So today I took some time to do some true summer chilling- I watched three movies (Bend it Like Beckham, The Lizzie McGuire Movie [hey, stop laughing! It's cute!], and Dead Again), the last of which just blew me away. I love Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh.
I also got a ton of novel work done. Not only did I read about 130 pages of (and therefore finish reading) my friend's novel, but I also edited it as I went along and sent it off to him. It was really cool to see his growth, since the first time I read parts of this novel was years ago.
For my own novel, I did a plot storyboard kind of thing- I'm hoping this will help me see where holes are and where things can be expanded. I thought I would have maybe enough cards to fill my medium-sized bulletin board in my room. What I ended up with was 26 notecards with two or three (sometimes five) bigger plot points on them. This made me happy. I also wrote a good amount of new scenes, as well as making many conventional changes.
So anyway, enough chatter. Have some more Remembrance. This takes place while Ruthie and one of her best friends, Annie, are looking for their other friend, Nora, in London.
She left the shop and rushed over to Annie. “It sounds like the man in there saw her.” She told Annie all of the details she had just learned and Annie looked confused.
“But… why would Nora have gone with the woman?”
“I know, I can’t figure that out either. If Nora was taken by the woman, she would have fought back, I know it.” Ruthie shook her head. “But that’s the only thing that doesn’t match up. We need to try and figure out who the woman is. There’s a chance she might still be with her.”
This was a fine plan, but without the woman’s name, the girls had no place to start looking. With nothing to go on, Ruthie and Annie wandered the city all day, asking this person or that person if they had seen an older woman and a teenage girl walking together on the day Nora had disappeared. Their questions turned up nothing, and the girls tried to make their way back to the place they had started from. Within ten minutes, they were completely lost. They were standing on the corner, discussing their options, when they heard a sneering voice behind them.
“Well, well. Wot do have ‘ere?”
Both girls spun around the see a group of kids making their way toward them. They all looked to be between the ages of eleven and seventeen, wearing old, dirty clothes and smug expressions. One girl, close to Ruthie and Annie’s age, stepped forward.
“Look at the little schoolgirls, with their sweet little skirts and white blouses. Come slumming, schoolgirls?”
Ruthie willed her mind to unfreeze so she could think of what to do. While the kids didn’t look particularly threatening, she and Annie were outnumbered three to one. She decided a passive approach would be best. “Hello,” she ventured, offering a nervous smile that was not returned. The kids surrounded the girls, their eyes narrowed.
“This is our corner of the city,” a small boy proclaimed. Though he was shorter than Ruthie by a head and was all skin and bones, Ruthie was quite sure that if she crossed him, she’d be sorry.
“We didn’t mean to intrude,” Annie said, her voice very small. “We’re just lost -”
“Aww,” a girl with braided hair jeered. “They’re lost. Poor little girls.” She looked at the oldest boy in the group. “Do we help lost little girls, Sidney?”
“I dunno, Kit,” the boy said, matching her tone. “I suppose we do, in our way, don’t we?”
Another girl, about thirteen with pale hair, grinned delightedly. “Yeah! How nice of us to lighten their pockets for them. We’re regular Robin Hoods.”
Through all of this, the kids had been circling Ruthie and Annie, making sure they couldn’t get away easily. Now, they moved in a little closer until one of the older girls was only a foot or two away from Ruthie. “So just what are you doin’ in our territory, schoolgirl?”
Ruthie, too, stepped closer. “We need some information. We thought you might be able to help us.”
“And why,” the girl asked, “Would I want to help you?”
Ruthie could not think of a reason why the girl should aid them, but she had a feeling that these kids might know something. Then she got an idea. She dug around in her pocket for the money she had left over from her ticket – not much, but it might work.
She held out the coins. She could see that the older boy was tempted, but he didn’t reach for it right away.
“What d’you want?” he asked.
“We just have a few questions,” Ruthie said, still offering the money.
The boy looked suspicious, as though wondering if the girls were mocking him. “Like what?”
“We’re trying to find our friend,” said Annie. “She’s missing, and we thought you might have seen her.”
“She a little rich girl like you?” the plaited girl asked snidely.
“She’s our friend,” Ruthie snapped. “Either you let us ask our questions, or we take our money and go.” She didn’t think it would be wise to mention that she and Annie had nowhere to go.
The older boy eyed the coins in Ruthie’s palm a second longer, then snatched them and tucked them in his pocket. “All right, rich girl. Ask away.”
Ruthie and Annie quickly explained how Nora had gone missing.
“After we got out of the cellar, we found each other,” Ruthie finished, “But we couldn’t find Nora anywhere. We looked for hours, but there was no sign of her. Then a shopkeeper saw Nora with an old woman soon after she disappeared.”
“They put out a description on the radio,” Annie added. “Have you heard it?”
Kit looked at her scornfully. “An’ just how would we have done that? The Blitzers don’t got a radio, do we?”
“Blitzers?” Annie repeated.
“That’s us, half-wit.”
“All right,” Ruthie said quickly. “We can just tell you what she looks like.” She described Nora and all of the kids shook their heads. Her heart sank to her feet.