The next post to appear on the Heart Search Blog Tour was a little something different. The lovely Joy Keeney set me a challenge which was “Take your main
character and your favorite childhood character (book, cartoon…you pick) and
write them into a scene in Heart Search.” She was kind enough to allow me a little leeway with the word count (thank goodness)! Anyway, when I was a kid, my favourite book was Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild and the character I most related to was Pauline Fossil. So, I decided, in my infinite wisdom, to marry up Pauline Fossil with Joshua from Heart Search and here is the result:
Joshua walked at a normal human pace across the park; he didn’t want to draw attention to himself. Although he didn’t feel the cold, he had the hood of his sweatshirt pulled over his face; he wanted to be anonymous, to blend in.
The leaves on the trees were a glorious profusion of gold, red, orange and bronze. Autumn had arrived. As he strolled over the fallen leaves, he heard a faint sob from a female ahead of him. He didn’t think much of it at first until a little further on he saw the lone figure of a young girl sitting on a bench, tissues in hand, trying to stifle the sound of her misery.
He inhaled deeply. Her young blood had the sweetest fragrance and venom automatically pooled on his tongue. He’d fed before daybreak so wasn’t thirsty, yet her blood called to him. As he moved closer, there was something in her dejected demeanour which called to the human he used to be, so he went over and sat beside her.
“Why are you crying? What’s wrong?” he asked, his voice gentle and kindly.
She looked up at him, her eyes red and puffy. She seemed to be scrutinizing him as if working out whether she should trust him. After all, she’d always been told never to talk to strangers. Something she saw in Joshua’s eyes made her feel safe. “I’m lost and I’m late,” she sniveled.
He noticed the bag on the seat beside her; it was the sort dancers used. “Well, let’s see what we can do about that, shall we? What’s your name?”
She straightened her back a little, her eyes beginning to dry. “My name is Pauline Fossil,” she announced proudly, “and I’m a dancer and actress. What’s your name?”
“Joshua what?” Her eyes still on his face.
“Just Joshua, that’s all. But that’s not important is it? You said you’re lost and late – tell me where you need to go and I’ll help you,” he replied trying to change the subject.
She was much sharper than her gave her credit for. “So don’t you have a surname then? And why is your skin so white?”
“Look, I have somewhere I need to be so do you want my help or not? Where are you supposed to be going?” Joshua sidestepped her question and injected a little impatience in his voice.
“Madame Barnetta’s Theatre School,” Pauline replied automatically. She was a little taken aback by his sudden change in tone.
“Okay. Grab your bag and let’s go. The longer we sit here the later you will be.” Joshua began walking a little faster than normal human speed and even running she couldn’t keep up with him.
“Wait, please, you’re going too fast for me,” she gasped. Joshua turned around and walked back towards her.
“Jump on my back,” he commanded crouching down. She did as she was told, her arms clasped around his neck and her head rested on his shoulder. As he walked quickly, his nostrils were again assailed by the honeyed scent of her young blood. This was getting harder by the minute. He wasn’t one to feed from children, but the smell was too delicious. It took every ounce of his willpower not to bite into the flesh so close to his lips.
Within minutes they had arrived at the old building with the faded sign declaring the name of the school. He crouched again so she could climb off. “Good luck, Pauline Fossil”
“Thank you very much, Joshua,” she replied. She took half a dozen steps towards the school then turned around to say something more, but he had vanished. She shrugged her shoulders and ran up the steps. She had an audition to attend.
I hope you enjoyed reading that as much as I did writing it!