Painting in Acrylic by @therealpaul
For those of you who missed the post of the release, I briefly explained how the series began as an idea for a Young Adult novel, and that I had in fact written what amounts to a novella taking place the summer before REBORN begins, and I decided to release it here on steemit.
Jenna sat on the bed in the guestroom trying to get her emotions under control. It took a few minutes before she could breathe normally. Not the same situation, she thought, Jess was bound to have this happen the way she's been going lately, and honestly it could have been worse than Nate. She took a deep breath and got to her feet.
Not all men suck, she told herself. It had become a sort of mantra for her, to remind herself that all guys weren't the same. Yes they were led around by their penis's, but that was probably just as annoying for them as it was for everyone else. After a few more minutes she gathered herself enough to leave the room and head for the kitchen, which was empty. She could see a few kids standing around and talking on the back patio, but a glance through the living room windows showed her most of the cars were gone.
She heard a noise on the stairs that led to the bedrooms and recognized Nate’s voice. A moment later he and Jess appeared in the entryway to the kitchen and her sister's entire countenance had completely changed.
She was smiling brightly as she announced, "We're going to the park to take a walk.”
Jenna nodded. Nate was fidgeting and she decided to give him a break, allowing a small smile to form on her face.
He smiled widely back. "Don't worry, we’ll catch up to you at grassroots!”
Jess laughed like he’d just told an insanely clever joke and Jenna shook her head in bemusement as she watched them walk outside and get into Nate’s car. As they backed down the driveway Jenna debated whether she wanted to look for the rest of the girls but decided against it. Just in case they disregarded her request, or command rather, to drop the sexual issue. She decided to walk down to the lake instead, making her way to the stone fort for a little solitude.
Once she was there she stood in front of the small structure, wondering not for the first time what it had been used for. It was enclosed on three sides, the back side of it built right into the side of the cliff wall. The front of it was a gaping hole and she stepped up into it and contemplated the dirt landslide that had fallen through the back where the stone had collapsed, presumably from the weight of the ground. Years ago Anna, Jess, Macey and herself had tried to shovel it to make more floor space, an endeavor that ended in sweaty failure. She smiled slightly as she recalled that particular exercise in futility, suddenly wishing they were all twelve years old again, their biggest concern whether or not their parents would let them stay over for dinner, or better yet-spend the night.
She sighed heavily as the memory faded and climbed up the dirt mound. She popped through the opening at the top and hoisted herself onto the stone roof. It was extremely sturdy, something that never failed to amaze her. It also sported an excellent and very private view, with the trees blocking civilization off on one side, the beach going on for miles of state park on the other, and the lake stretching out for miles in front. The water was slightly rough this morning and she found the sound of the waves rolling into shore soothing in a way few other things could be.
As she sat down on the cement a faded picture carved into the stone caught her eye, making her laugh. It featured a heart with the initials A.P. and M.V. -Anna Preston and Mert Vandergogh- an old man who lived on the street that Macey used to tease Anna about relentlessly, insisting that she had a thing for him. And of course it was Macey who had made the carving, right around the same time as they had tried to dig out the fort.
Ahh to be twelve again, she thought once more. It meant more to her than it did to most, since for her it had literally been the last year of her innocence. She leaned back on her hands and stared up at the clear blue sky, sending a curse on the ether to a man named Miles Johnson. A monster who forced himself on young girls, tearing apart their lives without a shred of remorse. A monster who, thanks to her silence, was probably still doing it to this day.
She grimaced, fighting back a wave of guilt. There was no sense in this line of thought. It was done and over with, it couldn’t be changed and it was too late to do anything about it. Four years too late.
She turned her head and glanced up the side of the cliff behind her as the sound of the girl’s voices drifted to her from somewhere above. Sucking in a deep breath she got to her feet and took one last look around, memorizing the beauty of this place, using the image to ward off any bad ones trying to surface. She exhaled slowly and turned to go back the way she’d come.
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