I woke up as the bus went over a large pothole, and proceeded to make its way down a very bumpy road. I looked around at the jolting heads of the few people left on the bus, as they tried to keep from flying off their seats. I glanced a look at the bus driver, and for my astonishment he was looking right at me, his dark eyes piercing mine with his glare. I quickly looked away and turned my head to look out the window. The sun was setting behind the black brick houses, giving the sky an eerie glow and casting shadows upon the tall buildings. I let my mind wander to the events of the weekend. I remembered mine and his goodbyes as we reassured each other that we were only a two-hour bus trip away.
My stomach growled as I remembered it had been a while since I had last eaten. I went through my bag only to find a half eaten granola bar. As I was putting the bar to my lips, the bus jumped and my head turned to the front of the bus, where my eyes met again with the bus driver. My heart started to race, something about the way he was looking at me made me nervous, very nervous. I put one of my braids into my mouth as I so often do when I get anxious.
We arrived at a bus stop, at which everyone except for me departed. I looked around nervously wondering if I should leave with everyone else, but my bus stop was the next one to come. It was pitch black outside, and as the doors opened and the departing people said their thanks to the bus driver, a cold breeze hit my face. I stood up in a panic as everyone was leaving, but as I looked outside, the dark alleyways that I would have to pass in order to get home made me not want to leave the bus, my feet in fact were frozen to the spot. The doors shut and I slowly sat back down keeping my eyes on the bus driver. I looked outside and clasped my hands together. Only ten minutes and I’d be home, safe, at home.
I looked to the front of the bus, the turn to my stop was only one turn away. I looked at the bus driver and he looked at me, and for the first time he gave me a smile. It wasn’t a toothy grin, it was more of a sly smirk, but whatever it was, gave me shivers up and down my spine. I looked out the front window again, I wasn’t a 100% sure due to the darkness outside, but the feeling I had in my gut told me that the bus driver had taken the wrong turn.
As if by magic there he was, sitting on his white horse right in front of me, my prince charming. The only problem being, not a single word had been spoken between us, his eyes had not even met mine. I watched him from behind the trees, as he leaped off his white horse and knelt down by the small creek to refill his canister. I clenched the ax in right hand and took a step forward holding in my left hand a basket of twigs on which lay one red rose. A twig cracked beneath by foot. He jumped, one foot falling into the shallow water.
“Who’s there!” He demanded, climbing out of the creek. He rushed over to his horse and pulled out a shiny sword. Blushing I stepped out from the bushes and trees.
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to startle you. I was merely gathering some twigs for a fire.”
“That’s all right.” He said lowering his sword, giving me a twinkling smile. My heart fluttered in place. He loves me, I thought to myself, his smile says it all.
“Where are you coming from?” I asked him taking a step forward.
“I’m on my way to meet my princess.” He said puffing up his chest. His words hit me like a sack of bricks, and the smile on my face turned. He looked at me and tilted his head.
“Is something wrong?”
I avoided his question and asked, “And who is this lucky princess?” The words came from between my clenched teeth as I tapped my fingers against the ax.
“Rose. Yes, she is the most beautiful girl in all the land.”
“Is that so?” I asked scoffing. He looked at me puzzled.
“But of course.” This foolish man, he thought Rose, sweet princess Rose, to be the most beautiful girl in all the land. “Not a single person compares to her beauty” He continued. My hand flew to the raggedy scarf on my head. I flung it off revealing my long wavy hair.
“Oh my, you look awfully familiar.” He exclaimed. I looked deep into his eyes.
“How about now. Does anyone now compare to her beauty.” His dumbfounded eyes looked at me with a foolish twinkle.
“What on earth are you on about?” He asked as I shook my head.
“Imaging me in Rose’s luxurious dresses and jewelry.” He tilted his head once more and look straight at me. All of a sudden he cried.
“Rose! Is that you?” He said running to me. “Why are you wearing such rags, I could hardly recognize you.” I pushed him off.
“I’m not Rose you fool!” He took a step back.
“But of course you are. You are just dressed like a peasant.”
“No! I’m Autumn… Her twin sister.” His hand flew to his mouth as he gasped. He stepped back as if to observe me from afar.
“When looking at you close and with your hair down you look just like beautiful Rose, but from afar in these rags, one would mistake you for any peasant.” I looked at him, my prince charming’s charm fading from my eyes.
“You and everyone like you are the reason I live in the woods,” I muttered to myself.
“What was that?” Instead of answering him I gave him a stern glare, as I tapped my fingers one last time against my ax.
The Battle of Normandy was the largest amphibious invasion in history, which ended in the Allied liberation of Paris from Nazi control. The battle began on June 6, 1944, during what is known as D-Day landings. Allied troops stormed five beaches of Normandy and within weeks successfully landed over one million Allied troops. Paris was liberated, and the German troops were removed from Northern France marking the end of the Battle of Normandy.
The Battle of Normandy began on June 6, 1944, as 13,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy during the D-Day landing. The invasion was given the name Operation Overlord and was appointed General Dwight Eisenhower as commander. The five beaches that were stormed were codenamed Omaha, Utah, Juno, Sword, and Gold. British and Canadian forces were able to captured beaches Gold and Sword after facing light opposition from the German side. Utah beach was captured by American forces who had faced light opposition from the enemies as well. However, on Omaha beach, American troops faced heavy resistance and suffered over 2,000 casualties. On June 11, before a full week from D-Day had come to an end, all five beaches of Normandy were fully secured by the Allies. Within weeks one million Allied men had landed along the beaches of Normandy, and the Allied invasion of the Western Front had begun.
Allied had on their side efficient air support, which destroyed multiple key bridges, forcing the German troops to take longer detours. On June 13, during the Battle of Villers-Bocage, the British armored attempt to improve their positions was defeated. On June 25-29, Operation Epson which was a large-scale infantry offense in which the British intended to outflank and seize the city of Caen, which was occupied by Germans forces, was also defeated and the possibility of a stalemate was descending. However, because of the successful German defenses, the Germans were using up men and equipment that could not be replaced. Due to the losses the German forces were facing, the Americans were able to break into the base of Cotentin Peninsula and advance on Cherbourg. The bombardment of Cherbourg took place on June 25. and German resistance lasted until the 29th when the port was captured by the Allies. At the end of August 1944, Allied troops reached the Seine River and by August 31, commanded the West bank of the Seine. On August 19, fighting broke out in Paris between the Resistance forces in Paris and what remained of the German garrison. The German city commander surrendered to the resistance and Paris was liberated, bringing to an end the Battle of Normandy.
The Battle of Normandy was a turning point of World War Two. The invasion on Normandy had begun to turn the tide against the Nazis. The defeat for the Germans was more than just military loss, the defeat carried a great psychological blow for the Germans. After the battle, the German troops were removed from Northern France, which prevented Hitler from being able to build up his Eastern Front against the advancing Soviet forces, for now he was unable to send troops from France.
The Battle of Normandy began with the Allied invasion on the five beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. The Allied came out of the battle victorious, and liberated the city of Paris. The defeat for the Germans carried a great psychological blow, while also hindering their defense plans against the Soviet Union, for they were no longer able to send troops from France.
The night was musty and the cool New Orleans air brought chills to my bear skin. The first time since moving to the city of second chances I heard the sound of silence. I felt a hand grab mine, it was Casey. He gave me a smile as he pulled me along the dark alley. My parents had always told me never to go into the alleys alone especially when it’s dark, but I wasn’t really alone.
As we neared the end of the alley, the familiar sound of sirens filled my ears. Here you hear sirens during the night as often as you blink an eye. His grip on my hand tightened. “ Come on Maya, we’re almost there.” “I don’t see why we had to go the scariest way.” He laughed. “ Because we’re going to a different place.” “What? You said…” “ I lied, come on.” The alley was scary and hearing all the bad things that happens in alleys during the night made me doubt everything. I can trust him I thought to myself, yes of course I can. But when I thought about it how well did I really know him. Ever since moving here, he’s spend every day with me, but that was only a year ago. What am I saying I know everything about him, his mother even treats me like the daughter she never had. I never understood that saying because she doesn’t have a daughter yet she treats me like the one she doesn’t have, but to treat me like the one she doesn’t have she would of had to have one. “No that doesn’t make any sense.” I muttered shaking my head. “ Almost there.” He snapped me out of my jumbled thoughts. Looking around the air was turning foggy. He let go of my hand and told me to stay put “What Casey you’re not really leaving me alone here are you?” But he turned around the corner. I couldn’t see anything holding my hands out I couldn’t even see them in front of my face. The fog was getting thicker and all the bad thoughts of what could happen in the alleys of New Orleans were coming head on. I heard a piece of metal fall into a drain. My heart skipped a beat, frozen with fear I whispered. “Casey..” No answer. “Casey is that you?” Still no answer. Its not Casey I thought scared half to death. If only he were here he could run as fast as a cheetah and was as strong as a lion. I felt the presence of another being, it was stalking me from a distance just like a mountain lion stalks it prey, me. I took a step forward. “ Casey… is that you.” Taking cautious steps forward I made my way to the corner of the alley. “Casey?” I heard the sound of running feet. My heart was racing out of my chest, these is were I die. No dont think like that, I said slapping myself on the knee. I took in a deep breath and peered around the corner. There was another alley, I turned my head and saw more alleys. It’s like I’m in a maze, a maze that can swallow me up, a maze where bad things happen. All of a sudden there was the sound of men shouting in a foreign language, then car headlights turned on blinding me for a moment but then bringing light into the black alleys. What I saw was Casey, being dragged into the trunk of an old car the car doors slammed and the car squealed away. “ Casey!” I shouted, I started running toward the fleeing car. But what was I thinking, it’s a car, I couldn’t catch up to it, and even if I did what could I do. Casey always told me that bad guys always have guns. I watched the car pull away my heart racing. What do I do? What do I do? Oh what do I do? My hands were shaking but my legs wouldn’t move. My eyes burned wanting to let the tears come, but I wouldn’t let them. Im gonna get him back I dont need to cry.
“This parties sick man.” “ Thanks.” I said back to the random guy who had had a few too many, slapping me on the back, praising me for the party I was supposedly throwing. To be honest it wasn’t my party, yes it was at my house but it was my older brothers party. My brother, the king as so often referred to was well known for throwing these wild and crazy parties. My opinion, is that the parties are a little too crazy. Hyper people everywhere just like a bunch of monkeys who just found a big tree with ripe bananas. “ Dave!” I heard my name called and turned around to see one of my brothers friends. “ There’s a girl at the door looking for the owner of the house.” “ Why doesn’t she just come in?” “ Dude, I don’t know but she seems lost.”
I walked to the door but there was no girl who seemed to be lost. So figuring I had nothing better to do, I started to look around. That’s when I a girl with long dark hair knotted up in a very messy bun pacing back and forth around the corner of my house. “ Were you looking for me?” Her face looked startled. “ Can I help you with something?” ….. “ I’m… I’m a friend of Casey’s.” “ Ok, what’s your name?” She looked at me with a stern look on her face. “ What’s your name?” I asked again coushay. “ Maya, my… my names Maya.” “Oh! Casey’s talked a lot about you.” Her face relaxed as she blushed a bit, but that quickly went away and she started pacing again. “ Do you need help?” She looked at me as if she was contemplating something. “Casey… he in trouble.” “ What do you mean?” My hands starting to shake. For her nervous movements and stuttery voice, I knew it was bad. “ I mean… I mean that me and Casey were on our way somewhere maybe here I don’t know. But we didn’t go our usual way, I told him we shouldn’t, then, then he goes around the corner and and there’s shouting and a car door slam and Casey, oh Casey he’s being pulled into the car and… Then a few minutes later I get a phone call telling me to go to a party that one of Casey’s friends are having, they tell me the adress and to come and oh… oh this is all my fault I should’ve just said no to going that way. As she rambled on it all clicked. “ The package.” She stopped and looked at me “ Yes, yes the package,they told me to come get a package, but how did you know.” “ A week ago he came to my house, he was really frantic and he gave me this brown envelope and told me to hide it and to not look inside. He, he told me it was a gift for his mother.” “ And you believed him?” She said sounding exasperated “ He may be trouble but he’s never given me reason not to trust him.” “ I know what you mean.” She said calming down. “ Where’s the package?” “ It’s in my room.” I grabbed her arm and pulled her through the crowd of people.
His grip on my hand was tight but with all the people around that was the only way for me to not get separated from him. There were people everywhere, to get through I had to push and shove my way up stairs and into Dave’s room and the music was so loud that to be heard people had to yell making everything chaos, complete chaos. Finally I saw the door it looked like the door that could take me away from reality even though it was the door to most likely bring more trouble. At his room he slammed the door closed and leaned against it, it felt as if we had survived a mod attack. His room was cool compared to the rest of the house that had a strange musty air to it. “ It’s exactly like Casey’s.” I said to myself. “ What?” “ The room,” I said in a louder voice. “ It’s exactly like Casey’s.” It had poster all over one wall and clothes were everywhere except in the closet. Probably the most typical 17 year old boys room, but the thing that made it so Casey was the vibe. I don’t know what it was but something made me feel like I were back in his room, careless just watching the days go by. Maybe it was the handmade large football headboard that was identical to the one in Casey’s room. “ So you’re the guy Casey built his headboard with.” “ Yupe, spent two summers working on them.” He said headlong in his closet. While he went rummaging through his closet looking for the package, I walked over to his night stand. The drawer was broken of but the lamp was still intact. There was a stack of sports magazines and on top of them was a picture of Dave and Casey. He looked so happy, his smile stretched from ear to ear, both him and Daves. Daves hair was blond and wavy with deep brown eyes. While Casey’s hair is dark messy and spiked up with the bluest eyes you’ve ever seen. In the picture their arms were over one anothers soldiers and they were by the dokes. Then as I was putting the picture down my eyes noticed something, I looked closer and my nervous self was coming back. “ Dave… when was this picture taken?” That one, well I just replaced it because the one before was so old that the picture was all torn, so I think it was about 10 days ago.” My heart started to pound. “ I found the package.” He said holding it up as he walked over to where I was frozen. “ Maya, you all right?” “ Look!” I said holding the picture right up to his face. He took the picture from my hand. “ What am I looking at?” “ Oh Dave look closer, behind the two of you.” “ It’s just a bunch of boats.” “ No, look there you see.” I said pointing at the picture. “ There in the corner, that’s the car that took Casey.” Dave’s face dropped, his eyes went wide open and he started to shudder and tremble. “Are.. are you sure?” “ Positive.” “ It was dark and there are many cars that look like that.” “ No look, the bumper it has a dark blue patch and the rest of the car is green. I remember that car I know it’s the car that took Casey, I just know it Dave.” “ So, so you mean to tell me that the people who took Casey have been watching us.” I nodded my head sternly. He sat down on the bed and covered his face with his hands. I sat down and put my hand on his back. “ Don’t worry.” He stood up in a puff. “ Don’t worry, don’t worry, Maya they’ve been watching us for days, they have Casey, how can you tell me not to worry.” “Because we have a picture of the car. All we need to do is take this picture to the police and tell what happened. Also they called me to get the package meaning that they don’t want you.” His face relaxed, but as fast as a snake grabs its prey his face changed to concern. “ We can’t go to the police.” “ Why not?” “ Because, if the reason they took Casey is because he did something bad then Casey will go to jail.” “ Oh no, I didn’t think about that.” Slowly I reached over and took the package from Dave. “ What are you doing?” “ Opening it.” “ No!” “We have to, we have to know what’s inside to really know what we’re dealing with.” He started pacing as I carefully ripped open the package, and what we saw brought chills down our spines.
The cuckoo clocks where ringing through the night sky letting the people know that midnight was here. Old Saint Nick and I were flying over the silent night looking down on the twinkling lights that covered the snow ridden town. The freezing weather pinched the nose of Santa turning it a rosy red. The only sound we heard was the shoush sound of me being pulled by his reindeer. Oh! Did I forget to mention that i’m santa’s sleigh? Rudolph’s nose oh so bright shown that the black sky lit up with a red glow. You’ve all heard of Rudolf and the reindeer, how the reindeer never let Rudolph join in any reindeer games? Well of course you have. But anyway as I was saying, the night was so peaceful not a care in the world in Old Saint Nicks head. We only have a few more houses to bring the toys to the good girls and boys. I landed gracefully on a flat roof top of a old house, the clip clop of the reindeer hooves was comfort to my ears. I saw Santa like I do so often, shimmy his way down the chimney, squeezing in his big round belly through the tight spaced chimney. The reindeer were chattering away with each other, I listen quietly because as everyone knows slays can’t talk. Then santa came up the chimney head first this time unlike when he goes into the chimney thats when we see the kicking of feet as he shimmies down. He sat back on to his seat; his weight from eating all those candy canes and gingerbread cookies and drinking up all the milk, almost tipping me over … but not quite. Of Prancer of Dancer and on Santa sang as the reindeer set of pulling me and Santa behind them in a smooth takeoff. We flew through the air for a while, then landed gracefully again on another roof top. But this time delivering the presents didn’t go as smoothly.
- What! Santa called out in astonishment.
- What’s wrong Santa?, the reindeer asked frantically.
- The presents, they’re … they’re gone!, Santa said; his voice so down and so upset.
- GONE! What do you mean they are gone?, The reindeer cried.
- Oh no there is a huge tear in the bag, they must have fallen out! Oh what am i going to do? Now all the girls and boys who have been good all year are going to be so disappointed, their christmas will be ruined!
- Don’t worry Santa if you call for the elves then they can come help us find all the toys, Rudolph said.
Santa, in a panic, pulled out of his pocket an alarm system that he set off. It was a silent alarm but it flashed a few of the brightest red lights ever seen, blinding us all for a moment.
- Do you think the elves will notice it?” Asked Prancer rubbing his eyes, for the brightens had brought tears to them.
- I hope so. Santa said, I hope so.
- What do we do know Santa? Rudolph asked.
- We wait.
After what felt like for ever of just standing there not knowing if the elves noticed the alarm, we saw a bright white flash that resembled a shooting star cut across the sky. Then as fast as a blink of an eye there they were, Santa’s elves.
- Ho ho ho thank goodness. Santa said shaking his belly up and down.
- Whats the problem Santa. Asked the elves.
- Well my elves we have hit a slight bump in the road, all of the toys have fallen from the bag and we need your help to find them.
Can you guess what happened next? Well I’ll tell you. The elves after hearing the presents were gone jumped into the air clenching their pointy hats tight. Their jaws dropped to the ground as they shook their heads in disbelief.
- Oh Santa, they cried the presents the presents.
- Oh no look over there, the sun… it’s rising. Rudolf said.
- Don’t worry, said Santa’s head elf. Santa this is your last town if we hurry we can find, deliver the toys and return home before the sun rises.
- You’re right, come on elves lets move.
You have to understand how helpless I felt, there I was just standing there not being able to do anything. I watched as the elves jumped off the roof top and started to run looking for the presents. I just waited there with the reindeer, watching the sun creep higher and higher into the sky.
- Oh hurry you guys, the suns almost up. Rudolf said.
We saw how the elves in a hurry we’re running up and down the streets finding the toys and dropping them down the chimes to their rightful owners. The sun was so close of being all the ways up in the sky, luckily nearly all the elves had returned. One by one they came, they all had a look of concern on their faces. When finally the last elf returned and the last present had been delivered Old Saint Nick fell back on the slay huffing and puffing.
- Thank you, he said with a sigh of relief.
- Santa look the suns almost up.
- Well then time to go boys, he said the joy back in his voice.
Because now there is a reason to be joyful again. Because Santa knows that all the good girls and boys when they come running down the stars that morning are going to squeal with glee from the sight of christmas presents under the tree.