Thirty In Thirty Day 17
Once again, the rebel in me rejected the prompt for today provided by storyaday.org. There was nothing wrong with the prompt but it wasn’t the right one for me today. I may use it at another time. I did an internet search of prompts and found one that worked.
Prompt: The streets were deserted.
Exploring more of my middle grade fantasy by letting my protagonist, Olen, take the stage.
Detention again. And ten lashes on my back in front of the whole class. Master Roberts was quite angry that I interrupted his lesson to ask about Before. I didn’t cry out or shed any tears, which I think provoked him to strike me harder on the last few. My back smarted the rest of the day and the other boys steered clear of me at lunch and recess. No one wants to be seen with a boy who breaks the rules so often. I understand. It isn’t safe to question the laws or the Master. It is better this way. At least now that they are avoiding me I get beat up less often.
Detention was two hours of reading the Tirren Code of Laws aloud to Master Roberts over and over. I’ve done it so many times already that I have them mostly memorized. But recalling them is not the same as believing them. After all this time I can keep reading the words and think about something else entirely. Today I thought about the stories Mama told me about the Great Sea. I would like to see that one day, if it even exists anymore.
When he finally dismissed me with a stern warning, Master Roberts left quickly and was out of sight by the time I reached the door. As I headed toward home something felt strange. The streets were deserted. There was no one else about. No boys playing tag, no women gathering in wash from the clothes lines, no peddlers with their carts. No one at all. I felt the hair prickle on the back of my neck. Where was everyone? I hurried down the hill toward our cottage with a sense of fear growing in my chest.
When I opened the door Mama wasn’t in her chair. The fireplace was empty and cold. I called out, but there was no answer. Then I noticed the note on the table.