This is the beginning of a story I started a couple years ago, not sure if I like it.
|I think this is a beginning of my story, there is a middle section, but I don't know how to connect or end. Some of it feels too forced. Help!
Claire woke up from the visions and looked around. She was expecting to see the unicorn standing in her small room telling her he was here to help. She was expecting to see her dad there ready to soothe her fears. Instead she saw a room lit only by the multi-colored LED fish nightlight her dad bought for her since before she could remember. Then she remembered the truth. Her dad was not going to be there to tell her it was going to be all right. He was gone. She had no idea where he was.
He had disappeared soon after school started back up after the Christmas and New Year holiday. It was less then 2 weeks ago and there has been no information. On Wednesday after break she had been in the library looking for a new book to read and was just passing time waiting for him to be done with his meeting. She decided to go to the far back dark corner of the school library she never went back there to check out books, but she thought that maybe she’d find a forgotten gem. Some new favorite that would lead to other new favorites to discover, plus she needed the AR points. Instead she found dirty, dusty books that no one cared about anymore. There was one really gross book, its cover looked almost furry, like a mouse or a rat crawling out of its hole. She didn’t want to touch the book. She didn’t really need to find a new book to read THAT bad, but she couldn’t help herself. That quality of middle schoolers she kept hearing about, that they just can’t control themselves yet and they don’t think ahead, took control of her. Darn tween control! She reached out to touch the disgusting book and felt a shock. Like static electricity after you scrub your feet on the carpet. She could even see the green light shoot between her finger and the book. Who knew that a book would cause static electricity, it was so weird.
Claire remembered the odd feeling after that shock. It was like she had actually stuck her finger in a socket. She had shook her head to clear it and turned to get out of that dark corner as quickly as possible. It was all too weird. As she quickly moved out of the corner around the stack she ran into her dad who was rushing to the corner. She remembered the look in his eyes. They were wild with worry. He looked from Claire to the corner and back again.
“Claire what have you done?” She remembered him asking, defeat and fear defining the lines on his face. His shoulders had slumped; he knew at least some of what was going to happen. She had no idea the Pandora’s box she had opened with the simple search for a new book to fill her boredom. How could she know, he didn’t tell her anything. He should have told her. He was wrong to not warn her, to not let her help; she was always his number one helper. Claire was beginning to feel angry with her dad and felt the hot comforting tears slide down her cheeks.
A light flicked on in the hallway. Claire’s mom was up and moving about, with her dad gone her mom never slept well. Claire was starting to notice the dark circles starting to form under her mother’s eyes. Her mom just seemed lost without him. Claire quickly lay back down and pretended to sleep. Her mom made a habit of looking in on her and her brother when she couldn’t sleep and Claire did not want to worry her mother any more than she already was. With her eyes closed she heard the soft click of the doorknob and the door scraping open against the thick carpet. Her mother came over and softly pulled the covers up, kissed her on the forehead, patted the dog curled up at the foot of the bed, and turned around and left the same quiet way she had entered.
Claire lay there a few minutes listening to her mother check in on her brother and then go back into her room. She heard the lamp near the bed click on and could her the scrape of pages turning against her mother’s blankets. Claire knew her mom would be awake for a while so she had to be sure to be very quiet if she stayed awake for very long. She rolled to her side to look at the nightlight, the symbol of her dad’s love and protection. She new it was silly at her age to have a nightlight, but she loved it. It was so cool.
She thought about the dream she had. Ever since that day when her dad finally told her about his real job, not his teaching job, but his job to protect that particular book from unnamed evil shadows, she began to have weird dreams. The dreams had a unicorn that kept talking to her and trying to reassure her, shadows that wanted to overtake her, the wretched book floating everywhere, and her dad telling her he would take care of everything. The thing was he wasn’t taking care of anything. HE was gone. He had left the following Sunday. He said he had to run into the store for a prescription and since it was a rare 50-degree day and the roads were clear he decided to ride his motorcycle in. It was going to be a quick ride and he would be right back. He did not return. She was starting to get mad at him just thinking about it. She could feel her breath coming quicker and in bigger huffs. She could feel her jaw tighten. Why did he need to leave for a ride? Why couldn’t he have just stayed home for family time and stopped on his way home on Monday? There had been no accident, they didn’t find his motorcycle, there was a prescription to pick up, but he never made it into the store to get it. Something happened, but all they had was nothing and Claire’s dreams, and she couldn’t say anything about those, no one would believe her.
The conversation with her dad was weird. The night after Claire found the book her dad came into her room alone, which he never did. He sat on the edge of her bed looking at her. Claire was sitting at her desk working on some homework and she thought he was going to scold her for singing along to the radio while she was studying.
“Claire,” he said turning down the radio. She remembered thinking it was so weird that he didn’t turn it off. “We need to talk about what happened today in the library at school. I know you don’t understand what you did, but it is very important that you do.”
“Yeah, Dad, you flipped on me. It’s so not fair. I was just looking for a new book to read, I’ve read just about all of the books in the library. I had never seen this one before and I just touched it. Then all of the sudden you were there like you were following me. It’s not like I was gonna go ‘necking’ in the stacks or anything.” Claire rattled on trying to calm the butterflies in her stomach. The back of her neck burned like every other time she was afraid she was in trouble.