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Bridges

by Morran


Still in progress, and I'm probably going to rewrite this anyway. Still, I've got 10,000 words that need critiquing. So I'll start with this. It's about 3,500 long.

---

Hesitation had been there from the beginning. Hesitation, fear, and a little pang of guilt, in addition to the rush of emotion and pure danger. For a girl who preferred to sit her days out on the shores of the Atlantic, she was currently a fiery, feisty one. No one was home – not even her older sister, which was something of a miracle. Anne never went out if she could help it, unless it was to see a boy, or maybe one of her friends. But even that was seldom, as of late. Mother was in town taking coffee with Mrs. MacDonnel and her two grown nieces. According to most of the men, they were the prettiest girls on the island. It was quite the compliment to be giving, despite the fact that the island wasn’t very large to begin with. Still, it was big enough for the gentlemen to know exactly what girls they would pick out of the lot of them all if given the chance – and so far, none of the gentlemen had been so lucky.

Sophia tried to put all of that out of her mind and concentrate on what she was doing. Wash wouldn’t be coming back anytime soon. He was out fixing up the boat with father. That kind of job would take them both all day, and maybe even into the night. Father was so particular. Sophia remembered once when she had to go out and help repair a leak that had sprung. What a disaster it had turned out to be…

She caught herself trailing off again and chastised herself for it. With no more thought, she grabbed the leather bound book from the stand and made off with it the same way she had come, back to the safe confines of her locked room. Sophia had decided that a lockable room was one of a girl’s most prized possessions in the entire universe. A girl’s locked room became a safe haven in even the most frightening storms – those were usually the ones that blew up no matter what the cloud cover outside looked like. And at the same time, the room was her friend, a companion she could confide in and feel welcomed by. It was never going to leave her. Her bed would be in the exact same spot it had always been at the end of the day. And now, with Wash’s journal in hand, Sophia could read it to her heart’s content without getting caught. She relished the idea with a devious smile so unnatural for such an innocent face.

“Sophia!” a muffled cry came from downstairs, and all at once the girl forced her guilty hands underneath the blankets of her bed, as if she had already been found out. Mother was home. So early? How long had it been, anyway? Sophia was unsure.

“Sophia! Come down here this instant!” Sophia nodded as if her mother were standing in the doorway. She haphazardly shoved the journal underneath her mattress, running to the door to unlock it. Sophia always carried the key on her person – and with a door that locked from both the inside and out, it was very important that she be the only one who ever got to touch it. Sophia could’ve only imagined the tragedy that would befall her if someone else got hold of the key. In reality, the only person she could’ve seen using it was Anne. Wash would never – not even if he found out that his sister had stolen his journal to read it behind his back when he wasn’t around. Mother certainly wouldn’t use it against her, and neither would father; however, the girl could be sure of the penalty waiting for her on the other side of the door, should she ever choose to lock them out.

Martin wasn’t even in the same county anymore, so he didn’t count. Still, Sophia was relatively sure he, too, would be more than willing to lock her up in her room and conveniently misplace her precious key.

Mother was unloading dry goods and other sundry parcels from a cloth bag onto the counter. It looked almost as if she had done some shopping, which was strange, considering Sophia was under the impression that Mother was going for tea. However, it was entirely possible that Mother had picked up a few necessary items after her soiree had ended. Afternoons were excellent times to stop by the market and run a few errands, after all.

“What did you want?”

“Where’s your sister?” Mother didn’t even look up to say hello or that she was back. It was obvious, wasn’t it, that she was home? All routine. All except Anne not being home, that was.

“I don’t know. She left shortly after you did and didn’t give much explanation to where she was going. I didn’t ask.” Mother didn’t skip a beat as she placed the goods where they belonged in the kitchen. Sophia had given exactly the answer she had been expecting. This was nothing new, not really. If Anne wasn’t being difficult at home, then naturally she had to have been causing problems on some other part of the island.

“She’ll be home when she reckons it time to come home then, won’t she?” Mother wondered aloud with a wink to Sophia. “You taking care of yourself?”

“Yes, of course, Mother.”

“Not getting into any trouble, now? Not sneaking around, taking Wash’s things, have you?” Sophia flushed. She prayed her mother didn’t see the shame rising up in her cheeks while she moved her hands to wring themselves behind her back. Mother didn’t know. How could she know? She was gone. She couldn’t have even seen inside Wash’s room, could she? There was simply no way.

“Ahhh, of course I’ve been good! Mother, really!” Sophia tried hard not to stammer, and it must’ve worked. Mother seemed to believe it; she laughed softly, as if the idea was not only absurd but also quite the last thing on her mind. She wiped away a drop of sweat with a strand of hair.

“That’s my Sophia. Now back up to your room. I’ll call you for supper, hear?” Sophia nodded with a breathy sigh. She felt her lungs contract with more air than ever before, heaving relief. So her mother was just joking. She really had no idea that Sophia had stolen what she did.

Retreating to her room, Sophia decided that “stolen” was far too strong a word. She’d simply borrowed it. She had every intention to give the journal back to its proper owner when she was finished using it. It wasn’t at all stealing.

Sophia wondered if there was anything in the Bible that said she couldn’t borrow without the owner knowing. She figured that if God could get inside peoples’ heads without them giving Him permission, then maybe – just maybe – it would be okay for her to see what her brother was thinking. Especially since he so seldom talked to them to tell them exactly what was on his mind. Her brother was forever a mystery, and Sophia had finally decided to solve it.

She knew some things about him. For example, she knew that Wash most definitely was not his real name. Wash’s real name was William Daniel Copper. Everyone called him Wash. That was because, when he was still in grade school, the school mistress had taken everyone down to the water’s edge for a lesson on oceans, and all the students got to play in the sand. Sophia remembered the incident vividly, even though she had been almost too young to remember it at the time. Despite her youth, the girl could see the image of a gigantic wave overtaking her young older brother and – so he said, later – nearly sweeping him out to sea. William had screamed, but in reality, there was no way he was going to be taken by the ocean.

He’d fallen into a shallow hole that the older children had dug, and he wasn’t going anywhere. He climbed out of that hole soaked from head to toe, and when someone snickered that he’d gotten quite a wash down there, the nickname stuck irrevocably. Wash. Wash. Yes, the other students decided, that sounded like a particularly fitting name. At first, he despised it. Eventually, though, he grew to actually enjoy it. It was almost like a kind of status symbol, being associated with the ocean in an island community that depended on the ocean for its livelihood. Wash was the one the ocean tried to take, and yet he managed to get away – even though it was through none of his own effort.

No one but Sophia teased him about the origin of his nickname anymore, and even when she did it, all he could do was smile and laugh at her as if to say, “Silly kid sister. It doesn’t bother me anymore.” She wasn’t really sure if it did or not, but she took his word for it.

Still, that was nearly all she knew. Sophia readily admitted that it wasn’t much. Holding this worn leather book in her hands, now, she felt empowered. Sophia had tried to keep a journal of her life, but it had never worked She would either doodle in the margin or start a story in the middle, maybe a poem. Even now, she had notebooks full of some of each, and she kept filling them. Her thoughts, her life spilled onto the page in a different way. It was her record, just taken differently.

Until she realized that Wash was keeping a journal of his own, though, Sophia had thought she was the only one in her family who even considered the written word. Neither of her other siblings cared for it. Her mother was too oral to write, and father wasn’t even verbal enough. Sophia thought maybe he was just telepathic or something of the sort, the way he was always looking at mother and she determined every last hint of meaning from one of his glances.

The leather book had no lock on it. It simply had a string tie, kept up in a bow, that held the book closed when it wasn’t in use. She felt the rough leathery cover with her first two fingers, relishing the texture, drinking it in. She would open it soon, very soon. There was time enough for that. She had until supper, when the men would return home and the family would come together for the evening meal. That was all the time in the world, at least for today. It was enough time for her to get a good idea of the things her brother might write.

Anticipating nothing, preparing her self for the world, Sophia turned back the leathery cover, clutching tightly the binding in her hands. She was about to dive into a book the likes of which she’d never read before. Usually, Sophia kept her nose in fiction. This was something far more powerful than fiction, though. This was nonfiction. This was a life. This was her brother’s life.

Sophia took a look at the first date and giggled. It was the same as the day she found out her brother was writing at all, and this very first thing confirmed something she’d thought about her brother for the longest time: he couldn’t keep secrets very well. Anyone who was observant could tell that he was keeping something in his room, something that he had decided he would have to attend to almost every day if he could stand it.

So there were only a week’s worth of entries, then – that was, so long as he wrote in it every day. It was August 24, now. Yes, that was right….

August 17

Dear Journal:

I found this blank book by the boathouse last night after helping Father with the fish. I couldn’t help but take it – it looked dirty and unwanted anyway. Someone just had to have left it there. There was no name in the cover like most notebooks we used for school. I have made it my first effort to ink my own in the cover of this one, so that just in case anyone finds this – which they shall not – they will at least know not to claim it as their own, if they have any kind of conscience.

It leaves me wondering what to write in here, though. It’s taking me so long to come up with something. I feel silly, writing about what to write. I shall sleep on it, then. I shall dream my favorite dream – wandering the mainland, from place to place, going anywhere my feet might take me. My feet or chance, I suppose. Chance has just as much say as I do, if not more. And God. My feet, chance, and God, and that’s all I need.

That sounds right.

-William Daniel.

August 18

Dear Journal:

Today was uneventful again. My twin sister is insufferable as ever. She won’t do chores around the house, and she certainly refuses to come down to the harbor and help Father and I. I wonder what she’ll be good for. I wonder, even more than that, what she wants out of life. What she could possibly want out of a life here. There’s nothing on this island. If she wanted her freedom, she should’ve taken it by now. Aunt Cassandra lives in the city near Martin. She would probably take Anne in.

Although I suppose that means that I should’ve taken my freedom by now, too, since I want to get out of here almost as bad as she does. As bad as she seems like she does. I can see it in her eyes like I feel it in my heart: she wishes to be free.

But she doesn’t realize the responsibilities we have here, first. I must pay my debts here before I can be allowed to go. Father needs me, now more than ever, and I will continue to remain here until he no longer requires my assistance.

Besides, maybe then Sophia will be old enough to help him.

That was probably my best joke yet today.

-William Daniel

Sophie took offense to his final remark. She was capable of helping, even now! What, she was only a handful of years younger than he. Two, three, it didn’t matter. Just because Wash was out of school gave him no reason to be looking down on those who were still required to go.

Sophie ceased fuming very shortly thereafter. She closed her eyes and smiled, knowing that somehow she had to be partaking in some kind of carnal sin, the likes of which might get her punished severely, were she ever caught. This was far more interesting than anything she’d read of some made-up character. This was Wash. This was real. It was like living a story – the absolute dream of any booklover, and especially of a booklover like Sophia.

No foreign lands, no exotic peoples. No fantastic feats of daring-do.

Just Wash.

Sophia giggled.

She rather agreed with his assessment of Anne. Sophia had spent many a late night awake in her bed, wondering what kind of person Anne would be when she grew up. Surely not a housewife, unless she married some rich city man. Surely not a schoolteacher, either, because Anne couldn’t stand to be in the classroom any more than the rest of them – and usually even less. Not an artist, either, Sophia knew, because Anne took every opportunity she could to make fun of her “silly poetry” and “silly pictures.” The words didn’t hurt, but Sophia wished that at the very least Anne would just keep her commentary to herself, thank-you-very-much.

So far it had all really proven one thing to her, though – that Wash was, above all else, human. Human in every sense of the word. He had thoughts. He had feelings. He even got irritated! It was enough to make Sophia giggle all over again. She could barely imagine Wash raising his voice. This was like some kind of treat for her and her alone.

August 19

Dear Journal:

I’m having an okay time down at the docks these days. I sit around, watching the ships come in and out of the bay, and I have time to think to myself while waiting for Father to come back in. He’s usually only out there by himself for an hour before coming back in to get me, so it’s not as if I have all the time in the world, but it’s enough.

Just this morning, I sat there, feet dangling over the edge of the wood into the water. It was cool and clean, refreshing. Anne doesn’t like the ocean water – she thinks it’s full of fish guts and rusty boat parts, but she just doesn’t understand. Sophia understands, I think. Sophia knows that the water is something to be embraced, not something that we can just reject – as if we even had the choice. We were born here. Fate has given us the mandate to take on the water. For now, anyway.

I know there’s something more important out there for me, just not yet. I can taste it. I can smell it on the salty sea air, just like this morning. I got to watch John O’Reily and his boys take in the Saint Teresa, which was certainly a sight. It’s such a large boat that he really needs all six of his sons helping him at the same time just to make sure he doesn’t crash into the docks, or another boat. I got to my feet and walked over to see if they needed any help, but by the time I was even within calling distance, they were already finished and tying it up.

“Wash!” Duncan called out to me, “what are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be out on the water?”

“Father wants his alone time,” I explained. Duncan grinned. Everyone knew that my Father took an hour on the water every day – not to fish, but to… relax. Contemplate. Sleep. None of us were really ever sure what he did out there alone, but whatever it was, he did it for an hour each and every day in the morning. Then he would go out alone for five minutes at night after all the fish were in and cleaned, and everything else was in order, just to make sure.

“He always do this?”

“Since I’ve gone out on the water with him. Before that, I wouldn’t know, but I guess so. He seemed pretty adamant about doing it the very first time, so I just guess he’s always done it, all the way back.” Duncan scratched his head. He didn’t seem to have an answer, and he didn’t seem to be interested in offering one. Instead, he changed the subject.

“How long you been on the water anyway?”

“Two weeks. It’s still kind of new, being on the boats instead of just watching them on the shore, or working on them. I don’t know if this kind of work is for me or not. It’s all still pretty new.” At this, Duncan’s smile turned into a scoff for but a moment before morphing back into a huge, toothy grin. He slapped me on the shoulder and admonished me.

“You’ll get used to it just fine, Wash. It’s your duty to be out there, just like your father’s and your grandfather’s. You were born to the water just like me, and you’ll die on the water just like me. Probably even just like your gran’pa did. Wouldn’t that be something?” He spoke about it like it was an honorable way to die. String up and choked to death by a sail rope in the middle of a storm, I’d say, isn’t very honorable. In fact, I’d wager that it’s one of the stupidest ways to die, but I’d never tell Father that. Even though I never got to meet Grandfather, and even though I’m sure he was every bit a competent seaman, there are smarter things than going out in a storm with no help whatsoever on a boat far too large for one man to handle.

The conversation with Duncan ended there, and that’s about when Father came back to get me and start the day, but I still couldn’t stop thinking about Grandfather. I’m going to say it here, and then I’m going to do my best to forget about it altogether, but if I ever make such a stupid mistake as going out alone like that, I hope I die too as a strong lesson to myself and everyone around me.

What a rube.

-William Daniel.


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Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:10 pm
LittleLee wrote a review...



Hey there, I'm Lee and here to review your work!

You may never see this, but I'll do it anyway.
Your story is really nice; there aren't many glaring mistakes that I could find, and it made for a generally good read. I'll just make some suggestions to improve it; feel free to take up whatever you find useful!

For a girl who preferred to sit her days out on the shores of the Atlantic, she was currently a fiery, feisty one.

This wasn't all that well written. I get what you're trying to say, I just think it can be tweaked a little.

According to most of the men, they were the prettiest girls on the island. It was quite the compliment to be giving, despite the fact that the island wasn’t very large to begin with. Still, it was big enough for the gentlemen to know exactly what girls they would pick out of the lot of them all if given the chance – and so far, none of the gentlemen had been so lucky.

Okay... this was jumped on the reader. I'd recommend putting it in a new paragraph, and maybe throwing around a little more description before stating that.

Wash wouldn’t be coming back anytime soon. He was out fixing up the boat with father.

Perhaps a semi colon would be more apt in place of the first fullstop?

A girl’s locked room became a safe haven in even the most frightening storms

You mentioned "locked room" twice already; just say it.

Her bed would be in the exact same spot it had always been at the end of the day.

This was an irrelevant detail. Unless there's a solid reason behind it, I don't think people would change the position of their bed every day.

She relished the idea with a devious smile so unnatural for such an innocent face.

In situations like these, where you're trying to stress on something, the word so is usually used with the word that, which will appear right after so or a little later. So (the way I've used it here doesn't require a that) this will need a continuation. You could say, "so unnatural for her innocent face that it would have surprised anyone who saw her at that moment."
But honestly, I think this detail is also irrelevant. Devious means cunning and/or a bit crooked; what is she doing to make her seem this way? After all, she's alone.

“Not getting into any trouble, now? Not sneaking around, taking Wash’s things, have you?”

This felt like a very random thing for her mother to say.

as if the idea was not only absurd but also quite the last thing on her mind.

Then why did she say it?

He’d fallen into a shallow hole that the older children had dug, and he wasn’t going anywhere.

I'm not quite sure how this works. It would have to be relatively deep for him not to be washed away. And it seems unlikely that children would have dug such a deep hole in the first place.

She would either doodle in the margin or start a story in the middle, maybe a poem. Even now, she had notebooks full of some of each, and she kept filling them. Her thoughts, her life spilled onto the page in a different way. It was her record, just taken differently.

This part was really nice.

Anticipating nothing, preparing her self for the world, Sophia turned back the leathery cover, clutching tightly the binding in her hands. She was about to dive into a book the likes of which she’d never read before. Usually, Sophia kept her nose in fiction. This was something far more powerful than fiction, though. This was nonfiction. This was a life. This was her brother’s life.


Another very nice paragraph, packed with good descriptions and emotions!

What, she was only a handful of years younger than he.

I think you meant, "Why."

The whole conversation between Duncan and Wash felt too... accurate? I mean, it was written from memory, but he's remembered it word for word. That doesn't seem very plausible.

The ending was really abrupt! I have to say, I'm slightly disappointed, I was expecting so much more. i hope you keep writing!

I liked the story as a whole. It was interesting, although Sophia comes off to me as a little.. crazy. Even so, it made for a very enjoyable read, and I would love to see more of your work!
Which I might, seeing as how I'm scrounging in the archives, hehe.
Wherever you are, have a good day!
- Lee




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Thu Jan 06, 2005 4:02 am
Sam says...



That's fine...anything ya got!




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Thu Jan 06, 2005 4:01 am
Morran says...



I can take a look at it, certainly!

.... I tend to get wordy with my comments, though....




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Thu Jan 06, 2005 3:50 am
Sam says...



You're welcome...:D It's really cool! Hey, don't mean to beg, but could you read my new untitiled story? I've had it up for a bit but nobody's read it...:D




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Thu Jan 06, 2005 3:47 am
Morran says...



This is all I have so far. I have to work on it more, and I might rewrite it to be a little darker. But I'm not sure. I might have to finish more of this first to see if that's just what I want to do with it. I appreciate the comments, most definitely. Thanks again!! :)




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Thu Jan 06, 2005 3:40 am
Sam says...



I love the part about how she's a writer...you did that on purpose, didn't you? *lol* same stuff goes for the characters as last time, they're all really quirky. Like the bartender who doesn't drink...that's peculiar, isn't it? The only thing I would change is to put a bit more separation between her talking and Wash's diary. It gets sort of mushed together, and it leaves the reader confused. Well, that's all I got for now. :D This is (was?) a great section! Is there any more?




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Thu Jan 06, 2005 3:27 am
Morran says...



Thank you!! It's much appreciated. Telling me what you really liked is sometimes just as effective as telling me what you didn't. Again, I am grateful for the comments. And so here's the third (and final) part of what I have written up to now. It starts to drop off, and I don't know what to do with it just yet. Maybe you can help with that.

--

The journal was open to a page, left carelessly – or sleepily – by its owner from the previous night. At a first glance, the handwriting was scratchy and sloppy on the page. So he was tired, then, Sophia guessed. It must’ve been very late when they did finally get back. She swept it up and put her finger in the page as she carted it back to the privacy of her own room for inspection. Sophia was suddenly far more interested in what had happened the previous night than in backreading any further. Not yet, anyway.

The door nearly locked itself for the precision and effortlessness that the girl put into the act, and she floated to the confines of her bed, flipping open to the page. To her surprise, there wasn’t a date nor a “Dear Journal” entry like normal – he just picked it up from where he left off and started writing.

Father and I went out tonight, to the Tavern. It was technically my first time going there as a man, but I’d been in there before, running errands, or sending word, or something equally menial. Tonight, though, I went as an equal. Or at least an apprentice. It was odd.

The whole place seemed to light up as soon as we walked in the door. All of the town’s tradesmen were well-past drunk, and the boatmen were just getting started. The fishermen, though, were only arriving, with Father and I being among the first. I knew everyone in the room, men and boys. I knew what they did and how good they were at it. And now tonight, it seemed, I would begin to discover whether or not they were as likely to get drunk as the rest.

The place was alive with laughter. Juliana winked at me when we walked in and sat down – her own little way of saying, “Hello,” I’m sure. It was possible she did that to all the boys who came in. I didn’t care. I still felt a little uneasy about coming to this place to begin with. Even with all the excitement, the energy, the smoky smell of salt water and fish, it didn’t feel right. In fact, I wanted to get out of there as fast as possible.

But that would’ve made Father angry.

She came up to us and asked if we wanted anything to drink. Well, she asked if I wanted anything to drink. She seemed to know intuitively what Father would have, and she didn’t ask. I told her I wanted some water, and she feigned hurt, but promised to get it anyway. Father said nothing. Instead, he promptly got up out of his seat and moved to another table to talk with two boatmen – they worked on the Henrietta, one beauty of a vessel. If I ever decided that the ocean was for me, I would want a boat like her.

But I don’t think I want a boat at all.

As I sat thinking about that very thing, Juliana brought my water and sauntered away. I gazed at her, and it felt like she was toying with me, seducing me with her hips.

Duncan and Quinn saved me.

Quinn is the tavern-master’s nephew. He’s as old as Duncan and I, but he has been in the tavern every night since his father decided not to train him as a fisherman. He doesn’t drink a drop, and his uncle doesn’t either. He is a strange man who would run an establishment of alcohol and yet refuse to drink anything himself, but I suppose I’m not one to judge.

“Wash! I was wondering when your pa would start bringing you here at night,” Duncan slapped me on the back, slamming his mug of ale down on the table next to me. Quinn sat across, where Father had been, and he stared.

“Hello, Wash. Nice day on the water?” I nodded, muttering something about the good fish through a gulp of water. He seemed to know what I was talking about, even if I didn’t. It got him off my back. The thing about Quinn was that he would never experience the life of a sailor, even for a week. On a boat, he was seasick as a dog, so his father discovered when he was young. Every time Quinn stepped onto a boat, he turned an ill shade of green and asked politely to be let off. His father obliged, unhappily. That’s how he got permission to begin working for his uncle at the tavern; may as well put the boy to use working at something if he can’t be on the water.

Some of the other kids make fun of him for it, but I try to keep them off his back if I can help it. It’s not Quinn’s fault.

Even so, it gets annoying when he tries to live on the ocean vicariously through us. I’d be happy to switch places with him any day.

“Well, we’ve had a busy week,” I admitted. It was true. Father and I have worked relatively late the past few days with boat repairs, bringing in fish, and the like. “We haven’t had the time to relax and get drunk.” I watched Duncan down his ale and motion to Juliana for another one. “But I see that you’ve begun to fit in here quite nicely.” Duncan laughed loudly, and I started to see that he was, in fact, getting drunk.

“Oh, Wash, you should oblige yourself some of this ale, even if for a pint. It’s nasty at first, but once it starts to work its magic, well, just look out!” He chugged half of the next one as soon as Juliana brought it over. I was a little appalled; I’d never seen Duncan like this. He was usually fun, but more reserved than this. I wondered what had gotten into him.

“Yeah, Wash, I’m a little surprised to find you having only a water,” Quinn spoke up.

“You don’t drink, Quinn.”

“I’ve my own reasons for that. Besides, you shouldn’t be a drunk when you work in a bar. Likely to get you killed.” I had a comeback for him, even if it felt out of place. Something was wrong about the whole line of logic, but I couldn’t put my finger on it – so I ignored it altogether.

“So you shouldn’t eat fish if you work on a boat?” Quinn blushed a red I hadn’t seen in a long time, though I suppose I looked that way at supper tonight.

Sophia never leaves me alone, I swear it.

“N..no. I mean… look, Wash, it doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do because I’m different. You’re going to be a fisherman. A captain, even. You’re supposed to be able to drink like the rest of them,” he finally came out and said. He had energy, spirit. I halfway wanted to provoke him even more to see what he would say, but I stepped down.

“So what if I am? What does it matter?” Quinn sighed. Duncan finished his ale, totally forgetting that the two of us were here anymore. When he finished, he leaned over the table, wiping his mouth on his sleeve and ogling Juliana.

“It’s the culture. To be a part of the community, you have to fit in, Wash.” An older man, an ex-captain who still loved to fraternize with all the “young’uns” walked up to us, stopping at me and resting a hand on my shoulder.

“Drink up, boys, it’s going to be a cold night tomorrow. Here, I’ll even buy you three a round.” I glanced at Quinn, wondering if he would protest. To my surprise, he didn’t. He bowed his head in thanks. Duncan was only mildly aware that he was getting more alcohol, but he looked happy nevertheless.

“I’m sorry, I think I’m okay right now.” I didn’t look up at him. I couldn’t bear to. I was being rude, I knew. But I desperately didn’t want to cause a scene. I felt horrible.

“What’s this? The son of a fishing captain refusing alcohol? In a tavern? That’s not the attitude a New England boy should have! Why, next thing you know, you’ll start to lose interest in girls! Or the Atlantic herself, and what then, boy! What then? Come, now, drink up.” He wouldn’t have no for an answer. He left me with another pat on the back and went to speak with the tavern-master. I could see them, with the old man’s back to me, but there was no way I’d hear a word of it. I watched the tavern-master tap off three mugs and motion for Juliana to bring them over to us.

She sauntered the drinks, leaning over me to set them in front of us. I inhaled sharply, my skin tingling and senses alert. She smelled of heady perfume and ale. It made me sick to my stomach.

“A toast,” Quinn shouted, raising his mug to us. “To the island!” I looked over; three pairs of eyes were on us. No, now seven, over in the other corner. No, ten. No, fifteen.

The whole tavern had turned to look at us, staring. Duncan raised his mug to meet Quinn’s. They waited for me, looking to see if I would comply. I swallowed hard. My fingers twitched in the direction of my ale, and I wondered how I could possibly get out of the tavern alive and with all of my pride intact.

I inhaled deep, and with a surge of courage, I grabbed the mug and shoved it at the other two, sloshing brew over their hands.

“To the island!” I shouted even louder than Quinn, and the tavern erupted in a cheer. We all drank, though Quinn and I couldn’t hold as much at one time as Duncan was obviously able to. I finished my ale somberly, and Father collected me, deciding it was time to leave.

I can’t believe I did it. I felt so awful after. I still do – I feel absolutely, horribly miserable.

I hate myself. I hate this place. I want to leave.

There was a scribble of frustration after that, and then the entry was finished just as abruptly as it started. No name at the end of this one – just emotion. Sophia set the book down in her lap while she contemplated this. Why did he do it, if he didn’t want to? Why was he doing this to himself? She thought she could maybe think of something, but she was sure it wouldn’t be right, or it wouldn’t be enough. The more she read of her brother’s journal, the more she realized she had even less insight into the way his mind worked, what he was thinking. It was obvious to her that the journal wasn’t even the lowest layer of his feelings; something else was underneath this, and he was holding it back. She frowned, laying the book down on her bed and covering over it with blankets. She decided she would go for a walk.

Force of habit made her collect her notebook and a pencil before leaving the house. She made sure to let her mother know where she was going, and Sophia was off.

Down the path from her house she saw the small patch of farmland that grew some wheat and some corn. The paltry crop was nowhere near enough to feed the town, but it helped. The corn was mostly used to feed the animals and livestock that were kept on the island, and the wheat was ground up for some flour. Other fields lie past that one, scattered about the town, but none of them were particularly large or particularly interesting. Most of the land on the island wasn’t very good for farming to begin with, but they did it anyway. The practice was simply held over as one of those things they did to survive – chances are that they would’ve have gotten enough in from the mainland, but one could never be sure out on the islands.

Sophia had decided somewhat arbitrarily that she was going to walk into town first before walking along the docks. The change was a nice departure from what she usually did, and today it felt more natural for her to do so. Something was pulling her toward the tavern – Sophia assumed that it was Wash’s journal entry – and she had to see it in the daytime, for herself, since she couldn’t go at night.

It wasn’t too far into town at all; in fact, it was just a little east of the fields and right down the road from the boathouses and fishermen’s guild. The tall wooden structure doubled as an inn, so it was likely to be open.

She took the front steps timidly, looking about to see if anyone was watching her or spying on her. Sure that she was safe, Sophia wondered if she should knock before entering. No, that was silly, wasn’t it, because this was just as much a business as any other. No need for such formalities.

She let herself in. Quinn stood off in the back, sweeping up and cleaning the tavern area. His uncle was off by a desk near the door that led to the rooms upstairs. The man was bent over, leaning into a book and scribbling down a few things. Notes, perhaps, or dates. She didn’t think too many people stayed at the tavern this far into fall; the tourists that the island did get should’ve been long gone by now. Maybe he was figuring his money. She stood there, just inside the front door frame, watching silently as a mouse on the floor might.

Quinn didn’t notice her. Wash had told her stories of how Quinn was one of the most unobservant people he knew, and this proved it to Sophia. He simply moved across the floor, awkwardly dancing with his broom, oblivious to the rest of the world, to the rest of the tavern. The tavern-master, however, looked up at her with a confused stare.

“What’re ye doin’ here? You’re Fallon’s daughter, aren’t ye?” Sophia nodded with a small curtsy.

“I came to…” she thought for a moment. What had she come to do, after all? “I came just to say hello,” the answer finally came. That sounded reasonable enough; and for all she knew, it wasn’t necessarily untrue, either.

“Well, it’s nice to see you. Your daddy certainly talks a lot about you when he’s in here, that’s for sure. Says you’re a bit of an artist, is that right?” Sophia nodded, her face flushing. She tried to distract herself. Did she even know this man’s name? No, no she didn’t. She knew he had a son, and she knew that he didn’t drink – and only that last from reading Wash’s journal. She knew Quinn was his nephew, and that was all. Sophia didn’t know nearly enough.

“I am. And you run the tavern.” She felt even more foolish, pointing out the obvious. But then again, in a way, so did he. The man chuckled at her candor.

“That’s right. I’ve run this tavern for many a year, now.” He wandered closer to her, pulling a chair out at a nearby table to sit down. “And I’ll probably do it for the rest o’ my days.” To Sophia’s surprise, the man continued to speak, as if she had prompted him for more. She was polite and took the chair nearest him, paying close attention. “It’s what I’ve done since my granddaddy handed this place over to me years and years ago. I already knew the ropes, and I’d already been tippin’ the bottle back quite a bit, you know. This place was always so full of life, laughter. Had only three fights in about twenty years here, and those were scuffles, let me say.” He sighed hard and pushed a hand of fingers through his silver-edged black hair. “But you never know what goes on outside these walls when the men go home. And I don’t care to. It’s easier, that way.” He looked more closely at the girl and seemed to come to a start, as if waking up from whatever daydream he’d been in. Sophia saw something else he’d wanted to say, something on his mind, but now she was certain she did not get the pleasure of hearing it.

“But what am I saying, talkin’ about things like that to a pretty girl such as yourself. Come, now.” He stood up. “You have the run o’ the place if you like, just stay out from behind the bar. You’re welcome in my establishment any old time! Beggin’ your pardon, miss.” Smiling, the tavern-master gave a bow at Sophia and went back to his desk. She thanked him politely and got up to leave.

Quinn was staring at her, now. Or maybe he’d been staring at them, but it didn’t matter. He was within listening range, too. Sophia shrugged.

What’d it matter?

“Hello, Quinn.”

“Hello, Sophia. Good to see you this morning.”

“Good to see you too,” she returned, and decided that she needed to say no more. She left the tavern and took the other road, the one that led to the shoreline.

The sky was blue and the wind was calm. The short walk to the beach took her a handful of minutes, and a person could see for miles southward toward the open ocean. Sophia couldn’t help herself but grin in earnest. Her pace quickened. Her entire persona lit up with the excitement of sitting on the sandy shore, writing a line of poetry. Or maybe she would go over by the docks and draw pictures of the boats coming in and out of the harbor. The possibilities were endless, and Sophia had yet to exhaust them. She doubted she would ever exhaust them.

The sun stood high overhead; it was unlikely at this time of day that too many fishermen or boatmen would be out on the docks, even if their boats were sitting patiently. The midday sun sent them all inside for lunch, or if they were on the water, they were probably in the middle of some arduous boat work. It didn’t mean much to her; it simply said that wherever she went, she would probably be alone, and that was just fine with her. As much as she liked the sounds of man’s island, she loved the sounds of nature’s island better.

Sophia walked out to the edge of the docks, arbitrarily deciding that it would be the best place to relax today. She pulled her notebook in front of her and grasped her pen with an artistic flair that said she was ready to create.

Sophia closed her eyes. She tried to let the smell of the sea water fill her, the sound of the waves invigorate her. Ocean and sun and wood and sand lay scattered all around her in every direction. This was peace; this was bliss. This was the uninhibited beauty of man’s harmony with nature, and it was the only place she felt truly at home.

A cool breeze picked up, and when it did, Sophia put her pen to the page and began to write. Lines of poetry filled her head, and it was all she could do to get them all down on paper before she forgot so she could read them later. The Muse had struck; Sophia was barely aware of what she was writing.




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Thu Jan 06, 2005 3:03 am
Sam wrote a review...



Again...this is really really good! So, like usual...instead of constructive crit, I'll tell you what I like.
*you're true to your characters. They don't really change all that much throughout, but they act according to their personality. It's pretty hard to do that when you're writing..
*You obviously have siblings, this is soo true to life it's scary! the whole thing about messing around in Wash's room is very, very believable.
*You're a little vague in description in general, but you describe the character's routines very, very well. They each have their special rituals, like flipping to the island section of the newspaper first thing instead of reading the mainland stuff first.
*It flows very well. You don't want to stop reading; it's like TV when you don't want to get up and get a snack because you're afraid you'll miss something. This story is so realistic you really are afraid of missing something important!
*Interaction between characters is awesome, too. (this kinda goes along with the true to the characters thing) There's the annoying little sister, who pesters the brooding older sister and teases the popular-with-girls older brother. Wash's chasing her out of the room is very realistic, and so is being comfortable with undressing in front of her (as gross as it may be!)

This is very, very good (may I repeat myself?) It's sort of like The Cosby Show meets Survivor what with being tired of living on the island...*lol* Keep it up, please post more of it! :D




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Wed Jan 05, 2005 7:30 pm
Morran says...



Sophia put the book down on her lap, troubled. Did Wash really think of Grandfather like that? It was true that the accident had happened before even Adair was born, so neither she nor her siblings ever got to know the man, but to think so lowly of someone that he’d never even met – well, it was about one of the silliest things that Sophia had ever heard of. It was like saying you didn’t like the man two streets down, when in fact you hadn’t even been over to his house to see what he was like. Stories were just stories when people retell them, Sophia knew. They couldn’t always be trusted. It disappointed her to see her brother thinking so foolishly.

All of this thinking had left her daydreaming in her own little world. Thoughts of her foolish brother led to thinking about what she herself would do if she was ever stranded on a boat in the middle of a storm. Naturally, Sophia would’ve been wearing a life vest. And, naturally, she probably would’ve been careful not to steer so close to a storm in the first place, if she could help it. Still, she knew sometimes it was impossible to overcome.

In that case, Sophia reasoned, she would hang on for dear life.

Finishing up her daydream, Sophia noticed the leathery edges of the book still at her fingers, reminding her that there were still plenty of pages left to peruse. Despite the fact that she thought her brother could be a complete and total fool sometimes, Sophia decided she wanted to search deeper into his soul, and she figured that reading onward in his journal would do the trick just nicely.

She flung the book back open to the page she’d been reading, eager to start again. Fingers danced along written page like magic, testing the ink. She caressed it as a precious porcelain doll, beautiful to behold but precious to the touch. It was a work of art, a thing of perfect beauty, a –

“Sophia, the boys are home! It’s dinner time!” Sophia glanced up and out her window. It did look dark enough to be dinnertime, but how on earth could it be? Was she reading and daydreaming for that long, really? No. No, it couldn’t be.

Yes, it had to be, she decided. She wasn’t going to take any chances. Clutching the journal, she made her way to her brother’s room carefully and discretely. Sophia had long since found the fastest, quietest, and sneakiest way to get from her own room to Wash’s – a hidden corridor.

One spring morning when she was playing alone in her closet, Sophia managed to shift a loose panel in the wall. It only budged a little, but it was enough for her to put down what else she was doing long enough to try and move it altogether. After a while and a little encouragement from her small hands, the panel moved all the way over, revealing a long, dark corridor that led who-knew-where. Sophia, being the adventurous girl she was, decided there was no other choice but to take it.

She exited in Wash’s own closet, full of dirty clothing and shoes and the like. It was a mess, and she was appalled. Thankfully, the door was closed; her brother could not see in. Satisfied in knowing the breadth of the passage, Sophia retreated through the entryway back to her own room, smiling like a Cheshire cat from ear to ear. This was her discovery. This was her secret.

This was her power.

Something caught her attention and made her stop, short, listening: footsteps, coming up the stairs. A vice clenched her stomach as Sophia realized she had to hurry. She made it into Wash’s room without any problem and exited through his closet. She deftly set the journal on the end table where she first found it and swung around to leave the way she came.

Too late.

“Sophia, what are you doing in here?” Wash burst through the door, catching her in the act of what looked like rooting through his closet.

“I.. I was just … looking for…” she trailed off, hoping desperately that he would be so frustrated she was in his room, in his things, that it wouldn’t matter one whit what she was looking for – she just had to get out. Just looking at him made her calm down, though. Wash looked dirty, wet, and tired. He didn’t look like the boy whose story she’d been reading over the course of the day. This person in front of her was different, someone else. Still Wash, but not the Wash in her book.

No, that wasn’t right, was it? There was no Wash in her book. The boy in the book was William Daniel. Not Wash at all.

“Looking for my raincoat again? Sophia, how many times do I have to tell you – ask Mother to get you your own!” Even better. He filled in the blank for her. Sophia did her best to look meek and repentant. “Besides, you’re to come downstairs right away. Mother says it’s time for dinner, and we wouldn’t want to keep father waiting for his hot meal, would we?”

“I’m sorry, Wash, you’re right. I shouldn’t be using yours.” She closed the closet door tightly and started to step away. He waved an exasperated hand at her and walked toward his dresser.

“No, no, go ahead and get it. I suppose it’s lasted all this time with you using it, it may as well last one more.” He pulled off his shirt, casting it to the floor. Sophia wasted no time in rummaging through his closet again, now, trying to find the blasted raincoat. It was the one she liked to use to go out dancing in the rain or splashing in the ocean when she felt like being silly. Sophia hadn’t had one of her own yet, and Wash’s was the closest thing that fit her, so she used it. Still, like any good sibling, Wash made it perfectly clear that he didn’t exactly appreciate her use of his items. It didn’t seem to matter too much in the end anyway, but somehow it was still important that his opinion be voiced.

Sophia did her best to close the corridor’s panel while she rummaged about. It was mostly closed, but she didn’t have the time to shove it fully shut – at least, not right now. That would take more effort than she could afford. The only thing worse now than Wash walking in to find her hidden corridor was for him to walk in and see her closing the entrance to it.

Thankfully, Sophia finally came upon the bright yellow slicker and extracted it from under a pile of dirty laundry. She hoped to high heaven that her mother would be in there very soon to gather up those clothes and give them the double washing they deserved, or else the stink might end up wafting down to her room. She wrinkled her nose at the prospect.

“You found it, good,” Wash commented, now stripped out of his boat trousers and in the processes of putting on clean ones. He wasn’t one for modesty, to be sure. Sophia was a guest in his room, and if she wanted to stay there, she was going to have to tolerate his nakedness to a certain degree. It used to bother her to no end, which is why she figured Wash continued the practice. Now it only embarrassed her slightly, and Wash showed no signs of changing just for her – she nearly giggled at her own pun – so it had to become a non-issue, simply for both their sakes. Sophia tried to regain her composure long enough to leave the room with a grateful nod toward her brother, who still wore a mask of irritation at her – probably for even considering to invade his personal privacy.

Sophia brushed it off. She dropped the raincoat off in her room and made her way down the stairs, where the dinner table was waiting. Surprisingly, she was the first of her siblings to make it there. Anne apparently hadn’t yet found her way home, and Wash was still dressing. He thundered down the stairs next, finding his usual place setting with the family.

“Sorry I took so long,” he said, “I had to shoo a small packrat out of my room.” Sophia ignored the remark. Her parents didn’t even bat an eye.

“That daughter of ours plan to come home this e’en, Noreen?”

“I suspect she’s still out and about, Eoghan. Good Lord Himself only knows what that girl’s gotten into this time.” Sophia’s father made a face as he helped himself to supper.

“Not like her to be out like this.”

“Not like you to be so worried of her. She’ll come around in her own good time. Here, Wash, pass around the potatoes.” Noreen handed him a small crock of potatoes, and the boy dished a few out for himself. Sophia tried to get a good look at all of them, as if to size them up. She hadn’t really realized how much she’d been missing in her own house, not until now.

Outside held the entire island to explore, and Sophia made it a point to take in as much of it as she could. There wasn’t much left that she was unfamiliar with. She spent all of her possible waking hours reading, writing, or drawing – all in an attempt at understanding and expressing the world around her. It unsettled the philosopher artist within her that she had ignored her own family, her own home for all this time. It was time to rectify that. And she had to start somewhere.

Why not dinner?

Her thoughts were disturbed by the ruckus of a moody, teenage girl bursting through the door and into the dining room.

For as angry as she looked, Anne was silent. She said not a word but took her spot at the dinner table. Sophia mused that Anne must’ve realized she was late. But what the girl was angry for, she couldn’t fathom. For all Sophia knew, there was some new boy in Anne’s life who wasn’t quite giving her what she wanted. Then again, Anne had always been a bit of a flirt and a tart. Maybe it was changing. Sophia took a good sidelong look at the angry pout on her sister’s face and decided maybe that wasn’t the case.

Anne and Wash were fraternal twins; they were both two and a half years older than Sophia, the baby of the family. As much as they were twins, the two acted least like siblings out of the entire four of them. Anne was outspoken, jealous, smart, strong-willed, and had a sharp tongue on her. Wash was quieter, more thoughtful, slow to speak, athletic, and didn’t really get himself involved in many strong arguments. And, if he did, he would always try to stay somewhat level-headed about it.

Anne had been known to resort to hair-pulling, if necessary.

The only thing the two shared in common, as far as anyone who knew them could tell, was that they both had a desperate desire to get off the island, though it was far more evident in Anne than Wash. It was all Anne ever talked about, to the point of her mother forbidding Anne to speak of it in the house. As a result, Anne stayed relatively quiet while she was at home. Everyone in town knew, though, that the girl would be the first one on a boat to the city as soon as she was old enough. The time was approaching, anyway. In one more year – less than that, actually – both Wash and Anne would be old enough to leave if they wanted. At least, that’s when it would be okay. Acceptable. To run off beforehand was unheard of. Disgraceful. Sophia shook her head thinking of the few cases she had even heard of where it was any different. People on the island spoke of runaways with such loathful disdain that it made her cringe to think about leaving before her time.

The island was rooted in tradition, after all, and this was yet another one of them. They had to have tradition. It kept the place alive. Without such social codes in place, Sophia knew, their little fishing society would fall apart after only a couple of generations. It was sad to think about, but true. Still, she didn’t mind most of the traditions. A lot of them were celebrations anyway, and they were always fun. Like the fall festival, for example.

As if by some magic, some irony, or simple coincidence, Mother brought up the very topic at the table.

“Fall Festival’s coming up soon, now, kids. Are ye’ all ready to celebrate the harvest?” Wash stifled a smirk. There wasn’t much to harvest on the island, but they held a celebration of it anyway in a sort of tribute to the mainland farmers who provided them with fruits, vegetables, and grains all year round. The mediocre farmland on the island was taken up by mediocre farms that didn’t produce much of anything, let alone much of anything good. The fall festival was more of an excuse to suck up to the rest of the farmers than an actual celebration of what they had grown.

He much preferred the fishing festival in late spring. That was the time when the village recognized the boys – and occasional girl – who were old enough to head out on the water with their father. They held a fishing tournament, too, for all ages. It was a time of laughter by the water. Even though Wash didn’t exactly like the fact that so much in his town was tied to the water, he liked that festival. So much, in fact, that he wished that it was the only festival the town held that had to do with the water.

But that wasn’t the case. Not at all.

“I can’t wait for it. I love going to sample all the fantastic food there.”

“I like the music,” Anne muttered out of nowhere. Eoghan just nodded cryptically. Sophia wasn’t sure if that meant he liked the music too or if liking the music was an acceptable reason for enjoying the fall festival.

“What about you, Wash?” Sophia sputtered after swallowing a bite. “What do you like?”

“Eh. I would rather sit at home. The festival doesn’t amuse me as much.” Mother looked a little shocked, but Sophia cut in before she had a chance to speak.

“I’m sure you’d like the kissing booth this year. I heard that Caitlin Gale is going to be there.” Caitlin Gale was the tailor’s daughter, and a nice-looking one at that. She was simply one of two girls that Wash always seemed to have his eye on. The other, Ryann Tipper, was more of a tomboy. She belonged to the miller, and it wasn’t hard to tell. If she was walking around town after helping out in the mill, she would inevitably be covered from head to toe in flour. Caitlin would’ve never been caught dead like that.

Luckily enough for Wash, both girls seemed to have eyes for him. It was a never-ending source of amusement for Sophia. And somehow, a never-ending source of embarrassment for Wash.

“Oh, hush, Sophia!” Noreen shot back, this time before Wash had a chance to fire a volley of his own. “You leave poor Wash alone. Those girls are going to end up the death of him yet. You don’t need to go teasing him about them. Wash,” she continued, “you listen to me, and you listen good. You really should make up your mind about one of those girls before too long, or both o’ them are going to end up with broken hearts, and you’ll be a bachelor. Come now, we don’t want that, now, do we?” Sophia nearly died. Mother didn’t want him embarrassed, but she comes up with that? Her shoulders shook as she tried to keep the laughter in. Only with great effort did she do it. Watching Wash turn a nice beet red didn’t exactly help matters much, either. It only served to make her want to roll out of her chair and explode in a rush of gushing laughter.

“I.. I’ll … thanks, Mother. I’ll try to remember that,” he stammered. Sophia saw him try to grab words out of the air, but it wasn’t working very well. Usually Wash knew exactly what to say in any given situation. Except, of course, when he had to talk to Mother – especially about something uncomfortable. And what could be more uncomfortable for a boy his age than the topic of girls?

Sophia remained amused, but she also knew, somehow, that her time would also come someday. It was far off. Three years, maybe, but that was far enough off. They weren’t making fun of Anne, were they?

Well, there was another reason for that, too, but it didn’t need to be said.

The mirth and discomfiture both subsided and dinner was over. Anne and Sophia helped Mother clear the table off and clean up. The youngest girl watched carefully as her father walked to the den, most likely to pick up the paper and read it. The island had it’s own little section of the local newspaper from the mainland, and Father always turned to that first to see what the latest news was around the rest of the island. He didn’t get into town much. He made it to church on Sundays and to the tavern every so often, but there was only so much a person could find out at either place.

The thing about the island was that the men always knew what was going on outside the island, whereas the women knew what was happening inside it. They had all day to share news with each other while the men were out on the water. They’d be able to tell you what the fish were doing, and where, but there was simply no way they’d be able to relay the day’s events in the town – or even the rest of the world. That’s what made the newspaper so vitally important.

But even so, Father always turned to the island section first.

Wash had disappeared, and Anne was soon nowhere to be found, though she was most likely upstairs in her room working on some needlepoint. She was a smart girl who couldn’t stand to read. Sophia never did understand that. She also never understood how Anne never seemed to get bored. Being unhappy must be a very time-consuming task, she figured.

She sat on the floor, off to the side of her father, doodling in a book. She was penciling out a landscape. Not just any landscape, but a mountain scene. She’d never been to the mountains, but she’d seen books. She’d read about them. It was enough for her to want to picture on paper what they might look like to her. Later – or maybe even tomorrow – she would have to get her watercolors and color the scene in. It would take most of her day, probably, but that was just fine. In the evening she could go out and walk down by the docks.

“Wash!” Father called up the stairs. “Come on, son, it’s time to go now!” So he had just been upstairs. The boy faithfully bumbled down and found his father’s heels in a matter of moments. The two were soon out the door, and Sophia could only guess where they had gone. It didn’t matter. She finished up her pencil drawing and slipped up to bed for the night with not so much as another soul noticing.

Sophia slept soundly. She heard Wash come up the stairs in the middle of the night after he had returned, but that was it. She turned over, and she slept through the rest of the night. When she awoke the next morning and went to the bathroom, she was sure that Wash had already gone out to the water for the day.

Her hands trembled with anticipation once she’d made the final check. There was no reason for her to really use the hidden corridor, not this time. Sure, it was far more amusing, and it made certain that no one could catch her sneaking into Wash’s room, but the room was unlocked, and Mother and Anne were both downstairs. She’d be able to get in, get the journal, and get out without much of a problem. Sophia wouldn’t even be noticed.

So she did.




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Wed Jan 05, 2005 3:00 pm
Morran says...



:) Heh. Well, it's already gone through some editing, but I'll still take any comments or critique I can get. Thanks!




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Wed Jan 05, 2005 2:57 am
Sam says...



Hey this is gonna be really lame... ah well, I know you want crit but I think it'd be ok if you left it as is. I think it's really interesting! :D





You must believe in free will; there is no choice.
— Isaac Bashevis Singer