By Amanda Tero (Written in 2005, age fourteen)
This was my first short story, written as a school assignment (after I post all three parts, I'll share my original "Afterword" which explains a little more). It was fun to read again after all of these years. I can detect some immaturity of my thought-process at fourteen but the story was fun to read nonetheless.
Read Part One HERE
Our footsteps echoed and re-echoed on the aged mill floor. The dusty mill seemed dejected. It made me shudder slightly.
“Look in here.” Carla whispered softly, pointing to a large door that was slightly ajar.
I passed her up slowly and swung the door open, wondering what we might find. Suddenly, I was looking straight into the face of the strange girl. We stood still, staring at each other. Her brown eyes didn’t move, but her blonde curls quivered a little. I studied her tall figure, not speaking a word. It seemed as if I had just come face to face with a girl my age from one hundred years ago. Her white dress was simple, yet considerably pretty. It flowed delicately down to her high-buttoned white boots.
Then, before I could think, the girl turned and sprinted out of the window. I climbed after her quickly without any consideration. My foot jerked to the side and twisted as I landed on a narrow board. Gasping at the sharp pain, I looked up. The girl was just ahead of me, using a thick rope to climb up the mildewed wall.
I clenched my jaw and hobbled down the soaked board. Suddenly, I felt it slipping into the water.
“No!” I groaned, thrashing my arms wildly. Someone grabbed my wrist and I looked up to see Carla. She was hanging halfway out the window, trying to keep me from slipping into the water that now seemed dark and deadly.
“What to do? Please.” She begged; her large brown eyes looked frightened.
I glanced helplessly at where the girl was climbing. She had just reached the top window.
“Help me in, Carla.” I gasped, trying to grab the brick windowsill with my free arm. My fingers finally found a brick to hold onto. “Hurry.” I begged, my voice fading.
Time seemed to drag as I worked to get back to the window. My fingers felt cold and clammy and my head ached from the tension.
“Lord, help me to get out of this mess.” I prayed silently, holding my breath. Then, with one last try, I was climbing on the windowsill.
“Oh, Sal.” Carla whispered, giving me a hug. “Why did you follow that girl?”
“The girl! Carla, we’ve got to catch her! She went through the upstairs window. Lead the way.” I begged.
Carla looked at me as if she didn’t know whether to listen or not.
“Well then,” I took a deep breath and carefully stepped off the windowsill. “I’ll take lead.” I limped a little as I went out of the small room.
“Why Sal? Why do you want to know who she is?” Carla asked quietly as she followed me up the creaky wooden steps.
“Because I do. She’s strange and I won’t be able to rest until I find out.” I stated, turning a little to look at Carla. “You may stay here if you’d like.” I added as we neared the end of the steps.
Carla shook her head slowly then quickened her pace. Together we pushed the door open. The upstairs seemed empty enough, with only a few old boxes here and there. To our left was a door that was closed securely.
“In there?” Carla asked, pointing to the door.
“Maybe.” I stated, though I doubted it.
Carla shrugged and opened the door. By the look on her face, I knew something was there. I hurried to where she was and peered over her shoulder then gasped. In front of me stood rows of cabins and other buildings that were from the past.
I-is this like a time machine? I thought wildly, but I surely didn’t believe in time machines either. What is going on? I wondered.
. . . Come back next week for the final part!