Sunday, March 22, 2015
First 5 Pages March Workshop - Saint-Laurent Revision 2
Name: Sarah Saint-Laurent
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction
Title: The Mender
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Do you ever feel like you just know something is not quite right but you can’t prove it?
My entire life I’ve had this gnawing feeling that my parents are hiding something from me. Now I finally have the evidence I’ve been looking for… I think.
Last night I overheard them speaking in low, hushed tones in their bedroom. The door was cracked so naturally I peeked in (don’t judge me.) My father was holding a small wooden box in his hands. It looked extremely ancient and seemed to be causing some friction between him and mum.
“The girls are not ready Morgan,” I heard dad say. He pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, a habit he has when he is feeling nervous or angry. By the look in his eyes he was experiencing both emotions.
My mother was standing at the large bay window looking out. When she turned and faced my father the look of uncertainty was unmistakable.
“They’ll never be ready Aidan,” she said in reply. But if you’re going to make such a blasted big deal of it, just put the box back in its hiding place.”
“They’re still so young Morgan, they won’t possibly understand,” he said as he transferred the box nervously from one hand to the other.
My mother grabbed her thick brown hair and wound it at her neck in a knot. She looked thoroughly dejected.
“Who knows when the right time will ever be? I was much younger than Vivienne when I found out the truth. But I suppose I can wait for another time.”
My mind began to splinter at the thought of all the possibilities this held. But I knew if I stayed here any longer I would be busted. I tiptoed away from the door and made my way down the hall to my bedroom as stealthily as possible. I needed to concoct a plan to locate this hiding place and get my hands on that box. Maybe then I’ll finally get some answers. I felt a strange sensation surge through me. It felt like… excitement.
This really is strange considering nothing exciting ever happens to me. I am the Goddess of Typical. The members of my family possess a quirky-gene and I do not. The only thing above-average about me is my curiosity. Otherwise I am entirely blah: average height, average weight, average intellect, athletically average, average friends… the list is endless.
The only thing about me that is remotely unique, other than heightened curiosity, is the color of my eyes, and even that trait I share with the other females in my family, including my eccentric grandmother Lavender and Great-Gramsy Livonia. You see we all have green eyes, but each has a variant of green, either emerald or mossy or mint. One blustering winter day as I sat around the house bored senseless I Googled this odd fact and discovered only 2% of the world’s population has green eyes. Of course I have the most boring shade of green eyes in existence. I would call it pine. Other than that there is not one thing about me that is notable.
I busily concocted a plan which clearly breaks the “no sneaking and no snooping around where you don’t belong’ house rule. My parents have a lot of rules. Now I know they have secrets too.
My parents keep a battered old chest with a massive brass lock in their bedroom. I always found this curious and strange as I’d never seen them open the chest. Not even once. When I was nine I asked my mum what the chest contained. She flatly replied “Vivienne, curiosity is overrated.” That was the end of the conversation. Now it began to make sense. They are hiding a secret from me, just like I always suspected and it was in that chest. Maybe.
Late last night while everyone was sleeping I snuck downstairs, went into my mother’s office and found the key she thinks I know nothing about. I may be curious but I have never done anything like this before. My heart banged around in my chest all night as I worried about my plan. If I get caught I am doomed.
The next day after school I zoomed up the staircase straight into my parent’s room. I wasted no time and moved straight for the chest. Mum and my little sister Gwen would be home any time from ballet class. My hand began to feel slippery as I drew the key to the chest out of my jacket pocket.
Besides the disgusting perspiration, I’ll admit small, dull daggers of guilt were beginning to poke at my conscience. The house rules were pretty clear on this matter. ‘Children do not sneak around in the private belongings of adults.’ But, I just didn’t care. I intended to find that secret box. That annoying little guilt thing kept popping into my mind but I kept pushing it right back out.
I made my way over to the enormous chest and heaved open the heavy lid laying it gingerly backwards over the end of the bed.
‘Blankets! How utterly disappointing,’ I thought to myself as I tossed most of them out onto the floor.
Underneath I discovered other really old items, I mean like ‘Aztec’ old. Among them a small collection of velvet pouches. I quickly peeked into each, one contained rocks and pebbles, another contained what looked like coins, and another held what appeared to be dust.
‘Bullocks. Where is the box?’
Deep in the far corner I spied a large leather satchel with an outline of a butterfly embossed on it. ‘The box must be in that,’ I anxiously thought to myself praying my hard work would not end up a complete waste of time.
I spread my knees apart on the tapestry rug and pulled on the satchel straps. It was heavy. As I tugged harder it unexpectedly came flying out and I fell back on my rump… hard.
I winced in pain and saw little floating spots dance in front of my eyes. I got up on my knees and pulled the satchel to my lap.
“Just what the Hell do you think you are doing Vivienne Louise Catesby?”
My stomach felt like it hit the kitchen on the floor below me. I looked up into my mother’s face staring at me. Her mint-green eyes pierced into mine. Her face was contorted and crimson red with a small vein on her forehead sticking out a little. My mum looked like a volcano about to explode. If anger could somehow become molten lava this volcano was about to hurl chunks of blistering magma sky high.
“Oh hi mum,” I said while attempting to appear unshaken. “There is a perfectly good explanation for all this. It’s not at all what it looks—.”
“Get up and get out. Go to your room immediately, I do not want to hear another word from you,” she said in short, clipped bursts as she attempted to stifle her obvious impulse to scream at me.
“But mum, you see--.”
“Vivienne, do not say another word.”
I dropped the satchel on the tapestry rug and slinked my way to the door not daring to take my eyes off my shoes. As I made my way down the hall I couldn’t help but think ‘maybe curiosity really is over-rated after all.’ One thing was for sure. Whatever was coming next