Roh Morgon over at Musings of a Moonlight Writer is holding the SEPTEMBER’S BACK-TO-SCHOOL DAZE BLOGFEST! Click here
for details and to read the other participants’ entries at their blog sites.
Here’s my entry and thank you for stopping by:
Either I was dreaming of woodpeckers or someone was rapping on the bedroom door. Right now, anything would be better than those beasts haunting my dreams. I opened one eye. The room was still dark under the cloak of the heavy drapes. The idiot banged louder.
“Okay, I’m coming!” I yelled.
“Who’s bugging us?” Faith rolled onto to her other side.
I flung my legs over the side of the bed and settled my feet onto the plush fibers of the Persian area rug. It sounded like our intruder was now kicking the door with a foot. I pushed myself up from the mattress and ran across the tiled floor, flinching at the coldness under my feet. I eased the door open and peeked through the crack.
“Do you know what time it is?” asked a man resembling a polished Hugh Grant, but definitely not as cool as him.
“No,” I croaked.
He pulled a chained watch from the vest pocket of his gray three-piece suit and held it up, not bothering to look at it.
“It is precisely three-thirty and you were to be in my chambers by three. Carrick may have delayed his training for tomorrow, but my lessons are still on. You have a lot to learn and little time to do it in.”
“What”–I cleared my throat–“Um . . . what lessons?”
He frowned. “Your magic lessons, of course. Has no one explained this to you?”
I shook my head, too freaked out to talk to him.
“Get dressed and I’ll wait here for you.”
I nodded and shut the door, stumbling over the edge of the carpet as I ran to the bed and collided into the mattress. Faith bolted up into a sitting position.
“Who’s there?” She shot her eyes around the room, puzzled.
“There’s a very uptight man at the door. He says I’m to go with him for lessons.”
“Oh shoot, I forgot to tell you. The man is Philip Attwood. Actually, you should call him Professor Attwood. He’s very strict about ceremony.” She fell back onto the pillows. “You’d better hurry, he hates tardiness.”
“No need to be nasty,” she said with a yawn.
“Me? You should’ve told me I had a lesson.”
“I said I forgot.”
“Okay. Whatever. That man is full-on scary, just saying.”
I ran to my backpack and dragged out my jeans, T-shirt, and Converses. After dressing, I slipped on my maroon sweat-jacket and yanked the door open.
“See you later,” I called into the room.
“Some protector, she’d probably sleep right through an attack,” I muttered as I shut the door.
Professor Attwood stood in the hallway, tapping his foot. “Are you speaking to yourself? Blimey. I wasn’t told of an apparent mental disorder.”
“I don’t have a mental disorder. I was talking to Faith.”
“What’s she doing in there?”
“Protecting me, I guess.”
“Bother.” He walked off and I shadowed him down the hall. “I have excessive duties to perform to have an inconsiderate girl waste my time. I only agreed to work late because your training must start straight away.”
“For your information, I didn’t even know I was supposed to meet you. No one told me. If they had, I’d been there on time.” He didn’t need to know that I was a perpetual tardy violator. I made a quick mental note never to be late for lessons with him.
He halted his steps and swung around to face me. “I fear, Gia, we have gotten off to a bad start. I am Professor Philip Attwood and you are to call me Professor Attwood. Not Mr. Attwood or Philip, you understand?”
“Good.” He spun back around and continued down the hall. “Follow me.”
I rolled my eyes.
“Don’t roll your eyes behind my back.”
“I’m intuitive,” he cut me off.
I straightened my back, searching the walls and the ceiling for mirrors, but there wasn’t any. We went around corners and down hallways until we ended up in one with several windowed doors. I peeked in as we passed and inside were small classrooms. The place reminded me of one of those old English type schools with the halls being narrow and dimly lit and the furniture in the classrooms all antiqued. Some of the rooms had occupants.
My face was a question mark.
“What is it, Gia?” he asked without even looking at me.
“Don’t you have summer break?”
“Yes. We also have summer school for those who fall behind.”
Sucks to be them, I thought, glancing in another partly occupied room.
We rounded the corner and went up a narrow stairwell. Professor Attwood stopped in front of a door with his name and an acorn etched into the wood. He pulled a chain out from the collar of his shirt and fitted the acorn pendant attached to it into the etching.
“Apri la Porta,” he said. The door unlocked and swung open.
My eyes found the only window in the office. The sky had filled with angry black clouds, which darkened the room. The several lamps placed around his office emitted a harmonious glow. Pink and yellow notes had been push-pinned into the wooden faces of the bookcases that occupied every wall space. Stacks of books covered the dark wood floors and mounds of papers and books landscaped the top of a large desk. For a man bent on promptness, he sure was messy.