Runner-Up, KidPub November 2012 Writing Contest
Silvery moonlight shone in through a window, illuminating a small bed where a dark figure lay still. A dusty little fan sat in the corner of the room, cooling down the box-like area. Somewhere in the world, people were laughing over fruity refreshments, toasting to the New Year. Back in the room however, everything was still and peaceful.
Suddenly, the ringing of a phone disrupted the eerie quiet. The girl on the bed tossed and turned, reaching out a long arm to try and find the source of the noise. Upon feeling the smooth coolness of a phone, the girl jerked back her hand and held the device to her ear.
“Hello,” said the girl in a tired voice.
“Hello, Kiki? Where are you? It’s almost time!” shouted a high-pitched voice from the other end.
“Time for what?” replied Kiki, trying to suppress a yawn.
“The fireworks! We saved you a spot but it’s going to go pretty soon if you don’t get here!” screeched the voice loudly causing Kiki to hold the phone slightly away from her ear.
“Sorry, I think you have the wrong number. There aren’t any fireworks here,” said Kiki slowly, lowering her hand from her ear.
“What? Kiki, wake up!” screamed the girl, finally managing to wake Kiki from her deep trance.
“Trish? Is that you? What time is it?” asked Kiki frantically, starting to catch onto what was going on.
“It’s eleven fifteen and people are starting to get here! If you don’t come soon, you’ll have to watch the fireworks on T.V alone!” squeaked Trish excitedly.
“Oh crap! I must’ve fallen asleep while reading my book,” decided Kiki, glancing towards a wrinkled old paperback on the floor.
“Well whatever happened, you need to get here! Remember the pop and the chips! Oh, and remember to wear your coral shirt with the cute gold stuff! Oh, and make sure you have your camera! And I told Meghan you’d bring enough lipstick for everyone so make sure to pack up your makeup bag, and quickly! Quickly!” and the line went dead.
The silent phone was dropped onto the mattress with a poof. Kiki hopped off of the bed, tiptoeing to the wooden door, which she opened slightly, trying her hardest to avoid making any sound. As she padded down the hallway, Kiki glanced into her baby sister Rosie’s room. She was just able to make out a small lump inside of a cot, snoring peacefully. Next, she checked her little brother Nate’s room. There he lay, concealed under his space ship covered duvet. If Nate was sleeping, Kiki knew she’d be able to sneak out of the house without any trouble. If Nate woke up, Kiki would be doomed to stay in her own tiny bedroom while her friends and parents celebrated New Years with the rest of the city. That was not going to happen.
Finally, Kiki reached the large bathroom at the end of the hall. Closing the door gently behind her, she turned towards the sink, splashing cold water onto her face. Slowly, her vision became clearer, a plan formulated in her mind. She was going to get ready and pack her bag within five minutes, then, she’d check on her siblings to make sure they were asleep, she’d check on her parents at their New Years party to make sure they wouldn’t be home any time soon and then, she’d leave. Easier said than done as Kiki soon realized.
At precisely eleven twenty-five, Kiki stood in front of her parents’ car, having a staring competition with the headlights. She’d never snuck out before and the idea had seemed a lot friendlier a few weeks ago when she had planned it. She had asked her parents first, she had even baked them cookies to butter them up but their answer remained firm; she was not to be out past ten o clock without any adult supervision. As the New Years fireworks started at twelve, Kiki had known she wouldn’t have a hope of having a good time if she obeyed her mega-strict mom and dad. So now, here she was, pressing her vibrant red lips tightly together with her thin eyebrows furrowed, daring herself to do it.
After all, everything was ready. Her siblings were both asleep, her parents had confirmed that they wouldn’t be home before four a.m. and Kiki had pulled her New Years outfit together with time to spare. So why did this feel so wrong? Just chill, Kiki. Now you’re going to get into the car, drive to downtown and have a great time, she thought. To her immense surprise, her legs actually started working and soon, she was cruising down the road in her parents’ old Ford Mustang with her favorite song blaring from the speakers.
See this isn’t so bad, she thought, tuning out her worries and driving to ‘the hottest event of the season’.
“Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one! Happy New Year!” cheered the large crowd collectively as the first spark of color burst out into the night sky. All around, people began to laugh and whoop as the fireworks continued, taking funny shapes and painting the sky.
“Happy New Year, Kiki!” squealed Trish, embracing her friend, her bright blue eyes glowing.
“You too, Trish! I can’t believe I almost missed this! This night is turning out perfect,” sighed Kiki happily. As if on cue, her phone began to ring.
“Oh no! It’s coming from home, Trish! What do I do?” asked Kiki frantically, knowing what would happen if she was busted.
“Oh, calm down Keeks! It’s the New Year, there’s no time to worry right now!” said Trish, wandering off into the heavily perfumed crowd. Mentally cursing her ditzy friend whose parents appeared not to care what their daughter did, Kiki ignored the phone call. Her phone rang again, and again, and again. On the fifth call, Kiki finally picked up, not knowing what she could possibly say to avoid being grounded for the rest of her life.
“Hello?” she asked, dully.
“You’re so dead. When I rat you out to mom and dad for leaving me with Rosie, who knows what they’ll do to you?”
“Nate? Is that you? What’s going on, why are you up?” asked Kiki, relieved, for she knew that her ten-year old brother was easily bought.
“Rosie woke me up with her crying! I went to your room to tell you to take care of her but guess what? You weren’t there!” huffed Nate, indignantly.
“Oh no! Listen, Nate? I’ll pay you ten bucks if you keep your mouth shut,” tried Kiki.
“I can’t be bought! And besides, the price for keeping my mouth shut and taking care of Rosie would be much higher than ten dollars,” argued Nate.
“Twenty or nothing,” demanded Nate in a voice that irked Kiki to no measure.
“Fine, twenty. I’ll pay you if, and only if, you don’t say anything to mom and dad and you shut Rosie up,” concluded Kiki, holding back her anger.
“Fine. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you,” said Nate in an oily tone.
“Dweeb!” yelled Kiki, but he had already hung up.
“Kiki, honey? Are you up?” asked Kiki’s mom in a gentle voice, from just outside Kiki’s bedroom.
“Come in, mom,” replied Kiki, hugging her knees under the covers of her bed.
“Hey sweetie. How was your night?” asked the pretty woman, her eyes silently asking Kiki if she was okay with the way everything had played out. Kiki thought back to the events of the night. She thought of how she’d decided to leave the party shortly after the phone call with Nate, feeling that her parents’ trust was more important than any event where her best friend was acting like a jerk and she barely knew anyone else. She thought back to how she had snuggled up with two-year old Rosie and ten-year old Nate as they watched the fireworks on T.V while sipping hot chocolate and eating soft cookies. She thought back to how she’d continued reading her book while the sun came up. Finally, she had her answer.
“My night? My night was completely and utterly wonderful.”