by: S.F.
Chinese Lanterns
Kara’s life changed completely when her resale mom disappeared 3 months after she was born. But when her foster mom is murdered and Kara is sent to live with her Uncle Scott and Aunt Mary in China, odd notes and packages show up at her door. With the help of her friend David, she goes off on a wild, and dangerous adventure to find out what happened to her real mom, and why she disappeared.
On May 11th 2020, Kara Meg Chui was born to Megan Maddi Chui. 3 months later, Megan disappeared, leaving little Kara in the court’s hands. It was up to them whether she would live with a foster parent, or her aunt and uncle, Mary and Scott Chui. It was decided by the judge that a foster parent would be better, since Mary and Scott lived in China. At four months Kara was adopted by her foster mom, Summer, and the incident was never spoken of again until thirteen years later. . .
Chapter 1
It was a beautiful spring day. The sky was a beautiful sapphire blue. All the cherry trees on Cherry Street were blooming, and the trees were filled with bright pink cherry blossoms that slowly fell to the ground when the wind blew. There were poofy cumulus clouds slowly growing in the distance. The temperature was only 77 degrees, making the perfect conditions for outdoor activity, such as bike ride - which is exactly what a girl named Kara Meg Jennings was doing.
Kara was riding home from school, thinking - thinking about many things all at once. Kara had had a long day at school, and she was thinking about going home to a long night, full of homework.
She also thought about how it had rained that morning, and how she was soaked to the bone when she had tried to run to her classroom.
But there was one thing that Kara couldn’t get off her busy mind, something that she very much wanted to forget.
It had been a comment a girl from her class named Sky made. She had said “It seems odd that you don’t look a bit like your mom. Your mom is German, and you are Chinese! Are you sure you weren’t, I don’t know, adopted or something?“ The last remark she made felt rude to Kara at first, but she understood what Sky meant. Kara’s mom, Summer, was pure German, and Kara was pure Chinese. Summer was tall, and Kara was somewhat short for a thirteen-year-old. Summer loved to dance, but if Kara tried, she looked like a fish out of water. And those were just some of the differences.
And on the bike ride home, Kara also thought about that last remark Sky had made, “Are you sure you weren’t, I don’t know, adopted or something?” It had happened before where the child didn’t know he/she was adopted until their late teens or sometimes even older, but Kara had a very hard time believing that that could be her situation. But it was a possibility, wasn’t it? It was fresh on her mind as she rode up to her driveway.
Summer was waiting outside, which was unusual. The only time she did this was if something important was going on, or had already happened.
Kara walked up to the door, unsure of what was going to happen next. She carefully set her bike down in the garage and walked over to Summer.
Summers eyes were big with worry, and she seemed jumpy, as if someone was going to pounce out at any second and strangle her.
“We need to talk about something very serious. Come in quickly, and lock the door behind you.” Summer said mysteriously. Kara did as she was told. Am I in trouble? She thought. Is our family in trouble? Are we safe? Why is she being so cautious?
Summer took time to make sure all the windows were closed, which made the situation even odder (Summer always enjoyed the natural light) before finally sitting down at the dining room table to talk with Kara, face to face.
“I know it seems weird, me acting like this” Summer said in a low voice. “But no matter how odd it seems it’s entirely necessary. This is serious business.” Kara just nodded her head, speechless. “I don’t know how to start” Summer said. She paused. “Well, first off, your last name isn’t Jennings. It’s Chui.”
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