“My name is Scarlet Brook. I have been waiting all school year for this day.”
My name is Scarlet Brook. I have been waiting all school year for this day. Summer! All school year, it’s all about work, work, work! But in summer, just do whatever you want! Well, at least that’s what I thought. The first day of summer, I thought I would be going to hang out with my friends or something, but instead my mom forced me to babysit my annoying little sister, Sydney. Sydney wasn’t too happy herself.
“But, Chelsea! I want Chelsea to babysit me! She’s better!!” she whined.
“I told you! Chelsea is going on her honeymoon!” mom said.
“Can I at least hang out once today?” I said.
“Of course! The whole summer will be fun. Remember? I signed you up for riding camp!”
Oh, I forgot to tell you. I live in a magic land: a place where there are unicorns, wizards, and dragons. Usually normal people don’t have flying piglets as pets. Well, those normal people don’t live here.
The next morning, I woke up still exhausted from what happened last night. First Sydney wanted water, then milk, then orange juice, then candy, and finally she wanted to watch a movie. But she wasn’t finished yet, then she wanted popcorn, and to go with popcorn she wanted soda. How does Gabriela do it? Well, she had ruined the first day of summer but not all the days! Then I just remembered. I had riding camp today! I hopped out of bed and into my riding gear. I brushed my teeth and brushed my hair. Then I ran out of my room and I thought, Wow! Am I doing well today!
Just then, I spotted Pip, my flying piglet’s mud footprints splattered across the floor. Uh oh, I thought. Then mom came out and screamed.
“Take Pip into the bath tub! Stat!!!” I slipped on the mud and grabbed Pip. I put Pip into the bathtub and ran out. I grabbed paper towels and slid them across the floor. When I saw mom slip, I couldn’t help but laugh. With her hair all tangled, her body all muddy, and veins popping out of her forehead, she looked just like an angry witch! Mom glared at me and made herself calm down. She sighed. “Wow, what a great start of a day!” she said sarcastically.
“Umm…mom?” I said, “Don’t I have riding camp today?”
My mom nearly fainted. “Go! Go! Go!” she screamed.
I ran out the door. “Wait!” she ran after me. She handed me my lunch and gave me a map to the camp. I ran all the way. On my way there, I thought to myself, Wow, I’m late on my first day of camp!
When I got there, I saw a bunch of riders on their horses. I ran to the coach and explained what happened. I could hear people whispering about me. The coach told me to take a seat on the line. I sat down.
“Listen up, kids! my name is Betty. Get a partner, we will be practicing jumps on our horses,” said Betty. Betty paired me up with a boy named Henry.
“Hi,” I said. He didn’t say anything to me. He just hopped on his horse. I looked at him.
“Well?” he said. “Don’t just stand there! Get on your horse!” he yelled. I jumped. I don’t know why, but I felt mad. “I don’t have a horse!” I screamed. Henry must have been frightened because he started backing away from me. Betty came over to see what all the commotion was about.
“What’s going on here?” she asked.
“That girl’s crazy and she doesn’t even have a horse!” Henry cried. He bumped into a girl that had dirty blonde hair worn in a low ponytail.
“Ow!” she said, turning around, “What was that for?”
“She made me!” wailed Henry.
“Calm down, riders!” Betty yelled.
“She’s not even a rider!”
“Quit screaming!” yelled a girl with brownish hair held in a tight ponytail. I had a feeling today was going to be a long day.
When I came back to riding camp the next day, the girl who had screamed “quit screaming!” came over to me.
“Henry’s such a jerk,” she said to me.
“Tell me about it,” I said.
“I’m Bryn,” she said. I smiled.
“Thanks for being the first one to tell me their name. Well, besides Betty.”
“Emily!” she called. The girl who Henry bumped into ran over.
“Hey, aren’t the one who got into the fight with Henry yesterday?” she asked. I shrugged.
“Nicely done!” she said, smiling.
“Huh?” I said. Emily and Bryn started laughing.
“Henry’s a pain,” said Emily. I joined in the laugh too, even though I didn’t know why we were laughing. When I got home I told mom all about it. Mom said she was happy I made friends. But I left out the part with Henry in it because I knew mom would ask all about it, or she would get mad at me for getting into a fight or call Henry’s mom telling her what happened.
Mom told me someone moved in next door. I was so excited! Maybe she would become my best friend! We could send flashlight notes to each other at night. And we could have sleepovers whenever we wanted! Oh. What if it was a boy? My heart dropped. I crossed both of my fingers.
“Mom,” I asked, “is it a girl or a boy?”
“A 13-year-old boy.” I felt like someone had dropped a heavy ball on me.
“And a 12-year-old girl named Jane.”
Yesss!!! I thought.
“They also have a 3-year-old named Taylor.”
“When are they coming?” I asked excitedly.
“Oh look! There they are right now!” she said, while pointing out the window.
“Moooom!” I moaned. “I wanted to greet her when she came!”
“Oh, doesn’t matter! Go!” she said. “I wanted to make her cookies!”
My mom sighed. After we made cookies, I fixed my hair and put on a blue blouse and a white frilly skirt. I walked out of my house to their house they had a porch that had white paint that was peeling off. I rang their doorbell and a big jolly lady opened the door.
“Hello,” she said.
“Hi!” I almost screamed. “I live next door. I came here to give these cookies to your children.” Hey, I know it was cheesy, but I was trying to be friendly!
“Oh, my!” she said. “That would be lovely!”
Score! I thought. Just the response I was looking for.
“Right this way,” she said. “Jane! Someone’s here to see you!” she yelled.
“Really?” I heard a girl’s voice yell from upstairs. Then I heard footsteps coming from the stairs. Then I saw a girl with brown hair held in a braid on her shoulder.
“Hi,” she said.
“Hi, I’m Scarlet. I brought cookies,” I said, feeling kind of stupid wearing my Hello Kitty bag.
Jane’s eyes lightened up when I said cookies. “Cookies!” she repeated. She grabbed my arm and brought me to the kitchen. There I saw a little girl with light brown hair with a butterfly clip in her hair, smashing a toy against the table.
“Taylor, stop smashing your toy against the table!” Jane looked at me. “Little sisters are so annoying,” she said, glaring at Molly. “Oh, and that’s not all. My older brother Henry is such a pain. He just started riding camp.” Just then a boy came out of a room. My jaw dropped. It was Henry.
Jane showed me her room with her adorable little sparkle bunny. Sparkle bunnies are bunnies that can jump super-high and sparkle when they are happy. It started shooting sparkles everywhere. My mom said I couldn’t get one because they are too messy. But I love Pip. She’s the perfect pet for me. Okay, well, you didn’t get a good experience of Pip on my first day of camp, but she is a wonder to have around.
Her sparkle bunny was named Fiona and was light brown. Whenever I looked into Fiona’s eyes, she was squinting. Then she would bend down and put her paws on her head like she was trying to scratch her eyes. “Why is she doing that?” I asked after the third time she did it.
“I think there’s something wrong with her eyes,” answered Jane, while planting a kiss on top of Fiona’s head. Fiona looked at me with her sparkling deep-hazel eyes. But when I looked at her, she did it again: squinted and then rubbed her eyes.
But then I noticed another cage next to Fiona’s. Jane must have saw my reaction because she said, “That’s Millie’s cage.” She put her hand on top of the cage.
“You have another bunny?” I asked. She opened the cage and pulled out a white bunny with it’s eyes closed. Fiona jumped on Jane’s shoulder and looked at Millie. Both of them sparkled.
Henry came into Jane’s room. “What are you doing with that, crazy girl!” he asked. Jane looked hurt. “What do you mean?” she asked, signaling for him to go away. Then a tiny spike dragon came out behind Henry. Spike dragons are dragons that can protect you by shooting fire spikes from their mouths. They never turn against their masters. They can also fly. They are awesome! But they are also very rare. “You have a spike dragon!” I exclaimed without thinking.
“You mean Rex? Nah, he’s a thorn dragon.”
“Oh,” I said. Thorn dragons can turn invisible. They turn into a thorn when they sleep.
“Anyway, what are you doing here?”
“I live next door,” I said. His face got big.
“What?!” he asked like the world was ending.
“Umm…” I said. “I should go home.”
“Yeah, you should,” said Henry, kind of doing a sideways smirk.
The next day at riding camp, I finally got a horse! It was light brown and had a beautiful brown mane. It had strong silver wings. I named it Miracle because it was a miracle that I got such a beautiful horse. Henry had a black horse with a black mane and black wings. It was ugly. He named it Spike. Bryn had a white horse with silver wings and had a beautiful brown mane. She named it Lucky. Emily had a brown horse with a brown mane and big silver wings. She named it Beauty. She was a beauty. The first time I got on Miracle, I felt like I was flying. I felt like Miracle was talking to me. Like she was telling me I was going to be okay. A couple times I got nauseous but when Miracle looked at me with her beautiful brown eyes, I felt like everything was going to be fine.
I didn’t even know we were going to have a competition! But I was totally surprised we had a competition in three days! I mean, who would do that? Just put a competition six days after the camp even started! We practiced what we were going to do in the competition. Betty said we were competing against other riders too. We were going to race. I had to memorize the obstacle course. I thought I thought I was going to win.
When I got home I thought I was home alone because it was so quiet. It is usually very loud. Since I thought I was home alone, I started freaking out.
“Momm!!!” I screamed. “Where are you?!”
“Booo!” someone cried behind me. I felt like I had a heart attack. I turned around and saw…
“Aunt Audrey!” I screamed. I hugged her.
“Hey Scarlet! I’m taking you out for dinner today!”
I stopped freaking out. “Awww…” I said.
“Hi auntie Adwey!” Sydney said. Aunt Audrey took us out to my favorite Japanese restaurant, “Tatany.” I ordered my usual (udong, dumplings, and miso soup). Sydney ordered her usual (miso soup, and tofu teriyaki).
The day of the competition, I had my riding gear on and we were playing in a stadium. I couldn’t believe we were going to be on TV! My family was here. So was my aunt Audrey, in her “I love NYC” shirt, my uncle Tim, my other aunt Mary, and my uncle Jeremy. I was surprised to see my cousins, Salina, Curtis, Alex, and my baby cousin, Molly.
We took our places in the stadium. I looked at the guy with the gun. I held Miracle’s mane tightly and she looked at me. I looked over at Bryn and she winked at me. I looked at Henry, and for the first time ever, he smiled.
“Ready, set, boom!” went the gun. Everyone went, including Miracle. I think Miracle was startled because she almost tripped when the man shot the gun. We flew up a hill. I passed a rider on a brown horse, then a black horse. I could see Bryn and Emily behind me. Then came the big hill. Miracle tried going up the hill but when a couple horses passed us, Miracle fell down the hill. “Miracle!” I yelled. Then Henry stopped near us. “Wow,” he said. He helped up Miracle.
“Thanks,” I said. I kept going. “Come on, Miracle, we can do this,” I said. Miracle flew up the hill. “Come on,” I said, “We’re almost there. I could see the finish line from here. Miracle went super fast and we saw a black horse that was about to cross the finish line and… zoom! Miracle passed the finish line! After the finish line, Miracle slipped and I fell off Miracle. Everything went pitch black.
I woke up in the hospital. Mom was kneeling next to me. “You won,” she said quietly.
“I won,” I repeated.
“Look,” she said pointing out the window. I looked out the window and saw Miracle! She had a gold medal around her neck. Then I saw Betty holding another medal. Then I saw Henry. I remembered how he stopped to help up Miracle. Maybe he wasn’t so bad after all. I smiled. It felt good to be a rider. I felt like it was going to be a long, great, awesome summer.