I walk with my brother, Stanley, down the road to our home. We just got out of school a few minutes ago and we have a LOT of homework to do. Something hits my brother and he falls to the ground. I get down to help him and see that a pair of shoes are what hit him.

"Are you okay?"I ask him.

"Yeah."He says before we look at the shoes that hit him.

They're white with big red X's on them. The sirens come and we find out we're in BIG trouble because the shoes are famous and stolen.

"It's all because of your no good, dirty rotten, pig stealing great, great grandfather."Our grandpa says at dinner.

"There is no curse on this family."Our mom says.

"There is on the men of this family."Our dad says.

I clear my throat.

"Angel didn't get so lucky."Dad adds.

"If only, if only the woodpecker sighs."Grandpa sings.

"Please don't sing that song."Mom says.

"The bark on the tree was as soft as the skies."Dad joins in.

"Please don't sing that song, not at my table!"Mom slams her fist down on the table to make her point.

"Mom, It's okay! Relax! Stanley and I don't believe in the curse anyways."I say to mom.

She weakly smiles at me.

"We're gonna need a damn good lawyer."Grandpa says.

"We cant afford a lawyer, Pa."Dad says.

"We don't need a lawer. Stanley and Angel will just tell the truth."Mom says.

"Angel Yelnats and Stanley Yelnats, please rise."The judge says.

Stanley, Dad, Grandpa, and I all stand.

"Stanley Yelnats the fourth."The judge says.

Dad and Grandpa both sit.

"I could send both of you to jail and not lose one bit of sleep over it."The judge says.

My breath hitches in my throat as I hear mom let out a small cry.

"But I don't know what good that would do. There's currently two vacancies at Camp Green Lake. They help troubled youth build character. The choice is yours. Camp Green Lake or Jail?"The judge asks.

"Well, we've never been to camp before."I say into the microphone.

"Eighteen months at Camp Green Lake, kids."The judge says slamming his gavel down.

Stanley and I sit on a bus with our hands cuffed.

We look around as millions of holes come into view. Then people digging holes come into view.

This is gonna be a LONG eighteen months. But at least Stanley's here to help me through it.

I swear I see an African American male with a donkey and a wagon but when he gets close,he disappears. I blink thinking I'm going crazy.

We stop in the middle of some tents and old buildings. Stanley and I follow the Sheriff off the bus.

"Thanks for the ride"Stanley says to the bus driver before getting completely off.

"YO, FRESH MEAT!"I hear someone yell.

"So, where's the lake?"Stanley asks.

"Hey, what'd I just tell you? Don't be a wise guy! Follow me."The Sheriff says.

We follow the Sheriff into a building where a paunchy, older man sits.

He's very, very creepy.

"Sit down."The man says pointing to the two chairs in front of his desk.

Stanley and I oblige. The Sheriff shuts the door as the man spits a sunflower seed into a jar.

The man picks up our files and opens them.

"What's with the sunflower seeds man?"The Sheriff asks.

"I gave up smoking."The man answers.

"Angel Yelnats and Stanley Yelnats. The fourth?"The man questions.

"Yeah. Everyone in our family names their son Stanley because it's Yelnats backwards. It's like this little... tradition."Stanley says looking scared by the look he's receiving from the man.

"My name is Mr. Sir and whenever you speak to me, you will call me by my name. Is that clear?"The man asks.

Stanley and I let a few sounds of laughter come out.

"Yes Mr. Sir."We say.

Mr. Sir glares at us.

"You think that's funny?"Mr. Sir asks getting up from his chair.

"No Mr. Sir."We say.

"This isn't the girl scout's camp! Understand?"Mr. Sir asks as he goes to his fridge and grabs a soda.

"Here."He hands it in our direction.

Stanley reaches out for it but Mr. Sir pulls back.

"Boy, you're a bag of tricks."Mr. Sir says giving the soda to the Sheriff.

"Thanks."the Sheriff says.

"Ya' thirsty, Stanley?"Mr. Sir asks.

"Yes Mr. Sir."Stanley says.

"Well you'd better get used to it, you're both gonna be thirsty for the next 18 months."Mr. Sir says putting his cowboy hat on.

Mr. Sir takes us outside.

"Look around, Yelnats, what do you see? Any guard towers? How about electric fences?"Mr. Sir asks.

"No Mr. Sir."I say.

"You wanna run away? Go ahead. Start running. I won't stop you."Mr. Sir says.

"I'M WARNIN' YOU!"Mr. Sir yells to someone.

It's now that Stanley and I see Mr. Sir's gun in his holster on his belt. Mr. Sir looks back at us and see's we're staring at his gun.

"Oh, don't worry! This here's for yellow spotted lizards, I wouldn't waste a bullet on either of you."Mr. Sir says.

"We're not gonna run away, Mr. Sir."I say.

"Good thinking, Yelnats! Nobody runs away from here and you know why? We got the only water for a hundred miles! Our own little oasis. You wanna run away, them buzzards will pick you clean by the end of the third day."Mr. Sir says guiding us inside a building that holds shovels, boots, and orange jumpsuits.

A guy who has 'Lump' written on his hand is working. Mr. Sir throws two pairs of black boots to the floor. I pick my pair up.

"Undress."Mr. Sir says chunking an orange jumpsuit to each of us.

"I'm not unchanging in front of you!"I say.

Lump drops his smile and starts looking disappointed.

"Fine. Do it later."Mr. Sir says.

"You get two sets of clothes. One for work, one for relaxation. After three days, your work clothes will be washed, your second set becomes your work clothes, is that clear?"Mr. Sir asks.

"Yes Mr. Sir."We say.

"You are to dig one hole each day. Five feet deep, five feet in diameter. Your shovel is your measuring stick. Longer it takes you to dig, the longer you'll be out in the hot sun."Mr. Sir says.

Stanley trips trying to get his jumpsuit on.

"Sorry Mr. Sir."Stanley apologizes.

"You need to keep alert for lizards and rattlesnakes."Mr. Sir says as Stanley gets back to his feet.

"Rattlesnakes?"Stanley questions.

"You don't bother them, they don't bother you. Usually. Being bit by a rattler ain't the worst thing that can happen to you. You won't die. Usually. You don't wanna get bit by a yellow spotted lizard. That is the worst thing that can happen to ya'. You will die a slow and painful death. Always."Mr. Sir says creeping both Stanley and I out.

A man with knee high socks,tan colored shorts,and a hat walks in.

"Stanley and Angel Yelnats. I just want you two to know that you both may have done some bad things but that does NOT make you bad kids. I respect you two."The man says.

"Welcome to Camp Green Lake! I'm Dr. Pendanski, your counselor."The man says shaking mine and Stanley's hand.

"You start that touchy-feelly crap, I'm outta here."Mr. Sir says before he spits a sunflower seed from his mouth to the floor.

"Give them some towels, tokens, set em' up."Mr. Sir says while he leaves.

I grab my two orange jumpsuits and everything else Dr. Pendanski gives me while Stanley grabs and carries his stuff. Dr. Pendanski takes Stanley and I outside.

"You'll both be in D tent. D stands for Diligence."Dr. Pendanski says while leading us to our tent.

"That's the mess hall, there's the wreck room, and there's the showers."Dr. Pendanski quickly points everything out.

"There's only one knob because there's only one temperature. Cold."Dr. Pendanski adds.

"And there's the warden's cabin over there. That's the number one rule at Camp Green Lake. DO NOT upset the warden."Dr. Pendanski says.

"Yeah, he seems kinda mean."I say.

"Who? Oh, Mr. Sir? No, he's not the warden. He's just been in a bad mood since he quit smoking."Dr. Pendanski says.

I hope the warden isn't as grumpy as Mr. Sir.

"Hey mom! Who's the neanderthals?"Someone asks.

I turn and see a skinny African American boy with black rimmed glasses, a big and smelly African American boy, and a skinny Caucasian boy with a toothpick in his mouth and a hat on top of his bandana.

The boys eyes go wide when they see I'm a girl.

"Rephrase that! Who's the neanderthal and the girl?"The skinny African American asks.

"This is Stanley Yelnats and his sister, Angel Yelnats."Dr. Pendanski says.

"Yo, what's happening with barfbag?"The big African American asks.


"Oh, Lewis won't be returning. He's still in the hospital."Dr. Pendanski answers.

"Stanley and Angel, meet Rex, Alan, and Theodore."Dr. Pendanski points them out.

So the skinny African American is Rex, the skinny Caucasian boy is Alan, and the big and smelly African American is Theodore.

"Hi."Stanley says.

"Yo, my name is X-ray and that's Squid and that's Armpit."Rex says pointing to Alan and then Theodore.

"And him? He's mom."Squid says jerking his head in Dr. Pendanski's direction.

"They all have their little nicknames but I prefer to use the names their parents gave them. The names that society will recognize them by."Dr. Pendanski says.

I keep my laughter in as X-ray smiles in a sarcastic way at Dr. Pendanski.

"Theodore, why don't we show Stanley and Angel their cots?"Dr. Pendanski suggests.

"Go ahead, Pit."X-ray says to Armpit.

Obviously X-ray is the leader of the group.

"Welcome to your new home."Dr. Pendanski says as we enter the D tent.

"Barfbag slept here."Armpit says to Stanley while gesturing to a cot with a dried and disgusting stain.

"That one's yours."Armpit says to me while he points to a clean one.

"Thanks."I say putting my stuff on my cot while Stanley just stands by his.

I guess he's nervous.

"Keep your bed clean!"Dr. Pendanski says.

I go to Stanley and two other boys come in.

One's Mexican with a bandana on and the other's Caucasian with crazy blonde hair and a crazy look on his face.

"Hey, I'm Magnet and that's ZigZag."The Mexican one says.

ZigZag winks at me before going to his cot which is right next to mine.

I blush before turning my attention back to Dr. Pendanski.

"And this is Zero."Dr. Pendanski says pointing to a young African American boy with curly brown locks.

Zero lies on his cot not speaking and barely moving.

"Say hello to Stanley and Angel, Zero."Dr. Pendanski says.

Zero remains silent.

"You wanna know why they call him Zero? 'Cause there's nothing going on in his stupid little head."Dr. Pendanski says messing up Zero's hair.

"Did you tell them about the lizards?"ZigZag asks Dr. Pendanski.

"Ricky, let's not scare them."Dr. Pendanski answers.

"Hey, his name's not Ricky! It's ZigZag, aight'?"X-ray says.

"Stanley, Angel, if you have any questions, just ask Theodore. Theodore will be your mentor."Dr. Pendanski says while taking the hat off of Armpit's head.

"Got that, Theodore?"Dr. Pendanski asks him.

"Yeah, man, whatever dude."Armpit says.

"I'm depending on you! It should be no labor to be nice to your neighbor."Dr. Pendanski says before leaving.

I'm outside talking with X-Ray when I see Stanley getting thrown to the ground. I look and see Armpit, Squid, Magnet, and ZigZag crowding over my brother.

But not to help him.

I'm running to him before anything registers in my mind. I reach him and I drop to his side.

"You okay?"I ask Stanley.

"Yeah."He says while I grab his hand and help him up.

"There's a water spigot over there."Armpit says to my brother.

My brother walks over to the water spigot while I look back at the boys.

"Which one of you threw my brother down?"I ask.

ZigZag, Squid, and Magnet all look at Armpit.

"Oh,so you think it's okay to throw him down?"I ask.

"What're you gonna do about it?"Armpit asks in a humorous voice.

"Only idiots mess with Angels."I say in a threatening voice.

Squid, Magnet, and ZigZag all 'ooh'.

"Careful now."I whisper in Armpit's ear before going to our tent.

I go to the mess hall for dinner. I get why they call it that. Everything here to eat is a mess.

I get some food(I don't even know if it qualifies as that!)and go to the table where Stanley and the rest if D tent sits.

"Here, this is your seat."ZigZag moves so I can sit in between him and Stanley.

"I'd say thanks but I'm still angry about earlier."I say sitting down.

"Hey, yo new kids! Hey yo! Neither of you dug today so neither of you would mind giving up your bread to somebody who did, now would you?"X-ray asks taking Stanley's bread.

"No, you can have it."Stanley whispers.

"Keep your hands off my bread and give Stanley his back, NOW."I growl at X-ray.

He chuckles before reaching for my bread.

I grab his hand and bite it.

"Ouch!"X-ray says in pain.

"Fine!"X-ray gives Stanley's bread back.

"Now was that so hard?"I ask in a stupid voice.

Everyone except Zero, X-ray, and Stanley laugh.

"So what'd they get you for?"Squid asks Stanley.

"Stealing a pair of shoes."Stanley whispers.

Everyone but Zero, Stanley, and I laugh.

"From the store or were they still on someone's feet?"Squid asks in his southern drawl.

"No, he just killed the dude first. You just left that little detail out, right?"ZigZag asks.

"They were Clyde Livingston's shoes."Stanley says.

"Sweet Feet?"Armpit questions.

"No way, no man you didn't steal no Clyde Livingston 'Sweet Feet' shoes."X-ray says.

"They were his world series cleats."Stanley says.

"Wait, how did you get em'? He like the fastest guy in the majors!"Magnet says.

"He only hit four triples in one game."Squid says.

"Clyde Livingston donated his shoes to this homeless shelter."Stanley says.

"Did they have red X's on them?"Zero asks.

Everyone at the table snaps their head towards Zero.

"You got Zero to talk!"Squid says amazed.

"Hey, yo Zero, what else can you do?"Armpit asks.

"Yeah, they did."I answer Zero's question.

How'd he know that?

"What did you do to get in?"ZigZag asks me.

"Act as an accomplice to Stanley."I say picking at the slop on my plate.

Everyone stops asking questions after that. I start thinking of when Clyde Livingston testified at mine and Stanley's trial.

"Tell us something of your background, Mr. Livingston. Besides the fact that it was your donated shoes that were stolen. What other connection might you have with this case?"A lawyer asks Clyde Livingston who sits on the stand.

"Well, I was an orphan. I grew up in that home. I don't understand what type of people steal from homeless children. Your no fans of mine."Clyde says that last part directly at Stanley and I.

I go to D tent and everyone is on their cots talking. I see everyone dressed for bed and I realize that I'm still in my knee length jean shorts and Paramore tee.

"Hey, Stan!"I say.

Stanley looks up from his cot.

"Yeah?"He asks.

"Would you hold this up for me while I get changed?"I ask holding up a blanket.

"Sure."Stanley says getting up and shielding me from the other's view with the blanket.

All the boys excluding Zero and Stanley strain their necks for a peak at me.

"I swear, if you anger me, It won't end good for you!"I say changing into my black and pink Adidas shorts and a black lace tank top.

I pull the blanket down and all the boys that were trying to look pout.

"In your dreams!"I say getting on my cot.

Turns out my cot is in between ZigZag's and Squid's. After the lights are out, I stay up because of the snoring and people passing gas in their sleep.

Finally, after three hours of staring at the top of the tent, I fall asleep.

"It's all because of your no good, dirty rotten, pig stealing great, great grandfather! That's who sealed our destiny! Why do you think none of his inventions work?"Grandpa says at dinner.

He's referring to mine and Stanley's father who is trying to find a cure for foot odor.

So far, he hasn't had any luck.

"Pa! I learn from failure."Dad says.

"It doesn't matter how smart you are, you need luck! Something we ain't got."Grandpa says.

"Yeah, well what about your father, the first Stanley Yelnats? He wasn't so unlucky, you told me he made a fortune at the stock market."Mom says.

"Some luck."Grandpa mutters.

"Yeah, he lost everything. He was robbed. By Kissin' Kate Barlow."Dad says.

Images of an overturned wagon, guns, a pretty blonde, and some native americans with her flash through my mind.

"No way! Did she kiss him?"I ask interested.

"Oh no, she only kissed the men she killed!"Dad says.

Grandpa nods in agreement.

"She left him stranded in the desert. No water. No food. For sixteen days."Grandpa says.

"If she'd have kissed him, she'd have killed him. And neither of you would've been born."Mom says.

I jolt awake after Squid passes gas in his sleep.


I lay down and try to ignore the stench as I try to sleep again.

Hope Ya'll like my first chapter! Please review and I'll post more!