Leo remembered when he first met Ronald in the Better Life Orphanage that wasn’t too far from the house he and his mother used to live in. Ronald’s parents had left him in front of the orphanage as a kid, his parents left a note in the small cardboard box with blankets he was in saying that they couldn’t afford to take care of him, and that he’d have a better life this way. The people who worked at the orphanage read it to him once he could fully understand what had happened. Ronald ripped the note up and trashed it, crying and throwing a tantrum. Leo sat a table over from him watching him lose control, then woman he always saw talking to him came over, after she calmed him down she went to talk to other kids. Leo got up and asked him what was wrong, Ronald explained his situation to him and the boys connected on not having parents in their lives. A family came in to the orphanage, Leo recognized them and went over to Ronald, “Look Ronald, that’s the family that wants to adopt me.” Ronald’s eyes lit up, then he turned his back to Leo. “What’s wrong Ronald?” asked Leo, “You’re going to leave me here alone, just like my parents did.” Ronald said. “No, I’m not leaving you alone, you have plenty of people here to talk to.” said Leo. “It’s fine just go man”, Ronald said as he flagged Leo off. The family came back monthly to check on Leo but suddenly they stopped coming, he later found out that the man’s wife had died and he was no longer interested in adopting a child. “Mr. Theodore’s wife has passed away Leo, I think you’re going to be here with us for a bit longer than expected. Leo remembered the words hitting his heart, the man and his wife were so kind to him, they made him feel loved again. He was waiting for months to get out of the orphanage, it was filled with troubled children, bedbugs, some of the kids he shared a room with were constantly itching with head lice and the strange men that worked there often made him feel uncomfortable.
For my capstone, I decided to write a few short horror stories. I used the sources in my bibliography with caution, while I wanted to find inspiration I also wanted to balance that with my own ideas. One of my stories titled, "An Old Friend" (which I started in 9th grade) has been rewritten, read over many times, and now even retitled. However, I was never satisfied with the story until I completed it for my senior capstone. My mentor pointed me in the right direction and that feedback carried over to the other stories I wrote. It was hard for me to balance my time for writing these stories that required full attention and creativity while also keeping up with projects, assignments, etc., as well as taking time out to collaborate with my mentor. However, I found it more convenient to go to my peers for revisions than to set up meetings with my mentor. To maintain a creative mindset while writing these stories I took breaks in between writing them. This was a way of making sure I didn't replicate the same feelings or characters in each story. The process of coming up with characters wasn't something that required me to use external sources, they came to me as I went, and then I read over my story and added small details in that would give the reader more of a background to look at for the characters. I appreciate the feedback from my mentor, as well as my peers on my short stories, it helped me out a lot.
This is an excerpt from my An Old Friend story that was mentioned in my abstract.