Bits and Pieces
Here’s a piece of a story I’m writing.
Title: Unknown at this time.
“Milly?! Milly!” young Mallory Foster yelled as she hobbled through the Foster Mansion on one shoe.
Her mom, Stephanie Foster, was carrying the boarders laundry. “Hey kiddo!” she said, ruffling her hair with her free hand.
The Foster Mansion served as a boarding house for many people, basically anyone who showed up at their door.
“Hey Steph. Where’s Milly? I need my other shoe in order to go to school.” she said pointing angrily at the one black Mary Jane on her foot.
“The last time I checked she was in the den.”
Milly was basically Mallory’s other guardian besides her mom. Though Milly was 10 years older than her they acted like sisters. Mallory gave her mom a kiss on the cheek before hobbling down the winding staircase into the den.
“Milly!” she yelled.
“Huh..oh.” said Milly as she sat up on the huge leather couch, a Navajo blanket draped over her. Her huge blond hair was out of control. “What is it, Mall?” she said her hair bobbing with her body movement.
“You stole my other shoe.”
“No I didn’t.”
“Milly, you are such a bad liar. I’ll choose a different pair of shoes but I better have both my shoes in my closet by the time I get home.” she threatened and she hobbled back up the stairs.
Milly smile and brought the shoe out from underneath the blanket. Too bad Mallory was already out the door.
“And then she lied…..horribly!” said Mallory, throwing up her hands.
Zenon, the tech girl of Stefano’s School of the Educationally Talented, or as the students and everyone else outside of it called it Richie’s Smart School, shook her head. “Whatev, Mall. You worry too much. Even though Richie is your great grandfather, we aren’t exactly the most popular people in the school. That is what we need to focus on.”
Mallory rolled her eyes. “Migosh, Ze. You can be so naive.”
Even though she was naive about these kinds of things, Zenon was in tune with all the technology news. In fact she was the one who ordered the new computers for the computer lab. The principal didn’t know how to work his overhead for a school presentation and Zenon fixed it with the wiring and everything. “Well If I were you, I’d focus on the Victorian Ball. I heard it’s supposed to be wicked.”
“We should help plan it.”
Zenon gave Mallory a look. “Mall. Did you not just hear a word I said. We’re not that popular. How can we help plan something that is planned by popular people only.” she slammed her hand into her other palm.
“Some people achieve popularity over night.” Mallory said over confidently. She fixed her hair in a wall mirror, and walked down the hall to history, her natural red curls bouncing with her movement. She opened the door and walked into her next class. Zenon stood there, staring into space, utterly confused.
“Yo Steph, Milly. I’m home!” Mallory yelled as she plopped her book bag onto the living room table.
Carla, a boarder at the Foster estate smiled. “Hello Mallory.” she said, her voice thick with a Russian accent.
“Hey Carla.” Mallory chomped into a granola bar. “You seen Stephanie or Milly?’
She shook her head. “They left to buy food at the super market. They will be back.”
Mallory nodded then hopped up the stairs to the Foster library which doubled as Mallory’s bedroom. They had done some renovations to make sure Mallory was cozy in the room. She hopped into her old brown leather desk chair and opened her email. Just then she heard a howling. More like someone trying to be scary and failing….horribly. Mallory’s eyes widened as she turned around. A silhouette appeared.
“AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!” she screamed as she fell out of her chair.
A young voice began to speak. “I told you shouldn’t have done that. Now we’ve frightened her.”
A second voice spoke. “What else was I supposed to do Tap her on the shoulder and say ‘Hi! I’m the ghost of your great grandfather who lived in this very room!’?”
Mallory’s breathed sped up as she backed up against a wall. The younger ghost floated toward Mallory.
“Don’t be scared, sweetheart.” she said. “We’re here to help.”
“What are you doing in my bedroom.” Mallory managed to squeak as she trembled, unsure of what to do.
The younger one looked more like a house maid than anything. Her hair was pulled into a messy ponytail shifted to the side. The older one resembled a grandpa way over his years. He held the hand of a little boy, his clothes soiled with mud and his thumb, securely in his mouth.
“Why don’t you sit down? You should feel better by then.”
Mallory scooted over to her bed and took a seat. Her breathing slowed down as the ghosts introduced themselves.
“My name’s Arabia.” said the house maid. “This is Gramps and this is little Andy.”
Mallory stared at the ghost family unsure of what to say.
“We have come to help you. A distress call was sent earlier this morning.” Arabia’s face was stressed with worry.
“Uh…..I don’t remember sending a distress call to the land of the dead.”
“Yes.” said Arabia, making sure Mallory got her point. “Today. Something about a Victorian ball. You wanted to help plan it?”
“Right.” said Mallory, recalling her conversation with Zenon. “I was just joking about that.
“Well too bad.” said Gramps, joining in. “Once we’ve been called from the dead, we can’t go back unless we complete our mission. Unfortunately, that mission is you.”
Mallory frowned. “Ok, but tell me how you became deceases and why little Andy is with you.” she said, patting her lap.
Andy floated over and sat on her lap. Well he sat as much as a ghost can actually sit on anything. Arabia took a seat in the brown leather desk chair and Gramps took a seat on the floor next to her.
“As you know, I’m Richie as the young people would call me.” Gramps began. “I founded Stefano’s School of the Educationally Talented. Then one night I noticed Arabia. A young maid without a care in the world.”
Arabia smiled slightly and fanned herself.
“She noticed me and it was love at first sight. We knew our parents enough to know that they would disapprove so we married in secret, had Andy and ran away from the estate. On our runaway we got shot and killed by a bounty hunter that was hot on our trail. The rest is history.”
Just then Mallory heard the front door open. She panicked and got up. “Uh…Can ghosts hide and stuff? cause my mom and my legal guardian are going to come up here to check on me any minute and..”
Arabia set a comforting hand on Mallory’s shoulder. “Calm down. We’re only visible to the mission so no one can see us except for you and maybe your friend, Zemoria?”
“Zenon. I’m still not taking any chances. I’m going downstairs.”
Mallory slid down the railing and came face to face with her guardians. “Steph! Milly!” she yelled embracing then both in a huge hug.
They were crushed in a huge bear hug as Mallory tried to stall.
“Hey kiddo.” said Stephanie, slipping from Mallory’s grasp.
Milly gave Mallory an awkward look. “What do you want? Usually when you’re this nice to me you want something.”
“Come to think of it I would really like my shoe back.”
“From this morning?”
“Oh yeah, right. I….uh….lost it.”
“You what?” Mallory nearly screamed.
Stephanie interjected. “She did not. We just bought you a new pair. Take them up to your room and see how they fit.”
Mallory cringed at the idea of going back upstairs and put on a fake smile. “Ok.”
When she went back into her room, Arabia, Gramps, and Andy were sitting on her bed in plain sight.
“You’re still here?”
“Yes. We can help you achieve popularity.”
Mallory gave Arabia a confused look. “Um…ok. Then do what you need to do cause my mom is making dinner in 5 minutes.”
They all smiled then disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Mallory smiled as the student body followed after her the nest day at school. Zenon ran after Mallory, her Mac under her arm.
“Of course. I’d love to plan the Victorian Ball.” Mallory said not trying to sound smug. “Now shoo.”
Zenon huffed and puffed as she finally caught up with Mallory. “Mall. Ease up on the popularity please.”
The student body dispersed except a boy. His fiery red hair sat on top of his head like it was on fire. His dark skin glowed slightly. You wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t looked very carefully. Not like Mallory was. She didn’t even know the guy.
“Hello there, Mallory Foster.” he said, as if he knew her whole life story already.
Mallory jumped when he came up behind her.
“The names Roy.”
Mallory gave him a polite smile. “Yeah. Why exactly have you come to talk to me?” she said then added. “Not to be rude or anything.”
“You look like you have a problem.” he said, his gaze fixed on Mallory. “A ghost problem.”
Mallory’s face went pasty whit and she burst into hysterics. “What? What? Ghost problems? HAHAHAHAHAHA! No, no, no. I don’t have any problems, none the less ghost problems. Ghosts aren’t real, silly. Where did you get that idea?” Mallory said, all at once.
Roy narrowed his eyes at her suspiciously. “Ok, Foster. I see how it is.” he gets up. “Number 1, I’ll be watching you.” then his voice lowers to a whisper. “Number 2, I can sense your fondness of me.” he said, quietly and he walks away.
Roy’s last comment made Mallory’s face go from pasty white to the reddest red that ever existed. She screamed. “The nerve of that guy! He thinks I like him and I just met him! Argh! I hate that guy!”
Zenon put her hand on Mallory’s shoulder then stopped in mid-air.
“What? Ze? Earth to Ze? You there?” Mallory asked, waving her hand in front of Zenon’s fact that was frozen with fear. “M….m…Mall?” she asked/stuttered. “D…do you see that?”
Mallory looked ahead. Who was floating in front of the pair? None other than the Foster ghosts of course!
“Them? Oh, That’s Arabia, Gramps and Andy.” she said, not caring how freaky she looked pointing and almost talking to thin air.
Zenon’s face was still frozen.
“Why are you guys here?” Mallory whisper hissed.
“We told you. We are only visible to the mission. Now stop talking. Students are giving you creepy stares.” said Arabia, eyeing the innocent passersby.
Mallory rolled her eyes. “Fine, but don’t do anything stupid.” she said walking away, dragging Zenon with her.
Mallory tried to keep her cool every time she passed Roy in the hall. His smug face made her want to scream. She passed him too many times in fact. Everywhere she turned, he was there. Why couldn’t he just leave her alone? Mallory brought Zenon and the ghost family home with her.
“Hey kiddo.” said Stephanie, when Mallory opened the door. Mallory didn’t even try to smile. Zenon had recovered from her ghost-o-phobia and smiled. “Hello, Miss Foster.” she said.
Stephanie smiled. “Hello Zenon. Mallory had a rough day?”
Zenon gave her a look that said, ‘You don’t even know the half of it.’