Darling Daughters

Chapter Eleven

 

Early Monday morning the alarm destroyed the silence. It took a while before Elizabeth and Summer were sat together eating breakfast. Summer’s exhaustion was obvious, the late night and heavy workload were taking their toll. “Sum, when we get in tonight I need to have a bit of a chat with you.”

“What about?”

“Just a few things, I just want to talk to you about something.”

“I don’t need ‘the talk’ talk.”

“We can talk this evening.”

“What is it about Ellie?”

“Look I just want to talk to you about something.”

“About Zach?”

“He might reach the highlights. But really, we need to talk about something ok?”

“Fine.” Summer slumped off to finish getting ready.

***

The air was cool and crisp; autumn was turning quickly into winter. The chill in the air sent shivers down the girls as they hopped in the car, it had been a while since they had acquired it but somehow the car had developed a layer of fun little car accessories inside, an indoor clutter. It was just a knickknack storage hiding place.

Elizabeth dropped Summer off to school before she said goodbye she reminded her to be on time tonight for their chat. Summer rolled her eyes and disappeared. Even now Elizabeth knew she sort of missed Summer.

***

Summer got home and reluctantly finished off her homework. Her motivation wavering, she closed the last book and toyed with the keys in the bowl on the dresser table waiting for Elizabeth. Summer examined the keys one by one, finding a key with a rather jagged “S” scratched into it. The familiarity niggled at her thoughts.

Summer bent down in front of the dresser, the lower shelf had the same “S” scratched into the surface near the lock. Tentatively she pushed the key into the lock and turned, there was a faint click. Gently she pulled the draw but it didn’t budge. Standing she adjusted her position and pulled on the draw harder.

The draw opened, within it looked as though it hadn’t been opened in a long while, there were leaver arch folders full of papers and note books. Old photo albums that smelled like old paper tucked in stacks with letters; some formal, some with the familiar scrawl of Archie Darling. Carefully Summer extracted the contents of the draw and took the files trying to keep them in order into her bedroom.

Summer took the file at the top, with a large “One” scrawled over it. Taking the file to her desk she opened it to find files of papers. Each one with her name somewhere on them, throughout. She returned to the dresser and locked the draw before bringing the key into her room and placed it in the small jewellery box in her bedside table.

The air cooled as she read. Summer had managed to get a few paragraphs in when she heard Elizabeth returning. Marking her page, she put the files and notebooks into a storage box and tucked it under her desk.

Summer strolled into the kitchen assuming the coast was clear. She turned on the oven to preheat while she began to prepare the potatoes. The air was quiet, before a shockwave hit her and made her heart race, a loud bang, a very loud bang that echoed through the house. Elizabeth came rushing downstairs.

Both the fridge and the cooker had committed suicide, their insides engulfing in flames. A heartbeat saw Summer rip the plugs from the sockets near the fridge and countertops that she could reach.

Elizabeth was on the phone to the emergency services while Summer pulled oils and flammable liquids from the cupboards surrounding. Their hearts were racing. Summer pulled out the heat proof oven cloths from the draws and ran them under the tap. Taking a risk with Elizabeth’s back turned and the fire service not here yet Summer wrenched the oven door open and slung a couple of the heat proof cloths soaked in water over the oven door and slammed it shut.

Elizabeth turned at the noise and pulled Summer back from the oven. Summer wrenched herself free as the fire crew came through the door and took over.

The fire crew looked at Summer’s use of the heat proof cloths. “Where did you come up with the idea for the cloths?”

“My mum managed to set our grill on fire by accident a few years ago, I put it out in the same way, strangled the fire.”

“That’s actually quite clever, especially at your age.”

“Thanks, I’m used to putting out one kind of fire or another.” Summer smiled, she caught Elizabeth looking at her with an expression she couldn’t read.

“I’m surprised; didn’t the heat scare you?”

“Honestly in that moment, I didn’t feel it, fire doesn’t scare me. It should I know, but some people see the ferocity and destruction, I see soothing and the creation of something amazing in its wake.”

 

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Darling Daughters

Chapter Ten

 

Summer and Elizabeth stepped onto the porch in front of Caroline and Thomas. Reluctant in their approval of the girls being presentable at last. Summer and Elizabeth found themselves blindfolded being guided by Thomas and Caroline.

Stumbling a few times on the pavement they took slower steps reaching softer ground. Being guided across grass they were directed up some steps. Removing the blindfolds music began to play. As the smells of food finally made sense from the centre of the town gazebo.

Thomas began to speak, declaring today to be “British Day” he finally agreed, declaring the day open after explaining that Summer seemed so homesick and they couldn’t resist an opportunity to celebrate the new Darling’s in town. Summer swallowed back tears.

They were both handed T-shirts, one said “I love England” and the other “I love London” printed across the chest. The girls smiled and giggled as Thomas insisted he be the one to give the tour, after all it was a celebration for Elizabeth and Summer and he wanted to be the one to show them how happy they were that they had Darlings.

Summer tried to supress a smile with a deep breath, but she couldn’t manage it. She felt welcome and more at home in this quirky little town than she thought she would in that moment. She felt a part of the town, she felt a part of this strange, unusual family that was formed from the town. It was a little sanctuary.

Finally, Thomas left them and Caroline escorted Summer and Elizabeth to the bakeries stand. There were cupcakes decorated in the Union Jack, the English flag, little Paddington bear figures, Beatrix Potter characters, and Harry Potter designs. It was amazing.

Summer laughed at the joy of the effort, it was wonderful, even though she felt ever so slightly awkward. She was handed something in a box, she opened it to find a cake covered in stripes of all kinds of colours, a half mask made of sugar and a red rose. It took a few moments examining all the little smaller details of the cake before she beamed. “Is this a Lloyd Webber cake?” to which Caroline broke into a massive grin.

The cake was wrapped back up and handed to Summer to keep and eat. Summer was guided from stall to stall before she reached Simon. Who stood proudly, yet sheepishly behind his table, a stand filled with all kinds of English tea’s. Summer smiled from ear to ear before giving Simon a hug.

Elizabeth talked with Simon while Summer wondered off with a cup of tea. Looking through all the stands she bumped into Zach, who took the cake bag and the souvenirs she had been given and had begun to struggle with the juggling of them. His hair seemed to catch in the breeze blowing from his face.

“I don’t mind carrying it, honestly. Elizabeth looks happy.” He pointed over his shoulder towards Elizabeth smiling and chatting with Simon; Summer nodded. Zach and Summer began to walk again. He carried the cake carefully. After a while Summer found herself with an ache in her feet, “mind if we steal that bench?”

“Not at all.” His smile seemed to blow Summer away every time.

Summer laughed watching the town having around them. They watched as Simon and Elizabeth brought out a new station. “Can we go and have a look? I’m sorry I know we’ve not long sat down?”

“Of course, it’s your day after all.” Standing Summer suddenly felt a little braver, she took Zach by the hand and walked a step ahead. Her heart raced, he didn’t let go or pull away. She felt a bit relieved but so incredibly excited. Even with aching cheeks from all the smiling.

Summer found herself amused at what the town had thought of Britain. Summer relaxed passing the stalls for fish and chips. She made her way to Simon and Elizabeth who had opened the Diner serving full English roast dinners including Yorkshire puddings.

After eating dinner with Zach, Simon, and Elizabeth; Summer felt relaxed, and very full. Elizabeth stayed behind to help Simon clean up and ordered Summer to go and enjoy the town after dropping the cake off and little odd souvenirs.

Summer and Zach had spent a fair amount of time wondering about as the atmosphere began to change wind down in evening, still holding hands whenever they could. In a moment of sadness Summer remembered school tomorrow. But in this moment she had to ignore that looming misery.

Zach walked Summer home. They stood rather awkwardly on the porch. She inched a little closer to him, still holding his hand. In a moment of bravery, she rose up on to her tip toes, and lightly kissed Zach on the cheek. Returning her feet to the floor, feeling slightly red and embarrassed, she looked up at him. He leaned in and let his lips brush hers as he kissed her. He wished her goodnight.

She opened the door, he let go of her hand and wished her good night again with that brilliant smile.

 

 

Darling Daughters

Chapter Nine

 

It’s finally the weekend. That’s the sentiment they shared.

Summer had completed her homework and extra credit work by lunchtime. She had a short afternoon shift at the Diner to look forward to then some time with Elizabeth once she finished her shift.

While still home sick, Summer struggled to consider the manner home, although she was beginning to adjust to the decoration and the over-the-top-ness of the house. Neither Elizabeth or Summer had the heart to change it, even the bowl of keys on the dresser remained on the to do list pinned to the wall.

Tapping the to do list she walked out of the house towards the Diner.

For a Saturday the town seemed eerily quiet even McGuire wasn’t his usual self. He seemed to be running around giving whispered orders to groups of people nearby, but as soon as Summer approached he went silent. They exchanged a “good morning” or two and “what a lovely day” before returning to the huddle awkwardly.

Summer didn’t bother to mask her curiosity or her suspicion. She walked a little slower past each small crowd suddenly silent on seeing her.

“Ignore them, they are crazy” wise words from Simon as she got through the door. She still eyed him with equal suspicion. The Diner was quiet for a Saturday afternoon, and the distinct lack of explanation infuriated Summer with every quiet conversation hushed in her presence. On her occasional glance across the square she could see the kiosks being set up with carts and stands; but still no explanation, no matter how much she asked.

Struggling not to take it personally Summer eventually gave up asking.

At the end of her shift Summer met up with Elizabeth on her way out of Oaks, discussing dinner plans. They had their mission, cook dinner, see if they can find homes for some of those keys and watch some bad TV or food channels.

***

Exhausted the girls were still tucked up in bed at eleven thirty on Sunday morning. It was a loud knocking on the door that reverberated throughout the whole of the house to wake them up. Elizabeth was just as unhappy at the infernal racket as Summer as they opened at the door still bleary eyed from sleep in their pyjamas.

Dismayed at the door at the state of Elizabeth and Summer stood Caroline and Thomas. They ordered both girls to go get themselves presentable.

With the door closed both girls muttered and shuffled to their rooms pulling on jeans and t-shirts and raking their hair with a brush.

“Do we have to go with them?”

“Yup, no where we can hide in this damn town?”

“Great.”

Darling Daughters

Chapter Eight

 

It was towards the end of the week and both Elizabeth and Summer felt thoroughly exhausted. Elizabeth had been part of the marathon for the wedding order. Finally, her first day off this week had arrived, it was also Friday, much to her relief. However, that didn’t exempt her from waking up early to take Summer to school. But with that kerfuffle over Elizabeth now found herself at a loss of things to do, even with a to do list as long as her arm.

Elizabeth managed to get the food shopping done in the market with relative ease, a little nagging from Thomas had her rather grumpy. Elizabeth got the groceries home and put away, standing in the kitchen a little at a loss of what she wanted to do next. Her eyes fell onto the speakers and put music on, itching the volume a little higher at a time. She began to clean the house, in no time at all she was singing and dancing as she swept the floor occasionally pausing to use the handle as a microphone.

Elizabeth didn’t notice the door opening, or the figure of a man stifling laughter as Elizabeth continued to dance about with her back to him. A spin with the broom, she caught sight of him and screamed in surprise catching her feet below her she fell back on herself. Coming into the room to catch her, rescuing the damsel on the floor, Simon pulled her to her feet in hysterics.

Standing on her feet Elizabeth glared at him, picked up the broom and caught him on the shoulder telling him off. Finally, he had stopped laughing and apologised to her. Elizabeth was already red in the face from exertion and embarrassment.

“I’m sorry I swear I would have walked away, but it was such a show, a wonderful concert.” Elizabeth clipped his shoulder again with the broom at his sarcasm. Her eyes narrowed as he picked up the can of polish and the duster and began singing. Not sure if he was trying to offend her she glared, until her expression softened as he swayed and got into the song. Finally, Elizabeth caved and continued cleaning and breaking into laughter.

After a long while the living room and kitchen looked brighter and tidier. Reaching the final encore. Elizabeth smiled as she pulled a soda out of the fridge and handed it towards Simon, slumping on the sofa next to him, both a hot sweaty mess.

Simon pulled a small rusting key with a tag hanging off of it, “Archie” was scrawled across the label.

“Great another key, anyone would think Archie had a key fetish.” Continue reading

The 2018 Project

Well it is 2018 and with that comes some goals to achieve this year.

So obviously wanting to do nanowrimo hasn’t changed. I want to try it at least once even if I never want to do it again. So The Diary of Elliot Parker at the moment remains, unfinished, but hopefully that wont be for long. There is a lot to do on The Big Project front.

No I can’t drive, I may not be able to learn this year, but if I can I will. A west end show, it has to be done, last year’s was brilliant. Of course wanting to finish one of the big tattoos will be on the list. Of course, I want this site to grow too, but I will try to keep learning guitar. I want to actually be able to have a decent time to write over the course of a week.

Some things aren’t changing obviously.

I still need to finish knitting the cable jumper from hell… a little cross stitch is fun so I am sure I will do something. I want 2018 to be very positively focused, and getting things done ahead of time will really help me feel better about the goals so trying to get most of the organizing for Christmas done in advanced will really help me feel secure in that.

I would love to be able to fit in the blue dress I brought a couple of years ago, I haven’t worn it once yet so I want a chance to. I want to begin the next big project for here this year, but it is going to take a lot of time I just hope I can fit it in. There is a lot to do this year and only 12 months to do it in.

24/7 Goals:

  1. Do Nanowrimo
  2. Write The Diary of Elliot Parker (4)
  3. Draft up book 2 of The Big Project
  4. Re-edit book 1 of The Big Project
  5. Edit book 2 of The Big Project
  6. Learn to drive
  7. See a West End show
  8. Complete at least one of the tattoos
  9. Improve on last year’s site views
  10. Keep learning guitar
  11. Create and keep a manageable writing schedule
  12. Look for/find an agent for The Big Project
  13. Finish the cable knit jumper
  14. Start and finish a cross stitch project
  15. Win the lotto jackpot
  16. Keep growing hair out
  17. Keep doing daily positive aspects
  18. Complete at least one minor savings goal
  19. Have Christmas wrapped up before October 31st
  20. Read around 12 books at least over the year for fun…
  21. Be more time efficient, come up with a better schedule.
  22. Fit into the blue dress again and go somewhere to celebrate it
  23. Begin writing the next big project for the site
  24. Enjoy 2018 as much as possible, be happy at every chance!!!!

Darling Daughters

Chapter Seven

 

Summer rejected the alarm on her phone and rolled over burying her head in her pillows refusing to get up. Elizabeth burst into the room singing loudly and badly in an attempt to make Summer leap from her bed. Summer threw a cushion at Elizabeth’s head and missed. Determined Elizabeth kept singing until Summer rose from the sheets in a tangled mess.

Elizabeth passed Summer her school uniform and walked into the kitchen. Having spent most of the summer holidays trying to tidy the house the girls just wanted to relax this morning.

Hitting the shuffle on the speakers the girls got dressed and ready, eating breakfast singing and dancing along to cheesy pop.  By the time the fun was over they had to move swiftly to drop Summer off at Darling Honor before Elizabeth could make her way back to town for work.

The building before the girls stood tall and forbidding. Summer took a deep breath entering the cast iron gates. Teenagers swarmed through the hallways, Summer felt disorientated until she heard her name as she was tapped on the shoulder and lead towards headmaster Maiden’s office.

Summer’s heart raced as the door opened as she was called inside. By the desk sitting down was a tall, grey, stern looking portly man scanning a folder as he asked her to sit. Summer obeyed the icy grey eyes that met hers.

He waited a moment before he introduced himself, “I am your headmaster Alexander Maiden, the headmaster of one of the very few elite schools. Here you have the potential to become anything you want, if you apply yourself. However, it is not possible to cruise your way through this school doing the bare minimum.” Summer felt the knot in her chest tighten as she was handed a behaviour code to sign and the other school codes. She couldn’t escape the feeling she was signing her life away. Continue reading

The 2017 Project

So… This is the very last ever 2017 project… While there were some goals I couldn’t complete there were some that I did, and I am very proud for trying.

So for the final month of 2017 I can officially say yes I did complete goal number 8, I searched for a long time for some agents for The Big Project, while I wasn’t exactly successful I know that I am working on making it a project that I am extremely proud of. So yes it is back to the work shop for this project for a little more tweaking over the next 12 months, but I am proud of the book as it is, I know that it can only get better. I can’t wait to see the transformation and to have that perfect agent and publisher lined up for it.

Number 10, learning guitar, well safe to say I have continued to learn guitar over 2017 and I know I can only get better. So there goes another tick on that long list.

Number 17, looking for the positives more often. While it hasn’t always been the easiest task to achieve, I am proud to say I am consistently making great improvements in looking for the positives. I am going to tick that off, but I am going to keep working on that one for as long as humanly possible.

And finally goal 22 to grow my hair out, so other than a good trim to get rid of split ends, I have managed to grow my hair out, it currently at least brushes my shoulders, which is great. So while it isn’t below the shoulder yet, it is at least on its way in that direction.

So yes, I have managed to complete 11 of my 24 goals which absolutely smashes the aim of seven and I am incredibly happy that I managed to get that far. I want to do the 24-7 goals again next year, it was sort of hard work in a good way…

The 24-7 goals:

1- Write The Diary of Elliot Parker Part 2

2- Do NANOWRIMO

3- Write The Diary of Elliot Parker Part 3?

4- Write the first book of the big project

5- Finish spine tattoo

6- Finish magpie tattoo

7- Finish musical rib tattoo

8- Look for an agent/publisher for the “big” project

9- Learn to drive

10- Learn guitar

11- Finish knitting the cable knit jumper

12- Finish knitting the blankets

13- Improve views on here

14- See a west end show

15- Try and succeed at least three times on the 21 day habit swap

16- Win the lotto jackpot

17- Look for the positives more often

18- Meditate regularly

19- Keep making emotional progress

20- Keep hope and loose more doubt

21- Make posts for here in advanced, consider adding pictures, try to avoid leaving it to the last minute

22- Try to grow my hair long- aim for below the shoulder this year.

23- Become even more open-minded

24- Discover my own special brand of writers magic,

Habit swapping:

Break- Stop apologizing for myself so often. I do it a lot, it is something that really bothers me, mainly because I apologise for things that are completely not my fault and nothing to do with me. I am sick of apologizing for my own existence.

Make- Eat at least one piece of fruit a day. It is supposed to be healthy right?

Make- Write/plot at least an hour each day even on rest days. I have to start getting stricter on myself.

Make- Create and stick to a writing schedule. I have to start being more organised.

Break- Stop being hard on myself, speak kinder words to myself instead. That pretty much explains itself.

Make- A daily list of 3 positive things that I like about my day. Because sometimes it is easy to forget that there were brief sunshine moments.

Make- A daily list of 3 things that I like about myself, physical, non-physical. Because, it can be hard to show yourself some love.

Make- A little notebook of positive aspects, a once a day entry of 10 things that are positive. Literally a list of positive aspects about people, places, things; maybe one day I will post it on here.

That’s it, the final curtain on the 2017 project.

The Big Project

So here it is, the very first view of the big project. The first chapters. Please do not copy without credit and so on and so forth as the copy right still belongs to me (just a little reminder) for all that is on this website (a reminder can be found on the about page but if here is a little reminder here too: “Please be aware that unauthorized use and or duplication without permission from the author and owner of this blog is strictly prohibited. Links and excerpts may be used on the condition that clear credit is given to the author/owner A. R. Appleby.”).  Thank you for your patience.

Perhaps this could be considered my Christmas present to you.

I know I have mentioned this project many times, it is part of a series called “Promitto Memorari” and this is the thirdd chapter of the first book entitled “Just Say Yes”

Chapter Three

Now

Katie

“You know you’re doing it wrong?”

The interruption… I feel my eyes roll when I put the bookmark in place and look up at the face grinning at me over the fence. I can’t help but feel suspicious. The grin turns to a smirk on his face, “you’ll never get a tan like that. What is it you’re doing anyway?”

I feel the bubble of discomfort and anger knotting its way into my throat. “Biology homework.” I feel blunt. I feel interrupted. I want to be left alone. “You look confused; homework is that thing we have to do to avoid detention. You should try it someday.” I know that stung. His smirk faltered. For a millisecond I feel bad, until he opens his mouth. “You have to be joking, I barely follow what the teacher says.”

My irritation is rising, and I can’t stop myself. “Yeah and don’t we all know it.” I start to pack my books away, saving my pages netting them together.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Wow, did I actually offend him? Surely not. That question wasn’t said with sincerity and I am not in the mood for this, when I agreed to the favour I didn’t agree to the obnoxious prat. “Heaven forbid that anyone actually wants to learn something. But yeah, sure, you go on coasting by, pretending not to give a flying monkeys even though you and I both know you could actually pass, if you tried.”

I pile my books onto the ledge near the door and collapse the rusting chair and push it under the ledge, stuffing the plastic cover around it.

“Tutor me.” And there it is. What he wanted to ask. What I had known was coming. Mr Thomas had warned me. But the words still felt strange to hear. It wasn’t even asking. Not really. “What?” I respond not turning around.

“Tutor me. Please?” I begin to turn around, slowly, I am not going to lie, it feels a tiny bit satisfying. “You say I can do it, so teach me how. Help me pass, please, Katie.” I turn back towards the door, just a fraction. “Katie! Please.” The pleading in his voice was such a nice touch.

“Fine. Ok it with my parents first, as long as you do the work, I will help. But you can’t copy my work.”

~ * ~

Dad put down his knife. “So Mary stopped me on my way in this evening.” He was directing that at me, even though mum looked up like her neck would snap. “Apparently you are tutoring Chris today.” I nod, trying to ignore the reluctance that would seep into my voice stopping me from speaking.

Mum begins to busy herself picking up the plates. Her voice is tart, “You will need a hammer to get anything through his head.” Dad laughed but it never met his eyes, it’s no secret I don’t like the boy next door, it’s no secret what happens at school. “Good luck, and if he puts even a toe wrong, let me know.”

I roll my eyes and nod. “Yes mum” my tone feels flat as I help get the plates from the table into the kitchen. “What time was he meant to be coming?” I call out to dad. Who is twirling the knife in his hands, playing absent minded, he shrugs, “ten minutes ago.”

“Oh great.” Slips my lips. The knock on the door catches my attention. I slump away down the hallway a few thumping steps that feel like my feet are made of concrete. I pull the door open and Chris is leaning against the wall, lazily dragging his bag. It’s a wonder it doesn’t break. I think to myself ‘start as you mean to go on’.

“You’re late” I snap, “shift it.” Chris steps past me but waits for me to close the door and lead my way upstairs to my room. My desk is strewn with homework. I step inside and wait for him to follow but he is standing in the hallway.

For a moment I see him taking in the sight of my room, he’s never seen it. The purple, black and cream splashed everywhere. He makes his way to my desk now. The alcove covered in “aged” (tea stained) paper so that I can stick things to my wall without pulling off paint and bits of wall with the sticky tack. I watch him examining the posters of west end shows, my doodles, photos of my childhood. My childhood feels like a millennial ago and yesterday all at once. I feel like the little girl is not me, like that person no longer exists. She doesn’t. My recent photos are a secret life he doesn’t get to see at school.

I snap out of my own thoughts and pull out a book and push it in front of his face. “Here, get on with question one for a start and see if we get the same results. At least then I can find out where you actually need help.”

I can feel him want to say he doesn’t need help, before he can the next words slip through my lips “and show your work” I twitch a smile and sit on my bed. I’m continuing where I left off earlier. I’m on the last question of the homework. I take a quick glance up from my page and watch Chris tapping his pen looking at the wall.

“This is stupid. I’m wasting my time.”

I snap, “no, you are wasting my time.” I pull myself up off of the bed and stand behind him and look at his work, he is essentially right, but the presentation, well that is where he is getting lost. I guide him through the simple structure. He follows it and rewrites it out, and stares at how it is meant to look as though I just showed him my plans to poison him.

“Do you actually not want help?”

“I just, I hate the hoops they make us jump through.”

“I just obey them, hate them, and then reward myself with the knowledge that there is only a limited time left in that hell hole. Now if you don’t mind. Question two.”

~ * ~

I haul the book out of my bag, rummaging around the bottom of the bag to find my pencil case that has gone on a wonder about in my bag. Chris brushes past me, I feel his fingers brush my blazer sleeve. I look around and shake my head looking back at him. I know he is smirking. Even with his face turned from me so that all that I can see of him is his copper hair, so light that he could probably get away with calling it ‘strawberry blonde’ unlike mine, a true red.

I pull the pencil case from the bottom of my bag and sit down in the nick of time. Mr Thomas strides into the class.

“Come on class, sit down… Today” he puts down the register and smiles. “Right. Homework folders in the air and start the assignment on the board.” I put the folder in my left hand and bend my elbow resting on the table so that the folder is up in the air and my right hand can work as he makes his way around the class. I watch him from the corner of my eye as I work, he flicks through the folders and begins to make two piles. One pile has just two folders. I can see the exasperation on his face. He is frustrated, I can just tell, he’s going to flip.

“Why is there just two folders with homework in?” His voice echoes through the room. He takes a deep breath. Putting his hand in his pocket, he has the classes rapt attention. “Katie, Chris, come here please.” I feel my heart thumping in my chest, for some reason this feels like a punishment. As we reach his desk he puts a couple of coins into Chris’ hand, and my own. I try to hand them back; this feels like a trick as much as it is a reward. “Thank you for actually doing your homework.” I feel like a deer in headlights, I thank him and follow his request for us to sit back down.

I can hear whines around the room that “sir it’s not fair” and the like.

Mr Thomas is having none of it. “I expect your homework tomorrow the rest of you.” I glance back over my shoulder at Chris. He is staring at me; he mouths the words “thank you” to me. I just nod. This is weird.

I can feel the tension as I continue the assignment, the room now reduced to no more than the scratches of pens on paper, the odd clicking of the top, the odd the sigh. I daren’t look up from my work. I catch Mr Thomas’ eye. As he walks past my desk to deal with the ruckus in the hallway.

***

Then

Enya

“You look beautiful today Lady Enya.” I look up from my sewing to see the familiar face of Broderick. I smile and thank him before returning my focus to the cloth in my hands. He sits beside me. “You really can’t sew can you?” There are loose threads mapping a rough guide for what I want to do.

“I am sure it will look fine when it’s done.” I am coldly polite; I don’t like being disturbed. I pack away my sewing and pull the parchment with my rough sketch. My plan for the cloth, a circle of rope with a weaving loop of eight, an infinity symbol crossing through the centre of the circle. I tuck it away. The rain continues to pour down in the courtyard even as the sun shines.

I stand and excuse myself taking my sewing to my chambers. I slip out from my chambers with my cloak covering me, moving as swiftly as possible I stride down to the stables. Ready my horse myself, the stable boys are running errands, as usual at this time. I don’t have long. No one willingly goes riding in this weather so I know they probably won’t notice for a while. I get out onto the flats of the cobbles of the courtyard. With some encouragement the horse and I are off and out the gates, I hear a little shouting but I am already gone. The rain whipping at my face as we gallop for a few minutes. As we near the shelter of the trees I jump down and walk beside the horse. Continue reading

The Big Project

So here it is, the very first view of the big project. The first chapters. Please do not copy without credit and so on and so forth as the copy right still belongs to me (just a little reminder) for all that is on this website (a reminder can be found on the about page but if here is a little reminder here too: “Please be aware that unauthorized use and or duplication without permission from the author and owner of this blog is strictly prohibited. Links and excerpts may be used on the condition that clear credit is given to the author/owner A. R. Appleby.”).  Thank you for your patience.

Perhaps this could be considered my Christmas present to you.

I know I have mentioned this project many times, it is part of a series called “Promitto Memorari” and this is the second chapter of the first book entitled “Just Say Yes”

Chapter Two

Now

Ethan

As life-changing moments happen to go, this is perhaps my best work. The most hidden, insignificant moment in this teenage boy’s life.

“Christopher Giry. Sit.” I keep my voice cold and bored, even if everything is riding on this moment. My office is a mess; it is basically a cupboard nested beside a high traffic stairway. It’s cluttered, I know, full of books, papers, folders. As it happens the evenings I spend in here marking stacks of repetitive boredom is matched with bad coffee.

Since my permanent selection for detention duty, my social life drained away, and I spend more hours in my office than any other teacher. I am a jar of “Marmite”, you will either love me or hate me.

But it seems no matter what, I like to discover all kinds of potential. Christopher, as yet, is untapped. A key that’s stuck in the draw. He is sat in the cheap plastic chair opposite my desk. This time he is being held back after detention for my chat, and I know his slouch and mask scream indifferent. Continue reading

The Big Project

So here it is, the very first view of the big project. The first chapters. Please do not copy without credit and so on and so forth as the copy right still belongs to me (just a little reminder) for all that is on this website (a reminder can be found on the about page but if here is a little reminder here too: “Please be aware that unauthorized use and or duplication without permission from the author and owner of this blog is strictly prohibited. Links and excerpts may be used on the condition that clear credit is given to the author/owner A. R. Appleby.”).  Thank you for your patience.

Perhaps this could be considered my Christmas present to you.

I know I have mentioned this project many times, it is part of a series called “Promitto Memorari” and this is the first chapter of the first book entitled “Just Say Yes”

 

Chapter One

Whenever

The Wordsmith

Hello old friend.

It has been such an awfully long time, or perhaps it is none at all? Time after all, is not always what it seems. Time has such a beautifully subjective quality; it is easily mistaken as a fixed entity.

It is as though, perhaps, there are two beginnings to every story. There is the one that you know like your own heartbeat. And there is the one, that clever, ever so beautiful one that conceals the very secrets of its existence. That is of course, not to say that neither one can be true. It really does all depend delicately upon the perspective from which you are looking.

This is why I should introduce you somewhere closer to the end, rather than the traditional beginning. Although… they may be one in the same, a confusing blur. This could even be the very middle. The centrefold if you will. Perhaps we may discover the answer, or ignore all questions completely, but I must warn you, there may be a time for a time outside of our own, to leak into what I am to tell you. As memories go, it has become a tangled lace, a web of intertwining events as everything becomes over time. It is becoming clearer to me, slowly, as these words appear on the page before me that I have no real idea where I should begin, or understand what to say.

The exact moment where we will cross that unknown between a stranger, a narrator, a story teller, or the voice to the words that you read will disperse and become something else entirely. A connection will grow through the bonds of adventure and we will embark upon a friendship; destined to explore the old and the new, the strange and the surreal, the normal and the mundane moments that will inflict themselves upon this tale that I tell.

After all, it is the smallest of things, a butterfly’s wings that can change the world. So as we steal and sneak our path through private moments, secret conversations, hidden thoughts, fantasies and regrets, we will discover their secrets and rudely pry into the privacy of other lives. Take my words as my hand, guiding you through the adventure (and I hope you brought the snacks).

Let’s walk through the twisting path of time and discover the untold story hidden in the recesses.

We will intrude upon the memories, long forgotten, and reawaken for us to devour, word by word.

And so I fear, it is time to cease our introductions and begin.