Written By Katy [Copyright 2009]

When Nallah, a pro designer in the making starts Middle school, her whole social life gets pounced on by the school bully. When she takes on the challenge of sewing costumes for the school play, her talent is finally recognized, and her social status climbs. But will it be too much for Nallah to handle?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chapter 9

Chapter 9 - On Cloud Nine

Glancing at my pink Baby G watch I sighed and lightly tapped the toe of my sequin ballet flats on a near by desk. The Home Economics room was oddly quiet, except for my echoing shoes. I was patiently waiting for Mrs. Flor, the one in charge of the school production, with only the company of three others. One girl, jolly and round sat on top of a rusted filing cabinet twirling her hair into french braids. The other two, no doubtingly twins, were sitting indian style on the tile playing some kind of card game. Thankfully, I hadn't seen Kami yet. I half-hoped that she wouldn't show, but I knew that could mean violating the deal we had with Mrs. Bleu, and even Kami Boyd wouldn't risk a drop of ink on her permanant record.
The door was pushed open with a jolt, and in came Mrs. Flor followed by Kami, who crossed her arms across her chest and sat on a diner chair prop near the window.
"Good Afternoon." Mrs. Flor announced with a deep bow.
"Good Afternoon Mrs. Flor." We echoed back lazily.
"As you all know, you are all a part of the school production in a very special way. The Costumes are one of the most important elements of theater, other than the actors and actresses that is."
She Chuckled, and evened out a stack of papers.
"Can anyone tell us the theme of our production this year?" Mrs. Flor asked, raising our eyebrows.
The room was silent except for the ticking clock hanging over the door.
Mrs. Flor sensed the laziness, and decided to answer herself. "Imagine yourself at the foot of a young child's bookshelf, titles like "Humpty Dumpty", and "Pinnochio" are among the stacks. Our brilliant cast will be "trapped in the bookshelf", the scenes will be vibrant and decorated, and the costumes," she paused and spread her arms wide, "will be the most elegant".
Someone pretended to snore from the corner of the room, most likely Kami.
I could picture it in my head. Beautiful gowns with miniature bows and spools of lace for Cinderella's ballgown, Poofy, glittery tutus for the sugarplum fairies in The Nutcracker...
"Ms. Richardson?" Mrs. Flor called suddenly.
"Uhh, Yea?" I answered.
"I just asked the class if they had any ideas on costumes for "Pippy Longstocking.""
My mouth seemed to flow like a river.
Mrs. Flor's eyes wandered like she was picturing the designs I envisioned.
"That is brilliant!" she exclaimed, clasping her hands together. "I never would have thought of those details to Cinderella's Ballgown!"
I had a feeling this wouldn't be as bad as detentions generally are.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chapter 8

Chapter 8 - All's well Ends well

Unless you count 1st grade in Indiana, when I accidently kicked Emily Jones at Nap time, this was my first visit to the principals office. But, this office didn't have finger painted pictures hung on the walls, and Elmo wallpaper. Instead, it felt like I was locked up in a prison cell. Iron bars were clamped to the only window, and the metal chairs that we were required to sit in were cold, and slippery. The only cheerful thing about this room was my friend, Mehgan who sat next to me, and unusually, she wasn't even smiling. Next to her, were Klaire, Kami, and Kara. At the moment, Kami was trying to rub hardened glue off of her forehead. She looked up and glared at me, pretending to slip her throat with a manicured index finger.
Luckily, at that very moment, Mrs. Bleu decided to make her grand entrance, and with her came a gust of lavender scented perfume. She sat at her big oak desk, and tucked a spare lock of grey hair behind her ear.
"Ladies." she said, adjusting her reading glasses. "It says here that your teacher, Mrs. Cho, accuses you of 'Making a huge mess of art supplies, and physically and verbally attacking each other with them'"
Kami coughed.
"Is this true?" Mrs. Bleu croaked.
The room went silent.
"Uh, yea." Kara peeped.
"But- Nallah and Mehgan started it!" Kami added defensively.
"Liar!" I heard myself shout.
"You think I'm lying?!"
"Silence!" Mrs. Bleu commanded, pounding her fist on the table.
"Sorry." I replied.
"Obviously there will be a punishment for this kind of behavior." She began. "What you ladies have done, might just end up on your permanant record."
"No!" Mehgan shouted, leaping out of her seat. "My mom would kill me!"
"Miss Anderson!"
"Sorry" she murmured.
"As I was saying..." she paused and leafed through a stack of papers. "You will have two options." she smiled deviously.
Sweat prickled down my back, and I shifted in my seat.
"But- I will be choosing those two options."
Kami groaned.
"Is she serious?" Klaire whispered.
"Kami and Nallah, you both will participate in the school production."
Kami turned three shades of red. "But I can't act!" she complained.
"Me either." I said.
"I figured you'd say that. I went ahead and signed you up for the constructing of the costumes. We are a little shorthanded."
I relaxed a bit.
"But-" Kami began.
"No Buts!" Mrs. Bleu said.
"Klaire, Kara, and Mehgan," she scribbled something down onto a sticky note. "You will be assigned to the Chess club."
Klaire and Kara groaned in unison.
Mehgan just shrugged.
"It could be worse." she mouthed.
"Did I mention that all clubs begin tomorrow afterschool?" Mrs. Bleu said cheerfully.
Four people sighed. One person was content.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 - Revenge tastes sour

It was 3rd block by the time I finally began to think about my "big plan". Mehgan kept glancing over at me while our Art teacher, Mrs. Cho was teaching us how to draw landscapes. She questioned my plan with her eyes, shooting looks at the table behind ours' where Kami, Kara, and Klaire sat, snickering and acting like ducks, flapping imaginary wings when Mrs. Cho's back was to the board. I forced myself to dig deep into my brain and fish out a good idea, but before I could, a slimy lump fell onto my head. Out of instinct, I clutched my braid and screeched. Mrs. Cho spun around in her smock-dress.
"Miss Richardson." she squeaked. "Do you have something to share?"
My face must have turned five shades of red.
"Uhhhm..." I began.
1...2...3 I thought, as I tore the lump out of my scalp. I balanced it on my thumb, and in horror I concluded that it was namely a piece of gooey, pink Gum.
I felt like springing up from my seat, and giving Kami a piece of my mind, but instead I sunk down.
"It's nothing..." I peeped.
Kami, Klaire, and Kara fought to control their laughter. I fought to control my anger. Mehgan's blue-green eyes stared sympathetically into mine, but I shook it off.
This was war.


"What are you going to do?" Mehgan asked, as she cut a paper heart out of construction paper.
"I don't know." I answered, tugging a piece of blonde hair out of my eyes.
"Why does Kami hate us so much?"
"She's just jealous." I answered doubtfully. I mean, Kami, jealous? Thats impossible.
Springing up from my chair, I began to cut around my paper heart with the rusted scissors. I glanced over to where Mehgan was working. She stuck the tip of her tongue out of her mouth and began to glue her heart in place. Remembering how behind on my project I was, I flattened the top of my tiered skirt, and began to sit down. With a jerk, my chair was pulled out from under me, and I sat stunned on the cold linoleum floor, jaw wide open.
As I stood back up, clenching my teeth from the pain of my throbbing tailbone, I stood face to face with the one, the only, Kami Boyd.
"Kami!" I growled angerly.
"Oops." she said sarcastically, covering her mouth with a manicured hand. "I didn't know you were sitting there, Nallah."
"Oh yes you did." I said through clenched teeth.
Taking a step backwards, I grabbed the closest weapon in sight. An Elmers Glue bottle.
"Nallah, noooooo!" Mehgan exclaimed, trying to pull me back with all her might.
"Go Ahead." Kami said firmly. "Squirt me."
I hesitated and put the bottle down.
"See," she turned to Kara, Klaire, and the crowd of wanna-be's around her. "I knew she didn't have it in her."
And before she could even pop one bubble, or utter one cackle, she was squirted with a fresh glob of Elmers Glue, all over her flawless face and chartreuse cardigan.
"MRS. CHOOOOOO!!!!" she shrieked.
Kara and Klaire raced out the door in pursuit.
Through the white river of glue pouring down her spray-tanned face, I could see Kami's eyes bulge, and her fangs gleam.
"Oh its ON!" she shouted, clenching her fists.
From a nearby table, Kami grabbed a can of red paint, and poured it all over my new blouse.
"You did NOT just do that." I said, the tears coming.
Like a foaming, mad dog, I held up the pair of rusted scissors, and began chomping the teeth down in midair.
"Noooooo!" she cried, crouching beneath a table. "I-I surrender!"
"I don't believe there are any surrenders in this game!" I said, inching forward.
"But there are DETENTIONS!" Mrs. Cho's voice bellowed.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Big Bird

"Has anyone seen Mehgan?" I asked for at least the 100th time.
It was the morning of the 3rd day of school at Lakeview Academy, and my new friend, Mehgan was nowhere in sight.
"I really don't know" Alicia Thomas exclaimed, examining her perfectly plucked eyebrows in her compact mirror. Shading my eyes from the mirror's reflected sunlight, I stomped through the gravel in my hot pink Forever21 Patent Cork Pumps. Scanning the crowd I thought I saw a figure in a big yellow raincoat push their way through the crowd.
"Hey!" Kami yelled at the figure. She jumped up and down pretending to look like an excited lottery winner. "It's BIG BIRD!"
Kara and Klaire traded confused looks.
"You know...from Sesame Street?" Rachael Greene said with a lisp.
"Thats not very nice" I told Kami before storming into through the door and through the hall. The yellow figure sped up before dashing into the Bathroom.
"Hey!" I said trying as hard as I possibly could to sprint into my pumps. "Wait up."
Gasping for breath I entered the bathroom to see Mehgan huddled between two sinks, yellow raincoat and all.
Sighing a breath of relief I tore off my pumps and sat next to her, hugging my knees.
"Mehgan." my voice echoed through the empty stalls. "Do you want to tell me what is going on?"
She shook her head and pulled the slick yellow hood over her head.
"Okay, I just chased you through the halls in these," I held up my scuffed pumps. "And you want to give me the silent treatment?" I questioned.
She giggled, and lifted the hood off her head.
"I just can't do this, Nallah."
"What? Tell me what is bugging you?"
She sighed and put her hand on her forehead impatiently.
"No, go out there in this." she unbuttoned the yellow raincoat, revealing the beautiful navy slub dress."
"Why?" I asked. "You look great."
she pretended to be more interested in buttoning up her coat.
"It's just that I don't want Kami to humiliate me....again." She said finally looking down at her torn cuticles.
"I have a feeling that she won't." I said, offering a devious smile.
She smiled back.
"What are you planning?" She said.
"Ohhhh partner in crime, you'll see." I said, cracking my knuckles.

[note: That was super short. in a real novel chapters 5 and 6 might have been combined.]

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chapter 5

Chapter 5: New in Navy

Skippy, the pudgy, black pug played tug-of-war with the fluffy purple goose-feather pillow on Mehgan's twin bed. It was around 4'o'clock, and with school out for the day, Mehgan and I lay flat on our stomachs with sewing machines put-putting away, the faux fur rug below us scattered with scraps of clothing, beads, and supplies.
"Skippy." Mehgan scolded gently.
Opening his wrench-like jaw, she managed to free the pillow from Skippy's incisors. It was then discarded onto a desk, full of Mehgan's other projects. At the moment, I was bedazzling a red fringe hobo bag, while Mehgan was working on the same project, except in orange. Despite the many distractions, Mehgan worked quickly, her hand wobbling with every seam ripped. Her hair was piled into a messy bun, and her familiar overalls covered a faded yellow t-shirt.
Once finished with my project, I stood up to smooth out my pinstriped black trousers, and adjusted the matching bow perched high on my head. Mehgan, too busy too look up from her machine, didn't even notice when I strode over to her closet, and pulled open the doors like unmasking a criminal. Full of anticipation, I leafed through the hangers draped with fabulous, handmade tops, skirts and dresses.
"Mehgan!" I shrieked sarcastically.
She looked up and turned red-faced with embarrassment. Before she could answer, or say "it's nothing", or "I'm not that good", I cut in.
"This is the most amazing sewing I have ever seen!"
Cutting her off again, I added.
"You are definitely wearing some of this tomorrow."
She opened her mouth, as if to say, "No way," or "Didn't I tell you what happened last time?", but she closed it again.
Skippy let out a bark of approval, as if encouraging her.
"Well...." she paused. "M-maybe. If you really think I should...."
"I absolutely think you should!" I exclaimed. "I'll even pick it out for you."
"Really?" Mehgan asked eagerly.
"Of course." I said, and with that, I leafed through the rows of clothes to find "the outfit" that will definitely make a statement that Mehgan definitely needs.
After around 10 minutes, I had 4 outfits for her to choose from, and I had a feeling that, "the one" was among them.
Mehgan took the outfits, folded them over her arm, and headed toward the Jack and Jill bathroom that she shared with her younger sister, Gemma.
I waited patiently on her twin with Skippy playfully yanking my sleeve. His slobber leaked from the corners of his mouth and dripped like glue, and splattered onto my leg. Before I could grab any Kleenex from the side table, the bathroom door squeaked open, and a totally different Mehgan emerged. The navy Slub Roped halter dress didn't hang on her like the old overalls, and her eyes were sparkling like jewels. On her size 6's, Patent Buckle Sandals accented her outfit even further, along with her loop handle tote, and earth toned braided headband. Tears leaked out of the corners of my eyes, and ignoring the slobber trickling down my leg, I put my arms out wide and exclaimed.
"You look amazing."
From that moment on, Mehgan and I both knew that this was "the one."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chapter 4

CHAPTER 4: A Rip in the past

The annoying screech of my alarm clock made me shoot up in bed. It was 6:45 A.M. on the morning of my second day of school. Off came my pajamas as I slipped on my new masterpiece that I made in less than three hours last night. Posing in front of my full-length mirror I twirled in my navy flutter hem dress, complete with a sewn-on thin lace belt and gold accessories. On my feet, I sported faux leather cork wedges with 4 miniature gold buckles, which I borrowed from my Mom’s closet. My hair was extra poofy and was held out of my eyes with a sequined headband.
I hopped down the stairs two steps at a time, and cut my toast into perfect triangles. Slinging my tote over my shoulder, and waving goodbye to my Mom, I set out through the moist grass toward the bus.
The gravel crunched under my wedges, as I tried my best to strut towards the door. Standing in a big clump of sixth graders, I paused to examine my dress. The lace belt ties were laying limply at my sides, and I blushed, remembering how I forgot to tie them this morning. I dropped my tote to my feet and struggled to tie the belt in the back. I heard familiar giggles coming from behind me. An even more familiar voice, namely Kami Boyd spoke.
“Let me help you with that.” She said in a friendly tone.
Deciding that she couldn’t possibly do any harm by tying together two strings, I held them out. She took them with two manicured fingers and began to tie. I heard two giggles and then a rip, a split, a tear, and more giggling. Spinning around red-faced I shrieked.
“How could you!?”
Hot tears were forming in my eyes, as I clutched the back of my dress. Seizing my tote from the ground, I tore through the crowd of seventh graders, and pushed through the door. I pulled off my shoes and ran to the bathroom, desperately holding my tears in like a sponge. I ran into a bathroom stall and sat on the closed toilet seat sobbing about my ruined masterpiece, my stupid life, my single mom, my friendless social life, and everything. It all poured out of my broken heart so freely. Suddenly, I heard a knock at the door.
“Excuse me.” A raspy voice said.
“One minute.” I said with a heavy head.
I strapped on my shoes and clutching my back with one hand I unlocked the door. There stood Mehgan Anderson in a faded gap t-shirt with long khaki pants.
“I- I just heard you crying, and w-wanted to make sure that you w-were okay.” She said looking at her shoes.
“Thanks.” I sniffled.
Mehgan eyed the back of my dress.
“W-What happened there?” she asked, trying to tug something out of her rain boot.
“Oh… it’s nothing. I just didn’t backstitch enough, and it ripped the whole back of my dress.”
Mehgan finally tugged a little sack out of her boot. Pulling out a gleaming sewing needle and thread, she smiled.
“I always carry this with me.” She said beginning to fix the back of my dress. “Last year, in 5th grade…” Mehgan blushed. “Kami Boyd humiliated me by cutting the back of my favorite dress, accidently.” She used air-qoutes for the word “accidently”.
I looked at my shoes and blushed. “Oh….” I said.
“I got so mad, that I went and joined the sewing club and learned how to sew my dress good as new, just to show her that it was no big deal…” she continued. “Then, I got hooked on sewing, and have been doing it every day ever since.”
“Oh my gosh!” I said, obviously startling her, because she stopped sewing and asked if she had hurt me. “Oh, no it’s not that… It’s just that I do the same thing! I sew all of my outfits.”
Mehgan cracked a smile. “I am kind of afraid of wearing my outfits to school, you know- after what Kami did to me before.”
“I know what you mean…” I said. “Kami was the one who really did this to me. I was foolish to think that she could be friendly.” I gulped.
Neither of us spoke.
Mehgan tied the ending knot and put the sack back into her boot. I felt the place where the rip used to be and was relieved to know that it disappeared.
“Thanks so much Mehgan!” I said giving her a hug.
“It’s no problem.” She shrugged. “Now we’d better get to class, the bell will ring soon!”
Waiting for me to check my running mascara, she followed me out the door.

I, Nallah Kathryn Richardson have found my first new friend. Her name is Mehgan.

As the day progressed, Mehgan and I talked and talked. We passed notes, and didn’t even blush once when Kami, Klaire, and Kara laughed at us to our faces. We traded sewing techniques and before I headed out to my bus, she slipped me a note. It read:

I would love it if you could come over after school tomorrow. Bring your sewing kit!
Your friend,

I was overjoyed, and skipped all the way home. That day ended up being the best day ever, even though it was different than what I had expected.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chapter 3

CHAPTER 3: Nallah by heart

The clickity-clack of heels and pumps could be heard, thumping against the floor as I approached my first block classroom, English with Ms. Dickens. Entering her classroom made butterflies leap through my stomach. The room was the ideal English classroom, complete with large bay windows with wooden slatted shutters, individual desks in rows, cheery posters illustrating the parts of speech, and a large oak teacher’s desk. Projected on the wall was “Ms. Dickens”, in twisted cursive. I made my way to the back of the room, and sat in an empty chair. Soon, the other girls poured into the room, along with a tall, slender woman, who must have been Ms. Dickens. She was young, about in her 30’s, and had the prettiest auburn hair, brown eyes and freshly waxed eyebrows. Ms. Dickens looked the complete opposite of a teacher in her lilac printed silk tunic, gold bangles, and peep toe pumps. The familiar bell sounded, and Ms. Dickens spoke.
“Welcome Class, to 6th grade English, room C111 with Ms. Dickens.” She said, gesturing to the the overhead projector.
“I will now quickly go over attendance, so please stand when I call your name.”
“Mehgan Anderson?”
A girl in blue jean overalls stood.
“Here.” She peeped.
“Kami Boyd?”
My heart pounced. The Bubblegum girl stood, complete with a Chiffon Feather Maxi Dress, Metalic gold sandals, and a matching jeweled Filigree cuff bracelet. As if on cue, she popped a bubble.
“Present.” She said rolling her “r”.
Two girls seated next to her applauded.
I sighed and knew that I had a long day to go.

After a long class of intoductions and tours, the bell sounded. I rose to my feet, slung my Florentina Shoulder bag over my shoulder, and strode out the door. A few classrooms down was Social Studies with Ms. Adams.
As I stepped over the threshold, a lemony scent made my temples throb. This classroom, had bare walls, blind-covered windows, and stone-cold desks. I shivered, and sat down on the nearest chair, plugging my nose. A loud popping sound came from the door, and in came Kami, with her two clones, Kara and Klaire. I rolled my eyes, and rubbed my hands together. An old woman emerged from a supply closet on the left side of the room. She was about in her mid-sixties, wore round brown glasses and a loose fitting jean dress. Her hair was short and silvery and flared out at the ends.
“Hello.” She greeted in a deep, serious voice. “I am Ms. Adams.”
“Today,” she continued. “We will be creating Family Trees, as a way to introduce ourselves to each other. It will show our hobbies and interests as well.” She paced around the room and pulled out a stack of tree diagrams and distributed them to all the tables.
“Family Tree and Interests Diagram” the paper’s title read.
I sighed and filled in the names on my Mom’s side, as well as I could. I drew a picture of my sewing machine and my yellowing manikin under interests, and was halfway done scribbling my name in cursive on the top, before Mehgan Anderson, a.k.a “overalls girl”, burst through the doorway. She handed Ms. Adams a neon pink late pass and sat in the empty seat next to mine. I got a chance to sneak a peak of her face, small round blue eyes, noticable overbite, sprinkled freckles on the bridge of her pig nose, and deep chin dimples. Her eyes raced as the studied the paper, and her hand wobbled as she picked up her pen. Kami, Kara, and Klaire snickered a few seats away, and made faces at the back of Mehgans head. I felt kind of sorry for her, but was relieved that it wasn’t me they were laughing at- yet.

The day progressed, and after lunch with total strangers, Science with bony old Mrs. Gregory, and Math with overyly-cheerful Mrs. Ingalls, the day finally came to an end. I boarded the bus with a heavy head, and got dropped off with a growling stomach. Mom met me at the door with a smiling nod, and took my heavy tote from my arms.
“How was school?” She asked reading my tired expression.
“Good.” I somberly answered, collapsing on the crème sofa.
“Meet any new people?” she asked.
“Uhh, not yet.” I said.
Avoiding and furthur questions I made my way to the stairs. I was feeling empty inside, like my insides had been poured out. The humid summer air got thicker as I climbed the stairs, and once I reached my room, I felt oddly comfortable. Tearing open the packet of floral fabric on my duvet cover, I began to cut and pin together a masterpiece that would knock that Kami Boyd’s socks clean off.