Carol Cricket's Big Change
Dedicated to all you awesome dude/dudettes at this wiki,
who made me feel so at home with writing stories.
This is a short story about change that I wrote after Mom
found me out. I won't give up story writing and I hope you guys won't, either.
This isn't the end.
Carol had swum the length of the pool thirteen times now , and she still hadn't caught her friend. The local pool was the love of her life. It was a large, rectangular thing that deepened at the far side, and shallowed at the other side. The pool got as deep as ten feet, and as shallow as one foot for the especially young. Chapman pool had been there as long as Carol could remember. Her family often went there for a swim during the summer. The Crickets were a respectable lot. Caroline Charleston (Carol's mother) had long, glossy black hair and brown eyes. She was born in Beverly Hills and later moved to Columbus, Georgia. Carl Cricket had blond hair and sharp blue eyes. He was born in Cleveland , Ohio and later moved to Columbus, Georgia , where he met Caroline. The two married, and five years later , they had Beverly. Beverly Cricket had shiny black hair , like her mother's--her eyes were a sharp blue , though. Later , Caroline Cricket--better known as Carol--followed. She had blond hair and brown eyes. Next up--Jonathan and Charles Cricket--had blond hair and blue eyes. They were identical twins. The last one , Crystal Cricket , had black hair and brown eyes. As Carol's short/medium, straight blond hair whirled in the water , she heard a whistling sound. "Everyone out of the pool!" Called the lifeguard importantly. Carol groaned and climbed out of the pool. Mrs. Maraud threw a blue towel over her and called to Jennifer Maraud. Jenny had brown , plain hair and green , sparky eyes. She resembled her mother in every way. Mrs. Maraud had invited Carol to come to the pool with them. The fun had just been crashed by lightning clouds booming on the horizon. Mrs. Maraud said gently , "Let's not stay , girls , I need to cook dinner anyway." "What are we having?" Jenny asked. "Eggplant Casserole." Mrs. Maraud said bluntly. Jenny and Carol shared a meaningful look of disgust. They helped Mrs. Maraud clean up the towels and drinks they had brought. As the trek to the car began , rain began to gently patter on them. Their walking broke into a trot , and the three scrambled to the black minivan. Mrs. Maraud tossed the things into the trunk and the girls scuttered into the middle seats. The car started with a slight jerk , and Mrs. Maraud steered skillfully through the busy street of Chapman. Chapman was the recreational street of Columbus, Georgia. It was complete with a park, playground, soccer fields, softball fields, tennis areas, a pool, and a skinny , crowded street. What else does Chapman Street need? When Mrs. Maraud finally turned onto Pharley Road , the girls had seen at least twenty people running towards their cars. Not including those in strollers. The rain was a steady growl now. It was growing , sure enough. Soon the girls were talking loudly over the roar of the rain. Mrs. Maraud turned onto Phoron Drive to drop Carol off at her house. Phoron Drive jutted out to Fay Circle. The minivan drove to the bottom of the circle and pulled into the Cricket's driveway. "Bye , Carol , thanks for coming!" Mrs. Maraud said politely. "Thanks for inviting me! That was fun. Bye , Jenny , call me!" Carol Called as she scurried into the kitchen. Mrs. Cricket's hand caught Carol and dragged her safely in. She waved to Mrs. Maraud and turned to Carol. "Were you polite , young lady? You better have been! Because I am making some delicious stew. Caroline Cricket , don't slouch!" her mom's never ending scolding was also affectionate. Carol smiled. Her mom's hair always amazed her. Today it was curled to perfection and sprayed delicately in place. "You look great , Mom!" "Oh! Butter , butter!" Her mom said with great indignity. When someone complimented you to make you give them something , they called it butter because they're 'buttering you up'. Carol smiled innocently and gently reply in a voice soaked with butter , "Oh , no , Mom. I was only complimenting your pure beauty. There's no butter here at all!" Her mom raised an eyebrow. Throwing her hands in the air , she cried out , "Fine! You can have coke with dinner." Carol jumped up in excitement. "But only if it's caffeine free!" Carol stroked her chin. "Fair enough" , she decided. She turned towards the stairs , only to see Jonathan and Charles wrestling at the top. "John! Charlie! Stop! You're going to fall! STOP!" The two boys stopped and stood up , saluting with silly grins on their faces. "Yes , sir!" They said in unison. "How many times must I tell you? It's 'yes , ma'am." The twins blushed lightly. John looked older than Charlie , but they were both eleven years old. "Carol? How was the pool?" Crystal's voice called. "Great , Crystal!" Crystal came into view. She was wearing blue jeans and a cute hello kitty tee shirt. At ten years old , she had medium length black hair that was straight and up in a tidy bun. "How's Jenny?" "She's good--and just as fast a swimmer as always. I couldn't tag her! Where's Beverly?" "She's talking to Clarice on the phone." Clarice was Beverly's best friend. Both of them were fourteen years old. Carol herself was twelve years old. Her best friend was Jennifer , but she called her Jenny. "Oh. In her room?" "Yep. She had a rough day--John and Charlie wouldn't give her a break." "Typical." Carol sighed. Now they'd never leave her alone! Crystal was holding her pet long eared bunny affectionately, there were no prizes for guessing that the boys had been messing with her. Chocolate Chip, or Chip for short was snuggling into Crystal's arms. Carol trotted up the stairs and swerved around the corner into her perfect room. It was painted light blue. A bed was in the corner opposite the door , and a toy chest was at its feet. She didn't use it much any more , but it was good for storage and decor. When she walked in the door , she found herself looking at a desk and swivel chair in the corner she was facing. In the last remaining corner there was a bookcase. Below the bookcase lay a fuzzy light blue rug. Next to the bookcase was a dresser that also lay next to the bed. It was considerably short. Short enough to pose as a night table. The whole floor was wooden and shiny. Many a time had the boys slid around the floor on the fuzzy blue rug. Carol sprawled onto the bed. It bounced her upwards and she giggled with glee as she came shooting towards earth again. Her pillow fell onto her face and she pushed it aside. Her racing heart was interrupted when John and Charlie came sliding into the room , riding on something that resembled a beanbag. John pulled her onto it and they went sliding and slipping across the room. Carol laughed as she was thrown onto her fuzzy rug. It slid into the bookcase , and a book fell right next to her. She sat frozen for a second , then started to laugh again. "Kids! I want to speak with you!" , Mrs. Cricket called. "Yes , ma'am!" , everyone else called in unison. It sounded like thunder when everyone came thumping down the stairs. Mrs. Cricket was patiently waiting on the couch. Crystal , Chip , Beverly , John , Charlie , and Carol sat in random places around her. Mrs. Cricket opened her mouth to speak , but the door opened. Mr. Cricket walked in. "Hi , Hummingbird , what are we talking about?" , he said. "I was about to tell them the news." "News? What news?" , Charlie asked. "One moment , Charlie", Mrs. Cricket said. "Your mother and I have been thinking this over very carefully , and we think that it's time to move to a new house", Mr. Cricket said. "A new house?" Carol couldn't believe her ears. "A new house." "But-but-but what about my room? And Jenny?" "You'll have to do without them." Carol's eyes grew huge. She stormed up the stairs. "Isn't it great , Carol?" John's voice echoed up the stairs. "It's so exciting!" , Beverly called. Carol fumed into her room and shut the door. How dare they say it was great!" They had no right to just dump their friends all of a sudden! How could they want to leave? They had been born here , raised here , and made friends here. Now , they had to leave like it was some junk land-Knock knock. Carol opened the door a smidgen and peeked. It was Crystal. She was holding Chip in her arms tenderly. "Carol?" Carol flopped onto her bed sideways. The door swung open slowly. Crystal looked at Carol hesitantly. "Are you all right?" "Ugh. Am I all right? Gee , I don't know! We're moving to a new house , leaving our friends behind , and-" she turned to look at Crystal , "I-I don't know." "Carol , it's for the best." Carol looked up and glared at Crystal. "Not you , too!" "Carol " , Crystal sighed , "Dad lost his job. It's entirely necessary. He has good friends up in Salt Lake City , Ohio. Lots of houses and jobs and neighbors. They can help us. Mom and Dad already know our address. We'll be living in a neighborhood named Cheery Brook Lane!" She paused , "So will you settle down and come?" "I guess. But I won't enjoy it!" "Suit yourself. But you're going to miss out on a lot of stuff , Carol." Crystal walked out of the room and shut the door behind her. Carol stared up at the ceiling for a long time. Finally , she rolled off of the bed and started packing angrily. She didn't want to leave! Just before the movers packed her stuff , Carol stepped into the room. It echoed with sadness. The walls were bare and the floor had nothing but boxes and the rolled up rug. "I don't want to leave!" The room echoed to her in a blurred but somehow also clear version of her voice: I don't want to leave! Leave! Leave! "But I do" , she added. You do! You do! The desolate room seemed to scold her. It would be so much adventure yet so little happiness. She would leave behind her friend , room , home , pool , and her life in this house. "I don't want to leave" , she muttered. What happened then , no one will ever know. Maybe it was her imagination , maybe it was a message , but the room seemed to say desperately , You do! You do! You want to leave! Leave! Go! Leave! LEAVE!!!! Carol shrieked and ran out of the room. The voices still echoed in her heart , because she knew they were right. She did want to leave. In her heart , she wanted a slightly new way of life. A new routine. Maybe even a new friend.
Chapter 2-The HouseEdit
Watching the movers pack all of her stuff became monotonous and tiring. Carol decided to climb in the van and wait for the others. She picked up her backpack with her "carry along" items. Unzipping it , she reached for her iTouch. She texted Jenny.
Moovrs r pcking now-wish u wre here-BORED
She set her iTouch down and waited. Soon a reply bleeped onto the screen.
Ben crying all nite-sad u need 2 go-txt me on way? Carol quickly texted back.
Of corse. keep u posted! :) ;) bi! mom is startng van.
No reply. Carol shoved the iTouch in her pack and buckled up. Click it or ticket , right? Beverly and Crystal sat beside her. The van had seven seats in all. The front had two , the middle had two , and the back had three. Small tables could be lifted up from the back of the chairs in the middle and back rows. Sort of like the tables in airplanes. They were complete with cup-holders and a small lump at the bottom to stop pencils from rolling off. The van was a beige color. It had dust al over the front from recent visits to the zoo. (The zoo had a dirt parking lot.)The middle seat at the back had a table that was between the middle seats. Crystal was sitting there. Beverly was on her right , and Carol on her left. The girls always sat in the back together. The boys always sat in the middle row. Carol picked up her diary and a pencil and wrote in it.
Dear Daphne , The movers have packed everything and we're on our way. I don't want to leave , but the excitement is thrilling. I can't wait to explore my new room. None of my family has ever been there before. We've only seen it in pictures online. Mom says it will suit our needs. Dad has a great job opportunity there. He'll be working at GAO. Whatever that means. Go at once? A possibility . . . Government accountability office? I'll ask Mom. She says yes! Wow , I didn't know I had it in me. I'll be leaving Jenny behind. That's the worst part. We've been friends since 2nd grade. Oh , Crystal wants to play Draw-and-compare. Bye.
Your Friend , Carol Cricket
Carol set Daphne the Diary aside and picked up a sheet of paper. Draw-and-compare was a made-up game that any amount of players could join. Together , you would pick what to draw , draw it , then compare each other's pictures. It was fun and time-consuming. Crystal and Carol were fond of it , and played it often. "What first?" , Carol inquired. "Let's draw a person. Any person" , Crystal decided after a moment's thought. The two got to work. Carol texted Jenny every once in a while. In two days , they arrived at 72 , Cheery Brook Lane , 30342. The movers quickly unpacked and left. Carol stared at the beige house before her. It had white shutters and a green lawn. A tall cherry tree was placed on the right corner of the house. There was no garage , but rather , a brick-paved drive-way led to a parking space on the left side of the house.The porch was surrounded by a white rail. Two white rocking chairs were sat together on it. A white door was placed in the middle. Carol walked in. A box tripped her and she sprawled into the dusty wooden floor. Seeing her name scrawled on the box in marker , she picked it up awkwardly and struggled up the stairs. A hallway painted beige (again) led to several rooms. Her mother had wisely labeled the doors with paper. When she came to the one that said "Carol's room" , she set the box down and pushed the door open. Carol nearly fell over with shock. The walls were bright green and the ceiling was a bright blue. Electric green. Electric blue. A huge windowed wall looked out into a huge backyard. Carol could hear the sound of bubbling water beyond the trees. A large hill tilted downwards from the house. The empty room had oatmeal colored carpet. Walking into that room , Carol felt a thrill run through her body. Just the slightest tingle. This was her new room.
Chapter 3-Daphne the DiaryEdit
Dear Daphne ,
I've seen my room. It is bright blue and green. It has a carpet. An oatmeal carpet that feels soft to the touch. I've never had a carpet before. I must admit , I'm glad to leave Jenny behind. We've grown apart over the years , and for some reason , I just need a change. I'll text her and keep her secrets and call her forever and ever , but she won't be my best friend anymore. Those eras are over now. It was fun , but even friendship wears out eventually. Love is the only thing that really lasts. I thought about that and learned it on the way here. My old room wouldn't last forever. This one won't either , but somehow , knowing this , I feel calmer. Maybe it's because I let go of my life and set it in God Almighty's hands. Maybe it's because I'm not in charge of my own life anymore. At any rate , I'm glad I'm home. Mom and Dad are putting the boxes and furniture in my room. Mom says I get to organize it on my own! She also says I can paint it tomorrow. I'm keeping the original electric colors , but I have consent to paint trees , clouds , squirrels , whatever on my walls and ceiling. I'm going to dedicate three walls to a forest mural! There is a hill leading down into the backyard. I'm going to go scale it and explore the brook behind our house!
Your Friend , Carol Cricket
Chapter 4-The Next Day ~Finale~Edit
Carol chose bright colors at the store to paint with. The furniture and boxes were pushed aside , and she painted tall trees , clouds , squirrels , birds , flowers , anthills , ants , nests , eggs , and bushes. The clouds seemed to roll in the sky. The trees swished with the breeze , the birds flew in the sky , the squirrels buried nuts , the bushes grew berries , and the flowers had hidden bees harvesting them. The whole painting was alive with color. Carol watched as a bird swooped down and clutched a worm. She was about to feed her baby when the door creaked open. The wall stopped moving and Carol realized it had been her imagination at work. Crystal stepped in and looked around. "Wow , nice walls" , she commented. "Thanks" , Carol said. "Come on outside , we're meeting our neighbors." "No , thanks. I'm busy designing the room. Just tell them I'm busy." "Carol , eventually , you're going to have to accept this life and be willing to learn more about it. Try to do that from now on. I realize you've accepted leaving Jenny and the old house , but now you need to discover this life. Think about it." The door shut. Carol sat on her unmade bed and pulled out her iTouch. It bleeped.
Hey , Carol! hows ur room? cn it yet?
Ben misng u! its in brite colors. desining it now!
Good luc! swm teem . . .
Carol hit the home button and played on Doodle Buddy for a while. She drew a really lame looking flower before she quit and shut it off. She drew a sketch of her room on a sheet of paper and got to work. The windowed wall was opposite the door. The door was in the center of the wall. Carol started to arrange her room.
Looking at her work , Carol smiled. Perfect! It all fit together like a glove. The extra square rug she had simply found on top of her boxes with a note:
Dear Carol , Thank you for accepting our move. Here is a little token of your Dad and my appreciation. Love , Mom
Crystal's bunny Chip had bounced into the room. A little note was tied on his neck. Carol undid it and read it:
Hi! I'm Bethany. I'm your next door neighbor. I'm twelve years old and I love to swim. My siblings are Hank , Marian , and Izzy (Isa). Do you want to come play at our house? I have something to show you! -Bethany.
P.S. Hopefully , in the future I'll be able to sign my notes "Your Friend , Beth". Carol hesitated at the door. A deer moved across the walls and sniffed at her. A bird swooped low overhead. A squirrel looked on curiously. Carol did want this moving adventure , but she wasn't sure she wanted her whole entire life to change. It was fine if she let go of Jenny , but what if she didn't want a new friend? carol shook her head and stepped through the door. Walking through the hall , down the steps and past the Parlor got easier and easier. Soon she was on the street where her family and her neighbor's family was. A brunette trotted to her. "Hi! You must be Carol. I'm Bethany. You have to see this!" The families were watching two bluebirds swooping together in the sky. They were babies! When the charming show was over , Carol said to Bethany , "I like swimming , too! Do you have a pool here?" "Nope! We go swimming in the brook!" "Then let's get started!" , Carol cried. Throwing on their bathing suits , the two held hands and jumped into the brook. A shutter clicked. Hank , John , and Charlie emerged from the trees with an instant camera. A few days later . . . Carol dropped some glue onto the picture of the two smiling and leaping in the water. Beth placed it carefully onto the cover of the notebook. Carol wrote in sparkly marker:
A Best Friend's Scrapbook
So , that is how a great friendship began , and a young girl handled a tremendous change , as we all shall eventually do.
A/N: Mom alert! Mom alert! Bye, guys!