In search of Inspiration·Inkling Inspirations

The keys in the bookcase – Chapter 6

Where they wake up from a dream

At that moment they all startled. There was someone banging on the door of the basement. 

“What is that? Did you hear that?” Sara nearly screamed, because her nerves were so on edge from all of the talking about her being a fairy and all the stuff that might have been going on with her great aunt. 

The boys all went silent, just staring at her. She gave them a look. “Who’s there?” She pushed her chair back and started walking towards the basement door. 

“Sara? Sara!” The voice sounded familiar. Was it her mother? “Sara! Open the door, now!”

Sara tried to answer but the words didn’t seem to want to come out of her mouth. She looked back at where Ben, Connor and Alex had been. They were gone. Sara stumbled, hit her knee on the edge of a bookcase. She looked around, trying to figure out what she had bumped into. The basement seemed to be fading away. What was going on with her? 

“Sara!” It was definitely the voice of her mother. “Okay, that’s it. I’m coming in.” Sara faintly heard a loud bang as the door hit the wall behind it. 

Sara turned her head to see her mother storm into the room. She blinked, shut her eyes for a moment. The light was so bright all of a sudden. 

“Are you alright?” Her mother walked up to her. “When you came home today after you went to the shed, you didn’t even come in to say hello, just went up to your room. You even locked your door. Then you stayed there for hours. Normally you have your music turned up, but it was just so silent. And I …” her mother’s voice faltered. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have barged in here like that. I was so worried.”

“It’s okay mom,” Sara said. She was still processing what was going on. “I’m in my bedroom?” She asked.

Her mother gave her a funny look. “Yes, you are. Where else would you be?”
“Didn’t I go into the library in the basement just now?” 

“No, not that I recall,” her mother said. She tilted her head slightly. “Oh, that’s not true. I did hear you go down the stairs. Yes. You were there for a little while. Then I heard you storm up to your room.”

Sara suddenly realized she was sitting at her desk. She frantically started looking for the amulet and the journal. She couldn’t find them. No amulet. No journal. 

“But… Where did it go? What happened to me?” Sara asked. She choked up, tears were burning behind her eyes. 

“I think you may have fallen asleep sweetie,” her mother suggested gently. 

“Did I sleep?” Sara rubbed her face. “For how long?” She felt so confused. Had the whole thing with the amulet been a dream? 

“I don’t know exactly. A few hours? I think you were exhausted sweetie. You did have your exams recently. And you spend so much time with your friends Alex, Connor and Ben, staying up late.” 

Sara fell silent. “Maybe you’re right,” she said after a little while. Sara was eager to change the subject. “Can we go down and have some tea? With a bit of that cake you baked yesterday?” 

Her mother just looked at her with an intent gaze. Then a warm smile broke through that reached her eyes too. “Of course, sweetie,” she said. “That will do us both good.”

Sara went down to the kitchen with her mother. There they sat for a good hour, drinking tea, eating cake and chatting. The intense feelings that had resonated through her body when her mother stormed into her room, were slowly dissipated by the light-hearted conversations. Sara started to feel more relaxed. She stared out the window, thinking back on all that she had experienced. “It was all just a dream,” Sara decided in her head. She felt relieved at that realization. 

“I have to tell Connor about this, he loves this kind of stuff,” she muttered. “Ben will yawn and say it’s all stupid, no doubt. But Alex will listen too. He’s into it.” 

“What did you say, sweetie?” her mother asked.

“Oh, it’s nothing. Just something I don’t want to forget.” Sara said. “I’d like to go back to my room now. There’s something I just thought about. I need to write some stuff down or else I will forget.” 

Her mother nodded. “Sure, you can go. I won’t keep you here.”

Sara walked up to her mother and gave her a hug. “Thank you,” she said, still just a little bit embarrassed. 

“You’re welcome sweetie.” Her mother tousled her hair. “You know I’m always here for you, right? Now, go on. You do what you need to do. I’m gonna bake another cake, since we ate all of this one.” 

Sara straightened her hair. She didn’t like it when her mother did that, but she wasn’t going to say something about it. She turned to head to the stairs. On her way out of the kitchen she turned back at her mother. “Can it be a lemon meringue please?” 

“You will just have to wait and see,” her mother said with a twinkle in her eyes. 

Sara sighed. “Okay. Bye mom,” she said.

Back in her room she sat down at her desk. She thought of texting Connor but she rejected that plan immediately. First she wanted to write down everything she remembered from the dream. 

She glanced over the desk looking for a notebook. Her desk was in a constant state of disarray. There were disheveled piles of books, with loose sheets of papers in between and markers in all of the colors of the rainbow. 

“I know I have an empty one somewhere,” she muttered under her breath. When she tried to lift the top part of one of the stacks of books her eye was caught by a small leather bound book that stuck out of the pile. 

“What’s that?” She pulled it out. The title was embossed with gold on the black leather front. “Wildflowers in the enchanted garden. Poetry by Clover Oakling the Great.”

“You have got to be kidding me,” Sara exclaimed. She leafed through the book, reading snippets of the poems. Handwritten in ink, they were starting to fade a bit, so some parts were hard to read. 

The poems were embellished with elaborate pencil drawings, some of them even filled an entire page. Sara kept going, her heartbeat accelerated at the thought of finding a certain poem about a clover. At the very back of the book she found what she was looking for. A drawing of an old wooden box, with a pair of rusty keys next to it. The open lid revealed its contents. “The amulet, with the leather cord.” Sara put her hands over her mouth. She looked at the page next to the drawing, convinced she would find the poem of the two sisters. 

“Beware my dear” the green witch said

Your heart of gold

I keep it near

My eyes behold

The splendor of your soul

“But what about the two sisters? And the flowers?” Sara quickly turned the pages. There was nothing more than this last small poem. “I imagined all of that? And why were the guys in my dream too?” Sara shook her head vigorously. She sighed and put the leather book aside. “I need that notebook,” she said sternly as if that would help her to find it faster. 

When she finally did she started writing. It took her a good two hours to complete the story. Then she sat back and looked at it, content that she’d remembered all of it. Although she didn’t get the long poem of the two sisters down in rhyme she did manage to capture the whole essence of that story. 

She didn’t ponder on the origin of her dream anymore. Or why she had been asleep for so long. She even dismissed the how and why of the apparent sleepwalking episode of going into the basement and finding the leather book. All she could think about was texting the guys to meet up with them. “I’ve got to tell you a great thing,” was all she told them. It wasn’t long before she heard the doorbell. 

“I’ve got it!” she said to mother, running down the stairs. “It’s Connor!”  

They stayed all night, in the basement of course, because that was the best place to tell that fantastic story.  Their reaction was as Sara had anticipated, although Ben did come around as he seemed to be caught by the weird twists in the events as much as the others.

“Well, that’s a story that will stick with you forever,” concluded Alex as they were about to go home. 

“It sure is,” Sara agreed. 

As she closed the door behind them there was a sudden thought in her head. “I need to go find somebody to carve me a wooden amulet. And I’m gonna go see if I can find a nice wooden box at the thrift store tomorrow.” That night she fell asleep quickly, with a big smile on her face. The leather bound poetry book was sitting on her nightstand, opened up at the page of the drawing of the wooden box with the amulet. 

This is a chapter in a story that originated with a post on Tumblr. I wrote a post about how this story began and how it developed into a ongoing adventure, where Writerdragon4 and myself take turns in writing the story. If you want to stay updated on more stories, subscribe to my blog.

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