You bite Billy hard on the ear, and he shouts, which grabs the attention of the other kids you were playing with.\n\n[[The next day]]
You and your siblings are playing cards when you hear Billy calling your name from outside your house. The window shatters, and Billy Deel is holding a BB gun, pointed at you. He begins to shoot the BBs into the house, and Lori retrieves Dad's pistol, shooting in Billy's general direction. You take the gun from Lori and run outside, shooting at Billy's feet as he runs away.\n When your parents get home, they tell you all they've decided you are all going to leave for Phoenix tonight. \n\n\n[[In Phoenix]]
Good for you! Although there were some good times in your childhood, you really don't want to remember everything else. You are embarrassed by your family and still angry at them. Also, don't even consider writing a book about your childhood, because, while it may be interesting, it is also very scary, and doesn't really need to be shared with the world. Enjoy the buffet!\n\nBack to [[Start]]
Dad picks you up into his arms, and breaks into a sprint, out of the hospital, and into the car. He tells you that you're safe now. \n A few months later, Dad gets everyone up in the middle of the night, and announces that you’re moving. Your mother, brother, sister, father, and you all pack whatever you need to survive, and get into the Blue Goose, the family car. Your cat, Quixote, gets antsy in the car, and your father, not wanting to deal with a pet that doesn't do well with travel, throws the cat out the window.\n\n \n[[Continue on]]
You realize that you need to get away from your Dad, who is just going to keep pushing you into the water. You're angry at Dad for trying to drown you, but he keeps telling you he loves you, and that he wouldn't have let you drown.\n\n After Dad loses his job in Battle Mountain, your family has very little to eat. One night all you have left to eat is a stick of margarine with some sugar, which you and Lori split. You accidently admit to your mom that you're hungry, and it riles up a fight between her and Dad. The fight goes on through the night and into the morning. Mom is suddenly dangling from the second story window, held only by Dad who has his hands around her arms. She yells out that your Dad is trying to kill her. You, Lori, and Brian run up the stairs and try to help, but Dad pulls her back inside. You're too shocked to even move. \n After the fight, Mom decided to become a teacher to help the family, even though she hated teaching with all of her heart. Mom's paycheck kept food on the table, but Dad was always trying to take it so he could buy more alcohol to fuel his drinking habits.\n\n[[Then]]
Your name is Jeannette Walls. You are eating at a Chinese Buffet with your mother. You ask her if there is anything she needs from you, but she refuses. It reminds you of your childhood.\n\n[[Allow the flashbacks of Childhood]]\n\n[[Shake off the flashbacks and Forget]]
Finally, you finish your junior year, and at the beginning of the summer, you head to the bus station to join Lori in New York. She had gotten there because one of your babysitting clients said she wanted to take you with her to watch the kids in Iowa, and that she would get you a bus ticket back home. You insisted that the job go to Lori, and at the end of the summer, she would instead get a bus ticket to New York. Dad and Brian come with you, Dad handing you his favorite jackknife. In a few hours, you reach New York.\n\n[[New York City]]
You are currently wearing a pink dress, making hot dogs, and living in a trailor park. Also, you are only three years old. Oh, and did I forget to mention you are currently on fire? Because you are.\n\n[[Scream]]
No matter how tightly you hold on, or how much you cough, and sputter, and scream, Dad still pushes you out into the middle of the spring. Finally, you're so angry that you begin to kick at him, which seems to be propelling you away. You realize\n[[You need to push away from him]]
When December comes that year, your mom announces that you are all going to have a proper Christmas. You all bought presents for each other, and on Christmas morning, you bought a real tree from the gas station for only a dollar. \n Mom was making everyone go to midnight mass, but you were worried that Dad would be too drunk. Mom still insisted, but Dad yelled out at the priest when he talked about the Virgin Birth. At home, Mom tried to calm him down by giving him the lighter she had picked out for his present. He studied it, and then thrust it into the Christmas tree, which caught fire immediately. You all were able to put out the fire, but Christmas was ruined.\n\n[[Your tenth birthday]]
Dad ended up getting very sick with tuberculosis. You visited him in the hospital, and that's where he died. You had the urge to scoop him up and run out of the hospital, like he had done with you when you were three. You wanted to skedaddle, Rex Walls-style one last time. \n After that, you were always on the move. If the taxi you had hailed was stuck in traffic for any longer than a minute, you would just get out and walk. You took up ice-skating, but soon you realized your whole life needed some changing, not just your movements.\n You decided to leave Eric and get a small apartment to yourself. You marry another man named John Taylor, who is a writer, and you two live happily together in Virginia.\n\n\n[[Now]]\n\n
A boy named Billy Deel moves into your town. Billy is an official juvenile delinquent. He likes to follow you around and claim to be your boyfriend. One day, he gives you a turquoise and silver ring. You knew it was real, because Mom had some at Grandma's house, and had trained you to tell between fake and real silver. You ask where Billy had gotten it. Maybe he had stolen it?\n "It used to be my mom's." he told you. You want to wear it, but you're afraid that Billy will point to it to confirm that you two have a relationship. \n\n\n[[Take the ring]]\n\n[[Deny the offer]]
You try to knee him in the groin, but your legs have been spread apart. The person who is "It" in your game of hide and seek luckily finds you two before anything worse happens. \n\n[[The next day]]
Everyone hates Welch. You had lived with your grandma, who insisted you call her Erma, and grandpa, and Uncle Stanley. But then Erma tried to touch Brian inappropriately, and since Lori began to punch her, you weren't allowed to live there anymore. You lived in a tiny house at the top of the mountain, instead. It wasn't any better. The kitchen ceiling leaked, and the electric usually wasn't on because no one could pay the bills. You and Brian had tried digging a hole for the foundation of the Glass Castle, but your parents had begun to fill it with garbage. You got beat up by the black kids and teased by the white kids. Uncle Stanley had turned out to be a huge pervert, and your Dad took you with him on trips to the bar to steal from the guys as they flirted with you.\n Eventually, you and Lori decided you were going to move to New York City. Originally, Lori was going to go to an art school on scholarship by submitting a clay bust of Shakespeare she had made, but Dad smeared the mouth and ruined it. \n Lori would move first, after she finished high school, and then you would go after you finished your junior year. Lori started doing poster commissions for people in school, and you got a job in a nearby town at a jewelry store. You had saved up a lot of money, and Ban even helped, even though you two hadn't included him in your escape plan, but Dad stole all the money one day while you kids were at school. You had to start saving all over again. \n\n[[Going]]
You and Lori live together and each have jobs. You finish high school at a school that offers internships at different places instead of classes. You have an internship at The Phoenix, a weekly newspaper. You love to write and want to become a journalist. Eventually, Brian comes to live with you, too. \n You aren't sure about going to college, since it's so expensive, but your boss tells you that you'll get even better jobs if you get a degree. You are accepted into Barnard, the sister college of Columbia University. You have to move out of the apartment with Lori and Brian, not having enough money now with college. You are allowed to have a room in the home of a psychologist in return for watching her sons. You are hired as editorial assistant at one of the biggest magazines in the city. You are very happy.\n Still, things get worse back home in Welch, so Lori decides Maureen can come and live with her. Three years after your big move, your parents decide to drive to New York City to live there themselves. They had tried staying with Brian, and with Lori, but were kicked out, and evidently, homeless. They didn't seem to mind.\n Eventually, you got married to your college boyfriend, Eric. Maureen was living with Mom and Dad, doing drugs and drinking. She had even stabbed Mom, and had been sent to a hospital in upstate New York. After she was released she immediately left for California. Brian was a cop and Lori worked as a comic book illustrator. You didn't see Mom and Dad much after Maureen's court case.\n\n[[Dad]]\n\n
You plant yourselves in a town full of shacks and trailers, called Midland. You decide to stay there, because an ancient Joshua tree on the side of the road caught Mom's eye, and there was a house for rent. Mom is an artist, and writer, and is varied in her styles as both. Mom is also pregnant, and you all hope it's a boy, so your little brother, Brian, will have someone to play with.\n Your dad loses the job he had gotten in a gypsum mine, and that year, your family has no money for Christmas. None of you kids believe in Santa anyway, so for Christmas, your Dad drives you each into the desert, and lets you claim a star for your own. You pick out\n\n[[A star directly overhead]]\n\n[[A star to the west, above the mountains]]
You refuse to take the ring. You think Billy is going to hit you, but then he... Is he crying? He is! Billy Deel, the boy who skins neighborhood cats to make jerky, is crying. You feel aweful, and you try to accept the ring, but Billy runs away. He doesn't bother you after that. You aren't sure if you're relieved, or if you miss the attention.\n\nEventually your family decides to move to your grandmother's house in Arizona.\n\n[[In Phoenix]]
Dad tells you about the star, saying it's part of the Big Dipper. When you all have your stars, Dad teaches you some astrology, before saying, \n "Years from now, when all the junk they got is broken and long forgotten, you'll still have your stars."\n\n Go back to [[Keep going]]
You sit and wait awhile, but then decide that maybe your parents think you're too much of a burden to come back for. You walk into the town, blood and tears running down your face, with pebbles imbedded into your skin. \n You knock on the first house you see, but no one comes to the door. You knock again, and then a third time, and finally, a woman in hair curlers and a nightgown opens the door. You explain what happened, and the woman takes you in and cleans you up. You are allowed to stay with her for the night.\n In the morning, your parents find you, but they are determined unfit parents by child services, and you and your siblings are all sent to different families. You stay with the woman who took you in, and visit mom and dad often. \n You grow up, want to see the world, and decide to move to Louisiana after one short vacation. You get a job as a nurse in a hospital there, and you live your life happily.\n\n\nBack to [[Continue on]]
The Glass Castle\nby Jeannette Walls
You agree to take the ring, but you tell Billy that you won't wear it. Still, his face lights up.\n A few weeks later, you are playing hide and seek, hiding in a tool shed along the train tracks. Billy tries to squeeze in with you, as you try to shoo him out. He whispers about the cathouse in town, asking if you know what happens there. You won't admit that you're clueless. He kisses you with tongue, and you try desperately to push away while he unzips your pants. To escape, you\n\n[[Knee him in the groin]]\n\n[[Bite his ear]]
Dad begins to curse at you under his breathe, but picks you up and sprints out of the hospital anyway. When you get home, you get yelled at, and a whip on the thighs. You should never refuse your parents, you have to respect them. \n "And anyway," Dad says, once his temper has dropped slightly, "wouldn't you rather be home than in that stinkin' place?"\n\n[[Continue on]]
For your tenth birthday, your dad says you can have whatever you want most in the world. You hesitate, but then ask if he would stop drinking. And that's exactly what he does, and he stays sober for the whole summer. Then he decides the family should take a camping trip to the Grand Canyon, but the car breaks down almost eighty miles from home. You all start to walk, then a lady pulls up in a fancy car, offering a ride. Dad left once you got home, and didn't come back at all that night.\n Dad didn't return for three whole days, and when he did, he and your mother got into a physical fight. They swung knives at each other, and Dad pinned Mom to the ground, but eventually, they ere laughing and hugging as if they weren't about to kill each other two seconds ago.\n Dad didn't have a job, and now that he was back to drinking, Mom thought you all should move to West Virginia with Dad's parents. Since Dad refuses, Mom decides to buy a used car, and take all you kids herself. At the last minute, Dad decided to come with you. \n\n[[Welch, West Virginia]]
You sit next to the tracks for what seems like days, until finally, you see the family car, now the Green Caboose, speeding down the road. Your dad comes to collect you, and you hit the road again.\n\n[[Keep going]]\n\n
You pick that star because you think it shines the brightest, compared to all the other billions in the sky. Dad explains that the one you want isn't actually a star, but the planet Venus. It only seems brighter because it's much closer to Earth than the other stars. Dad decides that you can still have it; given that Christmas is a pretty special occasion.\n When you all have your stars, Dad teaches you some astrology, before saying, \n "Years from now, when all the junk they got is broken and long forgotten, you'll still have your stars."\n\n A few months after your new baby sister, Lilly Ruth Maureen (Who you all just called Maureen) was born, you move into a town called Battle Mountain. You move into a building that had once been the railroad depot. You and Brian like to explore the desert there. \n That winter your dad decides to take a family trip to the Hot Pot, a natural sulfur spring. You don't know how to swim, so Dad decides to teach you. He drags you into the center of the Hot Pot, and then lets you go into the deep, warm water. You breathe in and begin to drown, but then he pulls you back up. You are pushed into the open water again, and then pulled back up. You realize that\n\n[[You need to push away from him]]\n\n[[You need to hold onto Dad tighter]]
Your mother puts out the fire, and you are taken to the hospital. The doctors patch you up and ask you a lot of questions about your home life. You answer truthfully. You like the hospital. Nurses make sure you never run out of food, or bandages, you get your own TV, and one nurse even buys you chewing gum. About six weeks after the burn, your dad tells you he wants to check you out, Rex Walls-style. Basically this means he's going to grab you, and run. \n You aren't sure if you want to, or even if that will be okay with the hospital staff. Dad assures you it is, so you decide to-\n\n[[Refuse]]\n\n[[Agree to go]]
And now, Jeannette Walls, you are back to where you started. Still in the Chinese Buffet. Still sitting at the table across from your mother. It seems that, in the time it took you to relive your life, only a second or two have passed in the real world. You smile at your mother, she smiles back, and you both finish your food.\n\n
Your family moves to your mother's mother's house in Phoenix, Arizona. When you don't see your grandma, you are told she had died several months earlier. You don't understand why they would have kept that from you. \n You go to a public school, and you, Brian, and Lori are all put into gifted reading groups. During the nurse's ear and eye exams, it is discovered that Lori needs glasses, and when she puts them on, she is very pleased to suddenly see everything so clearly. With her new found vision, Lori began to paint and draw everything she saw, deciding she wanted to be an artist.\n Life is good in Phoenix. You all got bicycles, and go to the library often. Your family even gets its first telephone. \n One day, the Walls family takes a trip to the zoo. Dad tells you how the animals will leave you alone if you show them you aren't scared. He gives an example by fiercely staring at an alligator until it shuffles into the water. \n Then you all walk to the cheetah exhibit, and the cheetah slinks toward you. You and your dad slip under the fence to get closer to the cage. Dad looked at the cheetah, and it looked back. Then, Dad put his hand on the cheetah's neck, and began to pet it. You ask to pet the big cat, and Dad takes your hand and places it on the cheetah. The cheetah nuzzles into your hand, and licks you with his big pink tongue. Soon after, security comes, and you all run away.\n\n[[Christmas]]
Your family always seems to be "doing the skedaddle", as Dad puts it. You all drive for days, even weeks, out in the desert, until you find what seems like a good city to settle in. Then suddenly, you're doing it all over again. On these trips, Dad always talks about "the Glass Castle", a house he dreams of building for the family. It will be huge, and grand and beautiful. Your family spends hours poring over the blue prints for the house. You dream about it almost as much as your dad. \n\n One night, during a "skedaddle" your dad makes a sharp turn over the railroad tracks, and you tumble out of the car. Too shocked to cry, you decide to-\n\n[[Stay put and wait]]\n\n[[Go into town and search for help]]
Bryana Belling