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The Stranger
by Emma

When Mr. and Mrs. Parker moved into the abandoned farm-house near Hampton Hill, they decided to have a change in their lives and adopted a child.

Her name was Rose but the Parkers tried desperately to call her a different name. They had some sort of complicated hatred for flowers and Rose wasn't an appropriate name for the adopted daughter of two people who are against flowers.

When the couple finally decided they would start to call her Danielle, they tried it the next morning when Rose was milking the cows.

"Danielle, dear, you can come in now!" called Mrs. Parker. Rose (whom I forgot to mention had hardly spoken a word to the Parkers since she got here so they simply assumed it as 'silence') turned round. Her face was motionless but her emerald eyes seemed to gleam. There was a sharp blow of the wind. Her blonde hair flew behind her as if she was running and she kept her eyes fixed on Mrs. Parker.

"My name is Rose."

She said it with no expression - as if she was a robot.

"Yes, sorry, Rose, dear, you can come inside now," said Mrs Parker quickly. They didn't try calling her anything else after that.

The Parkers had never noticed before but Rose seemed somewhat ... strange. When she whistled a long rhythm less tune a cat came running up to her - a black cat. When she looked up on a nice day the sun went behind the clouds. On a bad day - a storm started.

When she was set to scare the crows off, the crops didn't grow for six months and Mrs. Parker had to drive three miles in their car - not a very good car at that - to buy food from the supermarket.

Eventually, the Parkers sent Rose to school.

That's where I met her. I'm Chloe by the way. All my friends thought her weird when she first came - but I felt somewhat sorry for her. I had been new at this school and they'd all made fun of me. I managed to fit in by bringing special hair stuff to school. Rose clearly didn't care about her hair, it was often messy when she came to school. But her green eyes seemed to glow every day. "The Cat-Eyed Rose" they called her.

Speaking of cats, she always came to school with one. It was strange because it even came into lessons with her. Miss Barker had told her off for it but she gave her The Stare. It creeps me out.

Rose took a shine to me. She didn't speak to me of course, Rose doesn't speak to ANYONE. But then one day she did.

She took me to the corner of the playground and said, "Do I look normal to you?" Her eyes made me speak the truth - somehow.

"No, Rose."

She smiled, licked her lips with her pink cat tongue and strutted off as the bell rang, her head in the air.

Rose wasn't at school the next day.

That night I sat in my room and a white thing drifted across my room, holding a flower - a withered rose.

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