Friday, December 3, 2010

Spring's Arrival (Friday Fiction)

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by Vonnie @ her lovely blog, My Back Door. Click here to read and share more great fiction!

Author's Ramblings: I wanted to post something Christmas-y, but couldn't get my brain in gear. Maybe next week. We'll see. I've got way too much homework going on at the moment and writing time is quite scarce seeing as NaNo is over. I'm currently stuck on a project with the seasons, so I thought I'd post a short excerpt of a first chapter. It's titled Spring's Arrival and it starts out with the introduction of four of the useful characters in the story, I've been using this piece as some character development to try and find out the MC's voice and Spring's character, the family she'll be staying with is the Edlebrights and the MC is a teen boy named Kevin. Enjoy! It's kind of fluffy. Happy weekend!

I don’t remember exactly what I was thinking. Rather, I think that I wasn’t thinking at all. It was a perfectly ordinary day with virtually nothing out of the ordinary, nothing, that is, except the girl sitting on the front porch of our ranch house with a large, brown basket tucked beside her on the stairs. 

“M-mom?” I called back to the kitchen where the sound of sizzling pancakes and a wheezy overhead fan drowned out any emotion from my voice by the time it filtered through. “We have a visitor.”

I almost opened the door, but thought better of it for a moment, because even though the weather-worn sing in the front yard read “Season’s End Bed & Breakfast” there was just something about the girl sitting on the porch that didn’t seem to settle exactly right.

“Don’t just stand there, Kevin, let her in.” Mom came to the door, a metal turner in one hand, wiping her other hand on the front of her apron as she moved forward. “Were we expecting anyone?” She stood on tip toe to see over the screened portion of the window. “Go ask your father.”

“I think he’d have told you.” I swallowed. Dad was no doubt reading his morning paper with his coffee and cold bacon strips awaiting the pancakes Mom had yet to fry. Disturbing him now wouldn’t be a good way to start the weekend.

“She’s pretty.” Mom observed after a moment. “Oh well, let her in, a little thing like that couldn’t possibly cause any sort of trouble.” But as she said it, a slight pucker came to her forehead and her eyebrows knitted themselves together into a calm unibrow. “Kevin, the door?”

I opened it because I didn’t have a choice.

The strange girl completely surprised us.

She turned with a luscious light-brown head of curls that rippled like fancy cloth as she rose to her feet in a swirl of flowered skirts and the scent of roses. Her eyes were the most bright and vivid green you could image and a healthy, rosy glow decorated her plump cheeks, accenting one dimple. “Hello, I’m Spring.” She gave a deep curtsy. “This is the Season’s End Bed and Breakfast, isn’t it?”

Mom was staring at her. The turner fell from her hands. I grabbed it. “W-welcome. I’m Kevin. Yeah, that’s us.”

“I am so very pleased to meet you both, Kevin.” She dipped her head in acknowledgment and I realized that the colorful headband wrapped around her head wasn’t a colorful band at all, but rather a fresh, very real, flower crown. She stooped down for a moment to scoop up her basket in one arm, settling it easily in the crook of one strong elbow. “Might I come in? I was under the impression that you were expecting me?”

“M-my husband must’ve f-forgotten to mention you.” Mom stammered, hurriedly tugging at the apron string and then standing flat up against the wall as Spring breezed through.

“That’s quite alright. I don’t want you to go to any trouble for me. I can fit anywhere and I promise I’m very low-maintenance. You won’t have to do much of anything.”

“S-steve!” Mom scrambled for the kitchen. “We have a guest!”

The giant wall of newspaper barely flickered a fraction as Spring stepped into the kitchen with a winning smile plastered on her face. “Good morning!”

There was an answering grunt.

Mom snatched the turner from my hand and stalked forward, disappearing around the side of the newspaper.

A moment later, it lowered, with my sheepish Dad’s red-face growing redder the moment he laid eyes on Spring. She nodded her head again, her gaze traveling over him and out the kitchen window behind.

“What a lovely ranch you have!” She dropped her basket on the table, dashing to the wide-paneled glass doors leading outside. “This is lovely!” She stood, plastered to the door for a moment before turning again with laughter that seemed to warm the entire room. “I’m so honored that you’ve allowed us to stay here.”

“Us?” My sister Mystica had come down the stairs in her ratty, navy blue bathrobe and now there was only a look of complete horror on her face. “Wait, we have guests? Mo-om!”

“Mysti, get upstairs and put some-!”

“Hello, my name is Spring. I’ll be staying with you for awhile.” Spring gave a little hop forward, and another slight bow. “Please don’t worry on my account, I promise you won’t even realize I’m here.”

I tried not to stare at her. She was hard to forget. I didn’t think it was possible for someone as beautiful as her to turn invisible. There’d always be too many people staring at her. Even Dad had forgotten his paper and was stealing glances in her direction over the top of his coffee cup.

I felt a strange feeling beginning to worm into my stomach.

Spring just kept on smiling until Mystica tossed her head, a shiny cap of glossy black hair bobbing behind her as she stomped back up the stairs. “I smell something strange…” There was a hesitant sound in her voice as Spring turned to me in puzzlement. “What is that, Kevin?”

I took a whiff. “Mom, the pancakes!”

Mom dashed off to fix the pancakes and I stood there in the kitchen, having nothing to say and nowhere to go. Spring stood calmly beside me, her cheerful smile never wavering.

“Such good weather, we’re having Kevin, isn’t it?” She followed me to the table and took a seat, pausing to remove her basket from the top and set it by her feet near her chair. “I love it when the weather is so nice and warm.”

“Y-yeah. Sure.”

“Some flowers would make a lovely centerpiece for the table, don’t you think?” She reached a finger towards the dried specimens in the old-glass vase on the center of the table. “These must’ve been lovely.”

“They were!” I blurted out. “They really were!”



“All different colors?”

“Many different colors!”

She winked. “Thank you.” The smile was aimed at me, but her hand moved towards the dried buds and it happened so fast, I was sure that I’d imagined it. Her finger gave a golden spark that brought the flowers back to life in all their real, vivid color.

I stared at her, but she turned and smiled with all the happiness in the world, with beauty written on her face. I found myself smiling back as my brain turned to mush. Something about the feeling in my stomach hinted at chaos to come. I didn't want to think about it yet.

Spring had come to stay at our house.

© Sara Harricharan


Yvonne Blake said...

I love personification... interesting!