Hello, my friends!
Recently, I participated in a challenge called Crazy Writing Week (more about that in my monthly review!) in which I wrote 26,550 words in one week. Let me say by the end of that week, I was tired, to say the least. In those 26,000 words, I started rewriting an old project titled, Finding Violet. This story was the first project I completed as a decently serious writer, and since I loved writing it the first time, I thought a rewrite would be fun.
Finding Violet was written for the little kid inside of me and my love for cute mysteries like the Boxcar Children and Cabin Creek Mysteries. <3 Get a cup of hot cocoa, a cozy place to sit, and enjoy reading!
“AHHHH!” That was the first word I heard when I woke up on the morning of January 3rd in August Creek, Colorado. Normally, noises like that don’t make you think much when you have an energetic and wild 13-year-old brother in the house. But when you’ve just moved into a new town and have met no one other than your brother, mom, and dad, it makes you wonder. Especially when it’s 5:45 in the morning.
As I slid out of the warm bed that I was sleeping on, I surveyed the room. I had no idea where my fuzzy socks that I wore every single morning were in the stacks of boxes. Sighing, I dug into my backpack and pulled out a pair of jeans and a sweater. And then, the chaotic trip through the maze of boxes to get to the door of my room began.
You see, my house has never been like this. I’ve never moved in my life. Well, actually, I have to take that back, since I had clearly just moved a little more than halfway across the country, from Colorado to Boston. I love seeing things being very organized and tidy, and so do my parents. Our house in Boston, or actually, I should say our apartment in Boston–I’ve never lived in a house before until now–was as neat as a pin. But our house in August Creek. . . the complete opposite of that.
I knew we would get it straightened out quickly, but still, for the few days it was going to be like this – it might drive me insane. But back to that cold morning when I’d lost my fuzzy socks and someone was yelling at a time that sane people really shouldn’t be up. But I guess my brother Mark isn’t one of those.
Stepping over my nightstand that was sitting in the middle of the hall, I pushed open Mark’s door. His room is way too close to mine, in my opinion. I should have chosen the room in the attic, I thought to myself, even though, even that wouldn’t be far enough from Mark. But, being in the attic would have freaked me out, so I was stuck in this room.
“Good morning!” Mark said cheerily, not a hint of sleepiness in his eyes. “What are you doing up at this hour?” I glanced around his room. Pure chaos. A box of books was tipped over, that must have been what made the noise.
“Aw, I’m sorry, sis. I didn’t mean to disrupt your beauty sleep,” he grinned at me, but it was too early for me to even smile back.
“It’s not beauty sleep. It’s sanity,” I responded.
“Nah, you’re only eleven and you’ve already lost all your sanity. There’s no need for it.”
“Uh huh, ‘cause you don’t have any,” I had to laugh a bit. Even though Mark maybe lacked sanity, he was a pretty cool older brother.
“Hey, not fair. Come help me pick up these books and I’ll forgive you,” he motioned to the books.
“Fine, if you’ll move my nightstand back into my room so I don’t trip over it again at 3 am in the morning when I get water from the bathroom,” I grinned.
“Is that the nightstand’s fault or yours? Ever heard of a water bottle?”
“Mine is in a box, but I can’t remember which one,” I put the book back on the shelf and put the dust jacket back on another.
“Next time we move, don’t pack up your necessities in a box, and a water bottle is a necessity,” he said from my room.
“Hopefully there won’t be a next time,” I added.
“Goodness, what are you all doing up at this hour?” Mom appeared then, her hair up in a messy bun and her face tired.
“Mark’s dropping boxes of books,” I stood up, pulling my hair into a tight ponytail, “And good morning!”
“Oh dear. Maybe you could have waited to do that til 8?” She asked, and Mark just shook his head.
“Let’s go down and see what we can dig up for breakfast. Hopefully, we can find something. I should have planned this move better,” Mom shook her head, and then the three of us made their way through the cluttered hallway and down to the kitchen.
“We’ll need groceries today, probably, right, Mom?” I asked.
“Yeah, we will,” Mom added, and then she began to dig into a box and pulled out the toaster. After a few more minutes of searching through boxes and bins and bags, a jar of peanut butter, a bowl of bananas, and a loaf of homemade bread had been produced.
Mom sliced a few pieces of bread, and I plugged the toaster in; after five minutes of nothing, Mark grinned at me. “Just so you know, Melody, that outlet doesn’t work.”
“Thanks a lot, Mark,” I rolled my eyes, “This house is quite. . . something,” I switched the toaster across to the other counter.
“That it is,” Mom smiled, “We’ll get used to it, though. Just give it some time, okay?”
“Yeah. . . . yeah, Mom, I’ll try. School starts Monday, correct?”
“Yup! It’s going to be great, I promise.” A sinking feeling went through my stomach. . . starting a new school, yikes. I had just left a private school in Boston, and it was pretty small—about 400 students, and I knew most of the kids, at least everyone in my grade. I had gone to school with almost all of them for my entire life. I had a close group of friends. And then, the announcement containing the two words, “we’re moving” had taken all of that away. Mom seemed to know what I was thinking and gave my shoulder a squeeze. “There are nice kids in Reedstown, I’m sure.”
Saying August Creek was small was an understatement. It was tiny, hardly able to be considered a town, and from what Dad had heard from our neighbors, the youngest person in town was 17, besides Mark and me. Yikes. And therefore, we would be going to a school in Reedstown, the town closest to August Creek. A whole new school. A whole new school where I knew not one single person. A whole new place full of new opportunities. A whole new chance to do something I had never done before.
I knew Mark was the kind of person to worry about such things as not knowing anyone. Not that Mark wasn’t easy to make friends with—everywhere I had seen him go, he was the leader, and was always everyone’s best friend. Despite that, Mark thought about every little thing in and out, and often, worried himself nearly to death.
That didn’t keep him from being quite adventurous to the point that it was frustrating to go along and have him leave you behind somewhere. Exploring this town might be difficult because of that, but I knew I would eventually know where every bit of this town was.
“Melody, you’re burning the toast,” Mark glanced over at me from the counter where he was slicing an apple on a paper plate. Oh yikes, I grabbed a fork and stuck the overly-browned toast, pulling it out of the toaster and onto a plate.
“Welp, that’s our last bread,” Mom smiled wryly, “How do you all feel about granola bars, instead of toast?”
I sighed, “Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.”
“It’s fine, sweetie, we just need to get our life back in order,” Mom had been living like this for less than 16 hours, since we’d arrived at our new house at 6 PM last night, and it was already driving her crazy. It just goes to show how much she loves things being organized.
“Run up and wake your dad up, Melody, ‘kay? We need to get moving,” Mom directed, pulling out her planner that held a list of exactly what we needed to do, where each thing went in the new house, and what boxes were where. Maybe the house wasn’t organized, but Mom sure was.
Two hours later, it was only 8:30 in the morning, and I could actually walk through my room. That didn’t mean there wasn’t a stack of boxes halfway up to the ceiling, but I could get to the boxes and I had a desk, dresser, bed, closet, and nightstand to put the things in the boxes away in. Our moving truck with all of our furniture had arrived already, and everywhere below I could hear Mom’s voice directing and lots of grunts from men carrying heavy dining room tables and other houseware items. Who knew moving could be so chaotic? I finished spreading out my quilt(the same one that had been on my bed in Boston) and fluffed my pillow. After this, I looked toward the mountain of boxes.
A sweeping bunch of emotions swelled over me as I opened the first box and pulled it’s contents out and set them on my bed until I finished I decided where to put them. It was all the same furniture. The same things. The same blue rug on the floor and pastel yellow curtains on the windows. . . but it was all so, so different. Seeing these things in my new room that really didn’t feel like mine made me realize that I wasn’t in Boston anymore. I was in August Creek. And it wasn’t just for a summer vacation or a spring holiday. . . I moved here. For good.
The idea scared me more than I liked to admit. I was going to miss my old friends. I was going to miss my old room. I was going to miss my old theater group and school. I was going to miss my old life. I already did.
And that’s the first chapter of my middle-grade novel, Finding Violet. I hope you enjoyed reading and before you go, answer these questions in the comments!
What was your favorite line from this chapter? Do you like cute kids’ mysteries, too? What was your favorite photo?