CHAPTER ONE : The Letter
“Brielle! Could you please get the mail?” Brielle’s mother, Eliana, called to her.
Brielle was sitting in her room writing in her diary. Brielle had always loved writing. Though, in her village, there was no one who could teach Brielle how to write, to Brielle’s surprise, her mother was very good at reading, & writing. She had taught her everything she knew.
Brielle got up from her bedroom and ran to the front door. “On it, Mother!”
Brielle and her parents lived in a small house, in a small village called Aydon.
Brielle opened the door. She poked her head out. Nobody was there.
She shrugged. Normally the village mailman would stay to say hello. The village mailman, Stuart, and Brielle's dad went way back.
Brielle looked on the doorstep. No mail. “Where’s the mail?” Brielle asked herself. Suddenly, she heard a pop and saw a flash. She looked at the doorstep. There was mail. Brielle’s eyes almost bulged out of her head. She wanted to run and go tell her Mom, but she decided that her eyes must’ve been playing tricks on her. No need to add any pressure.
Brielle walked into the small kitchen where her mom was cooking dinner. Brielle’s family didn't have much, but they had enough. Her father worked at an armoury owned by David Steele, just a few blocks from home.
Brielle’s mother looked up. “Hello, dear. What did you find in the mail?” Brille shrugged and handed her mother an envelope. It was silver with a beautiful trim and it bore a large crest in the middle. The crest was a large shield with a silver tree in the middle. On the top of the crest, a banner was displayed. It said:
Eliana looked at the envelope and frowned. “Huh. I’ve never seen this crest before,” she said wiping her hands on her apron. “Not in this village or any of the neighboring kingdoms.” Eliana broke the wax seal and was about to open it when she stopped. Brielle looked at her mother. “Mother, what’s wrong?”
Her mother handed her the envelope. “This letter is addressed to you. It would be wrong for me to open it.” Eliana smiled. “Now run along. You could open it in your room. Tell me about it later?” Brielle nodded and skipped to her room.
Brielle sat on her bed and carefully lifted the flap of the envelope. She had a habit of collecting beautiful embellishments like this envelope to make crafts.
She pulled a small card out. As soon as she pulled it out, butterflies shot out of the envelope. Brielle gasped and looked up at her ceiling. There were colorful butterflies all over it. After a second or two, they vanished, showering Brielle with gold glitter.
Brielle frowned. “Why are my eyes playing so many tricks on me today?” Brille said to herself. She tended to do that alot.
Brielle took her mind back to the letter. “Dear Brielle Marie Eskelte,”
Headmistresses Snow, Briar, Belle, & Ella,
would like to invite you to the Wendyln Academy for the
following school year. Please reply within this week so
we could confirm your application. We look forward to seeing you here.
Briar, Belle, & Ella.
Brielle got off of her bed and started dancing and jumping around her room. Suddenly, a thought struck Brielle like an arrow. She couldn't just leave her parents like that. Her mother needed her in the house, and her father needed her to polish his shoes and mend his clothes. Brielle immediately sat back down.
She picked up the letter and read it over and over again. I mean, if I wanted to go, Mother & Father wouldn't stop me, she thought. Then she shook her head. She couldn't betray her parents. She got up and stuffed the letter in the back of her wardrobe.
“Darling, get the mashed potatoes, will you?” Brielle nodded and brought the bowl of mashed potatoes over to the small wooden table her family ate dinner on. Brielle and her mother were setting up the table for dinner, as Brielle’s father would be home any minute.
Brielle's mother patted her on the back. “Brielle, you never did tell me what that letter said,” Eliana’s mother reminded her. Brielle winced. She was hoping she had forgotten about the letter. She was sure that if she told her mother about the letter, she would insist that Brielle went.
But, no. I cannot leave them. I can’t betray them, Brielle thought.
Brielle’s thoughts were interrupted by a knock on the front door. Brielle’s father, Christopher, walked in. He was a jolly man, with pink cheeks and a smile plastered on his face. Today, he was smiling, but Brielle noticed his smile didn't quite reach his eyes.
Brielle ran to him and gave him a hug. “Oof. Brielle, I’m happy to see you too, but I can’t breathe darling.” Brielle let go. “I’m sorry.” Brielle took her father's coat and hat and hung it in the closet. She picked up his shoes and set them on the rack.
Brielle sat herself down at the table. She served her father, then mother, then herself. After a while, she looked at her father. “How was your day?” She asked him. Brielle’s father looked at her and smiled. “It was great, Rose.” Rose was a nickname her father had given her when she was little. He called her that because he always claimed that Brielle’s cheeks always had a rosy glow to them.
Brielle nodded and went back to eating her mashed potatoes. She sensed something wrong. Her father never said “It was great, Rose.” when he was asked what happened at work. He would spend hours and hours telling stories about people who came with odd requests.
Suddenly, Brielle’s mom called her. Brielle was so busy in her thoughts that she didn't hear her mother the first time. Or second, or third. The fourth, Brielle finally snapped out of it. “Brielle!” Her mother cried. “For goodness sake, how can you be so lost in thought?” Brielle blushed. “I’m sorry, mother.” Eliana smiled. “Now that you've finally snapped out of it, will you please answer my question? What did the letter say?” Brielle hesitated, but she finally said it. “It was a letter from a academy called Silverleaf Academy. They want me to join their school this year.” Brielle’s mother beamed. “Brielle! That’s amazing darling!” She pulled Brielle into a hug.
“But mother, I can’t go,” protested Brielle. “You and father need me.” Christopher looked at his daughter. “Brielle, you’ve been an amazing daughter and a lot of help. But, I think your mother and I can manage. You know staying around in Ayden isn't going to get you anywhere. You should go. You should follow your dreams.” Brielle shook her head. “Father, I have made my decision. May I be excused?” Her father wanted to say something else, but nodded. Brielle got up from the table and ran to her room.
Brielle had been laying down for hours thinking about what it would be like if she could go, what it would be like to learn, to make friends.
She got up from her bed and walked into the hallway separating her bedroom from the living room. She could still hear voices coming from the living room.
That’s strange. It’s one. They should've been asleep by now, thought Brielle. She tip-toed through the hallway, trying to hear better. She knew eavesdropping on her parents was wrong, but she knew if it was something bad, she would never find out.
Brielle was now close enough to hear them very clearly.
“I think it is in her best interests that she goes to this academy,” her mother said. “You think I don’t know that? But how are we going to convince her? She's real good at holding a grudge, you know.” Brielle peeked through the gap of the door, long enough to see her mother's face twist with worry.
“But we have to find a way. If she goes to the academy, then not only will she be able to follow her dreams, but she won’t be stuck in the midst of our financial problems. And I suppose we are going to be having a lot now that you've lost your job.” Brielle gasped loudly enough for her parents to hear her. She couldn’t help it, she was so surprised.
Father lost his job? When did that happen? Brielle thought.
Her parents stopped talking. “Who’s there? Brielle?” Eliana got up from her chair and came to the door. She looked both ways but didn't see anything. “Well, that’s odd. I was sure I heard someone.”
Brielle had quietly ran back to her room, and she sat on her bed crying softly. She was crying for her father. If she went to the academy, she wouldn't be swept up in financial problems, but her parents would. “How could he lose his job? David Steele said he was the best apprentice they ever had,” Brielle said as she talked to herself. “I never in a million years thought this would happen,” Brielle said.
Suddenly, she heard a slight tap tap on the door.
Brielle quickly pulled the covers above her head and pretended to be asleep.
“Brielle, are you still awake?” Eliana asked walking into the room. Brielle tried her best, keeping her eyes firmly shut and not moving around a lot.
“Brielle, you can’t fool me. I know you’re awake.” Brielle humphed and sat up. Sometimes mother intuition got the best of her.
“Brielle, you are going to go,” said Brielle’s mother sitting on the foot of Brielle's bed. Brielle opened her mouth to argue, but Eliana interrupted her. “That’s an order.” Brielle sat there, daring not to say another word. “That’s an order.” Brielle’s mother had said.
Brielle felt a swirl of emotions rise up in her body. She was excited to get to go to Silverleaf Academy, but she was sad to leave her parents. She was angry at herself for telling her parents what the letter had said, even though she knew what their reaction would be.
Eliana ran a hand through her daughter's hair. “Brielle, don’t ever forget this, we love you. Have fun, darling.” Brielle’s mother kissed her forehead. “Sleep tight.”
“Rise and shine, Brielle!” Brielle’s mother walked into her room and opened the curtains. Sunlight poured through the windows. “Mother,” said Brielle squinting. Eliana nudged Brielle. “Today is the day before your big day! Your supplies list just arrived. After some breakfast, we are going to go shopping.” Brielle sprung up.
“I thought I left for Silverleaf Academy on Monday,” said Brielle. Brielle’s mother looked at her as if she was crazy. “Today’s Sunday, Brielle. I thought you were a living encyclopedia.” Brielle searched through her mind for the definition of encyclopedia, but couldn't find it. She was sure her mother had told her once.
“Ya, ya. When did you even have time to send a letter back? We got the letter yesterday.” Brielle’s mother winked. “I have plenty of time. Now, get freshened up. We need to get to the market before the morning rush.”
Brielle and her mother walked through the streets of Ayden, laughing and talking. It seemed like Brielle’s mother knew almost everyone in Ayden. Her mother waved to children, joked with men, and had long conversations with the women.
Brielle held the list in her hand staring at it. “These supplies are so odd. Why would you need these at an academy?” Brielle talked to herself as her mother chatted with the baker.
Wendyln Academy Supplies List
-2 petite dresses
-Pair of gloves
( All other academic necessities will be provided at the academy.)
Suddenly Brielle spotted a dark wood cart decorated with colorful fabrics and accessories. She took her mother’s hand and pulled her away from the baker. She gave the baker an apologetic smile and said, “Good day Mr. Shrewd.” Eliana looked at Brielle. “What is it?” Eliana asked Brielle.
Brielle pointed at the cart. “Look! It’s Ramona’s cart! We’ve got to catch her before she moves! Brielle ran towards the cart. Still holding her mother’s hand, she dragged her with her.
“Don’t. Huh,huh. Ever. Huh,huh. Do. Huh,huh. That. Huh,huh. Again.” Brielle’s mother said, panting. “I’m, sorry, mother. But look! Ramona!” Eliana smiled. “That’s a good eye you’ve got there, Brielle.”
Ramona was the best clothier in all of the kingdoms. She was really hard to find as she was always traveling.
Brielle’s mother ran her hand’s across the sky fabrics draped across the cart. Suddenly a woman appeared from behind the cart. “Vhat do you vant?” She asked rather rudely. Eliana handed the rude lady the list. “Yes, actually, we need these items.” The rude woman laughed. “Who do you think I am? Your servant? Find them your se- Ahem. Hello, Madame.” Just as the woman was about to snap back at Brielle’s mother, a woman walked in. She was a nice, but strict woman. Brielle could tell she must be Ramona, the rude woman’s boss. When she walked in, the rude woman's attitude immediately changed.
Ramona shooed the rude woman away and smiled at Brielle and her mother. “How may I help you? Please don’t mind Lydya. She can be very grumpy sometimes.” Eliana smiled. “It’s okay,” she handed Ramona the list from the counter where Lydya had thrown it. “We just need these items.” Ramona looked at the list, then at Brielle. She put a hand on her chin. “Color….medium, hmm. Slim, petite. Small hands, blonde hair,” she muttered to herself. Ramona looked up. “Please follow me.” Ramona gestured to the back of the cart.
Brielle walked past a curtain into a fashion paradise. She wasn't very interested in fashion, but this place was cool. “WOW,” Brielle said to herself.
Suddenly, Ramona pulled her behind a curtain. She pulled her arms up, measured her waist, put fabric samples on her. Then, she pushed her out. “Your order will be ready in an hour,” she said as she pushed her out.
“Would you like the clothes delivered to your house?” Ramona asked Brielle’s mother. Brielle’s eyes widened. “That’s possible? How do you do it?” Ramona looked at Brielle and smiled. “Child, we are very advanced.” She looked back at Brielle’s mom.
“We’ll take it.”
Brielle felt like throwing up right there in her plate of eggs. Today was the day she went to Silverleaf Academy.
“Brielle, you okay, darling?” Eliana must’ve sensed Brielle’s nervousness. She came and sat down next to Brielle and put an arm around her. “Brielle, I know you're nervous, but guess what? You're going to do great! Come on, cheer up. This is your dream!” Brielle nodded and gave a slight smile. But in reality, her mother's pep talk hadn't made her feel any better.
Just then Brielle heard a knock at the door . She jumped up from her chair. Brielle felt her eggs come up in her mouth. She smoothed her skirt and walked over to the door.
She was greeted by a man in a suit and a toppat. He bowed and said, “Mademoiselle, your ride is here.” Brielle didn't quite know what to do since she didn't know how to bow. So, she just leaned front and tried not to trip over her feet. The man looked at her as if she’d lost her mind. She looked back at him with the same expression. “Ride for what?” Brielle asked him.
“And by the way, can I get your name?”
“Stephen. And, your ride to Silverleaf Academy of Magic.” Brielle thought she heard him say “Silverleaf Academy of Magic”, but that wouldn't be right.
Instead, she started hyperventilating. She looked up at Stephen. “One moment please,” she said and closed the door on a confused looking Stephen.
Brielle ran to her mother. “Mother! A carriage is here! To take me to the academy!” Eliana rushed out of the kitchen covered in flour. “What?! A carriage? Hurry, Brielle you mustn't keep them waiting!” Eliana disappeared into a room and came out with a large suitcase and two bags. Brielle was astonished.
“Mother, when did you have time to do that? And I can’t leave now, father’s not home! I can’t leave without saying goodbye to him!” Eliana’s worried face changed into a smile. “I know, but Brielle, you have to go. You’re going to be late. Now-”
Just then, Christopher burst through the front door. “FATHER!” Brielle screamed and ran into her father’s arms. Brielle’s father laughed. “Brielle, I think it’s time for you to go now.” Brielle broke the hug and nodded. She climbed into the carriage and right before she closed the door, she smiled at her parents and said “Goodbye mother, father. I love you.” Brielle’s father laughed and said, “We love you too, Rose.”