You have all waited very patiently through the weekend and through my day at work and now you shall be rewarded with some contest winner knowledge!
Congratulations to, Kendall, winner of a free copy of Circle Nine!
And, congratulations to the winner of our first ever PLL Writing Challenge, Paula Pahnke! You won a PLL tote bag signed by the PLL staffers!
Our runners up and winners of unsigned PLL tote bags are Liz McClendon and the YABookQueen herself, Lea Johnson.
Read Paula’s winning entry below, and Liz & Lea’s entries after the jump.
Thanks to everyone who entered and winners can be looking out for emails from me in their inboxes soon.
Jenna was nervous. She no longer felt gutsy or spontaneous. That high had worn off the minute she entered the doorways of her Boston middle school wearing an oversize Yankees jersey and then decided to cut classes all day. The hisses and boos, from students, began almost immediately. She didn’t expect it to bother her so much. It was the last day of school; it was her last week in Boston. Pops had convinced her it was the perfect kiss off and her classmates would find it funny.
She hadn’t missed a day of school all year, let alone cut a class, not even when the weather got warmer. Not even when her parents went apartment hunting, for a week, in New York City. Now Jenna found herself awkwardly navigating the empty hallway and ducking doors with fixed windows, as she passed, so she wouldn’t be seen. No, the high from being impulsive had long worn off and all that was left was edgy discomfort.
When she finally reached the double doors of the east stairwell, Jenna half expected Mrs. Larson to come barreling through with unflinching determination to expel her during the last period, of the last day of school. Her homeroom teacher’s paunchy, red face was one thing Jenna was not going to miss seeing. She cautiously traveled down the stairs, and stood on the last step waiting for the bell to ring.
The air was warm but sweet when Jenna walked out into the midday light. Students began to quickly stampede behind and around her as the final bell rung for the last time that year. As they passed her, classmates shouted pleasantries and well wishes to Jenna coupled with the taunts that had greeted her earlier in the day.
Jenna walked out towards a black SUV standing next to the school bus that had suddenly become swollen with people. Two, tall dark-haired men, wearing matching Ray-ban sunglasses and equally exaggerated smiles stepped towards her.
“Hey turncoat”. They said in unison.
“Very funny Dads’”. Jenna pouted, “I can’t believe you made me wear this”.
“It was very brave sweetheart. We are very proud of you”.
“You know you guys can get married in Massachusetts. It was legal here first”. Jenna playfully protested.
Pops stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her. “Your Dad and I are New Yorkers, baby girl, and now it’s time to go home”.
Jenna wrapped her arms around his waist, and looked over at her other Dad, Paw-Paw, and smiled at him as he got into the drivers sides of the truck. “I think I’m going to be a Mets fan, Pops”.
Evelyn had never been new, and while it felt a little late to start over, she was going to move for the first time in her life. Shutting the car door and slinging her bag over her shoulder, Evelyn took in the senior lot for the last time. Sure, she’d only been parking there a month, but she’d watched and waited patiently for her turn from the grimy bus windows while seniors joked and drove recklessly on the side lot of the school. She wasn’t joking now though, and the past three years had admittedly happened a lot differently than she’d hoped.
The cool, dry October breeze brought Evelyn the familiar marsh grass smell from behind the soccer fields. It smelled like home, however much it smelled like mud. As she pulled the cafeteria door open, Evelyn wondered what her new home in the city would smell like—whether it would feel wrong—living above sea level. She didn’t really expect to make it home for long, though; she wanted to get as far away as possible for college. Her mom had finally gotten a job opportunity after two years of Evelyn hearing the word “economy” every night at dinner, and they were going to be able to join her dad in DC instead of just seeing him on the weekends.
The halls were starting to fill up. Evelyn opened her locker and stared into the empty metal space for a minute. She’d already cleaned it out. One taped-up photo remained on the inside of the door, and as she carefully pulled it off, she looked at a face she wasn’t so sure she could leave anymore.
I lean against the locker across the hall from mine as the janitor tosses my freshly cut lock into the trash. He opens the locker, rips down my Christmas decorations inside and surveys the rest of my lockers contents.
“Enjoying your last day, Gabrielle?”
I flinch. Standing beside me, wearing a blood-red dress that matches her personality more than the holiday, is Morgan. She smiles warmly, as if this is the best day ever and as if she didn’t completely screw me over.
She clucks her tongue. “Don’t look so mad at me. None of this is my fault.”
“Yes, it is.” I reply, “You did this to me.”
“You took the deal, Gabrielle. Everything has a price. You were warned.”
“I didn’t think you were serious.”
Morgan grins, “They rarely do. But your time has come to pay. I held up my end of our bargain. I made you the best, Gabrielle, the best at everything for two years. Now, your time is up.”
The principal walks by, and stops beside the janitor. “Have you figured out who has been using this locker?”
“Nope,” he replies. “Just blank papers inside,”
“It’s my locker,” I interrupt loudly. I step closer and stand behind them. “It’s mine,”
Neither of them even glances at me. No can hear me. No one can see me, except Morgan.
Morgan steps backwards slowly, away from me with a smile on her face. Her eyes focus somewhere beyond me. I glance back, and see pure darkness and shadows in the once bright hall.
Screech. Chains scrape noisily against the floor as something draws closer to me. My heart pounds and I realize I can’t move. I’m frozen.
“Gabrielle,” it hisses from the shadows. “Gabrielle,”
I wanted to be the best. Now, I’m paying the price.