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.