The Painting Jumper-Chapter 1

The Painting Jumper-Chapter 1

A story of a boy who finds that he can jump through paintings.


Coming-of-age / Young adult fiction


Gloria DeMoura (Australia)

The sun almost blinds me as I look out my window, is a nice day outside for once. I sit down in front of my desk to get a better look at the street, still void of cars.. I place my head in my hands and sigh.. Would he ever get here? I mean I know Indianna is far and all but I hadn’t seen my brother Torri in almost a three years.
“Holden!” my father yells.
“Ya Dad?” I say clumsily getting out of my chair and looking over the rails.
“I just got off the phone with your brother. He said he will be here in five.”
“Okay.” I responded.
I smell chocolate coming from the kitchen as I walk down the stairs. My cake.
“Mark?” My mother yells from the kitchen.
“Yes honey?” My father responds from the coach in the living room.
“I am going to have to run to the store to buy some icing for the cake. I forgot it.”
“But Torri is going to be here any second!” he yells. I walk pass the couch he is sitting on toward our art room.
“I know, but I have too. I will be back in a couple of minutes tops.” She says passing me going toward the door.
A perfect opportunity to get a taste of that chocolate. I walk into the art room which leads to the kitchen. The smell increases. But just as I about to open the door which leads to the kitchen, I see a blur of colors move to my left. I quickly jump back and turn on the light in the room. But nothings there accept my favorite paintings, I look over each of them, The two hanging behind me our pictures done of the ocean, done by me. But the others I bought from the auction house, I look intently at the one nearest me. My favorite of all time, of a dragon breathing its fire out upon a mountain that's covered in snow.. the flames engulfing it, the colors infusinging into each other, the dragon himself is covered in snow slowly melting into water.. His eyes are focused on you as he burns the snow.
I nearly scream when I see his eyes move to look directly at me, I fall backwards in shock. I stare wide eyed and feel my mouth fall open. I get up slowly.
“Holden, your brothers here!” My father yells.
I move toward the door and glance back at the dragon; did I just imagine that? I shake my head and run out the front door, are you going insane Holden?
Torri jumps out of the truck and greets my father with a bear hug.
“Good to see you son.” My father says letting him out of the hug. Torri looks at me and grins. “I hear some boy is turning 16 today, couldn’t be you could it Holden? last I checked you were 13.” I smile. Torri pulls me into a bear hug. I hug him back for a second then knock him on the ground. Wrestling each other until Torri finally pinned me on the ground laughing.. “Ignorance is your downfall little brother!” I roll my eyes. “Well at least I ain’t no old man like you.” I laugh.
“Torri, you said you had a surprise for us?” My father says looking at his pickup, Torri gets off me and I look at the truck. In the bed there is a white sheet over some big object which is square, but that is not what my father is referring to. Torri opens the side door and she steps out, It takes a lot of effort to keep my mouth from hanging as I watch her step toward me, in her boots. Her long curly black hair falling over her shoulders over her white shirt, Her skin is pale, but smooth. I have to look away when her bluish gray eyes meet my very light green ones.
“This is Serena.” He says escorting her over to my father and me.
“How do you do Maim.” My father says.
“Serena this is my brother Holden, and my father.” He says.
“Happy Birthday.” She says to me smiling.
I forget to say thank you but my father saves me.
“My name is Mr.Salsum but you can call me Mark.” he says shaking her hand.
“Nice to meet both of you.” She says shaking his hand and then glancing at me.
“Where’s mom?” Torri asks. As if on cue mom pulls into the driveway, Torri runs over to her and hugs her as she gets out of the car.
“Who is this?’ She asks looking at Serena.
“Mom this is Serena.” He says smiling.
“So you finally bring something home of real beauty!” She says laughing. I see the pinkish tint come into my brothers checks.
“Nice to meet you Misses Salsum.” She says smiling and giggling at my brothers embarrassment.
“Oh please call me Sally. We have lots to talk about!” she says and wisps her inside giggling like a child with a new doll. Leaving us there staring at my brother. I wonder what drew her to him. His hair is short and ends in a small wave, he is stronger then I last seen him, and he still wears his leather jacket with jeans.
“Why don’t you boys unload the truck while I get Sally’s groceries.” my father says breaking the silence between us.
“What is that anyway?” I ask although I have a pretty good idea.
“That? Oh its just some garbage I needed to throw away..” Torri says grinning ear to ear. We both start walking to it.
“I bet.” I say smiling.
We lift the heavy axis out of the bed and make our way toward the house.
“How did you get a girl like that?” I ask.
“I will tell you all about it, When we go sailing tomorrow.” He says.
“Really!?” I say.
he says as we both put the axis down by the garage. I wonder what kind of painting Torri got me this time.. Hopefully not one thats a dragon.
“Holden, what’s on your hands?” Torri asks.
I look at my hands to see a icy color upon them, as if they had frostbite, but my hands are warm, and thats impossible as it is around 50 degrees out here. I try to rub it off on my jeans, then on my arms but it’s not coming off. “It looks like you have been painting again.” Torri says his face is expressionless. I think back to when I was in the art room. I am sure I didn’t knock over any paints, moreover I don’t recall touching anything, and why all the sudden am I just noticing this? Wouldn’t my father or Torri have noticed it sooner?
“Here lets try to rub it off with this.” Torri leans down and picks up a grease rag that my father uses for his hands off the shelf.
“I hope it didn’t come from my gift.” I say frowning. I don’t want to disappoint Torri, by ruining his gift before I even get to unveil it. Torri rubs the grease rag on my hands, I can tell dad has used it, the gooey feeling going between my fingers is both satisfying and weird at the same time. Torri throws the rag into a bucket beside the shelf and grabs my hands and stares at them intently. “Well, I think I can see some muscle developing in these limp things.”
“Get off.” I say shoving him, trying to suppress a smile, but its nearly impossible to do when Torri smiles, his dark green eyes just giving off a clear and happy expression.
“Come on, we better be going, Mom might talk your dear Serena to death.” I say grinning.
He runs in the door before me as if Serena might actually die. I laugh.
This is the first girl he has brought home, I wonder what made him fall for her, I know she’s beautiful, but I know Torri.. He looks past those things. A gift I hope one day I can posses.
I am going up the steps when my chest tightens. I lean against the door frame for support. I Grab at my chest feeling my heart pound as if I did a twelve mile run I try to take a step inside and falter to the ground. What is happening? My head feels dizzy, I try to get up but it only makes my head pound. I feel someone rush to my side. I try to see who it is but my vision is blurred. I feel something touch upon my arm. I Relax... It feels as if silk is touching my skin, so soft and soothing. “Holden?” I hear a silky voice call out.
“Holden!” a fiery voice yells replacing the silky one. I am being pulled in, Am I dying?

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.
Narration and dialogue: Balance
  • Your story struck a good balance between narration and authentic 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
  • Your protagonist exhibited a unique voice and had original characteristics. Their actions and dialogue were convincing!
Character conflict
  • Your characters drew me into their world from the very beginning. Their goals, conflicts and purpose were clearly introduced and I wanted to find out more about them.
Plot and pace
  • Maintaining the right pace and sustaining the reader’s interest is a challenging balancing act. The story had a clear and coherent progression with a structured plot. A truly absorbing story!
Suspense and conflict
  • The joy of reading often lies in the element of suspense prompted by internal or external conflicts.
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. Impressive.
Atmosphere and description
  • Your story was a feast for the senses. The atmosphere wrapped itself around me and transported me onto the page alongside your characters.
Authentic and vivid setting
  • The scene needs to be vivid and realistic in order to hold the reader’s attention. Being concise and plausible at the same time is tricky. Giving this further attention could perhaps be worthwhile.
  • The setting was realistic and vivid. The characters’ mood and emotions were conveyed successfully through the believable setting.
Opening line and hook
  • Your strong opening and compelling hook was a promise of wonderful things to come. I was hooked!