Fitch's Kemper [Before it Began]

Submitted by Damaris Ann on Sun, 07/02/2017 - 23:16

Their hands met, reaching for the same book.

"Oh, sorry. Wait, were you just reaching for A Little White Horse?"

"Uh, yes. Were you?"

"Mhmm. I thought I was the only person in this town who read that book, much less even knew it existed."

"Key word 'was'; I just moved here last month."


She held out her hand. "I'm Kris, and I've lived here my whole life."

He shook her hand, grinning. "I'm Byron, and I look forward to seeing this town as home."

"The library was definitely the best place to start."

"I agree. So, tell me, what other books do you enjoy wearing out?"

"You'll laugh."

"No, I'll do better. I'll guess."

"Ooh, you're brave. Shoot. What's my top five?"

"The Lost Clue, To Have and to Hold, A Little White Horse, Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart, and Prisoners of the Sea."

Kris's jaw fell open.

"What-how? How did you know that?"

Byron chuckled quietly.

"You should see your face right now; it looks like you've seen a ghost."

"Haha, funny. But seriously, how? Like, that's really creepy."

"You should break the habit of taking notes in library books. It could be considered defacing public property..."

"Oh. That. Well, the truth is that I donated those five books to the Library. Still, it's cool that you happened to check those books out, and cooler still that you recognized my handwriting."

"Those also happen to be some of my favorites. Classics, all of them, except for Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart."

"Yeah, but it'll be a classic someday."

"It better be. Anyways, I'd better be going."

"Oh, okay. See you later maybe."


She turned to wave one more time after she walked through the glass door. He was still looking after her.


"Hey, you."

"Oh, hey. I see you found my favorite coffee shop in town.

"Yup. Kris, right?"

"Mhmm. Byron? I see you're enjoying my book."

He laughed. "Yes, yes I am. Hey, are you okay?"

She shifted uncomfortable in her chair, stretching her black shirt sleeve to cover the blue spot on her forearm.

"Yeah. I'm fine."

"Okay. If you wanna talk about it, I'm here. Heh, I'm told I make a good listener."

"I'm sure you do. I'm-I'm fine. Really."

His heart broke at the sight of pleading in her eyes.

"Okay. But my offer still stands. On your time."

"Thanks, Byron. I've gotta go now."

"Yeah, okay. You wanna meet at the library tomorrow? Maybe at 10?"

"Yeah, sure. Well, maybe not. I don't know if I can."

"It's okay. I'll be there, but don't feel like you have to meet up. Just whatever is fine."


"Sure. See ya 'round."

"See ya."


Byron looked up in surprise when Kris's face came into view at the top of the stairs.

"Hey! You made it."

"Yeah, I kinda needed to get away, and I figured I might as well come here."

"Yeah? Well, I'm glad you did."

"Me too." She smiled a little.

"Let's play a game."

"What kind of game?"

"A getting-to-know-you sort of game. Basically we just take turns asking each other questions."

"But it's okay if either of us doesn't want to answer one, right?"

"Of course. You start."

"Okay. Hmm...what's your favorite subject in school?"

"English. But I'm also into sports. Football, particularly."

"Cool. English is my favorite, too."

"Gotcha. So, what's your favorite hobby?"


"What do you write?"

"That's two questions in a row, but since this is your game I'll oblige. Poetry."

"That's really cool. I've dabbled in poetry, but don't really have a gift. I stick with fiction. Anyways, your turn."

"How old are you?"

"16. You?"

"Same. What's your favorite season?"

"Fall. Can't beat the flaming colors and pleasant weather."

"Same. It's-oh." She looked at her watch. "I've got to go! But I'll see you again?"

He saw that same hurtful pleading deep in her eyes, and his own almost teared up.

"Of course. Meet at the same time tomorrow?"

"Yes, yes, see you then! Please be here, please." Her voice was barely above a whisper.

"Kris, what's wrong?"

"I-I can't tell you. I have to go! Now!"


"Mom! Mom, I made a new friend. Mom?"

Sounds of chaos and anger came from the family room. Then a loud cry dominated the pitch of breaking glass and fuming curses.

"Kris, it's time to run!!!!! Now. RUN!!"

Kris swung her backpack back over her shoulder and bolted out the front door. She heard the door crash open behind her, angry cursing and delirious commands being thrown at her. She didn't look back.

A few minutes later she huffed into the small-town police station.

"Yes, how can I help you young lady?"

"Please, please go quick. I-" she gasped for air. "It's my step dad. I think he's hurting her."

"What is your address?"

"522 Ash Street. Please hurry."

Author's age when written

Took me long enough. The first sentence is from a Pinterest writing prompt. :) more will (hopefully) follow soon, but please don't hold your breath. I've been crazy-busy lately. Haha. But so happy. God has really been good to me. I'm blessed with great friends, a great family, and a great life.


I REALLY liked this. I love those Pinterest prompts and you followed a wonderful twist on that one. Can't wait to read further!

When I worship, I would rather my heart be without words than my words be without heart.

I am intrigued!!! I can't wait to keep reading more. You have created such suspense and tension that is propelling me forward. :) Again, you excel at action.

I read the next part, too, which I also loved, though I did want to see a bit more "he said / she said" and action description between dialogue... though I CANNOT be making this comment rightfully, I feel, because I do the same exact thing hahaha. I am trying to move away from it (in my memoir I have tried extra hard) -- that sparsity... but if you feel it is your style, ignore me, and keep doing it. Hemingway became awesome because he ignored critics and perfected his clipped, soldierly, sparse style... and now he is imitated by countless writers. I think we all go through stages of styles but we all also have things we keep returning to, and if we're magnetically drawn, it's something worth exploring.

Okay, now I am just blathering haha.

Keep this up! It's a beautiful story.

Thank you!!! Just curious, when did you read part three?? I just put up the edited version yesterday evening, and it had more discriptions and he said/she said in it. I don't really feel like that is my this point I'm really just feeling things out, and looking for feedback. :)

I just put up a new piece yesterday with a little bit of action in it. :) I feel like maybe action is my niche. I love writing (and reading!) pieces that get my blood pumping. :)

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

If it's any confirmation, as a reader I think you are soooo good at action. You just have a natural instinct for it, and not everyone does (I don't, hah). Blood pumping is the RIGHT description, because that's the effect you have on me!!
I read it before you re-posted, I am pretty sure. Will check it out again.