Countercharm Chapter 1 Circa 1991

I found the hand-written copy of Countercharm that I wrote during my lunch periods in 9th grade! I also found like 9 other revisions after that. I guess one for every year it took me to finally get it published. I copied it exactly how it was written.


Begin Countercharm Chapter 1 by Cherese A. Vines (age:14, 1991)


Sydnie filled her lungs with the sweets scents of the ocean air. She looked across the street to see the moon glimmering through the trees. Sydnie had been in Seattle a couple of weeks, and she had gotten into the habit of taking walks around the neighborhood in the mornings and evenings before dusk.

She was enjoying the air when she heard footsteps behind her. She quickened her step and the ones behind her quickened. Suddenly, she stopped and spun around to face a 5’6” dream. Quickly, she got her thoughts together.

“Why were you following me?” she asked.

“I saw you the other day and I decided to come and talk to you.” He smiled. His smile calmed her nerves a bit, but she didn’t let her guard down.

“That’s how you make friends? Sneak up behind them and scare them to death?!” she asked, losing the battle on dampening his obviously high spirits.

He wore a long overcoat, pitch black, black boots, jeans and a black shirt.

“Sorry, but you must be doing something wrong for me to be able to startle you that bad. By the way, I’m Ron Andres. I live about two blocks down,” he said huskily, pointing in the direction in which they had come.

“Well, it was nice meeting you.” She turned away. “But I have to get home.”

“Why, it’s only seven o’clock?” He waited for her to answer. “What’s your name anyway? I told you mine and my mommy told me never to tell a stranger my name,” he said in a child-like voice. Sydnie laughed.

What if he was a lunatic, he certainly looked like one dressed in all black, but the color made you notice his extremely attractive brown eyes.

“Sydnie…Knight. OK?” She began to walk faster.

“At least let me walk you home for…quote, unquote ‘scaring you to death’, Miss Knight…Say that has a nice ring to it, Miss Knight—oh unless you’re married, then it would be Mrs. Knight, right?” He laughed. “I made a rhyme, am I on a roll!”

Sydnie shook her head laughing.

“And my audience thinks so too,” he said and smiled.

Sydnie began to walk up her driveway.

“Thank you,” she said.

“For what?” Ron asked, confused.

“You just walked me home…Mr. Andres, was it?” she asked.

“Yes, and you’re quite welcome, Miss or Mrs.?”

“Miss.” Sydnie laughed.

“OK, Miss Knight…but so I can remember, can I call you Sydnie?” Ron asked.


“OK, Sydnie…Sydnie…” he said trying the name in different voice pitches. “…Sydnie. OK, cool.” Ron finished.

“You’re strange,” Sydnie said, getting her keys out.

“I don’t think you’ll be needing those,” he said.

“Why?” Sydnie asked suspiciously.

“Because,” he said in a way that made Sydnie want to laugh, “Isn’t that your father at the front door?”

Sydnie turned.

“Yeah,” she said, “Yeah, that’s him.”

“Well aren’t you going to introduce us,” he said and began to walk up the driveway. Sydnie sighed and hurried after him.

“Dad, this is Ron Andres. Ron, this is my father, Mr. Knight,” she said, preparing for the worst from Ron.

“Hello, Ron.” Marc Knight said, extending his hand.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Knight.” Ron’s voice was deeper and he spoke with confidence. Sydnie was taken aback.

“Strong hand shake,” Marc said. Sydnie rolled her eyes. Ron and her father were both putting on an act for each other.

“I play baseball, Sir, but I may get into some other sports this year. Maybe football.” Ron smiled.

“That’s good.” Marc turned his attention to Sydnie. “I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me, NiNi.” He walked into the house.

“Can I walk with you tomorrow?” Ron asked in his normal, but mature voice.

“I guess so—if you don’t act like an idiot.” She smiled. She would have never said no. He was fine.

“I’ll see you here same time tomorrow night. I can be your body guard so you don’t meet any weirdos,” he said softly, looking into her eyes. Sydnie’s body tensed and she was almost completely engulfed in his eyes, when she shook her head and blinked.

“Like you?” she asked sweetly and raised her eyebrows.

“Like me,” he said and Sydnie noticed that he had her hand in his. He released her hand and walked down the driveway with his coat flying out behind him like a cloak.

Sydnie turned and went into the house. She closed and locked the door and went into the kitchen.

“He’s nice,” her father said as he set the table. Sydnie turned from washing her hands at the sink.

“I guess so,” she said and turned back around. He was strange and mysterious, she thought, fun and…She sighed. Would he come back? She sat down at the table and said her verse, but she picked at her food. Fun and fascinating, she decided on finally and she began to eat, still thinking about Ron, which made her quiver with excitement.


End Countercharm Chapter 1


Wow. I didn’t remember Sydnie had her father in this first draft. I certainly didn’t remember how silly Ron was in the beginning. Ahhh, memories. If I get a minute, I might finish reading this draft. Hope you enjoyed this look back.

What were YOU doing in 1991, leave a comment and let me know. I’d love to reminisce.



  1. JayEllow · August 29, 2011

    That was cute and funny! Compared to the published version, I can tell the difference between the writing of the 9th grader and the writing of the adult. Both were well written. The maturity of the writer changed but the writing style did not and I love the writing style. The story is very well developed and detailed for a writer at such a young age and so glad you stuck with it and finished the book no matter how long it took. Impressive writing.

    In 1991 i was 9. Dont remember much about that age except that I’m pretty sure the clothes I wore were extremely tragic! Neon biking shorts and scrunch socks. Yikes!

    • Cherese Vines · January 8, 2012

      Lol. Thanks for the comment. Yes it was a long road.

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