When I Was a Boy
Hello to all fellow Stand By Me fans! I, myself have been a fan of the movie ever since I watched it when I was thirteen turning fourteen two years ago, so I've been reading from the archive since then. This is my first Stand By Me story but not my first story. I have two other stories from the Girl Meets World archive so if you're into the show, check them out! They're called Seven Years in the Nineties and Home is the Hart of the Holidays (prequel to the first story). So yeah, hope you like this story and tell me what you think in a review! Here we go...
Disclaimer: I do not own the novella, The Body (written by Stephen King) or the adaptation of the novella, Stand By Me.
Summary: Fourteen year old Jordan Conner is a tomboy who lives with her abusive stepfather and a mother who just can't say no to her husband. What happens when Jordan discovers something horrifying about her stepfather and ends up running away to look for answers and find her real father? What happens when she finds herself in Castle Rock and is mistaken for a boy? And along the way she meets the gang? Will they ever discover her secret? Will her stepfather find her? Will she get the answers she wants? Taken place two years after the events of the movie.
Prologue: Jordan's Point of View
I was thirteen going on fourteen the first time I ran away from home. It happened in the summer of 1961. A real long time ago, it seems like it now. I feel like I went through hell that summer, because of everything that happened. It was the summer that changed my life basically. I made some life-long friends and enemies, got out of the low-life living and made a name for myself. But how I was able to surpass the pain and misery that summer put me through? Well that's a different story...
Friday, June 29th, 1962, Derry, 10:03 A.M
It started out like any other typical summer day in the small town of Derry living with my drunken and abusive stepfather and my biological mother who abode by every single damn rule Mark (my stepfather) had. School let out yesterday and so I had nothing better to do than stick my nose in a book or go to my friend, Rachel Aden's house and try to forget the life I lived at home. I was never able to confide in Rachel despite the fact that she was my closest and only friend about the things Mark would do to my mother and I when he was drunk. All the physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. I just couldn't.
I never understood why my mother stood for that. I never understood why she couldn't divorce Mark and live her life single. It was a lot better than being married to that monster for sure. Her excuses were, "He pays the bills," and "I couldn't let you live without a father," and so on.
I hadn't known my real father very well. He left when I was three. He could be dead in a ditch somewhere and I wouldn't have known. I was told by my mother my physical features resembled more of my father than herself. She even said it was he who chose the name Jordan for me. I had light brown hair that was cut up to my ears by Mark once when he was drunk and claimed he wanted me to look like a boy because he wanted a son. Mark wanted me, a girl, to be his son.
"Cynthia, get me another beer this instant!" I heard Mark's slurred drunken voice call to my mother in the living room above me.
I didn't live in some attic like in that fairy tale I can't quite remember the name of now. I was forced to take the basement in spite of the fact that we had extra bedrooms upstairs because those were apparently for the "important business people" Mark had stay with us occasionally to try to suck up to them. When they would come over, Mark would lock me in the basement with the sole key he hid just so that I wouldn't do anything to sabotage the plans he had for his "important business people". So I never got to meet any of them. Mother always kept a stash of food and water hidden deep inside my closet in case the guests wanted to stay for more than just overnight.
Once, when I was eight years old, Mark forgot to unlock the basement door once his guests left. I had run out of food and water by that time and so I was trapped in the basement for three days before Mark remembered me. I hadn't screamed or cried once they found me. Honestly, the time flew so quickly for me because I had been reading so many books I almost forgot where I was. It was that time, if I can remember correctly, when I first began my love for reading.
I was on the last chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird when I heard heavy footsteps coming down the basement stairs and barge through the door into my room. It was Mark, slightly drunk.
"What ya doing ya lazy ass, huh?" That was the way Mark talked when he was drunk. Slurring and stumbling over his own words, however, he was much crueler when he was sober because he actually knew what he was doing. Mark stumbled over to where I was sitting on my bed and snatched the book from my fingertips and threw it over his shoulders. "There ain't ever no time for reading. If ya want to be happy in life, all ya need is money." Money was something we had too much of. Money was empowering. Money was what made Mark the way he was.
Oh yeah. Did I forget to mention we lived in the View?
I tried my best not to say anything that would upset Mark. Mother always pleaded for me to bite my tongue so that Mark didn't have any excuse to hit me. So that was what I did then.
"Yes sir," I kept saying and nodded my head in agreement the more he kept rambling on about crap.
"You see this?" he smirked evilly as he took out the sole key from his back pocket and dangled it teasingly in front of my face as if I were a dog. "I have some very important clients coming over and you're going to stay here for the rest of the day and tomorrow. If you're good, I'll bring you some water." Suddenly, it was like sober Mark was catching up to him by the way he regained his balance instead of swaying all over the place. He left my room to get ready, but not before locking the door securely behind him.
I wasn't so bumped about being locked in the basement anymore. A few months ago, I found out a way to get through my window without Mark discovering I left. I was a very slim and small girl. My chest was flat so I didn't have to worry about getting my boobs stuck between the window. Before I left I grabbed my green baseball cap and snuck out the window.
Initially, I felt like I had nowhere where I could spend my afternoon, until I realized Rachel was probably at her house. So when I got there, I knocked on her window and she let me in.
"Hey Jor. My parents aren't home, they went to a doctor's appointment with my brothers."
Rachel was the only person at school who I knew wasn't like the rest. She wasn't a snobby Valley girl although her parents were rich like many others. She had chestnut long brown hair and ocean blue eyes. She was a knock out for sure. She had a kind heart and that was what I liked most about her.
"All of them?" I asked incredulously. Rachel was the eldest of five younger brothers.
She shrugged her shoulders like it was no big deal. "Yeah, they probably need some vaccination or something. So what's up?"
I couldn't quite tell her the reason why I was over at her house so unexpectedly. I wish I didn't have to lie to her when she asked me about my home-life. I suspected she knew something was up, but she never asked me about that.
"Just thought I would stop by. It's the first day of summer vacation. What should we do?"
"Let's go to Sandy's!" Rachel squealed excitedly. Sandy's was the most popular diner every cool kid hang out at. It was one of the many places I hated going.
"No Rach. Sandy's is filled with boys," I groaned. "Let's just stay here."
"Come on Jordan. Please..." Rachel begged, clasping her hands together.
I reluctantly agreed to go with Rachel to Sandy's. We were so different in many way, so it amazed me sometimes how we were friends. She loved to flirt with boys, and with her looks, it wasn't hard for her to, and I just hated boys period.
When we arrived at Sandy's we sat at the counter and ordered two milkshakes. I stuck my nose in my book as Rachel looked around the diner. Immediately, two boys around sixteen came up to us.
"Hi," the blond one began. "Are you available?" he asked Rachel as I had my back turned toward them.
"Well there's nobody else here is there?" she said giggly-like and flipped her long hair over her shoulder.
"Then who is he?" the blond's friend asked, pointing to me. I rolled my eyes, turned around and scowled at them.
"Go to hell," I snarled at them and thankfully they left.
"That wasn't nice," Rachel said to me.
"Didn't you hear them? I had to scare 'em off. They thought I was your freakin' boyfriend. It'd been made pretty clear that you got the beauty in this friendship. I should probably go now, wouldn't want any guy thinking I am their competition." And so then I stormed out of the diner with my book in my hand, a little pissed off that people still confused me as a boy. Did it mean that I was ugly?
It was noon when I past by an small old abandoned house on my way home. I had to sneak back into the basement quickly without Mark finding out. Little did I know, that would be the least of my worries.
A gun shot inside the abandoned house made me jump in surprise. Nobody else was in sight. The house was practically in the middle of nowhere, I realized then. I hid behind a tree as the door of the abandoned house swung open, and a man I couldn't quite see wiped the blood of his hands with a handkerchief like he had done the job a million times before. He was dressed in a black suit.
He walked toward a black minivan that just pulled up slowly. The van's door slid open as I watched in horror as Mark came out of the van!
Oh my god, what was happening?!
"The job is done boss," the man said in a monotone voice to my stepfather.
"Where's the body?" Mark asked with his rough and deep voice.
The man pointed at the back of the house. "I buried him in the backyard." Unexpectedly, Mark grabbed the man by the collar and lifted him up to his eye level.
"Are you a fucking idiot?!" he spat in his face. "Is this what you think I'm paying you for? Do you want the cops coming out here and finding the body in the fucking murder scene?" Mark punched the man in the face and man doubled back over, clutching his bleeding nose in his hand.
"Boss," the man in the driver's seat called back. "I know a place where we can hide the body. There's a forest about an hour from here. Right beside Castle Rock. The Back Harlow Road."
Mark pulled up the man on the ground by the collar once again. "Fine. I'm going to give you fucking dumbasses twenty-four hours to hide the body at Back Harlow Road. If you don't," Mark pulled out a gun from his back pocket, a sly smirk appeared on his face as he put the gun against the man's head. "Boom."
I gasped out loud accidentally and in the process, dropped my book on the ground as my hands flew up to cover my mouth.
"Don't worry about it boss. The body will be hidden in no time. We'll make sure of it."
I stood still behind the tree until I heard the car drive off. Then I took off running home.
The front door of the house was opened. I ran inside and headed upstairs into my mother's and Mark's bedroom. I hid inside the closet, feeling like I never wanted to come out. What if Mark had realized it was I who witness the whole thing and would want to come and hunt me down?
Would he kill me?
That was the question I wondered to myself as I had ran all the way home frantically. He would kill me. That was a sure thing.
I accidentally knocked down a few boxes on the shelf above me. Papers inside a shoebox flew around like feathers. I picked up one of them, and when I realized they were letters, I began to read one:
Sunday, October 23rd, 1952
I went to the supermarket yesterday and I was surprised when I saw you there. I haven't seen Jonathan since you divorced him, but I do know for sure he misses you like crazy. How's little Jordan doing? She should probably be in starting school soon, if she hasn't already done so. I didn't appreciate it when you pretended you didn't know me, but I guess I should understand since it would be awkward to get along with the woman that used to be the love of the life for my brother.
I heard you got married recently. I wish you all the best of luck Cynthia. I wish I could see Jordan once in a while since she is my niece after all, but I heard you moved to Derry which is too far for me to travel once a week. I just graduated from high school and I'm going to college in Castle Rock. Jonathan also lives here too, but we are not on speaking terms. Jordan is welcomed to come stay with me anytime she wishes, you know that very well friend.
That letter was apparently written nine years ago. Wow, I had an aunt who lived in Castle Rock, the place where Mark's men were going to hide the body.
I flipped and scanned through every letter. They all ended with Rita Lorn reminding my mother that I was welcomed to stay with her anytime I wanted. There was even an address on the back of every letter. The exact same address: 124 Nine Hill, Castle Rock.
There were a bunch of those letters, and I assumed mother never responded back to Rita Lorn. She kept these letters hidden from me all of these years. There must have been a reason why she did that. Did Mark know?
I decided then that I wasn't going to let anybody control my life anymore. I was in control now. My mom always needed a man in her life. She wasn't substantial on her own. If she didn't have a husband, she had nothing. I promised myself that day, I wasn't going to be like that.
I picked up my mother's and Mark's wedding picture that was lying on the floor. I took a good look at it. I was five years old when my life changed for the worse. I was wearing a yellow dress. I had been the flower girl. Mark was smiling in the picture, which surprised me. I almost forgot how easy it was for Mark to convince people he was a good person before catching them in his trap.
Once, my mom secretly told me I had a stepbrother who was disowned by Mark, his father and therefore lived with his mother in Castle Rock. Apparently he was in his early twenties and that was about the only thing my mother ever mentioned about him. I always imagined what he would be like. I imagined then what he would advise me to do in this situation.
Go to Castle Rock and prove Mark was a murderer, or stay here and take another dozen beatings from him?
I told myself I had enough of the hell I was living. The only way Mark was going to be sent to jail was if I went to Castle Rock, find the dead body and in that way, prove Mark and his helpers were guilty of murder.
Mother kept a stash of money which I was lucky to find inside her drawer. I took that with me, the bundle of letters, and a sweater, and made my way out the door, and ran like hell to the bus stop.
I paid the guy behind the counter for a ticket to Castle Rock.
"Here you go sir," he said handing me the ticket, oblivious of my gender.
I rolled my eyes and and checked my watch. It was three o'clock in the afternoon. I would thankfully be there at four.
With enough strength and courage even though I was still scared out of my mind and had no idea what I was about to get myself into, I climbed up the stairs of the bus that would lead me to a journey I would never forget.
Castle Rock, here I come.
Author's Note: So yeah, this is the beginning of Jordan's journey to finding answers about her father, and trying to prove that Mark is a criminal. It's only the first chapter so please don't turn it down this early. Tell me what you think so far in a review! In every story, I always answer every review you guys send me in a Tumblr blog that will be linked in my profile so you can check out my responses. I always update my stories once a week and have a schedule on my profile for every update. Chapter 2 will probably be updated around this time.
Next chapter, Jordan will meet the gang!
Quote of the week:
"A pile of shit has a thousand eyes." -Teddy Duchamp