From Angela: This is the fifth installment from a brand new young writer named Ashlee K. You can start at the beginning, or just dive right in here. I’d like to welcome Ashlee and thank her for allowing me to introduce her work on Dandilyon Fluff. Please feel free to leave comments for Ashlee below, or contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. And without further ado, enjoy!
I awoke, but I didn’t stir. My eyelids were red which indicated that it was still bright and sunny outside. Maybe I had slept through the entire night again. I could tell from the texture under me that I was back in the same bed. A cold pressure was on my forehead, which I was thankful for to cool me down, but before I could open my eyes to see what it was, a voice spoke. I kept my eyelids closed, hopping that whoever it was might still fashion me sleeping.
“I can’t tell,” a deep voice said.
“I’m worried Doc,” said someone who I remembered as the rough voice of Jem. “She’s been out for two days now.”
Have I really been sleeping for two days? I tried to remember in my dreams that would indicate that I had been asleep for that long. I came up with nothing. Just blackness and a deep aching in my chest and a throbbing in my head. I winced.
“It looks like she’s been in pain during the whole time, and yet she won’t move and I can’t wake her up.” Jem continued.
The cold pressure was removed and I wish I could have asked it back – it was abnormally hot – but I still didn’t speak.
“I can’t say for sure why she’s this way…” the other voice continued. “I can’t give her anything that might help in her current state.”
“Is there anything you can do?” The floor boards creaked and two sets of footsteps walked over to the far corner of the room and then suddenly stopped.
“Sorry, I can’t. But I can say… That girl is something… different. You say she can’t remember where she’s from?”
“No. She can’t even remember the princess,” said Jem in a lower voice now. “Before, she kept saying that she was from a place called… Omaha I think it was. Does it sound familiar?”
“No it doesn’t, but I should bring it up to the Elves. They would like to know about her…” the footsteps continued a few steps down the staircase and stopped. “What did you say her name was again?”
“It was Kaylee… that was all she told me.”
“Kaylee… Well Jem, It was nice seeing you again. I’ll leave first thing tomorrow. Unless she wakes up before then.”
“All right, Doc, and thank you for coming by on such short notice. I know what a pain it is to cross the ocean nowadays.”
“No need to thank me. Just pay for my traveling expense, alright?”
I heard them both laugh and then sigh. “Bye Doc.”
“Goodbye Jem.” Then they were both gone.
I wondered why the Doctor said that he would mention me to the Elves. Am I so unusual that they would feel they need to bring my presence to someone else’s attention? Is there something wrong with me?
I put the thought off and decided it wouldn’t make much of a difference if there was something wrong with me or not. I am different and I will always be different. My mom would always joke that I was the odd duck in the family, but like every odd duck, something special would happen to me. Maybe change the world in some way, but I could never see myself changing the world. I’m just a normal girl, though my looks would always out rule that notion. Having blonde hair, green eyes, and a slim tall frame never allowed me to be normal, though I have always longed for it.
I rolled over on my back and contemplated whether I should get up or not, but soon fell back under the cover of sleep.
My body was even stiffer then it was before. I felt as if I had been permanently carved from stone and I was no longer able to move, but when I first flexed my fingers, twirled my wrist and bent my arms, hope of moving again didn’t fully betray me. My eyelids cracked open to spot the worm wood ceiling above me. I sat up and rubbed my temples and popped the rest of my bones out of stiffness. I looked around the small, blank room. My old clothes were still crumpled in a pile in a corner. I was still wearing that white dress, which I figured wouldn’t hurt if I changed into something else.
I got up from the bed, the springs creaking. I froze, afraid someone might come see if I was awake, but no one did come and I continued to make my way over to the wardrobe. I pulled out a pair of patched up pants, that weren’t exactly jeans. All the clothes were made out of a material that I wasn’t familiar with. I used to work in a clothing store. You would think that I would know all the different names of fabrics. I also picked out a white, button down collar shirt and a patched up green vest. Boy’s clothes I assumed. Maybe they belonged to Jem when he was younger and I was grateful that they actually fit me.
I took a look out the window and noticed that the streets weren’t as busy as they were yesterday… or maybe it was a couple days ago. I can’t remember how long I’ve slept. I pulled an elastic hair band over a messy pony tail and slid the window open and stuck my head out. The smell was different from the forest. More city-like. The smell of people, the dust they kicked up when they walked, the food that baked in vendors. I stuck my head out further, looking for some kind of ledge. I was on the third floor of the building so it’s not like I could jump out.
I noticed that there were boards plastered all over the walls, like an old-fashioned cottage. The wood was thick enough that my bare toes could cling to and make my way down to the ground. Like climbing a ladder, I told myself. When I was younger I was petrified of ladders. My dad fell off one while hanging up Christmas lights and I was there to witness it. I’ve been traumatized ever since. Maybe there was an easier way. Another window was just below me and if I could manage to climb to that one, I could get down easily from there. Jumping from two stories won’t be so hard… I hope. I can tuck and roll. No problem. I threw one leg over the windowsill, and then the other. Soon, I was dangling off the side. I was tall enough that my toes could barely touch the ledge of the other window.
My feet planted. Accomplished. I clung onto the wall with my finger tips as I swung myself around and repeated the process. I prayed that no one could see me through the other window as I made my way down to the second windowsill. I sat there, trying to figure what to do next. It sure looked like a long way to go from here. Forget my last idea. There is no way I’m jumping. I looked over my shoulder to make sure no one could see me inside of Jem’s house.
There was an empty room. From the size of the bed that was in it, I’d figure it to be Jessie’s room. I looked for another window below me. None. Maybe I could jump over to the rain gutter and slid down it. I wish I had Spiderman powers. This would make it so much easier.
People started to notice me on the street. Crowding around and wondering what the heck I was doing.
“Sweetie?” one woman asked. “What are you doing up there?”
“Get down from there! You’re going to hurt yourself!”
I’m working on it, I told them mentally. I looked back into the room and felt my eyes grow to the size of softballs. Jessie stood frozen, jaw dropped, and eyes staring right at me. He took off out of the room. Probably to go get Jem or come after me himself.
Tuck and roll! Tuck and roll! You can do it! If the building was on fire you could do it! I braced myself, taking a deep breath and looking straight at the ground. Just do it! I told myself.
The next thing I knew I heard a snap and then the rest of my body thud as it hit the ground. The people came rushing toward me. Some screaming, asking if I was okay. I scrambled up on my feet and pushed my way through the pressing crowd. The pain in my hand didn’t come until after I started running. I must’ve landed on it when I jumped. I clutched my broken hand to my heaving chest. Already I was feeling the need to stop and catch my breath. If an angry mob was chasing after me, I’d be able to run for miles!
“Kaylee!” called a voice. I looked back to the crowd that stared at me wide-eyed and shocked with confusion. Jem raced after me, with Jessie not too far behind him. Time to kick it up a notch.
I jolted forward, my feet moving fast. It was like I was running down hill. Too fast for me to control. I had no idea where I was going, but anywhere else was better than here.
Up ahead, I saw a miracle. A large boat was about to undock. Other passenger’s were on it, waving handkerchiefs to their loved ones as a farewell. I stumbled once, getting ahead of myself, getting a little too excited. What perfect timing! The boat was pulling out and the whistle bellowed, giving me the motivation to run even faster. It was like I was in the dark void again, but this time I could see my goal. I saw the end of the dock and the gap between it and the boat. I could make it. I was more than positive!
“Kaylee! Don’t do it!” yelled out Jem. I ignored him and went for it. A surge of adrenaline pulsed through me as I launched off the deck and plummeted face first right into the back of the boat. Warm liquid poured into my open mouth, but my hands clung to the edge, even though one was broken. I withstood the pain in both my hand and my new injury that seemed to be pulsing from my brain. The other passenger’s grabbed my wrists, pulling me onboard, screaming at me.
“What, are you crazy!?” one woman asked.
“You could’ve killed yourself!” a man yelled.
“She’s bleeding! Some one get the doctor!”
I wiped blood from my upper lip with my good hand. I could tell that I was bleeding from my nose, and hoped that I didn’t break it. I sat up, while people still clung on to me, steadying me. I leaned against the stern, looking back at Jem and Jessie. Standing at the end of the dock, stupefied and looking straight back at me. I waved goodbye to them with a triumphant smile on my face.