33 comments

Oct 21, 2020

Fantasy Kids Drama

The car wove through the green countryside until it came to a large mansion nestled between two tumuli. The mansion almost sparkled in its whiteness, a spot of brightness against the dreary autumn sky.


The door to the car opened before it came to a complete stop and a short girl with flowing red hair stumbled out. She hurried forward until she came upon a batch of wilting shamrock, in which she promptly vomited.


“Girl!” barked a voice from the mansion’s doorway.


The girl straightened, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, and wobbled toward the doors. There stood a thin, older woman with red hair that matched hers, though streaked with silver. 


“Ma’am,” the girl whispered, nodding her head.


The woman tutted. “Not a fan of the winding roads?”


“No, ma’am.”


“Figures.” She produced a clipboard and stared severely at the girl. “Name?”


“Walsh. Nessa Walsh.”


The woman looked over the clipboard and pursed her lips. “Ah, yes. Nessa Walsh. I trust your...background won't be an issue?”


Nessa hesitated before nodding. She couldn't seem to meet the woman's narrowed eyes.


“Hmph.” The woman straightened. “You’re to go to your dormitory. Year Ones are on the first floor, to the right. And you will call me Headmistress Byrne.”


“Yes, ma--er, Headmistress Byrne.” Nessa walked quickly into the mansion, keeping her head down. She didn’t notice the whispering girls in the entry hall, all sporting red hair of various lengths. She didn’t notice the black walls adorned with framed pictures, or the flickering candles hanging from the ceiling. 


She hurried to the right, stumbled through a set of tall doors, and collapsed onto the dusty bed farthest from the door. She closed her eyes and cried.


They’d find out tomorrow. They’d find out she was a joke.


***


The next morning, Nessa munched on a piece of buttered toast at one of the circular tables in the Meal Hall.


Maroon tablecloths covered the tables and more candles hung from the ceiling. Six or seven girls sat at each table, chattering, occasionally throwing Nessa a glance. Her table was the only one that was empty.


She shivered, staring down at her plate and ignoring the girls. She missed the white and green from outside and she was angry at herself for making such a scene yesterday. When the girls entered the dormitory later that night, she had remained curled in a ball, refusing to utter a sound.


“You,” said a voice to her right. Nessa jumped. She looked up to find that a girl with a long nose and high cheekbones had taken the seat to her right. Another girl stood behind her, sniffing.


“Er--I’m Nessa,” she said in a small voice. She set her half-eaten toast on the plate and gave the girls a weak smile.


“You took my bed,” snapped the girl in the seat. “I get the one by the window.”


“Oh.” Nessa blinked. “I’m sorry, I didn’t--”


“Don’t let it happen again, Messy,” hissed the long-nosed girl. The standing girl smirked.


“It’s Nessa,” she whispered, but the girls were already walking away, their red hair bouncing as they marched.


Nessa looked miserably at her toast before pushing it away.


***


“Greetings, class.”


More black walls and more hanging candles surrounded Nessa, except this room held lined desks and a chalkboard at the front. Ms. O'Connell, Nessa's first teacher, stood in the middle of the room. She had red hair so dark it was almost black.


“Let’s see what we’ve got here, shall we?” Ms. O’Connell looked around the room and Nessa held her breath, but Mrs. O’Connell called on someone else.


“Erin.”


The girl from breakfast, sitting a few seats over, smiled and shot Nessa a wicked glance before opening her mouth and screaming.


The hair on Nessa’s neck stood up as the candles flickered with Erin’s wail. Nessa felt her hands shake as she suddenly thought of her mother. Something was wrong; her mother was shrouded in darkness, and a cloaked figure wrapped its claws around her--


“Excellent work, Erin!” 


Nessa jumped at Ms. O’Connell’s praise, snapping out of her reverie. She looked around to find that all the students' faces had paled. Some wiped away tears.


“Now, how many of you saw a family member about to die?” asked Ms. O’Connell briskly.


Nessa shakily raised her hand with about half the class.


“Incredible work, Erin!” said Mrs. O’Connell, smiling. “A very strong number for your first Scream!”


Erin smiled smugly and Nessa fought the urge to gag. She shook her head, packaging away her mother until she could have another good cry, and focused on her teacher.


“Who’s next?” Mrs. O’Connell looked around the room and Nessa was too late to avert her eyes. “Nessa! Up next!”


Nessa gulped. “I-I don’t want to.”


Mrs. O’Connell raised an eyebrow. “Oh? And why not?”


“I can’t Scream.”


The rest of the girls in the class snickered. Nessa felt warmth rise to her cheeks and she looked down to her desk.


“Nonsense, child,” said Mrs. O’Connell. “Even humans can scream. Come on; don’t be shy, we’re all beginners here. It’s all right if it’s not a true Scream.” 


Nessa stared around the class, panicked. Erin smirked. Mrs. O’Connell’s eyebrows were in danger of disappearing into her hair. 


“Don’t make me ask again, Nessa,” Mrs. O’Connell warned, putting a hand on her hip.


Nessa closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She opened her mouth and tried to Scream.


But what came out was a flowing melody with notes that hung in the air and sunk into the very skin of the students in the class. The most beautiful song floated throughout the mansion and into the ears of all the girls at the boarding school, who started drifting toward the Year One classroom, faint smiles on their faces as their eyes glazed over--


“Enough!” shouted Mrs. O’Connell, slamming her hands over her ears.


Nessa snapped her mouth shut, blinking. Most of her fellow students were on their feet, walking toward her. They stared around in surprise before throwing Nessa glances of disgust and returning to their seats.


“What--what was that?” shrieked Erin. She gave Nessa a look of such hate that Nessa flinched. 


“That...well, that was a surprise, Miss Walsh,” said Mrs. O’Connell, her nose flaring and her chest rising quickly. “Singing. No, not singing. Calling. Where did you learn to do that, Nessa?”


“It’s not my fault,” whispered Nessa, shuffling her feet. “I’m part siren. My father’s mother.”


No one could mistake the pity in Mrs. O’Connell’s eyes. Nessa sniffed.


“I-I’m banshee on my mother’s side,” she tried to say, but Erin spoke over her.


Stupid siren, stupid siren,” she chanted until the entire class shouted the words. Mrs. O’Connell waved her arms to quiet the students, but they wailed over her.


Nessa burst into tears and sprinted to the Year One dormitory, where she curled up on the bed by the door and let her tears stain the pillow.


A half-siren at a school for banshees. She was a joke.

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33 comments

Iris Cordova
18:10 Oct 27, 2020

I love your title! When l read she was part siren, l was like "l see what you did there." The reveal that the school was for banshees was great. Your stories always feel cozy to me. I love reading them on break, drinking tea. Can't wait for the next one.

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Leilani Lane
18:25 Oct 27, 2020

Thank you so much, Iris, you are too kind! :)

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Ray Dyer
17:07 Oct 26, 2020

I love the characterization in this story. Just enough Hogwart's, just enough first-day-at-school, just enough of a twist to realize that this is not going where we thought it was going, and then that beautiful description of the Calling. This story was fun to read, but so sad at the end. Here's hoping for a sequel where Nessa's version of Malfoy learns the error of her ways...

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Leilani Lane
19:27 Oct 26, 2020

Thank you so much!! I would definitely love to write a sequel to this someday, if the right prompt arises. :)

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02:37 Oct 25, 2020

Oh my gosh. Am I cruel for laughing at her pain? That last sentence had me. Anyway, looking past my cold merciless heart for now, this story was fabulous. I was waiting for another one of your stories! This was such a nice fantastical piece. Honestly, if I were at that school, I'd excel in all my classes, overthrow the principal with my unimaginably horrible Screams, then rule the banshee colony. I'd probably become best friends with Nessa, too, then get to tell the terrible banshees in Nessa's class "F*** you." I'm going to quit boring ...

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Leilani Lane
13:57 Oct 25, 2020

THIS COMMENT MADE MY DAY. Thank you so much, Adrienne!!! For your wonderful comments about my story, and about my Moana costume! :))) This one was super fun to write. I've been on a fantasy binge... so I'm loving the new prompts!!

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19:19 Oct 25, 2020

Haha, I'm so glad! I was pondering whether or not I should just delete it cuz it's so embarrassing, but oh well. At least I made you smile! :)

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Rayhan Hidayat
11:15 Oct 23, 2020

I feel like this story is a jab at redheads or something :P I love this, anyway. I thought it might veer into horror, but everything was very grounded despite being a fantasy, and by the end I just wanted to give Nessa a hug. Really feels like the first chapter of a novel, and the story arc would be about her developing her banshee side and then ultimately realizing that her siren side is what makes her special, or something like that. I had no idea Moana was such a talented writer. Keep it up! :D

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Leilani Lane
14:01 Oct 25, 2020

Haha in my research, I found that banshees are redheads!! And it's all Irish... who knew! Thank you so much, Rayhan!! You always leave wonderful comments. :D

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Rayhan Hidayat
14:06 Oct 25, 2020

Ohh forget what I said then, that makes sense 😅 And it’s always a pleasure!!

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Molly Leasure
05:22 Oct 21, 2020

Hahaha! I know I shouldn't laugh at her, but that was a great twist. I love the idea of a siren at a banshee school! Maybe she can transform her song into a hybrid: scrong. Yup, that's a gross word, but it's sticking! So, I only have a few things I noticed in this one ~ "She opened her mouth, and tried to Scream." Another one of those burning commas escaped! I sort of have a preference for an ellipse here: "That--well, that was a surprise, Miss Walsh..." "That...well, that was a surprise..." But, again, a "me thing," 'cause I seem ...

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Leilani Lane
19:48 Oct 21, 2020

I am loving your personal opinions/preferences more and more... NO THIS HELPS SO MUCH, THANK YOU! In my research about banshees, apparently they have red hair?? Never knew that lol. Tried to make this as Irish as I could... Scrong is my new favorite. XD

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Molly Leasure
20:58 Oct 21, 2020

Say whhhhhhhhat? That's awesome! I never would have guessed that. I'll have to keep that in mind the next time I decide to add a banshee to my story!! Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever written about a banshee, haha. I'll leave them to your capable hands ;). No one would know what the heck that was though xD. Haha

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Diana Monney
19:48 Oct 29, 2020

Hi, I was matched with this story for critique circle! I thought it was really creative and sensed a certain Hogwarts essence I really liked. Good job! I wish I had more of a critique to offer. I think was well written for a fantasy childlike story. Perhaps I just would have liked more narration to be told on the plot.

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Sia Sharma
08:02 Oct 25, 2020

Oh my god. Leilani. Woah. How are you so great?! This was awesome!! I absolutely LOVED it!! Just awesome. Btw, where did you even get inspiration?!

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Leilani Lane
13:55 Oct 25, 2020

That comment just made my whole day, thank you!!! :) I've been trying to go through fantastical creatures in my stories... I've gotten through witches, enchanters, talking animals, and finally one on banshees! :D

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Sia Sharma
16:52 Oct 25, 2020

Welcome!! You deserve it!!

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Claire Lewis
22:47 Oct 24, 2020

Yayyyy I've been waiting for another story from you!! This is so imaginative, just slightly creepy and I love it SO much. I'm definitely a sucker for a character who sings. Seriously though, this feels like the intro to a novel and left me wanting more in a very good way! Where did you get the name Nessa from? One teeny edit to consider: In the first sentence, I'd personally change "The car winded" to "the car wove" or "wound." It feels more natural to me, but that's just my opinion so feel free to keep what you have! I hope you an...

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Leilani Lane
13:59 Oct 25, 2020

That edit makes a world of difference, thank you so much!! I totally agree, I was not liking that sentence, and you fixed it! I got the name Nessa just from looking up Irish names. This whole story is based in Ireland because in my research, banshees are apparently Irish? Never knew that!! I hope you're doing well, too! I see you've got a couple new stories out--can't wait to read! :)

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Claire Lewis
14:21 Oct 25, 2020

Ooh, I didn't know that either--how cool! Glad to be of help!

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Maggie Deese
18:01 Oct 22, 2020

This was great, Leilani! Fantastical and truly creative! I loved the touch of horror in this as well! Well done! Also, CONGRATS ON GETTING MARRIED!!! I'm so happy for you!

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Leilani Lane
18:46 Oct 22, 2020

Aw thank you so so much Maggie!!! That made my day!! :))

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Maggie Deese
20:07 Oct 22, 2020

You're so welcome!!! :)

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Maggie Deese
00:47 Oct 23, 2020

Okay also, I LOVE your profile pic!!! You look just like Moana!😱 you're so pretty!!

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Leilani Lane
00:52 Oct 23, 2020

MAGGIE STOP MAKING MY DAY. :') You're the best, thank you so much!!! I'm a huuuuuge Moana fan. :)

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Maggie Deese
02:08 Oct 23, 2020

Ahhh you're welcome girl!!!💕 Moana is a favorite of mine too!

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Lina Ozz
04:59 Oct 21, 2020

Okay, this is one of my favorites. I love everything about this. It is so creative, fantastical, and imaginative, with a touch of horror/thriller. No notes!

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Leilani Lane
19:54 Oct 21, 2020

Thank you so much, Lina!!! Think I'll stick on this fantasty trend for a while! :)

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Lina Ozz
20:20 Oct 21, 2020

Yay, excited to read your next piece!

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Leilani Lane
02:26 Oct 21, 2020

Temporary title. :)

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A.g. Scott
02:53 Oct 21, 2020

I actually think this title is fine, but here's what I got: "I Just Wanna Scream!" (This is probably gonna be the only serious one lol) "Actually, I Do Mean to Harp on It" "Ban She" (that one's a joke for sure)

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Leilani Lane
03:05 Oct 21, 2020

You always come up with the best titles. XD "Ban She" dammit I want to do that one so much lol XD

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Ana Govindasamy
13:38 Nov 27, 2020

ooh this is really good!

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