Some Secrets can't be Known. Not Even by YOU.

Submitted into Contest #47 in response to: As you check your mail, you notice a letter that makes you stop in your tracks.... view prompt



Verum, Fun Facts, and Terror Tortillas:

Verum was finally - after years of waiting - going to try to go to school again. She, unlike many kids of her age, was excited for school, looking forward to it. She was turning 14 this next month and she still and never attended as so much of a single day of school. She for one knew not why she could not attend school, obtain an education. 

I do though. 

I do.

Who am I? I bet you, among others,  would like to know the answer to that simple question. However, by giving you that answer I would be... jeopardizing your health and well being. So, as you can see,(or rather read?) I cannot answer that. But I can, however, tell you about her. About Verum. The reason she never had an education. Why she wanted an education so badly.

But before I dive into that rough sea, I must tell you this…


It is impossible to lick your elbow.

“Why must I tell you that? Why is it so important? What is the point? Can we hear the story now?”  These are a few of the many questions I have received regarding the “Shelbi Fun-Facts.” But I am here to assure you that they are quite necessary.

Anyway, Verum was turning 14 this next month and she still had never attended as much of a single day of school as I have mentioned earlier. And now she was on her way to the bus stop, for which she would ride to school.  Only, the bus never came. Not then. Not ever.


The tradition of giving teachers apples goes back to 16th century Denmark, where teachers didn’t earn enough for food so parents would send their children to school with an apple for them.

Verum had tried countless times to go to school. But it had never worked. So she walked home (in the rain of course because all sad things happen in the rain.) Her hair was soaked and her tears invisible, for the rain streaked down her face along with them.


When rain falls, it creates air pockets, which contain small amounts of geosmin. The rain traps and then releases these air pockets, dispersing geosmin into the air, where it’s free to travel to human noses. The smell of rain even has a name: “Petrichor.”

Of course, Verum had tried to go to school before. Such as in kindergarten, for example. On the day she was supposed to attend her kindergarten class, she mysteriously got the flu. After the bug had taken its course, Verum broke her leg. “in her sleep,” the doctors explained. She had tried numerous times to get to school. But every time she tried, she failed. Eventually, she and her mother decided that she would stay home. Be home-schooled. Vernum reluctantly agreed and never attended school herself. 

Now, being approximately 14 years old, the sad child opened the door of her home, calling for her mother. 

“Mom?” She sniffled.

Her mother wouldn't be too pleased to find out about the missing bus. She’s really been looking forward to the day that she could have the house to herself.


No reply, this was definitely not normal.


Where was her mother? She did not know. I do not know. But I do know that the child was worried about her. Worried sick. Why? Because her mother NEVER left the house.


“MOM!” The sound that came out of her mouth was not a pleasant one. Nor was it an okay one. The terrible screech that came out of her mouth would remind you of your worst memory. The most terrible thing that has ever happened to you wrapped in a tortilla of terror. 

It was a horrid sound.


An estimated 10-20% of the population has Pteromerhanophobia, a fear of flying…

I, the Poet:

She lay in her bed. 

Resting her head.

What if her mother was dead? 

I’ve never been much good at poetry, but it’s worth trying...

Her eyes flew open.

She had to find her mother.

But that would be hard…

A Haiku. Simple poetry really. Yet, I still struggle to write one.


The first line is five

Seven syllables come next. 

Five is in the last

Haikus are simple

And well-liked by many folks

You could write one now

Show off...

Right then and there Verum decided to find her mom

Even if her journey would be arduous and long

So reluctantly she jumped out of her nest

She put on her clothes and hoped for the best

Then she walked out of the door, trying to stay calm.

Only to run smack into her mom.

“MOM?” she said, with her face as a frown

“I thought that you’d disappeared, and gone out of town!”

“NO, SILLY!” her mother smiled and cheered.

“Why would I go off and just disappear?

I simply ran to the store to go shop!

I was craving some delicious pizza and pop.”

Then she revealed what she had left Verum for,

That soda and pizza she’d got from the store.


Most women spend about eight years of their life shopping.

An Ending?:

“Sorry!” she said again. “For some reason, I thought you’d been kidnapped or something.”

“I am a grown woman Verum. I don’t get kidnapped.” She smiled.


“Okay, okay! Apology accepted. Now we need to start your schoolwork.”

Verum left the living room with a groan.

However, one question was still bothering Verum. Why had her mother left the house? She NEVER left the house. Ever. Especially not over some silly craving…


Now I know what you're thinking, this is some kind of cliché - Mom conceals something important from her daughter. Daughter figures it out. Daughter goes on some quest, finds out her mother is more than she said she was.

I’ve rescued you from the tedious details, but that is fundamentally the plot of this clichéd story. HOWEVER! If you wish to read it anyway go ahead. Or you could easily just end it right here and now. There’s no difference to me.

The End.

(Unless you would like to keep reading...)

Shall We Continue?:

So you decided to continue with the story huh? Interesting choice, but who am I to tell you to do anything different. 

By this time, it’s basically night for Verum. She is now finished with her day’s schoolwork and is still skeptical as to why her mom left. So, she decides to spy on her. 

Of course, I’m not really spying. Verum told herself as she walked down the hall. Just checking on her. Making sure she’s safe and all…

And with that, she opened the door to her mother’s bedroom, making sure the hinges didn't creak.

What she saw would change her life forever.


Bananas are, in fact, radioactive. If only slightly.

Now I know that seemed random, unnecessary even, but let me assure you once more,

These facts are very necessary! So necessary even that-


When you sneeze, the sneeze will travel out of your nose at over 100 m.p.h.

In actuality, this information comes from-


Everyone's tongue print is different. (a lot like fingerprints.)

Seriously… I don’t like to be interrupted… Not even by you-


Lots of people don’t like their secret identities to be revealed…

Okay! That wasn’t even a fact! But I guess I can see where you’re coming from. No sane person would knowingly give away their secret identities…


One single strand of spaghetti is called a “Spaghetto.”

Will you STOP that?


Off in Nebraska, there is a town that is called Monowi. There is only one resident currently dwelling there. She is Mayor, Librarian, and Bartender.


Are you done?

It seems to be so.

Now I will continue with the tale-


I think there are very few interesting stories in our world today. This one does not make the list.

Did you just say “I think.”?? THAT IS NOT A FACT! 

Also, OUCH.  

        -SHELBI FUN FACT #14

There is a small village in Michigan called Hell. Every year, it freezes over. 

Okay. That's it. I'm ending the chapter.

Interruptions, no more:

Okay… I think our interruption has been… taken care of?

Yes? Great. 

Sometimes I get annoyed by all of those fun facts and it’s hard to keep my cool. Thank you for your understanding. 


Anyway, Verum was-


The brain is wired so that most people only remember negative things.

I see how it is.

If this really isn't going to stop then tell me why you must continue to interrupt me.

Nothing? Strange.

I guess I will continue then?

Upon creaking open her mother's door Verum found herself staring right into the eyes of a man.

“Who is he? She shouted, not able to control her anger. “Why is he in our house?”

Her mother looked at her, startled, from the other side of the room. 

“Honey! Why are you here!?”

“I just wanted to check on you.”

“You were spying?”


Her mother looked at her with an expression that said, “If you don’t get out of here this instant I will personally see to you beheading.”

Verum ran out of the room and hid under a blanket on the loveseat.

Her stomach was flipping around too much for her liking, and she felt rejected.

At least the blanket was soft?


The Tall guy and his fleet of weird donkeys:

From the diary of Verum A.

Wednesday, May 24. 3:56 p.m.

According to my mother, that dude in her room is a painter. He’s here to paint our walls or something.

I’m not buying it though.

I mean, sure he’s pretty tall, which is a good attribute to have if you are a painter, but something sketchy is going on and I think he has something to do with it.

Wednesday, May 24. 4:37 p.m.

Okay, he’s leaving now and I think my mother will talk to me about him soon?

Wednesday May 24. 4:49 p.m.

This is weird, tall guy doesn't even have a car… He just left on a cart thing being pulled by…


This day just keeps getting weirder.

Wednesday, May 24. 6:13 p.m.

Any day now mom.

She’s acting so strange.

I don’t like it. 

Not one bit.

I’ve decided to go talk to her.

Thursday, May, 25. 7:32 a.m.

My mother was looking at me like I was crazy when I decided to confront her. Then she told me to go to bed. 

I wonder what she’s hiding…

What she’s keeping from me.

Thursday, May 25. 8:30

I've been waiting for my Mother to come teach me for thirty minutes now. Usually, my mom is very punctual. She’s never late to a lesson, especially not thirty minutes late…

Thursday, May 25. 12:00

Guess I won't be doing lessons today.

Thursday May 25. 3:00

I went out to get the mail a few minutes ago.

There was a letter in there addressed to mom.

I know reading it would be rude. 

But she deserved it.

You would have done the same.

I still can't believe what it reads.

I’ll leave it in here for now, no use giving it to her just yet. 

Dear, Malie

I know that you like to keep secrets, give others the benefit of the doubt, but do you really still think we should leave your daughter out of this? Keeping all of this from her could result in tragedy. We don't want anything bad to happen to your family. If you really still believe that your daughter should be left in the dust, we understand and will continue with our plans.

It’s not signed.


44% of children in the Commonwealth of Virginia prefer their TV sets to their fathers

(I think I might turn this story into a book or Novel It was getting a little long for the contest, and I didn't want to give a swift, not very satisfying ending, so here's the first bit I guess)

Sorry if anybody hates me for leaving this unfinished.

June 22, 2020 14:39

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Miles Gatling
17:52 Jun 22, 2020

What up, Cam! Sweet factual story, good luck with the book!


Cam Croz
18:03 Jun 23, 2020



Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
00:22 Jul 28, 2020

🤩🤩🤩 I’m confused about what was going on here, but I adored it. Keep it up! —Aeriiiin! (P. S. Would you mind checking out my story ‘A Poem By A Star’ if you have a chance? If so, thanks!)


19:51 Aug 06, 2021

Help this comment is so cringy-


Cam Croz
19:35 Aug 14, 2021

^ hahaha This is me everytime I read anything I wrote anywhere in the past 😭


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Yageen Faiz
18:11 Jul 08, 2020

wait. i didnt understand the ending. can you explain. but its a very great story! i have never read a story like this before. its unique. good luck with your book!


Cam Croz
02:41 Jul 09, 2020

yeah. I just cut off the story cuz it was getting a bit long. the endings not very meaningful... Thank you though!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Yageen Faiz
18:01 Jul 08, 2020

hello! can you read one of my stories if you have time? thank you!


Cam Croz
02:42 Jul 09, 2020

ill try.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Grace M'mbone
09:38 Jul 03, 2020

Cam this was brilliant. Applause from this side of the world. Keep at it.


Cam Croz
14:49 Jul 03, 2020

Thank you!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Lisa O'Dea
16:34 Jul 02, 2020

Okay. Interesting! I cannot say I have ever come across your style of writing before, and well done you for doing your own thing. Now, I do have to say, this was supposed to be a piece from the Second Person POV, wasn't it? Maybe I am wrong. You really should go for that novel. This is so different to anything else out there. Well done! Keep up the intrigue and keep it fresh!


Cam Croz
04:32 Jul 03, 2020

thank you! I Kind of switched off between second and third POV. sorry bout that lol. 😂


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Kelechi Nwokoma
01:10 Jun 30, 2020

This is really beautiful, and I enjoyed the fun facts immensely. I especially like the petrichor one and checked my dictionary to confirm it, which I was delighted to see there. However, I feel you stalled a little bit when you were introducing the storyline and why she didn't go to school. But it still eneded up well. I like the poem you wrote, also, and good luck with turning this into a novel.


Cam Croz
15:52 Jun 30, 2020

Yeah, I diddnt go much into depth on that cuz I honestly didn't know myself. I was just spewing whatever came to my head onto the page, lol.


Kelechi Nwokoma
22:23 Jun 30, 2020

Haha. It happens sometimes. But you still made the story great. Good job!


Cam Croz
02:52 Jul 01, 2020

Thank you!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Shirley Medhurst
18:42 Jun 29, 2020

What an amazing piece of writing! I was hooked. By the way you never did tell us why she didn’t go to school though...,


Cam Croz
15:51 Jun 30, 2020

Thanks. Sorry about that, this was kinds just a random "Go wherever the wind takes you" kind of story.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Mehak Aneja
13:15 Jun 29, 2020

Brilliant!! Literally loved your story. Very nicely written. Would you mind reading my story and giving it a like?? :D


Cam Croz
13:34 Jun 29, 2020

Thank you so much! I'll go check out yours!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Jubilee Forbess
03:10 Jun 28, 2020

Hey there, Cam! Any stories in particular you like best for me to read and comment? 💕⭐️🌸


Cam Croz
21:22 Jun 28, 2020

I do realy like my stories "Drowning" and "It will be Okay" I would love it if you could give me feedback! TYSM!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
03:55 Jun 25, 2020

Odd but enjoyable, will there be a part 2.🤔


Cam Croz
02:28 Jun 26, 2020



Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Tvisha Yerra
19:58 Jun 22, 2020

Love learning all the interesting facts, added a nice touch to the story. :D


Cam Croz
18:04 Jun 23, 2020

Me too. They were fun to learn!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Sarah Freeman
00:40 Jul 28, 2020

I loved this story! Verum is such an interesting character, and the plot is really great (whether or not it’s clichéd). What I’d suggest you do for your book (which I’m sure will turn out great) is maybe don’t make her being homeschooled such a big deal. It’s cool and all, and her literally not being able to go to school is interesting, but it doesn’t have much to do with your actual plot. The Shelbi Fun Facts are hilarious! I didn't know any of them! The way you made the speaker argue with a person I presume is Shelbi is absolutely amazing!...


Show 0 replies
19:52 Aug 06, 2021

Guuuuuuuuurl this is one of my favorite stories on this site, I just had to come back and reread it ;D Super wacko and creative and slightly hard to follow in a hilarious random way. I FREAKING LOVE THIS THING


Cam Croz
19:38 Aug 14, 2021

haha yeeeeah its definitely something lol. Honestly it was just me and my friend (Shelbi... of course) messing around. (she just interrupted me at random moments while I was writing pfft) I do really like how it turned out though, whacky as it is....


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.