Friday, February 5, 2010

The Well-Traveled Journal by Lexie Lessing

 Note from Doug: The following story was written by my 12 year old daughter Lexie, now in 7th grade.  This was an extra credit creative writing assignment for Ms. Coffey's Honors English at Bayport-Blue Point.  I love the way she abandoned the carefully fostered structured writing and ignored conventional grammar to write partly in prose.  Drove Grace crazy!  It is essentially a preface to a novel or series.  I post it hear simply for the joy of reading, and simply for pride in my daughter's enthusiasm. As a father, I am entitled to do so.
The Well-Traveled Journal
    The morning of my thirteenth birthday, the first day of spring. Peacefully listening in the warm covers of my bed with my eyes closed. A sparrow’s melodic song outside my window on the branch of my favorite cherry blossom tree. The snow pink flowers budding, welcoming spring. The frost melting off the grass, turning into little droplets of dew. I could almost hear the wind carry away winter. I opened my eyes to see sunlight pouring through the window, illuminating my flowery room. I exhaled and a great thought came to my head. Spring.
    “Leila, happy thirteenth birthday!” My mom’s muffled voice from the other side of my door. I sat down at the window seat looking outside at the charm of spring, while she slowly opened my door, followed by my dad carrying a handful of presents. My mother put a beautiful pink orchid in my hair, fitting perfectly into my light brunette curls.
    “Happy birthday sweetheart!” My dad said with a warm smile, setting down the presents in front of me. I opened each present one by one, thanking my parents for all their generous gifts. Since I was their only child, they always made an extra effort to make my birthdays special. I actually wasn’t their real daughter; they actually found me. They said they were on a hiking trip and found me bundled up behind a tree in a patch of flowers. I had a stone necklace with my name engraved on it around my neck, which I’m still wearing today. They took me in and raised me as their own, never knowing who my real parents were.
    When I thought I was done opening all my presents, my mom pulled out one last present from behind her back. It was wrapped in brown paper and tied with rope, there was a small name tag with my name on it in elegant calligraphy.
    “This was on our doorstep this morning, I don’t know who left it. There was no name anywhere.” My mom said suspiciously. Seeing my reaction and curiosity, she and my father left the room. I slowly opened the rectangular present, eager to know what it was. Inside was a well-traveled leather journal, with signs of its many journeys. It had an odd beauty and glow to it; and it was bound with a leather cord. I untied the cord and tried to open the journal but it would not open. Then I saw there on the cover, was a indent in a shape of a small stone. The shape looked familiar, I held my necklace in my hand feeling its contours, wondering where I had seen it before. Then I realized it was exactly the same as my necklace. I slowly removed the necklace from my head and placed it next to the journal. I steadily held up the stone and placed it into the indent. It fit in perfectly like they were meant to be. I heard a light click and the journal opened. Questions and emotions rushed through my head like a tornado. Who is this journal from? Why my necklace? Why me? Why now?
    I opened the cover slowly, and inside was the same beautiful calligraphy scrawled across the page. There on the first page was a letter addressed to me. “To our dearest Leila” the line read. I quickly skipped to the bottom of the letter and gasped. I reread the words over and over again with disbelief, trying to make sense of how it was possible. How did they find me and why had they left me? The words on the bottom of the page- it didn’t make sense. The titles in front of their names? I started to feel very dizzy and sat down on the window seat. The world started to spin. I hadn’t heard of them for thirteen years. I closed my eyes and let the shock sink in. Written at the bottom of the page were the words, “From your loving parents, King Amaranth and Queen Peony”.
    I didn’t understand at all. How could this be from my real parents? King? Queen? I thought medieval times were over and there were no more kings and queens, let alone how could they be my parents? But, if they are royalty and I’m their daughter, that makes me a... a princess. How was that possible? I’m just Leila Johnson, a thirteen year old girl trying to get through middle school. I couldn’t be a... the words caught in my throat. I can’t be a princess, it’s just not possible. I decided to read the rest of the letter. There was no proof that they’re my real parents. I read the letter in suspense looking for a clue that this was not real and not happening.
    The letter was short, but the all the words and letters jumped around the page. I couldn’t focus. It was a letter explaining the answers to my questions, the proof I needed was right there on the page. The letter told of my parents being king and queen, but there was no name of the place they ruled. It told of an evil power that spread throughout the land, trying to overthrow my parents. I was the only heir to the throne and then a war broke out. They had to hide me safe from harm and the only place was the mortal world. This confused me the most how the words said “mortal world”. Then the letter went on to say how they saw a young couple walking through a forest; they bundled me up in a blanket and put the stone necklace around my neck, and left me on the ground to be found. The letter said that they cried to see me go, but they knew we would see each other again. I was so baffled I didn’t know what to think. I scanned the letter over and over again, then I read the most confusing words at the bottom of the page. I didn‘t know what they meant. It said, “Your time is soon to join us. when you shall change, peace and sunshine will be brought back to our lands.” I couldn’t think about this anymore, I needed to get away. I abruptly closed the journal and placed it in the corner of my bed and hurried out of my room.     
    The rest of my day progressed like any other birthday as I tried not to think about what had happened this morning. Since it was Saturday my parents brought me hiking and then treated me with a grand dinner at one of the nicest places in town. I came home exhausted and after I said goodnight to my parents I went up to my room. I tried to ignore the journal on my bed and got into pajamas. I nestled into the warm covers of my bed and tried to fall asleep. But all I could think about was the journal. I sat up and reached for it at the end of my bed and flicked on my reading light. I sat there reading the letter time after time until I felt my eyelids get heavy and let the journal fall out of my hands.
    I awoke with a startle and beads of sweat rolled down my forehead. The nightmare was horrible. I couldn’t describe it. I stared down at the journal next to me. My stomach lurched. I ran to the bathroom and rested my head on the cool tile floor. Breathing hard I wondered what was happening to me. Then it happened. I was breathing very hard and my heart was beating like a runaway train. I started to panic when I saw my skin start to shimmer and glow. It became hard, but silky to touch. I could feel my body changing. I felt light as a feather and my limbs started to shrink. I was losing height, shrinking ever so slightly. Then, when I finally thought it was over, searing pain shot through my back. I tried not to scream and wake my parents. It took all my will power. I felt something, tearing, ripping through my back. The pain was excruciating and I couldn’t stand it any longer. Then it stopped- the pain retreating from my back, leaving me panting on the floor. Everything went black.
     The darkness lifted and I found myself still on the bathroom floor. I felt dizzy when I stood up and I walked back to my room. Then I saw them. They were mesmerizing. No it’s not possible, I’m not thinking straightly. No they were there-I was sure of it. They were light and I could barely feel them at my back, but I knew they were there. I ran to my room and looked in the mirror. I was completely and utterly in shock. I was beautiful and on my back were two long  wings. They were the most beautiful things I had ever seen. They looked dainty, but in a way, they looked strong. The sunlight of the early morning glinted off them throwing colors all over my room. I gasped, I was not on the floor! I was hovering a few inches off the ground and thud! I fell to the ground in shock. As I sat there on the floor, the reality of the situation hit me. I was a faerie!
    My eyes clouded over and I felt like I was whisked away at the speed of light. When sight returned I looked around and found myself surrounded by a land beyond belief. A land of enchantment. I could feel it, I was home. I’m not even sure where home is but I knew I had to find my parents and bring peace and happiness to this realm once more.

[Leave a comment and tell Lexie where you think she should take this story]