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Unexpected Turns - Fair Exchange

Kylie's mother was out for the afternoon and the rain hung like a grey curtain over the world. There was nothing to do, Kylie thought. She hung like a wilting flower over the side of the couch, with her long, silvery hair touching the carpet. There was nothing to do!

She let herself slip to the floor and lay, pretending to be dead but breathing, for a minute. The cat was curled up on the chair across the room. It turned its ears to listen while it slept.

"How come cats are so satisfied?" thought Kylie, "They never do anything?"

Her mind wandered. What was there in the house? Jigsaws? Done them all. Sewing? Boring. Cards? No good without someone else to beat. Must be something to do. Reading? Her eyes shifted to the shelves. A tower of books rose to the ceiling. They looked much taller from where she lay, on the floor. An unscalable mountain of books, with snow at the top, and caves where the books leaned on each other, and abominable snowmen hiding between the covers, and mountaineers inching their way upwards.

She sighed. Nothing there of any interest. All adult books. Gardening, history, the good-old-days, poetry, Shakespeare, dictionaries. Dad's books on house-repair.

Kylie rolled on her side and sighed again. Even school would have been preferable to this monotony. She had woken with a slight headache and made out it was much worse than it really was. A day at home seemed worth it. She play-acted until the bus went by, then her mother decided to go shopping.

"You'll have to stay home," her mother said, "I won't be long. I'm not supposed to leave a child your age by yourself alone, but I won't be long. And you're very sensible. I'd like to take you with me but I can't have you outside in this weather."

It was just an excuse. Kylie knew that. Her mother just didn't want the hassle of a ten year old girl pestering her all round the supermarket, which was just round the corner.

Drizzle and rain mixed together slapped against the windows and dribbled down the glass. The chimney howled as a wind called to the fire.

Kylie thought of a certain box in her mother's wardrobe. It was out of bounds, but did that matter on a day like this? Kylie got to her feet and walked through the house. She opened the wardrobe and pulled out some folded blankets, a black, lacy dress, spare bed sheets
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tags: book, mysterious, disobey, mystical, disobedient, read, secret, forbidden, box, liar, lie, bored, restless, misfortune, headache
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