Here is the story, with some changes (to make sure I don't get disqualified in my real submission):
Mother and Father have not been right lately, Amber wrote thoughtfully in her journal as her parents sat on the porch steps, discussing something urgently. They held a newspaper in their hands and looked scared, angry, and sad all at once, with blotchy, red faces and nervous glances towards Amber. Each time they looked, Amber looked away so that they couldn't see that she was watching them. But she was. Amber was always watching.
Amber's father suddenly stood and waved the newspaper about, and suddenly a gust of wind blew the paper into the house. Amber ran over to the paper and snatched it, and, without waiting for permission, flew up the stairs to her room to read.
Her mother and father had seemed odd because they had stopped her from doing normal things for several months now-from watching the telly, listening to the radio, and reading the newspaper. And each time she'd ask to do it, the parent would turn a slight shade of grey and sweetly change the subject. Amber felt a tiny quiver of excitement as she leaped onto her bed and quickly unfolded newspaper...
In huge, black letters, the headlines were screaming:
CHILDREN NOW ARE AGAINST THE LAW!
Amber read on, barely keeping down her horror, the story of the past few months unfolded...
* * *
Two seasons ago, I was brought to this forest, not even knowing my own past. But I know where I belong...now.
I wrote these words into the dirt with my finger, idly. I had nothing to do. I was content and well fed, and often I was bored during the lazy summer days. Suddenly, gasps filled the camp, and Little Moon, a Youngling, gasped, “That noise!”
I cocked her head to hear, and suddenly, an unnerving sound filled the hollow-a howl riding the breeze.
The camp exploded in a disarray. A nearby Wild Child was soothing a frightened Youngling, and the older Wild Children even seemed a bit unnerved. I was nothing but curious. What was that howling?
“It sounds like a child!” gasped Little Moon. She seemed the most worried, and her eyes were so wide you could see the whites clearly.
Then the wind began to pick up. It stirred my hair and blew it about. It grew wilder, as if it were trying to carry me away. But the wind made it clear that there was not only one voice-there were many, all crying out in fear or pain or calling for help.
“I'm going to investigate this!” I declared, marching away. I was very curious.
“I'll go, too,” said Willow. I nodded. Willow had sharp senses. She'd be useful.
Willow and I turned and left through the entrance tunnel, a tunnel of overgrown brambles and ferns.
The forest was old and full of mossy rocks that stood out against the forest floor like green speckles. Brown leaves crunched under my feet as I dodged trees and skimmed across the soil with great speed.
Willow liked running around on the heather-scented moors better than sulking under the cover of trees, and had trouble going through the forest. She kept leaving hair on the brambles, and she kept cursing under her breath about wretched brambles and dumb trees and the hills being better.
Willow had to stop sometimes to rest, so I rested with her, grooming her knotted hair with my fingers and licking it to keep it clean.
The wind swirled about, making it hard to detect the source of the yowling. But Willow had a keen ear. She cocking her head about like an animal and kept pointing to where we had to go, still listening to the breeze. I was thankful for Willow's sharp sense's. Without her, I'd be lost.
Suddenly, the howls seemed to die down, fade slowly. And then they went away. And we heard something else instead-the sound of adults chattering away.
“Oh, curses-” said Willow, but she stopped when she saw, well...
We were on a ridge, looking down into a clearing. I'd never been in close contact with adults before, as far as I could remember, so it was a peculiar sight.
There were two of the adult's creatures, larger than average, and they sat dumbly in the clearly, asleep. The beast-creatures had large, circular feet. There was also a strange den of some sort, like a tepee, but different. It's sides were made of a green, soft skin that flapped about in the wind and was held down by peg-like sticks. And there were adults EVERYWHERE.
“Those beasts are huge!” cried Willow.
“What we need to figure out is what we should do, and I think we should go into the camp!”
“Bu-bu-but what if-”
“Now, stay close to me.”
And we plunged into the adult camp.
I went closer to one of the sleeping creatures, since they held my interest. It was sleeping for sure, but adults kept going to it and they tried to wake it up-but not as much as the other creature.
As one adult woke up the creature, I peeked inside it and saw a huge, smooth inside with hard walls, and cages all stacked up, full of children, all terrified. The cold walls were icy smooth and too bright.
“I can smell fear,” murmured Willow. “And look, they keep banging on the creature's side, and that makes it wake up.”
“Then we should try it!” I whispered, excited.
I gave the creature a hit, and the side slid open. The children in cages stared at me, awed.
“Don't just stare,” I said. “Help! I've come to rescue you!”
“Well...” said one child shyly. “The adults can open these cage-things by touching those over there.” The child pointed at some buttons.
“Willow, help me!” Willow looked up and bounded to the buttons.
“Keep pressing until you find the right combination, Willow!” I ordered. I turned, suddenly face-to-face with an adult...
“Father?” I choked out.
The adult looked at me, stunned, and suddenly, he began to sob.
So many words...memories...I swam in the fact that I'd read a newspaper, way, way back, two seasons-no, years, ago and found out that child's memory must be wiped, and then the adults would leave us in the wilderness or keep us as mindless pets...
“Father?” I asked. “I...you...”
“Amber...” He looked at his shoes-a new word, shoes, and said, “Forgive me.”
* * *
Amber was back at home. She'd regained her ability to speak English and told the adults, which were the people from an animal shelter, that the children's lives were not in cages as pets. She'd realized that the creatures were vans, and the tent thing was a medical tent, because of that medicine smell. She'd convinced them, but no one said thank you. Willow left without another word.
Amber felt rotten. She had to choose between her family, but treated like an outcast, and probably having her mind wiped again...or freedom.
“Dad, this is no choice!” Amber protested. “My life is with you...free.”
“Dear, you must chose,” said Amber's mother. Amber felt cheated and sad. She knew the right choice, but it felt wrong. “I know what to do, but I'm scared I can't do it,” Amber confessed.
“Dear, sit down with me,” Amber's father said.
“Amber, going into the wild was the best and worst thing for you.”
“I know,” said Amber.
“We knew other children would be there. We knew you'd be safe. We had to do it.”
“I understand, as long as you are sorry. I love you.”
Amber's father sniffled, then handed Amber a brand-new journal.
“Make your choice,” he said. “We understand.”
Amber grabbed a pencil and wrote.
Seeing my parents again was scary. I came again like a fourth member of the family-I've changed so much, I'm hardly an only child anymore. I've got my past as a shadowy sister. My past is like dew on leaves in the morning-they fade, like echos, but they come back-again, and again, and again.
While I was a child of the forest, I used to have dreams of my past. I could never remember them, but they are like small whispers in my ears, because now I can remember. When I woke, the moon was always there, but I felt like something was missing. It was a sign that I was different, a peculiar thing nobody can name.
I will only say I will miss my parents more than you will ever know, but I am following my heart when I say this, and, though the path I take will be hard, I will never forget them. This choice was a terrible one. I don't care. I only know that whatever the future has in store for me, this choice has made me what I am, and I am ready.
I hope you liked it!!!!