She’d been driving for ever, it would’ve been impossible to keep track of the time if she hadn’t had a radio and a watch near her. She had to be close, or else she’d just stop at the next gas station and ask for directions from the creepy guy who always sits there behind the cash register and stares from his newspaper. Her life had been everything but horrible, well, that is until she made the stupid mistake of going to Sand Lake, Michigan.
That was her life. Brook Hartwell’s life.
For a girl that came from what seem like the edge of the world, driving in the dry condition wasn’t too bad. Her long brown hair with highlights is down (they’re usually up in ponytail), and her soft skin hated the dust…it gets her skin and scalp itchy. It wasn’t like she wasn’t use to dust…being a runner, a soccer player, and a swimmer back home had gotten her used to the conditions beforehand. She was glad; kind of. At least, she had her bottle of lotion next to her so she can always replenish herself. Looking down at the map, she hopes she’s going in the right direction…or at least to somewhere she can stop and ask for directions from the locals. The motor under the hood of her silver mustang hummed gently along with the beat of her radio, kicking up bits of dirt and dust past her car door and down onto the road again. Now that she thought about it, the only reason she decided to go to Sand Lake for her last year of high school was because there was a nice lake there and a forest…what a way to spend her summer vacation as a senior, she often thought to herself. But now, being on the road, she wished she had taken the plane instead of driving her baby on the dusty road.
Then again, what’s she gonna drive when she arrives if she doesn’t take her mustang along?
Before long she realized she was no longer driving on roads where everywhere she looked were desert roads and sands. Bunches of trees showed up and wove a path deep down the road. Driving carefully and at a decent speed, she drove by a sign that read ‘Sand Lake, Michigan: next 2 miles’. She sighed with relief, knowing that she was on the right road and not on some freaky place like on the movie she saw recently…something called Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The next 2 miles went by quickly, and she slowed down when she reached yet another sign. ‘Sand Lake, Michigan city limit sign.’ Underneath the big one, there was another small one that said ‘The citizens of Sand Lake welcome you to the most peaceful place on Earth!’ She shrugged and thought that remark was kinda corny, reached to the passenger’s seat, and held out a letter. It was from the mayor of Sand Lake, mailed to her house a couple months ago.
Dear Brook Hartwell,
I have gotten your letter on attending and coming to our little down of Sand Lake, Michigan, for your last year in high school. We are more than welcomed to invite you to join us here in our little town. When you arrive, please check in with me and I’ll have someone take you around. Watch out, my secretary can be ruthless sometimes.
Your soon to be mayor,
Mr. James Winshelt
She nodded to herself after reading the letter, but looked back as she noticed something on the bottom of the page.
P.S. It might be quite a drive from California, but I’m sure you’ll be alright.
‘Great, now he tells me.’ Brook thought to herself. ‘Could’ve mentioned it in the main part of the letter, you know.’ Brook drove around the corner and followed the sign that said ‘Mayor’s office’ and came upon the large, white building with columns that imitated the Greeks and the Roman buildings. She parked her car near the door, got out, and shut the door tightly before she pressed the ‘auto-lock’ button on her keychain. Standing up straight and smoothing out her wrinkled cloth, she walked into the building. It was old looking for such a town, and the woman sitting at the front desk chewing gum while drinking coffee looked nowhere as young as any of the furniture. Brook walked over carefully, simply because she didn’t want to leave a crack in the old floorboards.
“Um…hi.” She said to the old lady at the desk, looking down at her with her own hazel eyes. The lady looked up from her eyes that were covered by her glasses. She squinted her eyes a little and stared at Brook.
“Who are you and what are you doing here for?” She asked in a loud voice. “Everyone’s suppose to be downtown helping with the festival!” It was then a kinda chubby man stepped out of the other room on the right side of the desk and smiled.
“Thanks for directing her, Mrs. Wilbert.” He walked towards Brook and shook her hand. “You must be Brook Hartwell. I’m Mayor Winshelt. Just call me James.” He had a warm smile, kinda like something you’d get from a grandpa or a really old uncle.
“Anyways, shall we start the tour?” Mayor James sat down in the mustang and put on the seatbelt. Brook pulled out of the parking lot and drove straight down the street.
“This are here is mostly houses, with a little shopping stalls here and there.” They drove further down the street, into an area near where the buildings stood. “Park your car here and we’ll walk for the rest of the way.” Brook, having used to getting into her car, getting out, and locking, she did it with ease. Walking down the pavement, she listened to the mayor as he told the history of the town Sand Lake. How the people have gotten here, the population, and the people itself. From what she learned, everyone’s pretty nice to each other.
“So…I heard from uh, Mrs. Wilbert…something about a festival…” Brook looked down at the pavement. “What’s that about?”
“Ah, the festival. It’s the annual festival we hold in the center of the town for a week, where we celebrate the history of Sand Lake and when it began as a simple little town. Based on the history, everyday is a different theme. Every day, there will be food and drinks and partying and recreation starting at noon, and on the last day of the celebration there will be a big feast out by the lake, along with fireworks up in the sky.” He turned and smiled at Brook. “You simply must attend. It’ll be loads of fun.”
“I’ll see. Maybe after I’m settled down.” Brook gave him a nervous chuckle.
“Oh, the festival itself isn’t until a month later!” The mayor laughed. “We’re getting ready early because we need plenty of food and fun, and that takes a while.” They took the first step into the town square. Indeed, everyone there was either busy decorating the fountain in the middle, preparing food, hauling in the fireworks, or ordering dozens of drinks on their phone.
“Come, Brook. This way.” He opened the door to the first store on the left hand side, which is a diner shop. Inside the diner was a bit dark, but the sunlight from outside lit it up as best as it can.
“Hey James.” The chef behind the cashier smiled.
“Hey Sean.” Mayor James sat down at the counter and beckoned Brook to join him. “Sean, this is Brook Hartwell. Brook, this is Sean McSteller.”
“Nice to meet you, miss.” He smiled. “How can I help you two?”
“Uh, get me the usual.” He chuckled. “Brook, what would you like?”
“Um…I’ll have a ice tea, if you guys have any.” Brook asked nervously. “Sweetened please.” Sean nodded and turned into the kitchen and started preparing what they ordered. There wasn’t much people in the diner, only a few old folks in the corner reading the newspaper while drinking coffee. A young man around the age of 19 walked in, wearing a dirty apron. He was carrying a beer crate and his spiky brown hair is now in a used-to-be position. Carrying the crates and watching where he was walking, he stumbled behind the counter and dropped off the crates in the kitchen.
“Order up!” Sean brought the food out for the mayor while the young man brought her drink.
“Brook, meet Alastair McKie. Alastair, this is Brook Hartwell, the new girl from the seaside.” Alastair’s sea blue eyes looked up at her and smiled.
“Nice to meet you, Brook.” Brook just smiled back and mouthed a hi, but didn’t say anything else.
“Alright, Alastair, get back to work.” Alastair groaned and walked away, but not before sneaking a smile in for Brook. Brook just stared down at her drink and took a sip.
“Ah, Alastair McKie. Fine boy, he is.” Mayor James chuckled as he dug into his food. “Fine boy he is…”
“Yeah…” Brook looked at the door from which Alastair had left from. “Fine boy he is, that’s for sure.”
(A/N: Hi guys! At the end of every chapter, I will so often put these little things that you see here...a/n, which means author's note for those who don't know. First chapter of first story on booksie.com, so yay! I hope you guys enjoyed that one, and I'll get started typing the second chapter ASAP!