Thursday, August 31, 2006

History of Dara, part 2

As I said in my prior post, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My family always noticed it, and to some extent, always assumed I’d be a writer. I don’t know if my daily legal writing really counts.

Anyway, my great-grandfather bought me my first "grown up" journal, shortly before he died when I was 8. Up until that point, I had a little purple diary with a lock and key – like all little girls – but I never had a journal for the express purpose of story writing. I didn’t write in it at first, because I didn’t really know what to say. But I vaguely remember writing my first story in the journal a couple years thereafter – but only because I remember reading it to the assembled family at some kind of holiday get-together, before we moved from New Jersey to Florida. Based on circumstantial evidence and contextual clues, I am fairly certain that I wrote it when I was around 10 or 11.

Anyway, here it is, in all its glory -- and with no editing. Enjoy.

When the letter arrived she recalled the moment. She had been barely more than a child at the time when it happened. She was 13, and she saw a man suffocating inside a burning building. She dragged him out, and then called an ambulance. When he came to, he thanked her and requested her name. She answered, “Josephine Anne Smith.”

Now, she was 21 and an heiress to a great fortune left to her by her parents. She lived in the mansion on their estate, Foxwood Estate. She also owned and operated her own business started by her father J.B. Smith Fashions, Inc. She called herself by her old knickname, JoAnne.

Her company had been in need of a new warehouse and when the letter came, she felt relieved for it said, “Dear Miss Josephine Anne, You are the only heir of Mr. George Donaldson, the man you rescued from a burning building 8 years ago. He left his entire fortune to you if you stay in his estate, Donaldson Woods for at least one night. After this, the estate along with the sum of 2 and one half million dollars are to be yours. If you do not, the inheritance will be given to certain specified charities. Yours truly, Geoffery P. Chantler, lawyer.” She then thought, “I’ll leave tomorrow.”

While our heroine lays sleeping, let me describe her to you. She was very attractive, dark blonde hair, blue eyes, and a peaches and cream complexion. Her hair was long and usually fell to the bottom of her back neatly braided. She had a fine wardrobe, ranging from the newest things off the rack, to ancient ball gowns. She had a slight Southern drawl, for she grew up in Georgia. Her parents had come from Georgia, while her mothers parents came from England, and her fathers parents from France. Her family had been rich for as far back as her great-great-great-grandparents could remember, and therefore had would up with an extremely large fortune.

In the morning, JoAnne dressed for the trip down to Brunswick. She got dressed in a black dress, and put on black gloves and a black hat with a veil of the same color. As she put on her black shoes, she surveyed herself in the mirror. “Perfect, “ she thought. She then packed her overnight bag. She grabbed her purse and her bag and climbed into the backseat of her limosine to go to the Atlanta airport.

When she finally arrived at Donaldson Woods, a storm was starting up. The eerie sound of the wind made JoAnne think of all the things that could go wrong. Her mother had always warned her to think carefully before making a decision, except, JoAnne never did. Why didn’t she just put it off? Why did she come on such an eerie night. Just then, a bolt of lightning hit the house. JoAnne jumped. “Oh no!” she thought. “Not another thunderstorm.”

She got nervous. “What happened if . . .” She thought of possibilities, but she got up anyway and thoroughly inspected the house for leaky faucets or loose floorboards. She was looking through what appeared to be an antique bureau, when she found a yellowed piece of paper which read “Beware! This home is haunted by the ghost of Oliver S. Donaldson, born 1691, died 1784. JoAnne was scared. She ran out of the room and tore up the paper. Then the storm eased, and the full moon shone through the clouds. JoAnne thought “The storm is over. I am safe now.” But she didn’t notice the short white creature slowly inching down the stairs.

The End . . .
. . . Or is it?


Ryane said...

That is priceless...I love finding old journals and stories and things like that. Did you ever finish Joanna's story? =-)

Dara said...

Ryane: Just wait, my mom is sending me some more stuff she found soon!

But no, I never did finish this particular story. At least as far as I can tell. Even then, I was easily distractable.

mad said...

Whoa, that's damn good writing for a 10- or 11-year-old. Or an adult, for that matter. I think you have a future as a writer of children's books!

Dara said...

I was (am?) a strange kid.