Sunday, October 23, 2011


I didn't mean to eavesdrop. I really didn't. I had just come  home from school, and as I passed the door to my grandmother's room, couldn't help to overhear a hushed voice. It was strange, the way the voice rumbled throughout the house. It most definitely not my grandmother. 
Curious, I leaned in closer to the door. "You don't have much time, dearest... she is growing older... Soon, she will know." A shiver ran down my back. It almost sounded like the voice could be talking about me. My birthday had been just a few weeks ago.
A small, quivery voice murmured, "I know, father. She is growing up so fast. Too fast. But don't worry, dearest father. She will not see the truth. I have studied her for many years. I am telling you, the girl is not witty enough for us."
I stifled a scream. There was someone out there who was studying me, like an insect. I bit my lip, not sure if I really wanted to hear more. Before I could decide, the first voice began again, "Just be careful. You can't afford to mess up."
I couldn't take it anymore. I burst through the door, expecting to see two monsters carrying knives, but all I saw was my grandmother. She was sitting her chair, knitting a scarf while gazing out the window. "You should really be quieter, Evelyn. It's not polite to burst into someones bedroom like that." I rolled my eyes. Classic Grandmother Beatrice. Quick to point out flaws, as long as they weren't hers. She turned her head slowly, as if calculating something. It took about twenty seconds for her to fully look at me. When she did, I nearly passed out.
My grandmother's eyes were a sickly color of yellow. They were only like that for a moment before fading back to her normal shade of brown, but I had seen the yellow glint in her irises, if only for a second.
Old Beatrice looked alarmed by my fear. "What's wrong, dearest? Why do you look so frightened." Dearest. She called me dearest. I was scared out of my wits, but something told me not to tell her what I had seen. "I just remembered I-I..... um... I have a math test tomorrow, and I haven't studied at all."
She frowned at me doubtfully, but eventually muttered, "Well, get on it! I can't have you fail every class." My mind churned as I closed the door behind me.
I walked numbly to my bedroom, trying to process everything from the scary voices to my grandmother's yellow eyes. I wished I could climb into my mother's lap, but she was gone. She would never come back. I wished I could hold my daddy's hand, but he was gone too. All I had was my grandmother and her color-changing eyes. 
"Dinner!" she yelled. I trudged down the hall to the kitchen, and like always, I found her sitting at the table expectantly. I sighed, and got some frozen peas out of the refrigerator. I stuck them in the microwave, set it for three minutes, and tapped my fingers while waiting for my meal. 
My grandmother's eyes traveling up and down my body. I have studied her for many years. A chill ran down my body as I recalled the words of that thin wobbly voice in my grandmother's room. The microwave beeped three times, and I took the peas out of the oven, serving them to my grandmother and to myself. 
We ate dinner in silence. My grandmother's eyes did not leave me once, and I found myself trying to pretend I didn't notice. I stared at my peas as I ate them, trying to think of something else, but I kept hearing voices in my head, voices screaming, voices crying.
I finished my peas, and excused myself without a word. It was late, and I had the longest day of my life, so I went straight to my room and sprawled on my bed, exhausted. I lay there looking up at the ceiling, freaking out. I took out my journal, planning to sort out what had happened. I had come home after another mediocre day at school. There were strange voices in my grandmother's room. Someone was studying me. Someone had a secret. My grandmother's eyes changed color from chestnut brown to a pale yellow. And she didn't want me to know that her eyes changed color. I put my journal away, deciding that somethings just shouldn't be written down. 
I heard the soft padding of my grandmother's slippers as she walked down the hall. She stopped in front of my door, pushing it open with her frail old lady hands. I sat up straight as she said, "Goodnight Evelyn. Stay out of trouble." She warned, "Don't go where you are not wanted." She closed the door, and her footsteps got quieter as she walked to her room.
Don't go where you are not wanted. My mind was doing somersaults. My grandmother was trying to keep me away from something or someone. I was not sure if it was for my own good, or if she was hiding something. I was on the brink of something, something important. All I need to remember was where I wasn't supposed to go.
It hit me like a ton of bricks. The attic. I wasn't supposed to go in the attic. If my mind was doing somersaults before, now it was doing an entire acrobatic sequence. I lay back down on my bed, waiting for my grandmother's snoring to fill the house. I did not have to wait long. In a matter of minutes, the rumblings from her bedroom shook the whole house. I slipped into my robe and slippers and tip-toed out the door, careful to close it as quietly as I could.
I was full of foreboding as I climbed the ladder, and my heart skipped a beat at every rustle of the sky blue curtains in our living room. A little more dread was added to my collection every time I moved my foot to the next rung, and by the time my hand was on the trap door, I was about ready to turn back and hide under my blankets. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and flung open the trap door.
There was nothing in the room except for an old, dusty wooden chest. Despite the fact that the wood was completely intact, it let off an awful smell, like something rotting. My flesh began to crawl as I crept closer. Something was very wrong about the whole situation. I reached out my arm until the tips of my fingers touched the wooden box, and found that the layer of dust was practically an inch thick. My hand met a chunky iron lock, and I tugged on it to no avail. I was about to turn around when I remembered the bobby pin in my hair. I took it out and inserted it in the round hole, turning it with my all the strength I could muster. I heaved open the chest.
This time, I could not stifle my scream. It came out loud an clear, like a siren in a silent room. I was looking into the pale visage of my grandmother. She was undoubtedly dead.
A cold finger gripped my arm, and I slowly turned around, afraid of what I would find. Another scream rang through the house. Clutching my arm was a figure in a draping black cloak, with a hood drawn over their head, so I could not see there face. I could only see the eyes. They were a sickly color of yellow. "Goodnight, dearest." it murmured.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Character

Character Questionaire

  1. Name: Jenna Ross Daniels
  1. Age: 28
  1. Height: short
  1. Eye color: grey
  1. Physical appearance: 
long, straight, light brown hair. Slight figure. Rosy cheeks. She's stunning, especially when wearing autumn colors.
  1. Strange or unique physical appearance: 
  1. Hobbies/interests: 
She always did well in school without acting nerdy or anything like that, but she didn’t like it. Even though she excelled in math, she found it to confining. There was always a right answer and a wrong answer. She’s the kind of girl who needs lots of space to do her thing. She love to draw pictures, especially graphic novels. She is spectacular at this, and wants to make her own graphic novel and get it published.
  1. Where does he or she live? What is it like there? 
She was raised in New York, in an apartment. She didn’t like living in an apartment very much. She went to college at University of Illinois, staying in an apartment with some friends, then moved to a suburb outside of Chicago when she got married. She stays home with Isabelle.
  1. Special skills/abilities: 
Besides being an outstanding artist, she is smart with computers, in a totally non-nerdy way.
10. Family (describe): 
She is married to Ryan Daniels. They were got married when she was 24, and he was 25. Ryan is now 29. Ryan is a lawyer. They are happy together. They have a two year old girl named Isabelle, who they absolutely adore. She has began to talk and walk and use a normal bathroom in the past year.
  1. Description of his or her house: 
She lives in a Chicago suburb. Her house is two stories, with a large backyard. It is painted white. On the first floor is the kitchen, (connected to the living room) the living room, the dining room, and the guest bedroom. The first floor also connects to the garage, and has one bathroom. The first and second floor are connected by one staircase that connects, on the first floor, to the area when you first open the door. When you get to the top of the stairs, there is another living space, with a Ping-Pong table. There are four doors coming out of there. One leads to Isabelle’s room, which looks like it someone took a bucket of pinkness and poured it all over the place. In the middle is a bed with Disney princess covers and a million different stuffed animals. She has her own bathroom connected. Another door leads to Jenna’s office, which is strewn with papers and sketches. In the center is a desk with a computer, and a swivel chair in which Jenna spends most of her time spinning. The other door leads to Ryan’s office, which is exactly like Jenna’s office except it is neat and organized, and the swivel chair is neatly tucked in. The last door leads to Jenna and Ryan’s room.
  1. Description of his or her bedroom: 
Jenna and Ryan sleep in the master bedroom of their house. There is a connected bathroom. The bed has a red comforter with brown stitching and similar pillows. The walls are painted brown, and there is a brown fuzzy rug on the floor. Above their bed, their is a family portrait in a heart-shaped frame. There is a night stand on either side of the bed. Each one puts their stuff, such as photos and jewelry, on the nightstand on the side of the bed that they sleep in every night.
  1. Favorite bands/songs/type of music: 
Jenna hates country music, but she generally likes pop stuff. She’s not into rock, but she likes Coldplay.
  1. Favorite movies: 
Likes the idea of whole idea of TRON and TRON Legacy. Likes to watch anime movies, not because of the plot, but so she can look at the characters. Animated movies intrigue her. Emotional, heart wrenching movies cause her to break down and start sobbing in movie theaters. Likes action and adventure movies. 
  1. Favorite TV shows:
Likes funny TV shows, such as modern family or raising hope. Hates anything involving vampires. Hates the news.
  1. Favorite books: 
She loves emotional books, though she often breaks down at the end, so she only reads them in bed. She like adventurous books that have a “man verse nature” theme. 
  1. Favorite foods:
Likes it spicy. Likes Indian and thai food. Likes homey food, like mac and cheese and hot cocoa and chili. 
  1. Favorite sports/sports teams: 
Jenna did not particularly enjoy sports before meeting Ryan, so she follows who he follows. Her favorite sport is baseball, and her team is the cubs.
  1. Political views: 
Usually votes democrat. Doesn’t watch the news, but Ryan watches it sometimes and tells her about candidates or things being put on the ballot.
20. Any interesting philosophies on life? 
In a graphic novel, there isn’t always a happy ending. The same is true with life. Some will win, and some will lose.
21. Religion: 
The family celebrates Christmas and Easter, because it’s fun for Isabelle, but they never go to church. Their pretty much atheists with holidays.
22. Physical health: 
She’s healthy and active, and has managed to stay slim after giving birth to Isabelle. She tries to eat health, often settling for a salad for lunch.
  1. Pet peeves:
People who are nit-picky and neat and have upturned nose about it. (unless it’s Ryan.)
Questions Part II 
  1. Favorite clothing style/outfit:
Dark jeans with brown leather boots, an orange shirt, a brown sweater, and a scarf.
  1. Special gestures/movements (i.e., curling his or her lip when he or she speaks, always keeping his or her eyes on the ground, etc.):
She bites her lip when she’s thinking or when she’s nervous.
  1. Things about his or her appearance he or she would most like to change: 
She wishes she were taller, so people weren’t always talking down to her or thinking she was sixteen years old.
  1. Speaking style (fast, talkative, monotone, etc.):
She’s talkative in a very non-annoying way.
5. Fondest memory: 
She’s 22 years old, about to graduate college. She goes into a bar with some friends. Because she is so short, someone asks to see her ID. Realizing she forgot it at home, she tells them she’s 22, and she’s just short. A bar tender asks her to leave. Ryan, seeing the commotion, comes over and talks to bar tender. Apparently, they are friends. Ryan says he is a friend of Jenna, and that she is 22 years old. The bar tender shrugs and says that, since his job is at stake, Jenna has to leave. Ryan goes with her. They talk. Neither has eaten, so they go to a taco bell. Ryan is in law school. There is a special connection, and phone numbers are given. They go their separate ways, but not for long. They fall in love. The rest is history.
6. Insecurities: 
Her height.
7. Quirks: 
Bites her lip constantly, causing them to bleed sometimes.
8. Temperament (easygoing, easily angered, etc.): 
She’s unpredictable, but generally agreeable. 
9. Negative traits:
Disorganized, unpredictable. 
10. Things that upset him or her:
When people are hypocritical.
11. Things that embarrass him or her:
Her height.
12. This character really cares about:
Her daughter, her husband.
13. Things that make him or her happy:
Her daughter, her husband, Thai food.
14. Deepest, darkest secret:
She was seeing someone else, named Darren, when she met Ryan. He was at the bar that night, but he didn’t see her leave. She broke up with him a few weeks later.
15. Reason he or she kept this secret for so long:
She thinks it will upset Ryan, especially now that Ryan and Darren are friends. Darren does not know about the overlap either.
16. Other people's opinions of this character (What do people like about this character? What do they dislike about this character?):
Ryan thinks she is funny and intelligent, but is often distraught by her disorganization. Her parents think she is smart, but worry about her decision making. Her in-laws think she’s over energetic and not quite right for Ryan. Darren doesn’t know quite what to think of her, because of what went on between them and how quickly she cut it off.
17. Dream vacation: 
She would go to Italy and Rome, then travel to England and France, and finally top it all off with a stay in Hawaii.
18. Any pets? 
The family has a dog, Sam, that is very protective of Isabelle and Jenna. At first, it barked at Ryan, but it has decided that Ryan is also part of the family. Sam does not like strangers.
19. Best thing that has ever happened to this character: 
Meeting Ryan and giving birth to Isabelle.
  1. Worst thing that has ever happened to this character: 
Breaking it off with Darren. They were sort of good for each other, in a weird sort of way. And he was a really nice guy. They just didn’t connect in the way that she did with Ryan. He was just another boyfriend in college, while she was able to build a relationship with Ryan. She does not doubt that Ryan was the right choice, but she feels sorry for Darren, because she knows that she hurt him a lot, even if it was five years ago. 
21. Superstitions: 
Not superstitious. Thinks superstition is bogus and makes people do stupid things.
22. Three words to describe this character: 
Loving, Unpredictable, Disorganized
23. If a song played every time this character walked into the room, what song would it be?
I’m not sure, but it would be something not quite rock, but something loud and awesome. She would come into the room, here the music, jump up, and start singing her head off as Isabelle giggled and Ryan laughed from his armchair. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Wind

The wind is angry.
I wish I knew why,
So I could sit beside it,
And whisper calming words.
Maybe it would fall asleep,
and the trees would cease to sway.
But right now,
As I sit on my bed glancing out the rain-soaked window,
I cannot understand the tortured, twisted howls,
As they fall from the murky grey sky.
I think I can hear someone crying.
Someone far off in the distance.
The wind is angry.
It lifts the red and orange leaves high in the sky,
And causes them to twist and turn and thrust.
Suddenly, I see that the leaves are dancing.
The trees are swaying to music,
And the rain is creating a steady beat.
I think I can hear someone laughing.
Someone nearby. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

new story's prologue

I sat on the couch, my legs tucked under my body, my head resting on the soft pillow. The whole world was raining. Clear drops of water plunged from the stormy gray sky, mixing with the dust as they hit the ground. Waterfalls streamed from my eyes. My mother always said that my eyes were a gray, but my father disagreed. He said they looked like smoke reaching up towards a murky sky. I liked my father’s explanation better. It always comforted me, to think that I was smoke, dancing in the clouds as a fire flickered below me. When I thought of myself like that, I was invincible. I could do anything I wanted to, go where I wanted to go. And then I am pulled back to earth, where I am just another silly little girl waiting to grow up.  Waiting to stand alone like a great oak on the top of a grassy hill, unbending to the roaring winds that cause its vibrant leaves to blow up and down, up and down. Once upon a time I was that strong. At least I thought I was. But blow by blow, I have become weak. I have become the girl curled up on her couch just crying.
The whole thing started 2 years ago. I was 13 years old and all I wanted was my fourteenth birthday. And my fifteenth. And my sixteenth. Then I wanted to jump in a car and zoom off into the distance, and never see my town again.
You’ve probably heard the expression, “Anytown, USA.” My town is as close as you can get to being this phrase. Personally, I think the founders originally meant it to be called anytown and just had some really strong accents, and said Amytown. My history teacher begs to differ. 
Anyway, I pretty much live in the middle of nowhere. Well, I live in the middle of Ohio, but it’s the same thing, in a way. 
It’s funny, here in Amytown, we make a big deal about ourselves. Apparently, a famous person got lost and rode through here a hundred years ago, so now we all think we are amazing. As it turns out, most towns have been passed through by at least one famous person. We usually try to sidestep that fact, and think we’re special, that someday we’ll be big Hollywood stars, striding along a red carpet. There are a lot of liars in Amytown.
So there I was, thirteen years old, living in a tiny town, going to school every day and coming home, and most people in the world not even knowing or caring who I was.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Journey by Night

               Wheels roll over a gravelly rode as deep-blue paint peels off of the bus. The moon illuminates the windows of the ever-moving vehicle. Heads on glass, two woman sleep, hoping dawn brings a destination.
               The face of one is smooth and sweet, glowing with gentle youth. She is eagerly taking her first steps into the real world. She runs from place to place, wanting to experience it all, to take it all in. Tonight, she grows up, leaving her childhood in a cloud of dust.
              The face of the other is lined with pain. She has seen the world, and walked on the filthy streets of thousands of cities. For each strand of gray hair, she has a story to tell of her past, of the people who danced in and out of her life, never stopping to say hello. Clouded memories roam aimlessly through her soul, each one stooped in exhaustion, each one yearning to rest. Tonight, her final wish is granted. Tonight, she journeys home.

Try at dialouge: 2

(two women, carrying large bags, both in a rush, run smack into each other as they look at their phones)
Denise: (not looking up) Oh, excuse me. Sorry.
Juliet: My fault. Excuse- (looks up for a second, and grabs Denise's shoulder.) Oh my god, Denise! I haven't seen you since we graduated!
Denise: (looks up, confused) wha-
Juliet: We shared a dorm in freshman year, and then saved up money to share an apartment...
Denise: (shocked) Juliet?
Juliet: The one and only!
Denise: Oh my, long time no see!
Juliet: You know, I thought you went straight to New York after college!
Denise: (glumly) I did. I starred in a musical: “chocolate kisses,” about a girl named Jenna who dates men for their money.
Juliet: Why Denise, that’s wonderful!
Denise: The New York Times gave it one star. One!
Juliet: But it was a start! Imagine the things you could have done! You were on the way to living a dream.
Denise:(far off) Yes. It was my dream once. But what did I know? I was a little girl lost in a big city.
Juliet: You would have found your way, with time. I can see you now in my mind, on a big Broadway stage, belting out the opening number to an enraptured crowd. Boy, could you sing.
Denise: (sighs, displeasured with direction of conversation) That was a long time ago, Juliet. I have a little girl and a husband, and I am as happy as I ever dreamed of.
Juliet: You don’t sound happy.
Denise: You have a lot of nerve to come here and tell me how I should have run my life. We don’t even know each other, not anymore.
Juliet: We were best friends once, Denise. We did everything together. You would sing and dance, while I filmed you and edited it. We were two girls with big dreams of fame and fortune.
Denise: (eager to change subject) Oh, yeah! I almost forgot! How did your dreams of filming and directing movies workout?
Juliet: Wonderfully, actually. I don’t work in Hollywood, but I film documentaries here. 
Denise: Sounds like your life fell right into place, the way you always imagined it.
Juliet: Not exactly. My apartment gets cold and lonely at night...
Denise: You still haven’t found a man that suits you?
Juliet: No... I’m working on it. I’ve been seeing a man named Darren lately. It’s nothing serious, but I’m hopeful that it will bloom into something more.
Denise: I hope so too, for your sake.
(The two women look at each other for a moment.)
Juliet: I think we’re blocking the sidewalk, but I’d love to catch up with you more. Do you want to go for a coffee?
Denise: I’d love to, but I have to go watch my daughter’s dance recital. 
Juliet: (wistfully) Things sure have changed since college...
Denise: Yeah, they really have.
Juliet: I’d better get going.
Denise: Me too. (hands Juliet piece of paper) Call me. We should make a time to catch up. I could introduce you to my husband and daughter.
Juliet: That sounds nice. 
Denise: Can’t wait!
(the two women bustle off in different directions)

Dialouge: Try 1

(Ama is sitting in rocking chair reading. Miri is on the floor playing with doll. Kari is writing something in a diary. Stanley is reading newspaper in arm chair. All in living room)
Ama:(sitting in arm chair, reading book. Addresses Miri) Time for bed, butterfly.
Miri: (sitting on the floor, playing with porcelain doll) But mama, I want to stay up late like everyone else!
Ama: (smiles) Little butterflies must go to bed early so they have energy in the morning.
Miri: (pouting) But Kari doesn’t have to go to bed, and she’s not a grown-up yet!
Kari: (aloof) Yes, Miri, but I’m 10 years old. Thats 4 whole years older then you. Maybe when you’re 10 like me you can stay up late too.
Ama: You should be getting to bed too, Kari.
Kari: Mama, That’s not fair! I’m big enough to stay up with you guys! Right Daddy?
Stanley: (looks up from paper) Listen to your mother.
Miri: (yawning) No way! I’m not tired! (folds arms defiantly)
Ama: Okay, then. Stay up as late as you want. But you won’t get the special treat. It will go to some other little girl.
Miri:(suddenly interested) Special treat?
Ama: yes, butterfly, a very special treat. I’ll go and buy it for you tomorrow. Something very sugary and sweet!
Miri. Okay! (Miri runs up stairs, doll under her arm)
Kari: That may work on her, but I won’t fall for it anymore. 
Ama: Didn’t you say you wanted that new CD? Because I saw a copy of it at the store today...
Kari: Would you really get it for me?
Ama: Yes, but you said you’re too big to go to bed early, so I guess you’re also too big for me to get you the CD. Oh well...
Kari: Okay, okay! You win! I’ll go to bed! (storms upstairs, carrying diary)
Stanley: (peering out from behind the newspaper) Well done Ama. I thought they were gonna win you over for sure!
Ama: Yes, I am good at getting them to bed.
Stanley: (standing up and folding newspaper) Lets go tuck them in.
Ama: (closing book) That is a brilliant idea.
(the lights fade out as Ama and Stanley walk up the stairs.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Beneath My Bed

Favorite bedtime stories, 
Read again and again until the pages are curled and stained.
The dust settles on these objects, these soul.

In this surreal, desolate, berth,
Forgotten daydreams linger, 
Amongst memories of a playtime long past.
-- Emma Bernstein

Friday, March 11, 2011

Charolette:Chapter 2

Chapter 2
I began to cry. I was crying because I was so close to home, yet so far away. I was crying because I didn’t know when I would ever see home again, and I was crying because I felt so alone.
“Why do you cry?”
I jumped at the voice. The words creeped shyly out of the seemingly empty darkness.
“I was surprised to see a new child here. It’s been just me for so many years... more than anyone has dared to count.” 
The voice was enchanting. Not in the same way as Caliya’s. This voice seemed to lift me up. Still, Caliya’s voice had seemed comforting... I had to find the source.
“Who are you? Why are you here?,” I asked warily.
“My formal name is Isabella Grace. You may call me Bella. As for your second question, I am here for the same reason as you. Nothing. I was walking down the street, carrying a basket of warm bread from the bakery, just skipping and being naive, when ‘she’ came. She told me I was awfully thin, and that I needed a good meal in me. Her voice... it soothed me. I wanted to follow her for some reason. I realized too late the monster that she is.”
As Bella spoke, her frail body stepped out of the shadow.
From her height and face it seemed as though she was about my age, twelve or thirteen, but her eyes told me that I was wrong. They were full of the pain and sorrow of a wasted life. She had been beautiful once, and some of that beauty lingered in her delicate body. 
I moved to wipe my eyes, but Bella reached up and stopped my hand.
“Don’t be ashamed of your tears. Crying is healthy. tI takes your mind off things.”
Suddenly, I realized how hungry I was.
“Bella, how often does Caliya feed us?”
She looked taken aback by the question. “If your question concerns time, I am not the right person to ask. I lost track long ago. But, I can estimate that she feeds us once or twice a day.”
As I sighed discontentedly, the heavy iron door creaked open. Caliya’s handsome head poked in, an evil smile smeared across her face.
I felt anger rise in my chest. This horrible, terrible woman had taken me away from every thing I loved, had ripped me from my life. I couldn’t just lie on the floor and play pathetic. 
I lunged at her, choking in frustration. She cooly dodged my blow.
“Young girls like you shouldn’t behave that way. Stop this instant, or you shan’t have any supper!”
She mocked me. I renewed my sobbing as she kicked my side.
“Bella, come talk with me. You’re much more tamed than that one. I think I will give you some of that dinner the chef was making”
My mouth dripped at the mention of dinner, but I forced myself not to beg. I couldn’t give Caliya the satisfaction.
Bella grimaced as Caliya gripped her thin shoulder.
I cried silently to my self as darkness overcame the slit of light that marked the slightly open door, and a somber Bella disappeared from my view.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rainy Night

I toss and turn,
Trying to find the perfect position.
The rain taps against my window,
Singing softly to me.
The cold tries to creep in,
But I pull my blanket tighter around me,
Shutting it out.
My ears open to the musical rain,
And I allow it to fill me,
To close my eyelids.
I slip into the melody of night.

A vignette: Paper Time Capsules

The smell of popcorn drifts from one.  The  taste  of  soft  pretzel  spills  from another. Another one sounds like Sonny Rollins, playing his saxaphone to the beat.
They are like little paper time capsules, those tickets. They each tell a story of the places I’ve been, of the things I’ve seen.
They peek from the envelope, their corners torn and frayed. They’ve seen a lot, those tickets. I finger them gingerly, carefully. I am afraid of breaking them, destroying them, losing their stories.

Charolette: Chapter 1

Chapter 1
A mouse and a kidnapper
I sprinted along the path, thoughts running through my head at maximum speed. I had to catch that mouse.
So close. I was already at the front door. I just had to get to the guest bedroom before Aunt Miriam, and remove the mouse and everything would be fine.
If I was too late... my parents would be mad. Deadly mad. Aunt Miriam only visited once a year.
If they had told me about the guest earlier, I could have moved the mouse to my own bedroom with time to spare. As it was, I only knew about the visit because of Marlen, who owned the corner store in town.
I was at the top of the stairs. I could see the closed door of the guest bedroom. I froze.
A scream pierced serene quiet of the house. I shuddered. Aunt Miriam had found the jar with the mouse. 
There was nothing  to do but turn and run. Run down the stairs, out the door. I ran all the way down the hill.
My ribbon had come untied, and my hair flew out behind me in a great cloud of fiery red.
I had to hide and let their anger subside.
“Charlie!,” my father yelled from the top of the hill.
I hesitated a second, wondering if running was a mistake. Sometimes adults take off punishment if you turn around and confess. My senses told me this was not one of those times.
I continued running along the streets, not watching where I was going.
I rammed straight into a tall woman with curly blond hair. I glanced upward at her, expecting to be scolded. She just smiled.
“You’re running away from something?”
I nodded my head, thinking of what my mother had told me. ‘don’t speak to strangers.’   
“Me too. Maybe I could help you.,” the lady said in a sweet voice, “I’m sure that a girl as intelligent as you could help me.”
Her words seemed to fill me with a sense of safety, and all suspicion I held melted away like butter.
“Who are you running from?,” I inquired.
Her brow furrowed, as if she was considering something and was deep in thought.
“I’m not sure that a street as open as this is the right place to speak of  the subject. I trust you well enough, but there are others who wish me harm. Why don’t you come with me, and I will tell you all about it, beside a nice fire?,” she said after a moment. 
I did not hesitate to consent, because her voice was so soothing and light.
She held out her arm to me and I took it, and together we strolled down the street towards the nice lady’s home.
Her house was not far from the place where we had met, and we were there in just a few minutes.
My jaw dropped at the large white marble columns holding up the most beautiful house I had seen in my life. The house itself was huge, and it was surrounded by the most lush and wonderful garden.
“Do you want come inside? I think dinner is being prepared right now, and I have the most talented chef. I daresay he could make something you would enjoy,” she said elegantly.
I nodded, my mouth already watering from the mention of food. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast.
“Miss,” I asked, “ what is your name?” 
She answered immediately, “Caliya is my name. And yours?”
Her eyes seemed full of genuine curiosity, but had I been in my right mind, I would have notice the malice hidden behind the curtain of kindness.
Unfortunately, I was oblivious to anything that might cause me a shred of suspicion towards the lady.
“Caliya.” I whispered to myself. To Caliya I answered, “My name is Charolette.” I didn’t ever let anyone call me Charolette, but this beautiful woman was special. ‘Charlie’ just wasn’t pretty enough.
She close her eyes. “Why don’t we go inside now, Charolette. Dinner is probably ready, and we wouldn’t want to let it get cold, would we.”
I agreed with her, and we strolled up the marble steps to the beautifully carven wooden door.
Caliya smiled at me. “why don’t you knock on the door, Charolette. I’m afraid I don’t have the keys.”
I felt somehow apprehensive as I raised my fist and knocked on the door. The sound of my knuckles tapping the wood echoed through the giant house.
There was a great commotion on the other side of the door, and the knob turned slowly. 
I had a feeling that I didn’t belong there, that I should run home. Caliya didn’t seem as warm and welcoming. In fact, she seemed cold and evil.
The door swung open just as I turned to run home, but Caliya was waiting for me, and she pushed me through the doorway.
I found myself surrounded by darkness. A deep, old, musty, darkness that seemed to reach inside me.
Footsteps seemed to echo off the walls, before fading into laughter. I could feel Caliya’s presence at my left.
Her cold, slender arms lifted me up. I tried to kick and scream, only to be silenced by the thick air. 
There was a sense of forward motion, and I heard a door swing open. Caliya lay me down on the floor. I heard the door lock with a loud click.