The Orphanage pt. 1

I’ve been working on an actual long, possible novel to go with https://phoenixrisng.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/the-beating/ this short. What I’m posting now would be the diary entries that the main character “Sam” finds from her great-great-grandmother. They provide the back story. Just thought I’d see what you all thought. Hope you enjoy.

 

October 18, 1848

We will be leaving Pennsylvania tomorrow for California. Father has dreams of gold in his eyes. He plans to take the Southern route with a group of settlers. The North route is too crowded as of late. I am excited for this adventure. Mother on the other hand does not wish to leave the city. She says she will miss her parties, and the road is no place for a young girl. But, there was no persuading Father. I look forward for what is to come.

Evelyn

November 1, 1848

I thought traveling would be exciting. It has been difficult, and there is not much to eat. We have to stay in cramped quarters and cannot get out to stretch our legs as often as I’d like. A one of the settlers has developed a cough. Mother seems content with sewing, but I know she is worried especially with winter upon us. Luckily the south is much warmer than the North.

Evelyn

November 10, 1848

I am too distressed to write. Mother has is now coughing like the settler. They think it is tuberculosis. I am petrified. I cannot bare it if something was to happen to Mother or Father.

Evelyn

 

November 21, 1848

The conditions are not improving. We camped for two days in Texas. It is a very large place. It will still take us another week to cross. Though we are south it is still very cold and Mother is so ill she cannot leave the wagon. I am no longer excited, but frightened about what is to come.

Evelyn

November 30, 1848

We have just entered a place called the New Mexico Territory. It is supposed to be safe, but there was a war here recently. So, I hope nothing terrible happens. I have to put cool rags on mother hourly to keep her fever at bay. I am still being hopeful, but it is foolish to think she will make it to California now. The settler died last week while we were in Texas. I hope he finds peace in that large piece of land.

Evelyn

December 9, 1848

I am devastated. Mother passed last night. I don’t know how we can have a happy Christmas now with her no longer here to celebrate. It’s hard to believe that Father so longingly still wants to get to the gold mines in California. We have just reached the mountains in the Arizona territory. I know that her final resting place will be a beautiful one. I cannot write anymore now.

Evelyn

December 30, 1848

It has taken us almost a month to travel through the mountains in this territory. They are treacherous in the snow. A wheel broke on the wagon and had to be fixed. Luckily, around this area with red rocks we found a small village who settled from the war. We are resting until the New Year. I cannot believe it is almost 1849. I will be twelve years old next year, and we will start the year without Mother. It is unimaginable.

Evelyn

January 2, 1849

Father left. He wrote a note that said without Mother he cannot take care of me, and the gold mines are no place for a young lady. He just left me in this village. I cannot bare it. It is too awful.

Evelyn

March 4, 1849

I have been staying with a very nice family. They have twin boys that are four years old. I know they do not have the means to keep me, but I help out the best I can. They town is building an Orphanage; they have a few other children that need a home as well. It will be finished come April. I will be glad not to burden this family any longer.

Evelyn

April 10, 1849

I have just moved into my new room at the orphanage. Red Rock Orphanage. It is comfortable, the head mistress seems nice. Her name is Miss Sullivan. The Gates said I may visit them anytime I would like. But, I know they were glad that I have a more permanent place to live now. I am excited to begin lessons again. At least I will have that. I wonder if Father ever thinks of me?

Evelyn

May 1, 1849

We are not allowed to wander into the forest that stretches behind the building. Though you cannot exactly call it a forest, it is more a dense, black, mangled corpse of dead foliage. I heard Mrs. Gates once say there had been a great fire there during the war and then nothing would grow afterward. It looks so intriguing; I find it hard not to inspect the forest. Aside from lessons and things that proper ladies ought to learn, I have nothing to do. A little adventure never hurt a young girl.

Evelyn

May 15, 1849

It was my birthday. The cook made a nice cake and the other children sang to me. It was quiet. Nothing like we used to have in Pennsylvania, when Mother was alive, but I thought it was sweet. I had not expected anything. Miss Sullivan gave me a new journal. I hugged her; it was so thoughtful.

Evelyn

June 3, 1849

I have to record everything. Miss Sullivan is a nice lady, but she does not believe me. She has this whole predisposition about witchcraft. I know what happened. I would not have believed it myself if it did not happen to me. It began today after church. We are allowed free time after church. The other children were playing a game of tag. I on the other hand wanted to take this time, while Miss Sullivan was having her afternoon nap, to explore the forest. I snuck away from the fray of the children and into the silent forest. The guardian trees loomed above me murky, creating shadowy figures and the appearance of night, though it was mid-afternoon. I walked further into the forest, the paths wound around each other intersecting. I could not tell where I was being led. I just kept to the one I thought I entered on. There were no flowers, bushes, or anything that breathed life. It was all dead. On the right I saw a beautiful tree; though it was no longer growing it had wonderfully twisting branches, perfect for climbing. I veered off my path and began the ascent. I had almost reached the top and could see just over the tree tops. When I heard a crack, the branch under me hurtled toward the ground. Of course it had been dead and brittle. I should have known. My heart pounded as the ground came closer and then it stopped. I stopped. I knew I was dead.

“Ooh a little girl, yes this should do nicely.”

I could hear a voice. I knew I was dead. I asked myself, how could I hear a voice? I decided to speak. “How can I hear you, am I not dead?”

“Yes, of course. This is most unusual. My victims usually do not speak after I have killed them. Interesting, very interesting.”

“Who are you? Why did you kill me?”

“I should ask you. You wondered into my forest. This is becoming tedious. I am going to rip your heart out now. I am tired of conversation.”

I had come to the assumption, that I must have been different from her other meals; therefore I could not let her rip my heart out. She had already told me that she had never spoken to her food before. I would have to negotiate.

“Can we come to an agreement?”

“What kind of agreement?”

“You tell me who you are and what you want, in return, I help you and you do not make a meal from me.” At this point, I was still having this conversation subconsciously. We seemed to be communicating without speaking out loud.

“Very well dear.” A hideous cackle escaped her lips and she said something in a language unintelligible. I was able to open my eyes and sit up. In front of me was a young woman who could not have been older than my Mother. She had dark eyes and long dark hair. “I am Kerys. I am Death.”

I scooted backwards, but remained in front of her. I could not risk upsetting her again. It was obvious she could take my life with a snap of her fingers.

“This is my domain. I reside in this forest. Of course, I cannot just be sustained from nature. I require more nutritious substance.” Her dark eyes twinkled as she looked me up and down. “Though, if you want live, I will allow that, but it will not come without consequence.”

Every year I would have to bring Kerys a child, so she could have the heart and death would remain. In return she would allow me to live and the orphanage to remain unharmed. I ran out of the forest pondering the bargain I made. When I tried to explain to Miss Sullivan about what happened she only scolded me for going into the forest and talking about witchcraft. Especially on a Sunday. There was no one in this world that would believe the truth of what happened and now I and my future family would be cursed to do the unthinkable for years to come. What had I done? I should have died.

Evelyn

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No School

We have been working on fairy tales in my classroom for our family pride night. I decided to help motivate my students, and write them a fairy tale. I have been adding a little every day and using the same process as my students’ so that they can see how to create theirs. Though mine is quite a bit longer then their requirement. This is not complete, but I am putting up what I have so far. My students have really enjoyed me sharing my writing, their reaction is that this should be a Disney movie, also that I need to finish the story, so they can hear the end. I hope you enjoy it!

Once upon a time in the land of Party School a lovely lady called Ms. Good Teacher taught the best classes. The students’ favorite was her video games and cook class. They loved to play Call of Duty and make chocolate chip cookies in their portable ovens. Party School was a huge palace in the middle of a tropical island. It was surrounded by white, sand beaches and crystal blue water. There were hammocks strung from palm tree to palm tree where the students would nap between or during class. Ms. Good Teacher didn’t mind. She just brought them smoothies and arranged for Nate Nogum to hand out bendy straws. It was a good life.

One day, Ms. Good Teacher was playing Super Mario with Alexa Apple, one of the students, when a strange ship appeared on the horizon. It crept closer. There had never been any visitors at Party School. The boat was silent as it approached with a shadowy fog surrounding it. Ms. Good Teacher rushed everyone inside, “Lock the doors!” She cried.

“There are no doors!” screamed Maria Marker.

“There are no locks!” wailed Nate Nogum.

The students huddled together in the pillow room under the cover of a tower of  blankets and pillows; not sure what to expect. Ms. Good Teacher stood guarding the entry, a dusty yard stick in hand. She had pulled it from a storage closet that, as far as she knew, had never been opened. Nobody made a sound as the ship clanked to shore.

Someone could be heard traipsing through the Party School Palace. Clearly, the person was looking for someone or something. Smashing and crashing started faint but became louder as the person came closer. Ms Good Teacher held her ground. In front of her appeared a tiny little girl who could not have been more than eight years old. She had blonde ringlet, pigtails. Her clothes were ragged and torn, she had dirt streaks and smudges on her face and arms; there were no shoes on her feet, which gave off the putrid smell of rotten garbage.

The students quivered under the blankets. Ms. Good Teacher stared questioningly at the girl, “What do you want little girl?”

“I am no little girl. I am Sinister Student. I have come to take you to the land of No School. You can come quietly, or I can make you, ” Sinister said, a sneer on her twisted face.

“I will not leave my students unsafe and our land willingly,” Ms. Good Teacher replied. She did not waver.

Magic crackled on the tips of Sinister Student’s fingers, “Then, we’ll do this the hard way.” She waved her hand. Before Ms. Good Teacher had a chance to react, Sinister Student sent bolts of magic at her paralyzing Ms. Good Teacher. She collapsed onto the floor. “Finally,” cackled Sinister, “Party School will be no more. Sinister Student grabbed Ms. Good Teacher and dragged her back to the boat. She took her away to the land of No School, leaving the students terrified and distressed.

Maria Marker crawled out from the blankets, “What are we going to do? We have to get Ms. Good Teacher back.”

“I want Ms. Good Teacher back! I don’t want Party School to go away!” Cried Happy Hawkins. He sat down, pillow in his lap, with tears streaming down his face.

Maria Marker stood up, ripping the blanket from her, a look of determination crossed her face, “We have to save Ms. Good Teacher! Who’s with me?”

The students stepped back looking at each other ad shrugged. Party School had made them quite lazy, they didn’t want to do any more work then what was required. In fact, the land of No School sounded very enticing to them. Finally, a small, quiet boy stepped forward from behind the students. “I’ll help you rescue Ms. Good Teacher,” whispered Dom Decimal.

“We need magic to fight Sinister Student, without that, we will be powerless against her.” Maria Marker told Dom Decimal as they walked out of the palace and toward the boat shed.

“In one of the stories, before we came here, there was a nearby island. Cynthia the Great lives there. She has good magic that can help us,” Dom told Maria.

“Let’s go there first.” The two of them pushed a motorboat from the boat shed into the water and jumped in setting off toward Cynthia the Great’s island of magic.

Dom and Maria were parched, starving, and thinking they would probably never make it to the island after traveling for one whole day and night. “Land!” Croaked Maria.

A glowy, glittery outline appeared on the horizon. It could have been a mirage, but Dom confirmed it was the island of magic. All the dust in the air was Cynthia the Great’s magic dust. Maria Marker had been wondering if she would ever see water again when suddenly a pitcher of water appeared in her hand. She began gulping thirstily. At the same time a bucket of fried chicken appeared in Dom’s lap. He ate it ravenously.

Their boat hit the shore. They pulled it up into the sand. The air was dense with magic. This island was different from Party School; it was a dense forest, crawling with magical creatures. A plump, short pandicorn (half-panda, half-unicorn) approached Maria Marker and Dom Decimal on the beach. He spoke in a high pitched squeak, “Hi! You have come to see Cynthia the Great! I’m Pickle, I can lead you to her.” He jumped a little and skittles fell out of his tail.

Maria rubbed her ear and Dom looked a little frightened, but they stepped forward. “Lead the way,” said Dom. Pickle led them down a rainbow path into a sparkling forest of candy and music. Songs came from trees of licorice. The forest floor was made of gingerbread and sprinkles. Maria Marker and Dom Decimal were in awe; the rainbow path carried them through the magic forest a constant feeling of happiness spreading throughout their body.

After walking for fifteen minutes, they arrived at a glimmering house with a thousand fairies surrounding it. “This is the home of Cynthia the Great,” squealed Pickle. The door swung open and out stepped a young girl. She was wearing dazzling robes of turquoise down to her ankles. Her Cinnamon hair hung long, past her waist. She was breathtaking.

“Welcome, welcome,” she sang her voice like warm honey.

Coming of Age

Cass’ eyes opened sluggish, faltering in the glare of the morning sunlight casting rays across the bed. She turned her head toward the alarm clock, it read 6:15 a.m. Of course, fifteen minutes before the alarm was set to go off. She was always waking up too early, but this night in particular she could not sleep. She stretched her arms, extending them above her head. Then, moved to sit up and begin the morning ritual of preparing for school. What a depressing day, to spend her eighteenth birthday at school.

As Cass kicked her legs over the side of the bed to stand up, she could hear whispering of her parents. She hoped they weren’t trying to surprise her with some kind of morning party. Cass had wanted to spend her time looking perfect for school.

“We need to tell her.” My mother said her voice hushed and hurried.

“I don’t think Cass is ready for this kind of news. Let her enjoy her birthday first.” The voice of concern, my father.

“She will find out sooner than later, we should be the one to tell her, before she freaks out.”

She walked to the bedroom door and kicked aside her shoes. She opened it expecting to see her parents standing there. They were nowhere in sight.  “How had she heard their whispers,” she wondered.

“Mom!? Dad?!” Cass yelled.

“Morning sweetie, we’re downstairs.” Her mother’s voice echoed from the realm of the kitchen. Their voices had been no more than a whisper. How was she able to hear the details of the conversation?

Cass walked over to the clothes she had picked out the night before and hastily put them on. She looked down at her stomach as she  was dressing, some odd grey speckles dotted the surface. Those had not been there last night when she had showered. Cass ran into the bathroom, examining her face in the mirror. Everything looked normal. “The cold water should clear up whatever was happening in her head,” she thought as she washed her face.

She looked around the bathroom, the wall hangings were in place; her shower curtain with the fish on it that she’d had since third grade looked just as dingy as normal. It must have been a dream, the conversation.  “I just need to brush my hair and eat some breakfast,” she muttered under my breath. As Cass said this, her hair brush zoomed off the bathroom counter and into her hand. Her jaw dropped and she stumbled backward. “This cannot be normal,” she thought.

Cass put the hairbrush back on the counter. Grabbing a ponytail holder, she threw her chestnut hair up in a messy bun. Well, so much for looking cute on her birthday.

She trampled down the stairs and stared at her parents who had furrowed brows and broke apart from their conversation as she entered the kitchen.

“Cass! H..Happy Birthday.”

“Fine. What is going on?” She stared at her parents expectantly.

“What do you mean?” Her father tried to sound taken aback a forced look of surprise on his face.

“Watch,” said Cass. She thought really hard about the box of cereal in front of her, and it flew off the counter into her out stretched hand. “Now tell me, does this happen to all girls on their eighteenth birthday? Is it a new part of puberty I am not aware of?”

Her mother let out a sigh, “No. We need to explain something to you Cass. You should have a seat.”

“I am going to stand thank you. Just tell me.”

“Well,” her father came and put an arm around her, “You aren’t from Arizona. In fact you aren’t from Earth. You’re an alien.”

The Beating

There was nothing but the faint sound of a beating noise. She could not distinguish if it was coming from in her own head or outside. Lost. She looked around; the world was unfamiliar. Had she fell asleep here? It did not make any sense.

She pulled herself up from the ground where she lay in a mat of tangled leaves and branches. Trees loomed over her twisting their dark thorny branches in cascades of leafy fingers that formed an impenetrable fortress. If there was sun shining somewhere, she could not tell. The garment on her was torn and threadbare as if it had been worn many times. She fingered the soft cotton rolling it over her thumb. It seemed familiar. Her feet were bare. A thought popped into her head, shoes. Why would she be without shoes? The girl rubbed her temples, the beating, it was still distant but persistent.

Her body ached as she sat up. The ragged dress hardly fell to her knees. There were cuts and bruises on her legs and arms. Still, she could not remember a thing. Even her own name seemed to escape her. She decided to stand up. The only thing to do was move from wherever she was. The wretched beating, she wanted to leave it behind. It was agonizing. After much concentration, she stumbled to her feet on the gritty dirt path. The girl headed in what she thought would be the right direction.

She walked for some time. Not really knowing how much time passed and in what direction she was going. The beating remained steady. In fact, she thought it might be getting louder. The canopy of trees did not become any less dense. The underbrush increased and the girl had to start climbing over logs and bushes. The beating rang louder in her ear, she winced and covered it with one hand. What was that? A smell of rancid rot snaked her senses. The girl stepped backward her eyes watering. She pushed forward through the stench. She wanted to know if there was some clue that lay ahead.

In the darkness of the trees, she made out the outline of a small cabin ahead. She hurried onward toward it. Approaching it cautiously, she opened the door. The girl covered her ears with both hands now, while breathing through her mouth. The noise of the beating became overwhelming. She saw a pool of crimson on the floor. On her tip toes, she side stepped this and then looked up. There on the wall written in blood it said, “You are Viola”. Underneath on a wooden table was a small black velvet box. The girl opened it with a steady hand. Inside was a beating heart. She remembered everything.

 

To be continued…

Unfairy Tale Pt. 2

Not only was Darkarrow inhabited by the most contemptible of creatures, but humans lived there as well. Revolting, abominable humans who did appalling deeds. Yet, this is the way everyone liked the kingdom of Darkarrow. In fact they became more detestable when things were decent and good. Darkarrow had been ruled many years by a repulsive, not so evil sorcerer called Dracun. It’s safe to say, he was getting old, actually ancient. Dracun often forgot where he put his magic staff or his crown.  There was the particular situation where he forgot to scare children in the villages. (This was supposed to be a weekly duty of the ruling sorcerer.) It was a nightmare. His advisor, Marvo was frustrated. These were the days, when Dracun spent his time transforming chickens into vampire bats, that Marvo would go for a walk.

Marvo really was a horrible guy. He hated everything and everyone. When he had first come to the castle, Dracun was a gruesome sorcerer. Now, he was a feeble old man who was loosing his touch. They should be finding dragons and curses to ravage the kingdom. Instead, he is dancing with vampire bats in the great hall. It was disgusting. Marvo walked through the Forest of Stench. He looked up, the faeries had even lost their luster, that one seemed cheerful. Was another spreading faery dust? What was happening? He would have to do something.

Unfairy Tale

It has been awhile since I have written anything. For this, I am sorry. I have been in a foul mood as of late. And thus, begins my decent into a spiral of loathsome and dark tales. The following is an excerpt (really its the beginning) of a short fairy tale I am working on. I hope you enjoy. ~ dreamersrapture

Once upon a time, there was an enchanted land disconnected from our own world. It had the ordinary things one might expect of an enchanted land, magical creatures, talking trees, sorcerers and elves. But, these were of a fearsome sort. Different from the lands of the bedtime fairy tale, this was a world of dark enchantments. It was called Darkarrow.

The beasts that roamed Darkarrow were evil in nature. Faeries would flit from forest to sea spreading misery on everything they happened by. Centuars would roam somber through the Forest of Stench, miserable, and fight anything that crossed their path. The Goblins were perhaps some of the worst and trickiest creatures. If one stumbled into their traps they would rot there, or if one was lucky enough to be found, they would be cooked for dinner. (This was better than starving to death and then rotting.) The other beasts were more foul and horrid, therefore, shall not be mentioned.

Sunset

I held out the flower, petals glowing like warm, melted butterscotch in the sunset-a brown chocolate center. She took it in her hand looking back at me the rose and violet from the clouds, swimming in her pale sky eyes. “Sunflowers are for girls.” She dropped it on the ground, crushed the flower with her shoe and ran off toward the darkening street. I was in love at eight years old.

 

It had come slowly to begin with. Crept in the crevices and hid where no one could see. Marie never knew what was waiting to attack her own body so deviously.  Disease is like that, it is calculating, cold, it shows no mercy, until the day it makes its presence known. Marie clutched her side, doubling over; having been in perfect health she had no thought as to what could be wrong. She lay in the hospital bed awaiting her test results, her husband at her side. Next to him stood her daughter and grandson (named for his grandfather).  By the time the doctor had returned with the results, Marie was disappearing. Cancer.

                By high school she had come into her own, although, there was still a bit of that wild girl I had met in the second grade. I still loved her. Unruly copper curls hung down past her shoulders, she stood in the hall, whispering with a girlfriend; I stared, not too discretely.

“Just ask her, man.” My long-time pal Charlie, he was encouraging me to ask her to the winter formal. I was trying to muster the courage. I searched for my eight-year-old self once again. Where had he gone? Probably playing cops and robbers somewhere, laughing at the fact that my seventeen-year-old self had become so self-conscious.  I dragged my feet forward; they suddenly felt like two ten pound weights at the bottom of my body holding me down. Her friend looked up and saw me; she whispered something, they both giggled. My stomach flipped.

“Marie?” I said barely above a whisper. I looked up at her, catching her eyes still the color of the sky, they hooked me in like a fish on a pole, and I was stuck.

“Elliot?” She looked at me.

“Will you go to the formal with me?” It came out like river rapids, way too fast and all over the place. I was sure I would be misunderstood.

A small smile crept across her face, “Alright.”

 

Marie disappeared. Way to quick some would say. But then, cancer is a monster. A beautiful, silent, killer. The perfect disease. They buried her. The cemetery was small, quiet, a private place where they could have their moment as a family. Little Eli ran around the grass in his bare feet letting the earth hold his heavy heart. He knelt down and put his head to the ground listening, “Grandma? Are you in there? Can you hear me?” His mother scooped him up. His grandfather took them both in his arms tears welling in eyes.

 

“Marry me?” It was sunset again. I liked that time of day; it felt like mine, mine and Marie’s. We had been out of high school for four years now, and I had just been accepted to law school. Waves plunged onto the shore and then said farewell. It was a sad affair, but part of the cycle of things. We sat half buried in the sand on an empty beach. It had been a nice holiday weekend, though I was keen to return and start the necessary arrangements for my law work. I looked over to her; she was still quiet.

Finally, she looked at me and said, “Why?”

I thought to myself for a moment, before speaking, “Because, with you, I am the best version of me. I don’t want to be anyone but you and me, forever. I love you.” I watched her watch the waves and the vibrant violet, goldenrod sunset.

She looked over, kissed me on the nose and said, “Yes,” a smile spreading across her face. I smiled too.

 

Kidney stones. Heart Attack. Pneumonia. (The doctors tried to label it.) There was really only label to give. Love sick. Elliot may not recover. How do you recover from losing the love of your life? He looked so small lying there in bed, shriveled. She would have been able to go on. She had been the strong one; the flower crusher. But, from the beginning, he had been the love sick puppy. Elliot knew he had been here to do one thing, take care of Marie. His job was done. His will was failing. Eli looked at him, eyes wide, as he sat next to his grandfather. Elliot took Eli’s hand, “Love someone Eli, love them with your whole being, and don’t be afraid to make yourself the fool.”

 

Jaqueline Marie. Marie gave me the second love of my life. That day in the hospital, I was a nervous wreck, bumbling around, practically stumbling over anyone and everything. When the nurse came out holding Jackie, my breath stopped, the world ceased for a moment. It was just us, and I held her. A little pink bundle of uncertainty, of possibilities. I wanted everything for her, but most of all I wanted her to have a sunset with us. When Marie was well enough we took Jackie out into the evening air and watch the earth paint the sky on fire.

“See the red, orange and pink,” I whispered to Jackie, though she couldn’t understand just yet. I held Marie close, and I knew that our daughter would come to love the beauty of the world as much as we did.

 

Elliot Cooper

Husband, Father, Grandfather

Sunset Lover – Marie’s other half