Contest #23 shortlist ⭐️

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Submitted on 01/06/2020

Categories: Fantasy

SNOW JOURNAL - ENTRY 1




Waking up to see snow is one of the most incredible things.


And especially as a 13 year old girl who rarely gets to go outside. My name is Emily. And I'm an orphan.


I don't get to go outside much simply because the hag that owns the orphanage isn't exactly the nicest woman. But I understand that if she let one of us go outside, she'd have to let us all go and that's probably not a good idea. Some of the boys here would give her trouble.


My best friend Margaret, she's 17, says she is becoming poor. And that she might lose the orphanage. Which is funded through multiple foundations. But in order to receive money, she has to file them reports, and she is lazy. So she never does.


I'm not sure how to feel about this since, she's mean. We could get a better sitter, but we could also get a worse one.


I try not to look at my glass as half empty most of the time, but that cruel woman, Maridith, is her name. She makes it hard on all of us. Very hard.



I'm writing this now because something special happened today. And even though I could never forget it, I want to write down every detail. So maybe my kids can read it someday. If I get to have kids.


Margaret says she hasn't seen it snow since she was little. Which means it must be a big deal. But it did. It snowed! I can't remember a time where I did see snow. Let alone touch it.


Maridith says that I was left to die in a box on the street as a baby. And that if she hadn't found me I wouldn't have made it. But I'm not sure I believe her.


Of course, I am only 13, and there is no way I could remember something like that. And no way of really finding out. So I just sit and dream about it.




---




PERSONAL - ENTRY 1




It's getting late and the heater in our level of the orphanage never works properly. We aren't allowed extra blankets. Just our sheet, cover, and one old scratchy blanket. But again, if one of us got an extra blanket, we all would.


I'm writing in the dark, cause I want to start documenting my days as a kid before I get too old for a diary. That seems childish to adults, I think.


I know I said this was only for the snow, but I have 2 notebooks. So I've decided to use the smaller one for the snow, and this one for myself. It is a good pass time after all.


Margaret just shook me. I think she wants something, I'll write tomorrow.




---




SNOW JOURNAL - ENTRY 2




Last night was amazing! It was so fun and beautiful. And cold, too.


But something odd happened that I want to write down.



So, basically, I was writing, when Margaret shook me. I finished my sentence, then stuffed the journal under my pillow to see what she wanted.


I looked her in the eyes, but instead of her speaking, she put her finger to her lips for me to to stay quiet. Then wiggled it towards her for me to follow.


I was scared. We weren't supposed to get out of bed this late unless we were sick as a dog or hurt. "In dire need." As Maridith had said.


I slowly peeled back my covers. And got out of bed. It was very cold and my nightgown wasn't made for warmth, so I wrapped my scratchy blanket around my shoulders and hugged it to my chest, then followed after, Marg.



I could feel the old wood through holes in my socks, and knew that it was colder than usual. But of course, snow was cold. And there was lots of it piled outside.


I stopped at the head of the stairs after walking through the doorway to our level. The boys sleep on the third level. While Maridith sleeps on the first. In her own section.


I looked around for Margaret but couldn't see through the dark. Then something touches my shoulder, making me jump. "Don't do that, Margar-" she hushed me before I could finish.


Then pointed downstairs. "She'll hear you." She whispered.


She then grabs my hand and pulls me towards the stairs to the boys' level. I stopped her. "We can't go up there, Marg. That's the boy's level. We aren't allowed. We could get in big trouble." I said softly.


I could tell she saw the fear and my eyes. She smiles at me, "Have some faith in me and take a risk. I promise you won't regret it. Now come on." Then she grabs my hand and puts a finger to her lips. Then pulls me up the stairs behind her.


If a boy sees us, we're doomed.



We eventually make it past the boys room and did have one close encounter that about shook my heart right out of my chest. I was shocked at how calm Margaret managed to stay.


She pulled my hand again and pointed to a door at the end of the floor. She walked that way, and I followed. But when she stopped in from of the door, it puzzled me.


Then she pulled a small paperclip out of her pocket and unbends it. She then began to pick the lock on the door. Then a click echos through the hall. I jumped, but she just turns the knob and opens it.


Then ushers me up the stairs behind the door.



Once I'm in, she closes the door, and we're left in nothing but darkness. She puts her hands on my shoulders to let me know where she is, then takes the lead. "We can talk now, but softly." She says.


"Where are we? And where are we going?"


"That's a secret. And the other is a surprise." She answers.


I could tell by the way she ended her sentence that she was grinning. I bet she found it amusing that she had this secret to herself.


We climbed the stairs and then she stops and suddenly a light comes on from overhead. I squint to adjust to the yellow.


Then she smiles really big and pulls two sandwich baggies out of her pocket. Then a pile of rubber bands.


"Sit down." Is all she tells me. So I do.


She reaches up a step and grabs the ugly brown boots left there. They looked familiar but I couldn't place them.


She puts them on me and then takes one of the plastic baggies and puts the boot inside and wraps the rubber band around it to hold it in place.


Then she does the other boot.


I'm not sure what all this is for. We could get in big trouble.


Margaret reaches her hand down to help me up then turns to unlock the next door. She grins and steps back and motions for me to open it. I turn pale then step forward to turn the knob. It clicks and I pull it open to a pile of snow.


It rushes inside the door and stops. I'm standing there gaping.


Margaret giggles and nudges me outside. I have no idea what look was on my face, but Marg seemed to be enjoying it. She watched me for a little while, playing around in shock and happiness. Then she told me she would be back in half an hour and cracked the door.


I stood there in awe. It was cold. But I didn't care. I hopped around and stomped and played without a care. Then I became curious. Where was I?


I looked around and saw the tops of buildings covered in snow. I was on the roof. Standing in the snow. Alone. For the first time.



I grinned and walked forwards. Some of the snow had melted. But was still soft. I tried to stay in the low spots with these boots. I understood the baggies' purpose now. It was to keep my feet dry. There were plenty of holes in the soles.


I stepped forward and took a deep breath. Then I turned around. That's when I noticed it.


I had no footprints. You couldn't even tell I'd been there.


I started to panic. I didn't understand. I walked forward while watching behind me. No prints. I didn't understand. That's when the door cracked open. I panicked but it was only Margaret. She looked at me.


"Having fun?" She asked.


I smiled. "Yes. But I have a question."


She looked puzzled but said, "Okay. But come inside first, it's cold. We don't need you getting sick."


I walked forward and when I reached the door I turned back, still no prints.


I turned back around and Margaret had turned white as a ghost. Her eyes were big and she was staring at the snow. "Come on." She said.


I grew concerned. What was going on?


She pulled off the boots. And the bags. She shook them out and put them in her pockets.


She rubbed my arms to warm me up. Then locked the door back and started down the stairs in the dark. I tapped her shoulder. "Margaret?"


"Yeah?"


"When I was outside, I noticed something." I asked.


"Like what?" She said.


"I didn't have any footprints."


She snorted, trying to keep her laughter. But that wasn't Margaret's usual laugh. She said, "I think you got a little too cold."


I frowned. "Why were you staring outside like you saw a ghost?"


She ignored me. Stayed quiet. I started to ask again but she hushed me. Then opened the door. I stepped out quietly. And she walked with me back down the stairs to our level.



When we came to the bed room, Margaret stopped. I turned to her. "I'm gonna make sure I locked the door back. I'll be back in a minute."


"But you did lock it."


"Doesn't hurt to make sure." I nodded and snuck into my bed. I stayed up to wait for Margaret to get back. She came back a little while later. Much longer than it took to get to the door.


But she had the boots with her. She hid them somewhere on the other side of the room and climbed into her bed.



Then we both fell asleep.




PERSONAL - ENTRY 2




I'm unsure of what was weirder last night; Margaret acting odd or the invisible footprints.


This whole thing doesn't add up. But it does to Margaret. So I'm going to talk to her soon.




PERSONAL - ENTRY 3




I tried asking Margaret again, but she just acted like I'm crazy. So I have a plan.


I noticed her hiding more baggies under her mattress so tonight I'm going to follow her. And I'm going to sneak and get those boots if she doesn't take them.


I have to get to the bottom of this.




---




PERSONAL - ENTRY 4




I can't believe what happened!


So last night I followed Margaret, and she had taken a different pair of boots. Her only pair besides those ugly brown ones, that I know of.


But who knows what other secrets she's hiding from me.


So I found those brown boots and snuck after her. It took me forever to pick the first lock but the second one just clicked unlocked.


I had used an old hair pin I'd found in a drawer. And I hopped up the stairs after her.


She had left the light on at the top, so I just carefully pulled on the boots, not caring that my feet would be soaked.


Then I opened the door.


Margaret had jumped. I looked at her.


She was sitting in the snow just a few feet away, holding a small picture frame. I stepped towards her. Her eyes were swollen and red, as well as her face. I could tell she'd been crying, hard.


But that didn't stop me.


I looked closer at the picture frame in her hands. And what I saw not only shocked me, but made complete sense at the same time.


Margaret, the picture, the boots.


It all add up.


I looked back and saw no footprints, whereas hers were everywhere. She'd clearly either grabbed the wrong shoes or didn't care that someone could find her prints.


Margaret saw me looking at the people in the frame. There were three people. Two parents and a baby. The parents were holding sticks much like wands and levitating the small child while she laughed aloud. The photo looked happy. But Margaret was crying.


She tried to hide it from me but I'd already seen.


She wiped her face with her palm. "They were wonderful, you know. Not a mean bone in their body. What happened to them wasn't fair." She said.


I listened to her speak. This had to have been the craziest day of my life.


Margaret. My best friend. Was a wizard.


And her parents had been killed because of it.






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