Gwendolyn Gimmal desperately wants an invitation to the mysterious Gimmal Gala where her family’s coveted ring is bestowed upon new inductees. It’s not that she particularly likes bling, but because she knows it will unlock exciting secrets and reveal what she believes will be her true life’s path. Her younger brother, Gage, also wants to attend the party, but mostly for the food.
uncle’s house, as she did every day after school. Her dad usually got home late. Her mom, like always, was gone. Gwen knew
that her aunt would be baking up delicious treats for her mail order cookie and
tea business. If she timed it right, she would get to sample the latest
creations. She put on her shoes and tied them to just the right snugness. Then she put on her backpack, adjusted the
straps to distribute the staggering weight of her advanced textbooks so she
wouldn’t topple over. She affixed a baseball cap over her unruly auburn hair at
just the right angle to avoid sun exposure on her pale skin. Never too early to prevent wrinkles, she
thought. She did a couple of calf raises and shrugged her shoulders, warming up
her muscles for the journey. Leaving the outside light on, she exited the side
door, locked it, took a deep breath, and set off in the direction of her aunt’s
Gwen let herself into the side entrance that led directly into the pantry. Like
a snake shedding its skin, Gwen slithered out of her backpack and coat, and
left them in a pile on the floor, where they would stay until she begged her
Uncle Stan to give her a ride home. The
smell of cookies lured her into the kitchen. Through the smoke, she could make
out the shape of her Aunt Gerri standing at the stove working her magic.
narrowly missed her eyebrows that had just grown back. At
least all that time practicing my ninja moves came in handy, somewhere, she thought. She belly-crawled to the safety
of the kitchen island and hid behind it until the sparks stopped flying. Gwen never felt more at home than she did
right here. Even after the crushing
disappointment of her brother discovering her hiding spot, again, and the
dreadful day she had had at school, Gwen was comforted by the familiar smoke
and flying objects in this kitchen.
let her mind wander as she watched Gage balance on rocks while attempting to
cross Coghill Creek. Their houses were located on sloping, treed lots with a
creek that flowed past at the back of the properties. The stream emptied into
Lake Erie at the southernmost part of Kingsville, the small town where
generations of her family had always lived.
He wobbled once, twice, and then lost the battle as his sneaker-clad
foot dunked into the water up to his ankle.
Gage owned rubber boots but he refused to wear them, saying “That was
like admitting defeat before you even started”. So instead Gage had the
largest, smelliest, wet shoe collection going. Usually watching her brother
acting like an idiot was enough to distract her, but not today. Her mind kept
replaying the humiliating events of the day. It had all started when Gwen got
to school this morning. It was raining,
her hair frizzed and her glasses fogged.
Gwen attempted to navigate the busy hallways peering through her misty
glasses. The bell rang and Gwen rushed to class. BIG mistake! Before she knew
what was happening, she bounced off of something. Her books went flying and her
shoes made a loud, moist squeak. “I am
sooo sor…” Gwen’s apology stopped short when she realized who she had run
into. It was Nicole, the self- appointed leader of the popular girls. Gwen dove onto the ground to retrieve her
you shouldn’t break wind in public. It’s not very ladylike.” Nicole watched Gwen’s horrified expression
with pleasure. “Perhaps if you did something with that mess you call hair, you
would be able to see where you were going.”
point out that it was her foggy glasses and not her hairdo that was to blame.
She fled to the bathroom to scrape together what was left of her dignity. Not a
great start to her day, and it only got worse.
Enter the Giveaway: