NOTICE: This is the last day to sign up for WordCrafters, guys! *Runs around with flashing lights and sirens* Okay, done with that. 😄
Ahem. The. Last. CWWC. Challenge. Often I got pretty stressed out trying to finish my stories in time, but I loved how the prompts inspired me to write creatively. Sometimes I didn’t know how the story was going to turn out! Thank you so much for hosting CWWC, Loren! You did a great job. 😀 (By the way, I put several of my longer stories on a page called, uh…”Stories” up there with the rest of my pages below the header. I put each serial story on its own page so you can read it all at once instead of in little parts.)
Loren, I used the three prompts from this challenge.
I had to kind of rush for this, like usual, but I hope you enjoy it! 😀
Rose the Runaway
Rose closed the book with a sigh. She scrambled to her feet on top of her bed, and held one arm above her head dramatically. She lifted her voice:
“Oh, that I should live to see thee so, dearest Evelyn. Why dost thou turn from me, thy life-long companion?” Rose shook her head at the thought of what poor Genevieve must have felt when she spoke that heart-rending passage. How could Evelyn have turned away from Genevieve? Especially when Genevieve had all of the qualities one could desire in a book heroine. She was brave, kind, and especially beautiful.
Rose wistfully recited another passage from the book: “Genevieve’s slender throat was milk-white, vying with the chain of pearls around it in purity and beauty. Her dreamy, violet eyes, so large and round, looked on everyone with gentleness. Her full, red lips spoke naught but love, and her slender, soft white fingers were filled with tenderness at every touch.”
Rose heaved another sigh from the depths of her nine-year-old soul. She gazed at herself dolefully in the mirror. No milk-white throat for Rose; hers was definitely brown. No dreamy, large violet eyes for Rose; only small gray slits peeping from under a heavy brow. No full red lips or soft fingers for Rose; her lips were pinched and thin like the rest of her, and her fingers were short and rough. Rose’s cherished dream was to grow up into a beautiful lady, as virtuous and charming as the best of heroines – like Genevieve.
Her second dream was to have a life worthy of a heroine. Rose figured that her life so far couldn’t have been more boring if it had tried. She hadn’t fallen off a cliff, graciously rescued her worst enemy, put out a fire, fallen down a well, or even broken an arm. The most exciting thing in Rose’s life had been when her family had moved across the street. And there was nothing heroic in moving if you didn’t have to change schools or move away from your friends.
But Rose was determined to do at least one exciting thing in life. She was going to run away from home. Once, when she was seven, Rose had tried to run away and promptly raced back to her house after meeting a large, growling dog; but this time Rose shouldered her pack resolutely and trotted off through the night. She had consulted several of her favorite books, finding out just how a heroine should go about running away.
“Our heroine, Rose, makes her escape,” Rose murmured into the night. “She sets off bravely, with only a few supplies in her knapsack. Will she be strong enough to survive?”
Rose tramped across two fields, crossed an empty highway, and headed up a hill.
“She has made it this far; our heroine will not give up now,” Rose spluttered between huffs and puffs. “Her legs ache with the strain as she climbs up the steep mountain. She shields her eyes and squints at the glaring snow topping the mountain. She gasps as her worn shoes hit the frozen powder. Can she make it?” It was the middle of summer, and Rose wouldn’t climb a mountain for her life, but that didn’t stop her imagination from embellishing her escape.
“Now the courageous Rose has reached the mountain top. She stands wearily atop it, taking in the view with her big, violet eyes.” Rose was getting tired now, but she quickly brightened up as her imagination concocted a picture in her mind. There was a picture of her in the newspaper. MISSING, it was captioned. Girl, nine years old. Light brown hair. Please call if you have any information of her whereabouts. Her father and mother knocked on every neighbor’s door, but always with the answer, “Sorry, I can’t help you.” This was something like it! Now she was really living like a story character.
By the time Rose crossed two more hills, she was exhausted. “Our heroine will just take a short rest before going on…” Rose yawned and cast her eyes about for a correct, bookish place to sleep for the night. There was now stack of hay, old barn, or abandoned house, but Rose decided a willow tree would do for shelter. She slipped off her knapsack and used it as a pillow.
“This is the life,” she murmured with contentment. Soon, however, Rose was not very content. The ground and a knapsack couldn’t hold a candle to her own bed at home. Every time she rolled over, she felt a new rock poke into her side. After an hour, Rose raised tragic eyes to the sky, and moaned.
She had to face the facts: she would never make a good runaway, not when she couldn’t sleep on soft grass for the night. Rose’s shoulders drooped as she picked up her knapsack and started for home. But though her eyes were downcast and she tried to look properly mournful, Rose was secretly glad she hadn’t made out to be a good runaway. Who would want to live on wild nuts and berries when you could have pancakes for breakfast any day?
Rose crossed a hill, then another, and another. And another. And another. Rose didn’t remember that there had been so many hills when she had crossed them the first time. Suddenly she stepped out into a clearing with a white farmhouse and a barn sitting in the moonlight. Rose was certain she hadn’t passed that spot before. A large lump rose in her throat.
She was lost.
At first Rose felt a thrill run through her. She couldn’t have planned it better herself. What was more romantic and story like than to run away from home and get lost? But after a few moments, she wasn’t so thrilled. She remembered that even though her life might be boring, it was wonderful. She loved her parents and her brother and sister, and she loved playing in her backyard with friends. She loved everything about her life, she realized, except that it was boring. What did boring matter now? All Rose wanted was to flop onto her bed and fall asleep, waking up to the smell of pancakes in the morning.
Rose shuddered, and felt tears burning in her eyes. She tramped slowly past the farmhouse and kept on going, who knows where. After a half hour of walking, she began to see some familiar landmarks. Soon Rose was racing down the lane that led to her house. Oh thank you, God, she prayed gratefully. Her father was walking up and down the road, shouting her name. Rose flew into his arms, knapsack and all.
“Oh Daddy! I’m so sorry! I won’t ever run away again! I don’t care if my life is boring. I love you, and Mommy, and Brent and Julia.” Rose broke off into sobs and let her father pat her back.
“It’s okay, Rose. It will be alright, my beautiful girl.”
Rose woke to the smell of sizzling pancakes. What a strange dream, she thought, and curled back in bed with her book.