other bits of blog

Sunday, February 21, 2010

botanic midwinter

Hey, there! (Why do I start out every post with a 'hi'? Let's start this again.)

My dad and I went to the Botanical Gardens in my area on Thursday...and we were late, so we got 15 minutes there. I'm pretty annoyed about that. But I have to admit that I got some great photos!

And it's supposed to snow this week. The Botanical Gardens were such a relief. I'm so tired of all this snow, although my dad adores it, it means that he can play ice hockey.

And, for the last two nights, I've been writing. Diana gets to meet Stella, and, for anyone who has seen me in person, Stella is based on moi! Stella's a bit headstrong, too...like me.

Dancing With Thieves
Four
Stell


I shake myself out of my dream. I have no right to think that Mica is cute or sweet or beautiful or trustworthy, but—I do.
“Mica, do you have any clothes I can wear?” I ask, still trying to snap myself out of it.
“Yes,” Mica responds, blushing. He rummages through his dresser and pulls out a brown tunic and soft, dark blue leggings, then hands them to me. I thank him, and he turns around and stares at the wall.
“Mica?”
“Hmm?”
“Well, I was just wondering.”
“What?”
“Do you have any brothers or sisters?” Not what I meant to say, how could I be so stupid? You don’t ask people that!
He giggles. “Yes, I do. My sister’s name is Stella. You can meet her, if you like.”
I nod, even though he can’t see me, but I think he might be able to guess at my gestures.
I finish getting dressed. The tunic and leggings fit perfectly, and it feels good to wear boys’ clothes. I feel free and light, ready for anything. “You can turn around now,” I say quietly. He does, and as he does, the door next to his bed opens.
A tall young man steps into the room. He has wavy brown hair and brown eyes. Even with the teenager’s common appearance, he holds himself high, as if he were a king in a castle, and everyone should bow down to him. Then it hits me. The King. The King of the Thieves. And he doesn’t know who I am.
Mica laughs nervously. “Hi, John. Um, this is, um, ah, er…” he trails off. We never invented a boy’s name for me.
I think quickly. “Dane,” I say. “My name’s Dane.”
John smiles thoughtfully. “And you are here because?” His voice is low and gruff, rather beyond his years. I look at him; really look at him this time. He actually looks to be at least 19, four years older than Mica and I.
“I live in England,” I say, and that’s true. “And I’m here for the summer, I, ah, need work.”
“I understand you have training?” the King asks.
I nod. “I’m actually trained as a—a spy.”
John raises his eyebrows. I wonder if he believes me. “Take him downstairs,” he says to Mica. “He’ll do.”
Mica smiles, then takes me out of his room through another door, this one leading through his study. It opens onto a dimly lit staircase, and we follow it into the gloom.
As we walk, the sounds of a market become loud and clear. Looking below me, I can see a square of light at the bottom of the stairs. Mica runs straight down toward it, and I follow him, trusting his every movement again and again.
“Mica!” A young girl’s voice wafts up from the light. I can’t see Mica, but I know he must be smiling.
“Stell, I want you to meet Di—Dane,” he whispers. By this time we are at the square of light, looking into the face of a small, brown-haired girl. This must be Stella.
“Huh?” Stella asks.
“What?” asks Mica right back at his younger sister. They both burst out laughing, and I even grin a little. It feels good to smile, and I haven’t done it since last night, when I lost—I don’t want to think about it.
We step into the lit area, and climb down a rickety ladder into the hustle and bustle of a Dublin marketplace, which is what I suppose John called “downstairs”.
Stella looks at me. “Are you a new Rouge?” she asks.
“Kind of,” Mica answers for me. “See, she’s a…”
“I’m a girl,” I say. If I trust Mica, I have no reason not to trust his younger sister.
Stella gapes at me. “You’re a WHAT!?” she asks, yelling.
“Shh,” Mica whispers to his sister, “we don’t want people to know.”
“But you just said she’s a Rouge! Mica, if John finds out—he’ll, he’ll kill you!”
“John only takes your fingers, you know the rules, one mistake and you’ve got no thumb, two and the other one’s gone, three your hand’s gone, and four…well, let’s just say no one comes back from four,” he explains, with the result of Stella shuddering.
“Well, you’ve already stepped into this mess, there’s no going back now,” Stella scolds. I smile weakly at their bickering, and wonder if the King would really do that.
Stella turns to me. “So, Dane, if you’re a girl, what are you called?” she inquires.
“Diana,” I say.
“Diana,” Stella muses. “I like it.”
I smile. “I like Stella.”
Stella looks at me again with her green eyes. They are as green as her brother’s. Stella’s hair is dark brown, not as black as Mica’s. She is as skinny as a beanpole, with so many freckles I can barely see her face. “Call me Stell,” she says. “I’m twelve, and Stella seems so little. Stell sounds brave and bold, it’s almost like a lion, or rather, a lioness…” she trails off, embarrassed, and I giggle.
“Well, Stell is fine with me,” I answer, and we grin at each other. I like this girl.
I like this girl, too. But I like it even more when you comment.

8 comments:

  1. Nice story! I've never been to a Botanical Garden, unfortunately, even though I've passed the NYBG several times in the past.

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  2. If you've never been to a Botanical Garden, you haven't LIVED!

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  3. The Irregular Girl who is changing her name to The Golden EagleFebruary 24, 2010 at 4:36 AM

    I haven't LIVED? GASP! Hack!

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  4. i love it!! post more more more more!!!!!

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  5. so close and yet so far
    but for a left turn instead of right
    we'd have been there
    driving, can't get there from here
    the edge of town disolves into farmland
    cris-crossed by roads that skirt around
    valleys and streams
    another edge, old mill buildings
    ahhhhh, here we are
    warm air thick with water
    orchids blooming, carp swimming
    across the greenhouse glass

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  6. Hi! I just got a blog, so please check it out!

    thegoldeneaglesblog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete