Chapter 3 Rose



The next morning was dark and still. A few birds were singing but the rest remained in their nests, waiting for the sun to rise. A pale blue sky was tinted by a greyish orange and purple as the dawn approached. Thin, black clouds were silhouetted against the day break and the world slowly began to wake into a calm winter morning. Lilly was brushing her hair by the window when a robin landed on the sill and sang happily. As Lilly smoothed the brush through her long hair a pale head peered round the door, watched for a moment and then snuck away. Rose grabbed a hair brush from her room and ran down to the kitchen where Abigail was making breakfast: It was porridge. Abigail made the worst porridge in the world but no one had the heart to tell her.

“Mummy?” asked Rose “Can you brush my hair?”

“Of course my little rose bud.” Rose giggled and sat on a wooden chair. “Oh this is lovely hair this is. Aren’t you lucky? I never had hair like this,” Abigail tore her way through the golden hair that was rich in tangles. Rose cringed but said nothing.

“But Mummy you do have nice hair,” said Rose playing with Abigail’s coarse, wire hair.

“No I don’t flower pot,” Rose giggled and turned around. Abigail continued to pick at her daughter’s matted hair. Lilly came in and sneered at Rose who swung her legs and smiled sweetly. Eventually the brutal tugging and combing was done and Rose had beautiful, fine golden hair instead of a tangled mess.

“Who’s hungry? I’ve made porridge,” said Abigail stirring the bubbling pot. Lilly cringed and fiddled with a spoon. The kitchen door opened and a man with blond hair walked in.

“Daddy!” said Rose jumping down from her chair and running over to the man. He was tall wore a brown suit. He hugged Rose and kissed her head as she giggled angelically.

“Who wants porridge?” Abigail repeated. Rose always loved to falsely flatter to her mother.

“I do. Mummy always makes the best porridge. Are you going to have some?” she said pointing a spoon at Lilly, who bit her lip. The man smiled at his daughter but cautioned her.

“Rose,” he chided. The child looked at him with an innocent smile. Rose's father was a wonderful man who was not completely blind to his daughter and knew how sisters were as he had two of his own. Lilly had heard varied tales of her real father and still did not know the truth but all the stories had the same outcome: He had gone and never come back. Rose’s father was called Eric and Lilly loved him dearly but behaved like he was her brother or uncle more than a father.

“I’m really not that hungry,” Lilly said. “I’ll just have some toast.”

“Do you want some porridge, dear?” asked Abigail. Eric cringed and walked round to Abigail. He kissed her loudly on the cheek.

“No thanks luv. I've to be in work early t’day,” He was a very attractive man but it was some how spoiled when he spoke as he had a very strong Yorkshire accent: A true man of the dales.

He grabbed one of the buttered toasts from Lilly, kissed her good bye then ran out the door.

“Don’t forget the choir concert!” Abigail shouted out after him. He waved the toast and trotted off down the icy street. Abigail went back to the table and spooned the porridge into the bowls. “I can’t believe he’s in such a hurry,” she said.

“I can’t believe he took my toast,” said Lilly smiling as she putting more bread onto the tray which she placed over the hot plates of the Aga.

After breakfast Lilly went back up to her room. She locked the door and sat at the window. The waterfall tumbled over the rocks and foamed in the pool beneath. The gentle hush made Lilly feel calm and safe. She had a vague memory of water; had she once fallen into a river or had she been left out in the rain? In her mind the cool waters soothed her heavy heart: Her troubles sunk down into the deep, darkness.

She watched with interest as the cool liquid glided across the stony bed then she lit a candle and played with the flame. The fire was to scare off Rose as it burnt her dry and irrelevant heart. In a mystical sense the flames prevented Rose from hurting her. Lilly found comfort in fire and water though the latter favoured her most. Flames for her anger - water for her patience. Rose, if she were to pick an element would have been earth so she could leach life from it, just as the rose bushes did to the rich earth of the garden.

Lilly watched the water and the snow that began to fall until the town clock struck its low and vibrant tones. It was nine o‘clock. Lilly quickly changed into a pretty white dress that came down to her ankles. It drifted out at the ends and fitted her thin waist perfectly. She grabbed an apron that was hanging off the corner of her wardrobe and ran downstairs.

“I’m late mum, bye!” she shouted as she ran out the door. Ignoring her mother’s responding shout she ran down the road, over a fence and sprinted across the field towards the town. Her long, mousy brown hair shone golden and bronze in the sunlight as it streamed out behind her. She lifted her skirt so it didn’t get muddy and ran through the flocks of sheep that scattered but then carried on munching their grass. Lilly leapt over the stile and continued on over the cobbled streets that made her feet wobble. She ran through an arch way and round into a bakery where she leapt over the counter and quickly put on her apron.

Lilly’s best friend, Evelyn, walked into the room and smiled. Lilly waved to her and continued to panted in over exaggeration. The bakery was a delightful place; owned by Evelyn’s father. It was full of the pungent scent of freshly cooked bread and the sweet smelling cakes cooling on shelves mixed with the scent of pies and pasties. All the loaves had been stacked behind the counter and the cakes displayed in the window and cabinet.

“Are you all right?” asked Evelyn.

“I'm fine, I just had to run to get here,” explained Lilly. Evelyn smiled again and placed some of the buns in the display cabinet. She was a pretty girl; shorter than Lilly and younger by one year. She always wore a feathered earring and a beautiful necklace of bones and beads. Her sparkling eyes were green and deep with a mysterious charm like enchanted gems. Her hair was thick and dark brown and glinted in the sunlight. If a word could describe her it would be - alive. She was an only child so she was spared from the torment of a younger brother or sister. Her mother had died at birth and left Evelyn with her father. She was lower classed but considered higher by Lilly.

“What happened to your eyes?” Evelyn asked brushing Lilly’s hair back to reveal two slightly swollen and red blinking eyes. Lilly told her the events of the previous night and Evelyn kissed each eye then held her close.

For the next two hours they worked, serving customers and moving bread and buns around the kitchen. At eleven o'clock the door opened and a smiling, little girl skipped into the shop followed by her mother. Lilly rapidly disappeared into the kitchens and left Evelyn to serve them.

From were she had hidden Lilly could see the workers in the kitchen. The smell of freshly cooked loaves was blooming in the air; the warm furnaces heated the room and cooked the delicious bread. Lilly would have had a job working in the kitchens but Evelyn begged her father to let her work in the front of the shop with her.

Evelyn reset the till and stood ready.

“Hello, Evelyn how are you?” said Abigail.

“I'm fine thank you, Mrs Mare. I’m afraid you just missed Lilly. She’s helping Brian move boxes in the back,” lied Evelyn, “How can I help?”

“I need three loafs of bread, I'm helping at the choir concert,” said Abigail with pride. She patted Rose on the head, “What would you like dear,” she asked crouching down to her daughter. Rose quickly scanned to see what was finished.

“Are there any more tarts?” asked Rose sweetly. Evelyn resisted the urge to respond with cheek and answered.

“No I’m afraid not. Brian’s just put a new batch of them in if you’d like to wait.” Rose looked disappointed.

“Oh. Alright, I’ll just have a little pasty,” said Rose with a sweet smile that made Abigail proud but Evelyn feel uneasy. She forced an unconvincing smile.

“And a pasty,” added Abigail. Evelyn worked her way round the shop and picked up the items.

“Would you like a box for the bread?” asked Evelyn placing the pasty on the counter. Abigail nodded and searched her pockets for her purse. Evelyn went out into the back to get a box, as she passed where Lilly was hiding she growled at her. Lilly giggled and whispered:

“I’m sorry.” Evelyn retrieved a box and filled it with the fresh bread.

“Oh dear! I’ve left my purse in the butchers. Can Rose stay here a minute while I go and get it?” pleaded Abigail. Evelyn reluctantly agreed. The forgetful mother disappeared and left Rose scowling at Evelyn.

“There are more tarts aren’t there,” said Rose looking at the empty shelf.

“Only you,” said Evelyn grinning.

“Stupid gypsy,” said Rose sneering. She started to kick the glass casing.

“If that breaks, you’re in trouble,” said Evelyn with concern for the glass. Rose kicked it harder. Lilly sped into the room and shouted at her sister.

“Stop it you little brat!” She grabbed Rose’s hands and turned her away from the glass. Lilly hated it when Rose had no respect for other people’s property.

“Let go!” Rose screamed and tried to kick Lilly. She got so frustrated that she started to sob and fell limp in the grip. Lilly let her go and stood back. Rose snarled from the floor then snatched up her pasty and stood outside munching sourly on the sweet pasty. Lilly went round to Evelyn and patted her shoulder.

“Thank you,” Evelyn whispered. Abigail came back and paid for the bread then went out to her daughter. She looked at her then glared at Lilly through the glass as she gently tugged Rose away with her.

Evelyn sat Lilly down on the benches.

“I have some news for you. There is darkness ahead. To follow your heart is to be free, but two hearts in one will spell your doom. Winter is your lucky season, full of snow, ice and frost. And the words ‘tea’ and ‘gnarl’ keep popping up. It is not too late to change your fate.”

“And what does all that mean?” asked Lilly in amusement.

“I have absolutely no idea.”

Evelyn tried to read fortunes. She loved to predict what would happen to Lilly in her future but never got it right. Lilly fiddled with her apron as she looked out the window into the street and watched the carts rattle past. She thought about what Evelyn had said and wondered.

“Are you sure you didn’t calculate the moon instead of the northern star?” she asked. Evelyn smiled.

“That was just once. Other predictions are that your sister will be horrible and hurt you but she will loose her voice just before she has to sing and your lucky number is five or six, I can’t be sure.” The girls laughed and carried on working.

MW   MW wrote
on 6/30/2009 11:31:37 AM
Can see the image of Evelyn and Lilly; love the name Lilly Mare! wow, wan is really an honest buddy! This is really cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!10/10

WAN   WAN wrote
on 6/16/2009 8:41:36 AM
I think Evelyn will realize in the future that she is the life who will telling Lilly's future.

WAN   WAN wrote
on 6/16/2009 8:40:07 AM
Oh wow...I love it as always;) I hope it will be published soon. I wnat a copy of it:)!!!!!! Can You post the other chapter tomorrow Ve:) I want to read the next chapter. If this will become a movie I will really be happy. More than a perfect score from me!

Novel / Novella
writing Ve
We are all here to make our own mistakes :)
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Rating: 10.0/10

The next chapter of Lilly's adventures into magic. Beware the beauty that is Rose