Hello! I should not be starting yet another story, but I cannot stop the bunny plotting in my head. *shakes head* I'm so terrible lol. My imagination runs faster than my hands, which is not fair, because I do not have the time to be typing or writing so much, so often. Still, this category on fanfic has far too few stories, so I'm going to write one myself.
Anyway, I hope you all enjoy and I certainly hope that reviews are dished out, because criticism and opinions' of my stories help me to figure out what people like, what they don't, improve writing style etc etc. It helps improve the quality of the story basically and it brings some contact between reader and author which is always good. It's a two way system people, so do try to find the time to review what you read. Annnnnd, begin:
Lost in What?
"Ouch!" she cried out, clambering over three paint cans that had now been knocked over. She glared at her mother, "Why are you doing this again?"
"I want to." Her mother replied sullenly, taking a long drag of a cigarette. Her youngest daughter rolled her eyes with a huff, grunting as her arm skimmed another can. It shook a few times on the rickety table top, but thankfully slowed to a stop and she sighed, "Honestly," she began, "I don't understand why you need to redecorate the entire house mum. It looked fine the way it was before when Da-"
She jumped as her mother slammed the biscuit tin lid down hard upon the jar, "Jeez." Her daughter hissed, watching her mother chomp on a biscuit.
"I do not understand why you still need me to do your washing!"
The young lady bit her lip, hesitating at the kitchen doorway, "Well, I'm busy with my uni work." Her mother snorted, "I could use the extra help since I'm bogged down with essays, etcetera."
Her mother glared, "Well as you can see Stella, your washing isn't going to be done here."
Stella dropped the hefty bag to the dusty floor, "I got that. I was wondering if Amanda would mind, but obviously she's not here."
Her mother sniffed, taking another drag and blowing the smoke into her daughters disgusted face.
"Your sister left about an hour and a half ago. If you do catch her though, talk some sense into her."
Stella frowned, "What do you mean?" she asked, picking the bag back up.
"She turned down his proposal!" her mother almost screeched, "He proposed and like the ninny your sister is, she's leaning towards saying no! That stupid girl is living in a fantasy world, thinking her very own Darcy is just going to show up out of nowhere – like magic!"
Stella closed her eyes, trying to ignore her mother. She could be so annoying. She could whine for hours and it annoyed the hell out of her. She opened them again when the grating noise stopped and found her mother had stopped talking in order to take another drag of her cigarette and finish off the custard cream biscuit.
Stella sighed, "I'll talk to her then." She turned to leave and shouted a quick and hasty 'Bye', hoping it would reach the upstairs where her younger brother hid away.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Amanda grunted, glaring and rushing towards the door, "It's about time! I've been waiting for that pizza for over an hour now! What on Earth took you so lon-"
"Oh!" she exclaimed, "It's you!"
Her sister stared back, "Yeah," she replied, "It's me."
They stared at one another for a moment too long and Amanda coughed, moving away from the door to allow her sister entry, "Do come in."
Stella squared her shoulders, as she hefted the bag of washing through the corridor and dropped it on the rug by the table in the living room.
"So," Amanda dragged out, "What brings you by?"
Stella sighed, "Two things unfortunately. First! I need my clothes washing." At the look her sister gave her she quickly explained, "I'm not asking you to do it. I will do it myself, but I need your machine, because the uni accommodation machines take forever, cost loads and there's never a free machine anyway."
"Okay," Amanda declared, "That's fine, but what's the second thing."
"You're boyfriend proposed and I had to listen to mother moan about how stupid you are."
Amanda groaned, falling back onto her sofa, "She said that I had to talk some sense into you." Stella finished, watching her sister shake her head furiously from side to side, harshly whispering to herself.
Stella sighed, "Whatever, where's the machine and how do I use it."
Whilst the washing was getting done the duo sat down on either side of the sofa, a forgotten tatty book and plate of toast between them.
"So he was drunk, got down with one of those can lid thingy's and proposed… just like that?" Stella asked, scrunching her face up, repulsed.
"Exactly like that!" Amanda shouted, roughly biting a slice of toast.
Stella shook her head, "How you even put up with someone like that is beyond me."
Amanda nodded, "I'm not sure myself. I suppose I wasn't expecting anything to come from being in a relationship with him. He's not the serious type, you know?"
Stella agreed, "I guess, in a way, you were just keeping him around for company whilst you waited for your Darcy to show up."
Amanda choked, "What? No!" She threw the toast onto the plate, "That isn't it at all!"
Stella gave her a look, "It's not!" Amanda insisted, "I don't care for Darcy! I care for… the general story. I care for the culture, life and manners – everything that makes Pride and Prejudice what it is. I want that awe-inspiring…"
"Look at yourself Amanda," Stella said, "You don't even know what it is for certain that attracts you to Pride and Prejudice!"
She took another bite of the toast, "I think you need to sort out your priorities. Before you think about running off into a fantasy world, you need to sort out your own world: Reality. Do you remember what that is or do you need me to find you a dictionary?"
"Oh shut it!" Amanda shushed, murmuring, "You may not be a fan of Pride and Prejudice, but you're no stranger to wanting to live in a fantasy world yourself."
Stella huffed, "I may love the idea of running round Middle Earth with an elf or two, and walking round in Hogwarts after hours causing trouble or solving crimes with a dashing detective, but that does not mean I ridicule every man that passes me by."
She took a small bite of toast, continuing with a quieter voice, "I may not have particularly fancied any of the men I've been with, but at least I gave them a chance. I've tried, but you haven't. You can't let go of-"
"You can't either – not really!" Amanda argued, "You say you've tried, but that just means that you failed! You couldn't see yourself with anything less than what you've read and that's what makes you dislike the men that like you so much. That's why you still haven't given yourself to a man yet! You can't fancy them, because they're nothing like what you really want, what you found in those books and movies!"
"You love those characters just as much as I do." Amanda finished, "We're doomed, aren't we?" she moaned, as Stella silently agreed, dropping the toast back onto the plate with great distaste.
Both of them gasped. They quietened, listening for another – Clatter!
Stella's head turned swiftly to her sister, hissing, "What is that?"
Amanda's eyes remained transfixed in the direction of the bathroom, "I'm not sure…"
"Wait!" She said loudly, turning to face her sister and quieting as another clang sounded, "You heard that too!" She whispered.
Stella nodded quickly, "Of course I did! There's someone in your apartment! I thought your mate was out!"
Amanda turned her gaze back to the bathroom, clasping the earlier forgotten book tightly in her hands, "She is out."
Stella cursed, gripping the sofa and swerving her entire body in the direction of the noise. She sat oddly on the sofa now, her arm on the back, pushing her up and out of her seat whilst one of her legs remained beneath her bottom and the other dangled to the ground, "Should we make for the front door?" she asked, leaning towards her sister.
Amanda shook her head fiercely, "No!" She whispered, "I need to know if it's what I think it is, and if it is what I think it is, then I need to know whether or not you can see it too!"
Stella graced her with a rather horrified expression. Amanda brushed it off and slowly got up, making her way towards the bathroom, "Come on." She demanded, waving her arm.
Stella stared at her as though she was insane, but as Amanda drifted out of sight, she quickly clambered up and chased after her.
Amanda threw up her index finger and Stella stopped on her tip-toes, clamping her mouth shut, as they noticed the shadow beneath the bathroom doorframe. The light was repeatedly being switched on and off again.
They looked at one another for a second. Then they both threw themselves against the door, pushing the handle down and barging into the small cluttered room.
A startled young lady stood before them, her hand tightly clasped round a light cord.
Stella's mouth fell open, staring up at the woman as her expression morphed from one of surprise to a large grin, "Miss Price!" She greeted excitedly, "It's so good to see you again! Have you seen this contraption? Does it not astonish you? I could toy with it all day."
Amanda picked herself up off the floor, trampling slightly on her petrified sister and shoving the book into her jacket, "Its' you again!" She dashed behind the lady and grasped her arms, pushing her forwards, "Stella! Stella do you see her! She's real, isn't she?"
Stella shook her head, blinking furiously and closing her mouth, "Yes," she said, "Yes, I see her. Amanda, what is going on? Who is she?"
The young lady removed Amanda's hands, moving towards Stella, "I am Elizabeth Bennett. It's lovely to meet you miss…"
"Stella," she replied, "Stella Price…"
Her brown eyes moved from those of Elizabeth to Amanda's. She looked extremely relieved, "I'm not insane then," she said, "You can see her too! Oh thank God!"
Stella exclaimed, her terrified voice breaking through Amanda's joy-filled smile and Elizabeth's confused grin, "It's not possible! Elizabeth Bennett is a fictional character!"
Amanda cringed, as Elizabeth's smile faded into one of comprehension.
"What my sister, is trying to say… err." Amanda stuttered, "Is that… Well, Elizabeth. You are a pretend person, the creation of a brilliant author – Jane Austen. This was hundreds of years ago…"
Elizabeth shook her head, offering the sisters a pitying expression, "I am afraid I must dispute with you. Just as the two of you breathe, so do I. We are all real here."
"Wait! How can I be sure I've not just slipped on the floor and knocked my head." Amanda whined, "Maybe I'm imaging both of you," She continued, waving her arms in the general directions of Stella and Elizabeth, "Tell me something I don't know – both of you!"
Stella gave her another look, but Amanda persisted, "Ugh!" Stella moaned, "Fine… Every Thursday and Monday my classmates and I play poker."
Amanda looked surprised, "I didn't know you know how to play poker."
"Exactly," Stella said, "Hence, you are not insane nor are you unconscious."
Elizabeth gave them another confused glance, but smiled nonetheless at the progress, "We got the news this morning that Netherfield Park is let." Her grin broadened, clearly thinking she had given them fresh news.
Stella frowned. She had almost not caught what Elizabeth had said, turning to look at Amanada.
"No – no! I know that! Tell me something I could not possibly ever know!"
"Russian America. Do you know of Point Barrow? The point that most intuits into the Arctic sea." Elizabeth said with glee and excitement, as she watched the confusion now fall over Amanda's face instead of her own.
"I've never heard of Russian America." Amanda stated, staring at Elizabeth. Stella doubted that Russian America actually existed and began to contemplate her own sanity, as Elizabeth continued to tell them where it was – Canada.
"I have never heard of Canada." Elizabeth told them, biting her lips in thought.
Amanda and Stella looked at one another incredulously. Stella shook her head, but Amanda ignored her, turning to Elizabeth again, "Show us the door Miss Bennet."
Elizabeth bit her lips and motioned towards the wall. Stella rolled her eyes, "She's just as insane as us Amanda. She's pointing to the pipes for goodness sake."
"It is the way I entered. It is a door that retains no sense of reality in my world. Why would it act any differently in this one?" Elizabeth countered, moving aside so that Amanda could get closer to it.
"No," Amanda muttered, "It can't be. There's far too much piping – like Stella has said. It's a part of the wall. It might have been a door back in the world war, but now it has to harbour the plumbing."
"It is the way I entered." Elizabeth insisted indignantly.
Amanda clambered into the bathtub and peered at the wall.
"Stella," she called, her voice cracking, "Help me."
Stella stood at attention for a moment, startled from deep thoughts and hurried to her sister's side, "Are you okay?" she asked, noticing her sister's shaking hands.
"Help me push." Amanda demanded.
The wall creaked and strongly complained, but opening nonetheless and they examined the corridor beyond.
It was ill-lit and colder than the apartment behind, but it seemed homely regardless. It was quaint.
"I don't understand." Amanda said, as Stella stared on in sheer awe.
"Nor I Miss Price," Elizabeth replied, "This is assuredly my house."
Stella took a step forwards and tumbled into the corridor, "It's real!" She announced, "Amanda, its real! Like Narnia or something!"
Amanda clambered after her sister, looking back at Elizabeth with an astonished smile that was gladly returned.
They heard footsteps.
Stella paused, her hands clasped round some cleaning supplies leaning against a nearby wall. Amanda turned to Elizabeth only to see the door shut, as the young lady in question shrugged her shoulders with an innocent smile.
Amanda gritted her teeth, turning back round to face her sister and what appeared to be a maid.
Stella replaced the supplies and grabbed Amanda's arm.
"Sorry Miss', but are you dining tonight?" The maid asked, curtsying. Both sisters attempted to mirror the portly woman, "Mr Bennet likes to know what number to expect at the table."
Stella cringed, as Amanda loudly replied, "Please advise Mr Bennet that we will be down directly! We were just – err – looking for him! Isn't that right Stella?" Stella glared, wishing her sister would not attempt to verbally involve her again.
The maid's eyes flittered from one sister to the other, "Yes, Mam." She hesitated a moment, before questioning them, "Who shall I say has given this message Mam?"
Both sister's hesitated, Amanda finally declaring, "Friends of Miss Elizabeth." Stella nodded in agreement and the maid thankfully accepted this news and left them in peace.
Amanda, as Stella had, touched the walls. She laughed, "This is so weird, so seriously weird. I think I might want to go home now!"
She back tracked, grabbing Stella's hand and dragging her back down the hall to the door. She twisted the knob this way and that, but it would not budge. Stella held her free hand to her mouth, as Amanda began knocking, "Elizabeth!" Amanda hollered. Stella's shoulders quivered, as she tried to beat back a few tears. The panic that rose within her was not a feeling she was well acquainted with and if it were not for her sister finally halting her assault upon the door and hugging her tightly, she may have broken down.
"It's going to be alright. It's going to be fine – Stella!" Amanda said, trying to catch her sister's eyes, "We are going to be fine, okay?"
Stella nodded, gasping and hiccupping. She wiped away stray tears that had leaked out and brushed her brown hair from her face, "Amanda, how are we getting home?"
Amanda sighed, "I'm not sure yet, but for now we'll go downstairs and see what her family has to say about this."
Grabbing Stella's hand again, Amanda traipsed down the corridor, "Don't we need directing?" Stella asked, "We'll get lost."
"No," Amanda replied, "I've read this book a thousand times and more. I'm willing to bet that I know this house better than its current occupants."
"You sound far too confident." Stella whined, worrying.
It did not take long to find a staircase. Voices drifted up from below…