Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Aspiring authors are our future

This is a special day. For the first time since I started my blog in 2006 (archived posts are still on my web site at, I am excited to feature a budding young writer.

Miss Tiana Villalongo is an eleven-year-old honor student who is in the sixth grade. She loves to write and has been writing short stories since she was five. Tiana has a very vivid imagination. When she grows up, Tiana wants to be n author. She wants to go to college to Spelman College and earn a degree in creative writing and acting.

Tiana’s mother told me that like many scribes, she’s had challenges with finishing her creations. I told her if she finished the story, I would post it here.

Back when I was in middle school, my friend Geraldine and I spent our summers sitting under a shade tree putting our fantasies on paper.  Unfortunately, as I got older and life got in the way, I stopped writing and didn’t start again until almost four decades later.

Enjoy Tiana’s story, entitled The Monster Under My Bed and leave a comment to leave her a few words of encouragement.

The Monster Under My Bed
by Tiana Villalongo

Hello, my name is Christal Waters. I live in New York City on the West Side. I am seven years old. I have a two-year old little brother named Chris. My parents always think that names should start with the name Chris. For instance, my daddy told me that when I was first born, my mommy wanted to name me Christine, Chris, or even Chris Ann. My daddy named me, and I think that’s why I have a monster under my bed. Usually mothers name their children not the fathers. Here begins the story of how I got a monster under my bed.

This all happened about a month ago. Even though the night was dark, scary, and stormy, I was in a really good mood because it was my seventh birthday. When I got ready to go to sleep, I heard a thump under my bed. I checked, and nothing was there, so I went to the closet to pick out my clothes for school. As I opened the door, footsteps sounded in the hall. I turned from my closet and opened my bedroom door. Nothing was there either, but I heard whispers from Mommy and Daddy's room, so I tiptoed to the door to see what they were saying. I couldn't make out the words and went back to my closet. Something poked me on my shoulder as I reached for a hanger. To my shock, I whirled around and there stood an eight-foot tall, green, slimy monster.

“Aahh! Help me!” I screeched.

The monster disappeared suddenly when my parents ran into the room and Chris started crying.

“Honey, you stay here with Christal, and I'll be back with Chris.” Mom said.

“What happened?” daddy asked.

“Th-the,” I stammered.

Mom came into the room holding Chris and asked again “What happened?” “There was a monster in my room!” I said, knowing they wouldn't believe me. “Oh no.” mommy mumbled under her breath. Daddy just nodded his head in astonishment. I didn't know what they were talking about.

“What's the oh-oh? Does Chris need a trip to the potty?” I asked.

“Well,” Mommy started. “We never wanted to tell you this, but when you were born your father and I were in Vegas. There were no nurses close by the hotel and…” Mommy paused and looked around the room. She always does that when she's nervous. “And you were delivered buy a fortuneteller,” Daddy said, finishing the sentence. “When you were delivered,” mommy continued. “The fortune teller told us that something bad was going to happen to you. She said the first child is always the worst, and the second child is always the best.”

“What? So you mean to tell me I'm going to have bad luck forever?” I asked my parents.

“Only until your fourteen years old or until you stop believing in the boogie man,” they said at the same time.

Now I know this sounds weird, and it isn't something you expect to hear from a seven-year-old, but this really happened to me. “But I don't believe in the boogie man!” I lied. They said nothing, and I could tell from their expressions that they saw right through it.

“You can sleep in Chris' room, ” Daddy said.

“But Chris sleeps with you guys, and I can't do that. I don't know how long you've been out of school, but that's considered lame, Daddy.”

“Well, you could always stay here with the monster.”

I couldn't say no again because that hideous thing could come back for me. “Okay, fine. I'll sleep with you,” I mumbled under my breath.

We turned off my lights, went into their room and all climbed into the bed. Mommy was on the left side closest to the nightstand. Daddy was on the other side closest to the window, and Chris was in between them. I took the end of the bed in place of our doggy, which had found a spot on the floor next to Mommy's side. That night I slept like a baby even with Daddy's long crusty feet in my face and his toenails poking me every five minutes.

The next morning, I got up brushed my teeth, took a shower, and went to eat breakfast. On my way down stairs, I heard crying behind me, but I knew that couldn't be possible, because Chris was already downstairs in his highchair. Mom had just placed a plate of steamy hot bacon, eggs, and pancakes on the table for me. I ate my breakfast then grabbed my backpack and said bye to Mommy and Chris before Daddy and I left the house.

While I was at school something bad happened. I found out at lunchtime that I was allergic to spaghetti, because I spent the rest of the day throwing up in the bathroom. Once I got home and into my bed, I was dozing off and heard a thump come from my closet. At first, I thought it was just my imagination, but a couple of seconds later I heard a blood-chilling scream. My closet door burst open, and that hideous monster from the night before jumped out. He stared at me until my baby brother Chris came into the room. I tried over and over again to stand up, but I was too weak. Eventually I gave up.

“Mama. Mama. Mama!” he called out then started to cry.

“Yes, Chris?” I answered weakly and tried one last time with all my strength to get up. Dizzy, I made it to my feet, took Chris by the hand but he was so scared, he couldn’t move. I had no choice but to leave him and run to Mommy and Daddy's room and pounded on the door. Nobody was there. Where were they?  I frantically checked the whole house. Chris and I were all alone. On my way upstairs, I heard Chris scream. A burst of energy carried me upstairs just as Chris opened the closet door. Everything turned white.

“Stay away from him!” I shouted.           

Chris ran into my arms and nearly knocked me down the stairs. I shoved him behind me as the monster stepped all the way out of the closet.

“I'm sorry, I don't want to scare you, but I have to,” the monster said.


“Because I wasn't always a monster. I used to be a regular guy named Al Parker. It all happened when I met that witch of a fortuneteller in Vegas. I've always wanted to be a genie and her flier had said, “I can make all your wildest dreams come true.” I went to see her after she delivered a baby. She had a detailed contract that stated in the fine print that after she made my first three wishes come true, I had to give the baby she’d delivered a lifetime of bad luck. Of course, I didn’t read the fine print at the time.” He started to cry.

No longer afraid, I went over to console him. Chris had fallen asleep on my bed, and I wondered how he had gotten there.

“After I signed the contract,” Al went on. “She warned me if I told anyone then I would be a monstrous genie forever.” He cried even harder.

“Wait you just told me the story, which means you’re going to be a genie forever.” I stated. Magically, a lamp appeared and sucked Al inside. When I was little, I remember hearing an old fairy tale say if you rubbed a lamp like this, the genie would appear. I picked it up, rubbed it, and Al came out dressed in a genie outfit. “We both know how this works. I get three wishes, so let's get to it, Al.” I said.

He looked confused but said, “State your three wishes, Christal.”

“First, I wish you were free from being a genie. Second, I wish you were human again. Third, I wish we both could forget about bad luck, the witch, and that my family would appear again.”

All my wishes were granted, but nothing was ever the same again.

Well, that's my story.



PatriciaW said...

Wonderful story, Tiana. You have a bright future. I hope we'll see more from you.

Chicki, kudos for encouraging this young talent!

Regina Duke said...

Lovely story! Lots of action and tension! You keep writing, Tiana. Great job!

Anonymous said...

I never heard this one. Love it, great job tater. Man I've got a talented family

Tiana Villalongo said...

Hi Everybody,

Thanks so much for reading and commenting my story. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I look forward to writing more for you. Also, thank you, Chicki Brown for allowing me to tell my story, it really means a lot to me.

Cherese Vines said...

The first paragraph had me hooked. Now I'm wondering what was not ever the same. Because sometimes wishes don't work out the way we want. Sequel? Keep writing.

Anonymous said...

:) Great story Tiana!!! Hope you get back to writing! <3 Mrs. Whiteway!

Anonymous said...

:) Great story Tiana!!! Hope you get back to writing! <3 Mrs. Whiteway!