zoe-strope1583018385 Zoe Strope

When nine-year-old Taylor Hophman moves to a new town with their family, they hope to find accepting friends and a place to belong. They aren’t the only one to move in though, a monster has made a home for itself underneath their bed, much to the monster who was already living in the closet’s displeasure. Taylor must find a way to resolve the creatures’ conflict if they ever want to get a good night’s sleep again.

Children All public.

#monsters #bullying #Cute-Kids #Disphoria #Non-binary-Protagonist
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Chapter 1, The New House

To be honest, I’m not too sad about moving. I know that’s kind of weird, most kids would be unhappy to leave the place they spent most of their lives. Not me though, I hate everything about where I live. I hate our tiny house, I hate the always rainy town, I hate my school, but most of all I hate everyone that goes to my school. Because for some reason, they just won’t let me be me.

You see, I’m not like everybody else. All the other kids I know are either boys or girls. But not me. I have the body of a girl, but that’s not what I am. I’m non-binary. The other kids (and even the teachers) didn’t like this though, and I just can’t understand why. They kept calling me “she” and “her” and “young lady” even though I asked them nicely not to. I got in trouble for not wearing a dress at a fancy school party, even though I said it made me uncomfortable. I hoped things would be different at my new school.

“Are you ready to head out, Taylor?” DaD asked as he poked his head into my nearly empty room. I nodded as I zipped up my suitcase. I had no idea I had so much stuff until I had to pack it all up.

Dad helps me get the suitcases out to the car where Mom and my older brother Ralph is waiting. He’s a bit sadder about the move than I am since he actually has friends, but i know he understands how I feel. He beat up a guy who did the classic bully thing of stealing my lunch money one time, than made him buy me even more food. Yeah, Ralph’s pretty darn great.

”Took you long enough,” He says as I hop into the backseat next to him. “What was the holdup, slow poke?”

”Had to pack lotsa stuff,” I mumble. Even though I’m kind of excited about moving, new things make me nervous. And when I get nervous, i don’t talk very much. My mouth gets all dry, and I can’t get it to work the way I want.

”Ralph nods as Dad shuts his door and buckles his seatbelt. “Yeah, I get it. Who knew we had fifty plates?”

The car moves down the road away from our old home. It’s funny to think it’ll be doing this for the last time. I get a funny feeling in my tummy. Why am I feeling a little sad when i never liked this place? Sure the view from my window was nice, and there was room for our dog to run around, but other than that ...

I let out a long sigh. Sometimes, my feelings don’t feel like they’re mine, but another person’s who has different opinions on things than me. Like the demon that can get into kids’ minds and make them do bad things from the scary movie Ralph let me watch with him when I couldn’t sleep one night. It gave me bad dreams for a while, buT I don’t feel bad about watching it.

Happy barks greet us when We finally get out of the car a few minutes later. I smile, it’s our dog Leila. There wasn’t enough room in the car, so Aunt Norma agreed to bring her. As soon as she seyes me, Layla nearly knocks me over when she excitedly puts her paws on my chest. She gets slobber on me when she licks my face and her breath is hot and smelly but i don’t care. Her wet kisses help take the weird feeling in my tummy away.

After Layla’s done saying hello to me and runs over to Ralph, it’s Aunt Norma’s turn. Well hello again, little darling!” She squeals, pinching my cheeks. I don’t like this too much, but I don’t complain. She had finally agreed to start calling me “they” and “them,” so I had to be extra nice to her so she wouldn’t stop. “How’s my favorite sibkid doing?” Sibkid, I love that word! It’s much better than niece.

”I’m doing alright,” Layla even made me able to talk more Somehow. “I can’t wait to see what my new room looks like!”

”I’m sure you’ll love it.”m She sounds a little weird when she says this, I wonder why.

”Thanks for bringing Layla over,” Mom says to Aunt Norma as Dad and Ralph start carrying in the suitcases. Everything else had already been sat up, all that was left was what was in them to unpack and we’d be ready to move in.

As Mom and Aunt Norma keep talking, I really look at our new house for the first time. It’s a lot bigger than our old one, and i like how the roof is one big triangle with two littler triangles sticking sideways out of it. I would have to practice a lot before I could draw it.

“Ready to take a look around, champ?” Dad had came back when I was busy thinking about whether I should try and draw the house with crayons or just a pencil. It scared me a little when he talked, but I recovered quickly.

”yes!” I said. I was excited, but also nervous. The feeling in my tummy was back, but it wouldn’t stop me.

When we walked up the steps and onto the front porch, I smiled. “A swing!” It wasn’t a piece of rubber like the ones on my old school’s playground, but a wooden bench. Cool!

”Yup, a porch swing.” Dad replied. “Be careful, I fell off of one of those when I was around your age, got a nasty gash on my forehead.”

I shiver. Maybe bench’ swings weren’t as cool as I’d thought. I’d still try it sometime, but I’ll definitely be Careful.

When we went into the house, i was happy when I saw how big the living room was. Our couch and coffee table were there, along with pictures of Ralph and me as babies on the mantel. The TV was set up and all the books were on the bookshelves.

We looked at the kitchen, the bathroom and the office where Mom would do her work before it was finally time to check out my room. Nervously, I opened the door.

I couldn’t believe what I saw. Maybe it shouldn’t be such a big deal, but as I stared at the Barbie doll pink walls and frilly bedspread, I felt like I was going to cry. “D-D-Daddy?”

”Norma.” Dad said quietly, he sounded angry. I don’t think he was mad at me though, because he pulled me into a hug. “It’s okay honey, we’ll get your room fixed.”

”W-why are th-the walls p-pink?” I stuttered into his jacket. “Y-you said it was gunna be gr-green.”

”It was supposed to be.” Dad sounded angry again. He seemed to think real hard about what he told me next. “You remember, Aunt Norma wasn’t very happy when you told her you weren’T a girl.“ I nodD. “Well I guess she thought by painting your room pink, it would make you a girl.”

”That’s stupid!” I say without thinking. ‘that’s not how it works.”

”i know sweetpea, I know.”

I try to calm down. I would be okay. Mom and Dad would fix the room how i wanted. They promised. Still, I can’t help feeling sad. I had thought Aunt Norma was okay with me not being a girl. I guess I got my hopes up. She must have just started to call me “they” and “them” so my parents wouldn’t be mad. She’s just like the people at school. I’d thought by moving I’d get away from that, but that was all a lie.

March 1, 2020, 2:03 a.m. 3 Report Embed Follow story
To be continued...

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Lyra Auburns Lyra Auburns
Please please please keep going!!! Taylor is such a great character. They're very likeable, I hope things get better for them in this new neighborhood. Also, I hope that first chapter wasn't the end. It's been a while since you published this, but it's never too late to keep going! Great job on such an awesome book!
January 26, 2022, 20:52
Mamelunka Mamelunka
I like it :) great job!
March 06, 2020, 17:32