Tuesday, November 5, 2013

An Introduction, And The First Chapter of Without Cause

   Hello everyone! My name’s Ammelia, and as you probably guessed, I’m new here. You’re also probably wondering what I’m doing here, so I’ll quickly explain. I have a photography blog that's under construction, but I don’t have a blog set up for my story. So, my wonderful friends, Willow and Darrion, offered to let me post my story on their blog. :D

   A bit about me ~ I love God, I have a larger than average family, have lots of animals, I LOVE photography, reading, writing, crocheting, crafts/sewing, the outdoors/camping/hiking, BBC Sherlock, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, BBC Robin Hood, and I'm just getting into Doctor Who.

   My story is about a missionary alliance in peril, and a journey to recover it. The main characters are a family of four, the Robards. They are all introduced in this first chapter, as you will see. Also, how I write might be a little different than what you’re used to. The chapters are written in first person, and they alternate between two of the main characters after each chapter. I also love to firmly weave the Lord into any of my stories, and for that, I am unashamed.

Well, I’ll leave you to read now. Enjoy!

(I haven't done a chapter cover yet, but here's the story cover.)

                                                                  //Without Cause//
                                                                   //Chapter One//


   I threw gravel as I whipped my bike to a stop in front of our house. I hopped off and leaned it up against the side of the house next to my brother, Ethan’s. He’s four and a half years older than me, and is usually off at his work or baseball practice. He still lives with us even though he’s 19.

   I sprang up the porch steps and flung open the front door, ripping off my backpack at the same time and hollering “Mum!” The smell of freshly baked bread and cookies hit me like a brick wall. “I think you got a letter! It’s weird, though. Just yours and somebody’s initials, and no addresses.” My mom is a bit overly fond of writing and receiving letters. Especially as of late.  But I did wonder how on earth it got in our mailbox, when there were no addresses. I stepped around our dogs, Fili and Kili, they’re fawn and black pugs, who were yipping and yapping at my feet. I heard something clatter on the ground in the kitchen, and walked in just in time to see Mum picking up a spatula off the floor. “Mum?” She snatched the letter from me quicker than you can say ‘suspicious’, and stared at it like I had just brought her a dead skunk.

   “Hey, I didn’t do anything wrong, did I?” She looked up from the letter and now her face almost looked scared.

   “I thought I said you didn’t need to go to the post office.” She sounded just like she looked. I rolled my eyes.

   “Well, the P-O is right by the library, I figured, why not?” Her expression softened to a smile and she changed the subject.

   “So how did research go?” she asked, handing me two cookies on a plate. You see, I’m learning about how to raise mice. Mum won’t stand for mice in the house, but she says I can read about them all I want. I devoured a whole cookie in one bite, before answering.

   “Great. Say, did you know that when the mouse-”

   “Kylie!” she cut me off. “Honey, I have already told you that a really don’t want to talk about rats.”

   “Mice.” I corrected her. Mum shook her head.

   “Whatever. Just save if for your Dad or brother.” I looked around, noticing that neither of them appeared to be in the house.

   “Where are they, anyway?” I asked.

   “Oh, Ethan went to look at more chickens.”

  “And Dad?” I knew he couldn’t be at work, he gets off at 5:00 in the afternoon, and it was 6:30.

   “He’s… He’s meeting someone.” I drummed my fingers on the counter, and tested the waters a little more.

   “So… who’s the letter from? Who’s ‘J.G.’?” I asked, referring to the initials on the envelope.

   Mum stiffened. “Probably just an old friend or something.” This was getting really annoying. For the past few months, my Mum and Dad have been acting funny. They’re hiding something. I haven’t asked them out-right, but I just know something’s up. I intend to find out what. Mum tucked the letter in her back pocket and cleaned up the rest of the cookie crumbs off the counter. She cleared her throat and informed me she would be in her room doing some reading. Yeah right, I thought. I put my plate in the sink, grabbed my backpack and headed up the stairs to my room.

   Our house has three stories, if you include the attic, which we turned into my room. So, basically, I have the whole top floor to myself. I threw my backpack on my bed and crawled into my window seat. It’s where I go to reflect on certain things and think. It’s so cozy, with a round window that looks out over half the town. The weather outside matched the way I felt. Confused. The sun was shining, but it was freezing and sprinkling in places. I heard the familiar sound of my brother’s truck pulling into the driveway. I looked down out the window as he walked empty handed to the house. I guess he struck out with the chickens.
We live in a small town called Oakville, in Washington State. It’s a great little place, with only a few small stores and businesses. My favorite place to hang out is the library. It’s barely a block away from our house.
We also have four goats, Joonbug, Rosie, Belladonna, and Minny, and 20 chickens. We have our own little farm. Mum makes a bunch of money selling milk and eggs. She’s never had to work outside the home, and she’s homeschooled my brother and I. She and Dad used to do missionary work before us kids came along. After that, they said, it was too dangerous. Sometimes I hear Mum and Dad talking about it from time to time. They don’t really say much to Ethan or me about it, they just keep saying they’ll tell us more later. I’m not quite sure when ‘later’ is.

   My thoughts drifted to that weird letter my Mum got earlier. What’s up with that? I thought. I made up my mind to ask her about it later, and if she wouldn’t tell me anything, I’d ask Dad.
I stretched, grabbed a book on mice from my backpack, and was about to sit in the window and read, when something caught my eye near the library. A dark shape was lying in the grass. What is that? Is that a person? I was just there and didn’t see anyone. I grabbed my bird-watching binoculars and peered out the window. What I saw made me jump. At the side of the library, resting on his stomach and also looking through binoculars, was a man, or woman, looked straight at me. I ducked out of the window and tried to catch my breath. When I gathered enough courage to take another look, the person was gone. I searched all the surrounding area with the binoculars, but the person was nowhere. I did, however, see my Dad’s pick-up turning down State Street towards our house. I jumped out of my window perch and ran downstairs, hoping to tell him about what I had just seen. I rounded corner and almost plowed over Ethan.

   “Oof! Slow down, sis! What’s the rush?” I told him all about the person by the library. He shook his head with a smile. “Are you positive he was looking at you? It could have been some sort of goat thief, or chicken kidnapper.” I punched him on the shoulder, hard.

   “I’m serious! He was looking right into my window! It’s creepy.” He turned and walked into the kitchen laughing.

   “So it was a ‘he’. Well, he could be you secret admirer.”

   Now I was mad. “Ethan, knock it off!” I yelled.

   He threw up his hands, scattering cookie crumbs all over the kitchen. “Alright, alright. You don’t have to yell.”

   Just then, dad walked in. “What’s all the ruckus about?” He asked. Ethan beat me to the punch.

   “Somebody’s stalking the house.” He replied, winking at me.

   Dad, who was bending down untying his shoe, jerked his head up. “Please tell me you’re joking.” He had his serious face on, which can be pretty intimidating. My dad’s a no-nonsense kind of guy, most of the time. Lots of kids in this town are scared of him, because he’s tall, has a deep voice and a British accent. (He was born and raised in England. He came over to the States when he was 16, and started making plans for that missionary business I was talking about, and married Mum a few years later.) I like to call him majestic. 

   When he said that, Ethan lost his humor. He looked at me, shoved a cookie in his mouth, and motioned for me to answer.

   “I’m not joking.” I assured. “Someone was watching the house with binoculars, like, five or ten minutes ago. He was over by the library, and ran off after I spotted him.”

   Dad bent and re-tied his shoes. “What was the person wearing? Did you see its face?”
I shook my head. “All black, and no, I didn’t see a face. As soon as I looked out the window, he was gone, plus, he was way over by the library.” Mum came walking into the kitchen as soon as I finished that last sentence. As dad leaned in to kiss her, he whispered something in her ear. Her face turned pale and her eyes got all wide. She whispered something back, and I caught the words ‘letter’, and ‘emergency’. That was all I needed to tell that this was more than a chicken kidnapper.

   Dad was walking back out the door when he turned to us. “Family meeting after I get back.” He said. “Stay inside.” He grabbed his jacket off the hook and was out the door. We all rushed to the window to see where he was going. Instead of getting in his truck, he walked across the street towards the library. We watched him as he knelt on the ground at the same spot where the stalker had been. Mum walked to the living room and called us in, but Ethan and I would not be moved. We watched as dad stopped a few people and asked them questions, and then we lost sight of him as he went into the library.

   “So what do you think’s going on?” Ethan whispered to me. I’m usually good at solving puzzles, but I was stuck on this one.

   I shook my head. “No clue, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon.” In truth, I was a little nervous about what the family meeting was going to be about. I mean, come on. Isn’t everyone?

   “I think it has something to do with those letters they keep getting.” Ethan declared.

   “Wait, you mean there’s been more?” I was shocked.

   “You saw one?” He asked with wide eyes.

   “Yeah, found one when I checked the mail today. You found one too?” He nodded as we both turned our gazes back out the window. Dad had come out of the library, and was making his way back across the street, this time headed for the post office.

   “Who did it say it was from?” Ethan pried.

   “That’s what was so weird about it. There were only initials, no addresses.” I said.

   He looked excited now. “That’s exactly like the ones I saw. They wouldn’t happen to be from a ‘J.G.’ would they?” he asked. I nodded; surprised that Ethan had known about the letters and didn’t tell me. We tell each other everything. (Ok, maybe not everything, but you get the point.)

   “Have you asked Mum about them yet?” I countered. He shook his head, his dark, unruly, curly, hair bouncing around his head. He was about to say something, but looked over his shoulder and saw Mum was standing behind us. I wondered how long she had been there. She had her arms crossed and didn’t look too happy.

   “Oh, hey Mum…” I said with a nervous chuckle. When she didn’t say anything, I turned back to looking out the window and tried to pretend she wasn’t there. Ethan did the same. We spotted dad coming back down the sidewalk towards the house. His face was hard.

   “Come on kids.” Mum said. “Quit looking out of the window.” Ethan shot her a look. He hates being called a kid. I guess I would hate being called a kid too if I was near 20.  All of us walked to the living room, and I hurried to take my favorite spot on the couch, which is also Ethan’s. He threw a pillow at me as he took the other side of the couch. Mom sat in her recliner. She and dad have matching camo ones that Ethan and I got at Cabelas for their anniversary presents last year. (Trust me when I tell you, they were not cheap.)

  Mum got up and went to the kitchen. Ethan and I had a quiet pillow fight while we waited for her to return, and when she did, she had a plate of cookies and a stack of napkins. She neatly set them on the coffee table, and Ethan and I put the couch pillows back and grabbed a cookie. Or at least I grabbed one. Ethan grabbed a handful. He tried to lighten the mood by saying, “These are really, really good Mum.” She just smiled. After that, we sat in awkward silence for what seemed like an hour, before we finally heard the front door open.
When Dad finally walked into the living room, he looked mad. Really, mad. He sat in his recliner, and took Mum’s hand.

   Ethan spoke for the both of us when he said, “I have this nagging feeling that you guys have a lot of explaining to do.”

   Dad took a deep breath and looked back and forth between me and Ethan.

   “Well… Here goes.”

   And that’s the end of chapter one! I hope you all liked it! Please tell me what you thought, in an honest opinion. To quote Jordan from Blimey Cow: I take criticism really… ok.  But really, please be honest! If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments. Btw, I don’t have a set schedule in which I will post, but when I do post, it will be on a Monday from now on.

For the Will of Cause,

Ammelia G.


  1. Oh my goodness, Ammelia! This is so good! You are such a talented writer-- I can already tell! This chapter was amazing! It was so suspenseful and awesomely epic! I cannot wait to read more!
    ~Megan Jane~

    1. Aw, thank you, Megan! :) And great work on your story! I'm on chapter 18, but so far, it's so good!

  2. That was awesome!! I can't wait to read more! I think the only thing you need to work on is wording, maybe use less informal/conversation words? I don't know, but I thought it was good!

    1. Thanks! Hmm... What kind of words do you think I should change?

  3. NO!!! IT ENDED! This was so awesome that I could never look out a window again in fear of someone spying on me! :) Awesome job, and I can't wait until the next chapter! I'm gonna die waiting! ;)

    1. LOL! Sorry 'bout that! :) I didn't mean to give anyone nightmares! But thank you for your feedback! It really is encouraging :)

    2. I was kidding, but I LOVE your story!! I can't wait until the next chapter :)

  4. Ammelia, I LOVE it!! You did a great job writing this and I can't wait until you post more. :-)

  5. 'And from the darkness arose another author, who swiftly joined the ranks of notoriety beside Willow and Darrion, the great penmasters of old.'
    ;)loved it. Well done!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Oh, goodness... You made me blush! :) But thank you! :)

  6. 'And from the darkness arose another author, who swiftly joined the ranks of notoriety alongside Willow and Darrion, the great penmasters of auld.'
    ;) loved it!! Well done!

  7. I thought it was so awesome! Thanks for sharing!


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