Snowy Town

 

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Picture by Marion Post Wolcott

(This is Snowy Woods pt. 3. You can find Pt. 2 and Pt. 1 at those links)

Emma and I climbed the hill behind town and looked at the sight below. The buildings were huddled together with strips of snow between them. The dark strips of road were the only things left uncovered. It was dark and quiet, and day would bring nothing more than light. It was always quiet now. Half the population was either dead or had moved away. The other half of the town was hushed, as sad people tend to be.

My eyes strayed to the south side of town where there was still a great deal of snow piled up near the road. The snow plows hadn’t taken it away. Every time I saw that pile I thought…

“Did the plows not take that snow away just to make everyone feel worse?” Emma voiced my thought.

“That’s what I always wonder…” I said, “And I think they did.” Emma took my hand and we walked down the long hill into town. The dark streets were lined with shops and houses. I felt a sense of dramatic irony as I passed those buildings. Their outsides showed how unchanged the town was striving to be, but the insides were unthinkably changed. Many of them were empty or had people missing from them, and there was no changeless exterior that could convince me otherwise.

We paused outside of Mrs. Martin’s antique store. There was a sign in the window that read, ‘Jillian Anne Martin. Your memory will live on.’ “I used to love going there,” Emma said, echoing my thoughts once again.

“Me too. She used to give us those little buttons. We haven’t gone there in a long time…” I said, wishing that I had gone before it was too late.

We continued to walk through town until we came to the small school. The bright red brick reminded me of all the good times I’d had there with my friends. Nevertheless, I wanted to keep going. “Have you seen the list?” Emma asked.

“Of course, but I don’t want to see it now,” I whispered as if I was in a shrine.

Emma pulled me up the steps to the front door of the school. There, a list was posted.

HAVE YOU SEEN THESE CHILDREN?

Kimmy Gordon – 8: Red hair, green eyes. Last seen on Southside Hill, November 15.

Greyson Smith – 5: Black hair, blue eyes: Last seen on Southside Hill, November 15.

Veronica Mills – 11: Black hair, brown eyes: Last seen wearing a pink coat on Southside Hill, November 15.

Toby Denison – 14: Blonde hair, green eyes: Last seen on Southside Hill. November 15.

I tore my eyes away from the list. It went on and on. “This doesn’t tell the whole story,” I said, wiping away a silent tear.

“Kimmy loved a challenge,” Emma started, “And she loved being in charge. Veronica was a sly trickster…”

“And a ridiculous diva sometimes,” I finished, smiling.

“And Greyson…” Emma started, her voice breaking, “The sweetest kid ever, and a master at silly jokes.”

“Toby…” I started, staring intently at his black-and-white photograph. His eyes smiling. His mouth smirking, “He taught me how to skate and I taught him how to make paper airplanes…” I tore myself away and started down the steps, “He was… amazing.”

Emma followed behind me as we continued through town. My cheeks were cold, but my eyes burned and my head ached. I adjusted my scarf to cover more of my face. The silent town was too much for me. Everyone had died and left me all alone. “Here they are,” Emma said. I was walking steadily out of town, but Emma had stopped.

“Not now Emma. Not tonight.”  

“Kelly.”

I turned, my arms crossed over my chest, “I’ve done a lot tonight Emma, but I can’t do that.”

“Sure you can. You’ve done a lot tonight. You can do this,” She said, her eyes shining brighter than I’d ever seen them.

I hugged myself and turned to the cemetery. I walked through the gate with Emma and pointed to a small tree in the center, “There they are.” Emma grasped my hand tightly and together we walked over to our parents’ graves.

“In loving memory of Corbin Matthew Fisher and Georgia Lily Fisher. Amazing souls who spread love and kindness wherever they went,” Emma read the stone aloud. I placed a kiss on the wilting flowers I had set there the day before.

“Goodbye,” I whispered.

Somehow we found ourselves at the top of the hill in front of our house. The sky was brightening. It was time for everyone to wake up again. Emma squeezed my hand and turned to me. I ignored her. At some point in that walk up the hill I had remembered something. “Kelly…”

“Emma,” I said, without turning.

“Kelly, I…”

“No Emma,” I turned to her and hugged her as tight as I could.

“It’s time for me to go Kelly. Surely… you’ve realized by now…”

“You just came back to me. I’m not letting you go,” I said and found myself sobbing.

Emma pulled away, but still held my hand, “You have found me, but you never have to let go.”

“I know… I always have. But when you leave, the sunshine will leave my life again.”

“There will be sunshine in other places.”

“I know,” I said again, loosening my grip on her hand.

“Then let go of my hand Kelly.”

“I can’t…”

“You can. You’ve done a lot. You’re so strong.”

My tears slowed, “I love you Emma.”

“I love you too Kelly…” And I let go. Her hand was gone. I turned. She was gone.

I shivered. The morning was cold. It was time to go back inside. It was time to help my Grandma pack up the last of the boxes and leave. It was time to get into Grandma’s van and start a new life in a new place, but I would never forget this place. The place where I first learned to walk, first learned to love, and first learned to cope.

I slipped through the door and felt the silent emptiness surround me, but something was different now. I was full.

Snowy Woods

 

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I will finish this story, don’t worry. 🙂


I opened my eyes in the darkness of the living room. My toes were cold and my ears were burning up. I adjusted my blanket so that it covered my toes and exposed my ears. I brushed my long hair out of my face. I could hear the small sounds of the sleeping house. The furnace turned off and the floors creaked slightly, but the only other sound was the wind howling around the house and through the trees outside.

I sat up in my sleeping bag and tried to ignore the fact that every sound echoed through the hollow house. The spot in the corner, where the Christmas tree had sat for many a Christmas, was now empty, and all those boxes were filled with reminders of a life that was long gone. I rubbed my aching temples.

It was the lonely, cold sound of the wind that drew me to the nearest window. The front yard stretched in front of my. A lone streetlight with a burnt out bulb stood like a branch-less tree near the road and stuck out from the soft blue-white of the snow that sat serenely under the clear, early morning sky. A few snowflakes were falling softly to the ground, shimmering slightly as if they were made of glitter.

I shivered, and stared at the sight for several more moments. It was deadly silent out there, except for the moaning wind across the empty plains. Going to the back door, I pulled on my coat and boots which sat there. Adding a hat and grabbing my mittens, I opened the door and let the cold wind try to discourage me from leaving as I slipped out and closed the door resolutely behind me.

I had never been outside this early, it was only 5:30 am and my first instinct was to be afraid and remember every horror story I’d ever heard about kids disappearing and never being seen again. My first instinct wasn’t working that morning, or maybe I’d grown out of being afraid of everything. Either way, I wasn’t afraid. I was as calm as the wind was wild.

The dense wood of pine trees sat behind the house. The trees stood tall and proud, laden with snow, and filled the air with their sharp fragrance. In front of my house, the road wound down the long hill and into town. There was only one direction I could go. Walking through the snowy woods was about as hard and time consuming as I figured it would be, but I didn’t mind. My brain was still waking up and trying to think of a logical reason for me, Kelly Lewis, to be out this early. There wasn’t one.
Logic, my best friend for so many years, seemed to have deserted me. I hadn’t seen it since October, but now reason seemed to be missing as well.

Two Rabbits

Two rabbits hid behind a tall evergreen, one peered out. Everything around them was drenched in dew and the morning sun was just beginning to rise from behind the rolling hills. The houses stood tall and proud all about the two rabbits, but no one was around.

They hurried out from behind their hiding place and into the nearest yard. It was one of their favorite places, as it was covered in lots of soft clover and the grass grew fairly tall. The leading rabbit, Tamal, stopped in the middle of the yard. He stood up on his hind legs and put his white nose up. It twitched as he sniffed the air. “It’s going to rain soon, Anise.”

His companion, and sister, stood up on her hind legs and breathed in deeply. “I love the smell of rain.”

Tamal dropped down and began to eat quickly, “You won’t like it when you’re soaking wet and far from home.”

Anise sighed, dropped down on all fours, and began to eat as well, while slowly moving towards a bush close to the house. It was her favorite place in all the world, and her own secret hiding place. “Tamal!” Someone whispered loudly. Another rabbit had joined Tamal in the center of the yard.

“Fred!” Tamal exclaimed.”I thought you were done for when I heard you were going to cross the Big Road. Why are you on this side of BR again?”

“Well…” Fred began, and Anise was sure of two things.

  1. Fred had never crossed that road
  2. Fred was going to tell an impossible story about his “adventures”

Regardless of Fred’s lying tendencies, this was Anise’s chance. She glanced back at Fred and Tamal before running headlong into the bush, and hitting her head against something very hard and poky.

Angry – A Sketch

I wrote this tiny sketch a while ago. It’s not going to go anywhere, but I wanted to post it anyways. 🙂

I took a good, long look into his face and realized he was lying. That really ticked me off. I hadn’t lied to him. Ever. And now, after I was so kind to him, he was lying to me? “You’ve never even talked to Monica?” I asked skeptically.

“Nope,” He shrugged, trying to look perfectly innocent. He ran a hand through his perfectly gelled black hair.

That was it, “I know you’re lying. Cut it out.”

A blank look appeared on his face, “Em, you don’t… you don’t trust me?” He tried his best to look puzzled and hurt, pulling his eyebrows together and letting his mouth droop sadly.

I rolled my eyes. “You can’t lie to me. I can see right through it, and no, I don’t trust you anymore. If you’re lying about Monica than the whole basis of our friendship is a lie. Please just tell me, Mark.”

He let his little charade end, by suddenly standing up straight and widening his eyes innocently. “It was just a stupid, little lie anyways. I didn’t know it would hurt you so much. I told you that I didn’t know the Franks because… they embarrass me. I’m sure you can see why. And Monica… she’s the worst, but I dated her for a while in sixth or maybe fifth grade. I didn’t realize that she and her family were such dorks.” He smiled a real smile, but it was full of his stupid charm, and asked, “Forgive me?”

A whole torrent of thoughts were running through my head and I didn’t know which one to reveal first, “You’re such a faker. You’ve always been so real with me, but with everyone else you’re fake, and sixth grade! Are you kidding me? They aren’t freaks anyways. The Franks are good people, and you can’t see that because they’re a little different from everyone else. I’m different, Mark. Okay?” I ended my tirade in confused silence. I always let my emotions out like that, when they had built up a little, and you could never be sure that it would make any sense.

He looked at me blankly, his eyes glassing over, arms crossed. “What?” He finally asked, snorting, “The only reason I was ‘real with you’ was because I thought I could trust you, but now that you’ve gone and told everyone about my feelings about Georgia I… I can’t trust you anymore.”
“Georgia? I never told anyone about Georgia.” I said.

“I see that glint in your eye. You’re lying,” He said, mockingly, suddenly blowing up like I did, “faker, freaks, different…SIXTH GRADE!” He yelled, so fast that the words slurred together, “QUIT JUDGING ME!” And with this final explosion of frustration, he left.

Casper

Here I am again with another story. 🙂 This is the story idea I had at the movie theater a while back. 

 

I saw her again that day, and again I didn’t say anything. I knew we could be the best of friends if only I talked to her. I was sweeping out the cottage as she was walking down the street. She was by herself, of course, she always was, and carrying a basket of books. She was going to the library. 

“Mama,” I called outside. Mama was working in the garden.

“Yes, Casper?” She called back.

I stepped outside and asked apprehensively, “If I finish this quickly, may I go to the library.”

Mama wiped her dirt-streaked hands on her old apron. “Yes, but be back for dinner.” I could see how worn-down she looked.

“Do you want me to stay and make dinner for you?” I asked slowly.

Mama smiled one of her beautiful, but tired, smiles and cupped my face in her hands. “No, my sweet Casper. You may go to the library.” She kissed my cheek before going back to her garden work.

A few minutes later, I was nearly skipping down the lane into town. The lane was lined by trees and pastures and overshadowed by the castle behind me. I looked back at it sometimes, but sometimes I would rather not.  I looked back that afternoon. The shiny, white exterior of the castle was so imposing. I hated the way the castle made me feel so small and insignificant. I didn’t feel insignificant that afternoon, because I was determined to talk to that girl and I knew that I could do it.

Before I knew it I was walking over the rise and the trees were parting to reveal the city of Sorai lying in the valley. I descended into the valley and was soon among the hustle and bustle of the city. The buildings were squished so close together that sometimes there was no room between them. People were everywhere, going this way and that. Children were playing games, men were carting their wares to the town square for market day, and mothers watched their children as they talked with their neighbors. 

I navigated my way through the busy streets with ease. I passed the town square and wanted to stop, but remembering the library, I kept going. I loved stopping in the town square on market day. There was always something new and interesting to look at. Last week there had been a magician who sold all sorts of potions to cure ills. Mama always shook her head at these sorts of magicians. She called them, “No good ne’er do wells who exploit their craft.” I thought they were kind of interesting, but not as interesting as the wizards who lived in mysterious lands and only appeared at the eleventh hour, when the world needed them the most.

Finally, I arrived at the library. The library was a rather new establishment in the city. It was made up of a bunch of colorful tents set up where two buildings had burnt down years before. It was always being said that a proper building would be built soon, but it had been ten years and no building had appeared.

I walked into the entrance tent and said good morning to the man sorting books at the front desk. Quickly, I descended into the depths of the library to return my books. I put the books I had borrowed back on the shelves where I’d found them and carefully looked down every aisle for the girl. As I was putting back the last book in my bag, someone walked up next to me. Without even looking I knew it was her. I could see her blue dress and black braids from the corner of my eye.

I froze completely for a second, but my heart was beating crazily inside of me. Say something. Say something. I thought. 3…2…1. I turned towards her. She looked over at me with inquisitive, grass-green eyes and for a second I thought I was going to say ‘hi.’ Then, I just couldn’t. I turned and walked very quickly to the end of the aisle, slipped under the edge of the tent and got away from the library as quickly as I could.

Wise, Old Panther Cat

I saw the Panther cat today. He was sitting on the brick wall this afternoon. I was tired from working, and so I went out to greet him. He blinked his green eyes cautiously and stayed behind the bush where he crouched. I peered back and stretched out a welcoming hand. Stretching out his black head, he sniffed my hand and nudged it. I pet him for a while and took this time to tell him about myself.

“Hello Panther Cat,” I started, settling myself on the wall, “My name is Claire. What is yours?”

We had a great conversation about flowers, mice, and pesky cicadas that always buzz much too loudly when one is trying to have an afternoon nap.

“I’ll tell you a story if you tell me a poem,” I said. Panther Cat agreed and I started.

“There once was a girl who loved to look at the sky and make observations on it. One day, when she was astutely observing the night sky and finding constellations, she heard something that made her look down.

“A piano. The notes struck the air with a satisfyingly bright noise. They seemed to float along on a cloud. The girl looked down from the rock where she always sat and tried to see where the music was coming from. She could see the notes away in the valley, they were sparkling, gold lights in the darkness.

“The girl followed the golden orbs of sound to their source and found a piano. It was sitting beside the road. It was white and shone like a pearl in the moonlight. A boy sat at the bench. Every time he played a note, a sparkling orb of golden light floated up and away from the piano and into the air.

“When the song ended, a new one began, this one was soft and soothing, and silver. The girl desperately wanted to say something, but when the song ended she had nothing to say but the truth. She clapped and the boy turned to look at her. ‘Thank you,’ she said, ‘You made me look down from the stars and realize that life really is on earth, and it can be more beautiful than the stars.’ The End.”

The sage Cat nodded his head and I pet him some more. “You promised a poem.” And it began.

The shy young girl

And the sage old cat

Sat on the wall

Discussing this and that

They both loved talking

About pink lemonade

They both loved stories

And red in all its shades

Colors were their favorite

Topic of debate

Which was the best

They each tried to expatiate

But when, at the end of the day,

They forgot their fighting

And cast their worries away

Stories appeared with the stars

Among their dusky brightness

 The stories were waiting to be told

Every evening a new one

A beautiful mystery to behold

It was hard to let them go

So when the sun began to rise

And reminders of real life appeared,

They looked up at the morning sky

Because hidden in the folds

Of the bright blue sky

Their stories were waiting

For the next night

“That was a lovely poem,” I said to Panther Cat. “It sounds just like something I would say.”

I don’t really know why I just wrote that. It was based on my experience today. I saw a black cat and church we (me and my sister) called him Panther Cat. 🙂 Good times. 

 

3 little stories

These are three stories that describe my day. Two of them really happened, one is (obviously) fiction.

Luncheon

I went to a volunteers luncheon at my local library today, because my mother and I had volunteered once for a book sale held every year. Anyways, when we got to the library I didn’t know what to expect, but as soon as I saw a few women walk in (wearing dresses), I had two thoughts:

  1. Everyone at this event is older than me… and my mom (JK, there were like three whole people who were younger than my mom).
  2. My jeans and nice(ish) shirt are woefully inadequate

These thoughts soon melted away however, almost as soon as we took our seats. The food was from a restaurant that I love, and someone actually came to sit with us at our otherwise unoccupied table. 🙂

After a bit, the presentation started. It was all about preserving our heritage through the restoration and maintenance of monuments and historical landmarks. It was a really good presentation. I loved to hear about all the different things going on in my community. It gave me a new appreciation for where I live. 😀 I do love my home.

The man who gave the presentation also talked about many people who have the same passion as he does, preserving our heritage. As he talked about them I realized that they all had stories to tell, and that made me tingle with excitement. What I wouldn’t give to talk to those people and learn their whole stories and write about them. Their stories should be told. There are so many people around the world who have stories; unique lives, passions, goals, and cultures. I want to know the people who never get a chance to tell their stories and listen to them.

 

The Man on the High Wire

Today, I watched a movie called The Walk. I really enjoyed it. The main character, Phillipe, risks everything to walk on a wire, suspended between the Twin Towers (in 1974).

Would I ever risk my life for a thrill, like Phillipe did? No.

Why did he do it? For the thrill, yes, but I believe (from what I saw in the movie) that he did it for other reasons as well.

  1. When he was on that wire he was completely at peace.
  2. When he got off the wire he was changed. He had a new appreciation for others and life. So…

Would I ever risk my life to do something amazing and awesome that I have always dreamed of doing? Yes.

Do that thing. But be sure that it isn’t just for the thrill (that’s really… dumb), not for the money (greed), and not for yourself (selfish). Do it for others. Do it because it is what you love to do.

 

The Girl in the Mist

Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived in the misty hills of Scotland. She ran around barefooted with a tangled mess of brown hair flying behind her, and she knew every inch of her valley home like her own face. She lived in a stone house that was apart of the sheep farm that her family ran. Together with her two brothers,her Aunt Mira, Mother, Father, and a few cousins, she ran the farm.

If the family farm was Isla’s (the girl) favorite place in the world, than The Next Valley Over (TNVO) was her second favorite. TNVO was the valley that could just be seen from the top of the farthest hill in Isla’s home valley (Ealasaid – YAH-luh-sutch). From that distance the far away valley looked like a distant blur of colors.

Isla loved the colors. It was purple in spring, green in summer, gold in autumn, and white in winter. But always it was blue. There were many things Isla didn’t know about the valley, but she did know that there was a lake in the middle, because that she could see from the top of her hill.

Many mornings would find Isla sitting atop the tallest rock on the hill, looking over the valley and watching the sun rise over it, waiting for the day when she would know The Next Valley Over as well as she knew her own face.

 

(P.S – I know that it says this was posted on April 29, but it was not. I am here to tell you that it is 11:03 pm and not nearly tomorrow… yet)

Never Let Go of My Hand (Story Pt.3)

This is part three. 🙂

(Pt. one here, Pt. two here)

10

 

I pushed the door open further and it creaked. James turned around. “Hey…” He said awkwardly, setting the guitar down. He looked tired. His wet hair was crazily pointing in all directions and he was stilling wearing the clothes he had been wearing the night before.

“We have a front door you know,” I said, not moving an inch.

“Honestly, I didn’t want to have to explain myself to your grandma,” He said, rubbing his hands over his face.

“Yeah, I get it.” I moved forward and grabbed an old towel from one of the boxes. I handed it to James, who dried himself off as best as he could with the tiny, hole-ridden thing.

I stood by the western window. I didn’t know what to say to him, my best friend, who seemed to be so changed. He really did look tormented. I couldn’t stand to see him like that. I had to ask… “James, what is it?” He looked me with his strange eyes, testing me, asking me whether I really cared. I scowled back at him and a sharp poison filled me. “Don’t you dare look at me like that James. Just trust me, someone you’ve been friends with for ten years.”

His eyes softened for the first time since I’d been back. He slid onto the window seat by the northern window and let his unreadable face slide into despair. “I don’t know how to say it.”

I stayed silent.

“I do trust you, but I know what you’ll say…” He let his head rest into his hands. “I want to run away.” For a second I thought I had heard him wrong, but then he repeated, “I want to leave everything behind and just run, Jules.”

“James…”

“I’ve been planning it since Sunday and I have every little detail figured out. I’ll be fine Jules, trust me.”

“Yeah, like you trusted me!” I snapped, “There’s no way I’m going to let you do that.” My patience with him was gone, “I can’t believe you even considered this!” I knew his reasons perfectly well, but none of them justified running away and being completely stupid.

His eyebrows drew together for a millisecond, before he resumed his blank expression. “Maybe if you listened to my explanation then you would understand…”

“No,” I shook my head and crossed my arms, “No, because I know exactly why you’re running away.”

“Then please, tell me,” He said, standing and crossing his arms smugly.

I scowled even more fiercely, “It’s what you’ve been saying for months. You’re bored of your life.”

“I never said…”

“You know you might as well have.” I snapped, “You’re bored of everything here. You want bigger and better,” I choked a little on my words, “I know you want to travel the world, but can’t that wait until you’re older?”

He stared at me like I had no idea what I was talking about, “My mom is gone.”

I felt the wind being knocked out of me. I glanced at James’ face and then away again. He looked like he just realized what he’d said, and what I’d said… What had I done?

“My mom is gone. She just… left.” He said, he looked as dumbfounded as I felt, and hurt and sad and scared. “I woke up one morning last week and she was gone. She left a note.” He stuck his hand into his pocket, took out a piece of paper and stretched out his arm. I walked over to him and took it. It read:

Dearest James,
I know that you think I’ve failed you. That I’ll never be a good mom. I know you wish I were someone else… so I left. I could never be a good mom to you James. I’ve always known that you could take better care of yourself than I could. You always took care of me. I don’t want you to have to take care of me anymore. I’m a burden you should have never had to worry about.

I’ll see you again one day. Take care of yourself.

I love you,

            Mom

I’ve been living by myself for a week,” He said, “And once someone realizes that she left I’ll be sent away…” He broke off, leaned against the wall and slid down it onto the floor. “I don’t know where I’ll go, or who I’ll be with. I can’t do that. I have to run away.”

Knowing that there was nothing more to say at the moment, I sat beside him and laid my head on his shoulder. I stared ahead at the clock on the wall ticking past the minutes, listened to James’ breath grow regular again, and watched dust slowing swim through the air. Everything I had just heard ran through my head. My sadness and anger at James’ mom turned to anger at myself for being stupid and selfish. “I’m… sorry.”

James squeezed my hand in his. “We’ve both been wrong before, and we’ll both be wrong again.”

What are you going to do?” I asked.

I know I can’t run away,” He said, hands shaking, but his voice remained steady. It had a new confidence, “But what can I do?”

I squeezed James’ hand tightly. “Step one, tell everyone that your mom left.” He groaned, “Step two, see what happens next.”

Jules, I don’t think we’ll…I’ll probably be leaving town.”

I’m not finished. Step three, never let go of my hand.”

The End

Streak: 7 days

Cranky Grandmas (Story Pt.2)

It’s me again with another installment of that story I started on Thursday! It’s shorter than last time, but I will (probably) have part three up tomorrow to make up for it. I love hope you like it. 

9

“Love of mine someday you will die, but I’ll be close behind. I’ll follow you into the dark…” The soft music of my alarm woke me up to a view out the western window. It was raining. I lay there for a while and watched it fall. “If there’s no one beside you when your soul embarks, than I’ll follow you into the dark.”

When the song ended I forced myself into a sitting position and let my feet rest on the cool floorboards. The rain made a nice drumming noise on the roof and the sounds of my family waking up could be heard faintly. At first it was only a few creaks, than a shower turning on, and finally… “Charles, Charles!” I heard my grandma call for my dad, “The television is broken. THE TELEVISION IS BROKEN!”

For a few moments I sat listening to my dad “fixing” the TV and all was blissful forgetfulness about the day before… Wait. What had happened yesterday? I couldn’t quite… Then a pit came back into my stomach as it all came back.

I leaned against the window. There was no way I was going to be able to meet James today. It was raining and (quick weather check) it was going to rain all day. The more I thought about it the more uneasy I became. Why had James looked so different. Why was it something that he couldn’t tell me?

A rap at the door startled me. “Julie, it’s your breakfast day,” My little sister Lori said from the other side of the door, “And hurry. Grandma didn’t eat much dinner last night.”

“I’m coming.” I mumbled and went downstairs, glad of something to do. Lori was in the kitchen when I came down, making coffee. “Where’s mom?” I asked. She was usually up by 6:30 and it was 7:00.

“Sick in bed. She has a fever or something,” Said Lori, shrugging like it was no big deal.

“What about Jack and Hannah?” I asked, they were our older siblings.

“Jack left for work. Remember? He has a job now,” Said Lori in her snappy, matter-of-fact way, “And Hannah is upstairs with mom.”

“This is just great,” I sighed, plopping myself down in a chair at the table, “Just great.”

“Grandma’s order is sausage, biscuits, eggs, and… a mocha latte, “Lori said, ignoring my general dismay, “And mom just wants toast.”

I sat at the table, staring out the window and imagining all the other things I wanted to be doing. Ugh. I took a deep breath in and let it out. Time to make biscuits.

Half and hour later found me scurrying around the kitchen, hurrying to make breakfast before Dad left and Grandma started screeching. Then end product was passable. I decided that runny eggs and slightly doughy biscuits went well with blackened sausage on a day when my mind was definitely elsewhere. Grandma did complain, (though she loved my mocha latte) but that was to be expected.

After everyone had eaten Grandma went into the living room to watch her one of her morning talk shows, Lori was picked up for a play date with a friend, Hannah left for her job, mom was resting comfortably in her room, and I was alone in the kitchen. The hum of the TV was loud again. I looked around at the dirty dishes and decided to deal with them later.

I hurried up the two flights of stairs, but knew immediately that something was up before I opened the door. I could hear someone playing the guitar. Really badly. I opened the door a little and stuck my head in. James.

(Streak: Six Days)

A Little Story

Sorry this is so incredibly late but… it is what it is. I decided to write some fiction today. It is my favorite type of writing to do. 🙂 I hope you enjoy it. 
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The TV was humming downstairs, the noise of the city was too loud.

“Julie,” Someone downstairs was calling me.

I wanted to ignore it, but paused on my way up stairs to call down, “I’m going to bed,” And hurried up two flights of stairs to the attic.

As I pushed the door open a warm, woody smell wafted out. I almost started crying. How long had it been since I was last here? Three whole months of being away from my attic. It was a small space with wooden beams and four round windows, one on each side. It was dusty with boxes of forgotten things piled all around.

I passed by everything that I had left up here in May; my guitar, pencils, notebooks, books, and the paper tacked up on the walls. I glanced over them, ramblings of a singer-songwriter.

I found that I had walked, subconsciously towards the western window. My favorite window. A golden light lay softly on the window seat and on the floor all around it. I crawled onto the seat and curled up in a ball, staring blindly out the window. There was something so beautiful about being home that made me want to never leave again. There was something I had desperately wanted to do since I had left… I was back at the window a moment later, guitar in hand.

I ran my hand across the strings. Out of tune. I started to tune it when something white caught my eyes. It was a piece of paper hidden in the sound hole (the hole in the middle of the guitar). I pulled it out. It was a sheet of notebook paper folded up like a letter. My name was written on it in a messy hand that I instantly recognized, but when had he put it there? I unfolded it quickly and read:

Jules,

I guess you forgot to lock the window, because I found it very easy to climb the tree and sneak up here. Everything is just like you left it, except for this note. I hope you don’t mind. 🙂

Welcome home from Washington! I wanted to meet you in person but I wasn’t sure when you’d be back and everything. If you are reading this before 6:00 pm than I am probably not home. If you are reading this after 7:00 PM than I am most likely home. 🙂 Please come over if you can. If you can’t than we can meet tomorrow.

I ACTUALLY DON’T CARE IF YOU CAN OR CANNOT COME TONIGHT! COME TONIGHT!!!

James

I laughed aloud as I finished the letter and checked my phone. It was 7:15 PM. Without another thought I ran down the stairs and grabbed my jacket from the closet. “Julie?” My mom said, appearing in the doorway to the kitchen, “What are you doing? I thought you were going to bed.”

“I was but,” I held up the letter, “James. He says he needs to see me right away.”

Mom smiled ruefully, “That’s fine, but be back in half an hour, okay?”

“I will, bye!” I swung out the door and into the evening. The sun was setting fast, but it was still light out. The hum of the cicada’s trumped even the traffic noises. Humming a tune I set off down the sidewalk, looking at the sky. It was pinky-blue with specks of purple cloud throughout. I loved the sunset sky. It had rained so much in Washington that I had hardly seen the sun at all.

At the end of the street there were three empty lots, all next to each other, that had never been built on. Over the years trees had sprung up, the grasses had grown tall, and the perfect hideout was created. I first looked towards the house nearest the empty lots, James’ house. His light was off, but the rest of the house was bright. I entered the woods by the main entrance, two trees that leaned towards each other. It was instantly darker beneath the trees, eerier, but it was a friendly eerie. I wandered among the long grasses and the wildflowers admiring the hominess of everything and always heading towards the clearing at the far edge of the place.

James was facing away from me when I came up, sitting on the fence that separated the lots from that stretch of grass beside the highway. I paused, waiting at the edge of the clearing to watch him for a second. He hadn’t seemed changed in his letter, but everyone knows that over the summer people change. He looked darker and taller, of course, but from the back it was hard to tell. He turned around and smiled. Maybe he hadn’t changed. His hair was still too dark to be called blonde, but too light to be called brown, and his eyes were still a strange, muddy green.

I walked over to him, smiling, but feeling strangely shy. I often do feel shy around friends after being away for a while. I climbed onto the fence and sat beside him. “You look older,” He said, looking away from me, towards the highway, “And your eyes look greener and your hair looks browner.”

My momentary shyness evaporated, “Greener? My eyes look… greener? How does that make any sense at all?” I laughed.

“I think it’s because you’re paler than when you left,” He said, “I don’t think that climate did you any favors.”

I laughed again. It felt good to, “I don’t think being here alone made you any more polite.”

“Being alone generally doesn’t,” He joked, and we were quiet for a while. I watched him from the corner of my eyes and realized that he had changed. He had really changed. His smiled was fake and his eyes were dull.

“Why did you need to see me tonight?” I asked cautiously. James was sometimes a tad touchy about this sort of thing.

He shrugged unconvincingly, “I just… you know… missed you.”

“And you’re admitting it?” I shook my head, “That’s quite out of character for you. What’s wrong James?”

“Nothing… I mean there was a problem before, but everything is fine now,” He said, “I just wanted to say hi.”

“Okay, but you know I’m…” I started, but James jumped off of the fence before I could continue.

“Always here if you need someone to talk to,” He finished. His face stony and unreadable, as usual, “I know.” He turned towards the highway. The sun had set now and everything was a grayish-blue hue. “I just wanted to welcome you home. Goodnight Jules.”

I wanted to ask more questions but… “Goodnight James. Tomorrow?”

“Sure. See you then.” And he disappeared into the wood.