~This is a story I meant to write for the theme "Secrets" but never got the chance to submit it, but here it is! WARNING: The main character's backstory is pretty sad, I'll put the following in where it starts and ends, ~~~ so just be warned of that! I also put it in the category of Science Fiction, which will be revealed later on why it's that! Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy! And comment if you would like a Part 2! ~
Brooklyn (or Brook) stared out into the sunrise, on the roof of her apartment building. She was going to turn 13 tomorrow, a big milestone. But she didn't have anyone to celebrate her special day with.
Brook had no friends, no family, no future. She lived in an abandoned apartment and made it her home at age 6.
The day she turned 5, her parents were driving her to the Grand Canyon. Young Brook was so excited! Her best friend went to the Grand Canyon before, Brook wanted to see the beauty her friend described to her 4 months ago. She lived close by, so they didn't have to drive for so long.
When they reached there, they took several pictures. Her dad was taking a picture of Brook with her mom, but the ledge gave away, and her mom slipped off the edge with Brook. At the last minute, Brook's mom pushed her closer to the edge, where her dad caught her. They turn around to see her fall down into the canyon. They called the authorities, but they were too late.
Weeks go by for the two, their days filled with grief from the death of Caroline Anderson. Her dad, most of all, was affected the most. Each passing day, Brook noticed her dad growing more distant, more cold.
One day, Brook's father didn't wake up in the morning. Brook thought he was sleeping, and so she went to school herself, forgetting to pack a lunch or a snack.
When the teacher asked Brook where her lunch was, Brook said calmly, "Daddy didn't wake up this morning, so I went to my bus stop myself!"
"Your daddy didn't wake up?" asked her teacher, Mrs. Willow.
"Daddy is really tired! I tried shaking him... he didn't wake up... he's probably awake now!"
Mrs. Willow had a bad feeling, so she took Brook home. When she saw Brook's father, she called an ambulance.
The doctors said that her dad had a seizure that night. They said he was gone.
"Where's daddy?" asked Brook.
"He's safe now, sweetheart," said Mrs. Willow.
A couple weeks after her parent's death, she was sent to foster-care for a month, until a couple adopted her, who lived all the way in Hudson, New York. They gave Brook toys, art supplies, anything she wanted, but no matter how kind they were, Brook kept trying to run away.
Eventually, Brook succeeded. She took her lunch money, bought a one-way ticket to Manhattan, and ran towards the bus stop while her "parents" thought she was walking to school. She gave the ticket, and before she knew it, she was alone.
She walked around for a bit, and found this abandoned apartment building. There were other homeless people in the building as well. And they welcomed her with open arms. They helped her scavenge for food, clothing, and money left in the street. When she asked why didn't they steal, they said that isn't very nice.
"You may not get as much, but scavenging is better than stealing." said a man, no older than 30.
Since that day, Brook scavenged her breakfast, lunch, dinner, and clothing every day. Anything extra was shared between everyone in the apartment building. She also scavenged a library card and read books from the library every day. Brook never dwelled on her dead parents either. She was happy where she was. She never thought about them.
But on the eve of her birthday, she started to wonder how her life would have been if she didn't go to the Grand Canyon that very day. What would have happened if her parents hadn't died? Or if she hadn't ran away? All of these were very troubling thoughts, so she looked to the beautiful sunset to distract herself. Tomorrow, July 13th, she would turn thirteen. Of course, when you put her birthday into numbers, it would come out as, 7/13, which both numbers meant bad luck. That explained why she lost everything on her 5th birthday.
"Brook!" called Kaleb, the second youngest out of everyone in the building (the youngest being Brook), "Come inside! We're having dinner!"
"Coming!" Brook said. She went back inside to find her dinner, salad, with ranch, carrots, apples, pears, and so many other fruits!
"Rusty! How did you find all these fresh fruits and veggies?" Brook asked.
"Someone left an $100 dollar bill on the sidewalk! Can you believe it?" said Annie, who was 21, "I asked around to see if it was anyone's, surprisingly, no one claimed it!"
"Wow! We should save the rest of it for emergencies!" Brook said cheerfully.
Everyone ate their dinner in peace, and went to bed shortly after.
The next morning, Brook woke up. She didn't feel any different. It didn't feel like her special day. All she could think about were her very-dead parents.
They're dead, she told herself, You saw them die with your own eyes. Stop thinking about the past. today's your 13th birthday! Rusty probably made a cake like he does every year!
Brooklyn ran downstairs to find cereal on her spot. There was no milk of course, for where would they store it? They had no fridge, they just had a box filled with ice.
"Brook, there's a package, for you." said Kaleb.
She was confused, "Wait, a package? For me? But no one knows I live here!"
"That's precisely what I was thinking," said Amelia, "Anyways, open it up!"
She grab the package and opened it. Inside it held a purple cylinder, with gold finishes on it. Inside it was a scroll. It read:
Dear Brooklyn Maria Anderson,
You have been invited to attend Magic Academy, where you will learn skills needed to become a mage! We only take the best of the best, or relatives to the most famous mages and warlocks of all time! You and a few others have been selected from New York, USA. This is a huge decision, so you have until July 31 to register. When you decide to attend, please write a letter and slip it inside the scroll case (The Purple Cylinder)
"Well?" asked Rusty, serving more cereal.
"It's a troll letter," Brook slips it into her pocket, "It asked me to sign up for a Magic School? Oh c'mon, magic doesn't exist!"
After breakfast, she heads out to scavenge some more food. She also took $5 dollars to get a drink from Starbucks. Rusty won't be mad, she argued.
She bought her drink as sat down at a table near the window. She looked out to the busy streets of Manhattan. People rarely traveled together, and when they did, they barely even talked. Brook had tried to make friends when she was 7 years old, but she was ignored by everyone.
As Brook drank her strawberry lemonade, she overheard two girls, no older than she was, whispering about something. One of them sounded upset.
"Kat, you can't actually want to go to that school!" the upset one said. She wore her black hair into a bun, and had deep chocolate skin. She wore a gray cardigan, a white shirt, and ripped jeans. She wore several bracelets on her wrist, and wore white sneakers.
"Jordan, I want to go!" said the second girl. She had pink hair, curled at the tips. She wore a jeans jacket over a rainbow stripped shirt, shorts, and black sneakers, "I want to become a mage! That's what I've ever wanted since I was a kid!" What? Brook thought, A mage? Don't tell me these two girls got those scam packages too!
Jordan sighed, "I can't stop you, I guess. I'll go too."
Kat squealed, "Omg, thank you so much!"
Jordan laughed, "No problem!"
Brook walked over to their table, "Uh, excuse me?"
Jordan and Kat looked at Brook, "Oh, what is it?" asked Kat, with a smile.
"You guys got those scam letters too?" Brook asked, in a whisper.
"Oh, you mean the letters from.. that academy?" Jordan nodded, "Yea, it's the best school for mages! Didn't you know? They're not scams, they're real."
"Wait, so it's real?" Brook asked in amazement.
"Yea! Are you going to register?" Kat asked.
Brook pulled out her letter and scroll case.
"Say, do you girls have a piece of paper I could use?"