On the other side of the bridge

“Look, Chelsea, if I’ve told you once I’ve told you a million times, you are not going out! Remember what happened to Darren,” her mother said angrily.

“I’m afraid I’ll have to side with your mother. I don’t want your life to be ruined. It’s bad enough living with the guilt of our son,” her father agreed.

“Okay, look, I know it’s sad with Darren and all, but I thought you said that was behind us, and besides, how often does lightning strike twice?” Chelsea said, knowing she’d touched a nerve. “You never let me have any freedom and I think it’s time you realised that and let me loose a little bit, slacken the lead.”

“Please, Chelsea, it’s clouding over. There would be no point in going out now. It would just start to rain,” her mother pleaded.

Chelsea walked over to the curtains and threw them open. The sun shone through creating a shaft of light on the kitchen worktop.

“Overcast? Yeah, right. You know, sometimes I find it hard to believe a word you say. It’s like you deliberately try to take over my life. It’s like you want to keep me a prisoner. I tell you what, I’ll show you freedom. You can take this smoky, dusty house and shove it. And you know what? I don’t care!” she yelled.

Pumped with adrenaline that reminded her of a cross-country race, Chelsea grabbed her iPod, some spare batteries and a blanket, screwed them up and shoved them into a rucksack. “I hope you realise soon what a couple of controlling idiots you really are!” Then she slammed the door behind her and ran off. She knew neither could catch her, and imagined the scene she had left behind.

“I’ve never seen her like this before,” her mother whispered.

“Neither have I, it’s your fault,” her father said in his ‘serious’ tone.

“Mine? You sided with me!” she yelled back.

“I think we’re both tired. Leave the door unlocked, she’ll come back when she gets bored, trust me.”

In the woods, Chelsea fumed. She kicked at the fallen leaves, threw sticks in any direction. She never usually got angry but when she did, the whole world knew. “Stupid parents, stupid rules, stupid Darren.”

Chelsea watched a grey squirrel scamper up a pine tree and out of the corner of her eye she saw a path leading off to a bridge going over a slow, trickling stream. Beyond it, the wood ended and Chelsea saw a wonderful yellow meadow. “I know. I’ll hide in that pile of wool over there for a bit. I’ll only be gone an hour or two at the most. I just need my parents to realise how controlling they are,” she mumbled to herself.

She crossed the bridge and it felt like a warm blast of air when she had entered a supermarket. She thought nothing of it until she stood on the grass on the other side of the bridge.

“Oh my, this grass is like stone.” She kicked the grass and it splintered, showering a hay bale nearby. She sat down by the wool pile and picked up a stone to throw into the river to relieve some of her anger but as she picked it up, the stone melted, dripped between her fingers onto the ground and merged back into a stone, eerily in exactly the same position and in exactly the same shape as before. “Okay! Who’s messing me about? Speak up now so I can kill you with ‘shards’ of grass!” No one replied. She flopped back into the pile of wool to find to her surprise and pain that it was not soft, but hard like a steel girder. “Ow! What on earth is this place? If someone is messing around I seriously will find out who you are and-”

“And?” said a rustic looking man leaning casually against a farm house wall.

“Err... I have to go,” Chelsea said standing up quickly. She considered a dash for the bridge.

“I have something to tell you,” he said.

“Look, today has been weird enough; I fell out with my parents, broke the door, cut myself on a blade of grass, had stones melt around my fingers and crushed several vertebrae on a pile of wool. I think I have had enough for today. Don’t you?”

“To be honest, no. You need to listen to what I have to say. Then you’ll understand,” he said, calmly.

“Understand what?” she asked

“The world on this side of the bridge,” he said in an unusually low tone.

“Okay, tell me and I’ll be on my way. I need to apologise to my parents,” she moaned.

“Come, follow me,” he said, walking away

“Fine...” she said, rolling her eyes.

“A long time ago - I’m talking literally aeons ago – a war raged over the land. Although the rebellion failed to affect people worldwide, their influence still exists here. The enemies put a spell on the very rock you’re walking on.”

“But this isn’t rock, it’s grass,” she said confidently.

“Ah, that’s what you think,” the man said, glancing down at his side.

He showed her a house in the field. “The spell was halted at this house. Just look to the horizon and you’ll see the difference. Now look to the city over there. See?”

“One’s a deserted, desolate wasteland and the other is a multiplying bustling suburb,” she said smartly.

“Exactly. One is the opposite of the other… This side is decreasing, devolving even, but your side is growing, living. Things will only get better.”

“Even my relationship between my parents?”

“Yes, but you’ll have to give it time. A police station will be built near your house soon, and your parents will finally see that the world isn’t such a bad place. They will let you out with your friends.”

“No they won’t, they’re a couple of controlling-”

“Parents, they’re only trying to do what is best for you. Which at the moment is exactly what they’re doing; Keeping you away from the thieves and murderers around at the moment. Trust me, Chelsea, it’ll work out,” he said, looking to the cityscape.

Chelsea nodded in understanding and ambled towards the bridge, and then she suddenly stopped and turned. “Wait a minute,” she said. “How do you know my name? Who are you?”

The man smiled. “I know everyone. I always have. And in your heart you have always know me, not just on Sundays.”


Any ideas for improvements? Emotion: geeked (NOTE: I am only 13)
I have a few suggestions:

Explain what happened to Darren.

Her parents' reactions after she left were too calm given what they said to her (how it would ruin her life).

Slow down during the second half of the story. No rebellious kid wants to suddenly go home and apologize to her parents.
Just to add: This is a pretty good attempt. Keep trying!