Happy Friday, guys!
Today we’re doing something a little bit different. I actually went into a bit of a cleaning frenzy these past few days, mostly to keep myself distracted from my absolutely horrendous last week and my very painful foot. Long story short: My skin got too dry, then tore open during a snow hike in the woods, and now said foot is a pus-filled, absolutely disgusting monstrosity.
Okay, maybe not anymore. When I saw how swollen it was, I decided maybe it was time to go see a doctor, who then proceeded to cut the foot open to get out all the pus. And being the idiot that I am, I thought it would be a good idea to watch, even though I get very queasy at the sight of blood… Let’s just say I will be haunted by those images for the rest of my life 😨
Anyway, disgustingness aside, I happened to come across some of my old writing notebooks while decluttering, and I thought they were too good not to exploit! One that particularly caught my eye was this green booklet that I had completely forgotten about, and maybe for good reason. It’s filled with stories I wrote when I was about ten, and trust me, it shows 😅
If you’ve been following me for a while, you may know that my elementary school writing career mostly consisted of me writing badly plagiarized versions of books I loved, especially Jenny Nimmo’s Charlie Bone series. My best friend and I became absolutely obsessed with having superpowers, and spent hours upon hours playing what we very creatively dubbed “The Power Game”. I must have spent half of my childhood in my friend’s treehouse, pretending to be on the run from an evil villain called Yelda, who wanted our magical abilities for herself. And just to show you what a generous big sister I was: My best friend and I sometimes also allowed my younger siblings play with us, granting them powers like turning into frogs, while we had things like invisibility and shape-shifting. Totally fair, I’d say 😄
And being me, I wrote about it, too. Usually, the hero of my story was a girl called Amoret – yes, I blatantly stole that name from Charlie Bone, too – who was, of course, largely based on me 😇 However, I had actually completely forgotten that there were also other Amoret stories! But, as this one is about to show, that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Apparently, I could “sneak” myself into my writing without even having to resort to Amoret 😅
So yeah – now that you have some context, get ready to cringe right along with me! Here is the first chapter of Amoret, version probably about 1000 🙈🙈🙈 I even went to the trouble to painstakingly copy all of my spelling and grammar errors, so I hope you appreciate them! Though, of course, I’m also including pictures of the original so that you can see I’m not making this up… Unfortunately.
Let’s get started!!
Obviously, we must commence at the very beginning, with this first page I so lovingly taped back together:
Before we get into the story, though, can we take a moment to appreciate that footnote at the top of the page? “Used my name in story because I couldn’t think up a better one”? You might not understand this yet, but trust me, it will be cleared up once you continue reading 🙈
And now, let’s really begin. Because ten-year-old me sure needs some good roasting 😁
Amoret stood in the shadows of a castle overgrown with ivy. Three years had passed since the strange gray haired lady had turned up at her parents house, went in, and came back out smiling. Three years and seven months had passed since the worst day in Amoret’s life, the day she had found her parents in the living room, dead, eyes wide with shock.
Wow, already a killer opening, I’d say. Even as a ten-year-old, I certainly knew how to use anaphora for effect! 🤣🤣🤣 Talk about drama! Although the descriptions of these dead parents are so obviously Harry Potter-inspired that I can’t believe I ever thought any of this was original content… Also, please make sure to appreciate my genitive difficulties – the apostrophes are just going to get worse from here on, I promise.
Amoret had a feeling that the gray-haired lady had something to do with her parent’s sudden death, so Amoret had fled, as fast as her legs could carry her, and had, after five weeks arrived at a cave in a hill, which was covered in trees, moss and ivy. After resting for two days she had made the cave roomy. She made a fire place, a bed of pine straw and a gate for the cave which was made from branches tied together with small vines. Amoret had also dried berries that she had found, brought a rock in the cave to use as a table and dried moss to put on wounds to stop them from bleeding.
First off, let’s appreciate the subtlety of that foreshadowing 😁 That gray-haired lady? Well, she’s going to be important, and you won’t even have to wait a chapter to find out why.
However, I do appreciate my attempts to describe this cave! I mean, the “she made the cave roomy” line is a horrible show don’t tell-travesty (and I’m not actually sure what exactly “roomy” is supposed to mean), but the rest of this isn’t as bad as I expected! Then again, I probably only included those bits because I was obsessively reading survival stories at the time and felt the need to plagiarize some more. Quite a bit of this might have been inspired by Kaya’s Escape and Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter, both of which I absolutely adored back then 😅
But let’s continue…
All went well until two days ago when Amoret had discovered the castle. Around it you had a strangely forbidding feeling and you were always cold, no matter how warm it was around it. Another strange thing about the castle was that no life stirred around here. No birds sang, no mice scuttered around and there were no rabbits nevertheless squirrls.
“There were no rabbits nevertheless squirrls”??? I think that’s all I have to say on this. Unless you want to go into the strange time representation (past tense coupled with “two days ago” doesn’t work, Naemi!) or the insane amount of its in that second sentence 😳
Still Amoret had the feeling that she was meant to come here, alougth she had no idea why. At that moment, Amoret felt much like sleeping, so she sat in a corner of the castle, her head aiganst the wall and nodded off.
What kind of idiot is this protagonist?? You find an old castle and then you suddenly feel like sleeping??? Even though you have a feeling that it’s important? What about exploring first? But I guess ten-year-old me needed to keep advancing the plot in order to give our villain her chance to enter the story:
It must have been about half an hour when Amoret woke. Sleepily, with a sheepish look on her face, Amoret looked around to see what had woken her. A fly buzzed in the distance, but that was the only sign of life. Amoret was about to nod of aigan when she heard voices from inside the castle. “… But you know she’s ought to be like her nosy parents.” It was a woman speaking. The voice was a little croaky but defenetly a woman’s. And Amoret knew another thing: She was certain she had heard that voice before.
Again, look at all these **subtle** details! I wonder where she could possibly have heard that voice before 🤔 Also, the way I consistently spell again “aigan” is absolutely atrocious. How could I ever have though that looked right? And I’m not even going to comment on the “she’s ought” 😫
Suddenly Amoret felt afraid. She had just remebered when she had heard that voice before. Three years, seven months ago, on October 12, 2003, the voice had said: “Good morning, little girl, are your parents home? We’re old friends, you know?” The voice of the gray haired lady.
NOOOO?! Really? I wasn’t expecting that at all. Or rather, I wasn’t expecting all that foreshadowing to be bulldozed over by so much explicit telling.
And another thing. Amoret was seventy seven percent sure that the lady and whoever she was talking to where talking about her.
Seventy-seven is oddly specific…
And as much as ten-year-old Naemi took pride in her spelling skills, she clearly had a lot of issues with where and were. I guess I hadn’t figured out my life hack of translating things into different languages back then. Seriously, bilingualism is a lifesaver with homophones! Learning Latin is what truly taught me the difference between German dass and das – you need dass where Latin uses Accusativus cum infinitivo constructions – and, let’s be honest, German eventually helped me figure out that the English too was something different from to. Does anyone else relate to this? Please tell me you do, or I’ll go ahead and feel even more weird now 😅
Amoret ran with all her might and when she arrived at her cave, panting, she crouched down in the darkest corner in the cave which happened to be her bed that was now also covered in deer skins. After laying under the covers for fifteen minutes, Amoret finally got up to make dinner.
Amoret’s dinner was cooked rabbit with herbs. After Amoret cleaned up after herself she decided to go to bed, but after fifteen minutes Amoret found it was impossible to go to sleep, so she decided to have another peek at the castle. At this time it was pitch black, so Amoret fought it wouldn’t hurt to go inside the castle, since noone could see her.
That’s the wrong “fought”, Naemi. I guess some of your initial th-difficulties are showing here, because unlike most native German speakers, you used to substitute an [f], not an [s], for this sound. Even though I’d have thought you would have known the difference by the time you were ten…
Also, how dumb is it to go back in the dark? What about sound? People could still hear you, Amoret!
And what is up with these fifteen-minute intervals? Let me tell you, the moment I get under my covers, I’m not getting up again until my alarm forces me to. And the covers are made of deer skin? That is so obviously stolen from Kaya.
Amoret krept around the castle trying to find an entrance, her black hair brushing against the ivy. Suddenly a black cat appeared around the corner an waved it’s tail as if it where beckoning for Amoret to follow.
This might be a good time to remind you of that footnote in the beginning and mention that when we played the Power Game, my powers were shape-shifting into any type of animal and using force fields. [Yes, I also really liked The Incredibles, which had come out about a year earlier. 😂]
The cat slincked around the corner and Amoret followed. But when she turned around the corner Amoret didn’t see a cat. She saw a girl. A girl with long blonde hair tied back in a ponytail. Her eyes where dark green, brown and her skin was darkened by the sun. She wore midnight blue shorts and a shirt also midnight blue. Her arms had scars on them and on her left bare foot you could see a horrifing cut about three and a half inches long.
“Used my name in story because I couldn’t think up a better one”??? What a load of hogwash! This character you described is very clearly you, Naemi! Unless you couldn’t think of a better hair or eye color, either. Of course, my life story is not nearly as tragic as fictional Naemi’s and I don’t have any horrifying cuts on my legs (just my badly swollen foot 🙈🙈), but I’m absolutely certain you self-inserted your Power Game aspirations in here 🙄
The girl looked at Amoret and Amoret stared back. She noticed that the girls eyes looked similar to the cats’. After a long moment of silence Amoret finally asked “Who are you?”
“Shhh.” said the strange girl. “Not here, not with Yelda prowling around.” Amoret wondered who Yelda was but she decided it was better not to ask. Then Amoret told the girl, ” I know a safe place, follow me.” The girl looking uncertain followed her.
When the two girls reached Amorets cave (For that was where they where going) they sat down on Amoret’s bed and had a long conversation. Amoret told the girl her life story and the girl told Amoret her’s. Amoret was swept away by the story of the two year old Naemi who had been sitting on her parents’ bed when the gray-haired lady named Yelda had appeared, turned into a beast and had torn up her parent’s with it’s dagger like teeth, while the small child watched in horror.
I’m glad you felt the need to explain that Amoret’s cave was where they were going. I would never have gotten that on my own. Also, what a tragic backstory! I was clearly reading to many gruesome middle grade novels about destitute orphan children…
Furthermore, this dramatic ending has also brought us to the end of the first chapter, so do let me know what you think. Remember, at the time, I basically thought this was good enough to be published!
Also, there’s plenty more where this came from – I have “writing” stored away from all the way back to when I was four – so if you’d ever like to see me do another one of these posts, just let me know 😅 As cringe-worthy as some of this stuff is, I actually had quite a bit of fun dissecting it and reminiscing over all the childhood memories that came up in the process!
And if you also like to write: Do you have any childhood gems like this one? Any funny stories about something pretentious your younger self came up with? I would love to know I’m not alone here!