(this is our first serialized novel for children. we’ll be presenting a chapter each tuesday & thursday. and now, we present, Lucie & her secret, magic door. please feel free to print lucie’s story to read to your children.)
LUCIE’S (SECRET, MAGIC) DOOR
For those of you who are impatient, like myself, who just can’t wait to get to the action, who want the story to hit the ground running, for Lucie to be down that old rabbit hole by line 2, please take note, this is not that kind of story. It is not some quick, slap-dash chapter book, it is an actual story and it “unfolds.” That means that we will get there when we get there. We have things to get through first, but as do many things that seem superfluous (not a vocabulary word yet? You can always look it up), like math, school and vegetables, they do serve a purpose. One of which, in this case, is getting to know our heroine, so that we know why and how her adventure comes to be. You could of course skip ahead a bit to where Lucie is already in the up and down and all around, but then won‘t you feel a bit left out when everyone else knows what you don’t? If it helps, Lucie will go somewhere, do something, meet those we don’t just meet every day when she finds what lies behind her very own secret, magic door. So, sit back, relax. If I can do it, so can you. Not every story has to start with a BANG!
Chapter 1: Lucie
BANG! After stomping all the way up the stairs and down the hall in her bare feet, Lucie had just opened her closet door, walked in, slammed the door and threw herself down. Folding her arms tightly about her chest, she did something she had never done before. She started to kick the wall. She kicked and kicked very, very hard too. BANG! BANG! BANG! Lucie was very mad, mad enough to spit or to kick the wall as hard as she could. Alinora Lucinda McSorren, or Lucie as she quite preferred, was a little girl, perfectly normal, just like you and me. Her only real problem, the thing that made her mad enough to kick walls and slam doors, was that she lived with a family of ogres, big, horrible, mean and scary, smelly, super stinky ogres. As ogrey as ogres could be, they were. They were so bad that…
Well, actually, they weren’t really real life ogres to be totally honest. They just acted like ogres, maybe even worse. In fact, they were so bad, so awful, so mean, that Lucie spent most of her time locked away in her closet. And while she was in her closet she imagined all of the wonderful and exciting other places that she could be, family-free places, if only she wished hard enough. If she closed her eyes up tight, tight, tight, scrunched her face and concentrated her whole body hard enough, she’d be there. Where was there? It could be any place at all. Any other where would have to be better than her everyday here. Even a place full of really, real life ogres had to be happier than her house, which was always full of her family.
At least that’s what she hoped. If she wished really, really hard and imagined really, really clearly enough, maybe her real mommy and daddy would come and find her. Rescue her from this horrible, horrid family that currently claimed her as their own. Although, even the rest of the McSorrens rather thought that she was out of place in their household and that’s putting it politely.
Her mother often remarked how unlucky the McSorrens were to be stuck with such a horribly, boring and smelly little girl as her Alinora. “How I ended up with a thing like her is a mystery to me, “ she would announce to the neighbors. You see she most often referred to our Lucie as Alinora. On rare occasions she called her Lucinda, but she never, ever called her Lucie, not even by accident. Mrs. McSorren said that Lucie was far too sweet sounding of a name for such a yucky, stupid and lazy little thing as Alinora. Alinora she said, seemed to suit her daughter right down to her toes, though you and I know better don’t we.
As I’ve already told you, Lucie is not yucky, stupid, horrible or even smelly, so that should give you some idea of why Lucie stayed in her closet and why she was so sure that this was not her mommy. And even if she were, what mommy would ever call her daughter such names. Even if you are yucky, smelly, stupid and just plain no good, your mommy should always think you’re perfect. As for her father, he mostly called her “Persnickety”, if he called her at all. And her little brother, Beagan, and big sister, Moira, referred to her on alternating days- as dummy-dunce or smarty-pants- that is when they weren’t spitting at her, pulling her hair, hiding her books, crumpling up her homework or flushing her shoes in the toilet.
Luckily for Lucie, her shoes were now just enough too big to fit down the drain, so the most the little monsters could do was flush them in the toilet instead of down the drain. Nevertheless, they still attempted it each and every chance they found. And each and every time, Lucie had to go about in her flip-flops until her shoes dried out. Not such a bad thing in the summer, when her flip-flops were far more comfortable than the big clunky old lady clomper shoes that Mrs. McSorren forced her to wear, but not so comfy in the winter with her thin little socks jammed around the thong of her sandal, slopping through the slushy freezing cold path to the bus stop.
With all of this awfulness happening on a daily basis, it is no surprise that, at the very young age of two, Lucie began retreating into her room, and then under her bed and finally into her closet or finding any possible excuse to be sent there. Mrs.McSorren was always telling the neighbors how sore her throat was getting from yelling, “Alinora Lucinda McSorren go to your room!” To put a stop to all of her “naughtiness,” like reading too many books, drawing pretty pictures of the moon and the stars, feeding her liver to the cat and her hamburger to the dog, Mrs. McSorren decided that the closet would solve all of her problems. It couldn’t possibly fun and she did mind a bit that Lucie seemed to enjoy going to her room. So, she started sending Lucie to the closet, whenever possible and would often forget that she had sent her there and then would forget to call her back out.
Lucie however, once she got over the fright, then over the apparent stigma of being locked in the closet by her very, own mother, while she was deciding if she could get away with turning her mother in to the authorities for what must be child abuse, even though technically she wasn’t locked in since there was no lock, just shut in and forgotten about, and then getting over the pain of being forgotten about, Lucie decided maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.
While she was thinking about all of this forgetting and stigmatizing and pain, she realized that what she actually was, was alone and actually quite, very happy. That nobody was bothering her. That, in fact, they, her whole family, seemed to all together forget about her. And that, in her case, maybe being forgotten about by her mother, not to mention her whole horrid family, might just be a good thing. Nobody ever bothered her in the closet and because nobody ever bothered her there, it seemed to Lucie that her closet was the most special place of all. Maybe it was even magic. Not even her snotty little brother, Beagan, would do more than an occasional knock on the door and only if her presence was demanded by their mother, when she finally remembered that Lucie was in the closet and the dishes needed drying or the rug needed beating, or other such tedious tasks needed doing.
With the exception of these moments when her mother actually did want her for something, it was as if she was in another world. A world where nothing her family said or did could touch her. So, if it could do all of that, it must be magic, her closet. And if her closet were magic, maybe it could help her find her way back to her real family. The family that loved her and wanted her around, and not just for tedious chores or to punch and pick on. The family who could see how special she was and smart and pretty and not a bit smelly. The family that must have known that she was missing and that must be looking for her too.
After all, if there had been a mix up at the hospital and they had the McSorrens’ real child they must have at least noticed that something was not right. By now they must have figured out that that child, who must be an awful lot like Beagan and Moira, could not possibly be their child. They must be wondering where she was. Her very, very worst fear was that perhaps her real parents were so nice, so wonderful, that they might accept and even perhaps love something as awful as Beagan or Moira and might not even suspect that she was missing. She knew her parents would love her no matter what, so she guessed they might just be able to love an awful little monster no matter what as well. But then where did that leave her? It left her alone in her closet. So she decided, she would have to be the one to look for them.
Continue reading: Chapter 2