June 6

Dear Diary – Journal Entry 6

Dear Diary,

Matt, Jonas, Lisa and I took refuge in this abandoned school a few years back to escape the fighting and bloodshed on the streets. In less than a year, our little gang of misfits grew from four members to twelve.Today, we have 28 active members, plus a few other drifters that hang around from time to time. As a member of the original four, I was unanimously elected leader. There was no fighting or posturing for the role of leader; No one else wanted the responsibilities.

I try to make good sound decisions for the good of us all. The only person who ever opposes these decisions is Matt. Sometimes, I think he disagrees for the fun of it. Today was no exception.
“Thanks for coming! I said as I welcomed everyone to the meeting. “I don’t want to take up too much of your time. I only have one thing on the agenda today. The Central Sharks have taken our winter fuel. We need to replace what we’ve lost. I’m looking for volunteers. I need three or four people to travel to Wolf Valley. “

In a display of “I am king of the warriors”, Matt interrupted the meeting by jumping on top of a center table. “Why travel all the way to Wolf Valley? We know where our fuel is. Xavier has it.” He raised a fist into the air. “Let’s take back what’s ours!”

To my dismay, the calm silent room broke into cheers of “Fight!. .Fight!.. FIGHT!” with a majority of the people agreeing with Matt. “Wait!..Stop!.. QUIET!” I yelled.

I attempt to bring everyone back to reality. “Who hasn’t seen what the Central Sharks did to Tony? He’s one of our best fighters. The sharks almost turned him into hamburger. Most of us in this room couldn’t fight our way out of a paper bag! You’re all idiots with a death wish! Every one of Xavier’s goons is twice the size of our biggest man.”

I took a deep breath. my face felt like it was on fire. I was probably a bright shade of red. “I know everyone wants to pummel Xavier and take back what’s ours. I want that too! However, we are not strong enough. Sheriff Pete stopped by for a visit. He promised me he would take care of Xavier and his goons.”

Jonas stepped forward in support of his brother. “What’s the Sheriff going to do? Slap Xavier on the hand and say play nice with others?” Everyone in the room laughed. I wanted to laugh too but I was trying to be serious.

I looked around the room and stared into the faces of my friends. “I don’t know what Sheriff’s Pete’s plans are. He didn’t say but risking the lives of everyone in this school is stupid. We don’t need to fight the Central Sharks. We can travel to Wolf valley and replace the fuel.”

Marty spoke up “Wolf Valley is nearly 8 miles from here; Longer, if we travel around the Red Hyena territory instead of going through it.“

“Look, I know it’s a pain and inconvenient.” I jumped up on the table next to Matt. “If it was any other gang I would say, “Let’s fight and take back what’s ours.”

“Why don’t we fight?” Matt said in reply.

“Because…if we fight one or more of us will die. I don’t want to die. Do you want to die, Matthew?” I asked as I stepped up face to face to my good friend.

“Why don’t we vote on it?” Cecelia said from across the room.

“Yes, why don’t we vote on it, Madeline?” Matt said in reply.

I stepped away from Matt and throw up my hands. “Fine, we’ll vote.” “Everyone who wants to fight the Central Sharks in a fight to the death raise your hands.”

Matt, Jonas and a few reluctant others raised their hands into the air. JT counted aloud and wrote the number 6 on the black board.

I smiled and cleared my throat. “All those in favor of making a trip to Wolf Valley please raise your hands” I looked at the sea of hands and smiled at Matt.

“It looks like I am going to need those volunteers.”

Matt, Jonas and a couple of their supporters stormed out of the room.

Yours Truly,
Madie

June 5

Dear Diary – Journal Entry 5

Dear Diary,

Tony is still alive but he is in serious trouble. The injuries caused by the Central Sharks are severe; he burns hot with a fever. We have moved him into a vacant room in the admin hallway; the workshop was too secluded to look after him properly. The Stewarts are taking care of most of his medical needs. Volunteers are sitting by his side to keep him company. I am keeping my fingers crossed he survives. I do not wish to lose another friend. I have lost so many over the years.

In spite of the Sharks invading our home yesterday, I dreamt a wonderful dream last night. For a moment, all my troubles were gone. I was home safe in my parent’s house: no drama, no struggle to survive. I lie on my bed snuggling between clean fresh sheets, enjoying the laziness of the day. My mom sang to the radio as she cooked her famous buttermilk biscuits, eggs, sausage and gravy. My dad sat at the table, drank coffee and watched my mom cook as he pretended to read the morning newspaper. My mouth watered as I waited for mom to say, “Boo Bear, come down to eat.”

The Runt interrupted my dream before the invitation to eat. At the first opportunity, the boy dies. Wearing his oversized combat boots, the little pest stomped up and down the 2A hall singing my name. “Madie…Madie…Madie.”
I pulled my mom’s quilt over my head and tried to ignore the noise.

“MADIE…I’M HUNGRY!” the boy yelled as he banged his fists on my door.

“Go eat a POTATO!” I yelled from the comfort of my bed “I’m not your MOTHER!”

“But I don’t like potatoes!” he responded. “I want eggs!” His whiny voice sounded pathetic and needy. Tony caters to the boys every need and treats the gutter-rat as if he were a helpless toddler. The boy’s neediness drives me crazy.

I climbed out of bed, flung open my door and leaned into the boy’s face. “I DON”T CARE! Gutter-rats don’t get to be choosy; especially ones that enjoy disturbing my sleep. Now go away and leave me alone!” I gave the boy a stern look before adding, “Disturb me again and YOU DIE!”

Before I could close the door, I hear a familiar voice say “Afternoon, Sunshine.” It was Sheriff Pete.

Pete and his Posse of deputies do their best to keep lawlessness on this side of town to a minimum, a difficult task considering the circumstances.

I glanced at the clock on the wall. It was later than I thought “Afternoon Pete, How you been?”

“I’m well. You’re off to a cheerful start.”

I rolled my eyes and motioned for Pete to come in. “Better arrest me know ’cause I’m gonna kill that boy someday. What brings you to our humble school?”

Pete stepped into the room and sat on the edge of my desk. “JT stopped by my jail, said you guys had some unwanted visitors.”

“It was the Sharks.” I sad with disdain. “They beat up Tony and took most of our winter fuel and an assortment of other supplies.”

“I heard. Stay away from Xavier and his goons. Don’t confront. Don’t retaliate. They are too big and too dangerous.”

I rubbed my eyes and ran my hands through my tangled hair. I wanted to disagree with Pete but I knew he was telling the truth. We would fail miserably in a one on one fight against the Central Sharks. Except for Matt, his brother Jonas, Tony who lies dying and a couple of others, we don’t fight well.

“I’ll hold a meeting and ask everyone to keep their distance.”

Pete walked toward the door. “Tell your gang, my Posse and I will take care of Xavier.”

I waved goodbye to Pete as I imagine myself plunging a knife deep into Xavier’s chest as the rest of my gang of misfits vanquish his goons.

Still hungry, the Runt returns to my room holding four eggs he stole from the farmers market. “If you cook these, I’ll share.”

I couldn’t turn down the boy’s offer. I hadn’t seen or eaten an egg in weeks.

Your Truly,
Madie

June 4

Dear Diary – Journal Entry 4

Dear Diary,

The Central High Sharks broke into our school in the early morning hours.

The Runt came running up the 2A stairs, stomping in his over-sized combat boots yelling, “Get up, Get up… Madie…Madie!”

The boy is a constant nuisance. I never know when he is telling the truth. I slid deeper beneath my bed covers and tried to ignore the commotion.

“MADIE…PLEASE!” the boy yelled as he banged on my door.

The boy likes to cry wolf. Expecting a false alarm, I pushed open my door and grab the little pest by his arm. I squeezed hard in an attempt to cause the boy pain. “WHAT DO YOU WANT?”

JT and Evan occupy the room next to mine. Irritated with the frequent nightly disruptions, they stepped up behind the boy holding a rope and masking tape. One word from me and they would have hog-tied the boy and tossed him into a rat infested dumpster.

“Can we not lock him in a closet somewhere?” Lisa begs from her doorway.

A dozen others agreed with whistles and grunts of irritability.

“Tony’s hurt!” The 8 year old sobbed.

A fix-it man by trade, a drifter from New Jersey, Tony lives in the school’s workshop, he spends his day fixing whatever we break.

I looked deep into the boy’s eyes for any indications the dramatics on display were a fake. “What happened to Tony?”

The Runt wiped his tears and runny nose on his shirtsleeve several times, “The Sharks beat him up!”

The Sharks live in the Central High School. Xavier is their leader. A former celebrity and wrestling champion; I remember the excitement when he moved into the neighborhood. The admiration didn’t last long. Xavier is cruel; killing one of his favorite past times. For sport, he has his goons use people as punching bags.

“Where is Tony?” I demanded. The Runt was crying so hard I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. The more he sniffled and wiped his nose on his shirt the more irritated and impatient I became.

I grabbed the boy by his shoulders “Stop crying! Where- is -Tony?”

From previous experience, I knew if Tony was hurt, he was hurt bad. The Sharks didn’t leave people a little injured. They left people dead or on the brink of death.

The Runt took a deep breath and pointed, “… in the workshop.”

I shoved the boy into my room. “Stay put!”

I took a moment to gather my thoughts. I looked around at my friends. “Spread out and look for the intruders. Capture the sharks by any means necessary… and feel free to break some bones!”

The Davis brothers could read me like a book. Before I could say, “grab your weapons” Matt and Jonas were at my side, ready to kick shark butt.

The Sharks were gone by the time the three of us arrived in the workshop. Tony’s neat and tidy work-space resembled the aftermath of a tornado. The sharks broke what they could, threw tools around the room and knocked over benches. The winter fuel we stored in the utility shed, stolen.

We found Tony slumped against the far wall, beaten but in good humor. It’s the Calvary!” Tony joked as he spit out a mouth full of blood.

Matt and Jonas went in search of a first aid supplies as I squatted down next to my broken friend to assess his injuries. “Did you have to fight them? Sometimes running away is a better option.”

Tony rolled his eyes “thanks for the advice but they didn’t give me an option… Where’s the runt?”

Tony found the Runt curled up on the steps of the school one morning. The boy was starving and near death. Out of the goodness of his heart, he took the boy in and nursed him back to health. To my dismay the Runt decided to make our school his home instead of running away the moment he was healthy and rejoining the rest of the gutter-rats.

“He’s in my room” I sighed. “He’s safe.”

Yours Truly,
Madie

June 3

Dear Diary – Journal Entry 3

Dear Diary,

My friends have abandoned me for the day. Their extracurricular activities have taken them away from the school. I can’t remember the last time I had this much free time on my hands. I’m bored and lonely. I wish I had a hobby outside of writing, something I could share with friends.

The school is vacant except for a handful of the younger kids skateboarding through the building pretending to be daredevils. I expect one of them to end up with a cracked head or broken appendage at any moment. They have been warned. I have no sympathy for the stupid.

To ease my boredom, I asked the Stewarts to play a game of cards. I was hoping to break-up the dullness of the afternoon. Day in and day out Marty, Gretchen and Cecelia sit in the media center and read. I thought for sure they could use a diversion.

I knocked on the library door with zest. I waited and then knocked again. Marty answered as usual, he never looks happy to see me. The girls stood close behind him giving moral support. I think I would fall over in disbelief if one of them opened the door without the other two.

“Want to play a game of spades?” I held up the cards and smiled hoping my enthusiasm would be enticing.

There was a brief pause and then a sigh from Marty, “No! We’re doing…research.” The girls nodded in agreement.

“Awesome! Can I help in some way?” There was no reply just the closing of the door and a click of the lock. I stood alone in the hallway for a few moments feeling sad and rejected.

This has been my day. I sit bored staring out my window watching the day go by; My friends going about their lives as if I didn’t exist.

Yours Truly,

Madie

June 2

Dear Diary – Journal Entry 2

Hamster

Hamster


Dear Diary,

I was so excited about finding a diary at the mall; I ran all the way home to Bear Country High. It’s the small things in life that bring me joy these days. Sadly, everyone I wanted to see was out; which is unusual. I started to wonder if I had forgotten to be somewhere.

I ran up the steps to the second floor and into the admin offices to find a guard on duty. I found no guard but the resident hamster spinning in his cage.

“Mr. Hamster, I don’t suppose you know where everyone has gone?” The hamster gave no reply but continued to spin.

“Fine, don’t answer me!”

I stepped into the hall and yelled “Is anybody home?” The silence was deafening. In my head, crickets were chirping.

My next stop was the media center, the Stewarts were always home. No stranger couple of three has ever existed. Marty and Gretchen have competing IQs. Their genius stirs conversation way above my level of understanding. Cecelia has a knack for fashion and organizing things. She is not very brainy but in true motherly fashion holds the little family together.

The Stewarts prefer to keep to themselves but I knocked anyway, waited a moment and knocked again. I started to knock a third time when Marty answered the door with an irritated look on his face.
“Can I help you?” He inquired. His face had the look of “Why the hell are you bothering us?”

Cecelia and Gretchen peeked around Marty’s shoulders and in unison sad, What do you want?” There are days when I get no respect at all but I wasn’t going to be persuaded to leave without sharing.

I held up my diary. ” I found this at the mall and it only cost 2 batteries and a bouncy ball!” I was so excited to share my find I started dancing in the hall.

Marty looked down his freckled nose at me and shook his head. “You were robbed.”

I was going to defend my bartering skills when the media center door slammed shut.

Yours Truly,
Madie