Rebekha tossed her long, red hair over her shoulder. It always got in the way whenever she tried to write anything.
At the time, she was in English class. She was finishing up a worksheet on adverbs she hadn't done, and that was due in less than five minutes. Rebekha chewed her lip as she filled in the last few blanks. As she did so, her teacher stood in front of the class and asked everyone to pass theirs in.
Rebekha sighed with relief as she handed the poorly done but at least finished worksheet to her friend Andrea, who collected the worksheets of everyone at the table to put into the hand-in box.
Once everyone was sitting down again and settled down, the English teacher, Mrs. Fratter, whom everyone mockingly called Mrs. Farter stood before the class. "For tomorrow's assignment, I want everyone to write a creative story," she said. "It must be at least 250 words long, and I want you to put some time into it. I want these to be creative, and I will be grading on your creativity. So, if anyone tries to throw something together at the last second-"
Mrs. Fratter seemed to be looking at Rebekha when she said that. "They will receive a zero and will have to redo the assignment."
After class, Rebekha, Andrea, and their friend Helen discussed the assignment after class that day.
"I think I'll write a spy story," said Helen. "I'll have a lot of strange clues, and they'll all seem to point to one person, but in reality it'll be someone totally different who did the crime. That ought to be creative, right?"
"Probably," said Andrea. "I think I'll write a fairy tale, but at the end totally change the ending, so it'll look un-creative, is that a word, but at the end actually be creative. How about you, Rebekha?"
Both girls turned and looked at Rebekha. Rebekha chuckled uncomfortably. She hadn't really thought about what she would do yet. "That fairytale thing sounds good," she said. "You do one fairy tale, and I'll do a different one."
"We can't do that!" cried Andrea. "We're being graded on creativity, and I don't want to get a zero or have to do the assignment over."
"Fine," said Rebekha with annoyance. "I'll write a story about magical elves or something."
"What would be creative about that?" Helen asked.
"Maybe they'll all have polka-dotted skin or something," Rebekha said. "I haven't decided yet."
That night, Rebekha still didn't know what to do with her story. Eventually, she just started writing and describing the characters without any idea of what the plot would be. When she was finished, she had the computer figure word count to see how many more words she needed. She was surprised to see such a short story had been 276 words long, and printed it without any changes.
The next day, Rebekha proudly handed in her wonderful story while Andrea factored polynomials and Helen added a few paragraphs to her murder mystery.
When Monday came and the class was supposed to get their stories back, Rebekha could hardly sit still. She was sure Mrs. Fratter would announce that her story was the work of a genius and it was the best work she'd ever written.
Helen whooped with delight at her A+, and Andrea seemed a little disappointed by her B, but still proud of some compliments Mrs. Fratter had written.
Then, Rebekha received her paper. The D was huge and written in red ink. Mrs. Fratter's comments were all over the page, saying, "Write complete sentences. Plot needs work," and "Try for more character development."
Rebekha spent the rest of the afternoon in one of the worst moods she'd ever been in. She even complained to her older sister, Bea, when she got home. "Mrs. Fratter wouldn't know a good story if it bit her in the butt!" Rebekha cried.
"You really think your story is that good?" Bea asked. She hadn't read Rebekha's story.
"Yeah," Rebekha said. "I wish I could post it somewhere where people other than my friends and family could tell me how great it is. Then I could show stupid Mrs. Farter how much everyone else likes it, and she'll see how wrong she was."
Bea looked thoughtful for a few moments, then said, "I belong to this site on-line. People post stories and poems on there, and other people can review them. Maybe you'd like to create an account?"
"Yeah! Give me the address!" Rebekha cried quickly.
Ten minutes later, Rebekha had created an account on the site, and she was reading through another person's reviews. Everyone seemed to like the story that person had written. Rebekha hadn't read it.
Well, she'd see what they thought of her story. Rebekha added an author's note to the beginning of the story so her fans would know why she'd written the story, then posted it online. She couldn't wait to see what everyone thought.