Sunday, May 21, 2017
1st 5 Pages May Workshop - Kusma Rev 2
Name: Julie Kusma
Genre: MG Magical Realism/Historical Fiction
Title: In Katie’s Attic
You’re not going to believe this, but yesterday, I, Katie Linn, time traveled! I know, I can hardly believe it myself, but it happened. Imagine seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. Do you want to do it? Do you want to look? Even if it means you have to feel what they do? I don’t know if I would have said yes before yesterday, but now that I’ve done it; now that I’ve discovered my family’s magic— I plan on traveling back to as many of my ancestors as I can before this summer is over. So, if you want to come with me, keep reading.
I knew you wouldn’t miss this, and I bet you want to know how time travel works. Well, I don’t really know. I was up in the attic, which is going to be my cool hideout as soon as I finish rearranging it when I saw my grandfather’s Elgin clock. He gave it to me a couple of years ago in the barn. He reached up and unhooked it from a rusty nail and said it was a memento to remember him by. I didn’t understand what that meant, but now that he is gone, I get it. Anyway, when I saw the clock yesterday and picked it up, I felt like he was hugging me. In a flash, I was viewing the world through his eyes. Really. Only for a moment, but still, it happened. There I was, bouncing along in his 1924 Ford Model TT truck, winding the very same clock. When I realized where, or should I say when I was, I dropped the clock. I guess that broke our astral connection because I was back in my attic. I tried to make it happen again, but I couldn’t. Not with the clock.
Hang on—that’s my dad. I’m so excited you’re coming with me, that I forgot he was still home. “I’m in my room.”
“Leaving. Be back by five. Stay in, okay kiddo?”
My dad still worries about me, but I’m adjusting. Not that it stops the lump in my throat from swelling or a stray tear from randomly running down my cheek. Wait here, okay? I’m going to run to the landing. I’ve got this new thing about not letting him leave without me seeing him, just in case, you know. “Dad, I’ll be alright.” Stupid tears. I hate crying. “I love you, Dad. I’ll be fine. I’m just going to read and sit on my butt.”
“Great—Hey kiddo, thanks. I love you more.”
He always blows me a kiss when he leaves. I was sure I was outgrowing it, and almost told him to stop, but then the thing with my mom happened. I’ll take a blown kiss every day, no matter how old I get.
By the way, you’ll need to remember my name so you can find me if we get separated. If we do, dog-ear the corner, or use a bookmark if you have to stop reading, just remember you were In Katie’s Attic.
Hey, you’re still reading, aren’t you? I hope so because it’s really neat to share this with you. Plus, if anything scary happens, we’ll be together. This is awesome. I knew you were a serious treasure tracker when you first opened this book. Follow me down the hall.
Hey, do you like this wallpaper? It’s velvety in places. You can touch it. I think it is flocked or something. It’s always been here. Umm, and smell the pancakes. I love when dad makes them. Usually, he only has time on the weekends, but lately, he’s been making pancakes twice a week for me. Yummy. Come on. There are two balconies we have to pass. Look outside; the trees are waving at you. My mom used to say that to me. I know, it’s the wind. Okay, so we have to go to the main staircase landing. Have you ever slide down a long handrail like this? I want to, but my dad said he better never catch me trying it. Don’t tell him, but it’s still on my to-do list.
Hang on a minute, my stomach. That’s my parent’s—I mean my dad’s room. I try not to look in when I pass it because it makes sad that my mom’s not in there. No slippers at the foot of the bed. No jewelry box on the dresser. I’ll be okay in a minute. Hey, I wonder if my dad put her jewelry box in the attic?
Here, this is the hall that goes to the attic stairs. When we get to the attic, we are going to track down stuff we think might be a potential time traveling treasures. There are boxes and boxes of stuff to dig through. Oh, don’t worry; the treasures will JUMP at you. Maybe, even whisper your name. Now, don’t start getting weird on me. Can you imagine a little box or something saying your name? Hey, what is your name? Cool, I know somebody at school with your name, but we’re not friends anymore. They would have never done this with me. Anyhow, a talking box calls your name—super freaky, right?
Here we are, this way to the attic. The door must be ancient because it makes this creaky sound when I open it slow, but the glass doorknob is cool. Eeeeerrrrr. That’s creepy, right? Okay, few more steps and, ta-da. Watch out for that cobweb. Ick. Welcome to my treasure filled, time traveling, ancestor tracking hideout—my attic. I tried to arrange the old furniture kind of like a room, you know? It’s super dusty still, and the air kind of reeks of old things. Sorry about that, but my redecorating got sidetracked. Don’t worry. In a minute, you won’t even know you were here, seriously, because in a minute we won’t even be here.
I like this attic. That’s weird, isn’t it? Do you like the odd cross shape made by the four sections joining? It’s because it is the central part of the second story, remember where the four hallways meet by the main staircase my dad won’t let me slide down? I like the vaulted ceiling and the exposed trusses. Check out the dormer window. I could live up here. I wonder if my dad would let me? I am almost a teenager, you too, right?
Let’s stand in the over there and listen for treasures to call us. If we are quiet, and we—what? You've found something? Let me see. You think it’s the old black steamer trunk? Wow, that was fast. You're a natural at this. Okay, but I don’t know whose it was, somebody on my dad’s side of the family I think. Check out the embossed grapevines winding over its metal surface, and the oak slats. I bet that was added for strength. Have you seen one of these before? It was like a suitcase chest when people used to travel by ship.
Look, the two latches are flipped up—Wait! Don't touch the lock. We have to be in position. Our bodies are staying here, and if we lose connection with the trunk, it will break the astral journey. Let’s sit down next to it on this old pillow. When I touch the trunk, I will see a magical thread linking me to my family. I can follow it back in time.