Generation 5 Chapters

Chapter 7.9

Cheyenne

Ugh!

I hated dance.

I was soooo terrible at it!

And we had our recital right around the corner.

Everything was about it hit: dance recital, talent show, play. My parents were coming out to see everything too while they visited my grandpa. And then in a few days it’d be time to go home. NOOOOO!

“Okay, from the top!” Mr. Irvin said, walking toward the piano. One thing I did like about dance was the music. Not some canned stuff from an album, he’d choose just the right melody for whatever we were working on.

But everything went so fast, I could hardly keep up.

It seemed I was always a beat behind.

How did everyone remember all those hard steps?

There was no way I’d be ready by the time my parents came.

“Faster, people,” Mr. Irvin shouted. “Point those toes!”

Finally, the torture was over. I really definitely was never going to be a dancer. Singing, acting, and playing the piano were the only things I felt comfortable with. At least I found that out now. UGH!

When class was over, I was about to ask Kristie if she wanted to sit by me at lunch but then I spotted stupid Hunter waiting for her outside the door.

Geeze. It was like they were married or something. I vowed NEVER to let a boyfriend come between me and my bff. EVER!

She ran over to him like a trained dog. I barfed in my mouth a little.

Okay fine. I was a bit jealous. Could anyone blame me?

Before I could throw myself a righteous pity party (because, hello?, I deserved one), Jake asked, “You want to eat with us?”

“I heard they were catering pizza today! Yay!” Phoebe added.

I looked over at Jake and lifted the side of my mouth. I couldn’t be rude and would never tell him this but he wasn’t my bff. It was weird. We’d eat and talk about stuff we liked but I really didn’t know him at all. Every time I’d ask him about his life at home, he’d change the subject.

But what choice did I have but to hang out with them? Kristie didn’t remember I even existed. “Yeah, it’s supposed to be a ton of different kinds of pizza, but you know which one I like the best? Hawaiian!”

“Ewww…do NOT tell me you eat pineapple on marinara sauce. That’s just gross!” Phoebe scrunched her nose.

How did I know Phoebe would say that?

“I agree with you, Red,” Jake said. “Ham and pineapple tastes amazing.”

Was Jake trying to piss me off by kissing up?

After lunch, Phoebe had to meet up with her mom so Jake asked me if I wanted to play video games during our break. I shrugged not having anything better to do so we went up to his room.

But GROSSSSSS!!!

Kristie and her dweebie boyfriend got there first.

So we hightailed it to my room. Fast.

Dang. Jake was so good at Blasting Cities IX.

“WTF, Jake. Let up on me, please!” I howled, hitting the bomb button a thousand times. But it wasn’t working.

“It’s doomsday, sweetheart. Read it and weep.”

While I was getting annihilated, I asked, “Are your parents coming out for the play, Jake?”

He shook his head. “Nope. Haven’t talked to my dad since I was a little kid and my mom hates this kind of stuff.”

Wow. That was like a hit from a torpedo on the game. I felt like an ass for even asking him. “Oh,” was all I could say.

“I mean, it’s not that bad,” he said, shrugging. “That’s just the way things are in my life.”

I stopped playing. I was losing anyway. “But if your mom hates the arts then how did you get the money to come here in the first place?”

“Oooh, heh heh…” he laughed then didn’t say anything for a while.

Finally, he added, “Um…I won it in a singing contest. Like Sims Idol only for kids. And local. You totally wouldn’t have heard about it.”

Before I could say anything back to him, I heard someone yelling in the hall. Jake and I looked at each other then sneaked out to peek.

“Uh oh,” I whispered.

“Yeah,” Jake agreed.

“Your acting today was the worst. How are you going to make your dream a reality when you won’t even try? And to think you can’t even make the wicked step sister seem evil. It’s just awful. You’d make a wonderful Truliet but you couldn’t even earn the part and now…oh my god, you’re just pathetic!” Phoebe’s mother was laying into her. I couldn’t believe it!

“We should probably get out of here, Red,” Jake whispered to me.

“Yeah, let’s go,” I said.

Phoebe’s mother was wrong. SHE was pathetic.

I felt sooooo badly for Phoebe, I thought about it all day. I mean, I didn’t really want to be Truliet. My heart of hearts loved playing evil characters. Since I totally wasn’t like that, it was fun. That’s what acting is all about. Right?

So the next night, I decided I’d give Mr. Graf reasons to recast. Phoebe would make a better Truliet. She was meant for the part. And I would totally rock the wicked step sister part. Phoebe’s mother was right. It was obvious her heart wasn’t into it.

Why these adults didn’t cast it that way was totally beyond me. It would just take a little convincing.

“Why…if it isn’t my Truliet! What makes you grace my evening, my dear?” Mr. Graf said in his dramatic way.

I swallowed. I had my plan all laid out in my head but nothing came out.

“You’re doing a swell job, my dear. If you’re worried about tomorrow’s dress rehearsal, there’s no need.”

“Look…no…that’s not it. I…uh…think Phoebe should do the part. She’s waaaaay prettier, and better at acting, and totally would kick ass…I mean butt doing it. So, please oh please oh please, Mr. Graf, can she do the part and I’ll be the wicked step sister?”

A slow smile spread on Mr. Graf’s face. Was he convinced?

Getting up from his chair, he came over and patted my shoulder. “There, there, my dear, it’s just a little stage fright. You’ll get over it. Once you get the dress rehearsal over with you’ll find the real thing isn’t much different.

“And you’re a born actress! Don’t ever let anyone make you think otherwise.” He flung his arms up. “When those stage lights go up. you won’t even see the audience and you’ll BECOME Truliet!”

Before I knew what was happening, I found myself ushered out of Mr. Graf’s office and back to the way things were. I was going to play Truliet, Phoebe would do a horrible Grizella, and her mom was going to be cruel to her afterwards.

I wished I knew how to fix it.

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Chapter 7.8

James

Little Cheyenne meant the world to me. And when the school called me on the set of my newest film, I didn’t hesitate. Nothing could keep me away.

After the meeting in the camp director’s office, Cheyenne, in tears, told me she had to clean the cafeteria after the students ate. I felt helpless.

But one thing I’d learned in the industry was that rubbing elbows always helped.

So here I sat with the camp director herself. I guessed the counselors grabbed a bite after the kids were finished.

“Thanks again for coming today, Mr. Sanderson. Just having you here, supporting our camp is pretty surreal,” Mrs. Martin said, almost bursting. At least it seemed she was a fan. That might help me in getting Cheyenne some brownie points.

What she didn’t know was my ex was one of her camp counselors. That was how I’d found out about the camp in the first place and passed it on to Liam who’d told Chey.

Putting on the charm, I responded, “Of course. Your camp is world renown. I’d wished I’d attended back in the day.”

“Well, we do have history. Did you know Swish Hemswort went here? He credits the camp for his success.”

Swish was one of my co-stars in the Vindicator series. Younger than me and way more handsome, that little factoid did nothing to appease me. Although according to Sims STAR Magazine, my star had more power than his, I could feel it waning by the second.

“So, I’m honestly not believing my little darling Cheyenne would have the moxy to hit another child. Are you sure you have it correct? She says she only pushed the girl out of frustration.” Nothing like cutting to the chase.

“Honestly, Ms. Christianson witnessed the fight. You’re welcome to talk to her about it.”

Figured. Annabeth Christianson was my ex. God, I’d thought we’d work out but she didn’t like that I wanted to keep our relationship a secret. My fame ruined things with Lex, I sure as hell didn’t want it to hurt Annabeth. But since I wouldn’t tell my family about her, she’d had enough and split up a few months ago.

Maybe she was getting back at me out of spite? Would she really do that?

Heading into her office without knocking, I spotted her on her computer. As usual. Nothing had changed. Except she’d played her card against my darling granddaughter. No way in hell was I going to stand for that.

“So…beating up little children is still your pastime, I see.”

Sighing, not even starting at my intrusion, she answered, “Cheyenne got into the fight, James. I had to report it.” The fire she’d had for me was still in those eyes. Oh how I’d missed her. We’d met at the studio. She was doing some voiceovers for a bit part in a kids cartoon. She had the voice of an angel.

“You couldn’t cut her a break. Just this once? She lost her lead in the play.”

“Take off those damned glasses and maybe I’ll talk to you about it.”

Shit. I’d forgotton I was wearing them. Annabeth hated me always having to hide who I was in public. But could I help that I’d succeeded where she failed? I tried to get her a leg up with my agency, but she didn’t like to schmooze and that was all part of how things worked.

Pulling my glasses off, I said, “Okay. They’re off. Now start telling me why you’d take out your vengeance toward me on my beautiful granddaughter. There’s no way she’d actually punch anyone.”

“Is that what Mrs. Martin said? I didn’t tell her that. Only that she’d gotten into a fight.”

Shaking my head, I answered, “She says Cheyenne punched the girl and that’s an unforgiveable offense. But now you’re saying you didn’t report that?”

“No. I wouldn’t lie. Honest, James. And Cheyenne shouldn’t lose her part in the play. God, I’m sorry that’s what happened.”

Arching an eyebrow, I said, “So what are you going to do about it? Cheyenne is really upset and Mrs. Martin says it’s up to you.”

“Fine. I’ll talk to her. Don’t worry about it.” Annabeth went back to her work on the computer.

She was so cute when she was flustered. I shook my head. Why was I so terrible with women? Maybe she’d give me one more chance. I had to take this opportunity.

“Thanks…hey…would you like to go out with me tonight? There’s a horrible grade B movie at the Twilight Hills at nine. I know you love to critique bad flicks.”

Annabeth shook her head. “I…I don’t know…”

Aha…she didn’t say no. That meant yes…well, for Annabeth, at least.

Wrapping my arms around her and lifting her chin toward me, I whispered, “I’ve missed you, Beth. Tell me you’ll go.”

All she did was nod and that melted my heart. Maybe she would give me a second chance after all.

*****

Cheyenne

It was great to see Grandpa even though it was for a horrible reason. But I got over not getting to be in that play. I was going to be in this cool band for the talent show. Jake invited me. I was going to play the piano and he would play the violin. (He was pretty good at it too!)

We were about to do some ad-lib stuff today when Mr. Graf burst into the room.

“I want to make an announcement about the play. It seems there was a misunderstanding about Phoebe and Cheyenne’s little…er…disagreement.”

My stomach did a huge drop. How embarrassing! Why would he announce that out to everyone like that? I wanted to literally DIE!

He lifted his arm in the air. “Like any dramatic persons, there will be tussles but as they say in the industry, the show must go on!

“Therefore, I expect everyone in their spots after dinner. And I need you to emote, emote, EMOTE!”

What? Me and Phoebe are off the hook? YES! Way to go, Mr. Graf, for putting his foot down with Mrs. Martin. I beamed, “Looks like we’re in the play after all, Phoebe!”

Smiling, Phoebe gushed, “Wow. I never thought I’d be this happy to play that wicked step sister in my whole life, but I am!”

Kristie gave me a wink. Now I didn’t have to worry about spending so much time away from her!

At practice, Jake and I finally got to the scene where I was supposed to kiss Momeo. Ugh. Like how was I supposed to act something like that without laughing???

Jake tried to help me out by putting his forehead on mine, but it didn’t work.

Giggles bubbled up anyway and I broke the scene.

“Cheyenne. What’s the matter with you? This is a beautiful moment between two lovesick teenagers. Not a clown factory. Now try it again. Please.”

But no matter how many tries, I just couldn’t do it. “Like could we do something that isn’t so…personal?” I asked.

“Cheyenne, think of it not as a kiss but as art. This is YOUR art piece. You are not kissing a boy, you are creating a moment! Understand?”

When he put it that way, it did help.

So I tried to imagine kissing Jack Rackham instead. They sort of kind of looked alike although honestly, Jack was TOOOOOOTALLY better looking but I couldn’t blame Jake for being a counterfeit.

After practice, I got superdeduper angry. Like I was with Jake a lot because my BFF in the whole wide world left me in the dust for HIS BFF. And Jake didn’t really like to hang out with anyone else so I got stuck with him.

Glaring, I said, “Can’t they get a room or something? Like who kisses in front of everyone like that?”

“We kissed in front of everyone,” Jake countered.

“I did NOT kiss you. I was creating art. That’s different. And God, now they’re just being gross.”

Hunter was practically swallowing Kristie’s face whole!

Jake said to follow him, so we hung out on the merry go round. At least I didn’t have to watch them mate anymore.

“Want to spin us, Cameron?” Jake asked. We were taking turns to see who could spin someone off.

“And Cam, wait until I’m totally on this time!” Phoebe demanded.

“All right, babe. Like I said I was sorry last time.”

Phoebe was not very nice to her boyfriend. Pretty bossy if you ask me, but he, for some reason, was okay with it.

In the end, Cameron didn’t wait on her and totally flew it before she got on.

“CAAAAAAM!” she cried.

Even though she was mad at him, she got over it pretty quickly. I figured he just wanted to tease her.

I breathed in as I laid down. Things were turning out way different than I could have imagined even a week ago. Here I was not hanging with my BFF but with the people I couldn’t stand even a few days ago. But Phoebe was a cool person if you ignored some of her princess tendencies and Jake was actually being decent to me. Guessed he couldn’t insult me if he wanted to hang out. And Cam? Well, he was tolerable in an annoying way but I was dealing with it.

“Hey, guys, want to watch Superkids: Cortex Catastroph?” Cameron asked. “It’s out now.”

“Want to, Red? I’m down if you are.”

And that’s how we ended the night. Without my BFF. Too bad the movie was a total bust and I’d fallen asleep.

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Chapter 7.7

Cheyenne

My heart was racing with all sorts of sick feelings in my stomach. My grandpa had to come out and speak to the camp director! How embarrassing!

“Sorry about this, Grandpa,” I whispered. “I feel so bad.”

“Don’t worry yourself, Peanut. I know you probably had a good reason.” He winked.

Aww…Grandpa was the best! Thank God it was him here and not my dad! UGH! He would have blasted me with his scary eyes and disappointed face.

Phoebe’s mom eyed my grandpa like she knew him. Well, of course she knew him. Everyone in the world did since he was such a superstar. His bodyguards were waiting outside the camp. Kind of embarrassing, but he had some weird stalkers.

“So…you’re James Sa…?” the lady started.

“No. Just look like him,” Grandpa said, cutting her off. I had to squelch a laugh since I knew he had to dodge saying he was THE James Sanderson. The woman probably would want selfies, autographs, the works!

She sighed loudly, looking away. Then she hissed at her daughter, “I can’t believe you’d get yourself in such a mess, Phoebe Marie. It’s bad enough you did horribly in practice today, now you might be kicked out of the play entirely! How could you?”

Phoebe waved her arms. “I’m telling you, Mama, she started the fight! I just asked her to help me.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Help you? You shouldn’t need help. You should be doing your best. I’m shocked you weren’t chosen as the lead, but if you weren’t, you should make the wicked stepsister the most memorable of all. This situation is YOUR fault, and I’m thoroughly ashamed of you.”

Those words cut into Phoebe. It was written all over her sad face.

Wow. I couldn’t imagine having a mom say awful things like that to me. My second hand embarrassment just exploded. I really felt sorry for her.

After the camp director had a meeting with all of us, she then wanted to talk to me and Phoebe alone without the adults.

“You two realize my hands are tied. You will not be allowed to participate in the play. We have a zero tolerance policy with fighting. I have half a mind to kick you both out of the camp unless you can explain what happened in a satisfactory manner.”

I heard the clock tick tick ticking on the wall. Getting kicked out??? For pushing? I mean, it’s not like we punched each other like Jake did to Cameron. But Ms. Christianson didn’t see them fight so they were off the hook. Just stupid me shoving Pheobe and Phoebe trying to keep me from pulling out her hair. Ugh. Why didn’t I just ignore her?

She looked between the both of us. “Well…I’m waiting. Phoebe, what do you have to say?”

On the verge of tears, she just shook her head and shrugged. OMG! If no one said anything we WERE going to get tossed out!

Heart in my throat, I blurted, “Listen, Mrs. Martin, we’ve been under a lot of pressure with the play and all. Both of us kind of had a bad time at practice today and lost it. But I’m really sorry I snapped at Phoebe.

“It was mosly my fault and I won’t do that ever again. I’ll do anything to make things up! Honest! Just please don’t kick us out.”

She looked between the two of us. Oh why wasn’t Phoebe saying anything to back me up?

Finally, Mrs. Martin said, “Hmm…well…” she huff a little shaking her head. “Against my better judgement, I’ll let you off this one time but…you two had better start getting along. You’ll also need to work together to clean up the cafeteria. I think everyone is finishing dinner about now. Understand?”

We both nodded and shuffled out of there. I was thankful she gave us a break. Geeze. That was close!

Once we’d entered the cafeteria, the savory scent of turkey and stuffing dinner wafted over me. My stomach gurgled.

And the cafeteria was a huge mess. It was going to take us a long time to clean. We weren’t getting our supper anytime soon.

“Why don’t I mop while you clear the dishes. Okay?” I asked.

Phoebe just gave me a sad face and nodded.

I started on the floor. Who threw all this gunk around? It was like they had an art project explosion in here.

To be honest, I kind of had the easier job. Those messy plates looked disgusting. And Phoebe didn’t seem too happy smelling that gunk either.

I only needed to sponge off a few more spills and then we’d be finished.

Putting some leftovers in the refrigerator, I slammed its door. All done!

Turning to Phoebe I said, “Okay now we can get out of here and never have to look at each other ever again.”

Wincing, she said, “Hey, Cheyenne, I really want to talk to you, if that’s okay. Like somewhere private?”

Huh boy. Was she going to yell at me for getting her kicked out of the play? Well, I deserved it. I’d take her tantrum, say I was sorry, and leave.

Following her to her room, we both sat on the couch at opposite ends. Neither of us looked at the other. I mean, what was I supposed to say? I wasn’t the one who asked us to talk.

But after five minutes of no one saying anything, I couldn’t take it anymore. “Okay, Phoebe, out with it. Tell me what a creep I am for getting us kicked out. Honestly, I feel like total crap for losing my temper and I’m REALLY sorry for pushing you. I had no right and if you don’t forgive me, that’s fine. I get it. But I do promise that won’t happen again.”

“Actually…um…” Phoebe swallowed a few times then went on, “I know I’ve been acting meant to you lately…”

“Yeah, I don’t get that. What’d I ever do to you?”

“It’s not what you did to me…I don’t know why it happened but every time I looked at you, I got angry. Like why did you get everything in the world and I didn’t? You sing, play piano and guitar, and are both Ms. Eskildsen’s and Mr. Adam’s favorite. It’s like not fair! My mother found out you got the lead because of your singing even though Mr. Graf thought I did the best at the audition. So, I’ve been super upset about it, but…after what my mother said to me, I feel awful and I’m not going to blame you anymore. She’s right. I have to do these things on my own if I ever want to get good. So I’m really sorry for everything I’ve done to you. Okay?”

Wow. I never thought those words were going to come out of her mouth.

Sounded like we were mad at each other for silly reasons. I mean, yeah, she was mean but at least she figured it out. And I’d been jealous, too–I understood what that felt like. Plus I could tell her mom put tons of pressure on her to be that little Miss Perfect. At least Phoebe apologized. What more could I expect?

Awkward silence surrounded us again, so I decided to change the subject. “Hey, you want to do something really fun?”

She gave me a sideways glance. “What do you have in mind?”

I motioned for her to follow me and led her into Ms. Christianson’s room. Her couch was the most squishy, and I’d wondered throughout my time at camp what it would be like to jump on it.

To my amazement, it was EXTRA bouncy!

We both giggled and jumped and laughed and I almost forgot about how angry we’d been with each other.

Who knew I could have this much fun with Little Miss Princess Phoebe? Not me.

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Chapter 7.6

Cheyenne

It’d been a few weeks and the play was almost here! I couldn’t believe it. Paris and I had become really good friends. She was so sweet and easy to talk to. She was actually from Del Sol Valley and her parents worked in movies. Her mom was a sound editor and her dad was a boom operator so she pretty much got in free to any premier. She was soooo lucky! I had to wait until I could visit my grandpa to go to movies. My parents didn’t really like them too much.

After all of our classes for the day were over, we chilled in the rec room, playing foosball with Hudson and Kristie.

I got the feeling there was something going on between those two even though Kristie denied it. They were inseparable after last week’s practice when Hudson (who played Lord Sapulet) had a few lines with the nurse (Kristie’s part).

But I didn’t care. Hudson was a cutie! I told Kristie to go for it but she just rolled her eyes and said I was making things up.

“Darn! I missed!” Paris said after she flipped her rods in the game as the ball rolled by.

“Never fear, partner, I got ’em!” I said, flicking my foosball players and snapping the ball into the other team’s goal.

“Dang! She got us!” Kristie yelled.

“Well, we’ll just have to get them back!” Hudson cried, yanking on his bars like he was playing pinball. But it was too late.

I flicked the ball right back into their goal and won!

“YES!” Paris cried.

“Told ya!” I said, making a fist. She bumped me in celebration.

“Don’t worry, Kristie,” Hudson said, nudging her arm, “we’ll get ’em next game.”

Just then all my elation over winning deflated when I saw Miss Snooty-princess swish into the room.

She and Cameron were a thing since like five days ago and they were always rubbing it in everyone’s face, constantly clinging to each other like monkeys on a vine. Yuck.

Even if I did have a boyfriend, I wouldn’t always hold hands and be all lovey dovey. That makes everything awkward for everyone! Puhleeeeze!

And then I remembered our awful session in play practice today.

Phoebe messed up her lines about ten times. I couldn’t believe it. How hard were they? She only had about twelve to learn. I had pages and pages!

“Pheobe, dear, it’s not ‘look what the cat dragged in’, it’s ’twas but soft as a cat and you are nary a one.’ Got it?”

Pheobe whined, “Mr. G, can’t we just amp up the lines? The originals are too hard to understaaaaand! And I can’t remember all those words.”

He crossed his arms. “Fitzy Fakespeare is a legend and we won’t revise his words no matter what millenia it is. Now say your lines correctly or I’ll find someone who can.”

Yikes. When Mr. Graf got angry, it was like a knife in the heart. I was so glad he wasn’t giving me that stone face.

“Yes, sir,” she moaned. I almost felt sorry for her.

Almost.

And then I noticed a woman with a pinched face glaring at her. Was that her mother? Sure looked like her. Wow. I was TOTALLY glad my grandfather wasn’t here eyeing my every move.

Next, I heard Jake’s voice, breaking me out of my thoughts. “Hey, Red, can I play?”

I figured Jake only wanted to join in the game because Hudson, his bff, was making goo goo eyes at Kristie and he was like joined to the hip with him. Jake honestly didn’t mix with any of the other boys which I thought was strange. And he always made fun of me–what I was wearing, how I said my lines, how my hair looked–pretty much whatever he could, he’d tease me. I wasn’t in the mood for it. Dealing with him in the play was bad enough, ESPECIALLY since I had to act like I was in love with him. HUGE EYEROLL! But that’s what ACTING was all about, I guessed.

I just gave him a “don’t mess with me” look.

“Please?” he asked. “I promise I won’t talk about how you must have gotten that t-shirt at a second hand store for old ladies.” He arched an eyebrow looking at my obvious terrible choice in fashion.

I squinted at him. “Nice. Well, I was just leaving anyway. Have at it.”

Some other kids were watching Moonlight Massacre and I’d rather watch zombies eating people than endure any more of his not funny jokes.

As I strode past the lovebirds (shocked they weren’t making out in front of everyone), Pheobe said, “Hey, Cheyenne, could I talk to you?”

I stopped and said, “Sure. What’s up?”

She shrugged and asked, “Could we like go over our lines? You really made me mess up today and I don’t want that to happen again.”

I made HER mess up? Unbe-freakin-lievable. “How exactly did I mess you up?”

Cameron’s face scrunched up. “Seriously? You have to ask? Just help her, will you? How selfish can you be?”

Phoebe put on some fake tears.

“Listen, if she wanted me to help, she should have asked like a normal person instead of blaming me for her screw ups. So no. I’m not going to help until she stops acting like a spoiled princess.”

Before I knew what happened, Cameron shouted, “You take that back!” and pushed me down.

I landed hard. I wasn’t hurt though. More like…shocked.

But the next second, I heard a pop and saw Jake smashing his fist in Cameron’s face!

OMG!!!!

Then Jake helped me up. “Are you okay?”

My face heated up a gazillion degrees being this close to him. “Um…yeah. I’m fine. Thanks.”

Phoebe fake cried even more. “Look what you’ve done!

“I can’t believe you’re being such a BITCH! All I asked was for a little help…”

I didn’t know what came over me. I guessed it was the combination of her tripping me and glaring and doing all sorts of mean things these past few weeks.

The only thing I heard was “BITCH” and I lost it. Running at her, I said, “I’m so tired of your queen bee act. Leave. Me. Alone. Got it?”

“Uh…guys?” Jake shouted. “Ms. Christianson is right outside the door. I think you better…”

“What’s going on here?” I heard Ms. Christianson hiss, but I was so mad, it didn’t even register.

“She’s being a bully!” Phoebe yelled as she pinched her fingers into my neck.

Even though I was probably up to my pigtails in trouble, I wasn’t going to let her get away with being brat. Not this time.

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Chapter 7.5

Cheyenne

My stomach was tickling so much! We were at the acting center where real live movies were shot!

The ceilings were ginormous!

And there were three sets all ready to go. I was wondering if these were going to be scenes from Momeo and Juliet.

When the tryouts started, Kristie went first! She wanted to get it over with. Couldn’t blame her at all.

She started on the first lines with such an eloquent voice. I thought she’d make a graceful and pretty Truliet!

But then she stumbled on her words and froze.

“Can I start over?” Kristie asked in a warbly voice.

Mr. Graf shook his head. “No, dear, I’ve seen enough. NEXT!”

Ugh! Mr. Graf didn’t give her a chance! Well, she did so well at first. I was sure maybe he already knew how talented she was and she’d get the part of Truliet anyway.

Crushed, Kristie drooped her shoulders as she walked off the stage.

Next was little Miss Princess. I was going to relish watching her wilt on stage.

Unfortunately, she was a naturally gifted actress.

She nailed her lines and even put in some perkiness to the part which I thought was clever. Barf!

The rest of the girls were honestly pretty horrible. They were mostly monotone.

Or overacted making my cheeks flush with second hand embarrassment.

Finally it was my turn. Oh. My. GOSH! If my palms sweated any more, they’d drip.

When Mr. Graf gave me the signal, I dove into the wicked step sister’s lines.

All I had to do was pretend I was dealing with little Miss Princess Pheobe and it was soooooo easy.

When I was finished, Mr. Graf said, “Um…could you do the Truliet lines now, dear? All girls must try out for the lead, you know.”

Oh crud! I must’ve messed up. My odds were totally low that I’d get any parts now. UGH! And there were a few girl parts and tons of girls were trying out! I was doomed.

Well, thankfully, I’d prepared.

“Momeo, where art thou? Over here or over there, my sweet?

“His beauty is divine. I could but taste it.

“Is that him climbing over yon window?

“My darling! You’re here! Would that our parents fall over a rose bush and die so that we could be together….FOREVER!”

That was it. All the lines given to us for try outs.

Mr. Graf looked less than enthused.

Crud.

“Thank you, dear. NEXT!”

After I got off the stage, Phoebe said, “Well, you tried your best, Cheyenne.” She was so nice to me only because she knew she did great and was a shoe in for the part. Yesterday, she’d tripped me accidentally on purpose. I had the skinned knees to prove it.

Ignoring her fake act, I turned to my bff, “I bet you get a great part, Kristie. Your intro was so good, I was almost jealous! That’s why Mr. Graf didn’t need to see more.” I hoped I was right. I didn’t want to see Kristie cry.

Next it was the boys’ turn. Jake went first. And surprise surprise, he nailed everything.

His lines.

His marks.

And his projection. What couldn’t the guy do?

A huge smiled splashed acrossed Mr. Graf’s face. “Excellent, my boy! Well done!” He never complimented anyone all day. UGH!

And I felt sorry for the boys who had to go next. They all knew the part of Momeo was going to Jake. Well, there were tons more boy parts. The famous writer of this play, Fakespeare, was a male chauvinist if you ask me.

And even Jake knew he’d gotten the part. It was written all over his smirky face. Grr! He and Perfect Pheobe should go out or something. They’d make a great villain pair! You couldn’t write it better than that!

After everyone was finished, Mr. Graf gathered us around him.

“You all did very well! I’ll confer with my collegues, Ms. Christianson and Mr. Adams on their thoughts and then I’ll make my final decisions. I’ll have the cast list posted in the cafeteria by noon tomorrow.”

It was so painful waiting on the results. The following day, it wasn’t even posted after lunch. So I messed around in my room on my phone. After hours passed, suddenly, Kristie burst in and shouted, “I heard it’s up! Let’s go!”

My stomach twisted. “Oh my God! This is it!”

Once we arrived at the cafeteria, I saw a bunch of kids huddled around the sheet on a wall. My heart leaped hard like I thought I was going to choke.

“No matter if I don’t get a part, Kristie, I hope you do.” I said those words, trying to convince myself that being left out of the play would be okay when I really knew I’d cry when no one was watching.

Gasps and moans flew all over the place. Some people looked sad and others beamed.

I wouldn’t let my eyes glance at the paper until I was ready. Taking in a big breath, I inched my head toward the sheet.

And when I saw all the names, I gasped.

I was picked to be TRULIET!!!! What????

Then I saw Pheobe’s eyes tear as she shuffled out. Honestly, I really thought she did better than me.

Why wasn’t she chosen? Even though we didn’t get along, I felt badly for her. Maybe it was a mistake because she was chosen to play Grizella, Truliet’s wicked step sister.

And then I thought about Kristie. Wincing, I shook my head. Was she going to be crushed?

Before I could go to her, a cute voice behind me said, “Hey, I get to play your mother, Lady Sapulet! I think that’ll be fun. I’m so glad you were chosen.”

Aw…she was so sweet! “Thanks, Paris. I’m glad you got picked, too!” I’d gotten to know Paris Harrington in acting class. She was a really fun girl who liked the same music that I did.

Then Kristie interjected, “Hey, Shy! You got it! I’m so happy for you!”

“Thanks, Kristie. I totally wish it was you, though. I hope you’re not upset.”

“Hey, I get to be your nurse. That’s like being your bff in the play anyway. After I’d messed up, I’m just glad I got a part!”

Jake came up behind me and said, “Congrats, Red. You’ve won the lottery in being able to play opposite me.” He wiggled his eyebrows.

“Gee, I’m thrilled.” NOT!

“Seriously, though, it’s cool you’re Truliet. I thought you did great at tryouts.”

I glared. “Are you buttering me up for some ulterior reason or something? Cuz it’s not working.”

“No ulterior motive. Honest. I just don’t want you mad at me when we’re doing the play.”

Sounded like an ulterior motive to me. I scrunched my nose. He needed a different face in order for me not to be mad at him. But I guessed he couldn’t help looking SOOOO much like Jack Rackham. “Maybe stop acting like a stuck up douche would help.”

He just laughed and shot gun fingers. “You know you like it.”

UGH!

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Chapter 7.4

Cheyenne

I couldn’t believe how much fun I was having at the performing arts camp! Music was the best! Ms. Eskildsen was so cool, just like I thought she’d be.

As we all settled into our seats, she announced, “So, we’re going to start with violins then guitar and finally, you’ll choose between electric guitar and drums. We’re going to jam at a rock concert at the end of camp and all of you will participate.”

A rock concert! Wow. I totally wanted to play the violin.

She scratched her chin and said, “Let’s get to it!”

When it was my turn, I was pretty awful at it. But since I already knew how to play the guitar, I got used to the violin pretty quickly.

Ms. Eskildsen said I did great!

But dance was the WORST! I mean, I really liked Mr. Irvin. He talked about all the things we were going to learn.

We were going to do ballet, jazz and modern dance (even though I totally didn’t know what that last one was at all.)

“Now, I want to see what you can do. Where your levels of dance experience are. Show me your best moves. If you don’t have experience, don’t worry. We’ll work hard on a dance routine that you’ll do well on.”

Next, he showed us the dance we were going to do.

My stomach clenched. It looked super hard. How was I ever going to dance like that by the end of the month?

Kristie squealed, “That dance is going to be so much fun!”

I laughed. Easy for her to say since she loved to dance. I, on the other hand, had two left feet. But I didn’t mind the challenge.

Once Mr. Irvin finished, he said, “Now, it’s your turn!”

I did my best but…I could tell I was about the worst in the class. Kristie was amazing though!

And Jake…he was like a professional.

Definitely stole the show. Everyone stopped what they were doing and watched him.

Next, Mr. Irvin gave us each a dance partner.

I got Jake. At first I was upset. I mean, I hated the guy. First of all, he was always smirking. So full of himself. Secondly, he tried to look like Jack Rackham. All. The. Time. It was annoying! And third, he was the best at everything! Like why was he here if he was so good? Anyway, by the end of class, I started to warm up to him though. In fact, he taught me a cute dance and we weren’t half bad together!

When we were done, I said, “Hey, Jake. Thanks for teaching me some steps.”

“No prob, Red.” The way he said, “Red”, made me blush! Why oh why did he have to look so much like the love of my life????

The next day, we attended acting class. I was so pumped because acting was my very favorite thing to do. And Mr. Adams was my favorite counselor.

As soon as we settled onto our pillows, Mr. Adams announced, “I have a special visitor coming today. Give a warm welcome to our Theater Director, Mr. Otto Graf!”

In walked a weird dude with an even weirder hat. “Hello, young thespians. Today I have the pleasure to announce I will be having a try out for our new play, Momeo and Truliet, a tragedy.”

Mr. Adams cheered behind him.

Momeo and Truliet! My favorite play! Oh, I hoped I could be Truliet. But if not, I just wanted a part. Any part! Even if it was Truliet’s ugly step sister! Acting like a villain was the best.

Mr. Graf went on, “All those who wish to be in the play, meet in the theater tonight after dinner to sign up. We’ll hand out the scripts and have our first try outs the following afternoon.”

“SCRIPTS!” Mr. Adams punched his arms like it was the best thing since dessert.

“And don’t forget. when you’re performing, leave who you are at the door and…

“BECOME the character!” He made a strange laugh sort of like a master villain. “Muahahaaaa!”

This was going to totally ROCK!

Once I got my hands on the script, I wasted no time and dashed to my room to study. Goodness! There were so many parts! Which one should I choose?

I thought about Truliet. So beautiful and sweet. Could I act like that?

I remembered seeing the movie and I certainly wasn’t anything like Truliet. She had dark hair and was super de duper gorgeous. I was just a normal looking redheaded girl.

And OH. MY. GOD!

She had to KISS Momeo!!!!

I sighed. I didn’t mind kissing. I’d kissed my crush in fifth grade. Then he got annoying and I hid from him for two weeks. It was kind of hard since we were in the same classes. But I put on sunglasses and said I was sick. Poor guy got the message. I felt badly for him, but I was a dumb kid and didn’t know what to do.

Well, this was for the art. And I’d kiss a frog if I could be Truliet.

I’d studied all night until my eyes grew heavy and I fell asleep.

Next afternoon, the kids who wanted to try out all rushed over to the acting center.

It was where some movies were shot. Different sets would be on display for us to act in. Our theater director actually acted in movies sometimes! He was almost FAMOUS! Well, no one could compare to my grandpa, but still. I thought he was super talented.

I could tell since he was very dramatic. He threw up his arms and projected his voice even when he was giving us instructions.

I couldn’t wait to do my scenes. I’d decided I’d try for Truliet but seriously, I only wanted the wicked step sister part. She had red hair like me. And she threw on an evil grin all the time. I’d practiced it over and over.

“Okay, thespians, it’s time to show me what you’ve got! You may try out for whatever parts you wish, BUT the part you earn will be the part I believe you’re the best for so no tears! You are professionals so if you don’t get what you want, that’s the breaks. No sniveling. Got it?”

I was prepared. Even if I was just the maid, it was going to be fun just being on stage.

“Sure, Mr. Graf!” I said.

“Who’s he kidding?” Jake said in a hushed voice. “There’s going to be all kinds of wailing if people don’t get what they want.”

“Well, I’m going to be Truliet, so I won’t cry,” Pheobe said. Oh brother. I hoped she didn’t get that part. She’d lord it over all of us.

I wanted Kristie to get that part. She was the prettiest. And a very good actress. Before we entered to center, I put my arm around her and said, “I’m rooting for you to be Truliet! Do your best!”

She gulped. “I’m so scared, Shy. I’ve got jitters in my knees and my stomach hurts.”

I pulled on her and said, “Oh come on! You’ll do great. I know it. You’re going to be the best Truliet ever!”

“You think so?” she asked hesitantly.

“I know so.”

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Thank you to SoulGal7 for the amazing Otto Graf! He got a Maxis Fav on the gallery. Check him out here! OTTO GRAF

Chapter 7.3

Cheyenne

Seriously, I couldn’t believe my luck! Jack Rackham here at MY camp? What were the odds?

I flicked a knowing glance at Kristie who was just as gaga as I was about it.

This was going to be a super-de-duper-callo-fragilistic kind of a day! No…MONTH!

I couldn’t help myself. I ran over to him and just blurted, “So, hey, Jack! What are you doing here? I thought you’d be on tour right now!”

He just looked at me like I was some kind of freak and said, “What?”

I went on anyway because superstars probs can’t hear really well cuz they were surrounded by loud music. “Like don’t get me wrong, I’m happy you’re here. I’m your number one fan, if you know what I mean.” I pumped my arm and winked. I was going over the top, but who cared? This was my biggest chance to actually meet and talk with him!

A girl sitting at his table sighed. “Are you serious right now? His name isn’t Jack. It’s Jake.”

“Yeah, dude,” another boy said. “He’s my best friend. Jake Broke. Who do you think he is?”

My face heated up a bazillion degrees. “My bad,” I said, lamely. “Just thought he looked like someone else.” My heart felt like someone had poked a pin in it and it’d deflated.

The long haired guy laughed. “I bet she thought you were Jack Rackham. What a stupid idiot.”

Jake snorted making me want to disappear into the walls. How embarrassing!

I slunk to the back of the room so no one would notice the total fail that had happened to me.

As I settled at a table with Kristie, trying to think about the fun stuff we were about to do, the lady who’d been talking to my dad waved her arms. “Okay, everyone, let’s quiet down. It’s time to meet your counselors. I’m Mrs. Martin–the Camp Director. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask me. You’ll all be placed into teams with a specific counselor who will be your Team Coach. If you have a problems, they will most likely be able to solve it.”

She pointed to the woman on the end. “Over here in red is Ms. Eskildsen. She’s your music counselor, working in all sorts of stringed instruments as well as song writing.”

“Yo, peeps!” She popped out her fingers.

She looked so cool!

“I hope she’s my Team Coach!” I whispered to Kristie.

“Next is your Singing counselor, Ms. Christianson. She’ll be doing all vocal coaching as well as piano training.”

“Welcome, campers!” she said all prim and proper like.

“She looks nice,” Kristie said.

I shrugged. “I don’t know…she might be one of those ‘go by the strict rules’ type. Would you look at those shoes? I definitely don’t want her.”

The camp director pointed at a long faced guy. “This is Mr. Irvin, our dance counselor.”

Mr. Irvin sort of raised his bushy eyebrows. Not sure about him, but whatevs.

The director blabbed and blabbed until I zoned out.

Then Kristie brought me back to earth. “I’m sorry that wasn’t Jack Rackham, Shy. He really looked like him to me.”

A kid who’d introduced himself as Brandon Cameron said, “What’s the big deal about Jack Rackham? His fame will be dust as soon as he hits puberty. I heard his voice is already toast and he had to cancel his concerts.”

Kristie shook her head. “I don’t know where you heard that from. I looked at his schedule and everything is fine.”

Shrugging, he said, “My father works in the industry. I’m telling you, his fame is almost up. You shouldn’t try too early for it. My father says I will hit right at the prime of my life. I just have to wait. How many child stars actually make it to adults? Jack’s voice is nothing special anyway.”

He did NOT just bust on my one and only. “Dude, why don’t you go bother someone else with your theories? My grandfather was a superstar from the time he could breathe. So SHUT UP!”

He threw a smirk at me and said, “Just you wait. In a few years when we’re seventeen, you’ll forget all about Jack Rackham and you’ll be wishing you were nice to me so I could get you back stage passes to MY concert.”

I wanted to barf right there but that’d be rude so I just rolled my eyes and pretended to listen to the rest of the camp director’s instructions.

Once we got back to my room, I stared at the Jack Rackham posters I’d asked Daddy to put up for me.

“I don’t get it, Kristie. He’s like an exact replica.”

Jake had the same hair, eyes, everything! Maybe that Jake kid knew he looked a lot like Jack so he tried hard to make everyone think he was a star. What an attention hog. I didn’t like him. That much I knew. If anyone had the nerve enough to try to make people think he was someone famous then diss them because of it, he was an absolute turd.

Kristie scratched her chin. “Maybe he’s a twin? Or a cousin?”

I didn’t know but it kind of annoyed me. But whatever. I wasn’t going to give him any special attention because he looked like the love of my life. I had about five different Jack Rackham fan shirts and just because the average Joe–Jake looked like him, I wasn’t about to stop my adoration.

He’d have to get over himself.

The next day, we got to attend acting class. I was soooo pumped! I loved acting! Even more than singing or playing the piano!

And our acting counselor, Mr. Adams, was so cool and fun, too!

He was sitting with everyone last night, cracking jokes. “Hey, Mr. Adams!” I said, when we entered his room.

We all sat in a circle on comfy pillows. Mr. Adams said we needed to feel our parts. Become one with our character. He wanted us to pick out a favorite character from either TV, movies, or even books that everyone would recognize. It was our job to act it out and everyone had to guess who we were! Sweet!

I decided to be the Wolf Who Ate Al Simhara since that was like the most famous movie on the planet.

Everyone guessed instantly! And Mr. Adams gave me a few tips on acting like another species which I thought might come in handy if I was ever cast in a B movie. That’d be like the dream (well at first. Grandpa said acting was like stairsteps. You start at the bottom first!)

Next, that turd-in-a-body-that-looked-like-my-dreamboat tried to act like SuperSandman. And unfortunately, he blew it out of the water. Huge eyeroll. All his great acting skills were going to do was give him a big head which he obviously had already anyway.

Then it was stuck up little Miss Princess’ turn. She thought she was all that. And made everyone think she was a star when it was all in her own head. Her name was Phoebe Reynolds and she made it clear she hated my guts for some reason. What did I do to her????

I snored when I saw her performance.

And Mr. Adams didn’t look too thrilled either. Ha!

After acting, it was time for singing. Kristie didn’t sing. She was into acting and dancing. So when I got there, who do you think sat right next to me?

You guessed it.

That turd, Jake. Ugh.

He gave me a look and said, “So…you really have a thing for Jack Rackham, huh? You know he’s a fake. I’ll be the real deal one day.”

I snorted. “You wouldn’t know the real deal if you tripped over it. Looks to me like you have to copy him because you don’t have your own talent.”

“This IS talent, baby.”

I fake swooned and said, “Oh I’m SOOOO impressed. Eheheheh!”

Not.

Brandon whispered, “Hey, guys, hush. The counselor is coming!”

In marched Ms. Christianson with her perfect hair and perfect face. She was too perfect in my opinion.

“Hello, everyone. Hope you’ve had an exhillerating morning. We will start off with scales. This will allow your voices to warm up and then we’ll go onto something classical.”

SCALES! Ugh. I knew she was going to be boring! Too bad Ms. Elskildsen wasn’t the singing counselor. We’d probably be doing raps to warm up. Sigh.

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Thank you to CitizenErased14 for giving me the beautiful Phoebe Reynolds! We will be seeing her A LOT throughout the story!!! ❤

Also, thank you to VanPelt for Ms. Eskildsen and Ms. Christianson. They are PERFECT!

And thank you to MonaSolstraale for Mr. Irvin and Mr. Adams! We’ll be seeing much more of them!

Chapter 7.2

Liam

My growing anxiety about allowing Cheyenne to attend that drama camp grew to an apex until I couldn’t take it anymore.

I’d made my decision. She wasn’t going. She was too young, too immature, and honestly, why were we allowing this acting dream to even blossom when I knew what that type of future held–nothing good. My dad’s decision to become the biggest superstar in the Sarvel Comic lore broke apart my family. Did we really want that life for Cheyenne?

After I’d put her to bed, my wife and I settled on the couch. Before she could turn on the tv, I stopped her. “We need to talk,” I said, trying to think of a good way to venture into the subject. Charlene was Cheyenne’s biggest supporter. But she didn’t understand that kind of lifestyle. And while I was proud of my daughter’s mind boggling talent, we really should foster other gifts. She’d make a brilliant scientist. Her mind was very analytical.

“What’s up?” she asked.

Wringing my hands, I blurted, “I…um…really don’t think Cheyenne should go to camp this year. She showed tonight that she’s way too immature.”

Charlene blinked. “You’re kidding me, right? Cheyenne’s been counting the days ever since she found out about it two years ago. We can’t go back on our promise now.”

I countered, “Do you really think it’s a good idea to encourage her to pursue acting? Look what it did to my family. I rarely even talk to my dad and that’s because he basically checked out when I was a kid. And Cheyenne acts before she thinks. She’ll be with a lot of influences that I’m not comfortable with.”

“What makes you think Cheyenne will be anything like your father? We raised her. Together. With our values and our love. It was totally different with your parents. Your mother didn’t even know her father until she was like…what? Eight? And your dad’s parents never really loved each other. It’s no wonder they both sucked as parents.”

“How does that make logical sense, Charlene? You don’t suck as a parent and you didn’t even have parents.”

“Because I knew I was going to suck so I read a ton of books on parenting, as you well know. Plus, I had you as a marvelous example. Look, all I’m saying is the acting isn’t what split up your parents. If they’d pursued a career in…I don’t know…knitting, I bet you a million simoleons they still would have divorced. They just weren’t right for each other. Now will you stop worrying? Cheyenne will become an actress whether we support it or not. Have you not seen how driven she is? So we either be her biggest cheerleaders and stay in her life or we fight her tooth and nail and alienate ourselves and never have the chance to be an influence on her when she needs us the most.”

I marveled at the intelligence of my wife. Of course she made perfect sense. Maybe I was hesitant because I just didn’t want to see my little girl growing up.

Charlene put her legs on me and said, “Now let’s watch some tv. You owe me a few hours of snuggling.”

I brushed my hands over her soft cheek, amazed at the overpowering feelings of love welling in me. I was so damned lucky. “How do you manage to always make me feel better?”

“Didn’t you know? I’m half witch and put you under my spell. That’s how I snagged you in college, you know.”

I laughed. “How about you cast more spells on me in our bedroom?”

Arching her eyebrow, she said, “Just bring the wand.”

Cheyenne

Ugh. Kill me now. My uncle had been taking tons of pictures of us for the last hour. Like how many did he need? It was sooooo boring. I was hoping my bff, Kristie Barnes, would come over to relieve my suffering.

“Hold Makenna still, Kian. And smile, everyone!” Uncle Zack said. He was a professional photographer so that made him extra picky on how we were positioned.

But Makenna was so wiggly, it didn’t matter how we helped. She would try to squirm away and mess up the shot. I had to hold her back with my leg.

“Okay, I think that’s enough, Zack,” Dad said. Daddy was my hero at that moment. THANK YOU!

Kian wanted one more of us goofing off. I gave him rabbit ears for keeping me in that chair.

Finally, pictures were over and Kristie had arrived. I marched all of us to the piano. It was time to have some fun. It was hard to think up something that all of us would want to do. Little Makenna was a handful but she didn’t want to hang out with her parents (couldn’t blame her there) so in order to make her happy, we had to get creative.

I thought I’d teach her some notes like how Daddy taught me when I was her age.

But she was the WORST! She just banged on the keys making an irritating sound and scream-o-sang. Oh God, we had to do something else or my ears were going to bleed.

“How about we dance while Cheyenne plays, okay, Makenna?” Kristie suggested.

Yay for bff’s!

SMART bff’s!

So, I played one of my favorites–Flight of the Bumblebee. It had a catchy, bouncy sound, perfect for a toddler to jump to.

Plus it was good for me to practice. I wanted to be at my best by the time summer hit. Couldn’t wait until I went to Plumbob Pictures Performing Arts Camp. If only this school year would fly by.

After Aunt Myla took Makenna for her nap, Kristie and I plopped down on the rug and talked.

“You know what sucks, Kristie?” I said, looking through my calendar.

“Hum?” she answered.

“We’re going to miss the freaking Jack Rackham concert because we’ll be at camp.” I A-D-O-R-E-D Jack. I had all his posters, t-shirts, buttons, magazines. And grandpa even got me SIGNED limited edition tennis shoes. They were white high tops with real gold buttons and chains. SO FREAKING COOL!

Jack Rackham was exactly my age, too, and became a super sensational WooTuber turned teen heartthrob overnight. I felt a bit proud of myself because I’d discovered him WAAAAY before anyone else heard about him. In fact, I’d even had a DM convo with him back in the day. (Well, it was like last year when we were eleven, but still!) And now, he was so famous that of course he didn’t care about little ol’ me. I’d heard his manager scans all his messages so NO ONE gets to the real him.

Sigh.

“Well, we’ll be in Del Sol Valley. Maybe your grandfather can get us into a concert there,” Kristie suggested.

She was always good at suggesting stuff. And usually they were good ideas but not today.

“Nope. Jack is a thousand miles away all summer. I checked his website’s schedule. After he visits Bridgeport, he goes to Windenburg. We’re out of luck.”

The only thing that sucked worse than old jellybeans was not getting to see my crush when he was only going to be two hours away! But the drama camp would be worth it. I guessed I’d have to wait six months when he did the Santa Baby tour.

*****

I thought the school year would NEVER finish! It drug on and on. But finally, June happened! After a snooze-a-roonie long plane ride, we were finally at Plumbob Pictures Performing Arts Center where they host the camp. The place was SOOOOOO amazing! I felt like there were tickle-bees inside my stomach. I couldn’t wait to get started!

Mom said hi and talked a bunch of boring grown up stuff with one of the camp counselors.

The lady seemed nice. She was going to teach us music. I’d signed up for the violin since I suck at it.

“Is there a strict curfew at this camp?” Dad asked. “I’d heard there were a few kids who’d snuck out last year.”

Oh, DAD! How embarrassing could he get????

“We’ve made a few changes to our protocol as well as upped our security. That won’t happen again.”

Well that didn’t sound fun. But still…I would never sneak out. Why was Dad even worried?

Parents!

After I thought I was going to die a thousand deaths from all his ridiculous questions, Dad decided to embarrass me even more by picking me up and hugging me in front of everyone! Geeze! Didn’t he know I was almost a TEENAGER???

“I’m going to miss you, my pumpkin pie. What will I do without you every day?”

I giggled. Daddy might have been overdramatic and totally embarrassing, but I loved him anyway. “Gonna miss you, too.”

After I had to endure even more kissing and hugging from Mom, they waved good-bye and I was all alone.

I kind of had some nervous jitters but those all flew away when Kristie surprised me! Yay! My bff!

“Right on time!” I said. “Are we going to have fun or what?”

Now I figured we’d go to the cafeteria, get a few snacks and wait on our introductions by the counselors. But instead, I got the biggest shock of my entire life! No joke. I thought I was going to die of a heart attack right there.

THE Jack Rackham was sitting in the cafeteria as if he was just some regular kid!

My heart soared out of my chest. I was in literal heaven.

Thank you Haswh for providing the beautiful Kristie Barnes who will be Cheyenne’s lifelong friend! Thank you for letting me have her! ❤

I’ll be updating sporadically now since I don’t have as much time anymore. This is a busy time of year for me so…just be on the lookout for these. I’ll try to post Mondays always and then if I have time either Wednesday or Thursday. ❤

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Chapter 7.1

Cheyenne

“Ahh!” I screamed in my most dramatic voice. My brother, Kian, was doing his best piratey scary act and I was the damsel in distress. Our little cousin Makenna was another damsel.

There were too many damsels.

I squeaked, “Oh please don’t make us walk the plank, mean old pirate! I have children who would miss me!”

Makenna just parroted, “Childwen!” She was the cutest three year old on the planet.

Mom and Dad sat me down this morning telling me how important it was for me to make sure I watched out for her. Ever since Uncle Zack and Aunt Myla had moved away to Brindleton Bay, we never got to see them much. But they’re here for a few days, on their way to see my grandpa in Del Sol Valley. And since I’m the oldest (I just turned twelve), I was supposed to babysit whenever the grownups did their boring blabbing. I didn’t mind at all.

And boy did she need watching. She almost fell out of the cardboard boat!

“Hold on!” I yelled, pulling her back inside.

“Uh oh!” she cried.

Whew. Tragedy eliminated. I decided to become a dastardly damsel instead.

Grabbing a sword, I thrust it under the offenders neck. “How dare you, scallywag! The princess almost lost her life in the sea!” I was pretty good at making up dramatic lines.

My brother even looked scared! But then he popped the fourth wall. “Geeze, Shy, I’m not the one who pushed her. She fell on her own.”

Oh. My. God. Did he not understand dramatic tension? He’s supposed to counter with a maniacal laugh and a parry. I crossed my arms and rolled my eyes. Brothers.

Then Makenna started slobbering all over Kian’s sword.

He wiggled it and yelled, “Get off it, Makenna. You’re not supposed to eat the sword.”

After a ton of bribing with cookies, I finally pried Makenna’s mouth off the wooden blade. Thinking fast, I became a talking water dragon and roared, “It is futile to resist, filthy plunderer! Lay down ye arms or I’ll waylay yon vessel with my mighty fire breath!” I snorted for effect.

Makenna squealed, “Mighty bweath!”

Kian laughed hysterically, raising his arms. “You’re so awful at this, Shy. Mighty fire breath? Hee hee! You’re the skinniest dragon I’ve ever seen!”

That was it.

I jumped to my feet (unknowingly bouncing Makenna off my back in the process) and screamed, “We’re just pretending, dork-face! Why can’t you just go with it instead of having to break character? God! Are you stupid or something?”

He shrugged like he was all innocent. “Is it my fault you don’t fit the part? Just saying…”

Liam

It was so good to see my brother. I’d really missed him. Ever since Myla got a job in Brindleton Bay as a vet a few years ago, we’ve drifted apart. Of course, we talked a lot on the phone but it just wasn’t the same. I couldn’t blame him for the move. It was a chance for them to be around Mom so she could babysit for them. It was so ironic. Mom was now a great caretaker of their little daughter, Makenna, when she was anything but while we were growing up.

Zack was telling a story about a photoshoot gone bad when I noticed my wife’s angry look.

Uh oh. I didn’t like that look. “What’s wrong, honey?”

“You don’t hear the yelling? I told you Cheyenne was too immature to handle babysitting with her brother.”

Sighing, I said, “I’ll go check on them.”

Cheyenne

“You think you’re so much better? This is what I think of your acting.” I gave Kian a thumbs down. He was lucky I didn’t flip him off. “Plus, you’re an asshole for constantly ruining our fun.”

“Uh…Shy? I’d shut up if I were you…”

I was about to give him a pithy retort when my father’s cold stare shot me in the heart. Dead.

“Uh…hi, Daddy!” I said, hoping he didn’t overhear me call my jerk brother names. “Everything is just fine here. No need to worry. You can go back and do your grown-up boring things. I’ve got it all under control.”

“What do you mean, under control?” my lame brother sneered. “You just called me an asshole!”

Thanks, Kian. Way to make sure I was going to get it.

“Kian, take Makenna to her parents,” Daddy said with his totally scary-as-a-vampire voice. “Cheyenne, let’s go to your room and talk.”

Kian whispered, “Serves you right. I’d never call you an asshole.”

There were only a few things that frightened me. One, not getting the lead part in our school play every year. And two, disappointing Daddy. For some reason he had like this super power of making you feel really guilty without even saying a word. I guessed it was because I looked up to him so much that just thinking about screwing up and getting his angry face made my heart squeeze until it burst.

I was very close to tears as I faced him.

“I don’t understand, Cheyenne. You promised to be on your best behavior. Why are you calling your brother names?”

Thinking through, I did overreact. Why was I so dumb? “I’m sorry, Daddy. I shouldn’t have done that. It’s just…he makes me so mad sometimes.”

“We’ve talked about this. You must control your anger, Cheyenne. You’re too old to be acting like this. How can we trust you to go to drama camp this summer when you can’t get along with your brother for one night?”

Uh oh. Just the thought of getting drama camp taken away was like facing the big bad boss in The R.E.F.U.G.E. XII. I gulped. “I’m really sorry, Daddy. I won’t do that again.”

“But that’s what you always say and now, here we are again. How can I believe you?”

I chewed on my nails. What could I say? I mean, I wanted to be good but it was so hard sometimes, especially with an annoying little brother who thought he knew it all. But this was for drama camp! And it wasn’t any old drama camp. It was Plumbob Pictures Performing Arts camp in Del Sol Valley. I was finally old enough to attend. I would take classes for not only acting, but also singing, dancing and playing piano and guitar. It was going to be heaven for a solid thirty days!

But all I could say was, “I dunno, Daddy.” Tears pinched the back of my eyes.

Daddy put his hands on his hips and said, “I guess you’re not mature enough to handle a thirty day camp, Cheyenne. And that’s very disappointing.”

Panicking, I burst, “Oh Daddy, please let me go! I promise I’ll do better. How about if I’ll make sure Makenna is as happy as a bug in a fuzzy blanket rug and I won’t argue with Kian and I’ll even tell him I’m sorry. Honest, I didn’t mean to call him names and I won’t do it again even if he tells me I suck at acting or a hundred other possible things he could do to annoy me. Will you give me another chance? Please?”

He didn’t say anything which felt like the apocolypse was about to rain fire from the skies (or my bedroom ceiling). But then his face relaxed and I saw a twinge of a smile. “Okay, Cheyenne. One more chance. You need to get along with your brother faithfully. And if he’s doing something to annoy you, just ignore it. Okay, pumpkin?”

Liam

We didn’t hear a peep out of the kids for the rest of the night. Cheyenne truly came through with doing her babysitting job. We had told her we’d pay her initially, but since she’d gotten in trouble earlier, she offered to do it for free. I felt that was a step in the right direction.

When it was time for us to go to bed, I smiled when we came upon our children.

“Aww…” Myla said. “Isn’t that so cute?”

“Yeah, who would have guessed after the screaming match earlier?” Charlene answered. “Go figure.”

The kids were out, together, looking very happy. I’d always pictured mine and Zack’s children getting along like this. And that Cheyenne was sleeping on Kian’s lap meant they’d really made up.

After scooping up a dozing Makenna, Zack and Myla headed to their car.

Our house was set up for entertainment but only held three bedrooms–not enough for them to stay.

“Well, babe, I gotta hand it to you.” Charlene threw me a proud look over her shoulder. “You’ve got a way with Cheyenne. Looks like she did a great job here. Want to get her to bed while I take Kian?”

“Of course.”

Wrapping Cheyenne up in my arms, I walked through our living room to her bedroom. I caught a glance at our family picture we took while visiting Selvadorada last summer. It was hard to believe Cheyenne was turning into a young lady already. I wasn’t ready for it.

She still hadn’t had her growth spurt yet, so it was honestly hard for me to wrap my brain around her leaving us for a thirty day camp. I didn’t feel like she was old enough for it. But that was six months away. Surely, she’d do a lot of maturing by then.

She was so impulsive at times that it worried me. I mean, what if she got in trouble at the camp because she didn’t go by the rules? And worse.

What if there were boys at the camp? The thought of her flirting with any during that trip made my stomach roil.

She was still my little girl. Maybe attending the camp wasn’t a good idea after all.

Welcome back to the continuation of these crazy Days! And I must say this will be a crazy generation. 😝 Thank you for sticking with me through the much needed break. I’ll be updating on Mondays and Wednesdays. If you want to follow this story, please make sure to punch the follow button on this website. Or follow using discord where you’ll receive email notices.

See you Wednesday!

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Merry Christmas!

Hey, guys! Thanks for the best 2019! Day & Knight became very popular and I have you to be grateful for! 💝

That said, I’ll be updating this on January 6th. I won’t be on a set schedule though so keep your eyes peeled for a chapter. I’m going to shoot for once or twice a week but I’m also going to be updating Tribe Wahine as well. (If you didn’t know about that story, it’s messed up by Photobucket atm so if you want to read it, you’ll just have to start from the sixth gen on WordPress.)

I’ve left you with an update of the Day family tree. The spares have been busy in my game so if you’re curious, scroll around the tree and see what’s been up.

See you next year!

Love you!

Pammiechick

DAY FAMILY TREE