The Fiction Records

The Fiction Records

Tape A log two: 12:03 p.m

Liberty- This is our second log in tape A. Okay, let’s pick up where we left off. I told me and Blake’s story, so Layla you can go-
Julian- I don’t think she should get to go next. She was the one that got us found out!

Tyler- He’s not wrong.

Layla- Fine, fine, fine. Then can Tyler go first?

*Chip munching*

Liberty- Sure, go ahead Tyler.

Tyler- Okay. You guys ready?

“Yeah.”

Tyler- I saw a dead…stone….giant.

*Silence*

Liberty- That’s it!? That’s the whole story?

Blake- You’re not going to talk about when or where?

Tyler- Nope.

Julian- What kind of story was that!

Tyler- Mine.

*Sighs*

Liberty- Okay, good joke. But you are going to have to talk about more if we are gonna put this in the records. We could just scrap this and start over.

“No!”

Liberty- Alright then. Tyler, please finish your story.

Tyler- Okay. Well I was out in Logan’s Woods, you cannot tell my parents I was there, okay? So, I was walking along, and decided to pick a way I hadn’t been. And I did, and found a dead stone giant.

*Slurping and chip munching*

Liberty- That was better, but when we go looking for giants you will have to really lead and talk more about it.

Tyler- I’m good with that.

Liberty- Okay, Layla now you can-

Julian- Why do I always have to go last?

Blake- Cause you’re the Aggravator.

Julian- Me? Aggravate? Never!

Liberty- Layla, just tell your story.

Layla- Yay! Okay, so it was a few years ago, and I was having a picnic. It was before I moved here and met all of you so I was alone. I did have stuffed animals with me, but that was it. It was a beautiful day! The sun was shining, butterflies were out, and the lunch my mom made was great-

Liberty- That’s too many details.

Layla- Right, sorry. Well, I thought it was gonna be sunshine all day, but it wasn’t. Raining started pouring down on top of me. I grabbed all my food, stuffies, and picnic cloth. I ran to a nearby barn, to stay dry. I felt like crying when I heard the thunder and saw a stuffed animal I had dropped. Then, something amazing happened. While I was curled up crying, I felt something touch me, and I looked up. My stuffed animal was soaking wet, but in the barn. I looked outside and saw a pure white horse running in the rain. On the top of its head, was a silvery horn! Just like in the stories! I told my parents once they found me, but they didn’t believe me.

*Slupping* 

Liberty- Wow! You saw a real unicorn?

Layla- Yup!

Julian- Okay, my turn.

Layla- Aren’t you gonna ask any questions about it.

“Nope”

Layla- *Sigh* Fine. 

Julian- Yes! My turn! Okay, so it all happened when I was-”

Voice- Blake! Would y’all like to come with me to the store?

Blake- No thanks mom! We’re gonna hang out here!

Voice- Okay then, you five behave!

*Door slam*

*Silence*

Julian- Okay, now. It all happened when I chose to run away one night.

Layla- Why would you run away!?

Julian- To see what it was like.

Liberty- OKAY! Julian and Layla we’ve had enough interruptions. Tell the story.

Julian- Ooohh. Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

*giggles*

*deathly silent*

Julian- *Clears throat* Anyway, I chose to run away one night. I was only planning on a two day trip so I just brought a small backpack-

Tyler- You make it sound like a vacation.

Julian- And a tent. It was about eight at night, and I left the note to tell my parents I was running away.

Blake- How old were you?

Julian- Seven. Why?

Blake- Just wondering if your parents could tell what you’d written, or if your handwriting was still like your handwriting now, horrendous.

*Scattered laughter*

Julian- Good one, Blake, but it will take more than that to get to me, and who says horrendous? Anyway I ran off to Logan’s Woods. I moved here a year before so I knew the area pretty well. I set up my tent and everything. I didn’t know how to make a fire so-

Blake- Like you will even know how to make a fire in this lifetime.

Julian- … So I brought a flashlight with me. I wasn’t scared at all… not at all.

*Silence*

Liberty- Julian?

Julian- Sorry, anyway I finally got to sleep, but something woke me up. It was like muffed talking-

Blake- Muffled.

Julian- Yeah that. I slowly scooted to the door of my tent, and unzipped it. I saw a fire lit, and around it three tall people. They were dressed pretty roughly, it looked like grass and leaves and stuff, but I went ahead and said “Hey”. They looked at me, and their faces looked like perfect, almost too perfect, like weirdly perfect. I think they were elves cause their ears were really pointy and stuff. Anyway when I talked the fire and them vanished!

Blake- When you spoke they and the fire vanished!

Julian- Whatever. Anyway my parents came out there and found me later that night.

Tyler- Logan’s Woods, huh.

Liberty- Whatcha thinking, Tyler?

*More chip munching*

Liberty- Tyler there are only five of us, just talk. 

Tyler- Well, two creatures have been found there, and Layla’s old house, while pretty far away, was still only a few miles from Logan’s Woods, cause those woods are pretty big.

Liberty- You’re right! Our first search should be in the woods.

Blake- Yeah, that would make sense. When should we start out?

Liberty- Tonight!

*Silence*

Blake- I know you really want to go on an adventure, but let’s prepare first. Who knows what we’ll run into.

Liberty- Yeah… I guess you’re right. Okay, the next meeting will be reviewing what we should bring. All in favor, say I.

“I!”

Julian- When did we start doing I’s?

*Click*

End of log one.

The Kings and Queens of Art

The Kings and Queens of Art

King Music sits in his throne room, holding a silvery guitar. His hands are quite large, but soft to the touch, except for calluses on the tips of each finger. His dirty blond hair is brushed nicely, with a crown of gold seated on his head. His eyes are a vibrant, electric blue, which are enhanced by the orange robes that drape over him. They are thin, silky robes, that are adorned with silver curls and dashes at each edge. The orange not only brings out his eyes, but also is a good companion to his darker skin tone. Under his silky, orange robe, he wears a deep crimson blouse. As he plays his guitar a harmonizing harp joins in, being played by his equally, if not more so, beautiful wife. Her tangerine hair falls into curls, reaching to her hips. Her hair and yellow overdress sway as she plays her standing harp. Her dress is also made of the finest silk, with long and draping white sleeves. Her skirt is a deep, music note black, and that, with the yellow, makes her green eyes resemble emeralds. Her skin is light, with freckles painted here and there. The King and Queen of music sit in their throne room, accompanying each other’s musical abilities.

  King Silver sits on his pure silver throne, that he, himself, crafted with his many tools. He has extremely pale skin, almost as pure as the silver he sits upon. His shining black hair is enhanced by his pale skin, but what makes his black locks enchanting, is the silver mix in with it. It may seem like normal grey hairs, but it is, in fact, real silver. Each of the royals have silver grow with their hair. He has a beard that falls just to his neck, giving him a look of power. His robes are thick, and the color of sky. The blue fabric that makes up his clothes are interwoven with silver strands making his robes shimmer. Along with that, silver is embroidered in his robes, creating swirls and flowers. His white undershirt is laced with the same blue and silver that made up his thick robes. On top of his head is a big, heavy, silver crown that has been passed down from generation to generation. He looks very strong, his hands are large and callused from top to bottom, but it shows how much he works. His grey eyes have a piercing stare, but as the grey mixes with the purple that circles his pupils, his look becomes softer, like you can see the love that he feels for someone, and that someone is his lovely wife. Her skin is almost pure white, like the snow that surrounds their kingdom. His cheeks are ever so slightly pink, but no blemish is seen on her. She wears a silky white dress that is hemmed with silver. Wrapped around her is a big, fluffy, pale purple petticoat. Fur lines the hooded part of her coat, keeping her warm throughout the kingdom. Again, silver strands embroider the petticoat, making it match with her husband’s robes. A petite, pure crown rests against her black hair, which is adorned with little white flowers. Her eyes are a crystal blue so light they are almost white. The love the king and queen feel for each other is unwritable as they sit together in their throne room, side by side.

The Fiction Records

The Fiction Records

Tape A log one: 3:23 a.m

Hello. Testing one, two, three. This is our first log in tape A. Everyone ssay their name and age. I am Liberty, age eleven.

Blake, present. Age eleven.

Julian, here. Age ten.

Layla Osgood, ten.

Liberty- You don’t have to use your last name.

Layla- Oh, okay. Sorry.

*Scattered chuckles*

Tyler here. Age eleven.

Liberty- Okay, that’s everyone. This is the first meeting of…

Blake- Our group.

Liberty- Yeah, our group. Thanks Blake.

Julian- No we need a name.

Tyler- Maybe we should get to business before we choose a name.

Julian- You’re not the boss, Tyler.

Tyler- Neither are you!

Liberty- Okay! This is the… Fiction Records, tape A. Got it.

Tyler- Fine.

Julian- Okay, it’s your recorder.

Liberty- Yes, it is. Now to business, as Tyler said. First, everyone promises to keep the secret until we have proof. Agreed? 

“Agreed!”

Liberty- Alright, Blake, tell the plan.

Layla- Wait!

*Multiple groans*

Liberty- What, Layla?

Layla- We have to do the handshake.

Liberty- Oh, right!

*Clap, clap, slap, bump, clap*

Liberty- *sigh* Anything else?

*Crickets chirping*

Liberty- Finally. Blake.

Blake Just for the records, we all believe in the fairy tales right?

“Yup.”

Blake- Good, cause that is the reason we are all here. It is our job to find proof of the fairy tales existing. We are going to prove that wolves can talk, that giants are real, tha-

Layla- That unicorns are real!

“Shhhhhh!”

Layla- Sorry.

Liberty- Blake, continue.

Blake- That mermaid roam the waters.

Julian- Who says roam anymore?

*Punch*

Julian- Hey! I was just asking!

“Shhhhhhhh!”

Blake- Okay! Everybody gets the idea. Liberty, just move to the next thing.

Liberty- Fine. everybody, just tell that one time that made you believe in fairy tales, okay.

Layla- Can I go first!

“Quiet!”

Liberty- Layla, you gotta be quiet. Yes, you can talk first.

Julian- No, I think you should share first. After all, you started this, and it’s your recorder.

Liberty- Yes, we’ve been over this, it’s my recorder. Now let’s just tell our stories.

Blake- No, he’s right. Liberty, you should share our story first.

Tyler- Yeah, Layla can wait. Right, cousin?

*silence*

Layla- Fine. Yes, I can wait.

Tyler- There we go, Liberty.

Julian- How can two cousins live so close.

Liberty- We’re going to ignore you, Julian.

*Quiet clapping*

Liberty- Thank you, thank you, hold the applause. Okay, on with the story. Well, Blake and I were on the yearly visit to the coast. You know, the one that me and Blake’s family take together. We were having a great time, the water felt amazing! Anyway, we found this little cavern towards one end of the beach, and you know how we are, we had to explore. We ducked in, later we got in trouble cause Blake’s dad saw us, but that’s beside the point. We went in, and we saw a girl with long, wavy hair sitting on the rocks. We said hi, and she immediately jumped into the water, but not before we saw… her long, beautiful fish tail.

Layla- Cool!

*Creaking*

Tyler- Layla, they told you to be quiet!

Liberty- Shhh, somethings coming up.

*Creaking*

Voice- I thought you were in bed, Liberty?

Liberty- Hi, Dad.

*Click*

End of log one.

The Greyscale Violin

The Greyscale Violin

The Color Series

(Read the intro first)

I hugged my violin case to my chest as my mom swerved around the street. I wasn’t bothered by my mom’s driving anymore, I had been used to it my whole life, but I still held my violin close, I didn’t want it to get smashed or anything. I watched as grey and white colors flew by like the car.

“Are you excited for tomorrow?” my mom asked. She sounded excited, but was I? Another car honked as she ran a red light.

“I guess,” I said, sounding wistful. My mom continued to zoom down the street. The car practically flew as she raced over a speed bump. I saw a grey sign fly by.

“I think you ran a stop sign,” I told mom mom in a matter of fact tone.

“Doesn’t matter,” she laughed, her light hair bouncing with the car, “We need to get to your rehearsal on time. Your teacher said if we were late again they wouldn’t let you practice.” She giggled like it was a joke, that was how my mom was. But I knew that Mrs. Vander would skip to the next student. It made me sad that nobody seemed to like my mom. She had become Mrs. Carmee, and had me, Olive. Then her husband, my dad, died only a few months after I was born. But we got along fine together. The car came to a jolting stop, and I quickly got out and ran inside. My mom followed behind, still giggling for some reason.

“Glad to see you both on time,” Mrs. Vander said, putting a check on her clipboard. Another kid was practicing violin on stage, and Mrs. Vander said I could go next. The boy on stage played a mournful tune, and I would be playing the exact same one. Everybody would.I began tuning my violin, waiting for my rehearsal.  

“Olive Camee,” Mrs. Vander read of her list, with a lackluster tone.I stepped on to the stage, while Mrs. Vander and her teaching assistant, along with all the moms, sat in the many theater seats. I turned, and nodded to my pianist, Jasper. He had accompanied me in all my preferences. He nodded back, he, like everyone, was wearing grey. We perfectly played the sorrowful melody together, he read the music note for note, and I imagined the paper in front of me. We finished, and the next student came on stage, playing the same song, the same way, and with the same feeling. My mom and I drove home, but slower. She kept looking at me through the rear view mirror. She had a worried look on her face, like something was wrong with me. I guess mothers always know when something is off about you.

   “Hey Olive,” my mom tried to sound perky, “Maybe you should choose a different song for tomorrow. Something more cheerful maybe?”

“We’re not allowed to choose our songs, Mrs. Vander chooses.” 

My mom didn’t answer, but she still carried on looking back at me.

My mom and I shuffled in the crowded concert area. Many people were here to listen to children play the violin. I spotted Mr. Yangon, a world renowned violinist. Whispers filled the air on why he was here.

“Oh, his son is playing.”

“No, he is looking for someone to take under his wing.”

“He is actually here for a teacher job.”

I wasn’t sure which rumors to believe, but my mind didn’t dwell on that for long. While my mom took her seat towards the front, and went backstage to prepare. I had never been nervous before, so why was I now? I felt myself quivering as I tuned my violin. I placed myself on a bench where I could see all the violinists play, and my stomach began turning.

“Hey,” Jasper said, sitting next to me. I nodded, afraid I would puke if I spoke. We just sat there, and I noticed Jasper was bouncing his leg up and down. He was never nervous, even when Mrs. Petta, a famous piano player, came to watch, he could always keep his cool. 

“I’m so nervous,” I finally whispered, as the next violin took up its melancholy song. 

“Me too,” Jasper answered, “And I don’t know why.” I shook my head in agreement, and we both just watched. Soon enough, it was our turn. I gave Jasper a quick hug, and grabbed my violin. We walked onto the stage, my black shoes tapping against the wooden floor. The lights blinded me for a moment, but I walked to the center of the stage, and looked back at Jasper. I dipped my head, and raised my violin to my cheek, and closed my eyes. I saw the music sheet I always imagined, and we started playing. We were doing a perfect job, as always, the pitch was perfect, the timing was flawless, but something didn’t feel right. I pushed that feeling out of my mind, and did my best to focus. I opened to look at my mother, hoping she would give me a look if something was off. Her face was bright with a big smile like everytime, she didn’t care how I did. She always said I was the best violinist in the world, but I never believed her. I closed my eyes again, and the music sheet came back to my imagination. Then, this urge filled me. I tried to push it back, but when I did, the music sheet that I always pictured in my mind, disappeared. My eyes shot open, I continued playing, but I didn’t want to, I wanted desperately to play something else. Something different, something joyful, something… something I didn’t know. I stopped, and held my bow at my side. I heard Jasper still playing, then he hit a bad note and I felt his eyes on me. I was sweating, murmurs filled the air, and I dared to look up. But all I could see was my mom, her eyes showed concern, but she was smiling just like before. She didn’t care how I did, or if I did, she just wanted me to  enjoy what I did. I felt warmth fill me, and I looked back at Jasper. It looked like he was drowning in confusion. I walked up next to him, and whispered in his ear,

“Jump in where you can.”

A smile spread across his face, and I stepped back to my place on stage. I lifted my instrument to its correct position, and laid my bow on the strings, and closed my eyes. I played a fast, sharp sounding note, which caught the attention of every person in the room. My eyes burst open, and I started playing notes. No particular order of notes, just notes that sounded beautiful together. My hand took control, and I didn’t even have to think about what I was playing. A whimsical melody echoed through the theater. I heard Jasper join in, and his playing sounded completely different, it felt full of life. On and on I played, and before me, I saw blue and purple streaks. They were thin and wavy, but the color was so relaxing and promising. I played faster, then a jarring melody, then smoothly. Jasper was having no trouble keeping up. We played more music, and more colors appeared. Orange seemed to dance with the blue, swirling and twisting. People gasped as purple circled, me giving my dress color, the same purple. I laughed as I looked down. It was beautiful. I heard a crash, and behind me, Jasper had knocked over his seat and was playing with everything he had. The piano, which used to be a flat black, was shining and twinkling. Jasper’s hair took on a deep, chocolate brown. His eyes were closed, and his smile was huge. I felt a wind blow against me, making my hair, which was now the same color as the piano, a shiny black. I couldn’t hear the gasp, but based on how everyone looked, there were plenty of them. The blue began to move out into the audience, hovering and spirling. My violin pursued with its piece, and the color grew more vibrant. I carried my bow back and forth on the string, and the feeling I had inside me, grew stronger along with the color. Someone in the crowd, reached to touch the color, and it spread to him, giving his hair, clothes, and skin different shades and pigments. When others saw what happened, they let their hand feel the color. I saw Mrs. Vander, she looked awestruck, just staring up at me and Jasper, but when I saw my mom, I never felt happier. She was crying, but not tears of sadness came, just tears of joy. I realized I was doing this for her, she was the one that encouraged me to do this. No necacarally with words, but with the way she wanted me to be happy. My mom smiled, but tears still flowed from her eyes, her cheeks and hair had taken on color, they were both red. Her dress was a bright, but calming, yellow. I was so busy watching my mother, that I failed to see that the blue, orange, and purple had filled the room, revealing everything and everybody’s true color. People with blond, bown, and different hair, blue, green, and orange clothing. The seats of the theater were a deep, velvety red. I looked back at Jasper, and he at me, and we both felt the end of the song coming. He started playing a soft, one handed melody, while I played my violin gently. He held one key down softly, and I played the last three chords, and held the very last for as long as I could. The strips of color moved slowly, and began fading, but the colors that had been uncovered, stayed. I looked at the light that poured in from the doors, and the red hair that was in my mother’s face. She was looking straight at me, while everyone else was gasping and ahhing at the beautiful things that had been gone for so long. The song was finished.

The Color Series (Intro)

The Color Series (Intro)

Imagine a faded world. A world where everything is black and white, like the old tv shows I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, or Andy Griffith. A world where flowers have no color, where a red apple is grey, where the sun is white. And in this world, almost everything is the same, except for the arts. Everything creative has a certain way, certain rules, certain instructions. Drawing has rules, you follow the rules. Dancing has steps, you follow those steps. But what if someone didn’t listen to those rules. What if they listen to an urge inside themselves to do something different, something extraordinary, then what would follow this change?

(This starts all the Color Series stories. Read it and the stories will make more sense.)

The Rosebel Wood

The Rosebel Wood

The Rosebel Wood was a peaceful, beautiful, and lively place. The trees were tall and healthy, and housed many animals. Moss grew up the sides and on the roots of these thick and lovely trees, and a soft breeze blew through the wood. The spongy moss was a deep and calming green, or as Mrs. Walnut thought, as she trudged with her husband through the forest, full of life. She had one arm place on Mr. Walnut’s, and her other arm holding up her rosey red skirt as they came to a step. Mrs. Walnut’s golden fur wavered as another breeze blew by.

Mr. Walnut considered her the most beautiful of all the squirrels in the wood, and many other animals shared the same thought. Her fur was a soft golden color, and her chin was white. She had a big bushy tail, which she kept brushed and smooth. On this day, she wore a lovely dress with a tan bodice and a rosy skirt, and today, like every day, Mr. Walnut said she was the prettiest thing he ever saw. Mr. Walnut was a proud squirrel, and he walked with his head held high. He had grey fur with yellow facial features, and pointed ears that had wiry grey fur coming off the top. His tail was quite short, for a squirrel, but he didn’t mind. Their children, who were all one year old, were being watched by Mrs. Red, an elderly sparrow who, in her retirement, watched children for families. Mrs. Red watched their children once a day, so the Walnuts could go on evening walks.

“Good evening,” a hedgehog waved, as he strolled by Mr. and Mrs. Walnut. Mr. Walnut pulled his hand from his pants pocket and waved to the passer. He placed his hand back into his dark brown pocket. He was dressed very nice, wearing a white shirt with a blue sweater vest, and a green tie, which complimented the blue sweater. Mr. Walnut liked ties; he liked them a lot. He had many different colors and patterns, but the green one he wore on that morning was his favorite. It was his favorite because he looked very smart when he wore it, and also Mrs. Walnut had given it to him as a present. They were a very happy couple, with happy children, and a good name in the Rosebel Wood. But what the Walnuts didn’t know was that once a pitiful cry was heard by Mrs. Walnut, their good name would be changed twice, but I’m getting ahead, so let’s tell the story.

“Did you hear that?” Mrs. Walnut said eagerly. Her ears pricked up, and she listened carefully.

“Hear what?” Mr. Walnut sighed. He too listened, but heard nothing.

“There it is again,” she stated, “I’m sure I heard something.” Mr. Walnut lifted his ears again, but shook his head.

“I’m sure I heard something,” she said, and began wandering around, “Can you hear it?” Before Mr. Walnut could say anything, his wife took him by the hand and pulled him along. As he was being led by his wife, a noise came to his ears.

“Someone is crying,” Mrs. Walnut started running, and was surprised by what she found. She stopped in her steps when a basket came into view. The crying was clearly coming from it. Mr. Walnut just stood where he was, as Mrs. Walnut crept closer. It was a woven basket that had a blue ribbon intertwined with it. When Mrs. Walnut looked into the basket, her heart melted. A human baby girl was the one that was crying and screaming.

“Oh dear!” Mrs. Walnut exclaimed, and picked up the baby, rocking it gently. The baby was wrapped in a pink, knitted blanket that was soft to the touch. The baby was much bigger than Mrs. Walnut’s children, so she had to stretch her arms around the baby to keep from dropping her. The baby’s cheeks and eyes were red from crying, but once the kind Mrs. Walnut held her, she stopped crying altogether. Mrs. Walnut looked to her husband, and he could tell by her eyes that she wanted to keep it.

“It will tear up the house,” Mrs. Walnut said, looking for an excuse to leave it. Mrs. Walnut said nothing, but continued looking down at the baby and up to her husband. As she rocked it, the baby fell asleep, and then Mrs. Walnut spoke.

She needs us,” she said, “If we don’t take her, what if some other bad animal comes and takes her?” Mr. Walnut groaned, and rubbed his eyes. He knew his wife, and he knew she would never leave it.

“Let’s hurry home,” he said instead, “Mrs. Red will be wondering where we are.” Mrs. Walnut smiled, placed the baby back in the basket, and picked it up. Mr Walnut took it, and carried it for her, but he still didn’t like the idea of having a human in their home.

Their home was a beautiful one. It was made from a very tall, and thick, tree, which had a door. The door was a dark brown, similar to the color of the tree itself. A tan, wooden strip with pictures carved in, bordered the door, even the curve at the top was edged with the carved wood. Stone, mossy steps led up to the door, and a big, black lamp was joined to the tree. Mrs. Walnut opened the door, while Mr. Walnut lugged in the baby.

“What is that?” Mrs. Red came over to where Mr. Walnut dropped the basket, and gasped. She looked at the little baby, cooing and grabbing at her blanket. 

“We found her in the forest,” Mrs. Walnut said, picking up the little baby, “We are going to raise her with our other children.” 

Mrs. Red gawked at her a moment, but then smiled.

“That lovely,” she did her best to sound positive, “I’m sure she will be very happy here.” Mrs. Red nodded to them, Mr. Walnut opened the door for her, and she left.  

The baby girl, which in fact, didn’t tear up the house, was named Sandy. And she grew happily along with her three squirrel siblings, Ash, Maple, and Blossom. They played with Sandy like she was a squirrel, and hardly noticed the difference. But once they got to schooling age, they began to see that she was different.

“Hurry up, mom,” Ash said, waiting for Mrs. Walnut to finish packing his lunch. He was a red squirrel, and had a very spiky tail. He was the only one with red fur in his family, but he didn’t really care about how he looked.

“Okay, okay,” she smiled, packing food as fast as she could. 

Mr. Walnut had wanted to see his children off for their first day of school, but he had already left for work. He carved out trees and turned them into houses. 

“Let me finish your sisters first.” 

Maple and Blossom came rushing down the upstairs.

“How do we look, mother?” they both asked in unison. Mrs. Walnut smiled, and said they looked lovely. She was also excited for her children, but she was sad to see them growing up. Maple and Blossom were both a spitting image of their mother, with golden fur and a fluffy tail.

“Sandy will be down in a minute,” Maple said, grabbing her lunch, and soon enough Mrs. Walnut heard the step of Sandy coming down the stairs.

“How do I look, mother?” she asked in her cheery voice. Sandy was lovely for a human, with chestnut golden curls falling to her shoulders and chocolate brown eyes. She had very fair skin, and small freckles lined her nose and cheeks. She was already the size of Mrs. Walnut, who handmade her clothes.

“Beautiful,” she said, handing her son his lunch. Mrs. Walnut gave her girls their lunches, and walked them outside. She told them to behave, and to listen to Mr. Nutmeg, their teacher. The four children said goodbye, and raced off. They were all excited about school.

“Race ya, Sandy!” Ash said, running as fast as he could. Sandy, though she tried, could never outrun her brother. Ash paused at a tree, and waited for his sister who laughed and huffed and puffed.

“I can never beat you,” she giggled, and she also waited. Maple and Blossom were walking, which annoyed Ash, who wanted to get to school.

“Let’s go!” he yelled to them. 

“We are walking!” Maple yelled back. This argument kept on for a long while, so we will just say that they finally caved and raced with Sandy and Ash. The school was amazing to Sandy. Four trees, which had grown together, were carved out and made a great big space for learning. Two bright green doors stood, propped open, as squirrels fled inside. There were different schools for different animals, the mice go to mouse school, the bunnies go to rabbit school and so on. So this school was for squirrels, and for little Sandy, who found that she was much different than a squirrel. Mr. Nutmeg welcomed her in, the Walnuts had spoken to him beforehand. Even though he didn’t like the idea of a human being in his classroom, he allowed it. Many animals looked down on the Walnuts for raising a human, but after a while, Mr. and Mrs. Walnut didn’t care about their name anymore. 

“I’m so excited,” Sandy said to her brother, who was looking around uncomfortably. He felt all eyes on him, and made a mistake that hurt someone close to him.

Sandy sat, leaned against the home tree, crying. She hated her first day of school, and didn’t understand why she was ignored. Mr. and Mrs. Walnut came outside, and sat by her.

“Are you okay, Sandy,” Mr. Walnut said, patting her head. She just cried harder, and shook her head, “Do you want to tell us about it?” Sandy shook her head again. The Walnuts sat with their daughter a while, just patting her head and hugging her.

“I’ll sit with her,” Mrs. Walnut said to her husband. “You go talk to the others.” He nodded, and left the two alone.

“Now,” Mrs. Walnut questioned, “Tell me about your day.” Sandy cried a little more, then poured out to her mother the day she had. 

When school had started, all the squirrel children stared at her, and whispered among themselves. All four of them, Sandy, Ash, Maple, and Blossom, were uneasy. Mr. Nutmeg gave Sandy a seat in the back of the class, she was the tallest of all in the class. Once the class was brought outside to climb trees, Sandy kept falling. Whenever she finally climbed one, Mr. Nutmeg said that she was doing it the wrong way. Most of her classes were like that, and everybody else was doing a wonderful job. But what hurt Sandy the most, was when Ash said he didn’t know her. He had started making friends with other squirrels and they asked him about Sandy, who was close enough to hear the talk.

“I don’t know her,” Ask had said. “She’s not even a squirrel.” Once Sandy heard that, she gave up on trying to do good in classes. 

After Sandy finished, Mrs. Walnut just held Sandy best she could. Mrs. Walnut realized the trouble all of her children would have, but she had to send them to school. Or did she?

“Sandy,” Mrs. Walnut began, “I could teach you everything at home if you want.”

“No, mother,” Sandy dried her tears, “I want to go to school.” So Sandy continued going to school with her siblings, but she didn’t race with Ash, who wished he had never said those things. He had found out that Sandy heard what he said from his mother. He felt awful, and wanted Sandy to say something, but she didn’t. School was the same for a long time, but Sandy began to improve at certain things. But only Maple, Blossom, and Mr. Nutmeg talked to her at school. But one day changed the way everybody in Rosebel Wood saw Sandy and her family. 

“Mr. Nutmeg is out with the flu,” a turtle said, “I am your substitute teacher until he is well. My name is Mr. Poach.” The class, including Sandy, said hello. Mr. Poach gave Sandy a weird look, but went on with what he was saying.

“We will be taking a trip to the river to learn how to swim,” he continued, “You may not use this skill much, but it is important.” The class cheered, and everyone ran outside, but Mr. Poach stopped Sandy at the door. She had grown a lot since she had started school, she was now bigger than her parents.

“I’m sorry…”

“Sandy,” she stated.

“Sandy,” the turtle said, “Swimming is fun, but it’s also dangerous if you are not careful, and you are slightly too big for me to carry if I should need to.” he paused, hoping Sandy understood, but she didn’t.

“What do you mean?” she whispered.

“You will have to stay.” Sandy felt her heart pound, and pushed back the urge to cry. Mr. Poach left her in the classroom, and went to attend to the other children. Ash, Maple, and Blossom saw that Sandy didn’t come out of the classroom.

“Pardon me, Mr. Poach,” Maple asked, “Where is Sandy, my sister?”

“She will have to stay,” he sighed. The three squirrels looked down.

“I’ll stay with her,” Maple said, about to turn to the classroom, but Ash stopped her.

“I’ll stay,” he smiled, and raced to the school. Sandy saw him, and grinned. Ash told her he was staying, and they played and raced the morning away. They climbed trees, played tag, raced, ran, jumped, and had fun. Ash was happy to have his old, happy sister back, but their time together was stopped by a noise. They both heard shrill screaming. Sandy and Ash bolted towards the scream. The class of squirrels were on the river, and Mr. Poach was swimming as fast as he could. He swam to the group and two squirrels jumped on his shell, and he swam to shore.

“What wrong?” Ash asked quickly.

“They got caught in a current,” Mr. Poach huffed and left the squirrel on his shell, off. Sandy watched him jump back in the water, and swim to the others. Sandy followed after him, and jumped in the water.

“Sandy!” Ash yelled, “Come back!” But Sandy didn’t come back, but swam expertly towards the other squirrels. The water was cold as she kicked and pushed it to the side. Mr. Poach saw her swimming, but he was so flustered, he didn’t tell her to go back. She got closer, water lapping against her face and drenching her chestnut curls.

“I’m here!” she yelled to the squirrel still going downstream. Because she was bigger, the current didn’t carry her along. The young squirrel climbed onto her, and she kicked at the water hard. 

“Sandy,” Blossom said in her ear, “Be careful, the current is strong right there.” Sandy nodded and moved away from the spot her sister pointed to. She was worn out and the extra weight made it hard the swim, but luckily Mr. Poach came just in time and took some of the weight and helped her along. Once they made it to the shore, Sandy just laid on the ground. She was tired. One of the other squirrels had gone for help, and other animals came just as Sandy helped the squirrels to land. All of the children thanked her over and over again, the parents and other animals did too. She was the hero of Rosebel Wood. Mr. and Mrs. Walnut told her how proud they were, and that she was amazing. Ash, Maple, and Blossom said she was the greatest, and that they were proud to have a sister like her. Mr. Poach apologized for leaving her at the school, and Sandy forgave him over and over again. No animal ever looked down on her, or her family. Everybody loved her, and wanted to be her friend and hear the story of how she saved the class. She grew up and lived in the forest the rest of her life. She did so much more for everybody in the wood, but what started it all, was a simple act of kindness that Mr. and Mrs. Walnut made, by taking in a child that was different than them.