Right now, I have a few short stories in the works. None of them are done or finalized yet in any way, but I wanted to share what I’ve been working on with you guys. I don’t know what to title it yet because every single title I come up with for it makes me barf in my mouth because it’s so cliche. For now, I’m calling it an untitled project. If anyone has any suggestions for the title of the story, leave them in the comments below. So, without further ado, I present an excerpt from a short story in progress:
Everyone at Lakeview Grove Community College Summer Theater Camp was required to go to the college and audition the week before camp started. Each person had to recite a poem and sing a song of their choosing. The poem I chose to recite was “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening,” and I sang “Revolting Children” from Matilda the Musical. I feel like I did pretty well, and I’m excited to see what role I got.
I, along with all of the other campers, filed into the Lakeview Grove Community College auditorium to hear who would play which part in “The Lion King.”
Once everyone was seated, a tall man standing on the stage bellowed, “Alright, campers! I’m Jaden, the director of this year’s wonderful production, which, as you all know, is ‘The Lion King’!”
“When I call your name,” Jaden continued, “You will walk onto the stage using the stairs on either side, and you will stand next to me on the stage. Once you are standing next to me, I will announce your role in the show. Once your role is announced, you will exit the stage using the stairs on either side and you will go back to your seat. I will start with Jacqueline Anderson.”
A girl, who I assumed was Jacqueline Anderson, walked up the stairs onto the stage and stood next to Jaden.
“Jacqueline, you will be playing the role of a wildebeest in the scene of Mufasa’s death and a hyena in ‘Be Prepared.’ Congratulations.” Jaden announced. We all applauded for Jacqueline. I then allowed myself to space out a bit until my name was called, continuing to applaud for each person as they walked offstage.
“Brooklynne Findlay,” Jaden called.
Every muscle in my body trembled as I took my spot on the stage next to the director, feeling every pair of eyes in the audience boring holes into my back.
“Brooklynne, you will be playing the role of Young Simba,” Jaden said.
I clapped my hand in front of my gaping mouth.
“But…but I wasn’t that good, was I?” I stammered.
“I have full confidence that you will be excellent.” Jaden said. “Congratulations, Brooklynne.” Everyone applauded. I walked offstage in tears. When I got to my seat, I was still sobbing. After about a minute, I felt a tap on my shoulder.
“Hey, you’re gonna do fine.” A soft voice whispered from behind me. I turned around and saw a girl who looked around my age. “Why are you crying?”
“I…I won’t be able to do it. This is my first play,” I choked.
“At this camp? Or, like, ever?” The girl asked.
“You’ll do fine. Jaden has directed shows on Broadway, so the fact that he chose you to play Young Simba means that he thinks you’re talented. I bet you’re talented. Sing something for me.”
“Now?” I wondered.
“Now, but super quietly,” the girl whispered. I sang a song called “Star in Your Own Life” for this mysterious girl. I never sing for anyone, but I trusted this girl for some reason. I felt like she wanted to be my friend.
“Omigod, you’re amazing!” The girl whisper-squealed.
“Lainey Meadows!” Jaden bellowed out.
“That’s me. Wish me luck!” Lainey squeezed my hand and skipped onstage. Once Lainey was standing next to Jaden, he announced: “Lainey, you will play the part of Young Nala. Congratulations!”
Everyone applauded, but I cheered extra loud for my new friend. When she got back to her seat, she crushed me in a hug that was more like a death grip.
“We’re gonna be costars!” Lainey squealed.
Maybe this summer wasn’t going to be so bad after all.