Shattered and Alone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 2 (v.1) - Stowaway

Submitted: July 23, 2011

Reads: 34

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Submitted: July 23, 2011

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Stowaway

Lydia Stellar was awakened from a dead sleep by an energetic pounding on her door. She slowly opened her eyes and glared at the door, wondering who dared get her up at this hour.

"What?" she grumbled. Luke Mcoy burst in, hazel eyes aglow with excitement. The ten-year-old boy was still in his pjs, light brown hair sticking up everywhere.

"We found a stowaway!" he gasped.

"A stowaway?" Lydia sighed, pulling the covers over her head. "Throw him off."

"No, it’s a girl! And she’s passed out, and she isn’t wearing hardly anything, and she’s got all these cuts and scrapes everywhere, and Jake’s with her, and he wants you to come right away!"

"Alright, I’m coming!" Lydia assured quickly he took a breath, then heaved herself off her cot and followed him down the train. Luke was almost literally bouncing off the walls in excitement, thrilled that he’d been the one to find a real live stowaway, thrilled to be showing off his find to Lydia, and thrilled just to be awake and about at that time of night.

"I was checking the new elephant we got." he explained, dancing around Lydia as she trudged on. "Just to make sure it was doing okay, this being its first move and everything. But when I turned the light on, there was this girl lying in the middle of the car! I thought she was sleeping, but when I touched her she didn’t move. Then I thought she was dead, and ran out to get Jake, not because I was scared or anything, but…just because. Jake came, and made sure she was still breathing, and sent me to get you!"

"I see." Lydia grunted, still partially in the realm of sleep, and half wondering if all the fuss was just a joke. Jake was notoriously well known among the circus folk for playing such pranks.

All her doubts vanished, however, when she entered the elephant car and saw Jake holding a young girl.

She looked about fifteen, with light brown skin and dark brown hair razor cut to the middle of her back and dripping water. She was barefoot, and what little clothing she had on was soaking wet. Her dangerously slim form looked even smaller against Jake’s tall, broad-shouldered, muscular frame.

The first thing that came to Lydia’s mind was the fact that Jake, a nineteen-year-old teenager, was holding a barely clothed fifteen-year-old girl.

"Jake! Put her down and get out of here!" she ordered. Jake flashed her an elfish grin and gently placed the girl back in the straw.

"Alright, I’m leaving. C’mon Luke, let’s go."

"Get Madeline while you’re at it." Lydia continued. "And find a blanket!"

"Gotcha." Jake vanished out the door, pulling a protesting Luke behind him. She watched them go, shaking her head in exasperation. Jake was famed for his love of pretty girls, and this girl was certainly no exception.

Madeline came rushing in a few minutes later, still blinking the sleep out of her grey eyes.

"Oh the poor dear!" she gasped, hurrying over. "She’s been running around in that?! On a night like this?!"

Lydia shrugged. "Guess so. She okay?"

Madeline was a sweet, dotting woman in her mid fifties, and the circus nurse. She had been a terrific acrobat in her prime, but a fall off the high wire had prompted her to retire, instead taking up the life of a doctor.

After a quick, gentle examination, Madeline pronounced the mysterious girl suffering from cold, exhaustion, and several cuts and scrapes, mostly superficial. Jake arrived with a blanket, and pointedly turned his back while the two woman wrapped her in it.

"How is she?" he asked.

"She’ll survive." Lydia assured.

"Will we keep her?"

"Well…" Lydia hesitated. They didn’t know anything about this girl, but they couldn’t simply throw her off, that was clear. "I guess for tonight anyway."

"Great!"

"Yes, I’m sure you’re very happy to hear that. Here, you can take her to the empty room next to yours. But stay out of that room, understand?"

"Sure, whatever." Jake shrugged, them scooped up the girl and headed for the living section of the long circus train. Lydia collapsed back in the straw, to tired to think of going all the way back to her room. The two elephants housed in that car had been hovering in the corners, watching the scene, but now they plodded over, waving their trunks.

"Hello Kalu." she greeted softly. The other elephant nudged her with its trunk, and she smiled. "Hello to you too, Taj."

Madeline climbed to her feet. "Well, I’m off to bed again. See you tomorrow!"

"Night Madeline. Oh, about tomorrow, could you dig up some clothes for the girl, and get her presentable tomorrow morning? I want her suitably clothed before I start questioning her.

"I’ll be happy to."

"Great! Thanks."

Madeline left, headed back to her soft, warm bed. Lydia stayed with the elephants for a few minutes longer, then forced herself to make the long trek down the train to bed.


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