Our wanderings to guide . . .
March 29, 2017
Filed under Student Art Corner
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It had been almost a year since the disappearance of Melanie Barter’s father. He was a prominent man of Westerdale and was always kind to those in need.
“Mother,” said Melanie, twirling her spoon in her tea, “do you think father will ever return to us?”
“I don’t know Melanie. I honestly don’t know anymore.”
Seriana Barter was of true beauty. Tendrils of her hair fell and framed her face perfectly. Tear-stained cheeks began to be something Melanie saw quite often on her mother’s porcelain face.
“Please go call your sister for breakfast. Her tea is getting cold.”
Melanie stood from the table and approached the door of her sister’s room.
“Becca,” she called, “mother said breakfast is ready.”
She waited for a response. A grunt, a moan, yelling for her to go away but it never came. She figured Becca had snuck out again. She sighed and returned to the dining room.
“She didn’t answer.”
“Missing breakfast again I see. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with her..”
Melanie shrugged and began to serve herself, shoveling as much as she could. After stuffing her face to where she could bear no more, she went outside to play in the garden. The sky threatened with rain but this didn’t affect Melanie the slightest. If anything she loved the rain. The garden seemed almost alive, colors surrounded the entire area. Vines had creeped their way up the walls of the house towards the sun, no one would have ever known that the house itself was a beautiful white brick. Roses, lilies, marigolds, violets, and so much more covered the garden, all ranging from a spectrum of colors. The roses, white in particular, had always been her favorite. She had planted them with her father a week before his disappearance. Melanie, lost in her own thoughts, was startled by the loud crash of thunder.
“Oh goodness!” she gasped.
Melanie turned her head toward the sky and stared. The sky began to darken and the clouds began to swirl in a way that terrified her. She quickly ran inside and locked the door. Relief washed over her and she pulled open the curtain to look outside. The sky had turned black but flashes of lightning behind the mountains in the far distance showed the appearance of a horrible storm. Startled by this, she ran to the study to find her mother sitting by the fireplace, book in hand.
“Mother! There’s a terrible storm coming!”
She expected her mother to tell her to be quiet but instead, she continued to read her book and said,
“Darling, will you please stop shouting? You’ll wake the dead. Come, sit next to me and I’ll read you a story.”
Melanie walked over to her mother and sat next to her on the velvet chair. She watched her mother close her book and walk over to one of the many bookshelves that make up the room.
“Which one shall it be?” she asked.
Melanie thought about it. She had to choose carefully as this was something her mother had not done since she was much smaller, and then she knew.
“Perhaps Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? It’s simply my favorite. ”
“I haven’t read that to you since you were a child. Very well then.”
Her mother came and sat next to Melanie, her eyes wide with excitement. She opened the book and began.
“All in the golden afternoon Full leisurely we glide;
For both our oars, with little skill, By little arms are plied,
While little hands make vain pretense Our wanderings to guide…”
Melanie listened with awe and wonderment as if it were the first time she had ever heard it.
“…as she was shrinking rapidly; so she set to work at once to eat some of the other bit. Her chin-”
Both Melanie and her mother jumped as they heard a knock on the front door. Her mother looked up at the clock which read 11:37.
“That’s odd. It’s quite late for guests now,” Mother said.
Her mother closed the book, set it on the chair, and walked to the front door. Melanie stood in the doorway of the study, impatiently waiting for her mother to reveal the stranger behind the door. Her mother opens the door and gasps. Melanie’s heart sank as she looked at the familiar face just beyond the threshold.
“Oh my god,” said Mother, “It’s you! It’s really you!”