Another writing sample from the same novel- thank you for any feedback!
|The night of my eighteenth birthday, I dreamed. I remember it being pretty ethereal, as if I were looking at the world underwater. The dream had familiar sights and sounds, but everything I could see almost appeared transparent.|
I woke up in my bed; I remember smelling pancakes, and coffee brewing. It was strange, because I was hyperaware of everything around me. My senses were heightened and I didn’t understand why. I remember how everything was so quiet. It was odd enough to be aware and dreaming, but what was even more bizarre was that with two teenagers and a preteen in the house it was incredibly quiet.
While approaching the kitchen, I was dumbfounded to see an elderly woman standing at the stove, flipping pancakes. Sitting at the table, I watched her; she appeared delicate yet lithe as she plated the pancakes and approached me.
“Hello Sara, my name is Katt”. My Grandmother’s name was Katherine. She grinned as she watched my eyes widen in surprise. I noticed how her green eyes lifted at the corners as she smiled. She looked exactly like the few pictures my parents had of her in our family albums. Since she passed away when I was five, unfortunately my own memories of her were quite limited. “I’m sure you’re wondering what you’re doing here, and why I’m here,” she stated matter-of-factly as she dished out a short stack of pancakes on a plate.
She shoved a small container of maple syrup towards me. “I last walked this world twenty three years ago, and I am here now because I’m meant to be. I can’t stay long, but I’ve been waiting for you, Sara”.
I couldn’t find the right words to speak. “But…Grandma Katt?” I stammered. “You’re dead…” I felt my breath quicken just a little, “Does this mean that I am too?” I know the likelihood of dropping dead at my age is slim, but stranger things do happen.
“No, sweet girl!” she leaned over to touch my cheek. “I’m here because I’m supposed to be here, part of your dream, on this day. It is meant to be. You have reached an age where you are ready to assume full responsibility for yourself and your actions, and as such there are some things you need to know.”
Chewing on a delicious bite of pancake, I put my fork down to look at my Grandma. “Okay,” I replied in earnest.
“Sara, you are very special; an enigma to a generation of our family where the magic was supposed to have died out. Yet here you are, such a blessing to us and more powerful than you realize.” I just stared. She sat down next to me at the table, and put her hand on my arm. “You have many questions, I know. I know your Mother and Father have given you what information they can, I tried to explain what I could in my journals”. She pat my arm. “Your father, he was so inquisitive as a young boy. He takes after me”.
I realized as I studied her face how kind she looks, how gentle. This is a woman I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to know, well now by some twist of fate I have that opportunity.
“You are beautiful, and I see in your eyes that you have a kind heart. As you grow into the woman you are destined to be, you will find many obstacles in your path. One important thing you must understand is things will happen to you that will test your soul. I know that you are inherently good, but you will be tempted.
“I am a Mind Seer.” my Grandma stated. “I have the ability to look into a person’s mind and see the pattern of their thoughts, reasoning, and decision making at any time, whether it be a decision made at that moment or one that they will make. I don’t know if you realize just how many choices you make on a daily basis, Sara. Some of them are so mundane, but nevertheless there you are confronted with dozens of choices every day.”
“Your father and mother have done their very best to keep you safe. I know that you were never allowed to participate in many activities while you were in school, but this was for your protection. It takes a lot of care and attention to keep a child safe, but in your case, it took a lot of extra preparation. Your parents had to plan all of your activities well in advance, and take extra precautions. Normally, one expects a defiant child to express verbally when he or she wants a certain something, or doesn’t agree to a parents’ request. Not only would you disagree, but in addition you would create what it is that you wanted.”
“I’ve been watching you grow up Sara, over years as often as I could,” she tossed her hands in the air. “It’s become a bit more difficult lately with all of this new technology out there, I don’t overhear as many conversations as I did in the past because people are talking over little devices and on computers. There just aren’t as many conversations out loud as there used to be….”
Amused, I realized how true that was. I can’t remember the last time I had a meaningful conversation with anyone over the phone; it usually amounted to a one minute exchange to confirm plans or let someone know I was on my way to meet them. I’m not sure when exactly things changed, but text messaging has definitely become my communication method of choice.
“Anyway, when you were around 9, your parents took you to the county fair. I was with you, then, when you played a ring toss game with your father. You and your father tried many times to win you a stuffed elephant that you wanted so badly. After fifteen or so tosses, it appeared that you were about to give up, but the next thing you knew it, the elephant was in your father’s hands, deposited there by the attendant.
“As hard as you tried not to, you conjured an image of the ring looping around the neck of the bottle. Unbeknownst to you at that time, not only did you make the attendant see, you also made your father see. He jumped, you jumped, and the attendant picked up the winning ring and put it back in the bucket. You were a very convincing little girl. There was a teenage boy next to you, who shrugged his shoulders as the attendant deposited the stuffed elephant into your arms. He knew that the rings you had been tossing kept missing their mark, but he likely didn’t say anything because you were just a little girl. Judging by the look on his face, he just assumed the attendant was being nice.”
As you walked away from the booth, your mother was whispering low to your father, I assumed then by the look on her face, like the teenage boy that was standing next to you, the ring you tossed certainly did not hit the bottle.”
“I remember that, I think. That elephant was blue and it had a little bow; I loved that elephant. It was one of my favorites until my Mom donated a massive amount of our old clothes, toys, and stuffed animals we had when we were kids.”
I looked down at my plate, and shoved the remaining pancakes around. Everything smelled so good around me, and the room was warm. Grandma sat back down next to me at the table, with a cup of tea in hand. It smelled like chamomile, and maybe some lemon? I didn’t know too much about tea, or coffee.