Hey this is chapter one. I hope you like it!
Chapter One: Birthday Surprise
I had woken up to the sound of my nightingale’s tune; she always woke me up when it was time. I looked around
the room. It was nothing special. All it had was one window, two beds, a door that led to the kitchen and a few small shelves that had some personal items; like my diary, my brother’s journal, his books and our wooden figures. I looked over to my left at the other bed to see it was empty and made. Alvy was always up early. He would go out, check the harvest he planted, take out the plants that were ready to eat and cook; then he would go to the houses of elderly, sick, injured or people who needed help with something. He was always helping people, he loved helping people. Even though he was younger, his heart was much bigger and stronger than mine.
“Vala,” I heard my mother’s voice, “time to get up.” As I heard her voice fade, through our room and then out the window, I got up and dressed. Once I brushed my hair, I walked into the kitchen to have my smell full of one of my favourite foods. “Morning Mum,” I said to her with a smile. “Morning Vala,” she said as she flipped the perfectly round pancakes. “Are those jam pancakes?” I asked while licking my lips. “Maybe,” she replied with a smirk on her face. “Can I have one?” I asked as my hand reached out but as quick as I did it was slapped away. The disappointed look on my face showed I really wanted one. “Not until your brother gets back,” she answered as she turned back to the pancakes. I sulked as I sat down at the table. “They will be cold by the time he gets back,” I whined. “You don’t know that,” she said back. Yes they will, I thought, he won’t be back for hours. I took a glimpse of the clock that hung crooked on the dirty wall. “Oh well,” exclaimed Mum, “you’ll just have to wait.” I decided that I would not win this, so I reluctantly plonked down on the lounge, in the main living room, in defeat.
It seemed like hours passed by but truthfully it was only a few minutes. I watched the second hand spin around the clock. I was confused why Mum told me I had to wait for Alvy. He hates pancakes, especially jam. As I began to think why, I heard Mum humming a tune. A tune I remember from long ago when I was properly 3 or 4. It was a song about the blooming cherry blossoms, the Summer breeze and hazy Sunday morning and then it sprung up like a meerkat.
It was our birthday! A gleeful cheer echoed around the house as I bounced up and down in anticipation. That’s how I figured out why he was late; he was properly getting a present. Wait a present. I paused in excitement to have found out a horrible discovery… I DIDN’T GET HIM A PRESENT!!! As fast as the excitement had hit me it vanished and was replaced by panic.
I bolted up to our room and grabbed what little money I had before franticly running out the door to the busheling street. I ran from market to market trying to find the perfect present. When a stand suddenly caught my eye. It was small, near the end of the street. I walked over to be greeted by a kind old woman with long grey hair, wrinkly skin, dark blue eyes and was wearing, what looked like to be, some dirty old rags and a cloak. She didn’t look familiar to me at all. I though she must have been a traveller.
I didn’t let all the questions that were running through my head, at the time, to distract me. I focussed on what I came to do, get Alvy a present. I looked at the objects that were on the stand and that’s when I saw a magnificent dragon pendant with a proment eye. It was a golden dragon with a silver eye. Incrusted in the middle of the eye was a magnificent emerald.
“How much is this?” I had asked her, while pointing to the pendent. “5 bronze coins”, she answered. Only 5 bronze coins. That’s cheap, I thought. I gave her the money and she gave me the pendant. I replied with a thank you and raced back down the street, heading home.
On my way home, I began to think of my last birthday. Alvy had gotten my nightingale as a birthday present. I had jumped up and hugged him so hard that he fell off the chair he was sitting on. I smiled as the memory began to flow around my head but was knocked out when I felt something bump into me, hard. I turned around to see who or what it was.
It was a boy, around my age, that mad pink hair, blue eyes and was wearing a plain old t-shirt and pants. “Watch where you’re going girl,” he said with a mean attitude. “Sorry,” I snapped back before heading home.
Jerk, I thought as I walked through the door. I ran straight to our room and hid it. I put my money away and headed back to the kitchen. I sat down back at the table, still hungry. I soon forgot about my hunger as I heard the door open. “I’m back,” I heard Alvy’s small voice ring my ears. “Welcome back sweetheart,” Mum had said as he entered the kitchen. His clothes were covered with mud, dirt, flour and water, his golden hair was messy and his hands, face and legs were covered with flour and dirt.
“Sit down,” Mum said as he took off his hat and put the basket, full of fruits and vegetables, on the table, “breakfast will be ready soon.” Then she went back to making breakfast. “I’ll go have a shower,” he said as he headed to our room.
I sat there and began to daydream as my hunger came back. It was interrupted, again, by a plate of jam pancakes
in front of me. Mum smiled, gave me a fork and told me to eat up. My face was full of delight before it was stuffed with pancakes. Smearing jam all over my face, and then gulping some water to quench my parched throat.
Alvy strolls out glizening in tiny water droplets eyes weary but still happy anticipation. “That’s better,” he said tugging his new birthday shirt; he received from the neighbours, over his head.
After a long silence and slight groans of full tummies, Alvy turns towards me and grins a boyish, playful grin and says, “So what did you get me for my birthday?” I started to panic on the inside because I have no good answer to this question. So I fake a cheeky smile and say, “You’ll have to wait til dusk.” Alvy, seemingly unsatisfied with that answer, takes the bait. “Why dusk?” he quizzes. I’m starting to enjoy this game. “Dusk, that’s the time we were born. Right Mum?” “She’s right Alvy,” she sighs with a soft smile playing on her lips.
Alvy had a moment of thought than agreed with a smile. I face palmed with his agreement. Mum giggled herself silly when he did that.
The rest of the day was a blur. Just a bunch of flashing colours, words spoken and unwanted attention. Mum made me sit by the phone and answer all of the phone calls. Everyone that called said the same thing, wanting to talk to him instead of me. I wish someone would ring who would actually wanted to talk to me.
By the time dusk came, I was on the urge of snapping. Alvy was getting all the attention from the neighbours and relatives. I mean it was ok but I wanted some attention too. My thoughts were knocked out when I felt something tugging my arm.
I turned my head to see it was Alvy. “Come on Vala,” he said still tugging on my arm, “it’s time for presents.” His grip tightened as he pulled me to the living room.
“There you two are,” Mum said, “come on, there are a lot of presents that need to be opened.” Alvy’s face filled up with delight. He pulled me over to where Mum was sitting and forced me to sit down next to Mum while he sat next to Uncle Phillip. Aunty Sally looked slightly drunk, like most family occasions. Oh joy…NOT, I thought sarcastically to myself.
My thoughts were interrupted, again, by someone calling my name. It was Mum this time. I turned my face to hers, she was smiling. I hadn’t seen that smile for a long time. It made me smile too.
“Which one are you going to open first?” she asked me. I looked at the presents on the table. There were a lot this year. Alvy was sitting on the edge of his seat, ready to open his presents but was waiting for me first. I looked at the presents again and picked up the lumpy looking one. Must be from Aunt Sally. I opened it to find another hand knitted sweater.
“Thanks Aunty,” I said trying to fake a smile, “it’s lovely.” I saw Alvy reach for one of his presents. It wasn’t as lumpy as mine but it was still lumpy. He opened it and his face lit up like a lightbolb. He held it up for everyone to see. It was a hand knitted scarf. My eyes widened in shock on how good the knitting was. “Thanks Aunt Sally,” he said with a big smile on his face, “this will be great when it gets cold.” She smiled as she saw him trying it on. I began to get a little jealous but I tried to hide it.
By the time we had finished opening all the presents on the table, I was ready to jump up and lash out at someone. Though I didn’t let that get to me. It was good to see Mum smiling for a change.
“Vala,” I heard my name being called, again. Alvy was looking at me with those big green eyes. It took me a minute to think of why he called me. I raced to our room, found the present and walked back to the living room. I handed the wrapped up pendant to him. He did a little dance in anticipation of his gift. He tore the wrapping off and stared in amazement, he brought it close to his face and observed every feature, taking much more care and time with it than he had with the other presents even Aunt Sally’s scarf!
“I love it,” he whispers, embracing. I saw a small tear glide down his cheek. Awww, I thought. This was one of the few moments I had found where my brother showed a deep pool of emotion. I saw Mum smile again but it was the happiest smile I’d ever seen before. “So where’s my present?” I asked while putting my hands on my hips and raising my right brow. He thought for a moment than answered by saying after cake with a smirk.
Then he lent in close to my ear and said “Pay back sis, payback”. Damn! I thought, I’ve been waiting all day for my present and now I have to wait even more. “Stupid karma,” I mumbled whilst Mum was fiddling with our cake in the kitchen.
While we were waiting for the cake I began to think of a way to get Alvy back. Maybe a trick candle on the cake or a whoopee cushion, no even better a fake spider in the back of his shirt. He hates spiders, I grin mischievously.
I was about to go begin my revenge when I heard Mum’s voice. I saw the cake, it was a roughly carved vanilla cake in the shape of a 14. It was iced with a mix of blue and green. Scrolled on it was ‘Happy Birthday Alvy.’ There was no sign of my name.
I let all my frustration out! “Where is my name?! My wish! My cake!” I shouted almost turning red. “It’s my birthday too. All yous care about is Alvy!”
“Vala, listen fo-,” I cut him off before he could finish his sentence. “I don’t care what you have to say,” by this time I couldn’t control myself, “I hate you Alvy. I HATE YOU!”
End of Chapter One
That's the end to chapter one, hoped you liked it and that it was 'ultimate' enough.