Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Chapter One of my NaNo story

Chapter One
“Feo, are you alright?” asked her mother walking into her daughter’s bedroom. It was morning and she had been woken by Feadora’s screams.
Feo opened her eyes to the sound of her mother’s concerned voice. The morning sun was peeking through the crack in the curtains. She watched the dust motes dancing in the ray of light letting her mind wonder to thoughts of cleaning her bedroom again, dusting especially.
“Yes, sorry I’m OK thanks mom,” she replied with a heavy sigh. “It was just a dream.”
“The same dream you’ve been having for a while?”
“No, no, this was a different one,” she lied, wiping her sweat drenched fringe from her face. “I’ll be fine in a minute.”
“OK, well, you're going to be late for work if you don't get up soon.”
Feadora nodded and stretched. Her mother left the room.
She lay there in her bed for a moment thinking about the dream. Her mother was right. It was the same dream that she had been having for a while now. It had been plaguing her her for several weeks and was beginning to impact on her life. The young girl in her dream was so terrified. Every dream was different but all had the same theme. A young kidnapped girl being tied up and tortured. Last nights dream hit a whole new level. She was sure the girl had been raped by her captor. Feo could almost feel her pain. Everytime she closed her eyes she was right back in that dark and dingy room with – him. She never once saw his face.
Trying to shake the images from her head, Feo sat up and swung her legs over the bed. Checking the clock she realised there was only an hour before she had to be at work, and raced to get in the shower. Work was in the local burger bar. Leaving school with virtually no qualifications had hit her life bad, and that was about the only job was hiring. Her mother had tried to convince her that re-sitting at college would be much more beneficial but Feo had decided the more money she could make, the quicker she could get out of this godforsaken town. In a small town like Cheslyn, everyone knew your business. There were no secrets.
Turning on the shower, Feo let the water run while hunting her bedroom for a clean uniform. The steam from the bathroom filled the landing and crept into the bedroom. Closing the wardrobe doors, Feo turned around and froze. As the steam from the bathroom swirled around her room, it began to take on the shape of a person. A girl, a young girl. It swirled around Feo, a voice echoing in her head.
Help me Feo, help me, please.
Feo screamed and waved her arms about her head, cutting through the steam, trying to make it go away. It filled the room until she couldn't see anything. Huddled on the floor she squeezed her eyes shut begging for the voice to go away.
“Feo, Feo, is everything alright?”
Feo slowly opened one eye and then the other. The steam had left her room but filled the landing outside her door.
“Feo, what the hell are you doing?” cried her mother racing up the stairs.
Clambering to her feet, Feo looked around the room. Had she fallen asleep and dreamt the whole thing? She could hear the shower running in the bathroom.
“I-I must have fallen asleep,” she stuttered, as she shakily headed for the bathroom. Her mother had beaten her to it and turn the shower off.
“Were you actually planning on taking a shower this morning?”
“Yeah, I was. But forget the shower, I'm going to be late.”
“Damn straight you are,” her mother stated angrily. “What were you doing?”
“Mum, not now, I have to get to work.” Feo walked back into her bedroom and slammed the door behind her.
“This isn't finished young lady,” cried her mother from the other side of the door. "Mark my words!”
Laying her uniform out on her bed, Feo began to get out of her pyjama's. She thought about the strange voice calling out to her. Was it at all connected to her dream? She had never heard that voice before. In her dreams the girl never spoke. Not even a whimper. It was as if she was mute. Surely these dreams didn't mean anything more than eating too much junk food late at night.
But there was no time to think about it, she had to get to work. Burgers needed to be flipped and money needed to be earned.
* * *
“Late again, Miss Banderaz,” said Mr Coslack, tutting and tapping his watch at the door. “That would make it three times this week.”
“I'm so sorry, Mr Coslack,” puffed Feo, rushing through the doors and ripping open her coat. She threw her ruck sack onto one of the tables and grapped an apron from behind the counter.
“And what have I told you about coming to work in your uniform? You get changed when you arrive Feadora, not before you leave the house. It is un-hygienic.”
“I know, I know. I got up late and thought it'd be quicker just to put it on and race on over here. It won't happen again Mr Coslack.”
Mr Coslack shook his head and sighed. He was a tolerant but firm man. He expected the rules to be followed, but believed that everyone makes mistakes. He had been tolerating Feo, ever since he had given her a job and there was only so much he could take.
“Feadora, this is happening way too often now. There are a hundred other kids who want this job and many that would do a much better job. But I know that you need the money so I am prepared to give you one last chance. Consider this your final warning.”
Feo, hung her head and nodded. She understood him all too well. He was a fair man and she had been messing up way too many times recently. At work and at home. She needed this job and was grateful to her boss for allowing her to prove to him she could work harder. She nodded and looped the apron over her head, tying it in a bow at her back.
“Now get to work.” He smiled and winked at Feo. She smiled back, grabbed her bag from the table and hurried into the staff room to put her things away in her locker.
* * *
Coslack Burger Bar, was central to the town of Cheslyn. Most of the kids from the two schools came here every lunchtime and many of the workers from the other shops near by. It didn't bother her that she waited on girls from her high school, that once looked up to her. It didn't even bother her that her mother and grandmother would often come in for a burger meal. What did bother Feo, was knowing that until she had enough money for her over sea's trip, she would spend every morning, noon and night, flipping burgers and salting fries and going home every night with her once beautiful blonde hair, stinking of smoke and grease. It was times like these, that she wished she hadn't goofed off so much at school, and actually knuckled down and studied. Maybe if she had gotten a few more qualifications, she may have been working a better job, paying more money and better prospects. Not that she would have stayed in the job for any length of time. As soon as she had enough for a round the world plane ticket and plenty of spending money, it would have been a case of 'goodbye job, goodbye mum, hello Hawaii!' At least in a better paid job, her dreams would realise much sooner. But no, she was destined to serve fat slobs who ate nothing but fast food, and snickering cliques of girls from her old school, laughing behind her back about how tragic the Famous Feadora Banderaz – school joker and detention queen, had become. Not that any of that mattered much anymore. If she didn't get her at together soon, she would once again be out of a job with no chance of getting a good reference.
Feo stood in front of the fryer, silently watching the round slabs of meat sizzle, the smoke rising and swirling around the kitchen. She thought about what had happened in her bedroom.
Help me Feo, help me, please!
The voice swirled around her head as did the smoke, until another voice, an angry one, broke through her thoughts.
“Hello? Can I order please?” an angry customer was shouting from the other side of the bar.
Samantha, one of the waitress's, walked into the kitchen clutching a bowl of rubbish under one arm. She was more of a bus girl, collecting the rubbish from the tables, but occasionally took the odd order. But today, Mr Coslack had put Feo on the till as well as the kitchen in an attempt to fire up her work attitude.
“Feo, aren't you serving today?” asked Samantha, dumping a load of empty coke cups and burger boxes into the bin. “You do realise you have a customer right?”
“I think everyone realises, his mouth is big enough,” she muttered under her breath.
Mr Coslack appeared in the door way to his office. He leaned up against the door frame and crossed his arms. Feo glanced at him then averted her eyes as she wiped her hands on her apron and moved to acknowledge the angry customer.
“Yes sir, what can I get you,” Feo asked through gritted teeth, a fake smile planted across her face.
“Some lunch before lunchtime is over, would be nice,” replied the man sarcastically.
“Sorry about that sir, I was just getting some burgers ready. Now, what would you like to order?”

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