Chapter 1 - part iSarah let the bed catch her; the hard college mattress a firm and unwelcome reminder that she was not yet done unpacking. She sprawled out with her flip-flops dangling just off the bottom edge, her curly, dirty blonde hair framing her pretty little face. Her slim tummy peeked out from above her jeans and below her knotted green t-shirt. Her desk was piled with odd-sized boxes and an almost empty hutch.
It took her several long moments to will herself up from the bed to continue. Her parents probably weren't off of the campus yet, their car just one of a thousand arriving and departing with freshmen for the dorms. Sporty, summer clothes found their way into the inadequate closet and dresser. Winter clothes in a large, gray plastic bin were stuffed under the bed. Personal belongings and knickknacks were arranged on the desk, but when she went to put away the new books she found something odd.
The hutch came with the room and so did two other leftovers: a little porcelain gingerbread house and an old, ratty copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales. She left them on their little section of the shelf, shaking her head a bit, and went out for a bite.
The roommate was nice enough, the campus was crowded with bright-eyed and bushy-tailed teens overwhelmed and enthusiastic about the start of their first semester of college. The dining halls were oddly excellent; and Sarah chided herself later about indulging on the very first afternoon there. The hot, humid climate was made not only bearable, but pleasant by an unseasonably cool breeze.
Eventually the need for an early start in the morning drew her back to her room, to her now adequately padded bed. After climbing into loose, thin pajamas she readied to throw herself down on the bed as she'd done earlier, when the little ornament and old book caught her eye.
Her roommate warned her, as had so many others, to watch out for the 'freshman 15,' in particular due to the desserts at the main dining hall. After a brief: 'sleep tight!' Sarah drew Grimm's Tales from the shelf and curled up with it. She flipped through, finding torn and water-damaged pages in most of the stories, but oddly 'Hansel and Gretel' was the least worn and most readable.
It was the same version that every old copy told, word for word alike the storybooks Sarah had read as a little girl. At the end of the story she set the book back on the shelf, turned out the light, and went to sleep.
11 chapters, created 11 years , updated 11 years
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