Up In The Attic
The next morning was Monday, and it was chucking it down with rain.
To begin with, Emma was perplexed, first of all, she was in a strange room and her bed was much more comfortable than normal. And secondly, she could feel something on her feet.
She stretched and a cat jumped off her feet and walked towards the head of the bed. It was a large ginger cat, as big as a small dog. If it had a mane it could have been a tiny lion.
‘Hello,’ said Emma yawning slightly and tickling the cat between the ears.
The cat started purring loudly, and it sounded like there was a car engine running.
‘You’re gorgeous, are you a girl or a boy?’
‘This is Oscar,’ said Sam picking Oscar up off the bed and hugging him.
‘Have you found your way into little Emma’s room and woken her up?’
‘Come on Oscar, let’s go get you some breakfast’
‘Breakfast for humans is in fifteen minutes,’ laughed Sam going out of the room with Oscar.
Emma got dressed in a pair of jeans and a warm jumper. Even if it was July it was quite cold today because of the rain. She brushed through her hair quickly before skipping down the stairs.
There were three plates of scrambled eggs and toast, and a side serving of fruit salad at each place.
Meghan was standing in front of Sam in the kitchen, and Sam had just finished plaiting Meghan’s hair which she was pinning up out of the way.
‘There you go Meg,’ said Sam kissing Meghan as she finished the hair.
‘Thanks, darling,’ said Meghan hugging Sam.
‘Can you do my hair too please?’ asked Emma, ‘it looks so pretty.’
‘Of course, sweetheart,’ beamed Sam, ‘can you wait until after breakfast though, your eggs will be getting cold.’
‘Whilst I’m at work, I want you two to go through all these books and DVDs cluttering up the place,’ said Meghan.
‘Three people are living here now, we don’t want all this rubbish taking up the place.’
Sam rolled her eyes across the table at Emma.
‘It’s alright,’ said Sam, ‘we can go up into the attic, there’s loads of cool stuff up there.’
‘Samantha Collins-Llewelyn,’ said Meghan, ‘if when I get back from work tonight, there is less in the attic than there is right now, I will be very angry.’
‘Is that a threat?’ asked Sam.
‘That is a promise,’ laughed Meghan kissing Sam.
‘See you both tonight,’ said Meghan grabbing her coat and heading out of the house.
‘Ok Ems,’ said Sam as they did the washing up together.
‘Now then, do you want to go over the schedule for the day?’
‘There’s a schedule?’ asked Emma putting the plates away.
‘Yes, that’s alright isn’t it?’ stammered Sam.
‘Mm-hmm,’ nodded Emma.
’Well then, it’s eight o’clock now, we hang out in the morning, and get all the jobs that need doing done. The gardening, or the laundry or whatever else needs doing.
‘We have lunch at half-past twelve, and then from one o’clock to five o’clock, I do my writing in my office. Then I’ll sort out the tea so that the dinners on the table when Meghan gets home.’
‘Sounds cool,’ said Emma.
‘But first of all, I need to do plait you hair’ said Sam getting out some hair pins.
She plaited Emma’s long hair in a plait on each side and then pinned them up over her ears.
‘It’s like a pair of headphones,’ said Emma looking in the mirror.
‘No Ems, it’s a pair of hairphones,’ laughed Sam.
‘Don’t forget,’ said Sam as they started boxing up books for the attic, ‘if there’s any of these that you want, just tell me. You can have your own box if you want.’
‘Thanks,’ said Emma.
They slowly worked their way through all the books packing them away for the attic. Some of them were reference books that Sam had been using for researching her latest book. She was in the editing stage at the moment, though so the books could be packed away. There were also several boxes full of assorted history and medical journals that Sam and Meghan were subscribed to.
As they worked through the books, occasionally Emma would find a book that she wanted to read herself, and she soon had a large cardboard box filled with Sam and Meghan’s books including Meghan’s copy of Pride and Prejudice and Emma and a Collected Works of Shakespeare that had been Sam’s when she had been at school. She had even been able to find a copy of Anne of Green Gables.
Sam had also given Emma one of her spare sets of The Lord of the Rings books included The Hobbit and the Silmarillion. It was one of Sam’s spare sets because, as Sam was a huge fan of Tolkien, she had at least four full sets.
Then Emma helped her carry all the boxes up to the attic, which was already half full of boxes, some of which were very dusty.
‘You can play up here if you want when I’m working,’ said Sam. 'If you do, leave the door open, and shout if you’re in trouble. I’ll be able to hear you from the study.’
They were moving some boxes around, so they had space to put all the books away when Emma found a very old box.
It was covered in an inch of dust but was clearly labelled Samantha’s Room.
‘What’s in here?’ asked Emma.
‘Why don’t we open it and find out?’ said Sam.
‘I haven’t seen this box in years,’ muttered Sam opening it up.
‘This is a bunch of stuff that I packed away before
She opened up the box and found an old teddy bear, a collection of records and a large number of books.
‘Malory Towers,’ said Sam reminiscently, ‘these were what made me want to go to boarding school.’
‘You’ll enjoy these,’ she said putting them with Emma’s other books.
‘No way!’ exclaimed Sam pulling out a stack of records under her Queen record.
‘ISIRTA,’ she beamed, ‘I used to listen to these records with my Dad. Of course, he listened to them when they were first coming out, but there was still the odd reunion show when I was a kid.’
‘What’s ISIRTA?’ asked Emma.
‘I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again,’ said Sam, ‘also known as the Angus Prune show.’
‘What?’ asked Emma somehow more confused.
‘It’s a radio show from the sixties and seventies,’ laughed Sam, ‘staring geniuses such as John Cleese, Tim Brooke Taylor, Graeme Gardner and Bill Oddie.’
‘I’m sorry I haven’t heard of any of those people,’ said Emma apologetically.
‘Monty Python?’ said Sam.
‘No I suppose you’re a bit young for them,’ she muttered.
‘Never heard of them sorry,’ blushed Emma.
‘It’s alright we’ve got them on DVD,’ laughed Sam, ‘we can watch some tonight.’
‘I just wish we had a record player,’ said Sam, ‘then I could listen to the recordings.’
You never knew what you could find online these days, Emma thought. She might have a look on the laptop whilst Sam was working later. Maybe she could find some recordings of the show.
‘Would you look at the time!’ exclaimed Sam, ‘it’s a quarter past twelve.’
‘Why don’t you take your books down to your room, and I’ll sort out some lunch for us.’
Emma carried the box of books down to her new room whilst Sam made marmite sandwiches. She now had several boxes of books and enough to fill her currently half full bookcase.
She couldn’t wait to go through all her new books after lunch. Sam’s old teddy Michael went on the bed next to Emma’s own bear Edward.
‘Emaroo!’ called Sam up the stairs ‘lunch!’
‘Who’s Emaroo?’ asked Emma sitting down for lunch.
‘Well you obviously,’ said Sam.
‘I’m experimenting with nicknames. Ems is good, but I think I can do better.’
‘What you getting up to this afternoon?’ asked Sam between bites of a sandwich.
‘I’m going to go through my new books, I don’t know which one I want to read first though.’
‘Oh save the Tolkien if you can,’ said Sam.
‘You’re not too old for bedtime stories I hope?’
‘Well I don’t know,’ shrugged Emma, ‘I guess we can find out tonight.’
‘I’m looking forward,’ laughed Sam, ‘now I’ve got to go and work.’
Emma went back up to her room and started to unpack her new books on to her bookshelf. She was trying to decide which book to read first when she noticed that there was still one more book in the box.
It was a very old book that looked like a leather journal. It had silver writing engraved onto the cover.
‘The Heroes Journey,’ she read off the cover.