The Butterfly Hunt

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is actually just a story opening that i had to do for my 'origional Writing' course work for English GCSE, I got an A* for it! I cant decide whether to actually continue with it as i havent actually decided what happens in the rest of the story. I hope you like it as much as my English teacher did.

Submitted: July 18, 2009

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Submitted: July 18, 2009

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Story Opening
 
On this particular rainy autumn day, Cecelia was hunting butterflies; her aim was to catch them and draw them and then set them free from her bedroom window. She carried with her a large net, the type you would normally use for fishing in rock pools, a box with a large window and air holes punched in the side and a sketch book already brimming with intricate drawings of all sorts of creatures. She was wearing black, knee high leather boots, her best navy blue dress and a straw hat which was all somehow soaking wet and caked in mud. Her hair was tied in two long plaits that trailed down her back like big hairy caterpillars, the left was tied with ribbon but the right seemed to have come lose and the ribbon been lost so the plait was slowly unravelling itself much to its owner’s displeasure. Cecelia fiddled with it, trying to keep it in its place whilst she stormed through the thick wood on edge of her father’s estate. She must have been freezing; her face was pearly white and her arms teeming with goose-pimples. She was moving at such a pace that someone was struggling to keep up.
 
“Wait!” screeched Johnnie, from somewhere behind the dense branches.
“Why should I?” yelled back Cecelia without turning around and without stopping.
“’Cause I’ve got one, I’ve got one!” Cecelia continued on through trees obviously not interested in what ever Johnnie had found.
“Celia, please stop” Cecelia didn’t stop but her pace did slow allowing Johnnie to catch up. Just as he reached out to tap her shoulder she turned suddenly, so her face was so close to his that he could feel her breathing heavily against his cheeks.
“Why should I wait for you Johnnie you stupid little boy, look at me,” she shouted stretching out her arms, “my best dress is covered with mud and I’ve lost one of my new ribbons, mothers going to kill me and it’s all your fault.” Johnnie wasn’t a little boy; he was actually the older of the two, though you wouldn’t think it. “Go home!” she spat in his face and continued on her way as fast as she could.
“But look what I found!” This last comment fell on deaf ears as Cecelia was already out of sight.
 
Johnnie continued to follow at his own pace. He was taller and lankier than Celia and his attire was considerably scruffier too, despite the fact hers was covered in mud. His waistcoat was torn and unwashed, his shirt moth-eaten and his cap only just big enough to rest precariously upon his head. His age was obvious due to a light moustache appearing on his upper lip. He acted young for a boy of his age and this allowed Cecilia to take total control of their relationship, which was sometimes unsteady.
 
It was clear that he was not from a family as wealthy a Cecelia’s, but then not many were. Her family owned most of the land for miles around so she would spend days exploring and sometimes Johnny would be lucky enough to accompany her. He was carrying the same as Celia though the window of his box was cracked and his net had a large hole in it. It was surprising that he had caught anything at all. In his box there was a butterfly, all blue and fluttery and delicate, his first catch and Cecelia hadn’t even looked at it.
It wasn’t his fault that she had fallen in the stream, she should have been more careful.
 It was a pleasant day, not too sunny or too chilly and the wooded areas were beautiful. Below his feet wild flowers grew on the ground in many shades of pinks, blues and yellows and above his head the sun shone through the leaves making the light look green on the path. Ahead of him the trees opened out into a clearing and there was Cecelia, as still as a statue, looking up at the trees; Johnnie guessed she had spotted a butterfly. As he approached she lifted her net ready to pounce. Johnnie observed her out stretched arm, underneath the mud the skin would be pale and smooth, yet the arm wasn’t just muddy, there was a large pool of blood seeping out of a deep cut under her elbow, and making a black stain on her sleeve.
 
“Celia, look at your arm!” he screeched making her jump just as she brought her net down to catch the butterfly. The net missed and in a blink the beautiful insect was gone.
There was an awkward silence and Celia did not turn around, she just carried on staring at where the butterfly had been. Johnny couldn’t see her face, but her body was so still and shivering from the cold. He wanted to reach out and comfort her but he knew she would just reject him again.
 
 “I hate you,” she whispered after a minute or so “I hate you”
“Your, your arm.” he stuttered, wanting to help her.
“I know my arm is bleeding but what can I do about it?” She sulked and sat down on a large rock. ”Anyway I though I told you to go away.” She was speaking slower now, like she was past the point of anger,
“Sorry, it’s just…..”
“How many times do I have to tell you, go home! You’re not allowed to play with me Johnnie, I said that.”  
“But why?” He replied, it was probably the tenth time she’d mentioned it that morning but she never said why.
“Because you’re just not, ok?”
“But I don’t understand, it’s normally fine for me to play with you, Why Celia, Why?”
“Because...” She needed a moment to think about what she would say next. She wanted to, it was just… “Because...” She had to tell him the truth.


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