Blogtember | Thursday, September 19:
Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence:
“To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.”
That simple thought entertained her mind between the mundane daily activities. Her mother had made sure her tutors had seen to keeping to the regular schedule, despite Zee’s many requests for taking the day off. While she sat in the classroom of solitude to write out the comparisons of life in modern times to centuries past, the world was busy without her. The entire compound was alive with bustling activity to prepare for the evening’s feast. The manor’s normal cold setting had been dressed up in in an occasion for celebration. Banners waved from the concrete walls of the compound and flowers decorated every space within. A constant flow of footsteps could be heard up and down the stairs of the five stories in the main house. In the center of it all, her mother like the queen bee, gave orders to everyone under her roof.
Zee sat with her books, her eyes gazing out the windows wanting to be anywhere but inside. Her tutor, a tall wiry man in his late fifties with no patience for daydreaming tapped his his cane on the wooden floor beneath her feet. With a slight jump, Zee regained her attention and focus to the task at hand. She recited the facts she had been taught to remember of wars, vengeance and victory. It all seemed like a bloody fairytale and surreal to her life behind fortified walls with guards. The line of men in her family had sacrificed much to give the future generations of successors the power to live comfortably without fear. It was in irony that Zee was made to feel like a prisoner within her city. The only place she had ever known to call ‘home’ and yet she yearned for something more. To have a voice and will away from guilt.
The dinner that was held that evening had been meticulously planned over the year past, each detail arranged by her parents. It was her rite of passage, a coming of age party to which everyone in her family had when they turned eleven years old. She had been told to be proud and to know the purpose of duty she carried as a member of the Daveed family. However nothing of this event, nor the dinner party seemed at all to interest the girl. While she admired the addition of the flowers it was only because they reminded me of the outside world. A place she would rather roam free and explore than bare another moment of etiquette lessons and history lectures.
Zee sat tall in her seat at the long table in the great hall of her the family manor. She sat flanked by her cousins Eli and Gabe who were older than her and home only for a couple more weeks of summer holiday. They talked on either side of her about their mischiefs at school, and their plans to win the tournament starting that autumn. It was only bits and pieces that she heard as she was lost in her own thoughts, creating art out of her food with her fork. It was then that that the doors opened loudly with urgency and purpose. With their disruption to the the dinner party a man ran in carrying what looked to be a letter addressed and still sealed in wax. It was given to her father who was siting by her mother, previously discussing with her uncle about the feast at hand. He ripped open the seal and had only managed to read a few sentences himself when his wife reading over his shoulder had blurted out, “Zee!”
Her fork hit her plate with a clang in a room that felt silent at the piercing yell from her mother down the table. She looked up as the heat flooded to her cheeks and a sickening anxious feeling tightened in her gut. She did not know what was happening. It felt as if the whole world was staring at her and in this moment everything would be going horribly wrong. For a girl who prayed at night for change for a way to escape this prison sentence of a life, it was in the throws of change that she felt real fear for the first time in her life.
Her mother did not have to speak a word further to let Zee know that she requested her presence immediately at her side. She knew her mother too well to read each syllable in one of her looks. Her chair pushed out from behind her, Zee stood up and walked down to where her parents were sat at the end of the table. Each step she made on the hard floor made a clicking sound and like a second hand of a clock she felt the ticking clicking foreboding to what was to come. She came close enough, swallowing hard hoping for something she could not anticipate as the fear of unknowing was readily taking her in whole. The letter was now pushed at her by her father as her mother’s lips pursed in anger.
Zee’s eyes fell from her mothers to the letter, holding it now in her hands as she began to read.
…to be continued.