Haunted by a photographic memory, I couldn’t escape the worst night of my life.
The pain they endured.
The evil that still walked free.
It was all I saw. Those memories, my childhood—the images.
Torment turned to blinding rage. Hate sought revenge, which pursued death.
Then there was life.
I brought my water bottle to my lips when something caught my attention near the privacy fence, separating the houses in the neighborhood and the wooded area behind it. It ran up the side yard, offering us seclusion to the house next door. The young woman who lived there often had guests over, which made my parents uneasy. But now, someone was in her back yard, climbing her
fence. No…not just someone. A boy.
His stick-straight hair, the color of sand, hung to the middle of his ears. But I couldn’t see his face. He had his back to me as he climbed, just before jumping over to the side filled with trees. His black T-shirt was a blur. He was there one second and gone the next. I stared at the barrier, wondering if I could climb over and follow him. I knew everyone in the neighborhood, but I’d never seen him before. I glanced over my shoulder and waited a moment, just to make sure my dad or my brother weren’t on their way out. When I noticed no movement beyond the sliding glass door, I jumped up and ran as fast as I could. Without second guessing it, I began to scale the tall slats of the wood.
Once I made it to the top, I looked down and realized it was much higher on the other side. I’d never been in the wooded area before, and for a second, I contemplated just going back to my yard. I thought about my book I’d left beneath the tree and my father who might’ve gone looking for me. But then I remembered the boy—and I so desperately wanted to find out where he came
from. Curiosity got the best of me. I swung my leg over and, with the pace of a sloth, I used the wood between the slats to lower myself to the ground. Standing on my feet again, I searched through the trees, hoping to spot the boy with blond hair and a black shirt. But he was nowhere.
I carefully walked farther into the trees on the soft dirt, keeping as quiet as possible. I didn’t want to venture too far, because I worried I wouldn’t be able to make it back to my house. From this side, I couldn’t tell which house was which. So I made sure not to deviate too far from behind my back yard.
Leddy Harper had to use her imagination often as a child. She grew up the only girl in a house full of boys. At the age of fourteen, she decided to use that imagination and wrote her first book, and never stopped.
She often calls writing her therapy, using it as a way to deal with issues through the eyes of her characters.
She is now a mother of three girls, leaving her husband as the only man in a house full of females.
The decision to publish her first book was made as a way of showing her children to go after whatever it is they want to. Love what you do and do it well. Most importantly Leddy wanted to teach them what it means to overcome their fears.