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The Mischief of Jamie Sarah Potter (2)

The following morning an hour or so before school was due to open. Two women, both wearing skirted business suits stood around the fountain. Both wore slightly amused looks on their faces as they peered toward the plastic fish that floated around the bottom of the fountain. The first one to speak was the tallest one she wore her strawberry blonde hair in a high bun.

“Really, plastic fish in the school’s fountain. I’ve seen it all know.” She said, shaking her head.

The Mischief of Jamie Sarah Potter (1)

The sun was hanging high over the township of Benton. The hours of the day were getting longer and longer with each passing day. All across Benton, both teachers and students were counting down the days till the sweet release of Summer. With bated breath, they waited for that final bell that would grant them freedom from the desk, freedom from homework and pop quiz’s and exams. Many dreamed of long, lazy summer afternoons spent playing in the grassy fields, or sitting by a cool shady spot down by the river.

The Womenless Beauty Pageant (2)

he minute I stepped into the hallway, I found myself surrounded by boys who like me had been drafted, volunteered or had been volunteered into dawning a dress for charity. Most of them tried to pass and most did pass. Many of them where being interviewed by the varies reports that where covering the event. Lana Lightcap of WBT had just finished interviewing somebody when she spotted me. She smiled and motioned for the cameraman to follow her as she approached me.

The Womenless Beauty Pageant (1)

I had signed up for the “Vicksburg’s First Annual Womenless Beauty Pageant” because it was being held to provided relief for the Yazoo Delta, a diamonded shaped region of land that started in Greenville, Ms and ended in my own town The region was known for three things, dockside gambling, cotton, and the Blues. It was also covered in seven feet of water from point to point. The money raised from the pageant was to be used to provided relief from the flood water and help the people of that region recover.

Melodies of the Heart: The Renaissance Fair (1)

The Scarborough Renaissance Festival was one of the largest renaissance fairs in Erehwon. Located in the district of Ashen the fair covered an around one hundred and seventy acres. The fair by tradition opens on Victoria Day and closes on Labor Day.

Melodies of the Heart : The Birthday Wish (5)

Jane took the offered towel from Katherine and smiled as he tried to clear some of the icings away from his face, fingers and from the front of his dress. Josephine helped by bringing out a wet rag that was used to get most of the remaining icing and a little from his dress. Susan, once she finished laughing guided Jane over to the table where the presents where kept, while she darted into the kitchen to fetch a broom and a dustpan. She started to clean up the mess while Josephine handed out the gifts.

Jamie in Cartoon Land (2)

You could almost cut the tension in the room with a butter knife. The last hour and a half had been the most intense, soul-crushing, mind-numbing one of my life. Once I had arrived, I had found myself surrounded by nurses and more than a few doctors. The doctors and nurses wasted no time in rushing me back to the exam rooms. And they wasted no time in drawing blood, X-Ray’s were ordered and they finally poked an IV tube in my arm. And they started me on drips. I don’t really know, once the IV was put in, everything became quite sluggish.

Melodies of the Heart : The Birthday Wish (4)

Once James had finished his bath, Josephine dressed him in the yellow and pink party dress, styled his hair and even applied a thin coating of lip gloss to his lips. Once he was dressed, she stepped back and nodded her approval as she watched the boy look down and blush. Her smile only grew as the boy turned upon his heel and peered into the mirror of the bathroom.

Melodies of the Heart : The Birthday Wish (3)

James took a deep breath as he reached under his covered and took hold of his phone. He then pressed a button and fell back down into the pillow. It was Saturday, and he wanted to sleep in. It was also his birthday, but he cared little about that. The only thing he wanted to do today was sleep and maybe level up his farm tools on ‘Magical Musical’ the latest title in a long series of farming slash slice of life games. Maybe if he was lucky, he could get a blue feather and propose to that cute rancher.

Melodies of the Heart : The Birthday Wish (2)

Sunday afternoon, after services, was the time set aside for the women of the foster home to sit down and enjoy a little afternoon tea and unwind from the week and get ready for another one. Sunday was considered a day of rest in the Forest Home, some of the children attend services either at the local Catholic, Episcopal or Methodist Churches. It was those three that supported the foster home with donations of either money or canned goods, but mostly money as cold hard cash was the sinew that kept the house running day to day, month to month and year to year.

Melodies of the Heart : The Birthday Wish (1)

Jane Caked.png

James was your average, not so average preteen. For one he lived in a foster home with a dozen of other tweens and teens. The home, was more like one big extended family, with the owners taking on the role of mother and father. While the supporting staff often acted as aunts and uncles. The older teens acted like big sisters and brothers to the younger ones and in some cases even mentored the younger ones.

Jamie in Cartoon Land (1)

Time seemed to slow down, really it seemed to grind to a halt. As the minutes ticked by, the fever seemed to get worse, the pain in my belly grew more intense and small beads of sweat started to form on my forehead. Each time I opened my eyes the room started to spin around and around and around. And what worried me the most was in one of the chairs of the room there appeared a shadow. The shadow looked like me, we’ll a version of me before I started taking steps to become Jamie.

Its Halloween Jamie Potter (4)

The first period was oddly peaceful. Nobody really seemed to bother me much. The second period a few people made passing comments about what happened. Those comments passed over my head, the third period, was when I caught hell. Hell as in my whole world seemed to fall apart. I’d been feeling on edge all morning, and my fight with my sister on the way to school had been bothering me all day. But halfway through my history lesson, my head felt heavy and I felt very weak all of a sudden. I soldiered on though.

Its Halloween Jamie Potter (3)

I woke up a little late the following morning. The sound of mom hammering on my bedroom door jarred me from my sleep. It took only a brief glance down at my phone to tell me why my mom was hammering on my bedroom door. I had overslept by a good half hour and was now running behind. Going into panic mode, I jumped out of bed, threw on a school blouse, slipped on a pair of panties, slipped on a skirt and forced on some socks and laced up my shoes.

Its Halloween Jamie Potter (2)

I could feel my heart beating like a jack-hammer as I followed closely behind Heather as she guided me through the front door and down the brick paved walkway. The bricks that paved the walkway cooled my feet. A large crowd had also gathered in front of our house, the cobblestone street seemed to be filled with costumed clad people who gathered around the tank that seemed a grander version of the tank used in the yearly “Hostage Exchange”.

Interlogue: Dark Nights for Dark Business (1)

Buck’s Tavern was a small bar located deep within the woods that surrounded Benton. To get to Buck’s one needed to travel down an old dirt road that was rutted with deep holes that often held water. And the building that was Buck’s was nothing more than an old wooden cabin. The roof was covered with moss. The glass in the window pane had long since turned to a dusty yellow. Spider webs decorated the corners.
an

The New Life of Jamie Sarah Potter (7)

Once I reached the alter, a acolyte wearing a black cassock and white surplice approached me and offered me a hug. I was shocked at first, till I noticed the acolyte had shoulder length brown hair and baby blue eyes and a soft heart shaped face, I could place the face but not the name, then when she spoke I knew who it was.

The New Life of Jamie Sarah Potter (6)

Sunday dawned cool and clear. An early frost covered the ground and brass bells of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church bellowed all through the town. Soon there voices were joined by All Saint’s Catholic church. Fr. Brown had insisted the service for that day be in the ‘High Church’ style. Cradle Episcopalians would know this style by the colorful nickname of ‘Smells and Bells’.

The New Life of Jamie Sarah Potter (5)

The lunchroom was filled to the brim with people, lunch today was watery chili, stale bread, warm milk and something that looked like a brownie. A rumor was going around school that Mr. Henderson had been fired, it seemed his outburst this morning had ruffled a few feathers. I considered that a small victory. I was about to finish off my watery chili when much to my surprise Joan appeared and sat her tray down in front of me.

The New Life of Jamie Sarah Potter (4)

My schedule for the year had remained the same. And so, according to that schedule as soon as I dropped the paper off at the office, I was to report to my first period class. That being “Natural Science”. And as expected Mr. Henderson stood there in the classroom waiting for me. He wore a different suit this time, instead of the fading gray suit, he wore a dark charcoal suit. What remained of his gray, thinning hair had been brushed over the best he could to hide the big bald spot. The lingering smell of Old Spice aftershave, tobacco and coffee hung around him like a blinding fog.

The New Life of Jamie Sarah Potter (3)

I was released from the hospital early the next morning. Daddy took us all out to eat at the newly opened McDonalds, and I was treated to a twenty piece chicken nugget. Now before I go any further let me say something. Benton is undergoing something of a growth period. In the last few months, two new businesses have open the first one is a McDonalds, the second is a Pizza Hut. Both are located downtown.

Madeline Makes Peace (4)

The Marian Chapel attached to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church was dark, it was always kept dark. The chapel was a small square room, instead of rows of pews, chairs with kneelers provided a place for the faithful to sit during the rare times the room was used. The chapel was only used for Morning Prayer and evening prayer. And on certain feast-days chief among those was ‘All Saints Day’ a set aside by the church to honor the dead and pray for those souls trapped between Heaven and Hell.

Madeline Makes Peace (3)

We soon reached the grave. The wind was starting to rise now and one could feel the cold touch of winter upon its breath. Linda placed her flowers first and then I did and we both then just stood there, standing to shoulder to shoulder if you will. As I peered toward the flowers, resting upon the frost covered ground, my mind wandered back to those ghostly visions of mom. Taking a deep breath, I quickly made a mental note to pay our local Episcopal church a visit.

Madeline Makes Peace (2)

Once we reached the car. We noticed another car pulling up into the parking lot. Once the other car was parked. The door opened and a woman with flaming red hair stepped out from the driver's side. And from the other side, a girl around my age did as well. The women with flaming red hair was the first to speak.

Madeline Makes Peace (1)

Ebenezer is a small crossroad’s community, located in the hill country of Mississippi. The hamlet can boost of around one hundred or so families, two small churches and two general stores and one carwash. If you your traveling down route fourteen and take a right at the crossroad’s and travel say a quarter of the mile more. You will find on the left-hand side of the road a small country church. The church is a boxed wooden church that looks like something straight from the history books. Behind the church is a small graveyard.

More Adventures of Madeline Brewer (6)

The gymnasium of Benton AG High was filled to the rafters with people. The noise of three hundred people, all shouting and cheering and hooting was deafening, factor in chants, calls, and cheers from the cheerleaders and the background music blaring from two speakers. And we’ll I could barely hear myself think. In the center of the gym, between the two basketball courts, there was a large plastic sheet, that was roughly the size of my bedroom floor. Sitting in the center of the sheet and in the center of the sheet, there was an old three-legged stool.

The New Life of Jamie Sarah Potter (2)

The morning sun chased away the strange dream. As soon as I opened my eyes, I noticed the IV bag was now empty and standing at the bedrail was mom and dad. Standing beside mom and dad where the two people from the day before. And beside them stood Linda?! Linda was dressed in a pale blue dress. Her hands were folded in front of her and her black hair was tied back and styled with a pale blue boy. Her eyes were firmly fixed on the ground.

More Adventures of Madeline Brewer (5)

In eighteen seventy-six a group of leading Yazoo County businessmen and planters came together to talk about the recovery of Yazoo County. The war between the states had ended with the southern armies being defeated in the field and the south ravaged and burned by Union forces. Yazoo County was a shell of its former self. The varies plantations sat in ruins, weeds grew where cotton once thrived. The levees, that held back the floodwaters had been broken by attaching union forces.

The Trial of Jamie Sarah Potter (4)

The Headmaster took a deep breath and peered toward me for a very long minute. Finally, he turned his attention toward Linda then he turned his attention toward Lily. After three minutes of silence, he pushed his seat back and stood up.

“What happens... Over the course of homecoming, does not reflect the values of the school. But I feel we should put that all behind us, don’t you all agree. I think I’ll let this matter rest.” He paused and walked over to nearby happen... he stood in front of the window, is back turned to us and his arms folded behind his back.

The Trial of Jamie Sarah Potter (3)

The Headmaster peered at me for a good long minute before leaning back in his chair. He shifted his eyes around the room and finally brought them back to me. A ghost of a smile formed upon the bowl of his lips as he folded his hands on the desk and leaned int.

The Trial of Jamie Sarah Potter (2)

The minute I reached the office, the office secretary, greeted with a small smile. She was an older woman, her iron-gray hair was pulled back in a tight bun. Her outfit, a white button down blouse, tucked into the waistline of a black skirt was free of wrinkles and dust. White stockings and black dress shoes rounded out the outfit. And as she stood upon the old wooden desk, her hands folded upon the clean, highly polished surface. She fixed me with a look.

The Trial of Jamie Sarah Potter (1)

Life returned to normal following homecoming. I decided to live as Jamie at home and as James during school hours. And Ben lets say I made another email account. ‘[email protected]’ it was a Jamie email, one for Jamie to keep in contact with all her friends. I had given this email to my sister, who had passed it onto Joan who had, in turn, passed it onto Ben. And that how Ben and I kept in contact with each other for the fortnight that followed homecoming.

The Adventure of Jamie Potter (12)

I blinked and blinked again, had Lily really just called my name out? Taking a deep breath I peered toward Ben, smiled and leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. I then started to walk toward the stage. Where Lily stood, I was halfway there when I felt somebody reach over and pull me to the side. As I turned around to see who had graphed me and I was greeted with Linda peering at me.

More Adventures of Madeline Brewer (4)

As asked, I filled out the form and returned it early the next morning. The whole day passed in me taking notes, talking with a friend and catching up with the newest drama. You know your average school day. Around mid-afternoon, a student who belonged to the 4H club returned saying the Benton PTA Board had approved my request and informed me to wear a nice dress, but not too nice. Again the rumor mill started to turn, this time the rumor centered on the going ones at the old Lomond Farm.

More Adventures of Madeline Brewer (3)

The following day was really just your average day. Notes where taken in most of the classes, homework was handed in. The roll was taken, and the school's rumor mill started to turn more and more about who was doing what and who was seeing who and who was going to fight who after school. You know, your average southern day. Not that any of that concerned me, I had to keep my shoulders hunched over an open notebook and my nose buried in a textbook. The daily drama did not concern me... And the only time I ever tuned into the rumor mill was when I was the subject of the rumor.

The Adventure of Jamie Potter (11)

Once Joan and I finished our little talk, I kind of started to look for Ben. Once more I had to wade through the crowds of people, somewhere dancing and others where chatting, boys flirted with girls and girls flirted with boys. All in all, it was your average dance. Finally a few minutes of searching, I found Ben by the refreshment table. He offered me a small smile as he passed me the paper cup.

“Have a nice talk with Joan?” He asked as he raised his paper cup to his lips and closing his eyes he took a small sip of the punch.

More Adventures of Madeline Brewer (2)

Johannes Malt Shop was a Benton mainstay, located on a few doors down from “Ginger Evens Bakery” and only a quarter mile from the towns only supermarket in town “Sunflower: Food store” it the main hang out for the tweens and teens all year round. And to honesty, really everybody stopped here to get a quick snack. There hamburgers, where to die for, and their milkshakes were the best around. Thick and creamy.

The Adventure of Jamie Potter (10)

The gymnasium was filled to the brim with people. Colorful streamers hung down from the ceiling, romantic music filled the air with a loud tempo. Toward the back, there stood at least two dozen men, all dressed in coat and ties. Each one refused to look each other in the eyes as they shifted their weight from one foot to the other. Some played with the cuffs of there suits, other kept playing with there watches. Others just stood there, their arms folded over there chest and their eyes firmly glued to the dance floor. No doubt they were passing around small brown bottles of bourbon around.

The Adventure of Jamie Potter (9)

I was guided into the bathroom of the gym and scrubbed clean. I had every inch of me scrubbed and scrubbed, I had my hair washed and rewashed. It took around two good, hot showers to clean every trace of slop from my hair, skin and personal area. The warm water felt so good too. My whole world became a vision of colors, as the smells from the shampoo, body wash and lotions filled the air. Once I was “Clean” I was ordered to dry off with a warm towel. Once I was dry, they ordered me to lotion up, something about making my skin shimmer. It was all very confusing.

More Adventures of Madeline Brewer (1)

madeline_slimed.png

Thanksgiving follows Halloween. While Halloween is all about the spooks, Thanksgiving is more about family and sharing the fruits of the earth. It was also the time of year people start playing Christmas music and every shop puts up a tiny Christmas village in there display windows. And considering that was in the south, I think the fake flakes of snow that piled high on the display tables, is the closest thing we’ll ever see to a “White Christmas”.

The Adventure of Jamie Potter (8)

The minute I stepped inside the tank, was the minute I heard a metallic click. I was now enclosed in this thing, trapped. Taking a deep breath I looked up and noticed a few drops of green slime starting to seep down from above me. Katie, the head cheerleader from Manchester Academy was grinning ear to ear as she walked over to the left side of the tank. Wrapping her fingers around the chain she peered at me and in a menacing tone of voice whisper to me.

The Adventure of Jamie Potter (7)

The bleachers on both sides of the field where filled to the brim with people. The whole school had turned out, with dozens of people waving small flags that had the school’s mascot on them. The cheerleaders where busy whipping the crowds into a frizzy. And thereby the side, My eyes firmly fixed upon the strawberry blonde girl being lead to our side of the field by three Manchester cheerleaders. Lily, Joan, and Mindy were there. The three talked with the other three and finally, Joan escorted the girl from Manchester over to a waiting table where our homecoming court sat.

Madeline's Saturday Detention (3)

I only had to wait a few seconds before the sharp sting to the paddle cracking across my backside flooded into my bottom. The first stroke of the paddle took my breath away and caused the tiny hairs on my arms to stand straight up. Coughing, I crooked out.

“One Ma’am,” I said as took a deep breath and waited for the next one. I did not need to wait long for the second one either for soon the paddle cracked my bottom again. Sending another wave of sting rolling into my bottom. The second strike once again took my breath away, but I forced myself to count again. “Two ma’am.”

The Adventure of Jamie Potter (6)

Once the shockwaves from Linda’s little outburst settled down. Lily reached over and took me by the hand and guided me toward the bathroom. While the other cheerleaders scattered, each one having last minute chores that needed be done before the big show. Her hand wrapped around mine, she pulled me into the staff bathroom. She handed me the gym bag, I blinked and unzipped the bag and there in the bag was the old cheerleading uniform I first wore.

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