Short story

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Thread Topic: Short story

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    Stardust1 Novice
    (sorry, continuing from that paragraph) Then I simply chose one of the plain rooms lined in the hallway.
    Eli stood there awkwardly, like he couldn't figure out what to say to me. I made most people feel that way.
    After setting my suitcase on the bed, I turned to Eli, finally deciding to put him out of his misery (no, I wasn't going to kill him, haha). "How about a tour of this place?"
    "Yes, a tour." He agreed readily, "Let me show you around."
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    Stardust1 Novice
    I was right. The rest of the house was exactly the same. Same thick, old rugs covering the floors, same peeling wallpaper, same dusty antique furniture. Every window had heavy curtains or blinds covering it, or it was boarded up. Every stair step creaked. Every door squealed on its hinges. I mean, was it really that hard to take care of the place? What were they doing with all their money?

    We explored the kitchen, the various living rooms, the never-ending upstairs bedrooms, the backyard, and tons of little storage rooms. Eli explained all the rules (of course there were more rules) while we were in the dining room, and he also told me where I wasn't allowed to go, which was a long list. I was not allowed in the offices of Mr. and Mrs. Strock, or their bedrooms, or in the fancier sitting rooms and dining rooms, or the cellar, or the attic, or the basement. Especially not the basement.
    "Even I'm not allowed in the basement," Eli had told me.
    "Why not?" I had asked.
    But he had avoided my eyes again and we moved on.
    Basically, I was just allowed to my room, the bathroom, the most used dining room, the backyard, and the study--and even then there were several rules attached.
    Why am I going on about rules?
    "So you can pretty much do whatever you want most of the time, as long as you don't go against my mother," Eli said, ending his rather boring tour. "What would you like to do first?"
    "How big is your property?" I asked instead.
    "Oh, I don't know. I guess it just ends when it hits the neighbors'. Do you want to see?"
    "Sure," I replied, not sure what else there was to do.

    Once outside, I instantly decided that the backyard was my favorite. No more confining rugs, boring walls, or complete silence. Nature was the same as ever, except that every tree, bush, and blade of grass was overgrown. It was a wild forest for a backyard.
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    Stardust1 Novice
    "This is nice," I commented, walking over next to an unusual tree. Its branches had grown all over the place and its roots were popping in and out of the ground. As I turned to face Eli, something suddenly tightened around my ankle and jerked my leg up into the air.
    Before I could even let my brain register what just happened, I was suddenly staring upside-down into the grinning face of a boy, his blue eyes staring down my green ones.
    "What are you hanging about for?" the boy smirked, running his hand through his blond hair.
    "What?" I swung around in circles as I tried to look up at my foot. Apparently I had stepped into some sort of trap. I now dangled from a rope strung up in the tree. Oh. I mentally kicked myself.
    "Oh, just let her down, Alex." Eli said.
    Right, this was Eli's younger brother Alex. He stood a few inches taller than Eli, and was more muscular than him.
    "Make me," Alex responded, leaning casually against the tree.
    Eli sighed, then ignored Alex. He started toward me to help me down.
    "No, it's okay," I said, waving Eli away. After swinging around crazily, I finally managed to face Alex, where I made sure to look at him firmly in the eye, "You will let me down. Now."
    Alex's brow furrowed, but he walked over stiffly, untied my leg from the rope, and helpe me down.
    Eli gaped at me.
    I was just trying to preserve my dignity at this point.
    Alex stepped away uncomfortably, but then his c---y smile returned to his face. "I have a dare for you," he announced.
    Eli groaned, "Not this again."
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    Stardust1 Novice
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    Stardust1 Novice
    Alex ignored him, "There's this thing I need, in the attic. It's locked away up there. And the only person who has the key is Mother, but she won't give it up, and I don't dare steal it. Luckily, there's another way in. A missing wooden board in the wall. Eli and I can't squeeze through--we're too big. The only one who can is Lidia, but going to her would be a pain. But now, there's you! Thin enough, don't you think, Eli?"
    Eli just grunted.
    "Why doesn't your mother want you having it?" I asked, unable to stop my curiousity.
    "Painful memories, apparently." Eli muttered so softly that I almost missed it. "Don't worry about that. Just get the item," he said louder.
    "Why would I do that for you?" I crossed my arms and considered just walking away.
    Alex exchanged glances with Eli. "What do you want?"
    What did I want? Not many people asked me that question. So naturally, I didn't think about the answer. It only now occured to me that I didn't know what I wanted. Well, there was one thing I definetly wanted.
    "Answers," I replied.
    "To what questions?" Eli narrowed his eyes at me.
    "Why do you want this item? Why did your mother request me? And what's wrong with the blue door?" The last one was directed at Eli, but Alex flinched at the question as well.
    They both stared at me silently, then Alex said, "Fine. But only after you get the item."
    "Alex." Eli shot a sharp look at him, then fell quiet.
    Alex shrugged his shoulders at him as if asking, "What's wrong with you?" Then he turned to me again. "What's your name? I'm guessing you're from the foster care program."
    "Rosa," I answered, "Now what's the item?"
    "I'll tell you later, Rosa." Alex waved the question aside, "Who's ready for lunch?"
  • avatar
    Charlie Philips Experienced
  • avatar
    Stardust1 Junior
    I was definitely having a weird day. I'd met a pale boy in black who was suspicious and quiet, and who had given me a boring tour of an old mansion. Then I had been strung up like I was the one going to get eaten at lunch. And I had also met an odd, 15-year-old blond guy who needed me to do a chore for him. Why was I at this house again?

    Lunch with the Strocks wasn't what I imagined. I had never seen a family so...quiet. It was like there was no life at all. I believe it was Madam Catherine's presence, though, that kept everyone silent. In the dining room, we all sat at one long table covered in a dark, heavy tablecloth. The dishes were clean and new, the room was not. A dim chandelier cast a poor light over us and our rather boring food.
    Eli sat next to me, with Alex across from me and Lidia right next to him. Madam seemed like a statue at the head of the table, occasionally taking small sips of her soup.
    This silence was unbearable. One more minute, and I would scream. "Um, this soup is very good." I ventured, just for the sake of saying something. However, my sentence sounded unnaturally loud in the still room.
    Eli briefly glanced at me and gave me the tiniest shake of his head. Or maybe I had imagined it. But then I saw Alex's and Lidia's eyes widen slightly.
    Madam Catherine slowly looked up from her soup. Without turning her head and messing up her perfect statue pose, she finally looked at me. And she spoke to me in her emotionless voice, too.
    "Our cook, Morgan, is lazy and this soup is definitely not 'very good'. It is adequate for your good health. Morgan does as she is told, but has never made anything 'very good' in her life." Unlike my voice, Madam Catherine's voice did not break the silence, instead it seemed to stretch it further. Or maybe that was me feeling more uncomfortable.
    "While you are here, Rosalind," she continued, "I expect you to do a few simple things. No doubt Elias has explained the rules--follow them. During the day I am going to give you some tests and activities, mainly for academic purposes of course. We must be sure your education has not fallen behind. Aside from these tests and the rules, do whatever you wish."
    Tests? Exactly what kind of tests was she talking about? This wasn't like a surprise pop quiz type thing, right? From that point on, I ate my soup in silence. I glanced over at Eli, who was staring intently at his soup. Okay, he was probably concentrating on something other than soup. Alex continued eating as if nothing was wrong, quickly shoving food into his mouth. Even Lidia seemed a I was having the weirdest feeling ever about this family.
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    Stardust1 Junior
    After lunch, Alex and Eli led me upstairs to Alex's room, giving me the feeling that we were sneaking around. Probably from Madam Catherine, though I didn't see the reason why.

    Alex's room was small and had stuff everywhere. Clothes were thrown over the bed and scattered across the floor, crumpled up papers evidently missed the small trashcan next to his desk filled with junk, and various knick knacks such as pulleys, ropes, and and gears were placed around the room.
    "Sit in this chair," Alex said quickly, pushing me down into a small armchair. As he turned away, I thought I saw him...smirking?
    Too late. The moment I sat down, the gears and the pulleys and the ropes started to move until something popped out and sprayed water in my face.
    "Thanks," I muttered while Alex doubled over with laughter.
    Annoyance flashed across Eli's face. "Let's just tell her what the item is already, Alex."
    "Oh, come on! We hardly get visitors, and there's only so many times I can prank Lidia without getting in trouble with Mother." Alex protested.
    I wiped the water put of my eyes, about as annoyed as Eli, "Just tell me what you want me to steal and let's be done." So I can get away from you losers, I added in my mind.
    Alex collapsed on his bed, still chuckling to himself, but Eli ignored him and faced me. "Up in the attic there should be a sky-blue chest buried under the boxes all piled in there. It should be locked, but here--" Eli pulled out a tiny silver key from his pocket, "--is the key. Good thing I grabbed the key before..." Eli hesitated, and even Alex seemed to tense up, "well, before Mother stored the chest in the attic."
    I took the key from Eli, turning it around in my hands. The top of the key was fashioned into a pretty silver bird, reminding me instantly of the beautiful outdoors.
    "Anyway," Alex said, sitting up, "just sneak through the missing board into the attic, find the chest, and open it. There'll be a couple stuff inside, but all we want you to get is a small black diary."
    I raised my eyebrows skeptically, "A diary. You two want a diary."
    "Don't ask questions, and don't read it. Just bring it to us." Eli said sternly, reminding me of Madam Catherine for a moment.
    "Well, why can't I read--" I started to say, but Alex suddenly jumped off his bed and clapped a hand over my mouth.
    "Quiet," he hissed, eyeing his closed door. Then without warning, he suddenly dashed at the door, wrenched it open, and disappeared into the hallway.
    There was a muffled thud followed by a high-pitched voice screaming, "Get off me! "
    Eli groaned and rolled eyes, "Lidia eavesdropping again, the little toad."
    Alex soon arrived at the door, wrestling in a squirmy little girl. Eli was right--it was Lidia.
    "Wait until I tell Mother," Lidia threatened, stepping away from Alex.
    Then Eli was up. He grabbed Lidia by the shoulders and shook her, "What did you hear, Lidia?"
    She crumpled in his grip. "Nothing!" She sobbed, cringing away from Eli's serious face.
    Alex grabbed her arm and pulled her out again into the hallway, "That's right--nothing! Now get out and keep your mouth shut!"
    From where I sat, I could see Lidia fleeing down the hall. What the heck was going on?
    "The little rat will tattle soon," Alex turned back to us in disgust, "Better get the diary now, Rosa."
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    Stardust1 Junior
    The third story of the mansion was mostly storage and empty rooms full of boxes. And then there was the attic of course. A few wooden steps led up to the locked wooden door, which really did have a rather impressive lock on it. It must've been the newest thing installed in the entire mention, I thought dryly. Just to the left of the door was a stack of boxes, like Eli said there would be. The missing wooden board the wall would be right behind the boxes.
    What on earth were they storing in all these boxes? With an effort, I finally managed to push the boxes aside enough for me to squeeze through and take a look. Those boxes were heavier than they looked...
    Sure enough, there was the missing board next to the wall. There was no way Eli and Alex would've fit through there. As it was, I barely managed to squeeze through myself.

    The attic was like every other attic--dusty with the occasional cobweb here and there. Oh, and more boxes. What a surprise. Among stuff there I saw mannequins propped next to old stuffed animals, one king-sized mattress, an old-fashioned record player, piles of cards and jewelry, what looked like a collection of spoons, and various things of furniture. Mirrors draped in cloth stood next to scratched up desks and worn down couches. One very creepy doll with curly brown hair and a dress very similar to Madam Catherine's was perched on top of a dresser, staring me down. I shuddered as I walked by it. Dolls kind of scared me.

    Junk, junk, more junk. Until finally, I spotted a small sky-blue chest. It was about 2 feet long by 1 foot wide, and it was about as tall as my knee, just like Eli had said. I pushed aside said junk to pull it out, noticing how heavy it was. Then with some excitement, I fished out the silver key from my pocket and crouched down next to the chest.
    The key slid in smoothly, and I held my breath as I turned the elegant little bird handle in fingers. A tiny click sounded, then I eagerly popped the lid open.

    Inside were the most extraordinary little items. I lifted up a small contraption, which sort of resembled a music box. Inside of that, a tiny ballerina danced in wildflowers while a cute tune jingled out. I turned the music box over and saw a little inscription etched there.
    "Happy birthday Maria! Love Alex," I read, noticing the year inscribed under it had been a few years ago.
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    Stardust1 Junior
    Next I pulled out a black and white photograph of a tall, smiling girl with her arms around a much younger Eli and Alex. The girl had long, straight black hair like Madam Catherine, except hers was down and flying around her face. She looked so happily in the picture, and so did Alex. Eli still had that serious look to him, but seemed happier.
    I also found some dried up flowers, scrapbook stuff, an adorable stuffed animal, and more pictures--all with the same girl in it. I found some interesting rocks and bookmarks (not to mention a few heavy books), and a bunch of childish-looking paintings. I also saw a weird tool, and figured Alex probably made it. It was about 12 inches long, and it looked like a messed up handle. It seemed boring, I didn't have much time left, so I left it there and didn't touch it.
    There was more stuff in the chest and other unusual contraptions, but I ignored those. I had found the diary. It was black and ordinary, and to most, entirely forgettable. But not to me.
    What did Eli say? Don't read it? I flipped the diary open and began to read.
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    Stardust1 Junior
    Meh, I'll probably write out the rest of it on quotev since I doubt that a lot of you read this
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    Violet23 Novice
    No please write more!
  • avatar
    Stardust1 Junior
    If you have quotev you can read it on there, but thanks :)

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