you haven’t been really out in a week” Shelby closed her locker shut, “Gavin” she sighed his name and leaned against her locker, “You know I can’t… I have an essay to write…” Gavin pouted, “But…come on!” he whined. She laughed and pulled him close, “Maybe next time, okay?” she said, and he smiled and held her in his arms. “Fine…but next week, we’re going on a date missy, whether you like it or not” Shelby smiled and leaned up to kiss Gavin softly on the cheek. He grinned, “Do you need a drive home?” he asked, and she shook her head, slinging her book bag on her shoulder. “I’m going home alone today” she said, and hugged him tightly, “Thanks, though” she said, and walked with him to the parking lot.


Shelby ran up the steps leading to the house she and her dad lived in. She opened the white classic door and stepped inside, taking off her book bag and kicking off her shoes. She looked through the fridge for something to eat and pulled out a yogurt cup and grabbed a plastic spoon. The house was eerily quiet, her dad wasn’t home. She quietly wished she had taken Gavin home, just so she wouldn’t be alone. She crossed the dining room and then did a double look. On the table was a newspaper with a bold headline, DEVASTATING KILLING OF ALAN HEART. Shelby’s eyes zoomed down the column and read it twice, Alan Heart, 35, was killed yesterday in his California home. His wife, Lisa Heart, has said that Alan was a loving, happy man who everyone loved to be with. She had no idea who would want to kill her husband. In between tears, the police had told Lisa the facts of Alan’s death. He had been struck twice in the head with a heavy object, gagged, and shot in the chest. He had died once shot. Family and friends are sent to mourn over the loss of this Architect, at Williams Funeral Home. Shelby eyed the paper and fumbled through her book bag again, pulling out her notebook, comparing the two. I wish she could see that I am alright. Tell her not to worry. Tell her that I’m okay. Lisa wants to kill herself, she thinks it’s her fault. Tell her it’s not. Please. Shelby’s jaw dropped. Could this be the same Lisa? Could this be Alan asking Shelby to tell Lisa he was alright? Shelby rubbed her head, angry and frustrated. She thought of the essay she had to write and shook herself away from the stupid guesses she was making, how likely was that? She dragged out nine pages of loose-leaf and began to write. Anne Frank has endured many frightening and heart-wrenching experiences as a young girl…


It was midnight, and Shelby couldn’t sleep. She ripped out last week’s entry from her notebook and focused on it hard. Tell the cops Henry killed me…he took the knife and killed me. Fiona won’t believe it, but once the evidence uncovers, she’ll live with a clear mind. It’s me, Greg. She went over to her computer and clicked open the internet browser. Once at Google, she typed in, Killing of Greg…many site suggestions popped up, telling Shelby that this killing must have been recent and she didn’t pay attention. She clicked open the first link and read. Greg was a 28 year old doctor who was handsome, successful, and had just been recently divorced. His wife, Fiona Gardener, had filed a divorce just days before his death. Fiona had been living in guilt, thinking Greg had killed himself because of her. Shelby looked back at the entry, but Gregory told her through her writing, that this wasn’t a suicide, it was a murder. Maybe it was staged to look like a suicide, to punish Fiona. Shelby breathed out deeply, rubbing the side of her face. Suddenly, a chat bubble popped on her screen. She forgot her computer automatically signed her into the Chat. Hey, you still awake? It was Gavin. Yeah, obviously. She waited for his response. Sorry…are you okay? She read over her reply from before and saw it sounded mean and insulting. Sorry, I just can’t sleep…I guess it’s all that thinking about the essay. The fluorescent light of the computer glared into her eyes. Oh…well feel better baby. I love you. Goodnight! ? She grinned, I love you too Gavin. Goodnight. She logged out from the chat and looked back at the article. What was going on? She sat back and sighed, shutting down her computer.



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This article has 7 comments. Post your own!

Shrien said...
Apr. 3, 2011 at 11:55 am:
Thanks ReallygoodNOT:) lol, and i tried to put the writing in italics so it looked like she was writing, but it didnt work...): But thnx! :D
 
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reallygoodNOT said...
Apr. 2, 2011 at 10:33 pm:
Um, Amazing!
If I had to say one thing it would be that in the beginning make it more clear that she's writing. Other than that, GREAT STORY!!!
 
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Shrien said...
Mar. 31, 2011 at 7:40 pm:
Will do! :)
 
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PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 30, 2011 at 7:55 pm:
i like it alot  keep at it   could you please check out and comment on my story Manso's Shame  i would really appreciate the feedback
 
XxDream_in_ColorxX replied...
Mar. 30, 2011 at 8:14 pm :

I really like this piece.  I think you could go a lot of places with it.  =]

The only thing I would suggest...  Maybe it's just me, but it seems like something's missing from the beginning of the passage.  Also, I think you should space out the paragraphs more often.

Those are the only things I could critique though.  Amazing story.  =]

 
Shrien replied...
Mar. 31, 2011 at 2:53 pm :
THANKS!! :D
 
XxDream_in_ColorxX replied...
Mar. 31, 2011 at 4:43 pm :
Of course!  I'd really appreciate it if you could check out some of my work.  =]
 
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