Hey guys! My name is Jenna and I'm a twenty-something post-grad living in the DC area! I mostly write for fun and it's always been a hobby of mine. I hope you enjoy my stores and that they bring some excitement to your day!
Brown Bear Finds A Rock
The warmth of the sun woke me from my slumber underneath my favorite pine tree. I stretched out my front paws first, then my hind legs, letting out a gigantic yawn. A few small sparrows were startled by the ferocious sound and fled from their perch on the branch above. I slowly rolled onto my feet and did a little shake starting from my ears down to my stub of a tail. Sleepily, I looked around the forest, not a creature in sight. Life as a bear is lonely, everyone is afraid of you. Aside from when I get hungry, I’m usually a pretty pleasant guy, but no one would dare get close to a scary brown bear.
The Knowing Ones
I held my hand over my mouth to keep from making any noise. Fear had never been so intense before as I hid in that closet. The dim light from the hallway seeped through the slots in the closet doors, giving me just enough light to see. The sound of footsteps from down the hall drew closer and closer until I could see a man standing in the doorway. I tried not to scream, nearly suffocating myself with my hand. He was dressed in all black and held a bloody hammer in his right hand. He observed my empty bed and knelt down to check underneath it. I wasn’t dumb enough to hide under there. Luckily, the window in my room was open. Maybe he would think I’d climbed out. The man walked over to the window, the cool September breeze blowing the curtains around like dancing ghosts. He leaned over the edge and looked down. After a few moments he slammed his fist down on the window sill in frustration and stormed out of the room and down the steps.
The Night Shift
The aquarium after dark is a magical place. All is quiet, there’s a soft bluish hue emanating from the massive tanks, and every creature emerges from the deepest crevice to bask in the solitude. It’s the best part about being a janitor here. Fish are much better company than people. I’ve learned that during my 45 years of life. The aquarium, my massive ocean on earth. I never would have imagined that my refuge would become my nightmare.
Our Little Slice of Heaven
Growing up, camping in the Pocono Mountains was something I looked forward to all year. At the end of every summer, my father would take my younger brother and I to the Poconos where we would camp at Dingmans Campground. Some of my best childhood memories were sleeping in a tent, fishing in the wild mountain streams, swimming in the Delaware river, and cooking meals over the fire. We still try to go every year, even as adults, and last year was the first year I got to take my boyfriend and our Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, Booker, camping with us.
Brent’s eyes fluttered open, his vision blurred and distorted. Rubbing his eyes with a shaky hand, the world around him began to come into focus. He sat facing the plush, velvety seat of a train car. A dimly lit, antique lamp hung above him, shaking slightly as if they were in motion. He tilted his head to the left, where lacey curtains covered a window. Using one finger, he peeped behind the curtains, finding only darkness. They must be in a tunnel, he thought. He must’ve dozed off, fallen asleep, but…why was he on a train? Brent quickly sat up, groping at the suit he was wearing, checking for a phone, a wallet, anything. He had nothing on him except the high-end suit and a pair of dark, brown leather shoes. He checked his wrist, no watch. Why would he board a train with no phone, no wallet, and no watch on his way to a business meeting? Was he on his way to a business meeting? What did he do for work? A million questions started to pour into Brent’s mind. Leaning forward in his seat, he held his head in his sweaty hands and squeezed his eyes shut. “Think! Think!” he commanded himself. He was only sure of three things: his name was Brent, he was 40 years old, and he was on a train.
It was Her
“The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window,” I began. “It sat about 500 yards from the settlement of Ravenborrow, a town that existed right on this very piece of land back in the 1600s. The cabin was said to be the home of a witch, Phoebe O’Mallary, who had been murdered by the townspeople, her body barried under the floorboards.” I could tell my friends were intrigued because not one of them had moved a muscle while I spoke, not even to take their s’mores sticks out of the fire. The marshmallows at the end of their sticks began to drip onto the coals. “The story I’m going to tell, is about the day the light from the candle caught the attention of a few young settlers from Ravonborrow, and the hell they would soon find themselves in,” as soon as I finished that sentence, a log in the fire slipped, causing an explosion of sparks to fly into the air. Not planned, but much appreciated. Everyone jumped, followed by a round of embarrassed laughter.
Chapter 1 “There weren’t always dragons in the valley,” said Lilia. Her wrinkled brow bent downward over her pale blue eyes, “When I was a little girl, a long long time ago, the elders of our village summoned the great beasts from their mountain caves to come down and live in the valley as our protectors.” I watched as she took her wooden staff and drew a line in the dirt. All of us children inched closer from our seated positions to see what she was doing. “You see, there were terrible creatures, monsters, who lived on the other side of the valley. Our village of Moritha is here,” she explained, drawing a circle on the ground a few inches from the line, “All that we had to protect us from the evil creatures, was this valley.” She tapped on the line with her staff. She then drew several mountain peaks around our village, “These mountains which surround our village, they were once the home of the dragons.” I turned my head to gaze up at the mountains, their snowy peaks seemingly scraping the sky. “How did the elders summon the dragons, Lilia?” A chubby boy next to me asked, his hands grasping his criss-crossed legs in anticipation. “Our elders climbed the mountain and bravely approached the dragons in their caves. They promised that half of all our crops, livestock, and treasure would be given every year in return for their protection of the valley. Dragons are guardian creatures. They always need a treasure to protect,” Lilia replied, drawing our symbol for gold on the ground.
- Runner-Up in Return of the Night Owl Challenge
My Only WitnessRunner-Up in Return of the Night Owl Challenge
The cracking of sticks and the crunching of leaves were the only sounds as I barreled through the dark woods. It was a frigid, November night in Utah, and I had nothing but my short, silk night dress and thin windbreaker on. I had kicked off my slippers when I first jumped out of the car, and my bare feet were raw from the rough earth. Nothing hurt though, it was as if my sense of pain had vanished when I began to run. I didn’t even feel the sting of the thorns and branches cutting my skin as I plowed through the brush.The only thing going through my mind was that I had to get away. Away from him. My mind was thick with confusion, desperation, and above all, fear. My foot caught hold of a tree root, and I hit the ground with a heavy thud. I crawled behind a large oak, and lay on the cold, mossy ground, trying to catch my breath. Was this a dream? How did I get here? Who was he and what did he want with me? The events of that night spun through my head like a film reel.
"Never settle." My mother told me this so many times growing up, but I never realized how impactful those words were until now. Those two words were and are the most important lesson my mother ever taught me. From when I was little through my adulthood, never settling has gotten me to where I am today, thanks to my mom.