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Chapter 68: Rumour Has It

clubhouse68

He’d never been this bored in his life. If only he could slip away, he would. All for the sake of show, he sat in the corner attempting to look like he cared. Unfortunately, he was failing at it – acting wasn’t his forte. When the detectives finally called for a break, Richard heaved a sigh and excused himself. He lied about needing to use the washroom, just like Gabriel did ten minutes before him, and exited to the lounge on the second floor.

Richard thought the day wouldn’t get anymore interesting, especially after the Skypeak debacle. But he was wrong. While he filled himself a coned-paper cup of water, the nearby lift dinged. And out from the lift came Matthias and Guinevere.

“What are-”

“Matthias! My man!” Gabriel interrupted.

Richard wouldn’t have known of Gabriel’s presence if not for his false enthusiasm.

“Had a good chit-chat with Guinevere?” Gabriel asked.

“Not that it’s any of your business,” Guinevere snapped.

“I have good ears.”

“I’m sure you do.” Then turning to Richard, Guinevere asked, “Can we talk?”

When Richard didn’t respond, Guinevere walked over and looped her arm around his elbow. She locked him in tightly and pulled him down a hallway.

“What are you doing here?” Richard asked.

“I’m here to save Wayne.”

It was unintentional, but he chuckled.

“I have a plan. A good one. But I need your help,” Guinevere added.

“I don’t like the sound of that. Is that why Matthias is here too?”

“To be honest, it’s Matthias’ plan.”

“Oh, sounds like it’s going to be wonderful.”

“It isn’t. But it’ll work.”

“Reliable as he always is, my good friend Matty.”

Guinevere wasted no time and went straight to what she and Matthias had decided on. The few seconds after she was done, Richard thought she was joking. But when she stared him down, waiting for his response, he knew she was serious.

Repeating the plan in his head, Richard was surprised Guinevere was actually for it. He had nothing to lose, but she did. If she was willing to put her life on the line, it shouldn’t be difficult for him to sacrifice his millionaire lifestyle. After all, it was a very fickle one.

“Alright. I’ll tell the truth,” Richard said.

“You will?” Guinevere’s eyes grew wide, not so much in surprise but fear.

“Matthias is a good lawyer,” Richard assured.

“I know. Shall we then?”

“Ladies first.”

Telling the truth, on that very night, was one of the easiest decisions Richard had ever made. The thought of losing his title and his money was scary, but starting anew was all the more possible if he cut the Lees out of his life. No more parties, no more cars, and no more lazing around, didn’t sound too bad in the light of freedom.

When Richard finally returned to his hotel room, after three hours of confession, three minutes of verbal threats from his father, and three seconds of his mother’s hateful glare, he knew he did the right thing. And for the first time in a long time, he slept without a worry in the world.

The following day, Richard awoke at the cue of his unfed stomach. As he booted up his phone, a stream of messages and missed-call notifications sent his phone buzzing for a good five minutes. Most came from his family, so-called friends, and news outlets. Word had somehow gone out, even before the police could confirm anything. Buried in the pile of information fishing, there was also a message from both Jodie and Zach.

As Richard was about to give Jodie a call, Zach’s caller ID appeared on the screen.

“Good afternoon, Zach,” Richard answered.

“Thank you for picking up. I can’t reach Matthias or Guinevere, and Jodie knows nothing either.”

“Well, to be honest, I don’t know much.”

“I read the news. Did you really tell them everything?”

“Yup. Gave them DNA samples too.”

“So this is it, then.”

“I guess so. You’re in the clear. Go out and celebrate, man.”

“I… I’m not sure about that.”

“They have nothing on you. Unless Wilhelm Group starts making things up, you’re safe.”

“That’s comforting.”

“They wouldn’t have the time.”

“Right. Should we all meet tonight? At the school?”

“You can ask the rest.”

“How about you?”

Richard wondered how much word had gotten out, and if it was even wise to leave the hotel room. A horde of reporters was probably waiting in the lobby as they spoke.

“I’ll get back to you.”

“Alright. By the way, you might want to Google yourself.”

“That should be fun.”

After he ended the call, Richard did as Zach suggested. He looked himself up and found hundreds of gossip sites covering the same news over and over again. Some added their own extreme speculations, while others only used his name as click-bait. But as much as they were ruining his reputation, all he did was laugh.

By the time he was done reading, his stomach had given up growling. Deciding it was time to respond to some of the messages, he recalled wanting to give Jodie a call. And as though the universe was playing match-up, Jodie sent a message a second before he hit dial.

‘Let’s meet tonight. I’ll come over.’

If anyone read the conspicuous message, the Lee scandal would be long forgotten.

‘I need your help to pass some information to the detectives,’ another message popped in.

Richard thought about asking what it was about, but then decided it might be better to hear it from her in person. Still, he contemplated. Zach’s need for a secret meeting to put everyone on the same page felt important. Which should he agree to? Richard had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2016 by Jeyna Grace.
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2016 in Original Works

 

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Meerkat | Star | Days

meerkatstardays

“Dear Morning Star, I am the Meerkat of the South Desert. Would you grant me one wish, as you’ve granted those who’ve laid their eyes on you? I do not want to ask for much, as I am but a lowly being, but this is one request I must make. For just three days, let me be-”

There is power in prayer.

Disturbed by my cousin’s restless sleep, I was awakened an hour short of dawn. As I tried to find a comfortable spot away from him, to catch a few more minutes of shut-eye, I caught a glimpse of a twinkling star. It was unlike any other. Streaks of pale orange had formed across the sky, washing away the common twinkles of the night. But the Morning Star, the one rumoured by many to be a God, pierced through the glow and radiated in its own sparkle. To even see it in one’s lifetime was considered a miracle. And I saw it.

Scurrying outside for a better look, I only took a couple of seconds to admire its beauty. Then shutting my eyes, I said my prayer. It was an odd prayer, I know. I could only hope the Morning Star would hear my plea and grant me my wish. When I finally opened my eyes, after an extra minute of self-doubt, the Morning Star was gone. But despite it leaving, without even twinkling goodbye, I had hope. That very same night, I took my place beside my cousin, ready for an adventure.

Morning came quickly in a dreamless sleep. When I awoke, a smile crept up my face. My prayer was answered. My wish had come true. I had three days to live as a lion – the almighty king of the South Desert. My claws were sharp and ready for a hunt, my nose picked up the scent of breakfast, and my mane blown by the wind was the most amazing feeling I’ve ever had. I had no regrets. I was going to enjoy three days basking in a lion’s fearless glory. But then, my worst nightmare took form.

“What are you doing?” she asked. I don’t know how I understood her – her roar. I just did. “You have a fight today. Get up and eat your share of the catch.”

Afraid to say the wrong words, I followed after her to the antelope lying motionless on the warm sand. None of the lions in our pride had taken a bite, not even the alpha; whichever the alpha is.

“Eat and make us proud,” she said.

I hesitated. I’d never tasted raw flesh before, and the idea of consuming it made my stomach turn. Still, all eyes were on me. Gathering the courage of what a lion should have, I took my first and last bite, before retreating.

“Eat more,” she ordered, so firmly I would’ve ran for my life in my true identity.

“I’m done,” I said – a thought manifested as a growl.

“Then you must go,” she replied.

Go where, I didn’t know. I’ve learned about lions, so I could only guess what that day was. And even if my guess was correct, where was the other pride resting? How strong was its alpha? Could I beat him? I may look like a lion, but I was not a real lion. Barely an hour after thanking the Morning Star for granting my wish, I was already praying to go back to yesterday.

“I can’t go.” My thoughts became my words.

The lioness tilted her head and narrowed her gaze. She looked confused, as though I’d spoken in a foreign tongue. Did I?

“Are you afraid?” she asked.

“Yes.”

Immediately, she snapped her jaws and my paws instinctively shuffled backward.

“What nonsense is this? Go!” she roared. “I didn’t raise you to be a coward. Go!”

A coward. Being a lion didn’t make me less of a coward, it seems.

“I can’t.”

“Then that is your problem.”

The lioness turned away and gathered her curious cubs. When she did, the pride followed suit. They feasted on the antelope, ignoring me as I watched them. Once they were done, they left.

I was too much of a coward to follow after them. I was afraid the males would attack me if I did. So I planted myself until night arrived. My hope was to wait for the Morning Star to petition my return. That was all I could do as a coward. One that is also quick to give up. When the Morning Star finally made its first twinkle, it graciously answered my prayer.

Today, I’m a meerkat – the small, beady-eyed, creature that sleeps in a hole. I am me again. Happily me. I know there’s something to learn from my day as a lion. But unfortunately, my mind cannot accept the revelation of my journey. I always thought the bigger you are, the more courage you had. Am I wrong? The thought of it otherwise baffles me. Maybe next time, when I happen to gaze upon the Morning Star again, I will say a better prayer. I will ask to be a man. After all, they’re bigger, and without a doubt, braver.

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Meerkat, star, and days were words given by thinkingoverload. When I first started writing this piece, I had no idea what the ending would be. And usually, that’s not something I practice. I like to know where the story would go before hitting the keyboard. Strangely, I surprised myself today… because hey, it didn’t turn out so bad. That’s what impromptu writing can do.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words and write a piece of your own. Just go ahead and write away. Don’t think or be afraid to sway. Because who knows… you’ll create a good story today.

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2016 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2016 in Original Works

 

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Chapter 67: Coming Clean

clubhouse67

“Why isn’t he picking up?” Guinevere muttered to herself. She had officially left five missed calls.

Was Matthias ignoring her? Did he decide to bail at the last minute? It had been an hour since she’d arrived at the police headquarters, and Matthias had yet to make an appearance. He couldn’t possibly be stuck in traffic. So what was taking him so long?

As she was about to redial Matthias’ number, a familiar car drove past the foyer toward the outdoor carpark. Bracing the chilly night air, Guinevere exited the warm indoors to greet the guest of honour.

“I called you-”

“One too many times,” Matthias interjected.

“Sorry. I was just… worried.”

“Sure. Where are they holding Wayne?”

“I don’t know. None of the police officers would tell me anything.”

“Not surprising.”

As the pair entered the oddly quiet building, Guinevere expected Matthias to flash his card at the reception and demand for answers. But when he gestured her to the waiting area, she frowned and asked, “What’s the plan?”

Matthias cleared his throat and Guinevere stood on tippy-toes, eagerly waiting for his grand idea. But as his lips parted, his gaze shifted toward the second floor. Whatever he wanted to say was immediately put on hold. Instinctively, Guinevere turned to look.

With elbows resting on the railing and a sly smile, Gabriel was watching them. He waved, obviously not to her, but to Matthias.

“What’s going on?” Guinevere asked.

“He wants me to work with him.”

“What? Why?”

“I don’t know. Anyway, take a seat.”

Guinevere gave Gabriel a narrow glare, before proceeding to resting her aching feet. But despite the physical relief, a discomfort lingered.

“Can he hear us?” Guinevere asked in a whisper.

Matthias shrugged and sat across her. He didn’t seem to mind sharing his plan within earshot of Gabriel and the other lounging police officers. And for a brief second, Guinevere was afraid – afraid of what he was about to say next. If only he’d asked her to prepare a bag of money, such fear wouldn’t exist at all. If only. Whatever Matthias spent one hour coming up with clearly wasn’t the kind of plan she usually concocted.

“I have to ask this first: will you do anything to help Wayne?” Matthias said.

“Yes, of course.”

“Are you sure of your answer?”

“Yes. Why wouldn’t I?”

“If only you’re certain-”

“What’s the plan?”

“The plan is to tell the truth. The whole truth, from beginning to end.”

“I… don’t…”

Did she hear him right? What he said sounded like a confession.

“You need to tell the police about your family, the wedding, and the clubhouse. You need to tell them everything you know.”

“Are you crazy? I can’t do that. I’ll be throwing my family under the bus. I’ll go to jail. And Wayne… Wayne won’t forgive me.”

“That’s the only way.”

“That’s not the only way. I called you because you don’t do ‘only way’s.”

“Aren’t you tired, Guinevere?”

“Of course, I’m tired. It’s late and I’m stuck here trying to help Wayne.”

“And why are you stuck here trying to help Wayne? The masterminds behind everything are on the second floor buying their way out of their crimes. Nothing you do, no amount you pay, can put them in prison except for telling the truth.”

“Did you hear what I just said, my family and I would go to jail. And Wayne won’t forgive me.”

“At most, your father would go to jail. You and the rest of your family can play victims. As for Wayne, he’d appreciate the truth more than you trying to see him.”

“I… ah. This is ridiculous.”

“Is it? You have a chance to end it all, right here, right now.”

Matthias wasn’t wrong. The scheming had gone on for too long, and she was tired being puppet-ed around. But could she actually tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Was she willing to betray her family and destroy what they’d worked so hard for?

Guinevere bit her lips and clamped her hands. Involuntarily, she shook her left leg. She imagined the whole world quieting down, eagerly waiting for her answer – expecting her to do the right thing. Yet the decision was tearing her apart. She knew what she needed to do, but she couldn’t say it.

“Matthias, what you’re asking of me… it’s…”

“It’s not something you cannot do.”

“That’s the thing, I can’t do it. At least… not alone.”

She’d finally said it. Indirectly. But she said it.

“I can’t do it alone. The police won’t believe me. It’ll be my word against the Lees. And why would the police look into the clubhouse from just my claims alone? I need someone to back me up. Someone to make me look credible, especially after I tell the truth about everything,” Guinevere added. And then she gulped.

The thought of telling the truth was terrifying, but if she could do one righteous act in her life, this was it.

“You’re right,” Matthias said.

“How about you?”

“No. I’m your lawyer. They’ll think we’re scheming something.”

“Well, then…”

There was Zach, who would benefit greatly from coming in. Whatever plans Wilhelm Group had for him would go to waste the moment he worked with the police. Then there was Richard, who would have a powerful statement against his family and access to some of the skeletons in their closet. She would have to rope either one of them in.

“It’s either Zach or Richard,” Matthias said, possibly having had the same trail of thought as she did. “Who would it be?”

Guinevere had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2016 by Jeyna Grace.
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2016 in Original Works

 

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Making A Comeback

makingacomeback

‘To achieve a success after a retirement or failure.’ – a reliable dictionary I found online.

I am making a comeback. The Slave Prince is making a comeback.

My last publishing success on Inkshares was in January 2015. My last publishing failure on Inkshares was in January 2016. (What a coincidence!) But what is failure, really? Giving up. So that’s why I’m back.

When The Slave Prince didn’t make it to the top 3 in the Sword & Laser Collection Contest, I was disappointed. But I knew, from the get-go, that I wasn’t going to give up on this book. And when the opportunity arose, I would put it out there again.

The opportunity has arrived… in the form of the Geek & Sundry fantasy contest.

The Geek & Sundry contest opens now till November 1st. The top 3 books with the most unique reader pre-orders (a.k.a most reader headcount) will receive a full publishing deal with Inkshares!

Obviously, The Slave Prince is at risk of failing again. But I’m not going to fail, because whatever obstacle stands before me, I will dig under, I will climb over, and if I have to, I will break my way through. (Sounds like I’m giving myself a pep talk, eh?)

I don’t think I’ve said this before, but The Slave Prince is an important book to me… far more important than The Battle for Oz. If I could turn back time, I would’ve funded The Slave Prince first. But alas, I’m no time traveller.

The Slave Prince wasn’t just written for fun, but for me. The Slave Prince, Thom himself, reminds me I can do anything if I believe. The adventure reminds me that perseverance can make the impossible possible. And the premise… the premise reminds me of the power of child-like make-believe. (Why am I tearing up? This is weird.)

Every time I revisit The Slave Prince in my editing rounds, I am reminded to believe in myself and keep contending for the impossible. If it were another book, I’m not too sure if I’d feel the same way. So here I am, hoping you, my dear reader, will stand with me and this book.

I know my book isn’t the best book out there, but I hope the story speaks to you. I also hope… you’ll give me a chance to make this comeback real. You have the power to make a difference in my life, and I’m really counting on you to walk this road with me. Without you, it’ll be a lonely journey. That said, thank you so very much for reading all the way to the end! And please grab a copy on your way out. I would be eternally grateful.

theslaveprincecover2

About the Book

The Slave Prince follows the tale of Thom, a mischievous teenage prince who discovers his lineage in the slave race. When the calling to be the chosen one arises, he relies on the power of a magical dagger to save his people.

Book page: https://www.inkshares.com/books/the-slave-prince

First few chapters can be read on the book page. Additional bonus backstory HERE.

*Ps, I’m so close to making the top 3, a little push from you will take me there. A little push might move me up to #1 too! 

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2016 in Others

 

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Write What You Know

writewhatyouknow

Should you or should you not?

‘Write what you know’ is a statement you’ll hear the moment you decide to be a writer. It’s a cliche advice with two camps: the camp that supports it and the camp that doesn’t. There is no unanimity with this notion. Having both pros and cons, it naturally creates opposing beliefs.

Should you write what you know, you save time. You save money. You don’t have to put in as much effort, as when you’re writing what you don’t know. Writing what you know is easier. But writing what you know also puts you in a box. It doesn’t expand your horizons or challenges your ideas. In a way, it makes you complacent. So should you or should you not, write what you know?

Let’s take a step back and look at the statement from a different perspective.

As people with expanding intellect, we have the tendency to complicate things that aren’t meant to be complicated. Simply taking this advice as it is will give us the answer we need.

Write what you know.

You know the sky is blue. You know salt is salty. You know silk is soft. You know birds chirp. You know death is heartbreaking. And you know the joy of reunion.

You also know the sky changes colour as the day progresses. You also know salt makes food less bland. You also know silk clothing is comfortable. You also know a chirping bird can be both annoying and pleasant. You also know life goes on after death. And you also know memories can bring about laughter.

You know a lot, don’t you?

So should you write what you know? Yes. You should.

Writing what you know doesn’t just encompass what you’ve learned in school. In fact, it shouldn’t encompass head knowledge at all. Writing what you know is simply drawing from your experiences as a human being, and giving life to whatever you’re writing.

When I was writing The Battle for Oz, I hadn’t read the original book I was spinning from. I only read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz long after the book was completed. I also didn’t read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland until after I was done reading Oz. Heck… I didn’t even finish Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. However, I still managed to complete The Battle for Oz with the help of Google and what I already know.

With my own life experiences, I was able to create a story without even being a fan of the original works. And that itself, made The Battle for Oz my book. Your book and your story is yours because you’re writing with what you and only you know. No one can write like you, or craft stories like you, because they’re not walking in your shoes or experiencing life as you do. The statement that ‘everyone has a story to tell’ holds true.

At the end of the day, writing what you know is only natural. Writing isn’t grounded in the knowledge of a genre or a specific idea, but writing is grounded in you. Knowing yourself plays a big role in writing. And focusing on putting yourself in your works, instead of merely gathering knowledge, makes a piece all the more believable… and all the more unique.

You don’t have to be the best, most knowledgable writer in the world, to write what you want to write. You can write about anything and everything, as long as you know yourself.

Now… for some Calvin and Hobbes humour.

calvinhobbes

I hope this post answers this question, should you be looking for an answer. But even if it doesn’t, I hope you’ll write with you in mind.

You know a lot. Don’t underestimate yourself.

(Edit: Based on some comments, I’d like to clear a possible misunderstanding: I’m not saying don’t do research and write from solely what you know. Do research. But don’t ever feel like you don’t know enough to embark on any writing journey.)

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2016 in Writing Journey

 

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Chapter 66: Sleepless Night

clubhouse66

He knew. He pretended not to, but he knew. And when she finally asked, he decided to tell.

“Richard and I believe your business partner, Neal, is alive,” Matthias said.

Jodie frowned. She didn’t believe him.

“Mr Lee spoke to his assistant about it. His assistant was supposedly heading to the hospital Neal is at, so I got Zach to bug him,” Matthias added.

“And why couldn’t you guys tell me this earlier? Why keep it a secret?”

“Because it isn’t confirmed.”

The reason wasn’t a good one, but he simply wanted to have all the facts ready before letting the cat out of the bag. Half-truths did no one good. Unfortunately, Jodie wasn’t buying it. His effort to seem reliable and trustworthy again, especially after he dropped Jodie’s case, had proved useless. And from her expression, at that very moment, he knew he took five steps back from his one step forward. Clearly, he went about it the wrong way.

“Right. So did you learn anything from the assistant?” Jodie asked.

“I haven’t checked the recording. I can-”

“I’ll go through it, if you don’t mind.”

“It’s still running though.”

“I have a feeling the assistant isn’t at the hospital any longer. So whatever that’s been recorded will do.”

Matthias held back a sigh and shrugged. He was curious to know if Neal was really alive, but he was in no position to ask. So he retrieved the memory card from one of the black boxes and handed it to Jodie.

“Thanks,” Jodie said. And that was all she had to say.

When Jodie shut the van door behind her, Matthias inserted a blank memory card into the same black box. If the assistant was with the Lees, Matthias only needed to listen. Deciding to eavesdrop, he flicked a few switches and brought the assistant’s bug to the main screen. It was black – there was nothing to see. But the audio bar peaked, and Matthias quickly reached for the headphones. Just as he was about to slip it on, his phone rang.

There was no name and he didn’t recognise the number. So he ignored it and pressed the headphones firmly against his ears. A second after the ringing stop, it rang again. Deciding to turn his phone off, he turned over and saw a familiar name on the screen.

Briefly leaving the assistant’s left jacket pocket, Matthias answered, “What’s happening?”

“Hello Matthias.”

“Gabriel?”

“It seems you and my brother get along fairly well, seeing as you answered his call and not mine.”

Matthias thought of asking for Richard, but quickly decided against it.

“I don’t have your number in my phone,” Matthias said.

“Even after I gave you my business card?”

There was no point lying then. He didn’t verbally turn down Gabriel’s offer, but he’d already made up his mind being at Skypeak that day.

“Yes. Why? Do you need me for something?”

“Of course, why else would I be calling? So, what do you say about representing my family in this mess?”

“I’d rather not be involved.”

“Really? I thought we could help each other out. You know, clean each other’s messes.”

“I don’t have messes.” As soon as those words left his lips, he regretted it. “I clean messes, not make them,” Matthias promptly added.

“So I’ve heard. I’ve also heard that sometimes the cleaner gets blamed for the missing ring.”

“Are you threatening me?”

“Why do you say that? I’m just looking for an opportunity for us to work together.”

“I don’t work with undeveloped minds. Teenagers especially.”

Gabriel laughed. And then through the line, Matthias heard Richard.

“What’re you doing with my phone?” Richard asked.

“Talking to your friend,” Gabriel answered. “Matthias, I’ll send you the address. Swing by as fast as you can.”

Before Matthias could decline, the line clicked dead. Shortly after, a message beeped in with GPS coordinates. In disbelief, Matthias chuckled. Gabriel’s gameplay was something Matthias had never encountered – perhaps heavily influenced by his age. Proceeding to turn his phone off, another unexpected call came through. This time, it was Guinevere.

Grunting, Matthias was about to shut Guinevere down when she burst into a frenzy of words.

“I need you, Matthias. I don’t trust my family’s lawyers. Please follow me to the station. I need to see Wayne.”

“What makes you think I can help?”

“You know your way around the law. I’m sure you can get me a few minutes with Wayne. Please, Matthias. I know it’s late-”

“Yes, it’s late. Lets do this tomorrow.”

“I can’t wait till tomorrow. What if something happens to Wayne while the Lees are being questioned?”

“He can take care of himself.”

“Just help me, please?”

Matthias sighed and made a mental note to never date a woman like Guinevere. He was sure Wayne didn’t want to see her. But Guinevere wasn’t going to give up without a fight. Still, Matthias couldn’t simply agree to her request. If he did, he’d have to appear before Gabriel, only to show he wasn’t siding with him. Or perhaps he should go and represent the Lees, just to see if he could find out more. He’d also save Wayne from Guinevere’s pestering. Either way, he wasn’t sleeping that night. Matthias had to choose.

Next Chapter >
(For the chapter list, visit here.)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Clubhouse © 2014 – 2016 by Jeyna Grace.
All rights reserved. No part of the series may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from Jeyna Grace.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2016 in Original Works

 

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Raccoon | Bento | Adventure

racoonbentoadventure

Pastures of pleasant green rushed by in a motion blur. There were no more high-rise structures and honking cars, only shades of green against the pale blue. It was a gorgeous masterpiece. Even the blotching patches of grey couldn’t ruin its beauty, since rain was never the bane of a great adventure.

“This is exciting, isn’t it?” I asked.

My brother grunted and shifted in his seat beside me. He attempted to find a comfortable position for a nap, and settled with his head buried in his folded arms on the tray table.

“Goodnight,” my brother mumbled.

“Sleep tight!” I chimed.

In wonder of my brother’s constant need to sleep, I retrieved my homemade bento box from my bag. Sticky rice, grilled fish fillet, pickled vegetables, and a side of fresh berries, it was the perfect lunch. I briefly contemplated on saving it for later, but one can only ignore the grumbling of the stomach for so long. Snapping my wooden chopsticks apart, I dived into my meal.

“Are you- why are you eating now? You just had breakfast,” my brother said.

“I’m hungry.”

“Why are you always hungry?”

“Why are you always sleepy?”

“Whatever.”

My brother returned to his nap while I devoured my meal. I couldn’t wait to finish it. I wasn’t starving, I was just in a hurry. I was in a hurry to shake my brother awake. I was in a hurry to hop off the train. I was in a hurry for it to begin.

Who would have thought this day would come? I’d dreamt of it for so long – ever since I uttered my first word. Watching my brother come and go in his adventures always made me envious. Now finally being old enough to join him felt surreal. And there was no way I could stifle my excitement. Unfortunately for me, time was taking its time.

As my brother snored in what seemed like an uncomfortable rest, I stowed my tray table and returned to staring at the colourful streaks. One hour later, I was still staring at the colourful streaks. I knew sleep would speed up time, but my mind, raging with wild imagination, couldn’t shut down. So I stared. Even when the train rolled into a station another hour later, I stared. I stared until something caught up my eye.

It had bristly, zigzag-patterned fur of brown and beige. It was quick on its four paws, and if not for my staring, I wouldn’t have spotted it.

Jumping to my feet, I said, “I need to get down here!”

“Wha-what?” My brother groggily looked out the window and shook his head. “We’re not there yet.”

“I know, but I need to get down here.”

“Sit down.”

I tried to push past my brother, but his broad, hunched over shoulders made it impossible for me to even slip past him.

“Sit down. The train is about to move,” he repeated.

“No! I need to get down here!”

“Stop being a child and sit down.”

“I’m not a child.”

“Then prove it and shut up.”

“No!”

To date, I cannot explain why I acted in such a way. I don’t know why I bit my brother on his forearm, forcing him to his feet. I don’t know why I shoved the stunned conductor out of the way, as I jumped off the train. I could’ve been left behind, with nothing but the clothes on my back. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

“Are you crazy?” my brother yelled, as our train left without us. “I’m taking you home. I don’t know why I agreed to this.”

“Yea, yea.”

Whatever my brother had to say then, I wasn’t listening. My pulse was racing. My palms were sweaty. My eyes were peeled in search for the raccoon-like creature. And there it was again, its bushy tail disappearing behind a humming vending machine.

“Over there!” I shouted. “Give me my bag.”

My brother stood defeated, as I snatched my bag from him. Whether or not he followed me to the Pocky dispenser, I didn’t care. What mattered at that time was the creature. I needed to catch it.

“Come out, little guy,” I coaxed, as I unwrapped a chocolate bar. “I have some candy.”

Breaking the bar in two, I heard a scrapping of paws behind the machine. I knew it understood me. Placing the chocolate bar on the ground, I slowly reached into my bag once more. While my heart pounded madly in my chest, I grabbed what I needed and cautiously pulled it out of my bag. With the creature now in sight, watching my every move, I had to be careful.

“Come on now,” I said.

I was ready. All it needed to do was take a few steps closer.

“Come on, little guy.”

“That’s not going to work,” my brother said.

“Come have this treat. It’s really yummy.”

My brother chuckled. And then without warning, he stomped his feet and shouted, “Go!”

Without contemplation, the creature obeyed. It darted off in a second, leaving me with what have could been.

“What’s your problem?” I snapped. The sudden lost of hope crushed my heart and brought me to tears.

“That’s not how you catch a Pokemon, dimwit.”

“I’ll catch ‘em however I want to catch ‘em!”

“Then you’ll never be the very best.”

At those words, I held back a sob. At those words, I grasped the reality of my great adventure. Yes, I was only a ten-year-old wannabe Pokemon Master. But if I wanted to be the very best, I couldn’t jump off trains to chase zigzagoons whenever I saw one.

“You done crying?” my brother asked.

“Yea. When’s the next train coming?”

“In half an hour. Are you hungry? Do you want my bento box?”

Nodding my head, my brother and I both agreed I could be a child for another half an hour. But after that, I was going to be the very best… that no one ever was.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Raccoon, bento, and adventure were words given by zoey808. For the record, Nintendo and PokemonGo are not sponsors. In fact, owning a Windows phone has deprived me of the opportunity to relive my childhood. Thankfully, I have a wild imagination and typing skills. Without those two, I would never have the chance of being a Pokemon Master.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words and write a piece of your own. I don’t know what those three words can inspire, but all you really need is ‘a wild imagination and typing skills’. I’m sure you have that.

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2016 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2016 in Original Works

 

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