13-year-old Imogene Miren discovers that she has the power to take emotions out of living things and give them to inanimate objects. I am going to write this story until I get in all the main characters and plot points and then turn it over to you guys to write the ending.


A sudden cry shattered the serenity of the cool autumn day.

"Imogene Jane Miren, come into the house right now!" This second call was followed by a loud bang as the back window flew open. Mother stuck her head out, her hair wrapped in curlers, her face only half done up.

I stifled a long sigh. "Yes, Mother?"

"Imogene, my conference starts in twenty minutes. Come in here so I can talk to you! Have you done your homework? Oh, drat, the timer went off--that's the casserole, it's in the oven, okay? I have to get going--it's chicken, the casserole, you like chicken, right?--I have to leave now, oh, Honey, I won't be back until nine, go to bed after you eat, alright?--oh, and Imogene, please stay inside. I don't like you out near the woods after dark. There could be things--"

The window banged down again as her face disappeared. Mom was always rushing off to conferences and emergency appointments; her job as a pediatrician kept her busy. And when she wasn't off somewhere, she was lying in bed at home, too tired to do anything.

I whistled for Cookie, the little brown terrier Mom had gotten me for my last birthday, and went inside.  I could hear the blow dryer running as Mom hastily finished doing her hair. The kitchen smelled of chicken casserole. I hated chicken casserole. It tasted spongy and bland. Oh, well. I cut a small piece and slipped it onto a saucer, then passed it under the table to Cookie, who wolfed it down.

Mom appeared just as he was licking the last bits from the plate, but she was too frazzled to notice. Snatching her handbag from it's pedestal beside the door, she leaned over and gave me a quick peck on the cheek. "Bye, Hon," she murmured absentmindedly as her eyes darted to the clock. 'Don't forget about the chicken--oh, good, you had some. Feed Cookie, will you?" Then she was gone. The car rumbled as it pulled out of the driveway.

For a minute the house was silent. Then I glanced out the window at the circle of trees surrounding the yard, glowing amber in the setting sun. Beconing me. What Mom didn't know wouldn't hurt her.

"C'mon, Cookie." I grabbed my jacket and the two of us hurried outside, jumped the fence, and darted into the forest. The sweet pine smell relaxed me immediately, as it always did. Mom was wrong about this place. She thought it was dark and full of danger, but it was bursting with light and natural beauty. Ever since I could walk I had loved the woods. I belonged here.

Cookie and I pushed our way through the trees to the small grassy clearing, enjoying the relaxing feeling of being home. The clearing was bare except for a large rock that was perfect for sitting or even napping on, and a tiny baby tree that had sprouted beside it. I sat down, humming contentedly, and Cookie jumped up next to me.  I stroked his head as we watched two squirrels playing tag in the treetops. It was perfect here.

Absentmindedly I lifted my hand from Cookie's back and reached out to the baby tree only inches away. It's bark, still only beginning to become tough, was soft under my fingertips. This tree would grow up to become a great guardian of the forest, along with the hundreds of others that towered over my head.

Too bad I wouldn't be around to see it in it's glory. Suddenly, before I realized what was happening, a strange feeling of electricity raced through my fingertips, the bark of the tree glowed blue where I had touched it, and then the entire baby tree wilted and crumpled to the ground.

The End

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