CHAPTER ONE I SEE TRIXIE
She lived a very boring life in her very boring home. Everything was always the same with the same black and white homes and gardens with nothing but white roses she was surrounded with. It’s not like Ella had anything against white roses in fact she adored them, but everything in her town just felt so painfully repetitive that it gave Ella a feeling of great disappointment, so she wouldn’t go outside unless she had to or if something exciting happened most of the time. Also, the thorns on the roses reminded her faintly of barbed wire that kept her trapped. Sometimes Ella felt like a princess in a tall tower waiting for something thrilling to save her from the giant dragon that is her own dull life.
It wasn’t the worst place to be. It was safe, and she did have two loving parents to take care of her, but they still weren’t the most supportive of her. If you haven’t guessed it by now Ella was a big fan of fairy tales and just about anything that was fiction. She always preferred the original stories more than the sugar coated stories that are now children’s cartoons made for overprotective parents who don’t want their children to know anything about the dangerous world we live in.
All day the only thing she would do is read these stories, pretend she was in them, or write her own stories with her own original characters. Her parents didn’t like how she would never go outside and just sit all alone in her room while she was working on her stories. They would rather her to make some friends and learn how to depend on others instead. You see, as an only child Ella was used to doing almost everything all by herself and even though being independent isn’t the worst trait someone could have it did end up getting her into trouble more times than she can count on her fingers. Her parents really do think she’s getting too old for her little fictional world. They’re worried if she keeps this up she will continue to have trouble with making friends in the future.
Right now Ella is drawing on the carpet in her room. Her paper was placed on a hardcover book to make it easier to draw without ripping it. There were numerous colored pencils that had been scattered across the wooden floor and of course on the carpet she sat on. There were even some that have rolled all the way underneath her dressers where they would hide, but that won’t protect them from what’s gonna happen. This story isn’t about them though so it doesn’t matter anyway.
Ella wants to draw an interesting character, someone who doesn’t go by what she calls society’s rules. She reaches out for the pink and magenta colored pencils as her mind wanders on and on looking for a story that can fit this character. She draws the little swirls that represent the girls hair over and over until she’s filled up enough space on the paper. While Ella isn’t the best artist she still tries her hardest to capture what her character looks like in her head and put it on paper.
When she was finally finished she admired the character she saw. A brave, crazy, but still overall a nice girl who isn’t afraid to express herself. While drawing this person, her mind already thought of the perfect name while wandering. Blythe, I know it sounds like a name you wouldn’t hear often but Ella adored it. Blythe is a name meaning carefree and that’s probably what this character represents the most. She starts to write down all of the details about the character and everything starts to tell a story. Blythe would be a girl who is invited to a castle because the king demanded her to come. The reason he asked her to come was to have her marry his son but she doesn’t want to. Blythe now needs to find out a way to escape the castle and run away from the kingdom.
All of a sudden Ella’s dad walks in her room. “Oh hey dad! I just finished drawing the most incredible character ever! Do you want to see it?” Her dad just looks at her and smiles, “all right let’s see what you drew this time Ella.” She walks to the little carpet in her room, grabs the drawing and walks back to show her dad. “I named her Blythe! She’s so smart and brave!” Her dad looks at it and says, “Huh you decided to give her pink swirly hair... how odd? It’s a beautiful drawing Ella but we really have to go to the kitchen your mom prepared lunch.”
Ella could tell her dad was lying to her face she was young not stupid. She learned once that you could tell a lot about a person from how they move to express themselves. She could see her dad’s smile was fake because he showed his bottom teeth in his smile he was pushing his lips too far apart and honestly it made the smile look more fake than genuine. Ella decided not to make a big deal about it and made sure to do a more genuine looking fake smile and said “Alright dad just let me put my colored pencils up first!”
She starts to run and grab every single pencil except for the ones that had rolled underneath her dresser so now she can’t see them. Then she shoved them all back in the box not bothering to put them in the right order. Her dad had already walked to to kitchen and started to wait for her. After Ella finished putting her drawing supplies away she speed walked to the kitchen, she was starving.
“Oh Ella! There you are! Let me fix you a plate real quick you can go sit at the table!” Her mother said as she started to get Ella her salad. Once Ella looked over on the counter and saw they were having salad again she started to lose her appetite. Ella didn’t want to be around in this place. While she still of coarse loves her parents with all of her heart she just prefers to stay in her own world where she was doing more amazing and eccentric things than she ever got to do in real life. The most dangerous and risky thing her parents let her do is go to public school. Ella felt like real life didn’t really like her so in return Ella didn’t really like real life.
Ella’s mom places her plate in front of her on the round wooden table with the beautiful white table cloth on it with the forks and spoons in there rightful place. Ella just stares at her food looking at the little lettuce forest she has encountered many times before and grown to be very familiar with. In this forest there were little carrots that bathed in their dressing river with the artificial bacon bits her mother bought to make it seem more appetizing. Spoiler alert, it didn’t work.
After taking a bite and swallowing to avoid the talking with your mouthful lecture Ella asked “Why always salad?” Her mom looks surprised at the question as she pours Ella’s water. “Why would you ask something like that Ella?” Her mother continues by saying, “You know how things work in this house.”Ella looks at her mom and says, “We always have the most uninteresting meals, the most uninteresting events, and we live in the most uninteresting place. Why don’t we ever do anything exciting?” As her mom places her drink on the table she responds with, “We don’t need anymore excitement, we have family game night isn’t that exciting enough for you.” Ella raises an eyebrow while in her head she’s questioning her mom’s definition of fun.“Mom I really don’t mean to offend you, but playing solitaire at 6:00pm to 6:30pm isn’t exactly the most interesting thing to do during your free time in my opinion.”
She takes a sip of water while her mother responds, “Well you need to be in bed at a decent hour. You should be grateful for everything you already have, so be a good kid and be quiet!” Ella could feel the years of anger start to pile up inside her.“All you do all day is cook, clean, and look up mother tips on the internet because you’re so scared of being a bad mom that you’re scared to do anything else! Tell me mom, is it such a bad thing to wish for more out of life?! To wish you can do amazing things every day or even at least once in your life?!” Finally, Ella’s dad decides to speak up “Ella what has gotten into you? If this is about that toy that’s been seen on tv commercials guilting me into getting it for you isn’t going to work for me.” That accusation made Ella feel so done with this conversation at this point.“No this isn’t about toys. I don’t want toys, or to be trapped in this boring black and white house with nothing interesting to do, I don’t want any condescending remarks about my work, and I absolutely don’t want to ever stop writing my stories, all I want is to have something important and amazing to do like an amazing quest in a game but for real,” said Ella.
Her parents do nothing but stare at her for a few seconds in shock. They aren’t exactly thrilled about what she had just told them. Her parents never really agreed with anything she did so this didn’t do anything good for them at all. “Ella! Why can’t you stop speaking nonsense and act like a normal child for once! Look what you wish for is never gonna happen ok! You’re going to grow up and find a nice guy and have a perfect family with him! That’s why it’s best for you to forget about your fantasy world. You’ll be perfectly happy like I am with your dad!” Ella stands up and yells as loud as she can, “Does this look perfect to you mom?! Just admit you don’t love me you never listen to me! I’m not stupid I hear you argue with dad every single night about how you only had me to save your marriage!!!” Ella knew she touched a nerve, but she didn’t care. Her family wanted to sit down and pretend everything was perfect as if everything was sunshine and rainbows. She was sick and tired of pretending and wasn’t going to be happy just because her parents told her to. Telling someone when they’re sad to just be happy is like telling a corpse to just be alive. “Go to your room!!!” Screamed her father. “Fine! Send me to my bedroom! It’s not going to make you any less wrong!”
She was glad to go to her bedroom, because she didn’t want to give her parents the satisfaction of seeing her cry and in her room she had her stories and her world. If anything her parents were kind of ignorant to reward her with something that was meant to be a punishment. When a child’s parents don’t approve of something that they do that usually fuels them with the energy they need to disobey them as much as possible. Even at just the age of 10 Ella was no fool you see, she understood the world just as well as anyone older than her would probably even better. In the real world there was only entitlement, ignorance, and people who just can’t let people be themselves just because they don’t approve of it. That’s the reason Ella refused to be apart of the real world and poured her heart and soul into every word written on the pages of her journal. She would cry for her characters misfortune even though she was the one causing it, and sometimes write about her own misfortunes in a different form.
While holding back the tears in her eyes, Ella grabbed her plate along with her glass of water and walked down the hall to her room. She had locked the door in case her parents had any ideas about walking in and trying to lecture her just so she won’t get in their way or annoy them but make it sound like they’re actually trying to be good parents. Ella has never really been the kind of girl to take action. While she was independent she would rather just observe then suggest her ideas in a inconspicuous way making the target think it’s their idea so they are more willing to do it for her without even realizing it. The way she saw most people is that they were just pieces of her plan unless she saw something more in them like being smart, kind, or brave which wasn’t very often.
While sitting in her room she was thinking about what she could do today since she would be stuck in her room. She looked over to the pile of unfinished books that she had bought with her mom’s money off of amazon. Another thing about our main character is that she had a bad habit whenever it came to procrastinating. She was thinking that she could just read one of them but being the person she is she immediately ditched that thought and decided to dress up and pretend she’s in the story. She walked over to her closet and grabbed a orange dress with short puff sleeves and it was so long it almost touched the floor. She smiled and was already starting to forget the argument with her parents from earlier that had made her so upset.
After she put her dress on, she skimmed the first few chapters of her book to see what else she could do to make her look like the character. The book she was reading didn’t really have any pictures in them so she had to work with the words on the paper. That’s probably one of the reasons all of the students at her school gave her questionable looks while she was reading it. Not much longer than a minute she had already figured out a few more small details for her to get into character.
Ella went over to her dresser and opened the top drawer that had a big brush and two combs right next to two little old crayon boxes. One was filled with bobby-pins and the other one was filled with hair ties. The last two items that could be found was a dark blue hairdryer her mom got her last Christmas and her mom’s hairspray she had taken when she wasn’t paying attention. Her mom was so oblivious that she just assumed she used it all, threw it out, and forgot about it. Ella took the bobby-pins, a hair tie, the hairspray, and of course a brush to fix her already knotted hair she had sworn she brushed that morning.
Almost immediately she went to grab the little wooden chair in the corner since she was just short enough to not see herself completely in her mirror. She picked up the chair with not much struggle since it wasn’t that big and very light. It was better than dragging it across the wooden floor and having to hear the wretched squeaking noise that action would cause. Finally she places the chair in front of her dresser where her mirror hanged on top and let’s out a sigh of satisfaction from completing the task on her own.
Ella steps on the chair and starts to brush her hair gently and gets her hair prepared to be styled taking a few bites of her lunch while she does it. She uses a hair tie and twist all of her hair into a bun then holds it with one hand while she grabs her bobby-pins with the other hand. Once she put in the first two she could finally use both of her hands again. She looked very focused as she tried to place everything right to make sure her hair wouldn’t come loose unless she took it down on purpose. When she was finished with her hair she sprayed it with her hairspray to make sure it was less likely to get messed up.
All of that had only taken a little less than twenty minutes of her time. She hopped down from her chair and took her shoes and socks off since the character she was trying to look like hardly ever wore shoes. She decided to grab her book and start flipping through the pages looking for scenarios she could act out. It didn’t take long for her to find what she was looking for.
She stared at the wall and tried to imagine she was talking to Dante who was one of the characters in the story she was reading. “Dante! What did you expect me to do?! Just sit around and wait for someone else to help the kid because if so no one else was going to!” said Ella who kept in mind not to actually scream since her neighbors would hear her. She waited a few seconds before she spoke again, “I bet it would be okay if you stood up to him you know why?” Again, Ella waited a short while. “It’s because you’re not a girl. I stood up to those barbaric jerks who had nothing better to do then mess with a child and I beat them too but apparently that’s still not enough I’m just as strong as you are!” She said that last part with tears in her eyes. She really had a habit of getting way too into character sometimes.
That was basically how the rest of Ella’s day went. Some people would look at her pace around her room mumbling to herself and sometimes jumping around like a crazy person and not really think anything of it, but to Ella it seemed to be her one and only way to escape her tall tower that is reality. Ella actually did end up finishing her book and she cried at the end when Dante sacrificed himself for his family, but there can’t be a story without the sad parts. If that were the case, then there wouldn’t be a story to be told at all.
When it started to get dark Ella had started to clean up everything. She put away the plate and glass cup from her lunch, she moved the chair back to its corner, and put everything back in her dresser. The one thing she didn’t really bother to do was make her bed since she was going to go to bed soon anyway.
All of a sudden, Ella heard a noise from outside. It sort of sounded like a car door opening and closing. She opened her black curtains just enough to take a peek outside, but she didn’t see any cars out there. This made Ella a little confused and it made her feel uneasy as well. She started to back away from the window after she let go of the curtains. Her hand was on her chest she could feel her heartbeat start to quicken. You would probably think a car door isn’t something to panic about but Ella had a feeling she couldn’t quite explain. Something about this seemed sketchy to her and she wanted nothing more than to know why at the moment.
Her gut was telling her to jump towards her bed and hide under her covers, and like always she decided to listen to it. She couldn’t help but think of a bunch of what ifs the few minutes she was hiding. As the writer, I will allow Ella’s fears to remain private for now at least. The more she thought the more she panicked. There was still a small part of Ella that tried to reason with herself in order to calm her down. That small part of her ran away when she heard her parents start to scream. This wasn’t like their normal arguing kind of scream, this was without a doubt a scream of panic.
There were some unfamiliar voices she heard after her parents stopped screaming. Two of the voices she could tell belong to two adult women. The last one she couldn’t really tell since it sounded really muffled. Ella knew it wouldn’t be long until they had found her, but she couldn’t go anywhere. There wasn’t anywhere to hide in her room and if she walked into the hallway she would definitely be seen from the living room. Well, you probably couldn’t call it a LIVING room anymore. Also the window in her room was not one you could open and if she had made an attempt to break it she could get cut by the glass and the adults would catch her in less than a second. After all she could hear at least three of them and there was only one of her.
Then Ella remembered that she locked the door earlier when she was fighting with her parents. Remembering that helped her calm down a little bit. Yeah let’s just say that calm feeling ditched her as soon as she heard the door unlock from the outside. She should’ve known if she knew how to pick a lock with nothing but a broken plastic fork at least one of them, would have known how as well.
She laid in her bed paralyzed with fear. At the moment the only thing that separated Ella from a statue was her racing heart that felt like it would explode out of her chest at any moment. The door opened slowly making noise as foot steps could be heard by the now terrified Ella who held onto her blanket as tight as she possibly could. The first unknown woman said, “Anyone in here?” She then laughed obviously seeing Ella who wasn’t in the best hiding place if I am being honest.
Ella would have been a bit offended by that sarcastic remark if she wasn’t in grave danger at the moment. The second woman snatched the Blanket off of the young girl making Ella shriek from the fear. The first woman laughed again and said, “What are you gonna do now? Your mommy and daddy aren’t here to protect you now. You’re all alone in the world.” Ella stared at her with her dark brown eyes filled with tears wide open with fear and told her, “I was always alone. Nothing is different now.” The third person walked up to her. Ella could now tell he was a man. He told her, “Does it really matter? You’re about to watch us turn this town into a bonfire starting here. You won’t remember any of this once you’re trapped in your mind with the rest of the children so why should I even bother explaining or keeping this information from you?”Ella froze again. She was smart enough to know when someone else was right even if she didn’t exactly understand what the man meant at the time just like you the reader might not understand.
That night what the man said would happen was all true. It was known as the big fire of 2025. The town Blackstone became nothing but ash that night. The same night hundreds children ages ten through thirteen who lived in the town or near it went missing. Nobody knows what happened to them except for the children themselves and of course their captors and me who is here to tell you what happened to them. Ladies, gentlemen, and people in general this is where our story begins.