Syl

United States

I'm 15, I live in the US, I'm homeschooled and I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon or LDS). I adore books and I hope that one day my writing will not suck enough to get published. I write fantasy and sci fi.

Message to Readers

This is a bit of an older piece, but I still would love feedback!

Sam and her Aunt Cassidy

September 27, 2019

FREE WRITING

1
    Sam stared down at her sneakers, comparing the left to the right. Look how dirty they were. No one would guess they were only two weeks old. The thick laces, once white, were now gray and limp. Grass stains, dirt, and sticky patches of sap covered the faded black leather. A bike tire print showed clearly across the top of the right shoe.
    Sam looked up at Miss Aluvere and smiled.
    “Why no, I didn’t have anything to do with it.” Sam said.
    Miss Aluvere sighed and put down her notebook and pen. “Well, do you know of anybody who is involved?”
    Sam shook her head, still smiling sweetly. She swung her feet, kicking them back and forth under her chair.
    Miss Aluvere ran a hand through her gray hair and stood up. “Samantha Fielding. There is no proof of your involvement, but I will be keeping a close eye on you.” She adjusted her glasses, fixing a stern gaze on Sam. Sam only continued to smile.
    After a minute, Miss Aluvere told her she could go. Sam opened the door of the office, looking up and down the empty hall. She smirked and out, hands in her pockets. They always said they’d keep an eye on her. Every time.
    Thing was, they never had kept a close enough eye on her. And they never would.
    Sam made it twenty feet down the hall before the office door opened again.
    “Oh, and Samantha? Your aunt is waiting outside to take you home.”
    Sam sighed. Of course. As usual.
    Aunt Cassidy did not look happy when Sam got out to the car. She was leaning on the dark gray sedan, arms folded, her glare fixed on Sam.
    “Get in the car,” Aunt Cassidy said, still glaring.
    Sam obediently got into the front seat of the sedan and put on her seat belt. Aunt Cassidy got in the driver’s seat next to her but Sam kept her gaze locked on the window, staring out as if fascinated by the front of her school as they pulled away.
    It took five minutes for Aunt Cassidy brought up the incident. That was the longest it had ever taken her. Sam had been counting.
    “Well? Care to explain yourself?”
    Sam shrugged.
    Aunt Cassidy stopped at a red light and turned to Sam. “Samantha.” Her tone implied that she didn’t want to argue today.
    Sam stared out the window at the cars passing in front of them.
    The light turned green, and they drove in silence for another few minutes.
    “What am I going to do with you?” Aunt Cassidy finally said, the words seeming to burst out of her. “All you do is cause trouble. Every week I get calls from the school!”
    “You could just get a new niece,” Sam said, speaking for the first time.
    Aunt Cassidy glared at her. “We know that isn’t an option. Now, really, what am I going to do? This kind of behavior cannot continue.”
    “You can’t stop me.”
    “Samantha, really!” Aunt Cassidy looked ready to scream, but she took a deep breath. After a moment, she continued. “Now look, we both know that neither of us asked for this. No one knew that the accident was going to happen. But the thing is, this is the life we have now, and we have to work with it.”
    Sam folded her arms.
    “Samantha-”
    “My name is Sam.”
    “Sam, then!” Aunt Cassidy clutched the steering wheel tighter but kept her eyes straight ahead. “The point is, that we are not in a position for you to be causing this kind of trouble! I can’t leave work every other day to come pick you up from school because of- of whatever you’ve done this time!”
    “Just quit your job.”
    “What would you eat then?”
    “I’ll just run away then.”
    “Now look.” Aunt Cassidy pulled up into the driveway, turning the car off before turning to Sam. “I have to work. You have to go to school. These are facts. You are going to fix your problem, young lady. You hear me? I will get fired if I have to keep doing this!”
    “Whatever,” Sam muttered, and started to get out of the car.
    Aunt Cassidy grabbed her arm. “Samantha-”
    “Fine!” Sam pulled out of her grip. “Whatever you want.” She pushed open the car door and ran up the steps to the house, grabbing the spare key from the mailbox to let herself in. Aunt Cassidy followed her.
    Sam tossed her backpack to the side once she was in and ran up the stairs to her room, slamming the door behind her. She stood there for a second, staring at her room. Same old bed. Same dresser. Same desk. Same window. Same mess all over the floor, that was never picked up. Sam sighed and threw herself onto the bed, sinking into the fluffy comforter. She’d known since the day her mother had died that everything would change. She just wished that she didn’t understand that. Sometimes it was nice to be oblivious. And pretend that it had never happened.
***
    Cassidy tossed her bag onto the dining room table and collapsed onto one of the chairs with a sigh. What was she going to do with that girl? Although she’d never asked for the responsibility, it was her job to take care of the girl. It was the least she could do for her late sister.
    Rosie, her cat, brushed past her leg. Cassidy bent down and scooped up the warm animal, rubbing her head as she let her settle on her lap. Rosie purred and flicked her tail lethargically. Cassidy sighed, letting thoughts of her job, and Samantha, fade. Maybe she was putting a little too much emphasis on things. Sam was only going through a phase, right? And her coworkers understood that she’d been having a rough time. Things would be alright.
    There was a thudding above her, and then Samantha ran down the stairs, throwing on her jacket and pulling open the door.
    “Hang on,” Cassidy said, standing up. Rosie tumbled off her lap and slinked away. The feeling that things would soon pass quickly left Cassidy’s mind altogether. “Where are you going?”
    “I dunno.” Samantha shrugged. She didn’t look up at her aunt, keeping her gaze on her shoes.
    Cassidy moved around the table and pointed to Samantha’s backpack, lying against the wall behind her. “You have homework do to.”
    “I’ll do it on the bus tomorrow.”
    “You have extra work today, since you skipped out on three classes!”
    “I don’t care.”
    Cassidy clenched her teeth, trying to calm herself. She really didn’t want to deal with this attitude right now. “Samantha, you are not going anywhere until you finish all of the work that you need to do.”
    Samantha glared at her. “You can’t make me.”
    “Who is in charge of this household?” Cassidy asked, putting her hands on her hips. Samantha didn’t answer. “Well?”
    “This isn’t my household.”
    Cassidy stepped forward, moving to shut the door. Samantha yanked it open farther and darted out onto the porch, turning back to glare at Cassidy before she crossed the lawn and ran off down the street.
    “Fine!” Cassidy yelled. It occurred to her that Samantha might not come back. She ignored the startled neighbors in their yard next door, slamming the door and marching into the kitchen, seething. At the current moment, Cassidy didn’t really care if Samantha ever showed up at her house again. She slammed a pot down on the stove and started to dig out ingredients from the pantry, hardly noticing what she was doing. Rosie meandered into the room and rubbed against Cassidy’s leg again, but Cassidy shooed her away.
    “Not now, Rosie,” Cassidy said, glaring at the cat. Rosie stuck her nose into the air and stalked out. Even the cat had attitude in this house.
    Cassidy stopped what she was doing, staring at the bottles of spices she was holding. Oh, she just couldn’t do this anymore. She couldn’t deal with Samantha. Cassidy slumped against the counter. She looked up from the spices, gazing through the doorway at Samantha’s backpack leaning against the wall, the boiling pot bubbling behind her on the stove, and sighed.
***
    Sam threw herself around the corner, lost in furious thoughts. This was all Aunt Cassidy’s fault. A tiny part of her brain argued that that didn’t make any sense, but the other part of her didn’t care. She cut through another yard, tossing up leaves as she ran. Though she knew it wasn’t true, in that moment it seemed as if it was even Aunt Cassidy’s fault that her mom had died. Aunt Cassidy could have done something, couldn’t she? She could have decided to come over. Or call. Or stop by her mom’s work to say hello. Anything would have prevented the accident, if her mother had just left a few minutes later…
    Sam skidded to a stop, breathing heavily. She hadn’t realized where her feet were taking her, but just down the street was the public library. The tall, glass building was lit up from the inside with yellow orange light, contrasting with the darkening horizon. The cold wind tossed Sam’s hair, the strands falling around her face and brushing her cheeks. The jacket Sam had grabbed wasn’t very thick, and she shivered. Her fingertips felt numb. It was an easy decision to stop gazing at the library and make her way towards it instead.
    Just inside the front door, a very kind looking old librarian asked Sam if she could help her find anything today.
    “Um,” Sam said, looking around. She hadn’t been in here very much, despite having lived her whole life in this city. “Can you tell me where the children’s section is?”
    The librarian smiled and pointed her in the right direction. Sam wandered through the shelves, not really looking at the books but trying to. She liked the atmosphere in here. The two times she did remember being in here were both with her mother when Sam was about four or so, and she remembered being bored and ready to leave pretty quickly. Why sit inside a big, quiet building when you could be running and jumping and climbing trees?
    That was more than eight years ago now. Sam found the little kids area, and memories sprung up as she looked over the same shelf she’d once stood by as her mother hunted through for books about little girls going on adventures, trying to get her to read them. Sam sunk down next to the shelf, kneeling on the carpeted ground. She ran her hand across the spines of the picture books.
    Someone bumped into her from behind, and Sam turned around, jerked out of her thoughts and annoyed.
    “Hey-”
    “Oh, I’m so sorry, did I hit you?” A girl said, leaning down next to Sam. “Sorry, sorry, I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
    “That’s alright,” Sam said, standing up and brushing her clothes off. “Just be more careful.”
    The girl nodded earnestly, as if taking her words to heart. “What’s your name?” She asked Sam. “I’m Indigo.”
    “Indigo?” Sam asked, hesitantly taking the girl’s outstretched hand to shake it.
    “Yep, Indigo.” The girl shrugged.
    “Well, I’m Sam.”
    “Nice to meet you, Sam.” Indigo smiled at her.
    “Um… so, you gotten any books here today?” Sam asked, trying to change the subject. She didn’t often have people just introduce themselves. Kids at school and in her neighborhood didn’t really ever talk to her.
    “Yes, actually,” Indigo said, holding up a thick novel she’d been holding. “I’ve been told it’s fantastic.”
    “Yeah…” Sam said, shifting. “I’m not much of a reader myself, to be honest.”
    “Oh, that just means you haven’t found the right book yet,” Indigo said dismissively. “Everyone would read if they can just find the book that speaks to them.”
    Sam frowned. “Really?”
    “Yes,” Indigo said firmly. “You just haven’t found one that speaks to you yet.”
    Sam shrugged. Indigo turned to the shelves of “Juvenile Fiction” and started wandering through. Sam followed, slightly curious.
    “What kind of things do you like to do?” Indigo asked, scanning the rows and rows of books.
    “Well… I guess I like to be active,” Sam admitted. “But that’s really why I don’t read much, you know…”
    Indigo nodded, pulling a couple of books off the shelf. “Here, maybe try a few of those.”
    Sam looked at the books Indigo had thrust into her hands. “Have you read all of these?”
    “Yep.”
    Sam set the books aside. “So why do you read? Did you find a book that speaks to you?”
    “Yeah, I guess I did,” Indigo said, turning to Sam. “Although that one doesn’t speak in the same way anymore, I still love reading other things.”
    “I think reading is a little dumb,” Sam admitted. “I mean, all these stories, they’re just made up.” She waited, expecting Indigo to get mad or walk away.
    Indigo just nodded. “Yeah, they are,” she agreed. “But they inspire me. Sometimes I love a book so much, I wish that I could change somebody’s life in the same way it changed mine.” She looked down at the books she was holding. “Plus, they are made up, but someone made them up. It’s a way of expressing yourself. I think it’s beautiful.”
    “I guess that’s true.” Sam picked up the top book of the stack Indigo had made for her. Maybe she could try it out. See if she liked it. She looked back at the shelf of picture books, that years ago she and her mother had sat next to and read stories together.
***
    Cassidy looked up from the textbook as the front door opened. It’d been two hours, and Cassidy hadn’t known what to expect of Samantha. But here she was, standing in the doorway, cheeks red from the cold. She had something in her hand, half hidden by the folds of her large jacket - maybe a book?
    Cassidy scooted back her chair and stood up, suddenly unsure and nervous. “Hey, Sama… Sam,” she said, clutching the textbook to her heart. “I made some soup if your hungry. And I’ve been looking over your assignments.” She set the book back on the table, anxiously waiting for a response.
    Sam moved out of the dim entryway into the kitchen, looking around the room. Cassidy saw her eyes move across the pot on the stove, Cassidy’s abandoned bowl of soup, and the textbooks and notebooks laid out on the table.


    … and this is where I'm stuck.

Print

See History

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

1 Comment
  • hi i'm jackson ;)

    what if sam and indigo become friends after sam starts reading aggressivly? sorry this might not be spelled right, my grammar checker is offlibne, but yeah. sam should be hapyish and her relationship with her aunt repaired


    almost 2 years ago