This photo series has elements from a lot of different books that I've read or things that I've seen, however, the idea and storyline is completely my own!
This first part is pretty short, I just wanted to get it posted and all that and to sort of build suspense. :P I hope you enjoy reading it!
It was a gloomy Monday evening at Molly's grandparents' house. All of the adults were out for a dinner night while Molly and her siblings were stuck alone in the house. Molly had ventured upstairs into the attic because when the adults were home, she was never allowed up there.
Now, she stood at the top of the stairs. Everything around her was silent. She could no longer hear the voice of her older sister Jill scolding her little brother Brad. She couldn't hear the music that played or the fire that crackled in the fireplace. Now she was really alone.
Molly shivered a bit, but then she told herself rather sternly, "You chose to come up here, so stop shivering and do whatever it is you came up here to do."
The only problem was, that Molly didn't know why she had climbed the shaky stairs to the attic. Ever since she knew about the attic, she had had a burning desire to see what it was like. Molly had been in plenty of attics, but none drew her in quite like this particular one.
"What a disappointment," Molly said aloud, trying to make conversation with herself so she would feel less lonely, "The only thing here is an old wooden chair, a dusty fake evergreen wreath, and a fireplace that hasn't been lit in at least 50 years!"
Molly began to turn around to leave, but something caught her eye. There was a small window that cast the last few rays of sunlight upon a dusty corner. Molly's eyes scanned right over it, but then she did a double-take. There was the most beautiful box in the corner. It was green checked and Molly could see the inches of dust that had piled atop it.
Molly stood there, staring at it for a moment, as though the box could somehow be intimidating or dangerous. "Ah, it's just an old box. I may as well open it up," Molly shrugged and began to walk closer to it.
Bending over the wooden desk chair, Molly grabbed up the box delicately. She had no idea what to expect. Surely the box hadn't been touched in years and years.
She sat down in a lighted part of the attic and set the box on the floor in front of her.
She lifted the lid, sending a thick cloud of dust up around her. She sneezed a few times and then reached for the red ribbon that tied a stack of papers into the box.
Her fingers fumbled with anticipation and excitement and mystery as she undid the ribbon that was still bright red even after many, many years.
The papers had millions and millions of sentences and words written upon them. The handwriting varied, with some of the words spelled out in childish scrawl, while other pages were decorated with a very legible, fancy writing. "Ha! Some of these letters look like they were written in my handwriting!" Molly laughed at the coincidence.
She set about reading through them at first, but she couldn't understand what they were trying to say. "What are these letters talking about? Who in the world is this Ms. Coolidge that seems to be talked about so much?"
Molly continued to study the letters until the sun set so low that she could no longer read. The darkness of the attic and the comfortable temperature caused Molly to sit back and relax.
She closed her eyes for a moment and suddenly found herself standing up. The room was a little brighter and in place of the fake evergreen wreath, there hung a white apron.
"What on earth?" Molly gasped.
What had happened? Why was there an apron where the wreath had been, and why was she suddenly standing up. How had the lighting managed to become brighter?
Molly took the apron to try it on, wondering what would happen. Just then, a girl appeared at the top of the steps. Molly gasped and almost dropped the apron.
"Oh, Molly, I didn't mean to frighten you!" the girl smiled warmly. "But what are you doing up here all by yourself? Come on, Ms. Coolidge wants us in bed right away!"
"She does?" Molly asked. Who was Ms. Coolidge? Molly thought the name sounded familiar, but she couldn't quite place a finger on where she had heard - or read - the name.
"Yes," the girl nodded, "We all need to be in bed by 9:30. After all, we do get up at 5:30 to 6:00. Come on, follow me, I'll show you your bunk. Eleanor is your bunk partner. She's really nice, but of course, you know that, since you met at dinner."
"We did?" Molly was puzzled.
"Why, yes," the girl nodded, "Eleanor was the one who sat on your right side. I know the names and faces and routine are all confusing at first, but soon all of it will become familiar."
"What are you talking about? I don't understand at all! What's going on?" Molly blurted out.
"What do you mean?" the girl replied, "I don't think I understand what you are saying, Molly."
"Well," Molly began, "I never ate dinner with you, I have no idea who Ms. Coolidge is, I've never met or sat with a girl named Eleanor, and of course this place is familiar, it's my grandparents house - or it was. It looks so different now. Oh, and I've never met or seen you in my entire life.""Are you sure?" the girl wore a worried expression.
"Well yes I'm sure!" Molly replied, beginning to get agitated. "I have no idea what you are talking about!"
"Oh dear," the girl shook her head. "Sometimes change can really shock girls in your situation. It is understandable. I recommend some rest. In the morning, you won't be so confused."
"What do you mean by 'situation'? Where am I anyway?" Molly began to get a little scared. This girl was too calm and quiet to seem like a child. She wore a somber expression and had dark circles under her eyes. She looked unwell.
"You are standing on the 3rd floor of the Main Street Home for Girls," the girl replied.
"What is your name?" Molly asked.
"Mary Grace or Maggie," Mary Grace replied.
"I must be going crazy or something. Last time I checked, I was Molly McIntire age 12, visiting my grandparents house with my three siblings, Jill, Brad, and Ricky and my parents."
"Oh my, oh my," Mary Grace shook her head.
"What?" Molly asked; slightly alarmed.
"I do think you are shocked, because last time I checked, you were Molly McIntire, age 12, whose parents had just recently died. You had no siblings," Mary Grace replied gently. "You need some rest I think."
"Maybe," Molly had nothing left to do but shrug and follow Maggie helplessly.
They reached the bunk beds, which were in a large room - the house seemed so much bigger than the house Molly remembered as her grandparents' house.
"Now get some rest, Molly, please do," Maggie nudged her towards the mattress.
Molly just nodded. Perhaps she would wake up and things would be back to normal.
"Now I will be in the top bunk, resting too. Eleanor should be in to join us for sleep soon. We all like to try and get some sleep tonight, because two nights from now, on Wednesday, Ms. Coolidge leaves for the evening and we have the whole facility to ourselves. We like to stay up late and enjoy ourselves on Wednesdays."
"Oh, okay," Molly nodded weakly as she sank back into the mattress.
The light dimmed in the room as the sun set more, and soon Molly could see other girls entering the room to sleep.
But Molly could not get to sleep, no matter how hard she tried. The other girls around her seemed to sleep fine, except for the occasional younger girl who would cry out or others whose whispery chatter filled the air. There was no doubt in Molly's mind that this would be a long, long night...
Part #1 is over! Please let me know what you think in the comments! Thank you for reading!