Author's note: I finally decided to write about writers. It feels like cheating, it's so easy.
Chapter 2 (part1)The day had been long. Too long. Merry dragged herself onto the bus and plopped down into her seat before letting her head fall back and her arms and legs drop limp. She popped open her medicine bottle and took one quickly.
“Uuuugh,” she moaned, closing her eyes as Sean went over her and sat down by the window. “I hate life. Officially.”
“This is because of the math quiz, isn’t it?” the Irish boy asked casually, taking a bite of an apple and searching for his reading glasses.
“Yes,” she affirmed, opening her eyes. “He didn’t have to spring it on us like that. He could have waited until we finished studying.”
“Aye,” Sean replied devilishly. Merry glared at him. She hated it when he talked Irish.
“Yeah, yeah,” she said, pulling herself up straight, glaring at the brilliance of the overhead sun on the sparkling neighborhood outside. “And I can’t even come to your house today…” Sean made a startled noise and jerked his head up.
“Yeah. Apparently my mom wants me to come back to my house at 3 o’ clock sharp and not leave again today.” Sean shook his head.
“I want to come to your birthday party,” he lamented resting his head on the seat in front of him, apple in hand.
“But you have your mom,” she said, sighing. “I know. I wanted you to come too…” she tried not to sound disappointed, but it must have shown. Sean patted her on the back and sat up straight again.
“Next time,” he said, trying to be reassuring. The bus pulled up to Sean’s house and he stood. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
He wormed his way down the aisle and exited the bus. Sean’s stop was a little bit out of town, but since the school was so close to the city border, he was one of the first pickups and drop-offs. His home wasn’t nearly as grand as Merry’s, or the rest of the school’s students’. As the bus pulled away, the small, two-story country house seemed dilapidated, and the lawn a little under-cared for. Merry waved briefly out the window to Sean before settling back and doodling in her notebook until the bus got to her house.
She practically slugged off the bus and dragged her feet to the front door, not waiting for Tristan. Upon reaching the front door she peeked in to make sure no surprise birthday was going to jump out at her, and upon seeing none, sneaked in. She deftly removed her shoes before tiptoeing quickly upstairs, running down the hall to her room, and shutting the door tightly. She locked it for good measure.
“Ok,” she breathed, letting her back rest on the door. “Now I can write.” She pushed herself up and fake-staggered across the room to her laptop, switching it on. A minute later, she pulled up her word processor and clicked on her novel.
‘Untitled For Now’
“I need to change that,” she sighed, scrolling down to where she had left off. It read:
The clearing in the camp was empty except for the cloaked man, who lay sprawled on the ground, driveling about something that happened a long time ago.
Merry eyed the last sentence suspiciously.
“I don’t remember writing that…” She scrolled up to see if anything else had changed, but it was all, to her satisfaction, narration she remembered writing. Again, she eyed the last sentence suspiciously, but finally decided she either did it in her haste to leave for school, or left it for herself to laugh at. Either way, she deleted the sentence and picked up where she left off.
…the man was really as bulky as his cloak made him appear. He was reeking of magic, but it was so hard to pick up that…
Merry stopped, looking at her fingers. The scene just didn’t feel right. “Come on,” she said, back-spacing for a moment. She tried again.
…the man was really as bulky as his cloak made him appear. Lore could sense a lot of magic drifting from him, and it was setting off his instincts like crazy to prepare for a fight.
“Hmm,” said Merry, eyeing the screen. “Lore isn’t supposed to be able to do that…” but it seemed right, leaving it that way, so she did.
Lore narrowed his eyes and tightened his grip on his bow, ready to attack.
“What’s your name?” he asked again, trying to be as direct as possible. His fingers moved and suddenly he grinned. He knew who was under the cloak, and he had no idea how Cheera didn’t.
“My name is of no consequence,” the man replied, his smile widening to match Lore’s. His voice was that of an old man, but something about it seemed faked. The elf twirled his bow casually and he began to approach the man.
“If your name is of no consequence, then you must be a person of no consequence, am I right?” His tone was somewhat mocking. The man in the cloak twitched, but didn’t falter.
“If you wish to believe that,” he replied, letting his voice slip momentarily. He sounded surprisingly like a younger man, but he covered it up with a cough. Lore got closer and closer, until he was nearly face-to-face with the man, staring him down and trying to get a good look at his face. The hood was pulled down too far.
“No really,” he said, trying to be persuasive. “You have to be someone.” He leaned forward to the man’s face and, grinning widely, slyly smiled. “You’re here for more than to just show Cheera where I was.”
The man seemed angry.
“Who are you?” he asked, his voice wavering as he eyed the elf’s minor injuries and cuts. Lore narrowed his eyes at him.
“No one of consequence,” he replied, and then whipped his bow out, jabbing the cloaked man in the stomach. He doubled over but fell back and rolled away.
“What are you doing?!” Cheera ran over to assist the man, the light blue, light blue, rune-like designs on the bridge of her nose and cheeks glowing, but Lore held her back.
“Wait,” he warned. “He’s not…”
“An old man?” the man stood to full height and threw off his cloak grandly, revealing the army uniform beneath, and the many weapons strapped to his belt, arms, and legs. He was young, his hair long and white, with streaks of dark blue. His eyes were a piercing green. Cheera gasped. “You would be right to say as such. I am no old man merely looking to help a useless elf woman…”
“Hey…” Cheera glared at him.
“…I am a true warrior! I singlehandedly destroyed the young prince of the elf kingdom! And my army is now marching there to-”
“You what?!” Cheera and Lore shouted simultaneously, shocked.
“You killed my cousin!” Cheera yelled.
“Did I?” he asked, smiling wide and revealing pearly white teeth. “You must be royalty then, if I’m not mistaken.” The two elves prepared to fight, lifting their weapons.
Merry typed happily away for an hour. The following fight scene was long and absorbing, and although Cheera pulled some pretty slick moves, Merry’s attention seemed to have switched to Lore.
“He’s a lot cleverer with that bow than I thought he’d be,” she thought as her elf spin-kicked the cloaked man before using the bow to jab his gut. “He was supposed to be pretty helpless… but I like him better this way.” She didn’t realize how much time had passed until she glanced at the clock on her computer and realized it was 4:30. She started, and looked around. “Wasn’t something supposed to happen at three o’ clock…?”
She pushed away from her document after saving it, and then unlocked her door. She opened it and listened, but hearing nothing, she went out and down the soft-carpeted stairs. She crossed the main hall and poked her head in the enormous kitchen, but the only person there was Carrie, stirring away at a large bubbling pot and singing softly to herself in Spanish. Carrie wasn’t only half-Mexican, but she loved her heritage.
Pulling away, Merry turned and crossed the large main room again to get to a door on the other side, which led to her mother’s studio. She wisely knocked first.
“Come in,” her mother called from inside, through the faint strains of music. Merry cracked open the door and briefly watched as her mother danced to a radio while simultaneously putting the finishing touches on a small concept drawing. She looked up as her daughter opened the door with a creak. “Yes, Merry?”
Merry bit her lip and lifted an eyebrow. “Erm… I just had a question…”
Her mom peered at her over the rim of her glasses. “What?”
“Um… why… did you want me to come home at three o’ clock today?” Her mother gave her a blank look.
“Three o’ clock?”
“Yes, mom. You told me three times today to come home at three o’ clock.” Anger began to simmer inside her. “Why did you want me to stay here instead of going to Sean’s?”
Her mother stared for a second, and then snapped her fingers. “Ah yes, I wanted you to stay here so you wouldn’t be late.”
“It wasn’t at three.”
“No, of course not.” Her mother went around the desk and Merry thought she was coming for the door, but instead she headed for a shelf and picked up a folder of pictures before drifting back to her desk. “Your party is after dinner.” Merry started.
“I’m always here by dinner!” she cried. “I could have gone to Sean’s!”
“No, you couldn’t have,” she said sharply, repositioning the glasses on the bridge of her nose. “He might have tried to throw you his own party, and then you would have been late, because you wouldn’t have been home on time.”
“Mom, I’m always on time!”
“Uh-huh,” she sounded disbelieving. Merry balled her fists.
“Today is my birthday, aren’t I allowed to do whatever I want?”
“No.” Her mother said stoutly. “Now go get ready for the party. There’s a new dress on your bed that I want you to wear… we’re inviting some friends, so I want you to look presentable.”
“’Friends’?” Merry asked, feeling the heat rising to her face. She didn’t bother moving, just putting all her anger into squeezing her clenched fists harder.
“Yes. Some of our friends. The ones your father and I play cards with on Wednesday nights.”
“What?!” Merry cried, pushing the door open wide. “What about my friends?! Why can’t I invite them?”
“Because, Merry, that would involve having… children’s entertainment. Your father and I really don’t-”
“So what are we going to have, adult entertainment?”
Her mother shot her a glare that would have usually made her take back her words, but in this case she stood her ground, glowering.
“Merry, go put on the dress,” she ordered sternly. “The Yin’s are bringing their daughter, and the Brown’s are bringing Billy. You’ll have plenty of people to play with.” Merry closed her eyes, counted to ten, and then opened them again, trying to contain her anger.
“Billy is five years old,” she reminded her mother. “And Lily is two years younger than me. Why can’t I invite my friends from school?”
“That would be Sean, and he can’t come.”
“I have more than one friend,” she snapped, her anger bubbling to the surface. “I don’t want to have the lamest party in the history of existence.”
“Imagine if you lived in Africa,” her mother replied. “Starving, with your family murdered brutally by a rival tribe. Then you would have no party. Think about that.”
Merry rolled her eyes. “But I don’t live in Africa. And my family hasn’t been brutally murdered… but right now I wouldn’t mind that.”
With that, she slammed the door and whirled, stalking off for the stairs, her anger trailing behind her. She stormed up the stairs, stomping, and passed Tristan on the way.
“Leave me alone,” she growled, and he shut up. She thumped up the remaining stairs, across the hall, and then slammed her door loud enough for her mother to hear. Luckily, her father wasn’t home yet to reprimand her. She locked it and then hit the doorknob with her fist before she turned, leaped, and landed face-first on her bed. “What an idiotic day.”
The laptop winked and blinked in the corner as the screensaver blinked on, bouncing around the screen and beckoning her. She watched it for a moment, her vision half-blocked by a horse-shaped pillow, and let out a long, long breath.
“I don’t want to write,” she moaned, closing her eyes. “I don’t want to be here right now… I wish I was at Sean’s house…”