I’ve had this blog for a little over six months now and I haven’t shared any samples of my writing, so I thought why not now! So, below here is my prologue to my finished horror novel called, THE THING IN THE WIND. Hope you enjoy reading it!
The morning of the first day of school is not only nerve-racking for a child but a parent’s job to answer their child’s endless bombard of questions.
“Why do I have to go?” she whined, “Why aren’t you guys allowed to come in with me? Will there be any toys for me to play with? . . . Mommy and daddy, are you sure you’re going to pick me back up?” Five-year-old Rosaleen Gibbons had asked her parents all these questions walking through the halls of McTibbly Elementary school in-between her father and mother as they all held hands on September 9th, 1996. “What if,” Rosaleen’s questioned more, tugging on her parents’ hands as her feet dragged along the school’s shiny, white floors, “my teacher isn’t ni-” Rosaleen shut up and stopped as soon she spotted the kindergarten classroom ahead, full of kids cluttered all around it with their parents.
As they all ceased, they dropped hands, and Rosaleen’s father stepped in front of her and got down on one knee. Grabbing her hands, holding them close together as they now all stood together by the door of the classroom, he assured Rosaleen, “You’ll be fine, princess. I promise. You’re going to have a great first day.”
Rosaleen was silent for a split second before she nodded, feeling tears beginning to brim in her eyes and bit down into her bottom lip.
“I love you,” he whispered. He kissed her on the cheek. She smelled his cologne floating off his skin, woody and fresh. And as she was swallowing tears, her eyes now wet, he got up off his knees, and Rosaleen’s mother said goodbye next. She kissed Rosaleen on the cheek and told her she had loved her. And while Rosaleen was starting to choke on her mother’s strong perform, feeling her mother’s smooth hair against her face as her vision clouded by tears, the bell suddenly rang, and Rosaleen flinched at the loud, harsh sound.
“It’s okay, Rose. It’s just the bell,” her father comforted.
“Yes, it’s alright.” Her mother’s brown eyes popped. “It means class had begun.” She smiled bright, and her pink lips glossed like little sparkles under the school’s fluorescent lights.
It was time, and little Rosaleen was beyond nervous. Butterflies were fluttering and shouting in her belly. Her throat hurt. She now watched as kids raced toward the classroom door. It sounded like a herd of baby elephants hurtling around in the wild. Parents were shouting goodbye to their children. And as Rosaleen glanced to her mommy and daddy one last time, a tear finally slipped out of her lid and ran down her cheek. Her parents waved goodbye, and as Rosaleen waved back, her hand shaking, she noticed their eyes suddenly looked like four pieces of glass.
As she stepped through the doorway, to young Rosaleen, the classroom had seemed humongous. Rectangular wooden desks and red, tiny chairs sat before a long, blank green chalkboard. The teacher’s desk sat in the very back of the room. On the other side of the room, was filled with so many different types of toys: blocks, board games, stuffed animals, coloring books, dolls, and trucks. Rosaleen’s eyes widened with excitement as she stared, she hadn’t noticed her tears went away. Oh boy, she couldn’t wait to get into those. Pictures and posters about learning were all decorated around the walls. It all looked to be inviting and immediately drew Rosaleen in, fading the thoughts of saying goodbye to her parents.
There were assigned seats, and Rosaleen was assigned to a desk with one other student. Shae McCoy. Rosaleen wasn’t too thrilled as soon as she found out. What do I say? Would this girl like me? Immediately, Rosaleen’s eyes fell to Shae’s, and she could see how big and bulging they seemed to be. Across those eyes were a pair of glasses. Her hair was a natural dark blonde and in braids. She was dressed in jean overalls. They stared at each other for a brief awkward moment and then at the same time, they both looked away and sat down in their chairs.
Throughout the morning, Rosaleen and Shae had not spoken to each other. They sat completely quiet (not a peep out of their mouths) while they listened to their new teacher. Other students were speaking and shouting out things, but Mrs. Robinson had put her finger up to her mouth and shushed them. When lunchtime hit, the class went down to the cafeteria to eat. Rosaleen didn’t like it there. It was much too loud for her taste and was filled with a whole bunch of other kids, even older ones. Rosaleen sat at the very end of a long, white table, in-between boys who kept throwing pieces of their lunches at each other. She was eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich her mother had made her this morning, tasting anxious tears on her tongue. Oh, how much longer did they have to stay in here? She didn’t know how much more she could take in this noisy cafeteria which smelled of cheese and meat.
Mrs. Robinson announced it would be coloring time after lunch. “I’ll give each desk a box of crayons, so you can all practice sharing,” she explained.
Once they had their box, Rosaleen took half the crayons, and Shae took the other half. They began to color, still not saying a word to each other. The entire class was utterly quiet for the first time today. The only sound heard was the sound crayons make as they rub against papers. And yet, who could’ve known coloring was the key to keeping a class of twenty-four kids in line. Rosaleen finished the sky with no problem, and she was now on to the trees. She grabbed the green and began. Her lips curled slightly; she was enjoying this assignment. Now, this comforted her, and at these moments, coloring, hearing the class in utter silence, it almost felt close to home. She had loved to color. A creative child she was. Mrs. Gibbons was always filling the walls at home with pictures Rosaleen drew and colored. Anybody who came in the Gibbons’ home had always joked about it being like a kid’s art museum. Just about finished, Rosaleen was ready to grab the yellow crayon for the sun until she suddenly noticed in her pile of crayons, she didn’t have it. Shae had it.
Quickly, nerves stirred around and around in her belly. She didn’t want to ask Shae for hers. She was going to keep the sun black and white up till Mrs. Robinson then shouted, “Class, you have a few minutes left, and then we’re going to have sharing time!”
Oh no, share? Rosaleen had to finish it now. She didn’t want to be embarrassed in front of her new classmates with an unfinished picture. She fiddled in her chair, feeling her heart racing, her head aching from her mommy pulling her pigtails in too tightly this morning and glanced over at Shae, who was finishing up the trees, her picture near finished. Rosaleen breaths were sharp. Her tiny palms were sweating. What was she going to do? Time was ticking on the electric clock on the upper wall above the doorway. She had to do something. Inhaling deeply, hearing her heart booming in her little chest, she spurted out to Shae in a whisper, “C-Can I have the yellow?”
Flinching, Shae dropped the blue crayon she had been using and it fell out of her hands, rolling to end of the table. With her eyes startled big and blue, she looked at Rosaleen for a long moment, quiet and still and then with her little hand shaking, she shyly handed Rosaleen the yellow crayon.
“Thank you,” Rosaleen whispered. Taking it from Shae’s hand, Rosaleen smiled as Shae darted her eyes, returning a smile, crooked and unnatural, and in those seconds going by a friendship began, a friendship lasting up ‘til adolescents crept its way in, stealing it from right under their feet, only to have them be reunited ten years to come as assigned college roommates.
❤ T. A. Nelson
Make sure you’re following me on here as well as on twitter @WriterInHorror and wattpad @livinginmymindgirl