In my first-ever novel, we follow the journey of a boy trying to face his fears alongside his greatest fear, a Great Dane named “Pookie”.
Fear is something constructed of the imagination. It can be easily overcome, or it can consume a person entirely. Facing your fears can be a rewarding task; in the end, it can produce an unbreakable strength.
In the crisp-aired countryside of a humble town called Tenby, sat a cozy eggshell white-coated cottage nestled between two substantial neighboring homes. The not-so-newly renovated house displayed a wide collection of characters. From the paint-chipped pink wooden window shutters and the deteriorating moss-stained fountain perched near the front door to the full unkempt backyard that faded into the woods beyond, the dwelling relaxed comfortably.
An elderly woman named Margaux Bernard, who could only be described as such due to her age and not her personality, owns the home. Within its walls lived the multiple, young, foster children she cared for.
She was a beautiful woman in every sense of the word, inside and out. Her endless messy silver hair, bright symmetrical smile, and inviting personality made it easy to love her unquestionably and absolutely. Her warmth and love was the extent of the youngster’s knowledge of her. They’ve never spent the time to truly get to appreciate her; to know her stories or her past. Based on the collection of unique trinkets and interesting souvenirs neatly placed throughout the home, they recognize her to be a worldly person. They did fear asking how she received the “X” shaped scar on her right hand, which she seems to always keep hidden beneath her sleeve.
Among the numerous children that lived at 614 Lockings Road, was a naive boy named Noah. He was scrawny, even for being only six years old, and as gentle as a feather tossing in the wind. For someone who spent most of their time indoors, his bleach-blonde hair was often left untidy. Staring off at the unfamiliar world outside with his full amber eyes, Noah often spaced out, resting and listening to the universe, as the lives of the other eleven children took place around him. No one had come anywhere near as close as he had become with the compassionate and devoted Margaux. You could say she was his best friend. She encouraged his peculiar behavior and embraced his artistic side.
Before his memories began to form, Noah was sent to live with Margaux and the other children. Living in poverty and raising a baby as a single mother was a far bigger obstacle to overcome than Noah’s real mother could ever imagine. She wanted Noah to have a better life and live for bigger things. Miss Margaux had provided a much better life than his real mother was able to accommodate.
Noah grasped the facts surrounding his adoption, and luckily, it never bothered him. For being so youthful, his understanding was surprisingly far beyond his years. Fortunately for himself and the other children, they were all constantly surrounded and consumed everywhere they turn with Margaux’s love and undying support.
Although there were plenty of other children all living in the same situation, fear still consumed little Noah. It spread across every aspect of his life, from playing outside, being in the dark, and even the eventual loss of his wiggling front tooth. These problems were all things Noah felt just belonged in the stories he had heard before bed. He wished for nothing to do with them in his real life. Often times Noah found himself clinging to the bottom of Margaux’s stained and tattered apron. It was his safe place.
Year after year, Noah had seen the children come and go. He watched as his bunkmates, not-so-close friends and most of who he never got around to learning much about, become adopted and moves off to live in different homes with their new families. He often went completely unnoticed.
Seeing the others leave rarely troubled him, it was the thought of him one day having to leave that always stuck in his head. He was concerned that his adoptive family wouldn’t be inviting, that he wouldn’t like the new house he must live in, or even worse, that he would never see Miss Margaux again.
The unknown just added to his fears. This left him quiet and spending most of his time cemented in his head or attached to the safety of Margaux’s apron. Margaux always had a soft spot for Noah, he was most certainly her favorite thing about running the home, although she would definitely never say that in front of the other children.
She always knew there was something special about the boy, and whoever ended up adopting him was going to be the luckiest family in the world.
Margaux grew up in foster care as well. She hopped from place to place, city to city, country to country. In an abbreviated amount of time, she saw more of the world than most would in a lifetime. After coming of age and leaving to go out on her own, she made it her purpose in life to take care of children that were born into a similar story as her.
There was more than enough love to go around to everyone in the home, but she knew that Noah required more. He was meant for considerable things, and that time was coming soon.
There was only one place that Noah loved as much as being around Margaux, and that was wrapped up in his bedding on his fluffy twin mattress. He didn’t have much but had everything that he’d ever wanted. He was unquestionably overjoyed with where he was.
Noah’s bed almost consistently contains five of his belongings: a stuffed bunny that Margaux had made for him, which he named “Commander BunBun”, a large pad of multi-colored construction paper for drawing, a thick marker in his favorite shade of navy blue, the small blanket he had owned since birth – the only thing left from his life before Margaux, and a spotless red backpack which typically held all of his belongings when they weren’t scattered all over his bed. Most of his construction paper was covered in little doodles and notes, mostly of him, his stuffed bunny, Margaux, and the house he lived in.
Noah shared a bedroom with three additional boys. He had always really enjoyed this type of living situation, until the day that Sam came to live with him. Sam was exactly two years one month, and three days older than Noah, which he’d often been reminded of when he was being bullied about it.
Due to unfortunate family circumstances, Sam was brought in a few months ago. He wasn’t as comfortable with the living situation as Noah was. He conceived that if he bullied Noah that he will most likely always garner a snicker or two from the other children; this makes living with these new people easier for Sam. For Noah, living with Sam had proved to be difficult at times. Noah may have been scared a lot, but he was strong-willed and always held his head up high.