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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Truth or Dare (08/28/08)

TITLE: Secrets and Allie


Allison loved games! She was known as one of the most competitive girls in her ninth grade class. Everyone called her, “all or nothing” Allie. She loved the nickname and always gave a more than satisfying performance, especially when competing with girls in her class known as “twerps;” those who had more money and let everyone know it.

With school starting up, she was checking out several groups where she could compete. She looked at one group in particular, a group that met once a month and worked on the school paper. Writing and finding out about who was doing what and why, was something she was good at and it would be a way to work with some of the elite students and find out what they were up to…

Yes, the school newsletter would be just the thing and so she signed up for it the first week of school. It was during Week Two when she got together with some of the other students in the group, who would be working on the newsletter. All were girls except for one boy, a tenth grader named Jeff, who was a bit of a nerd but likeable. She made sure to get to know him; for he was elected as group leader of the newsletter.

On Thursday of Week Two she took Jeff aside and talked with him.

“Hey Jeff, wanted to introduce myself. I’m Allison. Friends call me ‘Allie.’ I’ve worked on several newsletters—one at my church and one last year while in the ninth grade. I did several interviews and was able to get information that the others in the group couldn’t get. I know how to work people and it doesn’t take me long to squeeze information out of them. You know, butter them up and so forth and then zap em?!”

Jeff looked at her with a puzzled look and replied, “Allison…Allie…that’s not how I operate and that’s not what this group is all about. We write the truth about what is going on and how we see it. If that’s how you work—squeezing information out of people just to make yourself look good-- you’d better leave now while you can because if you’re found to be lying and pressuring people just to get the ‘dirt’ on them, you will be kicked out fast!”

Allison looked at him as if he were an alien from outer space and replied, “Wow, are you a square! I want you to know that I’m not easily scared. Besides, what can they do except yell at me or give me a warning? Nothing bad has ever happened to me before and it won’t happen this time!”

Jeff looked stunned but quickly turned his back on her, while Allison went to her cubicle and began working on a piece for next week’s newsletter.

She went to her computer and began a search on the school’s calendar program and found some items of interest. She saw that during the third week of September the girl’s volleyball team would be playing against the school’s old nemesis, Park High. She also saw a picture of a girl she used to know back in eighth grade. The girl’s name was Helen Longstreet and she once confided in Allie that she two years ago she stole some money from one of the girl’s who played on the basketball team.

Allie knew at once that this would make good reporting for the newsletter and decided to put the information in, but disguised the girl's name by a nickname the girl was once known by two years ago, Heddy.

The newsletter came out on time at the end of the week and many at the school read the piece on Heddy. The headline read, “Volley Ball Girl: Known As Heddy, Stole School Funds Two Years Ago..”

Of course, Heddy was embarrassed and soon was thrown off the team. It didn’t take long to find out who was behind the story and as things would have it, Allie was soon discharged from the school newsletter. Even though it was the truth, it was the how and why of it and as many know,it is a lose/lose situation for all concerned.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Kristin Slavik09/05/08
I liked the teen newspaper angle. I think your ending got a bit rushed. I lost empathy for the characters and I didn't feel like she learning anything. Good topic - keep writing!
Danae Cowart09/08/08
I think Allie is a strong character. Perhaps, with the word limit, you should have developed one part of this story (like when she decides to expose Helen) and took out some extraneous stuff (like the part about the "twerps", who don't figure into the story.)