Perfectly Me - Part 1 (comment pls or no part 2!)
I always knew I was different from the others. While the other children played with each other, I played with the animals around the neighborhood. I could talk to them, like no other child, and they could talk to me. I breathed heavily through my nose as I looked around the courtroom I sat now.
I had sat in this courtroom many times this year. My parents had left me a year ago now. It was because, I had told them I could talk to animals. I had told them when I was eleven, expecting them to be please. But instead, all I got was anger and I was taken to many different doctors over the year, trying to find what exactly was ?wrong? with me. They left me on the twelfth birthday; I woke up and ran to their bedroom, expecting to see my mom's cheery tan round face and her sparrow brown colored hair in a braid, with my dad beside her, his black mustache perfectly combed and his work suit on, his glasses shiny with his bright green eyes gleaming.
I found nothing. I tried looking all over before finding the note on the table beside a birthday cake with twelve candles lit. I remembered looking at the note and what it said: Dearest Clarissa, My mother wrote in her perfect handwriting, we are very sorry to not be here on your birthday. We had to leave sweetie, we're sorry. Happy birthday love and good bye, Forever sending our love, Mother and Father.
I remembered the burning feeling in the back of my throat. I never cried though, I never really had, my parents use to tell me. It had been a year now, I was thirteen. I still didn't cry. They didn't want me; I was much too embarrassing and weird. They didn't say that in the letter, but
I knew they meant it. I was snapped back to reality when the judge cleared his throat.
I tilted my head slightly and studied him. He was aging badly, his red face was big and puffy, and his eyes small and squinty like a pig.
"Marvin," He said in his usual wheezy voice, "Have you found a home yet for the girl? Any family members come forward to claim her?"
Marvin, the president of C.H.A.D which stood for, Children Having a Home, shook his head. "Not yet, she doesn't have any family members who can take her. Her mother and father didn't have any brothers or sisters in their family and their parents died awhile ago."
I stared at Marvin. He was small and skinny, with balding brown hair. The judge pursed his skinny lips.
"Then we'll have to send her back to the C.H.A.D orphanage." Marvin nodded and stood, I followed suit. We got in his small red car and started back to the place I hated most. I had been there earlier, and hated it with a passion. The girls there were cruel, and taunted me because I told them of my gift. They put bugs in my bread and dinner, and put sand in my blankets.
I only had one friend there one time, her name was Annabelle. I called her belly. She loved that I was able to talk to animals, she had a turtle who wasn't eating the little bit of bread Belly sneaked him every once in a while. I asked him why he was off of his feed. He turned his head to stare at me. I am old, child. I am dying.
I turned to Belly and told her, she cried slightly and hugged her turtle. The next day he passed away. While I was hugging and comforting my only friend, I asked her how she ended up here.
Perfectly Me - Part 2 (Please comment or no part 3!)
"My parents died in a fire Clary, I managed to escape through a window. They don't know how the fire got started. What about you?" Belly tilted her head and stared at me with her big blue eyes.
I bit my lip and told her how they left me, her eyes growing larger with each word.
"I'm sorry Clary," she pulled me into a hug.
One day, one of the older girls, Lily, was bulling Belly and I jumped up and knocked Lily down.
"You little animal freak, leave us alone." Shrieked Lily.
"Why did you end up here?" I snarled, "did they hate you so much? Because I can understand if they would!" I wanted to take it back as soon as I had said it.
"I'm-" Lily held up her hand and fell back to her bed, tears erupted from her, shaking her whole body. Her friends, Kelly and Till glared at me and tried to comfort Lily.
"They drowned, tried to save a dog," exclaimed Lily angrily. "They swerved to miss the mutt and went right over the bridge. they couldn't get out in time."
I stood there mouth open, I didn't know what to say besides, "Sorry."
So I left the room with Belly. The next morning a couple came, the Holdings. The lady was tall, skinny and had crow black hair in a bun. She looked down at each of us through her long pointy nose. She stopped in front of Belly, a slow smile spreading over her thin red lips.
"Calvin," she said her voice high, "I found the one I want." She reached down and patted Belly's head.
Belly's eyes widened in fear. Calvin Holding bustled over to his wife, he was fat and short with light wispy hair.
"She's very pretty Mary," said Calvin softly to his wife. It was true, Belly had long blondish-white hair and was very fragile looking, with pale skin and eyes as blue as the ocean.
"Have you found one to your liking?" Asked the headmaster here, Miss Gutenberg, The holdings nodded and pointed to Belly.
"You have picked Annabelle? Good choice!" The couple and Miss Gutenberg went to her office.
Belly ran over to me, quivering with what seemed excitement and fear. "Do you think that they'll be nice to me?" She asked.
I nodded and stroked her hair lovingly. "You'll be fine Belly... I'll miss you though," I added quietly. She wrapped her little eleven year old arms around me.
"I love you Claire. I'll never forget you, we'll meet again soon though, right? Promise me we will." I promised her, and then they took her away to her new home.
Perfectly Me - Part 3 (please comment or no part 4!!!!)
I remembered that night. None of the girls bugged me that night. They must have understood somehow. I was snapped out of my thoughts as we pulled up to the gray building. Marvin turned to face me.
"I have to hurry on home now, so get your stuff out and head in." I followed his instructions. I headed up the stairs quickly. I put my stuff back my bed and made my way down the dining hall, for supper.
The other girls looked pretty surprised, expect for Jenny. She was queen bee of them all, the meanest of them all. She gave me a glare that could burn holes.
"Sit down please Clarissa," said Miss Gutenberg with a stern look. I sat down immediately and began to eat the oatmeal in front of me.
After we had studies, even though this was an orphanage, Miss Gutenberg said she'd like to have us smart, as more people like that. She taught us all she knew, math, science, English, and social studies.
I hated math, science and social studies with a passion. I was terrible at it! But I enjoyed English a lot; it came easily to me, easier than the other girls. I was secretly glad that I was better at something than them, it was fun to watch them turn bright red, especially Jenny, when Miss Gutenberg would suggest that I help them, and they to work hard on their sloppy work.
Early the next morning, we we're awakened by Miss Gutenberg, "Hurry up and get dressed!" She hissed at us, "There is a couple here to see all of you, so make your beds and dress quickly!" She left and scurried down the stairs.
For a few seconds we all just stood there, glancing at one another. Then we started jumping around getting dressed and making our beds as if our life depended on it. Sometimes I wonder if it did. The couple came upstairs 10 minutes later. The lady, Mrs. Led, was very beautiful, her light brown hair in soft curls, her face a light brown, her smile lit up the room immediately. Her husband, Mr. Led, had lighter skin and his hair was darker then hers. But his hair was curly too.
"Hello girls," said Mrs. led softly, her voice high and cheery.
"Hi," we all voiced together shyly. Jenny put on her shy act, I could have puked. Mrs. Led turned to me. "What's your name?" She asked.
"Clarissa," I said strongly. She nodded.
"How old are you Clarissa?" She followed her arms and looked at me with interest.
"I'm 13. Will be 14 in 3 weeks and-?
"She's a strong worker!" Cut in Miss Gutenberg, "she gets along with everyone too, very pretty also, note her light caramel hair and green eyes."
As Miss Gutenberg talked on and on about how I earned my keep, I felt like a horse being auctioned off. They talked for about fifteen minutes more before heading into Miss Gutenberg's Office. While they were in there, the other girls turned to me.
"Bye." They all voiced, then turned back to their beds, not looking at me.
Perfectly me - Part 4 (please comment or no part 5!!!!)
I feared for a little bit that they wouldn't say another word to me, that they were angry at me since I got to leave. When I had all my things packed and Mr. and Mrs. Led were ready to leave, I said my good-byes.
"Good bye girls. Hopefully, we will one day come in contact soon."
I left the room with Mr. and Mrs. Led and we got into their car. I didn't say good-bye to Miss Gutenberg, just merely a nod of the head said it all.
When we were moving along I finally spoke.
Perfectly me - Part 5 (please comment or no part 6!!!!)
“Where are we going, Mr. and Mrs. Led?” Mr. Led smiled.
“Going home of course, we live in Texas.” “And please,” Added Mrs. Led, “Call us Winnie and Reggie.”
I felt surprised; no adult had ever asked me to address them by their first names!
“Ok,” I said shyly. “Also, Texas is awhile away from Alberta isn’t it?”
Mr. -No, Reggie nodded. “It is quite a long way. We have a horse ranch there, and a boy, hmm around your age working there. You are 13?”
I nodded, “14 in 3 weeks.”
“Yes then you are almost as old as him, he’s almost 16. He cleans up after the horses and breaks some horses,” added Winnie.
“He breaks horses!?” I yelped imagining horses in such pain hurt me. I was as crazy about horses as any living person could ever be.
“No no! It means, break to ride. He introduces it to the bit, bridle and saddle! And he does a mighty fine job eh Winnie?”
Winnie nodded. I sighed in relief. “That makes sense,” I said slowly. “Am I allowed to ride?”
Reggie nodded, “Of course! We even have a little surprise for you!”
“What surprise?! Oh please tell me!”
Reggie and Winnie shook their heads no. “You get it when we get there. It’s only 2 hours now.” Winnie said with a smile. I sighed, I snuggled into my seat. Might as well as get some sleep!
“Clarissa. Clary sweetie, wake up!” Winnie gently nudged me awake. “We’re here! Come see your surprise!” I gazed up at Winnie and smiled at her. She looked very sweet and had such excitement on her face that I couldn’t help but smile.
I got out of the car and followed Winnie to the barn. Inside, Reggie was holding on to a beautiful dun mare.
“Who’s this!?” I exclaimed, hurrying over and petting the beautiful creature on her star.
“This,” Said Reggie handing me the purple lead rope, “Is your surprise. Her name is Wildfire, she’s 6 years old and she’s a Morgan!”
“I thought her name was Wildfire?” I said slowly stroking the calm mare on her neck. She was so soft.
“It’s a breed. Anyways, our stable hand is around here somewhere, he’ll show you around, so you know how to clean up after your horse, groom her, saddle and bridle her. Winnie and I have to go start on dinner and preparing your room. Have fun!” Winnie and Reggie walked out and I stood there looking after them holding on to Wildfire until they disappeared.
“So you’re the new girl.” A voice with a British accent made me jump and gasp, startling Wildfire. I managed to calm her down before glaring at the boy. “Don’t you know not to startle people?”
“I’m Tyler, but call me Ty. You must be Clarissa.”
“Clary,” I said coldly.
Again he shrugged. “Bring Wildfire over here.”
He motioned to me to follow and we put her in the nearest stall to the door. “These are your grooming tools,”
He said pointing to a box near the stall brimming with items, “You use them to clean your horse.”
He stepped inside and demonstrated how. I studied him as he did. He was quite handsome with tan skin, dark curly hair and intense almost chocolate brown eyes. I blushed when he noticed me staring.
“Got it?” His British accent made his words sometimes hard to understood, so I just nodded.
Perfectly Me - Part 6 (please comment or no part 7!!!!)
"These, is what you use to clean her stall." He pointed out a shovel, and a wheel barrel. "I'll help you with feeding her tomorrow morning; the feed is in that room."
He pointed to a door that said "Feed Room."
"Pretty easy to find," he smiled. "Let's go in. Supper will be ready soon, we got to wash up." He led me up to the house. It was brick red and big.
As we entered the house, the aroma of roast, potatoes and carrots filled our smells.
"Yum it smells good!" I exclaimed and Ty smiled. We sat around the table and started eating. I looked at Ty.
"You've got a British accent; you must be from Britain right?"
He nodded. "I was born there and raised there for ten years till my parents decided to come to Canada. We live right down the road. We've been living in Canada for five years now. What's your story?"
"Ty!" Exclaimed Winnie. Ty hung his head in shame. "Sorry," he muttered.
"No its fine, why shouldn't you know?" I felt bad about how cold I sounded. "I told my parents something, they didn't like it, so on my birthday 2 years ago they left me. I didn't even hear them go, I don't know where they are and they have never bothered to call or write or even find out where I AM! THEY DON'T CARE! THEY DON'T LIKE ME! THEY DIDN'T BOTHER MAKING SURE I HAD SOMEWHERE TO GO THEY KNEW I WOULD GO TO AN ORPHANAGE WHERE ALL THE OTHER GIRLS THERE MADE MY LIFE A LIVING NIGHTMARE! WHERE EVERYONE THOUGHT I WAS A FREAK! NOW YOU KNOW.." I took a deep shaky breath, I was in tears and my throat hurt from all the yelling.
"Now you know, are you happy?" I pushed back my chair and stood. "I'm not hungry can I please go to the barn. I want to say good night to Wildfire."
Reggie and Winnie nodded and looked down at their plates. I ran out the door and into Wildfire's stall. "Oh Willie they probably hate me now, I made such a fool of myself in there!" I buried myself into her neck and cried more and more. She blinked at me as I pulled back and studied her face.
Its ok child, soon enough you will feel welcome.
But what if I don?t wildfire? I feel so appended already?
"Clary, I'm sorry," I gasped turned around and stared at Ty. He came into the stall.
"I shouldn't have said those things. Listen, in 2 weeks there is a party at my best mate's place. You can come if you want." I nodded, "Thanks. I'll think about it."
Ty turned around and walked out.
Perfectly me - Part 7 (please comment or no part 8!!!!)
I sighed and hugged Willie one more time before leaving, turning off the lights and shutting the big doors. I went into my new room. It had horse wall paper, blankets, pillows, and horse books. I smiled, changed into my pj's and climbed into bed, grabbing one of the books on the shelf I began to read 'Justin Morgan had a horse,' when Winnie popped her head in.
"Clary, lights out." I sighed and shut my book; she smiled and shut off my lights.
The next morning I stretched and yawned, the morning sunlight streamed over me. The smell of bacon and eggs frying on the grill was enough to get me moving.
Quickly I changed into a yellow tank top with a jean jacket and shorts. I hurried into the kitchen smiling slightly at Winnie who was just scraping eggs and bacon on toast. She set the plate in front of me and busied herself making another plate. Reggie was reading the newspaper and sipping coffee, noticing me he lowered it and peered at me over top of his reading glasses.
"I've got a big surprise for you today Clary!"
I tilted my head to the side and raised my eyebrows as I sank my teeth into the delicious bacon egg sandwich I created for myself.
"What kind of surprise?" I mumbled through a mouthful, and then peeked up at Winnie, wondering if she'd scolded me on my bad manners. She didn't.
"Well I'll just show you." Reggie shoved what I thought was a newspaper at me. It was actually advertisement for a horse auction. It read, Dead stone creek horse auction of 2011, enjoy friends and family, hotdogs, hamburgers and much more! Come bid for the horse of your dreams, or the equipment, all happening August 22 starting at 10:00 to 7:00.
"Are we going there?" I heard my voice rising with excitement.
Yes, and it's a good half an hour drive to Dead stone creek, and its 9:00. So hurry along and feed Wildfire and meet me in the truck."
I reached the barn in 5 seconds flat; I was always a very fast runner. I opened up Wildfire's stall and let myself in.
Guess what Wildfire? I'm going to a horse auction! My very first one! I aimed my thoughts at the dun mare as she yawned and blinked a few times to wake herself up.
Hmm I wouldn't be so excited small one. A lot of horses there don't go to good homes. I almost didn't before Reggie and Winnie took me in.
I filled her feed bucket and tried to figure out by what she meant by "Not good homes," as she was munching on her feed and sipping some water I asked her.
What do you mean Willie?
Have you ever heard of meat buyers? Well they buy us for meat.
I gasped and bit back tears, why?
We animals don't know, as we are just animals. People expect a lot from us, us to know everything, to go a bit faster on the race track, to spin around that barrel a bit tighter or lift our feet a bit higher on the jumps, we can't always please, Clary.
Oh Willie! I gripped her in a tight hug. Were you about to go to meat? But nothing is wrong with you!
She nudged me away and showed her fury by rearing a bit and pawing the air. That is it! Most horses have nothing wrong with them! People are just done with them. I bumped one jump and my rider was finished with me, she put me in the auction not caring where I ended up, either to a cruel owner or someone's stomach. But some people do care, like Reggie and Winnie, they save horses from going to slaughter.
"Clary, it's time to go!" Reggie's voice carried high to the barn awakened me from my talk with Willie. I gave her a pat and ran to the car.
Perfectly me - Part 8 (please comment or no part 9!!!!)
The Cherry Bay Mare
Chapter Two: Dead stone creek Horse auction
Half an hour later we arrived at the auction. As we were walking around, I noticed a lot of poor looking animals. Horses with hooves badly in need of trimming and then there was the fat ones that got to the feed first, opposed to the skinny ones.
I noticed one that caught my eye. She stood at least 15 hands high, she laid her ears back and snapped at anyone who got to close, she was a cherry bay with a very long mane and tail.
"Reggie, that cherry bay right there with the laid back ears," I said pointing, "what breed and age is she?"
Reggie sighed and studied her, "she's a mustang, unbroken it looks and she is about 8 years old from the looks of it. Why?" He raised his eyebrows at me.
I blushed and shrugged, "just curious." I then noticed a tall, lanky man with black hair carrying a piece of paper, looking over each horse in the pens. He stopped at the cherry bay mare and snickered.
"She'll certainly be mine." He muttered under his breath.
I glanced up at Reggie to see if he noticed. He had. His eyebrows were scrunched up and when he noticed me looking he sighed and patted my back.
"Just the way it goes Clary." Then he moved on to some other horses. I studied the mare.
Why are you so grumpy? I asked the mare.
She flattened her ears my way.
Yeah I can talk to you, I teased the mare, please talk to me. That man who just walked by, he's a meat buyer. He wants to buy you for meat. If you act well, I could convince my foster dad to buy you.
She snorted and danced in place then bucked and raced around the pen, pushing a chestnut and a sorrel out of her way before running into a big blue roan stallion.
He snorted angrily and bit her on her rump sending her squealing around the pen. I smiled a bit as she acted up even more; she defiantly had spunk and spirit.
Just talk to me pretty girl.
She reared and galloped straight towards me then stopped all of a sudden right in front of me, her chest heaving and taking deep breathes. Seeing no fear on my face, she snorted and went back to annoying the blue roan and the chestnut. I hurried towards Reggie.
"Reggie! Hey I've got to ask you something. I know I've got Wildfire, and that's great! But please, there's this one horse here! I really want her!"
Reggie frowned slightly. "Okay, show me here." As we started towards the cherry bay mare, a voice rang over the stadium, spooking a skinny palomino into a full out gallop around her pen.
"Okay, ladies and gentlemen! Please make your way to the bidding arena, we are about to begun!"
Reggie glanced at me, "point her out in the arena."
We rushed towards there and found some good seats; I glanced around checking out the people around us. There was a man and lady, dressed up very showy like. The lady was wearing a bright red dress and black high heels; the man was wearing a tux, making me think they had just come from a party.
The lady noticed me staring and gave me a pointed look, wondering why I was staring; I just blushed and ducked my head. A girl to the side of us had earphones in and bubblegum pink hair. She wore all black, even her lipstick was.
"OK! Here in the arena now, is a little bay mare," my head shot around to study the mare. She was skinny, her ribs sticking out bad, her mane was spiked up and she looked young and scared.
"She is 4 years old, a pure bred Morgan! Let's start the bidding at 100 dollars."
"Is that the mare you like?" Whispered Reggie in my ear, I shook my head no.
"Sold, to the man in the suit for 500 dollars!"
I glanced in surprise at the couple who were celebrating but stayed in their seats; I blew a sign of relief and smiled smugly at the meat buyer. He sighed angrily and waited for the next horse to come, his paddle ready.
"Next is a black stallion! He's young, only 5 years old and a mustang! We'll start the bidding at 100 dollars!"
"150 dollars!" Called the girl with bubblegum pink hair, she noticed me staring and offered me a smile. I smiled back.
It kept going till it was at 800 dollars. The pink girl won.
"Congrats!" I said to her. She smiled and nodded.
Perfectly Me - Part 9 (please comment or no part 10!!!!)
15 horses later, the cherry bay mare came. She was fighting the men who held her all the way, rearing snapping and kicking at any chance she could.
"This feisty young thing is a cherry bay mustang; she is straight from the wild! She is 8 years old, with great feet and confirmation," I noticed he added more details, trying to make her sound more valuable obviously.
Settle down! I shot my thought at the mare, for one second she stopped and pricked her ears before shaking her long mane and began rearing again.
"Uh we’ll start the bidding at 10 dollars." It was all silent; I noticed the meat buyer and the smirk on his face.
"I want her! This is the one." I whispered urgently in Reggie's ear.
He turned to me with surprise. "You want that wild thing!?"
I nodded and grabbed our paddle and shouted "15 dollars!" The meat buyer and Reggie looked surprise.
"20 dollars," called out the meat buyer, giving us a stony glare.
"50 dollars!" I yelled again. And on this went until Reggie grabbed my arm, "Clary, all I can offer for that mare is 150 dollars. If it goes past that you can't have her, I’m sorry."
I nodded in understanding, "Thanks Reggie that's all I can ask."
Finally we got up to 140 dollars. I bid 150 dollars and held my breath. The meat buyer frowned, and sat down.
"Going once, going twice, sold to the little girl in yellow!"
I yelled in celebration and me and Reggie quickly made our way to the mare. I ran to her pen and climbed up and stared into her eyes.
I got you, you crazy mustang! Your mine!
I'm nobodies'! Nobody owns me! She flung her head up and down and started a gallop around the pen.
I smiled; at least she talked to me, even if it was only a few words. Sure, you can think that mustang. Now all I got to do is find a name for you.
I already have a name! My mother named me, my name is Shasta. She stopped racing and walked closer to me, her ears twitching with interest at me. What’s your name young one?
My name is Clarissa. But everyone calls me Clary, and everyone includes you. We’re taking you home, you’ll be happy, there are lots of other horses there, including my mare Wildfire. You’ll like her Sash.
It’s Shasta, Clary, not ‘Sash’ I laughed, this horse defiantly had attitude.
I stayed with Shasta while Reggie went back and got his trailer. I glanced at my watch he had already be gone 45 minutes. So 15 more minutes, I blew heavily and reflected on what had happened this past week. I had got adopted to the nicest people I ever knew, and I now owned two horses!
Shasta and Wildfire, it would be a lot of work to take care of them both but I was up for it. Ty was different from other boys I use to know. He was more quite, a bit nosy, and nice at the same time. I thought he was pretty cute, But no way would he ever think to like scrawny Clarissa, I was not pretty.
There had only been one boy I knew and liked, and he liked me back. It was when I was 10 years old, in my school class. His name was Ben and he had reddish hair and a great smile. I smiled wistfully, that was the main thing I remembered about him.
He had been a real sweet boy and we had passed notes. He moved somewhere a couple months later, but before he left he told me and had gave me a kiss on my cheek before leaving. I reached up and brushed the spot he had kissed me. That now seemed like 10 years ago, instead of almost 4 years.
My birthday was now just under 3 weeks away. I was pulled from my thoughts by a truck pulling in with a trailer. It was Reggie; he stuck his head out and waved.
He then backed in and got out, getting a lead rope and halter from the back. She had calmed down lots so I convinced Reggie to let me go in. He agreed but said he had to be in the pen with me.
I walked slowly up to her. He backed away slowly with caution.