The Hunt: One

Mrs. Stella stood in the middle of the room, raising an eyebrow. The whispers stopped. Other students turned their noses away from their friends and focused on the teacher, propping their chin on their arms in interest. Something was off. Mrs. Stella was dressed in a t-shirt and khakis instead of her usual button-down shirt, blazer, and leggings, and there was also a shiny, gold leaf taped to the board.

I stared at my desk. The pain in my head stirred, throbbing, aching.

I raised my hand.

“Yes, Ellie?”

“May I be excused?” I asked.

She scowled. “Do you think you can hold it?”

“I don’t have to pee. I just need to see the nurse…I have a headache.”

She shook her head. “You can go after class. This discussion is going to be very important for your grade…I suggest you stay.”

A D, I thought, my grade was a D.

I sighed, defeated, and slumped in my seat. “Alright.”

She smiled, then returned her attention to the class.

This is so stupid. I scowled, then felt a hot blush rise on my cheeks.

She used my grade against me. But then again, why would I care about this darned lecture.

I thought about sleep; how it would feel to curl up under warm covers and fall into a blissful oblivion. I dozed off, my vision hazing and my eyes slowly begin to fall shut.

Mrs. Stella’s voice rings in my ears. “Easter… Leaf… Partners… Prize…”



“Ellie! Are you even listening?”

My eyelids flutter open. Mrs. Stella is standing in front of my desk, her delicate hands pressed against the front of my desk. “There is a reason why I assign your seat to the front of the classroom.”

“What?” I ask, my back jolting upward.

“This scavenger hunt is going to be very important for your grade and you haven’t heard a word I said.”

“I heard some words.” I retorted.

“Like what?”

“Uh… I don’t remember.” The words in my mind were there, blurry, and unrecognizable, just like the right answers whenever I took Mrs. Stella’s grammar quizzes.

Her tone grew louder, “Do you realize how important this is, Miss Burns?”

“It is just a scavenger hunt. How is this important to my grade…and why?”

“Because the whole county is at stake. If you don’t find the leaf, bad things will happen!”

I laughed. “Like what?”

She raised an eyebrow, and the side of her lip curled downward. “Everyone will die. Have you listened to the news?”

I shook my head. “No.”

“Walk with me and I will tell you everything.

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KE Blackham

Hello, my name is KE Blackham. I grew up with Utah after a diagnosis of Autism. I really struggled in my first year of school, often being taken out of my class to work with multiple para’s and teachers, who all very much adored me. But, everything else was hard. Kids got into fights with me, sometimes making fun of me. I had no friends and the only thing I had was my made up worlds. When I got my hands on Sarah J. Maas’s books I got inspired to write at the young age of 17. I decided that my drawings needed to have their own story. I put pen to paper and started to write. I started on my first draft of “Starchild Rising,” and instantly fell in love with Aeoliah, one of my main characters and continued her journey on paper. So far she has blossomed into this character I love. Now let's see exactly how far my writing journey will take me!
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