Welcome to our fifth Aspiring Author Spotlight everyone. Summer is approaching and this person fits the bill for summer fun, sunshine, and creativity that comes with this season. I met Miss Alesha Sikes three summers ago as a co-worker for my beloved summer program, College for Kids at my local community college. Alesha was a shy girl, her voice barely auditable at times and she reminded me a lot of myself. I will never forget when we clicked: At our end of the year meeting, our bosses asked if any of us would want to co-teach with another CFK teacher. Alesha wrote a note on my handout and showed it to me. It said “Rome?” We had had a discussion on a her Roman class before. I wrote “Egypt…Around the world powers?” or something close to that and our eyes lit up! The rest of the meeting, we were writing all over each other’s handout and giggling, but our bosses saw it was for class and were happy, but still befuddled. Alesha is my best friend at College for Kids and one of the greatest girls I know. She works her hardest at everything she does and is eager to learn more and help anyone; we’ve ALWAYS got each other’s backs…literally at times!
From dancing like maniacs when no one is around, our Subway lunch dates (and El Tap meetings), trying on gangster hats AND looking FABUOLOS doing it, our bi-yearly girls’ day massages at a spa, and all the summer fun and crazy we have dealt with all these three, going on four, summers, when Alesha told me she wanted to publish a book and was working on a story, I had to support her! Miss Alesha Sikes, I am so proud of everything you’ve achieved and I am honored to call you my friend and officially introduce you and your tale to the world as my May Aspiring Author Spotlight. 🙂
Aspiring Authors Spotlight Questions
When you wake up in the morning, how do you see life?
I wake up as of right now whenever I want since I don’t have to be anywhere in particular at the moment.
How did writing find its way into your life?
I have always had a creative and wild imagination as a kid. During community college is when I really started to put my imagination to work for me and started writing my first book.
What does writing do for you?
Writing allows for me to express my emotions that I’m feeling that day or week through the words and emotions of the characters I am writing about.
What sort of genre or type of writing do you do?
I mostly do modern fantasy genre writing I enjoy creating different characters whose lives are from today’s time period.
Do events in your life or people you know affect your writing?
Yes, some events and people in my life affect how I write about the characters emotions or types of situations I put them in.
What are you currently working on or what was the last thing you wrote?
I am currently working on a book called “Hell in Colorado.”
Can you tell us a little about it and its inspiration?
It’s about a young woman who tells the story of how she survived this evil scientists experimentations on her and many other men, women, and children in the mountains of Colorado.
What are your goals for the future?
My goals for the future are to obtain a job as an elementary teacher and then eventually obtain my master’s in administration.
What are your interests or hobbies?
My hobbies are playing my trumpet, singing, and playing softball when I have time or get enough people together.
If you could be a superhero, what are your powers and how would you use them to help the world?
I would be a superhero who could heal any wound or sickness with either a glance or touch, x-ray vision in order to see broken bones or through walls, super speed and strength to get to places fast and be able to lift things off of people or away in order to help, and the ability to fly in order to see which way trouble is coming from.
What advice would you give people who want to write?
Be creative and let your imagination run wild! Whatever you see happening in your head whether from a thought or a dream write it down and run with it.
If you could be remembered for one thing or thought, what would it be?
Being kind to others.
Hell in Colorado By: Alesha Sikes
As I sat in my chair thinking about how to begin about how all of this mess started I guess I should start from the beginning. First my name; people these days call me Maria Skiles, however I have had many names since this whole mess started. I should tell you that this story of how I came to be the way I am is not for the faint of heart to read but I will get to that soon enough. First let me tell you that what I am about to tell you happened when I was young. So let us begin at the beginning.
I sat on the bus coming home from school. I was twelve years old and had just had a great day of school where I had gotten an award for attendance of all things, which I never missed a day and I was proud of that. It was close to Halloween and I always loved that holiday because of being able to dress up in scary and funny costumes, going door to door to get candy. I had no idea that I would not get to enjoy Halloween this year. Not soon after I had gotten off the bus near my house which I only had to walk a block to my house on the next street but a car which was driven by our new neighbor Mr. Parker came up beside me and he rolled down the window.
“Hello Maria. How was school?” He said in a smooth voice
“It was fine.” I replied not wanting to talk to him since I did not particularly trust him. I should have known better.
“ It’s really cold out today. How about I give you a ride to your house. I believe your parents are still at work. You could come over to my house to wait for them if you like.” He said politely.
“Let me make sure that my parents are not home and everything then if they are not there I will come wait at your house. Ok?” I replied so I could actually check for myself.
“Ok. Come over when you’re ready.”
So I went to check out my house and get my stuff out to study for homework but since it was a weekend, I decided to just go over and wait for my parents to get home from work. My mother worked twelve hour shifts at the hospital and my dad worked at his corporate job late into the night so I was usually cared for by my usual babysitter Tammie. Tonight I did not see her so I had no other choice but to come to Mr. Parks house next door. The house was the same on the outside as my house. White wash finish and a nice porch with steps. The inside was completely different. Mr. Parks loved fine art and anything to do with medicine or genetics or any type of science. He had a fire going in his fireplace and had different board games and treats and some water and juice setting out on the coffee table.
“Ah, I’m glad you decided to come over, I don’t get many visitors around this time of year. Please let me take your coat and you can help yourself to some treats and drinks while I put this up.” He told me as he walked out of the room and upstairs.
Everything he had laid out on the coffee table looked really good. I wasn’t sure which snack food I should try first. I finally found the one food I loved the most: fudge. I took a small piece since I had always learned that you should not take more than what is polite to take. So I also took a small glass of water and nibbled while looking at some of the old board games Mr. Parks had. Many of them I knew but one I saw in a strange language and it peaked my curiosity. I was about to turn it over and try to read it when Mr. Parks walked back in.
“I see you found one of my oldest games. It is another form of 20 questions in a very old language would you like to try and play it? I will translate?” He asked knowing he had baited me. After all I was only eight at the time.
“Sure” I replied as I took a drink of water which I noticed it had an after taste but I ignored it.
“Here is the first question: What year did Columbus discover America?” He asked every now and again looking at my water glass.
“1492” I answered
“Correct, you are very smart.”
After a few more questions we both became tired of playing and just started to ask each other random questions. He asked me about my parents work and about school. He also told me about his travels and where he has visited. He said the one placed he looked the most was a large resort type place near the rocky mountains in Colorado. He told me about the four main cabins with the north one being the largest house and a lot of people who stay their year round. I had not notice that during his talking he had refilled my water glass and I drank without thinking. Before I knew it I was really sleepy.
“Ah you took more than what any of my other little one’s took. You are quite strong little one. I believe you will survive much longer than the others.” I heard him say before everything went black. That was the last time I ever saw my home or anyone I ever loved again.
I woke up cold and stiff. Where am I? I thought. I looked around to see nothing but woods. Once I was up, I tried to move but was held back by something. I looked down to see chains. I was chained to a tree! I did the only thing I could think of: scream. I don’t know how long I screamed but before I knew it I was too cold to scream anymore. During the night I heard other screams and shouts from other kids and adults. This lasted for weeks on end before I heard a noise one night. It was to my left before I saw a young woman in the moon light. Her eyes were silver yet she had a look of beauty. She was tall and seemed to have not eaten much since I could almost see her ribs. However when I saw her smile my heart sank. Her top front teeth looked like tiny pointed ends of a pick axes. Before I tried to run I remembered that I was chained to a tree, so I huddled against it waiting to die. I had barely moved for the tree when she rushed at me. I thought she was going to kill me, but she dropped dead in front of me. When I looked at her I saw an arrow sticking out from the side of her head. I heard another movement before seeing a boy about the age of ten with a bow and quiver of arrows looking at me. I looked back and noticed that he had dark brown hair and hazel green eyes.
“Thank you.” I said to him hoping he wouldn’t hurt me.
He stayed quiet for a long while as he looked me over, before he walked over and abruptly kissed me on the lips. I swung at him but missed.
“What was that for! Yuck! Don’t you know it’s rude and creepy to kiss someone you don’t know!” I yelled taking a step forward only to be restrained by the chains.
“Sorry, I didn’t know you were new to the compound. What is your name?” He asked surprisingly.
After a few moments of silence he started to walk away. I did not want to be left out here alone again. So I answered his question.
“Maria, my name is Maria. What is yours?” I replied hoping he would stay around for a while.
“That is a pretty name. My name is Lucas, but my real name is Lucas Corvine. The master kept my name the same because it is easier to translate into his native language. Has he given you a name yet?” He asked with high reverence of his so called master.
“My name is Maria and no matter what your master says that is my name.” I replied angrily
“Look if you want to get out of these chains and into one of the houses you will have to follow the rules. Rule one you do whatever the master tells you. Think you can handle that?” Lucas asked looking at me strangely and with a look of pleasure on his face.
I thought long and hard about it. I had been out there for who knows how long and I was sure that I couldn’t feel my toes or fingers anymore. I decided to at least make a deal with Lucas.
“Ok, I’ll play by the rules if it means I can get out of this cold weather. Where are we anyway?” I asked as he unchained one hand at a time and chained it to the other before he put a separate chain to his left wrist and unchained my feet. I finally noticed that all I had on was a t-shirt and shorts. I was beyond freezing.
“We are on the south side of the compound, but if you mean the state we are in then my answer is Colorado. If you look up you can see the mountains above us.” He said pleasantly enough as he led me to what he called “the house of the little ones” or “the house of the little ones.”
I couldn’t believe I was in Colorado! Before all of this I had been in Pennsylvania! I was beyond furious at myself for not seeing that something was wrong and sad that I would never see my parents again. This was my nightmare come true. Soon were arrived through a patch of dense trees to see a big house with battered windows and tree colored siding. I saw many kids who were my age. I also saw many who were older and very few younger than 4 or 5 years old. There were a lot of teenager and some adults to keep an eye on all of them. I did not realize Lucas had unchained me until I walked forward. I young girl about a year older than me hissed at me when I came to close to her.
“Sarah enough! That is no way to treat a youngling.” A young boy’s voice said
I turned to see a boy about thirteen years old glaring at Sarah who looked a little taller than me and seemed to have begun puberty a little early since she seemed like she was the same age as the thirteen year old boy. The boy had light brown hair with dark green eyes and a lengthy build for a thirteen year old. He turned to smile at me and then looked over at Lucas.
“He didn’t do anything to you while he was bringing you back here did he?” the boy asked
“If you’re asking if he hurt me then no, but he did kiss me.” I replied as Sarah quietly laughed.
Before Lucas gave me a smirk the older boy punched Lucas really hard in the jaw and down he went. Lucas got up and was about to throw a punch back when three other boys all between the age of nine and thirteen grabbed a hold of Lucas to hold him back. The other boys were between Lucas’s and the light brown haired boy’s height. Two of them had blond hair and the other had black hair.
“Easy Lucas, you know Alex is always protective of the younglings. No reason to fight.” One of the boys said to calm him down.
Lucas shook them off and glared at Alex before relaxing his anger.
“Whatever Rim, I can tell he likes this one a lot.” He replied roughly.
“That is not the reason, master says she is unique and therefore is to be protected and left to him only. Understood?” He replied with a strong voice because he did not see the adult male behind him that I recognized.
It was Mr. Parks or as I learned later Joseph Parker Sr. Alex turned very slowly and bowed his head. I looked over to Lucas and they all had their heads bowed and I had promised Lucas that I would follow the rules so I bowed my head as well. I had no idea what he had in store for me and the worst was yet to come.
My name is Alesha Sikes. I am soon to be 24 years old and a current graduate from SEMO with a bachelor of science in Elementary Education. I enjoy writing, reading, playing trumpet and singing. I currently live in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.