|Olivia Mandle closed her eyes slowly, folded the parchment of the weathered paper in her hand, and yelled out in frustration. That was all she could do. She pulled herself together and bit her lip. After staring at the unbelievable journal entry for what it seemed like forever, the 14-year old freshman gazed at the beach horizon and mumbled, "How is this even possible?"
She was answered with the roar of the waves chrashing on the nearby rocks on the shore. The sea-salt breeze danced with her long, golden-brown hair and sent a minor chill up her spine. Hugging her body in desperation to fight off the cold, she walked away towards her home. The paper folded in one arm, she clenched her teeth as she felt the familiar pain jolting up her thigh. It was a great punishment for her just to walk. Her right leg was crippled by an unfortunate lightning strike just a couple of months ago. Because the bones couldn't heal properly, the doctor put her on crutches before doing further more surgeries. The crutches weren't that comfortable either.
"Blake..oh Blake, what am I going to do with you," she thought in her mind as she entered her house.
The confused teenager sighed with gratitude to see her orange cat, Tigger, snoozing near the fire, as usual. Olivia bent down, as best as she could, her left arm still clasping the paper, and stroked Tigger with a trembling finger.
"Meow," whined the striped kitten sleepily.
She chuckled softly, and walked up stairs to the only destination where she knew she wouldn't be disturbed.
Olivia swung herself towards her parent's room, into the closet, and found her mouth having a chunkful of rotting wood in the hasty process. Ignoring the familiar copper taste of blood on her lips, she grabbed out blindly and managed to locate the ladder. It took a quite amount of effort for the girl to haul herself up and open up the sideways facing door. The ladder wasn't even tall enough to reach it, so she had to hang on the dusty floor of the attic room, kick off the last ladder step, and ,hopefully, manage to bring her body up in the room. She succeeded, to her amazement. She had fallen countless times before.
Breathless, Olivia laid down on the creaking, wooden floor, gasping heavily from her great ordeal. Her leg was shaking terribly, sending small, painful quivers in her right side. She rested her right hand on the badly shakened leg in an effort to make it stop hurting. The girl stood up slowly. Her brown eyes scavenged about the mess of litter and countless old portraits of her ancestors. Olivia searched for her crutches, but groaned when she had realized that she had left them down in the closet while she was climbing up the ladder. Annoyed, she hobbled over with one foot towards her favorite chair. It was old and smelled really bad, like a newly opened sharpie marker. Patches had been torn off through its years of hardship, but it had a set of armrests and was quite comfortable to sit in.
After settling in, she reached into her jacket pocket to reveal the plastic bottle she had found the journal entry inside. It washed upon the shore, right at Olivia's feet..like it was meant for her. She put the bottle down on a nearby desk and examined it. Most of the label was lost from the constant force of the tidal waves it had embarked on. It was one of those old, French bottles of wine. Strangely enough, it was expired..since 1642.
"Is this a magic bottle or what," asked Olivia out loud to the stillness.
I must have gone mad! she thought.
Seeping herself deep into the chair, she surveyed the small room. Her eyes came to a stop at her leg, the crippled one. Giving out a loud sigh, she simply picked up the paper containing Blake's adventure so far.
"Ok, if your not pulling a joke on me Blake, I guess I should write back, no?"
Ugh! Olivia cursed softly for talking to herself again. It was a natural habit of hers that she absolutely hated. Then, for the first time, she began to feel lonely. I mean, yeah, she wasn't popular and her only friend was Blake, but she never really felt such an eerie sensation before in her heart.
Picking up a pencil, she began to write. Honestly, Olivia had NO IDEA what was happening! It seemed that something was pushing her, FORCING her to write all her worries, feelings, true emotions right into the little scrap of paper she had found. Words raced across neatly in spidery handwriting. She felt powerful, excitement began to build up inside her. Her eyes flickered wildly, and her hand began to feel heavy.
Ending with her signature, the teenager rolled up the letter and began to attempt at opening the bottle. It wouldn't budge. Frustrated, she pulled harder ,with her whole fist this time, to take off the metallic screw. It came off, but not exactly as Olivia would have planned.
It came off with a loud POP! A leaky aroma escaped out, engulfing the room.
A rather confused and scared Olivia coughed once, then twice and rasped out, "What the **** is happening?!"
She fell in a heap at the floor.
~ Two Hours Later ~
"She's waking Mom! Look!" exclaimed a high voice.
"Olivia, honey, can you hear me? Oh good Lord, please wake up!"
"Uh?" she muttered finally, her mind still foggy and her eyes closed.
"Oh thank goodness! Honey, come on, get up. What happened?" asked her mother desperately.
"Fhhhh," sputtered out Olivia.
"I think she's dead," joked her older brother, Thomas.
"Shut up!" snapped her mother angrily.
"Mom..mom, it's ok..really, I'm fine," Olivia mumbled.
She got up, ignoring her mother's hand. Resting herself on a ledge, she said that nothing was wrong.
Her mind finally cleared and realized the whole "magic bottle" incident earlier.
"Oh mom? Did you happen to see a bottle or letter in the attic?"
Her mom thought for a while and replied, "No, there was nothing sweetheart."
"Olivia, are you SURE your ok?" her mom asked one last time.
"I'm fine!" lashed Olivia, a little annoyed with her mother's constant concerns.
She trudged outside, grabbing her crutches. Ignoring the calls of her worried mom, she swung herself to the beach.
Right now, her mom was REALLY WORRIED. Her father came home shortly after, to find his wife chewing her fingernails like there was no tomorrow.
"Geez Tanya, what's the matter with you today? You look a bit antsy," said her dad.
"It's Olivia. That girl is really starting to worry me," answered her mother.
"It's not her grades again, is it?" asked the tired father.
"No, that's not it. She passed out in the attic earlier this afternoon."
"She appeared to be somewhat..changed after her ordeal. I'm worried Robert."
"Let her be. By the way, what's for dinner?"
Not seemingly wanting an answer anyway, Robert walked past Tanya to the kitchen. Something isn't right! she thought. Everything is in a mix-up ever since that girl was struck by lightning!
She sighed heavily.
"What even bothers me more are her eyes," the mom whispered to herself.
It was indeed true. Olivia's once beautiful, dark brown eyes had turned to a faint shade of blue.