Late Night Adventures Part One

Late Night Adventures Part One

Summertime consists of late night fun with close friends and quarrels of amusement.


Coming-of-age / Young adult fiction


Mouree K. (United States)

I snuck out of the house almost every day. Since I was on the top floor of my two story house, it wasn't hard to leave, well not for me anyway. I found it harder to sneak out on the first floor because you wouldn't know if anyone was still there; on the couch watching TV, in the kitchen washing dishes, on the phone somewhere in the house or anything else for that matter. I had a pretty large window in my room that I could fit through, and the tree right outside sure helped a whole lot. All I had to do was wait until everybody fell asleep to start my adventure. I tiptoed across the roof of the second story ledge until I got up to my tree. I swung over the branch like a monkey and hung on like a sloth for about ten seconds. It's the only time I truly felt alive; like a penguin longing for the day it could finally fly, and getting the chance to.

It's usually about two to three in the morning when I walk around the neighborhood. Sometimes I even drive, but for these lovely summer nights, you feel at peace when you just walk around in the warmth of the air; getting lost in the dark illuminated by the bright stars. Usually, I'm by myself, but today I decided to pick up Charlie and take him out with me. He probably would be cranky as hell if I woke him up at this time of hour. He takes his sleep just as important as he does school, maybe even more. As I strolled along the neighborhood, in the middle of the street, without a care in the world, I started noticing all these things that I haven't quite before. For starters, the way the houses were lined up to match their trees. Like a prom dress matched its shoes or accessories or whatever. Before I get to that though, let me talk a little about my nonconformist neighbors. They were pretty friendly and all, plus the kids were great, but each family was weird as hell. I knew much about them though, like the Petersons, for example, who had two daughters, twins, that liked matching whenever possible; except for their socks and shoes. But not the ones you wore on your feet, no, they wore socks on their arms, with a hole cut in each pair. For the shoes, each girl would wear two pairs of shoes and mix and match with one another. For example, one girl would wear one boot and one sandal and the other girl would wear one boot and one sandal. The shoelaces of the sneakers they used to tie their pigtails. You would guess that was normal for a bunch of little kids, they were possibly just experimenting, right? But the strange thing though, they did it every day. They've been doing it for years. Quite a peculiar duo, I would say.
The Ferbishers, another weird family, who had a son with quite an imagination and was parents who were strangely highly acceptable of it. I guess probably because they were both dads. This kid, about six years of age, brought home four teenage girls every single day. Lord knows what he did with them, considering he was only in kindergarten or so, but every time the girls were seen leaving the house, their attire was replaced with tin foil. Rumor had it that he was designing a women's clothing line. Perhaps everyone forgot the fact that he was merely a child?! No matter the arguments, everyone always said, "talent comes in all shapes and sizes." And in this case, ages. Another rumor had it that he was a natural born ladies man. These neighbors I tell you, they absolutely killed me. But no rumored neighbor(s) compared to the Stormonts, who were prone to believing in anything that had to do with the existence of aliens. Their family consisted of an overprotective father, an unconditionally loving mother and a hell of a stiff-necked teenage daughter. Arguments between Mr. Stormont and not-so-Sally-sunshine were a daily thing. Sometimes they lasted so long that she left the house with her old man commanding her to, and I quote, "come back this instant!" You felt pretty bad for the guy. I mean, although I am somewhat still a teenager, I'll admit that I drove my parents absolutely bonkers too, but never like that of whatever her name was. I never stormed off into the night, or whatever time of day it was, just to avoid a lecture from a parent. Because one way or the other, you would hear it either way. Although I did most definitely have my rebellious moments. Anyways, back to their story. Every night, from around eight to ten, as if oblivious of their own divergent personalities, they would gather around the mid-left corner of their lawn and sit in a circle humming and chanting some craziness. They always claimed to be summoning a leader of some sort or a mother ship, but honestly, they just looked like a bunch of crack heads. People around town believed that they were possibly going to get abducted by aliens one day, or they already were. It's like they were a pretty normal family in the day and a completely obnoxious bunch of freaks by night. It seemed to me that they came straight out of a sci-fi movie. Now enough of my blabbering and back to this tree thing; each house I passed by seemed to have a different tree to match with it. As the block got deeper, the types of trees got stranger. One was an apple tree; one was an oak, and then a pear, red maple, sugar maple, paper bark maple, hackberry and so on and so on, until I couldn't tell what kind they were anymore. And every one was chock full of fruits, but that wasn't anything special, considering it was summer after all.
It's funny how many of the little things you noticed when it was just you and the world, at night. In the middle of the night? Half past night? I don't know. Damn, going to this kid's house was like trying to find yourself out of a maze; completely and utterly frustrating. I was so focused on all this nature stuff that I didn't even realize the fact that I had left Charlie's place three houses back. I started chuckling and ran back three houses.
When I finally got there, his lights were out. Great. Just great. This was terrific. Now I would have to sneak up to his bedroom, all the way on the second floor, much like my house, and wake him up. I wouldn't say it was difficult to wake him, but I wouldn't say it was the easiest thing in the world either. I remember this one time, a few years back, Charlie was so knocked out that he couldn't wake up for shit. He was like a gigantic caterpillar wrapped up in a cocoon like comforter. I honestly did the most to get this kid functioning again. I dropped water all over him, nothing. I slapped him around for a bit, nothing. I punched him, everywhere, and still, nada. Although I felt kind of bad, it was pretty funny to me, and so I started getting a little creative. I got up and checked the right-hand drawer to his fancy canopy cornerstone writing desk. Since I knew that was where he kept all his writing utensils, such as pencils, pens, markers, highlighters, sharpies, etc., it wasn't hard to look for anything. And plus, I knew his house like the back of my hand. I've been there so many times that I practically could have lived there. Anyways, back to the story, so I began to draw all over his face and take all these digital pictures and videos. And when he found out, he came straight to my house. He searched for me all over until he found me when I was most vulnerable to attack. I was messing around with some play dough, for lord knows why, and that was when he caught me in a headlock. I got so scared that I nearly punched him right in the balls. I can't recall what we said to each other after that, but since he knew how much of a hard headed maniac I could be, we were in that position for about two and a half hours, until finally, I gave up the pictures. He was a complete nerd, but at the same time, he was the complete opposite.

The first thing I did was go straight to the shed in his backyard and look for the ladder that he always left me to climb up to his room, for whenever I needed to. Or he needed to. Although I could have easily walked in through the front door.

Competition: June 2015 Pen Factor, Round 1


Read Reviews

Review 1:

Compelling hook?


Strong characters?


Attention to Mechanics
  • You demonstrate a professional quality of writing throughout the story. It’s always a pleasure to read polished English.
Mechanics - Narration Styles
  • You handled the story’s narrative modes appropriately and accurately, making it a clear and enjoyable read.
Narrative - Internalizations
  • You write powerful inner monologues. You introduce these effectively by allowing the reader into the character’s head and hearing their direct thoughts.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • Your story struck a good balance between narration and believable dialogue.
Narration and dialogue: Authentic voice
  • Your characters’ voices were convincing and authentic.
  • Your characters were multidimensional. I found them believable and engaging and they genuinely responded to the events of the story.
Main character
  • Connect us to your main protagonist with a deeper characterization and be careful not to linger on minor characters. Perhaps your protagonist could have a few more distinguishing character traits?
Character Conflict
  • The reader’s experience of the novel is heightened when the first chapter exposes some of the characters’ goals, conflicts and purpose. I found that this aspect of the story wasn’t as strong.
Plot and pace
  • The reader needs to know what the hero wants and what drives them. This might not be divulged in chapter one but we need a strong urge to read on and find out. There needs to be an antagonist - either someone or something that gets in-between the protagonist and their goal. The antagonist can be anything from a person to an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Regardless of the genre, it’s good to create an impact from the onset. If it’s a crime novel, start with a dead body, for example. If it’s a romance, start with the dishonoured laird having to sell the family seat to a dashing shipping tycoon. The young heiress swears she will smear his good name.
  • The joy of reading often lies in the element of suspense prompted by internal or external conflicts. Your story makes compelling reading.
Technique and tight writing
  • The writing was tight and economical and each word had purpose. This enabled the plot to unravel clearly. Your writing exhibits technical proficiency.
Point of view
  • The story successfully solicited the reader’s empathy through the clever use of the narrator's point of view. You show great deftness in handling point of view.
Style and originality
  • I loved your fresh approach. Creating a unique writing style while maintaining quality of prose requires both skill and practice.
Atmosphere and description
  • Your story creates a vivid picture indeed. A feast for the senses. The atmosphere wrapped itself around me and transported me onto the page alongside your characters.
Authentic setting
  • The setting was realistic and vivid. The characters’ moods and emotions were conveyed successfully through the believable setting.
Setting the scene and backstory
  • A nice amount of detail was given in the right tone for the genre to set the scene. I was fully immersed in the place and unfolding events. The way the characters reacted to the setting and atmosphere was cleverly done. The narrative is skillfully presented. I was never bogged down with information or backstory.
Opening hook
  • The opening chapter sets the standard of the novel, and it needs to start from page one. Perhaps challenge your writing by reviewing the impact of your opening hook?