Beneath, p.1

Beneath, page 1

 part  #1 of  Springbrook Chronicles Series



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  Springbrook Chronicles

  Chanel Harry

  Beneath: Springbrook Chronicles

  This book is a work of fiction. All characters in this novel are fictitious and entirely from the authors imagination. Any resemblance to actual events, locations or persons living or dead, are entirely coincidental.

  Published in print by: Noire Publishing. LLC

  Copyright©2017 by Chanel Harry & Noire Publishing

  Cover Art: R.L. Treadway

  All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the expressed written permission of the author.




  The Dead Girl


  The following authors & readers deserve a thanks for always supporting me:

  David ‘O.Skizzy’ Bennett <3

  Ashantay Keys-Titus

  Miracle Austin

  LaToya Marlett-Cross

  Sabrina Jenkins

  Jeanette ‘Sapphire Blue’ Charette

  Katara Johnson

  Rebecca Treadway

  Niecey Wayne

  Amanda Lee

  Raven Seldon

  Maureen Billings

  For my three brothers,

  Kashif, Kadeem & Rashard.


  For all the black girls and boys who believe in magic…

  Chapter 1

  Tareeq Cooper sat in the passenger’s side of his father’s silver, 2014 Acura MDX, wondering about the new house that they were just hours away from moving into. His father, Derek, was making sure that the U-Haul drivers were ready to go and that they had the directions to the town. Tareeq looked into the side view mirror to take a look at his father. He was still talking to the U-Haul drivers. Tareeq sucked his teeth and moved in his seat to the driver’s side. He honked the horn, in hopes to signal his father.

  “Come on, dad.” He said under his breath. Tareeq didn’t want to delay the moving process any further. He was already upset that they had to move from the city. He looked out of the side view mirror again and saw his father trudging along to the car.

  “Those damn movers.” He said. Derek Cooper got into the car and started it. Tareeq smirked at his fumbling father.

  “It’s time to leave right?” He asked. Derek looked at his son. Tareeq could’ve sworn his dad’s eyes looked tired. In fact, most days it did. Derek was a 6ft 2 man with an athletic frame and light colored brown skin. Tareeq would always make fun of his dad for shaving his head bald. But, he would never make fun of his father’s tired eyes because he knew of the reason for them. Tareeq’s mother, Felicia, was killed in a freak accident earlier in the year. He wasn’t able to get over the death of losing not only his mother, but his best friend. He too had tired eyes like his father; tired from crying almost every night.

  Since the accident, Derek wasn’t able to cope for a while. He had stopped writing his famed novels; taking a hiatus. Tareeq wasn’t excelling in school like he used to and almost dropped out because of the grief. After months of sadness, Derek decided that the best thing for him and his sixteen year old son was to move away from their large three bedroom apartment in downtown Brooklyn, to the lakeside suburb of Springbrook in upstate, New York. He wanted to start over and not wallow in his depression. So, after looking and going back and forth with his real estate agent, he decided on a four bedroom lake house in the town.

  Moving to a whole new town was met with much apprehension from Tareeq.

  He didn’t want to leave his childhood friends behind. It was scary to him to be in a different neighborhood and meeting new people. He loathed the thought of it and became angry at his father for making him leave. Nonetheless, he tried not to pick a fight with him. He figured that his father was already under enough stress.

  “Yeah, it’s time to leave.” Derek answered with a smile. Tareeq put in his ear buds, scrolled through his twitter feed, and prepared for the two hour ride. He glanced at the rear-view mirror, making sure that the U-Haul was following them. Derek was bobbing his head to the hip-hop music that came through the speakers. Tareeq took this as an opportunity to make a video of his him.

  “You’re so corny, pops.” Tareeq laughed as he held the phone in front his father. Derek smiled and continued rapping.

  “I’m far from corny, son.” He chuckled. Tareeq stopped the video footage and shared it onto his Instagram and Twitter. In a matter of minutes, his friends commented and shared his same sentiments that his father was not hip at all.

  Tareeq looked at the time and groaned. They hadn’t made it yet and although he didn’t want to admit it, he wanted to see the house very badly.

  “I know you’re looking forward to the new house and making new friends.” Derek said to him. Tareeq rolled his eyes and kept looking at his smart-phone.

  “Somewhat.” He shrugged. Derek sighed as he came up onto the highway.

  “Meet me halfway.” Derek said. “I want us to be a family again; you know, before mom passed.” Derek’s voice quavered a bit as he thought about his late wife. Tareeq kept his brown eyes onto the road, hoping not to make eye contact with his father; who was starting to tear up.

  He nodded his head and put his phone ear buds in back in to continue to listen to his own music. Derek gripped the steering wheel and clenched his teeth. He was starting to get frustrated with his son, but he couldn’t blame him. Tareeq had been acting differently since the death of his mother.

  For the rest of the ride to Springbrook, Tareeq listened to the rap music that played into his ears. He thought about his attitude towards his father. He wanted Derek to know that he appreciated his his efforts. He took out his ear buds and turned Derek.

  “I won’t make any promises, pops. But I’m gonna try and pretend like mom isn’t gonna to come back.” Tariq replied, monotonously. Derek sighed and cracked half of a smile. He was pleased that his son compromised with him no matter how much his attitude got in the way.

  In about an hour and a half, they were about halfway to the town of Springbrook. Derek’s eyes gleamed as his GPS announced that they would be arriving in the next fifteen minutes. Tareeq started to get more nervous as the miles decreased and they got closer to their destination.

  “You ready, old man?” Tareeq asked his him; this was his own way of trying. Derek giggled like a kid and turned down the music. He adjusted his rearview mirror to make sure that the moving truck followed him precisely.

  “You already know.” Derek replied, excitedly. Tareeq laughed at his father and shook his head. The GPS system announced that they were now five minutes away from the house. Both of them didn’t notice that they were even in the town of Springbrook because of their talking. Both father and son looked at the town through their window. Through Tareeq’s eyes, he saw large trees that encased the roads and sidewalks. Most of trees’ leaves were already beginning to show orange and brown hues.

  They noticed that the houses were upscale, Cape Cod, crafts man, and colonial styled homes that sat in cul-de-sacs and avenues. Tareeq hoped that their house would have looked like one of those larger than life homes. Derek turned onto a seemingly quiet, tree lined street called Aberdeen Terrace that consisted of only Cape Cod styled homes. Tareeq noticed that there were not a lot of people outside; only one woman walking her dog while her brown ponytail bounced behind her.

  With trembling hands, Derek finally turned into a red bricked driveway. Tareeq looked around and saw that there was a large black and grey Cape Cod home. His mouth almost dropped when he saw that the house had three windows above, looking at them like three, warm and welcoming eyes. The roof was a grey slate with a red bricked chi
mney sticking up from it like a cowlick. There was an attached garage that was the same color as the house. Derek parked the car in front of the garage and got out. Hesitantly, Tareeq got out too and observed more of the house’s characteristics. The house was even more beautiful up-close. The lawn was so green he thought that he’d becoming blind from the color of it.

  There were two white pillars that held up the triangular roof awning. The windows were so clear, that he was able to see the moving truck turning into the driveway. The windows were adorned with black shutters that he knew his mother would love. She always wanted a home with shutters.

  “Well, welcome home!” Derek shouted with a grin and his arms outstretched.

  Tareeq grinned with his father, pleased that his father picked the right home. He and Derek stepped onto the porch and then Derek took out a silver key. When Derek turned the silver door knob, the smell of the house tickled their noses. It was a new smell to them, the smell of a fresh start. They both walked in and turned on the light into the empty foyer. Tareeq looked up and noticed that there was a crystal chandelier that hung above them.

  “Mom would have loved that.” He mumbled, pointing to the light fixture. Derek nodded his head in agreement and then went back outside. One of the movers came to the door to let them know that they were ready to move all of the things in.

  While his father was occupied with ordering the movers around, Tareeq decided to explore more of their new house. He turned on the living room light and was in awe at the chestnut hardwood floors, and the light mint green colored walls. He noticed that there was a white fireplace in the living room and he knew that his mother would have loved to sit by the fireplace and read. That was one of the things she always wanted in her new home. Tareeq sighed and headed up the chest nut colored stairs to pick a room. He didn’t want to see the rest of the house because he would have been taken back to the memories of his mother. He walked down the hallway inhaling the smell of wood and fresh paint. He turned to his right and saw a room that he just knew would be his. He opened the door and noticed that the room was fairly large.

  The walls were painted a mint green like the walls downstairs. The floor was wood that looked like chestnut. There were two large quintessential windows that overlooked the front yard. He looked to his right and saw an opened closet that was big on the inside. Tareeq smiled to himself and walked into the room. He looked out of the window and saw that the movers were bringing their things inside. He chuckled as he noticed that his father was already on his cell phone and pointing the movers in the right direction. Tareeq decided to go outside and explore more of what the house had to offer.

  He went back downstairs, found the back door nearest the kitchen, and headed outside to the back yard. There were trees all around him and he felt like he was being enveloped in them. Trees were pretty scarce in Brooklyn so he reveled in the fact that he was around nature.

  Tareeq slipped his hands in his pocket and decided to wander. He set his sights on a direction and headed into the woods. He took out his phone, making sure to SnapChat his journey into what he thought was the unknown. He wanted his friends back in Brooklyn to see everything. Once Tareeq came upon something, he stopped almost dropping his phone. His eyes widened as he saw a huge lake.

  “Oh dang!” He mumbled under his breath. The lake looked like it stretched for miles. Tareeq made sure to record the lake on SnapChat. “I gotta test this out soon.” He said into his phone.

  “Yeah, me too.” Derek said behind him.

  “Hey, pops.” Tareeq said in startled tone. “Taking a break from the moving?”

  “A little. I wanted to see where’d my lazy son went.” He chuckled.

  “Did you know we had a lake?” Tareeq asked.

  “No, the realtor didn’t say we owned one, but she told me that Springbrook is known for the waterfall and lake. However, that runs from the mountains.”

  “Maybe it stretches to our property.”

  “You never know. We can go fishing soon.”

  “Dad, I doubt you know how to fish.”

  Derek chuckled and put his arm around his son’s neck. They both walked back to the house and found that the movers have moved most of their things inside of the house. Tareeq plopped down on the couch and pulled out his cell phone. He had gotten a couple of messages from his friends letting him know how much they liked the house and the lake. Derek was on his cell phone too, ordering takeout for dinner.

  “Pepperoni or sausage?” He asked his son.

  “It doesn’t matter.” Tareeq replied, not looking up from his phone. Derek made the order and disappeared into the kitchen. He leaned on the kitchen counter, praying to God that he made the right decision for him and his son. He didn’t want to uproot him but the memories of his wife were too much to bear.

  “Felicia…”Derek breathed. His phone vibrated and he looked at the strange number. Once he figured out it was the pizza delivery person, he answered.

  “Tareeq, get my wallet, the pizza guy is at the door.” Tareeq grabbed his father’s wallet from the coffee table and went to the door.

  “I got a pizza here for Derek.” The delivery guy said in a flat tone. The delivery boy brushed back his brunette colored hair from his brow. Tareeq noticed that the boy’s face was pale with brown freckles almost everywhere on his face. The pizza boy was tall and slim and slouched a bit.

  “You’ve came to the right place, my guy.” Tareeq said handing the man the money. The pizza guy looked perplexed and just nodded his head.

  “Where are you from?” The pizza guy asked, handing him the large, hot pizza box.

  “I’m from Brooklyn.” Tareeq said with a grin. Saying where he was from, to him, was like a badge of honor.

  “Oh wow. You just moved here?” The pizza guy asked now getting a bit interested.

  “Yeah, today we did as you can see.” He replied pointing to the unpacked boxes of things.

  “Sweet, that means you’re going to Wittington.”

  “I guess so.”

  “Dude, you are! I’ll be seeing you in school!” The pizza boy waved and went back to his car. Tareeq shook his head and closed the door. He went into the kitchen and set the pizza box onto the counter and started helping himself to a slice.

  “You’re not gonna eat with a plate?” Derek asked taking one of the white plate out of a box.

  “Nope!” Tareeq replied with his mouth full. Derek shook his head and started to eat. He smiled at his son finally coming to grips that he made the right decision for them.


  Tareeq awoke the next morning to his room being illuminated by the sun that came through his un-curtained windows. It was a weekday and today was the day that he would be starting his first day at his new high school.

  Before they moved to Springbrook, his father already registered him for school, but he wasn’t ready. Being pushed into a new environment was beginning to be too much for him. He got out of bed sluggishly and went into the bathroom. He brushed his teeth, took a shower and came back into his room.

  Since he hadn’t unpacked much of his clothes, he found an outfit in one of the black garbage bags. It was blue jeans, a black t-shirt; he pulled out his black Yeezy sneakers and put them on.

  Tareeq sat on his bed for a while thinking about the day that was ahead of him. He was getting nervous; going to a new school was something he’d never experienced before and he silently wished that his mother was there to give them words of encouragement.

  “Knock, knock.” Derek said entering the room. “You ready to go? I made some breakfast.”

  “Yup.” Tareeq mustered. He grabbed his black and red backpack and followed his father downstairs into the kitchen.

  “How’d you sleep?” Derek asked.

  “Good I guess. Gotta get used to the quiet.” Tareeq answered putting butter on his toast. He started eating it, walking to the back door. Derek jingled his car keys and followed him to the driveway. They both got in the car and Derek started do
wn the driveway and onto the road.

  “Today is the first day of the rest of our lives, son.” Derek said, following the GPS to the high school.

  “I think that started when mom died.” Tareeq answered.

  “Yeah…you’re right about that one.”

  It was a short drive to Wittington. The school was located on Main Street between Beech Avenue and Acorn Lane. Tareeq’s heart sank into his stomach once he saw that the school was enormous; almost college campus like. The size of the school intimidated him; the large school took up most of the already huge front lawn. It was white with red bricks filling the middle and then the top of the tower that overlooked everything. The windows were large and clear; so clear that he could almost see inside of the school at his distance.

  He saw kids who looked to be freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors, filing into the school talking to each other and smiling. Tareeq never had to be the “new kid in town”. Just the thought of speaking to new peers made his stomach twist and turn in anxiety.

  Derek noticed that Tareeq looked a bit nervous. He shot him a cheerful grin and pat his son on his back. He stopped the car in front of the school, staring straight ahead.

  “It’ll be alright.” Derek said to his son. “You’ll make loads of friends.”

  “Yeah…right.” Tareeq mumbled, getting out of the car.

  “Who knows, you might find a pretty girl to bring home.” Derek laughed, starting up the engine. Tareeq rolled his eyes and waved goodbye to his father. He made sure to watch his car drive all the way down the road until he couldn’t see it anymore. Sighing to himself, he turned around and started walking towards the school. He eyed all of the students that was coming in and noticed that everyone was pretty diverse, which eased his worries of being the only black teenager in the school, much less the town.

  Once he entered the school, he noticed to his left that there was a security desk with a girl his age with a medium brown complexion in a school safety uniform. She smiled at him showing her pink braces. She brushed her straightened, jet black hair from her shoulders showing off a silver necklace around her neck. Tareeq smiled back and immediately went over to her.

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