The idea came from a nightmare from over three years ago as I saw myself as the main character of a girl about eleven or twelve.
It was an orphanage that only had little girls. In one particular part of the orphanage there was a group of girls about the ages of eleven or twelve who were most likely the prettiest of them all. They were the ones who chose exactly which girls would be allowed to join them in their unique room. No one was allowed to be in this room with them unless given permission by these girls. The adults; however, were allowed to access the room to check up on the girls during the night to make sure that they had fallen asleep at ten o’clock sharp. They had special keys to open each and every room in the entire orphanage. The most difficult room to access was, of course, the “special room” with the pretty girls. There were two doors to the room, but both required an extension of an attached ladder or bridge: one that would go horizontally across to and from the landing and the other would be lowered down from the landing of the room.
I was woken up one morning by my parents with some sad news. They had to bring me to an orphanage because they were struggling financially to even take care of themselves as well as me. Personally, I had difficulty believing them. I believed that they just wanted time alone with each other to do adult things. Anyways, they drove me to this orphanage that was pretty large, but appeared to need quite a bit of repairs. It had a bit of a scary look about it, which only made me nervous. Of course, my parents were completely oblivious to any of this and brought me into the building to take care of the paperwork. The director of the orphanage, Mrs. Proctor was a very nice lady who kept her black hair up in a bun which only accentuated her slightly aged face. After she shook my parents’ hands, she escorted them out with many thanks and then returned to me. “You’ll really enjoy it here,” she said smiling at me while noticing the frown upon my face. I sighed and continued to follow her as she showed me around the orphanage.
All the girls I met were quite friendly and some of them were so cute and innocent as they stood up high against my waist. At the end of the tour, Mrs. Proctor introduced me to the five prettiest orphan girls. There was Abby, Chelsea, Sadie, May, and Darla. “Hi, I’m Tara,” I responded as I shook all of their hands. Abby was probably the cutest of the girls, while Darla was the prettiest. “You can join our room if you like,” said Abby. I couldn’t believe my ears.
“Really?” I asked.
“Absolutely,” Abby replied, “you’d fit right in and we have an extra bed that’s available.”
“Well, then that’s settled,” said Mrs. Proctor, “I’ll make sure your things are brought up to your room, lunch is in an hour and the girls will show you the schedule in their room.” As she left, the girls extended the bridge for me to walk across. They walked with me into the room and showed me to my bed. The room was filled with magazine pictures of the teenage boys they admired from television.
“How did you get all of these?” I questioned out loud.
“Some of us decided to pack them up from home before coming here,” said Darla.
“Why didn’t I think of that?” I wondered. The girls giggled. I sat on the bed and we started to talk about ourselves to get to know each other. I learned that Abby was thirteen and the oldest in the room, with Darla just a few months younger. Darla and Abby started at the orphanage together when they were six and had been there the longest which turned them into best friends. Surprising, considering how attractive they were. You’d think that someone would’ve wanted to adopt them by now. Abby appeared to be the leader of these girls while the others very rarely spoke. That night, we told each other ghost stories before bed.
The next day, I followed the schedule that was given to me during breakfast. Although there was a schedule in the room, those schedules were all the other girl’s schedules that were posted, which only showed me that typically they would have breakfast at 7:30, four classes, lunch at noon, then three classes afterwards till 3:30. The rest of the day was filled with chores until dinner at six o’clock and the last three and a half hours of free time. I noticed that there were ten minute breaks for students to walk to their next class and use the washroom. At lunch, I joined all the girls from my room. I enjoyed being part of the group because it made me feel especially pretty or attractive to say the least. Since Darla and the others would basically follow suit to whatever Abby would do, I decided to join in. Besides, I never saw any harm to any of it.
After about two weeks, I started overhearing that Chelsea, Sadie, and May were contemplating about the possibilities of escaping the orphanage. They continued these discussions whenever they noticed that Darla and Abby were out of sight and didn’t see me nearby. Their conversations always ended with, “but that would never work because….” It almost seemed as if these girls were desperate with ideas. So one day, I thought I’d approach them about it.
As Chelsea, Sadie, and May were walking towards their Art class together, I tagged along, while they were discussing their ideas to escape. “Why do you guys feel like escaping?” I asked. They turned to look at me as though they had just seen a ghost.
“Oh my God, Tara, please don’t tell Darla or Abby,” Sadie said.
“Why? What’s wrong?” I questioned.
“You have no idea! Just wait and you’ll see!” cried May.
“But this place seems so nice and Darla and Abby are pretty cool,” I answered.
“Just please don’t tell them! Please!” Chelsea pleaded.
“Okay,” I said, befuddled.
“Promise?” requested Sadie.
I nodded and the bell rang as they went to art, and I ran to History. During the boring lecture by Mrs. Fletcher, I contemplated the reasons why Chelsea, May, and Sadie would even be considering ways to escape the orphanage. Not to say that I would’ve wanted to live in the orphanage till I was eighteen, but it wasn’t an unpleasant orphanage like most people would typically think. I later narrowed it down to four possibilities: a) they are scared of some ghosts in the orphanage, b) they are scared of Darla and Abby, c) they are scared of the adults, or d) they are simply insane. I wrote these down in my private journal and tucked it carefully inside my bed. I shrugged off the concern, believing that the girls were probably just d. INSANE!
The next day, I was approached by Mrs. Proctor. I was a bit concerned at first, thinking that maybe I had done something wrong or had forgotten to do something. She brought me into her office where I first met her. “Am I in trouble?” I asked.
“Oh my goodness, no!” she laughed, “I just wanted to tell you some good news!” I listened very intently. “Your parents got better jobs and are looking forward to picking you up tomorrow night at 5:30!” I immediately jumped up and down with excitement and screamed with joy and ran to give Mrs. Proctor a hug.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I shouted.
“Don’t thank me silly,” She giggled. Then it hit me.
“What about my chores?” I questioned.
“You’ll probably want to start packing at five, will that be enough time?” said Mrs. Proctor.
“Then you’ll be done with your chores by five, and don’t worry about any other chores.” she smiled.
The next morning, I told the girls about the good news. Chelsea, May, and Sadie were very happy for me, while Abby and Darla weren’t. Abby took the news horribly. She wouldn’t talk to me all day. I felt bad and didn’t know how to respond as I got myself ready for the day’s classes. Each class seemed meaningless while I was busy thinking about returning to my parents. Finally, I went to English, the last class of the day. I could barely focus with my mind’s excitement over going back to my parents. When the bell rang, I zoomed out and back to my room, but I was not prepared for what happened next.
I knocked on the door. “Come in,” came Abby’s voice. I entered the room and the door slammed quickly behind me. It was Darla. “What’s going on?” I asked. I looked around the room and saw that Chelsea, May, and Sadie were tied up with rolled up bed sheets.
“We found this.” Darla told me and held up my journal. Abby’s face was so red, she couldn’t even speak. “In here,” she continued, “we discovered that you heard these girls were trying to escape the orphanage, is this true?”
“Be very careful with your answer,” Abby managed to growl.
“Yes.” I whispered bashfully.
“We thought it was interesting how you had listed four possible reasons as to why they would even consider leaving,” said Darla. “The biggest concern we have is you snitching out the possibility that innocent Abby and I are the reason why they’d want to leave.
“But I didn’t even circle-”
“It doesn’t matter!” shouted Abby. “You deserve to die!”
“Okay now, we don’t need to be so hasty!” Darla exclaimed. “Please tell us which one you thought was the reason.” she requested.
“Letter D,” I admitted.
“That’s a lie!” yelled Abby. “Let’s kill her!” She ran and broke off a piece of wood from the chair and attempted to stab me. Immediately, Darla pulled Abby away and Abby took some rope from under her bed and tied her next to the other girls.
“That’ll teach you!” shouted Abby. “Don’t worry Darla, you are still my best friend. Now where was I.” I grabbed Abby’s piece of wood, tripped her and as she fell to the floor, stabbed her several times. Then, out the window, I saw my parents closing the doors of their car. Then I heard adults outside the door.
“It’s time for dinner!” The adults shouted as they attempted to open the door. I quickly ran to close the door, scared to be in severe trouble when all I wanted to do was escape the orphanage.
“We’re not ready, we’re changing,” I answered. After a few minutes, the adults finally left. Not caring about my personal items, I flew out the door, down the stairs to meet up with my parents. I gave them each a very big hug. “I’m so glad to see you guys, but can we go home quickly… there’s so much I need to do at home.”
To Be Continued...