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The Old Mire Bridge

By: Mollie Duphorne

Chapter 1

Have you ever had those times in your life where you can’t help but believe in the impossible? Hi, I’m Libby G. Shelton, my nickname is Libs, although only my mom and dad call me that. It all started on the first day of sixth grade. I had been told all my life that middle school was the hardest three years of a kid's life, and well guess what, it was the second hardest time of my life.

    I live in Lubbock, TX and go to a small private school on the west side called John Adams Middle School. I know it seems like Lubbock is a big city like San Antonio, but it really isn’t. Lubbock is a really small town out in the middle of nowhere. Next to my house there is a small river and an old broken bridge called The Old Mire Bridge. I’ve always dreamed of fixing that bridge with my friends, this is where the impossible comes in. I have no friends. Now you might be thinking that I should have at least one great friend and well, if you are, then you’re wrong, really wrong. You see I am the nerdy, smart girl who everyone thinks is way too nerdy, but i’m actually really smart and wish that, that one cute, sporty, popular guy would ask me out on just one date, but no. Instead every day after school I would go out and sit on a hill by the bridge with my dog Fluffy.

I’ve lived in Lubbock for five years now. We used to live in Dallas, TX but my dad got injured really badly in war so we had to move to a smaller place where he could rest in peace until his leg healed. At Least that's what I thought until my whole entire life took a curveball. I have always loved the thought of me playing softball.

I always draw pictures of me up on home base ready to hit that one home run and win the game for the team but I don’t play sports so it's almost impossible.

On my first day of middle school I was sweating so bad it looked like I had just jumped in a pool. I wanted to make such a good impression so I put on my best dress, put my hair up real nice, and went down to the old bridge and threw a coin in the water for good luck. When I got to school There he was, Lucas Feen,  captain of the football team, head of the after school academics club, those beautiful blue eyes, shaggy brown hair, but of course he was surrounded by the most popular girls. The ones that wear really short skirts, crop tops, and really high heels, “the rebels”. At least that's what I call them.

When I got home from school I had lunch then went down to the bridge and laid down in the grass looking up at the clouds. I think I might have fallen asleep because when I woke up the sun was going down. After a few minutes of trying to remember my dream I realized it was about my dad and me fixing the bridge and building a small shack in the trees on the other side of the bridge. We would go and sit there for hours, but after he died the shack had become abandoned and fell down in the woods.

The dream kept playing over and over in my head but each time before it ended I could hear the last words of my dad before the accident; “I don’t care what happens to me Kathy, just get down with Libs and never let her go!”. It was the hardest time of his life and we all know that, but my mom keeps telling me that it was his time and that God needed him up in Heaven more than we did down here on Earth. Because I couldn’t stop the dream replays I decided to ask my mom for some pictures of my dad before the accident.

An hour later, when my mom got home from work I had already written down some questions about and before the accident since I was only two years old when me, my mom, my dad, got in an accident.

When I asked my mom the first three she seemed uncomfortable like she was almost hiding something from me, so I decided to just ask the rest later and get some pictures now. As I was looking through the pictures I saw one of my dad in the hospital bed. He looked like he had no clue what was going on, almost like amnesia. I remembered some website from last year that my mom had showed me for my family tree project where we had to write 1-2 paragraphs on one family member. The website showed prison records, birthdays, were the person had lived, children, ancestors, everything, including hospital records. I decided to write all this down and keep the picture and info somewhere, but my mom yelled from downstairs that I need to go to sleep.

 

 

Chapter 2

Already August 23 and the it’s the first full day of school. One reason I am not excited for school is I have no friends. Each year I hope for the same thing to happen but tomorrow is Wednesday, opposite day, so my wish never comes true. I walk into school tired and glum, ready to be teased for sitting alone at lunch, walking by myself to class, and being late to every class except art. Art is the best class! I love the smell of old paint brushes, paint, and canvases. Plus the teacher is so nice. Except for this year. I stopped in the doorway right as I saw Mrs. Stonehart. I understand why her last name is Stonehart, her heart is stone.

Mrs. Stonehart was my fifth grade math teacher. She has hated me since the day we met. On Halloween she gave out one piece of candy to every student but me then, she gave Jenny, the head of the Rebels, five pieces. To make it worse I was the one who gave Mrs. Stonehart the candy in the first place.

Finally it was Friday. Now I was in my last class where we have an hour of free time. I went to my locker and grabbed the picture and notes from the dream and went to the library. Ms. Lovegood is one of the best librarians ever. When I asked her if she had anything about anything on my notes she showed me a whole section on my dad. Who knew?!

After about thirty minutes of just looking around, I found this really old book. When I picked it up a picture fell out. The picture was of some man under a bridge.

I realized that after I held a picture of my dad and another of the old Mire Bridge.  It was my own dad under the old Mire Bridge! I saw something really unusual in the bottom left corner of the picture. There was some lady in all white, long brown hair, holding a shovel in one hand and a red woven box in the other. I realized that that was my mom. The one question was who took this photo and where is the box.

When I looked down at my watch it was ten past four. I grabbed my notes, my two pictures, the new picture, and the book. Then I ran out of the school, down three blocks, all the way to the bridge. I looked around for something to dig with, and dug at a mound of dirt. After a few minutes of digging I found the box. It felt strange, yet familiar. I decided not to ask my mom about it.

As I was walking across the field back to my house, I saw someone sitting on an old fence. As soon as she saw me she started to walk closer to me. I looked around for somewhere to go but she was blocking the exit route. I started to panic a little bit. When I was close enough to hear her, she told me to stop panicking and that she wouldn’t hurt me. She grabbed my hand and we walked to an old swing set on the other side of the field, next to a small shack. She told that she lives there and that her parents got in an accident with some black truck and died. Then to my surprise she asked to be my friend. I told her to meet me out here every day around this time. Her name was Katherine.

The next few weeks went by slowly. Everyday right after a hard day of school, I would meet Katherine out on the swings. We would talk for hours and hours after we did my homework. Katherine was probably the best friend anyone could ever have. Sometimes we would act out my dream come true. Katherine would be Lucas and I would just be plain old me. I would bring us some food and we would have a picnic out in the middle of the field. Once we talked about our biggest dreams. Mine was to go out with Lucas and have my dad back. Hers was to have a family and a house. Then we talked about what dreams have come true. Her biggest wish that had come true was that she had me.

After our picnic we set my tent up and built a bonfire and we went to stargaze. I had told my mom before school that I was having a spend the night after school. When we started to go to sleep I kept thinking about how she wanted a family again. After she was asleep I went out to the field and made a wish for her. The next morning she was shaking me to get up. She told me that some lady had come to the field a few minutes ago holding a ton of paperwork and forms. The next thing I knew she was telling me that she got adopted. Katherine never told me exactly who adopted her but I was in for a big surprise tomorrow.

After school I walked home to get a snack when I saw Katherine in my house. When she saw me she said “Hey um… sis you want to grab a snack and go out to the fields?” I was so confused so I decided to ask what she was doing. “Remember when I told you about the lady with the papers that came to talk to me? Well turns out that the lady was your mom! Now we are sisters. When she came to me she said something like no friend of my child should be homeless and parentless.”   I have always wanted a sister.  This was one of the best days of my life so far, but everything was about to change.

A few weeks have passed since Katherine became my adopted sister and I still hadn’t opened the red box I undug. I decided to tell Katherine about it and open it with her. Later that day when my mom was asleep I woke Katherine up and we opened the box. I was surprised when all that was there was a letter and a map.

Dear whoever is reading this,

    I have been in a very bad car accident and was in the hospital for a week after making the doctors think that I had amnesia. I have snuck out of the hospital and am headed down south to Puerto Rico, my dream vacation. I have not told anyone this not even my own wife or daughter although My daughter would be too young to understand. I am writing this from under the Mire.

 

 

Chapter 3

 

I have buried this letter in a red woven box and there is a picture of me under the bridge and my wife in all white holding the box after she found it at the old public school library in an old book in the back room of the library. If you wish to find me follow the map and this hint. “To the crown by the bridge I have gone to hide a note, down where the mardi gras are and alligators roam.”

After we read the letter we looked at the map, the X was in New Orleans. Looks like we are headed to New Orleans. The only problem was how we were to get there. Then it can to me  Jenny is going to New orleans next week. Now the other problem is how do I go with her since she hates me. If anything was going to get us that trip it was Katherine. The next day we rode our bikes mom got us to Jennys. I hid in the bushes with my bike and Katherine went to talk to Jenny. It worked she got us the trip some how.

Chapter 4

 

When we got home after ice cream we told mom and got packed. Tomorrow is the day we leave to New Orleans. Thankfully I have a cousin that works as a guard in the museum of the Crown. I called him earlier that day and he got us a pass to see the crown. Although after we got there there was no note in the crown. When he realized that by crown my dad ment the crown as in the skull that Shakespeare is holding on the statue outside the museum. Now we have two of the notes.

 

Dear finder,

    You must be smart to figure out where this note was. You now have two out of the three notes my next hint for you is this… “The next note is at, a store I have loved, It's named after  some guy, who’s name is Henry, his middle name is forgotten so all we know is it started with E, The last name is simple, I can not tell you but the store is his initials.” This store is in San Juan, Puerto Rico. If you wish to give up with the hints you can see me at 1255 Av. Magdalena. My favorite place to go is The Academy of the Sacred Heart, Inc.

 

My cousin told us that he would take us to my dad's place in Puerto Rico. When we got to Puerto Rico we decided to take a break from clue hunting and go surfing at the awesome beach. My cousin had a great time talking to some guy named Niko Bamon. After that my cousin took us shopping and we got some fun floppy hats, green matching sandals, and some black sunglasses. When the sun was starting to go down we headed to my dad’s house on Av. Magdalena. After we knocked on the door some nice guy came to get the door and somehow knew my name. When I asked his what his name was he said his name was Daniel Shelton, my dad.

    He was in tears bye the time we finished hugging. He invited us to stay a few days with him. We had a long conversation. We caught him up, and told him how everything is doing back home. Then when I told him about the clue hunt and Katherine he started acting all weird and looked like he was about to cry again. When I asked him what was wrong he said that he left because he was going to get divorced. He never did want to get divorced so he got in the accident with his black truck. When he accidently killed the other family in the wreck he was too guilty to stay in town so he left. He realized that he couldn’t be a father after the accident.

    After the conversation was over we all went to sleep. As I was lying in bed I thought about how he was in the black truck and killed the other couple in the wreck. The other couple was Katherine's parents! Everything was coming together. I always wanted a sister now I have one. If my dad never got in the wreck I would never have meet Katherine! My dad had everything planned out perfectly without even knowing.

The next day we had to leave so I told my dad and Katherine what was in my head last night. They looked at each other, then at me, then back to each other and said “You're right!” at the same time. Seems like that was planned too. My dad decided to sell his house and come home with us and all would be fixed, and it was. We all got along perfectly and my parents got back together. Now it’s not just me and mom, it’s me, Katherine, mom, and dad.

About The Author

    This book can give the reader a glimpse at what I am like. I wrote this story for extra credit in English class in 7th grade, but took it further after I turned it in. I decided to continue writing it for fun. Libby is like me she is that shy girl that loves sports. I have one really great friend like Katherine. I was adopted when I was just born. I always email my birth mother although, I never knew much about my birth father except for the fact that he ran away to Puerto Rico or somewhere else. I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I now live in San Antonio with my adopted parents. I love reading and writing. When I wrote this book it allowed me to see things from someone else's eyes and decide their future.

 

My next book in the Mire Bridge series, The life of a tween after Christmas, is a continuation of The Old Mire Bridge. It is about the life of Libby, a tween, her sister Katherine, and their parents after the long journey of finding her father. The life Of a tween after Christmas is a nonfiction book. Libby is a mixture of a young and shy girl and me.

A look into the next book…

 

    It was a cold december morning. “Only nine more days till Christmas Eve, fourteen more till the wedding, and one more till the dance!” I heard Kathrine say. “I know I’m so excited!” This year is going to be the best year ever! Tomorrow we are going to a dance and after Christmas we get to go to a real wedding. Both me and Katherine got invited to the ball this year. I was so surprised when Lucas asked me to the ball and his brother asked Katherine. Now we both get to go.

    The next day dad took me and Katherine to go shop for dresses to wear. Katherine got a long flowy on that was pink. She also got some sparkly white heels. I got a dress that was blue, short in the front and long in the back, and some high tops that were with a heart on the side. After that dad took us to get ice cream then to a makeup store that did hair too. We got our hair done and Katherine got some makeup on. When we got home mom was so happy and amazed that I was even wearing a dress even though I wasn’t wearing makeup or had my hair up all nice and fancy.