Friday, February 24, 2017

Writing Exercise #4: Fictional Sibling Relationships

Shannon Dittemore is the author of the Angel Eyes trilogy. She has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a love of all things literary. When she isn’t writing, she spends her days with her husband, Matt, imagining things unseen and chasing their two children around their home in Northern California. To connect with Shan, check out her website, FB, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

This week has been all about fictional siblings here on Go Teen Writers and I thought we'd have some fun with that by venturing into the world of fan fiction.

For the uninitiated, fan fiction is when a fan takes a work of fiction created by someone else and tells their own stories about those characters or that setting. The Harry Potter books are wildly popular in fan fiction circles. In such stories, you might find Hermione desperately mooning over poor, dejected Malfoy, while characters you long-believed dead, are alive and well and raising their furry werewolf child on a sprawling English estate.

There is really no end to what the imagination can come up with--especially when you start with a delicious prompt full of ready-made characters.

On Wednesday, Jill provided you with 10 Examples of Realistic Siblings in Fiction. Your job today is to choose one of these ten examples and write a scene featuring fictional siblings. If you're unfamiliar with the characters Jill mentioned, of course you may choose another set of fictional siblings, but in the spirit of fan fiction, please choose characters from a published story written by someone other than yourself.

In your scene, one sibling must be teaching the other--or others--how to do something. It doesn't matter what it is. In fact, it can be just about anything at all. The goal here is to show off the relationship between your siblings.

Things to consider:

1. Think carefully about which sibling should be giving the instruction. It's possible one sibling makes considerably more sense than the other(s), but what kind of tension can you create by reversing their natural roles?

2. Where will your scene take place? Many of the examples Jill provided us are siblings who traverse several different settings over the course of the story. Put a little thought into which setting will allow you to highlight the relationship.

3. On Monday, teen writer, Abigail Wiley, shared a few tips on Making Sibling Relationships Realistic. If you're stuck, pop over and have a look. Perhaps her thoughts will jump-start your writing.

Please leave your response here in our comments section and be sure to come back throughout the weekend to encourage the other participants. You guys are fantastic at this, by the way. I love the community we've created here and I can't wait to see what you all come up with! 

If you're new to our writing exercises here on Go Teen Writers, give this article a read. It will explain how writing with us can earn you the right to ask us almost any question to be answered on an upcoming episode of Go Teen Writers LIVE.


  1. Do you have to put in an entry all three times to get to ask ya'll questions? I am in the middle of writing something and it's a great book beginner, but I don't want anyone else to copy my writing for something, and claim it for theirs. I get paranoid about these things. ;\

    1. I trust everyone here (so don't think I don't), but I just want to make sure before I put my writing down.

    2. I'm not entirely sure what you're asking, friend. Anytime you put ANYTHING out there in the world you run that risk. People have stolen entire books of mine and are giving them away for free. It happens. Regarding prompts here, I can't promise you someone won't claim your writing as their own--this is a public blog and things happen but when it comes to writing exercises, we're all just practicing here. I don't imagine you need to worry about sharing your reply to a prompt.

    3. Oh, okay. Thanks for answering me! :)
      I'm sorry about what happened to you. :(
      You're right. I'll stick it on here in a little while. :)

  2. "You hold the bow like this, River," Adam corrected my posture, again. I could sense a hint of frustration in his voice.
    "I'm trying!" I retorted. "It's hard. How'd you learn so quick?"
    "Logan is a good teacher," Adam answered, adjusting my grip on the bow for the fiftieth time that evening. "There, try to shoot now."
    I sighed and released the arrow. It sailed through the air for a few feet and then dropped into the tall, yellow grass with a dull thud.
    Adam grinned, and I couldn't help laughing despite my failure. Archery just wasn't my thing.
    "Hey, what are you kids doing?" we heard a voice behind us shout. Adam stepped quickly in front of me.
    "Hide the bow," he hissed in my ear. I nodded and set it down on the ground, covering it with the tall grass. Hopefully the guard hadn't seen it.
    "What are you kids doing?" the guard repeated firmly. His hateful tone sent shivers down my spine, and I unconsciously slipped my hand into Adam's.
    "We're just taking a walk, sir," Adam said, his voice steady. I admired his ability to stay calm in a situation like this.
    "Taking a walk, huh?" the guard asked doubtfully. He touched the handle of his gun menacingly.
    "Yes sir," Adam answered, his voice still unwavering. "It's been weeks since the weather was this nice."
    The guard narrowed his eyes and scowled. "You better not be trying to run away," he warned us. "Or smuggle weapons."
    "Yes sir," Adam replied. I held my breath.
    "Where are your homes?" the guard asked. Adam pointed to our right.
    "Just over the creek, sir," he said.
    "Well, I suggest you head on home," he said menacingly. "Curfew's in fifteen minutes."
    "Yes sir," Adam said. He squeezed my hand and started walking. We walked in silence. I was silent mostly from shock. The guard had almost found out. The punishment for owning weapons was arguably the worst. I thanked God for giving me such a brave brother.
    We crossed the creek and walked quickly into the house, Adam shut the door behind us and locked it. He pulled me in for a hug.
    "It's okay, River," He said. "You're okay."

    1. I'm sorry it's so long. lol

    2. Fantastic job! I have no idea which story these siblings are from, but I feel I know them a bit after this scene.

    3. Thank you! I just made this up, but it may become something bigger....

    4. River is a girl, by the way... lol!

    5. Oh my gosh. I just realized the mistake I made! lol. Sorry if you all got confused! This is a made up clip by me. I missed the "use one of the examples" part.... O_O

  3. This is GREAT!!!! I want more. *hints*

  4. I’m trying to make mac and cheese on our tattered stove. Our three room apartment is coming loose at its seams.
    I have to do the same thing everyday. Nothing ever changes. It can’t. I go to school, pick up my two little brothers from school, take them to our three room apartment and hand them over to the land lord who watches them, go to work until seven at night, make my little siblings dinner, help them with their homework, send them to bed, and do my homework until midnight. I’ve done all that for their whole lives. I’m exhausted, but they can’t yet take care of themselves. They’re only five. I’m sixteen. I have to take care of them.
    I’ve gone to school, dropped them off and handed them over to the landlord, gone to work, and now I’m making them dinner. Thank God I don’t have any homework. My head aches with fatigue and I still have to help them with their homework. Moving boxes and doing school all day really wear you out. I heard little feet patter into the kitchen. It’s Randy.
    “Jake, do you have to go to work tomorrow?” I smiled and brought him to the kitchen chair. I picked him up and put him on my lap.
    “We have to eat and be able to go to school. I would love to stay home and hang out with you guys, but then I wouldn’t be able to pay rent or put food on the table.” His little face scrunched up with thought.
    “What’s went?” He still has troubles with pronouncing his r’s. I tried to think of a way to explain it without confusing him.
    “It’s the money we have to give the lady who stayed with you earlier. She’s our landlord. We have to pay her to be able to stay here.” He seemed to understand.
    “How come she won’t let us stay here for no money?” I pulled his in for a hug.
    “It just doesn’t work like that.” He hugged my arm. His little hand wrapped around my thumb. His grip was tight for a five year old.
    “You promise you won’t weave?” He meant leave. Why would he think I’d leave him?
    “Randy, why would you think I’d leave you?” He gave me a saddened look.
    “Casie’s dad left.” He thinks I’m his dad. He’s too little for me to tell him what really happened to our parents.
    “I’m never gonna leave you. You need to trust me.” He put his arms around my neck.
    “What’s trust?” I put him down and stirred the mac and cheese that I forgot about.
    While I stirred, Randy pulled up a chair against the stove. He’s a strong, little fella. “Trust is when you know someone so much that you believe what they say. It’s relying on someone (relying means to depend on someone), and having confidence ( being certain about someone) that they will lead you in the right direction.” He still looked confused. I don’t blame him. “It’s kind of like knowing that someone won’t lie.” He looked at the mac and cheese and took a long whiff.
    “I trust you.” I smiled and put the burner off. I called Cody to come and eat. He came in and complained at how long it took me to make it. Then when he took bite, he complained that it was too hot. I can never please that kid. Randy is usually the silent one, but Cody talks too much. Too much for his own good.
    “What were you guys talking’ bout?” I sighed inside. I’d have to explain it again.
    “Trust. You guys need to learn how to trust. Everyone does.” He lifted an eyebrow and I knew he was just as confused as his brother was. “Since the food’s still hot, we’re gonna play a little game. It’s called trust fall.” I explained to them the game.
    “So we’re gonna fall and you’re gonna catch us?” Cody said as if he hated the sound of it.
    “Yeah, but you have to trust me to catch you.” Randy immediately came to my side and held my hand. He’s the clingy one of the two. I told Cody to face the wall and fall backwards. “Do you trust me to catch you, Cody?” He slowly nodded and fell back. I caught him and he laughed gleefully. Randy bounced up and down and said it was his turn. I did the same for him. Games help little kids to understand.
    “You see what I mean about trust. You trusted me to catch you, so you fell backwards.”
    They went back to eat their mac and cheese. I hope they understand.

    1. I'm sorry it's a little long. :)

    2. Wow! This is good. Inspirational! <3

    3. Can I know what kind of fanfic this is? Which pair of siblings did you do? (For all I know, this might be a very well-known one, but I don't read well-known books a lot of the time :P)

    4. Oh, it's not. I just made it up. I started to write something else, but it sounded dull. I read a lot, so I have more a variety of things to think about. :) Thanks for your comment!

    5. Touching is a very good word for this piece! Thank you for being brave and sharing.

    6. Thank you! In all my writing I want God to shine through. Sin separates us from the most beautiful thing. Sometimes we just ignore that. Writing isn't just words of paper, it can be something that changes lives and gives hope. I want that. I want God to be the message. The hope. :)

    7. I really like the dynamic created in the sibling interactions. :) I do have a couple suggestions, though, so I hope you don't mind. First, it can be confusing to include action tags of one character (say, Randy) in the same paragraph and directly following another character's dialogue (say, Jake's). Secondly, if your POV character is about to ask why Randy would think Jake would leave him, you don't need Jake to ask himself that through internal dialogue. Anyway, I hope my suggesting those technicalities doesn't undermine the appreciation I have for your beautiful scene and the moral and spiritual implications presented. You did a great job, LHE! Thank you so much for sharing this, and keep up the good work!

    8. Thank you SO much, Olivia. You made my day. Thank you for the suggestions (I agree with you. :) It is good for you to tell me this because it helps my writing to know what is confusing and what is good)
      Thank YOU for reading my writing! :)

  5. OK, so I'm kinda nervous about posting this. I've never posted anything on this website before, or actually ever published any of my work on any public site. I'm not sure how I feel about this, so disclaimer: don't expect too much. :)

    "So, it's today."
    Bill's voice was cheerful, but I could hear the slight shakiness in his tone.
    I nodded, flashing a quick, nervous smile. "Yep."
    He moved from his position against my door and sat down on my bed. "Are you sure, Gin? I mean, it's a big step-"
    "Bill." I looked at him, smiling. "Yes, I'm sure. You know I love him."
    "I know," Bill said, cracking a hesitant grin. "So, there's nothing you're nervous about? I mean, you're getting married."
    I tilted my head, looking at him. Then I said softly, "There is one thing that I'm nervous about though."
    He raised an eyebrow. "What?"
    "The dance. I haven't really danced with anyone before. Except Neville, at the Yule Ball." I smiled, twisting a strand of my hair.
    Bill stood up, pulling his wand from his back pocket. "I'll teach you. Stand up."
    Laughing, I jumped off my bed. "Bill, you don't know how to dance! And anyway, how can you teach me without music?"
    "Firstly, I know how to dance. I'm married to Fleur! And, seriously, Gin, have you forgotten that we're wizards?" Bill said, smiling and shaking his head. He waved his wand once, twice, and then a warbling melody burst from my rusty alarm clock. "Now, my lady-"
    Astonished, I allowed Bill to whirl me around the room, listening to his instructions. "Right foot, left foot, then spin. Right foot, right foot, left foot."
    And there, in my cluttered bedroom, my big brother Bill taught me--clumsy, tomboy Ginny Weasley--how to dance. It didn't matter that he was wearing jeans and one of our famous jumpers, or that I was still in my pajamas. In that moment, I forgot everything. I forgot that in about five hours, I was going to marry Harry Potter. I only knew that my big brother was here for me, no matter what happened.

    1. This is good. Don't worry, I get nervous about these things too. :)

    2. Interesting choice, writing in first person.

    3. This is adorable! (I'm a sucker for the big bro/little sis relationships). So proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone to post it! (Also, totally cool that we have the same name despite the spelling difference :P).

    4. Thank you! I'm a sucker for these stories as well. :)

    5. Aw! Ginny is my FAVORITE! I love this. I sincerely hope this is how it happened.

  6. Rennow had recently developed a habit of being solemn and contemplative, with a constantly wistful expression on his face, which was often pointed toward either the sky or ground.
    Needless to say, it drove me nuts.
    At least he was looking at the ground now, scanning it for something. It was better than staring at the sky. But he wasn’t telling me what he was up to, or what we were doing way out on Moon hill.
    “Rennow, what are you looking for?”
    Rennow stooped to the ground and picked up a rock. It was jagged and gray-blue, limestone, and about the size of his fist. He turned to me.
    “Hold out your hand.”
    I glared at him.
    “Just trust me, Runa!” Exasperation edged his voice. Then his face softened.
    “Of course you don’t.”
    What in the vast sagelands was he talking about?
    “I’m going to teach you how to throw.”
    “I can throw” I told him.
    Rennow sighed and handed me the rock. He pointed out a white-birch tree.
    “Hit that tree, then.”
    I threw the rock. It missed dramatically, falling over ten feet short of the tree.
    Rennow picked up a second rock and tossed it, almost casually toward the tree. It hit the tree with a smack that resounded across the hilltop.
    “Okay, so….I guess the first thing is…”
    “Why? Why do I need to throw rocks? I don’t hunt squirrel.”
    Rennow sighed. “Just… everyone needs a weapon.”
    “I don’t need a weapon, Rennow.”
    Rennow looked up at the sky. Again.
    “Runa, in the last six months, what I thought was stable was turned upside down. I can’t feel safe here anymore. And you...grandma says you are eight years old, and yet you have already proved yourself to think independently from the rest of the community.”
    He picked up another rock--soft sandstone--and threw it at another tree.
    “Why does that matter?” I glanced back toward the village, toward the cabin.
    Rennow threw a third rock. “Because literacy isn’t a weapon, it’s a direction. Nobody has told you that, but you need to know.”
    “What in the sagelands and hills are you getting at, Rennow?” I stamped my foot against unyielding dirt and glared at my brother, acting like he had some secret knowledge I didn’t.
    “Because you have chosen your direction. It’s a very good one to go, although I wouldn’t have chosen it for myself. You are well on your way to finding a goal, a purpose. But you need the ability to fight for it, Runa. It’s what Lona and Reb lacked, was a way to fight back.”
    “What Lona and Reb did was wrong.” Why did Rennow feel the need to bring that back up, just as everything was settling?
    “I couldn’t agree more. Lona and Reb were being awful. But what the council did to them was just as bad, and entirely unnecessary.”
    I frowned at him. It was the first I had heard anyone criticize the council’s dramatic decision.
    “Lona and Reb needed to be stopped, not banished. They had bad ideas, and that upset people. But they had just as much right to live here as anyone else.”
    “They went way too far!” I shouted. If I were to disagree with the council, I would find nothing but enemies and the same fate as my aunt and uncle.
    Rennow snorted. “But so did the council. There is no good side, I have come to learn in the past six months.”
    I frowned. I had never considered that both sides were wrong.
    “You need to defend yourself, Runa. You’re different, and everybody knows it. Now hold out your hand.”
    He held up a rock.
    “Let’s see if this fits your grip.”

    1. Lovely writing here! And fantastic job showing off the relationship.

    2. I like this a lot! <3

  7. I wrote two scenes--the same pair, two scenes separated by a lot of time and the entirety of the original work. Unfortunately, it was too long. The site wouldn't accept it. So I'm going to post the second scene in a comment.

    "Come on, Georgiana. You can do it."
    "But it's so *big*!" I whisper, looking up at my older brother.
    "Yes, but if you learn now, while you're so little, think how much easier it'll be when you're bigger!" he grinned, lifting me up over his head.
    I laughed as I sailed through the air. He set me back down on the piano bench. "Come on, it's not that big really. Once your fingers move quickly enough, it won't matter how far apart the keys are. I'll do it with you."
    I placed my hands on the pianoforte, and he placed his right over mine, their warmth reassuring, guiding my fingers with his own. As we plinked out a simple melody, I asked, "Fitzwilliam?"
    "Hmm?" he asked absently, focused on gently steering my hands.
    "I snuck out of bed sometimes and watched you at balls. You never laugh at them, and you never play the pianoforte "Come on, Georgiana. You can do it."
    "But it's so big!" I whispered, looking up at my older brother.
    "Yes, but if you learn now, while you're so little, think how much easier it'll be when you're bigger!" he grinned, lifting me up over his head.
    I laughed. "Fitzwilliam, stop! you're supposed to be all adult-y now! You're sixteen!"
    "And you're six, and if I can't pick up my little sister every once in a while, what's the point of being so much bigger?" He laughed and tousled my hair, and I laughed too. Then he set me back down on the piano bench. "Come on, it's not that big really. Once your fingers move quickly enough, it won't matter how far apart the keys are. I'll do it with you."
    I placed my hands on the pianoforte, and he placed his right over mine, their warmth reassuring, guiding my fingers with his own. As we plinked out a simple melody, I asked, "Fitzwilliam?"
    "Hmm?" he asked absently, focused on gently steering my hands.
    "I snuck out of bed sometimes and watched you at balls. You never laugh at balls, and you never play the pianoforte either. Why is that?"
    "Georgiana, you naughty girl!" He tossed his head back with laughter, shaking his dark curls. "I should have known you would. But Geo, a lot of people think that if you laugh at anything at all, there's nothing that you take seriously. And boys don't usually play music, either."
    "But since when have you cared what a lot of people think, or what boys usually do?" she asked incredulously. "If you didn't know how to play music, who would teach me?"
    He smiled tenderly and placed his hands on mine again, guiding my fingers across the keys. "But I do care, Geo. Growing up means caring what other people think."
    "Then I never want to grow up!" I said indignantly. "If I start caring what other people think, how will I find the courage to do anything? What if I learn to be wonderful at the pianoforte, but I'm too frightened to play in front of people? I'll be too afraid I'll say something silly to say anything at all! And you, Fitzwilliam, what if you keep yourself locked up so tight that you can't unlock yourself anymore, even just with me?"
    Even though his head was behind mine, I could tell his warm, reassuring smile was spreading behind my head. "Don't worry, Geo," he whispered, right in my ear, as he guided my hands over the keys, "I'll never let that happen, I promise."

    1. I used a different tense in this one. Sue me.

      "Geo, do you remember when I taught you to play the piano?"
      "Only a little bit. It was ten years ago--no, nearly twelve now. And I was so little! How am I to remember something like that?" She looks up at me, head tilted slightly to one side. She always used to do that, when something I said confused her. She did it for a while after I rescued her from Wickham, several months at least.
      I pull myself out of my thoughts. "You asked why I never played the piano at balls, in front of other people. You asked why I didn't laugh when I was around strangers and acquaintances. Do you remember how much I used to laugh? I laughed at everything. Sometimes I picked you right up off the floor and spun you around." I see her eyes getting a little watery. She does remember. "I told you that that was growing up, that growing up meant caring about what other people thought and that meant you had to shut yourself up tight and be aloof. You said if I kept locking myself up, eventually I wouldn't be able to unlock myself anymore, and I'd just be stuffy and aloof all the time. And Geo, you were right." It was Elizabeth who had made me realize. Elizabeth, who laughed in public, who teased me though I seemed intimidating, who walked three miles through deep mud to see her sister no matter what happened to her petticoats. Elizabeth, my wife.
      Georgiana still watches me, head tilted to the side. I continue, "And you said you'd become too shy, unable to speak or sing or play music because everyone would laugh at you. You still play, but only around those with whom you are very close. And I- I never laugh anymore, and I never play the pianoforte. Not in public, and not in private either. I don't even remember how anymore, Geo. Lizzy is teaching me to laugh again, and you... I want you to teach me to play again."
      Her eyes widen as she realizes what I mean. Then, slowly, she smiles, a smile like the one she used to smile at me when she was just a little girl, when I lifted her into the air and spun her around, when I ruffled her hair, when I put my hands on top of hers and guided her across the keys.
      I sit down on the bench and place my hands on the keys. My fingers remember what position to sit in, but not how to move. Gently, a little hesitantly, she places her hands on top of mine, her fingers right over my fingers, and slowly, she begins to guide me across the keys.

    2. Oh my gosh! Mr. Darcy and Georgiana! I love it! xD

    3. This is great! I love it. Mr Darcy. He was my favorite character in the movie. You did a great job! :)

    4. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I want more of Georgiana and Darcy, always!

  8. Sweat dripped down into Faramir's eyes from his golden hair as he circled his brother, Boromir. They had been fighting for a full hour and while both he and Boromir had landed blows neither had won yet.
    Faramir tensed as Boromir swung an overhead chop. Steel chimed as he blocked the stroke. The blow jarred Faramir's arm.
    Boromir was already breathing hard. If Faramir could just be patient and hold out for a few more seconds, Boromir's reflexes would be dulled by exhaustion and Faramir could win easily. On a normal day, Faramir would be game to try it, but today was special.
    Throngil, a captain of Gondor, had been ordered by their father to watch the boys and assess their readiness for battle. Faramir thought it odd that such a seasoned victorious commander should be given such a task. He suspected that his father was jealous of Throngil's accomplishments since he himself was no warrior, but Faramir was determined that Throngil should bring back a good report of him to his father.
    So he didn't wait for Boromir to tire. He aimed for the most vunerable part of his brother's being. His ego.
    "One would think the older brother could beat the younger easily. Father will be disappointed."
    "I am not beaten yet. Watch and learn how a true soldier fights," Boromir snapped.
    "A true soldier? You are nothing more then an overgrown boy. Haven't you ever wondered why our training instructors were so effusive over your skills? It is because Father would not hear them speak the truth and tell you just how bad a swordsman you are. When we go out on a field of battle it will be me who comes out with glory and expectation of the Steward's Scepter in my future. Not you."
    Boromir's face darkened with rage and Faramir realized that he might have gone a little bit overboard on that last comment.
    Boromir shouted and swung a blow so powerful that it notched the blade of Faramir's sword. The series of powerful blows that followed left Faramir staggered, but he recovered in time to notice that his brother wasn't gripping his sword tight enough. Sweat and anger made him heedless of a proper grip. Using a special lock taught to him by Mithrandir as an illustration in their last lesson, Faramir trapped Boromir's blade against his own then twisted.
    The sword clattered out of Boromir's hands.
    Faramir sat down for a moment on the cold marble of the courtyard floor, panting. Boromir still looked angry as he retrieved his sword, but once he sheathed it Boromir's easy smile came back and he helped Faramir to stand.
    "Good one. Of course you won't be able to stand and insult an enemy into attacking you on a field of battle, but nice lock," Boromir commented.
    "You need to work on your pride," Throngil commented.
    Boromir flushed. "I know, but on a field of combat_"
    "Not just you, Boromir. Faramir, you could of waited until he made a mistake, but you provoked him and took a risk instead. You taught Boromir a lesson about pride, but you still have your own lessons to learn about it. If you do not control it, Pride will be your downfall," Throngil commented then he turned away and started for the Citadel.
    "Do you ever think there is something odd about him?" Faramir asked Boromir.
    "Nah, you are just sore you got scolded brother. Come on back to the Citadel. Mithrandir rode in recently and it won't be long before he asks for you."
    They strode away from the court yard arm and arm. Brothers to the end.

    1. Probably my all-time favorite set of siblings. Was wondering if someone would do them. :)

    2. They are my favorite do. I couldn't resist the opportunity. I also couldn't resist the opportunity to slip Throngil who is an alias Aragorn's into the story.

    3. Fantastic! You really captured the spirit of the exercise here and it's a killer scene. Good job, friend.

  9. Sorry it took me so long to post. It took me a while to gather enough courage to attempt a scene with Jem and Scout from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. My attempt to duplicate Lee's style doesn't even come close to doing her voice justice, but I hope y'all can enjoy it anyway!

    “You have to grip the bark with your toes, Jem, or else you’re gonna fall,” I said, inching up a nearly vertical limb prickly with branches. I pawed at a striped apple hanging just beyond my grasp.
    “I know how to climb, Scout.” Jem sounded particularly cross with me, the way Atticus did when Jem and I used to go on about Boo Radley. My brother hadn’t budged up his apple limb an inch in the past five minutes.
    “You won’t reach the apples from there, Jem.”
    “Well, it ain’t my fault my arm’s broke.” He dropped to the ground and prowled indignantly about with his eyes downcast.
    I inched up the apple limb and plucked a nice tart one. “Jem, catch.” I tossed it at him. I picked another one for myself and bit into it so’s I could use both arms to swing down. The sugary juice made my mouth water. Jem and I sat down at the base of one of the apple trees and ate our prizes in contented silence. Jem caught sight of a dandy stick on the ground and turned it over with his toe. I thought it looked a good one to sharpen, but Jem wouldn’t like watching me have a go at it when he couldn’t. Jem ate his core barer than mine, and we tossed them away.
    The air was starting to cool, and there were a few weeks yet until summer ended and school started again. I was just about to suggest to Jem that we go fishing when Calpurnia, the uncharitable woman, yelled for us to come home to have supper. I stood and shaded my eyes with my hand. “Darn that Calpurnia, always ruinin’ our fun. Come on, Jem. Let’s go fishing anyhow. That’ll show her.”
    “Don’t be like that, Scout.” Jem stood and wiped his sticky hand on his britches. He had grown into his bossiness enough I really couldn’t tease him ‘bout it no more. “Atticus is almost home anyway. Let’s go.”
    I was not fully assuaged, and I told him so, but I followed him back to Maycomb anyway. We got back to the house just in time to run and meet Atticus coming down the street from work.
    Jem beat me to him, but only ‘cause I slowed down halfway there. My brother’s face was smug as we walked back with Atticus’ arms around our shoulders, but I didn’t mind.

    1. You did really well! I love it :D I didn't really read the books pertaining to the others, but I've read To Kill A Mockingbird and now I realize just how wonderful these fanfic scenes are, especially with the characters I know.

    2. This was really good! I always wanted to know what would happen a little after Jem broke his arm. The movie ended and it left me hanging! :)

  10. I don't know. It didn't seem to publish the first time so I apologize if it turns up later and there end up being duplicates.

    *Spoilers for the seventh Harry Potter book*
    “Elargo,” said George, flicking his wand at the curtains. Nothing happened.
    “It’s more of a drawing out motion. See?” Ron held his own wand aloft and demonstrated, drawing an imaginary line from the top of the curtain rod to the floor.
    “Elargo!” said George. Nothing. He tossed his wand down onto the threadbare quilt. “Oh bother, why don’t you do it yourself? Or just get Mum to mend them. Why would I want to learn a stretching charm anyway?”
    Ron tossed down his wand too and sank to the floor. It was so hard these days.
    Suddenly, George grabbed his wand and sprang off the bed, grinning. “Hey, we could stretch out your nose hair. Wouldn’t that be-” He stopped, his head turned to the side, his eyes staring at the blank wall.
    Ron watched him blink, shocked, as always, by the emptiness. George’s mouth opened and closed again. Ron looked away, still feeling as though he was intruding on a private grief. It had been his brother too. Of course George had to go and make it all about himself-
    George recovered quickly. “And I could stretch Hermione’s teeth a little and then you’d be such an adorable couple and-”
    Ron jumped to his feet. “Don’t you talk about Hermione like that!”
    “Oooohh. Ickle Ronniekins is sensitive.”
    Ron flushed. “Why don’t you have it another go then, not on me mind you.”
    George turned. “ELARGO!” The neck of Ron’s lamp stretched like a giraffe and the lamp shot up through the ceiling with a horrible crash. Bits of plaster rained down on the bed.
    Ron and George stared at each other, eyes wide. George glanced back at the lamp. “Any chance you know a condensing charm?”
    “WHAT IN THE NAME OF MERLIN WAS THAT?” Molly Weasley’s voice came from downstairs.
    George grinned at Ron and poked his head around the door. “Just the ghoul, Mum!”

    1. I have no idea who these people are, but WOW! So entertaining!

    2. Oh, George is one of my favorite characters! Awesome story!

  11. ‘Concentrate!’
    ‘I am!’ I snapped. The screaming wind collapsed and the leaves skydived to the ground.
    The hill where I died towered above the treetops. A copper blur of a dragon squeezed my tree like a feather boa, and The World’s Best Sheepskin Rug was little more than a speck in the branches. The furies grappled up that side. Annabeth tripped behind that bracken. The hellhou-
    I blinked.
    ‘You okay?’ Jason tried to grab my hand. I pulled away.
    ‘Yep.’ Since when was I gripping my bow?
    ‘You keep looking at that hill.’ His eyes flicked to his watch. ‘You know it’s just a tree, right?’
    Just a tree. If only he knew. ‘Sure thing, little brother.’ I dropped my bow. ‘Let’s get back to it.’
    He shed his jacket and revealed a half orange half purple shirt. Overkill, much? ‘You don’t need to keep calling me that.’
    I did need to keep calling him that. Because soon he’ll be older than me, and he’d get married and have kids and turn grey and his knees would buckle and I wouldn’t age a day.
    ‘Umm, one more try at moving the log, then I have to go.’ Jason looked like a rabbit whose neck was about to be snapped. ‘I know you can do it.’
    ‘Sure.’ I said quickly. I shut my eyes, and tried to feel the breeze whistling through my body, and each wind clashing and chasing each other through the trees down to the beach.
    Jason chased me around the coffee-table when he was two.
    The wind surged from my hair to my toes. I grabbed my diadem to stop it flying off. It was working! The log would finally budge, surely.
    I opened my eyes.
    The winds had done nothing but whip up Jason’s blonde hair into something like a squashed porcupine and pull his sleeve up past the tattoos. I hated those tattoos. The Romans just had to brand him as one of them, didn’t they? They just had to burn one mark for each year stolen from me into his flesh, so I’d never forget the precious time we lost and will never reclaim.
    The log hadn’t shifted a centimetre.
    Half-Blood Hill laughed at me out the corner of my eye. I was hopeless, and it knew it.
    Jason shifted awkwardly. ‘Maybe we should stop now.’
    I clenched my fists. There was no logical reason why I was failing. Jason had the power, so I did too.
    ‘It might be that you can only do lightening. Maybe controlling the winds is just a Jupiter thing. And I’m meeting Piper in-’
    The sky darkened. A shaft of lightning spiralled down and stabbed a thorn bush. It exploded into hot rushing flames, and each leaf crimpled and shrivelled into nothingness. The woody stems collapsed and crumbled into powdery ash.
    I nudged the ashes with my boot. Some poor dryad wasn’t going to be happy.
    Life was so easily destroyed.
    I faced my brother. ‘Again. We’re not leaving until that log listens.’