The Journal of Shannon McEwen|
Storybound - Chap 1/2
10/10/2011 04:11 a.m.
A story I'm writing for my daughter Meghan - let me know what you think...
Meghan wiped her tears away and walked back to her room knowing her mom wouldn’t hear her over her own exhausted tears. Her mom was often like that these days since she got that stupid promotion. Mom had said it was for the best and she just had to work a little harder for a while until she had herself established but Meghan knew better. Her mom always said it was only for a while. Sometimes she wondered if her mom even realized she kept promising things she couldn’t keep. She loved her mom more than anything and she missed the laughter and hugs which had recently been replaced with her moms face staring blindly into a computer screen every night, working as usual. When she wasn’t working she was crying because she was so tired or half heartedly trying to spend time with them, the dark circles under her eyes getting bigger and bigger. Meghan had no doubt her mom loved them she just wished she looked more happy.
Hearing a thump and a cry from her two year old brothers room Meghan sighed and detoured. Opening the door she found her brother on the floor by the bookshelf instead of in his bed. Picking up the book he’d bonked his nose with she scooped him up and sat down. Finn slipped down her chest and plopped into her lap, curling up and looking up expectantly while pleading “book”.
Smiling she opened the book and began to read. Her other brother Logan came barrelling in like his typical hippopotamus in a china shop (mom used elephant but Meghan knew better, she knew elephants were actually quite graceful, very unlike her eight year old brother.)
“Whatcha doin’ Meghan, can I listen to?” Logan said in a rush while simultaneously plunking down beside her with such force she could feel the carpet below her move.
“You could read the story Logan, mom says you need to read more” Meghan lectured, her big sister voice on auto pilot.
“Noooo, you read” he whined.
Sighing and just a little annoyed he didn’t like reading like she did she continued to read the story, with her brothers listening and Finn pointing out interesting pictures on each page. They sat like that for quite some time, reading book after book until her baby brother’s body got heavier in her lap. Closing Goodnight Moon, Finn’s favourite book she stood up with him in her arms. He automatically turned around, wrapping his toddler arms around her neck and putting his head on her shoulder. Kissing the top of his head she placed him in his bed and pulled the covers up.
“Night Mayin” he mumbled turning over and burying his head under the covers.
Logan began to talk until Meghan grabbed his arm and gave him her best stink eye and “shhh”. Once they got into the hall, she ushered Logan into his room and clicked off his light, tucking him in and promising to get mom to come in to kiss him good night.
Meghan grabbed her book from just outside of Finnegan’s door and went to her mom’s door and knocked softly.
“Night mommy, Logan wants you to kiss him goodnight” Megs whispered while opening the door just enough to stick her head in.
“What time is it?” her mom looked up from her laptop
“Oh crap, sorry baby!”
“Don’t worry mom, Finn and Logan are both in bed”
“Thank you baby, I love you”
As her mom opened her arms for a hug Meghan came rushing in the door and fell into them, hugging her mom hard.
“Whoa, is everything ok?” her mom said, pulling back and pushing Meghan’s mop of hair out of her eyes
“Yep, just love you”
“Just love you too baby”
Feeling better Meghan left her moms room and headed downstairs to her room. Walking down both sets of stairs to the basement she turned lights out as she went, a bit freaked out by the dark as the golden lights flicked off. “Don’t be a baby” she muttered as she steeled her nerves for the last light.
Meghan’s room was in the basement and the only light for the basement was at the top of the stairs. There wasn’t one in the family room, so she had to flip off the light and boot it down the stairs, across the family room and into her bedroom where she could flip on her bedroom light to chase the dark away, which was stupid since she was almost thirteen and too old to be afraid of the dark. Her mom tried to convince her she was afraid of the dark too but Meghan didn’t really believe that.
Climbing the ladder to her loft bed Meghan clicked on her reading lamp before crossing her room to turn out the light. Sighing she scooped up her cat Bert and her book and trekked back up the ladder. Finally peace and quiet. She didn’t have much of that these days with her dad working nights and her mom working so hard. She’d been helping out more with her brothers and chores, and she didn’t mind...much, but she missed having more time to escape into her books. Meghan loved reading. Her teacher told her she should maybe take her face out of her book now and again but it really was her favourite place.
In her books she read about elves and dwarves and dragons, about evil sorcerers and brave boys or girls who conquered some kind of evil to save the day and sometimes even the world. While various things went awry, her heroes carried on which made for a great story and she could lose herself for hours. Her bookshelf was crammed with books to the point where her mom said it looked like the books were taking over the room. She didn’t care though, she loved looking at them, remembering where they’d taken her, or wondering where they would take her when she had a chance to read them.
Tucking herself in (she was getting too old to be tucked in like her brothers, really...) she plumped her pillow, rolled onto her side and pulled the covers up. Bert curled around her head and plopped down by her face, batting gently at her nose. Meghan opened her book and began to read but before long her eyes started to feel heavy and she was having a hard time focusing on the words. Feeling herself being drawn further and further into sleep her grip loosened on the book and finally the book slipped closed, along with her eyelids.
Meghan felt a tickle across her cheek and absently smacked at it, still half asleep. As she started to doze off again the same tickle brushed across her cheek. “Bert. Stop that” she mumbled sleepily and rolled over grabbing for her blankets, except her blankets weren’t there, only what felt like long damp grass. Confused Meghan sat up and rubbed her eyes before opening them. Looking around her mouth fell open; this was not her bedroom. This was a very misty forest where she appeared to be sitting in a small meadow. What the heck? As she brought her legs up to wrap her arms around them in a protective gesture she noticed her bare legs and again wondered, what the heck? She was positive she’d gone to bed in her rubber ducky pyjama pants, but it appeared she was now wearing faded green leggings that only went to her knee.
“This is crazy” she whispered, closing her eyes and shaking her head hoping to come back to reality.
Opening her eyes didn’t change her strange surroundings though; they were exactly the same as before, except there was maybe a little more sunlight streaming between the branches of the surrounding trees. Jumping to her feet Meghan threw open her arms and inspected her outfit. Definitely not the pyjama pants and tank top she went to bed in. She was wearing faded green leggings to her knees, the corners dipping down slightly further into a flourishing point, with the same coloured fitted vest. The shirt underneath her vest was soft and clung to her body except where it flared out slightly at her wrists and waist, just past the bottom of the vest.
At her chest the shirt was tied closed with soft rope. Around her neck was another rope, but this rope was black and very soft. At the end of the rope was a braided design that almost looked like a very elaborate heart, which appeared to be an opaque white stone. Touching the stone with the palm of her hand it felt very warm and comforting and instinctively she wrapped her hand around the stone and closed her fingers around it. She could almost feel the comforting stone soaking it’s warmth into her cold body. Looking down Meghan noticed the boots on her feet that went up just past her ankle bone. She thought it strange she was wearing boots since she felt like she was barefoot, standing on a thick, soft carpet.
Out of the corner of her eyes she noticed her dark hair flipped partially over one shoulder in a loose braid, tied with piece of soft butter coloured leather string. Okay, the outfit was cool, something straight out of Dungeons and Dragons or World of Warcraft but still, what the heck?
“I must be dreaming, I must be dreaming, I must be dreaming, pinch me now” she mumbled, clasping her necklace now with both hands, eyes closed.
“Ouch” a sudden sharp pain on her butt caused her eyes to fly open and hands to reach behind her. Somebody had pinched her! She looked frantically around, but it wasn’t her bedroom and was that tree closer than it was before? Where did that branch come from and how was it suddenly hanging just above her head. Was that whistling she heard in the breeze? Or giggling?
Rubbing her butt cheek she looked around again to see if she could figure out where the heck she was. Did she sleep walk? Okay maybe not a case of sleepwalking, that wouldn’t explain the very cool but kind of creepy outfit or the tree that pinched, or maybe pinched. Was she cracked? As she took a step forward she almost tripped on a weird looking backpack by her feet. Steadying herself Meghan knelt down to pick up the pack. At the same time she noticed a heavy forest green blanket in a pile beside the pack. Weird she thought, her blankets were light green and not so heavy. Lifting the blanket up she noticed it wasn’t a blanket at all but what appeared to be a cloak, with a deep hood and a clasp that was designed similar to the stone on her necklace. The cloak was deep green, which kind of looked like velvet but didn’t feel like it at all. It was smooth and warm to the touch.
Weirder and weirder Meghan thought. Swinging the cloak around her Meghan clipped it into place. Instantly warm, the chill from the wet grass was just a memory as the cloak settled around her in a giant embrace.
Plopping down on the damp grass with the cloak wrapped around her she tentatively opened the weird looking back pack. It was a dusty brown colour, with the same buttery leather tying it closed in a crisscrossing pattern. Inside was a small comb and mirror, an extra pair of clothing that looked identical to what she was wearing, only brown instead of green, a small silver intricately designed dagger in an equally ornate sheath, a bag of what appeared to be gold coins, a weird shaped container that sloshed and appeared to be water on further inspection, what appeared to be three ordinary looking red apples and a bundle covered in cloth.
Slowly unravelling the cloth she discovered a hard chunk of cheese, some really hard looking bread and what appeared to be beef jerky. Crinkling her nose she, in distaste, she wrapped the food back up and carefully placed everything back into the bag, except one of the apples, tying the strings on the pack Meghan placed the bag beside her and bit into the apple, looking up from her warm cocoon and trying to decide what to do. This had to be a dream but she wasn’t about to ask for a pinch again because her butt still stung where she’d been pinched. The pain so real so thought if it was a dream she wasn’t sure how to wake up. If it wasn’t a dream she should be scared out of her mind, but oddly she wasn’t scared, well maybe a little but not terrified like any reasonable almost thirteen year old should be when waking up in a strange place, wearing strange clothes. Suddenly needing to make sure she really was still Meghan, she rummaged through the pack to find the small mirror, her hands trembling as she lifted it out of the bag and dropped it onto the grass in front of her. What is she wasn’t herself? She felt like herself, she thought like herself, did she still look like herself?
Picking up the mirror Meghan looked at herself in the reflection. She looked the same as usual, except maybe a little paler than her already pasty skin. Her dark hair even in its braid was as chaotic as ever and her hazel eyes and freckles looked exactly the same as when she had brushed her teeth last night. Pulling the mirror back so she could inspect herself from different angles she noticed something pale and pointy sticking out of her hair. Pulling her hair back Meghan breathed a sigh of relief that it was only her ears. As she made to put the mirror back into the pack Meghan frantically brought the mirror back to see her ears with one hand while the other flew up to touch the very pointy tips of her once round ears.
“Holy cow...” she mumbled as she inspected her new ear shape. What the heck? She thought for about the hundredth time since she woke up. Was she an elf? Was this one of her books, maybe the one she just started reading last night? She couldn’t remember what the first few pages had said she’d been so tired. This had to be a dream, it was the only explanation! Trust her to make herself an elf, her favourite of all of the fantasy characters.
“I’m an elf” she murmured to herself in the mirror. “Actually, you’re only half elf; the other part of you unfortunately is human”.
“Who said that?” Meghan looked up as the pit of her stomach dropped
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