Walking down the street, you encounter a folded piece of paper on the sidewalk. You pick it up and read it and immediately, your life has changed. Describe this experience.
Emma walked slowly down the rain-sodden street. Her small hands stuffed deep within her jacket pockets. Her sneaker covered feet soaked with rain water, her blue jeans wet to the knee.
She felt none of it as she was deep within her own mind. The crisp Autumn wind whipped the ends of her tan-colored jacket around her legs. They were flapping wildly as she walked slowly in the fall storm. If someone was walking by her at this time they might have heard a deep heart-felt sigh escape her lips.
No one but Emma was out on such a wild cool day. The streets she walked were empty of other souls, rust colored leaves and Emma were the only things moving down the sidewalk. Sighing once more Emma finally lifted her dark blue eyes to see where she was at.
Using her right index finger she pushed up her glasses and looked through rain spotted lens to see where she was. Her face registered surprise as she realized she had walked so far from home. She was in the town’s warehouse district. Large red bricked buildings stood on both sides of the quiet street.
Empty glass windows stared solemnly down at her. Lightening suddenly flashed and seconds later thunder made the ground beneath her feet shake. Emma felt her heart start to race in fright. Her sodden feet shifted quickly and she turned to head back to the safety of her small apartment.
Just as she started to take a step she noticed a folded up piece of paper on the ground in front of her. She gave a small gasp of surprise as she noticed the paper was clean and relatively dry considering the weather conditions. She hesitated and glanced left and right. Peering intently she tried to penetrate the deep shadows between the empty buildings.
Seeing nothing suspicious she stooped over and picked up the paper. She slowly unfolded it with stiff cold fingers. Her hands started to shake as she saw the first few lines scribbled on the now wet scroll.
Hunching her body over the note she read and reread her name repeatedly.
She saw there was more writing, but she didn’t read the rest. Emma stuffed the note in her jacket pocket and almost at a run she headed for home.
Emma’s lungs felt like they were ready to burst as she turned the corner on her street. As she saw her street sign she felt relieved and a bit more safe. Turning her head for the 100th time since heading for home she scanned both sides of the street behind her. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary she breathed in a large gulp of air and started for her apartment building situated about the middle of the block.
Seeing the old familiar clapboard building that she had lived in for the past five years in front of her made her finally slow her steps. She felt safe now as she climbed the four cement steps to the front door. Taking a large key out of her pocket she opened the door and was greeted with the high-pitched yapping of a small white dog.
Stepping out of the shadows was a tall, thin elderly man. His white hair hung a little too long, but his attire of crisp white shirt and well pressed black pants and shiny black shoes fit him well. In his thin long-fingered hand he held a soft sweet-smelling, rose-colored towel, which he handed to Emma.
“Emma dear, you’ll catch your death walking in this kind of weather!”
“Thank you Mr. Dickson for the towel.”
Emma wiped her face of rain and tried to dry her glasses on the towel. Grimacing at the sudden feel of cold damp clothes, Emma handed the towel back to Mr. Dickson.
Mr. Shay Dickson was the owner of the three-storied, 100-year-old house she was standing in. Emma rented a suite of rooms on the second floor from him. His faint Scottish accent always warmed her when she came home from work. It had become a habit for him to greet her as she walked through the big blue front door every evening.
As Emma started for the wide staircase to go up to her apartment, Mr. Dickson picked up Pippa and asked Emma why she didn’t go to work this morning. He was worried for her he said. He knew her boss was not always the most understanding of men, as they had several discussions about him in the past.
Emma hesitated as she wasn’t sure what to say. She knew Mr. Dickson only asked out of concern for her welfare. As Emma stood on the third step thinking of what she should say, she heard Mr. Dickson’s soft gentle voice once more.
“You don’t have to answer an old mans questions dear. I can see you are wet from the rain and are probably quite chilled. Go change and warm up and we’ll have a nice chat later over a good cup of tea.”
Smiling down at her sweet old friend, Emma nodded her head and went up to her apartment. Closing the door behind her Emma stood in the middle of her apartment and slowly took out the folded piece of paper from her jacket pocket.
Opening it up she once again saw her name printed on the paper. Reading further she slipped down to the floor to sit cross-legged to read the note again and again.
We need your help in an urgent matter that only you can help us with. Please meet us at 4pm on the 14th of this month at the corner of 4th street and Oak. We mean you no harm. This is a matter of life and death so please, please come!
The Four Cousins’
Emma knew she didn’t have any cousins. In fact she had no relatives at all! So who were these “Four Cousins” and what did they want with her? Matter of life and death? Whose?
She sat on the floor for a long time, till the damp coldness of her clothes forced her to get up and change into something warm. Emma knew she was going to meet these Four Cousins on the 14th, which was this Friday! Emma also knew that somehow her life was never going to be the same again. The note changed everything, Emma felt it deep within her soul. As soon as she picked up that note from the wet ground, her life was forever changed.
As mentioned a few days ago I wanted to start a fiction Serial story. Today’s prompt set it in motion. It was the perfect set up for this story. I hope you will come back next week to see what happens with Emma, Mr. Dickson and Pippa and see who ‘The Four Cousins’ are.
Hope you enjoyed the first installment! All comments are welcomed.