If you're just tuning in, then welcome to the seventh challenge of my month long Chat Pack Challenge. This is a personal challenge to get me writing every day of the new year. Feel free to join in by leaving your answer to today's question in the comment section or write a reply on your own blog, but if that's how you do it, let me know by leaving the link so I can check out your answer!
I like the way this short story came out today.
The plot had a couple of surprise twists for me while writing it, but everything came together in the end. I had intended to write this tale from the point of view of the older sister, but for some reason the little sister sort of took over the story.
And I’m okay with that now.
Enjoy the story below!
The girl was systematically sifting through the boxes. She was trying to be quick, but these sorts of things took time.
“Come on Vicki, let’s go!” the girl with her whined. “Mom’s going to have lunch ready soon.”
“Just a sec, Mel,” she mumbled while her head was stuck deep inside a box of what appeared to be random scraps of material and scarves. “Haven’t found anything yet.”
“Ugh!” She stomped her foot and looked away. There was no arguing with her big sister when she got like this. She was always like this at rummage sales.
There were a handful of people mingling around the yard. Most were old. Like, grandma and grandpa old. They, too, were looking through the seemingly endless rows of tables and sorting through the boxes stacked on top. None other with quite the vigor of her sister, however.
Crossing her arms, Mel turned back to Vicki and asked, “What are you looking for anyway?”
Vicki pulled her head out of the box and looked at her friend very sternly. She managed to convey her seriousness despite the random bits of material draped over her shoulders and head. “Treasure,” was her one word reply and she went back to her search.
Mel dropped her arms and her head flopped back as she groaned to the sky.
“You could help me look and we’d get done twice as fast,” Vicki offered.
“Fine,” Mel said. “Where do I start?”
Vicki had moved on to another box now. This one seemed to contain a varied assortment of wires and plugs. Without looking up, Vicki pointed to her left and said, “Over there. Start over there.”
Mel rolled her eyes but moved in the direction her sister had pointed. Vicki had directed her to a table filled with ancient looking hardcover texts. Most of the manuscripts were falling apart, the cloth of the covers ripped and torn. The titles were nearly impossible to read on all but a few because the letters were so badly faded. A musty smell wafted up to her nose as she began to move the books around and a puff of dust flew up, causing her to sneeze.
“How am I supposed to know what to look for?” she complained out loud.
“Just look for something interesting,” was the reply.
“Like I’m going to know wha– ”
Mel’s voice drifted off as something on the table caught her eye. It was bigger to than the others to begin with and the cover was made of leather, not cloth. But the biggest difference was, while Mel wouldn’t describe it as new, she could tell this book had been taken much better care of than all the rest put together. Brightly painted fairies danced across the cover and the title was written in a language Mel couldn’t make out.
“You mean like this?” she said breathlessly as she reached out to touch it.
Vicki was by her side in an instant.
Mel carefully lifted the book from among the others and neither girl noticed the other holding her breath. As gently as she could, Mel opened it up. A sudden rush of wind blew their hair behind them and pages flipped wildly. Then just as quickly as the wind had picked up, it was calm again.
During the breeze, something like a bookmark had fallen from among the pages. Vicki bent to pick it off the ground. When she stood back up she held a leaf that had been fashioned into a miniature shirt.
“Now that,” Vicki whispered, “is something interesting.”