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   [ 6 posts ] Average score:  
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 The Wishmaker Chapter Two
new

Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:51 pm
Posts: 33
Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:39 pm

Sorry it took so long to post this. I'm working on Chapter Nine now (still haven't touched my editing file, GRRR) and I noticed Chapter One got a good response, so here ya go.  

*sigh* I'm so LAZY... Any tips for forcing oneself to edit?

 

Chapter Two- The Fortuneteller

         “Mae, you done with your homework?” Mae’s mother called.

         “No! I still have the US History!” she shouted back.

         “Well, dinner will be ready in twenty minutes! Just letting you know!”

         Mae sighed and turned back to her thick US History textbook. An outline of pages 266-280 was due tomorrow. She had split the assignment into segments and had started today on page 275, heading ‘James Madison’. She found the topic fascinating- the Constitutional Convention. The writers of her textbook were really excellent. The way it was written, it was like she was really there, sitting in between the delegates, listening to the pen scratching in the thick August heat. She loved it.

         She knew, of course, that no one else in her class would bother to read the textbook at all. At most, they would flip through the pages and read a few select passages; at the least, they would copy their friend’s outline in study hall and rip the page out of their notebook at the beginning of class. She, however, could not resist the opportunity of forgoing otherwise dull schoolwork for, well, a book.

         She finished the notes several minutes before her mother called her downstairs for dinner. Putting away her textbook and notebook, she sat back in her desk chair and sighed. Outside the window was a beautiful late-autumn sunset- warm red and deep purple sky at the light-filled horizon, bare trees scraping smoky blue clouds.

         There is no comparison to an autumn sunset, Mae thought.

         Her mind slid back again to the afternoon’s strange events. There were, again, two things that nagged at her: one, that this world did exist, this world of fairies and dragons and witches and wishes- well, she didn’t know about the first three, but she imagined that if so much fantasy was real as she had seen, then why could there not be more?

         The second thing was whether or not she wanted her wish to be granted.

         Of course you do, the sunset said. She turned away from the window.

         Don’t ignore me. Don’t you know that I am the truth? You loved him then and you love him still. Just because-

         “What?” she hissed, under her breath, at the imaginary voice. “Just because he thinks that some pretty blonde idiot is better than someone of substance? Just because every time I think he might be interested in me, he turns around and gets another dumb new fling? Yeah, I think that’s enough of a ‘just because’.”

         He loves you. He just doesn’t want to admit it.

         “Ha, that’s for sure,” Mae said. “He’d never want to admit to being interested in someone as smart as me.”

         Besides, she thought, she had already resolved, several good, solid months ago, that she was a strong feminist and didn’t need love. He wasn’t ever going to reciprocate her feelings-

         But that was the thing! Maybe he was!

         Then again, would she want someone to love her who was only artificially in love with her? This would only be good if he had already loved her and the wish was only bringing the feelings out, but Mae wasn’t stupid. She knew what she was. She wasn’t going to fool herself again into thinking that he would ever want her.

         Not for real, anyway.

         But this was the real dilemma- if, for argument’s sake, he were to truly love her, would she accept it?

         One side of her said yes, of course. Why wouldn’t she?

         The other side of her said no way in hell. He’d already proven himself arrogant and shallow, and besides, she didn’t need someone else to complete her!

         And then the wish’s parting words came to her again.

         Maybe you need to complete someone else.

         “Din-ner!”

         Mae turned from the window and went downstairs.

 

         “Hey, Nellie,” Aaron said casually as he walked over to where Nellie and her group were standing in the hall.

         “Hey, Aaron,” Nellie said, parting to make room for him to join the group.

         “Um, don’t I get a hello too, Aaron? Gosh,” Jenna said.

         “Maybe you’re too annoying to get a hello,” Aaron said, which was true. He knew Jenna and the others would take it as a joke, but Aaron was fed up with Jenna, who had, quite possibly, the most high-pitched and frequently used shriek in the universe.

         He was lucky this morning- none of the other guys had arrived yet. Full monopoly on Nellie.

         He leaned against the lockers next to her and attempted a smile. She smiled back, shyly.

         “So, did you study for the Chem test yet?” she asked.

         She’d remembered the chat! “Uh, yeah, a little.”

         “Gosh. You are too smart.”

         “Not as smart as you.”

         “Oh my G-d, Aaron,” Nellie said, blushing. “You’re definitely smarter than me. I mean, I’m, like, a girl.”

         That took him by surprise.

         “What, because you’re a girl you’re not smart?” he asked. “That’s ridiculous.”

         She let out a frivolous giggle.

         “It is!” he insisted. “Look, don’t think that-”

         “Ohmygodhi, Logan!” Emma shrieked. Jenna joined in the shrieking, and Aaron winced.

         Logan had arrived, and speaking of debates over who was smarter, Logan won. He was probably already accepted to every Ivy League school in the nation, and he got perfect grades. Not to mention that he was the star of all the sports teams, the dream of all the girls, the coolest kid in the grade.

         Aaron was one of his best friends. Which helped, a little. But it didn’t help when Logan showed up in the morning and Nellie joined the shriek-fest at his arrival.

         Once the excitement of The Arrival of Logan had settled down, it was too late and Nellie was back in the conversation with the other girls, talking about their hair products. He inadvertently stared over at her, taking in her perfect shape, her smooth black hair, her designer clothes fitting perfectly on her body-

         It was as sudden as being ripped from a dream. Beyond Nellie, sitting inconspicuously (very conspicuously) against a row of lockers, was Mae, in (probably not expensive) jeans and a loose black shirt and jacket, her backpack sitting next to her, deep in a thick hardcover book.

         Sheesh. It was as if he’d been rudely awakened from a wonderful, lovely dream into cold, dark morning. It wasn’t pleasant.

         (It was.)

         He was glad when the study hall monitor finally showed up to let them into the gym, where he promptly pulled out his notes and attempted to forget everything except the upcoming chemistry test.

 

         “What was the difference between the Virginia and New Jersey Plan?”

         One hand was raised.

         “Someone else, please. The same person has been answering for every question.”

         A tentative hand went up in the back.

         “Jenna?”

         Aaron quietly groaned.

         “Weeeeell, one of them was, like, from Virginia…”

         Jenna was clearly lost. Ten seconds of awkward silence followed her shaky beginning.

         “…and I guess the other was from New Jersey?”

         Mr. Jensen made a hand gesture that clearly meant, Anything else to add?

         He sighed. “Mae?”

         “One suggested popular representation in the legislative branch and the other suggested a bicameral legislation with both popular and equal representation,” she rattled.

         “Precisely. Now, can anyone tell me- no, not you, Mae, I want someone else to answer- can anyone tell me why slavery was significant to representation in the legislative branch?”

         Mae quietly sighed and looked down at her US History notebook, where her neat scrawl covered the pages in details of the Constitutional Convention. She hadn’t been accepted to honors classes to put up with this- annoying, arrogant Ivy League wannabes and idiots with rich parents. She began absentmindedly doodling next to her notes…

         She was jolted out of her doodling when she noticed what the drawing was of- pale wings surrounding a figure in a simple blue dress, long black hair, and silver eyes…

         “How did the United States respond to the Constitution?”

         Mae raised her hand.

 

         “Hello? Mom?” Aaron said. His phone had just rung with a call from his mom, which was rare- his mom was usually busy at her executive job.

         “Hello, Aaron,” she said briskly. “I’m calling to tell you that your Aunt Topaz is coming over today to take you- somewhere.” Her voice sounded annoyed- her sister Topaz was her polar opposite.

         “Oh, good,” Aaron said. He enjoyed spending afternoons with Aunt Topaz, who was artsy like he was. Like he was secretly, anyway.

         “You are sure this won’t interrupt with your homework?”

         “No, Mom,” Aaron said. “I’ve only got some English homework, that’s all.” Besides, it was Friday- he had all weekend.

         “Good,” she said. “Put up with her; you know she appreciates when you act like you like her.”

         “Okay,” he said.

         “Goodbye,” she said, hanging up before Aaron could respond. He sighed, wishing he could speak to her more. She was really quite a nice person, but she was so busy with work she barely had time to talk to Aaron.

         He walked home quickly, hoping not to miss Aunt Topaz’s visit. Sure enough, Topaz was waiting outside in her bright blue convertible when he arrived.

         “Hello, Aaron!” she said brightly. She was wearing a paint-splattered T-shirt, and her waist-length blond hair was in a ponytail. “Just go inside and drop off your stuff, and then come with me. I’ve found the most wonderful little fortunetelling place.”

         “Fortunetelling?” Aaron asked, laughing.

         “Don’t you laugh,” she said. “There are more things in this world than you know of, Aaron.”

         Aaron stopped for a moment, sure he recognized the phrase from somewhere, and then he remembered- there was a similar quote in Hamlet, which they were reading in English. Dismissing the thought, he headed back to the house, where he dropped his backpack off in his room and then ran back outside.

         Once Topaz was out of the driveway and the wind was making her hair fly in every direction, she began conversing with Aaron. “How’s your music been going?” she asked.

         “Fine,” Aaron mumbled, although he was secretly glad to hear someone ask about it. Topaz was the only one who really cared- his parents were more likely to ask how his science homework was going.

         “You composed anything recently?”

         “Oh, I don’t compose music,” Aaron lied.

         “Well, you should,” Topaz said. “You’re a gifted musician, and don’t you let your stuck up old mother convince you to take some other career path.”

         “Yeah, whatever,” he muttered, looking out the window.

         Topaz angrily stomped on the gas pedal, shooting them forward on the road and sending a barrage of honks off behind them.

         “Stop, Topaz!” Aaron yelped.

         “Stop what? Stop telling you to follow your dreams?” she shouted.

         He decided to let her finish her rant (which, to be honest, wasn’t too difficult to do, seeing as it not only kept everyone on the road alive but he also agreed with most of it) and sat back quietly until they reached the fortuneteller’s.

         It wasn’t fancy or exotic like Aaron had expected- at first, he wondered where it was, since they had simply arrived at a street full of gray businesses. Then Topaz led him down a narrow, dank alleyway to a place with a broken neon sign proclaiming ‘FORT N S’. The window was dark and inside, it looked like nothing fancier than a couple of couches, a table, and some candles.

         “Uh, Topaz… you sure about this place?” Aaron asked tentatively.

         “Now, just because it looks a little shady, it doesn’t mean you can’t trust the fortunes,” Topaz said. “Don’t judge a book by its cover. Come on.”

         She cheerfully opened the door and strolled in.

         “Warner, appointment 3:30?” she said to the woman hunched at the front desk.

         “Right this way,” the woman replied, pointing to a door in the back.

         Topaz and Aaron walked to the small brown door into the room.

         It was an instant change. The walls were painted entirely in a deep purple, almost black, giving the impression of closing in on the small room. A table draped in dark cloths was the centerpiece, and it was almost entirely covered in concentric circles of candles of every shape and size. Lit by the flickering candlelight was an eerily pale woman with dark hair.

         “Come in,” she said, in an airy voice. “Sit down.”

         Aaron and Topaz sat in the metal folding chairs available. Nice way to set the spiritual mood, Aaron thought. He was growing increasingly suspicious about this place.

         “Now, is there anything specific bothering you that you would like to know about?” she asked.

         Aaron was tempted to say, “Well, I’ve been wondering how exactly you’re living on such an obvious scam,” but he kept his mouth shut, not wanting to upset Topaz.

         “Nothing, Topaz?” the fortuneteller prompted.

         “Oh, you already enlightened me enough with your last visit,” Topaz said. “That’s why I’ve brought my nephew, Aaron. I’d prefer if you focus on him.”

         “Ah, the spirits choose whom to speak to me about, not I,” the fortuneteller said. Aaron resisted the temptation to roll his eyes. “Do you have anything to ask about, Aaron Woods?”

         Aaron nearly jumped out of his seat- how had she known his last name?

         Topaz must have told her, he thought. He was being ridiculous.

         “How did you know his last name?” Topaz said, her cheerful look suddenly turned suspicious. 

         The fortuneteller closed her eyes. “Aaron Woods- I know you. No- I do not know you- the name just appeared in my mind. It must have been the spirits who told me.”

         Aaron was suddenly worried. Had this fortuneteller person looked into this ahead of time? Been stalking him? But no, she looked as surprised as he and Topaz did that she knew his name.

         “I have a message for you,” the fortuneteller said suddenly.

         “What are you talking about?” Topaz asked. “Aren’t you supposed-”

         “Ash, the spirit of the calm before a storm, speaks to me,” the fortuneteller interrupted her. “He tells me this: Aaron Woods, you know your course. The stirrings of the storm have taken you one way. You cannot steer your ship another.”

         The phrase shocked his mind- “the stirrings of the storm”. He knew that from somewhere. Somewhere very important.

         “You will forget all your frivolities. You know your course in love, Aaron Woods.”

         The fortuneteller became quiet, but she didn’t open her eyes. Then she said, “Another message from Awe, the spirit of music.”

         Topaz looked over at him excitedly.

         “He says: The stirrings of the symphony take you away from the path of your family. Strike your own path, Aaron Woods. Your soul sings, sings a melody with no words, and you must let it fly. The world needs your music, Aaron Woods.”

         She became quiet. Then, she released her muscles. And then she opened her eyes.

         Aaron didn’t say anything. He’d remembered where he’d heard the phrases before.

         “Aaron Woods,” the fortuneteller said quietly, no longer in the airy voice she’d used when they’d arrived, nor the deep voice she’d taken for delivering the messages. Just a quiet, normal speaking voice. “This is rare. I tell most of my customers that I do not get very strong signals for most people. It is true. I normally tell very vague messages. This- this is rare. A spirit has rarely ever spoken directly to me, let alone two, let alone Ash and Awe.” She leaned forward, staring directly into Aaron’s green eyes. “You must be important, Aaron Woods. Do not disregard my messages.”

         “I, uh, I won’t,” he stuttered.

         “You’ve been near spirits recently, haven’t you?” she asked. “In fact, those spirits may well have been Ash and Awe…”

         “I- I don’t know…” he said. “I heard someone say something about that, uh, that thing, the stirrings of the storm…”

         “And what did he look like?”

         “I, uh, I didn’t see him…”

         “You never do,” the fortuneteller sighed, sitting back in her chair.

         She was still staring at Aaron, and something passed between them- some sort of silent message. He knew she wasn’t a fraud.

         Topaz broke the silence. “Wow, Aaron!” she said. “I bet what that spirit Awe was saying was that you ought to follow your dreams in music!”

         “Most likely,” the fortuneteller said, turning to Topaz. “Awe speaks to those who have music in their spirit. In Aaron’s case, I suppose he meant literal music.”

         “I wonder why the spirit of storms is called Ash, and the spirit of music is called Awe,” Topaz speculated.

         “The definitions humans give words means little to spirits,” the fortuneteller said. “Besides, the origin of Awe’s name should be obvious.”

         “Yeah,” Aaron agreed, before he could stop himself. Music was full of awe to him. He never let it show, of course.

         The fortuneteller looked back at Aaron and said, “Never stop composing.” Then she turned back to Topaz and told her a few vague things about what would happen to her in the future.

         Just before they left, the fortuneteller told Aaron to stay behind a few minutes. “No, you can go, Topaz,” the fortuneteller insisted.

         Topaz left.

         “What is it?” Aaron asked, after the door had closed behind Topaz.

         “You must not disregard the messages, Aaron; I cannot stress enough how important this is,” she said. “Ash’s message, too, do not ignore it.”

         Her voice dropped, and Aaron had to lean in to hear it.

         “You’re in love with someone.”

         A shock ran through him. Mae, his mind said. Mae-Mae-Mae-Mae-Mae…

         “I- oh, the rest is lost,” she said. “I’ll see you when you return.”

         Thinking that he would probably never return, he left the room for the small lobby. Aunt Topaz was at the front desk, signing herself up for some more appointments. “What did she tell you?” she asked when he walked in.

         “Oh, something like don’t disregard the messages,” he said. He walked around the small lobby, reading the notices on the bulletin board while Topaz was busy at the front desk. One caught his eye:

 

Unwanted attention?

Unwanted feelings?

Unfamiliar thoughts?

You may apply for spirit extermination! A simple service provided by Dr. A. Smith, expert in mystical sciences, it will leave you feeling clean of those pesky mood swings, unnatural thoughts, and the doings of evil spirits. Though once thought an old-fashioned concern, the modern person can benefit a great deal from a spirit extermination. You’ll be better able to concentrate, think clearly, and focus on what really matters.

Call Dr. A Smith: 525-6698

Or visit his Greenville headquarters at 335 Main Street

Mondays-Fridays 9 AM- 5 PM

 

         On an impulse, Aaron snatched one of the address cards hanging off the end of the flyer and stuffed it in his pocket. He was feeling dizzy after his encounter with the fortuneteller. The image of Mae was still burning in his mind. Not to mention her voice. He could still hear it, clear and loud in the classroom, rattling off facts… “The Anti-Federalists believed that the Constitution threatened personal freedoms… the answer to this was the Bill of Rights…” Her slight laugh after Mr. Jensen told her she wasn’t to answer another question for the rest of the period. Aaron wondered why Nellie was heralded as the smartest girl in the grade, when she had spent the class texting and hadn’t answered a single question.

         Music was playing in his mind as he looked at the flyer, smiling, thinking of Mae. In the cold, damp, dark lobby of the fortuneteller’s place, for the first time since walking home from the library, he felt that warmth in his soul again… Mae, Mae, Mae, Mae.

         The unwanted feeling was Nellie, and he needed to get rid of her. Not her, per se… just his attraction to her.

         Although, to think of it, he wasn’t even attracted to her anymore.

         And he still smiled as he walked out of the small place with Topaz, into the cold November afternoon, feeling the cold sting his skin with awakening, the white sky open up his eyes and his mind.

         “How’d you like the fortuneteller?” Topaz asked, as she sped through the small town of Greenville in her convertible. “Enlightening, eh? Mind opening?”

         “Yeah, definitely,” Aaron said, still smiling, as the wind whispered and sang past the small car.

 

magic*esi

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SEMICOLONS!!!!!




 Re: The Wishmaker Chapter Two
regular_contributor

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:24 pm
Posts: 1822
Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:11 am
SHEEESH. What are you doing to me? I'm not supposed to like romance. And I'm not supposed to have such a hard time critiquing. This is great, definitely worth hunting for (now I just need to find the other posted chapters). My favorite part was "he felt that warmth against his soul again...Mae, Mae, Mae..." This really is great. Please tell me you're still working on this. I know it started of as your procrastination story but it's just to fantastic not to be something more. Keep posting if you can. I promise I'll catch up. :P - A



 Re: The Wishmaker Chapter Two
new

Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:48 am
Posts: 25
Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:29 am
GREAT!! OMG never read anything this good in a while!!



 Re: The Wishmaker Chapter Two
new

Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:46 pm
Posts: 30
Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:35 am
I HAVE NEVER READ ANYTHING BETTER IN MY LIFE!!!! THAT WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO AMAZING! You need to keep writing! I really liked this. Have you posted a Chapter 1 yet?



 Re: The Wishmaker Chapter Two
new

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:20 pm
Posts: 269
Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:51 pm
That's . . . sooooo . . . GOOD!!! Seriously, it's one of the best things I've read in a looooonnnnng time! Please keep it up!!!

amusedchicken22



 Re: The Wishmaker Chapter Two
new

Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:58 pm
Posts: 122
Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:32 pm
I have been following this novel since the first post, and it is great. With a teensy bit of revising (like removing said), this could be a bestseller.



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