I have a surprise this week for all the students who are out of school for the summer and looking forward to leaving the whys, whens, whos and hows behind them for a couple of months.
The summer columns will be a serialized novel I have written about a runaway girl, a dragon, and an adventure that takes Jewell from Nova Scotia to the far north. At the end, I’ll be looking for input from readers who would like to share their ideas with other readers about what happens to Jewell after my part of her story is finished. As always, I welcome your comments and questions all the time at email@example.com
I Spy a Dragon
It wasn’t Jewell’s fault. In fact, she had nothing at all to do with it. In any case, it was a mistake or an accident. No one deserved to be punished. No one. Andrew had actually been trying to do a nice thing. It was a surprise that backfired, a good deed that went terribly wrong, but Mrs. Morton wasn’t interested in understanding the situation.
Jewell had been told to clean the kitchen, and she did. She washed all the dishes, scrubbed and waxed the floor to a brilliant shine, cleaned the stove and refrigerator, even used a wood cleaner on the cupboard doors, and a metal polish on the hinges. She was upstairs changing the beds when Andrew started making his birthday cake surprise, and she was downstairs doing laundry when the fire started in the oven.
When Mrs. Morton returned from her meeting, entering the house through the open back door, there were pools of water everywhere. The pink contents of an upturned icing bowl were creeping down the front of the cupboard; Moocho, Mr. Morton’s hunting hound, who shouldn’t even have been in the house, was actually standing on the counter with his head in the sink, eating a strange mixture of cake batter and cinders. Flickering yellow flames were struggling back to life in the embers on the floor where Jewell had dropped the smouldering cake pan as she pulled it from the oven.
The Mortons had never acknowledged the children’s birthdays and Andrew wanted this one, Jewell’s twelfth, to be special. As Jewell later learned, her foster brother had taken great care to follow the recipe exactly. He pre-heated the oven, slid the cake pan onto the middle rack, then dashed off to buy balloons.
continued next week