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Atelophobia - Prologue

by cafexle


Third Person | 2012

     The classroom was buzzing with noise as Mrs. Carlyle droned on about the phases of the moon. As she drew the phases of the moon on the whiteboard, she turned her head back to make sure the class of fourth graders were paying attention.

     “Carla, Sarah, and Felicity Bishop,” Mrs. Carlyle sighed, setting the marker down and looking at the three triplets. “Do you understand what’s going on?”

     “Yes, ma’am,” Carla responded, her head not even moving from the doodle she was creating on her paper. “We finished it already.”

     “Great, can I see your worksheets?”

     “Of course,” Carla answered. She grabbed her sisters’ worksheets and handed them to the teacher. “So what do we do now?”

     “Uhm, something quiet?” Mrs. Carlyle stated, although it came out as a question as she skimmed the worksheets. “That was all the work for today’s science lesson. Also, how did you get through all of it while I was explaining?”

     “We know a lot about the moon,” Carla smiled, grabbing a book from the inside of her desk.

     As the class exited the lunchroom and made their way to the playground, Mrs. Carlyle pulled the three girls aside from the group.

     “So, after I checked your worksheets, I noticed that all three of you got everything correct,” she started. “And after a few other similar things happening this year, I think you three should be tested for the gifted program since you’re very smart girls. Did you get tested last year for it?”

     Carla, Sarah, and Felicity turned to look at each other, confusion lacing their blue eyes. They looked back at their teacher and shook their heads.

     “What’s the gifted program?” Felicity asked.

     “It’s for the smart kids, dummy,” Sarah stated. “My friend Maria is in it. She says it’s fun and they get to leave school to go to another school.”

     “Really?” Felicity asked, her eyes widening. “Ooh, when’s the test?”

     Mrs. Carlyle looked at Felicity and smiled.

     “I have to call your mom first, but after I do that, it’ll be whenever the gifted tester is available,” Mrs. Carlyle responded. “That’s all I wanted to talk to you about. You can go play now.”

     “Thank you!” Sarah and Felicity said before running to the swings. Carla watched as her sisters ran, and she turned to Mrs. Carlyle.

     “So, if we get put in gifted classes, does that mean we have to go to switch classes?”

     “Not really,” Mrs. Carlyle answered. “You’ll only have to go to a different class every Friday.”

     “Okay, thanks,” Carla smiled. “I’m going to go play now.”

     Mrs. Carlyle nodded her head in response and watched as Carla ran towards the swings where her sisters were.

     Hopefully the tests would be able to happen soon.

* * *

     “This is Mandy Bishop,” the girls’ mum said once she picked up the phone that had been ringing constantly for the past minute. “Who is this?”

     “Hello, I’m from Yellowwood Elementary School, where your daughters Carla, Sarah, and Felicity are enrolled. I’m calling to inform you that your daughters’ teacher, Mrs. Carlyle, has recognised your daughters’ academic abilities and wants them to be tested for the gifted program.”

     Mandy looked out of the kitchen window to see Carla, Sarah, Felicity, and their older brother Triston walking down the driveway. They were each holding a sheet of paper, and they seemed to be very excited about coming home.

     “Alright, so my daughters are being tested for gifted?” Mandy asked. “Is there anything I have to do?”

     “Your daughters should have a piece of paper for you to sign. You have to sign for each one, and then they’ll give that to their teacher tomorrow,” the person answered. “We’ll call you with the date and time they’ll be testing, and you’ll have to be at the school while they test.”

     “That’s it?”

     “Yes.”

     “Okay, thank you,” Mandy said, hanging up the phone afterwards.

     Mandy looked out of the window again to notice that her three daughters were at the front door, papers still in hand. She set her phone down on the counter and walked to the front door to open it, but the door swung open as soon as she got there.

     “Mom, we’re getting tested for gifted!” Felicity shouted, handing Mandy the paper. In response, Triston rolled his eyes and shoved his way through the doorframe.

     “Maria from down the street is in the program,” Sarah added. “She said it’s a lot of fun.”

     Mandy nodded at the three girls and held her hand out, beckoning for the papers. The three girls handed them right to her and followed her as she went to the kitchen.

     “Carla, can you hand me that pen right there?” Mandy asked, pointing at the ballpoint pen on the opposite side of the table. Carla nodded and grabbed the pen, handing it to her mum.

     The three girls watched as Mandy signed each paper, the pen gliding across the empty space as if it were a dancer. With each swoop of the pen, the girls became more excited about the coming days.

     Once Mandy finished signing the pages, she handed them back to the girls. They each shouted a thank you in response before running up the stairs to their room, knocking over a couple of their younger brother’s toys in the process.

* * *

     Mandy and the three girls sat anxiously in the lobby of the school, awaiting the results of their tests. Carla had taken comfort in biting her nails, Sarah started to pick at the skin around her nails, and Felicity played with the hem of her skirt.

     “Mom, I’m scared,” Felicity whispered. “What if I failed it?”

     “That just means you’re on-level with the rest of your classmates, and that’s okay,” Mandy responded. “Being gifted just means you know more. It doesn’t mean you’re better than everyone else.”

     “So if I fail, I’ll still be cool?” Felicity asked.

     “Yes, Fel,” Mandy laughed.

     “You’re already cool!” Sarah added. “You’re good at art. Everyone knows people who are good at art are cool.”

     Felicity nodded her head in response, and the fear that was lacing her blue eyes disappeared. She took to playing with her dirty blonde hair instead of the hem of her skirt, wondering about her results.

     After half an hour of anxiously waiting, the testing administrator called them into her office. The four made their way back inside the testing room, and the three girls sat down on the chairs in front of the desk.

     “After looking over the exams, I have gotten the results for their gifted status,” the administrator stated. “And after careful examination, it appears that while Sarah and Felicity are qualified for the gifted program, neither of them made it in.”

     Sarah and Felicity looked at each other, sadness taking over their eyes. They looked towards the testing administrator, who gave them a sympathetic look.

     “Each of them were only off by one point,” The administrator continued, “so while they aren’t in the gifted program, they are certainly academically gifted. Felicity seems to be smarted in the arts, while Sarah seems to be smarter in English and the arts.”

     Mandy nodded her head in response and looked towards the two younger girls, who sighed in relief knowing they weren’t too far off from the mark. They shared a hopeful look with each other and faced the testing administrator.

     “And as for Carla,” the administrator started, causing Carla to hold her breath, “she passed and will be in the gifted program.”

     Carla sighed in relief and looked towards her sisters, who each gave her two thumbs up in response to the news. Carla then turned to her mum, who was excitedly talking to the administrator about the news.

     Suddenly, that moment seemed to pull Carla in two directions; one where she followed the lead of her non-gifted sisters, and one where she followed the lead of her fellow gifted schoolmates.

     Those two paths seemed to blur together once the family left the school, and Carla felt herself following her fellow gifted classmates.


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User avatar
72 Reviews


Points: 42
Reviews: 72

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Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:29 am
Em16 wrote a review...



Wow! This piece was absolutely amazing. You did a great job building tension, especially with a topic that isn’t about life or death or love. It’s a relatively simple piece, focusing on childhood struggles, but you managed to write about it in a way that makes everything about it important and exciting. I love the characterizations of the little girls, and how you show both their confidence and their insecurities. You also do a great job emphasizing their close connection, as they seem to move as a unit for the whole of the piece, until the end when Carla gets into the magnet program but Sarah and Felicity don’t. Overall, this was really great!




cafexle says...


Thank you so much :D ! This story is a bit based off my own life; when I was younger, I was tested for the gifted program twice (once in second and once in fifth, but I never got in), and in fifth grade I was friends with someone in gifted and someone being tested for gifted.

As for the girls' personalities, they're also based a bit off me, but you'll see more of that in the future updates :)

Thank you for the positive feedback! I hope you've had a good day/evening/night.
~ Aria



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28 Reviews


Points: 112
Reviews: 28

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Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:21 pm
Nymeria wrote a review...



This was really good! I was so happy that your paragraphs are small because that makes a piece so much easier to read. I was pulled right along.

I have to say, when the girls said they knew a lot about the moon, I was pretty sure they were gonna turn out to be werewolves. Hehe.

The only thing I’d suggest about this story is to make the ending more exciting and satisfying. More dramatic, maybe. It just kind of drops off with a vague sense that Carla is now going in a different life direction than her sisters, but what does that mean? Does it create tension between them? Just something to think about.

Otherwise I can’t think of any other suggestions— this was really well written!

Happy writing,

Nymeria




cafexle says...


Ah, this is supposed to be a short story or novel, so I made the ending a bit vague on purpose :) thank you so much for the review! And the tension part... you may be on to something for the future.

(And thank you for liking my tiny paragraphs- it's been something I've been a bit concerned about since I started writing original fiction)
~ Aria




Mr. Scorpio says productivity is up 2%, and it's all because of my motivational techniques -- like donuts and the possibility of more donuts to come.
— Homer Simpson