Today, KidMag is posting a short story titled: Distant.
KidMag rates the following story for ages 8+
NOTE: Some parts of the story have not been paragraphed to set a more realistic example of a child’s writing.
Hot, wet tears poured down my face and neck, stinging my insides. My hoodie was damp and my back ached from the hard brick wall I was leaning against. My hair was rumpled and knotted, with all the elastics free. My shoes were old, dirty and falling apart. My shirt stayed hidden under my jacket.
“ ooh look it’s little miss. brat sitting in the corner”
chanted some boys from my class.
I sniffled and hid my head as far down as it would go. I knew it wouldn’t do any good but it was better than listening to their rude taunts.
“Come on out, Jay-way”
They said with mocked baby voices.
I stayed where I was though, trying to not let the rude words hit me like a bullzye. They were closing in, and before I knew it, I was smelling their dirty breath against my face.
“ what’s that you got there, sniffles?”
“is it a teddy bear”
I clutch my jacket tighter.
I said my voice shaking with fear
“ its- its just my jacket”
My words surprised me, but I still didn’t feel any better. Life was still miserable. School was still dreadful. And my mom wasn’t going to come back anytime soon.
So I just sat there, letting their words splash me like gigantic waves.
( CHAPTER ONE, BYE Jay LAURENCE)
Jay woke up on a sunny day. She was excited to go to school and play with her friends. She walked downstairs and poured a bowl of her favourite fruity cereal. Then she walked to the fridge to get a glass of orange juice. She turned on the lights and saw all her family pictures on the wall. She was loved and happy and smiling. Shortly after her mom walks downstairs. “ good morning honey. Did you have a good sleep” says her mom, smiling a warm smile. Jay nods and hugs her mom. Then she grabs a mug and serves her mom coffee. They sit down together and talk about the upcoming day. “So hon, what’s on your schedule for today,” asks Jay’s mom, taking a sip of her coffee. “ umm… well in school were learning about measurement and we have a spelling test tomorrow” Jay says taking a spoonful of soggy cereal. “ how about you mom?” Jay asks politely.
“Oh thanks for asking honey, well I’m hosting a meeting at the bank today and I have three new clients. And I might be a few minutes late after school.” she leans back in her chair and yawns while Jay put her bowl by the sink. ‘ ok, off to school you go, hon. Have a good day I love you” she blows some kisses then turns back to the newspaper. Jay opens the door and walks out into the cold, ready to have the best day ever!
By: Jay Laurence
So, I guess you’ve probably figured out by now that my name is Jay. I know. It’s a dumb name for a girl, but Dad thinks it’s a beautiful name, like the colours in a blue jay. Whatever, I kinda like the name too.
Also, what you just read is my book. I like writing about what would happen if my life wasn’t terrible, and yes, it is. So, what I wrote is pretty much the opposite of how my morning went, by far.
Don’t bother feeling sorry for me, I don’t want that and I don’t need that.
Oh yeah, my mom died a month ago.
That hurts, a lot.
We had a good bond so, it’s kinda strange sorting out my problems with Dad, or my used to be Dad. You see, the thing with dad is, he’s just kind of silent right now. Like, I’ll walk into a room and instead of waving, or looking up from his phone, he justs sits there, his head staring at the table, letting his eyes look into an ocean of grief and sadness.
It hurts that I’m pretty much alone when I come home after school, because, well, I have no friends.
That stinks too.
So I just listen to some music on my iPod then fall asleep. Then I wake up and make some soup. I usually pour dad a bowl, but it always goes cold because he likes to eat alone now. And I’ve tried talking to him, writing him notes, saying I love him.
But.. nothing, not a single word. Something has changed with him.
I hoped I could change him back.
(chapter two by Jay Laurence)
Jay skipped happily to school and waved at the crossguard. She looked at the pretty icicles hanging off houses and the sparkly snow, glimmering in the morning sun. as she neared the school, her excitement grew. Finally reaching the big magnificent, brick school, she ran towards her friends shouting words of “hi’s” and “good mornings”. Jay and her friends laughed and played till it was time to go into the bright red school. “Good morning, Mrs. Macey” Jay says politely. “ good morning to you too, Jay,” says Mrs, Macey smiling. Jay hurries to catch up with her friends and surges into the classroom. She gets out her journals and pens and makes sure she is ready for class to start. Her Favourite teacher, Mr.Farrell walks in with a smile as big as the empire state building. “Well class, I’ve been thinking it’s time we covered story writing and everything to do with it” he bellows excitedly.
Jay hops out of her chair and leaps up in the air with her fist pumped in victory. Jay had been waiting for this moment for seven months and it had finally come to her. When everyone was finally settled and calm, Mr. Farrell began to talk about beginnings, middles, and ends. Jay took in every bit of scattered information and treasured it forever. Although they never got to story writing, Jay was still happy. She couldn’t wait to come home and tell her mom and dad. By the time the lunch bell rang, she was full of excitement and pleasure. So she was glad to burn off some energy when she heard the briiing of the lunch bell. She had a recess she would never forget and knew the rest of her day would be fun-filled and satisfying.
I’ve always loved books. I’m a huge reader. Fantasy, fiction, non-fiction, anything really. And also writing too, as you’ve noticed. But the one thing I can’t do is:
get my dad back.
I’ve tried and tried. Nothing works.
So I’ve decided to write a book. No, not the one I’m writing right now, but a different one. One about someone’s mother who dies and how her dad is silent. Then the dad is slowly going to realize that his daughter needs him and he must turn back into the loving, joking father he once was.
I know, it’s genius.
Also, I’m going to put it under an anonymous name like Julie Lean.
I started thinking about my story idea at school today and I’m really excited. I went to grab Dad’s laptop to start writing. I hoped dad wouldn’t notice but, he wouldn’t really do anything about it. So I began typing.
When I write, my brain gets clogged with ideas and words and it’s like a waterfall of inspiration is pouring through my head. So I took my time, enjoying the feeling of optimistic. By the time I finished the first chapter I had produced a fine start.
So far, it was about a girl named Mabel who lost her mom a year ago. She’s really sad and wants her mom back. But then her father goes silent and she needs help taking out her feelings but her dad can’t help her. She also has no friends. I finished there for the day, hungry for chicken noodle soup.
I went to the kitchen and got out pots and pans and two bowls, like always. Just then I heard the slow, lazy footsteps of Dad in his nightgown. I looked up surprised but was disappointed when he kept his eyes on the floor and trudged to the washroom with no sound at all. I let out a breath and went to stir the soup.
Things better turn around soon I thought, scooping soup into a useless second bowl.
(chapter 3 by Jay Laurence)
When Jay got home that day she helped herself to a peanut butter sandwich. She wrote in her journal and waited for her mom to come home. Finally, she heard the swing of a door and her mom came into the room, with a big smile on her face.” hi mom. How was your day” Jay asks. “ oh, it was good honey, how was your day” said her mom. “ it was the best day ever!!” Jay squeals, excitedly. “ really? What made it so awesome?” mom asks. “ well, we’re going to explore story writing,” Jay says. “ awesome honey”, Jay smiles and heads to her room. She decided to get ahead of her class and start writing a story to show her good work. when her mom asked her to come down and set the table, she skipped down the stairs to eat the best meal ever.
I get really teary thinking about Mom. That’s why I stay out of it. You may have thought in the past chapters that I don’t care at all about her, but I’ve heard you have to stay strong with something like this, so I’ve been biting my tongue every time the topic comes.
Sometimes I will eventually cry. But the kids in my class don’t get it. They’re just little oddballs in outer space. Well, they seem to like that in my mind.
I don’t really pay attention in school. I mean, what do some silly marks on paper matter? And Dad doesn’t even care. So what’s the point?
Anyways, I worked on my story today. It’s going well. I think I need another two days and it will be ready.
I get up from bed and walk downstairs like I do every morning. I get soup for Dad and I and I left an extra bowl out, just for him. I ate alone and went to bed. I fell asleep and wake up to another horrible day.
It’s kind of like a cycle.
(chapter 4 by Jay Laurence)
The next day, Jay could not wait for school. When she finally arrived, she went straight to her desk and got a pen and paper to take notes in class. “ well Jay, I can see you’re excited for L.A” said Mr. Farrell, as he walked into the classroom. Jay beamed and nodded vigorously. Jay checked her watch. It was just about time for class to start. “Alright class, everybody ready to write some stories?” Mr. Farrell asked. Jay jumped up in her chair and yelled yes as loud as she could, along with the other kids. Then, before she knew it, she was grabbing a laptop and writing a world of marvellous fantasy.
I shout and leap out of my chair.
I had finally, just finished the story I had been working on for the past week. And now it was time to show it to my dad.
Writing felt so good. It was the only thing that made me happy, it was the one thing I looked forward too. So when I finished that story, I felt a mixture of emotions. Part of me was happy and proud of myself, but the other half was sad and disappointed.
But I did my best to punch those jumbled feelings away because the affect of my story would be better than feeling happiness, better than walking on rays of the sun, even better than a sunny day at the beach.
I logged onto my computer and searched for a story cover. After a lot of scrolling, I finally found the perfect one. Then, carefully, I tiptoed to Dad’s room and put the book on his bedside table.
All I had to do now was wait. And let me tell you, that wasn’t easy. I decided to read, to get my mind off of it. So I sat there entering a world of beautiful fantasy watching the clock tick by. I knew it was time to make soup, but my anxiety had replaced my hunger.
Finally, after two hours, my dad walked into his room and looked to his bedside table. I held my breath. Slowly, dad picked up the book and flipped through the pages. He nodded, frowned and made weird expressions with his face. My heart was beating hard and at any second it would bounce out of my chest. I was breathing heavily, trying to calm myself, but the pressure was too hard to control.
I watched as dad climbed into bed, flicked on his reading light that he never used, and curled into bed, his nose almost touching the pages. Yes. I thought. Finally!
(chapter 5 by Jay Laurence)
School was good. Home was good. Everything was good. Life was good. Jay thought those words through her head every day.
Waiting. It’s a thing you learn in life that is almost impossible to master.
Waiting gives you anxiety, anxiety gives you nerves. Waiting is silent and dreadful. Waiting is counting down the days until test results come in. Waiting is waiting. We all have to go through it in life eventually, and when we do, it’s torture. Nothing but pure torture.
Sadly enough, that’s what I have to go through right now. Waiting for my dad to finish his book. Waiting for a family again. Waiting to be happy again.
I hadn’t been feeling my best these days. Probably because of all the waiting and stress. So I got into my PJs and ate the canned, steamed vegetables dad left out for dinner. And I was happy for something new because I was getting tired of onion soup.
Then, like every night, since I finished my book, I snuck to the door of dad’s room and watched his eyes dart across the words I had written. It felt enchanting. Then, Dad finally put the book down after about twenty minutes. So I tiptoed back to my room and went to sleep with a smile on my face for the first time in a long time.
(chapter six by Jay Laurence)
Jay was enjoying language arts immensely. She was coming up with juicy words every day and had written pages by the end of each class. Her classmates looked up to her for help and she was filled with pride every time they did so.
I was still waiting for Dad to finish the book. I kept checking on him every night and he was still reading it. So I was sure the day would come soon. But big news had struck since I had written the book. Something almost as good as getting dad back: we had a new girl in our class.
Once I heard the word new girl, my heart jumped into my stomach. I had been dreaming and dreaming for this moment. The moment I was not alone. The moment I wasn’t the only one friendless. So I spent the whole recess investigating her.
The new girl’s name is Eaden. She’ from Toronto, and she says that compared to Canada, the weather is like a beach. That’s hard to imagine because Minnesota is colder than an ice cube.
She has dark red hair, with a crooked smile. Her eyes are hazel and her clothing is casual with a T-shirt and jeans. She looked nervous, but soon she was answering questions from other girls. I didn’t want to get involved, so I stayed back until recess was over.
When the bell finally rang, I trotted up to Eaden. She was walking back slowly, taking in everything around her. The other girls who were once near her had run off into the school. So I held my breath and started walking closer and closer. Eaden looked up.
I said. Eaden smiled and said hi back.
“ wanna eat lunch with me”
I said encouragingly. Eaden paused, surprised. Then she said
“ sure! I would love to”
I smiled, and she smiled back.
I hoped that was just the beginning!
(chapter 7 by Jay Laurence)
Jay’s story was due next week, but she had already finished. Her teacher and parents were super proud of her and quite a bit impressed. Her story was nine pages long and her ideas never stopped flowing through her head. She was thinking of entering a contest!
I had never had such a good school day since the day mom died. Eaden and I became friends. I wouldn’t say best friends though. But we were getting there. We planned to hang out sometime after school. I learned more about her too.
I hadn’t told her about Mom, or Dad. I decided that could wait. I knew I would have to tell her eventually though, but I knew she’d be there for me while I told her. School seemed to go by faster once I made a friend. It also seemed to get a lot more fun.
These days I was so caught up with school and Eaden that I forgot about my dad reading my book. Until one-night dad sat with me while I was having dinner.
He walked right into a chair, sat down and took a big gulp of soup. I was so surprised I couldn’t speak. Then he started talking to me. Which surprised me even more that I almost fell out of my chair. Eventually, I calmed down and listened to what he had to say.
“ have you ever heard of the author Julie Lean”
He said curiously. I couldn’t believe it. He had finished the book. All this time I had been waiting for him to finish, and now I hadn’t even noticed he was done.
“ no, I haven’t. Have you?”
I asked, innocently.
“ well yes, not until I found a book written by her”
I smiled and pressed on.
“did you like the book she wrote”
I asked sucking in a breath.
“yes. It was excellent writing. Reminds me of your mother’s”.
I beamed but tried not to let my cheeks get red. Then dad said the thing I’d been waiting months for him to say.
“ I’m sorry I went silent on you. It’s not fair and you didn’t deserve it. I’ll be a better dad from now on and help you with school work and problems. I don’t know why I went silent, but I guess I couldn’t control my emotions. So I’m sorry Jay, really sorry”
My head was bubbling with thoughts and feelings. All the emotions I felt when he was gone, fear, sadness, loneliness. And now it was over. My emotions were taking over and all the regret, guilt, worries were spilling out of my eyes, soaking my face and making my eyes red and puffy. I ran to my dad and gave him the biggest hug in the world. I let my feelings spill onto him and soon he was hugging me back. We stayed clenched together for a long time. Finally, my dad let go and asked me a question.
“ You actually wrote that book, didn’t you?”
I thought about what to say. Would he be mad I didn’t tell him it was me? But then I thought, he needs to know anyways and he would probably fill with joy when he confirmed it was me. So I let out a breath and said,
“ Yes. it was me. Me all along”
(the last chapter by Jay Laurence)
Winter break had come fast for Jay. She had entered a story contest and won. She used the prize money on new pencils and books for her writing. She had also started a book and writing club. The new year was full of hope for Jay and her family as she descended into more and more writing. She had lots of friends, tons of story ideas and a heart full of joy. She was loved by family and friends and had a new passion to write. And finally, after many years of switching and thinking, she decided that when she grew up, she wanted to be an author. Or a librarian.
Jay and her dad had a lot of catching up to do. At dinner they would talk for ages, sometimes not getting up from the table for two hours.
Dad had told her how his company was giving him a new computer. Jay told her dad all about Eaden and her other story that she just finished.
But the only thing that still hung in the air, was telling Eaden. She decided not to worry about it though. Dad was back to normal now, and she could tell Eaden about Mom easier than Dad. She put it behind her back and carried on life.
Eaden was now her best friend, and she was having sleepovers with Eaden every Friday! Her life was back to normal. Her Dad was back. She had a best friend. Nothing was better.
Not even close.
We hope you enjoyed KidMag’s short story, Distant, written by KidMag publisher, Awesomeella!
If you have any questions or were confused about the story, make sure you tell us using our contact page and we will try to clarify the best we can.