Sunday, November 8, 2015

NaNoWriMo: Jumping ahead - Chapter 7

I decided not to post chapters 4-6 not because they don't exist (trust me they do) or because I they're not good but I thought it would be fun to jump ahead a bit. Here's the recap of what happened since my last post: We meet Lydia, Iris's best friend, Land of Legends gears up for the Fourth of July, Charlie makes another appearance, and Iris decides not to buy contraband lip gloss. I also wrote an entire paragraph about nail polish brands from the 90s. Please excuse any typos, misspellings, or grammar issues.

Chapter Seven

    Virginia summers are not for the faint at heart. The heat wasn’t so bad; it was the humidity that always got to Iris. It wasn’t ideal for spending time outside. As July faded into August, Iris spent less time in her drawing grove and more time indoors. Iris hadn’t meant to abandon her hiding place but she found that she couldn’t accomplish that much when it was so hot and humid. She hadn’t really spent all that much time outside since the Fourth of July; her dad let her sign up for art classes three days a week and she spent other days with Lydia or with her grandma. Today would be an exception. Today she was walking the park with her grandpa.
    Walking the park wasn’t something new to Iris. She often met up with her grandpa on summer afternoons, walking around the park with him to greet visitors and check on how things were going in each display area. Her grandpa would tell her stories about the creatures in each area; why he picked the Chimera over the Cyclops for example or why there was only one type of fairy in the Fairy Forest rather than the dozens Iris knew existed in folklore. He also shared stories about her dad when he was her age. He loved the park as much if not more than her grandpa and had spent his summers much like Iris. He drew the creatures and designed new displays he hoped to build one day. Daniel was Land of Legends as much as her grandpa was.
    Today was different. Her grandpa asked her to walk the park with him first thing in the morning. He never asked anyone to do that. The morning walk was his time in the park, before visitors and workers came in, before the the park really came alive. Iris wasn’t sure why he picked today; she suspected it was because her birthday was next week and this was part of her birthday present. Secretly, she hoped he would tell her the creatures were all real and they came to life when the moon was full. She figured being thirteen was important to that process. She hoped the walk would be all about her grandpa telling her how to care for the creatures when they did come alive. Iris knew this was silly and childish but that didn’t keep her from hoping it was true.
    She dressed carefully in her favorite shorts and a pink Land of Legends t-shirt. It had Pegasus and a mermaid on it. Iris probably had every t-shirt and sweatshirt available from the shop. Her favorites included one with unicorns and a newer version featuring the Kraken and the ship. She hadn’t worn that one yet but decided against it for today. Today seemed more like a Pegasus kind of day.
    Iris didn’t want to be late for her walk. She set two alarms so she’d get up on time. She could hear her grandma in the kitchen and smell coffee. Her dad was probably up already too. Iris made her way down to the kitchen for breakfast.
    “Well you’re up early today.” Her grandma was not used to seeing Iris up so early.
    “I’m going on a park walk with grandpa today. Didn’t he tell you?” Iris sat down and drank a glass of apple juice. She only drank apple juice in the mornings.
    “How ever could I forget? It’s a big day. I’m not even allowed to go on morning park walks with your grandpa.” Maeva smiled at her granddaughter. She hadn’t seen Iris this excited since the Fourth of July.
    “Why do you think he asked me to go? He never does.” Iris poured herself a bowl of Fruit Loops; she had Fruit Loops for breakfast every Friday.
    “Who knows? You know your grandpa likes to do whatever he wants. It’s one of the reasons we opened Land of Legends in the first place. Do you want some toast with your Fruit Loops?”
    “No thank you and you know I can make toast on my own. You don’t have to do everything for me.”
    “I know, honey, but I like doing these sorts of things. It’s my job.” Maeve patted Iris on the shoulder.
    Iris loved her grandparents. None of her friends lived with their grandparents; most of her friends only saw their grandparents a few times during the year. She felt lucky to have them in her life so much. Between her grandma and Aunt Bronwyn it was like she had two moms. She was looking forward to her makeover next week with Aunt Bronwyn and the cake her grandma made every year. Birthdays were a big deal in the Mason household. Iris was getting excited and it was still a week away.
    Her dad came into the kitchen next. He gave Iris a kiss on the top of her head and sat down for coffee. Daniel never ate breakfast despite the fact that he made Iris. He told her when she was old enough she could make those decisions on her own but until then, she had to eat breakfast every day. She wasn’t sure how old she had to be but figured it was not almost thirteen or even thirteen.
    “Are you excited about your walk with grandpa?” Daniel grabbed the paper.
    “It’s going to be fun,” replied Iris. She was trying not to appear too excited.
    “It’s pretty cool. He did the same thing when I turned thirteen. It was a big day.”
    Iris didn’t know about that. “Did he do the same thing for Aunt Bronwyn?”
    “Not that I know of. She never really took to Land of Legends like I did or you do. She works her because she can in the summers not because this is her life’s work. Land of Legends is not really a career but a life choice. Maybe Grandpa thinks you’re going to take all of this over one day.”
    “I don’t know, Dad, that’s a big deal. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. What if I want to be an artist or be a teacher or I don’t know, be an astronaut?”
    “Don’t worry about it, Iris. Grandpa just wants to share it with someone and he picked you. You’re going to have fun.”
    Just as he said that her grandpa came into the kitchen. “Are you ready, Iris? We’ve got a lot to do this morning.”
    “I just have to put my bowl in the sink.” Iris got up and rinsed her bowl out. She turned to her grandpa. “Ready.”
    “Let’s go walk the park.” Grandpa took Iris’s hand and they left the kitchen.
    Maeve and Daniel exchanged a look. “You shouldn’t tell her those things, Daniel. She doesn’t have to stay here and run the park. Iris should be able to do whatever she wants in life. You didn’t have to come back either; you made a choice. Don’t make this a bigger deal than it is.” Maeve wanted more for Iris than Land of Legends and running a roadside attraction. She wanted more for Iris than Saunders. Maeve wanted Iris to know that she could do anything that she wanted to do.
    “You can’t say that it’s not entirely true. You know Dad wants Iris to take over one day. It’s not going to happen for a long time obviously but it’s what he wants. I want Iris to do whatever she wants to do but that’s not going to stop Dad from trying his best to get her to stay here. She loves Land of Legends. You’ve seen all her drawings and there’s nothing wrong with him encouraging her to take on the family business. If that’s what she wants. I tried something else and came back. Maybe she’ll do the same.”
    “You better do everything in your power to make sure she knows that there is more to life than Saunders. Do you understand me?” Maeve took her granddaughter’s future very seriously.
    “I know, Mom. Iris will do whatever Iris wants to do. Don’t worry.” He finished his coffee and left to start his day. “I promise.”

No comments:

Post a Comment