aldersprig: (Doorway to Clouds)
It didn’t end up being Millie Dioli that they went to meet with first.

Actually, it didn’t end up being them going to meet with someone at all, the first time.

A senior, a kid they didn’t recognize at all, came up to them after fencing club.  He was awkward and lanky, someone who looked like, Diane thought, he might grow into his body and his face in a few years.

He hadn’t taken part in the club, but he’d watched with a hungry look on his face.  

Now he was aiming the same hungry look at Diane and Barbara.

“You’re… You’re Diane, right?  And, uh, Barbara.”

read on…
aldersprig: (Doorway to Clouds)
Previous: Searching for Answers

They spent hours looking at the papers before they had to go back to their childhoods, back to chores and schoolwork and things that, some days, seemed downright constraining.

Barbara’s mother, happy she was “taking some initiative” helped her put together a flyer for babysitting, and helped her post it at the Library - the proper downtown one, which had never been abandoned because, bright and shiny and brand-new, it didn’t tend to lose kids in its recesses.  It had no portals to other worlds.  Barbara had looked.

With three others posted  - grocery store, post office, and their church - Barbara returned home to some math homework that was only exciting if she thought about it in terms of national economies and some literature homework that was so stultifying she added in a 2-page book review of The Wealth of Nations.  Surely that counted as literature, didn’t it?

read on…
aldersprig: (Doorway to Clouds)
After: and - for the Finish It! Bingo. Not technically a finish, per se, but another chapter.

“If there are other portals, it stands to reason that someone has heard of them.” Clarence came into their hide-out with his arms loaded down with books and his backpack heavy with more.

Barbara set up the camp light and cleared the main table to give them a workplace. “Like that old woman, oh, dear…. Dorothy. Dot Garrington. The one who told us when she had been to Ombrion, and we thought she was putting us on for the longest time?”

“Or,” Diane said more softly, “Donald Jackson, the one that Verdana told us about. Went missing here — I still have the clipping. Because he died in Ombrion.”
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Doorway to Clouds)
Chapter One

"I've been delegated to ask what the four of you think you're doing." Mr. Richardson, the school's guidance counselor, looked more than a little amused as he stared at them over folded hands. "So: what, exactly, do the four of you think you're doing?"

What they had been doing was sorting out life here on earth at the same time as they tried to prepare themselves for their next adventure. It hadn't occurred to them that the staff of their school would notice. They stared at Mr. Richardson, attempting to slot a staff that paid attention into their plans.

Barbara recovered first, if weakly. "College?" she tried. "College entrance reports."

"It was you, I believe, who told me three months ago that you couldn't give a fig about college, that it was years away. And after that you, Clarence, added that 'who knew if you'd get to college anyway,' which seemed more than a bit fatalistic for such bright children, I might add." His bushy eyebrows went up. "So something has changed. I repeat: what are you doing?"

Ralph sat up a bit straighter. "There comes a time when the doors of childhood slam shut in your face and you must face adulthood, whether or not you're ready." Ralph had spent five years as a troubador, and his turn of phrase brought him no end of romantic attention - when he was in a body which could grow a beard and had a voice which didn't still sound like a girl's. "We're simply stepping forward as adults now. Which requires some preparation."
Read more... )

aldersprig: (Doorway to Clouds)
"It's all your fault!"

They were fourteen - except Ralph, who had always been the baby of the group and was just turning thirteen - when the portal into Ombrion stopped opening for them.

They had known it was coming. Only children could enter Ombrion through the portals. And for the past year, the openings had been rarer and rarer. Two months had passed when the four of them huddled around the door in the old abandoned school library and called out toVerdana, who had guided them. They lit the candles, even though they knew the candles weren't necessary. They wished on the fullness of the moon, all of it the way they had the first time.

The gates stayed closed. Verdana did not answer. And to all of them, the gates felt more sealed, more dead, than they ever had before.

"It's got to be you." Clarence glared at Barbara. "With your..." He flapped his hand in vague disgust.

She sneered back at him, uninterested in his squeamishness. "What about you? With your voice changing, with all the squeaking through the calling there?"
Read more... )


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