I was cleaning up my files and found this little snippet from 2013... and realized, (as the character looks up at the night sky in story), that this was the ORIGINAL beginning of Pulled Under, which was my Camp NaNo Story from July 2016. This story has been playing with my head for so long, but I had no idea, HA!
The fact that I was returning to a place I should call home was mind numbing. I could remember sitting in the back seat as a child while my mother drove down the highway, and I was staring up at the vast mountains like they were little volcanoes about to erupt. Constantly, the car would be up and down the rolling hills, giving me butterflies in my belly that I’d giggle over. My mother said it was my stomaching dropping out of my bottom and onto the road. Then we’d sway through the endless forests that shielded the sun and kept the summers cool. There were no rivers that I could remember, but I could recall the babbling brooks, some not a foot wide, that cracked the landscape and filled the Lake that was the center of our little town.
Town? Maybe that was not the best word… a village maybe? No that wasn’t right either. There was land, and water, people and homes…but I couldn’t remember much else, if at all anything of the place I came from. One moment the memories were clear, the next, cloudy with a chance of doubt.
The gas nozzle clicked, breaking the night’s silence and me from my star-gazed thoughts as I hung it back up on the pump. The wind howled, forcing the cold fumes into my lungs so hard I had to cough, gaging on the taste of petrol. The scent alone burned my nose hairs and scratched the back of my throat. Quickly, I held what was left of my breath and hopped back into my green tracker, slamming the door before releasing my breath.
The smell of gasoline wasn’t as bad inside my vehicle as it was outside of it. I checked my mirrors, a good habit, despite that fact that no one else was at this particular gas station at three thirty in the morning. Why would they be? I caught my reflection in the mirror, noting the dark circles under my tired brown eyes and the way my wavy brown hair was staring to get greasy pulled back in its clip.
I shuffled in my spot; getting ready and comfortable for the end of my sixteen hour long drive. I pulled my seatbelt and clicked it in place. The crinkle of paper in my back pocket reminded me that it wasn’t in the best place it should be, especially because it was so important. Leaning to the side, I fished for the official document in the back of my jeans and pulled out the letter. A letter apparently from my great aunt’s attorney. An insignificant piece of paper, with the utmost important message, that had changed my modest life as a college graduate barely making it at a studio apartment, to a young woman who just inherited her dead great aunt’s estate and small fortune.
Without looking at the letter, I stuffed it in the glove box. With a turn of my key, the only one I had, my tracker affectionately known as Misty rumbled to life. We eased out of the quiet gas station, and pulled away, as if we were never even there.
I had an idea what the house looked like from a part of my childhood, but I wasn’t one hundred percent sure the house I was picturing was the one that was now mine. Where I was from, I couldn’t picture a building that wasn’t a house someone lived in; not a gas station, not a school, not a grocery store…maybe I came from a large private or gated community? But the letter didn’t say anything about a community. I was about the find out.
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Hey, I'm Maryah Stevens, a 25 year old, self-published, college graduate, married, 1st time mom! Phew!