Chapter 6- Redefining Normality

Hey Bloggers,

I am excited for my very last chapter of my CYOA story. After reviewing my previous chapters I have come to the conclusion that I will be calling my book “The Train to Brooklyn” Brooklyn is a city in America and instead of making the story about a train ride to the actual place its about a train ride that affected Brooklyn the girl and her journey through physical hardship and mental disbelief. In a way it is a train ride to Brooklyn because we are discovering more about her in every chapter but we’re on the tracks to find the station in her heart. The title can give many meanings to many different people this is what I interpreted the title to mean. You can comment below what you think of the title and what it means to you.

Last week Brooklyn was running the first few meters of the home stretch.

Here were the three options:

  1. The woman insisted on driving the gang home herself but there are major complications on the way…
  2. The woman drops the gang off at the police station and to their relief without trouble…
  3. The woman gets violently ill on the way and Mr Victus has to take charge…

The majority of commenters voted for option one.

 

Slowly the twins and Mr Victus nodded off to sleep. I didn’t dare take my eyes of the little squirrel lying in my lap. I observed at his bulging belly and gazed upon him with tenderness in my eyes. This little squirrel was different. He may have been wild, but somehow this was my little squirrel.

I noticed my eyelids closing but my brain was still awake. Though I was stunned and thoroughly rattled by the last day or so I let myself sleep knowing I needed and deserved it. Just as I am allowing myself to enter my own mind and to release the tension stuck between the folds of my mind the car came to an abrupt halt just hours away from civilization, the frustration bubbled in my body.

I wake up Camila and we meet the kind woman around the front of the car.

 

“What should we do Mrs-“

 

“Jeanette, you can call me Jeanette.”

 

I can’t believe we haven’t inquired for her name and she has already driven us halfway towards the border of the neighbouring city.

 

Jeanette heaves at the hood of the car and pries it open. Inside lies a maze of red, green, blue, yellow and orange wires that tangle around my brain and make me dizzy. But I see what I must do. I feel the confusion channelling through Camila and Jeanette’s brains. I immediately start work. The smoke circles my head and snakes its way through the wires.

 

Behind me everyone emerges out of the miniature car and gathers around me. Then there are shouts, shouts of encouragement. For a normal person this would of course encourage them but to me these are like little golf balls being thrown at you when you’re on a tight rope. It distracts me and pressures me. I begin to sweat. Little beads form on my brow. I can’t take the pressure. I back away from the car and stumble on to the side of the road were I lie down and let my tears roll down my face. I am not crying from the pressure but I am crying for the pain. What we have been through in the last two days has been unbearable and I seam to be the only one game enough to show emotion. As well as feeling exhausted I am proud of myself; I can feel what others feel. Emotion.

 

The others continue to work on the car but Eva strides over to were I lay.

 

“I get it, I get you.”

 

I sit up longing to talk, to talk to Eva. My heart aches and my soul screams, I have something to say.

 

“Normal” I croak, it may be a croak but it is a word. I smile for my achievement, for my newfound emotion, for my newfound friends.

 

“There isn’t a thing” Eva looks longingly into the distance, her eyes looking into another galaxy.

 

The miniature car behind us gives a weak groan before starting up again. We all clamber inside. We’re safe now, its homeward from here.

 

As we drive off into the horizon the sun sets on a city of sparkling lights. They dance in the horizon welcoming us home. Through this madness I have opened my eyes to the world. The world didn’t reject me, everybody has a purpose and everybody has a place. Mine is right here were I will continue my quest in life and fulfil my purpose.

 

My definition of normal: there is none. Normal is just a word used by those lacking confidence to rate and class others. We are all unique in our own way and our own way is unique. We should stop judging those who are different because none of use is the same. In the end normal is just a word among many that cannot define you. We are all so beautifully unique and we all need to except that because if we were all the identical the world would be so unbelievably boring we’d all want to die. Being unique is not a rope that ties you down but more wings that carry you into the world and start you on your journey of life.

Chapter 5- A long way home

Hey Bloggers,

Last week I posted chapter 4 of my ‘choose your own adventure’ story. Brooklyn, the twins and Mr Victus just escaped a close call with a group of highway robbers. Now they have come across something new.

Here were the three options:

  1. Brooklyn shakes the squirrel off her leg and carries on looking for a road.
  2. Brooklyn takes time to examine the squirrel before deciding what to do next.
  3. They see a road up ahead as they run for the road the squirrel follows them.

All commenters voted for option 3.

 

Up ahead in the dense undergrowth I catch a glimpse of a fast moving light. As the light zooms past we can hear the sound of the screeching tires and can smell the pungent odour of burning rubber and exhaust fumes.

“ROAD UPAHEAD!” Mr Victus’ husk voice wheezes, his excitement followed by a series of coughs. Camila cups her hand around his mouth.

“There could still be bandits in the bushes!” She whisper-shouts at Mr Victus. Mr Victus, taken back by her sudden outburst of fear and anger, hushes his coughing and pretends to not look frightened by the little girl.

I am not paying attention to those surrounding me, my attention and gaze is fixed upon the moving lights up ahead. ‘It is a highway.’ I tell myself. I gather the others and we quietly work our way through the seemingly abundant vegetation.

We eventually come to a clearing. Trekking for hours exhausted us so we rest under the shelter of an oak tree and I examine the berries growing on surrounding shrubs and bushes. I am so beat that I find myself drifting of to sleep.

I awake to Eva shaking me to wake up I turn to see Camila and Mr Victus anxiously waiting for me. I hurl myself onto my feet and am led to the safety of some near by blackberry bushes. I peer out to see why we are in hiding. Then I hear it, the snapping of twigs and rustle of leaves. So quite you can barely hear it. Someone was definitely on our trail. But it was too late to move, we just had to stay in the bush and pray that we wouldn’t be visible.

The rustling was coming closer and closer, until I new that the bandit was in the bush opposite us. I crossed my fingers and closed my eyes, ready for my life to end. When I was certain that the bandit was out in the open under the oak tree I opened my eye just a crack to see what weapon they beheld. But to my surprise there was no body there. I double-checked just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. Then I saw it, the little fury squirrel from the forest. There was no bandit in the bushes. The squirrel had followed us from the shrubbery near the train tracks.

I signalled to the others that it was safe and we cautiously emerged from the safety of our blackberry bush. I sat down, my back against the tree and let out a sigh. We were safe.

The little squirrel hopped onto my lap. I cringed. I am not an animal person. In fact I despise animals. But this squirrel made me feel different. I stared into his jet-black beady eyes and thought. The squirrel moved further up my tucked legs and rested his paw on my arm. At that moment my heart softened. I slid my legs into a crossed position and let the squirrel rest in my lap. I unfolded my arms and rested them on my legs. The squirrel took that as an invitation to crawl even further so he clawed up my stomach and I cupped my arms into a platform so he could sit. My heart opened to this little squirrel.

By the time everyone was rested and it was time to head towards the road, the squirrel was in a deep slumber and I didn’t have the heart to wake him so with one hand I slung my duffle bag over my shoulder and freed my arms to carry the little squirrel.

Standing at the side of a road waiting for a random car to pick you up is a very risky move but with the luck we were having we were very willing to take it. Camila stood there for half an hour signalling to every car that passed but none stopped. Then Eva tried, she waved and whistled and eventually a kind middle-aged woman picked us up in her miniature smart car. There was not enough room for all of us so Camila sat on Mr Victus’ lap and I squashed in next to Eva.

I was scared that the woman would refuse to transport a squirrel so I hid him in my duffle bag making sure he could breath. Thankfully he didn’t wake up the whole trip. Eva told the woman to take us to the nearest police office so they could drive us home…

  1. The woman insisted on driving the gang home herself but there are major complications on the way…
  2. The woman drops the gang off at the police station and to their relief without trouble…
  3. The woman gets violently ill on the way and Mr Victus has to take charge…

Remember to comment which option is your choice!

Chapter 2- A train ride to unknown

Last week I wrote my first chapter of my ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ story. The main character’s name is Brooklyn. She is a different type of girl, she sees life through three different aspects. Last week Brooklyn decided to put aside her worries and try making friends at a new camp. I left the story at “but the only respond my brain gives me is a limp hug and a surge of embarrassment as I realise everyone is staring at me…” here were the three options.

 

  • Her train comes and she heads off to camp to make new friends but there is a small drama on the way…
  • Brooklyn decides not to go and runs after her mum her mum doesn’t see her and drives off…
  • Brooklyn’s train never comes and the campers have to find another way to get to the campsite…

The majority of commenters voted for option number 1. So I will bend my story to go down that path.

 

As I clamber onto the train I notice that there are only about ten other kids quietly sitting on gum covered chairs. A camp leader approaches me; I try to appear busy looking for something in my bag. She doesn’t know that I won’t talk, no matter how hard she tries I want talk. “Hello Brooklyn!” How does she know my name?! “Come take a seat next to Camila and Eva.” I stand there feeling stupid, I turn around to see who the camp leader is pointing to. A warm faced girl with long curly blond hair. She gives me a reassuring smile and gestures for me to sit. “Hi I’m Camila and this is my sister Eva.” I lean forward to see who she is talking about. Another girl, she looks identical to Camila. She is playing a game on her phone, she sees me and gives me a slight nod and a groan. You can barely tell them apart, twins I suppose. Twins have always fascinated me, I don’t know why. “You won’t be needing that!” A thin, pale looking camp leader leans over the back of our bench and snatches Eva’s phone. “HEY!” Eva yells. But she is powerless against the tall woman now raising an eyebrow to show her annoyance. Camila sighs, as I glance over at Eva I see that everything around her is slowly turning red. I push the feeling to the back of my mind and carry on observing my surroundings.

All of a sudden some one is pulling at my arm, signalling to stand up. I quickly rise and turn to face one of the leaders. “Today we have a new camper her name is Brooklyn please do your best to make her feel welcome.” I freeze everyone is staring at me I see the lavatories behind small group of boys. Remembering that I had a big breakfast I approach the bathroom turning around again to see everyone still staring at me. I blush quickly close the door behind me and take sigh of relief. Sliding down the door I curl into a ball when something small and fragile slides out of my pocket. A photo of Grandma and me. Small tears race down my cheeks, and it starts to rain in my brain.

I hear a quit knocking at the door followed by ignorant pounding and Camilla’s soft voice “Eva don’t pound so hard you’re gonna break the door.” Eva sighs and I hear her footsteps fading. “Brooklyn are you okay?” I get myself off the floor and unlock the door. Camila steps inside and locks the door behind her. “What’s going on?” I try to talk. Everything around Camila goes pink and yellow. I know I can trust her. I try to think, how can I tell her what is going on? I point to my throat and make a cross.

“Brooklyn I don’t understand!”

I make a cutting sign near my vocal cords. Not the best way of expressing my sentence but she seems to understand.

“It’s okay I get it”

It’s nice to know I have made a dependable friend.

“Come on I want to show you something.”

I follow Camila to the front of the train.

“Hello Mr Victus”

“Hello Camila” A husky voice replies from the front of the train. He looks like a train driver.

We take a seat on two upturned milk crates. I recognise the road we are on from the multiple times Mum, Dad and Granny took us to the theme parks. We don’t go to the theme parks any more. There is no point; it is no fun without granny. I’ve never been to this camp before but I remember passing it on the way to the theme parks multiple times and know the route there quite well.

Up ahead I see a fork in the road. I realise this is no the way to camp. Camila has many badges on her sash so she has definitely been to this camp before. Why isn’t she noticing this? We’re going the wrong way!

I start making urgent signals to Camila. She stares at me with a puzzled look on her face. My actions get rapider with every meter that we approach the fork. Finally she gets it!

“Mr Victus, we’re going the WRONG WAY!” Camila screeches. I have never heard her raise her voice before; then again I have only known her for 20 minutes.

“Don’t be alarmed Camila, we’re eeerrrrmmm taking a shortcut.” He says unconvincingly.

“Mr Victus your voice, it’s really croaky and husky. You should rest when we get to camp!”

“That won’t be necessary” His voice deepens.

“Why ever not” Camila inquires

“Because we’re not going to camp.”

Option 1- Camila and Brooklyn slam the brakes and call the camp leader.

Option 2- Camila and Brooklyn think they’re just going out for one of the nature walks and go back into the body of the train.

Option 3- Camila and Brooklyn are called for dinner and make the camp leaders aware of where they’re going.

 

Chapter One – A Questioner

 

I’m a questioner, somebody that with every answer comes a set of a hundred new questions. But you see I cannot mentally bring myself ask these questions to anybody except the search engine whirring inside my brain. I have no condition, no mental illness, no disability or disease. I am just mute because I have lost all self-confidence and enthusiasm for speech. I’m not saying my life is terrible or anything because I know others have it a lot harder than I do, it’s just I feel like tiny robots have taken over my brain stopping me from saying or doing anything remotely intelligent or normal and preventing me from speaking to anybody but the city inside my head that is busily working in a twenty four by seven factory of ideas, questions, formulas and possibilities.

 

Sometimes I can accept myself for who I am. I just remember that normal is merely a word used to class and divide the social groups of this earth and to determine who should be what. But I soon realise that that is only a definition in a dictionary and in reality it doesn’t apply. Being the person I am I had to question the word normal, why can one word hurt or heal. Why can one word divide friends or stop friendships from forming. Why is it that this one word can class people, rank them and divide them from others? Why in some cases it taken as a joke and in others an offence? WHY CAN’T ONE WORD DO ONE THING? Not picking different definitions in different contexts.

 

Mum brought home a fluorescently coloured piece of paper today. It excited me because when I see bright colours I associate them to a kid toys and happiness. She handed it to me along with the words “Give it a try you might like it”. Of course being the person I am I had to open it right away. I unfolded the paper and started to read the writing, my eyes moving rapidly from page to page.

 

Summer Activities Camp

  • Make friends
  • Play games
  • Explore different activities such as hiking, rock climbing, treasure hunts and surfing
  • Interact with animals

Overnight stay for 2 nights buffet breakfast and dinners included.

 

Staring at the page the colour of scene in front of me starts to change colour. First a bright yellow signifying that I should give making friends a chance then a deep blue as in this is a bad idea. My mind seams to be battling with itself as if the robots in the headquarters of my brain are debating over my situation. Part of me wants to refuse any commotion but the majority of me wants to do this in my Grandma’s memory, in memory of her daring, adventurous spirit that empowered my every thought. She would always say to me “Never ever ever ever give up on life. Because one day you will look back and regret wasting your life on giving up.” So I run into the kitchen and give mum the nod. The nod that can explain everything I am thinking.

 

Even though I am hesitant I pack my bags and load the car. All I bring is one duffle bag with my name embroidered on it “Brooklyn” the last piece of art Grandma ever made. When she made it she told me “Brooklyn this was made with love. Remember me when you use this because I will not always be here physically.” At that point a single tear had raced down my cheek at the bare thought of my loosing her “But I will always be in her” and her big European finger rested on my heart. I gave a small nod and tried to be brave. That was the last time I saw my Grandma that was the last time I spoke a proper sentence or had a conversation.

 

Now as a hold the tattered duffle bag in my hands a million memories rush to my brain but I hold them back and continue loading my belongings.

 

When we reach the train station I see some camp leaders and a large group of kids waiting near by all wearing matching caps. All of a sudden the scene turns a very dark shade of grey. I know what it means but I push it to the back of my mind and start finding my way through the crowd, my hand tucked inside Mum’s.

 

As we approach the group a tall man gives me a light brown camper’s sash to put badges on and a yellow hat with a tree on it. As I realise it is time for parents to leave Mum kisses me on the forehead. “I’ll see you soon ok” I give a weak nod in reply. “You’ll be fine I love you,” she whispers. I want to say, “I love you too” but the only respond my brain gives me is a limp hug and a surge of embarrassment as I realise everyone is staring at me…

 

Vote for one of the following:

  1. Her train comes and she heads off to camp to make new friends but there is a small drama on the way…
  2. Brooklyn decides not to go and runs after her mum her mum doesn’t see her and drives off…
  3. Brooklyn’s train never comes and the campers have to find another way to get to the campsite…

 

Don’t forget to vote!

-Anjali

Choose my own Adventurous Character

Hi Bloggers,

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while (apart from my smart goals) my hands have been tied with unexpected arrivals and departures in my family.

This term instead of our passion projects (which are completed) we will be writing choose your own adventure stories on our blogs. What this means is that every week I will write a chapter of my story (it is a fictional story) and create three scenarios that change the it and that will predict the next chapter. Now this project requires audience participation. Every week comment on which path you want my story to take and the scenarios with the most votes will win. If it’s a draw either I will choose, get a vote from my family or I will repost and you can comment again on which scenario you like the best.

This week I will introduce you to my main character, next week I will write the first chapter of my book (I love writing creative stories!) I do a lot of reading so I imagine characters from books I have read and reimagine them, but I don’t just take one character from one book and give it a new hairdo. I take multiple characters from not just books but TV shows, real life, drawings and dreams. I form all those characters into one and detail that character until I am satisfied. So here goes.

Brooklyn Meyer is an interesting girl. She doesn’t blend in and she doesn’t stand out. Brooklyn is different in some ways but in others she is the same as everybody else. Well at least she tries to be. You see physically Brooklyn blends in, no different to anybody else. But mentally she is an inquisitive, personal, smart girl that can’t think inside the square because her brain is always 100 miles away from it.

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