This is a sample from a young adult fantasy thriller audiobook series. It features first-person narration and a high school girl having a conversation with her seven year old little sister.
North American (General)
North American (US General American - GenAM)
North American (US West Coast - California, Portland)
Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
I got my first and only tattoo when I was nine years old and I cried throughout the entire thing despite how furious my mother was at my father's lack of discretion, I never regretted it. Six years later, I carry that detailed outline of a bird at the corner of my left wrist and forearm and remember how he always smelled of grass and cigarettes. Whenever my mother sees it, she rolls her eyes and mutters something about how he had always been a terrible influence. I've never admitted to her that I was the one who begged him to give me the tattoo that I brought his old machine up to him and refused to leave until he gave me one. I thought a bird would be fitting because my name is Rosella, like the flat tailed parrots with colorful feathers. I suppose his problem was that he never really knew how to say no. My mother wishes she had left him sooner, but I don't like to think that way, even though I share her anger five years ago, he left us and we didn't hear of him for another year before we learned he had been beaten to death at some bar in Tampa. Mother says she hates him, but mentioning his name never fails to bring a forlorn look into her eyes. I don't think she's ever truly hated him. I guess some people are like that. They make you love them despite the terrible things they've done to you. That will never be a problem I'll deal with. So falling in love is a waste of time. The way my mother rants about my father, even after all these years is proof enough. I always tell my younger sister Hetty that one day she and I will buy a big house together and live there for the rest of our lives. She usually just laughs and asks if we'll buy a castle, I tell her, of course we will. Hetty is seven. She has eyes like the bluest cornflowers and the most delicate face surrounded by loose blond curls that reflect the sunlight. I looked a lot like her when I was her age. But now my hair is more frizzy than curly and pure blonde instead of gold. I don't grow my hair down to my back leg. Hetty does either. I cut it straight to my shoulders and even then it's still a nuisance. In fact, the only interesting thing about me is my eyes. They're a mix of deep emerald and amber, like the forest surrounding my house, the forest I grew up around and loved since I could walk. I'm not sure I'll ever see that forest again. My heart aches when I think about the things I'm missing, my friends, my home in Oregon and that very same forest. But after what happened with mother, it's best for all of us not to go back. Can we go downtown tomorrow? She asks. As long as we tell mom before we leave, so she doesn't freak out. I say it's happened once or twice. Heady pauses. She's been sleeping all day. My stomach sinks in response, but I don't reply. It's a rare day when mother doesn't sleep. The past year has been especially difficult. It seems we see less and less of her as time goes on, I have to keep reminding myself that it's not Haiti's fault or mine. It's simply unfortunate circumstances. But when I see her sitting very still at the kitchen table frozen solid like a statue Or when aunt Vivian tells me not to disturb her because she's been in her dark room for 14 hours. I can't help but feel like I could be doing more and then I feel anger. Mother wasn't always like this after my father left. However, the numbing sadness she sometimes felt became far more persistent and intense sunlight or picnics or time spent with Hetty and me no longer helped. Maybe that's why she always says she hates father because his absence hurt her more than his presence and the news of his sudden death sent her spiraling out of control. I'll draw her something. I hold back my scoff drawing something won't help. Mother's dresser is cluttered with Haiti's cards and crayon colored pictures, but it's done nothing. The sincerity in her voice though makes me feel bad for her. She'll like that, I say then I add, But you have to draw me something too. Okay. I always draw you stuff row. Yes, but you have to draw me more things. Hetty smile sparks a light in my heart, and I smile, too. I'll draw you a bird, she says, her eyes flicking over to my tattoo, A rosella.
Child, Kid Next Door, Narrator, Student, Teenager, Lyrical, Perky, Sincere, Smiling, Squeaky, Sweet, Sympathetic, Velvety, Youthful, Personable, North American (General), North American (US General American - GenAM), North American (US West Coast - California, Portland)