Night Traveller
Chapter One
They Key
Ow! I pressed my hand against my cheek to alleviate the pain. Ew... I thought, tasting the metallic taste of blood in my mouth. I swished my tongue around in my mouth until I find the culprit. Digging out a tissue from my pocket, I spit out the tooth and blood, examining yet another piece of proof that I was growing up.
“Yuck,” I mumbled, still tasting the blood in my mouth.
I shoved another clean tissue in my mouth to stop the blood and tuck the tooth into my coat pocket. I couldn’t help but wonder why all my friends were looking forward to growing up? I certainly wasn’t ready to move out, find a job, pay bills. I wasn’t ready to give up reading and daydreaming about far off places where magic existed and trees could talk.
I wonder if the tooth fairy will even take my tooth and leave a quarter anymore. I walked in the door to my house and dig out homework. There wasn’t much, there never is because I actually spend class time doing it instead of gossiping and passing notes. I guess this made me a goody two-shoes or whatever but I had enough friends that it didn’t bother me.
“Hi Ellie,” Mom greeted a few hours later, coming home from work. “How was school? Did you do your homework?”
“School was fine,” I told her. “Didn’t have much homework either. Another tooth fell out”
“That must be close to the last one,” she commented. “Don’t forget to put it under your pillow for the tooth fairy.”
“Hey,” Stacey, my older sister walked in. “What are you talking about?”
“Ellie just lost another tooth,” Mom said, hanging her coat up.
“You know there’s no such thing as the tooth fairy right?” Stacey teased, tossing her backpack on a chair.
“Stacey!” Mom scolded, frowning. “Just because you’re a cynical teenager does not give you the right to be mean to your sister.”
“Oh I seriously doubt she actually believes in the tooth fairy,” Stacey rolled her eyes.
Maybe I didn’t believe the same way I used to, but I liked the idea of the tooth fairy and contemplating what her castle looked like, or maybe she lived in the woods in a grand old Oak tree with tiny sparkling lanterns tied to the leaves. I liked the tradition of putting my tooth under my pillow and receiving money for it. It made losing teeth fun. I didn’t ever talk to Stacey about this stuff, she’s not exactly the whimsical type, but I could still feel my face go read, as though she were teasing me about my daydreams.
Mom sighed heavily, disappointed in Stacey’s attitude I’m guessing.
“Stacey come help me with the dishes,” Mom said to Stacey.
Doing the dishes was Mom’s way of getting one-on-one time with us. Most of the time we used it to talk about school, or complain about school, or whatever, but every so often Mom used it to talk to us. I guessed that was what was going to happen now.
I decided to grab my journal and write about losing my tooth. Whenever I felt upset or worried I wrote it out and it made me feel better. I also liked looking back to see what I was thinking and feeling in the past. It was like reading a book sometimes. I even wrote down disturbing dreams, like the recurring one I had about the abominable snowman. I didn’t even believe in him and still I knew I’d had that dream at least twice because when I woke up it was familiar to me.
Supper was simple, Mom cooks out of necessity, not because she really enjoys the task. Tonight we were having salmon with mashed potatoes, peas, and carrots. Stacey and I didn’t really care if the food is fancy or not, we were just happy to eat.
“So do either of you have plans for the weekend?” Mom asked.
“I have to work on Saturday and Sunday,” Stacey said.
“I don’t have any plans,” I added. “I might finish the book I’m reading. If I do, can you drop me off at the library?”
“Sure,” Mom said.
At ten o’clock Stacey and I both decided to head to bed. Ten o’clock on the weekend was normal for me, but Mom and I were both a little surprised that Stacey is packing it in as well.
“Long day,” Stacey shrugged. “I’m doing a school project with a couple of classmates and we’re going to chat online and decide how to divide the work.”
Ah... I noded to myself. The old “I don’t want to talk to anyone anymore” tactic. I wondered if she was even going to be talking about school projects at all.
Stacey was basically a good student and person in my opinion. Being a teen I thought sometimes she acted a certain way because of her friends and being almost done school. She always seemed to know what she wanted and how to get there. To her, growing up simply meant freedom and different challenges. She once told me that high school will help me learn about growing up and taking care of myself. Another reason I didn’t want to grow up. While Stacey wanted to tackle the world, I was happy to do what I’m asked to do and daydream the rest of the time. I prefered experiencing life through books.
Changing into my pj’s I grabbed my jeans and dug the tooth out of the pocket. I had almost forgotten about it, and quickly tucked it under my pillow so I wouldn’t lose it. I brushed my teeth and scrubbed my face and climbed into bed, checking once more to make sure my tooth is still under my pillow.
I still felt glum about my tooth falling out. I laid in bed trying to figure out why losing one of my last teeth is making me feel so... doomed springs to mind. I was turning thirteen in a little over a month too.... that I dreaded even more.
Sighing, I pushed those thoughts out of my head and turned my attention to where I stopped reading in one of my books. I was too tired to read anymore tonight, but I was hoping to drift off to sleep quickly thinking about the peasant girl who had set out to try to help her family by finding work in their king’s castle.
I woke up the next morning with my head feeling really foggy and unfocused. It was like those times when someone wakes you up from a nap too early and you can hardly think straight. I laid in bed for a few minutes trying to figure out if I was dreaming or if something woke me up. Vague images quickly disappeared from my memory before I could pull them into focus.
Stretching I sat up and slipped my hand under my pillow to see what the tooth fairy left for me. My fingers brushed against something long and rough and cold. Frowning, I wrapped my fist around it and pulled it out.
Instead of a coin from the tooth fairy under my pillow, I found an iron key larger than my first... and heavy too!

Keep Reading

Chapter 2

Chapter Two Travelling on the Wings of an Owl

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