Stumbling Upon Storybrooke

“I’ve been here for almost 10 minutes…and I can’t see anyone…” I huffed, continuing tapping my feet on the pavement. My eyes wandered around, focusing on new surroundings and new colors. “How did I even get here.” I clasped my hands and rubbed them together, earning heat from the friction. This road seemed to go on until a bay, and all along the sides were small humble stores and markets. High street lights reflected on the black asphalt. It honestly looked very inviting, yet there was no one, no one until…

“Hey! You there! Who are you?!” A voice boomed from my side. I jumped, and turned to face the emitted sound. Black hair reached the strangers shoulders and her eyes were a cold and dark brown color. “Me? I’m just trying to find a way home.” I nodded quickly. “How did you get here?” She questioned again, ignoring my attempt of politeness. “Um I don’t know…I don’t even know how I got here…” I realized how pathetic that sounded, but she didn’t notice. I looked around once more, trying to see if this place was familiar in any way. “This,” she began, surprising me. “Is StoryBrooke, and I, am Regina the mayor.”

by Lena Mousa

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Ms. Representation

My mother always told me
to represent myself well.
Every time I left the house,
she said,
I represented
my family, my race, my religion,
my sex.
But what weight to carry for six-year-old me.
What a heavy burden I heaved onto my shoulders
every time I left the house.
At first, I thought this meant
always smile, always nod, don’t fight back when people
tell me what I am.
Docile. Understanding. Feminine.
Weak.
But I know now that the blood of African queens runs through my veins.
I know now that silence is merely apathy in disguise.
When someone insults me,
I will speak up.
When someone insults women,
I will speak up.
When someone resists change,
I will speak up.
That is how I can best represent
myself.

Being a Writer

I do what almost any writer does. I sit on a chair at a table with an open notebook and a pen in my hand. I mentally search for a plot in my mind, hopefully to make use of it someday.
‘I could write about almost anything,’ I say to myself. But when reality knocks me over, I think of nothing. So I just sit there staring at a blank page, thinking of nothing but the dream that every writer dreams: First editions, first book signing, first TV interview, first motion picture, first paparazzi mob chasing you for photos and autographs, first everything. That’s my dream, being a writer.

At the Bus Stop

“Everything is going to be ok,” she had reassured me, but now, I wasn’t so sure.
It started out as a normal day. I had woken up, eaten breakfast, and gone to the bus stop to go to school.
“Crap,” I realized, as the bus came closer. “I left my books at home.”
I turned around and sprinted back. I heard the hiss of the bus doors opening behind me, and I gritted my teeth in frustration. “I’ll be quick,” I promised myself, but I wasn’t that confident. I just knew that for the first time since that one day in the 3rd grade that I was going to be late for school.
I turned the corner, and that’s when it happened.
A great boom erupted behind me, and the buildings surrounding me on all sides began to tremble.
Car alarms went off at the sudden sound, and people began peeping out of windows and exclaiming to themselves what may have caused the cacophony of sound.
I peeled away from the wall I had thrown myself against when the noise occurred and peered around the corner, but clouds of smoke and debris forced me to cough uncontrollably and pull the front of my T-shirt over my stinging nose. A ringing in my ears shrilled with insistent abandon.
“Hello?” I called out, my voice muffled by my thin T-shirt. I coughed, but tried again. “Hello?”
The once normal-looking street had the appearance of a battle zone; thick grey smoke hovered like a winter morning fog, and eager orange flames licked the side of the garishly yellow school bus. My stomach felt like lead when I saw the driver slumped over the steering wheel, a thin red streak down the back of his head.
A crowd had started to gather, and a siren could be heard dimly in the distance, its wail growing louder and louder with each passing second.
Something felt wrong, but I couldn’t place it. Then, “Where are the kids?” I wondered. “Where is everyone else?”
The ringing in my ears from the close proximity to the explosion wasn’t lessening. A parent came over, they gasped. “You made it out?!”
“What? No, I wasn’t—”
What happened?” A man came over, looking bewildered.
I gestured to my book bag, but it was no longer there. I must have shrugged if off when I heard the explosion. “I-I left my books at home, and when I was heading back, I…” I couldn’t continue. It was then I saw the red liquid on the broken windows. “Oh God.” I felt my knees grow weak. “Oh God.”
I felt myself collapsing to the ground. I had friends on that bus. Not best friends, but friends that I made a point of talking to on a daily basis.
Adam Chase, an obnoxious boy that borrowed my Harry Potter books for a few more days then I’d like. Edna Gonzalez, a sweet 8th-grader that skipped 2 grades and was better friends with the encyclopedia than human beings, but still friendly. Simon Tyler. Anna Cho. Robert. Samantha. Their faces flashed through my brain as I came to a terrifying conclusion. All of them. They were all on the bus. I felt like puking.
Next thing I knew, I was off to one side as everyone watched the firefighters put out the fire. Some were crying. some comforting others with stony expressions. But no one seemed to want to look at me. The only survivor. As if were a traitor. That I should have died along with them. After all, it was only fair.
The firefighters put out the flames, and, for a moment, the world seemed to stand still. The black husk of the school bus mocked its spectators, still intact in places, the once cheerful, garish yellow was still visible in places. I now realized that I hated yellow.
The police came later and questioned everyone. When they came, I told them my story, and one of them later fetched my book bag. They kept it, “as evidence,” they said. I didn’t care. I didn’t even want to think about school today. That math test that I had been stressing about all week scheduled for today seemed significantly unimportant.
“Everything is going to be ok,” the police officer reassured me, but I wasn’t so sure. “You were lucky, you know. You could have been one of them.” She gestured to the hunk of metal behind her.
I followed her gaze over at the bus, now a smoking husk. “Yeah.” I said monotonously. “Lucky me.”

Eyes. Nose. Lips.

Eyes. Nose. Lips.

The eyes that are so comforting to me

the eyes that are yours

The nose that is so cute to me

the nose that is yours

The lips that say kind words to me

the lips that are yours

These are parts of you that will haunt me and taunt me

these are parts of you that I do not regret admiring

Fade out.

Turmoil

There are whiffling, wafty words that float around in my head
They speak of the lonely, the crying, the dead.
There are crows and sparrows that soar through my brain
Echoing, with hoarse calls, a resounding pain.

My mind is a sea from which there is no guarantee
Of any thought free from insanity
And with each moment dark whirlwinds whisper through my being
Taunting, teasing, my soul possessing.

I open my mouth to speak, to plea
Is there a way from this that I might be cleansed?
Yet I hear no answer, nor my own desperate moans
From the outer world and my thoughts, I am kept alone.

by Grace Gu

Drifting

Do you ever get wonder how high you can get- before you get scared

Not everyone is afraid of heights- but everyone is afraid of falling

Are you curious as to why some people don’t accelerate at a green light right away

What are they waiting for- what are you?

by K.T. Farr

There is

“It’s like the universe has left me, without a place to go.”
It’s painful to have no one to talk to. It’s even more painful to have no one to listen.
With this, there are common occurrences.
Shut down- cutting of oneself from social activities, emotions, expression and letting oneself become consumed by depression
Masking- making oneself believe that their problems aren’t real or that their problems do not need to be helped and heard and letting oneself hide their pain.
Restart- allowing one’s feelings to exist without letting those feelings overwhelm the mind and body.
There is always a place to go, even if no one will listen, even if no one is there.
You have the power to and the will to pick yourself up and put one foot in front of the other every single day. It doesn’t matter if you think you can’t, ultimately you can. You are stronger than anything and you shouldn’t rob yourself the privilege of living and existing.
To exist is a gift and even if you feel it isn’t, it is. Once you can realize that you and your life are gifts then you can be a little selfish and take small steps to becoming happy.
You always have yourself.

 

by K.T. Farr

Madeline- Part 16

We locked the door with the dead bolt and everything— no one was going to stop Natalie and me from discovering the truth. After searching high and low for the blood book over the past three months, we deserved the satisfaction of knowing.

“What do you think is in here?” Natalie asked. No one was on this floor as far as I knew, but she whispered nonetheless.

“I don’t know,” I whispered back. “All I know is what Christov told me. He was pretty weird about it. He said they were just silly stories…”

“But?”

“But I don’t know how much I believe that.”

“Well, there’s only one way to find out!” Natalie squealed. “On three?”

I nodded.

“One…Two…Three!”

We each seized a corner of the book and opened it up to a random page. The first thing I saw was Natalie’s name.

Chapter 5

We landed on a page that read “The Accounts and Prophesies of Victor Dalca.” The following paragraph was written in script, clearly translated by ancient scribes not completely familiar with English.

“The Drombowskys brought me a noble to-day to feast upon. After making the incisions, I spilled one litre of blood and performed the reading. The stains across the cloth of Vladimir told of a pairing strong enough to turn the tydes of the ocean. In two hundred mortal years, a Drombowsky girl will be born. The stars shall align the same way the shall on the day that a Bardzecki boy shall be born, years prior. Their union will be inevitable, and shall endure. How ever, opposition will rise. Ancient rivalries will resurface, vampire blood will be spilled, trust will be strained, all to evade Fate’s grasp. Though oceans will separate the Drombowsky and the Bardzecki, their hearts shall remain one. Before their immortal souls retire, their union will be complete. The girl will be called Natalie Polina Drombowsky and her soulmate will be known as Christov Niccola Bardzecki. As a man with the gift of sight, it is my duty to record this prophesy. However, this account may never fall into the wrong hands. Lest Fate be gnarled into some hideous beast.”

“Um… Madeline?” Natalie croaked once we had both finished reading. “I think there’s something you should know.”

I remained silent, too stunned to speak. I managed a weak nod.

“Christov and I used to um… Well at the beginning of high school, when he first moved here… we kind of…”

“I don’t want to-”

“We used to hunt together!” she burst. “But you can’t tell anyone. Because—”

“Because why?” I asked toxically.

“Because we hunted to kill. For sport.”

“What? Like on purpose?” I felt sick and wrapped my arms around my stomach.

Natalie nodded meekly. “I don’t know why. It felt so right, because it was with him. Now I know why.”

“What are you talking about? This stupid prophesy doesn’t mean anything. Christov and I are together. And we don’t plan on—”

“Madeline,” Natalie interrupted calmly, “This is like, the real deal though. I can tell. Victor Dalca was a majorly famous vampire—is. In fact, he’s the longest living vampire on record. He wouldn’t make this sort of thing up.”

“Maybe it was translated incorrectly… or tampered with. It’s just so specific. Maybe there’s something else!” I gushed, flipping over to another page. Again, my eyes fell on Natalie’s name.

“Natalie Polina Drombowsky was born on September 23, 1996, sixty years following the birth of Christov Niccola Bardzecki. The date and time were the same. Victor Dalca’s prophesy holds true.”

“No…” I mumbled, thumbing to another page. “What? Are you on every page?”

“I…”

“Shut up, I’m reading it out loud this time. It says: ‘In the mortal year of 1999, the Drombowsky clan leaders were assassinated by radical members of the Bardzecki clan. Victor Dalca’s journals were stolen while he was in Australia visiting young seers. News spread rapidly of Dalca’s secret prophesy of the ‘star crossed lovers’, not included in original prints of the Blood Book. Shortly after the prophesy was written, in 1088, a territorial dispute broke out between the Drombowsky and Bardzecki clans. Because of the deeply rooted rivalry, the predicted romance between Natalie and Christov is strongly opposed by certain factions of each clan. Young Natalie was the target of this attack, but her parents were the victims.’

“Natalie… I’m really sorry, I should have stopped reading sooner,” I said, realizing that Natalie was sobbing beside me.

She dropped her limp head onto my shoulder and streams of long, blonde hair poured onto my lap.

“There, there,” I comforted awkwardly, “at least now you know… um… how your parents passed.”

“They didn’t pass, Madeline! They were murdered! By savages! Vampires don’t kill other vampires! We aren’t like the humans, we have self-control and a sense of order! How could something like this happen?”

“The world is a crazy place,” I offered uncomfortably.

“No offense or anything, Madeline, but you’re not really helping.”

“Well… what would make you feel better?”

“Christov,” she said, not skipping a beat.

She couldn’t see me, but my jaw dropped. Why this little—

“Kidding!” she said, her voice was somber, but she was trying to be light-hearted.

I smiled and nudged her off my shoulder. “No, you know what, I actually think I can help with that. Go pack your bags you spoiled, Polish brat. We’re going hunting.”

 

by Sabrina Yates

Madeline- Part 15

Claire said that she majored in art history, but I could have sworn she had majored in shopping.

We left Blue and Cream buried in shopping bags, and headed toward some juice bar which seemed to be miles away. Rick was already there, playing chess with MacKenzie. I felt bad; in no way was this a fair game. It was obvious that MacKenzie would win.

“How many games have you played?” Claire asked.

“We’re going for best five out of seven… This is game eight,” Rick admitted.

“Check mate!” MacKenzie shouted, “pay up.”

Rick sighed and handed the munchkin a crisp twenty dollar bill.

“You’re paying her again?” Claire said.

“I’m telling you, this one is a genius!” Rick laughed. “Are you all ready to go? I ordered your juices already,” he said, handing us a drink carrier containing three vibrant colored juices.”

I grabbed a bright pink one and began slurping it down.

I tried to act normally on the way home, and kept my thoughts to a minimum. But every time I looked at MacKenzie I was reminded of my dream. She said I needed to wake up, and I thought I was just beginning to understand what she meant.

~*~
“I know you’ve been erasing my memories. Or altering them, or… you’re screwing with-” I gave up and collapsed onto my bed. At least I was just practicing in front of the mirror, not actually delivering this supposed-to-be hard-hitting speech.

“Stop… stop mind-meddling. Ooh that’s a good one,” I said, staring at the ceiling. “What do you want?”

Natatlie stepped all the way into my room. I was able to sense people better now, since my second feeding. I could recognize different inner voices, I was on the verge of being able to fully interpret auras, too. Natalie’s was frightened.

“Why are you talking to yourself?” she asked, uninvitedly sitting at the foot of my bed. I drew in my knees to my chest as I sat up.

“I don’t think I can trust any of you. Pure bloods. The thing is, I know that you’re all manipulating me. But at the same time I don’t know. I might not even remember this conversation in five minutes.”

Natalie looked at me, shocked. “Who is using their powers on you? That’s awful… They must be really desperate. We very rarely…”

“It’s your mom. It’s Claire,” I spat.  “And maybe Christov… but I hope not.”

“Mom must have a good reason. She taught me to only ever use my powers on humans, to lure them out for hunts. Using them on your own kind, on fellow vampires, that’s a major no-no.”

“Well, she’s using them nonetheless. Something about a blood book. She’s hiding it from me.”

“What’s the blood book?”

That’s when I knew Natalie was being sincere, and that she was in the dark just as I was. And that maybe, just maybe, we were on the same team.

“We need to find it,” I whispered. “That’s all I know.”

Natalie nodded, and I knew she understood the gravity of the situation, though neither of us knew why. Finding that book became an unofficial mission for us, that we pursued the rest of the semester.

Since Rick was working on expanding the Bardzecki company, and Claire was off doing whatever it was Claire did, the apartment was often empty. After school, we’d scour the place for the little red book I only had a memory of a memory of.

Why did Rick have to own such a huge place?

We searched every bookshelf of the sixth floor library, we searched in every cupboard in the kitchen, and looked under every mattress- which was almost too many to count.

Weeks went by and nothing. We even searched on hungry days, when we were near the point of fainting. We must have combed through every inch of the house three times before we were caught.

I was digging through Rick’s sock drawer when he entered the room.

“Rick,” I breathed, “you’re home early. Is everything okay with the company?”

“Yes, we expect to begin construction after New Years’. May I ask what you’re doing in here?”

“I… um, I have a question. Can we go with the Bardzecki’s to Russia this winter break?”

Rick looked a little surprised. “Why… Christov invited you? No, no we’re not going. It’s out of the question.”

“Why? I’ve hunted a lot now, I’m experienced. I know how much I can drink before things get out of hand, and even you were amazed by my self-control.”

“We can’t go,” he said sternly.

“Why not?”

“The Barzeckis will outcast you, Madeline. You’re only half… they’ll… they’ll leave you for dead. And they’ll make you miserable up until the hunt.”

“I want to go. Isn’t it some sort of rite of passage?”

“For the Bardzecki’s maybe! But not for the Lockwoods. We’ll go on a family vacation this winter to Hawaii. We always do. That’s our tradition.”

I slammed the drawer shut. “Fine.”

“Madeline,” Rick called as I was about to leave the room. “That isn’t why you were in here. What were you looking for?”

I shook my head, refusing to look at him. “Nothing. There’s nothing I want from anyone in this house.”

I lay down on my bed after that, furious.

What does that mean? I’m only half? He’s an impure blood, too, and he does business with a pure blood… Christov accepted me as half. I’m just as good as them. I hunt the same… I…
“Madeline, did you hear me?” Natalie shouted, jumping on my bed. “I found it! I found the blood book!

 

by Sabrina Yates

My Darling

My Darling
If you aren’t careful you’ll hurt someone close to you.
It is easy for you to keep people from you.
Be careful, for you can hurt yourself too.
You are a gun.

My Darling
It may be too heavy for you to wield.
Must you let someone close to you,
Just  to push them away?
You are a sword.                        

Friendship and joy tainted by heartbreak.
Oh, you My Darling are truly a weapon of mass destruction

Respect

Do you hear my cries?
Do you see through my anger?
Who are you to call me unreasonable-
Have you ever been through my worst of pains?
Have you ever experienced my darkest days?
Who are you to judge my life as a game-
Do you know the extent of torture I face daily?

Do you know the amount of sadness I experience?

Who are you to call me out as an embarassment?

Seriously

You don’t know my life
You don’t know my family
You don’t know me
I experience hell
I experience bliss
Yet you still will never know my full story
Respect others while respecting yourself
Maybe others will see who truly is embarassing themselves.
by Renee Lee

Crooked

Deep breaths that end with a cloud of smoke

unwanted thoughts that lead to nights of insomnia

an action that ends with unforgettable happiness
Take a breath

Get a good night of sleep

you’ll do something that makes you happy
Every obstacle once thought of as unfathomable

will become an obstacle that is easily overturned
Hope is not an answer- it’s a question

 

by K.T. Farr

Madeline- Part 14

I managed to walk away from this feeding, instead of crashing and sleeping in the wilderness like last time. We were lucky we were at the resort off-season; there were no late-night walkers lingering at the edge of the property.

Rick carried our victim back to the room, and set him on a table to recover.

“It doesn’t take long to recover from a feeding,” he reassured me. “Since the incisions are so small, they close up easily. Claire will bandage them up, why don’t you go get some rest.”

I nodded wordlessly, and turned toward the room.

“Hey Rick,” I said, angling my body toward him.

He looked up at me over the victim’s body and raised a curious eyebrow.

“Nothing…” I said suddenly.

“Okay? Is everything all right.”

“What is the blood book?” I finally asked.

I saw his jaw tighten, and his still-visible fangs nearly broke the skin.

“Who told you about it?”

“So it’s real… I dreamt about it. And somewhere, somehow it seems familiar. I can picture it in my mind. Some little latin book I found a while ago. Ah, my head hurts.”

“Why don’t you just go to bed?” Claire suggested, emerging from the master bedroom. “You’re tired, aren’t you?”

I shook my head dizzily, and reached out for the wall. I was exhausted, how was I even standing?

“I have to go to bed, I’m so sorry. I’ll see you all in the morning.”

Claire smiled and nodded as she retrieved a pack of Band-Aids from her robe pocket.

I collapsed onto the bed and instantly fell into a deep sleep.

“Madeline, what’s wrong with you? Where is your strength?”
“MacKenzie?”

“Who else dumb-dumb?”

“Am I dreaming?”

“No. You’re walking on the moon.”

“Cut the sass, munchkin. This doesn’t feel like a dream.”

“That’s because it’s a special kind of dream. We aren’t pure bloods like the others, but we are family. We share a bloodline, which means we have our own powers. Powers they don’t have.”

“Like…”

“Dreamwalking. What I’m doing now. I walked into your dreams.”

“Okay? Do you have any reason for being here?”

“I meant what I said earlier. You need to wake up. There are things they’re not telling you. Things they’re keeping from you. On purpose. I understand, because I’m the youngest. People never tell me anything either. But I’ve learned how to get the important information. Most of it is in that book.”

“The blood book?”

“Obviously. I gave it to you to help you… you just weren’t careful enough with it. Momma made you forget about it.”

“Why would she do that?”

“That book is powerful. Knowledge makes people powerful.”

“What’s in the book, MacKenzie?”

“Histories, prophesies. Secret truths… Only pure bloods are supposed to read it.”

“But you read it? And you understood it?”

“Of course. I’m a genius, remember? I’ve got to go. The sun is coming up.”

“It’s been two minutes!”

“Haha… that’s cute. Bye Madeline.”

I shot open my eyes, and sure enough the room was flooded with sunlight. In the kitchen, signs of life were already present. I walked groggily down the hall and found Claire and Natalie seated at the table painting their nails. Their hair and makeup were already perfected.

“Are we going somewhere today?”

“We’re in the Hamptons, of course we are! Time to shop till we drop, ladies,” Claire exclaimed, raising her hand to examine her manicure.

“You can’t go like that,” Natalie said, without lifting her eyes, “go change.”

I ignored her backhanded insult and asked, “Where’s Rick and…”

“Rick took Sam home. Sam said he wasn’t feeling well.”

“I wonder why,” I grumbled. “I’ll go shower and get dressed. I’ll be ready in an hour.”

We hit up Bloom on Madison St. first. It was so cluttered with antique furniture I struggled to maneuver myself through the rustic mirrors and rickety coffee tables. Claire didn’t hesitate to take out her credit card.
“I’ll take that set of dining chairs. And ooh, that tea set. Ah, what a lovely chandelier! We could use it in the beach house couldn’t we?” She slipped the credit card into the clerk’s hand as she continued marveling all the vintage wonders.

I was examining a mirror with hand-carved wooden edges when I saw him appear. His reflection materialized next to mine, and he adorned it with that devilish smile of his.

Christov motioned me outside; I looked around, then bolted out of the door.

“What are you doing here?” I asked, laughing.

“The question is why didn’t you invite me! Are you that bored of me already?”
“No, of course not,” I smiled. I nervously wrestled a stray hair back into my high ponytail. “I’m glad you came… but we weren’t allowed to have guests.”

“Well at least my parents play by different rules.”

I looked up at him confused. Behind his head, the brilliant noon sun shone, crowning him with light and beauty.

“The Bardzecki’s back home have this tradition…” he began, “it’s a massive hunt. The whole clan comes from whatever corner of the world they’re living in back to Russia. It’s winter time, so we know no one would dare stop us from taking over the wilderness for one wild night. This year, I convinced my father to invite the Lockwoods.”

I grinned excitedly, but also somewhat guiltily. Somehow this hunt didn’t sound as civilized as the ones we did once a week. “What did Rick say?”

“He said that he was concerned about you. He doesn’t think you’re ready…”

“Of course I am!” I shouted, “I’ll convince him, don’t worry.”

Christov smiled and stepped in, closing the space between us abruptly. His mind was buzzing with thoughts I couldn’t begin to decipher.

“How did last night’s hunt go?” he whispered.

“Okay. The kid survived.”

He drew up the corners of his mouth into a playful smile. “Good, no point in letting innocents die, right? We’re not savages.”

I nodded.

“Where to next?”

“Claire said something about some store… Blue and Cream. Then we’ll meet Rick and MacKenzie at…” my mind flashed suddenly to last night and my dream. “Christov!”

“That’s my name,” he laughed.

“You’re a pure blood.”

“So they tell me… what’s going on?”

“Have you heard of something called the blood book?”

His spine straightened, his eyes sharpened. “Why do you ask?”

“I don’t know, it’s just…”

“It’s just a book of stories. Like Aesop’s Fables, but for vampires. It’s all nonsense so just forget about it.”

“But I don’t think…”

“Madeline,” his voice was a magnet for my attention. “Forget…”

“Christov Bardzecki?” Claire said as she stepped out of the store.

I shook my head and tried to focus my eyes on Claire, but all of a sudden I felt faint.

“What brings you here?” Claire continued.

“Oh, nothing, just thought I’d stop by to see my favorite family! That color looks incredible on you, Mrs. Lockwood. What would you call that, chartreuse?”

“Hmm, more of a canary yellow I’d say. But in this lighting I suppose…”

“Can we go already? This conversation is making my brain hurt,” Natalie interrupted.

“Well, I suppose we should be going if we want to stay on schedule. Would you like to come along, Christov?”

He shot a sideways glance at me before answering, “No, thank you, I should be getting back to the city. My dad wanted me working in the store today. So I’ll be taking off. I’ll be seeing you all shortly though. Apparently my dad and Mr. Lockwood are going into business together.”

“So I hear, expanding your father’s grocery company, isn’t that right?”

“Yes, but dad’s a total goof at the numbers. He needs Mr. Lockwood’s financial expertise.”

“Is that what Dmitri said? He’s too kind! And Rick is already so proud, you better not repeat that around him! Well, see you soon Christov. Have a safe drive home.”

“Goodbye, Mrs. Lockwood. Natalie, Madeline.” He left us then, his hand brushing mine as he departed.

 

by Sabrina Yates