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Haggity Who?

This is the first chap­ter in a children’s/young adult novel I’m writ­ing called Hag­gity Who? The Story of a Girl to whom Strange Things Hap­pen. The essence of this story came to me in a dream. This is my first attempt at a novel in almost twenty years. Reac­tions? Crit­i­cisms? Please let me know!

Chap­ter 1

A strange girl with strange dreams.

Hag­gity Hag­gity Hag­gity who?
A stranger girl we never knew!”

The chil­dren cir­cled round Hag­gity like hyae­nas, chant­ing. Hag­gity crouched into the dirt, cov­er­ing her head with her arms.

Hag­gity Hag­gity Hag­gity hey!
She kissed the boy, he went away!”

The cir­cle grew smaller as they swarmed closer, chant­ing louder. Hag­gity tried to hide her face, but she could still feel their warm breath as they’re chant­ing grew into a crescendo, angry spit­tle fly­ing in her long hair, which now cov­ered her help­less form like a veil.

Hag­gity Hag­gity Hag­gity who?
Hag­gity Hag­gity Hag­gity who?”

They chanted over and over, louder and louder, now crouched over her, the mass of their bod­ies mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to breathe.

Where was he? Where was her savior?

Hag­gie…”

She heard him, from far away. They kicked sand in her face, and she shrieked, her eyes stinging.

He’d never make it in time.

Hag­gie…”

She could hear him; why won’t he come for her? Fin­gers were pulling at her hair, drag­ging her face to the ground. She pleaded with them, tears stream­ing, but their rage had peaked, and they showed no mercy.

Hag­gie…!”

He was closer now, but he was too late to save her. Her face in the dirt, suf­fo­cat­ing, she fran­ti­cally turned on her back, only to see one sneak­ered foot poised above her face, then crash­ing down with all its might…

HAGGIE!”

Hag­gity gasped awake, her heart pounding.

Hag­gity — come on, it’s 6 o’clock!”

She shot up in bed, and turned to see a pair of smil­ing blue eyes peek­ing above her windowsill.

Bas­tion!” she breathed, still exist­ing in the moment of her night­mare, her pulse raced, and she strug­gled to process what was happening.

Bas­tion.

Morn­ing.

School.

Late.

Hag­gity threw off her cov­ers, and stum­bled to the win­dow. Bas­tion was grin­ning at her like the Mad Hat­ter. Frown­ing, she lifted the heavy windowsill.

What?” she demanded.

Bastion’s eyes trav­elled down to her toes, then back up. He smirked, “Are those your footie pajamas?”

She glow­ered at Bas­tion, then glanced down at her feet, and wig­gled one big toe which peeped through a well-worn hole in her footie. She tried to sup­press a smile, “So?”

His grin widened, “Unbe­liev­able, Hag­gie. How old are you?”

Shut up!” she tried to sound angry, but a smile creeped on her lips in spite of herself.

Hurry up and get dressed. We gotta go!” Bas­tion jerked his thumb behind him for emphasis.

Yeah, yeah,” she mum­bled, push­ing her chaotic curls from her face. She rubbed her eyes, “Give me ten min­utes. I’ll meet you outside.”

Bas­tion held up ten fin­gers, “Ten min­utes,” and shot her a look that said “…and no longer.”

Bas­tion left her win­dow, and Hag­gity whirled around her room in a frenzy, tear­ing off her paja­mas. She grabbed her jeans from the foot of her bed, stum­bled into them, search­ing for a shirt in the chaos that cov­ered the floor of her room.

Eye­ing a pur­ple t-shirt crum­pled in a cor­ner, she pounced on it, giv­ing it a quick sniff.

Pass­able.

She threw on the t-shirt, then attempted to tame her unruly mop of chest­nut hair into a rub­ber band at the nape of her neck.

Clothes: check. Next stop: food.

Hag­gity raced into the kitchen. With­out any time for break­fast, she eyed the coun­ters desparately for some­thing that would do for lunch.

Ah. Cof­fee cake.

Grab­bing a slice, she mum­mi­fied it in some plas­tic wrap, and raced to her final stop by the front door. She threw the slice of cake into her back­pack, and crammed her sock­less feet into her pink sneak­ers. With a final sigh, she donned her back­pack and opened the door.

Bas­tion was wait­ing for her.

His left eye­brow arched.

Hag­gity blew a way­ward curl from her fore­head. “What?”

What are you wearing?”

She looked down, smooth­ing down her hope­lessly wrin­kled shirt.

Is that mustard?”

She fol­lowed his eyes to her knee.

Indeed it was. She licked her thumb, frown­ing while she tried to rub the stain from her jeans. “I didn’t have much time…”

No kid­ding!” he grinned.

She glanced at Bas­tion, whose blond hair was neatly coifed, his clothes casu­ally matched and spot­less, cooly con­fi­dent as always. Her frown deep­ened, and she blushed.

She locked the front door behind her, and they began their morn­ing trek to the bus stop. A crisp fall breeze freed the leaves from the oaks that arched over the small road. The canopy above them dripped with Span­ish Moss. Nav­i­gat­ing the old, cracked side­walk in an even older neigh­bor­hood, Hag­gity avoided the dan­de­lions mak­ing des­per­ate breaks through the con­crete. She had a soft spot for dandelions.

That’s the third time this week. What’s up with you?”

She slowed for a moment, pon­der­ing how much to tell him. Then she shrugged, looked down, “I don’t know…I’ve been hav­ing weird dreams.”

Bas­tion regarded her guarded pos­ture, her averted eyes, “Hmmmm…” he mused, not push­ing her further.

They walked in silence for sev­eral min­utes, Haggity’s mood tinged by her still-fresh night­mare. Slid­ing her eyes to her friend, she noticed that Bastion’s face was dark, his eye­brows knot­ting over his down­turned gaze. He opened and shut his mouth sev­eral times, and Hag­gity real­ized he was work­ing up the nerve to say some­thing to her.

What’s up?” she tried to sound light.

Bastion’s mouth worked, then finally, “I…have a favor to ask you.”

She waited.

I…want…” he paused, “I’d really like you to come to Lucia’s birth­day party with me.”

Hag­gity stopped short, and whirled on Bas­tion. “Are you…kid­ding me?!”

Bas­tion held up his hands defen­sively, “Just…hold on. Just…just…” he was stut­ter­ing now “…think about it.”

Furi­ous, Haggity’s squeezed her backpack’s shoul­der­straps until she could feel them bit­ing into her palms. She could barely process what she was feeling.

Betrayed. Yes, betrayal was def­i­nitely some­thing she was feeling.

Why are you even going to her party?” Hag­gity spat. “She’s…evil!”

Bas­tion sighed, “She’s not evil, Hag­gie –“

But seri­ously,” Hag­gity inter­rupted, tears spring­ing into her eyes, “You know how she…treats..me. Why are you even going?”

Bastion’s voice became soft as faced the onslaught of Haggity’s rage, “Listen…she invited me, and…”

And what?”

Bas­tion was obvi­ously pan­ick­ing in the face of Haggity’s swelling emo­tion. “And…everyone else is going…” he added lamely, avert­ing her eyes, “and…”

And…?!” tears were run­ning down her face now.

And…” his eyes met hers now, quite steadily, “I thought it would be cool if came with me. Maybe it would be good for you.”

And there it was. The real rea­son for this whole ploy.

It wold be good for her. He agreed to go to this party, so he could take her along, so…so what? So she could play nice with all the jerks?

She blinked, the blood rush­ing to her face. She turned her head, and slowly started walk­ing again. Bas­tion fol­lowed quickly, catch­ing up to her.

There was silence for a while. Bas­tion looked mis­er­able, glanc­ing up at her plead­ingly, guiltily.

Finally, Hag­gity mur­mured, “I’m not pathetic.”

Bas­tion unloaded a deep sigh, “I know you’re not pathetic, Haggie –“

You don’t have to fix me. I don’t need any friends.”

Bas­tion, ever sen­si­tive, said softly, “I know Haggie.”

Hag­gie, releas­ing her anger, sagged her shoulders.

I just…” he smiled lamely, “I just thought you might have fun.”

It was a long, silent walk to the bus stop.

Chap­ter 2: The Bus >

Note: I’m also post­ing this novel on Press­Books.


  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.shambrook.5 Lisa Sham­brook

    My first reac­tion is that Hag­gity is a char­ac­ter I can relate too, I imme­di­ately empathised and liked her! Would love to read more…

    • http://fidlet.com/ Christina Ramey

      And you SHALL…as soon as I find the time to write more!

  • http://twitter.com/bullishink Ruth Long

    What a fun read!! Quick pace and engag­ing char­ac­ters. Def­i­nitely would enjoy read­ing more. :)

    • http://fidlet.com/ Christina Ramey

      Won­der­ful news! Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/beckyfyfe Becky Fyfe

    This was a great first chap­ter. It really hooked me, and I could really feel for the characters. :)

    • http://fidlet.com/ Christina Ramey

      Yay! Thank you!