Posts Tagged ‘short stories’

A Step Forward

‘Sir I don’t understand. You tell me that you love my writing but you are not willing to publish it, why?’

‘Ashlee, you are an amazing writer and you have a lot of potential but your writing is not what I usually support and publish. I am so sorry but not this time.’ Mr. Kruger is the editor and chief of this huge publishing agency in my area and I was hoping he would give me my big break but I guess not. That is the seventh person this week alone that has turned me down. I am beginning to think that either I can’t write or my breath stinks but either way I am getting nowhere fast and I am going to give up soon.

Hi Ashlee, I got your number from your gran. She said you were interested in trying to write a song for us? So if you could try to write a song about friends going out and having fun/like a girl’s night out…if we can use it we will buy the song from you. Thanks, Tammy’ My gran did mention something to me the other day but I never thought she was being serious.

‘Gran, I just got a sms from a girl by the name if Tammy, she asked me to write a song. Know anything about this?’ I could hear her smile on the phone. My gran is very proud of me and I know she would do anything to try and get my writing out there in any form possible.

‘Hello my doll. Yes I told Tammy that you are an amazing writer and that you can write anything. Her twin sister, Stacey, and herself are a duet and are looking for original songs to write. The second I heard this I knew I had to tell her about your writing and give her your details. I hope you don’t mind my doll but you are an astonishing writer and you deserve to get recognized for your talent.’ How can I be upset with her? All she is trying to do is help me. I owe it to her to try don’t I?

I would love to write a song for you guys. Thank you so much for the opportunity. Ashlee’ I felt no pressure at all. Everything in life happens for a reason and there has to be a reason why this is happening to me now. I don’t know Tammy from a bar of soap but my gran has told me she is a lovely girl.  I sat down, in front of my computer and wrote. The words just flowed as I thought about a typical night out with my friends. I captured the fun we have together and how when I am with my friends I only smile and have the time of my life.

Hi. It sounds cool. I will pass it on to my producer and let you know. I would love to read your other stuff. Mwa.’ I read her email about five times just to see if what I read was true. She asked to read my other stuff and she told me she liked my song. She is the first person who has not turned me down in a long time. Could this be my big break I was been looking for? There is only one way to find out… I would have to write her more songs and try get to know her so that I could write things that appealed to her. My life was finally going in a direction I liked and it was as if I got high on confidence. I loved this feeling and I had to get more. The more I wrote and the more she began to like my writing, the more I wrote. My blog was finally getting viewers and my writing was getting somewhere. I took a step back and realised that even if she doesn’t use my songs, I would be ok because I made a new friend.

Hello Ashlee. My name is Belinda and I heard that you write beautifully. I was wondering if you could help me write something to place on my cousin’s tomb stone. He died in the line of duty and I want you to capture that aspect. Thanks so much.’ This was beginning to get a bit weird. First I was asked to write a song and now a saying to place on a tomb stone. I felt honored that I was asked to honor a man that took a bullet for our country.

‘ you were the sunshine in our lives

You were the hero in our eyes

Andrie was a man who lived for his family

Andrie was a man who died for his country’

She read what I wrote and began to cry.  I thought it was bad but Tammy told that it was beautiful and it is very difficult to make Berlinda cry, so I did a good job. At this point Tammy and I have yet to meet but I was getting to enjoy this girl more and more. It is very hard to find someone who has the same morals as you do. She understands me. Stacey and I soon started to talk and get to know each other as well. Talking to them both at different times is like talking to the same person. They are so similar it is astonishing. This just shows how close they really are.

This story just shows people that in order for you to pursue your dreams and aspirations, you have to move on from all the negative comments and learn from them. After taking so many bad reviews I was willing to give up but I didn’t and now not only am I writing, which I love to do, I have also made the most amazing friends and confidants. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to want to move on and reach your dreams no matter who gets in the way, you can always find a detour route to get there.


Moving On In Life

Four years ago I stood before you as a stranger. A few months later I stood before you as a best friend and towards the end, I stood before you as a soul mate. Today I stand before your coffin and your family as a griever.

‘Ash, I am not sure how to tell you this but Ryan died this morning…’ my heart stopped, hands shook and my eyes started to cry. I went into shock straight away and my body turned into jelly. It felt like I went from a lovely dream at Monti Casino to my worst nightmare. ‘Camilla; that cannot be right. I was with him four days ago and he was fine. You are lying!’ my voice was shaking and I could not get all my words out. I put the phone down and called his family hoping to hear Ryan pick up the phone, ‘Please tell me what I have just heard is not true. Tell me he is not gone. TELL ME!’ there was a pause on the phone and I knew it was true. ‘Ash, Ryan was run over this morning. He was crossing the road and got knocked over. Rachel called the ambulance and by the time they got there he was in a critical condition. He had broken every bone in his body on impact but he was still alive. They rushed him to the hospital but had to resuscitate him a couple of times in the ambulance. When they got to the hospital, it was too late, he was gone. I am so sorry but I have to go. I will keep you updated about the funeral plans as soon as I know anything.’ My world came to an end. What was I going to do without my best friend? He had a very hard life. He survived seven open heart surgeries, a back problem and he was taken away from us in such a brutal, inhumane way, culpable homicide. Rage took over my body and emotions thus causing me to exploded like a volcano. I could not feel anything but anger and I thought this is how the rest of my life was going to be like.

 ‘Dear friends and relatives. It saddens me to say that my dearest brother, Ryan, was killed this morning in a car accident. His funeral will be on Friday at 11 am. I hope to see you all there.  Regards: Rachel and family.’  To go or not to go, this was the question that was stuck in my head for two days solid.

‘I have never gone to a funeral before. My first one I go to should not be an eighteen year old friend of mine. I understand that life is unpredictable but this goes beyond that. This is the type of story you hear in the news papers and never think that it will happen to you let alone your best friend. This is just damn wrong.’

‘I understand where you are coming from my angel. Funerals are not easy but this one for your first funeral is going to be unbearable. You must do what makes you feel comfortable and what you want to do. You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to. Ryan would understand that where you are coming from and he knows that you are there for him whether you go or not. To watch an older person gets buried is hard but watching a young boy, a son of a living mother, it is indescribable.’ My Oumie always knows what to say to me. She carried on telling me how the funeral works and the sequence it goes in but I zoned out. I thought about Ryan and all the times we spent together. He was always a positive person and looked on the brighter side of life.

‘Oumie, Ryan would want me to go to his funeral. I know that he knew I was always there for him and always will be but he would want me to see that he is at peace and that he is fine. As scared as I am, I need to go to get a sense of closure.’ And that is exactly what I did. I called a friend of mine and we decided to go together. Every night before the funeral I had nightmares. I saw Ryan and his sister walking across the road. He had one of his permanent smiles on his face, one of the things I loved the most about him. They started to walk and I heard the cars starting to rev their engines. One, two, three and the drivers took their foot off the break and went forward without looking in front of them. I heard Ryan screaming Rachel’s name and as she turned around she heard a thump and saw her baby brother flying through the air. He landed like an egg cracking into the pan and just like the yoke breaks sometimes, his body breaks open and his blood was everywhere and then I wake up. I had this dream for three days in a row and before I knew it Friday arrived.

Driving in the car I tried to calm myself down and kept telling myself to breath. I pictured Ryan holding my hand and telling me that everything is going to be ok and flash me one of his big smiles. I was hoping that we would get there and this would all be one big joke and he would pop up from behind a tree and say, ‘got yah,’ but he didn’t. Instead we drove into the cemetery and saw the family and friends with a loved one in one hand for support and tissues for their tears in another. I took one breath ad opened the car door.

‘Ash give me your hand and I promise I will not let go until we get back into this car.’  Kayla is more than a friend to me, she is like my sister. I would not have been able to go without her.

‘Kay, what would I do without you?’ I took her hand and held it tight. We walked up the stair into a hall. On the walls was names of people that had died and their loved ones contributed money to the cemetery in their name. As I looked to my right I saw the room where they kept the coffin before the ceremony. I tried not to freak out; Kayla held my hand even tighter and mentioned that I have to breathe.

‘Ladies and Gentleman, may I please have your attention.  Will you all be so kind as to make a path way between yourselves so that we can bring the coffin in.’ they opened the wooden doors and I heard the sound of the wheels rolling on the floor. I tried but I couldn’t look at the coffin. The thought of him being in a small wooden box freaked me out a lot. I felt the first tear fall from me eye, roll down my cheek and I knew it would not be the last. We walked with the coffin to the grave site and I watched them place him into the ground and cover him up with sand. That noise I will never forget.

So I am standing here today in front of a tree we planted for Ryan. It has been a month since he has been gone and I never thought I would move on however standing here I feel a warm breeze over my shoulder and I know I will be ok.  He is looking out for me from above and he is always with me in my heart. Life does go on, and we all move on from events in our lives. We understand that it is ok for us to laugh again and it is ok to cry as well. A loss in one’s life is something that one will never forget but we learn to live with the pain and move on in life.

The Girls Who were Bullied



By Ashlee Zlotnick

I walked into the room. A lady with a huge pimple on her nose opens her mouth and, “I have been expecting you.  You must be Samantha. Please have a seat. My name is detective Beauty. I have a couple of questions I would like to ask you if you don’t mind.” My legs were shaking, I couldn’t think straight and I had the image of that person looking me in my eyes and telling me I am a waste of space on this earth. “Yes I am Samantha. I would be only too happy to answer any questions you have for me. I want this person to be put away for a very long time. Because of her my best friend is dead and I want her to pay for what she has done.” The detective passed me the box of tissues as she knew I wasn’t going to leave the police station with dry eyes. “Right Samantha, start from the beginning. Who is this person you keep on talking about and what did she do to your friend.” I took a deep breath as I began to tell the story of how a bully tortured 3 girls including me and how she drove a young talented girl to lose herself. My mom held my hand as I started to speak. “The girl I keep on referring to, her name is Alicia and she is my age.” “Can you describe her to me please?” I tried to picture what she looks like but every time I try I get a sudden rush of anger and disappointment. “Come on Samantha you can do this my angel. Describe Alicia to the detective.” I am so grateful to my mother because I could not do this on my own. “She has long, dark hair and brown eyes. She is thin and has a squeaky voice. She hangs around people just to use them…” “Let me stop you there. Are you telling me she uses her friends and people she hangs out with? Is this how the bullying started?” I took a deep breath again and my throat got all choked up. “I always knew she was bad news. She would take people away from you when you are talking to them and act like nothing was wrong. I feel sorry for her as she is an only child but that gives her no right to bully people and use them. She is the type of person who gets what she wants when she wants it. I didn’t want to get involved with her but something happened 3 years ago whereby I had to stand up for my friend.” Before I could go on I had to take a break and go outside. As I took a refreshing breath of fresh air I stopped and burst out crying. It was the first time I thought back to 3 years ago in a long time and it was not a very nice year of me.

“Ok I am ready to talk about what happened that day that started the end. Dani and Alicia got into a huge fight. Not a physical fight but I sometimes wish it was. To be quite honest I am not sure why the fight started but I know that I had to be there for my friend. I got involved and found out that they were fighting over something Dani said that Alicia didn’t like. Can you believe that? I mean I know sometimes people say stuff that other people don’t like but do you really need to fight over it? Basically I took Dani’s side and not Alicia’s.” “ Hold on Samantha. By the sound of things you and Alicia were friends. Is my assumption true?” I looked away from her. “Yes your assumption is right. We were friends. In fact we were more than friends, we were best friends. However by this time I was not aware of the true Alicia. I never thought she would get so upset with me and try to ruin my life. When I think of our friendship now I can see the truth. I see a person who is scared and thinks she can control everything and everyone. I blame her mother Tammy.” “Samantha I just want to make sure I understand everything. You took Dani’s side and now Alicia is not happy with you. ( I nodded). What happened after you took Dani’s side?” The tears were sliding down my eyes and they were about to get worse. “Alicia pulled me aside to talk. She said, “Samantha because you took Dani’s side we can no longer be friends. You have betrayed me and now you are going to pay for what you have done to me. You are going to regret what you have done!” Before I could say anything she walked off. I never quite understood what she meant by that but trust me I understand now.”Little did I know what was going on in her home. Her father was never at home and her mother continuously pushed her to do better. She was like a 5-year-old child trapped in a 16-year-old body. The way she was treated at home she started to treat people in the same way. It is as if her mother stuck an ear piece in her ear and told her to say all the horrible things to people even if she didn’t want to say them. “After the fight did you and Alicia ever speak again?” I had a sip of water and took my jacket off. I stuck my hand into the one pocket and pulled out a piece of paper. It looked relatively old and it had writing on it. I stared at it for a few seconds and explained, “This is how we communicated. She wrote a letter to me saying I was a bitch and how I am in trouble because she has told her mom about what happened. I wrote back:

 How dare you call me a bitch for standing up for a friend. I never want to speak to you again. Oh ya and regards to your mother I don’t care if you told her. I can handle anyone. Goodbye PIG.

And you know what I do not regret sending that letter because I had to show her I had a back bone. Here is the letter that we exchanged and I would do it again. ” I thought for a moment, “I take that back I would not do it like that again but I would stand up for her Dani again and for myself.” I handed the letter to the detective and sat in silence as she read the letter. She placed the letter into a plastic bag and gave it to another detective to send to the lab for tests. “Did anything happen after the letter was sent back?”I tried not to but I giggled a bit. “Detective that was just the start. She got her mother to call my mother and the two of them had a huge fight. In the end Tammy told me that I am not to step foot into her house ever again and that I should never have done what I did. From that day on we didn’t speak. Well I thought I was rid of her you know. Like I never had to look at her face ever again. Every time I thought I would never have to speak to her I got a grin on my face from ear to ear.” “Miss Samantha I am sorry for what happened to you 3 years ago but we are here today investigating what happened to Miss Cheryl West. I believe you guys were good friends.” I still have the image of her pale face in my head. “Miss Beauty, I am no telling you these things for fun. I am telling I am telling you this information to tell you what kind of person you are dealing with. This is not the first time Alicia has driven someone to do something they will regret. Alicia became friends with a girl by the name of Kelly. Have you heard of her?” the detective looked as if she has seen a ghost. “Yes. Kelly was a 14-year-old girl who committed suicide last year. Her family never understood how a girl who was always happy do something like this brutal. If I am not mistaken she jumped off a building. I am not sure why you are bringing her up Samantha. Can you please explain” The water works began again. “Kelly was a friend of mine who I was very close to. It took me a while to figure this out but I believe that Alicia was the one who drove her to kill herself. The last time Kelly and I spoke she told me that Alicia always put her down and tried to break up her friendship with me. She said that Alicia was bullying her and the reason why she never told anyone was because Alicia said she would make Kelly’s life a living hell if she told anyone what she was doing to her. My point is Alicia bullies people so badly, to the point of suicide. Pull out Kelly’s file and I’ll show you something.” Beauty called a police officer and ordered him to bring her Kelly West’s file. “I can’t believe it. Samantha you might be right. The report states that Kelly had teeth marks and bruises all over her body. We all assumed that she did it to herself but now I am not so sure. What else did Kelly tell you about Alicia?” I was proud of myself for putting two and two together because now we might find Cheryl before she can do anything stupid. “Kelly told me about how Alicia had bullied her emotionally and that she used to take pictures of the two of them together. As if she wanted to have some sort of evidence of what the two of them where doing. Come to think of it she did the same with me. When I used to go to her she always had her camera out and was always taking pics. Detective why do you think she was doing this?” There was silence for a moment. “Samantha I am not sure but what I am sure of is we are going to find out.”

Beauty asked me to leave as she wanted to try to figure out why Alicia took the pictures and how this piece of information can help her find Cheryl. I was escorted into another room. I looked out of the window and I had a flash back of that last time I saw my dear Kelly: “Samantha after she took the picture she used to put a black bag over my head and drag me into a room. I’m not sure where this room is but every time she takes me there, there is a certain smell about it. I can never quite put my finger on it but I know it doesn’t smell so good. You have to promise me something.” “Anything Cheryl. You are my best friend but you have to tell someone besides me about what she does to you. You are the only person who can put an end to her madness.” She took my hands, “Sam you have to promise me no matter what happens you won’t tell anyone what she does to me. If you do she will come after you. I don’t want that to happen to you. Promise me.” I hesitated, “Alicia I love you. You my best friend but I can’t promise you that. I can handle myself and you have to put an end to your suffering.  She has bullied me as well.” “Sam what did she do to you?” I took my hands away from hers’, walked to a window and paused. “One day at school, after the whole fight with her and Dani, she came up behind me and tried to strangle me. I fought back so she slammed my head into the edge of the window. There was blood everywhere. She left me on the floor and ran off.” “Oh my gosh Sam. Why did you never have her arrested?” I giggled. “I never knew it was her until a few days after. I went to my one friend who lives next to her. I saw her in her garden washing the blood of her clothes. When I went to the cops they could not help be because I had no evidence it was her. That is why you have to put her in her place. You have to tell someone about the room and what she does to you in there.” Kelly started to cry. “The room is very dark. There are no windows and it has that smell I told you about. On the wall there is water running down it as if there is a leak in the room but I checked and there was no hole. I have a feeling as if someone or something has died in it. Sam it is not you problem I just want you to know you mean a lot to me and I am so glad I got to know you and that we are friends.” Before I could ask her why she was talking like that she went upstairs and the next time I saw her she was dead. “Mom I know where Cheryl is most likely to be if she is still alive.” I ran out of the room and stormed into the Detective’s office. “Kelly told me about a room Alicia used to drag her into before she used to hurt her. It has to be somewhere in her house. It may be the place she is holding Cheryl. I know it is a long shot but we have to try.” “What are we waiting for? Get your jacket and I will call and get a warrant. I hope you are right Sam because if you are, you might be saving someone’s life.”

We drove to Alicia’s house. As we drove up her drive way and I got cold shivers and my heart started to beat rapidly. Behind the detective’s car were 3 police cars and my mother. I knocked on the front door whilst policeman hid in the bushes and went around the back. “I thought I told you never to step foot on my property again.  What the hell are you doing here?” “Tammy I believe. I am Detective Beauty and I have a warrant to search your house. Where is your daughter?” I have never seen Tammy speechless in my life. Her face was full of shock and confusion. “Why do you want my daughter? It doesn’t matter why you want her; she is not here right now. She is out with her friends and even if she was here she has nothing to say to you.” “Maim if I were you I would co-operate with the authority.” Beauty moved Tammy to the side and we started to check the house. We have searched from top to bottom and there was no sign of Cheryl or a secrete room. “Sam we tried but there is no sign she was ever here.” I clicked. Alicia once showed me a room. It was under her pool. Even thought I never went in it, when I got close to it all of a sudden it very cold. “I know where the room is. It is underneath her pool. Come on we have to hurry because her pool is at the bottom of her garden and that is far.” We ran as fast as we could and while we were running I couldn’t help but thank Kelly. If it wasn’t for her we might never find Cheryl. We finally got to the pool and went down the path to a door under the pool. “HELP ME PLEASE!” “That was Cheryl I just know it. Open the door.” “It is stuck. It won’t open” A policeman said. I was pumping with adrenaline and I knew I had to get her out now. “Sir out of my way please. I will open it.” I was pulling and yanking on the door knob. CRACK. The door broke open. I ran into the room and saw Cheryl lying on the floor. She was tied up and was very pale. We got her to the hospital and we had Alicia and her mother arrested for kidnapping and murder. I found out that Alicia had a pin board with pictures of all my friends on it. She had a plan to hurt them to get to me. Alicia never hurt another person again.

Bullying is very hurtful and to you it might be fun and a game but it messing with the victims mind and it might make them do something out of the ordinary. It may also make them turn to something for comfort like drugs or alcohol. Be the voice to stop bullying and stand up for what you believe in. Put an end to someone suffering.