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Stories written by some of the children attending Kimberly P. Johnson's Writing Workshops.


by Kimberly Grimes


I, Brittany, (11 years) looked out the window at the white moving van on my driveway. We were getting ready to move to Annadale, Virginia. My little brother, Johnny, (6 years) was sitting on a crate, holding his stuffed dog, Spike, and laughing so hard at some cartoons on TV that tears rolled down his cheeks. I don't understand how a cute, fluffy, stuffed dog would be named Spike. I knew very well that I should leave him alone about it. Yet, I didn't have anything else to do, so I went over to Johnny and said, "Have you considered renaming the dog?" "No. It is mine, and I can do what I want with it." "Well, you know what grandma said. She told mom it was for you to enjoy, but at least she wanted you to give it a decent name."


"Well Granny doesn't know what she's talking about, and why should she? She still thinks George Bush is the president! So if you think something is wrong with its mane, my friend at school has a French poodle named Montana."


He was excited about moving to a new house in Annandale, Virginia. My older sister, Myriah, (16 years), who seemed to have a million friends, belonged to a great fashion club, and was very popular at school, loved the "totally cool" idea about moving.


I sighed and went to what used to be my room. It now looked like a prison cell with a shelf and an empty closet. I opened the closet door, just to check. I was relieved to see an old birthday card that was on top of my green notebook. I had a feeling I was about to leave something important. I opened my green notebook, and read the information about the new house on 99th Avenue in Annandale, Virginia that I got from the newspaper. My parents hadn't seen it yet, but if one scary thing happens after we move in, I planned to show them as soon as possible.


"Creepy, spooky, frightening. These are some words people have used to describe that mysterious house on 99th Avenue in Annandale, Virginia. It has been around since 1901! Two people have died in that house recently. An old man, (otherwise known as Ol' Man Maley), and a young girl, Sybil Thompson. Her funeral was held on July 11."


"What a coincidence." I said, raising her eyebrows. "Sybil Thompson's funeral was held on the same day we went to Myrtle Beach to celebrate mom's 41st birthday."


"Two scientists were partners trying to discover a cure for the common cold, (which still has not been found.) They took shelter in that house during an awful blizzard. One woman disappeared, leaving nothing but her clothes on a bug infested couch. The other ran out of the house with her partner's clothes as "evidence". However, nobody believed her, and she was put in a mental institution on August 8."


"Oh my goodness! That was the same day we had a family picnic at my grandmother's house!"


"Brittany, it's time to go!" My mom yelled up the stairs. It's time to leave already? I looked down at my watch: 1:30. A tear rolled slowly down my cheek, then I quickly wiped it away. It wouldn't do any good. My parents decided that we should move. I believed that when two parents agree on something, the kid almost always loses.




..."49 bottles of drinks on the wall, 49 bottles of drinks, take one down and pass it around, 48 bottles of drinks on the wall, 48 bottles of -"


"I thought I told you to stop talking about drinks. You already had 2 Dr. Peppers, 2 Sprites, and a Pepsi. Are you trying to break a world record or something?" Mom said. "No." Johnny replied. "Then I guess there is no need to spend half an hour at the next rest stop like we just did."


I just smiled for the first time in the whole car trip, and I even giggled. I would pay money to Johnny get in trouble. "Mom, are we there yet?" Myriah and I chorused. "No, we still have about 2 more hours to go."


"Can't we just go past the speed limit? There are no cars on this road." Myriah asked in a whinny voice. Ever since my sister got her license and a car for her birthday, (a $755 dollar piece of junk my parents found in the newspaper), she has been driving herself around town. Once she got grounded for two weeks for going above the speed limit. I can remember the argument between my sister and my parents. "You're grounded for two weeks! No TV, no telephone!" That was it, not much for me to remember. They always get their way.


"I have a good game." Mom said, looking at all three of us with brown, sleepy eyes. "The sleeping game." "Huh?" "It's easy. Watch." I watched my mother closely as she rested her head on her right shoulder, closed her eyes and began to snore. "This game sound boring." Johnny said. I agreed. But it only took him 5 minutes to start getting tired, and the next thing I knew he was asleep. Myriah fell asleep about 2 minutes after he did. I started to get tired myself...




I woke up just in time to see a sign:

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